NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,447 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Buick Century engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 092010


  • 31,939 miles


2002 Buick Century intake manifold/gasket fails at 31K miles. Coolant in the engine and mixed with the oil. All of the prior service and maintenance were performed at GM dealerships (where this should have been discovered prior to failure). Oil, lube, rotations done without waiting for indicator lights (2-4 times per year), all recommended procedures completed (including new brakes, throttle body and fuel injector svcs). This was a known issue regarding dexcool eating away the gaskets but GM filed bankruptcy to avoid full settlement and now dealerships claim ignorance to the issue. Now I have to pay $1500 to have the engine & radiator disassembled for cleaning. I was informed that labor is the bulk of the cost. Why won't GM charge the customer for the part and not the labor. I was told by the service advisor that the parts involved only cost $200-250, but I have to pay $1500 for a known issue/failure the manufacture was/is well aware of and is a safety issue that causes abrupt engine failure! I am so upset that my vehicle was so well taken care of and would fail with so few miles on it. My Chevy Corsica also failed due to dexcool (water pump replacement at 60K miles) and I did not receive a penny from the dexcool settlement (even though I filed and was eligible). GM should be held accountable for these failures that are still an issue. An engine failure in traffic is a serious defect.

- Highwood, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 152010


  • 110,000 miles
Failure of intake engine gasket on 2002 Buick Century with 110,000 miles.

- Germantown, WI, USA

problem #3

Jul 152007

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
Bought vehicle in 01.20.07 with 56,943 miles (2002 Buick Century custom). Sometime (around 62,000 miles) notice engine hesitates, after warming up, hesitation disappears. Asked my mechanic and his first question was if white smoke was coming off the tail pipe, I said no. A couple weeks later, at startup (early in the morning) the tail pipe smoked for a good 2 to 3 minutes, again, once warmed, stopped, and engine run well. This went on for another 2 weeks, during this period I asked again my mechanic, but this time I mentioned the white smoke, no oil smell, his response was I was burning antifreeze. Went back to dealer to see what they could do to help me, left the vehicle for diagnosis, then they offer me a 15% discount on parts of and estimated $1500 work. Since this was unacceptable, I called Buick, explain situation, and also mentioned fact that an engine this age - mileage - this kind of failure was not acceptable. After 4 calls from Buick, it took Buick 2 weeks to come back with ha resolution: That the best they could do was 15% discount on parts and 15% on labor. At some point I wanted to pickup the car and I was told it was not safe to drive. Meantime, I did some research and found out that NHTSA did handle this type of issues. Further research in the NHTSA web site showed that (like my mechanic told me) this was a recurrent problem with this model. I picked up the car on 10.25.07 at a final cost of $1,157.

- Glocester, RI, USA

problem #2

Apr 072003

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,040 miles
I have three lights coming on {check engine soon}{anti lock &trac off} this has been going on for over two years and several trips to the garage is not getting it repaired. I am told when these lights are on I lose antilock breaks and traction control. ] ]

- Industry, ME, USA

problem #1

Jul 302004

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,254 miles
Continue to have a rough idling engine.

- Strafford, NH, USA

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