pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,500 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace gasket (10 reports)
2003 Buick Century engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #10

May 112013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,313 miles


This is one of two Buick century vehicles that we were given by an older family member (we had no choice of make or model). The other was a 2001 model - the same problem happened with it, (described in a separate post), but 100,000 kms earlier. I anticipated the same problem with the 2003, and as I feared, it happened again, just later. The sweating on the oil pan was noticed 20 months earlier at the dealership - advice was to wait it out a few months as it could stay like that (sweating only) for up to two or even three years. At 20 months and 155,000 kms it could no longer be ignored as the problem was worsening. The car was kept for two days and I already knew the cost well ahead of time!

This is a well known problem with GM - these two vehicles and also major problems with other North American cars we have owned, have forced us to choose Hyundai! No problems at all after five years with it. What a joy to just go in for maintenance!!!!

- Laurie O., Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #9

Mar 142012

Century V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Has been a good car getting 30 miles to a gallon even with 93000 miles.

- rbrownkansas, Cherryvale, KS, US

problem #8

Aug 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

The dreaded "service engine light" came on. Was able to get it to a mechanic, who said this is a common problem for these cars.

- hawkh, Morrison, OK, US

problem #7

Jan 122011

Century Limited 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


Same problem others have reported, intake manifold leaking, able to keep refilling system but eventually had to get it repaired. 8 hours labor. Dealer says new manifold gasket material will be used.

- Marc N., Houston, TX, US

problem #6

Dec 272010

Century V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles

First noticed a problem when heated air was not delivered from defrost or any other setting when called for. Low coolant level was corrected and heated air was delivered for a few hours, then only cold air was delivered. Local mechanic examined the problem and told me it would cost about $530 to repair. I looked up estimates for repair of this problem using the internet and considered myself lucky to get such a low estimate. With the history of this problem, GM should have provided free repair whenever required and not have stopped paying for it as set up by the class action lawsuit agreement.

- Monty P., Valley, AL, US

problem #5

Jun 182010

Century Custom V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,500 miles

When you spend over $20,000. for an auto and hope it will last for at least 10 years, then you get crapped on by general motors, again. See my next complaint about having the 4 window motors replaced within 3 months at $750. ea.

- Doris E., Fountain Hills, AZ, US

problem #4

Oct 032009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


Bought this car for my daughter's 16th birthday. Took it to mechanic before purchasing and supposedly iit was fine. Now 4 months later the bad news comes that she has a coolant leak. I think owning and maintaining a car is expensive enough but to find out the problem is a recurring one, you would think someone (manufacturer) would do something about these problems they obviously are aware of and help out the little guys.

Also the ABS module needs to be replaced...there goes another 1200

- Wendi L., Taylorsville, UT, US

problem #3

Jun 172009

Century Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,800 miles

Well I bought this estate car for $5800 knowing it was low in price and I did not bargain since I had a 1996 loved it and had to give it to my son to commute to college. I had just gotten it home and was still surfing about it when the coolant issue came up. I took it immediately to a local mechanic still not registered or driven and had the bad news that it needed the intake gasket replaced at $1300.00. I could have driven it further and waited for the temperature gauge to go up or more misfiring which I never detected but I went immediately to the one GMC dealer I knew was not going out of business and had it all revamped. They said they had the latest gasket kits and once done I would never have any problems, no nylon parts to dissolve etc. plus the battery and other parts had to be replaced. Am really upset and if known would not have bought the car but in looking back it is about average what I paid for the car in perfect condition for the year.

- jausten, Branford, CT, US

problem #2

Mar 012009

Century 3.1 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

On our 2003 Buick Century, anti-freeze was leaking from the car. Our mechanic told us the problem was the intake manifold gasket. He stated that this was a common occurrence on the buick century. He said that he repaired a bunch of centurys with the same problem. The gasket was not up to standard when it was assembled. In other words, a defective part was installed. He stated that he was surprised that the cars were never recalled by Buick. Maybe GM can't afford to fix this flaw. I'm out $750.00. Buick has an image problem with this type of shoddy engineering.

- amosch, Homer, NY, US

problem #1

Dec 082008

Century Custom 3.1L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

On your website, I read about the leaking intake manifold gaskets on 2001 Buick Centuries, as well as many other GM models-some dating back to the mid 90's! Why did GM continue to use this kind of gasket when they knew it posed serious problems? I have a 2003 Buick Century and was just given the unfortunate news a few weeks ago. My mechanic said that this problem continued even with later model cars, until a few years ago, when GM (aka Generous Motors) decided to use stainless steel gaskets. He also said that GM does not usually recall its faulty vehicles unless a few people have died, and they were consequently sued-typical, huh? Where is Ralph Nader when we need him-again? I didn't know about the DexCool settlement prior to its closing date in October-just my luck! I will get it fixed, because, otherwise the car is wonderful. BUT, not without sending letters to GM, DexCool, Consumer Reports, newspapers, and anyone else I can think of. Furthermore, I will post fliers all over the lots and windows of all the used car dealers in this county, that is, the ones that I will be able drive to before my engine gets destroyed while waiting on my income tax refund to fix this 'built in wear and tear' of Generous Motors!

- Emily J., Ashtabula, OH, US

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