NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems

2003 Buick Century (Page 2 of 2)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,298 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.

2003 Buick Century lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Buick Century Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Jun 252008


  • 60,000 miles


Whenever I have attempted to use my high beams, I lose all lights, which is extremely dangerous, especially since I live in a mostly unlighted rural area with many curvy roads. I haven't replaced any parts since I've heard estimates are in the $700+ range, and I cannot afford the expense...I just do not use the high beams at all for fear I'll lose all lights. I still don't feel safe that the lights won't just cut off anyway. I inherited the car in 2008 and noticed the problem right away. This problem occurs every single time I try to use the high beams. I've research the internet and realize there is plenty of documentation that many others have the same problem. This is obviously a manufacturer defect and should be a recall item before a death occurs. Trust me...if I filed a lawsuit, there is plenty of evidence that this is a manufacturer problem and that they are aware of this potentially fatal problem, especially for those who buy the vehicle used and are not aware of the problem.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #11

Dec 152009


  • 113,591 miles
Almost every time the headlights are changed from high to low beams the lights will shut off compleatly and I will have no headligts at all, I have gone out and purchased a new turnsignal switch and plan to put it in as soon as posible and I will have the old part still. The front drive assembely will grind any time a tire loses traction and spins in either the rain or snow on pavement or off the road in a driveway so my car has been driving in one wheel drive instead of two wheel drive, I have not had the chance to go and buy a new drive axel assembely to correct the problem.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #10

Jan 182009

Century 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My lights go out when I try to switch from dim to bright. I feel that this could be a big safety issue while driving at night, so I don't switch to bright lights in fear that my lights wont come back on.

- Nashport, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 142010


  • 72,500 miles


The dimmer switch for the headlights. When I was using it last week, it momentarily turned off the exterior lights completely. Very dangerous.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 262009


  • 120,400 miles
1) while driving on a narrow, curvy, hilly two lane road in the dark I attempted to turn on my high beam headlights as I was having trouble seeing which way the road ways turning. When I click the high beam switch my headlights went out totally and I could not see the road at all. The high beam switch on this car is the General Motors multifunction switch mounted on the steering column. I went off the road narrowly missing a large boulder and tree. 2) I had trouble getting the headlights to come back on. My car now only has low beam. The multifunction switch must be fiddled with and operated many time to try to gets the headlight to come back on. If I try to get the high beam headlights to come on the headlights go out and I must play with the switch to have the lights come back on. This is a dangerous situation when you need to travel narrow hilly roads in rural areas without any road lights. When the headlights go out you become surprised and need a second to understand what has happened. In that second you become a little dis-oriented as you are trying to get the lights to come back on and trying to stop. The failure is still there as I am trying to get it in for repair. 3) I will have the car in for repair in the next few day and will ask for the faulty switch back. I have a friend with Chevrolet Impala who told me he had the sand problem with this General Motors multi-function switch. It is the same switch in his car as mine.

- Easthampton,, MA, USA

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problem #7

Oct 292009


  • 71,000 miles
While driving home one night, my headlights just went out! this has happened often enough we now do not drive our car at night if at all possible. Through research online and testing it ourselves, we determined that the lights come back on if we flick the dimmer switch. This is a very dangerous situation, and after reading other's similar experiences at aboutautomobile.com (15 different entries), we believe that this is worthy of investigation and a recall being issued. We did take the car to a mechanic who was not sure what might be the cause. Now that we have some idea, we will return to him and get an estimate for repairs. From the online research, we can expect it to cost approximately $600 or more. Thank you for your time.

- Halstead, KS, USA

problem #6

May 102009


  • miles


I have a 2003 Buick Century V6 while driving at night my lights go out it is very scary and dangerous I would like to no the problem as I have read that there has been others with the same problem also if I hit the dimmer switch they will come back on but then go back off.

- Caldwell, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 072009


  • 36,175 miles
I was driving on the interstate to visit friends at about dusk. I always drive with the headlight switch in the "auto" position, but because of weather conditions I switched to the "manual on" position. I continued to drive for another hour and when I got to within 10 minutes of my destination, the interior dash lights and radio started flashing. My headlights were also going off and I could hear the relay on the computer (passenger side) clicking. I stopped and inspected for a shorted wire but found none. I switched to the "auto" position and was able to complete the drive and return back home without recurrence. Testing it again at home the headlights would go on and off in the "manual on " position. After exercising the headlight switch through all the positions numerous times, I could not reproduce the problem.. I believe that the problem was caused by a unused contact on the headlight switch that became oxidized and the low voltage caused the loss of headlights and reaction with the computer controlling them. This is a very dangerous design to be driving at interstate speeds and loose your headlights.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 222008


  • 65,092 miles
Was driving after dark on country road. Switched on bright lights after a few seconds headlights went out. Pulled over to side of road. Pulled light switch on and off several times and lights came back on. Was afraid to use bright lights again. Is very dangerous as was I was on straight away and little traffic at the moment. Could have been on a curve and could have resulted in crash and or loss of life or at least injuries. Will go to mechanic Monday and hopefully can get repaired. Was looking for safety bulletin and or recall or advisory.

- Xenia, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 212008

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. While driving various speeds at night, the headlights dim. When the high beams are activated, the headlights illuminate again. The contact has seen identical failures like this on the internet. The failure and current mileages were 57,000. Updated 12-01-08 the dealer stated the vehicle needed a new multi-function switch. Updated 12/02/08.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #2

Jan 012004


  • miles
One of the taillight bulbs in my fiance's car needs to be replaced more frequently than it should be. I thought the issue might be particular to the car, but I have noticed while driving that other late-model Buick Century's have the same non-functioning tail-light, so I believe this must be a mfr. Defect.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #1

Jul 012004

Century 6-cyl

  • miles
When the vehicle was shut off, the daytime running lights failed to shut off. This caused the vehicle to remain unlocked for a long period of time. Both the manufacturer and the dealer were contacted.

- Detroit, MI, USA

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