NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems

2003 Buick Century (Page 1 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 1 of 2)

problem #32

Sep 012009


  • 110,782 miles


Turn brights on and radio/clock light goes off. No headlights on during day driving, radio/clock light randomly goes on and back off. Head lights briefly gone off during night driving 3 different times only for maybe 5 seconds, but it only takes a second for a deer or object to appear at night or a car ahead braking suddenly. Speedometer back light does not illuminate for night driving. Trac off and anti lock warning lights continuously stay on, I have had my brakes replaced throughout the years of owning the car since October 2007 and the warning lights do not reset themselves as they should, they continuously stay on since 2009. I am tired of dealing with all of these electrical and lightening issues with this car. I have tried to find GM recall for these problems. Please tell me where and how I can have these defects fixed.

- Otho, IA, USA

problem #31

Mar 052013


  • 185,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. While driving various speeds, the plastic headlight covers caused a haze over the headlights, which prevented them from illuminating correctly at night. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed by the technician to clean or replace the plastic headlight covers. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 185,000. The VIN was not available.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #30

Mar 232005


  • 22,300 miles
Purchased on 2004, used, the 2003 vehicle has consistently had the head lamps go out when in highbeams are activated. The dealer said this is a short and said it would cost me to fix them and this happens to many of these vehicles. Major safety issue when you are driving at night and the lights go out. Clicking the low beams on turn the lights back on. Since this seems to be a known issue, why is there. To a recall on this? this happens while the vehicle is in motion at all speeds. (only in the dark, since this is when the high bea, S are used!)

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #29

Apr 132016


  • 55,000 miles


When driving at night head lights just shut off briefly. It seems to do this on dims or brights. I see a lot of similar complaints and I don't see any recalls. They come back on, but I can't seem to determine if they come back on from messing with the switch or if they just come back on by themselves. I'm not sure if the taillights go out as well but if they do that's a hazard for those coming up behind on highway at 65 mph. This is clearly a safety hazard that needs to be addressed!

- Alamosa, CO, USA

problem #28

Mar 032016


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. While driving 55 mph, the low beam head lamps were activated, but failed to illuminate. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- China Grove, NC, USA

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problem #27

Jan 222016


  • 138,000 miles
When driving at night all lights go out, interior and driving lights, resuming when clicking bright light switch. Driving at 65 mph.

- Peculiar, MO, USA

problem #26

Dec 042011


  • 152,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. While driving 55 mph, the headlights failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who suggested that replacing the demo switch from the column may remedy the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact also stated that the turn signal failed to signal. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 152,000.

- Guin, AL, USA

problem #25

Oct 272013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the headlights suddenly failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Willow River , MN, USA

problem #24

Aug 132012

Century 8-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
When using turn signals car dies, all the dash lights flash and click. If I pull over and put the car in park it restarts and drives fine until I try the turn signal again then the same thing happens. I also had to disconnect the emergency brake sensor or else the same thing happens. Flashing, clicking and car dies. Now, whenever car is in gear, constant dinging and it will drive fine but I cannot use the turn signals.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #23

Jul 262014

Century 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Pulled out of gas station to enter street and noticed headlights were not on. Pulled out the head light switch and nothing happened. I pulled back on the bright light switch and the lights came on. Mechanic had told me to try this since this same thing has happened before. Last year, I took the car to the Buick dealer for something else, but I brought up having a diagnostics run to see if it would show anything about the light problem. They told me that it wouldn't show up. Now I am afraid to drive this car at night. I have read many letters on the internet regarding this problem. GM should fix this problem. It would cost about $700 to get the switch replaced at the dealer. Does someone have to die if the lights go out while driving?

- Lemoore, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 012010

Century 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


All lights (ext and control panel) will suddenly go out. If I quickly flick the light control lever they come back on. This is an intermittant problem but quite un nerving! I have seen no recall or service bulliten.

- Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #21

Dec 052012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact stated that while parked, both headlights shut off. The contact powered off and restarted the vehicle however, the headlights still did not illuminate. The contact also stated that the low beam lights had to be used when driving at night and the failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who advised the contact that the switch in the steering column may have needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 75,300. The VIN was unavailable.

- Johnstown, NY, USA

problem #20

Dec 102012


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the headlight dimmer switch failed and the headlights became inoperative. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Pagosa Springs, CO, USA

problem #19

Feb 152011


  • 196,000 miles
While driving at night my headlights stopped working and then turned back on, this morning as I left for work the headlights did not come on at all, the brights only worked if I held the bar back as it would not stay on by clicking it. After reading all of the problems with this there needs to be a recall on this serious problem. What can be done to make sure this gets taken care of?

- Hesperia, MI, USA

problem #18

Dec 012010

Century 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
While driving at night, my headlights just go out! this has happened often in the last month and a half. I commute an hour to work and it happens at least once a day. It does not matter if they are on manually or automatically, it does not matter if they are on low or high beam. I discovered that the lights come back on if I hit the dimmer switch. This is a dangerous situation and I believe that it is worthy of investigation and a recall being issued. I have seen many complaints online about this situation. What will it take for a recall" will it take someone getting killed in a head on crash"

- Sully, IA, USA

problem #17

Jan 062011


  • 162,700 miles
Third incident where 2003 Buick Century headlights (low beam) turned off while driving at night; no controls or buttons touched. First incident at 155,000 miles, second incident at 160,000, and now third incident at 162,500 miles. Situation lasts 10 seconds and then headlights return. Turning dimmer switch makes no difference and nor does high beam control. No diagnostic code appears. Extremely dangerous situation and no recall or technical bulletin issued.

- Lake Carmel, NY, USA

problem #16

Dec 252010

Century 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
03 Buick Century headlamps go out while driving seems to be occurring with high beams 'still early in diag have not repaired yet { great christmas gift }.

- West Harrison, IN, USA

problem #15

Apr 012007


  • 29,000 miles
When I switch to high beams my headlights go out completely. They only go back on when I switch back to dims. This is a common problem and I don't understand why you haven't owned up to it and had a recall.

- Wonder Lake, IL, USA

problem #14

Dec 312007

Century 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Century. The contact was driving various speeds with the headlights in activation. Suddenly, the headlights became inoperative. The contact pulled over to the side of the road with caution and after several attempts the headlights began to operate. The failure occurred intermittent. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they informed that the headlight switch would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000. Updated 2/23/11 also, the front coil springs were replaced. Updated 05/31/11

- Wiscasset , ME, USA

problem #13

Oct 202010


  • 156,000 miles
Driving in the dark with high beams on, the headlights went out completely, had to activate low beams to get lights back on. This is happening frequently.

- Harris, MN, USA

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