NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

1998 Buick Regal (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,363 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.

1998 Buick Regal electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Buick Regal Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Sep 122017


  • miles


The electrical system on the drivers front door is faulty I went through three master window switch's and still something wrong. The cruise control has fault even after some sensors replaced. And the digital odometer display quit working but the rest of the gauges still work the odometer quit showing after 115K. The driver side electrical quit working one day while driving on the highway, the new master switch when you press the button it unlocks and locks the doors. The cruise control quit working in or around 98K miles. And the digital odometer and the other digital screen started to fade and eventually just stopped showing after 115K miles.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #29

Sep 182015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. While driving 15 mph, another vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle. The contact sustained neck injuries that required medical attention. The front passenger also sustained chest injuries that required medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. Prior to the crash, the contact's vehicle was leaking oil. After the crash, the lights on the instrument panel failed to illuminate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V701000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- River Side, CA, USA

problem #28

Nov 052015


  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. The contact noticed oil was leaking from the vehicle. In addition, the contact stated that the ignition key failed to go into the ignition and failed to turn back. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #27

Sep 152015


  • 212,500 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. While driving at an unknown speed, the instrument panel lights and tail lights blew out. In addition, the ignition key was running hot. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 212,500.

- Balton, GA, USA

problem #26

Apr 082014


  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle caught fire. The contact extinguished the fire. No police or fire reports were filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #25

Mar 122015

Regal 6-cyl

  • 155,151 miles
I used my turn signals to make a right hand turn and my car turned off. No lights, turn signals, dash lights, brakes were soft, and steering was hard. If I had been on the freeway when this happened I would have been in a car accident. This has happened two times now and I am now unable to start my car at all at this point in time. What is this all about" and why haven't anyone found a fix" help me please.

- Morongo Vly, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 272008


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the turning signal had shortened. As a result, the ignition switch and the wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #23

Mar 052002

Regal 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled as all of the warning lamps illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the ignition switch was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 118,000. Updated 05/12/14

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #22

Jan 052014


  • 69,000 miles
Just as the current GM recall my Buick Regal suddenly loses all power while driving. The 1st time this occurred I was on the interstate going 60 mph at night, 1st all the dash lights flashed on, then my headlights, power steering, all electronics and engine died! luckily I was able to make it to the emergency lane! once, I was able to pull my frightened self together, the car started right back up and I was able to get off the interstate and make it home very cautiously. In the days following, I tested it just driving very close to home and continuously had the same problem, somewhat seeming to occur more often when I used my turn signal, these incidences of total power failure occurred @ speeds of 0-35 mph, since I was unwilling to put it back on the interstate. When performing a simple internet search for a solution to this problem, I quickly found that I was not the only to have this problem, some with a 1998 Buick Regal just as myself, and others with a similar make & model (still GM) and close to the same year, well before 2003. After taking the car to a mechanic & getting a new alternator and blower motor, the car died yet again before I even made it out of the parking lot. It was suggested to me to try the new alternator before replacing the ignition and related parts which are quite pricey on this vehicle which has 1 of those chips in the key. This problem has yet to be solved and I wonder if the current recall is even more overdue than thought. Please help! do not wait until myself, my children or others suffer fatal consequences! this vehicle is new to me, has very low mileage and is in otherwise in great condition and also has a satisfactory carfax report. My sincerest thanks!

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #21

Dec 312012


  • 104,000 miles
The car went completely dead after stopping at the bank following 25 minutes of driving. There is no power, the key is locked in the ignition, and cannot be jumpstarted by using another car. It can jumpstart with a machine and run for a few minutes, afterwards it instantly dies and locks in place. This happened when I was on a regular street, luckily with no traffic at the time.

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #20

Nov 012011

Regal 6-cyl

  • 181,000 miles


1. right side cornering lamp is inoperative despite replacing bulb, socket and even entire right side headlamp housing assembly with all new wiring and bulbs in it (not the turn signal because that works and so do all headlight functions I.e. high/low beam). 2. when above issue started car suddenly started shutting off whenever turn signals where used when passing or trying to enter highway on entrance ramp regardless of if we were speeding up or slowing down. It has also happened at a complete stand still while local mechanic was investigating complaint regarding all the above and he is still not able to find the cause. I am afraid to let my family ride in this vehicle and I am afraid it will cost us a fortune trying to figure out what is causing this unsafe issue!

- Mechanicsburg, PW, USA

problem #19

Nov 052011


  • 130,000 miles
1998 Buick Regal w/ 3.8L engine. Had recall issue fixed March 2011. Vehicle caught fire after driving up to our local mountains. Fire began after vehicle was turned off, as we were getting our children out of the car. The fire began at the spark plug wires, continued up the wire assembly to the fuel lines and burned through fuel lines. Immediately had to disconnect battery, since fuel lines were spewing gas at the fire. We were able to put fire out with snow on the brushy hillside we were parked beside. Filed claim with GM. They denied it due to car's age, and claimed they have no responsibility after the car is 4 years old. Their recall fix did not work. The car still caught on fire anyway with my family inside.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 152011

Regal 6-cyl

  • 1,750 miles
[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Central Falls, RI, USA

problem #17

Aug 242010


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal ls. While driving 30 mph approaching a left turn she engaged the left turn signal and the vehicle stalled. She stated that she waited 10 seconds and the vehicle began to function normally. The contact stated that the failure only occurred when she slowed down to make a turn. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who replaced the turn signal assembly. After the turn signal assembly was replaced the failure recurred immediately. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was purchased used four months ago. The failure mileage was 160,000 and the current mileage was 161,000.

- Wichta, KS, USA

problem #16

Jul 202010


  • 160,000 miles
Driving home and car wouldn't go over 5 miler per hr and the check engine light came on, then the temperature gage went to hot so pulled over and smoke came thru the vent in the car and out from the gear shifter. Once I got out I heard a loud pop and oil starting leaking then the car caught on fire. Fire department and police came. I had received a recall on spark plugs back in the beginning of the year and had the dealership replacement them but never received any notification about any further recalls.

- Haddon Twp, NJ, USA

problem #15

Feb 062009


  • 138,000 miles
The car stalls out when you put the left turn signal on to turn. All the dash board lights light up and the car stalls. Sometimes it doesn't do it but half the time it does. I'm afraid to turn left in fear of being killed because my car stalled. There are no signs of any kind that the car is stalling. It does it the most when your coming to a stop and place the left signal on. Please help find a solution to this problem.

- Oak Ridge, NC, USA

problem #14

Nov 142004

Regal 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Regal. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 03V527000 (steering:rack and pinion). She immediately took the vehicle to the dealer for repair. Several weeks later, she noticed that the vehicle would spontaneously drift to the left. In addition, the vehicle would sporadically stall while driving various speeds. The dealer stated that she needed to purchase a new vehicle. The current mileage was 180,000 and the failure mileage was unknown. Updated 01/14/09. Updated 01/15/09.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #13

Sep 222008


  • 101,000 miles
Vehicle going dead, would initially (this started about a month ago) restart and run fine until it went dead again. Speed does not seem to be a factor, goes dead at highway speeds and when braking to stop at intersections. This is unbelievably dangerous. Sometimes the gauges and dash lights will move on their own, sometimes not. Four days ago, at a local garage, the car would not re-start. Today it started and then went dead (I may be mistaken on this, but the key actually felt like it was heating up) on the way to yet another garage, would not re-start and had to be towed. So far no-one has been able to find a problem. The vehicle has been on a diagnostic computer twice, both times it showed no history and no problem.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #12

May 022008


  • miles
This car has had numerous problems, noted by many owners. Rusted paint over rear wheel wells. I cannot count the number of times I have had to get the turn signals fixed. I had to replace the ABS system this spring. Now I am told I have a cracked manifold. The heating display on the dashboard has not worked for three years: We manipulate the heat/ air by trial and error. I had a "check engine soon" light problem that required numerous computer scans, and would only be fixed for a month or two at a time. The window buttons are failing. The car drives well, but how much more money is it reasonable to put into" it has 138, 00 miles, and has been serviced every 3000 miles. It should be good for another 60, 000 miles. After reading the complaints, it seems I will only be washing my money. Is the cracked manifold related to the reported fires"

- Angelica, NY, USA

problem #11

Dec 212005

Regal 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles
Head lights turn on and off when the blower fan is turned on. The rear window defrost will not operate, and the cruise control is also affected by this. I have had this in the shop several times and several hundred dollars later it is just getting worse.

- Huntertown, IN, USA

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