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03-05 Park Avenue

Bronzeback5

Buick Newbie
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
I had a 99 Ultra from 2007-2017. Great car and I still see it driving around town to this day. Has to have 250k on it by now.

Looking to replace my LeSabre with an 03-05 PA for my 140 mile/day commute and eventually getting the wife back in a PA and getting rid of her Subaru Outback. She's still pissed at me for buying her that newer car. Wife's will be a cream puff with under 60k but right now I'm looking for one with just over 100k for 3-$5000.


Just wondering the main problems with the 03-05's and what to look for. Was anything fixed with the last generation?

intake gaskets?

plastic door handles?

plastic coolant elbow?

serpentine belt that runs through motor mount?

lights on the heater control go out?

Transmission solenoid that's expensive to have fixed?

I am sure I'm missing some but you get the point.
 

Alan 55

Buick Newbie
219
73
28
Florida
Buick Ownership
2001 Buick Park Avenue, previously owned 1997 Park Avenue
I had a 99 Ultra from 2007-2017. Great car and I still see it driving around town to this day. Has to have 250k on it by now.

Looking to replace my LeSabre with an 03-05 PA for my 140 mile/day commute and eventually getting the wife back in a PA and getting rid of her Subaru Outback. She's still pissed at me for buying her that newer car. Wife's will be a cream puff with under 60k but right now I'm looking for one with just over 100k for 3-$5000.


Just wondering the main problems with the 03-05's and what to look for. Was anything fixed with the last generation?

intake gaskets?

plastic door handles?

plastic coolant elbow?

serpentine belt that runs through motor mount?

lights on the heater control go out?

Transmission solenoid that's expensive to have fixed?

I am sure I'm missing some but you get the point.
I think that the serpentine belt now has clearance and no more motor mount issues. At least my 2001 has clearance but I owned a 1997 Park Avenue that required the engine to be lifted a tiny bit to remove the belt. To my knowledge the rest of your list remains the same. There is good news in that we now have some excellent lower intake gaskets now. Once they are replaced the issue is solved.
 

Drakito

Full Member
239
53
28
Southern Utah
Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue Ultra
Just wondering the main problems with the 03-05's and what to look for. Was anything fixed with the last generation?
Still the recalled valve cover gaskets.
intake gaskets?
Same as the old ones, get the felpro or AC Delco replacement and be done.
plastic door handles?
Same
plastic coolant elbow?
Yup, still plastic, swap to aluminum.
serpentine belt that runs through motor mount?
Passenger side motor mount has been moved out of the way. You can change both belts in about 5 minutes now. The ultra has 2, one for the S/C and one for everything else. Normal has just the one.
lights on the heater control go out?
Yup, and steering wheel controls, and power window switches.
Transmission solenoid that's expensive to have fixed?
YUP, same 4t65E or HD variant with all the same issues as the old versions.
I am sure I'm missing some but you get the point.
Main changes were newer electrical architecture with class II databus on the body control side, revised larger brakes and suspension components, and newer ECM with faster processor. The sensors are both more advanced and the exact same depending on what it's for. Crank/Cam/TPS/MAP unchanged, MAF and everything transmission was modified.
Mechanical is completely unchanged on the engine and trans.
 

Alan 55

Buick Newbie
219
73
28
Florida
Buick Ownership
2001 Buick Park Avenue, previously owned 1997 Park Avenue
I had a 99 Ultra from 2007-2017. Great car and I still see it driving around town to this day. Has to have 250k on it by now.

Looking to replace my LeSabre with an 03-05 PA for my 140 mile/day commute and eventually getting the wife back in a PA and getting rid of her Subaru Outback. She's still pissed at me for buying her that newer car. Wife's will be a cream puff with under 60k but right now I'm looking for one with just over 100k for 3-$5000.


Just wondering the main problems with the 03-05's and what to look for. Was anything fixed with the last generation?

intake gaskets?

plastic door handles?

plastic coolant elbow?

serpentine belt that runs through motor mount?

lights on the heater control go out?

Transmission solenoid that's expensive to have fixed?

I am sure I'm missing some but you get the point.
I would like to add wheel bearings to the list. Still love these cars in spite of certain faults. In my opinion, no other vehicle comes close to the 97-05 Park Avenue. This is an interesting thread, hope that others will join in.
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bigblockelectra

Full Member
93
7
8
Buick Ownership
1998 Park Avenue
2003 seems to be the final year that they made any changes.


This video shows the 2003 material sent to dealerships. I didn't see much on 2004, and 2005 Park Avenue changes only appears to be a few color deletes and that final two-tone special edition that they did. I think most of their time went to the newer models in those years and prepping for upcoming vehicles.
 

Bronzeback5

Buick Newbie
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
Pending pickup but I pulled the trigger on an 05 base PA for my work car. Couple dings but clean as a whip, couldn't pass it up for 3k. Her replacement Ultra is in the shop for a radiator so I have to wait to get it for a few days. Only negative was I got a few bounces out of the rear shocks by hand. Seemed to handle real well when driving and didn't bounce so we'll see. The old lady was all about the Buicks and I was pretty excited when I showed up and found a well taken care of car parked in her garage. Sure beats scouring the dealer lots and running across nothing but junk. Pretty excited to get out of my LeSabre and into the PA.

My LeSabre served me well, paid $1600 for it and put 120k on it over the last 4-5 years
 

Alan 55

Buick Newbie
219
73
28
Florida
Buick Ownership
2001 Buick Park Avenue, previously owned 1997 Park Avenue
2003 seems to be the final year that they made any changes.


This video shows the 2003 material sent to dealerships. I didn't see much on 2004, and 2005 Park Avenue changes only appears to be a few color deletes and that final two-tone special edition that they did. I think most of their time went to the newer models in those years and prepping for upcoming vehicles.
Great video! Thanks for sharing the link!
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Boosted2004SC

Member
67
17
8
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2004 Park Avenue Ultra
Awesome snagging an 05! They have very minor visual changes, such as around the rear license plate, it has a chrome badging that I believe either says "Park Avenue" for the PA and "Ultra" for the PAU.

Recommended Maintenance:
#1 the lower intake gaskets, I would suggest the metal ACDelco ones (surprisingly I've heard mixed feedback on the felpro version although I use felpro for almost everything else).
#2 go to aluminum coolant elbows while addressing #1
#3 on the base model I believe the upper intake entirely is problematic, while you're doing #1/#2, I'd recommend the kit to replace the upper intake everything - I think Felpro has a kit

Standard New-Buy Maintenance:
#4 oil/filter change
#5 plugs/wires if you wanna go crazy
#6 fuel filter / air filter / cabin air filter perhaps
#7 check serp belt condition
#8 could get battery/alternator tested at a local auto parts store
#9 check for codes - commonly they have "Stability System Issues" hopefully yours does not

For the rear shocks, you might have air ride - you could peek behind the right passenger wheel under the fender and the compressor housing is mounted right above/behind the muffler.

What color/mileage? Share a pic! :)
 

Bronzeback5

Buick Newbie
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
Buick
Finally brought the Park Avenue home today. Runs and rides great. Will need new struts and shocks but not immediately. Got the temperature gauge spun back around with a magnet, same thing happened to my 99 lol. Noticed the air wasn't blowing very strong and I've seen that before so I climbed under the dash and pulled out the cabin air filter. If you have not pulled yours out I suggest you do.

Got the interior wiped down and vacuumed. I'll spend a little time over the next few weeks doing what others don't bother with.


Going to have to check out my transmission mounts cus she bangs a little when going from Park Reverse Drive when stopped. Didn't really notice it when I took it for a test ride. Transmission shifts nice just clanks a lil with my foot on the break. Hoping to get a helper to shift gears so I get get my eyes on what may be rocking.


I'll get some pics when I get a chance. It's nothing special but most of us are here because we like the Buicks of yesterday I guess. Even if they built the same problems into every car year after year lolIMG_20190905_194613023.jpgIMG_20190905_194532414.jpg
 

Alan 55

Buick Newbie
219
73
28
Florida
Buick Ownership
2001 Buick Park Avenue, previously owned 1997 Park Avenue
Thanks for the update and pictures. I have changed my cabin air filter several times and wow!
What a test of a persons mechanical skill and patience!!!
 

Boosted2004SC

Member
67
17
8
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2004 Park Avenue Ultra
I've had my 04 for about 14 months and have done sh*t loads of work to her...but the 2 things sitting on my "To-Do" list are the Steering Wheel Position Sensor and the Cabin Air Filter - both appear to be a PITA from what I'm hearing :).

Yeah the transmission mount I believe is super common to need maintenanced. Might want to look into the boat roller mount as a cheap and effective replacement - it's common the Bonneville Forums and I believe another member very recently replaced theirs this way recently on these forums.

Updated trans mount design - The Boat Roller Mount : 2000-2005 (other than GXP)
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