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91parkavenue

New member
11
2
3
Buick Ownership
1991 Park Avenue
I have purchased many, many cars in my lifetime, new and used, all price points, varying degrees of needs. This 1991 Buick Park Avenue is the very first American car, however, and it has been the biggest headache by far, especially for a pampered car with only 53k miles. Literally every electronic component associated with the AC has failed; I keep buying parts and parts and parts. Just when I think we've got it resolved another thing appears to be broken.

I will never buy another American car.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
5,663
1,837
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Almost 30 year old vehicle that you paid $1600.00 for and there's problems, first time I ever heard that one. Don't worry about not buying another American car they stopped making them.
 

91parkavenue

New member
11
2
3
Buick Ownership
1991 Park Avenue
Almost 30 year old vehicle that you paid $1600.00 for and there's problems, first time I ever heard that one. Don't worry about not buying another American car they stopped making them.
I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt but this isn't about you. I have a lot of experience buying cars of varying ages, prices, and countries of origin. Yes, all old and/or cheap cars have needs, I'm not dumb. However I have never had so many problems with one single component as I have with this Buick, my very first American car. Despite being 30 years old and $1600 it had spent only 53k pampered, (original) elderly-owned miles on the road. Four -- FOUR! -- separate electronic AC components had failed and needed replacement. Unacceptable.

I expected better and I'm very disappointed.
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91parkavenue

New member
11
2
3
Buick Ownership
1991 Park Avenue
You think europeans are better?
Yes and no, depends on the European car. I've never owned a BMW, for example, because they're notoriously finicky.

I've had a few pre-2000 Mercedes-Benzes. With a few exceptions they're stone-cold reliable. The problem is they're expensive to fix when they do break (and yes they do break).

My 1995 Volvo 940 is basically a Swedish Camry, nearly bullet-proof and cheap to maintain.

American cars just are not built well. Sorry.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
5,663
1,837
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
LOL not my feelings, I guess you probably hurt Roger Smith feelings, but pretty sure he will get over it being dead and all.

Fact is it's a 30 year old vehicle with 30 year old aging parts and it will continue to have components fail so sell it before more money is put into it, problem solved.
 

parkav

Full Member
187
6
18
Austria
Buick Ownership
Buick Park Avenue `95; Chevrolet Trailblazer `02
i think the vehicles from GM are normaly cheap, dependable, endure a lot and forgive a lot.
the parts are normaly cheap and available worldwide.
i had got some japanese and italian cars, the are finicky, sometimes technically complicated, and the parts are sometimes incredible expensive.
 

BuickGirlFromMars

Active member
726
127
43
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged)
I'm sorry if your feelings are hurt but this isn't about you. I have a lot of experience buying cars of varying ages, prices, and countries of origin. Yes, all old and/or cheap cars have needs, I'm not dumb. However I have never had so many problems with one single component as I have with this Buick, my very first American car. Despite being 30 years old and $1600 it had spent only 53k pampered, (original) elderly-owned miles on the road. Four -- FOUR! -- separate electronic AC components had failed and needed replacement. Unacceptable.

I expected better and I'm very disappointed.
Id be interested to see if you dont have another problem that youre not fixing that is causing this. perhaps bad grounds, wiring? age and sitting were going to be the killers here, not electronic failure.

sitting means pests.

age means degredation(Which would be seen in a more used car, too)

So i would start checking harnesses and grounds.
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2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
5,663
1,837
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
DGBhLV_VwAA1aPi.jpg_large.jpg
Considering the radio may be having a problem with one channel, expect as moving or bumping other devices in areas being worked additional issues will be showing up. Like vacuum hose or any rubber part will degrade over time no matter who the manufacturer is and low mileage doesn't prevent dry rot so be prepared.
 

Ultra Ego

Full Member
214
30
28
St. Paul, MN
Buick Ownership
2003 Park Avenue Ultra, 2003 LeSabre Limited; Previous: 2003 LeSabre Custom; 1998 Park Avenue
Since the problems you mentioned are all electrical in nature, you should give the grounding straps special attention. I had the flexible grounding straps on one of my GM trucks fray and separate, and it caused multiple electrical failures on different systems for months, until the GM truck forums helped me figure it out.

It could be that you have one, or more, frayed, or corroded, or missing grounding straps, and the electrical system is trying to ground through other components. And take it from experience, you will never be able to predict which components are next.
 

Gentem

New member
4
6
3
United Kingdom
Buick Ownership
1992 Park Avenue
My daily European car electrics were completely haywire and kind of behaved the way they wanted (VW BORA for the Europeans) (VW Jetta for the Americans). Thing's would literally turn on and turn off whenever they wanted. It started to become a safety hazard when even the headlights we'rent turning on. I recently had a transmission job done which meant things we're disconnected for a while, so my first point to check was the negative terminal of the battery. I unbolted it from the engine which is where it's being grounded, scrubbed it, cleaned it, made sure it was screwed and tightened back on snugly. Next simple thing to check was the negative battery terminal, simply gave it a scrub with a metal brush, cleaned it, tightened it back up. What do you know, everything was fine! So it led me to believe it was simply a loose or slightly corroded connection.

I myself bought a 1992 Avenue (my first american car and first project car so I can learn to fix cars) last year for $1300 and it has 230k km on the odometer! Runs like a dream, apart from replacing the exhaust due to rust, everything else is in pretty good nick, with some surface rust spots and the electrical height that could do with replacing, but who cares about that, it ain't a taxi :) All the electrics seem fine.

HOPEFULLY it was a simple fix since you haven't posted in a while! If you haven't, then it may have just been an unlucky build. I don't think it's reasonable to put American built cars into the "bad quality" bin just because of one car :)
 

Andy91

Buick Newbie
19
9
3
Croatia (Europe)
Buick Ownership
'91 Park Avenue
Sad to read about the original poster's experience, but as mentioned already sometimes you just get unlucky with a particular car..

I'm from Europe and American cars are not really appreciated around here, but i love my Park Avenue more than any european or asian car we had in the family. My dad's Citroen Saxo was a real broken piece of sh*t but that doesn't mean all Citroens or French cars are bad.

Last year I met an older gentleman with a 92 Park Avenue in pristine condition. He was the original owner and was telling me he never had a serious problem with it in over 25 years, mostly just regular maintenance. My 1991 is not problem free, but hey its a 30 year old abused car, I think of it as a project and a chance to build repair skills. I wish you luck in your repairs if you kept the Buick.
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