1994 Buick Century 63K miles

Messages
1,234
Location
SE Ohio
Whats up everyone, Picked up a 94 Buick Century Custom 2.2L with 63k on it. It was originally my Wife's Grandmothers who purchased it new. It then became my MIL's spare car but she never really drove it and it sat in the garage most of the time. It's the ultimate old lady car that is white with red interior. Got it to use as a work/ spare car. It has only been driven 200 miles in the past two years. I changed the oil last in 2018 with GTX and Fram. It is in near perfect condition. To make it ready to be daily driven again at least a few days a week i'm going to do the following: Oil & filter Trans fluid & filter Coolant & thermostat Fuel filter Pcv valve Had new brakes, plugs & wires a few years ago. Only repairs that need to be done is two new tires and it needs a valve cover gasket. Have I missed anything? I'll put up a few pics here in the next few weeks!
 
Messages
36,406
Location
ME
I'd throw shocks and struts at it. Rockauto has some front struts for $15 and rears for $10 on closeout. Check the transmission's TV cable for proper adjustment-- they usually loosen up causing delayed downshifts. I'd suggest a 1/16" hole in the top of the flange of the t-stat, I had issues burping my BIL's cavalier with said motor.
 
Messages
1,623
Location
MN
Sweet! I'm probably one of the weird ones, but I've got a soft spot for A-bodies. Sounds like you've pretty much got things handled. I would flush out the brake fluid, as well. It's definitely absorbed some moisture over the years. By near perfect, do you mean rust-free? Getting brake bleeders open will be key to flushing out that old fluid. Besides that (and your list), it sounds like you've got an awesome commuter! I take it it's got the 3T40 transmission? Bulletproof. 2.2 OHV? Bulletproof (just don't overheat it). Somewhere around 2004ish my dad picked up a 1996 Cutlass Ciera with the 3100, 4T60. It had 36k miles on it at the time, and the original engine had been replaced around 16k due to massive internal coolant loss. It was dark blue, with a medium blue faux-cabriolet top. Not vinyl: cabriolet. Fake folding roof cover snaps and all. I had lots of fun at the drive in movies with that front bench seat... but I digress. I have to admit, my favorite A-body would have to be the Pontiac 6000. What I wouldn't do to find a clean, barn find STE AWD model. Kind of like this: STE AWD
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,173
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Serpentine belt and change the power steering fluid. Not that turkey baster nonsense, a true flush out. Check water pump for leaks/noise once you get it going. Check heater hoses and radiator hoses. If original, after 25 years they've done their job, time to change them.
 
Messages
1,613
Location
Watertown, New York
I was always a fan of GM A bodies. I had a 1988 Pontiac 6000 with the old 2.5 iron duke. Had 200k when I got rid of it. Just to rusty to keep driving, needed timing gears. Those pushrod 2.2's were great engines, I had 2 of them. Just dont overheat it, as the heads will crack if you get them too hot. On a car of that age, I would probably replace radiator hoses as a precaution.
 
Messages
2,235
Location
West Michigan
I have had several of the old GM "A" bodies. Pretty decent car for that era. Tune up, belts, hoses, drop all fluids, check the tires closely and drive it.
 
Messages
11,392
Location
USA
The 2.2 is probably the best engine put in those cars. Easier to work on than a transverse V6 and probably gets better gas mileage as well smile
 
Messages
18,500
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted by 14Accent
Sweet! I'm probably one of the weird ones, but I've got a soft spot for A-bodies. Sounds like you've pretty much got things handled. I would flush out the brake fluid, as well. It's definitely absorbed some moisture over the years. By near perfect, do you mean rust-free? Getting brake bleeders open will be key to flushing out that old fluid. Besides that (and your list), it sounds like you've got an awesome commuter! I take it it's got the 3T40 transmission? Bulletproof. 2.2 OHV? Bulletproof (just don't overheat it). Somewhere around 2004ish my dad picked up a 1996 Cutlass Ciera with the 3100, 4T60. It had 36k miles on it at the time, and the original engine had been replaced around 16k due to massive internal coolant loss. It was dark blue, with a medium blue faux-cabriolet top. Not vinyl: cabriolet. Fake folding roof cover snaps and all. I had lots of fun at the drive in movies with that front bench seat... but I digress. I have to admit, my favorite A-body would have to be the Pontiac 6000. What I wouldn't do to find a clean, barn find STE AWD model. Kind of like this: STE AWD
You and me both.....
 
Messages
700
Location
North Carolina
This place will be your new friend: https://www.a-body.net/forums/forum.php We own a 1990 Century with the Iron Duke motor as a destination car we keep at the beach, 75k miles and a surfboard rack on top. There are plenty of sleeper upgrades like bolting on a thicker front swaybar from the "dustbuster" minivans which were the Chevy Lumina APV, Oldsmobile Silhouette or Pontiac Transport, it will corner like a BMW 3 series. Lots of GM 15", 16" or some 17" wheels also fit these cars. LKQ has tons of these wheels for cheap. Have fun!
 
Messages
2,005
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Originally Posted by 14Accent
Sweet! I'm probably one of the weird ones, but I've got a soft spot for A-bodies. Sounds like you've pretty much got things handled. I would flush out the brake fluid, as well. It's definitely absorbed some moisture over the years. By near perfect, do you mean rust-free? Getting brake bleeders open will be key to flushing out that old fluid. Besides that (and your list), it sounds like you've got an awesome commuter! I take it it's got the 3T40 transmission? Bulletproof. 2.2 OHV? Bulletproof (just don't overheat it). Somewhere around 2004ish my dad picked up a 1996 Cutlass Ciera with the 3100, 4T60. It had 36k miles on it at the time, and the original engine had been replaced around 16k due to massive internal coolant loss. It was dark blue, with a medium blue faux-cabriolet top. Not vinyl: cabriolet. Fake folding roof cover snaps and all. I had lots of fun at the drive in movies with that front bench seat... but I digress. I have to admit, my favorite A-body would have to be the Pontiac 6000. What I wouldn't do to find a clean, barn find STE AWD model. Kind of like this: STE AWD
I also really really like these cars. I had a 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera Brougham with the all cast iron multi point 2.8L a d a 4T440 transmission. The car was killer in the snow, rode well, drove well, it did everything well honestly. I would own another in a heartbeat. I had several friends with these with the Iron Duke, 3.3L and even a few friends lucky enough to have a 3.8. Just good simple, easy to work on with cheap parts, reliable cars.
 
Messages
4,162
Location
Texas
Originally Posted by Nick1994
Serpentine belt and change the power steering fluid. Not that turkey baster nonsense, a true flush out. Check water pump for leaks/noise once you get it going. Check heater hoses and radiator hoses. If original, after 25 years they've done their job, time to change them.
Exactly what I was thinking . Replace the rubber items under the hood ( hoses & belt / belts ) . Flush the coolant , too . How is the battery & cables / clamps ?
 
Messages
1,731
Location
stl
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
The 2.2 is probably the best engine put in those cars. Easier to work on than a transverse V6 and probably gets better gas mileage as well smile
Yeah, I had one in a cavalier. Pretty reliable engine. I think head bad head gaskets are pretty common, but really easy to change on this engine.
 
Messages
1,465
Location
Perris, CA
My wife had that engine in a Cavalier as well. Could not be killed. She came home from work one day and I noticed a brown stain on her bumper. Popped the hood and there was coolant everywhere. It had blown a hose and spewed it everywhere, I don't know how long she drove it like that as most of it was dry and NOTHING came out of the radiator when I drained it to do the repair. She obviously didn't look at the temp gauge but I can't imagine it wasn't pegged. I replaced the hose, filled it back up, and it ran for years as if nothing was wrong. At 237k the transmission gave out and we junked the car, but the engine still ran. The 3-speed transmission it was paired with was absolutely terrible, though. Horribly slow and got almost the same MPG as my Mustang.
 
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Messages
1,465
Location
Perris, CA
I believe it was roughly the same iron block/head pushrod engine from the early '80s all the way through 2002 when they discontinued it.
 
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Messages
1,410
Location
Wisconsin
Originally Posted by Anduril
I believe it was roughly the same iron block/head pushrod engine from the early '80s all the way through 2002 when they discontinued it.
You could get a Cava with an ecotec motor similar to a Saturn in later years, besides CNG capability nothing remarkable but they were reliable if you kept oil in it.
 

wtd

Messages
2,682
Location
southwest Mo.
The original head gaskets in the 2.2L during those years always seemed to leak early in life at the lower right corner as you are looking at the engine. Between my fiancée and I, we own three 92-94 Cavaliers with this engine and all three had to have the head gasket replaced fairly early on, usually less than 100,000 miles. My ex-wife had a 91 Beretta with this same engine that had to have the head gasket replaced at around 80,000 miles. Our neighbor years ago with a 91 cavalier, same issue at low mileage. Definitely something to keep an eye on. The head gasket in my 92 Cavalier RS was replaced at about 80,000 miles and so far the replacement has been leak free at 239,000 miles. Seems like these newer gaskets last a lot longer than the originals.
 
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