1st oil change on daughter's

Ihatetochangeoil

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Sadly you'd have to assume they have been degrading to some degree even sitting. Replacing those proactively with updated gaskets would probably be worth consideration.
I appreciate BITOGGER's concerns, but I don't think so. Two points: 1) The local indy mechanic who had this car on a lift for the state mandated safety inspection was "blown away" by the underside of the car's condition. He didn't ask me, he TOLD me, this car was stored in a HEATED garage. 2) is stronger; the 3100 (see p1) has a very different intake setup from the GM 3800; no plastic parts on intake, no EGR tube going thru a plastic hole....
 

Ihatetochangeoil

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Get that under coated!!
I 2nd the undercoating, rust killed 90% of these cars. Nice ride!
I'd hit the underside with WoolWax, especially the inside the rockers and rear wheel inner fender areas. Those are the prime corrosion areas on this model. Also the brake lines on this era GMs are prone to rusting so make sure they get well covered too. Congrats on a great find.
You Gentlemen's words are being taken to heart. We have an appointment at a body shop with an excellent reputation (locally) to have the vehicle undercoated week of Sept. 20-24. Kinda funny, I called them on the phone (1st) and asked them about undercoating a 2004 GM W-body, they laughed at me and said I was about 15 years too late, the car is rotten at the rockers (where all W-bodies rot).
I took them the car to see, they put it on the rack and said they've seen worse underbodies on 3 year old vehicles. Hell yes, they said undercoat. They were trying to guess if the car had ever been driven in bad weather. I think they're going to use Cooper paints POR 15 rustproofing in Silver color. My daughter is a graphic designer; she said she wants a light color undercoating which will show against rust real easy. We asked the body shop for before, during & after pictures. If there is interest, I'll share them here.
 
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Nice score! 7K for a 17K mileage vehicle seems very reasonable especially in this market. I had a few older buicks, the Century had like 240K when i get rid of it, all i did was keep up on the fluids, change the transmission fluid every 20K or so, and the oil every 5K plus maintenance items. Electrical issue took it out in the end, not rust, or a bad transmission/engine. This Century was also driven in the snow/salt/rain with no undercoating protection and it had minor rust on the bottom on rear fender wells. But was very sound.

And yes please share the photos! I'd love to see them!

Its nice to see a younger generation that is raised correctly, not handed everything, (or entitled) and is giving responsibilities. You are doing right, as she is also!.
 

pbm

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I had a 2002 Century in that same color and it was a great car. It regularly got over 30 mpg on highway trips (I got 34 mpg on a trip from NY to NC one summer doing my usual 75ish mph).

I bought it on ebay when it was 6 months old with 11K (it had been a GM owned car---never registered to a private owner) and sold it in 2012 with 135K.

The IM gasket was done at 80K (as a precaution due to UOAs showing slight coolant)....the rocker panels tend to rust in snow country....although the vehicle was awesome in snow for a non AWD car.
Water can enter the passenger compartment when the gasket (near the windshield under the hood) goes. Other than that it was problem free.....I changed the ATF every 30K or so and never had an A/T issue although the lack of a drain bolt makes it a PITA to do.
My PS began to whine a little which was rectified by a fluid change. It wasn't particular about oil and got both dino and syn. 5w30 and sometimes 10w30 in summer.

You may be lucky if GM upgraded the IM gasket by 2004.....keep an eye on it by doing a UOA once in a while. Also...I had to change a front hub once because an ABS light triggered due to a broken wire right at the hub where I couldn't splice it....there was nothing wrong with the OE hub but GM cheaped out by not having a removable wire (no plug-in/out ability)...

An occasional TB cleaning removed a lot of black gunk and really smoothed out the engine...my other vehicles of that era..an Accord, a Sentra and a Corolla never seemed to have any gunk built up when I cleaned the TB...but the Buick 3.1 did and the cleaning every couple or 3 years made a difference in engine smoothness.

All in all it was one of GMs better cars from that era and I enjoyed owning it....good luck with yours.
 
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pbm

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