Questions regarding 2000 Buick Park Avenue

thecarguyAugust 27, 2006

My dad's 97 GMC Sonoma is on it's last legs (197k miles) the body is shot (it's had a rough life) the transmission is slipping and it has several bad fluid leaks. Now that he has finally retired (at 78!) he no longer needs the truck, but he's worried that he can't afford another vehicle. So, I went car shopping and found a 2000 Buick Park Avenue. He's always been a big GM man (mostly Buicks and Cadillacs) but his last nice car (79 Eldorado) was totaled by an 18-wheeler almost 22 years ago. Before the Eldorado he had a Buick Electra, which he loved. I let him see and drive the Buick and he fell in love with it, so I went ahead and got it for him. Since the car has 99,000 miles on it, I got it for a pretty low price. Despite the mileage, however, the car is in EXCELLENT condition and it performs beautifully. I forgot how much I enjoyed big and boaty cars! The ride is so smoooth and quiet. I found the first owner's contact information in the owner's manual, so I gave them a call and learned that they were the first and only owners before me. They said they loved the car and had no problems with it whatsoever. They also told me that the intake plenum was replaced last year under a recall at 85,000 miles. My dad won't be going too many places (in fact I may have to drive the car every so often to keep the battery charged and keep things moving) but I do want to ensure that it's road worthy and be informed of any possible problem aras so that I can adress them early. The biggest problem I've read about so far is with the intake plenum, but that has been repaired. I do notice that the car makes a slight ticking noise when in gear (under a load) once put into park, it fades away, but I'm pretty sure that may just be the nature of the beast. The engine is a 3800 series II V6. I am aware of the legendary dependability of the series I version of this motor, but the series II is quite a different motor. I've had the fluids replaced and had the brakes, belts and hoses, etc. checked out okay.

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Sorry, didn't quite finish. So is there anything else I should know about? Is this series II engine as reliable and long lasting as the first version? Any major problem areas (besides the intake plenum)? I'm not new to GM vehicles, but I have learned that not all GM cars are created equal. All of my GM vehicles have been pretty good, the biggest problem with them being frequent part replacements such as alternators, water pumps, starters, etc.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 11:57PM
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The series 11 3800 is a very reliable engine as well. They are pretty well bullet proof except for the intake manifold problem. If the car is the supercharged model like my 96 Riviera this is not a problem as the manifold is of different design. I have had my Riviera for 10 years now and the series 11 engine has run flawlessly. Other than routine maintenance and a recent cleaning of the fuel injectors its not been touched. I hope your Dads Buick is just as good. Cheers: Bucky

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 12:15PM
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Thanks Bucky. So far so good. I loved the Rivieras, it's unfortunate that GM pulled the plug on such a beautiful car... but business is business I guess. His car doesn't have the supercharged engine, just the standard 205 hp version... but it pulls the car pretty good! Another quwstion that perhaos you can answer: When turning on the air conditioner, is there a more convenient way of getting the air to blow through the vents than having to push the air flow button several times to get it off of the floor to the 'mid' setting? Everyime I turn the AC on, the setting is always on the floor (regardless of where it was the last time I shut the car off) I'm sure the memory feature would take care of this, but I'm still learning that one too!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 12:59PM
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All I can tell you is that my 96 Buick retains its air temp and air direction settings after shut down so it would be my guess that your 2000 should have the equivalent or better memory set-up. Your operating manual should have this info in it. If not check with your local GM guy.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 1:57AM
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