1998 Buick Regal Reviews and Owner Comments

1998 Buick Regal owners review and rate their 1998 Buick Regal.

1998 Buick Regal (2 Reviews)
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
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I brought my 1998 Regal GS from a used car lot. In 2011 I haven't had any major problems until now 2014. The engine light kept coming on after having all the maintence done on the car. I wouldn't pass emission until I took it to a mechanice and it finally passed emission. After getting the car out the shop 1 week later the engine light come back on so I parked it. Three hours later I went to put the key in the ignition and the car shut down dead and I can't get the key out of the ignition. I have been trying to two days. So I have the car parked with the key in the ignition and I called the mechanic to see what he thinks. I think it may be the antitheft feature because I just brought a new battery 4 months ago. Can anyone tell me what may be the problem for the car to die no life in it. I believe I may try by giving it a jump. any suggestions.
Good car, know what to expect. This is a 15 year old GM product. To put it in perspective, my previous car was a 45 year old GM with higher mileage and LESS problems than this. Mechanically it's very sound. The three big issues tend to be gaskets, grounding issues and interior quality. If you buy one of these, expect to find a few interior parts (dirt cheap as regals are common enough to pop up in junkyards almost daily), expect to change window motors.

A previous review cited $1600 for window motors. That reviewer was scammed, the motor and regulator assembly can be found for about 30 dollars a window, and the repair is not difficult to do yourself. I did all four in an hour never having disassembled a window before. Get a few GM clips ($5 for 50 of them) and feel free to put dynamat or peel-'n-seal on the inside of the door panel-it reduces road noise substantially. An hour and 130 dollars for brand new window movement. My Toyota's are 120-150 APIECE-and yes, they to have died.

The steering rack and pump will need replacement. If you can do the windows, you can do the power steering pump. Disconnect battery, take belt off (30 seconds with a wrench for tensioner) detach two PS lines, unbolt pump, bolt new pump on, reattach lines, add fluid and open bleed screw while turning wheel. No reason to pay hundreds. The rack is worth a mechanic. Expect to pay 5-600 with alignment.

The thing that kills the 4t60-4t65 transmissions is heat (or abuse, like any transmission). Keep fluid topped off, and don't blame the company when you failed to respect proper maintenance.

Change ignition lock cylinder. 30 minutes, 70 dollars. Most electrical problems in this vehicle stem from this. The turn signal stalk CAN go bad, but that is rare, the lock cylinder is common.

These cars brake fine, but if you want to knock 15ft of your 60-0mph braking distance, upgrade to firebird/camaro 12" front discs is available. The calipers bolt right on. Pump that old brake fluid out at the same time. Only works on 16" wheels or larger. Another upgrade would be sway bars ($150 with end links) which improve handling significantly. Strut tower braces and trailing arms (about $100 total) will make the car handle respectably, the Regal GS models have too tight a steering ratio for their soft luxury springs and thin sway bars. Improved anti sway bars are easy and a vast improvement

The valve cover gaskets suck, but not a problem if you keep it topped off. Changing them takes 2-3 hours and 50 dollars. 15 year old domestics leak more than not. If you want bulletproof, pay twice as much for a similar toyota or honda. I bought my regal gs to modify, not with the expectation of reliability.

-Proper maintenance.
-$130 in windows
-$50 in gaskets
-$70 in lock cylinder
-$500 in eventual steering rack
-$60 in power steering pump
-A weekend with basic hand tools.
Result? A car that's good to 200k or beyond. It's that simple. I hope I've helped.