I went out and bought my folks a '95 Buick Century wagon (3.1 SFI;
note, not the slightly older 3.1 MFI) yesterday to replace our '87
Chevy Celebrity wagon (I love the Chevy, and the 2.8 is still strong,
but the front doors are badly rusted). The Century had 85k miles, a
rust-free body, and was $2500. The seller is a very nice retiree who
bought it at 66k miles 3 years ago from a Cadillac dealer. Questions:
1. how long do the alternators/water pumps last on the 3.1 SFI? I
think that the alternator and water pump both went out around 10
years/80k miles on our Chevy 2.8.
2. are any under-the-hood parts interchangeable between a 2.8 MFI and
3. the R134A A/C is out on the Buick-- the owner said that it didn't
work when turned on this year, but did last year. Can you just
recharge this at home? The last time we did a coolant recharge at
home was R12 on an '82 Buick Regal... is it basically the same
procedure as R134? If I bring the car to a shop and say "fix the
A/C", will they likely just recharge it, or try to pinpoint a leak
too? If the latter, how much $$$ might it be?
4. what kind of mileage should I expect? We get about 27mpg highway
on our 2.8-liter Chevy with 3-speed automatic.
5. anything else I should know?
PS: the Chevy's doors are rusting through-- can it still pass safety
inspection this way? I'm thinking about bringing it to Massachusetts
to use, but am not sure if it'll pass safety inspection.
PPS: anyone in the NJ area interested in the Celebrity? 113k miles,
cold A/C (never needed recharge), the engine is very powerful, and the
car never left me stranded. You could probably drive it cross-country
tomorrow if you wanted to...