2001 buick century reliability?

Hi, I’ve been looking at cars to buy as I will be turning 16 this month and getting my license in August. I was looking originally at cars around 5-6,000 dollars and found some good deals. recently my older brother has been looking at getting a new car, his current car is a 2001 Buick century limited. with a little, over 80,000 miles and he would sell it to me for 1,000. the only problem it has had is the brakes broke several months ago which he has since had fixed. is this worth it for me to buy off him or will it likely start running into expensive issues And how long would this realistically last me or would it be a better deal buying a newer car (i saw a deal on a 2015 honda civic for $6,500 at 70,000 miles with no accidents if this would work out better) So i don’t know what my best option would be, any help would be appreciated. thanks

Can you please clarify that . . . ?!

Rusted out brake lines . . . ?!

Warped brake rotors . . . ?

Bad brake master cylinder . . . ?

Worn out brake pads and rotors . . . ?

The car is cheap enough . . .

If the car is in good shape besides the brakes . . . assuming it’s only going to cost a few hundred to fix . . . it might be a wise choice

but you know your brother, and we don’t

Does he maintain his cars well . . . ?

Or is his idea of maintenance treating it to a car wash and premium gasoline once in a blue moon . . . ?!

We also don’t know where you live . . . depending on where that is, a 19yr old car could be a rust bucket which will never pass safety inspection

I’m not 100% sure but I think the brake fluid tank (don’t know what its called) broke which has since been replaced. There is a little bit of minor rusting on the bottom of the passenger door but that is the only rusting I have noticed. I live in northern Illinois, so the cold winter might affect it. and he does car washes every once in a while not that often and I have no idea about the premium gas. besides for the rust on the door and the brake fluid issue, the car seems to be in good condition. once again thanks

I’m confused . . .

First you said the brakes are broke and your brother hasn’t fixed them yet

Now you’re saying the brake fluid reservoir broke and it’s been replaced

So what is the deal with the brakes . . . ?

There’s probably a lot more rust

You might want to put the car on 4 jack stands and roll under there on a creeper. Use a good led flash light and check it out

Sorry i know i typed it bad. the brake issue I was talking about was the break fluid reservoir he has had it replaced and that was the only issue with the brakes. Ill see about looking under the car tomorrow. thanks

Sounds like the master cylinder was replaced, that is one brake repair, you can expect more in the future, from any car.

In my area an old car like that might last 5 years or it could fail tomorrow. In Illinois that car is on borrowed time, rust will damage the brake lines, fuel lines and suspension but what can you buy for $1000 in your area?

My sons 2000 Pontiac came from Michigan, the underside looks terrible with rust but he has been driving it for 3 years without problems.

I’d want to know exactly what shape the car is in, the price appears to be about the same as trade in value ,A mechanic’s inspection should give you an idea if you’re looking at major problems or if this is a decent commuter car.

I might have tried to get grandpa’s old Toyota Camry when he died, the car had been reliable but there were enough signs of rust on the car that it was a better idea to find a local buyer. Cars from Hawaii don’t always fare much better than cars in the snow belt.

The V6 engine in the Buick is solid except the intake gaskets fail. Plan on $1,000 or so to fix that. Have a mechanic check for rust underneath especially the brake lines. New lines done by a competent mechanic are not expensive vs the alternative. If there is not much rust you could have a great car. If you buy a used car from someone else you can plan on spending $$ on the surprises the seller did not disclose. Always have a mechanic check the car before you buy.

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That’s not what he said.

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One thing you need to have looked into is whether the intake manifold gaskets are leaking excessively, I had a 1996 Buick Regal and now have a 2000 Buick Century, each had the 3.1 liter v-6 engine which is notorious for these gaskets that fail easily & the top of the engine has to be torn apart to replace the gaskets

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Northern Illinois? Like Chicago. Rust on underside is probably major issue.