Hi! I’m new to this so bear with me. Long story short, I am recently divorced after my cheating husband walked out and left me with pretty much nothing. I am trying to make ends meet and am working 2 jobs, however my husband took our brand new Impala with him when he left. I couldn’t afford it on my own, but I really need a car. I am currently borrowing my son’s car when I can but that isn’t going to work forever. My son works with someone who is selling a 1993 Buick Park Avenue and at this point, it is about all I can afford (it will be under $1000). My son said the car is in good shape, he said there isnt much rust on the body but didnt get to look underneath it(we live in NY). It has 140,000 miles on it and has a new gas tank, sending unit, battery, radiator, brakes and ball joints. The car belonged to someones mother who took very good care of it and maintained it well. My son said it runs very well and the person he works with has had no trouble with it. My son is nervous about the idea of buying a 1993, and I am a little bit but I dont have an awful lot of choice right now. Aside from being a big boat, I thought it might not be the worst choice for me. It has leather! I thought some opinions might help me decide, so what should I do? Thanks so much everyone =-)
For less than $1,000, and considering the mileage, you should expect to drive the car for a year or so. Then, when it needs a repair that costs 50-100% of the purchase price, you have to decide whether to fix it or buy another beater. Without being able to see the car it’s hard to say much more than that.
If it’s a standard Park Avenue, OK. If it’s a Park Avenue Ultra, with the super-charged engine, say, “No, thank you.” The Ultra is a very nice car, but you don’t want the repair bills associated with a super-charged engine.
being a '93 isn’t too bad… I would be more nervous about the 140,000 miles. Get the car checked out by a good mechanic, if he gives you the ok, then go with it. There are lots of cars out there in your price range, but all of them will have there issues. Good luck!!
Considering the situation, the car, and the price, I would not have a problem with it.
Those Buicks are good cars and can hit 300-400k miles if not abused.
The only thing I might have an issue with since you live in NY is rust. Examine underneath and make sure that rust weevils are not devouring the car. Light surface rust is ok but you do not want to see subframes and trailing arms rotted off.
The mileage does not bother me too much since many 140k mile cars are in better shape than 40k mile ones.
These things also do pretty well on gas in spite of their size.
A neighbor of mine had an 89 Park Avenue that he drove for 12 years with no problems until he just flat got bored with it and traded it off on a new Impala.
Short of taking it to a mechanic for inspection, I would advise if possible taking the car for an extended drive of at least an hour. This will give you time to notice things that may not be a readily apparent on a 2 mile short hop.
Its not an ultra, my son said it has a 3.8 non supercharged engine. Thanks for your advice!
Thanks for your reply! From the sounds of it the car has been well taken care of and not abused which I hope is the case because I really need it to be reliable without having to dump a ton of money into it. I see a lot of them on the road even here so I guess they must be pretty decent cars. Are they safe? I know it has an airbag and I think anti lock brakes but I don’t know how to look up crash tests. thanks again!
A quick look shows the car gets a 4 star rating on the crash test with 5 being the best. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the car a “good” safety rating, which is the best.
The NADA guide shows this car with a low retail of 1900 dollars and a clean retail of 2900 dollars. The former means a bit rough around the edges and needing a little work, so a grand for a clean, good running (not rust eaten) car is a good deal.
And that’s for the base model. If this car is the Ultra, it’s actually worth more.
The car has the 3.8 engine and those motors are near bullet-proof. GM has been using them for 20+ years now.
One of my sons has a '96 Chevrolet Camaro and the 3.8 engines in those cars are actually Buick engines. His has about 225k on it now, is driven daily, and still runs like a top while getting 26 MPG on the road.
My Mom drove a used 1993 Park Avenue for 5 years and it was basically trouble free.
Only the gas gauge was broken. She would still be driving it but it was totaled in an
accident. The car is tough so her injuries were minor.
The best argument in favor of this car is that its purchase price appears to be less than market value. With a car this old, it is hard to tell whether the current owner is giving you a good deal or is trying to make a few hundred dollars out of a car that is on its last legs. You really should take it to an independent mechanic to learn which it is.
When it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace a car, ask yourself which will be better – your current car after it is repaired or another one you buy for the price of the repairs.
The 3.8L v6 is one of the better engines out there in GM products… I’ll also add the comment about taking it somewhere to have it inspected before you buy it. a $100 spent now could save you a lot more down the road.
Buy it. Sure gas is expensive, but the car isn’t, and you can control how much you drive. I have a 1998 Buick Regal with the same engine and transmission. They are great. You should be able to keep the car for at least a couple of years until you can get your feet under you. And if your ex is a bum, you shouldn’t have a hard time getting your piece of the pie as part if the settlement. You earned “his” wealth as much as he did during your marriage.