Buick Lucerne years to avoid — most common problems
Find out about the Buick Lucerne models you should steer clear of.
Buick is an affordable car brand that’s known for producing solid-quality models with an affordable price tag for widespread use. One of these models was made sort of unexpected since it fits between the two generations of the LaCrosse. It’s the Buick Lucerne, and due to its design, it fits somewhere between the mentioned LaCrosse generations.
With a spacious interior and more than decent engine selection, this car became one of the favorite daily drivers of mid-class US consumers. Sure, it didn’t make it into the classics, but it deserves respect due to the reliability that it brings to the table. The only problem is – there are some Buick Lucerne years to avoid, and that’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this guide along with the frequent problems of the car.
Why you can trust REREV’s advice on which car model years to avoid: Our car experts look at official data, ask real drivers what they think, and talk to experienced mechanics to make sure our list is useful. This reliable info can make buying a car easier for you. Want to know how we do it? Find out more about our research methodology.
Most common Buick Lucerne problems
It’s no secret that Buick Lucerne had a few production years that you’ll want to skip on in case you are looking for the best used model. Still, it’s essential to be aware of the common problems that these models had throughout the production years, so that’s a great place to start.
The car was frequently reported to have electrical issues and problems with the fuel delivery system, and these are all double-checked thanks to the complaints submitted to NHTSA. Sadly, that’s not all about this model since there were prominent issues regarding the power steering assist system.
Finally, many drivers complain about fuel pump failures due to clogged fuel filters which led to fuel contamination. This was bad for the engine as well, even with such a durable option as the famous 4.6-liter Northstar V8. Without further delay, it’s time we dig deeper into these issues to let you know whether you should be alarmed about certain problems when looking at specific model years.
Problems with the electrical system
We all know how bothersome electrical issues can be in your car. Whether it’s an issue with the battery or starter, or just a painful matter of malfunctioning interior accessories, it’s a true drag having to deal with these. The most common electrical fault that this car had is a battery cable touching the power steering return line which may lead to further electrical problems and even steering fluid leaks.
There’s also the matter of interior accessories not working properly due to short circuits, and the ignition switch malfunctioning. In case the switch gets out of position, it becomes nearly impossible to start the car and your key may even get stuck in the ignition.
Fuel delivery system faults
One of the worst things that could happen in case you get a bad model year of the Lucerne is a faulty fuel delivery system. This can happen for various reasons and the most common one is a fuel pump failure. However, it’s sometimes a direct consequence of clogged fuel filters and drivers even reported having to replace the fuel filter every 20,000 to 30,000 miles to avoid having to deal with the issue.
The worst thing that could happen is if your car runs in a lean condition or if the contaminated fuel reaches the combustion chambers. So, this issue may also lead to engine damage which is certainly something you’ll wish to prevent.
Power steering assist issues
The power steering assist system helps you turn the steering wheel in both directions easily. Back in the day, cars didn’t have power steering, but these days every model has this assistance for the driver. The worst thing that could happen with this in mind is if your Lucerne suffers from an improperly installed power steering hose.
Not only would it lead to symptoms of power steering fluid leaks, but it’s also a safety threat if you can’t properly steer the car. Problems like this could end up being even more complicated in case the steering fluid gets in contact with the hot engine parts. This issue was mostly present on Buick Lucerne models equipped with Northstar V8 engines, so at least it’s an easy check if you were to opt in for one of those.
Which Buick Lucerne years to avoid?
Now that you know a bit more about the worst problems that could affect your purchase of the used Buick Lucerne, it’s time to put this information to good use. In other words, we’ll make use of the common problems and the complaints provided to the NHTSA to give you an overview of the worst Lucerne models.
This should make it easier to at least narrow down the selection to a few decent Lucerne models, so let’s get straight into it.
First-generation Buick Lucerne (2006-2009 model years)
There has been only one generation of the Lucerne and while it’s a solid car for the money with decent engine options, it’s still a good idea to steer away from certain models. Among these, the 2008 and 2009 models were the worst-rated ones with the greatest number of driver complaints.
Previous owners weren’t as satisfied with these as with the upcoming models, and the main issue of 2008 as the worst Lucerne model is a faulty electrical system. We get this concern completely since there have been numerous reports on inoperable interior features and controls, including the A/C unit and powered windows.
There’s also the matter of fuel system problems and these mostly included fuel filters that frequently needed replacements, as well as faulty fuel pumps. The 2009 model was no better, and it came with even more reported electrical issues and problems with the steering system.
The initial model years were somewhat better than these two, but we recommend you steer away from all these up to the 2010 model if you wish to reduce the potential repairs to a bare minimum.
Best Buick Lucerne years
Besides knowing everything about the Lucerne years to avoid, it also takes knowledge about the best models to get to the purchase completely prepared. So, our team thought it was a good idea to give you a brief overview of the best Buick Lucerne years. Take a look at the best-rated models in terms of reliability down below:
- 2010 Buick Lucerne
- 2011 Buick Lucerne
The thing is – the Lucerne was only produced for a single generation and that makes it more difficult to rate the best models. However, when compared with the Lucerne years to avoid, the 2010 and 2011 Buick Lucerne are much better rated and come with fewer reliability issues.
.So, we had to recommend these two as the best Lucerne models and you should consider the 2011 one in particular if you can afford it. It’s also a facelift model and comes with a refreshed design and has no particular reported issues.
Make sure to wisely pick the engine since the Northstar V8 lasts a long time, but it has an issue with the improperly installed power steering hose.
Is Buick Lucerne worth buying?
The Buick Lucerne is a moderately reliable car and we say it because of the few problematic model years. However, it’s affordable and quite easy to maintain, and if you go for a 2010 or 2011 model, there should be far fewer issues.
Overall, it’s a decent car for the money and one of the best-buy options from this vehicle class. The Northstar V8 engine is already well-known since it’s used in some older Cadillac models and it lasts a long time. So, with our pieces of advice and a trusted mechanic, you will be able to enjoy the comfort and long years of service with your Lucerne.
What problems does Buick Lucerne have?
The Buick Lucerne has problems with electrical system malfunctions, power steering assist faults, and fuel delivery system issues.
Is a Buick Lucerne a nice car?
Yes, a Buick Lucerne is a long-lasting and nice car to get on the used car market due to its convenient price tag and easy maintenance.
How many miles will a Buick Lucerne last?
The Buick Lucerne should last around 200,000 miles on average, but drivers have reported these models passing much higher mileage.