2003 Buick Regal with 177K miles.. Is it worth it?

Asked by Jan 16, 2017 at 09:24 PM about the 2003 Buick Regal LS Sedan FWD

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I've been shopping around looking for a
first car, and I came across a 2003 Buick
Regal with 177,000 miles on it. The current
owner wants about $1800 for it, Which I'm
perfectly fine with paying. My only concern  
is how long I can expect the engine to last
before it gives out ( I don't want to invest
money in the car, only to find out that it's
going to die on me 50,000 miles later).

My other option is a 2004 Ford Focus with
94,000 miles on it. The owner is asking for
$2400,  but I'm not sure what is wrong with

What do you guys think?  I would be
willing to pay the extra ~$800 for a car with
nearly half the miles. I'm planning on using
the car to commute back-and-forth to
work, as well as possibly going on a road
trip or two in the next couple of years,  so it
obviously want to car that I know will last.
But, if the Buick's engine will last, I would
be more than happy with buying it.

Please let me know what you think!

5 Answers


There's about 4 - 5 things I do when checking a used vehicle not including the MANDATORY test drive but I can't be there with you .half has been gut feeling towards the previous owner . If you want my gut feeling on this talk the price down on the ford and go with that .

1 people found this helpful.

177K? Nope. Only time to consider a motor with 177K on it is if it's a diesel. There are just too many unknowns to deal with to consider a motor with that kind of mileage.

3 people found this helpful.

The engine could go out tomorrow or last another 100,000 miles but that all depends on the condition it is in now. The price is not too bad IF the car is in good shape. Have it checked out or offer the guy less money. If you can afford to lose $1,800 then drive in until it dies. If you can get 30,000 miles out of it then you got your monies worth. Bottom line - have a mechanic check the cars out or roll the dice.

2 people found this helpful.

2003 a 14 year old car ! !!! age deteriorates plenty , plastics,, heat dried , rust, all fluid ect good miles or not ! a Buick is a good choice from my experience I would pass on the flimsy ford here ! if it shifts nice and can feel overdrive kick in and the engine revs smooth and no noise , under engine no fluids leaked all over the real price is still about 15 to 19 because of the miles, if its clean and smooth driving buy it new ones are quite more

1 people found this helpful.

At that mileage the Buick's intake manifold gaskets should have already been done. Ask the seller to be sure and look at the repair receipt or check the Carfax to see if it shows up. When you test drive it make sure the transmission upshifts into all the gears especially overdrive and that the torque converter clutch locks in. This is another common failure point on these cars. There's a shaft inside of the transmission that fails. When this happens you lose overdrive and torque converter clutch lock in. At 50 MPH the tach, if equipped, should be around 1500 to 1800 RPMs. If you don't have a tach listen for a whine at cruising speed. That's a sure sign with these that the shaft in the transmission has failed. It's about a $1500 repair. Also watch the temperature gauge. A "sweeping" temperature gauge indicates cooling system problems that may or may not be an easy fix. Could be air in the cooling system or a failing intake manifold gasket. By now, as I said, the intake gaskets should have been done awhile ago based on the mileage. The 3.8L V6 is a workhorse. A very good engine if, like anything else, it's taken care of. They can easily go 300,000 miles and beyond. This vehicle is involved in GM recall 15757. Be sure that the repairs, under the recall, have been done. If not, make that part of your agreement to buy the car, if you decide to get it. The price is right assuming that it's in good condition, all the accessories work, and it'll pass a State motor vehicle inspection. As for the Ford, I'd be afraid of it. They had trouble with the aluminum head and do NOT like to be overheated!! Usually with them if you overheat the engine just once, you're done. Blown head gasket, cracked head. HTH. -Jim

2 people found this helpful.

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