Reader Question: Buick Lucerne?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Kyle asks: My question for you is about this car I found online for sale in Nebraska. It is a Buick Lucerne CXS with a Northstar LD8 engine with a 4t80 trans. It has 138,000 miles on it and I was wondering if that car would be a good idea for me because I would like a v8 powered car for not that much. The dealer has told me that the suspension is shot on it and they marked it down to $3,500 for me I was wondering if it would be worth it in the long run.

My reply: How much are you willing to put into a $3,500 car to make it a viable car? If this car has the optional magnetic ride control suspension – and it’s “shot”- you could easily spend almost as much to fix it as you did on the car. And with almost 140,000 miles on the iffy-when-new Northstar V8 (and the rest of the car) it is very likely something else expensive will break, soon.

Run – don’t walk – away from this one!

If you’re looking for something better – and similar (i.e., a large, comfortable sedan) shop around for a Ford Crown Victoria (made up to 2011) or a Toyota Avalon. These two are much better cars to start with and you should be able to find a ‘Vic in the same price ballpark.

PS: Glad I could help with the Silverwing!

. . .

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  1. Drive it…enjoy it…but don’t put ANY money into it. GM and Northstar- it’ll be in a perpetual state of deterioration and will drive you alright….right to the poor-house! So nice of your parents….and because of the gesture, this would be hard for me if I were you, but I’d consider selling it right now, as youi could very well get the full value of what they paid back out of it at this point. Soon as something goes wrong…it’s a junker.

    Don’t overlook Town Cars if ya like that sort of thing too- They can get great MPGs! (As can the Crown Vics if driven reasonably- and both are very durable cars that can easily go half a million miles with reasonable care).

  2. well… my parents bought it, 15 minutes after I asked you about it. They thought it would be a better car than my old v10 dodge 2500 that gets maybe 5 mpg. On the highway. So they bought that because they thought it would be a good car for me. The dude that sold it to them was wrong about the suspension and it was just a computer code that needed to be cleared and it now rides like a queen. I also heard that the 2008-2011 Northstar’s were actually reliable after working out the kinks with the head bolts. Though I kind of wanted a car with better gas mileage especially with ole president-elect Biden being a chance of happening.

      • I probably won’t have to worry that much since I have been doing a lot of research on this type of car and its powertrain and a lot of sources say that this car is one of the most desirable engine and transmission so hopefully, I can get at least 75,000 miles out of it before I may have to go through it and overhaul it. I did a full engine rebuild on my v10 dodge and I haven’t had a problem since


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