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When you’re in the market for a reliable luxury sedan, you can’t go wrong with a Buick Lucerne. While it may not be the first vehicle that comes to mind when shopping for a used car, its superb comfort and outstanding performance make it a great pick. It also boasts intuitive controls and a spacious trunk, perfect for people who are looking for a dependable daily driver.

Are Buick Lucernes Reliable?

The Buick Lucerne enjoys average reliability, with some of its model years scoring better than others. RepairPal gave it a rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 13th out of 32 for all car brands. On the other hand, J.D. Power rated the 2011 Buick Lucerne an 83/100, giving it the fourth spot out of the eight cars reviewed in its segment that year.

US News & World Report also ranked the 2011 Buick Lucerne sixth out of the nine vehicles in the large luxury cars segment for that year. With these figures, it’s apparent that the Buick Lucerne can easily enjoy a long service life with proper handling and regular maintenance.

Top Buick Lucerne Problems

Although the Buick Lucerne is one dependable full-size luxury car, it has its fair share of problems. Here are the most commonly reported issues for different model years:

Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are among the most reported 2011 Buick Lucerne problems. They usually develop from the front crankshaft seal, and most complaints describe oil leaking outside of the pan and on the bottom of the engine. 

In some cases, the leak caused the low oil indicator light to turn on. Some 2011 Buick Lucerne owners had this problem as early as 11,500 miles.

2011 Buick Lucerne CXL - Buick Pressroom
Oil leaks are among the most reported 2011 Buick Lucerne problems. Image source: Buick Pressroom.

Replacing the front crankshaft seal usually fixed this problem. There have been no recalls issued to address such oil leaks. But the repairs could be covered by the Buick’s warranty, depending on its miles.

Melted Fuse Block

Many owners of the 2009 Buick Lucerne had problems with their fuse blocks, which reportedly led to stuttering and stalling. The fuel pump relay overheated and melted in the fuse box, resulting in a burning stench emanating from the car. Other drivers complained that their car suddenly stalls with no warning.

Based on reports, these problems can occur as early as 54,000 miles. Fortunately, replacing the melted fuse block with a new one usually resolved this issue. Unfortunately, as of this writing, there have been no recalls to fix this problem.

Electrical Issues

According to some owners of the 2008 Buick Lucerne, problems with its electrical system are typical for this model year. Common complaints include suddenly losing power while driving, the burglar alarm going off unexpectedly, and weird sounds coming from the fuel pump.

Some drivers also had to deal with a poorly illuminated instrument control panel, which made the panel hard to read during daylight.

Fuel Pump Failure

Fuel pump failure is among the most reported 2008 Buick Lucerne problems. Complaints usually describe overheating or stalling caused by a faulty fuel pump and relay.

Many owners complained that their car stopped without warning because of fuel pump failure. Some had their fuel pump relay and fuse box fried, while others had to deal with their car not starting at all.

2008 Buick Lucerne - Wikimedia
Fuel pump failure is among the most reported 2008 Buick Lucerne problems. Image source: Wikimedia.

Replacing the fuel pump and relay usually resolved this problem. Although fuel pump failure seems to be a typical problem for this model year, Buick has not issued any recalls to address this problem.

Broken Struts

Some owners of the 2007 Buick Lucerne had problems with their suspension system’s struts. Their Lucerne’s struts and rack and pinion broke or wore out at the same time, which compromised their sedan’s suspension. Most of them had this problem as early as 35,000 miles.

Although this seems like a typical problem among some units of this model year, Buick has yet to release any official recalls to address it.

Coolant Leaks

Many owners of the 2007 Buick Lucerne had problems with their water pump and radiator, both of which caused coolant leaks. The leaks caused their vehicles to overheat. In most cases, the leaks resulted from cracks in the pump. According to reports, coolant leaks can happen as early as 80,000 miles.

Replacing the radiator or the cracked cooling tank should resolve the problem. Although coolant leaks can cause serious issues, as of this writing, Buick has not issued any recalls to prevent or fix them.

Gas Cap Issues

According to some owners of the 2006 Buick Lucerne, problems with the gas cap are common for some units. The gas cap in some Lucernes may wear out or become loose over time, which may cause the check engine light to illuminate. Some drivers have reported having a steady engine light on despite already having tightened the gas cap. Replacing the faulty gas cap with a new one usually resolves the issue.

If you’re in the market for a Buick Lucerne, be prepared to embrace the good and the potential bad. As long as you know the issues that the specific model year you’re planning to get may develop, buying it should come with little risk. Knowing what to watch out for will also help you avoid costly repairs through preventive maintenance, so you can maximize the service life of your full-size luxury car.

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