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The Buick Regal was originally an upscale midsize car with both coupe and sedan versions when it came out in 1973, but it became sedan-only in 1997. The Regal, just like the name suggests, is more upscale than the typical midsize sedan, with added features similar to a luxury vehicle like a comfy ride and more powerful engine options. 

The Buick Regal depreciates quite a lot. According to, the Buick Regal will lose 60% of its value in five years. That’s quite a lot considering most midsize sedans only depreciate 45% to 50% of their value in the same time frame. While this may be bad news for current Buick Regal owners, this could be a potential great deal for people in the used car market. 

Is the Buick Regal Reliable? 

The Buick Regal has gotten a great reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0 from RepairPal. Midsize sedans are generally reliable, and among the 34 sedans that RepairPal has ranked, the Buick Regal is ranked 13th. Owners will approximately pay around $500 for annual repairs, which is average. On the other hand, the Regal is less prone to experiencing issues that will cause an unscheduled visit to the mechanic. Regal owners have to bring in their vehicles an average of 0.2 times a year. 

The Buick Regal might be undervalued given its high depreciation rate. Buick is more reliable than brands like Honda and Hyundai according to Consumer Reports’ Most Reliable Car Brands in 2020. Many owners in forums also say that their Regals have been generally reliable. 

red buick regal
The Buick Regal is more upscale than the typical midsize sedan, with added features similar to a luxury vehicle such as a comfy ride and more powerful engine options.

Buick Regal Common Problems 

The Buick Regal has been in production since the 1970s. Since then, owners have found problems that tend to recur in the model.

Key Stuck in Ignition

Ignition locks in many vehicles, including the Buick Regal, are designed to not allow owners to pull out the key until the transmission is in park. This feature forces drivers to set the car in park to prevent the vehicle from rolling. However, many owners have reported that they’re unable to pull their keys out. 

The ignition lock gets information on what gear the transmission is on through a wire that leads to the gear shifter. According to RepairPal, this problem arises when either the automatic transmission fails or the wire that relays the information is faulty. 

When owners would find that they’re unable to pull their keys out, they found that restarting their vehicle or playing with the gears would fix the issue. This has been reported to happen in Buick Regal models made from 1994 to 2016. 

2016 buick regal interior
Some Buick Regal models made from 1994 to 2016 were reported to have a problem with the key getting stuck in the ignition. Image source: Buick

Various Sensor Failures 

The 1994 to 2004 models of the Buick Regal tend to develop issues with its mass air flow sensor (MAF) and crankshaft position sensor (CPS). Many owners have reported that their vehicles would stutter and stall randomly when they’re driving at various speeds. This can surprise owners and result in dangerous situations because it has been reported to happen even at highway speeds. 

Replacing the faulty sensor should fix the issue. Replacement mass air flow sensors for the Buick Regal cost around $30 to $70, while crankshaft position sensors cost around $20 to $40.

Faulty Power Window System 

Buick Regal owners have reported that the power windows would simply stop working. The problem has been found to occur in Buick Regal models made from 1990 to 2011. Most owners that have had this problem simply found their power windows not working one day, and some have reported that the problem would come and go. According to RepairPal, the culprit in this issue is a faulty switch. 

Fortunately, window switches are less expensive to replace than the power window motor or the window regulator. Replacement power window switches can cost $10 to $80. They are usually sold individually or as a set of four. 

Water Pump Failure 

The water pump in some 1990 to 2004 models of the Buick Regal has been reported to fail. Several owners discovered that their water pump was leaking after seeing accumulated water or coolant under their vehicles. Some owners found out about the issue after the water pump belt squealed because of the water. However, some owners only found out about the failure after their engines overheated. 

Having a faulty water pump can put your engine at risk of being damaged as a result of an overheat. This can be quite expensive to repair. Replace the water pump as soon as it shows symptoms to prevent overheating from happening. 

Fuel Pump Failure 

Some 1990 to 2004 Buick Regal owners have reported that their engines would stall as if they had run out of gas. Their engines would stall repeatedly throughout a drive, and they would typically happen during stoplights. This issue is caused by a faulty fuel pump. Replacing the fuel pump should fix the issue. 

Overall, the Buick Regal is a reliable vehicle even if it has some common issues reported in RepairPal. Luckily, the problems are spread across many model years and they generally don’t include any major issues related to the engine or transmission, which are the ones you should steer clear of. Reports also indicate that most of these problems occur late into the vehicle’s lifespan. 

Do you think the Buick Regal could be a good vehicle for you? We hope learning about this model’s common problems can help you make an informed decision.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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