2002 Buick Century Owners Manual

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2002 Buick Century
Owner’s Manual
Litho in U.S.A.
ECopyright General Motors Corporation 06/19/01
Part Number 10315396 A First Edition
All Rights Reserved

We support voluntary
technician certification.
the BUICK Emblem and the name CENTURY are
registered trademarks of General Motors Corporation.
This manual includes the latest information at the time
it was printed. We reserve the right to make changes
after that time without further notice. For vehicles first
sold in Canada, substitute the name “General Motors of
Canada Limited” for Buick Motor Division whenever it
For Canadian Owners Who Prefer a
appears in this manual.
French Language Manual:
Please keep this manual in your vehicle, so it will
be there if you ever need it when you’re on the road.
Aux propriétaires canadiens: Vous pouvez vous
If you sell the vehicle, please leave this manual in it
procurer un exemplaire de ce guide en français chez
so the new owner can use it.
votre concessionaire ou au:
Helm, Incorporated
P.O. Box 07130
Detroit, MI 48207

How to Use this Manual
Many people read their owner’s manual from beginning
to end when they first receive their new vehicle. If you
do this, it will help you learn about the features and
These mean there is something that could hurt
controls for your vehicle. In this manual, you’ll find
you or other people.
that pictures and words work together to explain
things quickly.
In the caution area, we tell you what the hazard is.
Then we tell you what to do to help avoid or reduce
the hazard. Please read these cautions. If you don’t,
you or others could be hurt.
You will also find a circle
Safety Warnings and Symbols
with a slash through it in
this book. This safety
You will find a number of safety cautions in this book.
symbol means “Don’t,”
We use a box and the word CAUTION to tell you
“Don’t do this” or “Don’t
about things that could hurt you if you were to ignore
let this happen.”
the warning.

Vehicle Damage Warnings
Vehicle Symbols
Also, in this book you will find these notices:
Your vehicle may be equipped with components and
labels that use symbols instead of text. Symbols,
used on your vehicle, are shown along with the text
describing the operation or information relating to a
specific component, control, message, gage or indicator.
These mean there is something that could damage
If you need help figuring out a specific name of a
your vehicle.
component, gage or indicator reference the following
topics in the Index:
In the notice area, we tell you about something that
D “Engine Compartment Overview”
can damage your vehicle. Many times, this damage
D “Instrument Panel”
would not be covered by your warranty, and it could
D “Comfort Controls”
be costly. But the notice will tell you what to do to help
avoid the damage.
D “Audio Systems”
When you read other manuals, you might see
Also see “Warning Lights and Gages” in the Index.
CAUTION and NOTICE warnings in different
colors or in different words.
You’ll also see warning labels on your vehicle.
They use the same words, CAUTION or NOTICE.

These are some examples of vehicle symbols you may find on your vehicle:

Section 1
Seats and Restraint Systems
Here you’ll find information about the seats in your vehicle and how to use your safety belts properly. You can also
learn about some things you should not do with air bags and safety belts.
Seats and Seat Controls
Rear Seat Passengers
Safety Belts: They’re for Everyone
Rear Safety Belt Comfort Guides for
Here Are Questions Many People Ask About
Children and Small Adults
Safety Belts -- and the Answers
How to Wear Safety Belts Properly
Restraint Systems for Children
Driver Position
Older Children
Safety Belt Use During Pregnancy
Safety Belt Extender
Right Front Passenger Position
Checking Your Restraint Systems
Air Bag Systems
Replacing Restraint System Parts
Center Passenger Position
After a Crash

Seats and Seat Controls
This section tells you how to adjust the seats and
explains the reclining seatbacks and head restraints.
Two-Way Manual Front Seats
You can lose control of the vehicle if you try to
adjust a manual driver’s seat while the vehicle is
moving. The sudden movement could startle and
confuse you, or make you push a pedal when you
don’t want to. Adjust the driver’s seat only when

Lift the bar located under the front of the driver’s and
the vehicle is not moving.
the passenger’s seat. This will unlock the seat. Slide the
seat to where you want it and release the bar. Try to
move the seat with your body to be sure the seat is
locked into place.

Six-Way Power Seats (If Equipped)
Reclining Front Seatbacks
If your vehicle is equipped
with this feature, the
driver’s and passenger’s
controls are located on
the outboard sides of the
seat cushions.
D To move the seat forward or rearward, push the
control forward or rearward.
D To raise or lower the entire seat, push the control
up or down.
Lift the lever located on the outboard side of the seat to
D To raise or lower the front of your seat, push the
release the seatback, then move the seatback to where
front of the control up or down.
you want it. Release the lever to lock the seatback into
place. Pull up on the lever without pushing on the
D To raise or lower the rear of your seat, push the rear
seatback and the seatback will move forward.
of the control up or down.

Sitting in a reclined position when your vehicle is
in motion can be dangerous. Even if you buckle
up, your safety belts can’t do their job when
you’re reclined like this.

The shoulder belt can’t do its job because it
won’t be against your body. Instead, it will be
in front of you. In a crash you could go into it,
receiving neck or other injuries.

The lap belt can’t do its job either. In a crash the
belt could go up over your abdomen. The belt
forces would be there, not at your pelvic bones.
This could cause serious internal injuries.

But don’t have a seatback reclined if your vehicle
For proper protection when the vehicle is in
is moving.
motion, have the seatback upright. Then sit
well back in the seat and wear your safety
belt properly.


Document Outline

  • 2002 Buick Century Owner's Manual
    • Copyright General Motors Corp 2001
    • For Canadian Owners Who Prefer a French Language Manual:
    • How to Use this Manual
    • Safety Warnings and Symbols
    • Vehicle Damage Warnings
    • Vehicle Symbols
  • Section 1 Seats and Restraint Systems
    • Seats and Seat Controls
      • Two-Way Manual Front Seats
      • Six-Way Power Seats (If Equipped)
      • Reclining Front Seatbacks
      • Head Restraints
      • Split Folding Rear Seat (If Equipped)
    • Safety Belts: They're for Everyone
      • Why Safety Belts Work
    • Here Are Questions Many People Ask About Safety Belts -- and the Answers
    • How to Wear Safety Belts Properly
      • Adults
    • Driver Position
      • Lap-Shoulder Belt
        • Shoulder Belt Height Adjuster
    • Safety Belt Use During Pregnancy
    • Right Front Passenger Position
    • Air Bag Systems
      • How the Air Bag Systems Work
        • Where are the air bags?
        • When should an air bag inflate?
        • What makes an air bag inflate?
        • How does an air bag restrain?
        • What will you see after an air bag inflates?
      • Servicing Your Air Bag-Equipped Vehicle
    • Center Passenger Position
      • Lap Belt
    • Rear Seat Passengers
      • Rear Seat Outside Passenger Positions
        • Lap-Shoulder Belt
    • Rear Safety Belt Comfort Guides for Children and Small Adults
    • Children
      • Infants and Young Children
    • Restraint Systems for Children
      • Where to Put the Restraint
      • Top Strap
      • Lower Anchorages and Top Tethers for Children (LATCH System)
        • Securing a Child Restraint Designed for the LATCH System
      • Securing a Child Restraint in a Rear Outside Seat Position
      • Securing a Child Restraint in the Center Rear Seat Position
      • Securing a Child Restraint in the Right Front Seat Position
    • Older Children
    • Safety Belt Extender
    • Checking Your Restraint Systems
    • Replacing Restraint System Parts After a Crash
  • Section 2 Features and Controls
    • Windows
      • Power Windows
        • Express-Down Window
    • Keys
    • Door Locks
      • Power Door Locks
      • Programmable Automatic Power Door Locks
        • Programmable Modes
      • Rear-Door Child Security Locks
      • Lockout Protection Feature
      • Leaving Your Vehicle
    • Remote Keyless Entry
      • Operation
        • Panic Alarm
        • Security Feedback
        • Delayed Locking
        • Illumination on Remote Activation
      • Matching Transmitter(s) to Your Vehicle
      • Battery Replacement
    • Trunk
      • Trunk Lock
      • Remote Trunk Release
      • Trunk Assist Handle (If Equipped)
      • Trunk Release Handle (If Equipped)
      • Trunk Release Sensor TrapAlert_ System (If Equipped)
        • Disabling the Trunk Release Sensor
        • Servicing the Trunk Release Sensor
    • Theft
      • Key in the Ignition
      • Parking at Night
      • Parking Lots
    • PASS-Key II
    • New Vehicle "Break-In"
    • Ignition Positions
      • Retained Accessory Power (RAP) (If Equipped)
    • Starting Your Engine
    • Engine Coolant Heater (If Equipped)
      • To Use the Engine Coolant Heater
    • Automatic Transaxle Operation
    • Parking Brake
    • Shifting Into PARK (P)
      • Leaving Your Vehicle With the Engine Running
      • Torque Lock
    • Shifting Out of PARK (P)
    • Parking Over Things That Burn
    • Engine Exhaust
    • Running Your Engine While You're Parked
    • Horn
    • Tilt Wheel
    • Turn Signal/Multifunction Lever
      • Turn and Lane-Change Signals
      • Headlamp High/Low-Beam Changer
      • Flash-to-Pass Feature
      • Windshield Wipers
      • Windshield Washer
      • Cruise Control (If Equipped)
        • Setting Cruise Control
        • Resuming a Set Speed
        • Increasing Speed While Using Cruise Control
        • Reducing Speed While Using Cruise Control
        • Passing Another Vehicle While Using Cruise Control
        • Using Cruise Control on Hills
        • Ending Cruise Control
        • Erasing Cruise Speed Memory
    • Exterior Lamps
      • Daytime Running Lamps / Automatic Headlamp Control
      • Delayed Headlamp Illumination
    • Interior Lamps
      • Instrument Panel Brightness Control
      • Courtesy Lamps
      • Illuminated Entry
      • Delayed Entry Lighting
      • Delayed Exit Lighting
      • Rearview Mirror Reading Lamps
      • Dome Lamp (If Equipped)
      • Battery Rundown Protection
    • Mirrors
      • Inside Day/Night Rearview Mirror
      • Inside Day/Night Rearview Mirror with OnStar and Map Lamps (If Equipped)
      • Electrochromic Automatic Dimming Rearview Mirror (If Equipped)
      • Electrochromic Day/Night Rearview Mirror with OnStar and Map Lamps (If Equipped)
      • Power Outside Foldaway Rearview Mirrors
      • Convex Outside Mirror
      • Automatic Dimming/Heated Outside Rearview Mirror (If Equipped)
    • Storage Compartments
      • Glove Box
      • Front Storage Armrest
      • Rear Storage Armrest (If Equipped)
      • Center Console (Option)
      • Convenience Net (If Equipped)
    • Ashtrays and Cigarette Lighter
    • Sun Visors
      • Visor Vanity Mirrors
        • Lighted Vanity Mirrors (Option)
    • Auxiliary Power Outlet (If Equipped)
    • Auxiliary Power Connection (Power Drop)
    • OnStar System (If Equipped)
      • Cellular Antenna
      • OnStar Services
      • OnStar System Limitations
    • Sunroof (Option)
      • The Instrument Panel -- Your Information System
    • Instrument Panel Cluster
      • Speedometer and Odometer
        • Trip Odometer
    • Warning Lights, Gages and Indicators
      • Safety Belt Reminder Light
      • Air Bag Readiness Light
      • Charging System Light
      • Brake System Warning Light
      • Anti-Lock Brake System Warning Light
      • Enhanced Traction System Warning Light
      • Low Traction Light
      • Engine Coolant Temperature Light
      • Engine Coolant Temperature Gage
      • Low Coolant Warning Light
      • Low Tire Light
      • Malfunction Indicator Lamp (Service Engine Soon Light)
        • If the Light Is Flashing
        • If the Light Is On Steady
        • Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Programs
      • Oil Pressure Light
      • Low Oil Level Light
      • Change Oil Soon Light
      • Security Light
      • Cruise Light
      • Service Vehicle Soon Light
      • Low Washer Fluid Warning Light
      • Door/Trunk Ajar Warning Light
      • Fuel Gage
      • Low Fuel Light
  • Section 3 Comfort Controls and Audio Systems
    • Comfort Controls
      • Dual ComforTemp_ Climate Control
        • FAN:
        • DRIVER (Driver's Side Temperature):
        • PASSENGER (Passenger's Side Temperature):
        • Mode Knob
      • Dual Automatic ComforTemp_ Climate Control (If Equipped)
        • Manual Control
      • Heating
      • Heating (Engine Coolant Heater)
      • Air Conditioning
      • Defogging and Defrosting
      • Rear Window Defogger
      • Ventilation System
        • Ventilation Tips
    • Audio Systems
      • Setting the Clock
      • AM-FM Stereo
        • Playing the Radio
        • Finding a Station
        • Setting Preset Stations
        • Setting the Tone (Bass/Treble)
        • Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)
      • AM-FM Stereo with Cassette Tape Player (If Equipped)
        • Playing the Radio
        • Finding a Station
        • Setting Preset Stations
        • Setting the Tone (Bass/Treble)
        • Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)
        • Playing a Cassette Tape
        • Cassette Tape Messages
      • AM-FM Stereo with Cassette Tape Player and Automatic Tone Control (If Equipped)
        • Playing the Radio
        • Finding a Station
        • Setting Preset Stations
        • Setting the Tone (Bass/Treble)
        • Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)
        • Playing a Cassette Tape
        • Cassette Tape Messages
      • AM-FM Stereo with Cassette Tape and Compact Disc Player with Automatic Tone Control (If Equipped)
        • Playing the Radio
        • Finding a Station
        • Setting Preset Stations
        • Setting the Tone (Bass/Treble)
        • Adjusting the Speakers (Balance/Fade)
        • Playing a Cassette Tape
        • Cassette Tape Messages
        • Playing a Compact Disc
        • Compact Disc Messages
      • Theft-Deterrent Feature (If Equipped)
        • Activating the Theft-Deterrent Feature
        • Unlocking the Theft-Deterrent Feature After a Power Loss
        • Disabling the Theft-Deterrent Feature
      • Audio Steering Wheel Controls (If Equipped)
      • Understanding Radio Reception
        • AM
        • FM Stereo
      • Tips About Your Audio System
      • Care of Your Cassette Tape Player
      • Care of Your Compact Discs
      • Care of Your Compact Disc Player
      • Fixed Mast Antenna
      • Backglass Antenna (If Equipped)
      • Diversity Antenna System (If Equipped)
  • Section 4 Your Driving and the Road
    • Defensive Driving
    • Drunken Driving
    • Control of a Vehicle
    • Braking
      • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
        • Using Anti-Lock
      • Braking in Emergencies
    • Enhanced Traction System (ETS)
    • Steering
      • Power Steering
        • Magnetic Variable Effort Steering (If Equipped)
      • Steering Tips
        • Driving on Curves
      • Steering in Emergencies
    • Off-Road Recovery
    • Passing
    • Loss of Control
      • Skidding
    • Driving at Night
    • Driving in Rain and on Wet Roads
      • Hydroplaning
      • Driving Through Deep Standing Water
      • Driving Through Flowing Water
      • Some Other Rainy Weather Tips
    • City Driving
    • Freeway Driving
    • Before Leaving on a Long Trip
    • Highway Hypnosis
    • Hill and Mountain Roads
    • Winter Driving
      • Driving on Snow or Ice
      • If You're Caught in a Blizzard
    • Recreational Vehicle Towing
      • Dinghy Towing
      • Dolly Towing
    • Loading Your Vehicle
    • Towing a Trailer
      • If You Do Decide To Pull A Trailer
      • Weight of a Trailer
      • Weight of the Trailer Tongue
      • Total Weight on Your Vehicle's Tires
      • Hitches
      • Safety Chains
      • Trailer Brakes
      • Driving with a Trailer
      • Following Distance
      • Passing
      • Backing Up
      • Making Turns
      • Turn Signals When Towing a Trailer
      • Driving On Grades
      • Parking on Hills
      • When You Are Ready to Leave After Parking on a Hill
      • Maintenance When Trailer Towing
      • Engine Cooling When Trailer Towing
  • Section 5 Problems on the Road
    • Hazard Warning Flashers
    • Other Warning Devices
    • Jump Starting
    • Towing Your Vehicle
    • Engine Overheating
      • Overheated Engine Protection Operating Mode
      • If Steam Is Coming From Your Engine
      • If No Steam Is Coming From Your Engine
    • Cooling System
      • How to Add Coolant to the Coolant Recovery Tank
      • How to Add Coolant to the Radiator
    • If a Tire Goes Flat
    • Changing a Flat Tire
      • Removing the Spare Tire and Tools
      • Removing the Wheel Center Caps
      • Removing the Wheel Covers (If Equipped)
      • Removing the Flat Tire and Installing the Spare Tire
      • Storing the Flat Tire and Tools
      • Storing the Spare Tire and Tools
    • Compact Spare Tire
    • If You're Stuck: In Sand, Mud, Ice or Snow
      • Rocking Your Vehicle To Get It Out
  • Section 6 Service and Appearance Care
    • Service
      • Doing Your Own Service Work
      • Adding Equipment to the Outside of Your Vehicle
    • Fuel
      • Gasoline Octane
      • Gasoline Specifications
      • California Fuel
      • Additives
    • Fuels in Foreign Countries
    • Filling Your Tank
    • Filling a Portable Fuel Container
    • Checking Things Under the Hood
      • Hood Release
      • Engine Compartment Overview
    • Engine Oil
      • Checking Engine Oil
      • When to Add Engine Oil
      • What Kind of Engine Oil to Use
      • Engine Oil Additives
      • When to Change Engine Oil (GM Oil Life System)
        • How to Reset the CHANGE OIL SOON Light
      • What to Do with Used Oil
    • Engine Air Cleaner/Filter
    • Passenger Compartment Air Filter
    • Automatic Transaxle Fluid
      • When to Check and Change
      • How to Check
        • Checking the Fluid Level
      • How to Add Fluid
    • Engine Coolant
      • What to Use
      • Checking Coolant
        • Adding Coolant
    • Radiator Pressure Cap
    • Power Steering Fluid
      • When to Check Power Steering Fluid
      • How to Check Power Steering Fluid
      • What to Use
    • Windshield Washer Fluid
      • What to Use
      • Adding Washer Fluid
    • Brakes
      • Brake Fluid
        • What to Add
      • Brake Wear
      • Brake Pedal Travel
      • Brake Adjustment
      • Replacing Brake System Parts
    • Battery
      • Vehicle Storage
    • Bulb Replacement
      • Halogen Bulbs
      • Headlamps
        • Headlamp Aiming
      • Front Parking and Turn Signal Lamps
      • Center High-Mounted Stoplamp
      • Tail/Stop/Turn Signal Lamps
      • Back-Up Lamps
    • Windshield Wiper Blade Replacement
    • Tires
      • Inflation -- Tire Pressure
        • When to Check
        • How to Check
      • Tire Inflation Monitor System
      • Tire Inspection and Rotation
        • When It's Time for New Tires
      • Buying New Tires
      • Uniform Tire Quality Grading
        • Treadwear
        • Traction -- AA, A, B, C
        • Temperature -- A, B, C
      • Wheel Alignment and Tire Balance
      • Wheel Replacement
        • Used Replacement Wheels
      • Tire Chains
    • Appearance Care
    • Cleaning the Inside of Your Vehicle
      • Cleaning of Fabric/Carpet
      • Using Cleaner on Fabric
      • Special Fabric Cleaning Problems
      • Cleaning Vinyl
      • Cleaning Leather
      • Cleaning the Top of the Instrument Panel
      • Cleaning Interior Plastic Components
    • Care of Safety Belts
    • Cleaning Glass Surfaces
    • Cleaning the Outside of the Windshield and Wiper Blades
    • Weatherstrips
    • Cleaning the Outside of Your Vehicle
      • Washing Your Vehicle
      • Cleaning Exterior Lamps/Lenses
      • Finish Care
    • Cleaning Aluminum Wheels (If Equipped)
    • Cleaning Tires
    • Sheet Metal Damage
    • Finish Damage
    • Underbody Maintenance
    • Chemical Paint Spotting
    • GM Vehicle Care/Appearance Materials
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
      • Engine Identification
    • Service Parts Identification Label
    • Electrical System
      • Add-On Electrical Equipment
      • Headlamp Wiring
      • Windshield Wipers
      • Power Windows and Other Power Options
      • Fuses and Circuit Breakers
        • Instrument Panel Fuse Block
        • Underhood Fuse Block
    • Replacement Bulbs
    • Capacities and Specifications
      • Engine Specifications
    • Air Conditioning Refrigerant Capacity
    • Normal Maintenance Replacement Parts
  • Section 7 Maintenance Schedule
    • Introduction
      • Your Vehicle and the Environment
      • Maintenance Requirements
      • How This Section is Organized
    • Part A: Scheduled Maintenance Services
      • Using Your Maintenance Schedule
    • Scheduled Maintenance
      • Footnotes
    • Scheduled Maintenance
      • Engine Oil Scheduled Maintenance
    • Scheduled Maintenance
    • Part B: Owner Checks and Services
      • At Each Fuel Fill
        • Engine Oil Level Check
        • Engine Coolant Level Check
        • Windshield Washer Fluid Level Check
      • At Least Once a Month
        • Tire Inflation Check
        • Cassette Deck Service
      • At Least Twice a Year
        • Restraint System Check
        • Wiper Blade Check
        • Weatherstrip Lubrication
        • Automatic Transaxle Check
      • At Least Once a Year
        • Key Lock Cylinders Service
        • Body Lubrication Service
        • Starter Switch Check
        • Automatic Transaxle Shift Lock Control System Check
        • Ignition Transaxle Lock Check
        • Parking Brake and Automatic Transaxle PARK (P) Mechanism Check
        • Underbody Flushing Service
    • Part C: Periodic Maintenance Inspections
      • Steering, Suspension and Front Drive Axle Boot and Seal Inspection
      • Exhaust System Inspection
      • Fuel System Inspection
      • Engine Cooling System Inspection
      • Throttle System Inspection
      • Brake System Inspection
    • Part D: Recommended Fluids and Lubricants
    • Part E: Maintenance Record
  • Section 8 Customer Assistance Information
    • Customer Satisfaction Procedure
    • Customer Assistance for Text Telephone (TTY) Users
    • Customer Assistance Offices
      • United States
      • Canada
      • All Overseas Locations
      • Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Islands/ Countries (Except Puerto Rico and U. S. Virgin Islands)
    • GM Mobility Program for Persons with Disabilities
    • Roadside Assistance
      • Canadian Roadside Assistance
    • Courtesy Transportation
      • Plan Ahead When Possible
      • Transportation Options
        • Shuttle Service
        • Public Transportation or Fuel Reimbursement
        • Courtesy Rental Vehicle
      • Additional Program Information
    • Warranty Information
      • Service Manuals
      • Transmission, Transaxle, Transfer Case Unit Repair Manual
      • Service Bulletins
      • Owner's Information
      • Current and Past Model Order Forms