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Electrical systems on Reatta


Guest Shaffer
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Guest Shaffer

I own a Buick Electra, but come here to the Reatta page occasionally. Seems like these cars have terrible electrical systems. The LeSabre/Electra/Park Avenue/Roadmaster of the same years seem to have reliable electrics. Does anyone know the deal on these cars? I am not at all familiar with Reattas. I am 99% sure that they are a true Buick, but are they a true Buick or a "joint-venture" with another car company? Seems odd for the LeSabre/Electra/Roadmaster/Park Avenue to be so reliable and the Reatta to have so many problems. Any other Reatta owners have electrical problems? My Buick is a 1972 and is all original with 105K miles and the electrical is 100%, with everything working fine, as well as other early 70's Buick cars that I know of. My grandfathers 1955 Buick has a perfect original electrical system. Maybe it is just where the Reattas is complex and therefore more prone to break down.<p>[ 05-27-2001: Message edited by: Shaffer ]

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The Reatta and the Riviera share many of the same components, and I suspect this shared componentry extends to many other cars of the same vintage: Toronado, Eldorado, etc., and continues to this day. My Reatta convertible doesn't have a thing wrong with it, but a guy I know who drives an '88 Reatta has all kinds of problems. It's unfair to say "all Reattas have problems" or "all Buicks have problems" because, when a car starts getting older, they're all going to have problems. The newest Reatta you can buy now is ten years old and the oldest is thirteen. In addition, cars can and do differ from one to the other, so you can never say that two cars are exactly alike; you could buy a '90 that has all kinds of problems and buy another '90 that doesn't have any. It depends on how well the owner cared for the car and whether everyone in the factory was on the ball while the chassis was rolled through the assembly line. Sooner or later, all cars have problems.

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Many of the electrical problems can be attributed to abuse. The radio, mirrors and windows didn't work on the car when I purchased it. I found that a liquid had been spilled onto the console and surrounding carpet. Probably Coke or Pepsi. Causing liquid intrusion into an operating electrical device is a very bad thing to do. I cannot blame the quality of the car or it's electronics for these problems.

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Guest Stan Leslie

If you are comparing electrics from an early 70s car to a late 80s car, there is no comparison. Engine computers came along around 1980, fuel injection and accompaning sensors around 1985, with electronic dash around the same time. Shortly therafter electronic brake control. Electronic trans in 1991. The Reatta and Riviera represented the newest (but not necessarily well proven) technology available in a lot of cases along with the complexity and a lot of low level electrical signals that like weatherproof and non corroded connections.

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Guest Shaffer

Same story. Even after this post, still see several electrical problems on Reattas. Does not inspire confidence in these cars. <BR>Electrical problems bode ill. Even though someone mentioned that computers and sensors were added to these cars, remember that other cars of the same years that Reattas was made also have computers and sensors too and many seem to be very reliable, especially Japanese cars and even other late 80s Buicks and other GM products. It is true not to compare electrical systems of late 80s cars to early 70s cars. I have owned several different late 80s/early 90s Hondas and Toyotas, some nearing 200,000 miles and electrical was perfect on most of these, aside maybe a bad taillight bulb causing the light warning to come on. Anyway, it seems that Reattas hold up very well, except electrical systems. I guess with the added electrics though, there is more to break down.

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Guest Shaffer

The Reatta is not a bad car, it could be a lot worse. Chryslers from the late 60s thru late to early 90s, before Chrysler started improving their cars, had the worst electrical systems of American cars. I have seen many many Chryslers with problems. My grandparents 88 Chrysler New Yorker for example. Signal switch shorted out once, my uncles ond 1970 Dodge truck, had almost every wire under hood melted. He just bought it to resell, but I noticed this on it. Oddly, everything still worked on it. And a old Plymouth wagon (1977) we had, years ago, car was like new, but the dash lights/guages quit working after we sold it to my grandparents. And one of my first cars- a 1973 Plymouth Valiant, had no dash lights and no guage or light on the dash would work. Never did figure that one out. And these cars were not even complex and still had numerous problems. Whats worse, these cars had carburator problems on the older models and other problems, such as rust, etc. At least the Reatta is good in every other dept.<P>[ 05-29-2001: Message edited by: Shaffer ]<P>[ 05-29-2001: Message edited by: Shaffer ]<p>[ 05-29-2001: Message edited by: Shaffer ]

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