Wow, thanks for your time and efforts! I ended up buying the car. BTW, appreciate being here. I ended up buying the Lucerne and will see if I can post a pic.
I checked on the way home...64,000kms. I bought it from the son of the original owner who passed recently. I live in Winnipeg, Canada; my brother-in-law has worked for the GM dealership in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada for many years. He was able to get me the service records. He seemed to suggest the Northstar should do alright but he is a front-end specialist. Everything was fine for me with buying this until yesterday when I was suddenly warned by many friends and others to stay away from this motor...even messages on our home phone.
I totalled my 2011 HHR off and was looking for a newer-body Malibu or Impala. Decided to test-drive another Lucerne (3.8L V6) and this one as I’d always heard good things about Buicks. This one felt very tight, just like new. The sunroof doesn’t seem to work so it will stay shut from here on in other than moving the headliner-cover for light. There is an indicator about a Lane-Assist sensor needing service but I have absolutely no idea as to where to even look. There is a tiny bit of rust near the rocker panel on each side. For that I am going to touch it up with black paint for now and then, starting immediately, do that yearly liquid-spray anti-rust application which I have had very good luck with.
Apparently these only came with one key and fob so I ordered a 2nd set from (no spaces)
“ Car and Truck Remotes dot com “ for $35; just have to get the key cut and then program it and the fob.
I, like you, also don’t trust dealerships (NOR the mainstream media, either but I digress) but I DID stop at the one that brought this car in from Buick. He echoed what my bro-in-law had said; newish shocks and struts; new disc brakes all around, and importantly, the coolant HAS been changed in 2015 so I will change it out very soon with whatever the manual says...(Dexcool???) and look into those tablets. He seemed to feel this car has been babied. Here is what my BIL sent; it sorta looks like a Lane-Assist sensor WAS changed out; if it was the same one that is acting up now maybe I can have Buick take care of it!
Thanks VERY much for your tips; can’t see anything re: seals but the dealership guy would not let me see his screen, apparently for privacy reasons. I could not find evidence of leaking before buying it but I will keep an eye out. Am not too worried if they are minor. Love your bit that I can run regular gas.
Thanks much again,