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Buick Park Avenue

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  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Thank you! I fixed the fuel gauge this morning. I am going to check out the a/c tomorrow. I appreciate your quick response. I am totally digging the PA. I spent all morning cleaning it up and it looks amazing--it had sat for 6 months and collected a ton of dirt and dust both inside and out. Now it looks spotless.

    Thanks again!

    David
  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Hey all,

    I recharged the A/C today and I got cold air for a few minutes from the passenger side only and only hot air from the driver side. The cold air adjusted in coldness with the passenger slider but again the driver side and the rear vents only blew hot. I then drove it around for a while and no cold air came out any longer. I really would like to purchase this car but not without A/C. Any thoughts on the dual climate control issue and is this a most likely a leak since I managed to get cold air for a few minutes?

    Thank you again,

    David
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    The unit is electronic from what I find on that car. There is an actuator motor that controls the door movements and the blend or temperature on the driver and another on the passenger. That has gone out of some Pontiacs that probably have a similar unit to that one used in the last design of the Park AVenue. Finding if the door is being moved requires some upside down time under the dash and button pressing.

    The AC giving cold for a time suggests that it has a leak. One common symptom of the 2000+ H Bodies is that low freon leaves the driver side warm and the passengers get air from the cold part of the evaporator.

    The unit needs to be put on gauges and a check done.
  • wwstibichwwstibich Posts: 3
    I had a similar problem with my 99 PA, but it was with the heater. The vent door became stuck on the passanger side. So the driver felt the heat but the passanger only felt the cold air from the vent.

    I took it to the dealer who said it was a stuck vent door. The would replace the solinoid (or whatever controled the door) for @$250. They already charged me @$75 for the diagnostic (and used it to close the vent door).

    I chose to leave it alone. It does come and go very intermittently. And because I usually drive alone it's not a problem for me.

    Good luck
  • 97ultra97ultra Posts: 14
    Sounds like the system has a bad leak. If you got cold air for a few minutes, the system was working properly, until the refrigerant leaked back out. You could take it to an A/C shop to see where the refrigerant is leaking (some parts are cheap to replace, some aren't) but it doesn't look like you'll be able to throw a can of R-134 in it and be good for the summer.

    BTW, if a '97-'05 Park Ave system is low on refrigerant (but not completely out), the system will often cool only on the passenger side. It has something to do with where the inlet and outlet tubes of the A/C core are located relative to the airstream. I spent quite a while trying to diagnose a faulty air blend door last year, only to find out that my air blend door actuator was perfectly fine and the system was just a little low on refrigerant. Adding more refrigerant restored the system to bilateral functioning. (Note--do NOT do this until you've ruled out a blend door fault, or else you could end up overcharging the system and wrecking the compressor.)

    What you may want to do, if you really like the car, is get an estimate from a *quality* A/C shop on how much the system would cost to fix, and then ask the buyer to knock that much off the price. Don't take it to an el cheapo shop, though, as the Park Ave system is more complex than your typical A/C setup.
  • buickman3buickman3 Posts: 1
    I don't know about questions 1 & 2 but number 3 I know about. I have a 1997 Park and had the same problem with the driver's door. The inside of the door has to be taken apart to reach the problem. As repairs go these days, the entire latch showing outside has to be replaced and has to be painted to match your vehicle. Parts & labor $140. My Buick dealer did the work.
  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Hey all,

    Thank you for the great advice about my a/c and other questions. The PA is in the shop today. It turns out the condenser was leaking and they are fixing everything for 560.00. The owner is knocking that off the price so tomorrow I will be the proud owner of a 99 PA Ultra.

    Thanks again,

    David
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    >condenser was leaking

    Thanks for coming back to tell us what you found! Good luck with your new PA. :blush:
  • This was common on my last PA as well as the one I own now. I read in the service manual that when the rotors are put on, the have to be checked for lateral runout. They have an extensive installation technique that includes cleaning both mating surfaces and then checking the lateral runout with a dial indicator. The tolerance is .002".....two thousandths of an inch. Smaller than a human hair (or at least mine) which seems to be extremely tight. For such an easy thing to get on and off, I will bet you a million $$$ that NO mechanic at the shop has ever done that. But, if that is what it requires, you could in your own driveway, spend some time and do this. I replaced so many rotors on my last PA that I will probably look into this. I have the tools at home, so it wouldn't be a big deal other than the time.
  • I recently had the dealer get the codes from my PA. It had it's TracOff and ABS lights on. They told me that it was the FL hub, which I then replaced at home. Now the lights still come on, but only after the car is put into Drive/Reverse. I thought at first it was when the car moved, but managed to coast all the way out my driveway without them coming on and then they only came on after I put it into drive. I know the old hub was bad, I checked for the resistance and found none (plus it was leaking) and this new hub doesn't immediately trip the light which the old one would do. Any ideas????
  • Today a garage has looked at it and looked for codes. They saw the LF hub in the history, but no codes are stored now and none are pending. Yet the lights for ABS and TracOff are still lighted. Sometimes from the start, sometimes if I roll but every time I put it into gear. I'm thinking a short somewhere maybe? Is there a fuse anyone knows about that I can pull to reset the BCM? I think that is the module for chassis? Anyone?
  • ABS light on. Chased problem to a resistance problem in the cable that runs from the speed sensors in the left rear hub to the main wiring harness. GM wants $250 for part. Anyone solved this problem other than new cable?
  • What is the best and cheapest way to get a ignition key made for a 2000 Park Avenue? I hear going to the dealer can be quite expensive. Thanks,

    Wornslick
  • My 2003 buick ultra has 103000 miles. I have been experiencing vibration or shimmy problems between 45 and 65 miles per hour. I purchased new quality goodyear tires and had them balanced and rotated three times with no success. They actually rotated the tire on the rim to fine tune the wheel balance I just came back this morning from a 1500 mile road trip to the street rod nats in Louisville. It shimmied the entire trip. Towards the end of the trip it began a more aggressive vibration. Its seems the vibration is in the rear however it is also intermittent, sometimes a slight front end vibration. I have read the comments to the problem. Do you think that there could be a problem with the rear suspension? The car is almost undriveable at mid range speeds. Any more ideas? Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    Were they roadforce balanced at a good shop? Here's a link that lets you find who has Hunter Roadforce 9700 balancers in your area.

    If it were my money, I'd take the car to an alignment guy who's been in business a long tire and preferably one with a Hunter. He can check for bearing and other part problems. He also can check those Goodyear tires. My bet will the tires #1, and wheel bearing #2, and alignment front and rear #3.

    At 103,000 miles you could have a wheel bearing that is loosening and wearing out.

    The one tire that's going to be more round under load while rolling and stay round through the life is Michelin. That's probably what came on your PA.
  • Goodyear tires used to bug me on my 99 and 01 Park Avenues. On the 01 I changed to Michelin Symmentry and got a smooth vibration free ride. On my 03 Park Avenue I had them install Michelin Symmentry tires before I took delivery. Nice smooth riding with them so far (66,000 miles).

    Stay away from Goodyear tires.
  • The tires were roadforce balanced three times at a shop, Samaritan Tire MN, with a reputation of doing very good work. Today I took the car to Buick/Pontiac garage where they were kind enough to look at it but wanted to begin with the tires. I assured them the tires were properly roadforce balanced last week for the third time. I took it to the Chev garage and the first thing they did is take the wheel/tire off and checked the balance. Excessive road force on RR, was 39 lbs. It was corrected to 24 lbs. I again had all tires re balanced, this is getting expensive! Enough for the good work at samaritan. It ops tested a little better but still has vibration. Rear bearings appeared to be good. They did find a front wheel beaning with some wobble. They did not have a Delco bearning in stock and the mechanic recommended I use original part rather than a aftermarket part. I am not sure this is the pronblem but I will need to replace it prior to aligment. Tires did not have any noticable problems. Thanks for all the help.
  • I most likely will have to deal with the Goodyears until they wear out! Maybe a aliment and bearning replacement will bring back a smooth ride. Thanks for the info on the Michelins.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    > the tires were properly roadforce balanced last week for the third time. I took it to the Chev garage and the first thing they did is take the wheel/tire off and checked the balance. Excessive road force on RR, was 39 lbs. It was corrected to 24 lbs.

    The maximum allowable for diagnosis on H-bodies for GM's troubleshooting is something like 18 pounds. My Michelins on the car when new were 12, 11, 9, 7. They did rotate one tire on the rim to reduce the effective roadforce. Those were Symmetry tires. This was in 2003.

    My new Harmony tires on the same leSabre now were all under 10 when roadforce balanced at the local good mechnical and tire store at about 10000 miles. I wasn't satisfied with the regular balancing at the local store and went to the nearby store which has the roadforce balancer. I have a sensitive butt for balancing and vibration. I actually was happy with the standard balancing on the Harmonys when new; but when I had them rotated and rebalanced after 7-8000, they weren't nearly as good. Turns out the tech had three of the tires off by .50 ounce based on measurement at the roadforce balance store after 4-5000 miles of driving. Tires don't change that much.

    The hint about Michelins comes from GM having trouble with the H and C bodies that were built on the technology of the Riviera and Aurora with the stiff chassis and light moving parts-like A-arms made of alloy. They started replacing tires on troubled cars with Michelins under factory warranty to trouble shoot them. The Cadillac Sevilles and leSabres with 16-inch Celebration wheels shipped with Michelins; some Park Avenues and leSabres had high level Firestones on the 16-inch rims. Standard leSabres used General tires that were very soft and easy rolling.

    When the service manager was having the alignment checked on my car at 11,000 miles, he pointed to the other brand of tires they were putting on a Grand Am in the dealership. The roadforce amounts on the balancer were in the 20s on the brand of tire.

    The problem is you are trying to balance doughnuts. Does the store who sold you the Goodyears sell Michelins. As them for a trade allowance.
  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Hi all,

    I was doing some inspecting around the bottom of my doors because the rubber door seal (flashing?) has rusted loose on the driver's side. It appears that the metal screws used to hold the rubber in place have begun to rust out and in turn have rusted the bottoms of the doors. It is not as bad on the passenger side but it is beginning.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    Does anyone know where I can get new rubber flashing?

    What is a tried and true way to stop rust in its tracks?

    The car is nearly mint and I want to keep it that way. Love the PA!

    Thank you,

    David
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    There was a paint for rust that turns it black. It contains sulfur IIRC and chemically combines with rust and free iron to give a black coating which can then be painted.

    You are at the point where you should take off the door panel and take off the water barrier that's caulked to to the door and directs water down to drain holes to go back outside the rubber seal through holes in the bottom of the door. I would expect there's been blocked holes on the bottom of the door that drain the water out.

    I'd paint the inside of the bottom of the door with the above mentioned chemical paint and then make sure the drain holes are open and the plastic and caulk feeds the water that gets to the inside of the door (down the window) goes to the holes. The caulk should be new, black sticky stuff on the lower part.

    I'd check into the push pin type replacements for the metal screws--Lowes has them in their bolt and screw drawers.

    Check this link for a good door picture set.
  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Thank you for the info. The picture set is great. If you look on the top picture on page 3, my problem is with the black rubber stripping on the bottom of the doors that runs the length of the car on both sides on the outside. Do you happen to know what that piece is called? Do you think I can get away with just replacing that piece and use the push pin screws after fixing the rust or should I venture into the door panels?

    Thanks again,

    David
  • My Front Left/ Right Door handles broke. I've searched everywhere online as to where I can get replacement parts. But non to avail. Anyone have any recomendations? Iv'e seen Buick Century's door handle and they look similar. By any chance would they fit? :sick:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    Inside? Outside handles?

    Have you checked Ebay?

    Rockauto.com
    gmpartsdirect.com
  • I have checked ebay,Theres none. The handles are for the outside. Which I think is the most common problem I've read around this forum.
  • Haven't visited in awhile. To answer your question about the door handles, NO the Century handle won't work. Neither will the Impala or the Bonneville. The Park Ave mechanism is a different configuration on the back of the handle. They won't interchange. I pulled them all one afternoon in a yard and only the Park Ave. will work.
    I've replaced both drivers side handles on mine. I got the first at Rockauto. They no longer list them. I got my rear handle from a salvage yard. You can order them from a GM dealer, but they're wicked expensive.
    A tip. Mine broke because the doors were frozen shut. If you pull up too hard and try to force the door open you'll break the arm off on the back side that activates the opener rod. Get a stiff wide blade puttyknife and put it in the groove between the body and door and pry with that when the doors are frozen shut.
    I know it's a pain at 6 a.m. and it's zero outside, but it's a lot less time consuming than replacing handles everytime it's cold out.
  • Go here for replacement parts for the Park Ave.

    http://www.buy-oem-parts.com It's in NJ. Replacement handles are around $50. Have a good one.
  • I just purchas a 1998 Park Ave (Std not Ultra) and notice that there's a "garage button" as well as two other buttons( not sure what these are) in the front center headliner. How do I go about programming it to open my garage door?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,526
    Go here

    http://www.homelink.com/programming/programming.taf

    for programming how to. You need to know the brand of your garage door opener and the other automated things you wish to open. The other buttons can be for interior units that turn on house lights from your car so you don't have to enter a darkened home or to open your automatic gate at the drive up to your estate (I don't have one of those). I just programmed all three for my garage door so I don't have to be careful which one I hit in my LeSabre.

    The info should be in your owners manual in the glovebox if it's in there.
  • mikuhmikuh Posts: 3
    I am trying to help a friend of mine correct a problem caused by a heavy handed machanic that while trying to fix one problem, caused another. When he dropped the steering column, he forgot to unhook the cable clip that connects the cable to the shift indicator gage. He unknowingly broke the plastic arm on the back of the gage and threw out the broken part as he cleaned up the floor mat.

    Where can I get another gage or perhaps a photo of the back of the gage so I can fabricate another arm and epoxy it to the remaining plastic hub on the back of the gage? Any help or suggestions will be greatly appriciated.

    David
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