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Buick Park Avenue



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    The grinding sound may be the ABS/Traction system applying the brake and releasing quickly. It may be doing that even though there's no slipping at that wheel like in a quick start. That may be why it was slowing the car down. For instance in rapid acceleration if the left front slips the brake on the left front is applied to to keep power going to the right front until the left front gets traction.

    I saw a post where someone applied dielectric grease to the connections at the sensors on the hubs and reconnected them to reseal them on the fronts and that stopped the service stability system message.

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  • It's a grind like metal to metal. The 1st thought I had when I heard it was a vehicle that had NO front brake disc left and it was metal on metal. Of course this isn't what it is since we've had all the brakes replaced, calipers reworked, etc.

    This only happens intermittently. Picture yourself driving along and everything is fine. Then you must make a right turn up ahead so you start to slow down. You apply the brakes (still all is fine) and once you start the turn to the right the grinding sound starts. Normally, when you release the brake during the right turn the sound and vibration will stop. It was just this last time it happened it did not stop when I released the brake. It even continued to hold when I pressed on the gas. My 1st reaction was to jerk the wheel slightly to the left then back again to the right and it released.

    Road surface is smooth, dry, consistent (not loose).

    Strange part is it doesn't always happen. I would say it's about 2 times out of 50 it will happen when I start a turn to the right while braking.

    The sensor that was replaced was a steering sensor. Least that is what I was told by the Buick repair shop.

    A person mentioned the wheel bearing so I have written this down on my list of suspects for the mechanic. It's very difficult to change to a different Buick mechanic. We are in the middle of nowhere, USA and this is the only Buick mechanic service around for 100's of miles.

    I would like to thank you for your information. I will continue to watch and hope for more replies with more information. The more the better.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    From listening, I'd check the connections at the wheel sensors. Pack them with dieelectric grease. Flex the wires to see if there's a break in the wiring that goes to the wheel sensors?

    The wheel bearings in the hub could be a problem. But defective wheel bearings give a snow tire like buzz that grows louder and becomes easier to feel through the chassis. And they self destruct as they become worse with driving.

    The sensor they replaced is on the steering column and tells the computer where the steering wheel is in its travel so that the computer knows if you are steering in a turn and that the car's not reacting and the VSC tries to apply single brakes in a manner to help turn the car based on what the steering input is requesting.

    There are other sensors involved in telling the computer what the car is doing. There is a sensor on the rear package shelf that senses what the car is doing with regard to inertia, for example.

    This sounds frustrating. The factors are: it happens when turning to the right; it reacts to flexing/moving the chassis parts left and right; it happens only when braking.

    The connectors to the wheel speed sensors are flexed along with the wiring when turning. Does it happen turning to the left?

    The streering wheel position sensor also is giving inputs during that time and is being moved when you move the wheel left and right.

    The wheel bearing is also being changed in position during the turn and is taking forces differently than normal.

    The brake pads and caliper and rotor are involved because you're braking along with the ABS/traction control system. A loose/worn wheel bearing could be letting the rotor and hub move relative to the wheel speed sensor. There's an air gap size that's needed there. If it become greater than it should be the sensor would lose its ability to read correct the wheel speed. It could be thinking the wheel ir turning faster than it should and apply that one brake to slow down the wheel--just like if it were slipping on ice.

    I'm not an expert on these systems and I've read a lot of people on forums working on problems, but not quite like yours. Sometimes replacement wheel bearings have been a problem. New isn't always right. Stick with name quality brand if a wheel bearing is indicated.

    If you work on your own car, I'd jack up the wheel and move the wheel 3 and 9 o'clock and see if you get looseness and do the same at 12 and 6. Don't move the steering links when you're testing and don't count the ball joint movement that may occur when jacked up. Then do the same on the left side. If there's a difference in amount, then I'd start thinking wheel bearing.

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  • Thank you for all the information. We are taking the car into the shop today to see if they can find the problem. I have printed all the information given to me from this forum and a couple of other forums. Hopefully they will figure it out with all this help.
  • lnaylorlnaylor Posts: 1
    I have waited four years for people to start posting somewhere about this problem. My symptoms are the same and the car has been in the shop 6 times for it the latest time just last week (not fixed)

    replaced hubs
    replace ABS control twice
    replace computer once

    unable to reproduce systems 3 times even though the car once went home with the mechanic over 100 miles away

    if anyone has an answer please email me it or for my phone number to tell me it and I will pay for the answer. I only have 3000 miles left on my warranty and want to fix it once and for all
  • jereojereo Posts: 8
    It"s NOT the car----it's the TIRES
    I too had a vibration on my 99PA. Had the Goodyears removed and replaced with Michelins--------over 35000 miles ago and no problems.
  • smallbitessmallbites Posts: 6
    Maybe one of you great folks can help. ABS light on, code reads left rear. Replaced assembly in left rear, light still on. (was able to return assembly :) ). Now looking for short in connections. Any idea where wire connects to ABS system, or for that matter, where ABS system is? I havn't crawled around yet and was hoping for a short cut. Thanks
  • All:
    I am purchasing a 03-05 Park Ave Ultra and would like any comments, concerns current owners have with their Ultra's Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • bah23bah23 Posts: 1
    I have a "bearing sounding" noise when engine is under load (e.g. A/C) at 1,100 - 1,200 rpm only. I've had the A/C compressor replaced and the alternator replaced but still hear the noise (although noise less intense since alternator replaced). So, after about $1,500 worth of repairs, I'm still hearing this noise.

    Reputable autoshop (0 complaints on BBB last 3 years) doing work. Took it back after alternator was replaced and had owner and mechanic listen to the noise. All agree noise still present but less intense. Mechanic noticed a brace behind supercharger and alternator was missing and said that probably caused the bearings in the alternator and a/c compressor to fail due to excessive torque and I should have the brace replaced.

    Any thoughts on my situation?

    Thanks in advance
  • Howdy bah23:
    The Supercharger (SC) coupler is your probable cause for the noise. The fine minds in GM engineering decided to run Eaton SC's on many models for a 40 HP boost. The 97-05's had a redeigned front snout with an oil capacity of 8 oz's compared to the old design (90-96) of 4 oz. Right around 75K miles, the forward gears / coupler will start to chirp and chatter under a minor load. This area of the SC runs extremely hot and the sump oil is the only cooling available inside the SC. The inner gear surfaces start to deteriate, the metallic fillings from the gears immerse / float in the oil, and lubrication properties diminish and the chatter and noise increases. The car will not skip or lose power and it will still move on down the road rather quickly! If the SC oil hasn't been changed out once or twice, during normal maintenance, the noise / chatter from the coupler will increase in tone. GM service manuals don't mention changing the SC oil at 40K or any mileage!! I own a 97 Ultra with 130K and R&R'd the SC back at 115K. The supplier for the SC is here in Edmond OK and is by far a premier overhaul shop for Eaton, Paxton and a bunch of other blowers and turbo's for the OEM and hot rod markets. Check out P S E Superchargers. 758 Enterprise Dr Edmond, OK 73013. (405) 844-2773 ... 900 N Santa Fe Ave Edmond, OK 73003-4337. (405) 341-2900 ..I located them thru a Buick owners web forum. The owner gave me a shop tour and I purchased a rebuilt / replacement unit ($500 with core) and changed it out a few months back. I worked for Buick, AMC / Jeep back in the 70'-80's while in college and still do a lot of my own maintenance keeping the fleet running. Best of luck and keep in touch. RB
  • gcraiggcraig Posts: 11
    While wiring a trailer my left running light went out on the car and the trailer, (right afer I fixed a poor ground connection for the left light on the trailer). It worked for a minute then went out along with the back left car light. I replaced the car bulb but still it won't work. I checked the fuses under the hood and they seem fine. Is there another fuse box or something I might be missing here?
  • gcraiggcraig Posts: 11
    I love my '98 PA but there is a problem with the '97 or '96 thru '99 (?) PA's you need to know about. The intake manifolds are made of a composite (plastic type) material that degrades over time with heat from the exhaust that is recycled through it for emissions control. Mine just stopped running one day and when I had it towed in the dealer wanted over $1000 to fix it. I was told i was lucky that the overflowing coolant from the hole in the intake manifold didn't seize my engine and ruin it altogether which is, as they said, "common" for this year. I found a repair on line for $70 or so - a steel tube arrangement that is epoxy glued into the area where the break occurs. I'm an MRB (repair) engineer on Boeing Aircraft and feel the repair is excellent and used it, but nobody would do it for me because it's not "factory" authorized. Anyway, if I buy another PA from this era I would put in the repair right off the bat before I risked the damage possible from a leak. It took me a while since I'm not really a talented mechanic. I can’t recall where I bought the repair but if you do a few internet searches you should find it. Good luck!
  • gcraiggcraig Posts: 11
    I posted this earlier but it must not have made it 'cause I can't find the post now. Sorry if it's a repeat.
    I replaced my rotors and brake pads (used high quality ones). Over time vibration is increasing - again. Now its so bad that I'm going to be turning my new rotors to smooth our the ride. Do you think its the calipers ruining the rotors by causing them to overheat? Or, is this a typical design-type error for this vehicle? Or, is it something else? Thanks for any suggestions anyone can give me.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    The post was from 2004. The company is APN I believe. It's a popular item for the small fraction of cars from 1996 to 1999 that have the EGR tube deteriorate due to the heat going through it. Dorman also makes a replacement manifold with a replacement EGR metal tube that is placed into the lower intake manifold. It has increased air clearance.

    Any shop that does repairs would have put in the manifold for you. A GM store probably wouldn't.

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  • gcraiggcraig Posts: 11
    Oops! I wondered after I sent the post in reply when he had submitted his post! I'm pretty new to this kind of site. Sorry but thanks for the info!
  • gcraiggcraig Posts: 11
    I have 3 questions.
    1) Does anyone know where I can get an ashtray from the front dash of a 98 P.A.? I bought one yers ago and it's broken again (the latch has snapped off. color is unimportant as I can rebuild it but cost is important and I'm looking for a used one from a wrecking yard. Thanks.
    2) My windows are giving me some trouble. The back left one will not roll down all the time. Once in a while it works, then it stops working for months. Luckily it is always in the up position when it stops functioning.
    Also, my passenger side front window rolls dosn fine some times but then it won't roll down all the way when the weather is rainy. It stops about 3/4" fromt he top and will go back up but seems stuck or jammed up somehow.
    3) My driver's side door latch broke inside somewhere. It just went "Click" and it seems that the mechanism has failed inside the door since the handle flips up easily but doesn't engage the latch.

    Thanks for help with any of these three items.
  • dafraqdafraq Posts: 6
    Hello, I am considering buying a PA Ultra with 52,000 miles on it. I am not familiar with Buicks and I would like to know if there are any service issues I should be aware of. What I do know is that the fuel gauge does not work. It appears to have gone clockwise and is resting below the needle under the E. The A/C does not work. I feel like these are minor issues but are they repairable? Are these typically good cars?

    Thank you,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    The gas gauge needles are fixable. People have removed dash cover and lifted the needle over the post. Some drill a small hole in the plastic and use a paperclip to lift the needle. Someone else talked about using a magnet to lift it.

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  • 97ultra97ultra Posts: 14
    The gas gauge problem is easily fixable. Same thing happened on my '97 Ultra when I disconnected and reconnected the battery one time, and I used a strong magnet to turn the needle and fix it. Just wrap the magnet in a paper towel or Saran wrap so you don't scratch the clear plastic of the instrument panel. I can't remember if you have to have the ignition off or on, but it does matter.

    The A/C situation is something you'll want to have someone look at (take it to an A/C shop and have them do a system check and possibly a leak test). If it's just a very slow leak that you can deal with by adding refrigerant and a system-safe leak sealer, it's no big deal (my PA has had a slow leak from the compressor for around a hundred thousand miles now).

    If the compressor is shot, though, then you are looking at an expensive repair. The PA uses GM's luxury-car compressor that doesn't cycle on and off like cheaper compressors do; instead, it smoothly varies the piston stroke so that you don't hear and feel the compressor cycling on and off. It's a neat system, but fiendishly complicated and expensive; to replace the compressor, you'd probably be looking at a thousand dollars or more. So definitely have that checked out.

    IMO, the Park Avenue Ultra is an awesome car, though. Mine now has 170,000 miles on it, gets 30 mpg at 75 mph on the Interstate and ~20mpg around town, and is DARN quick. And I love the supercharger whine when it's on boost. It's also very comfortable and quiet, has a great sound system, heated seats, and lots of other amenities. I'd buy another used one if I were in the market to do so.

    If you do buy it, change the supercharger oil (a lot of owners forget to do so) and the cabin air filters, or have someone do it for you; GM sells the special supercharger oil, and you'll need 2 bottles ($10 each). And I run synthetic engine oil in my engine, because I tend to run it hard.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,682
    The compressors range from $194 off-off brand to $328 Delphi and $280 Delco compressor. Of course if compressor broke and spun out parts the expansion valve and dryer need to be replaced and a filter put in before the system is restarted.

    At 56000 miles I'd be surprised if the compressor were bad. Most likely freon leak.

    Thanks for posting about the magnet use. I recall someone saying the magnet had to be s certain strength...

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