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Buick Regal

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    Is the vacuum line under the hood that supplies vacuum to the storage tank and to the interior AC controls working?

    Is the blower motor blowing? Is air coming out the defrost vents (default when no vacuum or control is available)?

    Is it an automatic digital temperature control unit? I'm familiar with H body (leSabre/PAve) operation up to 99 and have a 2003 but haven't worked on it--just read lots of posts from others.

    First thought? Who replaced the alternator? A shop or yourself? Could they ahve done something?

    Are both heater hoses hot when the blower has been on high with air going over the heater core. If one hose is cooler that means the flow through heater core is low. You also could have air in heater core from low coolant level.

    Give some details.
  • hi, I have a 2002 regal gs and for about a year now I have had a clanking noise when I start the car. It only happens when I cold start and only lasts about 5 minutes or so. I've had the car serviced 6 times so far and I still have the noise. It began right after I had the fan belts changed.

    First I was told it was the alternator and had it changed, then I was told it was misaligned pulleys and had them fixed, then I was told it was the ball bearings, etc etc. Each time I fixed whatever I was told, finally I told them to change the fan belts again and I still have the noise. Now they tell me its normal. I had the car 4 years without the noise so I know its not normal. but its only when the car has sat overnight and lasts only a few minutes. The car has 22k miles, I've just bought a three year extended warrenty so I can bring it back to the shop, but is it worthwhile. Does anyone have a similar problem or might know what is going on.

    Thanks
    David
  • You might want to look in the engine compartment just behind the radiator on the drivers side. You'll see the A/C accumulator/dryer ... follow the hoses from the compressor. The wiring harness may be rubbing thru due to contact against that accum./dryer. Cut the tape away from the harness at the contact area and investigate each wire in the bundle.
  • First thing I'd do is have someone, if you're not mechanically inclined, remove the serpentine belt and start the car cold and see if it makes this same noise. Areas to look at are the balancer, which mounts on the crankshaft and is what makes the belt move. Second would be the tensioner for the belt. This has a pulley on an arm that's spring loaded. Thirdly, this possibly could be the result of the Air Conditioner compressor pulley bearing assembly or the compressor internally. Other than that, without hearing the noise, personally, and if it still makes this noise without the belt installed, I'd suggest a second opinion at a Buick dealership.
  • Probability is that the vacumn lines that control the door activations for the air routing have failed due to "melting". These attach to the programmer that's located behind the passengers under dash kick panel. You'll see a multi colored group of vacumn hoses that go to a connector that fits over "nipples" that insert into this connector. The connector has a small 10mm.nut to hold it secure to the programmer. If you disassemble this connector from the programmer, you'll see that the nipples are either all soft or broken off internally inside the connector creating a leak or blockage. Don't ask me why ... dissimilar plastics, maybe. You'll have to replace the programmer and the vacumn control hoses
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    If your car has this same setup with a round connector and the 6-7 plastic tubes coming out of the programmer (electronic control) box..., you first need to convince yourself that the nipple problem has occurred. You need to be sure you have adequate vacuum coming inside the car.

    There will be a violet line coming into the programmer box-that is the vacuum from the engine compartment. Be sure you have adequate vacuum there. Somewhere under the hood is a tank the size of a larger tomato juice can, maybe plastic, that stores the vacuum from the motor. If you are going up a long hill with steady, heavy acceleration the engine vacuum drops. My 98 leSabre will lose vacuum after 5-10 seconds and change occasionally under high acceleration in 4th lockup on a long hill where I merge onto I70. If I'm in 3rd the vacuum doesn't dissipate because the motor is running faster and maintaining the vacuum.

    If you decide it is your nipples in the connect, removing the connector, if it will come apart easily without tearing the soft plastics, will be difficult to reverse. Installation will require silicon caulk to reseal--according to reports. Easier is to remove the programmer box. Two screws. One large electrical connector to pull apart and one tiny one on top that connects to an electric motor that controls a blend door. Yours may not have the little connector. And one metal link sticking out of the porgrammer that snaps into a plastic connector that pulls a door inside the heater box.

    Open the programmer box, a couple of snaps on one side. Then write down the color of the tube inside going to the color tube outside the connector. Cut the connector off both sides. I used 1/8 inch gas line rubber hose (courtesy local NAPA store). About 8 inches cut into 1.5 inch pieces. A little water on the vacuum line and it slides right into the gas hose sealing. Same on other end.

    I'm looking for some pictures I'll try to post here. But first you need to determine if your lose of vacuum is a result of high load, low engine speed or a cracked plastic tank storing vacuum, or a bad hose carrying the vacuum rotted at an end or cracked letting air in reducing your vacuum.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Thank you mooseburg, your answer makes a lot of sense. I know they replaced the tensioner and realigned the pulleys, but I dfon't think they ever took the belt off to see if it still made the noise. Funny thing is the noise never lasts more than 10 minutes and every time they told me the problem was because of something new each time, I wondered why the noise wouldn't be constant or why only on a cold start. I guess you can tell I'm not mechanically inclined.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    I don't think I responded on this, but I had a noise that occurred only on cold startup. It sounded like a rushing of air. Then after 10-30 seconds it changed and quieted. I just thought it was normal. Finally it was louder and more continual when I was ready to go to Cincy. I took the other car!

    When I took off the belt it was the tensioner pulley. It could be any of the bearings in the belt's path. But that' still a likely suspect-water pump? Someone has to take the belt off and play with the pulleys--maybe when they're cold.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    Pictures of vacuum line connectors at programmer:
    image
  • I have a question about underheating of the engine. The temp on my guage only reads just above 100 degrees. From time to time it'll go up to around normal operating temp but for the most part it stays just above 100. All fluids are normal, thermostat was replaced a couple years ago. I would also like to know if the engine doesn't heat up to normal operating temp, if it would cause the heat coming in to the car not to be as hot as it should be. Car also has new heater core. Any comments or opinions would help. Thanks.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    First thought it whether the engine is full of coolant with no air bubbles. Heater core filled?

    The thermostat could be the problem. Might be sticking open. It would keep water cooler and that would be a cause of not enough heat; but that also could be an air bubble. One thing to do would be when the engine is thoroughly warmed up, or as warm as it gets, rev the motor to 2500-3000 for a few seconds a few times. If you have an uphill place to park that makes it easier for air bubbles to be forced back to the radiator. This is the procedure for my 98 leSabre when refilling the system with coolant so I'm suggesting it for your case.

    But draining a little coolant and checking the thermostat or just replacing with a quality GM or Stant would be a good thing to do.
  • I thought I remembered hearing that GM "decontented" these cars for the final 2 or so years. What did they make optional that you might have to watch out for?

    Did those of you owning an earlier iteration of the GS and then getting a newer one notice any improvements in build quality (or drop-off's)? Any rattles or shakes you didn't notice on the earlier versions?

    My 1998 has 162,xxx miles and I'm thinking about searching for a low-mileage 2004 if possible. I've really liked the 98 and, from what I hear about the fuel economy on a Lacrosse, am not looking to jump into the 3.6 version of it.

    Sigh...wish they'd not killed the SC-based engines (save the Pontiac GTP I know).
  • BushwackBushwack Posts: 258
    The 2001 - 2004 models were not as well equipped with 'standard' items. I believe items such as drivers side air bag and traction control became options. Then for 2002 the traction control went back to becoming a standard feature.

    IMO, the best year for the car was 2000 of the 1997.5 - 2004 model years. I say that not because I once owned a 2000 GS. But because it was the year that not only were all the bugs in the car fixed from the previous 2 years (i.e. cruise control issues, a/c problems) but it was as well equipped a car you can buy for the dollar (as far as Regals go).

    In 2001 they started making some of he previous years' standard features optional and then in 2002-2004, they had some funky interior colors and seats that I think caused a voluntary recall due to quality concerns (poor craftsmanship with the Abboud seats). I think there was also a TSB regarding the 2002 exhaust system as Buick went with a different design that created heat build-up in the system.

    Still, if it was 2000 all over again, it was the best and most luxurious car for the money in the sub $30K category.
  • Thanks for the reply. I think I had a plug or an air bubble. I pinched the hoses and the next day HEAT. I actually just changed the dexcool today and the whole thing was looking rusty and mirky so I figured just get it done. Also changed the thermostat and Radiator cap. I also changed the Belt tensioner. I didn't realize the Bolts a reverse thread. Hey it's all about learning right? Wanna talk about a pain. Who would have realized that you would have heater parts going through the Tensioner. Ohh also if you ever tackle this MAKE SURE TO BUY A HEATER ELBOW. 9 Times out of 10 I found out from a Mechanic buddy that you are going to break it which also happened in my case. Thanks again.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    We have a 2000 GS and 2004 GS in our family. The both have sunroof, heated front seats, passenger power seat (driver's too, but it is standard, not a option). 2004 is Abboud(?) edition, with two color interior and beige lower exterior. 2004 has Monsoon radio with eight speakers, 2000 Concert 2(?) radio with 6 speakers.

    What the 2000 has that was deleted from 2004?

    1. Performance shift mode: a button on shifter and + a light on the instrument panel that tells computer to switch gears more aggressive.

    2. Strut tower brace.

    3. Lights on gear shifter telling the current position (D,R,N,O,etc). 2004 have the info on the instrument panel only, a bit inconvenient.

    4. Driver side auto dimming mirror. 2004 have rear view auto dimming mirror, but not the side one. Less comfortable to drive in night time on highways, especially when not in the left lane.

    5. Heated mirrors. 2004 is less safe in snow or when the side mirrors fogs.

    6. A big bin/seat arm in the middle of the rear seat.

    7. 2000 power steering was variable: very easy to turn on slow speeds, e.g. when parking in tight places, but usual at higher speeds. 2004 power steering is OK, but not variable and it is not so easy to parking in downtown or other tight place.

    8. Few small things like coin holder in the central bin, passenger side door lock, a few exposed screws...

    What was not deleted, but feels different?

    1. 2000 GS have softer seats, with a layer of a soft "sponge" under the leather about twice as thick as 2004. I guess that GM saved $2 or so on it... For longer trips the 2000 seats are much more comfortable. The seats looks the same, however; you can feel it only by "the lower back".

    2. The gears are shifting somewhat different: 2004 is a bit more aggressive that 2000 in standard mode (but less aggressive that in performance mode).

    3. The radio (head units) are different. 2004 radio is more modern: it can show some info about artists, etc, if the station sends it, CD does not skip on bumps, etc. On the other hand, I like more the sound from older radio, even with 6 speakers vs. 8 ones: the new sound is a bit "sterile". Also, the new radio have a red light that blinks nonstop when the engine is off, as a protection from thieves. Never heard about a thieve who would stole a stock radio from Buick.

    4. The 2004 engine uses 5W-30 oil; the 2000 uses 10W-30 in summer and 5W-30 in winter. Also, oil change was extended from 7,500 miles to 10,000( or 12K miles?) for ideal driving conditions, with smaller but substantial real increase according to oil monitor.

    5. 2004 GS have the OnStar gizmo that lets GM to monitor remotely where you go and listen how you talking with your wife in the car. It is not an option. However, the block is not really integrated yet in the car: I removed it easily, the car does not drive worse without it, and does not complain (no blinks, no lights).

    6. The rubber air intake dam under the engine was moved back somewhat: with 2000 GS it scraps sidewalks sometimes. The rear wheel well liners also were improved.

    Overall, I like 2000 much more, especially for its comfortable seats and heated mirrors.
  • Thanks for the replies bushwack and yurakm. I have no right to expect anyone to write as much as yurakm did...thanks a million.

    Of all things, why would they delete a strut tower brace...can they? I didn't think a STB is an optional piece of equipment.

    I've sat in a 2004, not driven it, and thought my hind end was picking up on a stiffer, thinner seat. Glad (yet sad) to know I was right and not having a bad butt day, lol.

    Sad also to see how much fiddling they did with the Regal over those years. No small wonder they drove it into the history books. I have a few mechanical issues with my 98, the most pressing of which is a whine from the area of either the alternator or SC. I believe it to be the alt, but am crossing my fingers. The whine isn't connected to the SC and really does sounds like it is coming str8 from the alternator. I have a mechanic buddy who I drove by twice this week to let him hear and, of course, it would not do its 'trick' for him.

    The tranny shifts a bit hard into overdrive and I'm going to have that looked at by another guy I know. Nothing against the Buick service shop but they are short on feel and long on "can we replace that for ya today?". I'd like to get a pro's feel for if the shifting is normal aging or signaling a future problem.

    If it passes these hurdles, I may consider "B-52-ing" it and holding it a while longer. Just like the Air Force keeps those old bombers in the air, I usually do that with my cars (on the ground though). I kept a 1984 LeSabre for 15 yrs and 261,000 miles. The electronics had finally failed to an unacceptable $degree$ was why I finally gave her up.

    My 39 yr old back prefers a softer seat while my 39 yr old foot likes a snap of torque now and then. The seats on the 04, if they are after a few miles what they felt like after 2 minutes, would be torture on me I think. I may hold on to this car until it's time to think about the Lucerne (if I stay within Buick). My gf is pressuring me all the time to buy a Camry - like the one she owns. She has more than a few problems with it but I'll leave that for the Toyota threads.

    Thanks for the replies.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    You wrote: The tranny shifts a bit hard into overdrive

    May be an ATF overfill? I had a similar problem, especially pronounced in hot summer days. After checking the ATF level turned to be a whole inch above the maximum line, and foaming a little. I siphoned out some of the ATF (it is still a bit above the line, 1/4 inch or so). Now the transmission shifts again as a new. The car accelerates better, coasts much longer on idle, and burns about 20-25% less gas.

    It was overfilled for 2.5 - 3 years. I failed to check the ATF level after flushing it at a dealership. It was dumb, but the dealership usually is very good, and it is hard for me to find a level place: definitely could not do it at home nor at work. My wife drove the car for most of the period, and she is less sensitive to such things.

    Fortunately, a synthetic Mobil 1 ATF was put into the transmission, that did not deteriorate after a couple of years of light foaming.

    Now about the seats: The 2004 seats still are good, but 2000 ones were much better.
  • I also had some of the fluid drained out a few weeks back as it had been overfilled at a dealership last Dec. At this same time, I also found out the tranny flush I had last December didn't also include a requested filter change. The previous service mgr informed me then that it typically didn't, but my request stood. Well, he didn't give a flying phooey about my request, as the current service mgr remarked (at my last oil change) that it had been a number of years since my last filter change. He showed me the screen he was looking at when I questioned him, so...yet another reason, I suppose, to stand behind them as they do work on your car. To the newer guy's credit, he agreed to do it for free at my next oil change to make up for the 'oversight'.

    Something my tranny has done since I bought the car is have a hard time shifting into overdrive in colder weather (under 25 degree F). The fluid has to warm a bit before it'll bend to my will. That has remained constant no matter if the fluid is old or new or the filters have just been changed or not.

    Not wanting to run afoul of the moderators, but was the Regal the only Buick de-contented as it approached its final run? I never heard that about the PA or LeS, but you never know until you ask.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    I believe that not only Buicks and other GM cars, but most of other cars are decontented, as well as of other goods. This is a routine way, described in standard American university marketing textbooks.

    I read it in mid 1980-ths, in the fourths edition of textbook by Philip Kotler. I lived then in the Soviet Union, but was interested in American economics.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 293
    "Not wanting to run afoul of the moderators, but was the Regal the only Buick de-contented as it approached its final run?"

    The Century is another example of Buick's decontenting. I believe in 2003 the previously standard antilock brakes were made optional. That was a biggy.
  • Yurakm,

    I'm aware of what you mean in an overall general sense, but was directing my comments a bit more laser-like to like what the last poster gave an example of with the brakes.

    What can I say...I'm a big fan of cars that give you smallish V-6 hwy gas mileage yet make available a small V-8 when you need it, ala the SuperCharged Regal, Park Avenue, Impala SS (pre V-8 version) and Pontiac GT/GTP.

    Nothing against the new 3.6 engine, but I don't read the same things about it for mileage...change the mileage and it changes how you feel about the image of the car itself.
  • dwodwo Posts: 3
    Hello, my 2001 regals fuel gauge is all over the place. It will show full when starting, then go down to 1/4 tank, back to 1/2 tank, etc., etc. It never stays on the correct reading.

    Anyone had this problem? what could it be?
    Thanks,
    David
  • headachheadach Posts: 17
    I have a 1989 Buick Regal Gran Sport (3.1 multi port) with what i beleive a bad enjector. I believe that it is being stuck open and flooding the engine. After the car has been driven and i come to a stop the rpm's jump alover from like 500 to 1300 and it will do this until i put it into neutral. Somtimes it will sputter and stall out. It will start right back up and begin it again. Sometimes the Check engine like comes on right before it happens, somtimes it comes on after it acts up. I just wanted to see if thet is really the problem and if anyone has a tip for finding which one it is. Thank you in advanced.
  • headachheadach Posts: 17
    I can't think of the name right now but i think it might be the part inside the gas tank with the fuel pump conected to it. the part measure the fuel in the tank. i have a 89 that had the same problem. I replaced that and it fixed it.
  • hey everyone! last week my wiper motor died and i can't seem to find the damn motor, does anyone know were it might be? :confuse:
  • jymmeo10jymmeo10 Posts: 1
    I have a significant anti-freeze leak just inside of the passenger side front tire. Is this an indication of a leaking water pump or another problem? What are the expected costs to repair a water pump?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,161
    You need to try to visually locate the drip after stopping the car when it's been run long enough for the radiator to be under some pressure.

    With the motor off, touch the lower part of the pulley for water pump on the inside and see if you get any wetness. Look for little plastic tubes that come from the intake manifold out to connect to rubber hoses that go to the heaters. Those also can start to seep because they were put in with o-rings or they crack. There are numerous designs and I'm familiar with LeSabres version of the 3800.

    You don't mention number of miles on the car but a waterpump at 10 years could be what you have. You've just got to locate it. If you can see it drip onto the pavement you may need to crawl under far enough to look up to try to see the water path.
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    Well, after almost seven years and 128K miles, I will be trading in my Regal GSE for a new car. There are a few things that I will miss, and a few things that I wont miss. All in all, my Regal has been pretty good. Good luck to all the Regal owners out there. :)
  • aedaed Posts: 8
    Had a problem removing the ignition key after parking and turning off the ignition in my 2000 Regal LS. At first had to unlock the steering wheel and rotate it until the key would release. Eventually got to the point where I had to restart the engine, move the car back and forth while working the steering wheel left and right, and then repark and pray that the key would come out.

    I read a couple of comments on the RegalGS website about spilling sodas in the not-waterproof boot around the console shift lever and the problems that caused.

    With what I figured was nothing to lose, I grabbed my miracle can of WD-40, removed the cap on the console that covers the shift release and sprayed a healthy amount into the hole. About 7 months of bliss until a very ugly snow day with lots of slush when I again couldn't get the key out. Sprayed it again with the miracle oil and no more problems.

    Hope this helps someone.
  • jpstax1jpstax1 Posts: 197
    Just curious. What year is your GSE and what are you trading it in for? My wife and I own a 2000 GSE and want to get rid of it after August 1st. That's when its extended warranty runs out, although it's been running great. We were thinking of trading it in for a 2008 LaCrosse Super. Our dealer is really excited about this new performance car which makes its debut next month in New York. He'll let us know when the first one arrives at his dealership. He's thinking maybe early September. It'll have a 5.3 V8 engine, waterfall grill, beefed up tranny, and comfortable seats. We've been waiting patiently for a car like this for years.
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