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Buick LeSabre Starting/Stalling Problems



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    Leaking injector?

    But check fuel pressure regulator hose on front of motor for gasoline in the vacuum tube? The fuel pressure regulators sometimes fail and let fuel into the intake manifold. There was a recall on some models because a backfire could occur which might split the ABS plastic manifold. I do not know if that affects your year. Check the NHSTA site for recalls.

    Also try turning the key to ON for two seconds until the fuel pump cuts off and then OFF and back to ON 3 times to thoroughly prime the fuel system. You might have a weakened fuel pump or pressure valve. Has the car been driven low on fuel? That's hard on the pumps in some models.
  • The car was running good for a while but now it is stalling and smoking but would crank back up till it just died on me.When it stalled i would pump the gas to help it crank but now it doesnt even sound like it wants to crank.The oil pressure seems to be low and it is running hot.A poof of smoke came from the motor the last time i was trying to make it crank.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    If the smoking is white smoke that may be coolant (water) being burned through the cylinders. You need to find out immediately if it is. It could be the upper intake manifold leaking coolant internally. If so, the oil must be changed because coolant in the oil is death on the bearings. If the oil has a chocolate milk look or whitish cast, that's likely to be coolant.

    If the motor does not even turn over, you could have a bad starter motor or a bad connection. The most likely is the cable at the battery on the positive connection. There are two cables, one on top of the other. It must be taken off and cleaned with the plastic cover pulled back.

    Turn ON the key and turn the automatic air conditioner to off. Then turn the key OFF. Now you're ready to remove the negative cable from the battery. Then with it off, remove the positive cable. You'll probably find a white powder between the cables on the positive post of the battery.

    If you hear nothing when you turn the key to CRANK, not even an initial thunk from the starter, your starter could be bad. If the headlights don't dim when that happens, it indicates a bad connection or bad starter.

    IF the headlights dim, that means the starter is drawing current, but your motor could be hydrolocked, a cylinder has water in it and the starter can't crank it.

    If there's water in the cylinder get the old oil out and run motor with new oil briefly to get good oil to bearings. Then repair car.
  • What do you mean by then repair?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    If you find the motor is not turning because it's hydrolocked, you need to repair the UIM by replacing and repair the LIM gaskets.
  • The motor is turning over but it will not crank.It sounds like it wants to but it doesnt.What could be the problem?
  • I forgot to mention white smoke came out of the tail pipe when i cranked it one time.I seen a poof a white smoke today trying to crank it.
  • son has 1993 buick lesabre. starts fine and will move if very little gas is applied. when stepping on gas the car bucks and wants to stall. car has 92000miles on it.any suggestions?
  • if you have a 3.8L engine usual the air pluenum goes bad and allows antifreeze into the cylinders the engine needs to be replaced
  • if you have a 3.8 L engine the air plenum usually goes bad leaking antifreeze into the cylinders and engine needs to be replaced
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    There are several things to try to check on here. The Upper Intake Manifold is NOT one of them.

    You may have a bad TPS (throttle position sensor) that rotates with the throttle plate to tell the computer what the driver is requesting in power. The electrical contact rheostat may not be changing smoothly. So the computer gets odd signals.

    The MAF (manifold air flow) sensor may be bad. Some people remove the connector and if the motor runs fine without it that's a good sign. If you have another vehicle with one, some people transfer a good one in place. Sometimes replacements don't work right, so get a good one if it is bad.

    The fuel pump may not be pumping with enough pressure. A slight decrease below the correct pressure and volume from the pump affects the spray pattern on the injectors. At 15 years and 100K miles, if the car was often run with low fuel so the pump sometimes isn't cooled enough, the pump may have worn out. And it may just have worn out. If you end up replacing the pump, a lot of cheap, off brands have given trouble with pressure and running right. A Delco is a best replacement; costly, but best. I can cite a recent forum post where someone had lots of trouble with running; they ended up replacing the year-old replacement pump from a cheaper parts store.

    Also the FPR (fuel pressure regulator) thats a small cylinder device on the fuel line with a vacuum line attached --usually on front of the motor next to valve cover--may be bad. It adjusts the fuel pressure when the vacuum drops to give a higher pressure for better spray pattern. Pull off the vacuum line to it and if there's gasoline in the line that's a sure sign it has failed. It also may fail other ways.

    And the FIRST thing to check is the electrical system. Have the plugs been replaced within the last 40-50 K? Plug wires? They may be giving poor connection causing poor ignition. And also the coils can fail giving a symptom like you're getting.

    The plugs and wires are relatively cheap and easy to do. When you pull the plugs, look at the tips to see if they are oil fouled or show white deposits for the very rare coolant leak for those years. Look at the ends of the spark plugs wires. Sometimes corrosion is inside the end connectors.

    Assume the easiest problem and it often saves money over the more esoteric problems. These motors and transmissions are dependable and durable.

    If I were a betting person, I'd wager on plugs, wires, or ignition coil. You might pick up coils from a recycling yard. The coils are easy to switch on most of these...

    Again, the years of your 3800 (it's not a 3.8) don't have manifold leaks.
  • lwc2lwc2 Posts: 4
    I had a 98 Buick with the same problems. In the beginning it seemed like it needed plugs and or plug wires. To make a long story short, the intake manifolds were replaced with what GM called REVISED manifolds.
    At the time, they reimbursed me for about half of the expense to repair.
    Good luck!
  • parkuparku Posts: 3

    I have a buick le sabre 1995 and I am the second owner. When I first purchased the car everything looked okay, but about two months ago this problem started. When I start the car the check engine light comes on and I turn off the car and start it again and the light goes off. One day I only turned the car on once and the light was on. I was driving and I stopped at a stop light my car turned off by itself. The steering wheel wouldn’t move and the car would not start. I kept on trying to turn it on for about 5 minutes and it started back up. I don’t know why the check engine light turns on the first time I turn on the car and it is off the second time. If anyone has had the same problem, or knows anything about this I would really apprechiate the answer.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    You need to diagnose the code. Take it to an Autozone or Advance Auto or other place where they will read the stored codes free and the current codes and tell you what they are. Do not buy anything or replace anything until you post someone and someone knowledgeable tells you what may be the true cause.

    A light can be the gas cap not sealing, but it usually doesn't do the check so that it would turn the light off on a restart. Leaks in the pressure sealing for the gas vapor system are common problems. The code check at a store will help.

    I Have read in other forums that some 1994 and 1995 Bonnevilles have problems with the computer more often than is common ont he H-bodies (Olds, Bonneville, LeSabre, Park Ave, Olds 98). Replacing the computer helps.

    The stalling and restart can be the crankshaft position sensor, which may not give a code.

    You didn't mention how many miles on the car. You can also have trouble with MAF sensor and throttle position sensor wearing after lots of miles and years.
  • I was wondering if your stalling issues have been corrected, and what exactly fixed it? I have a '91 LeSabre (Clifford, the big red car) and in April, it suddenly started stalling, and my mechanic and several colleagues have not had success in honing in on the cause. It is due for inspection, and I will need to donate it, even though it only has 59,000 easy miles on it.

    I know that the computer and many other parts were replaced (then he put the original parts back when the problem wasn't resolved).

    I would love to know if anyone has discovered the solution

    Thanks much
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,054
    For both of you another suggestion is to have a fuel pressure gauge put on the car and taped to the windshield where you can watch while driving and see what it does just before the stall. Some have said fuel pumps are a problem in stalling. But there are others.

    Several people suggest that anything other than Delco replacements have given trouble in several months.
  • Cannot say if problem is fixed or what happened. My son had driven it and it stopped stalling. Has not been any problems since first reported. Sorry I cannot be of any help. Go figure.
  • Thanks for the fuel suggestion - I'll talk to him about it.

    Tally, did you replace anything in your quest for fixing the problem?

    This is an extremely frustrating problem - the car has basically been at the shop since April! Fortunately, we have other vehicles, but I hate just junking the car over this - I would at least like to sell it for something.

    Any other suggestions are supremely appreciated :)
  • Son finally got buick fixed, He took it to the dealer, and the problem was the coil. Only running on 2 cylinders. Cost $171.
  • Well, the good news is that the problem was fixed. The better news is that we found a 2004 Civic for our daughter and sold the Buick, in running condition and ok.

    Turns out the problem was two fold, with the coil (I think) being the first - the NAPA part works for all cars except the '91, where there are issues. While that 'bad' part was in the car, our guy changed the computer, and that didn't correct the problem, so he put the old computer back in. With changing other parts, he and a buddy finally determined that the NAPA part was no good, and got me a used one. Then another buddy suggested trying to replace the computer again, and that turned out to be the second part of the problem - both parts simultaneously were bad.

    Thanks for all the assistance!! Happy New Year!
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