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Buick Park Avenue Maintenance & Repair

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    What year and how many miles are on your Buick?

    My first thought from reading what others in Pontiac/Buick discussions have had, is to check your cables at the battery for corrosion. Take them off and inspect down into the cable. If you have the double cable at the positive take themapart and check for corrosion. Check the other ends of the cables and tighten those connects. Tighten the connections at the alternator. I'd recommend leaving off the negative cable until you've completed all this tightening.

    Alternators do fail. Take it off and go to Autozone. They'll test free. I believe PepBoys do also. My choice would be Autozone because they have remanufactured AC alternators, reman by AC qualified folks not just Joe's Reman Shop--which can be fine also.

    Also look at the battery. Wiggle the wires at the connections. Some have had a broken post inside. You may just have a bad battery also. The shops will test those. Autozone, Advanced, here will come to the car and check them and take them inside to test for you.

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  • lane2lane2 Posts: 28
    Would appreciate detailed information on how to change the cabin air filter in a 2001 Buick Park Ave.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    I'm guessing they are the same as this 1999. You may have to remove a thin plastic horizontal panel above the driver's legs called a hush panel. It will have 3-5 screws holding it. These instructions are not mine. I found them elsewhere--I knew I'd read them.

    Just to make you feel bad, the 03 LeSabre I have has a snap in cover under the windshield wiper area and you remove the filter standing upright!

    "I have a 99 Park Avenue and bought a cabin air filter the other day. Replacing the filter turned out to be very difficult but I was ultimately successful. I found a Web site that gave a better description of the filter access cover location (See Hastings filters, Cabin Air Filter Identification/Location, Filter AF1066). As tman said the filter is behind a white access cover near the accelerator pedal at the fire wall. Pry this cover off or pull it with the tab using vise grips. It will come off and expose the first of the 3 filters. There will be two tabs, one horizontal sticking straight out and the other vertical against the end of the filter. Rotate the vertical one up until it is horizontal. This one is attached to the second filter and has to be moved out of the way for the first filter to come out. With great difficulty slide the first filter out while bending it in front of the accelerator pedal to get it out. Then take the tab for the second filter and move the second filter down to the removal position. Again rotate the vertical tab for the third filter upward to the horizontal position and remove the second filter. Then move the third filter down and remove it. The above is made all the more difficult by having to lay upside down under the dash while holding a flashlight and trying to work in a 3 inch opening.

    "Reinstallation is the reverse, although even more difficult than removal. I almost gave up before finally getting the second and third filters to slide properly into the slots on the bottom of the tab and filter above each one. Finally reinstall the access cover by hooking it at the bottom and then pushing it at the top until it snaps in place."

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  • pau03pau03 Posts: 14
    Hi,

    I don't see where you mentioned the year of your PA. I helped design the charging system for the late 80's and early 90's GM cars. The alternator output voltage should be between 13.4 and 16.0 volts depending on the temperature of the voltage regulator, which is inside the alternator. The hotter it is the lower the voltage. From memory I want to say that the voltage was supposed to be 14.7 volts at 77 deg F. Generally the underhood temperatures are way above that so the voltage should be about 14 volts or so. An important thing to know is that the voltage regulator generally senses the voltage at the output stud of the alternator. Some models (Corvette and Allente?) sensed the voltage at the battery because the battery was located quite a distance from the alternator. Anyway, you need to be sure to measure the voltage from the alternator output terminal to the chassis of the alternator. If you are using a voltmeter on the instrument gauge it will probably read lower than it actually is.

    When the car is turned off the battery voltage will usually be about 12.6 volts or a little higher, if the engine was just turned off. Since you are measuring it at 13.48 - 13.68 volts it means that the alternator is creating an output voltage. It may have a diode open in the bridge of the alternator and this would allow some output current but not full output current. The higher the RPM the more current that will be available. In other words, as the rpm goes up the voltage should go up, not down.

    You mention that the gauge began to drop. What were the voltage readings when this happened?

    I have a hard time believing that the car would shut itself down if the voltage got too low. I know for a fact that the ignition system needs to work at a very low voltage because on a cold day the voltage can drop below 8 volts while the starter is being engaged. You have something else going on.

    I know that under wide open throttle conditions the air conditioner is shut off and I kind of remember some cars turning off the alternator in an effort to remove as much load from the engine as possible. When this happens the voltage would drop to something less than 12.6 volts, depending on what other loads are still on. It could be that your car thinks it is under wide open throttle conditions. Maybe your throttle sensor is defective? I'm just guessing on this. If the throttle position sensor was wrong it might also apply the incorrect fuel injector pulses which could stall the engine.

    I'm fairly confident in my analysis of the charging system. I'm just guessing on the rest. The voltage regulator that I worked on was pretty reliable and I only know of one person that actually had a regulator problem. Much more often the bearings would go out and the alternator would need to be replaced.

    Another thing to look for are bad ground connections. This could be at the battery, block or anywhere else. A bad ground connection can make some really goofy things happen and most people don't think to look for these things.

    I hope that I've given you some things to look for and think about.

    PAU3
  • lane2lane2 Posts: 28
    Thanks for the info. I looked and I could see the white plastic cover. I unsnapped it and it looks like I see the white tabs. I will wait until tomorrow to try to remove the filters. Hope I can stay positioned under the dash long enough to get them out. Think I will get them out, rest a while, and then install the new ones. Will let you know the outcome.
  • saw5saw5 Posts: 8
    Hi PAU3,

    All the previous messages from saw5 are mine. There are many. We have been chasing this problem since we purchased the car in July. It's the 94 with 156000 miles on it. I just thought it was funny that when I had it running on Sunday and the fans were working, upper hose opened and temperature was normal, that it began to die again. While I was in the car. The inside voltage gauge began dropping righ after I gave it gas and car died. I was measuring at the battery terminal. 13.40 - 13.68, However as my son gave it gas after re-start the voltage never went higher than 13.68 That's why I send the last posting. All cables are new and battery was check at Auto Zone. I keep thinking this is an electrical problem or a sensor (which one?)

    Thanks to all for the help,

    and please keep suggesting,

    Saw5
  • Today, the original factory radio suddenly stopped working on my '91 Park Avenue while on my way home. Initially, I thought a fuse might have blown, so when I got home, I checked the fuse. The #11 fuse had indeed blown. However, when I changed the fuse, there was a sudden tiny spark, followed by a small pop in the fuse receptacle. The replacement fuse had blown. Tried another, and the same thing happened. Was going to restart the car to try to take it to a shop, but it would not start. All the interior and dash lights worked, (along with the horn), and the battery connections were as tight as they could be, but there was no engine turn over at all.
    I'm no electrician, but just what the heck could have caused this? :sick:
  • lane2lane2 Posts: 28
    Well, I got my grandson to point a flashlight at the opening so that I could see how to get the filters out. The only difference was that mine had a strip of tape holding all three filters together. Once I got the tape to release on the first one, it came out fine, leaving the tape connected to the other two. Just kept on peeling tape and pulling them out until done. They were dirty, but not as bad as I expected. Got replacement filters ordered at Advanced Auto Parts and will put them in next week. Thanks again. :)
  • I am getting ready to buy a 1995 Ultra with about 80,000 miles on it. I am just wondering, what should the oil pressure gauge be reading on this car? It's at about 40 at cruising speeds of 35 to 50 MPH, but I'm a bit concerned as it drops down to the line just above the red zone at idle. Anyone have a manual they could take a quick peek at? Thanks!!
  • Great results! Turns out one of the battery cables was just a little bit loose. Tightened it up and no more problems!! The fuel gauge somehow flipped all the way around and got stuck under the peg down below empty...Had to drill a tiny hole in the dashboard plastic and fish in there with a paperclip to swing the little indicator up over to the right direction. Thanks for the helpful ideas from forum users!! :shades:
  • This car is driving me nuts! It has the auto, dual a/c. I'm having a problem with the compressor disengaging after about 2 minutes after "clearing" a "00" code. It runs and cools good til then. I can then repeat this cycle indefinitely. I've replaced the programmer twice. The first one(original)didn't work at all. The new replacement kept giving me a code 40, driver side blend door. This one corrected that problem. The clutch relay seems to be losing the signal from the PCM. When it does this, the control panel goes from "dual zone" to "econ" and the comp. disengages. The only way to get it to return to cooling is to erase what reads "00", no codes. It has passed all the procedures laid out in Mitchell's repair manual. All help appreciated, please!!
  • i bought a 91 buick park avenue a month ago,, the car goes completly dead while driving all lights everything shuts down , i have to drift to the side of the road and restart the car,, my macanic thinks it's the ignition switch? and want's to charge me $110 for the swithch and another $200 to put it in is this reasonable? :(
  • Hey, my 94 had all kinds of probs, including what you mention, pulled left trim on floor and there is a ground plug down there, under the driver's side trim panel by the seat in the floor part of door opening, I hooked all these grounds together and eliminated the plug, and it worked.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
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  • bob2bob2 Posts: 10
    I recently had the battery replaced and I noticed after driving for awhile that my gas guage needle had dropped way below the empty mark. The dealership told me that this happens when you disconnect the battery terminals and I would have to bring it in and they could fix it for $100. Anybody have any idea what's going on. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,690
    I've read about people drilling a small hole in the plastic in a good location and using a 90 degree paperclip to lift the needle back over the post.

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  • Have a 91 Park Avenue, need to know what circuits ( componets ) are controlled by quad driver B, as reading is HI and ECM has been replaced.
  • Looking for guidance on how to access and then change the fuel filter on a 1990 Buick Park Avenue.
  • I have the same problem and the dealer cost for the part is now $158 with lowest internet price $120.

    I took out the ashtray assembly (4 bolt/screws) propped it up on a box (the connectors are difficult to remove) and looked at the latching mechanism. There is a bump which pushes the connector dowm allowing it to engage the tongue. Mine wasn't broken or worn, just wasn't engaging well. I built up the bump with JB Weld. Now when the latch is pushed in it is forced down for a more secure hold. I don't know if this is permanent fix, but it is about $115 less than buying the part and only took about a hour - mostly getting the 4 screws out and back in. Use a 7mm socket and with 1/4" rachet for the top two and the same with a 5" wobble extension for the bottom two.
  • I have a '94 Park Avenue that the ride levelers don't always kick in when I load something in the trunk, or take a gravel curve a little to fast. It seems that I have to park it, turn it off and sit for a bit until the leveler kick in, then it sort of clunks as the car rises. Can anyone tell me what the problem could be, I have called the body shop, and they tell me that it will cost around $600 to $800 dollars to fix, but my neighbor kid says no way. I can't afford that much, and I do love my Park Avenue.
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