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Buick Park Avenue Engine Problems

i have a 94 buick park i am getting a noise from the front of the motor. the noise is at idle and it will go away when u up the idle


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    Can you describe the type of noise. Rushing air? Heavy rattling? Knocking?

    How many miles on the car?
  • its sounds like a bad bearing 100000
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    Is it inside the motor?

    If it sounds like a bearing, it could be idler wheel bearing on the serpentine belt, the air conditioning compressor bearing, or one of the others.

    If it' a knocking erratic sound, it could be the crankshaft balancer moving in its rubber mount. Some of those loosen with age and give a heavy knock. Speeding up the motor spins things faster and reduces the uneveness of the crank's turning with the pistons firing and that might make the sound go away above idle.
  • The harmonic balancer (and they ALL fail) is about the only problem these Buick's have besides people forgettng to keep the supercharger's oil full. If you take the tension off the belts, you will feel that the pulley is loose from the inner hub. Since it is two pieces pressed together with rubber it will have to be replaced. The best place I found for a factory one is:
    but maybe an aftermarket could be better since GM didn't get this part right.
  • It has power but when i turn the key nothing happens. I tried my wife's key and the same thing. The security light comes on and goes off like it should. The past two weeks I noticed that it was doing this, but I would just turn it off and start it again and it would work. Now it takes about 20 or 30 tries to get it to start. Someone told me there is an ignition switch on the steering column that would cause this but I don't know where it is or if he is even right. I dont think it is the security on the car. Please respond if you might know what it is that could cause this.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    You need to determine if there's spark and if the injectors are clicking as they inject fuel. You can touch the injector while someone cranks the car. You can take one spark plug wire off and lay it against metal and see if there's spark.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    You need to determine if there's spark and if the injectors are clicking as they inject fuel. You can touch the injector while someone cranks the car. You can take one spark plug wire off and lay it against metal and see if there's spark.

    Also when you turn the key to "on" do you hear the fuel pump in the tank run for a couple of seconds? If it doesn't prime when the key is turned, the car has to crank long enough for oil pressure to build up and that turns on the main switch to the fuel pump. But that's not 20-30 tries; it's more like 5 seconds or so to build up oil pressure for the switch to trip.
  • The engine does not turn over at all when the key is turned forward. It's as if there is no power going to the starter when I try to start the car. It does nothing. The starter is good I had it tested about a month ago. I really think it is the ignition switch, but I've never had this problem before so I'm not to for sure if that is the problem. Thanks for the reply.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    Have the battery cables been compltely removed and cleaned? The cables inside may have corrosion also. The most common problem is the double layer contact on the positive connection. Take them apart and remove corrosion. Brighten the contact area if you have a wire brush or sandpaper.

    I didn't understand that your starter wasn't turning.

    Check the connections at the starter for corrosion also.

    Starters do fail. If you see a lot of oil drips from the oil pan bolts, the oil drops that accumulate over miles can get into the starter and cause contact problems.

    If you do get under the car, use jack stands..., but tap the starter with something heavy like a ball peen hammer or heavy screwdriver handle to see if that improves the contacts.
  • kenukenu Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Buick Park Ave. It over heated and I added more fluid. The next day, I went to crank it over, and it started for a second and stopped. I discovered through online discussions that the intake gasket leaked into the pistons. It was hydrolocked. I have replaced the gaskets, put in new plugs, and a new starter. The fluid was cleaned out of the pistons. The car will turnover without the plugs in. the car will not crank over at all once I put the plugs back in. No plug wires are crossed. Battery cable connections were cleaned. Also, I checked the valves and each valve is opening and closing. Any ideas?
  • I drove my 96 Buick Pk. Avenue into my garage, turned off the engine. When I came back later on to use the car again all it would do is click when I tried to engage the starter. I replaced the battery and had the same thing. I replaced the starter and had the same thing.

    I removed the starter again to try to find the problem. I tried to turn the engine at the fly wheel and found that the engine was locked up. It will not turn over at all. Can you give me some ideas as to what could have happened and what I can do to correct it? Thanks Bunches!!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    Take out all the spark plugs and see if it rotates and coolant comes out. It may be hydrolocked. I don't recall that year 3800 series II have some leaking intake manifold seals that can let coolant leak into a cylinder while the car is shut down and the system is hot and under pressure.

    Had the car done any missing or skipping before shutting down? Has the coolant level needed refilling in the overflow reservoir?

    If you find you were hydrolocked, change the oil immediately to get out the coolant. Do not drive it with coolant in the oil; it will corrode the bearings and you'll say bye-bye engine.
  • Thanks imidazol97.

    I have taken out all of my spark plugs and no coolant was present. I put a socket and breakover and an 18 inch cheater pipe on the front nut on the crankshaft and the engine would not budge in either direction.

    Yes, my water pump went out and the car heated up a little. The guage did not get into the red zone and the idiot light light did not come on, but the engine did steam some.

    I replaced the water pump, changed the motor oil and filter and the transmission fluid and filter, and drove the car for about two weeks after that (about 1000 miles) and it worked O.K. except occasionally I could hear a noise that sort of sounded like tappets rattling except I did not think it was regular enough to be the tappets. Also, the sound was a lot more tinny sound that a tappet rattle.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    oooops. You didn't mention the overheating session from before. But the gauge and light didn't make it seem too serious.

    This is way about my pay grade and skill level. I might not be too serious and could be a disaster. Running right up to shut down and failing to restart sounds suspicious.
  • I didn't think the heating thing could be relative to this problem because it ran for a couple of weeks and about 1000 miles after the water pump thing. Most of that was highway driving and it did not heat up.

    Also, it was not hot when I shut the engine down. I had only driven it about 300 feet to get it into the garage out of some bad weather we were expecting.

    I have seen some mysterious things, but never anything like this. Thanks for your help anyway.
  • I have a 95 Park Ave with 130K miles. A few months ago when driving the car, the change oil soon light came on for a few second and the car behaved weird, it wouldn't go smooth but almost like stop-and-go, stop-and-go kind of thing. I have changed the oil twice since then, as well as the battery and it still shows the same problem. The change oil soon light comes for a few second, the car starts doing the stop and go run and then it keeps on running ok. Does anyone have any suggestion what that may be?
  • What all kinds of cars will a BLA 3.8 L engine work in?
  • I have a 1992 park ave with a 3.8l in it. It used approximately 1qt between changes until a recent trip. While on the trip it started losing oil at a rate of about 1qt per 100 miles. It does not smoke, the oil pan is tight, and I looked in the radiator but the coolant looks to be in good condition. I am looking for possible causes for this and I thank you in advance for any help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    The first thing I'd check is my battery connections. Turn off all accessories. Turn AC unit to off.

    remove negative battery cable and check for corrosion. Remove positive cables and if you have the double cable-one on top of the other check between them. Some people recommend slicing into the plastic covering below the connector to look at the copper cable. Funny problems happen when one of those cables doesn't make a good connection.

    A move remote place might be the ground buss which is inside the car and some functions from the dash ground through it. Are you a in a wet climate where salt and snow and lots of moisture track into the car and the carpet stays wet?
  • jrackleyjrackley Posts: 3
    i have 98 park avenue. my thermostate stuck. took guts out. put regular water in radiator to get it home. changed thermostate and drove it down the road temp gauge got to 207 degrees that was as high as it got. it cut off and would not crank back up. changed battery. it started but when i cut it back off it had hard time starting again. I drained water and put 50/50 mixture of dex-cool and water.But now it sounds like rod is knocking did just the water cause that much of a problem
  • jrackleyjrackley Posts: 3
    it is making a horrible noise do you think it messed up the bearing on the crankshaft.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    Running hot you may have damaged a head gasket or head. Look at the dip stick to see if the oil shows a milky color like a chocolate shake? If so you have coolant in the oil and that is poison to bearings. It deteriorates them fast chemically.

    You are going to have to find out what's happening. I suppose it's possible the intake manifold just decided to leak at the time of overheating. And that can put coolant into the cylinders and oil.

    If you have a knocking, your motor may be past tense already--not to scare you too much.
  • Actually I have a two part question. The first is I bought my 96 park ave ultra used with about 125,000 mi. I have had to add coolant to the overflow container three times in the five months since I bought the car. In total it comes to about two and a half gallons of coolant. I have never seen this in any car I have ever owned. the second issue I have is on cold mornings the transmission is very sluggish even after letting the vehicle warm up for approximately ten minutes.I have had the transmission flushed and refilled. If I shut the engine off and wait a couple of minutes then restart the engine it runs normally. Any ideas what is going on?
  • jonifjonif Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Park Avenue Sedan, 3800 Series II V6, Transmission 4 speed electronic. with Prestige Option Package. One owner, about 54,000 miles. Transmission failed/replaced under warranty at 26K. No other problems. I drove it into the driveway last night after running errands for about an hour. Went out to pull in the garage and it will not start. One click I heard. Then nothing. Gauges were moving without key in it! Battery dead overnight. Recharged. Checked all 4 fuse boxes. Tried starting with and without battery charger on it; and bypassed battery; still just a click and then the car is DEAD. Have tried both key fobs; neither will start it. Was running FINE before this. Have read all forum posts, but don't see a fix. Any ideas? As the seat was returning to memory position it just stopped and the car would not start. Could it be a short somewhere? Totally mystified. Want to avoid towing it to a dealer if possible. No lights inside and I know of no way to check codes. It won't jump start either.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    I know it's late to reply to your questions, but did you get this resolved? and if so what did it take?

    When my 98 had it's last plenum failure, I would attempt to crank it with no luck, and after I turned my key off the gauges would jump up and down for a second or two. After pulling the plugs, I tried the starter again with the same results - no crank even with a jump. I then put a breaker bar / socket on the end of the engine to make sure it would turn over and it did. I then pulled the two starter bolts, and backed the starter out and then put it back in place and it would then crank again. I'm just guessing that the solenoid or bendix was stuck. I believe what happened was the starter may have jammed against the ring gear in the extended position, draining the battery.. but that's just a guess. :confuse: Ended up with a weakened battery that had to be replaced, which again makes me think something was shorting it out with lots of amperage ability like a starter.

    Would like to know how your's went, Joni. I'm guessing starter related issue. Your answer may help someone who reads these forums in the future. ;)
  • rolexy68rolexy68 Posts: 2
    I have an issue with my 2001 Park Ave. Cold start is sluggish and hot start is sometimes real sluggish. I have an rear seal oil leak and a tranny cooler line leak, not major ones.
    I'm thinking it may be the fuel pump? Any other thoughts, anyone had similar issues with the 3800 engine.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    At first by "sluggist" I thought you might mean the cranking speed of the starter. But you suggested fuel pump, so I infer it may be cranking but not firing quickly.

    Check the FPR (fuel pressure regulator). It looks like a top hot with the fuel line coming into it and it sits on the fuel rail on the front of the motor. Another line goes to the front of the throttle body; it's a vacuum line. Pull off the vacuum line at the FPR and see if there's liquid fuel in it. There shouldn't be. The FPR still could be defective.

    Also try turning the key to ON without cranking after the car sits overnight. Then to OFF and back to ON for a few seconds. You'll hear the fuel pump run for about 2 seconds and turn off. That's what it's supposesd to do to prime the pressure if there's been a drop in the line pressure while standing. Do that a total of 3 times. On the third time crank the motor and see if it starts quicker. That could indicate the pressure valve that doesn't let fuel back into tank is leaking and draining the pressure.

    Unless the tank has been run low on fuel a lot, below quarter regularly, the chances of a pump failure as low.

    Report back with any observations you make for me.
  • rolexy68rolexy68 Posts: 2
    I tried that and it does seem to start quicker. I wonder, is it fairly simple to change the FPR myself or is it a simple, cheap fix.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,795
    The multiple key turns before starting just pumps up the pressure in the line from the tank. I do not know if the FPR is involved in that. It could be deterioration in the pressure holding valve on the fuel pump in the tank that retains fuel pressure in the line after it's turned off.

    The FPR does sometimes get replaced even if it's not leaking fuel into the vacuum line controlling it. But I'd want to know it's bad before doing that. It can be replaced at home if you have some mechanical skills.
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