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Buick Park Avenue Maintenance & Repair

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  • jt3219jt3219 Posts: 1
    My sisters 98 Park Ave gas and temp gauge not working on her insturment panel. Readout for odometer, trip meter, gallons left are fine. Anyone have any ideas?
  • aaj73aaj73 Posts: 2
    Hi everyone, I would like to ask about my hvac programmer issue. When I first got this car about three years ago, the owner had wired the blower motor into the parklamps, which in turn shorted out the power module. I replaced the module as well as the programmer, which I took from a 92 pa.This caused my climate controls to work right I.E. turning the blower motor on and off. I replaced the a/c compressor also cause the old one was cracked and leaking. When I went to recharge the system in accordance to the label affixed to the drier, the clutch on the compressor would only engage for about one to three seconds. The only code that I was able to retrieve from the ALDL link by jumping the A, B terminals indicated a low circuit at pressure switch, or low charge. While I was adding the freon the popoff valve at the compressor vented. I,m not sure if I need a new cycling switch, but at another site someone suggested replacing the expansion valve, any input would be greatly appreciated. This is by far the best forum site I've yet seen in relation to the info and attitudes of its participants, thank you. AAJ73
  • aaj73aaj73 Posts: 2
    Hi, I also wanted to ask anyone if they know how to get the trouble codes from a early model programmer on a 91 pa.Thanks.
  • What are the plastic tracks under the powers seat ? How can I get them to retract with the seat.
  • I have had this problem on my 98 park Ave when I bought it 1.5 years ago with the fuel gauge. I have also looked at other late 90's Parks with similar gauge issues. It is not uncommon.

    For me the needle on the gauge was below the "0" (or far left position of the gauge). I tried a few ways on the Web to fix it with little luck including a strong magnet. The way I fixed it was to partially disassemble the dash to get to the instrument cluster. I am NOT a mechanic but will try things with a $3.6K purchase price.

    I started dis assembly by pulling (by hand) on the wood trim on the dash to remove it (it popped off easily and exposed bolts to get to cluster) and went from there removing bolts/ screws as needed. When I got to the instrument cluster, I removed the clear plastic covering (Can't remember a few screws or bolts did it). Now I had access of the instrument cluster (which was still mounted in the dash).

    I moved with one of my fingers the gauge needle that was stuck counter clockwise to be to the zero "0" and it was and has remained fixed for 9 months.

    If you are not comfortable with this a mechanic should be able to do it easily since I am not a mechanic but like cars since a kid.

    Took me about 25 min start-to-finish and took a variety of small-sized (metric I believe) sockets.

    I assume all analog (circular) gauges can be fixed by this method.

    best
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    I believe some people have moved the needle back to position by using a magnet. I recall they said it had to be the right strength to be able to do that.

    I also recall people drilling a small hole in the plastic and using a paperclip bent properly pushed through the hole to mechanically move the needle back to position.
  • Recently my buick park ave had broke down... i had altenator tested...came back good...had battary tested...came back good...had starter tested...bad...so had it rebuilt...put starter back on car...jump started it due to dead battary..it started fine after allowing to charge..... it has now been bout 3 hours... i went back out to my car tried to start it and it makes the same noise as before... the batt was dead n makes a clickin noise...like its tryin but just dont have the power to get goin... my battary is only 1 yr n bout 3 months old... i dont know what to do next... these problems came out of nowhere.. no signs or symptoms...jus stopped starting one day....if u can help me please respond...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    Batteries go bad. Cells can be bad. Posts can be cracked. New doesn't mean okay.

    Connections at batteries can corrode--check between the red positive cables if there is more than one.

    Did you run engine long enough to charge battery? Did you drive it an hour at least? Are you sure the alternator is charging? Running on a low battery you should be getting 15.5+ volts charging with a good voltmeter check at the battery terminals.

    I'd suggest having the battery charged--I believe Advance Auto Parts used to charge batteries for free as part of testing them. If the battery is bad, of course they'd like for you to buy one of theirs. They have good batteries and so do other stores.

    You may have a drain on the battery. A light staying on. The automatic blower fan module turning on even when the key is off keeping the heater fan running. And I believe on your car the compressor for the load-leveling rear struts can turn on when the key is off. The starter may have a drain in the solenoid since it was rebuilt you may have the same starter.

    The alternator can cause a drain.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Lot of good suggestions. One more, are the battery cables good and secure - both where grounded to engine and hot cable to starter? If you were jump starting in a typical style - hot cable to hot pole on your battery, and neg cable to block on your car, you could be bypassing your ground cable, and this wouldn't tell you if the cable is working properly.

    And you'd want to know that the person who tested your battery tested it with a load tester, not just a volt meter. It could show 12.5VDC with a meter, but when under load (such as turning a starter) it could drop to 10 volts or less.

    Definitely start your diagnosing by making sure the battery is well charged. Did you mean you left it running or charging for 3 hours? Or after it started, you turned it off and retried 3 hours later?

    I also agree with the age of battery isn't always a reliable indicator that it is good. I wish that were the case. But I've had some last 7 years, and others barely 1 year.

    Hope you already have it figured out by the time you read this, and can tell us what you found.

    If you know the battery is fully charged, (either by a battery charger or a long drive while you know the alternator is charging by showing 13.5-14.5V measured at the battery), and it's tested good by a load tester, and it still goes dead, then you will need to consider there may be a drain and we can go from there with more suggestions.
  • patnjoepatnjoe Posts: 4
    edited November 2010
    I had the same exact car (91 Ultra). These cars are notorious for getting corrosion between the two red cables at the battery, and you can't see it. I solved this problem PERMANENTLY by doing the following. Follow these instructions to the "T": Remove the + side battery bolt (8mm). Be sure to cover all adjacent areas with a big rag to prevent your tool from touching anything metal. Pull back both red plastic boots to fully expose the copper ring terminations (lugs).

    Using a WIRE brush scrub the daylights out of those lugs (all sides) using Permatex Battery Cleaner until they are very clean. It comes in a blue 5.75 ounce spray can, follow their instructions exactly. Dry off well. Inspect the lead donut spacer that goes between the 2 copper lugs. It is probably the original donut, and is probably flat and corroded. You may have a hard time finding this, go to a good alternator shop.

    Clean out the female threads on the battery with a good battery terminal brush. Buy Permatex Battery Protectant (same type can, purple spray). It is expensive, about $8 per can, but in working on cars for 40+ years I have never seen anything like this stuff, and have been using it for 15+ years.

    Buy TWO NEW battery bolts, they do wear out, especially the + side. HEAVILY spray all sides of both copper lugs, the battery female, and the lead donut during re-installation of all parts with the protectant stuff. The bolt does not have to be super tight because it's new, make it snug, it will bite well. After everything is re-assembled, spray everything again, soak it down good with the spray. Do the same thing to the negative side.

    You will NEVER have battery corrosion again, this stuff is fantastic. Note: if your battery terminals are dirty, you could have a good battery, good alternator, good everything, but the full charge will never get to the battery. It could start but then 5 miles down the road the engine will stall because the main computer that controls everything needs a certain voltage level, or it will shut off the car. Jumping or charging the battery in the car will not get past the corrosion.

    Also note that your welded-in battery tray will still corrode due to battery off-gassing. I have solutions to this if you need it. After doing all this, the car still stalls or won't start, you may have a drain. But the battery terminal cleaning MUST be the first step. Hope this helps, please let me know how you make out.

    Regards, Joe

    One final afterthought. I had a standard Sears Die Hard battery that lasted over 9 years in this car using this process, and I never had to clean the terminals twice. After doing this the first time, after several years I took the whole thing apart to inspect, and there was NO corrosion whatsoever. I did re-spray everything during re-assembly, but never inspected it again after that. Incredible stuff.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    Agree, of course. It's going to be troubleshooting to find the problem.

    However, we dont' know if the motor ran long enough and if it was charging the battery. How long does a car need to idle to get the battery charged up part way to reliable for the next start? An hour?

    But, a drain is most likely. I thought the name of the poster is familiar. He had a drain problem earlier with a CD player that was installed by a previous owner.

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef0b1ad/312#MSG312

    It becomes complicated with some of these aftermarkets if wired in wrong or with memories that are not wired right.

    I would suggest to the poster to tap on the solenoid on the starter gently with a hammer while someone turns the key to crank. He might practice in advance. I suspect the starter because it was rebuilt.

    I also suspect the battery. And the positive posts are primary to be checked as the next poster described.
  • Um... where to begin, well, when this issue started i had alt, and batt tested at auto zone, they fully charged over-night, and tested it again. still came back good. i dont know what kind of tester they used. i just know it came back good. After all that was tested i took starter in to have it rebuilt, they replaced the solenoid and something else. sorry i am a woman i dont remember all these names and things. but i am doing the best i can, beleive me. anyways, since starter was rebuilt, we jumped it after re-installing the starter. i left the car running for about 20 mins n then took it for a ride for about 10 mins. i left car off for about 2 hours and was right back to dead. i once again jumped it and took it for a long ride and it seems to be holding charge now but i also disconnect the batt everytime i get out of car. my rear load thingy is disconnected because it does stay on when car is off. i had this problem awhile ago and said screw it i am just un-hookin it. i am goiung to try the cleaning suggestion above in hopes that will help. i also thought it was my cd player too. but i have had this cd player in for over a year n never had an issue with it so i am doubting that.. except for the fact this cd player was in an auto accident a year ago, thinkin maybe a wire is lose or a short somewhere. i have no idea but i honesty think there is a key-off drain. not sure where or how but thats what many people have suggested so far. i have not had a isues since un-doing the batt after driving and its cold here in illinois.. figured if batt was bad then the cold would kill it too... but it hasnt. well, i'm going to try the cleaning and have batt re-tested the right way or what not... n then go from there.. thank u all for the help i really really do appreciate it.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    edited November 2010
    Hello again karmaboo,

    Sounds like you're doing everything right so far. If they charged it overnight and then tested, it sounds like they probably did a load test. And since you've found out that it doesn't drain when disconnected, you're on the right track. Something is getting grounded somewhere.

    It does get a bit trickier to find the component that is draining your battery. Sometimes it can confuse even experienced mechanics.

    I hope that cleaning up all the cable connections fixes it for you, but the fact that it doesn't drain when disconnected doesn't really sound like the earlier problem posted by patnjoe. That sounds like his problem was the battery wasn't being recharged. I wouldn't think that corrosion on one set of cables would cause a battery drain. Your battery is being discharged.

    If you are unbolting the battery cable every night, you will probably have other problems sooner or later, such as wearing out the threads on the battery or the bolt.

    This isn't the final solution, but until you find the parasitic drain, you may want to invest in a battery quick disconnect. I'm not sure if you have top or side post battery, but you can find disconnect switches at Walmart or any of your local autoparts stores such as these:

    knife switch side term disconnect

    thumb wheel side post disconnect

    thumb wheel top post disconnect

    You also may want to search for " parasitic battery drain ", there are a couple good sites that have illustrations and explanations.

    Some people have gone as far as running a battery cut off switch inside the car. Not a great solution, but works for some hunting trucks that don't get driven often. :)

    Last thought, to eliminate the radio as being the source of the battery drain, you could 1) pull the radio and drive it a couple days, or 2) pull any fuses that feed the radio. I'm not sure how the radio was wired when installed. They may have one wire getting power only when key is on, and another getting power full time (key off) to maintain radio memory.

    If the radio isn't the source, you can test for drain with a meter (according to those sites you're gonna find, and assuming you have a multimeter) Or you could always pull half the fuses and see if it happens, and then replace and pull the other half, etc. and narrow down the fuses. This would take a while to narrow it down, but it is one of the few things you can do without the proper diagnostic tools.

    Hope you get it! ;)
  • karmabookarmaboo Posts: 9
    edited November 2010
    Yesterday, when i was about to shut car off n disconnect batt...i pushed the off button for the heater... now, the heater kept blowin n even after i turned car off it stayed on...we disconnected the batt n did what we had to do... returned bout n hour later hooked up batt n the heater came right on n would not go off...unless we disconnect batt... we did put a shut off on batt so now i jus twist lil knob a little....all my gages read fine but now i would like to know what to do about this heater issue... i already think heater core was goin out... due to smokey mist or something that comes from dash vent sometimes while starting the car... this car has so many issues but engine is GOOD n car its self is too... jus sat 4 awhile n needs some TLC!!! pls any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    That's the blower control module. It replaces the resistors in older car types. It's a power transistor on a small circuit board. The circuit board, like the resistor strips of old, sticks down into the air stream in the heater duct. You locate it by following the power wires from the blower motor.

    I am assuming your model has the blower motor on the firewall and the module above it. Otherwise they are inside the car.

    If access is too tight to get to the BCM, the Maxifuse Center is held in by two screws and can be pushed up some with the slack in the wires to it and that gives you room.

    What is the mist like? Is it moisture from the AC running and condensing water in the AC case. Then when you start in the morning the moist air hits the cool windshield and condenses? Unless you use the VENT setting, the AC compressor runs down to 50 or 45 degrees. So it may be collecting moisture even though the ambient air is comfortable already.

    Or does it have the sickly sweet smell of coolant, that drips from the heater core and stays because there's no drain there? If you have a coolant seep, the GM recommended pellets can be put into the radiator. Crush them first and open radiator when car has cooled. Use a short plastic tube to siphon off a couple quarts then run car til thermostat should open. Dump in powder and drive to thoroughly mix throughout the system. The GM pellets are a ground organic material and seals small seeps where it tries to go through. They recommend 5 pellets on a clean system. I put in two or three after doing my drain, rinse, drain, three times which takes out the old coolant with its ground almond shells or whatever it is made of. You might seal the heater core with that without plugging it.

    It is possible the "smokey" mist is from the blower control module board overheating. It also could be from the brushes on the motor.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    edited November 2010
    Module is $138.79 rockauto.com plus shipping - 5% discount for using a number in the Where did you hear about us box, 43368333566713
    1572530 is the Delco part number

    Compatible blower control modules if try to use previously owned:

    UICK ELECTRA 1986
    BUICK ELECTRA 300 1985
    BUICK ELECTRA ESTATE WAGON 1989
    BUICK ELECTRA LIMITED (1987 - 1990)
    BUICK ELECTRA PARK AVENUE (1985 - 1990)
    BUICK ELECTRA PARK AVENUE ULTRA 1990
    BUICK ELECTRA T-TYPE (1985 - 1990)
    BUICK ELECTRA ULTRA 1989
    BUICK LESABRE (1987 - 1991)
    BUICK LESABRE CUSTOM (1986 - 1991)
    BUICK LESABRE ESTATE WAGON (1989 - 1990)
    BUICK LESABRE LIMITED (1986 - 1991)
    BUICK PARK AVENUE (1991 - 1993)
    BUICK PARK AVENUE ULTRA (1991 - 1993)
    BUICK REATTA (1988 - 1991)
    BUICK RIVIERA (1986 - 1991)
    BUICK RIVIERA T-TYPE 1986
    CADILLAC ALLANTE (1987 - 1991)
    CADILLAC DEVILLE (1985 - 1993)
    CADILLAC DEVILLE TOURING (1991 - 1993)
    CADILLAC ELDORADO (1986 - 1991)
    CADILLAC FLEETWOOD (1985 - 1992)
    CADILLAC FLEETWOOD 60 SPECIAL (1987 - 1992)
    CADILLAC FLEETWOOD 75 1986
    CADILLAC FLEETWOOD DELEGANCE (1987 - 1988)
    CADILLAC SEVILLE (1986 - 1991)
    CADILLAC SEVILLE STS (1990 - 1991)
    CHEVROLET CORVETTE (1986 - 1989)
    OLDSMOBILE 98 REGENCY (1986 - 1993)
    OLDSMOBILE 98 REGENCY BROUGHAM (1986 - 1990)
    OLDSMOBILE 98 REGENCY ELITE (1991 - 1993)
    OLDSMOBILE 98 REGENCY TOURING (1988 - 1993)
    OLDSMOBILE DELTA 88 ROYALE (1986 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE DELTA 88 ROYALE BROUGHAM (1986 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE TORONADO (1987 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE TORONADO BROUGHAM (1986 - 1987)
    OLDSMOBILE TORONADO TROFEO (1988 - 1991)
    PONTIAC BONNEVILLE LE (1988 - 1991)
    PONTIAC BONNEVILLE SE (1988 - 1991)
    PONTIAC BONNEVILLE SSE (1988 - 1991)
  • Anyone know for sure the accepted parasitic drain for a 2005 park ave?? Mine is right at 50 milliamps which some say is OK but others say that is high. Cannot find specs to verify. Thanks for any help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    Not a linkable figure, but reading other H-body forums for Bonneville and Buicks I recall the number 30 milliamperes ( 0.030 amp) as the acceptable number. I don't know if I have it in any of the factory service manuals here either.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,634
    edited January 2011
    That should be okay. I think up to around 400 milliamps is workable but the "rule of thumb" is around 50, yeah.

    MODERATOR

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    I looked up in one of my factory service manuals to see what GM diagnostics said about parasitic drain:

    Take the reserve capacity of the battery, divide by 4, and the drain should not exceed that number of milliamperes.

    For my 03 leSabre, 115 minutes divided by 4 = 29. So 29 milliamperes is the expected maximum.

    This applies to H-body GMs from their Helminc.com factory service manual.
  • jobug6jobug6 Posts: 6
    Hi, I was reading the posts about the Michigan lady's battery draining. I am having the same problem. I have to drive my car every day or the battery is drained. And it is a new(er) battery. I've had it tested and it is good, the alternator is good. Earlier I had to remove the fuse for the load leveler, but then my son replaced the computer module on the car and reconnected the fuse to the load leveler. When the battery started dying (it's cold here now - 17 degrees), the first thing we did was remove the fuse. Also, if one door is not closed, the battery will die overnight. The next thing, we removed the trunk light. I have not tried letting the car sit for a day and night lately to see if the load leveler or trunk light was the problem, but would like to know what types of things drain batteries. Thanks. CJ
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    I learned in discussions that some of the earlier 92-99 H-bodies have a connection for the load-leveler pump that bypasses the shutdown for battery protection and bypasses the OFF in the ignition switch.

    If the rear struts and associated tubes are seeping air, the lowering level activates the pump to pump it back up. When you remove the fuse for that circuit, does the car level lower over hours when there is no pumping back up the pressure to restore height?

    Also, the BCM (blower control module) for the blower motor on the systems with automatic temp control can fail in a mode where the blower motor stays on even with the ignition key OFF. Other failures are to quit working or give erratic speed controls. So be alert for that also.

    The interior lights should be controlled by a module, body control?, that turns off the lights after about 10 minutes. Do all Park Aves for 1994 have that feature? Or is yours a Custom model that didn't have that in the package or the options?
  • lorlynlorlyn Posts: 1
    I took my car in on December 30, 2010. I received it back 6 days later and it was not working right. I took it back before I drove home with it and they kept it another 2 days and said everything was working fine. I drove it one day and it started to do the same thing - driving itself, revving the engine whether in drive or parked, speedometer stopped working, would have my foot on the brake pedal and you could feel it wanting to go. I had never had this problem before until after I got it back from this new repair shop I took it to. I called them and they came and got it the next morning and I have not had the car back and they tell us now it is in need of a computer and so he is searching for a used one to save me money, but it is going on the 4th week since I took my car into this shop. I have never had such problems getting my car fixed, I am questioning if this is even what is wrong with it. I took it in originally because it would die on me before I would get out of the yard at home and/or die at an intersection while waiting for the light to turn red and then it would act as if it wanted to cut out when I would drive it to town. They replaced the spark plug wires and they looked like they needed replacing, as well as the ignition coil and said it was fixed, but there was still a code that kept coming up that they could find nothing for the cause of that code and told me it was nothing to worry about it was still driveable. Well, it was not driveable and my brother-in-law said that there should never be a code left - something is still wrong with it. I wanted to take it somewhere else, but my father insisted it needed to be returned to this place for them to make it right. My life is in limbo because I have no idea how much it is going to cost me when I do finally get the call to come pick it up. I wish I had taken it somewhere else now. Has anyone ever experienced this problem and are they finally onto the right thing about the computer being replaced or could it be something else? They did not tell me the code it was still showing them. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you! Lori
  • My fiancé just bought a 1990 Buick either Electra Park Ave. or a Park Ave. (we're not entirely sure). The problem that we are having seems to be fuel regulation issues. The car drives really rough, especially when you are stopped or changing gears. When changing gears you have to be pressing on the gas as well as the brake so that the car doesn't stall. We were told, by the previous owner, that all it needed was a MAP sensor. But every autoparts store we go to tells us that the car doesn't require one. Any ideas on what's wrong with the car?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,098
    Did the person suggest MAF sensor? Those gave troubles at times. Tap on it while the engine is running with a screwdriver handle and if the vibration causes a bobble in the engine, yours may be faulty. Try removing the connector and starting the motor to see if that helps the idle.

    Replace with a Delco brand. Off market MAFs have given lots of troubles. They can be cleaned with sprays if they are just dirty. Do not touch the wires inside them that the air cools to measure air flow.

    You could need to clean the EGR which might not be closing all the way. It affects the air flow and balance if it doesn't stall the motor.

    How is the fuel pressure from the fuel pump in the tank?
  • Your going to think I'm crazy but, have you checked the coolant level. I've been fighting the problem with my 90 P/A stalling at intersections for 2 years. I changed the coolant sensor because it seemed to act worse in different temperatures. Now I'm noticing the heat coming and going so I decided to dump in some coolant and sure enough it took 3 quarts and still isn't full. The coolant sensor is on top of the engine probably at the highest point in the cooling system. A great place for an air pocket.
  • We have a 1995 PA that the auto theft system keeps going off for no reason. We bought it used, so we do not have the owners manual on how to deactivate it. We would hit the horn until it went off, but now the horn is stuck and won't go off. Does anyone have an idea of what the dealer is going to charge to fix this as our mechanic said it's more involved than being able to just cut a wire, since we don't care about having a theft system anyway.
  • heironeousheironeous Posts: 1
    edited June 2011
    I'm having the same problem.. with a presidential edition 96 buick park ave.... whatever that means..... I see that no one has answered this question.. it seems that no where on the internet can anyone get a real solution to this problem. What's the dang hold up??

    With my car, I replaced the lift actuator for the trunk and afterwards the int. lights will not go off like they're supposed to. After the 10 min. limit they go off but when I shut the door, click lock on the key fob, and put the car in drive.... they stay on. When you unlock on the key fob it's supposed to turn on all the lights outside for a brief time... only the regular headlights come on (not the parking lights) and they only stay on for a few seconds.. inside there's a panel above my mirror on the roof that has several labels for each light that it monitors... my tail lights one is lit up yet both of my tail lights work fine. The slide controls that deal with the twilight and brightness/int constant on... are all set to normal positions.. but this stuff is still having issues. Can ANYONE please answer this?
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