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Buick LeSabre Starting/Stalling Problems



  • sagemoonsagemoon Posts: 2
    edited December 2012
    Hello, I have a 1993 Buick Lesabre 90th anniversary edition. I got it 4 years ago and had about 55,000miles on it. It now has about 115,000. It started several months ago where in the morning it will start fine and then shortly thereafter driving between 25-30 mph in would just die. Hwys it does not do this. Sometimes it would restart right away but most of the time I would have to pull over and let it sit for 10-15 minutes and them it would start. I would also turn the ignition forward and hold for about 5 seconds and then off and I would do this on and off during the 10-15 minute wait. It would then start and drive fine. It did this maybe once or twice a month. Just recently, the check engine light came on and it wants to die when ever the gas is off, slowing down to stop. Put it in neutral and will restart right away but keeps wanting to die. It also cuts out a lot when going up hills and when wanting to accelerate fast. Also, the gas petal was sticking just a little bit and when put in park the engine would rev up. Turned car off and back on and it stopped. any suggestions? thxs
  • Mine was having similar problems.... Die while driving. Sometime I could restart it right away (while coasting in neutral) and sometimes I had to pull over and let it sit for 15 minutes. It turned out to be the crank sensor, or at least the wiring going to it. I found that if I jiggled the wires leading to it, it would restart immediately. I think it cost me $150 for a mechanic to change the sensor. No problem since. Good luck!!
  • thanks, I put in a new mass air flow sensor today and drove the buick around the block, I could tell it was acting happier, accelerated good and did not cut out going up a 45 degree slope. Went up a little more steeper slope and very lightly tried to cut out plus was not trying to die every time I slowed down. However, my check engine light is still on! Maybe the next thing is the crank sensor, looks really involved to try and change myself though.
  • Well, I had a new starter put on my vehicle thinking that was the problem as to why it would not start. So, it started about 3 or 4 times since the new starter has been put, but currently is not starting. Also, when I started it for the 1st time since putting the new starter on, the engine was a little shaky. After, I drove it a few miles and turned it off and on, the shaking gradually stopped. So, then I ran a few errands and the car was fine, but after running my last errand the car would not start. That has been 2 days ago and the car still will not start. Could somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?
  • I'd like to know if the original wiper arms on the 1993 LeSabre were the hook or peg style. I purchased a pair of Bosch Evolution #4822 wipers which are "supposed" to fit the 1993; but they don't. The hole isn't big enough to fit over the peg. When I phoned Bosch they asked if they were the original arms. I can't answer that because I bought the car used about 3 years ago. The Bosch tech was surprised I didn't have the hook style. When I last had wipers put on, the mechanic had problems getting a size with a hole that would fit the peg. So I'm wondering if these are the original arms. Thanks for any help you can give me!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    There are many things that could be the problem. Diagnosis may help find it. Are you able to do things to diagnose?

    You are saying it will not start. Is that it will not crank or that it will crank but won't fire up and run normally?

    If it won't crank, do you have more than one key? Try the other key to see if the security system likes that key.

    If it cranks and won't start, does the exhaust smell like gasoline? Hold the accelerator to the floor while cranking to clear flooding. Then pull of the vacuum tube on the FPR (fuel pressure regulator) and see if you smell raw gasoline in the tube. If the car does start, pull off the tube and see if gasoline comes out the opening of the FPR after 2 minutes of idling or more? There should be none.

    If it cranks and it won't start, take off one of the front spark plug wires and lay it against metal. Have someone crank the car. The spark should jump the 1/4 inch gap with a blue spark. If there's no spark, then you have narrowed down your problem to a bad spark control module (ignition control module under the three coils) or the crankshaft position sensor (CPS) which is one thing that triggers the spark.

    Is there full fuel pressure? Weak fuel pump? Or a badly plugged fuel filter? One test would be to spray ether or carburetor cleaner into the throttle body as someone cranks. You must take off the rubber tube leading up to it from the air filter assembly.

    Another thing is the MAF. The test is to take off the leads to the MAF and see if the car starts.

    If it runs really badly, it could be spark plug wires (test by spraying water with a bit of salt in it over the wires while car's running to see if you get sparking). Or it could be the EGR, and that can be tested by tapping on it with something heavy like the end of a screwdriver to make sure the opening is closed off by the plunger.

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  • bildabonebildabone Posts: 4
    while driving my car stalls.IT will not stsrt.I changed the fuel filter ,put a new mass air flow sensor,and a fuel pressure regulater.It started right up and ran fine.I turned it off and it till not start. I checked the fuel pump with a fuel pressure gage and it read 43 psi.Like its supposed to . I dont know what else to do.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    Does it start after it has sat for a time, say 30 minutes? If it cuts off like a switchw as cut off but then restarts after a time, the crankshaft position sensor is a likely culprit. You can try moving the wires to it and squeezing the connector for those wires to see if it's a connection or a break in a wire to the crankshaft position sensor--with the car off, of course.

    If it stalls, you can try throwing cold water on the crankshaft position sensor to cool it. That sometimes speeds the restart.

    The other possiblility with an electrical shut off like that is the spark control module connections or the module itself under the coils.

    To test for the crank or spark control, remove one of the spark plug wires on the front and lay it on engine metal. With someone cranking the car, there should be spark to ground. No spark means you're not getting that.

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  • bildabonebildabone Posts: 4
    i forgot to mention that when I put some starting fluid in the intake it fires up for a second
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    edited May 2013
    That's a good test and helps.

    What year is your car?

    So, you need to test the injectors to see if they are firing. People say you can use the two leads of a 194 bulb and put those into the connector for an injector while cranking and you should be able to see the very short flash as the 12 volt pulse hits. Or use a voltmeter.

    From what I read, if you have no pulse to the injectors that can be related to the crankshaft position sensor as well. Or there is a fuse, according to this article, on the passenger side A pillar below the dash where there are relays and a few fuses. There is a 10 amp fuse on that inside board on my 98 for the injectors power. The injectors are fired by grounding through the PCM. I've been assuming your car is a 92-99 model. If you have a 94-95, the PCMs occasionally have more problems than other years, but those often involve rough running or barely running.

    Here's a long 5 page discussion of a problem that might include diagnotic steps that will help you. Good luck with this one.

    This message has been approved.

  • bildabonebildabone Posts: 4
    Before I go any further .Please tell me if this is possible,with all of the injecters out but connected to the fuel rail,if I crank the engine will the injecters fire off and release fuel,ifr everything is working correctly.And by the way its a 94 lasabre
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    edited May 2013
    The injector is grounded through the black wire to the connector and gets power on the other line, so it should spray fuel: doesn't need to be connected to engine. But I don't know if that's safe, because it will be spraying out fuel in a vapor in a very explosive form if it finds a weak plug wire, etc.

    But since the car runs with ether, you're doing the right kind of troubleshooting.

    If you have a voltmeter try testing for a pulse when the PCM grounds each injector while cranking. Did you read the link I put in the prevous post? Is your injector fuse okay providing power? Note that you have a 94 with the higher failure rate on PCMs.

    BTW, did you disconnect the MAF sensor to see if the car would run with it off putting the car back in a different mode? MAF sensors get replaced because they are easy to blame. I've never had to do one on 4 cars that have had one even with high mileage. I read more about problems with replacement brands in Bonneville and leSabre discussions. AND disconnecting it and the car working in a limp mode does not mean the MAF is bad. It's only a diagnostic step. A longtime shade tree mechanic up the road from me worked on another neighbor's Monte Carlo, 95, and symptoms of running rough and occasionally dying. Disconnected MAF, ran. Replaced. Still had problem. Disconnected MAP. Ran. Replaced. Still had problem. Took to transmission buddy who knows diagnostics and had engine tools, and it turned out to be something else. But they had put hundreds into the MAF and MAP sensor on the 24-valve engine.

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  • bildabonebildabone Posts: 4
    edited May 2013
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    edited May 2013
    The PCM is the computer controlling the powertrain.
    It's under the air intake or inside the air intake in the engine compartment.

    Or it's against the passenger side of the A-pillar inside the car under the dash.

    Without rereading all your posts, remember if the crankshaft position sensor is not sending certain pulses, there will be no spark and no injector pulses.

    I'm beyond my troubleshooting ability here, so I may not be able to be of help. But are you getting spark on a plug when you lay the wire against metal on the engine or you lay an old spark plug with the plug wire attached against metal, do you get the spark across the gap?

    When you say your car runs if you use ether, that would indicate it's getting at least a weak spark.

    I gave you one test for pulses to an injector using a 194 bulb wires plugged into the injector lead.

    I forget what year your car is now... aaah, 1994.

    The problem with just replacing parts, is you can spend up a lot of money with guessing. And it requires a test device to really see what's not happening that is giving you the problem.

    Does someone you know have a 94 where you can switch the PCM to see if yours is the trouble?

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  • Kirstie@EdmundsKirstie@Edmunds Posts: 10,676
    It's awesome, patient, and comprehensive responses like this series that got you the "Spotlight Member" nomination & win.
    Thanks for all you do to help!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,713
    On the injectors with the key ON, there should be voltage to each of the pink w/black stripe wires. You will need a cheap voltmeter to verify that. The PCM will ground each of those to fire the injector. The PCM may be defective in the circuit for the ground for those (called quaddrivers If I Recall Correctly). Or the process that tells the PCM when to fire which cylinder may not be working right.

    When the PCM senses the engine starting to crank, all injectors are fired in unison one time to put some fuel into the intakes to be ready for the first firing cycle.

    This is getting beyond my ability level. I think it needs some circuit checking and probably needs a TECH II scanner that dealers use and some shops have equivalents for.

    This message has been approved.

  • tndayotndayo Posts: 4
    This recently just started happening.
    I have a 1991 Buick LaSabre with 76k miles. The car turns on just fine, it drives just fine, but when the car becomes idle, as in I stop at a red light or stop sign, the engine just cuts off. I took it to an autoshop and they told me it was the Idle Air Control Valve so I got it replaced. Drove it down the street and it stalled again. The mechanic did a power check on the valve and says there's some electrical issues short circuiting the valve. They put the old valve back in and I took it to another auto shop because they don't deal with electrical issues. The second auto shop told me just by looking at the engine that it seems like there's a vacuum leak but didn't know where. I called the first auto shop and they didn't believe that it was a vacuum leak. Has anyone else had this issue or may know what the issue is? I'm not that savvy with cars.

    The engine doesn't cut off every time when I'm idle. When it doesn't cut off, it sounds like the car is struggling to stay running, like you can hear the engine drop then go back to normal. I have changed the oil, refilled the coolant, and changed the car battery. My next step is to get the car tuned up because it has been a while. Another thing I noticed is that my temp light would flicker whenever I have the AC on.. I don't know if they're related or not. At first I thought the car was overheating but it doesn't seem like it since my radiator fan is working and its taking the coolant. Anywho, does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
  • I am currently going thru the same problem.The guys here have given plenty of suggestions and they have been really helpful.For me the mass air flo senser ,fuel pressure regulater the crank shaft position senser no doubt were all excellent suggestions,but didnt solve the problem.the fuel punp puts out 43lbs at time of initial start up d rops to 35 while running.I dont know if thats sufficient .I'm frustrated and now the gas tank is out and I'm changing the pump.I'll be pissed if it still doesn't solve my problem
  • sandismomsandismom Posts: 1
    I also own a 1997 Buick Lesabre & have had very similar problems. I would be driving 35 mph and it would just cut off. when it first started doing this last year, after sitting for 5 minutes it would crank back up. It started happening more frequent and then wouldn't start back up. I had to call aaa to come tow me. 2 different mechanics could not find the problems. then the car would act like it wasn't getting gas & then would cut off. the steering wheel wouldn't turn for me.I eventually parked it, not knowing who to take it to. I got tired of donating money to mechanics. from what I hear on this discussion board it is a major problem with buicks. was there ever a recall on anything pertaining to this "problem"
  • bobbydingbobbyding Posts: 7
    Yep. My Buick would just die while driving and would typically restart within a few minutes. In my case it was the crank sensor. My mechanic did not find this issue, it was predicted here on this forum and I had to specifically request it be replaced. I don't remember how much it cost but it wasn't more than $200 (maybe around $150) for the time and parts. Of course it may or may not be what's wrong with yours, but it may be worth a try.

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