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Buick LeSabre Starting/Stalling Problems



  • la_chelela_chele Posts: 3

    Good Day All,

    I own a 1997 Buick Lesabre Limited, "Tim-Bob" Recently it has been powering off while driving. I have about 148,000+ miles on it. Had a complete tune-up, oil change, air filter change, and tire rotation about 2 months ago. I let it warm up a good 5 minutes or so before heading out.

    My husband took the car to a reputable mechanic who charged us $300 for one small part (and I don't know which one it is) and labor. He opened the ENTIRE panel under the steering wheel and fixed the car. A little over a week later and Tim-Bob shuts off again.

    I've done some reading & research and alot of people on this forum suggests that it's either the IAC or the Mass Air Flow Sensor. I'm willing to buy the part(s) but would like some advice before I proceed.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    edited July 2014

    @la_chele said:
    Recently it has been powering off while driving.

    How does it shut off? Immediately like the key was turned off? Or does it kind of misfire a few times?

    How does it restart? Immediately? Or does it have sit 15-30 minutes before it restarts?

    Any Service Engine lights come on as it shuts off?

    What part was replaced?

    Does the shutoff happen about the same length of time after you've started driving?

    For the record, it only needs 10-30 seconds warm up before driving away gently. Saves gas.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • la_chelela_chele Posts: 3

    How does it shut off: Immediately, gives no warning
    How does it re-start: Put the car in park and give the key a few cranks until it starts again
    Any service engine lights: None at all
    What part: Unknown, the mechanic didn't say and will not take my calls. I only know he opened up the entire panel under my steering wheel/steering column.
    Shutoff: Varies, sometimes immediately and sometimes after a few miles

  • I have a 1993 buick lasabre I got with 13500 miles it was mint the original owner moved away and sold it to me for the price the junk yard was giving him. so I lucked out. The car ran great til about 10 days ago it felt like when I idle the engine is rough and chocking like it wants to stall, then it did im doing 65 on the highway I let off the gas and it will stall I put it in neutral and it cranks over right away. A few times i feel it about to stall and i step on the gas so it doesn't. I hit a bump on the highway at 70 it stalled but I again put it in Neutral and it turns back over, Where do I start cause I have been told a few things alternator, fuel filter, spark plugs, wires, I am struggling financially but I don't want to stall on the highway either PLEASE CAN I GET SOME ADVICE I am very handy with a wrench so I can save money on labor for an alternator job, But when there is no engine light or any clue where do I start to fix this issue PLEASE HELP!!!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,449
    You might start by seeing if any trouble codes are stored

    How To Read the Codes on a pre 1994 GM car

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,496
    edited January 2017
    If no codes are found to give a hint as to what computer is reading as symptoms?...,

    Are the spark plug wires replacements--not the original Packard brand from the factory?

    Are spark plugs correct for the engine. Replacements by ACDelco work best. Some people had
    trouble with various other brands solved by replacements.

    Are you losing any coolant. It was the Series II engine where coolant seeping into intake
    was a problem, but it's possible you might have intake gaskets letting coolant through.

    Most of the symptoms sound like EGR valve is a possibility. Do not immerse in solvent
    and don't let solvent run up the shaft into the electrical mechanical parts in the top. But
    clean so that everything seals off at bottom with no coking and the shaft moves easily.
    I used gasoline outdoors as solvent and a soft bristle brush. There is a gasket but gentle
    removal didn't damage mine and I reused it.

    The only thing suspicious is the bump at speed causing thing to die. Do check all the connections
    for ground wires to various parts, even the little cables that run to body or fenders. Same for
    positive leads, but disconnect ground at battery to avoid arcing and damaging you wiring

    The Series II engines had trouble with the crankshaft position sensors but those usually
    didn't restart immediate and had to cool to gain magnetic strength again.

    A few Pontiac folks (same body) found quick stalls like the one at 60 were due to
    the ignition switch--not the key lock cylinder. But the actual switch body that is
    moved from contact to contact as you rotate the key. The contacts have worn and
    with vibration caused car to die with bumps. My test would be to move the wiring
    going to the steering column with the engine running and bang around a little on the
    column and the switch that sits on top of it.
    Switch is #80 in drawing.

    Credit for diagram from

    I'd also clean the MAF sensor with spray to be sure the two fine wires inside don't have
    particles stuck to them. Do not touch wires. Before cleaning, you might tap the MAF
    with a screwdriver handle to see if that changes the way the engine idles but usually
    MAF just needs cleaning.

    Look for youtube videos on the MAF cleaning.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • I have a 1990 Buick lesabre and my battery light came on so I took my battery off to charge it and when I put it bk on it won't even turn over what could the problem be?
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