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Buick Park Avenue Electrical / Lighting Problems



  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Imidazol97, that's a very nice writeup on the VATS (I think it's also called the PassKey2 system). I had a friend with a '94 BPA that failed several times while the dealer mechanic just kept soldering up and repairing the wires. I'm sure a 2000 would have the PK3 system, which as you said has the transponder device in the rubber head of the key.

    Sharmon708, the key transponder is not the same as the keyless remote.

    Unfortunately I can't offer any real help to you. I had one car a long time ago, that if you drove it for a long drive would not turn the engine over until it had cooled down a while. I always guessed that the starter was getting too hot as I thought it was by the exhaust pipe, but I can't say with authority.

    I've not heard of a NSS failure on these cars, although I've seen it on Jeep Cherokees.

    *** If you suspect this is your problem, one way you could isolate it would be to wait until it fails again and then put the transmission in neutral and try to turn it over. They will start in either neutral or park, by design. On the Cherokee NSSwitches that I've seen, the copper contacts in the area of the 'park' selection would get dirty or gummed up while the neutral was usually still in good shape. You could test them by one of two methods, either attempting to start in neutral, or pulling the relay for the starter and jumper'ing it to bypass the NSS. I'd recommend a try in neutral to keep it simple.

    If your mechanic has looked at it, I would guess he has eliminated the simple stuff like loose battery cables.

    Hope you find it soon, and please write back if you do, so that others may benefit from your experience. :D
  • The key itself for the Park Avenue does not have any visible black chips built into the neck of the key, it is just a plain key. My 2001 Regal does have such a system but is currently having no issues. All of the talk of the security system has started me to try changing to the other spare key which has hardly been used. I was thinking that perhaps the key is getting somewhat worn and my be considered a invalid key. The original auto mechanic originally suspected a problem with the security system.

    When the problem occurs, the security light is not flashing. Messing with the shifter sometimes seems to reset the problem but it is inconsistant. Removing the key and re-inserting has sometimes corrected it also. The car has 84,000 miles on it and this is the most significant problem that I have had in the 60,000 plus miles that I have owned it. So far, the car has not had the problem in a week an a half.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    Your post is titled, "2000 Buick Regal NO START." ??? :confuse: :sick:

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

  • Hello everyone,
    Here is what happened i was sitting at a stop light and it just died.. So I put it in park and tried to start it but it won't even turn over. So i thought i lost battery connection but the head lights, horn, wipers, radio, and the power seats were still working . So I checked every fuse in the fuse box under the hood. All were ok. So i checked the one located under the back seat and checked most of them and they were good. I bought a used ECM but have not got it programmed yet. I talked to a guy at my work and he said to check to see if i even have power going to the fuse box that is under the hood. My car has a lot of miles which i put a bunch on it my self and have changed a lot of things but its a solid car so it worth it. motor,trany so far . the car its self has 270,000 miles. but i want to get to 300,000 :cry:
    Thanks for your time!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    edited March 2010
    If the battery under the hood has multiple connectors on the red positive terminal, those can have corrosion between the connectors. Turn off the heater control with the key ON, then turn the key OFF and disconnect the negative and then the positives. Clean between them. Cut back the plastic covering if you need to.

    At that mileage I would guess crankshaft position sensor when it died, but when it wouldn't turn over, that indicates more. Because of the double positives, power may still go to part of the car and not others.

    However, because it died and then wouldn't even crank, that might point to the cables.

    You can test with a meter at the small terminal on the solenoid, while someone turns the key ON and CRANK to see if power is getting to the solenoid to active it and the starter.

    Be careful with live positive wires. But The real test would be to get under the car and use a jumper to see if the thing cranks when you apply power directly to the solenoid small terminal that the key actually applies power to if all the parts are working in between. Then if that doesn't work, apply power to the positive terminal on the solenoid, the big one, and expect a spark. If it cranks then, you know it's a connection or the solenoid.

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

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Hi Jon,

    You could have all your accessories work, in spite of the starter not turning the motor over as it (starter) uses a much larger draw of amps. So if you have a loose connection at the battery, that could happen, or if the battery itself has gotten weak it could cause the stall and failure to restart. Alternator working properly?

    Did you try to test the battery strength or jump start? Wiggle the battery cables and make sure they were tight?

    Next would be testing the starter.

    If both battery and starter pass tests and cables were tight, maybe a fusible link, but I'd look at a failure of the intake plenum with subsequent dump of coolant into the engine which can cause it to not turn over. That has happened to my '98.

    But I'd check the simple things first.

    Hope you set a record for high miles! I'm around 280k now, mostly original and shooting for 300k as my next goal too..

    Please let us know how it goes. :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    >! I'm around 280k now

    What have you had to do to your car for those miles?

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

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    driveline parts:
    2 intake plenums (also known as UIM / upper intake manifold , the 2nd was a redesigned unit with a metal ring around the EGR pipe water passages, and replaced the original EGR stovepipe with the included reduced diameter pipe)
    1 starter
    1 radiator
    1 oil pressure sensor ( +1 under warranty)
    1' length of plastic hard pipe which connects fuel pipe to fuel rail
    2 sets of Michelin X or X-Plus radials avg 100k miles each.

    the usual maint stuff:
    brake pads & rotors, rear bearings - hubs, valve cover gaskets, air & fuel filters, battery, shocks

    I say 'mostly orig' as A/C, engine, trans, are original (except the UIM). Keyfob & it's battery orig too.

    I try to swap oil & filter at 3 - 4000 miles
    flushed the trans fluid (but only twice... probably not as often as I should)

    I bought it in 2001 with 99988 miles. High mileage for a 3 year old car, but it had regular maint and a glove box full of receipts to prove it.

    misc repairs:
    resoldered resistors in climate control
    installed pin to stop fuel gauge from flipping needle over
    repaired connector to rear defroster
    removed stuck cassette tape from stereo causing it to display error
    took apart dash (huge job!) to replace turn-signal flasher, only to find it wasn't bad
    replaced 1 driver's window motor
    replaced 1 wiper motor

    Looks like a lot, but I don't think so for the age. IMO. ;)

    Sorry for the novel :)
  • Well i cleaned my connections today. And I confirmed that i do have power to the large positive wire going to the starter. So i took my test light and checked the fuses in the fuse box and determined that i dont have power going to several fuses. like SIR PCM IGN . And a few more . So I took loosed the fuse box and flipped it over and removed the plug on the bottle where it seemed that most of the fuses with out power were and the pins on that plug seemed Fine clean not burnt. So I think I'm going to find a used Fuse box. and might try to split my mine apart and see was going on in there .. Haven't a hard time finding a use fuse box . Anybody got one? Also I tried to find a FUSEABLE LINK on my car and no luck i figured it would be on the wire going to the fuse box but mine doesn't have on there. I'm i looking in the wrong Spot?
  • I jumped the starter and cranked over Perfect. I think the battery and starter are fine. I have done the plenum gaskets before. I had a Air leak and made the car run very Lean because the motor was not drawing the air though the intake.. Thanks Jon :sick:
  • mtremmtrem Posts: 1
    when stop at light on drive holding the brake the car kick forward like someone it me in the back and also at 70 mph rpm at 2200 suddendly go to 3000 and come down to 2200.i taught the transmission was bad i got it rebuild ant the problem still occur again i was told to change the maf air flow sensor. what to do think about this issue
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    What year car? How many miles? What kind of service has been done?

    I can think of throttle position sensor as one item to check, not replace, unless it tests as not operating with a smooth voltage change through its range.

    I could see a vacuum leak causing unevenness at idle, but I don't think it would give a big change at 70 mph.

    MAF can be cleaned with a spray chemical and a small artist's brush hairs. The wires inside the MAF are very sensitive. I would expect a MAF to give idle trouble or stalling at low speeds as the usual symptom.

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

  • scooby62scooby62 Posts: 1
    i have a 1995 p/a with 90k miles,i am on my fourth alternator in three months. i have replaced the battery and they still keep burning up after driveing for about an hour. i disconnected the neg. side on the battery and is reading 12.6 volts. i pulled all the fuses one at a time and no change in volts.
  • eserjerneserjern Posts: 1
    I have a 91 PA and for about a week after a recent engine swap, I had no problems. Now at odd intervals, when Im shifting out of park, the 60Amp "Ignition Switch" Maxi fuse under the hood will pop. This bieng a problem I have NEVER encountered before, I am completely baffeled.
  • rovehroveh Posts: 3
    Hey, I just posted a similar problem. Did you ever get a response or a fix to your smoking steering wheel. Mine is a 93 P A with about 165,000 miles. Smoked briefly a few times during a 30 mile drive to work. Any suggestions?
  • himmatisthimmatist Posts: 1
    edited August 2010
    I am new to this forum and I did check this thread hoping to find something similar. Did not, so this query!

    I recently purchased a 1997 PA with 89000 miles on it.

    1. The locks for the rear doors don't work and have to be done manually. And neither the glasses roll up & down.

    2. Two days ago, I started getting a false 'Door Ajar' indication.

    3. And all the exterior lights that used to come on briefly with a small beep from the horn whenever the car was locked/unlocked from the remote, are not coming anymore even though the car is still locking/unlocking remotely.

    4. And also, the power controls for the driver's seat (Seat forward, reverse, up & down) stopped functioning for a while yesterday, but on second try, they worked and are still working.

    What could be possibly wrong with the car? Where should I be looking to fix this myself? Are all these problems connected to each other somehow?

    Please reply, this is baffling me and I do not like the idea of predicting what will go wrong next.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    Check grounds. I think your battery is under the rear seat. Check all grounds for the battery going to different places. Check modules on the floor under the seat. I believe the rear doors and windows have a different fuse from the fronts and that's under the rear seat on a leSabre so I suspect it's under the rear on the Park Avenue.

    Do you have water in the carpet on the floor under the front seats? AC drain stopped up causing the water to go into the floor of the car? Sunroof? Drains on those on the H-body come loose in front where they go into the floor and under the car. Door water barriers come unsealed and water leaks into the car over the door sill instead of being forced to drain into the metal cavity of the door and out the openings on the bottom of the door under the rubber seal.

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

  • Purchased "96 Buick PA, 124000 miles, in 06/2010. Beautiful car. Shortly after purchase, IL(interior lights) seemed to stay on for longer then usual while driving. One night, better half looked outside, and advised me the IL were on. Car had been parked for 7-8 hrs. Spent an hour pushing buttons\, reading manual, etc. Finally gave up, and 10 mins. later lights went out.

    Took to local GM dealer, mechanic thought problem was Twilight switch, tested, OK. Suggested Latch problem, think drivers door latch most probable, as most used. Replaced door latch, no joy, put in new module, door latch started contineous clicking and module got hot. Disconnected module. Now car does not turn on IL when parked, but keyless entry not working and IL lights stay on all the time while driving.Ilegal at night in this state. So far it has cost $462.00 to find out what ISN'T CAUSING THE PROBLEM. Mechanic states he believes problem is short under the dash board, worst case senerio $975.00 to tear apart and check each wire. No garentee problem would be solved.

    Small town, went to Ford, was told only knowledgeable about Fords. Toyota, same story. No other dealerships to choose from. I am willing to spend the money if I had a garentee that problem will be solved.

    Any help and/or advise would be greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 2003 Park Ave with 80.000 mi My battery will go dead in about 24hrs, I checked all fuses & nothing showed a power draw,Can you tell me what else to look for? Theres about a 11Amp draw from battery. thanks! Al Udeen
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,621
    Are you saying you removed the fuses one-by-one and found that didn't eliminate the high drain? Did you pull all fuses? I don't know where the PA has the blocks, but my 2003 leSabre has a fuse block under the rear seat and a fuse block under the hood.

    Are you saying it's an 11 amp draw? You didn't leave out the decimal?

    My first guess would be to disconnect the alternator from the circuit and see if that's it.

    And then there's the starter. You can disconnect the positive red cable, but I'd disconnect it from the battery first and then insulate the end you took off and reconnect at the battery.

    If it's an 11 amp draw, you should be able to feel warmth in the cable going to the item with the draw--at least that's my thinking on it.

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

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    edited September 2010
    Yeah, I'd second Imidazol97's thoughts. An 11amp draw would probably kill your battery in way less than 24 hrs, if not create a fire hazard. Starter and Alternator would be good things to check out at first, just be sure to disconnect your battery before pulling the large cable on either of them.

    Sounds like you've done some testing already, have you also tried to pull the little silver circuit breaker boxes as they are usually higher amp. You may try to feel them and see if they are warm.

    If you haven't considered it yet, has anything changed or have you had any maint done on the car just before this started happening?

    As an example, I had a new exhaust put on my old truck (which I rarely drive) and the next time I tried to drive it some time later at night, I found I had no dash lights or rear running lights. I got underneath the truck and found where the muffler shop employee had attached an exhaust hanging strap to the frame with a bolt, he had shorted out a wire when he carelessly caught it under the metal strap. It would blow a fuse as soon as you turned the lights on.

    Keep us updated with what you find.
  • Somehow my mechanic got it to not draw power & I had the battery replaced. Seems OK but, That was yesterday, time will tell? Thank You Kindly! Al Udeen
  • I have a 2005 Buick Park Avenue Ultra with about 105,000 miles on it. When the temperature is above 60F, and it's dry, the power windows work normally. As soon as the temp drops below 60 or it rains (even a heavy dew can cause the problem) the windows operate incredibly slowly. It can take 30 seconds or more to get the window from closed to fully down. Sometimes the windows will come down about an inch and then stop at that point and will not go down any further. It will close back up, and sometimes repeated open and close cycles will get them to open beyond an inch, but sometimes not. I had the exact same issue with my 2000 Ultra, so I don't think this is specific to my vehicle. The back windows don't seem to have this problem, only the front windows on both sides do. The car does have a sunroof in case that matters. I bought the vehicle 4 years ago with 70K miles on it, and it's done this since I bought it.

    I've asked about this at the dealership when I was having other things worked on. They told me the only thing they could do was replace the power window modules at a cost of $800 each. That's not a reasonable option to me.

    I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this, and what options I might have other than replacing the power window modules.
  • I had the same problem. I replaced the motor on the drivers side, they call them modules, twice, and still had slow window movement. Finally tried applying silicone spray heavily on the tracks. That was 2 years ago, still going up and down fine. The passenger side is slow, but I have not fixed it as I don't drive on that side. You have to take the interior of the door off to lubricate the tracks.
  • This car has 312K on it, doing fine. Replaced the front valve cover gasket and reduced the oil consumption and stink quite a bit. But that rear one is tough. The heater hose connectors do not allow the cover clearance to come completely off. Am I missing something, or do I have to take the antifreeze out and remove the connector? And how does the connector come off?

    btw, still getting 25.8 mpg figured by gas and mileage. The computer is always 3 mpg higher.
  • brich97brich97 Posts: 2
    i changed my signal light switch on my 97 park ave now the radio dont work or windshield wipers and my windows only work sometimes do anyone have a solutions???
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Did you replace with a new or used switch? If used, are you sure it's the exact same model? Some of the different models look alike externally, but I'm not sure if all the wires match the connector positions.

    If you replaced with a used model, did all the wire colors match the unit you pulled out? I'm sorry, but I don't a schematic that lists the wire colors with their purpose for a '97.

    You might also double check that all the connections are tight, and that no wires pulled loose from the connectors when you install.

    If the wires all match, and the connectors are tight, the only other thing I would check would be the fuses.
  • brich97brich97 Posts: 2
    thanks bowfan, I got a used switch never thought about it being a different model because it fit but some auto wreckers will sell you anything as long as it fit and sure the wiring was a different color I notice that right away but I tried it.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    yep, they will. In my '98 the right turn signal quit working. I thought the turn signal flasher unit was at fault, so I spent the $50 for the dealer only part, pulled my dash completely off (huge job) replaced the flasher and found I still had the problem. I found out that if I pulled my bulb for the bright white cornering lamp the turn signal worked again, so I took a ohm meter and tested the resistance of the multi-function turn signal lever / switch at the C202 connector and found the right turn signal was way different than the left turn. The contacts just won't handle the current draw. The multi-function TS lever / switch costs around $350 just for the part, so I took the cheaper path. I simply removed the cornering lamp which apparently draws a lot of amperage. I have both turn signals, but no right cornering lamp. .. sigh... :(

    I have read ( just today) where some people swap out to a LED bulb because it draws much less amperage, but I have not pursued that avenue yet. I'll have to take a look at that.

    If you look on eBay, you can find several models that look exactly like ours at the column, but the wiring harnesses are different lengths or connectors. I'd guess internally, they'd be the same as ours. At one point I considered getting one, ( I think it was for full size GM SUV) and just matching up the wires to my connectors... but then that got pushed to the back of the long list of chores, once I got the turn signal working again. :P
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