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Buick Park Avenue Electrical / Lighting Problems

I have a 98 Park Ave and the power windows have developed a problem of not working on warm or hot days. When the temperatures cool down the windows work fine, but when the air heats up they stop working. I don't know if this is a motor problem or in the actual power switch in the door. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I'm hoping it's something I can fix. I already asked a Buick repairman and was only told they could fix it for $500, and that is for only one window. If anyone can offer a more economical solution please advise me.


  • pau03pau03 Posts: 14
    Hi, since you mention "windows" as plural I would have to assume that it's not any one motor or switch. I'd look for the power source or ground. It's going to have to be something in common with all the windows. Have you checked the fuse or breaker connections? If you aren't electrically inclined you could be in for quite a challenge.

  • After I start my car a "reminder" chime,more like constant dinging that starts sounding off and It does not stop untill you turn the car off. Is there a fuse that I can take out so that I dont have to listen to that anymore untill I can get it somewhere to get it looked at?
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    The front lights a very easy process. 1 Lift hood get a tork socket set loosen the two black knurled bolts. The whole wrap around unit comes out where you can see
    the side light the low beam high beam and running light just twist counter clockwise
    and pop out old lamp pop in new. The side marker are accessed the same way
    from reaching hand underneath fender twisting the bulb holder then pop out and pop in. The rear Brake lights are accessed from trunk area. Remove the two cargo cleats, then unscrew two phelps screws either side of trunk latch then the right side cargo cleat the entire plastic splash piece comes out after plastic screws are levered out. 10 mm socket removes the nuts the whole brake light and turn signal comes off and again twist the bulb unit and pop out old bulb pop in new. To access the backup and license bulbs remove the gray cloth again levering plastic screws. Then remove the eight 10mm nuts the whole trunk lid light assembly can be removed and bulbs replaced and reassenbled.
  • mikuhmikuh Posts: 3
    The turn signal mechanisum on my girl friend's 1978 Buick Park Avenue was broken by a repair facility that tried to fix it. Now the left signal will not latch and when you turn on the right signal the horn blows and no signal. They also lost the shift indicator from the dash so we have to guess what gear we are in. The garage says they can't find any parts and have washed their hands of the problem. Needless to say we don't go there any more. It was her parent's car and she insists on keeping it. It look great and runs like a top.

    Where can I find a source for the part? I have not pulled the steering wheel but I suspect that the plastic switch is broken. I may have to replace the wiring harness or perhaps the complete column. I'll do whatever it takes. Just imagine this tiny lady sticking her arm out of this BIG Buick's window to make hand signal. Most young drivers today don't even know what she is trying to do. They think she's trying to flick out a cigarette.

    What models and years would have the same parts so that I might do a junk yard search? We are in the Central Virginia area but I guess UPS can bring in a part from anywhere. Thanks for any help or leads to solve this problem.
  • On my 94 PA (not Ultra), the service department prices a replacement for the Overhead Lighting Monitor Module--displayed below the rearview mirror--at $535(!) Rather than shell out for this outrage, I told them to disconnect it as they suspect it is draining the battery. It flashes constantly when the car is being driven but does not light up when ignition is off. :(

    The battery was new in the summer of 2007 and connections appear clean. First, is the diagnosis likely correct? Second, I'm told it will cost $400 just to disconnect this module as it is positioned deep under the dashboard. This sounds suspicious to me but what do I know? If I go ahead with this, should the battery stay charged? :confuse:
  • I have 2003 Park Ave with auto climate control. The temp display is dim enough to be almost impossible to read. I assume bulb replacement needed. How difficult to access bulb? Do I need to take to dealer?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    Some of the temp displays go dim. It's not a bulb. I believe there's someone on Ebay rebuilding them. I recall with a Regal back in the 90s there were some where you take them apart and resolder the black, rectangular resistor blocks and they worked right again.

    I did a search on Ebay and came up with this store. You might email and ask about rebuilt Park Avenue units
    AC control and speedometer rebuild

    Or you can search for price on or for the AC control unit.

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

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Second Imidazol97's reply. There are some bad solder joints on the resistors inside that climate control unit. If you are handy with a soldering iron or know someone who is, it is a cheap fix (cost of a little solder) and an hour or two of easy labor for the do-it-yourselfer. After you disassemble the control unit, you can try to wiggle the resistors on the board and it will be pretty easy to see which ones have bad solder joints. If you aren't familiar with soldering and resistors, one of those rebuilt units will fit the bill as it isn't a bulb problem.
  • rtjrrtjr Posts: 4
    I have a 1994 park avenue. The horns goes off without anybody in the car. All I have to do to stop it is hit the horn a few times. Seems llike it is sticking in the column when you press down on the horn. What is the remedy for this problem? Could it possibly be some moisture in the column? This car had a leak in it a few months ago, but has been repaired.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    Quick guess. If it went off while you were driving I'd think it was a wire that was touching occasionally and had worn through its insulation. But because it's while the car is parked, I suspect it's in the contact pad in the steering wheel. A few cars ahd that problem long ago; the cold would make the plastic change and the contact would cause the horn to blow.

    Because you have an airbag in the steering wheel that complicates the matter. You might try touching around on the pad to see if you can find a sensitive spot that might be making contact when it shouldn't.

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

  • rtjrrtjr Posts: 4
    Thanks for your reply. It makes sense what you said because the horn mainly goes off when the sun hits the steering column in the middle of the day. I will get someone to look into it. Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    I don't recall the year, but check the NHSTA site for comments about that. Look for comments on the web. Ask the Buick dealer service manager if it"s been a problem and there"s been a recall>

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

  • lowe1lowe1 Posts: 2
  • lowe1lowe1 Posts: 2
    I now have 153,000 miles on my Park Avenue. I was driving at freeway speed with my cell phone charger on, the radio and the A/C. I started to see smoke come from below the steering wheel. I tturned everything off pulled over it stopped. I continued driving with nothing on but it started to smoke again but I did not notice a burning smell. the smoke was similar to when you blow out a candle. I checked all fuses to make sure that they all were the correct amperage , and they are. I have checked for grounds as well. I am concerned that my air bag may deploy while I am driving.

    Has anyone had a similar problem and do you have a solution.
  • We have a 1997 Park Ave and it runs great for 165000 miles. One day my husband was at work on a lunch break listening to music with the air running and the driver seat back. He said all of a sudden everything stopped working but the car was still running fine. Now the radio is out, the tail lights are out (we cant drive at night, which sucks) the dash lights are out, the driver seat is permantly stuck in the lounge position, and the interior lights are out. Everything else runs great. My husband checked all the fuses and none of them are blown, the only thing he thinks it may be is the computer chip. Has anybody else had this issue or what do any of you think it may be?! :cry:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    I have not worked on 97 ParkAvenue but assuming it's setup somewhat like my 03 leSabre, there are different computer boxes that control different parts of the car.

    First you need to check every fuse with a continuity tester. They can look okay but be blown. I am assuming you have a fuse block under the hood and one under the rear seat with the battery.

    Also tighten grounds on the fuse block under the rear seat. Check the owner's manual to see if there are fuses in another location.

    My opinion is it's likely a fuse or wire connection that burned.

    I'd look for a factory service manual from for the car if you want to try to see what boxes control those items. The factory service manuals sometimes are for sale on eBay by searching for service manual and 1997 buick or use words Park Avenue instead of buick. Check carefully for ones offered to be sure you get all two or three books. Compare pictures of ones offered. You want the ones from Helm, which are the ones you get if you order from the page in the glove box owners manual that came with the car. Original price is around $135. They are available at the website--that may include shipping.

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

  • I have a 99 ultra. The series of buttons to the left of the gage cluster do not respond. Trip, engine etc. I did not get an owners manual but I assume theree is no trick to making these buttons function? any ideas? thanx
  • Buick Regal NO START electricial problem,Car stoped running. All lights flash,buzzers buzz,no start. After 10 min car started, ran for 1 min now wont turn over and all lights on dash flash and buzz. PLEASE ANY HELP.
  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    Without hands on examination of your car, my first guess would be a failure of your upper intake manifold plenum. This is assuming you have the Series 2 3800 engine, non-supercharged model. When mine failed, symptoms sounded like yours.

    Do you have any coolant in the plastic antifreeze recovery tank on the fender? If no, this points to a leak somewhere in the cooling system.

    Are you your own mechanic?

    If yes, pull all your spark plugs and then watch the engine while someone attempts to turn it over. When you pull the plugs, you may find some cylinders full of fluid which will start to spill out. If it turns over and is full of fluid, it will spray anyone standing in front. :P

    If this is your failure, what happens is engine coolant (antifreeze & water) will flow into your lower intake manifold (thru a crack in the upper plenum) and from there down into your cylinders. Air and fuel vapor will compress in a healthy engine. Water & antifreeze won't. This causes a condition called hydrolock. In a worst case scenario, it could cause expensive engine repair or replacement as piston rods and parts get bent or broken. But it is a common problem, and easily fixed for the do-it-yourselfer. I have never personally seen any parts bend or break.

    With the engine locks up, the starter seems to get jammed up, hence the flashing dash lights as it tries to draw a huge electrical load on your system but is unable to turn the engine over. I've had to pull the starter and put it back in to free mine up.

    This is just my wild guess based upon your brief description. It may be something simple like a bad starter or battery. Or something simpler.

    If you are your own mechanic, you can fix it for less than $150 in half a day. Plus oil and coolant change.

    Pull the plugs and let us know how it goes. :)

    If you are not your own mechanic, how well do you know your mechanic?
  • mikuhmikuh Posts: 3
    Since I received no response to my post, I decided to go it alone. I was able to purchase a new turn signal switch thru ebay that solved all my electrical problems. The plastic insulator that sits on top of the steering wheel nut and insulates the large horn contact spring, attached to the steering wheel was broken in several places due to age and some heavy hands of a previous mechanic. I was able to reconnect all the broken pieces and build up the missing pieces with several applications of 10 minute epoxy, so that the insulator was functional and did not allow the spring to short out.

    The other problem was the shift indicator gage. some previous heavy handed mechanic had dropped the steering without disconnecting the shift indicator clip, thus shearing off the actuator arm and popping off the indicator needle. This gage is rotary actuated and all others that I could find in junk yards were linear actuated. The only thing I could do was to try and epoxy indicator needle that was loose in the case and fabricate another arm and epoxy it to the little plastic stub that was still on the back of the gage. To make a long story short, after many trys, I was successful and the gage now works as well the original. If anyone is interested in how I made this repair, I have photos and would be happy to walk you thru the process. Please contact me off line at [email protected]

    This was a real learning process and I am happy to finally complete it. :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    I'm glad to hear you were successful. It sounds like you are as adept at using epoxy as I am to fix some things. Also PL1 polyurethane caulk/adhesive is really good for putting some things in their place and it has a little give to it.

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

  • bowfanbowfan Posts: 55
    On second thought, it could just be a loose battery connection. I should have always started with the simple stuff first. Sorry for not suggesting this on the first pass. Any change?
  • I just bought a 1994 Park Avenue (not Ultra) from an older lady. It only has 91000 miles but had set up for a while before I bought it (maybe a year) and the next day i noticed that it was hesitating when I would accelerate. Anyway it got worse and then wouldnt stay cranked. It would start but immediately cut off. I replaced all of the coil packs and the plate under them (i think it was called the ignition module) along with the fuel filter. Now it runs but is still cutting out at low rpms. Ive checked the air filter and am in the process of changing the spark plugs. I have all 3 in the front and 1 in the back. I cant get to the other two. I've heard something about an engine mount that would allow the engine to tilt but i have no idea where it is... Does anyone know anything about accessing the back spark plugs and so far with the 4 new plugs in its still skipping and if changing the plugs doesn't work, what next?? Any suggestions would really help.....Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    If the wires are the original Packard wires they must be replaced along with plugs. Use AC for the plugs and a good OEM quality wire; if you don't want ACDelco wires use Belden from NAPA which is a commonly recommended good wire.

    There are many things that could cause your hesitation. The fuel pressure and flow needs to be checked.
    The IAC needs to be removed and cleaned without getting cleaner up into the operating part.
    The MAF sensor is a likely problem area. There is a liquid cleaner to spray on the sensitive wires to clean. You can try disconnecting the MAF and starting the car and see if it runs better (not perfect) without it. That sometimes identifies a problem MAF.

    You should check all of the vacuum lines for cracks and rotted sections that might be leaking air. You can try spraying carburetor cleaner around the edges of the upper intake manifold and all the vacuum lines which the car is running and listen for a change in the idle indicating carb cleaner is getting in and being burned.

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

  • Thanks for the advice. I did find a small 5/36 vaccum line that was pretty much non existant so i just replaced it. I got 4 of the 6 spark plugs in i couldn't get to the other 2, do you know how i can reach them... also the 4 spark plugs that i took out were in extremely bad shape the porcelain insulator part was black and crusty... The MAF that you were talking about disconnecting, im not sure where it is or what it looks like and i cant find a diagram anywhere.. this is the very first time that ive even worked on a car so i really appreciate your advice.
  • I am currently looking for a T connector and four flat wire trailer wiring connector. The 2005 was the last year for the Park Ave and I do not want to splice into the factory harness. I have hunted the web with no success and any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,605
    I stand on something to give me increased height to reach in. I put a cover over the fender and just reach back behind. I have to do it from both sides of the car to get all the back ones.

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

  • Good afternoon. I have a 1999 Buick PA with about 135,000 miles on it. For some time now my "Service Engine Soon" light has been on. My car, without much notice, will shut off whenever I stop at red lights, stop signs or slow down to turn corners. I took it to AZ and they put a little monitor beneath my dash board. It read "MAS" (Massive Airflow Sensor I believe). I bought the sensor, had it installed and the "Service ..." light went off - but only for about 1 week. Last Sunday, the second week since the light has been off, while driving to a store about 1.5 miles away all was fine. When I left the store, however, a block away my car seemed like it was gasping for air (more like choaking) and cut off. After four attempts to restart it (when I turned the key in the ignition, I would hear it come on but it would not stay on), I finally got it going. It has not gone off since that time, but now I need inspection and I know it won't pass because of that darn light. Also, I've had the car for about four years and it has had a tune-up maybe once during that time. Needless to say, I want it fixed for safety reasons, too! Thanks!
  • bill235bill235 Posts: 2
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