Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive > Brand-specific forums > Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-03-2017, 01:11 PM
 
Location: United States
199 posts, read 546,142 times
Reputation: 397

Advertisements

Car: 1992 Buick Park Avenue
Miles: 143K
Engine: 3800 Naturally Aspirated

My son drives this car to work five days a week, about 16 miles each way. The other week, he had just come off the highway and was pulling up to a stoplight. The engine "jumped" a few times then stalled, with all of the dash lights coming on. The electrical system stayed on. He was able to start it again, then pulled into a parking lot. A mobile mechanic that was recommended to us came out and said there was a loose terminal on the battery. He cleared off some corrosion, re-tightened it, and my son was able to drive it home.

The next day, as he was coming home, it did the same thing on the highway. Again, he was able to restart it and drove home. We called a different mechanic who diagnosed the fuel pump being bad. He replaced it along with some vacuum hoses under the hood that were corroded.

The car died again that Monday driving home on the highway. This time, the car did not immediately start again. It was an hour and a half before the car started up and my son got it home.

Each time it's the same: the car will suddenly act sluggish while accelerating; the engine will jump a few times, then it will stall, with the electrical system staying on.

The mechanic now says he doesn't know what's wrong with the car. He says the car is not communicating with his computer. We've just moved (son's job) and aren't exactly flush with cash.

Any ideas as to what's wrong with the car?

Thank you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-03-2017, 08:44 PM
 
4,581 posts, read 3,406,102 times
Reputation: 2605
GM had some kind of sensor that detected serious overheating and would cause the symptom you describe. My 1992 Fleetwood Brougham would do that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2017, 04:37 PM
 
Location: United States
199 posts, read 546,142 times
Reputation: 397
Thank you for your reply. The temperature gauge is not indicating overheating. But I will check into it. I read on a car forum that it could be the Mass Airflow Sensor or the Crankshaft Position Sensor. Since I'm in an area new to me, I need to find a decent mechanic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-04-2017, 05:31 PM
 
11,555 posts, read 53,154,100 times
Reputation: 16348
assuming that there's no "Check Engine Light" illuminated on the dash when the stalling happens which might pinpoint an area of concern to investigate ...

the car most likely has an intermittent open circuit connection in the wiring harness or grounds circuits or a damaged/bad circuit in the engine management computer module, or a failing/intermittent crank position or cam position sensor (among a few others that can also create this type of running problem).

these types of problems can oft times be difficult to replicate in the shop, so isolating and repairing them can be time consumptive and costly.

My tactic is to clean all major power supply and ground wiring connections. These include battery to fuse panel/power supply wiring, the main fusible link or fuse protection, and all ground wires at the battery/frame/engine. Taking apart all of the engine managment connectors, cleaning them, and inspecting for any obvious failed areas is critical, too.

On the preventative side, even if I can't show a fault with an o'scope ... but with this many miles on the car ... I'd replace the crankshaft and camshaft position sensors. Much more likely than a MAF in my experience to fail in this manner.

Additionally, a failing fuel pump or obstructed fuel pump can cause this type of stalling. This may be revealed with a simple fuel pump pressure and volume test.

You'll need to take the car into a competent diagnostic shop to isolate the potential failures and repair the car. At this point, there may be multiple issues which affect the running/stalling and require diagnosis and inspection.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2017, 06:35 PM
 
Location: United States
199 posts, read 546,142 times
Reputation: 397
sunsprit, Thank you so much for the informative and thoughtful reply. I've printed out your response as well as armourereric's to help me figure out what to do.

The mobile mechanic swore it was the fuel pump. $482 later, it's not the fuel pump. I agree that this seems like a problem that won't be easy to diagnose. Thing is, this is the only car we have so we have to find a good mechanic and somehow get it fixed. Don't have the funds right now for a newer vehicle.

But you've armed me with good information so that I'm not the stereotypical woman without a clue as to what's wrong with her car that makes some mechanics see lots of dollar signs.

Edit: and no, the check engine light is not on.

Last edited by PeppermintChapstick; 09-05-2017 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: extra info
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-05-2017, 08:25 PM
 
2,382 posts, read 3,498,519 times
Reputation: 4915
Crankshaft sensor that is mounted behind the crankshaft harmonic balancer is likely the culprit. Very common on those 3.8 GM engines. Has all the symptoms.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-06-2017, 04:09 PM
 
Location: United States
199 posts, read 546,142 times
Reputation: 397
Thank you for your reply, txtea. Much appreciated. Since both you and sunsprit both mentioned the crankshaft sensor, I believe I'll have the mechanic check to see if that's the culprit first thing. Have no idea what it will cost if that's what the car needs, but did get a rec for a mechanic last night. Can't get in until next week though.

Again thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-30-2017, 07:34 PM
 
1,831 posts, read 3,196,756 times
Reputation: 2661
You probably have it fixed by now, but I had a similar problem that was only encountered when pulling up to a stop light, or stop sign on a slight down hill grade. Usually occurred when coming to a complete stop. The car would die. It turned out to be the MAF sensor. Something would short out inside temporarily, when braking, when coming to a complete stop. It never did throw a code. I figured it out because I noticed, when I used MAF sensor cleaner on it, the problem would subside for a few days, but then would return. I put in a different MAF sensor, and it stopped it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2017, 12:46 PM
 
Location: United States
199 posts, read 546,142 times
Reputation: 397
Rivertowntalk, thank you so much for your reply. NO, the car still isn't fixed. I took it to a mechanic and told him to replace the crankshaft sensor as rec'd here, but the guy (who seems to be trusted around here) said that the computer showed code for not only the crankshaft sensor but the ignition module. He said he had the ignition module on hand, popped it in and the car started fine. $329. Welp, guess what? The problem is still there. So now he wants to replace the crankshaft sensor. I can't afford another car, so will hope that when he replaces the crankshaft sensor (estimate $300) that will take care of it. I mean I really hope that takes care of it!

Appreciate everyone's help here.
Thanks again.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-01-2017, 07:45 PM
 
1,831 posts, read 3,196,756 times
Reputation: 2661
The MAF sensor can be cleaned fairly easily with MAF sensor spay/cleaner from the auto parts store. There are a few screws to removed. May need a star wrench. Can spay the sensor grid. If it changes the performance (the dying issue) in some way, shape or form, that would be an indicator that it may be the MAF sensor. It never did set a code in my case. Once replaced, the issue never returned. The issue came on very gradual. In fact, there were certain spots on the road where it always seemed to die. Would just cut out when braking on a down hill grade.

I re read your original post and another idea came to mind. It sounds like your torque converter clutch may not be disengaging properly when you press on the brake pedal. You noted it jumped a couple of times when braking and then died. Does it feel like when braking a vehicle with a manual transmission when the clutch is not pressed in on the clutch when slowing down to a stop? The tcc locks in at about 30-35 mph. It should disengage when slowing down to a stop. If it doesn't, it is like trying to stop without pressing the clutch in on a vehicle with a manual transmission. The vehicle will die.

More on the MAF sensor:

https://repairpal.com/buick-park_avenue-1992/problems

Just found this and it notes that the MAF sensor is one of the most common problems with a '92 Park Avenue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive > Brand-specific forums > Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top