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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was driving back home from a trip I took with my Buick, and it decided it didn't want to go home. About 25 miles away from my driveway after accelerating from a stop light going abut 60 it started to hesitate really badly, almost like it was running out of gas. I let off the gas and coasted a bit and then tried giving it gas again with the same results. At that point I heard like a popping noise or a backfire of some sorts and immediately smelt what could only be described as a recently blown out matchstick. I didn't dare drive any farther so I pulled over to the side. The car was still running, so I opened the hood and looked inside. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary besides the engine shaking slightly more than normal. It didn't smell, and all fluids were up to normal levels and didn't look out of the norm. I turned the car off, and started it again (it stalled out once, but started the second time), it ran extremely rought and when putting it into drive it wouldn't stall out but almost felt as though it was only running on three cylinders (it was hesitating extremely bad). At that point I decided I better call a tow truck and get towed to the nearest garage. An hour wait, a bottle now filled with pee, and a 45 minute tow truck ride, and it's now sitting at the garage.

Basically just wondering if anyone here can give me any idea of what could have happened. I'm almost afraid of what the news could be. It's got 245,000 miles on it. I'm thinking it's either a major issue with the transmission or the engine and I'll be looking for a new buick, but maybe one of you guys here can cheer me up, or just tell me to start planning it's funeral. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
*wipes sweat from forehead* Come to find out it was just fried coil pack, which would explain the burning match smell. I'm definitely glad it's nothing major. I love the car.
 

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Good. Glad it was an easy fix.

If you have a 3.8 with these symptoms, 9 of 10 times it is secondary ignition. Coil packs fry or get rust on the prongs, wires develop excessvie resistance, or plugs foul or short out. There is also a ignition module under the coils that controls the packs. If a Park Ave, LeSabre, Regal or GP comes in with stutters up hills or on light accel, you can almost bet on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good. Glad it was an easy fix.

If you have a 3.8 with these symptoms, 9 of 10 times it is secondary ignition. Coil packs fry or get rust on the prongs, wires develop excessvie resistance, or plugs foul or short out. There is also a ignition module under the coils that controls the packs. If a Park Ave, LeSabre, Regal or GP comes in with stutters up hills or on light accel, you can almost bet on it.

Well I got that issue fixed. Then come to find out the torque converter clutch solenoid decided to give me issues. Apparently this is a common problem with the transmission. Instead of bringing it somewhere to get it looked at, my father decided to tackle it himself. He got it all done after two days of working in snow and cold. It was running great after the replacement of the solenoid that was until we shut it off and turned it back on a few hours later. It now doesn't shift from second. My father called a transmission shop and he said it may be the computer that needs to be reprogrammed. I doubt it, but we shall see. So now it's at the dealer and my fathers bright idea of trying to save some cash is now down the drain, and who knows now what's going to happen with it...
 

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Oooh, dang. Well, good luck and keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oooh, dang. Well, good luck and keep us updated.

Thanks. Just wondering how much this will run now, and why it suddenly decided not to shift after being just fine. I'm looking around at new used cars now. Trying to find a Riviera for myself as a replacement daily driver.
 

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Computer reprogram? Naw, the 4T60 (pre 1991) has a minimum of electronic controls. Shifts are hydraulic.

I don't know what else to suggest aside from deh, when idling in park and warm is the fluid up to level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Computer reprogram? Naw, the 4T60 (pre 1991) has a minimum of electronic controls. Shifts are hydraulic.

I don't know what else to suggest aside from deh, when idling in park and warm is the fluid up to level?
I was almost hoping it was an electronic issue. Now it makes me worried. The fluid level seems to be ok. What could cause a transmission to not shift?
 

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I don't know the trans enough...try posting about it at bonnevillepro.com...tell them F14CRAZY sent you
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. Basically I took the care back from the mechanic my dad brought it to to fix his screw up. They said they couldn't even get to it for a week. I drove it home, because I had no other way to get it back. When I drive it, it will not shift out of first gear, it's like it's forgetting that it can shift. It doesn't even try to. I'm thinking there's some kind of sensor that is loose or something. I'll post over there and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I called a repair shop and the guy said it sounds like it could be a fuse. He said you can find the fuse in a box inside the dash on the passengers side. I've looked and looked and can't find a fuse like he described. All I found is a set of relays and about 5 blade fuses ranging from 7.5 to 20 amps. Nothing in a box. Does anyone have any idea where to find this elusive fuse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update on the issue:

We let the car sit for the night and went out today to try to fix the problem. Apparently it just needed a rest because it shifts perfectly fine now. The only thing I did before trying it is wiggle the throttle control cable. I'm not sure what changing the solenoid accomplished because it still has a shuddering issue whenever it is in overdrive with a slight depression on the accelerator, but at least now it's driveable.

Can anyone recommend a new course of action to get the shuddering to go away? It's only when it's in overdrive and you have the accelerator slightly depressed. If you step on it or let up on the accelerator completely it goes away. It's especially noticeable when it's in cruise. The only way I can get it to go away completely is to disconnect the wiring from the torque converter clutch solenoid completely, which I know can cause premature wear, so I don't want to do that. Anyway if anyone has any other suggestion I would appreciate it.
 

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Excuse me if you already said, but did you replace the entire ignition module or just the top/bottom half? Typically an LN3 with a stuttering issue like you're describing is suffering from a bad coil pack (the square tower Magnavox unit). The best thing to do is go to a salvage yard and ask for one from a "'95 Park Avenue". It'll bolt and connect up and you shouldn't have a problem again. I kind of ruled it out since you already messed with it but nevertheless the old Magnavox modules are unreliable.
 

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My old park ave with the LN3 developed a terrible stuttering issue later in my time of owning it. It ended up being a bad connection on one of the spark plug wires. It was still making connection and when you tested it with an OHM meter it would test fine, but if you wiggled the cable while revving the engine it would cause it to both stutter worse, and also to shock the unsuspecting person who was wiggling the wire. Got a new set of wires from the local parts place and it ran perfectly after.
 
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