89 Buick Park Avenue Starting Problem

Well here is the vehicle... its a 89' Buick Park Ave. with a 3.8 L. it has alittle over 186K and runs excellent. I am so suprised with this car...but there is one problem.

When I try starting the car-when i turn it over...it will just crank and crank and not start..but as soon as i turn the key to the off position and start it

again...it starts. Although sometimes it will need to take up to 3 times to crank over before it will start.

I have replaced the fuel filter, fuel regulator, cam sensor, and as we speak...a new fuel pump. Is there anyother thing that could be the problem...I am alittle mechanically inclined and a little familar with this car (i just bought it a week ago).

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Chad

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chadwick197825 wrote:

> it has alittle over 186K and runs excellent. I am so suprised with > this car...but there is one problem.

>and crank and not start..but as soon as i turn the key to the off position > and start it again...it starts. Although sometimes it will need to > take up to 3 times to crank over before it will start.

> we speak...a new fuel pump. Is there anyother thing that could be >the problem...I am alittle mechanically inclined and a little familar

I fixed my car. It was doing the same thing, just worse - you'd try twenty times and it was hit or miss. It was doing what you describe for a few weeks and then - major problems.

Turns out the timing chain had slipped. What happened was that it had slipped several teeth and the computers were compensating, making it run by tweaking everything. It had been running like this for 30-40K miles and showing no signs or error codes! Evidently the computers are able to do some pretty drastic tweaking, seamlessly compensating for as much as 2-3 teeth out.

Then it slipped one more than it could compensate for - dead car, no warning.

The 1980's era LeSabre/Park Ave - the timing chain is not built to last more than 60-80K miles without suffering from some stretching. Thankfully it won't break suddenly liek a bad belt might.

Part two is the gears/cogs that the chain goes around. They replaced the aluminum with teflon bushing ones in mine that had worn the teeth down to nubs with steel ones. The mechanic said this also was common and just cost-cutting shortsightedness. (evidently fixed with the 8000 Series II a few years later)

There is evidently a "button" (that's what he called it) that holds the camshaft in proper tension as well that only lasts 50-60K miles. Mine was shot and the cam had about 1/4 inch play in it, though no damage.

Also check the ignotion module - it's all surface-mount stuff wedged into that plastic plate under the coil packs - a really nasty design.

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well the problem is fixed....i had heard from others that the timing chain should be replaced no matter what...so i did that. The chain was alittle loosed and missing some teeth on the gears. I also had to replace the fuel pump and that seemed to solve all the problems. The car runs fantastic now.. I expect that this car should treat me well for some years. I think that i got a good deal on it..i paid $600 for the car and spent about another $300 in fixing it (a mechanic that my dad knows gave me a good deal on repairing it)

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