Car won't start at all now.

Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
  • 1994 BUICK LESABRE
  • 186,600 MILES

Okay. I had the car running, though it wasn't very good. It tended to misfire, run rough and slow going up the hill in the morning, and generally acted like either the fuel pump or a sensor was bad. So I took it to a garage and they said it was the MAF sensor, after wanting to charge me $150 to put in new spark plugs, and another $200 for diagnosis of the codes, as well as $350 for the sensor.

I replaced the wires, plugs, MAF sensor, and now I just finished the crank sensor. It just won't start. Before it would start after a very prolonged, 9+ times trying to get it to run. The starter works, the battery is charged, I can hear the fuel pump running, and I get 41psi at the rail, thanks to the fuel pressure tester.

What could be wrong here? I just completed the Crankshaft Position Sensor on a hunch after reading of similar problems, and cleaned the crankshaft pulley so that the magnetic pickup would be perfect. I really can't think of what else to do here?

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 6:32 PM

48 Replies

Tiny
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Are you getting sparks at the plugs?

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 8:31 PM
Tiny
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Well the starter works, let me check.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 8:51 PM
Tiny
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Yeah I've got spark. It sorta starts slightly, but doesn't stay on.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 8:56 PM
Tiny
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You have been replacing a lot of things by hearsay, that is costly and a waste of money. You need to diagnose what is missing causing the non starting.

Have you checked for trouble codes?

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
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If the sparks are not bright blue, it can mean a failing ignition coil.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 8:58 PM
Tiny
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The car actually does start, but then quits one second later.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:12 PM
Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
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How can you tell if the sparks are bright blue? I took one of the plug wires off the car, put a spark plug in, and grounded it, but it gave off an orange spark. I don't know if that's really the correct way of doing it.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:14 PM
Tiny
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There was a trouble code, but unfortunately in doing up the Crank position sensor I d/c the battery and lost it. I'm getting sparks from all the nodes of the coil pack when I test them.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:21 PM
Tiny
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Yes, you can do it that way and orange means a weak spark.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:25 PM
Tiny
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Dang, a weak spark huh. So a coil pack is in my future then?

I know there are 3 separate modules on this car, if it's all of them, could it be something else?

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:45 PM
Tiny
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Yes, vacuum leakages, engine compression below specs are possibilities.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
BRAVESTAR1
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I'm getting a lot of orange/purple sparks when I try all of the spark plugs from the front row. Which given the coil pack, it just doesn't seem coil related. I've had other cars where the coil pack is just not throwing out anything, on one node, but this isn't the case. It wants to start, but dies 1 sec after starting. It's like something isn't holding the vacuum. Had this problem on my 98 Mercury Sable DOHC, where the vacuum hose from the brake booster was off, and wouldn't allow the car to stay running. The car was working for a time, before I replaced the MAF sensor, but I don't recall removing anything special. It was such a simple fix.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 9:56 PM
Tiny
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Any leaks between the MAF and throttle body would result in stalling. Check the MAF connectors. Are you sure the replacement MAF is good>

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 10:00 PM
Tiny
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No, I'm not sure at all. It's one of those "arrgh!" Moments. I wonder how you check that to see if it's working properly.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
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The thing with doing the CPS. It costs me $100-200 for a code read on this car. It cost $40 for the CPS, plus some 1/4" 28tpi bolts. Since my problem matched exactly with every question I looked at, involving this problem, it was cheaper to throw a Position Sensor on the car, than to run a diagnosis on the car. I gambled and lost, but for all I know, it might have been bad as well.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 10:18 PM
Tiny
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On any other vehicle I've worked on, I'd go over every vacuum hose, but on this car, there's like 2 or 3. One to the booster, one to the fuel pressure valve, and a tiny one that runs to a box on the fire wall, which I believe helps with either cruise control or AC. Very simple vehicle, compared to today's 2000's cars.

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Friday, August 24th, 2012 AT 11:24 PM
Tiny
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Reinstall the old MAF and test if there are any difference. Try wiggling the connector.

Orange and purple are two different color so which is which?

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012 AT 1:41 AM
Tiny
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Well believe it or not, I get both. That's how much spark I get off of a spark plug from that coil pack. In fact, I wore a rubber glove, an orange rubber signal glove, and electricity still went through it to my hand, when I took the wire set off the coil pack to check for continuity.

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
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So I threw the old MAF sensor in, and after some hard tries at starting, I did get it to at least start. Runs like crap, and it sounds like it's sucking air as bad as an emphysema patient. You can really hear the air flow in the nozzle before the air filter element. So. That's the last time I buy a part off of Amazon. Com It's throwing out a hard-line SES light, and since I did do the diagnostics earlier at a garage, it's gotta be that.

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012 AT 5:05 PM
Tiny
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So most likely you got a bad MAF.

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012 AT 5:41 PM

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