2001 Buick Century engine operation

Tiny
STAN RING
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 BUICK CENTURY
Engine Performance problem
2001 Buick Century 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 81k miles

For the last month, each morning the car starts fine but for the first mile or 2 the car runs at idle ok but when try to go faster the engine sputter and won't speed up like it wasn't getting gas. After a few miles it clears up and the engine runs fine for the rest of the day no matter how many times, in that day, that I use the car.
The next morming it's the same thing all over again, some days I drove the car over 400 miles and it ran fine all day afer the usual problem when I first ran the car, as explained above.
I took the car to a repair garage the day before yesterday and the mechanic replaced the "mass air flow sensor". The car ran fine for the rest of that day. When I started it yesterday morning it was back to the same problem and as usual it cleared up after a mile or two and ran fine for the rest of the day. I took the car back to the mechanic last afternoon so he could again see the problem allow him to see what happens when the car if first started each morning. It was obvious that it was not the "mass air flow sensor".
Could you shed some light on this problem?

Sincerely,
Stan Ring
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Friday, June 25th, 2010 AT 8:55 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
How many tanks of gas has this occurred over, and have you used different filling stations? My theory is that after the vehicle sits, the fuel may have some moisture in it that collects near the pickup. After driving the fuel has sloshed and made the water molecules smaller, and the engine can process it with little or no noticeable symptom. If you haven't changed fuel, I would try it. Another possibility is to determine how old the fuel filter is, and if needed, service it.
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Friday, June 25th, 2010 AT 10:36 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
  • MEMBER
Hi Guys;
I investigated your suggestions and replaced the fuel filter. You asked how many tanks of gas I have put in since the problem started, my guess would be 8 or 9 tank refills as this problem started about 3000 miles ago. The refills were at many stations between here in Florida and Mooresville, NC. The garage mechanic checked the pressure drop across the Catalytic convertor and found it accessive so he removed it and found honeycomb filter was all in pieces on the outlet end of the convertor but was fine (in one piece) on the inlet end. Temperarily the mechanic welded in a straight pipe until we can solve the original problem. I wonder if this engine problem relates to the age old problem of condensation in the engine spark distribution system, like moisture accumulation in the distributor cap. Of course this engine doesn't have a distributor cap but maybe moisture accumulates elsewhere in the spark distribution system when the car sits overnight. Do you think this could be the problem?
Thanks for answering my original question and perhaps you can continue to shed some light on my problem. While I'm at it I would like to ask another question. Seeing as how I now have to replace the Catalytic Convertor do you think it would be ok to weld in a new generic good quality convertor like an Eastern Catalytic convertor to save some money over replaceing the whole convertor with pipes to the bolt in connections?
I will be looking forward to your answers an suggestions.
Sincerely'
Stan Ring
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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 12:51 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • EXPERT
There really is no area for moisture to accumulate, other than the spark plug connections perhaps. On the converter, you can go with an aftermarket one, that will keep costs down. In my experience, you won't get the service life out of an aftermarket that you would an O.E. I have seen alot of aftermarket cats go about 2-3 years or so, before they start causing emissions test failures due to high readings. I am not saying it will degrade and clog the exhaust system, I am speaking of emissions and it's ability to oxidize HC and CO. If I had to take a guess, the way they keep the costs down on the aftermarket, is by using less of the expensive precious metals that go into one.
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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 AT 11:47 PM

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