92 Lesabre cuts out

Tiny
JIMMYKICKER
  • 1992 BUICK LESABRE

I have a 1992 Buick Lesabre with 135,000 miles. It has the bulletproof 3.8 3800 engine. The engine runs well when first started. It continues to run well for about 30 minutes. Then it will begin to cut out under acceleration. It will continue to worsen the longer you drive it. You have about 1 inch of pedal travel where it runs okay. You can floor the gas, and it will cut up so much it's almost as if it has died, but doesn't. It doesn't smoke and only backfires occasionally when under hard acceleration. It comes right back to idle with no stumbling or anything else.

It idles fine incidentally all the time and will not die even when it runs like this. It's just under acceleration when it's been driven for some time.

This is what gets me: It will continue this behavior until you cut the engine off and immediately restart it, at which point then it will run fine for a couple of minutes and then begin cutting out again. Interestingly enough, you can let it idle for more than 10 minutes from a good start even when the engine is warm, and it will not do this. Take off down the road and it starts again. The longer you drive it, the shorter the periods it runs okay decrease.

The car will run well again once you let it sit for a while (20-30 minutes). I have already replaced the coil packs btw. I was replacing some stuff on the car in the dash, and I had the battery disconnected for two weeks in the garage. No SES light before or now.

I'm thinking

Fuel pump overheating and trying to shut down?
Bad plug wires?
ECM dying?
Burnt wire on engine harness? Grounding somewhere?
Bad O2 sensor? (Should have SES light?)
Clogged cat?

Any help is greatly appreciated. This is normally a great running car, and I really need it to work in it. It has that great GM paint.I think you know what I mean.

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Friday, March 23rd, 2007 AT 3:56 PM

27 Replies

Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

I have a 94 lesabre and what u have descibed it right to a
t of what my car does. I'm talking exactly. And I thought the same thing about the computer. Mine went bad. So I replaced it. Still does it. No smoke good gas mileage. I maintane my car perfect. New plugs, wires, coils and module, fuel filter, I have know clue. I thought the same thing. About the fuel pump. I have not replaced mine yet. But I notice that the warm it is out side the worse it acts up. Cause last night it was like 20 out and I drove it like 60 m. Non stop and it would only act up when I hammered on it. It run great, idles good. My cat. Is clear and my o2 sensor is brand new.. I thought maybe coolant temp sensor. Or mas- ari flow. But I have no codes. If you figure this out let me know. Cause it has 150000 m. On it and it is still a good car. I will change the fuel pump and let you know if that work. I'll be glad to help and awnser any other question.

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Friday, March 30th, 2007 AT 6:40 AM
Tiny
MDPATS
  • MEMBER

I had a very similar problem with my Century. I know it's not the same car you two are talking about but the problem I had was with the fuel injector. One was bad and it kept shorting out the computer, causing the car to stall. Might be worth just checking out.

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Friday, March 30th, 2007 AT 6:54 AM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

I took my buick for a long drive last night to see exactly how long it will run before it screws up. After a hour and a hlf I hit inerstate. I still can't put it to the floor but I ran it up to 105 for like 10 m. And it didn't miss a beat. But the out side temp. Was about 40. Degrees. So I got to thinking that maybe it is the mass airflow sensor. Cause the minute I get past half throttle it messes up. So if you have a junk yard near you see if they have a mass air flow sens. Cause it will be cheaper than a anew one. I'm gonna try it. I don't think its a fuel pump problem. The coolant temp. Sensor is like $ 20. And if it goes it messes with the fuel injection. I'm gonna replace it to and let you know. Just figured id pass on the info

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Saturday, March 31st, 2007 AT 11:55 PM
Tiny
JIMMYKICKER
  • MEMBER

Hey thanks for the reply. The ambient temperature was a lot less today than it was the other dayand tonight when I was driving it, I couldn't get it to act up whatsoever. I was thinking it definately had something to do with outside temp. I think you might be right about the MAF sensor. Let me know if that's what makes yours act up. I won't have time to do anything until monday or later with mine. I was thinking that today when I was driving it around.

Thanks.
J

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2007 AT 11:19 PM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

Hey. I might have been wrong. I drove it the other day it was like 75 out and it wouldn't go far before messing up. So I started disconnecting sensors. Everyone I disconnected threw an engine soon light. Including maf sensor. And coolant temp. When I plugged them back in and restarted it. The light went out. I did it one by one. So. All the sensors. Are working. But there was no change in how bad it acted up. It's not the egr or the tps, or aic. It's not the fuel pump. When you start you car in the morning open the hood listen for air hissing. It will sound like a vacuum leak. If you rev it up real quick. Just flick the throttle cable just enough. Don't hold it in just push and let go. Listen around the fuel rail for the sucking sound. It may be quiet or a bit loud. Its your intake manifold gasket. That is why the outside temp effects it. It's pulling hot air in to the intake. It is not being picked up by the computer cause no sensors detect that. It just through them alittle off.. I am going to replace mine this weekend. And let you know how hard it is. They only cost $30. It make total sense now. I'll let you know how it goes. If it's something you need help with I'll be glad to give you a walk through.
Well later

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Thursday, April 5th, 2007 AT 9:48 AM
Tiny
JIMMYKICKER
  • MEMBER

Kyle,
Before you do that, get you a spray bottle of water and spray it around the area you suspect it's leaking and see if it cuts out. I drove it to school 20 miles today without any issue whatsoever. I then drove it to work without any problems. I deliver food by the way, so I drove it for 5+ hours. It ran perfect. The temperature never got over about 55 today.

Let me know what happens with yours. I am going to try to to clean the MAF first before I tear anything down. On the plus side for you, that should be a fairly straightforward job since everything is in easy reach and it's a 90 degree v6, so the pushrods won't have to be removed so you won't have to mess with resetting the valves like on a 60 degree (2.8L).

Thanks for you help. I'll wait for your reply

j

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Friday, April 6th, 2007 AT 12:46 AM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

Well I just replaced the gasket and clean everything! The injectors and throttle body too. No dice. It's 75 out.(I live in central penns.) And as soon as I got on the road and punched it it acted up right away. But once it shifts it goes good till the rpm's climb up and then it start cutting out. Well as much as I hate it i'm gonna spend $50 bucks and have the chevy grage tell me what's wrong. So as soon as I know you'll know. I
m out of f.G ideas! May be the fuel pump or coils or something else. But still no code. Well later
kyle

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Monday, April 23rd, 2007 AT 12:49 PM
Tiny
JIMMYKICKER
  • MEMBER

Kyle, I haven't had a problem since the other day. It goit up to about 75 today and still no issues. I expect it to come back as soon as the temp increases a bit (AL). I did notice a while back that the intake hose had slipped off right in front of the MAF honeycomb. I think it may be just dirty. I couldn't find a single one at the local PAP incidentaly. They were all missing. Every last one. I mean Lesabre, Park av, Bonneville, Delta. Every clone.

I replaced my coils, and I will say although it didn't fix the problem, the car ran noticebly better throught the rpm range, so it's a good investment. I'll be in touch. Thanks for the help.

JK

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 AT 2:49 AM
Tiny
JIMMYKICKER
  • MEMBER

Hey, did you get it fixed? I just started to have problems again. Now once it starts, cutting it off and restarting has no effect. Once it stops, it stops. Temp does seem to be a factor.

Let me know

J

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2007 AT 3:22 PM
Tiny
BISHOPOTIS
  • MEMBER

I having same problem the car will run fine at first start up but once it get hot it dies out wait like 5 to 7 mins. And it starts back up. I change ignition coil, ignition module and fuel pump still having same problem. If theres anyone who this has happen to please let me know how you fixed it. Bishopotis@yahoo. Com I've been hearing a crank sensor but really tired of guessing. Need a response soon.

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Thursday, May 10th, 2007 AT 6:57 AM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
  • 9,235 POSTS

There is a TSB on the IAC motor on that one.

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Saturday, May 12th, 2007 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
SMANTAS
  • MEMBER

I once had a 92 regal with 67000 miles on it that did the exact same thing. No check engine light or codes. Did a lot of reading on this and it turned out to be a bad crankshaft sensor. Replaced it and all was fine

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Thursday, May 17th, 2007 AT 2:38 PM
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
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Cool. Thanks for sharing, I hope it solves his problem.

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Thursday, May 17th, 2007 AT 5:55 PM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

Hey it's kyle
well I am gonna try the crankshaft positioning sensor. It's like 30 bucks. I'm not sure how bad they are to install but I have a lift so i'll let you know. It doesn't look too promising.

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 AT 7:14 AM
Tiny
SCOTT23
  • MEMBER

I have been having the same prob. But only when it is hot and only when I am below a half tank of gas. I was told by a reliable mechanic that it was my fuel pump and that it was getting hot and running poorly the fuel in the tank helps to keep the pump cool but when you get low on gas it cant cool it. What do ya think? Scott

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Friday, June 8th, 2007 AT 5:12 PM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

Well I also thought the same thing. Here what you do. Get a hold of a fuel pressure gauge. It screws in the shrader valve on the back side of the fuel rail. It should have a long enough hose to reach up through the hood. Place it where you can see it through the windshield. Then take it for a drive. Run it full throttle and see what you get. It should be between 44- 60 psi. If it cuts out and the fuel pressure drop then its your fuel pump. It it stays above 44 psi. Then the pump is ok. If its anywhere below 40 psi. Then replace the fuel pump.
Now if you think it the fuel pump then you will have to drop the tank and pull out the pump and sending unit BEFORE you go buy one. The lesabre was equipt 2 fuel pump. On the sending unit "CAC" or "CRC" wil be stamped on it. They run about 120 to 140 bucks. So if you like me make sure it's the pump. If money isn't an issuse then piss on it and replace it. It's not a hard job. Just make sure you are almost out of gas if you don't have a lift. I have pulled fuel pumps out of over 10 different cars. And most had like 3/4 to full. Let me tell you it's not fun with floor jacks. I'm gona still try the crank sensor. I do no i'll have to pull the harmonic balancers. It's looks pretty easy so i'll let you know. I here they will get a crack in them. It won't set off the computer cause it's intermittent.
Now the only thing with mine is it all depends on how hard I am into the pedal and how high the rpms are. And the temp of the motor. But if I start it up after work in the morning (3rd shift) it's like 40 outside. If I fun full throttle out the road it still does it. Just not as soon. It will do it @ like 5500 rpms. The car still has some serious balls though. So the fuel pump is deff. Cold.
I'll let you know what I figure out. I'm gona do the TPS also. But after that i'm pulling stuff out of my ass.
I AM gonna figure this out. I'm determand. Well now i'm just pissed but hey same difference.
Well good luck.
Kyle

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Friday, June 8th, 2007 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
DUNOOOOO
  • MEMBER

I'm having the same problems. I get a check engine light code though. At first it was a few things, and we fixed it. The entire intake manifold was replaced, as well as the Throttle position sensor. But now the code that comes up is TPS High. Which means its idling too high. Still stalls out once in a while, and won't start from time to time. Check your ignition

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Saturday, June 9th, 2007 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
SCOTT23
  • MEMBER

Hey all!
My car still runs like crap!
I was told that I have low fuel pressure but not low enough to cause what is happening. I figure that it most likeky isnt that pump anyways because it stalls out & I start it right back up and it runs fine for awhile( 2-5 mins) and it usually idles fine when I first start it up. If the pump was "blotto" then it would be that way all the time right? Let me know if I am wrong it wont offend me it has happened before just ask my wife. Could it be that the fuel screen is so clogged that it is causing this when it sucks up too much crap from inside the tank? Just a thought. I am grasping at the proverbial straws here.
Scott23

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 AT 5:00 PM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

Well. First of. Change the fuel filter. And if your gonna drop the tank to check the screen you might as well change the fuel pump. If you have the money. Which is why most of us come here. Plus I don't trust any mechanics. Anyway. If your getting a code on the computer then figure out why. If not check you vacuum lines. And idle air control sensor. Vacuum leaks will cause high idle.
Let me know how it works out

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 AT 11:23 PM
Tiny
KYLEMCNEEL
  • MEMBER

I am still working. On this freakin conundrum. But give me a bit I have a few ideas. I'm still gona try the crank sensor. And the fuel pump is still at the top of my list of wtf stuff. I checked my vacuum line and they are good.

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Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 AT 11:30 PM

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