1988 Buick Regal voltage regulator

Tiny
AKANYR
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 BUICK REGAL
Electrical problem
1988 Buick Regal 6 cyl Automatic

engine stalls after 15min. It re-starts fine but the shutters & stalls after 20 -30 seconds. Changed the fuel filter & oil pressure switch, the coils & ignition modulae, fuel pump relay & fuse all check out fine. It has spark & fuel pressure. I tested the altenator, with a multi-meter and it bounces all over the single digit voltage reading. Then the car shutters & dies. How do I test the voltage regulator? It's inside the altenator isn't it? Also how do I properlyclean the throttle body & IAC valve?
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Thursday, August 20th, 2009 AT 2:25 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes the voltage regulator is part of the alternator. What I recommend is to take the car to a nationally recognized parts store and have them check the alt on the vehicle. They have the testequipment to do it and most will do it for free.

Let me know what you find.
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Friday, September 4th, 2009 AT 8:18 AM
Tiny
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Hi, Joe. My car won't even make it the block & a half to the Auto Zone. I tested the altenator with a multi meter when it was reving up & down during warm-up. The volts were bouncing up & down with the engine rev's. Anywhere from 14.67 - 13.94 I think were the readings I got. I noticed if I put the heater on though the engine levels out alot & takes alittle longer to stall, so I don't think it's the voltage regulator any more. Thankx for ur help though.
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Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 AT 5:45 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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The alt sounds good. Has the check engine light ever come on? Also, the heater should have no affect on the engine, so I curious how that seems to smooth the engine.

Can you describe what the engine does? Also, I realize that it has fuel pressure, but how much?
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Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 AT 8:03 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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One last thing, have you checked to make sure the catylatic converter isn't plugged?
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Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 AT 8:03 AM
Tiny
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Hi Joe, thanx 4 get'n back 2 me. The SES lite hasn't come back on before it stalls since I replaced the MAF. It just stalls after 8 min of up & down idling. It always starts back up & repeats the cycle til it stalls. Imagine 2 kids bounc'n in ur car to music for 1-2 seconds, then stop for 1-2 seconds, then bounce again. That's the up/down idle before I but on the heater. After the heater is on, imagine only one small kid bounc'n the way the 2 kids did, that's about the difference. I noticed 4 months ago before the the stalling started, that when the 'CLUST' fuse is pulled the blower motor blows air. I think the cars possessed. I don't know what the fuel pressure is, I don't have the $150 Auto Zone wants to borrow the gauge, or the $20 to buy a cheap one. I hav'nt checked the cat conv, I don't know how & never thought it would need check'n. I jus got done testing the MAP, the A & C terminals have the right 5.0 volts. When I did B & A terminals it should'v been 0.5 volts (at sea level) but I got a 4.35 reading. I'm in Vegas & it's about 2,200ft above sea level so I'm at a loss at what the volts should be. Auto Zone test instuctions never said what would be wrong if the B/A terminals hadn't tested in range. I took off the vac lines from the throttle body & tried to gently blow in then out to see if they were clogged. The EGR was clear & MAP too I think. The fuel Pressure regulator vac line was tight, I pulled very little air in/out the line. Same with the vac line next to it towards the firewall. I finally found where the PCV valve's hidden. Backside of engine, below & under plenum, under all the lines 4'' from firewall. It hadn't been changed in 2 years, I couildn't it for the year I've had the car. Im taking a break from try'n to put the hose back on the PCV, there's no room & the engine is rotated forward. I don't know how far it should go forward so it's only as far as I need to put my hands back there. That ain't far, I'm female so my hands are small. My next step is to pull the #1 spark plug to see how it looks deposits wise. I got a bottle of Lucas injector cleaner, i'm go'n to double the dose in my tank. Maybe it's the injectors. If I put my foot on the gas the car stalls - oh yea! Here's another weird one, I took the relay out for the fuel pump to release the pressure in the line & the car kept get'n gas, as if I never took out the relay. I was even able to step on the gas pedal as much & as hard as I wanted & the car didn't stall..... I'm tell'n ya Joe the car IS POSSESSED! She's a great car, never a problem til a week after the 1yr date I bought it. I drove it 1300miles from Washington state to Vegas last Oct. 1 w/o a tune up & it only cost about $160 in gas @ $4.25 a gallon. Plus the car was LOADED to the max w/my stuff. Here's a pic of my car just before I left Washington & moved back to Vegas. I wanted to show my friends how high the trucks are in WA state next to my car. Beautiful state, but to quiet for me.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/397814_88_Regal_next_to_High_Pick_up_08_3.jpg

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 AT 1:00 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Great picture. Good lord, what the. Do they use a step ladder to get in that thing?

Regardless, I agree with you. We need a priest. As far as your car, if you pulled the fuel pump relay and the car still ran, someone has done something to it. They may have run power directly to the fuel pump so it runs all of the time.

I wish I was there to help you, but Vegas (which I hope to see in my lifetime) is on the other end of the country from me. Here is the problem. Many things could cause this, but without the check engine light, everything is a guess. As far as the fuel pump pressure, I really have to question what is going on there. I wonder if there was a problem with it prior to you getting the car, repaired and now it's back. Is there anyway for you to place the fuel pump pressure gauge on a credit card? They will return the money when the tool is returned. That way there is no money out of pocket.

Let me know.
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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 AT 7:20 AM
Tiny
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When I took out the PCV valve it was covered with dirt enclusted thick black oil. It had to be at least 1/4 inch thick. I put in the new 1 & added Lucas fuel injector cleaned to the gas. It started even stronger & at a few points during the warm up u can hear her reving up the engine trying to stay alive. She sounded healthier, but still stalled. I'm going to start it up again tomorrow & leave my foot on the gas pedal the whole time as she warms up so the injector cleaner has a better chance of working. Ill let u know how it turns out. Also I'm go'n to call Auto Zone on the corner & ask them if I can manage to get the car to them could they please test the fuel pressure for me. They know the problems I've been having the last 2 months. I bought all the parts from them.
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 7:18 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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Let me know if they won't do it. I will walk you through the steps. It's not that hard.
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Sunday, October 4th, 2009 AT 3:50 PM
Tiny
AKANYR
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Thanks. I put the Lucas fuel injector cleaner in & bounced the back bumper alot to mix up the injector cleaner & gas in the tank good. Started the car with my foot resting on the gas pedal & she rev'ed good & stronge for 3 & 1/2 min steady. Then died. I tried start'n it a few more times again but it died in a second. After it kept dying It had a code 44, lean exhaust, I cleared the code & went back 2 days later to start it again. She nows dies in a second if I rest my foot on the gas pedal when starting it, but will idle slightly rough for 3-4 seconds if I start it & don't rest my foot on the gas pedal. I re-checked the Trouble codes & it shows none. I think put'n in that tank full of high octane gas last time from always using the low grade octane has losened up years of sludge in the tank & now I got that sludge residue in my fuel line & in my injectors. What do U think? Do u have any sugestions besides using set'n it ablaze & using it to tossed marshmellows? LOL
* I forgot, after the code 44, lean exhaust, I had a code 54, fuel pump circuit, I didn't do anything to fix it jus cleared it & it never came back, but I still have the almost instant dying problem. What do I check first in a code 54?
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Friday, October 9th, 2009 AT 6:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Actually, the lean exhaust can be caused by a few things. I would start the cheapest way and that is checking fuel pump pressure. If it is weak, you may not be getting the needed fuel. Here is a how to:

http://www.2carpros.com/how_to/how_to_check_fuel_pressure.htm

You will need a gauge to check it, but most parts stores will lend you one.

If the pressure is good, my next suspect would be the ambient temp sensor. It is a sensor that tells the computer how could or warm the temp is outside so it knows how rich or lean to make the fuel mixture. Then I would move to the O2 sensors.

Let me know what you find.
Joe
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Friday, October 9th, 2009 AT 11:19 PM

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