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Questions and Answers

LeSabre Starts Hard, Dies

Q. I have a 1991 Buick LeSabre with a 3.8 liter V-6 and 65,000 miles on it. Automatic transmission, fuel injection, P/S, P/B, cruise, front wheel drive. The problem that I am having is hard starting. On occasion, the car will not start unless you push on the gas pedal while starting it.

Out Foxing The Fox?

Also, sometimes after it starts the engine will idle down so low and die when the car comes to a stop. There doesn't seem to be any pattern as to when this will happen, it just does it once in a while. Sometimes after a few days and sometimes after a few hours. I took it to a Buick dealership and their final diagnosis was that the fuel pressure was leaking off and that it needs a new fuel pump.

I just had a new fuel pump installed a few weeks prior to their diagnosis, at another garage. I took the car back to the shop that replaced the fuel pump and they could not find the problem. No one seems to know what the problem is. I would appreciate any ideas you might have.

Thank You,

A. I don't think the fuel pump or fuel pressure is the culprit here. There was a TSB on the problem you described concerning a new Idle Air Control motor.

Decel Stall or Long Crank On Start-Up
Bulletin: 93-6E-3
Date: Oct.1992
Ref. No.: 93-6-6E

SUBJECT: New Idle Air Control (IAC) motor for 3800 and 3300 engines

  • 1988-90 Electra/Park Avenue, Riviera/Reatta And LeSabre Equipped With 3800 (VIN C) Engine.
  • 1991 LeSabre Equipped With 3800 (VIN C) Engine.
  • 1989-93 Century And Skylark Models Equipped With 3300 (VIN N) Engine.
  • 1990-93 Park Avenue, LeSabre, Riviera/Reatta And Regal Models Equipped With 3800 (VIN L) Engine.
  • 1991-93 Park Avenue/Ultra Models Equipped With 3800 S/C (VIN 1) Engine.

Some of the models mentioned above may experience a decel stall or long crank on startup. This condition can sometimes be viewed on a scan tool as excessively high IAC counts at idle immediately after startup, or as a failure to return to the same (or similar) IAC counts displayed at idle after several throttle maneuvers.

If this condition is experienced and currently published service diagnostic procedures indicate a malfunctioning IAC motor, it will be necessary to install a new IAC motor.

It should be noted that two designs of IAC motors exist. The 3800 (VIN L) and the 3800 supercharger (VIN 1) use a triple slope design. The 3800 (VIN C) and 3300 (VIN N) use a dual slope design. The dual slope and the triple slope designs are not interchangeable. Several part numbers for IAC motors are being phased out to standardize usage and are being replaced by current production IAC motors.

The chart below lists the application and appropriate service part numbers.

Year Model Engine VIN Code IAC Part #
Electra, Park Ave, Park Ave Ultra, Riveria, Reatta, LeSabre 3800/LN3 C 17112650
1991 LeSabre 3800/LN3 C 17112650
Century, Skylark 3300/LG7 N 17112650
1990 Regal 3800/L27 L 17112649
1991 Park Ave, Park Ave Ultra, Riveria, Reatta, Regal 3800/L27 L 17112649
Park Ave, LeSabre, Regal 3800/L27 L 17112649
Park Ave, Park Ave Ultra 3800 SC/627 1 17112649

This is what I would check for.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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