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Buick LeSabre Starts, Dies, No Restart

Q. Hello, when I start my 1990 Buick LeSabre 3.8 liter V-6 and automatic transmission, it runs fine except that the idle is low and almost stalling. After I shut my car off and try to start it, maybe 5 to 10 minutes later, it will turn over but it will not catch. I got trouble code 34 which is the MAF sensor. I swapped that out and reset the computer by pulling the ECM fuse out and back in.

Buick LeSabre Starts, Dies, No Restart

Still, the same problem occurs but at least now the idle isn't nearly as bad as it used to be. This seems to happen in hot and humid weather. Last summer and in the beginning of this summer, when it was humid, my car would catch if,and only if, I kept my foot on the gas at all times even when stopped, (I threw it in neutral to save the brakes).

We also swapped out the spark plugs and the spark plug wires and we cleaned out the throttle body and placed some fuel injector cleaner in the gas tank and still, bad idle and after warming up, the car will not start again. I have heard that the coil pack could be bad, or the camshaft positioning sensor or the crank sensor.

After replacing the MAF no more trouble codes show up except, of course, 12. We pulled out each spark plug individually and grounded it and saw no spark from each one. Also, we pulled out the fuel injector plugs and placed a dome light bulb across it via two wires soldered at each end and saw that the light did not come on, (and it did pulse light when the car was running fine).

Is there anything else I can check? I do have good fuel pressure from the valve on the block when I turn the key and my electric fuel pump seems ok. I hope all the details weren't too extraneous. I appreciate your help and this web site has proven most valuable to me. I've learned a lot in way less time.


A. Sounds like a bad Crankshaft Position Sensor or even a bad PCM. Have someone scan it while cranking and look for a crank signal. They had lots of problems with those.

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