2001 Buick LeSabre - Starts great every time but immediately stalls out aftrwrds

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  #1  
Old 02-23-15, 07:25 AM
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2001 Buick LeSabre - Starts great every time but immediately stalls out aftrwrds

During last weeks coldest day (-12 degrees F) went to start my 2001 V6 3800 Buick LeSabre and it did start - but would not continue to run on releasing key from Start position... Tried a couple of more times with similar results - starts right up and then dies.
I just assumed something was frozen up and decided to wait until a slightly warmer day to try again. Saturday & Sunday it was basically just above freezing all day so I tried to start the Buick yesterday afternoon and got the same results. During one attempt I tried pumping the gas pedal a little to give it a little more gas to keep it running and it died just as quickly.

The car had run fine a couple of days before the hard cold snap for around 10 miles and then parked in the drive way.
Also, last month it had to have the fuel line replaced by my local shop due to a fuel leak and rusted fuel line and I've run it for maybe a couple of hundred miles since the repair...

Anything else you can think of that I could try - besides waiting until the temperature gets into the 40's, which at this point might be another month or two...?
Thanks,
greynold99
 
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  #2  
Old 02-23-15, 08:04 AM
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I would first suspect the ignition switch. And particularly with the number of problems that GM has had in this area, I would start with a call to the local dealer, to ask what the correct diagnostics might be, and to find out if it is covered under any recalls, whether published or addressed individually on an as needed basis.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 08:19 AM
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FYI, you have a fuel injected engine, pumping the gas pedal does not give it more gas as it did if you had a carburetor. Do you have a check engine light on or a security light on.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 08:30 AM
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Reply...

Actually I didn't pay much attention to the dashboard for the Check Engine or Service Engine Soon lights after the car dies but can check it tonight.
greynold99
 
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Old 02-23-15, 08:46 AM
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another question ...

Something I wanted to ask but forgot...

Is it possible something is still frozen obstructing the fuel flow?
It bothers me that the car starts so easily, like it's getting enough gas for that but on 'Run' it's not getting sufficient fuel flow.
If it were the fuel pump wouldn't it just quit starting or is there some kind of secondary fuel delivery system in place on fuel-injected systems?
greynold99
 
  #6  
Old 02-23-15, 08:52 AM
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My first thought would be ignition switch as well. The cold could have something to do with it, but more likely the contacts are just worn out. I don't really know what the guts of one looks like.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 09:00 AM
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The first thing I would check would be the oil pressure sensor. The fuel pump circuit goes through the oil pressure switch, but is bypassed in start mode for a few seconds. If the car cranks and then does not close the oil pressure switch the fuel pump loses power and quits pumping. Either the switch is bad, the engine is not making oil pressure, or the wires on switch have come disconnected.


Good luck,
RR
 
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Old 02-23-15, 11:40 AM
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Question for Rough Rooster

I can't remember exactly where I've seen it but is the fuel pressure switch that piece of equipment that attaches to the engine block with a threaded-connector and an electrical connection and wire going to it?

Like I said, I can't remember exactly where I've seen it whether from above on the side of the engine or while I've changed the oil from below near the oil sump/pan but on the block - but I do remember seeing it.

I assume these would act to complete the fuel pump circuit by the engine oil pressure if it acts like a traditional pressure switch.
How bad are they to change and what do they cost if you happen to know?
Thanks,
greynold99
 
  #9  
Old 02-23-15, 01:21 PM
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I have been away from auto repair for several years, but most of those switches were located on the block near the oil filter. They are a safety switch to stop fuel from being pumped when engine isn't running, therefore no oil pressure. It controls the fuel pump relay along with the computer's input also.
Not much trouble to change if you can get under car and cost will be minimal. (under $50 ??)
Happy hunting,

RR
 
  #10  
Old 02-23-15, 01:41 PM
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Thanks Rough Rooster

Well you may have been away a while but you've been very helpful
Appreciate your insights and advice.
greynold99
 
  #11  
Old 02-23-15, 06:57 PM
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I have to preach to the same quire.
It's ignition switch.
2ndly, I'd have to assume that indeed, water might have frozen somewhere in lines.
3dly, fuel pressure switch.
Do you have any idiot lights flashing in cluster - like maybe key sign or something? It awfully reminds me of GM BCM - body control module - response to a bad key. Or, key that was "forgotten" by BCM. GM BCMs are very temperamental, you know. They do jusat that - let it start and cut off fuel supply right away.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 07:24 PM
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if this year has the chip in the key, my bet would be a broken wire for the security system. it connects to the key tumbler.when you turn the key to the on position(not start) does the security light on the dash stay on?
 
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Old 02-25-15, 07:18 AM
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Reply to Ukrbyk & Iceman681

Thanks for your replies.
Ukrbyk I'm glad to see your response and that you are still active the DIY Auto forum as I've picked up a great deal of info from you on many car & philosophical topics over the years.

As far as my Buick issue is concerned, my wife convinced me that we needed the car more quickly than historically my repair skills and the upcoming inclement weather forecast allow. So, I called my local repair shop yesterday and had it towed over. I should know by the end of the week what the issue is.

To respond to a few of the potential causes...
1. The key does not have the 'embedded key chip' like my old '92 Buick LeSabre had;
2. I waited over the past weekend when the outside temp rose to above freezing for two days to try starting the car and similarly before the tow truck arrived yesterday (just near 32 deg F) to try again with similar results. I also typcally add a bottle of one of the better quality gas line antifreeze solutions every other tank fill up;
3. I didn't notice any of the idiot lights remaining ON after the car died on trying to start it;

Thanks again,
greynold99
 
  #14  
Old 02-25-15, 07:39 AM
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I also typcally add a bottle of one of the better quality gas line antifreeze solutions every other tank fill up;
Just my 2 cents, but considering that most gasoline sold in this country has 10% ethanol (alcohol) added to it I see no reason to add additional alcohol antifreeze solutions to the gas. Products like HEET use to be of some value, but they are just methanol which is also alcohol. One can of HEET is far less than the 10% alcohol already in the tank. I remember many years ago knowing a guy who in severe cold weather would add a quart of alcohol antifreeze to his gas when he filled up his Dodge truck, he used to swear by it.
 
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Old 02-25-15, 07:57 PM
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Thank you for kind words, Grey.
It is somehow hard to believe that 2001 LeSabre does not have chipped key, though my 99 Silverado did. Your vehicle is much more upscale than that truck. But hey, you the one who owns it.
Keep us posted. I LOVE LeSabres. Was the most comfortable vehicle I ever rented for long drive. And did around 32 mpg Nashville to OKC.
 
  #16  
Old 03-02-15, 02:01 PM
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Ukrbyk,

Wow, I've had a '92 Buick LeSabre Custom as well as this '01 Limited and neither one got anywhere near 32mpg. Best I've done is around 25 mpg in the Summer cruising @65 mph with fresh oil.
We bought both of 'em used and each had around 30K/47K miles respectively - but that New Car Smell has been too expensive for me...
Although, believe it or not, I use to get around 30 mpg on a '68 Plymouth Belvedere with the Slant-6 engine. My first car, bought it with 57K miles on it and ran it till it rusted off the famous 'uni-body' frame but sold the engine out of it to someone who dropped it in a Dodge Dart.

Anyway, Shop just called me back today - Problem was with the Mass Air-Flow Sensor. I've heard of rough starting/idling with a defective or malfunctioning Mass O2 Sensor but never Start and Die...
They diagnosed through the Error Codes which I guess I didn't see when I trying to start the car.
Thanks for your help and everyone's replies.
Greynold99
 
  #17  
Old 03-02-15, 07:39 PM
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I rented Le Sabre new few months before 9/11. Went from Nashville to OKC. I got scared, thought fuel gauge is broken - it just kept going and going on same tank.
Never heard of mass O2 sensor. Know O2 sensors and MAP/MAF ones. You SHOULD have had error code pointing towards and indeed, engine does run like crap if it's dirty or disconnected.
Good you got it.
That 3.1 or some liter GM engine was one of the 1st V6th-s to beat 30mpg.
 
  #18  
Old 03-04-15, 07:13 AM
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Resolution update

Ukrbyk,
I forgot about the 3.1L V6 engine and understand how you were getting 30mpg from that engine. Mine is the 3.8L engine which probably explains why I'm 'not' getting 30mpg...

Anyway, the story gets a little more interesting. Turns out the shop I deal with had replaced the Mass Air Flow sensor around 5 years ago for about the same price, only about $50 higher now. When I asked about getting some credit because I had only put about 37K miles since the sensor was replaced, I was told that they had used a 'Re-manufactured' unit and it only had a 90 day warranty. Although this time for the extra $30, I got a 'new' sensor that had a full 'limited' warranty.
I'm still a little miffed that I didn't get some credit for what I think was a shoddy 're-man' sensor and that I had put so few miles on the car even though it has been 5 years. I've dealt with this shop for over 10 years as a regular customer but on the other hand, I haven't spoken with the Boss yet.
Since I have some needed body work that his shop also does, I may bring it up.

Any tips for making this approach work in a considerate way would be appreciated.
Thanks again,
greynold99
 
  #19  
Old 03-30-15, 07:45 AM
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Another Mass Air Flow code throwed last week

Well, I'm not sure what's going on but we decided to take the Buick out for a little longer drive since getting the new Mass Air Flow sensor - about 25 miles.
Anyway, when we went to leave the car started very rough and we had to pump the gas pedal to keep it running. This went on for a minute or so and I decided to look under the hood to check for anything obvious. About the time I raised the hood, engine running smoothed out and was able to run fairly normally enough so that we decided to drive it home... although on the trip home we did experience periodic rough running.

My mechanic suggested getting the codes read over the weekend at the local auto parts store and when I did it was the same Error Code P0101 for a Mass Air Flow Sensor. Leaving the parts store parking lot, car seemed a little hard to start as well but ran fine once it started.

I know the part itself is still under warranty after only 2 weeks but is there anything else that would cause a failure this early after being replaced that would need checked?
thanks,
greynold99
 
  #20  
Old 03-30-15, 07:57 PM
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when it comes to MAF's i only use OEM from a dealer. after market ones just dont seem to have the quality control. they way i judge it is, reman maf= 1 out of 15 good. new after market = 1 out 5 good. OEM = 19 out 20 good.
 
  #21  
Old 04-01-15, 07:39 AM
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Reply to Iceman681

With the MAF, I'm tending to agree with you. I'm pretty sure it's not an OEM MAF and unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure how they work that would affect the engine's running as significantly as it does.

Anyway, I brought the Buick out for 5 mile trip to work this morning, no problems. I'll take it out over Lunch to see if the fact that it's been warmed up makes a difference. I'm leaning to the fact that unlike the original MAF failure that now the car starts Cold fine but after having been run or warmed up is when I'm going to have a problem with starting or smooth running after starting.
greynold99
 
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