89 Buick - Problem Starting

Old 03-16-02, 05:03 AM
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89 Buick - Problem Starting

89 Buick LeSabre, V-6, 3.8, l67,000 mi. In the last couple of months my car will not start after being outside overnight and this problem seems to only happen during moisture causing weather conditions, i.e. snow/rain.

The car will normally start on the first turn of the key without touching the gas pedal but under the above conditions, all I get when I turn the key are rapid turn over (until I wear the battery down) and constant sputtering like its right on the verge of starting but can't quite "catch." The only way my mechanic has gotten it to start after that is to go under the hood and manually manipulate the gas feed. "Its all in the feel", he says. Reminds me of a safecracker.

Once the car has started, it will continue to start at the first turn of the key, throughout the day, regardless of weather conditions. It does not die or stall after that first start. I have noticed, however, that I am getting less gas mileage and the car won't snap into overdrive like it used to and sometimes, not at all.

At the repair shop, the 3mo. old battery checked out fine and the starter has been r&r twice, 01/03 and 03/11. They diagnosed a bad fuel regulator as the cause of my starting problem and replaced it, also on 03/11. It started fine for two mornings after clear, overnight weather. It snowed heavy on the third night and yesterday morning, I had the same problem. The mechanic is now talking possible bad fuel injectors. I know next to nothing about automotives and can't afford to spend the total cash value of the car on more needless parts, labor and tests but I can't afford to dump it right now either. What could be causing this problem and what is the most economical way to get a definitive diagnosis and avoid using the process of elimination routine? $$

03/17 - Thanks so much for the post responses. I have also been advised to have them check the throttle position sensor and to check for moisture in the distributor. Along with your suggestions, could these be problem possibilities as well? Thanks again.

Last edited by Alzmama; 03-17-02 at 04:53 AM.
Old 03-16-02, 06:29 AM
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there is a good chance of a weak ignition coil causing your problem of hard or no start in colder temperatures after setting overnight. you might have a shop check the secondary ignition pattern on a scope to determine if it is weak.
Old 03-16-02, 07:56 AM
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I agree with bejay, however, I would suggest taking it to a shop with competent technicians and have it checked.

You need three things to make a car run:compression, ignition, fuel

It should be very easy to diagnose seeing how it doesn't start at all

Is the motor in good mechanical shape?

Do you have spark?

Do you have fuel pressure/injector pulse?

Good luck

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