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ASEMaster35yrs, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 2095
Experience:  ASE Certified since 1972,Master Auto tech,Heavy Truck,4 years buick dealer Tech
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1990 Buick Century Custom: 6 cylinder 3.3L that..super..wont start

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I just bought a 1990 Buick Century Custom, 6 cylinder 3.3L that is super clean and seems to be in good condition, with one exception. It won't start. I was told that it ran out of gas and they couldn't get it started after that. We changed the crank shaft sensor and the fuel pump. The filter seems to be fine. We can put fuel directly into the engine and it will fire and start for a couple seconds, then it dies. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi, Glad to be of help. Is the security lght on? could be a pass key problem. Try this: Turn key on and leave on for 10 minutes before starting. If this don't work check for codes then use a noid light at one injector harness connector to see if you are getting a injector pulse when cranking and check fuel pressure. It could also be an ECM fault. Does your ignition key have a chip in it? Does you key look like this?:




Check out this website for by passing VAT system:

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My key doesn't look the ones in the picture. It doesn't have a chip in it. I don't have a noid light to check those things and I will have to have it towed to a mechanic in order to have the codes checked. I was really trying to do this on my own. If I don't have the chip in the keys, will leaving the key on for 10 minutes before starting it still make a difference. As for the link, it is only for cars that are 1991 and newer and my car is a 1990.

Do you have any other ignition keys? Your key should have a chip in it. That may be your problem. To check for codes, you can do that yourself with a paperclip. In your ALDL connector under the dash, stick the paper clip into the top right two spots B & A and turn the key on. Your check engine light will start flashing , first code 12 then every other code three times each. The long flashes are 10's and short flash is 1's.

Look at this diagram:

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If you are positive that my keys have to have the chip, then I know that is my problem. Are you positive? Other than that, you have been amazingly helpful. Thanks!
If you have a security system light on your dash, you should have a chip in your key. The later models did not have a chip but they didn't use the VAT system. The later pass key II & III worked off the ignition tumbler.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok. I'll check now. Will leaving the key on for 10 minutes before starting help me at all?
Yes, try it!
ASEMaster35yrs and 3 other Buick Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
That didn't seem to help at all but I did find that my car does have a security light on the dash. It doesn't come on, however. The keys I was given are obviously new "copies" of the ignition keys and not the originals. I have already spent $200 in a fuel pump and crank shaft sensor and it was the key the whole time. I thank you very much for opening my eyes to a very simple solution.
You will need a master key with a chip to reprogram it.