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AZ_HUNTER, GM World Class Tech
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 401
Experience:  16 years GM Tech, ASE Master Certified
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95 buick regal: It will restart but then immediately dies again

Customer Question

My 95 buick regal 3.8 starts, then dies immediately. It will restart but then immediately dies again. A similar problem in a chrysler was caused by a faulty balast resistor. Could this be similar?

Leading up to this, the car would on rare occasions not start and just crank. Repeated cranking proved the engine was not getting any fuel. After leaving it sir for 30 + minutes, it started and ran fine for months, until it happened again.

Look forward to your response.

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer!


A few quick questions, does the security indicator (lamp) on the on after you try to start the vehicle and do you know if you have fuel pressure? Can you hear the fuel pump running when you first turn the key on?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Not sure of your first question about the security lamp. Is it a dashboard warning llight of some kind? You may have left a few words out of the sentence.


Regarding fuel pressure, I'm not sure, but when I turn the key on without engaging the starter, there is a short sound, then nothing (like the whirring of a pump motor). When I engage the starter, the engine will catch, run smoothly for about second, then die. Just as if the little bit of gas that did get pumped was used up and the fuel pump didn't deliver any more. Turning the car off and waiting five seconds then once again turning it on, waiting another few seconds, then engaging the starter will once again start the engine until it again runs out of gas.

Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.

Sorry about that, fat finger syndrome along with a brain laps. What I meant was does the security indicator in the dash stay lit after you try and start the vehicle?


By the sounds of it, the fuelpump is working by the discription of the whirring noise.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.


my turn for an apology. There is no noise like the whirring of a pump. Just some little sound at first then nothing.


I checke the security light just now as well. It does not stay on. Does that mean it is not the anti theft feature acting up?

Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.
If it were a security issue, than the light would stay lit. I would suggest having someone open the fuel door and remove the fuel cap. Place an ear next to the fuel fill and have someone else turn the key to the run position (just b4 start) and listen for a whirring noise from the pump. This will let us know if the pump is engaging.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Unless it is a very, very quite fuel pump, I would say the pump is not turning on with the ignition.


This is in the car, all accesories switched off, seat belt on and then slowly turning the key to on. Only thing I hear is the clunk of the power locks, then nothing.

Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.
OK, the most likely cause would be a faulty fuel pump. Do you have a 12v test lamp and I can walk you through some diagnosis procedures?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I can probably lay my hands on one but am currently at work and can't make the time. Sorry. I was hoping you'd tell me it was the fuel pump resistor and walk me through how to change it. This doesn't seem to be where you're going however.


Would it be possible to continue our chat later? The car is stalled at work and I've been running out to it in between our exchanges to get your answers. It isn't going anywhere and is relatively safe (it is 95 Regal afterall, not too many folks lined up to snag one).


thanks, XXXXX XXXXX know.


Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.
It could possibly be the fuel pump relay and you could try swapping it out with one of the other relays. Usually it is a fault with the fuel pump itself and it can not build up enough pressure to run the vehicle. I will be on for a bit, then I have to go pick up my boys from Karate and will be back on here around 7pm Arizona time.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Although it didn't have the same number of tabs (4 vice 5), I just tried swapping the fuel relay with A/C relay. No joy.


I've the fuel relay pulled now and will head to autozone after work for a new one. Any idea what they might cost?


Also, back to my ballast resistor theory...does the 95 Buick even have one of them in its circuitry?


That all I have time for today. Can I try you again tomorrow?

Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.

It shouldn't cost more that 5 bucks, but then again the prices of everything is crazy.

There isn't a risistor in line, its a strait shot from the fuse to the relay to the pump. I may be on-line tomorrow from time to time, have a couple of big jobs lined up here at work to tomorrow so I will see what I can do around lunch time (12pm Az time)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.



Auto Zone says they'll sell me a nice fresh relay for only 8.99, so I'll give that a try. I've got a day from h-ll tomorrow as well, so will probably not be able to get back to you until Thursday. I'll let you know if the relay worked.


Also, thanks for your answer on the resistor. That helps.



Expert:  AZ_HUNTER replied 8 years ago.
Ok good luck.