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jazzmaster, ASE Certified Tech
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 2951
Experience:  ase certified
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Buick Regal Limited: my father in law has a 93 buick regal

Customer Question

my father in law has a 93 buick regal 3800 that starts well but starts sputtering and shuts down after car runs for about 5 minutes. ive replaced the egr valve and spark plugs and wires. 2 new coils and even put some sea foam in the tank. we have taken it to two repair shops and they put it on a diagnostic machine. the number 26 came up and hey think it might be the computer. my father in law is on a fixed income and were running out of options. would really love to help him out. thank you for YOUR help. Big Mike
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 2 years ago.
hi, is this losing spark that you know of ? -you said you replaced 2 coils will this car start right back up or do you have to wait for it to cool down for a little bit ?if it needs to cool down to start can you hear the fuel pump run for 2-3 seconds each time you turn the key to the run position(not cranking ) ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its not losing spark. Yes it starts right back up with a little help from the gas peddle. But yes, it will start up easier if it cools a bit. The mechanic said that the spark plugs were dirty with oil,but i just replaced them a week ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I dont have the car with me right now. Its at the yard so i don't know about the fuel pump. Does a fuel injected engine have a fuel pump?
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 2 years ago.
yes the car has an electric fuel pump .
please check for to hear if the fuel pump comes on as described..
Has the fuel filter been changed or checked lately ?
Also, it would be a good idea to hook a fuel pressure gauge tester to the car to read the fuel pressure .
the fuel pressure can be checked with the car running as well as when you just turn the key to the run (not crank ) position and the fuel pump should run 2-3 seconds each time you do that .
the fuel pressure should read 41-47 psi the first time you turn the key to the run position .
if it doesn't and it takes a little bit of cranking or cycling the key to build up pressure there may be a fuel filter issue and /or fuel pump issue as well..
as an added comment the fuel pressure should read to the higher spec --47 psi ...jazzmaster ..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will try that. i will need to get the car back to do that. or i can go down and try it at the shop. they said it might be the computer and they want to replace it. 700 bucks and no guarantee. thank you for your time and patience.
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 2 years ago.
I believe that this quad driver fault may be for the tcc solenoid for the transmission .or could be for the egr,purge control solenoid etc.
in the case of the tcc-or overdrive the car will usually stall when put into gear .
I would more check out the fuel pump and filter first and I don't really think the ecm is causing the problem you have .
It would be good to check the fuel pressure and related fuel components
first ,since it sputters before it stalls .
If you are losing spark of it is erratic just before it dies ,it may be related to the ecm but at this point the fuel system has to be checked out.
I have also,although rare,have seen the sock/filter get clogged up on some of these vehicles that is on the fuel pump.
usually the pump will sound louder as it is working harder to pull the fuel into the pump itself
or the car while being driven will start to sputter and stall .but it sometimes will stay running in park at an idle and as soon as you give it gas will stall.
..jazzmaster ...
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 2 years ago.
I can't see why they would charge so much for the ecm .
you can get one at most parts places for around $100 or so .
the ecm contains a (what is called a Prom) which has to be transferred to the new ecm .
but that is a high price they want to charge for a computer for your car .
these years the ecm was actually pretty inter-changeable with a lot of other vehicles with the same motor and years (gm of course)and the same plug in connectors .
I believe the ecm is mounted either behind the glove box of kick panel on the passenger side foot well.
but as I said the fuel pressure needs to be checked to see if that is or isn't the issue causing your problem ...thank you ..jazzmaster ..
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just received your email on rating your answers. They said that once i was finished to rate the answers. i work out of town and just got back Sunday and haven't had a chance to go over those check items with my father in-law. Will check with him today. Thanks again. I will get back to shortly.
Expert:  jazzmaster replied 2 years ago.
ok, thank you for getting back to me ..another thing is it could be that filter/sock on the fuel pump module in the tank,I have seen these on occasion get filthy and let the car run a bit and then sputter and stall or start sputtering and lack of power or will stall if you give the car gas ,but if it sits for a little then the car can be driven again but it will sputter again after a few miles or so ....I thank you in advance for a positive rating and even after we can still continue on this issue .I do want to see your car up and running so to speak ..thanks ..jazzmaster ..