You may want to have the vehicle scanned for any existing transmission codes. This will will take you to the exact source of the issue. It may be as simple as a speed sensor not sending the right signals.
Back story/what we have done so far. It is a 2003 Buick Lesabre with 102k miles.
Car started “overheating” on us
Car started “overheating” on us, no engine light. Temp gauge would go from reading halfway to all the way in the red within 1 second. Sometimes it would bounce back down right away, sometimes you’d have to turn off car and restart for gauge to normalize. Verified with infrared thermometer that car was not actually overheating, temp was always 190-200. After doing this for 3 or 4 times, engine light came on and car threw itself into limp mode would not go past 3rd gear. Parked the car until coolant temp sensor and thermostat were both changed. Since then been driving the car around for about a month with no temp issues. Temp stays constant at 194. However engine light will not go away, still showing code for coolant temp sensor. Will try to clear code manually and see if if comes back on.
However a new issue has arisen and I am not sure if it’s related. 3 times now when trying to start car after quick errand, car won’t start unless I give her a lil gas. This is not a problem in the morning and not all the time. Only after for example running into the store for about 5 min and coming back out to restart car. If I am gone for longer periods of time like in the store for 30-45 there is no problem starting. Only after turning it off then trying to restart within a few min. After I get it started it runs fine. Temp still ok, no idle issues. Threw some injector cleaner in and will be replacing fuel filter soon. Any thoughts? Are these two issues related?
I do not think the two issues are related. The second issue sounds like a idle air control valve sticking. This issue doesn’t throw a code. But from how you explained being able to press the accelerator pedal a little allows it to start tells me the story. Cleaning and or replacing the IAC Valve should take care of that issue.
Buick Code P0128 – Engine Coolant Temperature Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature
Possible causes for code P0128
Leaking or stuck open thermostat
Low engine coolant level
Insufficient warm up time
Faulty engine coolant temperature sensor
Engine coolant temperature sensor harness is open or shorted
Engine coolant temperature sensor circuit poor electrical connection
Intermittently, when I turn the key to start the car, nothing happens for a second then the starter engages and the car starts and runs fine. Changed starter, coil packs and swapped relays for ignition also had charging system and battery tested all fine. It can go for days between incidents.
Unfortunately intermittent problems are difficult for anyone to diagnose. Only when it will not start can you try to test and diagnose the issue.
1998 Buick Century Limited: It’s winter and I would like hot air to come out of both the driver side and passenger side middle-level vents. The problem seems to be that temperature is working for the passenger side but not the right side. Here are some clues:
– No amount of fiddling with the HVAC buttons in Auto or Manual mode seemed to fix the problem. Most of my tests were in manual mode because Auto seemed to behave the same. Also DUAL mode was OFF during these tests.
– Changing the temperature changed the temperature of the air on the passenger side but the driver side remained cold and unchanged. When temperature was set lower, both side would push cold air. At max high-temp, still cold air on driver side and then passenger side back to hot.
– I performed a ‘reset’ by disconnecting the battery for an hour
– Upon re-connection, the first thing I noticed was that the yellow Auto button light on the HVAC head was working. This wasn’t working before.
– The second thing I noticed that the fan wouldn’t come on. By fiddling with the buttons for 5 minutes, the fan came on.
– However, as soon as the fan came on, lo and behold, I got hot air coming from both driver and passenger side vents!
– To verify that this was not just a one-time thing, I turned the car off and then on.
– Immediately the original problem returned: cold air on driver side, hot air passenger side.
– The fan was also hard to start but I noticed that if I removed and put back the blower fuse, the fan would almost always start working again. (The fan is more of a red-herring….the temperature problem is the main thing I need to solve.)
– Btw, somewhere along the way the Auto button yellow light stopped working again.
– I noticed something weird: When HVAC was off, whenever a pushed a button to turn the unit on, I could hear the engine strain. It acted like, no matter what, the A/C compressor was turning on (even though the temperature was set to max-high and it was cold outside).
– Sure enough, I noticed the A/C clutch would engage whenever a button was pushed on the HVAC. I removed the fuse for the A/C clutch.
– From this point on, the compressor did not engage, however the driver side vent continued to blow “cool” (but not cold) air. Passenger side still hot.
– During testing, somehow, magically, after the HVAC was on for about 10 minutes, the driver side started blowing hot air.
– I turned car off and then on, and the problem returned immediately. The driver side blowing cold air, passenger side hot
– This morning on way to work, I waited to see if the driver side would magically start blowing hot. It didn’t.
– Then, after about 10 minutes, just on a hunch, I lowered the temperature as low as it could go, and then raised it again to max
– Voila, both sides start blowing hot air.
– My question: Is there a driver side thermostat separate from the passenger side? If so, it seems like the driver side thermostat always thinks that the temperature is “too hot” and thus turns the A/C on and then channels the A/C cold air into the driver side vents because it thinks it should be cooling the driver off even though it should be heating things up. Also, apparently, even when the A/C clutch is disconnected, it puts some flap in position to channel air from the A/C to the driver side vent, rather than channel air from the heater.
– At first thought, one might think that the driver side actuator that controls a flap may be at fault. However, if this were true, why would the HVAC be initiating the A/C clutch when it shouldn’t? If it was just a flap actuator problem and the thermostat was working properly, the A/C clutch would not be engaged, but the driver side would blow “cool” (outside) air.
Thoughts and suggestions much appreciated.
Thank you for such a detailed description of your problem. 99% of the time when this issue occurs, the problem is in fact the Drivers Side Actuator. They tend to stick and chew up the gears yet occasionally allowing it to work. The other 1 % of the time the door or linkage is damaged. This is quite common with all vehicles manufactured with electronic actuators.
Labor Time to Replace the Actuator is 1.0 Hours.
Actuator Replacement Procedure – Drivers Side
Disconnect the negative battery cable
Remove the instrument panel and instrument panel carrier
Unplug the temperature valve actuator harness connector
Remove the mounting screws, then temperature valve actuator.
The car starts and idles fine but has no power. When I try driving it. it barely goes. I can’t get it up past 25 or 30 MPH. WHAT COULD BE WRONG?
– The battery is new and is charging fine
– Plugs and wires are new
– The MAF Sensor has been removed and cleaned (with the special MAF cleaner)
– It’s not transmission related
– The car has low miles (90k) ad has been well-taken care of
Sounds like a lack of fuel.
Allow the fuel pressure to bleed off.
Disconnect the fuel feed line and install a hose on the line.
Apply battery voltage (using a fused jumper wire) to terminal “G” of the Assembly Line Date Link (ALDL) connector located under the dash. Terminal “G” is the first terminal on the left of the bottom row.
The fuel pump should supply 1 ⁄ 2 pint or more in 15 seconds.
Allow the fuel pressure to bleed off.
Obtain two sections 3 ⁄ 8 in. steel tubing. Each should be about 10 in. (254mm) long. Double-flare one end of each section.
Install a flare nut on each section. Connect each of the above sections of tubing into the “flare nut-to-flare nut adapters” that are included in the J-29658-82 Gage Adapters.
Attach the pipe and adapter assemblies to the J-29658 gage.
Using proper procedures, raise and support the front of the car.
Disconnect the front fuel feed hose from the fuel pipe on the body.
Install the 10 in. (254 mm) length of 3 ⁄ 8 in. fuel hose onto the fuel feed pipe on the body. Attach the other end of the hose onto one of the sections of pipe mentioned earlier. Secure the hose connections with clamps.
Attach the front fuel feed hose onto the other section of tubing. Secure the hose connection with a clamp.
Start the engine and check for leaks.
Observe the fuel pressure reading. It should be 9–13 psi (62–90 kPa).
I need a bulb put in the right front head light I was told. Will replacing this bulb, also work low and high beam? I was also told it is a little difficult to replace this bulb. Can you tell me how much the bulb should be and how much should the total cost to replace this bulb?
Replace headlight bulb
High beam and low beam headlight bulbs are separate. Labor time is 0.8 – 1 hour to replace headlight bulb. So you are looking at around $200 for parts, labor and tax.
The headlamp relay receives battery positive voltage directly from the battery. The BCM supplies a ground signal to the headlamp relay for normal headlight operation. The BCM also supplies voltage to the beam select relay coil for high beam headlight operation. When the driver places the headlamp switch in the ON position and the dimmer switch is in the low beam position, the headlamp relay supplies current flow through the left and right low beam headlamp fuses to both low and high beam headlamps. Both low beam headlights are grounded through the beam select relay. When activated, the dimmer switch sends a ground signal to the BCM in the high beam position and a momentary ground signal in the flash-to-pass (FTP) position. The BCM then energizes the beam select relay which switches the headlamp grounds from the low beam headlight bulbs to the high beam headlight bulbs illuminating the high beam headlights. With the headlights in the low beam position, the high beams may be momentarily turned ON or flashed by activating the FTP portion of the switch.
When To Change The HID Bulb
Bulb failure, end of life occurs when the bulb gets old and becomes unstable. The bulb may begin shutting itself off sporadically and unpredictably at first, perhaps only once during a 24-hour period. When the bulb begins shutting itself off occasionally, the ballast will automatically turn the bulb back on again within 0.5 seconds. The ballast will re-strike the bulb so quickly that the bulb may not appear to have shut off. As the bulb ages, the bulb may begin to shut off more frequently, eventually over 30 times per minute. When the bulb begins to shut off more frequently, the ballast receives excessive, repetitive current input . Repetitive and excessive restarts or re-strikes, without time for the ballast to cool down, will permanently damage the ballast. As a safeguard, when repetitive re-strikes are detected, the ballast will not attempt to re-strike the lamp. The ballast then shuts down and the bulb goes out.
The following symptoms are noticeable signs of bulb failure:
Flickering light, caused in the early stages of bulb failure.
Lights go out, caused when the ballast detects excessive, repetitive bulb re-strike.
Color change—The lamp may change to a dim pink glow.
Input power to the ballast must be terminated in order to reset the ballast’s fault circuitry. In order to terminate the input power to the ballast, turn the lights off and back on again. Turning the lights off and back on again resets all of the fault circuitry within the ballast until the next occurrence of excessive, repetitive bulb re-strikes. When excessive, repetitive bulb re-strikes occur, replace the starter/arc tube assembly. The ballast will begin the start-up process when the starter/arc tube assembly is replaced. Repeatedly resetting the input power can overheat the internal components and cause permanent damage to the ballast. Allow a few minutes of cool-down time in between reset attempts.
Bulb failures are often sporadic at first, and difficult to repeat. Technicians can identify bulb failure by observing if the problem gets progressively worse over the next 100 hours of operation.
White light has a different color rating than regular headlamps. The range of white light that is acceptable is broad when compared to halogens. Therefore, some variation in headlight coloring between the right and left headlamp will be normal. One high intensity discharge (HID) at the end of the normal range may appear considerably different in color from one at the other end of the range. Difference in color is normal. Replace the arc tube only if the arc tube is determined to be at the bulb failure stage.
This car runs perfect going steady down the road-when climbing hills it wants to stutter.
First thing to do would be to scan for check engine light codes. These codes will help guide you in the right direction. The codes will also help keep you from replacing parts that don’t need to be. My guess would be an engine misfire. But the nice thing about the codes is you will not need to guess.
My right turn signal does not work. Nothing comes on for the right. Dash turn signal light or right cornering light do not work. But, the emergency flashers do work. Please advise. The car has a multi function unit on the steering wheel. So, I assume the turn signal switch is contained in that unit. It is a 2000 Buick Lesabre Limited 3.8.
You are correct in your thinking. The turn signal switch and multi-function switch are one in the same. So you know the wiring and bulbs are good because the hazards work. The most common cause for this issue is a faulty multi-function switch. Therefore I recommend replacing the switch.
What would make my car stall all of a sudden while I’m driving at 40mph. And now it will not start or even crank the engine over. It has gas, lights come on. Please if you can point me in the right direction.
Will not start but lights come on
Quick answer would be the BATTERY and or Alternator.
If the alternator quits working the engines computer and engine runs completely off the battery. This could be from a failed alternator, alternator connections or a broken serpentine belt. The engine continues to run off the battery until the voltage drops below the computers threshold then causes the engine to die. At this point the battery is too weak to crank over the engine.Generally if this is the case the BATTERY light comes on.
The battery does still have enough juice left to operate the lights and radio. The lights draw about 15 amps, the radio draws about 5 amps to function. The starter draws up to 250 amps to operate.