Question about 1996 Buick Park Avenue

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Does anyone own a 1996 Buick Park Ave regular model? I really have multiple issues with this veh and it would be nice if anyone in the world could lend some answerrs to what they did to resolve the many issues. right now there is some brownish sludge occurring in the radiator on the cap and a little inside. I had this flushed a couple of yrs ago. Is this something that needs done every year?? Also The veh defaults to defrost and flooring heat due to it most likely needs the box replaced, however that is a little fortune. The problem is that the air coming out of the defrost and floor is now not hot enough to defrost the windows in the upcoming winter...I can live without the middle vents, but I can not go without actual heat coming out. Also, my mechanic says there is a small leak from the oil to the engine... is this the gasket to the manifold he is talking about?? This I probably can not do as he says the part is cheap but getting to the place to repair it is not easy. The price for that is 450.00. Right now I am not losing too much in oil. I check the oil all the time. I'm not really losing too much. Hopefully that can wait until spring. Does anyone know anything about this particular veh?

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  • Lori Anne Hamilton
    Lori Anne Hamilton Oct 31, 2013

    OK. so I had the radiator completely flushed of the gunk and the heater core flushed until ran clear. The thermostat and the coolant sensor were both bad and replaced and still no heat. The hoses are hot to the core. Is there a reason still why the air is not hot in this veh? Does the blend door affect the actual temperature of the heat istself? What is the function of the climate control? the hoses to everything are attached with no lose hoses to either.

  • GMfixins Oct 31, 2013

    Okay, So it sounds like your cooling system is in pretty good operating order. Is the system still defaulted to blowing air out of the defrost vents only? I don't have my reference right in front of me, but I believe the programmer is capable of displaying diagnostic codes. This could be very helpful in further diagnosing your no heat condition. The programmer used a combination of electrical actuators and vacuum (from the engine) to control vacuum motors. I would say that doing a diagnostic check, and maybe even verifying the programmer has a good vacuum source would be the next steps. I'll check to see if there's a procedure you can do to retrieve any codes that may be stored. I have replaced several programmers in the past for issues related to the electrical temperature actuator.

  • Lori Anne Hamilton
    Lori Anne Hamilton Nov 02, 2013

    thanks so much for responding! yes, the air has only been defaulting to the defrost and the floor and it does not change from low to high in terms of how much air blows thru. It is always on high. Sometimes, when I accelerate on the gas pedal and rev up the engine in park... it seems like it wants to give some warm heat temporarily. Today... I drove the veh to work.. the air was cool...reving up the engine did not do anything to create heat. After work... I reved up the engine.. still no heat...went to the credit union...started to drive again and there was some warm heat. I stopped approx 10 min later and had the veh in park while the engine was still running and the air went cool again. I am not sure what the programmer is or where it is located. The controls are push-button with digital display(not dials). I can not afford to take my car to a buick dealer for a diagnostic. Do you know how to tell me where the programmer is to see? Is this something my mechanic is capable of doing or is it only something the dealer can do.? I appreciate your help: )



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The brown sludge you're seeing is the result of GM/dealers/repair shops installing cooling system sealer tabs in the cooling system. This sludge is NOT related to the use of dex-cool coolant. The cooling system sealer tabs are brown in color, and resemble dirt after they are crushed and poured into the cooling system, and pretty much turn into nasty brown mud in the cooling system. I have seen this on many vehicles. The problem you are having with your heater is most likely related to the sludge you are also seeing in the radiator. The sealer finds its way into the heater core and plugs it up, resulting in cool air instead of hot air. The best way to clean it out is to remove the heater hoses from the heater core and back flush the heater core with a garden hose. You will see a lot of nasty brown junk come out of the heater core when you do this. I have found that cooling flushes that dealers and independent shops sell are not effective at completely removing this sealer, and may have to be done multiple years in a row to get most of it out. Even then, there may still be sealer lodged in the system.
Your description of the heating and air system defaulting to the defrost and floor positions tells me that there may be a vacuum leak in the vacuum supply hose between the engine and the interior control (HVAC Programmer, if I recall correctly). The default position is defrost when the system loses vacuum. You may want to have your local shop check that and make sure you're getting vacuum to the HVAC controls.

Posted on Oct 20, 2013

  • Lori Anne Hamilton
    Lori Anne Hamilton Oct 28, 2013

    Thanks. I just had the radiator and the heater core flushed and the thermostat and coolant sensor replaced. Does the heater core still need replaced? Does the actuator door have anything to do with the tepid warm air that turns cold?



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SOURCE: In my 1996 Buick Park Avenue the air conditioner


Posted on Aug 19, 2009

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SOURCE: Oil sludge in radiator

The 3100 and the 3400 are noted for the intake gasket going out. You can usually see it leaking at the left front and right rear of the intake as you sit in the car. Look along the slanted area of the intake manifold where it joins with the heads. If you are tight on money, the repair is generally around 5-700 dollars, buy Bars Leak Head repair. It will take two days to fix, however if you follow the directions to the letter, you will not have the problem again. I have repaired head gaskets that were literally leaking water that you could see and two years later it is still running. Remember to follow every step on the bottle to the letter or you have wasted your time. The only one you do not have to worry about is the step where it tells you to remove the plug at the cylinder that is leaking since you are not leaking at a cylinder.

Hope this helps

Posted on Apr 13, 2010

  • 611 Answers

SOURCE: 1999 buick park ave. air

sounds like a vacuum leak either behind the climate control or the engine go to itll show a expanded view of ur system

Posted on Jun 12, 2011

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