Question about 1987 Buick LeSabre

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Have a 87 buick lesabre 3.8 liter motor. Having trouble with it starting. Acts like not enough fuel or spark. Sometimes it takes 3 times cranking on the starter to get it to start. Also when it gets hot (not over heating) when u shut it off it wont start up until it cools down. Sometimes have to pump on the gas peddle to get it running again. Spits and sputters going down the road then smooths out.

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Please check the following.

Check Spark at the plugs. (all of them)
Fuel filter not clogged.
Choke working properly.
Rev the engine while shooting carb cleaner through all the ports.
pull and clean and check your mixture screws. (Remember to EXACTLY count the turns out and go back in the same). See if this helps. Mike

Posted on Mar 29, 2015


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Mass air flow sensor.

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Hi. you should replace air filter and ad a gooooood fuel ingection cleaner ,this should help.Good Luck

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

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SOURCE: After a long drive, won't start when hot. Usually

definatly crankshaft position sensor, had same problem hour ago and changed it and started right up.. crankshaft positions sensors are known to cause this problem, stays open circuit when hot.

Posted on Jul 12, 2009

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SOURCE: 93 cutlass supreme 3.1 started car then it just

Your not going to like this but, it sounds like you have a broken Timing Chain/belt but it could be that coil pack not firing. Check to see if you have fire at teh number one spark plug. If you do most likely the timing belt broke. You can remove one of the valve covers and watch the valves. If they don't open and close as you crank the motor then the timing belt is definitely broken if they do you will have to start going through all the other possibilities. The ignition relay being the first. There is a fuse in the interior fuse panel that will cause this as well. If it goes out the vehicle will crank all day but never fire. usually if you have a problem with that fuse it's because of a wire coming lose that was spliced into the panel for an amplifier or alarm and causing a short.

Posted on May 03, 2011

  • 984 Answers

SOURCE: Engine on my 93 Buick LeSabre surges and cuts out


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The steps I'm going to outline are the same as we use in my shop for hesitation, sag and stumble.

All of the tools required can be borrowed from AutoZone at NO COST!


The sensors can be checked with an OBD-II code scanner borrowed from AutoZone. Pay special attention to an TP (Throttle Position) warnings. The sensor can be manually checked for binding or sticking.
Check the Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S) found near the firewall and screwed into the exhaust manifold for signs of corrosion on the threads. That will cause a faulty ground.

Fuel System:

  • Check the fuel pressure with that fuel pressure gauge from AutoZone. You reading should be 40-45 PSI and holding steady.
  • Contaminated fuel is a constant problem and if the pressure does not hold steady, replace the fuel filter.

Additional Checks:

  • Make certain that the engine thermostat is functioning and is the correct temperature.
  • Make certain that the alternator voltage output is not less than 9 volts nor more than 17 volts.

Here's a little general information that will assist you in comprehending the readouts from the code scanner. This is simply for your edification. You may be aware of all this but we've never done business before and all assumptions are off the table.

For an engine - make that any engine and irrespective of manufacturer - to run, you need three things to happen inside the engine, compression, fuel and ignition, without any one of these components the engine will not run.

  • Compression - Engine compression caused by crankshaft rotation and pistons moving up and down inside the engine block. If the timing belt or timing chain fails it will cause the camshaft to become out of correlation with the crankshaft or allow the camshaft to stop rotating. Either of these conditions will cause the engine to lose compression and sometimes cause internal engine damage.
  • Fuel Delivery System - The fuel system includes: fuel pump, fuel injectors, pressure regulator, fuel filter and pressure lines. This system is used to supply fuel under pressure to the fuel injection system, the lack of fuel pressure or volume will cause the fuel delivery system to fail and the engine to stall or not start.
  • Ignition Spark Delivery System - The ignition system components include: spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor (if applicable), crankshaft angle sensor, camshaft angle sensor, ignition coil, ignition module, knock sensor and PCM (powertrain control module). The engine relies on the ignition spark to be delivered to the combustion camber at the correct time. If the ignition spark stops or is delivered at the wrong time the engine will not run or run poorly.

If Your Engine Cranks but Does Not Start Follow this Troubleshooting Guide (This doesn't necessarily pertain to you but it's useful to know)

Most vehicles operate by the same principle; basic troubleshooting procedures apply to most cars.

  • Step 1: Anytime you have a problem with electronically controlled components such as an engine, transmission, ABS brake, or SRS (supplemental restraint system, Air Bag) inspect all fuses using a test light and check the under hood power distribution center and under dash fuse panels. If all fuses test okay continue to the next step.
  • Step 2: To check for problems with electronically controlled components such as an engine, transmission, ABS brake, or SRS (supplemental restraint system, Air Bag) and the fuses test okay a trouble code scan is needed to identify any system trouble. Use a simple scanner tool to retrieve trouble codes and see if they relate to the specific problem, like a crank angle sensor failure code. If the trouble code present does not pertain to the immediate problem like an EVAP code ignore it until a later time, after the car is running.

The reason you should repair non-related codes after the engine is running is because sometimes false codes can be triggered by the engine not running. Once the engine is running again the code present might cycle and turn itself off. You might say "if the engine doesn't run shouldn't it have a trouble code?" Sometimes conditions occur that will not be detected by the computer, example: if the fuel pump fails the computer cannot detect the failure, so the engine doesn't start and the computer thinks everything is okay with no codes. If no trouble codes are present proceed to the next step.

Unfortunately, space does not permit me to guide you through the remedy for every code. However, the Wells Company offers extensive code diagnosis application information and technical support via its Tech Line at 1-800-558-9770, as well as in-depth product and repair videos at (use my personal access code carrepair) and through the "Wellstech" channel at


Posted on Jun 18, 2011

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