Question about 1992 Buick Century

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I just had to have the A/C compressor replaced and now the engine seems to surge at hiway speeds. More so when cruise control is engaged. Is there any connection to the replacement and the engine problem? My mechanic wants to replace points and plugs and says it may be because the V6 engine is small. My response to that is the engine ran fine before the compressor was replaced. I'm wondering if the proper compressor was replaced.

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  • olwork
    olwork Jul 05, 2010

    Change "mechanic" immediately if he thinks that your car has points on it!!! Check for a vacuum hose left unplugged or broken. Also check for various sensors left unplugged as part of the repair procedure, such as an O2 sensor, air temp sensor, etc. Verify that the compressor is not cycling on and off frequently. If it is, then you have a low a/c charge, which could indicate a leak in the a/c system. And of course, you always need to be sure the engine is properly tuned - but take it to someone who knows better than to think that it has a point ignition system. If you find this solution to be helpful, then please take a moment to
    rate this post. - Thanks.

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  • Buick Master
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There is no points on this model,but if you are running the ac on low fan speed,it will cycle on,and off to keep it from freezing up,or the ac has a restriction in the orifice tube,and is making the ac compressor cycle on,and off,or there is not enough freon in the system,and this also,will cause the compressor to cycle on,and off,try freon maybe.If this was helpful,please rate,thank you.

Posted on Jul 05, 2010

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It is HVAC 1fuse #39 in the rear fuse block ,this powers the on/off switch for cruise control ! Fuse Block - Rear Beneath the left rear seat. What engine does it have ? 4.2 L or 5.3 l There is no vacuum involved in the operation of the cruise control ! Your vehicle has electronic throttle control .
Cruise control is a speed control system that maintains a desired vehicle speed under normal driving conditions at vehicle speeds above 40 km/h (25 mph). Steep grades may cause variations in the selected vehicle speeds.
The following are the main components of the Cruise Control System:
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The powertrain control module (PCM)


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Cruise Control Engaged
The cruise control system will engage and adjust the vehicle speed based on the activation of the following cruise control switches:
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On/Off


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The cruise control switches are located on the multifunction/turn signal lever.
The powertrain control module (PCM) monitors the signal circuits of the cruise control switches in order to determine when to capture and maintain the selected vehicle speed. The PCM uses the throttle actuator control (TAC) module motor in order to control the vehicle speed. For further information on the TAC System, refer to Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) System Description in Engine Controls - 4.2 L.
Ignition positive voltage is supplied from the 10 ampere HVAC 1 fuse to the cruise control switch via the ignition 3 voltage circuit. When the normally open cruise control On/Off switch is turned On, the switch closes and the PCM detects a high signal voltage on the cruise control on switch signal circuit. When the normally open Set/Coast switch is pressed, the switch closes and the PCM detects a high signal voltage on the cruise control set/coast switch signal circuit. To engage the cruise control system, turn the On/Off switch On and momentarily press the Set/Coast switch. The PCM will confirm that the cruise control enable criteria has been achieved. The PCM will engage the cruise control system and record the selected vehicle speed. The PCM sends a class 2 message to the instrument panel cluster in order to illuminate the cruise control indicator. Pressing the accelerator pedal, while the cruise control system is engaged, will allow the driver to override the cruise control system in order to accelerate the vehicle beyond the current set vehicle speed. When the accelerator pedal is released, the vehicle will decelerate and resume the current set vehicle speed. The driver can also override the current set vehicle speed via the Set/Coast switch and the Resume/Accel switch. When the cruise control system is engaged, pressing and holding the Set/Coast switch will allow the vehicle to decelerate from the current set vehicle speed without deactivating the cruise control system. When the Set/Coast switch is released, the PCM will record the vehicle speed and maintain the vehicle speed as the new set vehicle speed. When the cruise control system is engaged, momentarily pressing the Set/Coast switch will allow the vehicle to decelerate at 1.6 km/h (1 mph) increments for each time that the Set/Coast is momentarily pressed, with a minimum vehicle speed of 37 km/h (23 mph). When the normally open Resume/Accel switch is activated, the switch closes and the PCM detects a high signal voltage on the cruise control resume/accel switch signal circuit. Activating and holding the Resume/Accel switch, when the cruise control system is engaged, will allow the vehicle to accelerate to a greater vehicle speed than the current set vehicle speed. When the Resume/Accel switch is released, the PCM will record the vehicle speed and maintain the vehicle speed as the new set vehicle speed. When the cruise control system is engaged, momentarily activating the Resume/Accel switch will allow the vehicle to accelerate at 1.6 km/h (1 mph) increments for each time that the Resume/Accel switch is momentarily activated, with the maximum acceleration total of 16 km/h (10 mph) over the current set vehicle speed . Momentarily activating the Resume/Accel switch, after the cruise control system has been disengaged by pressing the brake pedal, will recall the previous set vehicle speed that is recorded in the PCM.

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1 Answer

Car surging


Is the car equipped with the Automatic Transmission?
If so, read on.
Otherwise skip to the end and answer some questions.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO:
I have observed a condition where my car surges slightly when the torque-converter clutch (TCC) cycles between lock and unlock when driving on an uphill grade.
First some basics and history that will explain why the TCC is used.

Engine, Torque Converter, TCC, and Transmission relationship--
The TCC allows for a solid connection between the engine and transmission which allows the input to the transmission to rotate at the same speed as the engine.
Without a TCC, there is slippage between the engine and automatic transmission. The slippage is greatest at low engine RPM. That is what allows the engine to run with the automatic transmission in gear, like when you first shift into gear or stop at a stop sign. When the throttle pedal is depressed, the engine RPM begins to increase and the torque converter begins to slip less and less the more the engine RPM increases. The car moves. But even at cruising speeds the torque converter slips slightly. Engine RPM is greater than transmission input RPM, which is realized as slight decrease in fuel efficiency.
When acceleration is complete and a constant speed is being maintained, the engine power output is reduced to the point where the TCC can engage and eliminate any slippage between the engine and transmission. If the car has a tachometer the engagement of the TCC can be verified when a slight reduction in engine RPM observed without a corresponding change in vehicle speed.
One method used to test the operation of the TCC is as follows:
Find a flat section of road where it is safe to perform the test.
Reach a steady speed and keep the gas pedal depressed with one foot. While observing the tachometer (or listening for an increase in engine RPM), with the other foot depress the brake pedal enough to activate the break light switch but not enough to engage the brakes. When the brake light switch activates, the TCC receives a signal to disengage. With the gas pedal being held steady, release the brake pedal and the engine RPM should decrease when the TCC engages.
Old cars with Automatic Transmissions did not use a TCC. I believe the TCC was put in use in an attempt to increase fuel economy.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH SIMILAR SYMPTOMS
The condition that causes that issue on my car is this:
- A slight uphill grade increases the load on the engine.
The car tends to gradually slow and it is necessary to depress the gas pedal to maintain speed.
- Depressing the throttle pedal (manually, or automatically with cruise control engaged) signals the torque converter clutch to unlock when the load increases slightly. (A more drastic load increase would signal the Transmission to downshift to a lower gear.) The corresponding increase in engine RPM and output is enough to compensate for the reduction in speed. When the vehicle speed, engine RPM, and throttle position stabilize to the point that the TCC will engage and the engine RPM will reduce in correspondence with TCC engagement. Now, if the road conditions have not changed, power output is not enough to maintain vehicle speed. With the increased load caused by full engagement between engine and transmission, and the cycle (surging) repeats itself until the road conditions change.

Does that help?
If not:

QUESTIONS
Please define the symptoms.
What are the road conditions when the surge occurs? (A slight uphill grade?)
What is the frequency of the surge?
Does the engine power output have a noticeable surge?
Is there a speed change related to the surge?
Does the tachometer move up and down with little or no change in vehicle speed?
Are all instrument indication in the normal range?
What else has changed?

Good luck!

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