Question about 1989 Buick Reatta

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Wont Start Recently I am driving my 89 reatta and the check engin light comes on along with a decrease in engin performace/power. I would say about 45 percent. I did change out 5 spark plugs and wires does anyone know what would cause this? Then today it just died when i got to my destination and wouldn't start crank over nothing although I did have eletrical power lights all that. What the hell is the deal with this thing? Thanks

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  • leadguy Oct 13, 2008

    I just got an 89 and I have this problem as well. However, I also noticed that the oil pressure gauge was spiking up very high. So I looked up what could cause hi oil pressure and I am focusing on the oil pressure relief valve. I don't know where it is yet, but I'll find it (no repair manual yet).

    It will run fine while driving it around the block, but then if I increase the rpm (go over 40) I get an engine electrical alert on the screen (I will add the exact warning later) and the engine starts running rough and when I stop (after it begins running roughly) it sometimes shuts down.

    I replace the Mass Airflow (with a used one) because that it what the guy I got it from said was wrong with it.

  • creepyj Jan 16, 2009

    My coil pack keeps burning up,every mechanic that i've been too,has sucked my money up with no results. Something is shorting out prior too the coil pack.I have a 1989 Buick Reatta, 3.8l v6. I also have a computer control problem?



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I've been having an issue with my Reatta not starting too, and believe it to be a fuel or fuel mix issue. I replaced the fuel pump last weekend thinking it might have improved things, but it didn't. When I go to start it and turn the key to ignition, it just cranks. When I turn the key to 'on' position and let it sit for 5-10 seconds before cranking it will sometimes start - so I think it is an issue with feeding the engine fuel. This will be my project for the weekend - seeing if it is a fuel regulator issue or something else. I found some info on the buick reatta web sites that might help me determine the codes and hopefully determine the issue. Oh yea, I also replaced the oxygen sensor too thinking that might be causing part of the issue (but you can't keep replacing parts to find the issue to expensive!). I'll try to follow up with this site if I find the issue.
Kevin / South Carolina

Posted on Aug 27, 2008


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Alright, i dont know exactly what hapens when the car is trying to be started but the person says it will turn over, but not start? and i dont know if its firiing or if it has spark or fuel pressur. but he...

hook up a timing light; crank over the engine; check when the problem occurs... if the light goes on = good spark
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Sorry to hear about your vehicle. First things first. When you say driving, what are you ding and where are you? such as; on the highway, at a stop light, making a left hand turn, coming to a stop. Second, when you say dies , do you mean your driving, your cars "shuts off" and your stuck in the middle of the road? and when you say stays dead do you try to start it? does your radio come on? are your light on or are they dim? all these are very helpful in diagnosing the root cause of this concern. also was there any work done recently to the vehicle? if the car is running and it dies a few things could be the cause. one, not that common, your engine could be starving of fuel, fuel pumps, filters and injectors and throttle body could all cause a fuel starvation. two spark cuts out. I work for volvo and i see coils (devices that increase spark) on 98+ vehicles literally crack in certain areas and cause rough idles, choppy acceleration (stuttering while getting on a freeway) but third and most likely battery/ charging system (these are just three common flaws there are lots of other little things associated with the electronic fuel injection system and monitoring that could and may well be the cause). the way your vehicle works is the battery stores a charge and your vehicle draws from the charge what it needs. on start up its battery power until your alternator reaches a certain speed (or the computer tells it to turn on) that supplies the power to the vehicles electrical system. now that i know you have an understanding i can suggest what, giving the limited info i have, i would look for first. if there is no rough idle apparent when the vehicle is warm that suggests fuel probably is ok and so is spark. now if your alternator cannot keep filling the battery up with an electrical charge, your car could just plain turn off. now this could cause a slow cranking when trying to start the car again and it may not even start. but as to why it will come back to life after a few mins or few days is interesting. check connections at the battery because that will prevent the flow of electricity. make sure its clean of dirt and paint too. take a wire brush and clean it. also is there anything white or powder-like on the terminals? oxidation causes a poor connection. that can be cleaned with spray cleanser from auto parts stores or scrubbing with baking soda and water but thats my guess without having the car to test. please post what you find out about your car.

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