Help with stationwagon

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by hanlonfive, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. hanlonfive

    hanlonfive seeker of knowledge

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    Hi everyone!!!!!! I just bought a 1990 buick century stationwagon and the service engine light is coming on. The thing is it hasn't been coming on until the stationwagon has ran for awhile, shut it off then start it back up. That's when the service engine light comes on. Anybody have any ideas on what the problem is? When the service engine light is on it doesn't seem to want to run worth a darn. When we bought the stationwagon it hadn't been run for awhile, it was siting in the person's front yard. All suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!

    Nine blessings,

    Kelli
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    My guess it is the EGR valve, it is located in the exhaust manifold
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I'm not much on guessing but I can help you fix your car. The first thing you need to know is what the computer has stored as a fault code in it's memory. Autozone will hook their code scanner to your car(for free) and tell you what code is stored. Find out what code it is and we can go from there. Also let us know what size engine the car has, the mileage and the condition.
     
  4. jessandcody

    jessandcody Well-Known Member

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    could it be an oxegen censer?
     
  5. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a 94 Buick that is doing the same thing. I took it to the repair shop, they put it on the analyzer and said it was the EGR value, a $300 part plus labor, but they could clean it and let me see if that helped. It did for awhile, but now the light comes and goes a lot. I'm still driving it, waiting to see if it goes away. :)
     
  6. hanlonfive

    hanlonfive seeker of knowledge

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    The stationwagon has about 120,000 miles on it and it's basically in decent condition, just some minor rust on the body. Engine is pretty clean. I believe the engine size is 3.3 . I printed off what you guys posted and I'm going to give to my hubby. If he can't figure out what's wrong then it will go to our mechanic. I'll let ya'll know what going on though. Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!

    Nine blessings,

    Kelli
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Ana Bluebird
    You can buy a EGR valve off the internet for about 1/3 of the price you were quoted. It is a real simple installation and does not require a mechanic.
     
  8. bigmouth

    bigmouth Guest

    I have a 91 chevy pickup. service lite comes on after I've drove it about 10miles.
    shut it off and start back up and can go another 10 before it comes back on.
    my son has a 94 chevy does the same. mine has done this for about 3 years so must not be to serious.
     
  9. "so must not be to serious"
    When the check engine light comes on it is because the computer has read data from one or more of the various sensors and some data has not been within the parameters set when programmed. This can be as simple as temporary as a bad connection in a circuit to as complicated as a continuing lean or rich condition caused by any number of reasons, or a miriad of other causes. It can indeed be "serious" if the money you're spending on fuel, a new catalytic converter because it's plugged from running rich, replacing pistons because one in your engine has a lean burn hole in it, or maybe even tow and hospital bills from being stranded on the hiway when a not so nice a person decides to stop and jack you. It's not a good idea to recommend that someone not get the service light checked, it very well can be serious.
     
  10. i had the same problem on an 88 blazer,it was the oxygen sensor and EGR valve.so it has already been diagnosed properly.you can get a code reader for 2 bucks at auto zone,the service engine light will flash a code you compare the code to the key in one of those repair books they sell at auto zone,which you will need anyway.The oxygen sensor is a snap,the Egr was a bit harder just because the fuel lines were in my way.It cost less than $100.00 for all the parts including the book,the book is well worth it because if your not very familiar with the parts it helps.
    Frank
     
  11. hanlonfive

    hanlonfive seeker of knowledge

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    Hi everyone! Well, we took the stationwagon to our mechanic and he hooked it up to the computer. It came back saying that we needed a new computer and spark plugs and spark plug wires. The mechanic put in the new computer and only charged us about $250.00 which isn't bad. Hubby is putting the new spark plugs and wires on today after he gets home from work. Yay!!!!! Thanks everyone for all of your help!!!!!! You guys rock!!!!!

    Nine blessings,

    Kelli
     
  12. Paramount

    Paramount Well-Known Member

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    Lucky you with your wagon!!
    We had a 1987 buick electra wagon and had bought a 1989 for parts but my dh used both for years until this past fall.
    The 87 commited suicide on the back roads here, catching fire from electrical wires. He was in mourning as this was the better of the 2 wagons.
    Then in September the 89 decided to quit on him with the timing chain in trouble and the front windshield cracked from a stone. Repairs would be over 800.00 so he finally decided that enough was enough.
    At various times through the years, he had to have the oxygen sensor replaced on both wagons.
    He isn't here at the moment so will ask him when home what other problems he had with the "service engine soon" light on.
    The 87 had at least 600,000 miles on it and the 89 was over 300,000. Can't complain about that!!
    Good cars as far as we are concerned.
    Good luck with the car. We miss ours as they were work horses hauling all of his junk around.
     
  13. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    If the car needs a cumputer, I would definately try a junkyard. I have owned numerous GM "A" bodies, and think they are some of the best cars GM has ever produced.
    I own an 89 Buick now, a great and dependable car.
    The junkyard around here gets $25 for a computer, and is glad to exchange it if the computer doesn't work.
    I would make sure though, that the computer comes from a like car, with the same motor. This is crucial. Any other motor size won't work from what I hear.
    Make sure it has the same motor, and try to find one out of a 90 model Buick Century.
     
  14. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Duh....you already have a computer....should have read closer before posting.
     
  15. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Let us know all of the new words your husband uses while installing those spark plugs and wires! I'm sure you won't actually be able to print them here.
     
  16. hanlonfive

    hanlonfive seeker of knowledge

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    You're right Beeman the hubby used lots of words that I can't post here.--LOL
    As a matter of fact, one of the spark plugs broke in half as he was taking it out. Oh was he hot!!!!!! He was able to eventually get it out but he said that it didn't even look like the people that had it before us had ever changed the spark plugs. After that the service engine light did still come on some so we took it back to the mechanic and re-set the computer for free. Now it runs like a champ! Thanks everyone for your help!!!!!!!

    Nine blessings,

    Kelli
     
  17. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    All you have to do to reset the computer is disconnect the battery for a few seconds.
    Getting plug out of some of the V6 motors can be tough if you dont have the right tools.
    If maintained, you will get alot of miles from that motor. One of the best that GM has ever produced.
     
  18. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    There is no reason the light should have come back on and needed resetting. When the mechanic reset the light for you did he say what turned the light on? I have a feeling the light may be coming on again.
    The "right" tools play no part in changing the plugs on that engine. It takes a double jointed monkey with pain blockers!
    There's a very good chance that absolutely no maintenance has ever been done as is the case with most vehicles. Be sure to replace the fuel filter if it hasn't been done. If you do it yourself be careful as the line holds 35psi of pressure.
    The V6 line of Buick engines are great engines which are the 3.8L engines, unfortunately you probably have a Chevrolet series 3.1 or 3.3L engine.