Buick Century:

Engine starts but dies immediately.

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# 1  3/5/2011 11:55 PM

Bodfish
New member
Registered: 3/5/2011
Posts: 3

Engine starts but dies immediately.

I have a 1998 Buick Century Limited with the 3.1 engine. It has 117,000 miles on it. It normally starts and runs just fine but occasionally it will die immediately after starting. When it does this I rev it up and hold it at high idle for 15-20 seconds. The problem then goes away and everything returns to normal. This happens once every 2-3 days. What could be causing this? Is it something I can repair myself? Thanks very much.

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# 2  3/6/2011 12:44 AM

way2old
Senior Member
Registered: 9/17/2009
Posts: 30

Re: Engine starts but dies immediately.

That has all the signs of the Idle Speed Control motor starting to get carboned up or starting to fail.  For the cost of one, I would replace instead of trying to clean.  Cleaning may not help anyway.  A local parts house should have one.  here are the choices.

http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/1998/b…valve.html


Being way2old is why I need help from younger minds.
People are like slinkys, not much use but I still smile when I see one stumble down the stairs.

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# 3  3/6/2011 2:59 AM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1299

Re: Engine starts but dies immediately.

Replacing the Idle Control Motor will probably help the problem. There is also a build up of carbon called coking; it is behind the throttle plate. The carbon blocks the opening at the throttle plate and forces the Idle Air Control Motor to compensate for the blockage. With the Idle Air Control motor clogged up with carbon, it can't move fast enough and caused the motor to stall. Most of the time you can take the Mass Air flow sensor off and clean the throttle plate by opening the throttle plate all the way to wide open throttle (with the engine off of course) and spray the opening with carburetor cleaner and wipe it off with a cloth. This is a maintenance procedure and should be done at every tune up. If this is too much; then an automotive professional should do the procedure.


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# 4  3/15/2011 10:49 PM

Bodfish
New member
Registered: 3/5/2011
Posts: 3

Re: Engine starts but dies immediately.

Thanks to way2old and TechHelp2. I cleaned up the throttle plate and the idle air control valve. The stalling problem has gone away. They were both were really carboned up. If the problem returns I'll change the valve. Thanks again.

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# 5  6/21/2011 5:22 PM

Bodfish
New member
Registered: 3/5/2011
Posts: 3

Re: Engine starts but dies immediately.

I have a 1998 Buick Century Limited with a 3.1 engine. The cooling fans do not come on when the engine starts to overheat. They will only come on when the A/C is turned on. They will not come on like they should when the A/C is off. I know the fans are working, so is there some kind of sensor or fan control that may have gone bad? Thanks for any help you may have.

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# 6  6/21/2011 9:34 PM

TechHelp2
Administrator
Registered: 11/24/2009
Posts: 1299

Re: Engine starts but dies immediately.

The problem could be a fuse, cooling fan relay or the cooling fan temperature switch.

Locating the switch and grounding it will bypass the switch and as long as everything is in proper working order then the fans should come on letting you know the temperature switch is bad.

If it doesn't work then check the fuses and the cooling fan relay. Your owner's manual should tell you where the fuse and cooling fan relay are. The temperature switch is on the engine usually a sensor with a single wire on it.

If you need anymore help let me know and we can diagnosis the problem further.


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