Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

1995 Buick Century V6, 42,000 miles stops running

My granddaughter has a 1995 Buick Century with a problem. This is a V6 with power everything, steering, brakes, windows, locks, a/c it has about 42,000 miles on it.

When purchased in the spring it was checked over for mechanical operation, brakes, steering, exhaust and suspension. This was done by her step-father who is mechanical minded and has done a lot of his own service work on numerous vehicles for many years. He is not and does not have the equipment of a certified mechanic. The transmission had been rebuilt because the older lady owner messed it up. Unknown specifics. The car was not used much until July when the grandaughter got her license and began driving in controlled circumstances at first, and then one day the car would just stop running, quit at any speed with the obvious loss of power. At first it was an occassional happening. It happened and then a few weeks later again, Then I tried driving the car, in town about 12 miles and then highway miles, after about 4 miles at 55 mph, the engine just shut off, nothing, I put it in Neutral and tried to restart, it acted like it was restarting but wouldn’t keep running. Coasted to a stop and after several attempts got it restarted. Checked for fuel line filters, didn’t see any, checked for gas cap venting, no rush of air after the car stopped, or at any time I would remove the gas cap. Took it to my brother-in-law, a certified mechanic, for a Chrysler, Plymouth, Jeep, dealer, He checked it out at home and the engine quit twice while idling in his driveway. He thought it was probably the Crankshaft Position Sensor or the PCM. As the two had significantly different prices for the parts he was not comfortable telling me which part to try. He recomended I take it to a dealer. I took it to the garage I have used for 40 years and they came up with the same diagnoses, but didn’t really get any codes to come up. They told me that they were pretty sure I needed to replace both to the tune of 750 dollars. That they got some kind of weakness in the testing that pointed in the direction they were suggesting. But because they were not a dealer they would have to send the PCM out to get it set up right for this vehicle.

I took it to a Buick dealer, and on the way the engine quit at a stop sign and it took me about 5 minutes to get it to restart and keep running. Then it quit while I was driving at 35 mph but restarted after shifting into neutral, and a third time it quit. Again driving about 35 and I ended up coasting to the side of the street and it again took numerous attempts to get it to restart and keep running. Then I deove about 12 highway miles and into and into town and the dealership without any further problems. The next daythe dealercould not get it to act up, they went thru a tank of gas over three days of letting it run, on the third day it did quit but they did not get any codes. At that time they answeed my question, if I have the crankshaft sensor put on and that isn’t the problem, would the sensor be ruined by whatever was causing the problem? They said they were pretty sure it wouldn’t be ruined or damaged, but they hedged because they were not 100 % certain of the problem. So, I told them to put the sensor on, they wanted to be sure they would not be responsible if this didn’t solve the problem, Then we found out there are two crankshaft sensors on this Buick. The third day after we got the car back, Jessi called and said the engine quit again. It seems that when the engine quits there is a delay before the idiot lites on the gauge panel come on, maybe a little longer then you would expect, it is not an instantaneous respionse, but not being familiar with this vehicle I cannot be sure.

Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for your help

Dennis M. Fries

403 Leland St.

Bloomington, IL 61701-5647


I cannot read that at all. It makes my eyes swim.

Here’s what I suggest you do - first select and copy all of your text and paste it to a text editing software (like a word processor). Then flag your own post to get it removed so that your specific and personal contact information is no longer plastered all over the web.

After you flag it create a whole new post - but edit your very lengthy description into short paragraphs with an empty line in between each one. Then no one will go blind trying to help you out.

Thank yo, I will try to figure out how to do what you suggest. Dennis