My 1995 LeSabre (3800 v6, 62K miles) has a stalling problem, no engine power, but still has electric. It happens randomly and intermittenly. Most times it will restart but has been increasingly difficult to restart. The only indicator prior to stalling is the speedometer “surges” and then the loss of power. Dash lights come on (oil, voltage, CEL). Sometimes the CEL will flash in time with a fast clicking that I believe comes from the fuel pump relay under the right side of the dash. Until this clicking stops the engine will not restart. I have replaced ignition control module, and then the crank and cam sensors. Replaced PCM with rebuilt and it was worse (defective?) and put the old one back in. Mechanic can’t find any codes to determine what is causing it to stall, except possibly PCM is bad. I’ve got my own ideas for the next fix but wanted to hear from the community.
Thanks in advance!
My first suspects would be the battery cables, a bad ground connection from the battery and/or frame or the ignition switch.
RemcoW, my mechanic checked and cleaned all the grounds. I’ve tried using different keys as well, thinking that it could have been related to the chip on the key.
The last time it stalled (before Christmas) it would start and run for only a few seconds then stall again, even when giving it the gas. After about an hour of sitting (in the cold and snow) it started again.
Long Shot WAG FYI
There Exists An Old GM Technical Service Bulletin (From 2000) Covering 95-96 Buick LeSabres. This Is A Real Long-Shot Because This Car Is A Senior Citizen In Car-Years And It Could Be Anything By Now.
The bulletin discusses intermittent stalling and hard starting caused by poor contact at connector(s) for wiring that goes from above the fuel module, down through the module to the fuel pump.
I was just thinking that if this Buick had a little plate ( like newer models have) that comes off the trunk floor (probably near the back seat in the trunk) for servicing the module, that you could check the top connector and maybe even give the thing a rap when it won’t start. GM says to look for carbon evidence of arcing at a poor connection. The other connection is in the tank.
The surging speedometer doesn’t seem to fit with a fuel pump problem, eh ?
The fuel pump relay clicking is suspect. Any other relays in a non-critical position with the same part number that you could swap with the one that clicks to see if that changes anything ?
Forgot to mention that I did replace the fuel pump relay, thinking it was going bad and causing the rapid fire clicking. Didn’t help, still did the clicking/CEL flashing thing.
If you know of a link to the TSB, could you share it? It might be worth mentioning it to my mechanic.
I Am Unable To Post A Link. The Bulletin Is On 1 Page And Basically Is One Paragraph.
Subject: INTERMITTENT STALL NO START CHECK FUEL PUMP CONNECTOR FROM TANK UNIT TO PUMP IN FUEL TANK
Models: 1995-1996 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
1995-1996 Buick Park Avenue
1995-1996 Oldsmobile Aurora
1995-1996 Buick Riviera
1995-1996 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight
1995-1996 Buick LeSabre
1995-1996 Pontiac Bonneville
1996 Oldsmobile LSS
IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT A CONDITION OF INTERMITTENT STALL OR NO START HAS BEEN TRACED TO A LOOSE CONNECTOR IN THE FUEL TANK SENDING UNIT. CHECK THE CONNECTOR AT THE TOP OF THE SENDING UNIT THAT IS INSIDE THE FUEL TANK FIRST. THEN THE CONNECTOR AT THE FUEL PUMP. LOOK FOR ANY DISCOLORATION OR BURNED CONTACTS. REPLACE ANY BURNED CONTACTS. USE CARE WHEN INSTALLING THE NEW CONNECTORS.
There are no pictures, arrows, or diagrams. That’s it. The bulletin was issued 12 1/2 years ago.
I guess before I tore into this I’d check to see if the car loses fuel pressure when it dies.
Just got the car back from my mechanic (after 3 weeks) and before I got it home it stalled again with the same symptom. They said they followed this instruction and didn’t find anything.
I’m running out of ideas and money to spend on this problem. Any suggestions on what I should do as a next step?
Since you say you hear that fuel pump relay click, did you replace it or have a peek at it to make sure it is seated well?
The relay was replaced with a new one
I see you replaced the fuel pump relay - but what about the fuel pump itself? The relay may be clicking to get the fuel pump to run. The clicking stops when the fuel pump runs and the car starts, correct? Perhaps a bad fuel pump, or a bad ground wire (or ground connection) to the fuel pump?
Sorry to be late with an update, but here it is. It turns out the problem with mine WAS the computer. I took it to a second shop as it continued to stall, and waited for 3 hours for roadside assistance to get a tow truck to me. They cleaned all the grounds and that didn’t solve it. Finally had them replace the computer and that did it. I had mentioned before that I put one in and it didn’t work, made it worse, so I put the old one back in. The second “new” one, was put in by the second repair shop (not sure if it was new or refurbished) but it has been working since January or February with no problems.
Thanks for the update. We’ll have to add that to the list of usual suspects in addition to fuel pump, crank sensor, egr, ignition switch, grounds, etc. I ruled out the computer on mine when I swapped out a used one and did the same thing. Maybe that was it after all.