98 Buick stalls and wont start for hours later




I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again . . .

I’ve seen MANY faulty failing crankshaft position sensors . . . which caused stalling and/or no starts . . . which did not EVER generate any kind of fault code

I estimate 1/2 of the bad crank sensors I’ve replaced fit that description

Yet they tested bad, and replacing them resolved the problems permanently

Lack of a certain fault code and/or lack of a mil does not mean everything is okay


Why would the window not open while the car would not start if it was the crankshaft Position sensor? So far I have driven it almost 500 miles and really no trouble. It could be its worse in warmer weather. I few times a few days ago it would cut out for a split second and then all fine.

Lets assume it is the crankshaft Pos sensor. What would that have to do with windows not opening? If the car would happen to die, would this CPS cause the car to have no spark?


When the CPS is not working there will be no spark and no injector pulse and the computer will get no signal that the engine is being cranked, therefore there will be no recognized fault. And while it is somewhat tedious to get the CPS correctly installed it is not too difficult and the part is cheap and so replacing it is the best shot in the dark in this situation. I found that using a strip of the CPS’s paper box as a spacer makes for a close-even alignment. A missalignment will result in running a short time then a permanent failure of the new part… i.e. engine dies and won’t restart until another CPS is installed.

But REALLY, a failed O2 will not cause your problem. If you broke all 4 O2 sensors it would not result in your symptoms.


But would it cause the windows not to open during the time that it will not start? And then after this time and it states the windows open again.


No, a failed CPS will not cause the power windows to fail but how coincidental is their failure?
do the power windows sometimes fail while the engine runs without a problem? Like several others here I am somewhat familiar with diagnosing problems such as yours even specifically on Buicks like yours and while it is not impossible for the power window/no start issues to be linked to the same cause that situation seems unlikely but throw some more specifics out to substantiate that the two failures are connected. What else is failing simultaneous to the engine stall/no start?


Interesting discussion. One observation, I expect that the ECM knows when the key is in the “start” position and that means the starter motor should be turning the engine. So you’d think the software would test for crank rotation using the crank pos sensor, and if it didn’t find any crank rotation happening then, the software would flag the crank position sensor dtc.


Not my car but to my knowledge the only time they do not work is when the car will not start.



I have been driving the car now 3 weeks. 1000+ miles. It has not stalled once. It does kick out for a second every now and then. Seems electrical. I have noticed the security light comes on at times and stays on for miles. Then goes off and stays off for miles. It has no alarm system so I am not sure what that is about. Also the temp light does flash once in a while. Many times when engine kicks out for that second, that light will flash on and off also. The Temp gauge is also not working. My next step is to find out why the gauge is not working, change sensor if that is needed.


Just a WAG - do you have 2 keys, and have they both acted the same?


what do you mean by 2 keys? Are you talking about the keys that start the car? The car has 2 keys but been using only the one key.

That security light has something to do with the doors. When car is off, key in ignition, and you open either one of the doors the light flashes. So why it comes on and off while driving and if it means anything I do not know.


Seems odd but I will try the other key tomorrow.


On rare occasions, I have had ‘chip’ keys act funny. One of the last ones had a warning message like Invalid key or similar. It was a no frills van, so there were no security issues (no power windows, door locks, alarm-nothing), but if your car from time to time thinks the wrong key is in the ignition I.E., someone is stealing the car…


The security light is for your pass key system. I have a 97 buick le sabre that does that if it seems the key is at fault or the system has an error. It’s just telling you something up. I think when the stalling happened was due to the key acting up. The pass system what it does is if the system cannot read the key (This is from experience because this happen to me the first time my grandma bought the car) The key couldn’t be read and the car kept on stalling or it would not start. I had to get a new key made for the system because one of the chip on the key broke off. Try testing both keys to see if the system will say security. and if anyone can correct me as well if i said this wrong


I will be trying that today. I know in my Neon the guy I got it from had some extra keys made up and they will not start the car, only open the door. These car makers are going crazy with all this stupid crap. Keys with chips this sensor that sensor computers and so on. I’m not old but I prefer a good old carburetor running car with no computer. So much cheaper to fix and easier to work on.


Yeah I hear you, My old 95 taurus never had that system before just a regular key. Its new to me how it works but the system can be a blessing and a curse. If both keys work it might just be the system itself just finding a fault and letting you know just to check it out. I love this car and learning a lot about it.


I feel your frustration. My ‘other’ car is a 4 barrel carb - due to its age, I have to spend quite a bit of time on it with general repairs and maintenance, and I wouldn’t take it cross country like one of my daily drivers, but it is a nice weekender. I actually prefer the reliability of modern day cars, but they can be quite frustrating to repair compared to the older ones.

If the other key works better, great! You can go to a dealer with your VIN and order a new key. You could still have a problem with the igniton lock cylinder, or something, but maybe this will narrow it down.


Also I forgot to mention if you have a clothed towel or a clean clothed rag you can clean the chips on the key if their is dust or gunk that can in a sense “Clogged” the chip to not be read


I have these computer and phone touch screen clean wipes that would work.

I was also thinking, could it be a bad wire or switches in the door jams? Snow and salt and crap could have corroded them. But what would the door have to do with shutting it off and occasional split second shut down? Anyways will update on the other key tonight.


Sorry i tried editing my post out but i think i clicked the wrong button :frowning: . The security light when you open or close the door looks like you may have an alarm system as well in the car, when you star the car the light can mean that the system is at fault. From what i experienced i had only the symptom of stalling and the car not starting. I’m not a professional with cars.with the wipes be careful not to squeeze to hard when you clean the key off. If someone could correct me if i made a mistake.



bag445 thank you very much. I must admit I thought it was just a bit silly, but I tried the spare key. Drove it over 100 miles so far. The security light has not been on once, it has not missed once. It runs perfect. That looks like that was the problem. Thanks again bag445 and everyone else.