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Buick lesabre "jerking"

1995 buick lesabre, started jerking and dying when rolled over 100,000 miles. both with the 3800 series motor, replaced computer and cam sensor 2 times. next purchased 2002 lesabre, turned over 100,000 miles starting to do the same thing. any idea what’s up? Common problem with these cars? spent almost 4 months in the shop last year searching for cause and cure. worth keeping and trying to find solution or try different car?

With that description the only thing you could get out of anyone is a long list.

Is the check engine light on? If so, what are the codes?

Under what conditions does it jerk and die?

How are things in terms of maintenance? Spark plugs? Wires? Fuel filter? Has anyone tested the fuel pressure? Has the transmission been regularly serviced?

Has anyone taken a look at it? What did they say?

the codes showed it was the cam sensor, that was replaced twice. The mechanic said we would have to just keep trying things til we find the answer. that could get expensive. the check engine light does not stay on once you turn the ignition off and re start it until it jerks again. it has died while sitting at a stop sign and while driving down the highway at 60 miles per hour. the car has been regularly maintenanced. the mechanic assures me it is not the transmission, but could be a magnet on the motor, or another sensor on the cam and or crank shaft. both very costly to get to. my concern is that this is the second LeSabre to do this. I wondered if anyone else had encountered such an issue and was hoping if they had to pinpoint the search. any other ideas?

First, it is possible that there is some common issue with these cars (though I wouldn’t lay my money there) and maybe someone will happen along who knows. You can try doing searches for recalls and “technical service bulletins” (TSBs). TSBs are hard to find in full text for free - you often just get titles. But you might be able to get full access thru a public library.

There is no code that will tell you to replace a cam sensor (or any other part). There are codes that will indicate some problem in systems - might be the sensor - might be something else. If you have some record of the actual code (it would be a P followed by 4 numbers such as P0341) then posting it would help people help you. I hate to say it and I mean no offense if you like you mechanic, but the proper response to a problem like this is not to start guessing and replacing parts. I’d find someone who specializes in “drivability” issues. What you need is proper diagnosis and testing.

If you don’t know the actual codes and if your check engine light is on now (or comes and goes), pull into an auto parts store (big chains work best) and ask them to pull the codes. Then post them.

If there was some code that pointed to an issue in the cam sensor system, AND if the sensor was replaced twice without helping, AND if the problem is intermittent then I’d just start by checking the wiring in the whole cam sensor system. This is not too hard for someone with average experience and a multimeter, and might be solved by simply fixing loose or damaged wire to/from the cam sensor.

thanks for the suggestions. I will get the codes and check back.

Make sure that the 3 spark plugs by the firewall were really changed…