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Buick Regal 1993 Shuts down while driving

Car runs great - no engine noise, smooth with the exception described below. I’ve tried to describe the car, the symptom and repairs to date in as much detail as I thought was needed. I’m desperate for any suggestions:

1993 Buick Regal

3.8 V-6

142,000 miles

remote start

low air reading (air conditioner sometimes blows hot, sometimes blows coll - but not cold)


While driving, car shuts off without warning as if it stops getting gas. No shuddering or other indicators prior to event. Power steering is lost but all electronics continue to work (windows, radio, lights etc.)

Will not start for 7-15 minutes.

Cranking is strong

After 7-15 minutes, turns right over

No common circumstance can be identified. Has happened at high & low speeds, cruise on or off, heat/air on or off, hot/cold weather, wet/dry conditions

Replaced since last Sept:

alternator - bad reading

starter - just froze/smoked

crank sensor - no reading mechanic,s best guess

)2 sensor - no reading, mechanic’s best guess

fuel pump & filter - no reading, mechanic’s guess

cam sensor - bad reading

ingnition module - bad reading

As a guess I would say the ignition system is the culprit here. It may be shutting down due to a power problem to the system. I would go for a test drive and try to make it shut down and then check the ignition system to see if it is working. If you have spark then the fuel system would be the next area to check.

Before you pay someone, check the electrical connectors yourself.
You may have a loose, wet or corroded wire or connector somewhere.
Look for the obvious: at the ignition coil, gas tank (fuel pump), bad ground wire, etc.
Perhaps you have a bad fuel pump relay.
Most of the time you can find it very easily yourself.

I used to have an Oldsmobile with the same problem. It turned out to be the connections on the battery. Disconnect the battery and clean the connections. Make sure they are tight. If the cable ends are worn out, replace the cable. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the suggestions. I should add that when the car shuts down, it cranks real strong and I don’t loose any electrical. Radio, lights, windows etc all work. But, I’m getting no fuel. When the valve under the hood (can’t remember the name of it) is held open and the car is cranked, no fuel comes up. Any additional thoughts?

The valve you’re referring to is the Schrader valve.

No fuel? Could be one (or more) of three items. Faulty or plugged fuel pump or maybe a dirty fuel filter or even a bad fuel pressure regulator.

I had a similar issue with my '92 Buick Park Avenue Ultra.
3800 Supercharged V-6 engine.

For me, the car was shutting off on random occasions when I would accelerate from a stop.
The difference is that mine would not start back up.

Turns out the car was blowing the fuel pump fuse under the dash by the passenger’s front feet.
If I replaced the fuse, the car would fire back up fine.

Honestly, I never resolved the issue with the car.
I believe it was caused by one of the motor mounts breaking, and the engine having too much forward movement, which eventually lead to a wire or grounding strap on the car to break, which would then cause the fuse to blow on moderate acceleration.

So, check the motor mounts.


If there is no fuel squirt from the schrader valve, fuel pressure may be lost because of loss of electrical power to the fuel pump. Check the fuel pump electrical circuitry. Here is some info on the fuel system:

Can someone confirm that a voltage check and pressure check need to be performed while the car is acting up - right? And those are tests that aren’t necessarily performed by hooking up to the computer diagnostic system?
Thanks for all the great insight. The site is great. And, thanks for the “Schrader valve” I couldn’t remember. the car is in the shop but I’m making a call tomorrow to make sure that the tests have been/are performed and the inline filter gets checked.

The ECU will not show any code for a fuel pump problem so checking for power getting to the pump is needed. The problem may be due to an intermittent relay for the pump.

There could be a code set for the ignition if the ECU doesn’t see the proper ignition pulses and then shuts the fuel pump circuit down.