Car just quits...driving me crazy!

I just bought this 1994 Buick Park Ave. a month ago. The guy said the 3.8L V6 was replaced about 90,000 miles ago. It used to be a supercharged engine, now it is not. My problem is that most of the time it runs OK. Every once in a while, I would start it up, and 30 seconds later it would quit, and not restart. I wold have to wait anywhere from 10 minutes to 6 hours, and then BAM! the car would start. I bought a new key, thinking the security resistor contacts might be worn down, but that did not solve the problem. One thing I did notice is that when the car shut off, the electric windows and door locks did not work, and sometimes the battery would die after only two or three cranks. Recently the problem has gotten worse where now the car will be going down the road, and just quit. Once again, I would wait 10 minutes, and sometimes it would start, other times I would have to leave it overnight. Also, a couple times, I would start the car, and as soon as I would touch the door lock, window button, or even the heat controls, the car would immediately shut off. I am at my wits end. I am tired of having to ask for a jump start. Any ideas?

This sounds to me like a possible ignition system fault. Perhaps a faulty relay? Just guessing though.

Get the quick and free out of the way - clean battery posts and have the battery and alternator checked. Bad battery fits with jump starts, quitting after starts and dying while your driving. Some of your other symptoms do not. Could be two or three things together. Have you called the previous owner and asked if he had these problems?

UPDATE: I replaced the battery, cleaned the terminals, to no avail. The problem has gotten worse to the point I cannot drive the vehicle any longer. I guess I will have to take it in to a mechanic. I will post another update when I get word back.

As far as the previous owner, I was dealing with the nephew, who claims that as far as he knew there were no problems with the car. RIIIIIIIGHT!

Being outdated I don’t like to say much and it sounds like you have received some good advise on here so far so good. From what you provided us with ;when you draw some current by means of actuating the door locks,power window or heater fan there must be less curent available for the ignition system so as you said it stalls out.You indicated you replaced the battery and cleaned terminals so a low cost volt meter which is very easy to use will show if the alternator is puttuing out enough to run more than just the ignition system.Does the volt light or any other lights indicate a low charge condition.The ignition will use more current at certain times so if you have a low charge condition it could easily stall out and then there is not enough to restart the car and then it either will not crank or will crank slowy then stop working.Always listen to a certified mechanic which I am not. There is a milliamp tester and the positive battery teminal has to be disconnected and if a diode is bad in the alternator it will show excessive current leaking with the ignition and all accessories off but computers and alarm system use just a little even when the ignition switch is off.Always check with your mechanic and with the intructions from the meter in case there are instructions how to hook up the meter without damaging anything electronic.

Thanks for the info. Just to note, since replacing the battery, it does not die after just three cranks, but the car still will not start, and the windows and door locks will not work when I am having the problem. Voltage gauge shows normal range all the time.

I believe this model car still used fusible links to protect the ignition and fuse box circuits. These links may be between the battery and fuse block, or from a power tap to the fuse block. These links may have gotten overheated at some point, and are causing an intermittent loss of power to the fuse block, and therfore the ignition and power accessories. The way to test these links is to roll the wire between your fingers, and feel for ANY roughness. Roughness means the wire is partially melted and therefore bad.

Replace the positive battery cable assembly.


Go straight down the center row to the back fence and back it in next to the other Buicks. Bring the keys and plates back to the office…Lets see…3600 pounds times .30 cents, …That’s $108 dollars. Would you like cash or a check??