Help! What happened to my car?


#1

Here’s the deal. My 1998 Buick Regal GS has beeen driving fine. It was low on oil this weekend, so we added a quart, and I drove it to work with no problem on Monday morning. Monday afternoon on my way home, out of nowhere and all of the sudden the RPM’s started dropping, and I had just enough time to pull off. The oil level was fine, the engine wasn’t hot, but it wouldn’t start back. All electrical stuff came on, but the engine just couldn’t fully start. No warning lights had come on. Now my regular mechanic says it’s something internal that he doesn’t fix, but can’t give me more detail. What’s the deal? This 3800 engine has only 115,000 miles on it! Is it really dead??


#2

It could be lots of things. Ask your mechanic to send you to someone that can diagnose it if he can not tell you what is broken.


#3

The 3.8 is a near bullet-proof engine and a 115k miles is nothing on them.
Maybe it’s possible your mechanic has no clue what the problem is and is simply trying to brush you and the car off rather than show ignorance. (ignorance is not stupidity, just lack of knowledge)

Your post is a bit unclear. Does the engine crank over normally with the starter motor engaged?
What about with the lights on?
Why does he state that it’s an internal problem? Short of noise previously or a catastrophic bang I don’t see an internal engine fault at this point.

I’m wondering if your problem is not something simple like a battery cable, cable end, distribution terminal, etc.
A weak battery or bad connection and the engine computer will start shutting down when the voltage reaches a certain level.


#4

I don’t know either, but I would be surprised if had anything to do with the oil being one quart low. Take it to someone who can diagnose the problem.


#5

Guys, note that it’s a GS, not an LS. It has a supercharger. Could that have any bearing on the issue? Rachel, does the supercharger sound any different that it did before?


#6

Start with the basics. Does it have spark, does it have fuel?

Buy one new spark plug and pull one plug wire off (pull on the socket part not the wire) put the new plug on that wire and hold the threads of the plug tight against the engine block while you have someone try to start the car. You should see a bright blue spark, and if you are not holding the plug with an insulated tool, you will also see stars! This can rule out a spark problem.