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What will get my Buick to run?

I have a 1990 Buick Century. Two experienced mechanics

have had trouble figuring out what is wrong. They replaced the starter, the oxygen sensor, and a gasket and the car is still a problem. They are trying to get me to give up on the car but I need it and can’t afford a new or good used one now. Their belief most recently is that the Prom in the car’s computer must be replaced and then the computer may accurately point to the real problem. Any ideas? This has had them stumped for a long time.

You have said absolutely nothing about what is wrong with your Buick. Tell us more. . .

PROM chips don’t fail. They might, but everything else fails far more often than the prom. My recommendation is to find out how to read the codes. There is usually a method which may be in a Haynes manual or service manual.

Your computer is probably cheaper than a PROM anyway.

Auto parts stores probably have to order the new computer but they should want the serial number from the old one. The old PROM has to be removed and transferred to the new computer. It’s easy to remove.

Sometimes the connection is bad and just unplugging and plugging will fix the problem. I usually bet that the 22 year old computer is whacko. NAPA wasn’t the greatest name in computers, so unless the name brand is Sorensen, the shop might want to go somewhere else.

Try a psychic network. I’m pretty sure they don’t actually need any real information about the car. They just use chicken guts and chants and ouija boards or something.

Your words: “They are trying to get me to give up on the car”. But apparently they don’t mind changing parts at your expense in what seems to be a series of very random attempts to “solve” your problem. Your title question indicates that the car doesn’t run. At least you need to say how it doesn’t run. Did it ever not even turn over when you turned the key? Does it turn over now that they have replaced the starter but not start?

These mechanics are out of ideas, and will continue to take your money and throw parts at it until you yell ‘No Mas!!!’ I strongly suggest you find someone else or take their advise and find another disposable car. This one sounds like it will eat you alive with more and more blind attempts until you’ve spent enough to have purchased another cheap car.

Rather than jump down your throat, let me say this:

Your mechanics haven’t had trouble, they have failed. It happens.

Do you mean the car won’t start at all, even with a new starter?

Is there gas in the tank?

Which gasket was replaced and why?

Why are two mechanics working on your car?

Where do you live?

What did your mechanics tell you they thought was the problem?

Have you considered taking the car to another mechanic?