96 SE problem, UIM? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-01-2007, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default 96 SE problem, UIM?

Hi everybody - my car was running perfectly, great pickup, like new. The car has been well maintained, I changed the oil myself (pat on back), its got new tires and a new water pump. working fine.

until the other day. It first started stalling whenever I put the transmission into park. Then it started stalling out at stop signs. One day my fiance was using the car, came out of a store and tried to start it. She reports a small explosion under the hood, directly in front of the steering wheel. Well we had it towed by AAA to my mechanic. (great guy, I always go there. I trust him.)

Report from the mechanic: There was coolant running down the side of the engine (I saw it myself), three "bad sensor" errors in the computer thingy, some kind of gas lines "popped off" (?). Possibly coolant in the engine, unknown amount of damage. Bottom line --> he said it might not be worth getting fixed. The car is sitting at his shop right now, he'* got the extra space and I need the time to find a solution.

After seeing this website and all the UIM problems, I assume that'* what it is. However, I don't have the time or knowhow to fix the problem myself. My question is: what should I do? Should I have the mechanic dive in and see what'* wrong, possibly have him fix the thing? Should I ditch the car and try to find a good deal on something else? Should I have the engine rebuilt? I love the car, but I'm not overly emotionally attached to it. I would like to know what you guys think, which is the most economical option for me.

Thanks in advance, I LOVE this site
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:05 AM   #2
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Welcome to Bonneville Club, Dennis. Well, the "possibly coolant in the engine" would relate to a UIM or LIM gasket failure. But the coolant on the outside of the engine may be a throttle body gasket, a UIM failure, an LIM failure, a bad coolant elbow, a bad thermostat gasket, a leaky radiator or heater hose, a bad water pump, etc.

If you were willing/able to do the repairs yourself, it is unlikely that it would cost you more than a few hundred dollars if the engine is repairable.

We need more specific information to help you out. Did he, or could he, write it up for you? It would probably be worth $50 to get a detailed estimate or evaluation of what is wrong. That is a small investment that will result in a decision that can save you many times that amount whether the answer is to repair or let it go.

Was the explosion just a noise, or was it a gasoline and air explosion? Was there a fire? Bottom line: if the internals of the engine were not damaged (bent rod, ruined bearings), it would probably be cost effective to repair the engine. Especially so, if you can do the work yourself or with the help of a knowledgeable friend.

It may be possible for a BC member who lives near you to come and help out, either to provide a second opinion, or to help you with repairs. Where are you?
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
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Dennis.. call GM and find out if your car ever got the fuel pressure regulator recall and if it was ever replaced. There was a known problem, recently GM paid a member here for the car after the intake "blew up" similar to what you are describing.

Meanwhile.. everything the other Bill mentions about the upper intake leak is absolutely another consideration and most likely the reason for the stalling.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I am calling the mechanic today, I'm going to have him open it up and find out *exactly* what'* wrong. (He said he couldn't give me a detailed quote because he wasn't sure.) I'll post the findings as soon a I get them.

What exactly is a fuel pressure regulator? It sounds to me like that might be part of the problem. Is the GM website a good source of recall information (www.mygmlink.com) or am I better off calling them directly?
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill buttermore
Was the explosion just a noise, or was it a gasoline and air explosion? Was there a fire? Bottom line: if the internals of the engine were not damaged (bent rod, ruined bearings), it would probably be cost effective to repair the engine. Especially so, if you can do the work yourself or with the help of a knowledgeable friend.
I don't think it was a gas/air explosion. There was a loud bang, and light blue smoke. No fire at all. The guy who towed the car said the smoke could have been coolant hitting the engine block. In which case, I presume the coolant on the outside of the engine is *not* from a slow leak, but from something bursting.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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How about we get someone from the Newark area to go see this car this weekend?
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisdh
Thanks guys. I am calling the mechanic today, I'm going to have him open it up and find out *exactly* what'* wrong. (He said he couldn't give me a detailed quote because he wasn't sure.) I'll post the findings as soon a I get them.
We should be able to provide much better advice and you will be able to make much better decisions with that information.

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Originally Posted by dennisdh
What exactly is a fuel pressure regulator? It sounds to me like that might be part of the problem.
The fuel pressure regulator is attached to the fuel rail and controls the pressure of the gasoline going to the fuel injectors according to manifold vacuum. It provides more pressure (greater flow) when the engine is under load (lower vacuum) and needs more fuel. The fuel rail runs around the intake manifold and feeds gasoline to all six fuel injectors.
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Old 03-03-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
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To look up the recall I use
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/pr...callsearch.cfm

From the "small explosion under the hood" I would suspect it backfired thru the Upper Intake Manifold, one of possible symptoms of the failed FPR in the recall.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:46 PM   #9
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The recall was for some of the Delphi units, so check the regulator and see if that'* who made it. Regardless, of what it says, pull the vacuum line off from the regulator and make sure there is no fuel getting into it. The Delphi'* had a higher failure rate, but any of them can fail.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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I have had the same EXACT problem with my 96 SE. Was in the shop, had the EGR valve replaced, manifold cover and gaskets replaced, fuel filter,vacuum lines, sparks,wires..everything. Still stalls out in traffic,especially when decellerating,and stals out when I put it in PARK. Can you believe that? My mechanic has done all the diagnostics(thankfully doesn't charge me) and can not find anything wrong. I'm stumped!
only 80300 miles on her. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm thinking maybe the simplest of all the air filter? I do smell a dusty dirt smell in the interior,and it'* very dust here in Vegas. oh boy. HELP!
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