I love my '93 Bonny, but I need her to quit stalling on me! - 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 08-20-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
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Default I love my '93 Bonny, but I need her to quit stalling on me!

In Googling around for some information on why my car likes to randomly quit running while I'm driving it I found this forum. I registered in order to read the Ground Bus post and I figured since I was already registered I might as well make a post to ask for advice straight up.

Before I begin I must disclose that when it comes to working on cars I am a complete and total ignoramus. I know how to check the oil and fill the washer fluid - that'* about it. I have a cousin who is comfortable working on cars and the like, but he'* never really dealt with mine. If I had very straightforward instructions on how to fix something under the hood I think I could accomplish it.

Now onto the stalling. In searching through the forum it seems that this is not a totally uncommon problem with my make and model (1993 SSE). During 2009 my car would run just fine and then, seemingly out of nowhere, it would ding ding ding and totally die on me. The power steering would go out, the brake pedal would require a ton of pressure to apply breakage, and of course I had no engine. Every time it did this while driving it would start back up after 5-20 minutes and it never stalled twice on the same drive. Once it wouldn't even start in a parking lot, so the problem wasn't isolated to when I was driving. Of course when I had the car looked at by a mechanic it never would stall for them so nobody could tell me the problem.

Last fall I put it in a garage and have been driving a different vehicle ever since. This week my wife and I were able to use a neighbor'* jumper battery to start the car enough to get it out of the garage but nothing else. Turns out the battery was totally shot and wouldn't hold a charge even after sitting on the driveway for an hour and a half "charging". I had the battery replaced and have drove it about 10 miles since I got it back with no stall - but I don't think simply replacing the battery (which was obviously not tip top last fall?) and connections would solve my problem, would it?

Tomorrow I'm going to try to look at the Ground Bus to see if that might have been my problem, but if it was something electrical then would my car restart after such a short time sitting? From what I gather the other likely culprit would be the CPS. So my question would be how EXACTLY would I go about replacing that? Also, if it'* not the CPS what else might it be based on what I described above?

I really love my car and if I could squeeze another year out of her while I save up for a down payment on a more family/reliable car that would be totally awesome. I'm only looking to drop about $500 into it if possible.

Alternatively, I'm looking for a replacement right exhaust tip. Where can I find one of those to bolt back on? I accidentally drove into a ditch several years ago and the exposed exhaust I believe caused my paint to bubble and peel quite badly on the rear bumper and I'd like to put an end to that and possibly fix the paint/keep it from peeling worse.

Alternatively #2, I have a replacement driver'* side seat that I'd like to put in that as far as I know is exactly the same seat out of another identical model. I understand that process isn't too terribly difficult?

So sorry for the length of my help request, but I will be so so very grateful to anybody and everybody who can help me out.

Sincerely,
Chris Shaffer
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:48 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

Do you have any SES lights?

I wonder if you don't have a loose engine ground.
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:38 AM   #3
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SES lights?

Told you I was car retarded.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:07 AM   #4
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Oh sorry, Service Engine Soon or check engine
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:12 AM   #5
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No lights or anything. It'* run real well since I got the new battery in it, though I've only driven it twice.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:43 PM   #6
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Shaffe,
Welcome to the forum...this site has saved me $$$$ by doing the work myself. I have a 1994 Bonneville SE (non-supercharged) with the 3800 series 1 motor. If yours has the similiar motor they are pretty sturdy but are touchy on electrical. If I may offer a bit of advice, if you do get a SES light (service engine soon) have a mechanic use a scanning tool to isolate a code (problem) for you before you start replacing sensors and the like on your own. I had similiar problems such as yours and have ended up replacing almost every sensor in the vehicle plus the ECM/PCM (engine computer for short). Check for corrosion on the buss bar and also on the positive & negative battery connections...they need to be really clean. Does your voltmeter stay in the green zone (12-16 volts)? or does it jump around? I just replaced my ICM (Ignition Control Module), it sits underneath the coilpacks, the ICM'* cost about $140.00 new, that was my culprit but I had a SES light on and had it scanned. They are good cars and you will learn to work on them unless you're a rich man!!!! Good luck
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:07 PM   #7
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By the symptoms, I would say that you have a loose engine ground. On most motors, the engine ground goes to one of the Trans to Engine bolts.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies so far, maybe my problem isn't so big after all.

When I had the battery put in the mechanic also ran a diagnostic and said nothing came up, so I think there aren't any codes that are tripped. Of course this was after the battery was put in since he couldn't run the diagnostic without a battery that could hold a dang charge.

How can I attempt to diagnose a loose engine ground on my own? Where is it located and what will it look like if it'* no good? When the battery got replaced the mechanic noted that he cleaned the cables and replaced a bolt that was pretty badly corroded (negative terminal I think). So I know I'm good on the battery/connection front.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #9
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He probably fixed your problem then. Let us know if you have the same problem again.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:44 PM   #10
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Cool beans!

Now I've noticed after looking at the garage where it'* sat for a year that it'* leaking power steering fluid (top left looking at the engine). This seems a bit serious and likely well beyond my scope of fixing, but how would I go about finding the leak and where should I hope it is?
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