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Old 11-24-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default 1991 Park Avenue questions (European version)

Hello!

I bought an European export version of the Buick Park Avenue and since I am from Europe (Croatia to be more specific) I don't know nearly as much about these cars as you guys do, so I have plenty of questions.

First I'd like to say that I apologize if my questions sound stupid, but I really have no experience with these cars and sometimes even the basic things are a mystery to me. So first the important stuff:

1. The transmission. As you might know over here in Europe most cars are manual and this is my first experience with an automatic, so I might be doing something wrong here. I noticed no problems on the drive home. It'* easy enough to drive the Buick, seems to shift just fine. But since I live on a hill and I my driveway is on an inclined surface, something odd happened.

The car was on a hill and as I prepared to enter my driveway, I put it in D gear, pressed the gas but the car wouldn't move forward even while adding more gas. Like it was struggling and I smelled what seemed to be the smell of the clutch burning. So I put it in first gear and pressed gas and the car started moving, but it still felt to me like that wasn't "normal", if you get what i mean. Some people I know who drive American cars said to me that it should have moved normally in D gear on a hill, so I'm asking you - is this normal, and what is the correct procedure (what gear do I use) when driving up a hill? Should you use the e-brake for starting on hills like you would in a manual transmission car or not?

2. OK, so the e-brake. I also need to adjust to this style of e-brake, until now i drove manual transmission cars with a handbrake next to the drivers seat. The problem is, while you can press the pedal and the e-brake activates normally, the "brake release" lever seems to be loose and can be pulled quite far out of the dashboard and even then the e-brake is not released. While driving the car home me and my dad had a problem with this, as it took a bit quite a bit of wiggling with the lever to get the e-brake released. Is this normal? I am not comfortable driving the car until I find out what'* up with that because the car is parked on an incline and I need the e-brake to function correctly.


Now for the minor stuff:

- The trunk leaks. Is there a common place where leaks happen on these cars so I can check it out?

- I cant figure out the radio, it'* just noise. How do I make the antenna go up? It doesn't rise automatically when the radio is turned on.

- The rear fog lights don't work, but as far as I know USA Park Avenues didn't even have those so I don't expect to get much help about that...

- Although it'* fine now, when I first test drove the car the headlights wouldn't turn off. pressing the headlights switch did nothing, and i tried it with both engine running and not running. In the end I had to disconnect the battery. What'* up with that?

Ok, that'* it so far. I tried my best to explain it considering English is not my first language, but I can post pics if necessary. Any answers would be appreciated.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
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Transmission-Time to drop the Trans pan and look for clutch material etc shavings etc.
While there, replace the Trans filter & gasket ans Use Dexron VI (6) as fluid.
EBrake release - Old ratchet style with release lever, does the ebrake hold car while pedal is down? Could be slack on cable that need adjustment, and is not dis-engaging properly because of release cable slack?
Trunk Leaks- Not familiar with the older style but look to trunk lid seals or do a water test with garden hose and see if u can find it coming in. Where in trunk is it getting wet?
Headlight not turning off- Sticking/bad headlight relay...
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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another common water entry is the inner wheel wells will get a hole and the tires will spit the water up into the trunk. here if you have any rust at all that seems like the first place to get holes
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for replying, guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soft Ride View Post
Transmission-Time to drop the Trans pan and look for clutch material etc shavings etc.
While there, replace the Trans filter & gasket ans Use Dexron VI (6) as fluid.
EBrake release - Old ratchet style with release lever, does the ebrake hold car while pedal is down? Could be slack on cable that need adjustment, and is not dis-engaging properly because of release cable slack?
Trunk Leaks- Not familiar with the older style but look to trunk lid seals or do a water test with garden hose and see if u can find it coming in. Where in trunk is it getting wet?
Headlight not turning off- Sticking/bad headlight relay...
Well, I won't be able to do the transmission thing by myself, I'll have to get it checked. but I hope it'* not as bad as you make it sound...

Also, about the ebrake. Yes it holds the car when pressed, and you can press the pedal normally, it just the brake release cable that seems to be the problem. I'll try to post a pic later so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

The trunk is wet only behind the taillight panel. There is a part in the center of the trunk above the license plate holder where there is a gap between those rubber seal things (don't know the correct word, sorry). Maybe that'* it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfirebird View Post
another common water entry is the inner wheel wells will get a hole and the tires will spit the water up into the trunk. here if you have any rust at all that seems like the first place to get holes
I doubt that'* it because the car was parked the whole time when it was raining. But there is a bit of rust underneath so I will keep your advice in mind.



Also, will I damage the antenna if I raise and lower it manually (with my hand) since it doesn't rise automatically?
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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if it will you can. if the motor is bad it probably wont go but if the gears are stripped you may be able to move it.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:04 PM   #6
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I do not know how much $ it is to replace the OE power antenna, but another option would be a window type amplified one that would plug right in to the stock rear of radio.
There are numerous in car antennas available this is an example:
Metra 44-UA200 Amplified AM/FM Car Stereo Window Antenna | 265-5801
If it is leaking in from the tail lights, do the garden hose test and see if u can find it'* entry location/*. Get some silicone, or better some marine urethane in a squeeze tube. Begin by removing the suspect tail lights, and find what seals are not working or areas that can be filled in to stop the water entry points.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:13 AM   #7
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I know some of the newer PA'* have issues with the trunk taking in water, I had the issue myself, at first I thought it was the seals around each brake light, so I ordered those, and since my trunk pull down motor had went bad, I ordered it and replaced it, I found as soon as I replaced the pull down motor the trunk quit taking in water, and the brake light areas were not wet.
Turns out since the pull down motor broke before it was all the way down, it was leaving a little gap in that trunk seal you are talking about.
I don't think you have an electric pull down motor, but I am betting either the trunk seal is bad, or the trunk is not closing down tight enough for some reason, like maybe a faulty trunk latch.
The part in the middle of the trunk seal, where there is a tiny gap, should be where that is naturally cut to make installation easier, at least I am pretty sure that is why it is like that.

If your antennae will let you raise and lower it by hand it won't hurt, but since it has an electric motor I doubt it will come move without a lot of force.
Like Soft Ride suggested I'd look for one to mount somewhere, like this one mounted in the trunk.
Amazon.com: Hidden Antenna - Fits Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Harley, Boat, Golf Cart, Campers, Amplified Antenna AM FM WB for Harley FLHT FLHX Universal Fit For All Custom Applications AM FM Car Radio Stereo Windshield Hidden Antenna: Automotive Amazon.com: Hidden Antenna - Fits Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Harley, Boat, Golf Cart, Campers, Amplified Antenna AM FM WB for Harley FLHT FLHX Universal Fit For All Custom Applications AM FM Car Radio Stereo Windshield Hidden Antenna: Automotive
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamE View Post
I know some of the newer PA'* have issues with the trunk taking in water, I had the issue myself, at first I thought it was the seals around each brake light, so I ordered those, and since my trunk pull down motor had went bad, I ordered it and replaced it, I found as soon as I replaced the pull down motor the trunk quit taking in water, and the brake light areas were not wet.
Turns out since the pull down motor broke before it was all the way down, it was leaving a little gap in that trunk seal you are talking about.
I don't think you have an electric pull down motor, but I am betting either the trunk seal is bad, or the trunk is not closing down tight enough for some reason, like maybe a faulty trunk latch.
The part in the middle of the trunk seal, where there is a tiny gap, should be where that is naturally cut to make installation easier, at least I am pretty sure that is why it is like that.

Yeah I don't have the electric pull down motor, but now that you mention it I remembered that there is a problem with the trunk closing. It wont close unless you slam it quite hard, and that usually takes between 5 to 15 tries.

I just took pics of that gap between those rubber seals. It seems bigger than it should be ( not just a cut, it'* quite a gap) when comparing it to pictures of PA'* I found online. I am a bit low on the money right now so I would rather pinpoint the problem exactly before I start replacing things.

I will do the test with the garden hose like everyone suggested just to be sure though!


Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamE View Post
If your antennae will let you raise and lower it by hand it won't hurt, but since it has an electric motor I doubt it will come move without a lot of force.
Like Soft Ride suggested I'd look for one to mount somewhere, like this one mounted in the trunk.
Amazon.com: Hidden Antenna - Fits Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Harley, Boat, Golf Cart, Campers, Amplified Antenna AM FM WB for Harley FLHT FLHX Universal Fit For All Custom Applications AM FM Car Radio Stereo Windshield Hidden Antenna: Automotive
Heh, I completely forgot those antennas existed. I'll see what is the cheaper option between fixing the antenna or buying one of those like you guys linked.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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Art, the OE power Antennae is about 160.00 or so.


You could try to fill the void you are talking about with a little silicone like Soft Ride mentioned, that is what I did before I found the issue, it helped but did not totally stop the water from coming in, only once the trunk closed tight enough once again did it stop taking in water.

A tip, if you do not mind cleaning it up, put a little baby powder all around the seal, and anywhere it looks like the water may get in, then do the garden hose test, and see what path the water took coming in.
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