1999 Buick Park Ave - Rough Starting after sitting - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-10-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Default 1999 Buick Park Ave - Rough Starting after sitting

Hi All,

My 99 Buick Park Ave has had issues with hard starting since I got it 2 years ago. When the car has been sitting overnight or for a couple hours and you go to start it the engine needs to be cranked approximately 2 seconds (Mississippi). This is regardless of if you put the key in and turn to start immediately or turn the key to on, wait 2 seconds and then turn it to start. It has always started after the cranking. Once the car has been run for 5 minutes you can turn it off and restart the engine with just the tap of the key in the start position. I've heard how other GM 3800 engines start right up and I know this sort of slow starting is not normal. Other than the hard starting after sitting, the car runs great, no rough idle, no stalling and no check engine light. I've checked a few items to rule them out and now I'm stumped as to what the problem is. Here are the items I've checked / replaced over the past two years:

Battery terminal connections - checked for tightness, found a stripped bolt and replaced it, battery connections are now solid. Battery is only 2 years old and shows no indication of hard cranking while trying to start.

Plugs and wires when I got the car at 75,000 miles. The car now has 105,000 miles. The wires were recently replaced again due to misfire on cylinder 6 at 102,000 miles (2 months ago). I suspect this was due to melted nylon wire loom near the exhaust manifold. The new wires fixed the misfire code and I insulated them with fiberglass spark plug boot covers and new nylon wire loom.

Today I checked for a leaking fuel pressure regulator. I started the engine and removed the vacuum line to regulator and watched for any leaking gasoline. There was no smell of gasoline when removing the line. I left the vacuum line off for 10 minutes and no fuel came out of the regulator.

Today I also checked the fuel pressure. With the engine off and the key in the run position the pressure goes up to 52 psig for 2 seconds. Immediately following the 2 second fuel pump run (with the key still on), the pressure begins to drops off to 43 psig, 6 seconds after the pump has been off the pressure has dropped to 20 psig and by 40 seconds the pressure reaches 0 psig. I do not believe this to be correct, but I am unsure. With the engine running at an idle the fuel pressure is at 42.5 psig. Reving the engine increases the fuel pressure to 44 psig for a fraction of a second and then it drops back to 42.5 psig. Removing the vacuum line from the FPR while the engine is idling results in a fuel pressure of 53 psig.

Hopefully someone here has an idea of what I should test next to resolve my hard starting issue.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:32 AM   #2
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Next time you go out to start it cold again, hold the accelerator down just a tad. Basically, you need to hold the butterfly plate open about an 1/8 inch. If it starts right up, then I suspect the IAC(Idle Air Control valve).
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:20 AM   #3
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fuel pressure shouldnt drop off in 40 sec. could be fuel pressure reg or leak in the line
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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JW, fuel lines are not leaking, I replaced them when I got the car with PVF coated lines and I did this because it stunk of gasoline. There has been no odor of gasoline around the car, running or sitting. If there is a leak in the fuel system, it would have to be contained/internal. Could the FPR leak back to the return and not leak out the vacuum port? I agree the fuel pressure shouldn't be dropping. What other possibilities are there?

Mike, I will try the accelerator pedal test and get back to you.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #5
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I held the accelerator down and it started right up, unfortunately I think I held it down more then a tad, the car reved up to 4500 rpm. I will try it again with less accelerator once it sits. It started right up again with no accelerator when I shut it off and restarted.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #6
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A leaking fuel pressure regulator will just send fuel into the intake system. The only time you would smell gas, and this is how you check for a bad FPR, is to pull the vacuum hose off the FPR and smell for gas in the hose.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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Well that rules out the FPR as the culprit. I already tried pulling off the vacuum hose and there was no gasoline smell or spurting gasoline from the regulator.
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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its not leaking but i think it is malfunctioning, it should hold pressure when key is left on, probably not a big deal if the pressures are fairly normal when running
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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Depends on if he used the fuel pressure tester correctly.

1. Connect tester to fuel rail port.
2. Prime pump, or start engine
3. Push the bleed button on the gauge until fuel comes out the bleed hose/release button.
4. Now you can monitor your bleed down pressure.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Mike you have pointed out a flaw in my test procedure. I did not bleed the fuel gauge till fuel came out. I will retry the procedure following your directions.

I will also try the IAC test with the gas pedal down just a tad this time tomorrow morning after the car has rested overnight.
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