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Old 03-01-2015, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Engine Misfire and Running Rough

01/01/15
Was driving up to Buckeye, AZ from Gilbert, and right as the 10 starts to go up the hill before Avondale, the car started to stutter, but not too bad. I just thought it was the road since I was in the HOV lane, and they have been doing a lot of road construction up in that area.
Still shuttering, a little more, I finally get to my exit. I had been watching the temp light and oil light, even the Engine light, nothing popped on. As I came to a stop at the stop sign, the car was REALLY sputtering now but still running. I figured I might as well go the rest of the way (only 4 miles). Got to my destination, and the car was still running although acting like it really didn't want to go. I figured when i shut off the engine it would seize and that would be it. 8 hours later i go out, expecting to hear clunk. NOPE! Still started but was rattling bad and missing.
The car stayed up there until MLK day, when I was able to have a friend drive me up there. The friend that lives in buckeye said he knows the owner of brakes Plus in Buckeye. (Not my favorite choice but it was something). The owner had come out the previous weekend and said it was the valve train. i told him the car only has 115k on it, even though it'* 25 years old and I'm not about to sell it. This is the first major problem I've had since owning the car almost 7 years now. he understood.
So.. It gets towed to brakes plus. They said it was the harmonic balancer and had replaced it, but it still was missing. They said it was probably the engine and quoted me $6700 to replace the engine. Presidents Day I went up and had the car towed to Gilbert. I'm not about to pay that much money.
So now I'm stuck. I have a friend that is a professional mechanic (only for VW/Audi) that can fix it but won't take the engine out and put it back in the car.
Is there ANYONE in the Phoenix Area that can help? I already have the rebuild kit, and it'* sitting inside the house. Money is tight, and I have a little saved up, but that doesn't mean I'm going to be cheap. I'll just have to pay in payments.
Anyone want to help? make some money on the side? Please? Pretty please?
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:35 PM   #2
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I guess I am not completely convinced this is mechanical failure just yet. Are you able to post a video of the noise, as well as the behavior? Does it even still make the noise after the harmonic balancer was replaced?
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:27 AM   #3
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This was recorded with a Motorola HD Maxx. The sound flip flops from mono to stereo, because of the noise. So it makes it sound worse than it really is.
[URL="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxJMOqtdUC_kQ1BsTW12Zi1LMkU/view?usp=sharing"[/URL]

Last edited by Azimpulse; 03-02-2015 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:28 AM   #4
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Does it still make the same noise with the belt off? It almost sounds like a massive vacuum leak or something in the belt path. Either way though I haven't heard a dying 3800 make that noise yet
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:58 PM   #5
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So your Buick is a 25 years old, so circa 1990 model? I gotta say, I'm all for making old cars work as long as possible... but for less than the price you might pay for a new engine + installation, you could probably replace your Buick with something 10-12 years newer. Something to consider anyway, if the engine ends up being the problem. I bought my 2000 LeSabre Custom for $1500 a little over a year ago. It'* got more miles than yours, but there are a lot of these cars on the used market and deals to be had.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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If I were you I would take your car to some one who really knows these cars and get a second opinion , even if you have to pay up for a proper diagnosis . That said if it is a $6,000 repair it probably wouldn't make sense in a car that age . If it is the motor the car still has value , there are gear heads always looking for cars they can fix and drive .
The best advise I could give here is be patient , and not do any thing until you are absolutely sure what the problem is .

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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Well, when I hear this:

"It gets towed to brakes plus. They said it was the harmonic balancer and had replaced it, but it still was missing. They said it was probably the engine and quoted me $6700 to replace the engine."

Get a second opinion....replacing parts and the same thing happens, and then you get a "probable" in the diagnosis?
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