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wildcat

But It Worked On the Way to the Grocery Store

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It just didn't work when I went to leave the grocery store. My usually-faithful 1992 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, white with woodgrain and wire wheels. I bought my groceries and turned the key to start it and leave. It cranked (and cranked) but wouldn't actually start. The AAA sent a little pickup out but they're not allowed to touch anything on a customer's car - they could only jump-start it, which it didn't need. So then a AAA car hauler came, loaded it up, and dropped it off at a local Firestone store. They said it'll be a couple of hours before they can even get to it.

It could be:

the fuel pump?

the pick-up core / modulator?

the timing chain?

Any guesses or similar experiences?

Thanks.

P.S. - I took one bag's worth of the most perishable meats, etc., left the rest of the groceries in the car, and rode the bus home. :(

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it would sound different when cranking if it was the timing chain.

Could be a coil or fuel pump.

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Thanks for the response, Oldsmoboi.

I just picked up my car from Firestone. They basically said the problem was caused by a malfunctioning coolant level sensor. ( Huh? )

The bill:

computerized engine diagnostic service $ 99.99

new air filter $ 17.99

remove & replace coolant level sensor $118.56

TOTAL $254.27 (which includes $57.35 parts, $179.19 labor, $10.75 shop supplies, $6.98 tax)

They also recommended a standard tune-up including new spark plugs and ignition wires for $385.56, and a fuel system tune-up for an additional $125.68, both of which I declined from them. I will have my regular mechanic, whom I trust, do whatever is necessary at some point in the future.

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Did you try giving it a little gas as you were starting it up? Sometimes our '80 Sedan de Ville needs that to get going. Not that it really matters now...

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Thanks for the response, Oldsmoboi.

I just picked up my car from Firestone. They basically said the problem was caused by a malfunctioning coolant level sensor. ( Huh? )

The bill:

computerized engine diagnostic service $ 99.99

new air filter $ 17.99

remove & replace coolant level sensor $118.56

TOTAL $254.27 (which includes $57.35 parts, $179.19 labor, $10.75 shop supplies, $6.98 tax)

They also recommended a standard tune-up including new spark plugs and ignition wires for $385.56, and a fuel system tune-up for an additional $125.68, both of which I declined from them. I will have my regular mechanic, whom I trust, do whatever is necessary at some point in the future.

I agree with the "huh?", I'm not sure why that wouldn't just throw a check engine light and otherwise let you be on your way. $99.99 for computerized engine diagnostic service is flat out robbery. There is less than 10 minutes of labor involved and a scan tool is about $300.

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$99.99 for computerized engine diagnostic service is flat out robbery.

Yup, at the GM Dealer up here it's 52.95$ CDN.

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Did you try giving it a little gas as you were starting it up?

Croc, the AAA man who came out first had me push the gas pedal to the floor while it was cranking. I believe the engine is fuel injected. He said don't pump it, just keep it to the floor. He said he could smell gas, but it didn't help.

I agree with the "huh?", I'm not sure why that wouldn't just throw a check engine light and otherwise let you be on your way. $99.99 for computerized engine diagnostic service is flat out robbery.

Oldsmoboi, the $99.99 diagnostic service charge was the first thing on the estimate which I had to sign or they wouldn't proceed.

You was robbed!

Pontiac Custom-S, I just wanted the car back running, and I saw no alternatives. Oh, I guess the AAA could have towed it to a Buick dealer but it might have cost more there.

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Good God. $99 just for a computer check. Glad I havent had to have that done to either of mine.

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I don't think our Firestone out here charges that much....

How is the car running?

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My mechanic will do a computer check for free.

Glad your car is back up and running though.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Autozone scans for codes for free, I hear.

I've heard that too.

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AutoZone will scan it for free, yes, the stipulations are that they have someone to scan the vehicle, AND they know what they're doing. Considering that the car is a '92 GM product, your scantool is a paperclip (no I'm not joking). The diagnostic procedure is as follows: bend paperclip in a "u" shape, look for a connector just under the lip of the dash, normally near the steering column, insert "u" shaped paperclip into the two terminals at the top and closest to the passenger side of the vehicle. Turn ignition key to the "on" position, watch the Check Engine Light, it will begin to flash at you. The first and last codes you will see are code 12's (one flash, pause, two flashes), those are to tell you that you are in diagnostic mode and that the readout is finished. Each code will repeat itself three times, each code will also show in numerically higher number. So once' you're past the code 12's, everything in the middle are trouble codes.

From there you get a service manual, which will have the specific trouble codes for your vehicle in it, find your code definitions, and look for the problem yourself. All you're out is the cost of the service manual and a paperclip...

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Oldsmoboi, the $99.99 diagnostic service charge was the first thing on the estimate which I had to sign or they wouldn't proceed.

Good night shirt tail. That just sucks.

I think I might've been trying to find another place to have it towed (though, I know, at that point, that wasn't a practical move, either...right?)....

Cort | 35swm | "Mr Monte Carlo"."Mr Road Trip" | pig valve.pacemaker

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