1992 Buick Century Engine Misses and Cuts Out On Freeway

Reader Question I have a 92 Buick Century I just bought on 12/30/06.
When driving at cruise speed my car sputters after a half hour of driving, but does not when accelerating, decelerating, or at idle. I did not hear any strange noises such as popping from the engine or exhaust.

This symptom does make the car hesitate consistently at any consistent speed. I noticed that they did change the spark plug wires.

Can you please help me?

Hello there

From your email, spark plug wires would have been my first guess. I would get the computer codes read and see if any information is being stored in your computer and go from there. I have seen a weak fuel pump cause symptoms of a misfire at cruising speeds, when you mash on the gas the pump works fine.

I have also seen the transmission torque converter cause similar problems. Try driving in DRIVE not overdrive, or LIGHTLY tapping the brake pedal (which releases the lock up torque converter) next time the problem happens. If the sputtering stops, you probably have an internal transmission problem.


Austin Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

2 Comments on "1992 Buick Century Engine Misses and Cuts Out On Freeway"

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  1. T. Park says:

    The 1997 Suzuki Sidekick with 277,000 miles on it has problems with the automatic transmission. For several years, it has had problems reversing in that it was slow and would sometimes jerk backwards suddenly.
    Just last Saturday, it was running fine until I parked in a slightly declined parking spot and tried to reverse. It couldn’t reverse even with high RPM, so I switched to my 4-wheel drive and it did the trick. However, after reversing, the car had problems moving forwards. Turning off and on the engine every mile would give me that normal forward movement, but it would eventually rev up and still move little or nowhere at all. A burning transmission fluid smell began to permeate the vehicle and by the time I got home it was smoking black carbon from underneath the vehicle.
    Upon checking the transmission fluid, it was half full, but black and watery. I filled it with half a bottle of Dextron 3 and that allowed me to drive slowly to the Lube place. After flushing and replacement, it was still revving up and moving slowly on the highways anytime I was approaching 40-45 mph. Moreover, the car would be slow to move and even jerk forwards after leaving a stop sign or light.
    Is this a transmission problem, a linkage problem, or a spark plug problem (i.e. haven’t had a tune-up in years)?

    • By Austin Davis says:

      From what you have told me I would suspect that the transmission has finally played it’s last hand and will need an overhaul. This will be an expensive repair, and personally I would think real hard before I put that kind of money in this vehicle…unless you are really in love with it and know the rest of the vehicle is in sound mechanical condition.

      You might be able to find a used transmission at a junk yard, but this would be a gamble and a short term fix to sell it…but even this route is going to be pretty costly and you might not get your money back once you sell.

      It is sometimes better (although not an easy decision) to cut your losses and trade in to a newer model than to keep throwing money into costly repairs that never seem to end.

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