Buick Park Avenue Engine Dies While Driving – Have to Wait to Restart

Reader Question

Not only am I asking for your help, but I will be happy to pay you for your help, if you can fix my problem.

I have a Buick Park Avenue that simply dies in the middle of the road. If you let it set a while, it will start back up and drive perfectly fine. It has been in the Buick house five times, in the Olds house three times, and to at least five other shops. Everyone fixes something and tells me that the problem is fixed, but it still dies in the middle of the road. Nothing seems to make any difference.

I will list some things that have been fixed, but I doubt if I can remember them all:

Timing Chain and Gear

Timing bug

Camshaft Sensor (3 times)

Crankshaft Sensor

Fuel Pump

Intake manifold dye checked

Head Gaskets

Fuel Pump


Ignition Module

Coil Pack

Oxygen Sensor (3 times)

Plugs and wires (2 times in 8,000 miles)

Catalytic Converter

Numerous little parts

Any ideas?

Hello there
Wowowow…they replaced just about everything…except the computer…which might be a good guess at this point.

When you say you have to wait for it to restart….does the engine turn over, but NOT start during this waiting period or does NOTHING happens when you turn the key?

If the engine turns over, but wont start:

The problem you state is pretty common and usually solved by replacing the following

1. Ignition coil and module

2. Crankshaft sensor

I have not had much luck using non GM (A/C Delco) parts on the Ignition module – coil – and crank sensors if these parts are NOT A/C Delco I would probably replace them AGAIN using A/C Delco. You can buy Delco parts at any auto supply store…not just from the dealer.

There is something called the “tap test” you can do on your computer..you just tap on the computer with the car running and see if the engine dies or changes performance. Depending on the year of your vehicle, a tap test might be a cheap test to run.

Since you have replaced soooo many parts, and parts that are known to produce complaints like you have. I would suspect you might have a computer problem…or maybe there is a problem with the parts you have already replaced. I see people all the time that replaced an alternator for example because they are having charging problems.

After replacing the alternator they are still having charging problems (the original complaint) but they have already ruled out the possibility of an alternator problem….because the alternator is new and the problem is still there.

What they did not take into consideration is the probability of a defective “new” part, and a problem with the installation of the new part. These people will start replacing everything else on the vehicle in desperation, but the problem was a faulty alternator all a long.

Since these items are known to fail under heat stress

1. Ignition coil and module

2. Crankshaft sensor

I would make darn sure I ruled them out correctly…..maybe trying another brand or just replace them again with the same brand to rule out a possible defect. If you are comfortable with these parts…I would replace the computer next. The computer is the “brain” for all the electronics of the vehicle…so if the brain is malfunctioning so will the peripheral sensors.


Austin C. Davis

Reader Follow up

The engine cranks fine after it dies, but it does not even attempt to start.

The car died Saturday and my wife called me. I decided to check some things so I grabbed a spark plug and drove in with the idea to see if the car had lost spark. It took me about twenty minutes to get to her. I walked up beside her and told her to start the engine. It started fine.

The crankshaft sensor, the ignition module, and the coil pack were replaced by the Buick house. Funny story – I sent my wife into the Buick House to have everything checked out. They called and told me that the ignition module was checking weak and they would recommend replacing it. I told them I would pay for the diagnosis, but to send the wife home for now.

They called back about twenty minutes later and said that the ignition module had completely failed and the engine wouldn’t start at all. I told them to go ahead and replace it. Three days and $700 later, they called and said she could pick the Buick up. It died on her on the way home. She cussed me.

Hello again….

Ya that’s funny…cuz the ignition module should take about 30 minutes to install. I guess the Buick guys realized there was still a problem.

I would call that dealership back and tell them you are still experiencing a problem…..and not happy about your $700 bill……and you would like for them to install a new computer and a PROM chip (the actual computer memory chip) and let you drive it for a few days to see what happens.

I would do this in my shop in this situation. If they don’t do it…demand to have a 100% refund…. I think they will do it.

Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

1 Comment on "Buick Park Avenue Engine Dies While Driving – Have to Wait to Restart"

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  1. Goozle B. Jones says:

    I suggest ditching American cars altogether and buying a Honda, which is designed with better engineering. I have seen way too many American pieces of crap which go through parts like water to a thirsty guy. It just doesn’t make sense why America puts out such crap. God bless!

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