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Buick LeSabre, Engine, Sedan
#126 of 305 MAF Sensor Problems?
Apr 05, 2009 (10:47 am)
I have a 2000 Buick LeSabre. The check engine light has been on for a while, and I was told that the MAF sensor needs replacing, but it would be o.k. to drive it for a while. This last week, the heater quit working, and it has been running hot (not in the red but once, but the gauge is a lot further to the right than it should be). Then the other day it started jerking and acting like it was going to die when I was driving, but it never did die. When I let it coast, it doesn't do that, but when I put my foot on the gas it does. I have added coolant twice even though it didn't look like it needed it, but I had been smelling coolant for a while when I turned the engine off. Could these all be related to the MAF sensor needing replacing?
#127 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [folderqueen]
Apr 05, 2009 (1:38 pm)
It sounds like two separate problems to me--the coolant/heater/overheating problem sounds like a leaking heater core--feel the carpet in the front passenger floorboard to check for a leak.
#128 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [stephen987]
Apr 05, 2009 (1:58 pm)
Thanks for the information. I had someone stand behind the car while I started it, to look and see if anything was coming out of the tailpipe. He saw something clear come out for about 2 seconds when I pressed on the gas. When I put my hand by the tailpipe, my hand was damp, but it didn't have any odor, so not sure if that is something unusual or not.
#129 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [folderqueen]
Apr 05, 2009 (2:36 pm)
The exhaust usually has CO2 and H2O in it. The water vapor will condense on your hand so that's normal. If you got a cloud of water vapor after the car sat for a few minutes that might mean there's coolant getting into the combustion chambers. You're not getting that.
From what you post it sounds like you are not smelling the coolant smell inside the car coming from the heater blower air stream. The windshield is NOT clouding up when you drive the car with water vapor coming from the heater core seeping inside the car. So that's not happening.
The coolant smell, based on what I believe you mean, is outside the car coming from the engine compartment after the car is shut off. When you drive the car, the temperature of the coolan increases and eventually builds up pressure in the cooling system. The radiator cap controls that pressure amount. The extra pressure enables the car to run higher than 212 deg. F. for cooling purposes.
If you are smelling coolant after the car is shut off, that probably means a seep while the car is still pressurized. The high pressure relaxes after 10-15 minutes and the seep under the hood would stop.
Do you see any coolant on the ground under the motor after the car has been driven, warmed up thoroughly, and then shut off?
A water pump sometimes seeps when it's failing.
There is a small plastic pipe about 3 inches long that turns 90 deg sideways that comes out of the side of the metal intake manifold above the water pump that sometimes can seep around either end.
There is a possibility of a seep in the radiator or one of the rubber hoses, especially at the ends where they are clamped on. Sometmes the clamp is bad, sometimes, the hose.
A worse case is that there might be a seepage inside the plastic upper intake manifold on top of the motor (after you take off the gray beauty cover). The replacement upper costs about $100 for the part.
You don't say how many miles are on the car. If the DExcool antifreeze has never been changed, that might make a manifold leak more likely.
What you need to watch is coolant level. When the car has cooled about 30 minutes or so, use a towel to remove the radiator cap and check coolant level inside the radiator. Fill it there, if needed. Keep the reservoir up to a mark for cold or where it is and mark it with a pencil when the car is cold so you can compare a few days later when the car is cold again if the car has used coolant. Always check inside the radiator to be sure it stays full.
Take a flashlight and look all around the motor on the end where the serpentine belt is and the radiator and hoses for leaks.
Let me know what you find.
#130 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [imidazol97]
Apr 05, 2009 (2:52 pm)
Thanks for the information also. The car has 130,000 miles and I did have the radiator flushed and filled when it had about 110,000 miles or so. I have been checking the radiator level frequently and making sure that I don't need to add any. I did add some twice this week, but not sure that it really needed it, but I did notice after the car was shut off that there was something dripping for a few minutes around where the radiator is. The most worrisome problem for me is the way that the car started acting like it was going to die when I drove it on Friday, but it never did. It has been difficult to start at times lately, mainly when it is hot outside, but I don't like the way that it feels when I am driving it (kind of jerking or hesitating) and I think I smell a smell when I turn the car off that shouldn't be there, so I'm taking it into the shop tomorrow and see what they can find. I just hope that it does not cost an exorbitant amount to get it fixed because then I don't know what I'm going to do. Besides this, the window on the passenger side in the front won't roll up, but that's the least of my worries right now.
#131 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [folderqueen]
Apr 05, 2009 (3:31 pm)
The leak at radiator could be a hose connection or the radiator itself. If you saw coolant that may be your leak.
The MAF sensor can cause strange symptoms. Often they show at idle and people remove the connector and start the motor and if it runs better, then the MAF may be to blame. The two fine wires can be cleaned with spray cleaners inside the MAF after removing it with two screws that are torx heads if I recall.
I would check the Fuel Pressure REgulator on the front of top of the motor with small rubber vacuum hoses going to it about the starting. A few of those go bad and leak gasoline into the vacuum hose. So pulling off the vacuum hose and finding liquid gasoline inside is a bad sign that it has failed.
The rough runniing and bad starting also can be the fuel pump in the tank has worn and lost pressure. That can lead to bad running, stalls, and restarts after a few miinutes. Some strange symptoms that are like other things as well. The fuel pump is accessed through a plate on the floor of the trunk behind the rear seat. It is not an easy job and requires skill and knowledge. The earlier fuel pumps had to be dropped under the car to get the out of the tank. At 130,000 you might be ready fora fuel pump. Rumor has it that if a car is run low on fuel often it wears the fuel pump and heats it up; neighbor had a 95 MonteCarlo go at 65,000 miles because he always ran it low as a second car that had been his dad's.
Did anyone have the car connected to a scanner at an Advance Auto Parts of Autozone to see what codes it read? Don't buy parts based on that. Those are hints?
The window regulators from a supplier for 00 and 01 were poorly made and fail often at a connection of wire to plastic slider. They are available repaired on the internet or Ebay where you send it in and in a few days they return it. You have to be able to take off the door panel to get it out of the door. They hold the glass up with something while the part's out.
#132 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [imidazol97]
Apr 06, 2009 (6:56 pm)
Well, I took my car to the shop this morning and the verdict is that it has a blown head gasket. Will cost $1300 to repair. Right now I'm trying to decide if it is worth getting it fixed as I've heard that once one blows even if it's repaired, your car continues to have problems. But I just hate to get into another car payment when I just paid the car off 2 months ago. There's always something.
#133 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [folderqueen]
Apr 07, 2009 (4:14 am)
I'd take the car to another shop before I accept that diagnosis. You didn't say the shop found the right symptoms for head gasket rather than intake manifold leaking.
Did you have bubbling into the reservoir from the hot exhaust gases being pushed into the coolant and escaping through the reservoir?
Did they check in the radiator neck with a hydrocarbon sensor like used for emissions testing to verify exhaust gases were present in the coolant?
A blown head gasket on a 3800 is _extremely_ rare, unlike many other cars.
What is more common is for the intake manifold gaskets to leak or the upper plastic portion to break down where the hot egr gases go through and allow coolant to leak into the air intake that goes to the cylinders. That coolant being sucked in may be causing a miss, depending on how much is sucked in.
Check the oil on the dipstick to see if it's milky looking. If so that's coolant getting into the oil through the lower gasket under the bottom intake which is metal.
Again have a shop that knows 3800s check. I can lead you to many forums about the Bonnevilles, LeSabres, and other cars and blown head gasket is an extremely rare find. At worst have a dealer check the problem. You may have to pay to diagnose, but you don't have to have it fixed there.
#135 of 305 Re: MAF Sensor Problems? [17thabn]
Apr 07, 2009 (4:07 pm)
Dude, check the year on the car. And ditch the personal attacks.