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Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1

1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/27/2016 7:30 PM

I bought this car and I drove about an hour's Drive with absolutely no problem then I noticed it started to get a little high so I put a jug of antifreeze in it that did the trick so I drove another 15 minutes to where I had to be to drop my kids off when I started my car no issues I got 2 miles down the road and the speedometer needle coolant needle and gas needle all started bouncing back and forth and all my dash lights started flickering and then my car died it started back up I drove another 500 feet it died again and now it won't even turn over where do I even start I noticed that the steering column had been replaced but there was also wires hardwired into my fuse box I'm lost where do I begin

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Engineering Fields - Electrical Engineering - Been there, done that, still doing it. Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - New Member

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#1

Re: 1990 Buick Century custom died and won't even turn over

03/27/2016 7:43 PM

Did you have a mechanic look over this car before you bought it? If you did, then I would call them to look at your car. Remember, not all 26 year old cars are meant to turn over.

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#2

Re: 1990 Buick Century custom died and won't even turn over

03/27/2016 7:58 PM

And this is related to electrical engineering how?

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Guru

Join Date: Oct 2008
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#3

Re: 1990 Buick Century custom died and won't even turn over

03/27/2016 8:19 PM

You are the victim of an unethical seller.

There is no hope for you, or your car.

Cut your losses and give it to charity.

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#4

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/28/2016 1:15 AM

Start going through the electrical connections with a multitester to find where the connection is bad... get some conductive grease and start with the battery connections by cleaning them and testing the connections....ground connections...ignition switch...get shop manual and find videos to guide you further...

Chiltons on line.....

http://repair.chiltondiy.com/1990/Buick/Century/Repair-Manual-Online

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 4:57 AM

I like the water ski pole growing out of the back seat.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#5

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/28/2016 9:22 AM

this car was designed and built in a era when a basic car was expected to serve 8-10 years before falling apart . the gravy train ended years ago, you need to accept that

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#6

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/28/2016 2:24 PM

If you have no comeback on the person or dealer you brought it from take it to a mechanic for a proper inspection.

There may be more wrong than first appears which may be beyond home diagnosis and repair.

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#7

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/28/2016 3:47 PM

Scrap it, Mildred. It's not worth the trouble.

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#8

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/28/2016 11:15 PM

Its always the "clever" ones who buy cheap, crap cars and then want us to find the problem!!

T.P.L.B.T.S.W.A.T.S.

The problem lies between the steering wheel and the seat!

DUMP IT!

Byeeeeeeeeeee

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Commentator

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#9

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 2:29 AM

Turn it into a classy rat rod !

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#11

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 7:08 AM

I would go to the local auto parts store and ask them what commonly causes this type of problem,they see it all the time.

I would guess, in early designs they put the "brain" in the distributor very easy to replace,or an external "brain" box. Of course before you do anything else check the battery connections hidden corrosion particularly on replacement terminals can cause big problems but again I bet it is the computer or "brain" .

I would go to utube it is a great resource for diagnosis and installation

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#12

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 8:11 AM

Based on the dashboard spazm, sounds like a bad/intermittent ground. If the column has been replaced, you might also check that all the computer module connectors are full seated.

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Member

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Buffalo, NY
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#13

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 8:13 AM

Hello,

Does anyone suspect that the poster might be the same person who started the recent thread regarding the very old Chevrolet Cavalier that broke down. I suspect that this may be someone's idea of a practical joke.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#14
In reply to #13

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 8:14 AM

putting a dime into this old pile is the joke

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Participant

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#15

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 8:31 AM

Sounds like a loose battery cable.

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Power-User

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#16

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 9:19 AM

It seems like you may have two issues.

1. Mechanical - the low coolant. Was the coolant full when you bought the car? If so you might have either a bad intake or head gasket. These can be pricey to repair unless you have a competent mechanic/friend who can do this for you. The biggest cost is usually the labor. Or it could just be a bad radiator or coolant hoses which would not be quite as pricey to repair.

2. Electrical - gauges bouncing, lights flickering, etc. With the steering column replacement the wiring needs to be done right. There could be any number of things going on here with bad wiring, bad grounding. This will likely take someone with excellent electrical troubleshooting skills to sort out. A lot of inspection, getting factory documentation, and testing. This sort of thing is a huge unknown. Could be a quick fix but not likely. The technician hours can add up here trying to sort an electrical problem out. $$$

Things to consider. How much did you pay for it? Do you want to invest more in it?

What are the redeeming aspects of the car? Did it have a lot of new parts, quality repairs(other than your current issues)? Is the rest of it in great shape? Suspension, body, brakes, tires, interior, transmission, etc. Or is it all a little suspect?

Your best bet is to get the car evaluated by someone competent with auto repairs. It's pretty tough to give you any other good advice here.

Best of luck!

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#17

Re: 1990 Buick Century Custom Died and Won't Even Turn Over

03/29/2016 9:35 AM

If you are as lucky as my son, a junkyard may give you what you paid for it. He's bought 3 heaps in a row and got back what he paid for them after 6 months or so of driving. Of course, he is a professional mechanic at a large car dealership, so he gets his pick of what they don't want to have to deal with, and that helps him get the cost down, which I can deduce you aren't. No doubt you paid more than junk price for the car.

If you aren't lucky, you really don't want to get into the wiring harness of a modern car, where there is obviously an open circuit, unless it is just the battery post connection. Check that and then junk it and take your loss.

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