1988 Buick Century Limited. wont start.

buick girl

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Okay. So about a week ago I drove my 1988 Century Limited 2.8L V6 about an hour away with zero problems. I stopped at a few stores and didn't have any problems starting it up after those to go to the next one. When I came out of the last one my car just wouldn't start. It just keeps cranking. It's got power, can hear the fuel pump, changed knock (needed it apparently. Ew.) and crank sensor. I'm not sure what it could be and I know it could be a ton of things :( Thankfully I was able to get a tow to a friends house. I'm just looking for ideas and hoping someone might have gone through the same thing and know what it is or have some idea anyway. Thanks everyone in advance. Hope to get my tank on the road again really soon. 😁
 
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hitshane

Buick Newbie
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Saint Petersburg, FL
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2005 Century Custom
#2
Okay. So about a week ago I drove my 1988 Century Limited 2.8L V6 about an hour away with zero problems. I stopped at a few stores and didn't have any problems starting it up after those to go to the next one. When I came out of the last one my car just wouldn't start. It just keeps cranking. It's got power, can hear the fuel pump, changed knock (needed it apparently. Ew.) and crank sensor. I'm not sure what it could be and I know it could be a ton of things :( Thankfully I was able to get a tow to a friends house. I'm just looking for ideas and hoping someone might have gone through the same thing and know what it is or have some idea anyway. Thanks everyone in advance. Hope to get my tank on the road again really soon. 😁
You need three things for an engine to run. Spark, compression, and fuel.

You would diagnose those in the easiest order to find out what is keeping the engine from running.

-You could make sure that you have power at the coils and the plugs.

-Make sure there is good fuel in the tank. Then you could pull a fuel injector and make sure you have fuel, check that you have pressure on the fuel rail, check your fuel pressure regulator.

-Lastly I would do a compression test you could easily rent the gauge from an auto parts store.

*Additionally, you could look to see if you have coolant in your oil, or oil in your coolant. These would indicate a head gasket or intake gasket leak but the engine should still run. Unless you completely blew your head gasket...

***Recheck any repairs you have just completed.

If there is no signal from the crank sensor the PCM will not give Spark to the coils. You can check your work by seeing if there is voltage ⚡ at the coils when the key is on.
 
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buick girl

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There is no coolant in the oil or vice versa.
I'm going to try and get to it Wednesday morning. It's a hour away from me right now so it's not the easiest. Thank you for the info, I'm just kind of overwhelmed with it right now. I haven't done any repairs recently. Just an oil change about a month ago. I'll see if AutoZone or Advance auto rent out fuel pressure gauges. Thankfully that's not hard to do on these. Need to gather a few other tools to test everything else one by one and eliminate possible problems. I really hope it's something simple-ish. I've done a lot of work with this car and I love it. It's my first car (5 years, 76k, I think it's 276k miles with the wear it had when I got it.) and my Grandpa taught me how to work on it. We lost him last year and I'd hate for this to be the end.
Thank you for your help. I'll update when I have more news.
 

fullmonte44

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Buick girl, did you find the problem? You heard the fuel pump turn on, so even a small amount of fuel pressure should at least make the engine sputter. You have probably lost spark (ignition), so start there by checking for spark.
 

hitshane

Buick Newbie
17
4
3
Location
Saint Petersburg, FL
Buick Ownership
2005 Century Custom
#8
Well you had said that you replaced, "changed knock (needed it apparently. Ew.) and crank sensor"

Turn the key to the on position and check the coils for voltage they should have some voltage flowing through them if the key is in the on position and none if it is off. If either (maybe just the crank I believe their are 2 of them actually) of those above sensors are not connected properly to the computer the computer will not complete a circuit (send power) to the coils.
______________________________
 

hitshane

Buick Newbie
17
4
3
Location
Saint Petersburg, FL
Buick Ownership
2005 Century Custom
#9
I wish I knew more about the 2.8 V6.
General Motors 60° V6 engine - Wikipedia

They were used for a long time...
Well you had said that you replaced, "changed knock (needed it apparently. Ew.) and crank sensor"

Turn the key to the on position and check the coils for voltage they should have some voltage flowing through them if the key is in the on position and none if it is off. If either (maybe just the crank I believe their are 2 of them actually) of those above sensors are not connected properly to the computer the computer will not complete a circuit (send power) to the coils.
I wish I knew more about the 2.8 V6.
General Motors 60° V6 engine - Wikipedia

They were used for a long time...
 

hitshane

Buick Newbie
17
4
3
Location
Saint Petersburg, FL
Buick Ownership
2005 Century Custom
#10
Well you had said that you replaced, "changed knock (needed it apparently. Ew.) and crank sensor"

Turn the key to the on position and check the coils for voltage they should have some voltage flowing through them if the key is in the on position and none if it is off. If either (maybe just the crank I believe they're 2 of them actually) of those above sensors are not connected properly to the computer the computer will not complete a circuit (send power) to the coils.

I wish I knew more about the 2.8 V6.
General Motors 60° V6 engine - Wikipedia

They were used for a long time...
 
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