2001 Buick Century not getting fuel on start up.

Jim W

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I have an issue with my sons 2001 Buick Century. Over a period of a year or two sometimes the car randomly would not start. Go try it a few hours later it was fine for weeks/months at a times. Last week he was leaving for work and it would not start at all. I could hear the fuel pump running but the car would not start. Pulled a plug checked spark it was fine. Gave it a small shot of starting fluid and it would start and then die. I decided to go ahead and replace the fuel pump thinking maybe it had just gotten weak plus having a lot of miles on it.

I put in a Bosch pump, car started right up and ran fine. The fuel gage read empty however, although I know there was appr 1/4 tank of gas. Twice the fuel gage went to full and dinged and back to empty. He drove it to work, started it at lunch, started it to come home, started it to run an errand for me. Then went to start it later on that night and it would not start. I put 3 gallons of gas in it just to make sure it had gas, tried to start it and nothing. So I sprayed a little staring fluid while he cranked it over and it started and stayed running just fine. He drove the car and came home and shut it off. He then started it right back up no issues.

About and hour later went back out and started it to go fill it the rest of the way up with gas. It started fine, shut it off at the gas station, started it back up came home. He went to a friends later and it started up fine drove fine. He was there about two hours went to start it back up and it would not start.

Does anyone have ideas what could be happening? I have to go get it tonight and tow it home to start wringing things out.
 

MelsRegal

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did you replace the fuel filter?
run a fuel pressure test to see if it is really a fuel issue.
do you have a check engine light on?
 

Jim W

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Thanks for the reply. I did replace the fuel filter. I have no check engine light and nothing on my OBD2 code reader. I will have to go pick the car up tonight and will run a pressure test. What baffles me about it is it runs fine several on off cycles then wont start. When it did that last night and I got it started it ran fine for a few on off cycles again then just would not start but I could hear the pump running but I don't know yet if it was at a diminished capacity until I get a chance to check it. I did have normal looking spark.
 

NFortin198

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2002 Buick Century Custom 3.1 2002 Buick LeSabre 3.8
Something else you can check, pull the vacuum line off of the fuel regulator and see if there is any gas there. If there is, the regulator is no good.
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The Gem State
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1996, 92 Buick Century
I've had a miserable fuel pressure regulator from NAPA nearly bleed off all pressure . If you cycled the key a few times quickly, the pressure was high enough to start normally. This one wasn't leaking through the vacuum port (the original did when it failed).
The warranty replacement FPR still regulates too low. I even swapped the original, but suspect, high mileage fuel pump with a new Delphi. Blocking the fuel return line even brought the original pump to almost withing spec. I won't use an aftermarket FPR again, at least for a '96 Century with a 3100.
 

Jim W

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We picked up the car late last night. Tried to start it before I hooked the tow strap on. Would not start so I gave it a small shot with the starting fluid (which I hate doing on gas engines). Car started up and ran. Got it back to the house shut it off and restarted it a couple times no issues. Too late for me to do anything else. Got up this morning before I came to work and tried to start the car. No dice. I will be able to go home after work and get my pressure test on the fuel to see where that is. I did pull the vac line off of the regulator as NFortin198 suggested and did not have any gas leaking thru there not to say the FPR is any good but at least not leaking thru the diaphragm.
 

MelsRegal

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another thought is a faulty temperature sensor resulting in a lean mixture that wont start
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Jim W

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I got a fuel pressure check. I have 52 lbs of pressure at the fuel rail. Still wont start, acts like no fuel. I gave it a shot of starter fluid and it runs a bit until the starter fluid burns up then dies. This time unlike the others, the car wont stay running. I'm baffled, still no codes popping up on the OBD2.
 

Jim W

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I borrowed a tester for the fuel injector connector. My friend called it a "noid" plugs in like an injector would and pulses a light with a good signal. Next step going to check and see if I am getting a signal to the injectors.
 

Jim W

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the link below has a series of tests for a no start on a GM 3.1
Part 1 -How to Troubleshoot a No Start (GM 3.1L, 3.4L)
Thanks for the link Mel. I read thru this. I can verify it passes all of these tests. Only possible would be the anti theft however the car does not start and die. I will take this and go thru it again step by step though tonight with the car in case Im missing something. Hopefully I am.
 

Jim W

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I took my last shot at getting my sons Buick running with no luck. He had hit a deer earlier this summer and wiped out the front end pretty good. I put new headlight assemblies in so going to pull those out and take out the new fuel pump and battery then having it hauled off. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

HotZ28

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1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
"I put new headlight assemblies in so going to pull those out and take out the new fuel pump and battery then having it hauled off. Thanks for everyone's help."

That sounds like the best solution!
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Jim W

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For the cost of a few coffees + shipping you can get a new fuel pressure regulator and give it a shot.

New Fuel Pressure Regulator FPR Impala Malibu Grand Am Montana Venture PR234 | eBay

Looks like the seller sold almost 1,200 of these lol
Thanks Zeroboost. It's an electrical issue, I am getting 50+ pounds of fuel pressure. Tested the injectors with a "noid" I could crank it for 10 seconds straight and maybe get one pulse, sometimes no pulse. All 6 were this way. Two months ago it would not start one time and the next would start and be fine for a week. We've wiggled wires and everything else I can think of. Im guessing here but seems like the ECM is taking a dive on me.
 
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