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Buick Forum: Getting trouble codes from a 90 Lesabre
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  1. #1
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    Getting trouble codes from a 90 Lesabre

    Hoping for a little help as I am getting contrasting info from part stores around the area. Got the car from family 7 years ago and this is the first check engine I have dealt with. Questions:

    It has an ODB1 scanner connection. Does the check engine light have to be illuminated to get the code? Is that for all ODB1?

    One of the parts stores have a bosch scanner but after plugging it in it is requesting use of a cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter barrel. Is it used in addition to the scanner?

    The scanner port is in a weird spot. Middle of the dash at the bottom way in the back facing downward. I can just use a paperclip to jump the two terminals to get the flashed code, right? Again, does the light have to be lit to get the code? I don't have anyone else around so I dont think I can hold to the two pins and read the dash. Do they make adapters that just short the two terminals that would be hands free (other than plugging it in)?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    HotZ28's Avatar
    HotZ28 is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
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    Re: Getting trouble codes from a 90 Lesabre

    Does the check engine light have to be illuminated to get the code? Is that for all ODB1?
    No, but after you jump the OBD1 connector, you will need to turn on the ignition switch.
    One of the parts stores have a bosch scanner but after plugging it in it is requesting use of a cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter barrel. Is it used in addition to the scanner?
    Yes, the OBDI does not have a 12v power source like the OBDII terminal, so that cigarette lighter cord is required.
    Do they make adapters that just short the two terminals that would be hands free (other than plugging it in)?
    They were available years ago but I have not seen any in recent years.

    OBD I .jpg
    Jump the two shown.

    OBD I Code Retrieval and Typical Code List
    If you have an OBD I vehicle, all you need is a simple paper clip to read the codes. Locate the ALDL (Assembly Line Diagnostic Lead). It is located under the driver's side dash. Insert paper clip between terminals A & B as shown below.

    Turn key on, but do not start engine. The check engine light will begin to flash. The ECM (computer) will display a "code 12" by flashing the "service engine soon" light, indicating that the system is operating. A code 12 is simply one flash, followed by a brief pause, then two flashes in quick succession. This code will be flashed 3-times. If no other codes are stored, code 12 will flash until the diagnostic terminal ground is removed. After code 12 has flashed 3-times, the ECM will display any stored trouble codes. Each code will be flashed 3-times, then code 12 will be flashed again, indicating that the display of any stored trouble codes has been completed.


    Code 12
    1 flash, pause, 2 flashes
    Diagnostic: This Code will flash whenever the diagnostic terminal is grounded with the ignition switch turned on and the engine is not running.

    Code 13
    1 flash, pause 3 flashes
    Oxygen Sensor Check the wiring and connectors from the oxygen sensor. Replace the oxygen sensor

    Code 14
    1 flash, pause, 4 flashes
    Coolant Sensor Circuit (high temperature) If the engine is experiencing overheating problems, have those fixed before continuing. Check all wiring and connectors associated with the coolant temperature sensor. Replace the Coolant temperature sensor.

    Code 15
    1 flash, pause, 5 flashes
    Coolant Sensor Circuit (low temperature) See above, then check wiring connections at the ECM

    Code 16
    1 flash, pause, 6 flashes
    System High Voltage If the voltage is above 17.1 volts for more than 2 seconds, the Service Engine Soon light will illuminate. Have the charging system checked

    Code 21
    2 flashes, pause, 1 flash
    Throttle Position Sensor Check for a sticking, or mis-adjusted throttle position sensor

    Code 22
    2 flashes, pause, 2 flashes
    Throttle Position Sensor check TPS adjustment. Replace the TPS sensor

    Code 23
    2 flashes, pause, 3 flashes
    Manifold Air Temperature Check the MAT sensor, wiring, and connectors for a possible open circuit. replace the MAT sensor

    Code 24
    2 flashes, pause, 4 flashes
    Vehicle Speed Sensor This code can only appear when the vehicle is in motion, if it appears when the car is not in motion, ignore it. Check ECM connections, any other problems should be diagnosed by a qualified mechanic.

    Code 25
    2 flashes, pause, 5 flashes
    Manifold Air Temperature Check the voltage between the MAT sensor and the ECM. voltage should be above 4 volts

    Code 26
    2 flashes, pause, 6 flashes
    Quad Driver Circuit Have the car checked by a dealer

    Code 27
    2 flashes, pause, 7 flashes
    Gear switch Diagnosis Have the car checked by a dealer

    Code 28
    2 flashes, pause, 8 flashes
    Same as Code 27

    Code 29
    2 flashes, pause, 9 flashes
    Same as code 27

    Code 31
    3 flashes, pause, 1 flash
    Park/nuetral switch Check all connectors, and for a faulty switch

    Code 32
    3 flashes, pause 2 flashes
    EGR System Check vacuum hoses and connections for leaks and restrictions. Replace the EGR solenoid or valve

    Code 33
    3 flashes, pause, 3 flashes
    MAF Sensor Have the mass air flow sensor replaced

    Code 34
    3 flashes, pause, 4 flashes
    MAF Sensor Check for loose or damaged air duct, misadjusted minimum idle speed and cacuum leaks. Inspect the MAF sensor and the electrical connections

    Code 38
    3 flashes, pause, 8 flashes
    Brake Input Circuit Check brake light switch connections, adjust OR replace switch

    Code 39
    3 flashes, pause, 9 flashes
    Torque Converter Clutch Check ECM connections, check for faulty Torque Conver Clutch solenoid

    Code 41
    3 flashes, pause, 1 flash
    Cam Sensor Check for faulty connections, or a faulty cam sensor. Maybe also indicate a problem with the vehicle's timing chain.

    Code 42
    4 flashes, pause, 2 flashes
    Electronic Spark Timing check for faulty connections, or a faulty ignition module

    Code 43
    4 flashes, pause, 3 flashes
    Electronic Spark Control Check for a faulty knock sensor, or Mem-Cal

    Code 44
    4 flashes, pause, 4 flashes
    Lean Exhaust Check the ECM wiring connections. Check for vacuum leaks at the hoses and intake manifold gasket

    Code 45
    4 flashes, pause, 5 flashes
    Rich Exhaust Check the evaporative charcoal canister and its components for the presence of fuel

    Code 46
    4 flashes, pause, 6 flashes
    Power Steering pressure switch Check for faulty connections, or a faulty switch

    Code 48
    4 flashes, pause 8 flashes
    Misfire Diagnosis Check the ignition and fuel systems

    Code 51
    5 flashes, pause, 1 flash
    Prom or Mem-Cal Make sure the MEM-Cal or prom is properly installed in the ECM. Replace Mem-Cal or prom

    Code 52
    5 flashes, pause, 2 flashes
    Cal-Pak Check the Cal-Pak to insure properation. replace the Cal-Pak

    Code 55
    5 flashes, pause, 5 flashes
    ECM Check for faulty connections. Replace the ECM

    Code 63
    6 flashes, pause, 3 flashes
    EGR Flow Check Have vehicle serviced by a dealer

    Code 64
    6 flashes, pause, 4 flashes
    Same as Code 63

    Code 65
    6 flashes, pause, 5 flashes
    Same as Code 63
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  3. #3
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    Re: Getting trouble codes from a 90 Lesabre

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    Sorry for the delay in responding, thanks for all the info it was very helpful. Ended up jumping the terminals and got a code 34. Car took a serious turn for the worse going to work today and cut out on the highway for about 10 seconds (speed eventually dropped to about 55 from 80), and the snapped out of it and was ok the rest of the ride. Got out of work and the car would start and immediately stall out(first I experienced this). The original general issue is hesitating/missing right after turning car on or at highway speeds. Trouble light comes on about every time it happen (then turns off). Some ODB code lookups on a google search says a 34 is a MAP sensor. Does my lesabre even have one? Any other ideas on issue??

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