Buick Riviera Starting Problem - Urgent!


jcook1
07-18-2005, 09:15 PM
Thanks everyone for reading my note; I appreciate it greatly.
We have a 1995 Riviera that has gotten very frustrating over the last few months - at times, it would just fail to start; then after waiting 10-to-15 minutes or so <and trying it several more times in the interim>, it would finally start, and after that run fine. Other times it would simply start normally and run smoothly for whatever trip we happenned to be on. However lately it has gotten very unpredictable ~ the "failing to start" has been occurring more and more, to the point now where it's not reliable to drive.
We've had it to several mechanics; one put in a new fuel pump <when that broke down>, and through verious checks of the ignition systerm, these mechanics could not pinpoint the starting problem, other to say that it probably had something to do with the inner workings of the computer / ignition system connection, hence we took it to a Buick dealer. They put in a PVC box <sp. ?>, yet almost immediately after getting the car back, the same problem was still there, basically unsolved. We managed to get it back to the dealer again; one mechanic suggested putting in a crank sensor, but another technician vetoed that idea, and from what he was hearing, to go instead with a new starter ~ which would make sense if not for the fact that a short time ago one of the other mechanics we had the car to <not the Buick dealer> said the starter was fine!!! So we're very reluctant to go down that road since <1>, the Buick mechanic said he could give no certainty that replacing the starter would solve the problem <2> another mechanic already said the starter is ok, and <3> it's expensive!!!
Any thoughts opinions anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.

John Cook

jrn1023
07-19-2005, 09:59 AM
There could be a number of reasons for this as, I'm sure, a number of us can attest to. My sons '95 Riv. was having issues with cold starts. It'd require some pumping of the gas to get it going. Once warmed, the engine would turn right over.

I recently replaced the spark plugs for normal maintenance purposes not figuring that it'd have any affect on the cold start. Once they were replace, the engine cranks over immediately. We'll have to see how long that lasts, but for now I believe that took care of his starting problems. If you haven't changed the plugs in a while you may want to give it a try.

HotZ28
07-21-2005, 08:04 AM
This link may help, try to absorb only what is relevant and discard the rest.

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=217926&page=1&pp=15&highlight=crank+position+sensor+replacement
Crank position sensor - '95 LeSabre Dies Without Warning

pppppaul
07-23-2005, 11:41 PM
I had the same problem with my riv at 96k. It took me $1000 to find out that it needed a steering column wire harness. There are about 6 different contacts at the ignition switch (one of which turns on the actual coil system to fire the sparkplugs) and the contact had built up ark deposits that would not allow current to flow thru it. All the other 5 contacts were fine, but the one that turns on the spark was not. So the engine would crank, fire the injectors but would not start. I put a new GM harness(which has the switch right on it) for the tune of $150. It would be possible to clean the contact off and probably go another 96k, but I just put a new one on it.

cired
09-03-2005, 10:08 AM
I was wondering if Jcook1 got his car fix with the GM harness. My 97 Riviera is doing the same thing.

Calabs
10-22-2005, 05:11 PM
I had the same problem with my riv at 96k. It took me $1000 to find out that it needed a steering column wire harness. There are about 6 different contacts at the ignition switch (one of which turns on the actual coil system to fire the sparkplugs) and the contact had built up ark deposits that would not allow current to flow thru it. All the other 5 contacts were fine, but the one that turns on the spark was not. So the engine would crank, fire the injectors but would not start. I put a new GM harness(which has the switch right on it) for the tune of $150. It would be possible to clean the contact off and probably go another 96k, but I just put a new one on it.

Hello,
Thank you for the information. I am having the same problem as
John Cook. Have done practically all of the same things he has done. I am going to try this. In fact, this problem did not start until a mechanic repaired my car when it did would not shift out of reverse. I have been having this problem for two years. I cannot not see this as being the fuel pump as the car starts the first time and then after I get to whereever I am going, it will not start up and I have to keep trying until it starts. Your solution seems to be the best I have heard, especially since the problem begin after the repair of the reverse shift problem two years ago.

Calabs
10-22-2005, 05:14 PM
Thanks everyone for reading my note; I appreciate it greatly.
We have a 1995 Riviera that has gotten very frustrating over the last few months - at times, it would just fail to start; then after waiting 10-to-15 minutes or so <and trying it several more times in the interim>, it would finally start, and after that run fine. Other times it would simply start normally and run smoothly for whatever trip we happenned to be on. However lately it has gotten very unpredictable ~ the "failing to start" has been occurring more and more, to the point now where it's not reliable to drive.
We've had it to several mechanics; one put in a new fuel pump <when that broke down>, and through verious checks of the ignition systerm, these mechanics could not pinpoint the starting problem, other to say that it probably had something to do with the inner workings of the computer / ignition system connection, hence we took it to a Buick dealer. They put in a PVC box <sp. ?>, yet almost immediately after getting the car back, the same problem was still there, basically unsolved. We managed to get it back to the dealer again; one mechanic suggested putting in a crank sensor, but another technician vetoed that idea, and from what he was hearing, to go instead with a new starter ~ which would make sense if not for the fact that a short time ago one of the other mechanics we had the car to <not the Buick dealer> said the starter was fine!!! So we're very reluctant to go down that road since <1>, the Buick mechanic said he could give no certainty that replacing the starter would solve the problem <2> another mechanic already said the starter is ok, and <3> it's expensive!!!
Any thoughts opinions anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.

John Cook

Hello John Cook,
Did you try the solution regarding the GM Harness for your problem? If so, did it correct the problem.
Please send answer right away.
Thanks
Calabs

Dennis Albert
04-17-2017, 02:43 PM
Calabs and John Cook:
I am having the same problem as Calab and John Cook however I just had the transmission replaced due to not being able to get into reverse (the exact same as one other contributors to this thread). After changing the trans My 1995 Buick Riviera is having a hard time starting (it was starting just fine before the Trans was changed). It acts like it is not getting a spark, just cranks and cranks. Takes about ten times then starts but feels a little like it is flooded but smooths out once it is reeved up. I was to find out if changing the wire harness is the answer as it was not clear that it worked our not. Any help regarding this hard starting issue would be helpful.

Blue Bowtie
04-18-2017, 12:07 AM
The crank position sensor would be a good item to check. The interruptor flags on the inboard side of the harmonic damper are also suspect. If someone attempted to turn the engine via the damper, the CKP and/or interruptor rings could have been damaged.

Tech II
04-18-2017, 01:55 PM
Any codes?

Check for spark with a spark tester?

Spray carb cleaner into the intake and see if it starts.....

Try disconnecting the MAF, and see if it starts.....

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