Jump to content

Reatta problems...


Lumineer

Recommended Posts

Hello. I'm a new user here with an '89 Reatta. I have a minor problem or two, so I thought I would address them together. Before I start, I'll start by telling the back story on the car quickly and what it has on it exactly.

A few months ago, I had been looking for a new car because I was in the mood to try something new from my '92 Chevy Lumina 3.1 (I'm a W-body fan and am registered at W-body.com). I was on Craigslist and after having looked at several different cars in person, I decided that I would just go ahead and try finding a 2-seater car of some sort, preferably GM (I had always wanted a 2-seater at the time). So, I found a Buick Reatta being sold by a small auto shop for $1800. Apparently, a customer had brought the car in to have repairs done some years before, but for some reason decided to just sell the car to the mechanic shop owner (the guy was wanting to get a new car anyway). So, the Reatta sat for several years (at least 2) before I got ahold of it for a REDUCED price of $395!!! The old guy wanted the car out of the lot before winter came, so I bought the car. I bought it with about 101k on the odometer and have since brought it to the mid-103k range. It is a silver one with a grey interior.

We had work done on the car before I made it my daily driver. It needed brake work SEVERELY as the pads were virtually gone and grinding. The rear struts were shot at the time as well. We had a full tune-up done and some rust on the exhaust pipe sanded off and painted. The tires were practically brand new ones (Goodyear Assurance tires, H-rated I think, directional). Basically, we had the car get a good workover to get it ready for everyday driving. The guy who worked on it is a friend of my mom's and he is a former mechanic who does auto work as a hobby instead of a job (as a job, it started to bore him). So, now, onto the issues.

First off, my car has the older LN3 3800 and it has been having a very difficult time starting in the morning (cold mornings, that is). People I know and people at the other forums I'm at have said that it is likely the fuel pump going bad on me. The starter turns the engine over just fine, but it takes several attempts before the engine actually kicks (apparently, I'm "priming the pump"). That's my first issue.

My second issue is that my car seems to lack some power. I don't know the exact/full capabilities of a Reatta (I know they aren't fast), but a Reatta should be able to reach 60 mph in about 8.5-9.1 seconds, according to old track tests back in the day. Mine does it in 13 seconds, PLUS....it can barely hit 100mph when most of the old GM V6s were good for at least about 110-120. I have reason to believe that the catalytic converter is at least CONTRIBUTING to the issue because I have heard an internal rattle from the cat before. Also, the fuel pump may be adding on to that. I have plans to have my friend remove the cat for me since they don't do inspections here.

Lastly, my passenger side window is very sluggish and the driver's side window is stuck partially open. They're failing on me. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is unusual for a car with only 103k to have the problems you have......maybe setting for a long time caused some of the.

The fuel pump can be checked two ways... first the cheap way, when you get ready to start the car, turn on the ignition, but do not start it. With the radio off, you may be able to hear the fuel pump run. A good pump will pump up fast, 5-10 seconds. A bad pump will take much longer.

When the pump stops OR after waiting 45 seconds, try starting the car.

The second option is to have a mechanic with a pressure gage, check the fuel pressure.

On your performance problem. Have a mechanic pull the oxygen sensor and install a pressure gage. I believe the number is anything over 2 psi and you probably have a clogged catalitic converter.

You could have some other minor problems but there are lots of GM cars with the 3800 running at 200K without problems

Your performance problems could also be related to a weak fuel pump.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Greg Ross

I'll give you $400. for it sight unseen!!!!!

Where are you located by the way? Would be nice if you'd add that to your "Profile" so it shows up in your header data.

Door windows can get a real boost just from a good lube job. I periodically saturate the front guide slot in the back edge of the "fixed vent" with alternate coatings of Silicone spray and white grease spray. Raise and lower the window and repeat the treatment several times to help get the lube all the way down the channel.

I would suspect most of your performance problem is fuel system related, fuel pressure, possibly the pump or the pressure regulator, healthy to replace the fuel filter to get full flow. A Fuel System treatment to clean the fuel injectors could make quite an improvement in performance as well.

Or, perhaps your Moms' Friend doesn't want you going too fast!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this: on a cold morning turn the key on, wait 5 seconds, turn the key off and remove it. Turn the key on, wait 5 seconds and try to start.

There was a TSB for 89 and 90 LN3s to revise the prom to give a longer shot of gas at startup.

Also be aware that there is a fuel pump relay that is used only during starting to bypass the switch in the oil pressure sensor. If the relay fails, you will not turn on the fuel pump until the oil pressure exceeds 6ish psi. This may take tens seconds of cranking before the oil pressure light goes out. If it starts then you probably need a new relay.

Note: this is not a Reatta problem, it is common to all LN3 3800s of the period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Bobby Valines

I had bought a car that had a bad cat. when it was in neutral, giving it gas it sounded like it was going up a hill pulling a load. Something must of hit the cat. causing it to break up and clog the muffler. Hope this story helps. Wanted to welcome you anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, when I put the key in, I always turn it to "ON" first before "START" and I hear the pump making its distinctive whirring sound for about 2-4 seconds. Then, I try starting the engine several times before it finally starts. ALTHOUGH, it DOES sometimes start right away. I've also found that pumping the pedal a little bit helps it start more promptly. I would definitely agree that the car is certainly suffering some power loss somewhere. The car isn't shiny either. Primer is starting to show through and the seals on the lights are falling apart and the seals on the windows are dried and cracking. The car definitely got weathered pretty badly sitting for so long in cold and hot weather. When I bought it, the car was simply sitting in an open lot in direct sunlight and hot weather. I bought the car in September, to give a timeframe. For those who are interested in seeing some pictures of the car the day I brought it home, you can visit my Photobucket page at http://s40.photobucket.com/albums/e211/Lumineer/ .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Bobby Valines

Lumineer if you don't mind could you re-post your different problems on separate individual post it would make it easier for you and us. Once you have been here for a while you will see exactly what I mean, so much easier, trust me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well some fuel injection cleaner would not hurt, but I really like getting rid of the Magnavox for a Delco. Do you have a U-Pull-It anywhere near ? Might consider new plugs also and a bad spark plug wire can kill performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...