Jump to content

Newbie question: getting a 3800 running smoothly (and with power ;) )


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, all.<P>I have an '88 Buick Park Avenue, recently (august 2000) acquired from a friend of a grandparent. It's in relatively good condition overall, but the engine sometimes has a few hiccups. I use standard gas, with the occasional added bottle of STP fuel injector cleaner, but it seems like I'm having to add the cleaner far too often. After about 3-4 tanks of gas with no cleaner, it will start to stutter a little while idling, and even sometimes feel like it's going to stall... but then when I start going again, it's fine.<P>I'm thinking this could mean either my fuel injectors need a serious cleaning, or my fuel filter is getting old and needs to be replaced. I have the filter, and can replace it without problems, but I just haven't gotten around to it lately.<P>Also, about the power thing... tongue.gif" border="0<P>Well, to put it bluntly, one of my friends with a little 4-banger Honda challenged me to get more acceleration out of my car (he also wants to buy my rear-facing hood hinges, but I said NO grin.gif" border="0 ). I want to take him up on the offer, but I don't know too much about improving performance on cars, just mainly keeping them running. Any ideas, or am I sunk?<P>I care more about the idling problem than I do about the acceleration, but any tips would be nice.<P>Thanks,<BR>-John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a lot you can do short of doing some modifying the intake and exhaust but the suggestion of changing plugs, filters, maybe wires, coil pack etc... will help. For acceleration you are at a 1000# disadvantage (depending on the mdel Honda of course), so even his smalller horsepower number is made up for by hauling a lot less weight. Maybe you could challenge him to a tug of war grin.gif" border="0

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot one thing. If the idle is unstable, you should look at the IAC (idle air control). If there are a lot of miles on the car, it probably needs cleaning, as well as the air passage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing I like to remind owners of these full size FWD Buicks is - Its a full size, fully loaded, classey ride. Not some Honda your friends or children need to crawl into the back seat and remain there like pearls in a clamshell, Stuffin' in a TURKEY. Give me air please.<P>Happy Thanksgiving!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even with my old 150hp engine I was able to beat Honda's. Granted my car's a bit lighter, and I have a lower axle ratio, but still. You car should be running better, and it should be pretty smooth, if it's not, you have other problems. Looks like it's time for some maintanence. Replace the plugs with AC Rapidfires, they're really good at smoothening out the idle. Next put a test light on the thing to see if your getting a constant spark, maybe the coilblocks are going. Replace the air filter often or get a K&N, these cars have undersize air filters. Change the O2 sensor if it hasn't been done in a while. And then if you want more power it's time for intake/exhaust ect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I figured I didn't have much of a chance with the Honda anyway... A tug of war sounds good though, LOL! Or I could have him load up his trunk with bricks tongue.gif" border="0 (hehehe)<P>Wow, thanks for all the information. I will apply as much of it as I can afford, starting with the fuel filter, then the air filter and cleaning (I recently replaced the plugs).<P>You guys are a great help.<P>-John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

i got an 89 regal limited... and i rip does shitty hondas...yo my car is under 200 h/p and it still peels out and gives me push... race that honda civics are straghit crap...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Another common problem that is sometimes overlooked is the mass airflow sensor. Through my years working on cars (I am still certified as an ASE Master w/L1 but left the field after going through school for electrical engineering) I noticed that the buick 3800 engines tend to build up a lot of "crap" on the MAF wires. On the throttle body, there are 2 phillips-head screws. Remove them, and carefully lift up the black plastic housing. Underneath, there will be what looks like 2 filaments between some solid leads. Spray them clean with gumout or equivalent, and reinstall. DO NOT touch the filaments as they are VERY fragile. You will be amazed at the driveability improvement. I also have an '88 Park Ave I use for a dailty driver, and the car is one of the most reliable I have ever owned. I removed the metal screen in the throttle body, right behind the air intake hose and it seemed to help wake up the performance a little also. If you need any more info on your car, feel free to email me privately and I'll try to help ya out. Good luck...

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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...