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1993 Buick Century 3.3L New To Me (Some Problems)

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    1993 Buick Century 3.3L New To Me (Some Problems)

    I just bought this car, got it for a sweet price but it had some rough running issues. Hesitation on acceleration, but no codes thrown.

    I figured it was probably the MAF because disconnecting the MAF removed the hesitation on acceleration. I removed the sensor and carefully cleaned it with MAF cleaner. It was noticeably dirty. Once it was reinstalled the car ran great, no codes, no hesitation.

    Today I was poking around the engine bay because I saw on RockAuto that the car also had a MAP sensor. Upon further investigation, I don't think it does and that RockAuto was in error. Either way, I found a crumbling vacuum line to the fuel pressure regulator and squeezed it, it began falling apart so I stopped touching it, but I was wondering if I possibly damaged it causing a vacuum leak and if that could result in some of the codes I'm seeing now.

    When I was driving to lunch, upon idling the CEL came on and so when I got back I decided to check the codes. They are as follows.

    13
    34
    44

    Just curious what you guys think. I love these cars, I had one as my first car and I finally got another one. Help me make it run well!

    Thanks guys, Cheers
    Last edited by PETC; 10-11-2018, 02:01 AM.
    ________________________________________
    My god... It's full of cars!

    #2
    No MAP on the 3300. The parts listing errors seem to be multiplying.
    The are 2 or 3 grounds near the oil filter adapter. Make sure they are clean and tight.
    Jerry

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, Jerry. I'll look into those grounds.

      Yeah, I noticed a few things on RockAuto that didn't look right.

      I wanted to add that I cleared the codes when I got home from work. Then I hooked the battery back up and went for a drive. The car drove like shit for a few minutes and I'm wondering if there's some "learning" mode the ECM does when it sees power for the first time, either way that went away after a mile or so and then took the car on a short drive to make sure it was warm. I then parked on the side of the road, in drive, like I would be at a light, and waited until a code came. One eventually did, so I shut the car off and checked the code. 44, which I think is O2 Sensor (Lean mixture) .

      No other codes popped up on my drive home.

      I guess I'll replace the O2 Sensor and see if that solves my problems. Still thinking that Code 34 will pop up again in my future, but hopefully that was just stored from back when I removed the lead to the MAF to check if it was part of the problem. This was the first time I have cleared the codes on this car since I bought it, so maybe it was hanging around since even before then. Either way, I have my fingers crossed that I won't see it again.

      I also called the local wrecking yard and they said they have a 3.3 Century in their yard so I'm going tomorrow to see if I could grab the MAF off of it. They said $35 so I figure that's a steal considering the luck I've heard people having with the cheap Chinese ones online... and it's a damn sight better than the nearly $500 GM quoted me for one.

      Thanks for the help, and I hope I get this car running just right.
      ________________________________________
      My god... It's full of cars!

      Comment


        #4
        Have you replaced your vacuum hose to your Fuel Pressure Regulator?

        I would suggest you also replace the other vacuum hoses going off the intake manifold "tree" next to the "3300" on top of the manifold. The hoses going to the firewall split to the HVAC actuators as well as the cruise control system. The long vacuum hose going to the vacuum "reservoir" underneath the passenger side headlight would also be useful to be replaced. If the hard plastic line is OK, don't needlessly replace it.

        Also verify that your hoses going to your Evaporative Emission Charcoal Canister are OK.
        What is this & what does pulling it out do?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Zaloryan View Post
          Have you replaced your vacuum hose to your Fuel Pressure Regulator?
          Not yet, I stopped by the parts store on my way home but they were already closed. I'm going to go stop by the wrecking yard tomorrow to pick up a MAF just in case, and I'll swing by the parts store and pick up some vacuum line too.

          Thanks!
          ________________________________________
          My god... It's full of cars!

          Comment


            #6
            Just to reinforce, the rotten vacuum lines could be the source of your lean code 44. I'd wait before changing the O2 sensor. The simplicity (no MAP, no EGR) for what was a very modern engine (you have the last and best) makes it have drive-ability issues when anything is out of spec, IMHO.
            As you've noticed, the MAF is expensive for the 3300. Most come with the sensor mounted to a small section of the air intake with the integral grid. The shop manual claims the sensor itself is calibrated to this unit and is not serviced by swapping just the sensor with the 3 little screws, like other GM engines. Does it really make a difference, I don't know.
            Jerry

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks, I'm fixing at least some of the vacuum lines tonight.

              It's also worth noting that I think I've IDed two exhaust leaks in the system. One close to the muffler, looks like someone aluminum taped over the pipe and that has now failed. I also think the union from the headers after they combine and right before the O2 sensor is leaking. That or I'm leaking at the headers.

              I've also noticed that upon entering park the idle seems to take a while to find where it's supposed to be, surges a little, but eventually seems to settle down. (IAS? Vacuum Leak? Bad MAF?)

              I also had more of the same stumbling/hesitation on acceleration going to work today. Still no codes aside from 44.... Frustrating. Maybe this new MAF will fix it. (TPS? MAF? Vacuum Leak?)

              Thanks, lemme know anything else you can think of, I appreciate the help!
              Last edited by PETC; 10-11-2018, 03:47 PM.
              ________________________________________
              My god... It's full of cars!

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, most definitely replace the vacuum lines. Remove the IAC and clean it with carb cleaner. make sure the o-ring is in good shape. It's very important that that o-ring seals. I would just replace it. Clean the MAF sensor with MAF sensor cleaner. Clean the throttle plate with carb cleaner. Reach inside the plate with a rag doused in carb cleaner and make sure it is clean. Check the plastic vacuum tee at the top of manifold and make sure it's not leaking. It is supposed to have a gasket under neath it but they usually just rot away causing a vacuum leak right there. You'll have to buy some gasket making material and just make your own. After you've checked all of that you may want to spray a little soapy water onto the intake manifold, all the bolts and run it and see if you see any bubbles. Then you'll know if the intake gasket is sealing properly. Also check the injector mounting area for leaky seals with a little soapy water. These engines are powerful and haul ass when properly maintained. If there is something wrong, you'll know right away. It will tell you with poor performance. There is a learning curve with the 3300 but it is well worth learning. You'll be rewarded with a really nice engine in return.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Just to throw it out there many gm cars I came in touch with that symptoms of Unknow codes or running crappy is a out of spec coolant temperature sensor or bad vacuum line basically the computer is trying to figure out how to run a stable engine but is having issues . You can easily do a ohm meter test on the two leads to the CTS on a warm engine take that resistance number google it for Celsius then F see if it’s in specs not that a warm engine reads 40 degrees cold . Granted your temp gauge would be messed up two but have found many sensors 30-40 degrees off in start up and it dumped more fuel making a rich symptom or to hot and lean . basically a gremlin for the computer to adjust and figure out by the specific reading of this sensor since it’s a main sensor soon start up and open and close loop . Just my 2 cents but 14-6 bucks for a sensor that u would change anyway cause they get lazy . Hope it helps Keith

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks guys, I'll look into that.
                    ________________________________________
                    My god... It's full of cars!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Also, I've seen in a few other communities I've been a part of over the years that they usually have access to an online service manual. Is there something like that out there or should I head to ebay? Thanks!
                      ________________________________________
                      My god... It's full of cars!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So, is the throttle position sensor active when the MAF is unplugged? Because the car runs MUCH better with the MAF unplugged. Full power, no hesitation, no stumbling, nothing.
                        ________________________________________
                        My god... It's full of cars!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Unttil you get the vacuum system replaced, we cant honestly answer your question. Almost every system in your car is dependent on a correct vacuum equation. If it doesnt have that, it will assume it DOES, and throw check engine lights, and poor idling, and...... The list goes on and on.. And on.
                          Brian - Carpe Diem

                          I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
                          More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
                          01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Replaced/inspected all of the vacuum lines I saw on the diagram and while some were certainly worse for wear none were worn through.

                            No change.

                            And I struck out at the junkyard. Found a handful of 3.3s, none of them had MAFs still.
                            Last edited by PETC; 10-12-2018, 02:39 AM.
                            ________________________________________
                            My god... It's full of cars!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well now your next step is to grab a can of carb cleaner. With the engine running and cold, you need to spray around the vacuum lines, and listen to the RPM of the engine. If you notice a change in RPM speed, that indicates a leak of a vacuum line.

                              Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.
                              Brian - Carpe Diem

                              I dont have to love my president, or any god, to love my country!!
                              More people have died in the name of "God" than in all wars combined thruout history
                              01 Pontiac Aztek GT AWD 127k - 04 GMC Envoy SLT XUV 193k

                              Comment

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