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96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot


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wildirish
User

Aug 4, 2010, 2:15 PM

Post #1 of 9 (2138 views)
  post locked   96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

I'm not a mechanic, but I've taken my car to some mechanics, and they're stumped. I hope someone here can help me get SOME idea of what the problem is, so I can print out the info and maybe it will help a local mechanic understand what's going on.

My 96 Buick LeSabre Custom has about 80,000 miles on it. Just got a new fuel pump in late 2009, and everything was going well until I hit a HUGE pothole. Immediately afterward, the right rear power window stopped working, and I started having problems with a weird whining coming from UNDERNEATH the car.

Here's what's going on:

* The whining can't be heard under the hood. ONLY underneath the car, but it gets so loud you can hear it in the cabin. It sounds like somebody is using a drill, and it gets louder as the motor gets hotter.

* One mechanic thinks it's the fuel pump. Another said that's impossible, because once the sound gets started, it will also happen when I turn the key just enough to roll down the power windows, and the fuel pump isn't even doing anything. It lasts as long as I have the key in the on position. The ones who think it's the fuel pump won't even bother trying to fix our car--they say some fuel pumps are just noisy. (Like our fuel pump would suddenly make noise, rather than being noisy from day one?)

* The sound isn't always there. It seems to get louder, the warmer the engine gets, and goes away when the car is cool. I have to drive 20-30 miles for it to start (maybe less if it's a hot enough day).

* One mechanic thought it was the AC compressor, but that's impossible because the sound will occur even if you don't use the AC or vent fan at all. I learned that the hard way, by driving 30 miles into town on a hot day with the windows rolled down.

* The sound increases, as the heat increases. So I can use the AC at night (when it's warm and humid), and there's no sound at all. However, if I drive during the day, the sound will start. If I use the vent fan, it will be louder. If I use the AC, that apparently really makes the car hot, because the whining gets intolerable. But the important fact that these local mechanics ignore is that I can use the AC with no problems during cooler weather, and the sound will also occur on a hot day without using the vent/AC at all, so it can't be a problem with the AC.

I'm disabled, and my elderly mother has health problems, and I'm very worried that we're going to get stranded between our rural hometown and the city where we have to do all our shopping. Neither of us could tolerate being stranded in the heat, waiting for AAA, so I've had to do all our shopping at night. We can't even make it to our doctor appointments, because we can't travel until dark.

So if anybody has any clue as to what this could be, it would really help. I'd rather just arrange to drive the car up in the evening, get a rental car, and leave the Buick at the mechanics, as I'm concerned about getting stranded during the day. But the car won't make the noise unless it's driven 20-30 miles, which no mechanic has time to do--so they can't hear the noise for themselves. I thought that maybe if you folks had some ideas, I could print them out, and maybe that would help a mechanic pinpoint the problem.

Thanks for any help you can provide!


Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Aug 4, 2010, 9:47 PM

Post #2 of 9 (2130 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

If you can get the noise to happen with just the key in the on position and the car not moving (unless I read that wrong) The noise should be fairly easy to track down.

Its tough not being there.

If that has a level ride system (factory air shocks) I would also be checking the shocks, lines & compressor due to the noise starting after an impact..............


wildirish
User

Aug 4, 2010, 10:53 PM

Post #3 of 9 (2123 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  


In Reply To
<<If you can get the noise to happen with just the key in the on position and the car not moving (unless I read that wrong) The noise should be fairly easy to track down. >>

Yes, that is what happens...if the car gets hot enough. Otherwise, the noise doesn't occur at all. It's very frustrating, because it's not consistent....

<<If that has a level ride system (factory air shocks) I would also be checking the shocks, lines & compressor due to the noise starting after an impact.>>

I agree, I think the impact had something to do with it. Our model doesn't have shocks, but struts (as I learned the hard way when it cost about $800 to replace them).

Thanks for your reply--I'll mention this to the next mechanic I take the car to. If anyone else has additional ideas, any input would be appreciated.



Sidom
Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Aug 4, 2010, 10:55 PM

Post #4 of 9 (2119 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

If it cost $800 to replace them........then it's factory level ride and there are air lines & a compressor


wildirish
User

Aug 4, 2010, 11:24 PM

Post #5 of 9 (2114 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

Thanks. I'll be sure to mention this info to the mechanic when I take the car in (yet again).


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 5, 2010, 7:06 AM

Post #6 of 9 (2111 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

">>Immediately afterward, the right rear power window stopped working<<"

Wild guess: Is the power window motor just running aimlessly? The regulators for those are pretty frail with just wire and and spins thru rollers and just slides somewhat like a cable garage door opener.

If it all went "bird's nest" on you it could be all screwed up in there,

T



wildirish
User

Aug 5, 2010, 5:31 PM

Post #7 of 9 (2098 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

The power window is just dead--no response when you use the switch on the armrest beneath the window, or the driver's-side switch for that window. I checked to make sure I hadn't hit the window lock, but I hadn't; all the other windows work fine.

A couple years ago, the driver's-side window motor went bad; it worked intermittently before it finally just died. This right-rear window motor gave no warning, and just stopped working, period.

I don't plan on having that window repaired, as it's too expensive, and I never have backseat passengers, anyway. It's just that the pothole I hit seems to have caused that (esp. since you're telling me the mechanisms are pretty frail to begin with), as well as whatever's making the whining sound.

I'm taking the car to a Buick dealership next, even though I don't really trust them. (I took the car in b/c the brakes felt weird, they said nothing was wrong, and it turned out the rotors were worn.) I'm hoping SOMEBODY can fix this before the car just stalls out, because I'm tired of not being able to drive during the day....


wildirish
User

Sep 6, 2019, 2:33 PM

Post #8 of 9 (402 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

Years later, I fixed the window problem by blowing canned air around the window switch. I don't know what was in there, apparently preventing the window from working, but it's working fine now.


wildirish
User

Sep 6, 2019, 2:36 PM

Post #9 of 9 (402 views)
  post locked   Re: 96 Buick LeSabre whines when engine is warm/hot  

Just in case anybody would be searching this topic, years after the fact:

It was a failing fuel pump causing the whining.






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