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2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking


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kgarrigan
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Nov 14, 2012, 2:49 PM

Post #1 of 13 (1648 views)
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2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking Sign In

My 2003 Buick Century seems to have had something break in the engine. It was without warning, there was a large pop, followed by a loud knocking and grinding and significant loss of power. I had it towed to a shop, who wanted $500 for labor to diagnose and said it could be anything from a valve spring to rocker arms, they didn't know and they ballparked repairs going from $500 to upwards of $3000. I estimate the value of the car at about $3500 if it was running, so I am not willing to invest $3000 in repairs.

I have the fortune of being able to park it for as long as needed, and was wondering if this is something I could do myself. I am fairly skilled mechanically, having done everything from water pumps, alternators, clutches, steering repairs, many electrical, coolant and fuel repairs, to lots of other repairs on all of my vehicles, but have never done ANY work inside the engine. Can I fix this myself? Is it worth my time and money?

Other details: Car running great until breakdown, 135,000 miles, recently replaced intake manifold gasket and catalytic converter. 3.8L V6


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 14, 2012, 3:40 PM

Post #2 of 13 (1621 views)
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Re: 2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking [In reply to] Sign In

How recent was the intake job? I'd probably start with looking in thru spark plug holes with a scope made for that to plain see if inside a cylinder is all trashed now. If a chunk of something was eaten or a valve broke off a piece it could have done fatal damage - can't be sure of anything without an inspection on something like that without checking it out in person,

T


Hammer Time
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Nov 14, 2012, 3:54 PM

Post #3 of 13 (1612 views)
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I guess if we knew what was wrong with it we could answer that but you didn't have it diagnosed so, I guess not.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



kgarrigan
Novice

Nov 14, 2012, 4:43 PM

Post #4 of 13 (1593 views)
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Sorry, I guess I should clarify that I am asking about being able to find damage on my own as well, for example broken valve springs or rocker arm components. I did pay the shop $100 diagnosis and cylinder compression check which they found nothing to pinpoint the problem, and they wanted an additional $500 for labor to open up the engine/valve covers etc to try to pinpoint the problem. I chose not to spend this additional money because I don't want to burn an additional $500 on a lost cause, if that is what it turns out to be. I understand the lack of information I am giving and that this is a complicated diagnosis/repair that could be one of many things wrong. As I am Completely inexperienced at engine repair, I thought it might be helpful to seek the advice of those more experienced than me before I attempted. If it is something that is relatively simple and may take me a few weeks/months to do on my own and saves me thousands, I will give it a shot. If not, I am prepared to sell/donate the car for parts.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 14, 2012, 4:45 PM

Post #5 of 13 (1590 views)
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Re: 2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking [In reply to] Sign In

If they did a complete compression test and found no issues, then you don't have a valve or rocker problem. Doesn't sound like they had a cklue what they were doing.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



kgarrigan
Novice

Nov 14, 2012, 4:46 PM

Post #6 of 13 (1587 views)
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Tom,

Thanks for the advice of trying to inspect the cylinders through the spark plug holes. I will try to do that and see if that helps give me direction as to what might be wrong.

The intake manifold gasket was replaced 9 months ago, by a shop.


kgarrigan
Novice

Nov 14, 2012, 4:48 PM

Post #7 of 13 (1586 views)
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That may be true, and a good thing I didn't give them anymore money.


Discretesignals
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Nov 14, 2012, 5:14 PM

Post #8 of 13 (1571 views)
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Did the oil pressure light go on when the bang and loss of power occurred?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


kgarrigan
Novice

Nov 14, 2012, 5:22 PM

Post #9 of 13 (1564 views)
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No. No oil pressure light. The oil level is still good, and looks clean, no water. There are no oil leaks in the car. When the sounds started there was no leaking fluids of any kind, and there still isn't. There is no visible symptoms like smoke either. The car will still start and run, but with a constant loud knocking sound. I towed it to my home and It is not being driven because of concern for causing more damage.


nickwarner
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Nov 14, 2012, 11:35 PM

Post #10 of 13 (1538 views)
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Drain the oil into a clean pan and see if there is any metal in it. Bearing material will look like grey goo and silver flakes.


Discretesignals
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Nov 15, 2012, 7:54 AM

Post #11 of 13 (1528 views)
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Re: 2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking [In reply to] Sign In

Can you video the noise and post it up on a video hosting site and then send us the link. Kind of curious to hear what this sounds like.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


kgarrigan
Novice

Nov 15, 2012, 3:30 PM

Post #12 of 13 (1509 views)
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Here is the link


Discretesignals
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Nov 15, 2012, 7:20 PM

Post #13 of 13 (1491 views)
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Re: 2003 Buick Century Engine Knocking [In reply to] Sign In

Can you post a vid of the engine revving up?





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.




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