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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'98 Buick Park Ave, No Performance Warm

Q: I have what I will call a low end performance problem with a ’98 Buick Park Ave, in that the car loses pep and pick up once fully warmed up (185F and above). I have had it to a maintenance shop (ASE certified) for loss of coolant and it was determined that the upper intake manifold was cracked and allowing fluids to enter the engine , the engine was scoped and nothing showed. I later returned and the engine was scoped , indicating that the Mass Air Flow Sensor was bad. It was replaced and within one week I was experiencing the problem again. I have also changed the coolant sensor, idle air valve and the O2 sensors. Once the car is fully warmed up it has no pickup and go.

A: The intake manifold problem you described is a common occurrence on this particular engine design. If the O2 sensors were replaced before the leak in the intake manifold was found you might have to replace them again. O2 sensors are easily contaminated by the chemicals found in anti-freeze. The anti-freeze can coat the sensor and cloud the information it provides to the computer. You stated that the Mass Air Flow sensor was replaced and the problem returned a week or so later. You may just have a defective Mass Air Flow sensor, it does happen. We had one vehicle in the shop that was diagnosed with a bad Mass Air Flow sensor and a replacement was installed. The problem was the engine ran worse with the new part! It happens more than you could image. Just because it is new doesn’t mean it isn’t broken. Start over with the diagnosis, you’ll likely find that the cause may have been overlooked.

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