1998 Buick LeSabre Q&A
1998 Buick LeSabre Question: Car won't start
1998 buick le sabre 6 cyl. Just changed the starter yesterday, car started and ran beautifuly all day. got home that night, parked the car with no problems. next morning car won't start. Turns over fine but will not start. Makes a compression wheeze every 3 to 4 turn-overs. car does not have a distributer and no timing belt but a timing chain behind the front end of a front wheel drive engine. cannot check timing chain without tearing engine apart. any suggestions - rpooloe2010
Timing chain failures are not very common one the 3.8L engines in the 1998 Buick LeSabre but from your description that could very well be your problem. A much more common issue with those engines is for the intake manifold to leak coolant into the cylinders causing the engine not to turn over. Your first step should be to remove the spark plugs and perform a compression test. If compression is low or erratic I would suspect a timing chain issue. In order to check the timing chain you can remove the camshaft position sensor which is located in the timing cover under and to the rear of the water pump pulley. With the sensor out you can see the cam sprocket with a mirror. You can check for timing chain slack by rotating the crankshaft forward and back while watching the cam sprocket to determine the amount of slack in the chain. There is no "spec" for this but you can get a feel for how much slack there is in the chain. If all else fails you may still need to remove the timing cover and look at the timing marks. - Oakman
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