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Buick LeSabre Engine help

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  • I was given a 97 LeSabre with 85k miles, literally a little old lady's car, she kept the maintenance up on it oil changed every 4k, but never drove on the freeway for any distance. I put a few hundred miles on it then did an oil and filter change using mobil 1 10w30, new plugs AC iridium, new wires, and new thermostat and gasket, the water temp gauge would only show 180, so thought it might have been stuck open, same readings with new thermostat, scan tool shows temp during cruising at 195, just what thermo is. car ran great even got 35 mpg on trip to Disneyland from Nor Cal. After about 1500 miles on the oil change the car made a rattle noise, the oil pressure went to low, then went to 120psi then settled down, to between 40-60psi, the check engine light came on at this point and stayed on, scanned for the codes and got a p302, with small lifter tick drove the mile or so home and cleared code. Next morning car started fine but had a lifter tick really bad for about 15 seconds and the check engine light came back on then reduced to what seemed one lifter, scanned the codes again and got a p306 code. I shut the car off and pulled the O/F, it was plugged up pretty bad, put new filter on and drained and strained the oil no chunks no metal particles. The car did this several days in a row, running rough and rattling, turning the engine light on, then settling out, I would clear the codes and no problems until next cold start. The code would give me a different cylinder each time so I thought it was a chunk of crud moving through the lifter gallery.

    The car has now decided it doesn't want to run, I have checked for spark, it is able to jump over an inch to all 6 plugs, there is no water in the oil but water level has lost about 2qts in 75 miles, no external evidence and when pressure tested it only looses about 2 pounds in 10 minutes. my tester is 25 years old and the seal is kinda hard. During the time I have owned the car, about 3+ months the temp has never gone over 200, and original owner said she never had a problem with it geting hot.

    Sorry for the long post just want as much info as possible. Thanks for any help
  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 30
    I have an issue im hoping that someone knows the steps to take to resolve. For awhile at times my horn would just go off by itself and would not stop untill someone tapped on the horn, then it would quit. That went on for awhile then all of a sudden the horn just quit, what I mean is you can not honk it for nothing. I have looked for a fuse for the horn if there is such a fuse but dont see one but someone has told me to take the air bag off and look at the connections to make sure a wire for the horn hasnt come off for some reason, but I dont feel like getting my head took off by an air bag so what are the correct steps to doing this for a 97 buick lasabre limited? or what are some other steps to finding out what the horn doesnt work
  • steve629steve629 Posts: 1
    Hello everyone,

    I drive a 2003 Buick Lesabre limited and recently (2 days ago), whenever I start my car, the engine is really rough. The car is rumbling, and the engine seems like its about to shut off then it keeps going, still rumbling. This problem continues as I drive. When I try to accelerate, the car jumps and stutters during acceleration (check engine light goes on). However, when the car gets warm, the problem goes away, the check engine light goes off, and the car runs like new. Anyone have any ideas? I haven't tried anything yet because it just started happening. Thank you!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
    This is probably a good question for our Answers team. You can post there by going to http://answers.edmunds.com.

    Once you have posted, you can check for replies or follow-up questions by going to that link, then clicking on "my answers profile."

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    >would not stop untill someone tapped on the horn,

    Did you mean they tapped on the pad on the steering wheel where the contacts are or do you they tapped on the horn out under the hood?

    My first thoughts were the the pad ont he steering wheel has contacts the were making their own connection. There were some problems with other car models having the contact touch when the outside temperatures got cold, like near freezing.

    Or it could be the relay NOW that won't work and is keeping the horn from sounding. The relay is one of those in the relay center on the firewall above the engine. The relays can be pulled forward by using a thin knife under it to lift the metal strip that snaps down to lock it into place on a ridge when the relay is pushed back in.
    The horn relay is a single throw, single contact. There are others in the group that are the same part number and they can be switched to test to see it the relay is the problem. There has to be a fuse also. I'll look that up and post later along with a diagram of the relays to identify which is which.

    http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k110/imidazol97/buickblowerrelay502chj8.jpg
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    It could be a misfire on two cylinders because a coil is not firing. Or the spark control unit that's the plate under the three coils might not be working right and giving random misfires, but then with heat the coil or the spark control module start working.

    Without hearing it and feeling it, I think it's hard to tell.

    Your best bet is to have the codes read at Autozone or Advance Auto Parts. Take the paper they give with the codes that have been stored. Remember, do not replace parts based on the codes. They are symptoms. You have to find what is actually causing the symptom.

    I suspect you'll find random misfires indicating the spark control module--you might try tightening the ground on it's connnect on the front edge.

    Or you 'll get a single misfire for one cylinder or for the two that are affected by the one coil.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,913
    [clicking my imaginary "thumbs up" button]
    Thanks! I was sending this person to answers because I didn't know if anyone was actually following this discussion.

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  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Well it's great to see Imadozer is still with us, as he always gives great advice. Firstly itis hard to point a direction to start without a code, until I read the whole question I was ready to reply with the idle air controler, but when he is accerating that didn't apply, I have had a similar problem that ended up with the plug wires, the carbon pile inside hardened up right at the spark plug end of the boot and created the same problem..(actually at 2 of the wires). So until we get a code to get a direction where to begin throwing parts at it won't be the best place to start. There was another incident that created a similar problem in the past and that was the little rubber elbow with the vacuum line that went to the modulator on the transmission that had dried out and split and made it lose the vacuum and caused the bad idle condition, but there wa an indicator light with a (P) or permanent code without an explanation, and if this helps I'm all for looking into that, as it's an easy fix as is what I'm responding here with, good luck in any case. By the way that LeSabre had 250,000 miles on it at the time.
  • Wife was driving our 98 lesabre the other night, when it suddenly died. Temp Gage showed overheating. Next day, put water in, it started, and by the time it got home, 2 or 3 miles, was overheating already. Stuck my finger in the radiator, and the inside is coated with oil residue, but the oil on the shows no signs of water contamination. Engine has 198k miles on it... any ideas?
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    There are 2 possibilities, the most likely one is the intake manifold and gaskets. The second would be a head gasket, but since there is nothing in the oil my bet would be the first one. Autozone sells a whole kit for that for a reasonable price. With the number of miles involved here I hope everything else is ok my old buick went 250,000 before needing the same repair.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    Replace thermostat. Then start diagnosing. What seems like oil residue may be results of people mixing regular coolant with Dexcool or from the antiseep pellets put into the radiator to seal small leaks.

    Overheating to the point of stall if bad. Best if turned off when temp gauge isn't maxed. Since you weren't driving, no one may be certain just how high the gauge was. But you probably will need to do compression tests and/or use a sensor for hydrocarbons in the radiator to determine that you have combustion leakage.
  • Hi imidazol97.
    Just reporting back that 20.000 miles later the Buick LaSabre is just doing fine running back an forth to college (360 miles RT) for one of my daughters. I bought the other one a 97 Camry. Still working all 4 vehicles in Dad's garage. :-) ... and by the way, back then, I did find 2 O-Rings instead of one that was causing that noise issue. Removed one and all was well. We're at 197.000 miles now. I had a broken stabilizer bar a while back. Heard a loud pop going through a corner and I happen to be in the vehicle. Not cheap those bars. Anyway it's sure nice to see your still helping people out. In this economy who can afford $100/hr mechanics? Take care. p.s. I posted some notes under the Toyota section (2000 Avalon)
  • That little rubber elbow that split. did you ever find a replacement for it? I had the same problem and could not find a replacement. I rigged something goofy that worked for a while and got a lot of laughs but finally I used clear silicone and fixed the old one by coating it thick. Thanks.

    ps. It's a 3 way rubber join with 3 diff sized connections.
  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 30
    I was curious if anyone has any idea what i can try to figure out why my air condition blows cold air out the driver side and hot air out the passenger side. It has the dual air control but the digital control inside the car doesnt seem to be working right, it wont light up at all so with that not working right,could that have an effect on the right side not blowing cold air also? I have heard something about some kind of actuators thats behind the glove box kinda against the firewall and that there is one on each side, driver and passenger. It blowing out cold air on one side and hot air on the other is on a good day...lol some days you can set the controls to blow MID and it will blow up the windshield. Also if I can get instructions on how to get to the actuators (flaps) for each side would be really helpful in case its not the digital control inside the car but a guy told me to buy a replacement control, since it is cheaper and see if that corrects the problem but any input here will really be helpful :shades:
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