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Buick LeSabre

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    I've seen a few LeSabres in our area with what look like the Celebration chrome
    wheels, but in colors that aren't the three for Celebration models. Has
    LeSabre started selling the chromes with other colors?

    They really make the cars look sharp. Saw a black one, and a Dark green and a white
    one with what looked like the same wheels over about 8 weeks now. Maybe they're
    aftermarket...

     I've seen a LeSabre with the portholes like Park Avenue Ultras,
    but in gold with a tan vinyl roof added to the light bronzemist. Little "too much" for
    my taste, but the lady driving it seemed happy!
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    Probable aftermarket chromewheels. Many cars are bland looking so I like the way chrome wheels dress them up. Hard to keep from rusting in the harsh climates, but nice. I have a 1993 Fleetwood Brougham that has after market chrome wheels. They get a lot of favorable comments. I would like to install a hood ornnament on my 03 Le Sabur, possibly one from a LeSabur Custom or Park Avenue. Do they attach with a bolt & nut or are they glued on?
  • Just bought a 03 Buick LeSabre Limited Celebration. When trying to install a childs car booster seat, can not get the rear seat belts to lock when I pull it out all the way. Our 97 GM mini-van rear seat belts do allow you to lock once you pull them out all the way and let it rachet to a snug shoulder position. Did GM make a change to their rear seat belts since 1997?

    Also, found out that our '03 LaSabre does not come with a cabin air filter but it seems like the housing under the hood is there from the factory. Do I just have to buy a filter and put it in for the system to work or do I need the dealer to install a factory cabin air kit?

    Buy the way, we really love the car, just wish they would have put in 3 rear head rests.
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    I just started a Caddy Fleetwood board here under "Sedans" and think you should check it out and maybe post a message or two so we can keep it alive. We have a 1992 Roadmaster Limited and just bought a 1993 Caddy Fleetwood Brougham that we'll get next week. It was hard to find the car, now it's hard to find anyone else who has one!

    Anyway, to make this LeSabre related, we had a 2002 LeSabre Custom that was an Enterprise rental for a month after our 300M got crushed. Loved every second of it and planned to trade the Chrysler for one after we got it back, but things changed. Still, a great car and I'd buy one in a heartbeat!
  • donnamikedonnamike Posts: 1
    I loved my 2001 Buick until 2 weeks ago. I took it to the dealer for my driver side window not working. That was a regulator which cost 350.00. At that time they found that I was leaking antifreeze from my upper intake manifold. I needed a new plenum (which is made out of plastic) which the total cost on that was 640.00. The dealer said this was a common problem. I get it back and the next day my 4th gear goes bad. This car has only 55,600 miles on it. During this time we found out that the battery is in under the back seat where my 8 year old child sits. That gives me an uneasy feeling. We are trading in this car and going with something that has a longer warranty period. I am very disappointed with the Buick. When we bought the car we got a GM discount but I have used that discount up with repairs in 2 weeks. Think hard before you buy one.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    We recently bought a 2003 LeSbre Limited and had (a) wind noise and (b) seat heating malfunction problems. The Baltimore area GM representative was a totally decietful and dishonest and incompetent person as he tried to play games and not correct the problems.

    Warning: Do Not Trust GM officials. They have no interest in helping consumers.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    I've had excellent service from GM.

    You shouldn't make a blanket statement about GM personnel.

    If you're having a dealer problem, talk to them.

    My 03 Limited has been great. Very well put together. 31.5 mpg on trips at
    75-80 with air conditioning on. 22 around city driving.

    Go read the honda accord problems Part 2 forum, or the toyota problems
    forum if you want to hear about factory not handling flaws...
    Or the honda pilot seems to have many builtin "features" that are giving problems.

    As for the battery under the seat, much better weight distribution and longer battery life
    since it's not heated to extremes in the engine compartment.

    How many cars have batteries under the rear, out of the engine compartment???

    BTW. The gas tank is under the rear seat on most cars. I'd much rather be in a full size
    Buick than a honda or camry in an accident.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    It should be possible to add the cabin air filter to a LeSabre that did not come with it from the factory. In addition to the filter itself (GM Part 25654414), you'll need the frame that holds the filter (GM Part 25669930). You only need to buy the frame once.
  • Thanks for the info mlm4. How did you know that I would need a frame for the cabin air filter and its part number? Where does GM publish this type of info?
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I learned this from someone else here at Town Hall. Great place to exchange automotive knowledge. He figured it out by looking at an AC-Delco web site. When I changed the air filter on my Bonneville (basically the same car as LeSabre), there was a black plastic frame into which the filter was held that slides out of the compartment under the hood. GM had to warn it's technicians not to throw that part away as it is not included with a replacement filter.
  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    I have seen batteries on European cars under the back seat for years. I think it may be the best for crash protection. If you are in a wreck and the battery splits open, your Onstar can't check it out.
  • rsaf1947rsaf1947 Posts: 2
    I've looked and not seem any other postings on this, perhaps missed it. The problem on my 00 LeSabre Custom is that before the 3 yrs. were up but after exceeding the mileage I began to notice some paint bubbling on the front of the hood driver side. As time went on, it got larger and now find two additional areas on the hood with same problem starting. I have seen other LeSabre's in parking lots with similar paint bubbling. Is this a wider problem or just a random one? I was blown off by the dealership because of the mileage which was alot because it was a business use vehicle.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    Start asking at other dealerships about paint problems being covered up to
    6 years exclusive of mileage. In past paint problems that time limit has been applied. The dealership's
    ethics seem to be a part of getting it done: the paint shop doesn't make nearly
    as much on that repaint paint by factory or paint supplier as they make on
    ordinary work. Therefore they are reluctant to "lose" the profit they could make
    on someone else.

    Try searching on the Google.com search engine for paint problems mentioned on
    webpages.
  • rsaf1947rsaf1947 Posts: 2
    Thanks I'll try to google route;
    I have an appt. with dealer on new recall for the 00 LeSabre with coolant issues. will approach again on the paint problem
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    The under the rear seat battery location is also good for weight distribution, cooler & cleaner environment. The hot under hood location was death on batteries. The under seat location requires special venting through small hoses which hook up to the battery top edge. Does anyone know if a replacement battery such as Exide or Interstate would have these special venting provisions? I have averaged 28.2 mpg for the first 3752 miles of mostly highway driving. I am quite satisfied. Enjoy the ride.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Yesterday I took a pick inside a late model Buick Le Sabre. It looked comoditious and large inside. The trunk must be huge but no head rests for rear seats, though.

    Looking at it from outside, it's imposing. Consumer Reports says has "Average Reliability".

    Can you guys talk about your experiences with it? I'm considering a Buick (have actually for sometime) but didn't take the plunge yet. The only "Above Average Reliability" Buick I found was the Regal, but got mixed reviews on the car from owners.

    What I'd like to know is whether it fits 6 people comfortably, ergonomics, hx of repairs, dependability, engine power, gas consumption, and anything else you'd care to share. I know is a safe car.

    I believe that in spite of some people's attitudes towards domestic makers, and others who see Buick as the "old man car", I tend to follow what I believe is value over hype.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    My 03 had a missing filter and holder for the filter. The dealer said none of the 03s got the filter. It had been standard on dual zone air...

    Price $52 for holder and filter. The filter is about $20 replacement dealer. Has anyone had experience with other filter sources that are cheaper?

    I looked at Pep Boys but they had none in stock so I couldn't price check.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    My third LeSabre, 93, 98, 03. Celebration Red chrome wheels, Michelin tires, just like the Sevilles. Car has great ride that has softened a little since new. I almost wish I'd gotten the touring suspension. But the control is great. But it's not brutal like the camry and accored. The 98 was a sailboat ride until my new stuts a few months ago at 80K.

    Mileage on flat interstates at 70-75 to Nashville was 32 including gas stops and food stops. To Pigeon Force on hilly I-75 through KY and TN gave 31 and 29. All with air conditioning running.
    Around town is 26. Total driving with short runs to grocery, post office box, etc., is 22. My wife drives those and has a heavy foot.

    Power is great and smooth. I consider it the same car as the Park Avenue, I looked underneath and asked my service manager. The extra 5 inches for the Park Avenue somes from larger bumper extensions on front and rear, I think. This car looks like the Seville, Deville, with slightly different sheet metal.

    The Park Avenue has cigarette lighters in rear arm rests in doors, storage compartment in the rear armrest in center (LeSabre has arm rerest with cupholderws), and rear ultrasonice parking sensor in the bumper. The seats and car felt the same. I don't see the difference. They drove the same for me other than slight change in strut valving.

    Had one rattle where HUD display plastic is loose when the dash is hot in sun. Easily fixed. Dealer is great on service.

    In one of the plants that assembles LeSabre, the Deville and Seville and Aurora and Park Avenue are made. In the other plant, only LeSabres. But the similarity in the cars sold me over the accord. I read the problems with the accord on the accord problems part II topic here on edmunds and I'm glad I didn't buy one. Rattles, pops in the frame, brakes that warp, v6 that gets poor gas mileage and needs premium fuel...

    If this car got wrecked, I buy the exact same model in an 04, unless there were additional options beyond the Celebration.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    We recently bought LeSabre Limited and had two problems with it: (a) heat seating malfunction and (b) wind noise and instability in the cabin. It took us 6-months to have these problems fixed. GM people were totally unprofessional.

    If you are buying a new LeSabre, take a long drive at relatively high speed. Make sure you shut the radio so that you could assess the wind noise.

    Once the problems were fixed, LeSabre is a pleasure to drive.
  • danielj6danielj6 Posts: 285
    Thank you guys for your assessment of the car. I've been following the Le Sabre and other few American cars for a really long time, partly due to my long term interest in domestic makes.

    I have some mixed feelings about purchasing a Japanese vehicle as I perceive that they are arrogant and have increasingly become insensitive to customers. When I buy a car I'm also buying into the company and I need them to be sensitive to my needs. This may sound idealistic but is my view. They sell you the car and you are on you own pretty much. This has been my experience all along but I also understand that this indifference to the consumer is across the board now a days.

    But back to the Le Sabre, it impresses me as a vault on wheels, sturdy, strong, safe and a comfortable and powerful large sedan. It doesn't have the econobox look. Easy to buy too.
  • In response to 801, the $52 is not bad for the frame bracket and filter. That is about what I paid through the dealer. You could try a junk yard but I beleive the frame can only be purchased through the dealer new. For the filter, try a non-chain good auto parts store. In Tucson, AZ, Merels Auto has cabin air filters for %45 cheaper than the dealer.
  • What was causing the wind noise and cabin instability in your LeSabre? Thanks.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    I have a 03 LeSabre Custom. I traded a 00 Impala LS with 41000miles. I didn't buy another Impala because of poor dealer service. Too bad because I liked the Impala. My LeSabre is suburb. In 3916 miles,I averaged 28.1 mpg, mixed driving. 32.7 was best, 25.2 worst. J.D.Powers ranks the LeSabre either best in it's class or 2nd in initial quality. Your question of 6 passenger comfort depends on what a persons measure of comfort is. I can't think of any car that I would be comfortable in if I were sitting in the center seat position. That includes my 93 Fleetwood Brougham. The LeSabur has the 3.8 (3800) v-6 which I consider almost bullet proof. As good or better than anything in the same class in my opinion. I think the Le Sabur is a very good value. I would spend a lot of time asking other local Buick owners about local dealers. A good quality customer oriented dealer goes a long way towards total ownership satisfaction. I bought mine from Bill Marsh Group in Traverse City Mi. They have a very good reputation and are a fixed price dealer(no haggling). They are a successful dealer and well liked in the N.W. Mich area. They also have Saturn, Chrysler, Pontiac, & GMC. At this point I have had no problems with the car. Enjoy the ride.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    here on Edmunds.

    imidazol97 "Lutz tells Buick "emulate Lexus"." Jul 26, 2003 11:24am

    It's called Lutz tells Buick to Emulate Lexus
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    The wind noise was caused by an improperly installed door in the back, on the passanger side. The problem was quite serious because the wind gust used to destabilize the car.

    What was shocking was that the GM area vehicle manager, the highest ranking local rep of the company, used all sort of gimmicks, including a Radio Shack gadget, to prove that there was no problem with the car and it was just in our minds. GM personnel and the dealer from whom we bought the car were totally incompetent and untrustworthy.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    You mention the car is fixed which means someone fixed the wind noise. What did they do and who did it? I agree that it is a good idea to drive a car as much as possible before you buy it to see if there is anything that you cannot live with. But, even then, you may miss something. That is what the warranty is for. To bad the selling dealer didn't connect. That is why I traded out of an Impala to the Buick. The Traverse City Chevrolet dealer service department was not a pleasant experience, more than once. I have driven Chevrolets for more than 30 years, but I like my Buick. I still like Chevrolet, but I think I'll wait for a dealer change or dealer service management change. Enjoy the ride.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    What happened was that the electronic control panel in the driver side door blew one day and we had to take the car to a nearby delaer. It took the dealer three days to locate the problem, but once the defective control unit was replaced it corrected the seat heating malfunction problem. The dealership's service manager noticed after a short ride the reason for the wind noise problem and rehung the door which fixed it.

    The point is GM organization is infested with creeps. The Area Vehicle Manager we were dealing with persuaded their Tempa Buick Assistance Center to tell us that he is the big boss and all dealers report to him and therefore it would be useless to take the car to another dealer for repairs. And they told us that and we believed it and keep taking the car to the disgusting and dishonest dealer from whom we bought the car. The GM AVC must be getting something from this incompetent dealership or simply was another incompetent person. I hope GM gets rid of these people and improves its spport organization.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    One poor company rep does not make a bad organization or company. Suggest complain directly to Buick (phone # in owner manual). Better yet write factual letter to GM in Detroit. If this rep is as bad as you say, he is making others angry also. Do nothing and he continues. Complain factually as others may have done, and the rep will be corrected or gone. Every one wins. Do nothing, every one looses. Enjoy the ride.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,369
    I don't understand how the door made the car unstable. But I understand not sealing right and the seat heater switch going on was a problem. I'm sorry your dealer made this a frustration.
    I bought my 7th car from the same dealer because they fix everything. Sometimes not on the first time; but when I come back with the problem, it's the service manager's NEW problem of the day and it gets researched and explained and fixed, when the fix comes from Buick later sometimes.

    I buy the dealer because others don't meet their price and service. I even shop the foreign honda and camry for comparison and still cost of ownership is lower for a LeSabre Limited, because my dealer fixes things.

    It could be because three brothers still own and run their father's dealership. They're there everyday. They care. They get frustrated with the cars sometimes too.

    A clear letter to the dealership owner and to the Buick company should get a clear reply. I appreciate my dealer more each time I hear some problems folks have with other dealers.

    Good luck, and enjoy a good car.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    To:Norbnancy

    I had extensive correspondence with GM and wrote a detailed letter to the CEO. As I see it, GM is very reluctant to acknowledge its problems and therefore they will continue to lose market share against Japanese. We almost bought a Lexus, which was superb and should have done that.

    To:Imidazo

    The LeSabre dealership we bought the car from is one of the biggest dealers in the area and we went there hoping we are dealing with honest and responsible people. But they turned out to be absolute crooks.

    My conclusion is companies like GM will keep losing market to better made cars from Japan. I will not buy a GM car again.
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