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Buick LeSabre

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    I recommend you read the accord problems part II and Pilot problems strands if you feel "better built cars from Japan" is the answer.

    You need to go to the threads for the cars in which you are interested and stop complaining about one bad experience with LeSabre on this thread.

    The GM cars have been a good purchase value for years, but the foreign car companies and their cheerleaders have been successful in painting their image as they want it, not as it is. (See the Problems and car topic threads for many Edmunds discussions.) However in one brand there's a salesman who tells people to quit complaining when they have a problem (car leads left/right, popping noises in body, rattles in dash/windshield, dealer tells them to get lost cause there's nothing wrong) because they have a good car and just don't realize it. He tells them to stop corrupting the image of the car. He doesn't seem to say anything about the Pilot Problems strangely enough!!!

    Through the decades as imports have stolen car market and jobs from the American economy it has been chic to complain about American brand cars. Those who wonder why the movement of jobs is out of USA need only to look at their purchases through the two decades; first based on low price and then based on a marketing image.

    MY Buicks and LeSabres have been great. Buick has good service. I'm sorry you had dealer problems. End of discussion.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    My dear friend, you sound like someone from GM. My LeSabre car cost us $30K-plus, which is no pocket change. And Japanese cars are selling better than poor quality cars made by Detroit, which is ample indication of consumer assessment.

    You like GM cars: so go and buy them, but donot try to mislead other people.
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    I received a good response from GM on the letter wrote a few years back. Don't know what your problem is, suggest you might like a foreign car. Perhaps a KIA. Enjoy the ride.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    May be a few years ago when you wrote the letter to GM, it was an honest company. We now live in the age of Enron and WorldCom.

    We try to buy American, but will not touch a GM car again. The company is totally unethical and irresponsible. The Lexus on every consumer and professional survey is in a class by itself and only costs a few thousand more.

    I am happy you got good response from GM. Enjoy your Chevy.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Although this is not a new debate, it's still interesting from time to time to read differing viewpoints about domestic vs. imported cars. My feeling, as a (possibly foolishly) loyal GM owner is that GM has good engineering but skimps on the quality of materials which leads to Achille's heels in what would otherwise be fine cars. It's frustrating that seemingly simple or critical components fail on a regular basis.

    But what's most frustrating, in general, is the dealership service experience. As some others have noted, these days technicians are essentially part swappers rather than expert mechanics, and at some (especially large) dealerships, the service writers are focused on processing lots of customers (like the airlines or phone companies) with less attention paid to individual customers. Luxury import dealers (like Lexus) have a smaller customer base and are also more service-oriented (they know this is as important to the customers as the car itself).

    The LeSabre has consistenly won customer satisfaction awards for it's reliablity and comfort, albeit from owners who feel that these qualities are more important than flashy style, driving excitement and fancy features. I guess it depends on what you want out of the car whether or not a LeSabre, Buick or even a GM will suit you.
  • I don't think many people would dispute whether Lexus has better cars or service. In fact, I thought it was somewhat of a compliment to Buick that they were being compared to a Lexus instead of Toyota or Honda.

    However, I found it misleading the comment that a Lexus could be had for just a few thousands more. Last time I checked the Buick car lineup MSRP is $20-40K. The Lexus car lineup is $30-60K. The LeSabre is Buick's 2nd largest sedan. If you look at a similarly equipped Lexus GS300 (Lexus's 2nd largest sedan) it should cost conservatively at least $10,000 more. A similarly equipped entry Lexus sedan the ES300 should cost conservatively at least $4,000 more. To me $4,000 is not a few thousand.

    I recently bought a Buick LeSabre Celebration Edition and have been satisfied thus far with the car. I might have bought a Lexus if it were a few thousand more, but in my case even the Lexus ES300 would have been $10,000 more, which is not pocket change for my family. The Lexus ES300 being $10,000 more and not having the OnStar, headsup display and signaling mirrors made our decision easy. I think Lexus has a great lineup of vehicles, but when talking about a few thousand more than a comparable GM vehicle, the closest comparision should be Cadillac not Buick and definitely not Chevy.

    Our Buick dealer has been good thus far. We had a minor problem which they fixed quickly and our first oil change was free of charge. I have dealt with a Chevy and Lexus dealer in the past and they have been good. I have had a poor experience with a Mercedes, Acura, Plymouth and Volvo dealership. However my feeling is that dealership experience for the most part is not really part of the brand but varies from dealership to dealership.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    My message on the bulletin board was dropped. Why?

    As I mentioned in that comment we bought a fully loaded Limited over a Lexus because it was $5K cheaper, we had $3,500 on the GM card and GM offered 60-month zero percent financing.

    But it was a mistake to buy LeSabre because it took 6-months to correct its problems, which caused enormous emotional and monetary costs. We will never buy a GM car again.

    The GM dealer and their Area Vehicle Manager were totally incompetent. The Buick Assistant Center mislead us and only a chance assistance by another Buick dealer corrected the problem. GM's orgainization is full of incompetent people.
  • zakemanzakeman Posts: 2
    Not to change the subject, but I have owned several Lexus' and they are simply sensational. I am driving my first Buick which I bought new, a 2000 LeSabre which now has 105,000 miles on it. Considering the price, roughly half that of my Lexus, it has been a sensational "value". One problem, a serious water leak collecting on the driver side floor boards (front and rear). Dealer and body shops have not been able to find the entry point. Anyone else experience this? If so, where was the water coming from?
  • slimrjpslimrjp Posts: 5
    I have read with interest the posts about how our LeSabres are stacking up against the competition. I am 28, well educated and the proud owner of an 01 LeSabre. The car has its high points and its low points, but overall it is a wonderful product and I would compare it to many of the foreign cars currently available.

    Many of you have mentioned poor dealer service with technicians who just trade parts hoping to the problem disappears and service writers who do not listen to your concerns. I believe I can add some valuable information here. I worked in a GM dealer service center for a brief period and all of your issues are valid, but they go back to one issue. Money.

    The dealer is in it for a profit and so he or she typically pays everyone on a commission basis. Thus, you have technicians who are driven to make a repair as quickly and as cheaply as possible so that they can move on to the next one. The service writers are usually the ones dividing up the work so they tend to give "easy" jobs to their friends and more difficult jobs can end up in the hands of less experienced or capable persons.

    In my opinion, this is an indication of the direction American Enterprise is heading. Watch the news and you see stories of greed and salary systems designed to promote productivity, but carnivorous human nature tends to use these systems to their own advantage and for their own greed.

    My advice would be to look for a good dealer who understands how important customer service is and shop there.
  • Hello,

    I just traded my 2001 Buick Century for a 2003 LeSabre. The LeSabre is a definite upgrade. One thing different though is the air conditioning.
    It cools but it seems like the air is humid. The Century seemed to have a better a/c.
    Any ideas?

    Thank you!
  • shivelytshivelyt Posts: 46
    I have a 95 LeSabre with 79,000 miles. Problems are now starting to pile up. Latest concerns a wierd noise which is diagnosed as either a bad pulley on the A/C compressor or or the pulley on the end of the alternator. Dealer says to fix A/C probably about $280 to $450, less if if is the alternator. Anyone experienced this? In over 40 years of driving I've never heard of a faulty pulley and not this kind of $$to fix. This is on top of a estimate of $860 to replace valve cover and intake manifold gaskets to stop oil leaks. Any help would be appreciated.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Yes. I had a pulley go bad on an A/C compressor (bearings on the pulley shaft). It squealed loudly, but the A/C still worked. The noise was worse when the compressor clutch was disengaged. If the noise changes when the A/C is running, then that might be it. They replaced the entire compressor for me (under warranty, thankfully). If it's the alternator, they'll replace that. Both of those units can be rebuilt to fix the noise but the dealers are not in the business of rebuilding parts, just replacing them. Maybe you can save some money if you buy a remanufactured compressor or alternator and get it installed.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    If you are handy with a socket wrench, you can pull on the pulley that applies the load to keep the belt taut to take the belt off. Then spin the alternator and the compressor pulley and the load pulley you moved to relieve the load on the belt. The water pump can also be a problem along with power steering. If it's the alternator, that can be replaced yourself if you're careful and disconnect the battery ground cable first.

    AND you'll save a whole lot of money by getting an exact amperage replacement at you local Advanced Auto, PepBoys, Autozone, whatever.
  • How reliable is a Buick LeSabre, in terms of mechanical reliability?? I don't mean the cheap interior, and stuff like that. The main things important to me are the engine, transmisson, and major electric equipment. Is the LeSabre similar to the Impala, because I like the Impala. It seems a reliable car, at least 10 times more reliable than a Taurus, and maybe 3 times more than a Camry.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    Quality, heavier parts than smaller cars. 93 went 150000 and my wife made me trade it. It ran great (plugs, wires, pvc, small bypass tube to intake manifold replaced, and a wheel bearing, which my service manager said was rare - I just got lucky!).

    98 has 93000. Runs great. Replaced struts at 80K, too soft again. Wires, plugs, antifreeze, switch (electronic) for dual air conditioning replaced. Replaced rotors, calipers, used OEM raybestos parts for all. Wish I put on dustfree pads, but I have great brakes. I did use the higher quality rotors by Raybestos. Pep Boys had a cheaper rotor that may have been Raybestos, but I only plan to replace the rotors once... Had the manifold leak that 3800 from 95-99 are prone too have. Top plastic plenum replaced. It happened after I flushed the dexcool and replaced with new dexcool -- I didn't put in a couple of sealer tabs from GM and I probably flushed out a lot of the original factory sealant. 100K plugs and dexcool and transfluid I don't believe in. Change plugs at 50, dexcool flush every 2 years, and trans fluid every 36K. Suggestion....

    I don't know what you mean by cheap interior. My limiteds are nicely done. I always l shop Toyota Camry and Accords. I think that's cheap. Accords are having major problems, glad I didn't even think the design was interesting this time.

    Whoevery got my 93 LeSabre got an engine that had oil changed at 3K or less. No noises. Trans shifted great. That car probably would make 200K or 250 before major part needed service.
  • zakemanzakeman Posts: 2
    My 2000 is just turning 39 months and 106000 and have had no mechanical problems at all. Need to replace the manifold gasket under recall, but it has not been a problem for me. Routine oil (3500 miles) and trans fluid flush (50,000) and that has been it. Never even did the 30, 60 etc. just a major at 100k. RUNS GREAT, BUT DO HAVE A WATER LEAK.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    I guess the water leak is due to the lack of sealer pellets dropped into the coolant from the factory like they used to do!!! I just had the recall done for put in pellets for sealant and replace bolts on intake for throttle body on my 03. I'm going to add 2 pellets to the 98 when I change the Dexcool in a month or so to replace the sealant I flushed out the last time I changed Dexcool.. It had a gasket leak and bad plenum at 70K last summer. I suspect the coolant leaked worse because of last of sealant after my flushing the fall before.

    I suggest changing the trans fluid at 36K..
  • norbnancynorbnancy Posts: 118
    Don't know what body shop & dealer has done. Can you pull up left carpet and inspect for clean water or water with sand/dirt in it? If dirty, a floor seam from the left toe board or rear ward is split or the original sealer has come out. If the water is clean, it is likely coming from the cowl plenum chamber. Again from a open seam. Has there been recent repairs like w/s wipers, w/s replaced, collision? Also inspect left front door weather strips and compare to the right front for placement or missing. If you can pull the carpet back in the left front, do so and prop it back so you can see the bare floor. Then, have someone pour water from a hose into the cowl area at the left front. Do the for about 5 minutes. If you see no fresh water coming into the bare floor, move the hose up on to the lower part of the windshield, and keep going up until water comes in or you have verified that that is not the leak. Not a fun job and not many body shops like to do this kind of work because it is difficult charging the customer for the detective work. Good luck. Enjoy the ride.
  • joelcjoelc Posts: 5
    Before I bought my 02 Limited I did some research and found the average driver of a LeSabre was 67 years old. However being JD Powers best American Car and a Consumers Digest best buy I really didnt care that I am only 48. I always hope to see someone near my age when I spot one so you can imagine how glad I was to see message 825 (slimrip), he is only 28. I have had no problems in the 15k Ive driven mine and get 29mpg on the highway.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    I was about 48 when I migrated from Century to LeSabre. Quality with "historic" interior design. But the basic car is designed to run 300K with few major upkeep items when well-maintained.

    Now I have an 03 with well-done computer controls on engine and transmission with an up-to-date interior design.
  • joelcjoelc Posts: 5
    Is the interior in the 03 different than the 02? I wanted a Lesabre back when they had the old-fashioned chrome door handles. The only car that have those now is the PT Cruiser.What I like about the interior is you can put the arm-rest/console up and have a full bench seat. I was looking at a Concorde Limited. You could get the prndl on the column and a bench seat on it. It was the same $$ but no daytime driving lights,side air bags were an option,no ONSTAR,the doors slammed like my Neon, and way down on the JDPowers list.
  • The original General America GS60 tires (16") on my 2000 Lesabre are almost down to to the wear bars and I am considering replacements other than the original equipment. Has anyone tried the Yokohama Avid Touring (SP?)tire? Tire Rack at www.tirerack.com rates them pretty highly. What have some of you done for replacement tires and how do you like them as compared to the original equipment?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    I'd stick with Michelin for their roundness. They're not going to cause the shake that the platform is sensitive to that people have written about here.

    Other brands may be almost as well built as Michelin, but...
    Symmetry tires are used on the Celebration models with the 16 in rims. (And on Sevilles.)
    The Harmony would be a good replacement if you can't find X-Ones in the size still available in your area.
  • hey all, buying a 97 lesabre. has 88k on it, what kinda problems should i expect, and how much to fix them? im a college kid, wanting a reliable and fast (0-60 in 8.5)car with few problems. also, are the speakers any good in a 97? THANSK!
  • For those who have the Stabilitrak option on your Buick LeSabre, have any of you had the Stabilitrak come on while driving? I'm a relatively new Buick LeSabre owner with the Stabilitrak, but have yet to see the Stabilitrak activated. For those who have seen Stabilitrak come on, did you notice it, how was it like, and did it help in preventing a skid or going out of control?
  • Buicks with that mileage usually start to need some repairs. Check to see if any have been done if you can. Things likely to need attention are fuel pump (after 100 000 miles your on borrowed time and they're expensive)try to keep your gas tank at least half full, the gas cools the fuel pump and helps it last longer, oxygen sensors, struts. Keep close maintence on things such as your radiator and heater hoses, if the car over heats it can be the end of it. Of course change oil and keep eye on all your fluids.
    One big point is how you drive. If you drive it gently it will last you a lot longer then if you're always seeing how fast it goes from 0 to 60.
    Oh and the speakers are average, nice but nothing special.
  • I just purchased a used 2003 LeSabre Custom. I want to add the XM radio to the Buick, but I want to use the existing GM radio without installing an aftermarket unit like the Delphi. The radio in the dash appears to be set up to tune in XM radio, as it is identical to ones in other 2003 Buick LeSabres that have the XM from the factory. My question is, can I get the XM receiver out of a wreck from another 2003 Buick and mount it where they do in the factory installation, and plug it into the back of the GM radio? My dealer says the parts are not available new from GM. Any service tech information or comments would be welcome.

    Thank you.

    Mark
  • My 2000 Limited had the Firestone tires which were prone to a slight but perceptible transmitted shimmy which was a constant irritant. Nothing I did would eliminate it. At 60K miles I replaced them with Michelin X-Ones and could not be happier with the hugely improved ride. Shimmy gone.....smooth and quiet. I love 'em! Nice handling, too. (I have the touring suspension).
  • I replaced the 16" Generals on the 2000 Limited with the much hyped Yoko Avid Touring. They are ok, but I still have vibration issues Sears can't cure. I am going to a GM dealer to have them balanced on the new balance machines. A service advisor explained this platform is sensitive to balance on tires, half an ounce out feels like 2 or 3 ounces. I should have gone with the Michelin X-1. I have them on my Monte Carlo and they are great. Worth the extra money to me. The yokos are fairly quiet, but not much more than the stock tires. I will update everyone in a few weeks.
  • I just purchased a 95 LeSabre for my wife's use and to this point her only complaint is that the passenger seat is way too low. Only the driver's side is powered and there does not appear to be any bent framing or anything obviously wrong with the seat. For point of reference, the top of the passenger seat is 9" from the floor and the driver's is 11.25" (with the power adjustment up about 1.5"). The seats are leather if that makes a difference.
    Can someone tell me if this is 'normal' or has the seat been subjected to a 'heavy' load to the point it is now sagging (not apparent to me)?

    Thanks
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