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Buick LeSabre



  • janquejanque Posts: 2
    i have worked in gm dealerships for 32 years . i have personally owned quite a few of them myself. in my personal opinion and from what i have seen working as a service advisor and manager at the dealership level , that older buicks with sunroof concern do no leak in the vehicle - so a simple solution to this is to simply run a garden hose over the top of the vehicle before buying to see if it leaks .. i find that these vehicles as they age just get better IF PROPERLY TAKEN CARE OF. thank you - hope this helps
  • blunj56blunj56 Posts: 1
    Having the same problem with my 1993 Buick LeSabre Custom. I think I figured it out today actually. If you disconnect the battery it will reset everything so it works for awhile but then it will stop at some point again. But the other day when my AC was working I noticed the Auto and Dual Zone buttons were lit. Today only the Economy button was lit and I couldn't get it to switch back to Auto. Consequently it must have something to do with the module that operates the buttons. I hope this gives you some insight. good luck. I have already paid $350 to have it fixed pretty funny that I figured it out
  • polara60polara60 Posts: 9
    edited June 2010
    My 95 LeSabre that I just spent $657 to replace the rear brake lines just dropped the subframe. I was turning right at a stop sign and heard a big pop and the 4 rear bolts gave way dropping the rusted collar subframe and the steering became very difficult. I did a search and did not find anything on this topic. It seems to be a common critical problem...see To all of you with an older Buick LeSabre please have this checked out. I was fortunate and easily able to stop the car on a quiet side road. In some cases both the front and the back subframe bolts give way with the motor completely dropping!

    Now the question. The subframe is shot. What are my options if any? 157m miles perfect catalog of maintenance and car runs perfect. Any idea on repair estimates?

    But let me again say to all older LeSabre owners who live in the rust zones please get your subframe checked. The inspection isn't easy because the bushings hide the subframe rusted collar areas. Buick I understand later redesigned the subframe I think with the body redesign but this is a critical car failure with deadly consequences.


  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    OK, Yes this is a Buick forum, but the same problems do exist with Pontiac Bonnevile and Oldmobile 88's etc. as they are the same (other than the body) is there anyone out there that can communicate an impossible to find info about a problem with the overdrive unit? as my problem is the trans works smoothly, shifts properly and does go into O/D but after about 15-20 miles in o/d it slips (rpm surge,lightly) the fluid and filter have been changed prior to this problem. Also in the maxifuse center I discovered a blown SOLONOID 40 amp fuse, replaced it, the replacement remained unblown. I have an OLDS (1997) LSS with 140 thousand on it, (Just turned) anybody have an answer or guess where this problem is or do I have to go to a trans shop and risk the lack of knowlege for a great big wallet surprise. I am retired and do like to pay for what is needed, but I also do not have money to throw away, Thanks for reading HOPE I gave enough info, also it is NOT supercharged. Bob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    Do you know which transmission you have? 4T60E or 4T65E? If it's a 65E, then it may be a valve that modules the application of the TCC lockup from 99% down. This valve wears in the slot it fills and doesn't module properly. A fix is to replace the part in which is sits (throttle body?) and replace the valve. This requires removing the side place of the transmission which requires partial lifting for good access. A company,Sonnet, makes a replacement valve setup which requires drilling the hole larger and uses a sleeve.

    For most people the problem occurs after everything gets nice and warm. If it repeats the slight increases and decreases, try holding your foot on the brake pedal lightly to disengage the TCC lockup, and note if the surging feel from changes in the TCC lockup percentage is gone.

    I believe there also are a few problems in the 4T60E. But they are more specific in nature or more noticeable. This is very subtle. I am concerned that you don't have a 65E because I didn't think they were used in H-bodies until 1998.

    Search for RPO codes ont he internet. See if one of them is for the transmission installed. Your RPO code card is on top of the spare tire cover board inside your trunk.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Thank you at least someone gave me a place to start. Not only that but very informative as well.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Thank you again, I did go out and took a picture of the car, (Canada built) even the owners manual is in French..went to the junkyard and got a '96 one. as for the build date it is 9/96 also I have discovered by letting off of the gas it will drop back to 3rd instantly with no problem, it engages into O/D at 33=35 mph on flat ground, and as you described this does not happen until everything is warmed up. I am hoping that one of the several shops here South Central Ma. will do this work, anyway I tried the Lucas thing as the car was ff the road for two years inside garage and did all of the repairs needed (rear hub bearing upper intake new plugs etc.) The car is too good to thow away, no rust and every imaginal option available as this is the Cadillac of the Olds line. I cannot thank you enough for that info. Bob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    edited June 2010
    The info that the car sat may mean, if it's a 4T65E that the cylinder within which the moving valve modulates got some deposits in it and that's affecting the movement...

    A good test would be to drop the trans pan and replace the half of the fluid that drains out with Dexron VI which I understand is primarily a synthetic based trans fluid for newer GM cars. OR put in synthetic fluid of your choice. It will take 6-7 quarts. Let the synthetic fluid with its detergency redissolve anything it will over 5-10K miles. See if it changes.

    I'm concerned by your description of dropping into 3rd. If you're above 45-48 mph and it's in 4th gear and the TCC is engaged, it should just go to 4th. The TCC will engage in 3rd gear above about 35. I'm wondering if your feeling various changes of torque converter lockup and are interpreting it as gear changes. If you think you're in 3rd and the selector is in OD, move it to 3rd and see if you feel a true downshift.

    If the trunk list of options has M15 that may be the 4T65E. M13 is the 4T60E, I think.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Somehow part of my original post got lost, the fluid and filter were changed prior to this problem, and as advidse I looked at the APO tag and tried to find the info online, BUT your number is on the tag there are only 2 "m's on that tag and one is the one that M13, the other is MX0 with a slash through the "0" so I guess that it is 4T60E, when I did the service there was only normal stuff there, the usual light aluminum color on the bottom of the pan and the fluid was not burnt just dark. What my statement was NOT moving the shifter, but simply letting off the accelerator and it does in fact downshift to 3rd as it would if you were to use passing or accelerate up a hill, it stays locked in od as normal until after 15-20 miles, then the car will start acting like playing with the gas pedal the tack is not very sensitive so observing the rpms there doesn't help, it definetly is not a skip or misfire as the car jerks slightly as lock/unlock/lock into and out, that's the best I can do to eplain it, I really appreciate the help that can only be found here, especialy since it is acurate and very helpful. Bob.
  • I'm considering buying a 2002 LeSabre. It has 118,000 miles on it. Is this too many? How many miles can you get out of a 3.8L engine before they go to engine heaven?

    I'm looking for a car that will last me for at least 3-4 years. I'll likely put on 5-6,000 miles/year.

    Thank you.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The weak spot is the intake manifold and its associated gaskets--other than that, the 3800 Series II is a pretty strong engine that should last 200,000 miles or more.
  • Thanks, Stephen.

    So if the manifold or gaskets go, is it something that I can repair without having to win the lottery, or would I pretty much be scraping the car? I'm having a hard time finding a car I like and can afford and the lesabres don't come up too often in my neck of the woods.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    The intake manifold setup was iimproved in late 1999-2000. But it was n't perfected.

    Take a look at the intake manifold with the gray engine cover off (twist on the oil cap and 4 inch extension to the left, it unscrews,then remove the cover).

    If you see little circles on top of the intake that a GM intake and read the circles. One will have an arrow pointing toward 01 or 02 or a later date. If that is not 01 or 02, that intake has been replaced already at that mileage, and that is good. If there are no circles, you know it has been replaced.


    This one points to 99 because that was a replacement at 75K miles on a 98 leSabre.

    If the coolant drops that's a sign of seeping of coolant. The easy one is the throttle body on the end of the manifold. If I bought a car, I'd have it taken off and cleaned by a mechanic (they get gunked up with oil blowback in lots of car makes). The new gasket seals better than GM's original did.

    If you get a real leak, it most likely will be the lower gaskets under the metal intake manifold between it and the heads. $50 for the part. While taking it off the upper plastic intake might need replacing, $100 online brand best. Labor about 5 hours at 70$? Replace coolant ??? $$? Cost depends on finding an honest mechanic who doesn't gouge people.
  • I purchased a 85 buick lasabre for a couple of hundred dollars looking to get rid of this car. The car runs good has a new tranny,muffler and decent tires on it. Looking to sell whole car or if you need parts make an offer.
  • cathy323cathy323 Posts: 1
    The blower has been working just fine but today when I cranked the car, it would not come on. No warning. There is some cold air coming through but the blower is not producing flow. Any idea how to troubleshoot?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    With the car running or the key ON and the blower set to a higher speed, tap your foot up against the bottom of the heater box--just to the right of the hump on the passenger side. Most likely the blower will make electrical contact and start running.

    The carbon blocks that rub the commutator to carry the power to the magnets lose contact due to wear.

    If not that, then remove the plastic panel under part of the right side so you can see where the round part is for the blower motor and the wires coming from it. Those wires go a few inches to a connector. The contacts at that connector sometimes corrode due to the heat of the current. You can try wiggling that contact and see if the blower starts then.

    Report what you find back here please.
  • bew5254bew5254 Posts: 2
    Our 2003 Buick LeSabre is behaving similarly only the blower comes on fine sometime and at other times does not blow. There is cold air when moving down the road, but not being blown by the blower. I haven't tried tapping the bottom of the heater box or checking the contacts, but I will try that.

    Thank you for the post.
  • bew5254bew5254 Posts: 2
    The blower worked this morning on the way to work, but didn't when I got in the car at the end of the day. I then thumped the bottom of the heater box like you suggested and the blower came on.

    Can you explain further what I need to do to fix this permanently?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    Buy replacement blower. I got mine from Autozone, because I was in a hurry when it finally quit reacting to being bumped. Autozone was the only stores in the area that stocked that motor despite its covering lots of Bonneville and leSabre years. Other stores were happy to order one in for me in 1 day or 2 days. Autozones sold enough only 2 of their stores had them in stock and I called that store and they held one for pickup on my way to a cruise-in that afternoon on the other side of town. is another good source. There are 5% off coupon numbers out there for as well. I got I think they have several warehouses around the country.

    Take off the plastic shield under the passenger dash. Remove carefully. I ended up with a piece broken off of mine and could never figure out where it came from.

    Unsnap the power wires from the blower motor. Inspect the power wires. Some have had them corrode from heat due to the high current. If that has happened that might be the cause of the problem rather than the brushes inside the motor itself. You could try cleaning that connector and test the system for a while longer before replacing motor.

    Bumping the motor might be causing the wires to make contact again if corroded. But I didn't think I bumped hard enough to do that on mine. And when I did replace motor, they were in perfect shape.

    The blower motor is the circular area close to the transmission hump.

    Remove three screws. Remove the rubber air tube that sends air back to the motor for cooling. Lower the motor carefully rotating to bring out the squirrel cage. Some folks say to pull carpet back from the firewall to gain more vertical room. I did not need to do that on my leSabre 03.

    Put new motor up into place. I recall it was hard to hold it because it's fairly heavy. I had to hold it, get the rubber tube in place, get screw started, then get next screw started. If I recall, I ended up using something under the motor to help hold it for me while I started screws. I needed three hands.
  • Hi, I've been looking for a 2002-5 LeSabre or Park Ave and have noticed something that troubles me. Most cars run smoothly are but some cars idle quite roughly. Is this a problem on this model? All the cars I have driven run smoothly on the road but the idle is quite noticeable when sitting still -- and is more pronounced when in gear than in park. I thought the ashtray was going to shake loose on one model. The comments I get are "that's normal for that model" although this is definitely not normal. Is this something all LeSabres develop and does it get worse? Would this indicate a transmission problem since it is worse in drive? I've been looking at cars under 70k miles but have become paranoid and I'm looking for the least little vibration in them now. I've never heard of this type of problem before. Thanks in advance.
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