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Buick LeSabre Transmission



  • lbmcajunlbmcajun Posts: 4
    The sound is difficult to describe. It is a mild whining/roar. Not a loud roar like you normally hear with a wheel bearing. Does not change sound when turning. However, it DOES change with speed. In fact, below 35 mph is only barely noticeable, and below 25, cannot even hear it. Tires are almost new. A mechanic did put it on supports. They said the sound was less pronounced with the wheels off the ground. ?????

    What is the cost of the differential inside the transmission ? $2,000 or more ? If yes, I'll just trade it.

    Thanks much!!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    Was the sound there before the tires were put on?

    What tires do you have? I'm curious about the tread causing a vibration.

    But actually I believe it's a wheel bearing.

    Jack it up. Rock the wheel around and compare one side to the other looking for looseness. Be sure you're not getting ball joint movement, though.

    Have someone rotate the tire and put your hand on the solid frame of the car to feel for vibration from the bearing.

    The description sounds like a wheel bearing I had. You're at 157K miles. A bearing is possible.
  • lbmcajunlbmcajun Posts: 4
    After taking it to the fourth mechanic (including the Buick Dealership, who could not figure it out), the problem IS the wheel bearing. The last place I took it was a transmission place. He ruled out the transmission right away, and in 30 minutes, said he would bet his next pay check it was the bearing. THANKS FOLKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!!!!

    BTW, I learned something about transmission in my search. If any of you have a hard thud at times when shifting gears, and it is only now an then - according to the transmission guy AND the dealership - it is the computer - but neither knows how to fix it, or what makes the computer do that. And also, it will not show any code when checked. If you park the car, turn off the engine long enough for the computer to reset, and re-start the engine, the probloem goes away - until the next occurance, of course.
  • barbara13barbara13 Posts: 2
    Thank you so much for the information regarding the "bucking" that appears to be a transmission problem but goes away and then cannot be found by code. It sounds like the computer may be the problem as once the car sets and is restarting the problem appears to go away. Thank you for your response.
  • whitewallwhitewall Posts: 1
    thanks for the info on the "hard thud". I have a 2004 LeSabre and have noticed this kind of noise from time to time but like you said there really doesn't seem to be any pattern as to why or when. I was concerned that this was an early sign of a the transmission going bad but the car runs great in every other respect.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    >If any of you have a hard thud

    It sounds like the transmission computer has gone into safe mode and makes a firm, quick shift to protect itself. If I understand the programming from what has been explained, the computer is always measuring the length of time for the shift to occur; that it adjusts the next shift to get the proper firmness. If it measures too long a shift period, that particular solenoid is taking too long to effect the shift and the clutch pack is slipping. So the computer speeds up the shift time to prevent slipping excessively which is hard on the clutch packs.

    When the computer restarts it probably is retesting to see if the problem is really there. It finds no problem so it's back to normal shift times. My guess is the problem could be something other than computer. It could be connections or something else erratic in the transmission.

    My guess and comment would be to drive the car briskly to make the transmission do more adaptation to the shift quality and time. The occasional problem might go away.
  • pacecar68pacecar68 Posts: 3
    I have a 1996 Buick LeSabre w/ 126K on the odometer....I recently had the transmission serviced (pan drop method). After service, transmission would "slip" in the AM; it would not move until I drop down through all the gears. Return to the shop and they added transmission fluid. They said it was at the correct level. Problem remained. I added a full quart before a 300 mile trip and all fine the next morning; no AM slip from then forward. Car then needed a new radiator. I noticed a continued drip after the new radiator. Shop determined the leak to be transmission fluid from a cooling line. The shop checked the transmission fluid level (fine) and I did as well (fine), but the AM slip is back. What the heck is wrong with the transmission? :confuse: Is there some "air bubble" in it and should I just add more fluid a pint at a time until the AM slip disappears again?

    Thanks for reading!
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    I have a 1995 Buick Le Sabre with 100K miles on it. 85K I put on myself. Last summer while driving to North Carolina from New Jersey and cruising at 65MPH, the engine burped. (cut off, all indicator lights came on, speedometer needle jumped about 15MPH higher and then everything went back to normal and we were running again) Whole incident lasted about 5 seconds. This reoccured two more time over the next three hundred miles. When reaching our destination I shut down the vehicle and unloaded the car. Shortly afterwards I started the car again to park in another spot and the car would not go in reverse. I shut down the engine, restarted and all worked fine. Next day I had the transmission serviced and everything checked OK. Over the next week the burp happened two or three more times but always started so I have driven it like this for the past year. (Mostly local ) Local mechanic could not access the computer and advised going to a dealer. Dealer saw no codes but replaced the crankshaft motion sensor. kept the car fo a week and wanted to shotgun some other ideas but with no guarantees, $500 later I took the car back with no cure. Have replaced the spark plugs also.
    Really not sure where to go next. Thought trouble might be temperature related but there is no pattern to when it happens.

    Any clues would be a great help. Rudy
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    > the engine burped. (cut off, all indicator lights came on, speedometer needle jumped about 15MPH higher and then everything went back to normal and we were running again)

    Can you explain a little more. Are you saying the motor shut down, stopped, and you were coasting, and then the motor restarted all on its own? The motor won't restart by the transmission turning it while the car is moving.

    Is it possible the motor just slowed but kept turning at idle speed then picked back up.

    My two things to suggest would be to carefully check all battery cables for corrosion at both ends. Especially check between the two positives if yours has the one on top of the other. Pull back the plastic layers on cables to see if the copper is corroded down into the cable. Check for battery post problems.

    Next would be based on the statement from another board Pontiacs that the computers in 94 and 95 have a higher probability of flaking out. The computer itself is not expensive. I believe someone got one at AdvanceAuto for $100+. You reuse the PROM chip from your old computer.

    You need a competant mechanic. If he can't connect to the OBD 1.5 cables for H bodies in 94 and d95 for his code scanner, find someone else. If you're into throwing money at it, I'd replace the computer myself. Junkyard, Advance, elsewhere. Do some shopping. Some new parts are bad also so don't buy junk!
  • Bought 03 Lesabre 2 years ago used. Transmission started sliping about 1 month ago. Had transmission serviced filter and fluid with lucas trans additive. Car has 85k miles. Now in the morning, cold car will not go into gear without lite rev and switching between drive and reverse. After about 1 min car goes into gear. It shifts a little ruff but seems to be ok until it's parked overnight. Then we repeat above. Any suggestions, help or solutions out there?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    My feeling is that additives are the wrong thing to put into a transmission unless you're putting a bandaid on until you want to get it fixed.

    I know little about problems because they usually are rare, unlike with some other cars. Are you sure the mileage is 85K? and not more? Was a carfax run to look for mileage change since you bought the car used?

    Otherwise the pressure control is the only thing I've heard mentioned as occasionally causing a problem. I don't know if the whole transmission needs to come out. It may just be the side plate removed to access. But that's not easy! In this case if you take it to a trans shop they'll probably try to sell you a replacement transmission or a complete teardown. I'd take it to a good Buick deal to get a diagnosis. Find one with a good referral.

    BTW, what color was the transmission fluid? Remember additives are like going to the hospital and telling them to just remove something in case it helps your problem! Changing the fluid and filter is good. And I believe one poster in another discussion suggested that Lucas is meant to be put in and then drained shortly after rather than being a long term use item. Maybe I'm mixing up a different Lucas product someone talked about... so don't take my word as gospel.

    Just get her checked--I'm betting on the pressure control module.
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    Usually the incident is so short lived and the engine is fairly quiet so I am really not sure that it shuts down completely. However, in a few instances. it did not restart and I coasted off the road, put the transmission in PARK and restarted easily. Will check the cables and report back.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    Another possibility is the MAF sensor. You can try tapping on it with the plastic handle of a screwdriver. Tap different ways, different positions, from different directions, and if you get a burp from the idling motor, that may be your problem. Ideal is if you have someone with a similar motor who has a MAF sensor on theirs that you can switch since you know it's working okay.
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    Checked the cables at both ends. They are clean and in good shape.
    Will tackle the MAF sensor next. Thanks for the ideas.
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    Tapped on the MAF sensor with no results. Disconnected the MAF cable, CHECK ENGINE light came on and engine ran rough. Reconnected and back to normal idle. There are two other sensors on the throttle body. One is about a 1 1/2 inch diameter cylinder, 1.0 inches long with a right angle, 4 lead connector. I disconnected this and the idle increased slightly. Took the car for a twenty mile ride with no burps but car stalled just as I was pulling into my driveway. (may be a coincidence) Will try to run it this way for a couple of days to see if there are any other clues.
    There is also another 3 lead sensor beneath this unit with an orange connector on it.

    Can you identify these sensors?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,049
    The idle air control is the round one. It adjusts the bleed air to maintain a good idle; it adjusts for the air the bleeds around the throttle plate when it's closed since it blocks almost but not all the air.

    The other sensor is a throttle position sensor. It measures how the throttle is opened. You can put an analoge ohmmeter across two of its leads and move the throttle. The resistance should change gradually. If it jumps that means the potentiometer windings have a worn section. That sends info to the computer telling it how much you have the throttle opened requestion GO. If the windings give the wrong throttle opening, the computer tries to give fuel for a different amount of air than the throttle plates are letting through.
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    Since the engine seems to run without "burping" when the IAC is disconnected, I have the IAC on order and will replace it and will get back to you. I will check the TPS also, as you instructed.

    Thanks again.
  • rudwilrudwil Posts: 7
    Checked the TPS with my analog ohmmeter. varied the throttle setting several time slowly and had nice smooth change in resistance reading.
    Received and replaced the IAC. Ran great on a 40 mile run. Next day it burped again and today it burped frequently and stalled completely twice.
    I'm wondering if the fuel could be cutting off intermittently. I had the fuel pump replaced about a year ago but this problem didn't start till months later.
  • I own a 2000 buick Lesabre with 130,000 miles. Twice, once about 2 months ago and again today, I almost get to work and it starts to hesitate and buck and there is a shrill sound. I travel about 30 miles to work. I am able to park the car and work 8 hours then drive home with no problems.
    The first time I brought it to my mechanic he drove it around and said he didn't notice a problem. Any thoughts.
  • I have a 92 LeSabre. The trans jumps out of gear as you come to a stop. It only does it when I stop. I can get it to go back into gear by shifting into neutral and back to drive. Other than this the trans does not slip and shifts perfectly. It has no hesitation when going into gear.
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