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Buick LeSabre Transmission



  • cruz2farcruz2far Posts: 1
    When stopped at light or any other stop, car goes into neutral at times. If you put it in neutral and then back to drive, it will move forward normally. Sometimes it does this 4 or 5 times during a short trip and then acts normal. Once recently, on a hill I stopped and when pushing the gas, the car started to roll backwards and would not go forward but eventually, it moved forward.
    Recently had the system "pressure" removal of all old trans fluid which mechanic said was very dirty. (car has 96,000 and original fluid at that time). Mechanic did not drop pan and replace filter. Need some advice please.
  • 1995 buick lesabre, when i start to drive when it goes to second gear, it feels like it kinda jumps then the whole car vibrates till it shifts again then drives fine, it only happens when i start to drive and when it shifts to second, any ideas
  • I have a 1992 it has 230.000 miles factory everything except battery and brakes!! I know this cause my grandpa bought it new it shifts good runs good looks good its almost 21 a Buick transmission lasts a long time if you take care of it we did the car never been over 80 at 22 my tranny is starting to feel weak but its smooth so my guess is oxygen sensor or tranny sensor ( and being old!!) Anyway its a dependable car its been running everyday fir 20 years I'm afraid the parts are gonna die completely at once real soon LOL ;) my Buick is named the Buick that wont break down
  • I have a 2000 LeSabre that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It has 23K miles on it and looks almost new. The previous owner had the transmission serviced prior to listing the car. It drove fine when we picked it up and does great most of the time. However, sometimes in the morning it shifts hard when I leave our housing addition. It does fine backing out of the driveway but, when I pull out on the highway, it sometimes shifts hard. After we drive it for a while, it is fine and we really don't have any issues. Occasionally it will downshift kind of hard but not very often at all. I checked the fluid level and it was a little low. I added Lucas Transmission Fix to bring the level up to where it is ok on the dipstick. I thought it was doing better but, this morning it shifted hard leaving the addition. I really think it has something to do with sitting over night and the cool temps. Anyway, I am considering taking it back in to my mechanic, having the transmission serviced again but this time, I am going to have him add some Sea Foam additive.

    Any thoughts out there on what might be the problem. I am thinking a sticky valve??
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,703
    What fluid was added when the service was done. I assume the service was a drop pan and change filter and refill with 6 quarts? It wasn't a "flush"?

    I personally would use the Mercon/Dexron fluid of a name brand from Walmart. Some would suggest using the Dexron VI which is more synthetic in nature. I did that and took it out after some months and refilled with the Dexron/Mercon which replaces DexronIII.

    Rather than adding additives, I would let the fresh additives in the new fluid dissolve what it was to free up anything that is being affected by sludging or sediment. I would run about 5000 miles, use the hand pump from Harbor Freight that's on sale for 6.99 at times with coupon or use the 20% off coupons they put out. Suck out 6 quarts through the diptube. Then refill to the mark warm idling with the Dexron/Mercon. And I'd repeat that over and over as long as it doesn't get worse.

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  • :D It is a 2000 LeSabre with only has 23K miles on it and it runs great and shifts smooth. The only issue I have is in the morning (usually a cool morning) it hesitates when I leave our housing addition. There is no problem leaving our driveway but, when pulling out on the hwy it sometimes hesitates. If I let it warm up and go through the gears before leaving the house, no problem but, if I don't, it will hesitate pulling out on the hwy. There is a bit of a slope at the hwy. The fluid level is in the XXX area and the fluid was just changed about a month ago. I have owned the car for about 2 1/2 weeks. I added some Lucas Transmission Fix about 1 1/2 wks ago.

    I don't think I have a serious problem but, I would like to know if anyone else has had this problem and what they did, if anything, to fix it. :)
  • wheeldealswheeldeals Posts: 5
    edited November 2012
    I had this problem on a 1994 Le Sabre and the transmission failed but it had 89K miles on it. If I were you I would not hesitate taking it to a reliable mechanic. Better safe than sorry. A rebuilt transmission is $1,800 to $2,200 depanding on who you take it to.
  • I appreciate your response. It has been 10 days since my first post. I have driven the buick a lot the last week and a half. I let my vehicles warm up in the morning and that seems to make a big difference for this buick. The problem has gone away. I think it just needed to be driven. The Lucas Transmission Fix seems to have done the trick.

    The car is running great, looks great, and the transmission is working fine.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,703
    I would assume the original transmission fluid, Dexron III, is in there. I assume there is some sediment or sludge giving some stickiness. I don't like additives unless it's a do or die effort.

    If it were mine, I'd buy some Dexron/Mercon at Walmart, any major brand, and suction out the six quarts of fluid through the dipstick with a hand pump from Harbor Freight. Then replace the six quarts with the same fluid as original. This would take out half of whatever the Trans Fix dissolved and half o the Trans Fix. It would put in fresh additives in the fresh Dexron III fluid you put in. I'd drive it 5000 miles or more and then drop pan, and change filter, and refill with 6 quarts. You'd have only about 1/4 of the original fluid left in the transmission.

    I would not use the Dexron VI fluids.

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  • sounds like your car may have a carbon build up in the throttle body .take off and see ..that causes those problems of going into second engine is trying to stay alive so it idles ..also check your EGR sensor and egr tube does not sound like transmission...
  • dbaurerdbaurer Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 LaSabre with 181,000 miles. It has the original 3.8 liter engine and the original transmission. I’m hearing a thud sound (it sounds like hitting a bump in the road) and it feels like there is a loss of power for just an instant. This has happened at slow speeds, highway speeds (70 mph) and while accelerating. The cv joint “seems” OK as there is no unusual sound or feel when shifting from park to reverse or forward.

    Many thanks for any ideas.
  • wheeldealswheeldeals Posts: 5
    Check your transmission mounts.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,703
    Your description isn't enough. This is something that depends on the feel of what happens when that thud sensation occurs. Do you feel it in the steering wheel? In the floor?

    I'd vote for checking movement in the transmission/engine mounts. Raising the hood and gently acceleration in reverse and forward with the brake on will normally show some movement up and down in the front and back of the motor. If it's a lot (hard to define that) and if you hear sounds when it's moving you might want to have the mounts checked further.

    Because you say it seems to lose power for a second but recovers makes me think there's a misfire. The thud might be movement in the engine as it loses power and maybe even too much movement due to a worn mount.

    I would check for the plugs and wires. How's the maintenance been? When were they last changed? I had a new set of wires and plugs on a 3100 Buick. After a while I got a repeated hard miss. A single miss under just the right amount of load: just a little uphill where I applied just a little more gas or the cruise did. That's the highest requirement for the spark in the cylinder. The spark was jumping to the metal shield that surrounds the plug wire part that goes onto the plug. But my replacement wires weren't quite compatible and the metal shield was too close to the metal of the engine and there an arcing through the wire to the metal to the engine.

    The engine never misfired twice. It seemed like it adapted the mixture to cure the misfire. So I'm wondering if your loss of power is the computer adapting to the misfire.

    An old rule is that lots of transmission problems are actually engine driveability problems.

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,703
    Does the Traction Control system or Stabilitrak give a message on the Driver Information Center that it has kicked in? That might give the sensation that power has been reduced if one of the brakes is being applied by pulsing in order to keep the car from twisting if the Stabilitrak system thinks the car is skidding or a drive wheel is slipping and it applies the brake to try to keep traction on the other wheel instead of the one it thinks is slipping under acceleration.

    A sensor for yaw in the Stabilitrak or a speed sensor on the wheel might be giving a bad reading, either due to a worn hub bearing or bad connection at the clip or a break in a wire.

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  • wheeldealswheeldeals Posts: 5
    I have a 1999 LeSabre that's doing that right now. It's a transmission mount. The check for a broken motor mount won't work for the transmission. It may be a different problem but I would check the cheapest one first.
  • dbaurerdbaurer Posts: 2
    Thank you very much for the tip. I'll have the mounts checked.
  • I have a 93 lesabre that is using transmission fluid. I go through about a pint of fluid every 100 miles, there are no visible leaks and I cant figure out where its going or why. I have checked the trans seals for leaks and the pcv valve to see if there were any signs of fluid, none. There isn't any getting into the radiator via the cooler either. can anyone give me any suggestions?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,703
    edited September 2013
    Without checking my factory service manual for the 93 I had, isn't there a vacuum module on the transmission for shift adaptation? Those can leak and fluid can be sucked into the tube and burned through the intake manifold on the engine. So no drips.

    Look for a modulator about the size of a small fist on the outside of the trans with a vacuum line.

    Part #32 in this diagram.
    Check vacuum line to it for fluid.
    About $15
    Good luck.


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