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Buick LeSabre Heating / Cooling



  • deamer1deamer1 Posts: 7
    Thanks for responding. Great minds think alike!
    What I have done so far...removed the dust shield from under the passenger side of the dash. Laid on the floor board until I slightly cracked several ribs :) I carefully observed under the dash and finally came up with two spots which had a water droplet suspended from them. I touched each with a corner of a paper shop towel to wick the droplet off and then observed additional droplets forming. Repeating this often, I figured I wasn't getting the proper draining of the AC water.
    The plastic parts under the dash are many and packed in a close space.
    My time was limited so, I had to quit for a time....which was a good thing. I finally came up with the same idea which you provided for me.
    Again my time was limited. I have not jacked up the car and put it on stands yet. That is what I intend to do and then see if the drain is blocked. It may well be that is the problem.
    I'll keep you informed if you would like, as I progress.
  • deamer1deamer1 Posts: 7
    I've got the car jacked up and placed jack stands under it. Crawling under the car, I haven't found a drain line yet for the A.C.
    From inside the car, under the passenger side of the dash...a drain line runs down and goes under the carpet and is angled as if it stays under the carpet and going toward the rear of the floor panel on the passenger side.
    I haven't figured out how to loosen the trim so I can raise the carpet up to trace it better, but I took out the back seat and lifted the carpet up on the passenger side of the back seat floorboard...It's wet...real wet. Could the drain hose possibly run to the rear seating area and come out there?
    Any words of advise are always welcomed.
    Must go crawl under the car and see if I can figure this out.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    I got under mine and left it running for a while to see where the drip comes down.

    Behind the right front wheel look across and up under the car. There's a large cross beam. There is a 1.25 inch round bar about 2 inches behind it. I think that's the sway bar. The drip comes down just behind the big square crossbeam at about the point where the sway bar comes downward and bends to go horizontally across. I didn't try, but I suspect a long arm can reach upward to the area where the tube should be hanging. It will have some kind of system designed so it's not open except when water's weight is forcing water out.

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  • deamer1deamer1 Posts: 7
    Hey! Hey! imidazol97,
    I really appreciate you and your input to my problem. It may sound like nothing to others, but your input helped me solve my problem and I want to share it with others. This is a situation which I'm sure will be experienced by others. It's easy to fix once you have good information about the problem. You have helped me and I'd like to provide some input for others.
    I jacked the car up using a floor jack. I blocked the rear wheels, and put jack stands under the frame in the front end. Your input helped me locate the A.C. drain, but it took several attempts for me to find the drain hose.
    The A.C. drain is located almost in the center of the car, high in the dash. I'll describe the location from the underneath of the car as that is where you'll have to unplug the drain hose.
    The A. C. drain hose on my 2005 Buick LeSabre is located high above the point where the manifold meets the catalitic converter. These cars are so low to the ground that I wouldn't have found it without jacking the car up and putting it on Jack Stands and crawling under it.
    Above the catalitic converter is a small drain hose coming out of the dash. It's approximately a 1/2 inch line. It extends out of the dash approximately two inches, then bends down in a 90 degree bend for approximately three inches. the end of my drain hose is like the neck of a balloon. Coming out of the dash it is a round hose, but at the end where the water comes has flat sides that go together. I found some sort of gunky matter in the outlet end of the hose. The water coming out was only a drop once in a while, nothing like it should have been. The blockage caused the water to back up inside the car and spill into the passenger side of the floor board.
    I took a 5/32 inch copper rod approximately 25 inches long and used it to open the drain hose. A couple of flicks of the rod and splash! I got wet. The drain was open, then I had to address the moisture inside under the floor carpet.
    Wishing everyone well and hoping your problems are small. :)

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    edited July 2010
    Thanks for reporting back. That will help others.

    Be aware there's a rubber like pad under the carpet that holds the moisture underneath. You might want to try lifting it at edges to blow air under if you park car in a garage in some way to dry it. Or lift it at edges with wood pieces and park in the hot sun with windows cracked enough to give airflow on breezy days.

    Is there water pooling in the area under the front seats especially on the driver side? If so, there's a connector of 4 tan wires that corrodes and you lose communication between the driver door module and the three other door modules.

    Bonneville owners have had lots more problems with leaks and water from sunroofs and door liner leaks along with an occasional windshield leak. Add in wheel hump leaks in the trunk along with some others. Some of them take the seats and everything out to hang the carpet and mats up to dry.

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  • deamer1deamer1 Posts: 7
    Hi imidazol97,
    The amount of moisture in my car was more than I thought. Originally I thought there was a little moisture under the passenger side carpet near the top where the carpet goes up into the dash area. The water had actually saturated the entire carpet padded area under the passenger side and went completely to the rear floor board section on the passenger side.
    I took out the back seat, disconnected the battery, pulled the rear passenger carpet up as much as I could (wasn't enough) When I put my hand under the carpet it was saturated with a lot more to spare.
    I took five shop towels and packed them under the carpet. When they were saturated I pulled them out, rung them out and put them back under the carpet. I did this maybe ten times. I still had the car up on jack stands so water was running slowly from the front passenger side under the carpet to the rear. There was a lot of water in there and still some in the carpet padding, but not as bad as it was.
    I need to remove the plastic trim holding the edges of the carpet along the door frames bottom, but don't know how these come loose. Do they pop out?
    The weather here was in the 100+ heat index so I parked the car outside, disconnected the battery and opened all the doors. I wedged some small 2x4 pieces under the front carpet near the dash and the rear carpet just at the back seat. I left the car like this all day. I has dried some more, but I really need to remove some of the trim to raise the carpet better to dry it out. Would you know how to remove the plastic trim along the bottom of the doors which hold the carpet in place?
    That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Still working on drying it out.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    The carpet retainers that are the door sills snap in. There are three snaps shown along the bottom and one snap at the end that is raised upward--that one looked like a rear door retainer.

    The factory manual says you can use a fan pointed at the wet area. They don't mention the under layment. Maybe that's only behind the rear seat or under the front floorboard.

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  • deamer1deamer1 Posts: 7
    I removed the trim using a inexpensive tool from Harbor Freight. They have a set of five (5) trim tools under $10.00 The wide trim tool lifted the plastic trim with ease.
    I lifted the carpets in the front and rear floor board area as much as I could...blocked them up with a short piece of 2 x 4, placed the car outside as we had two days of 100+ degree days. I disconnected the battery, opened all doors, placed a box fan on a stand for each area and let it blow air under the carpet area for two days. It is drying, but isn't completely dry as of today. I will do this until it is dry.
    Another thing I tried is to blow my shop vac into the areas using the exhaust heat from the electric motor. It works, but is best with a smaller amount of moisture, not like what I experienced. The most difficult to dry is the rubber padding attached to the carpet back which is located under the front seat without removing the seat. Wicking this area and using a fan is working, so I will continue.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    Sounds like you are working it out yourself just fine.

    Does the car have drain down protection on the battery? I believe LeSabres do--maybe a Custom might not. But if you leave the headlights turned on or the doors open, the power is turned off after about 10 minutes. Same for trunk and overhead lights.

    You might not have to disconnect the battery is my point.

    If you are in an area of the country where you get dry humidity days, I always used those where the hot sun was shining into the car and I leave the windows down an inch on one side of the car to suck air through the AC unit to dry out the accumulated moisture that stays in the drain. You might get even more drying on those days than on high humidity days.

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  • There is no control of the temp by the A.T.C. I opened a door in the heater box [non-permissible content removed]. to allow A.C. to operate. I now have A.C. but no control of the temp. I think it may be the control unit. Where is it located under the dash ? What does it look like ? Is there an interchange with other G.M. vehicles ? Or should I be looking elsewhere ?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    Do you have the digital readout AC or the standard AC?

    Do the lights on the buttons work in the control unit?

    Does the temperature go full hot when you turn the temp way UP? After the engine is hot of course.
    Does the temperature go down to cold?

    If you have dual controls, does the passenger side modulate the temperatures?

    Are you sure the AC compressor is working? I'm assuming that you are in the US and most of us are needing cooling and not heating.

    Open the hood with the motor running and touch the metal line toward the dash after the metal line does an upside down "U" to go over the accumulator? Then touch the big metal line going back toward the accumulator from the dash. Both should be cold.

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  • A.C. compressor is a new Reman unit. System is fully charged Blows ice cold. Standard Ac readout. All the lights work. Fan switch works fine. System switch,s from floor to mid level to defrost so I know that I have vacuum to controls. What doesn,t work is the thermostat. Setting could be 60 or 90. All I have is Ac. It does switch to vent when asked to. Pass. side switch is NG. I need to replace that.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    edited August 2010
    Thank you for the information. That would have helped to included the info in your first post.

    How do you know the passenger switch is "no good"?

    >I opened a door in the heater box [non-permissible content removed]. to allow A.C. to operate. I now have A.C. but no control of the temp.

    What does this mean? How did you open a door?

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  • michaeld8626michaeld8626 Posts: 2
    edited August 2010
    hi i bought this buick custom with 3800 with 101,000 miles hve had no problems with it till now . i opened the hood an noticed the top raditor hose had collasped., sucking together, but the car wasnt overheating. a week or so later i changed the hose an bleed the system, ther was dex cool in the car thats what i put back in, well the car tryed to over heat . temp ran up as i pulled into drive at 250. well i opened the hood no steam, i looked at the coolant bottle it was still full. next day i checked the return line coming from the recovery tank it was clogged . i unclogged it removed the overflow thank washed all the brown gunk . i guess this is the sludge from dex cool? remounted the bottle refilled it , rebleed the system reving the engine up to 2500rpm couple time , thought i had removed all the air.but the temp needle keeps going up a little. the electronic read out saying up an down rapidly temp runs up to 230.please help is it the thermostat? or clogged cooling system>?if you guys think its clogged what is a good product to flush the old gunk out?thank you guys for your help
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    edited August 2010
    > i guess this is the sludge from dex cool?

    Don't fall into the blame DexCool myth. It's been perpetrated like a Democrat/Republican political slogan.

    Someone added regular antifreeze to the DexCool. That's what causes the sludging. The formula for DexCool changed early in its life because of a problem with an antioxidant deteriorating. Since then the formula is the same as the Prestone Mixes with Any Color stuff. Check the 4 ingredients on the labels of each.

    Frankly, I'm not sure of a cleaner to put in and use to remove the DexCool. But I'd try. The drain for the radiator is on the bottom of the radiator. There's a hole in the air shield for a socket of a certain size to up to it. There may be a bundle of wires hiding the drain.

    I would expect the sludge to affect the thermostat and reappear any time you run the car after putting in new antifreeze. I definitely would get it cleaned. I would consider paying a shop to disconnect the proper lines, remove the thermostat, and flush it with a strong cleaner that they then flush out.

    I changed my DexCool about every 36000 miles by removing the lower radiator hose and draining, and refilling with water, running to circulation temp, and draining. I did that 3 times. Then I put in new coolant. I have had no problems per the myths.

    I judge that deteriorating antifreeze would have been a problem whether the other OAT types were used of DexCool.

    There is a belief that a car that's not run to temperature so that all the coolant gets up to high temperatures occasionally has a problem with bacteria deteriorating the coolant package. That may be speeded if there's air in the radiator or system to mix with the coolant.

    I would have it professionally flushed as my personal choice, where they use the air mixed with water and reverse flow to try to agitate and get everything out.

    I would refill with Prestone Mixes ...Color, just so you personally wouldn't worry about the DexCool myth.

    Be aware that the car had an organic sealer put in from the factory such as finely ground organic material, to seal leaks. That also gives a brown color. After cleaning and draining, you should put in another tablet or two of this organic sealer.

    Also, if the intake manifold on the car is original at 101,000, I would have the gasket on the END of the upper at the throttle body replaced with the thicker gaskets that are the usual replacements. You might consider removing the throttle body to clean inside (black oily gunk collects normally) and replace that gasket. The original gasket GM used is thin. The Upper intake may warp slightly with heating and cooling and the gasket can't maintain a seal causing coolant leaks. If you have a good shop, you might combine the coolant system cleaning and throttle body gasket replacement.

    Eventually the lower intake gasket between the metal lower and the heads may develop coolant leaks. But that's a larger repair job, and once it's done with quality replacement parts, you're good for 300,000 with good oil changes.

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  • hi,imidazol97, thank you very much for your input , i will do what you have suggested, i am not a mechanic,just a truck driver that used to build hot rods years ago in my earlier years.
    i really do thank you.i was stuck at that point scratching my head., but you have cleared things up for me .
    thanks again!!!
  • I am a retired technician and had the same problem happen to mine,I pulled out the wiring schematics and started to go thru the tests and while doing so found the problem to be the blower motor plug (2 wires) at the firewall/blower motor.I discovered that by holding at a angle the motor started working ! I went and found a used pigtail and spliced it in my harness and problem solved ! :shades:
  • My 1994 Lesabre Custom only blows air out the floor and winsheild vents.No air comes out the vents in front of you. What can the problem be? Is it a mode switch?

    If so where exactly is it and what does it look like?? Can anyone give me step by step instructions on how to fix the problem?

    Any help would be good.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,702
    edited August 2010
    Did someone replace spark plugs or work behind the motor recently?

    That years has the vacuum storage tank on the firewall behind the motor. It's shaped to look like part of the relay center. The rubber vacuum tube to the tank is always getting pulled loose. Check there first.

    No vacuum at all leaves the system in defrost with some air coming out the floor vent for safety to clear the windshield if needed.

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  • I replaced the motor blower about two weeks ago. Everything was fine. Cold air was great. Well, I still have cold air but now, when I have the air on and try to accelerate, the engine seems to have difficulty going into higher gears. The rpm's increase, but the car doesn't pick up speeed, and is reluctant to change to higher gears.
    Any ideas?
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