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Buick LeSabre Maintenance and Repair

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    edited August 2010
    One thing to check is the ground strap on the battery where it connects to the floor pan of the car. Loosen and twist it to get a good bright metal connection. Check for other places and contacts the battery cables go to under the rear seat and be sure they are tight. Be careful on the positives not to short to ground.

    Check same in the fuse box under the hood.

    Your lights may be due to a connection on the wheel speed sensors. You might remove each and snap back on to get a good connection. All three of those require input from the 4 wheel sensors.

    Myself on my own car, I would remove the ground cable for a few minutes. Then reconnect. That should clear the memories. Then you can start the normal idle for a while and then drive procedure. The pollution controls check for system integrity (no leaks) when the tank registers between 1/4 and 3/4 and the engine is started in a luke warm temp with the coolant between certain temps--not full cold and not full warmed up. That may be the reset you're looking for. That info is from the 1998 leSabre manual. I suspect the parameters for the 2003 are similar.

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  • don357don357 Posts: 4
    Thanks! Will check that out before head to dealer. Where would I look for the wheel sensors, that seems easy enough but not sure where to look?
    In the fuse block under the hood, we took each fuse out manually and reset it in place with the engine off, key off. I am pretty confidant that those fuses are good and have a good connection. We did not do that to the fuses under the back seat.

    Still not sure the "Drive Cycle" is related to the new problem with the 3 idiot lights coming on?!?!?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    The wheel speed sensors are on the inside of the wheels on the car, difficult to reach without jacking up each wheel and using safety support to crawl under. Or take the tire off and then it's much more easily visible. A garage can lift the car and check all four at once.

    There's a possibility that a ground causes strange lights to come on and off.

    ALSO a bad battery giving lower voltage than it should can do thing funny with the lights. Such as a cell shorted out dropping voltage by 2.1 volts.

    I read elsewhere leaving battery disconnected for 30 minutes and more can do a "Hard" reset in electronics. I don't know if there's any benefit for you or not.

    I'd check the battery itself for proper voltage under cranking load--you DIC readout for voltage may show this while you're cranking. It shouldn't drop below 9.5 or 9 or something in that range.

    http://www.google.com/images?q=wheel%20sensor%20connection&rls=com.microsoft:en-- us&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

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  • don357don357 Posts: 4
    Thanks, will hit the garage and take the tires off and see if any sensor looks bad or has obvious problem. Hopefully they can check for the codes. The battery went kaput last week and I replaced it with a nice big fresh new one. will check the volts under cranking just in case. Nervous to disconnect battery since this started the chain reaction... needed emissions, battery dies, put in new battery, go to emissions, OBD II isn't ready, drive it, find out I need to drive it with less than a full tank of gas and not empty either, now I have these idiout lights come on... what next???!!!!
  • My 97 Lesabre has some problems with the brakes being very slow. I have to push all the way down just to slow. When taking off from stop, it acts like it might die and lunges. Also when parked the rpm revs from normal to a little over 1K. Thinking maybe vacuum problems, but not sure. does anyone know what i should be looking for and where? Thanks!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    Sounds like a vacuum problem.

    Could be a cracked, dried out vacuum hose. Could be the upper intake manifold housing cracked. Could be the seal around the bottom of the upper intake or the throttle body area leaking. Could be an engine mechanical problem with the intake valves.

    How many miles on the car? That would be a fact to include when asking for someone to hypothesize what may be wrong.

    Could be the EGR is not closing and is letting exhaust gases into the intake when the car can't handle it. Try tapping on the EGR with the wooden end of a hammer hoping to let the pintle close better if that's the problem.

    Could be spark plugs or wires. Could be the spark module. Could be an ignition coil

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  • I'm going to guess its a broken front sway bar. I broke mine last saturday on my 1997 Buick LaSabre. I heard a pop as my daughter took a left turn quite fast. After that, every time I turned left or right it had that "clunking" noise. It also produced that noise on rough parking lots and on dirt roads. At first I did not know what it was. Since I just replaced the transmission I thought something was wrong with it, but not so. The Sway bar keep your car straight by absorbing the torque energy generated by the turning action. The sway bar absorbs a lot of force and they can break due to metal fatique over time. The pipe is thick walled but not solid. A dealer one is $170 plus $32 for the two link kits that hook it to the wheel mechanisms on both side. The bar runs behind the transmission, so you'll need a good jack and solid jackstands. Not difficult to do. Maybe you have just a broken link on the left or right side and you get away even cheaper. It's not unheard off, in fact a lot of clunking car probably have this issue. A friend of mine provided the needed hint to find it. It was broken right behind the link. It wasn't easy to spot untill you know what your looking for.

    You can drive the car without it but it was designed to be driven with it. The handling in corners will be seriously degraded and it might be dangerous if you drop a wheel off the road and jerk back the other way. The (anti) sway bar will try to stop your car from flipping over, so without it your taking a serious risk, not to mention the potential liability. After I replaced mine the car handles very nice and is a pleasure to drive again.

    Good luck and let me know what you find.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Hi, I hope Imadozol is reading, you have always been very acurate with these cars.althogh my car is an Olds LSS they are obviously the same. I posted saturday and can't find my post, so I will try again, as there is no info im my owners manual. Is this relay in the maxifuse center, or on the right side kick panel? and if you can tell this old man from right to left if in the maxi ctr. which of the four is it? or, inside the car from the top to the bottom. I got a code stating the relay is bad, and the fans don't turn on even when my "Inovia" reader is connected.Another thing the mice really love this car, as one commited suicide in it recently by getting itself decapitated by the control arm for the blend door, I found him by way of the beautiful fragrance, again thanks Bob. Or anyone else that can help so I can fix it before it creates another problem.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0f9de9/202#MSG202

    Here is the link to your post.

    I did respond with a picture.

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  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    Hi Imadoz stated the vacuum problem did you look at the hose from the booster unit where the master cyl. is? since it is a 97, then it could be the place to start as that hose is realy cheap, other than that what he advised you to do is where you have to start, also you did not mention whether or not that the brake pedal pressure is very hard??? if so there is no vacuum or the diaphram has some liquid or contamination in it from the things he was referring to. Hope this helps. Bob.
  • i drive a limited 95 lesabre and it only gets about 13mpg, does anyone have a clue 2 y it gets such bad mpg? It also leaks out about a quart of oil every 3 days, i have replaced both front and back valve covergaskets and i have changed the oil pan gasket, could someone please send some insite on to y it would be leaking so much oil?
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 45
    2 questios from you #1 gas mileage: are you getting any ck eng lights? is the car shifting all four gears,city driving etc. too many areas here for a proper response for this one, my 95 would give me no less than 17 in the bitter cold winter here in New England and 22-25 in normal weather (mixed suburban driving) and it had 250,000 miles on it when I sent it to a new home. as for #2 the oil problem, well I discovered on that car, that the oil pressure sending unit had a slow leak, it is real easy to fix and very cheap as well $9 at AutoZone. Look for the oil filter at the right side (passenger) of the car, it is right above the filter, look for oil around there that will tell you it is the problem. If you can safetly run the car with the wheel turned to the extreme left you'll se the very slow drip. Also another telltale is that when it rains out you can look for that little drip on the ground, it will have that Rainbow type of sheen, a dead givaway. Hope this helps Bob. good luck.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,709
    How does it run?

    If the plugs or wires were missing badly, you would comment about how the car is rough at times due to the miss.

    My one suggestion would be check the fuel pressure regulator vacuum hose as soon as you shut the car off. Pull the hose off and see if there's any liquid gasoline in the hose? The fuel pressure regulators develope a leak around the diaphragm and suck raw gasoline into the intake manifold. There was a recall on these long ago for certain years.

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  • on my 95 lesabre i recently took thhe the lowerintake off and need to replace the gaskets, i was wondering wuts the best way to clean the the inside of he enine if the there is a grim build up and the best way to clean the area to put the gaskets on
  • I have an older '93 Buick LeSabre, which is generally in pretty good shape mechanically. Last week I drove it to work and when I went to drive home that night, the car started normally, but when I turned on the headlights, the dashboard light lit up briefly and then went out. I managed to get home okay, although I later discovered that my tail lights/brake lights were no lit (although I think the actually brake lights were illuminating when braking).

    Of some diagnostic significance, was that when I shut off the vehicle and got out of the car, the warning chime was sounding, as it would if you had left your keys in the ignition or left the headlights on (and yes, I had my keys and the lights were off).

    I pulled the fuse for the tail lights from the under dash fuse block, but the fuse was still intact. I pulled a number of other fuses (but not all . . .), and didn't see any of those fuses blown. I'll admit that I'm confused about what's going here. I would have guessed the problem was fuse-related, but now I'm not sure. Now I'm wondering if this is some control relay that has failed - which I'm probably capable of testing, although I can't say that I know where the relays are housed. Any next steps or further diagnostics others would suggest?
  • Find the tailamp fuse and see if power is on it with headlamps on. If not you possibily have a bad headlite switch
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