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Buick LeSabre



  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    What does it is on my 94 LeSabre.
  • Well, that explains the subpar audio. Time to do some research about this. I need better tunes.

    Fifty-three pounds of paint, huh??? With all the polish and wax I've added, I've probably got 70 pounds by now. I've been pretty lucky with the weather as far as washing my car goes. I always seem to find time to wash it at least once a week. I'll be glad when spring gets here, though.

    - vtech83
  • Dynaride is a phrase coined by Buick when they came out with their suspension system many many years ago. Basically, the struts have a separate valve in them that lets the plunger go into the strut housing a little further than most. This gives it a much softer feel compared to most other brands.
  • GM issued bulletin 00-08-48-002 in Jan. 2001 telling the dealers how to correct this annoying
    "hot weather" noise. The only problem is we won't
    know until June or July whether it was effective.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Appreciate your response. Tell me one more thing...How can I find out if my LeSabre (94 Ltd) has Y56 suspension. I bought it from a dealer who bought it as a trade in. Are these cars marked in some way?
  • I recently purchased a 97 Olds 88 LSS with the same 3800 engine and 4T60E transmission as you have. I no sooner drove it a couple of days when I noticed the surging under light throttle application just after the transmission went into lockup. Needless to say I was quite annoyed and didn't know what it was. I pulled it out of O/D and problem went away and noticed it didn't happen at heavier throttle or higher speeds. (mostly at 80-90 Km) 45-55 MPH.
    I decided to talk to a very friendly and informative technician at the local Chev-Olds dealer and he new exactly what I was talking about. He then printed off the GM Service Bulletin #87-71-75 which describes my problem to a tee. It affects only 97 Buick Lesabre, Pontiac Bonneville and Olds 88 with the 3800 engine VIN K RPO L36 and Hydra-matic 4T60-E RPO M13. To fix the problem the valve body must be replaced with part #24212569 or 24212571 depending on specific model of your transmission. The part is $380 retail US or $580 Cdn. with $50/75 back for your core. The labour is very high due to the left front end you have to dismantle to get at it. By the way this was the last year for this version of the transmission as they later brought out the updated 4T65-E. What is actually happening is the bore for the valve that pressurizes the transmission fluid to lock up the converter was machined too large and as the miles get on the tranny the fluid bypasses the valve in the bore and causes the converter to come out of lockup. Immediately, the signal goes back to the valve to lockup and it is a continuous cycle of locking up and unlocking. Perhaps,I'm not sure, but at higher revs there must be more pressure to keep the valve pressurized. It is not unlike the inside a brake master cylinder where the brake fluid slips by the brake rubbers and your foot goes to the floor. In my car I can see the tach moving back and forth about 200 or 300 RPM indicating the change in revs and therefore the surging feeling. You can see the bulletin titles for your car on, which will indicate this surging condition. I also contacted GM and because there was no history of this condition by the previous owner while it was under warranty they "couldn't" do anything for me. They offered to set up a case to document my problem. - wasn't that big of them. It is an actual defect but they won't pay to fix. The technician told me it doesn't show up until approx 40,000 miles or so. They tried everything on a gentleman's car and nothing fixed it until they replaced the valvebody. The dealership here has had to do 4 of them.
    I noticed this same problem on the Pontiac Bonneville forum. (#89 jm200),(#13) and one other (dated March 9,2000, I didn't keep the number)
    I hope this gives you some useful info. I had just sold my 89 Park Ave for this 97 LSS which was an excellent car - kind of disheartening to to buy a newer vehicle and run into an expensive quirk like this. I am undecided at this point as to what I'll do but I like the car otherwise. This is a GM Hydramatic problem and not a Buick problem as such.
  • Time for the first oil change, so I thought I'd pass along an update on the LeSabre. The only real issue right now is a vibration right at 65mph; happens everytime. I did have a fight with a pothole about a month ago, so I'll have the alignment checked during the oil change.

    And I'm sad to report my first body ding. I noticed a scratch on my driver's side mirror casing and upon further inspection, it's actually a crack. Goes all the way through the casing. It's a small crack right now, but it will probably grow over time. Had to have been someone in an SUV swinging their door open; a passenger car could not have hit the mirror like that.

    What a great ride, though. I can't believe the punch this thing has, and without a supercharger no less. The 3800 really hits it's stride around 4000rpm and just keeps pulling. I did an impromptu 0-60 run the other night - just a hair over seven seconds. This thing is alot faster than advertised. When the warrenty runs out, I might have to see what this sucker is really capable of.

    - vtech83
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    This thing is a gas hog! I am getting 16 mpg on a 17 mile commute.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Might need a tune up. How many miles are on it???

    I'm getting about 20mpg on my commute; about half highway and half stop-and-go. That will probably get worse over the years, though.

    Good luck.

    - vtech83
  • under the cover for the spare tire in the trunk is a list of all the options on the car. Or, if it has 16" tires, you got the gran touring. 15" tires is the dynaride suspension.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Yes, I think that the engine requires tune up but I will have it checked out. Lot of white smoke in the morning could also be a symptom. The car has 85k miles on the odo.

    Unfortunately, I only have a dynaride..not a Y56. But I will try to make up for it..somehow.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    good luck on changing anything on the radio. GM made it all but impossible to change any components. aLL CAR FUNCTIONS are tied up and go through the radio... it can not be replaced. On the new Bonneville, it does have a remote amp in the trunk and it operates on a 1 ohm system which means you can not add on speakers or amp... this sucks. If you find any solutions, please post them!
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    Does that apply to the 2000 model as well? I have the 16" tires and nice alloys but there was no mention on the window sticker of Grand touring suspension.
  • Unfortunately, my formula doesn't apply on the 2000 or 2001 models. They had an option for 16" tires without the Y56. You will have to look under the spare tire cover for the option code. Or, another question I could ask is, do you have the aluminum lace wheel? They have a real nice wheel pattern with black paint on the inside of the "spokes". If you have these wheels, I doubt you have the Gran Touring. If you have brushed aluminum wheel, then you definitely have the Y56 suspension.
  • rwilcoxrwilcox Posts: 9
    Just rolled over 12000 miles on current trip to the Cheapeake Bay near Solomon Island MD. I've had two other Lesabres ( '86,92 ) and they have all been very good automobiles. The only problem with the current one has been some wind related noise which GM took care of. Gasoline mileage on this 375 mile trip was 27 thou the mountains increasing to an overall average 29 by the end of the trip. Mileage is 25/gal for my everyday use.
    Consumer Report should rate this car much higher than what it does. It has too be a much better value than the Avalon which is $6000 higher in price.
  • I am extremely satisfied with my 2000 Limited. Several posts ago I complained about some minor bugs which were fixed. The only bug which did not get fixed was the battery run down. this has not happened since Oct. I suspect my mom was leaving the key in the accessory position on, which is very easy to do in this model. I also disconnected the trunk light in case it was coming on with the lid closed. Has anyone else had this happen? The more I drive this car, the more I like it. I even compared it to a relative's new Town Car. The buick drives much better and is better engineered than the T/C. It is also way ahead of the 2001 top of the line Concorde which I recently drove. Those other cars may be more stylish, but I prefer the more conservatively styled Buick. It's a great car for long trips and a real pleasure to drive.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Not many posts in this forum; that isn't surprising since alot of the other forums are folks complaining about their cars. Not much to complain about in the LeSabre!

    The 3000 mile check went OK. Had a vibration above 65mph; turns out that one of the wheels was defective. Dealer replaced wheel and rebalanced all four tires just to make sure. No problems now.

    The dealer also gave me a 97 LeSabre to drive while they worked on my car. It was a nice car, but truthfully, if that model style was still in production, I doubt I would have bought it. Buick's mission with the new 2000 LeSabre was to retain their customer base and bring in a new group of buyers. I believe that they have hit that objective right on the button. I guess I would consider myself a new group of buyer.

    I have to admit that I'm sick of reading some of the editorial reviews about the LeSabre's interior. The common complaint is the "cheap, plasticky" interior. Give me a break! Most of the interior pieces in the LeSabre are covered with padded vinyl. The pieces that are plastic at least have the same texture as the padded ones, so the look is consistent.

    Then of course, there is the "fake wood" complaint. Wood trim in any car, be it real or fake, is supposed to add a touch of class. In the LeSabre, I believe it works very well, especially with the Taupe interior. Who cares if it is real or not!

    These people are always comparing every car on the market to Lexus, Mercedes, or BMW. If you want to drop $50,000 - $70,000 on a car that has real wood trim and perfect fit and finish everywhere, be my guest. I think the LeSabre, and the other G-body cars, are some of the best values on the market.

    Happy driving everyone!

    - vtech83
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Sounds like your enjoying your new LeSabre as much as I'm enjoying my Bonneville - 2 months now. I echo your sentiment of these cars being a terrific value. I've had a few minor things to fix on my car - in fact it goes in tomorrow for a new rear window to solve the defroster/radio problems. I'm driving to PA this Sunday - first lengthy road trip and can't I wait! The car rides like a dream on the highway - and I notice it is not buffeted in the wind anywhere near like my old flying brick Grand Marquis ( to say nothing of the flying cinder block 95 Suburban ). The interior is quiet ( no windshield kazoo noises in Bonneville ). The 3.8 is responsive and relatively thrifty - we'll see how the 400 mile trip down goes for gas mileage.

    Great cars - these LeSabres and Bonnevilles. BTW - how is head room in yours with sunroof? Don't have one in mine but I can tell it would be a bit close.

  • vtech 83, I am considering buying a 97 or 98 LeSabre. I noticed you mentioned in your above post you would not buy one if you had the chance. I am 19 and am wondering what your opinions are on this model. I need a car that will be reliable for me. MY dad's '96 Skylark has 90K miles without even a hiccup. Penny for your thoughts....


  • rmnixonrmnixon Posts: 21
    I wanted to ask people's opinion on the LeSabre for my wife, son, and one on the way. The car gets great crash scores. The custom seems to comw with everything my wife "has to have". I have found a dealer that will sell me a used (2000) LeSabre for @ 17,500 with about 14K on the clock. He actually has several in different colors and they are all customs. I can't afford a minivan, but the Buick seemed liked a good choice. Thoughts?
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    The LeSabres and Bonnevilles are great cars. Mine is almost like two cars in one. It glides on the highway like a Buick should, but the Gran Touring kicks in when you need some handling. You also get a higher gear (3.05) with the GT which makes the car a little quicker.

    The headroom is a little tight. I'm 6'4" and I could use another inch or so of headroom. The nice thing is that there is some spare headroom right where the sunroof is. I usually tilt the seat back a little to give me some more room.

    Enjoy your trip. I'm still looking for my first crusing adventure. Should be a blast.

    I like reading the Bonneville forum, especially the guys who are modifying their cars. That intense01 dude is killing me. I thing it's safe to say that he has shredded his warrenty! I noticed that he is trying to sell his old parts. I'd like to see what his car can do once he gets it somewhat done.

    Have a good one.

    - vtech83
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66

    Nothing wrong with the previous generation of LeSabres. They're solid reliable cars with a great engine and trans. The styling and interior layout is a little bland for me. Buick really made an improvement with the 2000 models, inside and out. You won't go wrong buying one of these things. Of course, if you do, you'll bring down the median age of LeSabre buyers quite a bit. I'm 42 and even I'm a little young for a LeSabre, according to Buicks marketing department.


    $17,500 is right about where a Custom would be with 14,000 on it. If they have the color you're looking for, I would get one. Plenty of room in the car for a family of your size. The trunk in the car is huge (18 cubic feet). Your should be able to pack alot of stuff in there. It's such a nice car to drive, too, much better than a minivan. Good luck. Join the club -- get a LeSabre.

    - vtech83
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Quite a name there!

    You may want to check out the Bonneville SE as well - I bought a 2000 in January with 18K on the clock for $15,995. Most of these cars that are one model year old and have that type of mileage are former rentals. A check with CARFAX will tell you that - as on mine. Watch for cigarette smoke evidence - hard to get rid of.

    The thing that swayed me to the Bonneville over the LeSabre is the bucket seat and console with floor shifter as opposed to Buick's bench - just tired of benches right now.

    Another you should absolutely consider is the Impala. 2000 was first year and there a few suspension issues impacting some ( if not most ) cars. Check the Impala forum here and page back through - you'll get the gist real quickly! the base model there comes with bench, the LS model has buckets - very much like my Bonneville SE setup. Impala and Bonneville are more aggressively styled than the more conservative looking LeSabre ( another reason I chose Pontiac ).

    The 3.8 L V-6 is OUTSTANDING and for long term reliability you won't go wrong with that engine and tranny. The Le Sabre and Boneville as well as Impala LS come equipped that way. The base Impala has a 3.4 L that is also good.

    Minivans are so boring! You'll enjoy any of the cars I've mentioned - by the way - all use regular gas - have to watch for that these days.

    Go for it - and be sure to rent whatever you decide on first - you will spend $100 to ensure you don't kick yourself afterwards over some oddity you didn't realize on a 15 minute drive ( like my bucket seats that are not as comfortable as they first seemed ).

    Good Luck

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Mr. Tpken is quite correct; the Bonneville would be an excellent choice as well. The Bonneville and LeSabre are basically the same car with different interior and exterior styling. The Bonneville has always been Pontiac's full size sports sedan, while the LeSabre has been marketed as a conservative highway cruiser. The cars both sit on the same G-body chassis (as do the Olds Aurora and Cadillac Seville) and share many engine, transmission, and suspension components.

    Pontiac ups the ante with the Bonneville by offering dual exhaust in the SLE and SSEi models, 17" wheels/tires, stiffer suspension, and a superchared engine in the SSEi. The LeSabre only has a single exhuast outlet and no supercharged option, but then again, the LeSabre has never been a car for driving enthusiasts. The LeSabre has a Gran Touring package available which stiffens up the suspension and adds 16" wheels/tires. It does a surprisingly good job.

    The bottom line is that both cars are solid, reliable, and have one of the best engines ever built. You can't go wrong with either car.

    Good luck, Mr. RMNixon.

    - vtech83
  • jscottkjscottk Posts: 13
    Found a 1994 Buck LaSabre that has been rear-ended, (fixed), at a dealer. It has 35,000 miles on it and they're starting at $6,000. Have always owned Carry so I don't know the American scene well - For those of you with maintenance history on this car are they're any trouble spots? Is this a good deal?

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Buying a former wreck is risky business. You take the chance that it will never be quite right and in worse case it may have unknown damage (gas tank etc) that can cause safety problems. Personally, I would stay miles away from it. If you're used to Camry - the LeSabre is a nice riding and reliable car that keeps its value well and has good fuel economy for a large smooth riding vehicle. Nothing very exciting about it and no jealous stares as you cruise the highway - but a nice roomy and soft ride. REcent Camrys have been pretty softly sprung and quiet too - so you may enjoy the car - but do yourself a favor and look for one that hasn't been wrecked. You could rue the day you buy that Buick and sour yourself on an otherwise great ride.

    Just my opinion - best wishes in your decision

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Agreed -- stay away from this car if it has been read-ended. Not worth the risk.

    Overall, the LeSabre has a good record of reliability. There are some reports of brake problems in various models, according to Consumer Reports.

    I don't think the LeSabre can match the reliability record of the Camry, but as far as American cars go, Buick is usually the best bet. Pontiac cars of similar make should serve you well too, but Pontiac's reliability records I believe are skewed a little in the negative direction simply because people tend to drive those cars a little harder than they would a Buick.

    - vtech83
  • awilksawilks Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Buick LeSabre with 26,000 miles. After it rains, my floorboard on the driver's side is very wet. Much more than I would drag in on my feet. Is there anyone else with this problem? How do I fix it?
  • Hi everyone ! Just thought I would give a 12,000 mile update on my 2000 LeSabre Limited. The car still rides like a dream. Perfect family car, I am 45 years old and married with 2 children, ages 7 and 11. The only maintenance the car has had would be oil changes at 3,000, 6,500, and 10,000 miles and a tire rotation at 7,500 miles. I have also had to replace the windshield wiper blades twice due to the harsh winter weather here in the Northeast U.S. I am still averaging about 24 miles per gallon combined city/highway driving. I have the Gran Touring suspension with the 16 inch tires. The 18 cubic foot trunk came in handy today when I brought my Toro Lawnmower in for service. The lawnmower fit real nice in the trunk, something that it could not do in my previous car, a 1994 Chrysler Concorde. Had to drag it into the backseat with the Chrysler. I just hope that everyone reading this has as much fun with their LeSabre's as I am having with mine.
  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
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