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Buick LeSabre



  • dave1081dave1081 Posts: 9
    Love my well preserved '92 LeSabre however the horn has not worked since I bought it last December. All fuses are fine, and a friend with a meter revealed there is no current where the wires plug into the horn itself. Is there a relay somewhere in-between I could check?? Taking apart the steering wheel should be a last resort. Also, the horn buttons on the wheel are kinda' popped out (not flush with surface of wheel), though they feel like they would still work. I've heard it's not uncommon for Buick horn buttons to do that.

    Very uncomfortable driving without a horn in rush hour traffic. Doesn't anyone (besides me) actually turn their head to check the blind spot anymore?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    From a 95, the relays in the relay center on the firewall are, AC compressor, HORNS from left. The cover is held on by two or three twist clips. Under it are large fuses and relays. There may be a label inside the cover when you take it off that gives the positions and circuit for each.

    So Horns is #2. The relays have a flat spring prong that you raise using a steak knife, and then the relay will slide out toward you. The prong snaps over a hook when you push the relay back in.

    The relays there are several of the same part number. So you can switch the AC compressor and horn relay to see if that makes yours work.

    Good luck. And let me know what you end up finding!

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • gds52383gds52383 Posts: 2
    Hi I have a 98 Lesabre with 120k on it. Recently the check engine light came on and started flashing. I took it to advance auto where it was tested and it came back misfire on cylinder 4. I decided to get a new set of spark plugs and change them. I found out it had the original plugs in it. It runs alot better and the check engine light has went off, however, it still hesitates on acceleration and sometimes jerks around 55 mph. I don't think that the problem has been completley solved although it runs alot better. The wires look fine. Could it be the high voltage distributor caps? Any ideas on what I should check? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    I hope the plugs are AC Delco plugs. Some have had trouble with substitute plugs. I believe the number is 41-101.

    But you must replace the wires also. They probably wore out before the plugs. Replace with AC or Belden OEM quality wires--NAPA has AAA discount if you choose Beldne, e.g.

    Most likely the wires' resistances are high because the carbon layer has deteriorated with age and use. Putting new plugs in helped but the system is still marginal. Running plugs and wires long also is said to deteriorate the coils. But change the wires first.

    The coils are best checked by comparing the resistances of the high voltage side where the wires plug in. To compare the primary side, you take each coil off, insert something to make contact internally to measure the resistance. Then clean and coat the prongs that the coil sits down onto. Coat with dielectric grease. BTW, put dielectric grease on the inside of the new wires when putting them onto the spark plugs; it makes them easier to remove.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Hi - I'm scratching my head on this one so any insight is appreciated! I have a 94 LeSabre with just 44k miles. The drivers side rear door will lock using both the power door locks and the remote keyless entry, however it won't UNLOCK this door using either of them. The other 3 doors work fine. The PDL motor obviously works since it is locking the door, but what can cause it not unlock it only? Thanks!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    You're going to need to remove the door panel to be able to see what the motor is doing. You also will be able to check voltages and see if it's getting power on the unlock cycle.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Thanks, I'll give it a try.
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    I am thinking about purchasing a "backup car". A used LeSabre would
    be good, if it turned out to be a reasonably low-maintenance vehicle.

    I previously had its relative, 1999 Pontiac Bonneville, which I bought
    new and traded in, at the 67K miles, for a new Chevy Malibu in 2005 --
    the change I've been extremely happy about.

    And I wouldn't buy another Bonneville, no, thank you.

    I've researched multiple user reviews for LeSabre, and have mixed
    feelings, but am thinking about exploring it further.

    I'd like to hear any feedback on this, but, specifically, I wonder
    what is the highest mileage on a used LeSabre, which makes sense to
    consider. E.g. I see a new listing for a 2002 LeSabre Limited with
    97.5K miles -- how silly would it be to buy that car, with that
    mileage? What maintenance is expected to be performed at 100K? How
    much money I should expect to invest in the car over the next 50K

    Thank you for any input.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >What maintenance is expected to be performed at 100K? How
    much money I should expect to invest in the car over the next 50K

    If the owner did good maintenance on it, it's had the coolant changed a couple of times, it's had at least one trans drain and filter replacement, it's had plugs and wires replaced with Delco Plugs and OEM type wires, and news brakes all around. I'd say you're lookiing at less cost than for a high line Accord or Camry.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Thank you -- this is useful!

    I've noticed many messages from you with good technical information,
    so your advice is much appreciated.

    Let me put it differently now: if I take your list and make sure that
    everything you listed have been done (from the information I have,
    this car has been very well cared for) -- should I be afraid of 98K
    miles? Is it much worse than, say, 50K?

    From my experience with Bonneville, I want to think that 60K or 100K
    don't make much difference -- most bad things happened to me before
    50K; and nasty annoyances like broken external door handles ($300),
    broken trunk spring ($200), water leak through the heater ($500),
    broken sun roof (left it with that), engine shutoff on the road, don't
    appear to be directly related to the mileage, but what do you think
    about this? Would you remove a car with this kind of mileage from
    your consideration, or it wouldn't bother you much?

    Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >Would you remove a car with this kind of mileage from
    your consideration, or it wouldn't bother you much?

    Nope. A neighbor up the road has bought and sold used 3800s equipped vehicles with 200K + on them running well and promising for an economical car. He does low price range cars as a hobby buying and selling; his father has always been in the used car business.

    The only pattern problem on the car you mention is due to neglect, in my opinion, by not changing antifreeze every two years. If it still has DexCool in it and the reservoir tank looks clear without globs of goop from someone adding green stuff antifreeze, I'm happy. The transmission fluid I like to see changed often. You're hinting that car has had that done in some way.

    Your car is past the 2000 models that seemed to have failures in the clip in the regulator (track) for the power windows. The cable that lifts the windows pulls out of the plastic carrier. Replaceable if you can take off the door panel yourself and send the regulator to someone on Ebay or the internet for repair and quick return for around $50-$90.

    I'd feel better about the car you're looking at than a Honda with an automatic transmission or air conditioning problems. Things will go wrong with all cars is my motto. Regular oil, trans fluid, and coolant changes are what your leSabre needed. Sounds like it has gotten that.

    You're not going to find many cars delivering 31-33 mpg in summer on interstate with AC on at 65-70 mph with 3 adults and loads of baggage; it also can carry 6 easily. It gives 22-24 around home driving in suburban township type driving here. I couldn't justify trading off my 168K 98 leSabre for a higher gas mileage car til recently. Kept the leSabre but added a Cobalt for the high schooler to drive.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    That's reassuring and informative -- thanks again!
  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    Took a look at that LeSabre today -- the description did not match the
    vehicle and I backed off.

    Another one -- 2002 Custom, 83K miles:

    * Rear suspension redone a month ago.

    * The sunroof won't open -- needs a new solenoid.

    I don't care about opening a sunroof, but am afraid of water leaks if
    the roof is not properly closed.

    Any idea about how difficult it is to fix that? More important: a
    recently redone rear suspension -- is it a good or bad sign?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >rear suspension

    Depends on what they mean by redone. New shocks? All lesabre may have had air leveling struts on the rear. If they put on Monroe replacements it may ride a little harder in rear than before. If they put on GM shocks, it should be the same or similar.

    The rear suspension might be a link that rusted through. A few people have reported those. It's a link that holds the geometry solid. I don't think it's the toe-in adjusting link. If it's in a corrosive area with lots of salt that might have happened. Look under the rear for new parts to see what was replaced. If it was replaced it's good to go.


    Sounds like a control solenoid somewhere that the switch operates. I'd have to look that up in my 2003 Helm manual. I'll post what I find. Sunroofs are like boats: problem pits--my personal opinion. The solenoid doesn't bother me. But lots of Bonneville owners have reported broken off drains for the sunroof--it has 4. So the water leaks inside the car. Typical is the front hose by driver's left foot which is supposed to drain below the car and breaks inside the car.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • malexbumalexbu Posts: 169
    > Sunroofs are like boats: problem pits--my personal opinion.

    Couldn't agree more!... I swore off from buying a car with a sun roof
    after the one in my 1999 Bonneville stopped stopping in the "close"

    > But lots of Bonneville owners have reported broken off drains for
    > the sunroof--it has 4. So the water leaks inside the car.

    The drain paths may be blamed unfairly: as I learned painfully with my
    car, the pre-2000 Bonnevilles have an insanely installed heater --
    when the seal around it loosens, the water goes from the windshield
    and engine compartment right into the cabin, collecting under the

    It's very hard to find the leak -- I spent hours pouring my car from a
    garden hose, and hard to fix it. It's probably impossible to fix it

    > Typical is the front hose by driver's left foot which is supposed to
    > drain below the car and breaks inside the car.

    Precisely where the water was in my car :-)
  • Having a problem with automatic air with digital readout system. The fan does not come on most of the time until 5 to 20 minutes later. Not sure if controller problem, fan motor failing, or connection/cable. When it does blow, it seems to sputter sometimes - when its set to hi speed, it sounds like it slows down for a second sometimes.

    Any ideas on usually why a very long delay with the fan coming on?

    If fan, how do I get to it or is it easy?

    If control module, how do I pull it out?

    Thank you for your help in advance.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Probably a case of worn brushes. I've also seen a report that a ground wire/strap for the motor doesn't connect to the housing properly.

    Try turning the key to ON. If the fan doesn't start like it should, tape the bottom of the HVAC box with the toe of your shoe. The blower motor is on the right side of the hump, but any vibration will cause it to make contact.

    The blower is held in by three screws. Pull the carpet back toward the seat; moving it allows more room to wiggle the blower and motor out. The hush panel under the passenger side dash comes off first with a few screws.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Thanks imidazol97. It was the blower module.

    After I turned the key on and made sure the fan was set on high, no air was coming out and no sound of the blower. I tapped the blower area under the glove box near the fire wall and the fan came on!

    Removed the hush panel and blower module. Either the motor was worn or internal connections bad. External connectors looked good. Inside there was some dirt (I assume from the motor cooler/heater tube port even though I change/clean the cabin filter often - can see the filter with the blower out) and maybe the brushes were a little worn, so after about 80k miles, just replaced the blower module from Autozone (~$130) with lifetime warranty. A few screws like you said and it was pretty easy - did not even have to move the carpet out of the way.
  • I'm having a heck of a time finding a salvage driver's side windshield visor for my 95 Lesabre. Whatever is inside that connects to the mounting arm, won't hold it in normal place anymore. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    edited March 2010

    I don't know if they index interiors, but search for a part for the car and year like you want and then start calling the yards that are close enough to you to go visit.

    Also try and

    I don't know if they sell that kind of interior part or not.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • janquejanque Posts: 2
    i have worked in gm dealerships for 32 years . i have personally owned quite a few of them myself. in my personal opinion and from what i have seen working as a service advisor and manager at the dealership level , that older buicks with sunroof concern do no leak in the vehicle - so a simple solution to this is to simply run a garden hose over the top of the vehicle before buying to see if it leaks .. i find that these vehicles as they age just get better IF PROPERLY TAKEN CARE OF. thank you - hope this helps
  • blunj56blunj56 Posts: 1
    Having the same problem with my 1993 Buick LeSabre Custom. I think I figured it out today actually. If you disconnect the battery it will reset everything so it works for awhile but then it will stop at some point again. But the other day when my AC was working I noticed the Auto and Dual Zone buttons were lit. Today only the Economy button was lit and I couldn't get it to switch back to Auto. Consequently it must have something to do with the module that operates the buttons. I hope this gives you some insight. good luck. I have already paid $350 to have it fixed pretty funny that I figured it out
  • polara60polara60 Posts: 9
    edited June 2010
    My 95 LeSabre that I just spent $657 to replace the rear brake lines just dropped the subframe. I was turning right at a stop sign and heard a big pop and the 4 rear bolts gave way dropping the rusted collar subframe and the steering became very difficult. I did a search and did not find anything on this topic. It seems to be a common critical problem...see To all of you with an older Buick LeSabre please have this checked out. I was fortunate and easily able to stop the car on a quiet side road. In some cases both the front and the back subframe bolts give way with the motor completely dropping!

    Now the question. The subframe is shot. What are my options if any? 157m miles perfect catalog of maintenance and car runs perfect. Any idea on repair estimates?

    But let me again say to all older LeSabre owners who live in the rust zones please get your subframe checked. The inspection isn't easy because the bushings hide the subframe rusted collar areas. Buick I understand later redesigned the subframe I think with the body redesign but this is a critical car failure with deadly consequences.


  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    OK, Yes this is a Buick forum, but the same problems do exist with Pontiac Bonnevile and Oldmobile 88's etc. as they are the same (other than the body) is there anyone out there that can communicate an impossible to find info about a problem with the overdrive unit? as my problem is the trans works smoothly, shifts properly and does go into O/D but after about 15-20 miles in o/d it slips (rpm surge,lightly) the fluid and filter have been changed prior to this problem. Also in the maxifuse center I discovered a blown SOLONOID 40 amp fuse, replaced it, the replacement remained unblown. I have an OLDS (1997) LSS with 140 thousand on it, (Just turned) anybody have an answer or guess where this problem is or do I have to go to a trans shop and risk the lack of knowlege for a great big wallet surprise. I am retired and do like to pay for what is needed, but I also do not have money to throw away, Thanks for reading HOPE I gave enough info, also it is NOT supercharged. Bob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Do you know which transmission you have? 4T60E or 4T65E? If it's a 65E, then it may be a valve that modules the application of the TCC lockup from 99% down. This valve wears in the slot it fills and doesn't module properly. A fix is to replace the part in which is sits (throttle body?) and replace the valve. This requires removing the side place of the transmission which requires partial lifting for good access. A company,Sonnet, makes a replacement valve setup which requires drilling the hole larger and uses a sleeve.

    For most people the problem occurs after everything gets nice and warm. If it repeats the slight increases and decreases, try holding your foot on the brake pedal lightly to disengage the TCC lockup, and note if the surging feel from changes in the TCC lockup percentage is gone.

    I believe there also are a few problems in the 4T60E. But they are more specific in nature or more noticeable. This is very subtle. I am concerned that you don't have a 65E because I didn't think they were used in H-bodies until 1998.

    Search for RPO codes ont he internet. See if one of them is for the transmission installed. Your RPO code card is on top of the spare tire cover board inside your trunk.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    Thank you at least someone gave me a place to start. Not only that but very informative as well.
  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    Thank you again, I did go out and took a picture of the car, (Canada built) even the owners manual is in French..went to the junkyard and got a '96 one. as for the build date it is 9/96 also I have discovered by letting off of the gas it will drop back to 3rd instantly with no problem, it engages into O/D at 33=35 mph on flat ground, and as you described this does not happen until everything is warmed up. I am hoping that one of the several shops here South Central Ma. will do this work, anyway I tried the Lucas thing as the car was ff the road for two years inside garage and did all of the repairs needed (rear hub bearing upper intake new plugs etc.) The car is too good to thow away, no rust and every imaginal option available as this is the Cadillac of the Olds line. I cannot thank you enough for that info. Bob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    edited June 2010
    The info that the car sat may mean, if it's a 4T65E that the cylinder within which the moving valve modulates got some deposits in it and that's affecting the movement...

    A good test would be to drop the trans pan and replace the half of the fluid that drains out with Dexron VI which I understand is primarily a synthetic based trans fluid for newer GM cars. OR put in synthetic fluid of your choice. It will take 6-7 quarts. Let the synthetic fluid with its detergency redissolve anything it will over 5-10K miles. See if it changes.

    I'm concerned by your description of dropping into 3rd. If you're above 45-48 mph and it's in 4th gear and the TCC is engaged, it should just go to 4th. The TCC will engage in 3rd gear above about 35. I'm wondering if your feeling various changes of torque converter lockup and are interpreting it as gear changes. If you think you're in 3rd and the selector is in OD, move it to 3rd and see if you feel a true downshift.

    If the trunk list of options has M15 that may be the 4T65E. M13 is the 4T60E, I think.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • bob252bob252 Posts: 48
    Somehow part of my original post got lost, the fluid and filter were changed prior to this problem, and as advidse I looked at the APO tag and tried to find the info online, BUT your number is on the tag there are only 2 "m's on that tag and one is the one that M13, the other is MX0 with a slash through the "0" so I guess that it is 4T60E, when I did the service there was only normal stuff there, the usual light aluminum color on the bottom of the pan and the fluid was not burnt just dark. What my statement was NOT moving the shifter, but simply letting off the accelerator and it does in fact downshift to 3rd as it would if you were to use passing or accelerate up a hill, it stays locked in od as normal until after 15-20 miles, then the car will start acting like playing with the gas pedal the tack is not very sensitive so observing the rpms there doesn't help, it definetly is not a skip or misfire as the car jerks slightly as lock/unlock/lock into and out, that's the best I can do to eplain it, I really appreciate the help that can only be found here, especialy since it is acurate and very helpful. Bob.
  • I'm considering buying a 2002 LeSabre. It has 118,000 miles on it. Is this too many? How many miles can you get out of a 3.8L engine before they go to engine heaven?

    I'm looking for a car that will last me for at least 3-4 years. I'll likely put on 5-6,000 miles/year.

    Thank you.
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