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Buick LeSabre



  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The weak spot is the intake manifold and its associated gaskets--other than that, the 3800 Series II is a pretty strong engine that should last 200,000 miles or more.
  • Thanks, Stephen.

    So if the manifold or gaskets go, is it something that I can repair without having to win the lottery, or would I pretty much be scraping the car? I'm having a hard time finding a car I like and can afford and the lesabres don't come up too often in my neck of the woods.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    The intake manifold setup was iimproved in late 1999-2000. But it was n't perfected.

    Take a look at the intake manifold with the gray engine cover off (twist on the oil cap and 4 inch extension to the left, it unscrews,then remove the cover).

    If you see little circles on top of the intake that a GM intake and read the circles. One will have an arrow pointing toward 01 or 02 or a later date. If that is not 01 or 02, that intake has been replaced already at that mileage, and that is good. If there are no circles, you know it has been replaced.


    This one points to 99 because that was a replacement at 75K miles on a 98 leSabre.

    If the coolant drops that's a sign of seeping of coolant. The easy one is the throttle body on the end of the manifold. If I bought a car, I'd have it taken off and cleaned by a mechanic (they get gunked up with oil blowback in lots of car makes). The new gasket seals better than GM's original did.

    If you get a real leak, it most likely will be the lower gaskets under the metal intake manifold between it and the heads. $50 for the part. While taking it off the upper plastic intake might need replacing, $100 online brand best. Labor about 5 hours at 70$? Replace coolant ??? $$? Cost depends on finding an honest mechanic who doesn't gouge people.

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

  • I purchased a 85 buick lasabre for a couple of hundred dollars looking to get rid of this car. The car runs good has a new tranny,muffler and decent tires on it. Looking to sell whole car or if you need parts make an offer.
  • cathy323cathy323 Posts: 1
    The blower has been working just fine but today when I cranked the car, it would not come on. No warning. There is some cold air coming through but the blower is not producing flow. Any idea how to troubleshoot?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    With the car running or the key ON and the blower set to a higher speed, tap your foot up against the bottom of the heater box--just to the right of the hump on the passenger side. Most likely the blower will make electrical contact and start running.

    The carbon blocks that rub the commutator to carry the power to the magnets lose contact due to wear.

    If not that, then remove the plastic panel under part of the right side so you can see where the round part is for the blower motor and the wires coming from it. Those wires go a few inches to a connector. The contacts at that connector sometimes corrode due to the heat of the current. You can try wiggling that contact and see if the blower starts then.

    Report what you find back here please.

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

  • bew5254bew5254 Posts: 2
    Our 2003 Buick LeSabre is behaving similarly only the blower comes on fine sometime and at other times does not blow. There is cold air when moving down the road, but not being blown by the blower. I haven't tried tapping the bottom of the heater box or checking the contacts, but I will try that.

    Thank you for the post.
  • bew5254bew5254 Posts: 2
    The blower worked this morning on the way to work, but didn't when I got in the car at the end of the day. I then thumped the bottom of the heater box like you suggested and the blower came on.

    Can you explain further what I need to do to fix this permanently?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,320
    Buy replacement blower. I got mine from Autozone, because I was in a hurry when it finally quit reacting to being bumped. Autozone was the only stores in the area that stocked that motor despite its covering lots of Bonneville and leSabre years. Other stores were happy to order one in for me in 1 day or 2 days. Autozones sold enough only 2 of their stores had them in stock and I called that store and they held one for pickup on my way to a cruise-in that afternoon on the other side of town. is another good source. There are 5% off coupon numbers out there for as well. I got I think they have several warehouses around the country.

    Take off the plastic shield under the passenger dash. Remove carefully. I ended up with a piece broken off of mine and could never figure out where it came from.

    Unsnap the power wires from the blower motor. Inspect the power wires. Some have had them corrode from heat due to the high current. If that has happened that might be the cause of the problem rather than the brushes inside the motor itself. You could try cleaning that connector and test the system for a while longer before replacing motor.

    Bumping the motor might be causing the wires to make contact again if corroded. But I didn't think I bumped hard enough to do that on mine. And when I did replace motor, they were in perfect shape.

    The blower motor is the circular area close to the transmission hump.

    Remove three screws. Remove the rubber air tube that sends air back to the motor for cooling. Lower the motor carefully rotating to bring out the squirrel cage. Some folks say to pull carpet back from the firewall to gain more vertical room. I did not need to do that on my leSabre 03.

    Put new motor up into place. I recall it was hard to hold it because it's fairly heavy. I had to hold it, get the rubber tube in place, get screw started, then get next screw started. If I recall, I ended up using something under the motor to help hold it for me while I started screws. I needed three hands.

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

  • Hi, I've been looking for a 2002-5 LeSabre or Park Ave and have noticed something that troubles me. Most cars run smoothly are but some cars idle quite roughly. Is this a problem on this model? All the cars I have driven run smoothly on the road but the idle is quite noticeable when sitting still -- and is more pronounced when in gear than in park. I thought the ashtray was going to shake loose on one model. The comments I get are "that's normal for that model" although this is definitely not normal. Is this something all LeSabres develop and does it get worse? Would this indicate a transmission problem since it is worse in drive? I've been looking at cars under 70k miles but have become paranoid and I'm looking for the least little vibration in them now. I've never heard of this type of problem before. Thanks in advance.
  • To get back to your original question if you havent figured it out by now...I have an 01 buick lesabre and i had the same problem. It turns out its easier then everyone is making it out to be for you. There is a sensor where the cap screws into. Clean the sensor and the area around the cap very well. It might take a few days for it to go off. If this doesnt work clean the fuel injector rail where the main line connects. Take off the rubber clip and clean well. If you really dont have a pressure leak this will do the trick!
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