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Buick LeSabre Electrical/Lighting



  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384

    I've had one of mine off to try to get the vapor off the inside. I believe it's only a couple of screws and if I'm thinking right, it's a screw that has a handle on the top to make it easy to twist off--like a plastic pop top. The unit has to have the connectors to the headlight bulbs removed (1/4 turn one way or the other) and it comes out by positioning it to unclip from inside the front fender if I recall.

    I'll look at mine in a little while.

    Did you buy news ones? Recycled ons? May I ask? Why are you replacing both? I'm thinking maybe I could find good ones in a recycling yard that don't have the hazing that's starting on mine!!!

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

  • hubiehubie Posts: 7
    have an '03 lesabre w/steering wheel controls. two of the controls no longer light up with the dash lights. are these control lamps accessable and if so, how? thanks for reading my post.
  • I am replacing both as both have severe hazing. I tried everything imaginable to clean the old ones, but no luck. I hate to drive at night, it is so bad. I bought new ones ($204 including shipping for both)......
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    I have one that' out. I'm curious what bulb is underneath. I thought people on another discussion group had said they could get the bulbs.

    If you take the back of wheel off you have to mess with the airbag power. Someone told me they popped them off frontwise by using a paperclip with a 1/8 inch hook on the end and gently lifted working all around and then the rocker would pop up. But there's not much length of wire to work with.

    I'll have to try minewhen it bothers me enough...

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

  • hubiehubie Posts: 7
    thanks for the reply. i figured the covers would just "pop" off but i wasn't sure. i usually end up breaking something b4 i learn how to take it apart! must take some wierd kinda bulb, huh? thanks again.
  • My 92 Olds 98 had a bulb burn out in the steering wheel radio control. It still worked, but just no light. I thought I could fix it myself, so I popped the cover off and broke it. Took it to the dealer and had them replace it. Cost about $150 over 10 years ago. The light was small and soldered to something that I did not want to attempt. Since then, I don't turn the dash lights on to full brightness hoping that in doing so, the bulbs might last longer.
  • hubiehubie Posts: 7
    WOW! guess i'll just forget about those pesky lights.
  • hubiehubie Posts: 7
    i have a '96 lesabre ltd. in cold weather the tail and dash lights will not operate until the car warms up. i located a box under the dash just above the 'hump' and beneath the hvac duct. if i give this box a good whack the tail and dash lights come on and work properly til it happens again.
    does anyone know what this box is called and where would be the most reasonable place to purchase one? thanks for reading my post!
  • Hi just bought this car about 6 months ago. The problem i am having this is second time check engine lite has come on and its always been No.5 cylinder misfiring. They told me it is either plug or wire. This is second time No.5 is misfiring . Last time i put new wires on and check engine lite goes out. Is there something i am not catching here. Always No. 5 wire if you have any suggestions would really appreciate Thanx Bob
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    I haven't researched this but I would check the connections at the light switch itself first. In many cars that connection has had heat from resistance (corrosion/poor physical contact) damage the plastic holder there and give problems.

    I'll check the later service manual I have to see if I can tell what box it is. What I'm thinking is the radio is right above there. And the control panel for the air conditioning. Can you describe better where it's located because I'm not thinking right.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    Could be the coil for that particular _pair_ of plugs. Remember the two plugs both fire when #5 fires.

    It could be a plug wire is too close to one of the computer control-related wires. Check on the back of motor is the wire to the oxygen sensor in the rear manifold is close tot he plugs wire. You can use a nylon wire tie to hold a spark plug wire away.

    You can remove the coil and clean the contacts and the area underneath and on top. Maybe it's conduction across the plastic. Do you see any tracking from a jumping spark?

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

  • hubiehubie Posts: 7
    my son drives this car. he says the plastic box(approx. size of cigarette pack)is located on the "hump" where it meets the fire wall. it is partially hidden by the hvac duct.
    when the dash/tail lights fail to operate he gives this box a 'rap' with a screw driver handle and usually the lights operate normally. the problem is not as bad during warm weather. hope this helps. i guess he could take it to Buick, huh? thanks for reading my post.
  • Hi Kalispellbob here i took the wire off number 5 on the coil side and it looks kind of dirty or rusty underneath where plug wire goes on Thanx
    PS Checked other wires on coil side all nice and clean just No.5 looks dirty
  • jwse1ejwse1e Posts: 4
    1993 Buick LeSabre Custom - 220k miles

    It's my wife's daily driver car, and the power antenna quit working about six months ago. The motor ran all the time, so we just disconnected the relay. Not a problem, we just left it up, put it down when washing the car manually, etc. Three weeks ago, the antenna snapped during an ice storm, so I had to do something.

    This weekend, I replaced the power antenna with a new motor and antenna (through an aftermarket kit from I followed the directions exactly, splicing the wires into the old wires leading from the old motor into the harness. There were three wires - a green, a black and a white. The green is powered when the radio is on, the white is powered all the time, and the black was a ground wire. Both the old antenna and the new one had a separate grounding - a wire leading to a bolt attached to the frame.

    During the repair job, the antenna went up and down with the radio being turned on and off, then stopped working entirely. The interior lights (dome, door lights, entry lights, etc.) quit working, as did the power door locks.

    I have checked all the fuses in the driver's footwell panel and have found none to be out. What is the problem here?

    1) Is there another fuse I need to check (in the passenger-side panel, behind the sound deadener OR under the hood)?

    2) Is the power relay (black box) where the antenna plugs in to the power supply bad? How can I tell if it is?

    3) What should I do next?

    Thanks for your help in advance. I have enjoyed reading other responses on this board and hope someone can help me figure this out.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    There should be a fuse for the radio power that is under the dash -- don't recall where.

    There also is another circuit that powers the radio and keeps power to one portion which keeps the memory alive for station settings.

    The dome lights will be fused also and that may be the circuit that supplies radio with constant power for memory.

    I don't know how the circuits are wired for the power antenna. I knew long ago when I had a Cutlass with one.

    The antenna itself may not be grounded? See if it works giving it power on the proper wires or use resistant checking to be sure it didn't burn out...

    My 93 leSAbre had a power antenna too and it broke the cable inside. I just left it up. If I did a replacement I would have just put in a regular antenna. Power ain't worth the trouble.

    Let us know what you find checking the power antenna itself.

    I hate to suggest but there's a ground buss next to driver's door in A-pillar area going under the door sill that's wrapped up in lots of tape... but when those get corroded from constant moisture there usually are other symptoms; door looks don't work, AC loses control of system and works in default... Any other symptoms?

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

  • There was a 15-amp fuse which controlled the power antenna, the interior lights and the power door locks. That fuse was blown. I replaced and all perform again.

    The problem now is that the "always-on" 12 volt power at the power antenna is now un-powered. The "momentary" power when the radio is on has 12 volts all the time.

    The grounding is adequate. I am concerned it could be the relay. Replaced the relay, and that did not solve the problem.

    I'm really confused. antenna is stuck in the "down" state.

    The constant power wire is orange, momentary power is pink/red, and the ground wire is black.

    Thanks for your help thus far.
  • Has anyone ever had to replace a dimmer switch on a 2003 LaSabre. Is it difficult and what will it cost?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    I'm not sure if there's another route and fuse for the power to the always on wire. I don't know what year it is.

    But with the trrouble levels with power antennas, I'd connect power to the on and run the antenna up once and leave it up. Run a fused power cable from the battery directly if you're sure which wire is hot all the time.

    I'd disconnect the connector in the trunk and be done with it. They eventually break... That's my personal opinion.

    I used to know how the motor and switching was wired. It was funny. sort of like windshield wiper motors.

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

  • You're right about me being tired of it. I've been fighting it for a month, and this is still not working.

    The fuse continues to blow - it's a 15 amp that runs into that same section. It runs interior lights, power locks and the power antenna. The fuses have been seriously blown - not just the little burn but "no fuse metal left" blown. I am considering your idea of running it up and leaving it up.

    This may be wrong, but the only way I was able to get the antenna to fire - I figured this out when working on it again this weekend - was to cross the wires to get the antenna up. it would activate when all (12-volt constant and the 12-volt powered-when-radio-is-on) the wires were crossed, and then it would retract when the wires were uncrossed. I'm sure this is a condition that could blow a fuse.

    Thanks for your help on this. The friendly local dealer says $200 to diagnose and fix this problem - I'm not sure radio reception on a $1500 car is worth that.

    I will be back in touch once something else happens on this car. It just needs to last us another year - the car has 230k now.
  • jfgolf3jfgolf3 Posts: 15
    I'm still in the dark as to how to replace a headlight dimmer switch on a 2003 La Sabre. Can anyone throw some light on this topic including estimated cost?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    Try looking up the switch on
    and I believe I found the switch for a few hundred dollars. It used to be that the lever screwed or snapped into the linkage at the top of the columna dn the switch was down on the bottom of the column.

    What I found was a group of wires and parts that look like a lot of stuff is all a part of the unit.
    This is a part number from their listing
    It's a Delco number.

    go to Buick, LeSabre limited, electrical switch and relay, dmmer switch

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

  • jfgolf3jfgolf3 Posts: 15
    Thank you for your assistance, I'll try to remove the lever and see if I can get at the switch.
  • matuskamatuska Posts: 7
    Have 94 lesabre headlights flicker when traveling down rode.Its more prominent when heater and blower motor is on.Its not the alt.could it be the ecm? Wiring diagram shows alt wire going through ecm.Dont know how to check.Anybody heard of this before? Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    Headlights are always on a circuit breaker so that they don't blow a fuse and go off permanently. Flashing lights are easier to use to drive at night than no lights.

    Check to see if that's happening. YOu might hear a click as a relay opens and closes. Another problem is the connector on the back of the headlight switch is a plastic holder with metal contacts in it. If the contacts corrode slightly, or don't make good contact, the resistance there increases the heat from that resistance. The plastic melts, warps, discolors; the contact loosens and more resistance and voila more heat.

    If it's both headlights then it's not the connector at the headlights for one of them. That's out in the salt and rain and so on. I believe some Pontiacs had a problem with connectors overheating.

    if it's the circuit breaker in the switch that may just be from age. Sometimes house circuit breakers start tripping easier with age. Replacing it could be the fix to the problem. You can check you local dealer or or on the net and there are others. I don't know if Advance Auto type places have switches. I'm betting on the connector. That may require getting a unit from the junkyard and cutting the wires to get a new connector without buying the whole wiring harness. Haven't done that kind of thing.

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

  • matuskamatuska Posts: 7
    The problem is in both headlights,dash lights and the blower motor its self.Like the whole electric system is losing power.Not total loss of power a flickering loss.Engine runs fine during this.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    There are other possibilities.

    Turn everything off including the electronic air conditioning control if it's got dual auto air conditioning control. Turn key on to do that.

    Then remove the negative battery cable and then remove the dual layer positive cable. The contacts between the two power cables sometimes corrodes and gives problems. Look carefully into the ends of the cables to be sure acid hasn't corroded down into the copper cable. There have been reports of acid following the strands (wicking) down to the other ends of battery cables. Clean, put on favorite protective goop to prevent corrosion, and tighten.

    See if that fixes the car problem.

    Next could be (I haven't checked factory service manual to see if they share grounds) is the grounds that are under the plastic guards at the bottom of the A-pillar. The bundles of wires are wrapped in electrical tape and in there is a ground buss. These sometimes are corroded (green) and loose and make connection. I had a 93 that had started losing control of the standard air conditioning and power door locks. Air conditioning control would default to no control over vacuum switches so air came out defroster and the AC compressor turned on and thepower door locks didn't work. It would magically fix itself after 10 minutes or letting the car sit. Wife made me trade the car before I took out the ground.

    If you're in an area where lots of snow or rain gets carried onto the floor mat next to both doors and the mat can stay wet (with salt) in it may be a contributing factor. I can send a picture of the location of the driver's side buss if you want. My email is in profile yo get when clicking on my name on this post. Or I can post it here.

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

  • matuskamatuska Posts: 7
    I definitely live in a snow area"Chardon Ohio" will look into this possibileties.I very much appreciate your help.I'll let you know how it goes.
  • matuskamatuska Posts: 7
    all connections looked good took apart and cleaned just in case. No change,same flickering of power. Problem only happens at higher rpms not at idle.tried your normal shaking of wires and tapping relays trying to get the power to flicker and it wont only at higher rpms when the cars in neutral and you rav the motor up the lights, heater motor and everthing electrical goes down perfect timing with the rpms.At a loss does it sound like it could be the ecm.Dont know if the ecm even controls the alt.Thanks
  • This sounds very similar to a problem I'm having, 94 LeSabre Custom.
    Problem: Headlights, dashlights, interior lights all go dim then bright, then dim again, bright again, dim bright, dim bright just like clockwork. The problem is intermittent and doesn't happen all the time. When it's happening, the battery voltage goes from 12v to 14v then drops to 12v and back to 14v, 12v, 14v, 12v, 14v you get the point. Four machanics said it has to be something in the charging system, I tried 2 alterators (thinking voltage regulator) no effect. Changed belt, no effect, changed battery, no effect. Now the problem is happening more frequently and car is jerking when moving from dead stop. Still intermittent. Also a clicking sound from motor in pace with voltage cycling. Today, a different mechanic took a look see. Told me the clicking sound is transmission. He's a little baffled by the voltage cycling but suggested trans shop. Hope this helps you.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,384
    I recall a similar problem in a Bonneville discussion. I can't recall the outcome.

    I did some searches where I thought it was and found someone who had a bad regulator inside the alternator with similar problem.

    Are battery and alternator both fairly new?

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

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