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Buick LeSabre Electrical/Lighting



  • jcb6jcb6 Posts: 3
    i have a 94' lesabre and i cant get the lights to turn off sometimes.When i push the switch in and out they will usually turn off this time not so much.I opened the pass. door to get manual(which i dont have) and the lights went off.any ideas
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >i have a 94' lesabre and i cant get the lights to turn off sometimes.

    Which lights?

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

  • jcb6jcb6 Posts: 3
    the headlights.when i push the headlight button in and out the dash lights and light indiactors all come on correctly but the headlights wont turn i said i opened the pass. door last time and they went off,kinda wierd i know but i've seen your sceen name on here and sounds like you know your stuff any ideas please
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Does your car have twilight sentinel where you can adjust how long the headlights stay on after the key is off and the door opened?

    Does it have automatic on and off headlights that us a light sensor on the dash that "sees" the light of the sky to determine when to turn the headlights on and off.

    It's very easy to get the light switch and the twilight sentinel controls confused in their operation with each other.

    Also does your car have the battery saver feature where if you leave the headlights or any others on, they are turned off after 10 minutes or so?

    I'd have to dig out my 93 manual and see which features were available then. The battery saver may have been on Limited models with certain option packages.

    I know that the twilight sentinel switch on my 98 holds the lights on and if I turn the headlight switch on, I'll get confused as to how to get them off.

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

  • jcb6jcb6 Posts: 3
    it has no twilight or automatic lights.they dont come on till you turn them on and you have to shut them off to turn off,im not sure if they turn off after 10 min and i am scared to turn them on if i dont have to.haven't had to since i got them off and made this post hope this helps you help me thanks again.if it does have the lights that turn off after certain time what controls that,is it a relay or something i can just unplug,guess i should find out if it has auto shut off before i ask those questions shouldn't i but i do appreciate your help
  • rbakkerrbakker Posts: 2
    My 1992 Buick LeSabre has an issue with the headlights. The brights work just fine, but the regular headlamps do not go on at night. I have running lights during the day, but when it gets dark, no lights. What would cause that and how do I fix it? I've already gotten a traffic ticket for driving with my brights on! Any help is very much appreciated.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    You can check for voltage at the light bulb socket to a ground (not the other wire in the socket) when on low beam.

    OR you can check the switch for high/low beams. which I think is on the bottom of the steering column connected to the turn signal arm at the top by a wire link that moves the switch.

    I have a 93 book but I can't check on it now. If you know how to use a meter, you can check that switch. When you pull on the turn signal level do you hear and feel a switch clicking like it's switching between connections for high beams and low beams?

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

  • rbakkerrbakker Posts: 2
    It does make a click when you switch between high and low beams. Also, the twilight sentinal stays on for a pretty long time, even when set on low. Would that have anything to do with it?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    I still think you need to check the bright/dim switch. The twilight sentinel should work the same on both.

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

  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    my money is on the main headlight switch itself, not the high/low beam switch
  • niceride3niceride3 Posts: 17
    Hello I am new to Edmunds and a new owner to a great vehicle. We love our 2003 LeSabre. What a nice ride and reasonably economical for a large car...better than my Honda Element!!
    A little disappointment, though after driving at night
    My problem is there are a lot of lights out in the radio buttons.
    All of the lights are out in the Automatic Heat/Cool panel. I have read in a "Fix-Ya" and others that these are typical problems that keep re-ocurring, what gives? Poor design? I have a '97 Regal and all the dash lights work!
    I am a technical person. I am willing to learn how to remove these units and find out how to replace the bulb(?) or are they LED's? Or is it something utterly impossible for any human to fix?
    Any help would be really nice.
    BTW I Googled my problem and Google directed me here and I could not find the thread addressing this Dash light, HVAC panel/Radio problem.
  • I just bought a 93 LeSaber. The alternator was bad and the battery was dead. I replaced both with new(not rebuilt) parts. The light next to the battery gauge will not shut off. I have drove it for a while and the voltage gauge stays centered on 13 volts. Can someone help me please? I am also having an issue with the left turn signal. The light for it on the dash stays on, when you turn it on it just stays on and doesn't blink.
  • pligmanpligman Posts: 1
    This site and Buick will be hearing of this problem a lot more as the years move on. I have a 2004 LeSabre and most of the steering wheel lights are now out as well as some in the Climate Control and Radio. Others tell me of the same problem. The lights are accessible in the wheel but not easily. A paint can lid lifter works well to pry the assemble up but actually replacing the bulbs is extremely touchy. I removed the Temp/Vol assembly and opened it to get to the bulbs. The bulbs are miniature something or other, soldered to tiny pads on the circuit board. I have scanned pictures of the parts that I will be happy to email if anybody is interested. The next exercise would be to find replacement bulbs and blue sleeves. Don't know, but suspect, GM would stock only the complete assembly for repair.
  • soonerdewsoonerdew Posts: 25
    I have an '04 Lesabre with precisely the same problem. I think it is less an issue specifically tied to the lights, but to the kind of abuse the switches absorb in the course of regular use, which gets transferred to the mechanical device/light/contact that sits behind the button.

    As a case in point, my cruise control stopped working about two years ago, and when I finally got sick of not having it, I took a small screwdriver and wedged up the steering wheel button for the cruise control. When it popped off, I noticed that the cruise contact microswitch was broken into three tiny pieces. There was enough cord to allow me to pull out the switch, and disconnect it. I ordered a replacement switch from a local GM dealer (seems like it was about $12 or so) and popped it back in...voila, my cruise was fixed.

    The bottom line is that the switches and lamps behind the button faces were not designed to absorb the constant finger/thumb pounding they apparently receive, and those components simply fail under the abuse. Very poor design, and it makes an otherwise very pleasant car look rather slipshod when the lights start failing.
  • niceride3niceride3 Posts: 17
    Then we wonder why American manufacturers are in trouble. I work in electronics and find it hard to believe that all of these indicators are hard to replace. I need info on how to remove the HVAC controls and possibly the radio out of the dash. There are numerous lights out. If whatever secret is to remove these units from the dash could be shared here, I would be able to figure out what components need to be replaced and the individual indicators can be replaced.
    Of course GM will only sell assemblies and not the bulbs or L.E.D.'s It keeps Delphi going. But let's try to break the un-repairable curse on these lights.
    If someone would respond, I would appreciate.
    If CHILTON's is the answer on "how to remove these assmblies, THEN I WILL buy a Chilton's and disect the HVAC and radio lights and find out availability. MOUSER or DIGIKEY have almost anythng imaginable for lamps/indicators.
  • niceride3niceride3 Posts: 17
    BTW if some brave soul has already broken the "code" :surprise: how to remove the HVAC controls or radio, or has the assembly in hand for the steering wheel indicators, pls take a real good detailed pics of these mysterious lamps the pic to email me, and I'll see what I can come up with. My email in long hand is ?????flintstone7415 at yahoo dot com??????????? If you really trust me....after we pass some emails back and forth, send the assemblies to me and I'll try to trace some id numbers or compare the lamps to what is available from major electronic suppliers. Thanks
  • niceride3niceride3 Posts: 17
    Sorry for many posts BUT a forum called TOPIX seems to have more responses to these light problems than Edmonds. For folks who are handy with a soldering iron, in most cases, you can replace these lamps with a WESTINGHOUSE ## 8111 bulb from

    It's a 14 volt bulb that should last longer than the 12volt bulb that was "engineered" in the USA. Why pay $40 for a replacement switch/bulb (Steering Wheel controls) when it's only a $1.15 bulb?
    CAMOWN America wake up!!
    Send your donations for my solution to the following PayPal address............just kidding
  • earpsterearpster Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if the IP or the Gauge clusters are interchangable? (one has idiot lights, one has gauges) Thanks for the help.
  • I posted this in the Answers section as well, so sorry for the repeat!

    I have a silver 1998 Buick LeSabre that has many, many electrical problems. The first problem started when the battery holder broke off inside my main electronic transmitter (I guess you could call it "keyless entry," since it has the lock/unlock buttons) and the spare just stopped working altogether. I replaced the battery and everything and still no luck. Couldn't lock my doors after that, but I could still drive the car. The second problem is that shortly after that, the horn starts randomly honking by itself. I could be sitting at a stoplight and the horn would suddenly go off for no reason. The only way to turn it off was to keep pushing the horn until the noise stopped. Couldn't lock the doors and could'nt beep the horn if I needed to. Kind of dangerous, but I could still drive. The third problem is that shortly after the horn problem, the alarm AND the horn start to go off simultaneously at random times as well. The only remedy to this problem was to disconnect the battery and leave it unplugged for at least an hour. Couldn't lock the doors, couldn't beep the horn, and couldn't go long distances for fear that the alarm would go off (thus enabling the anti-theft feature and preventing me from starting the car.) But I could still drive, as long as I had a wrench (or whatever it is :p) to disconnect the battery. The final problem is that now, after all of these other problems, the car will not start. I still have auxillary power (all the lights come on, the radio plays, windows roll down, etc.,) but the car won't run. Any guesses as to what may be happening? I was going to take it to the dealership to see about it, but they want $85-$100 just to look at it, let alone attempt to fix it and as a college student, I just can't afford that much for a diagnosis. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319

    The battery holder posts broke off in the remote. I assume that means you're using a different remote? If they broke off they probably can't be soldered back into place on the circuit board or repaired. I replaced one of mine that did something like that with an Ebay with the same code number on the back. Then they can be reset to the car by connecting posts 4 and 8 in the assembly line diagnostic connector underneath next to steering wheel and then pushing buttons. I believe the directions are in the owner's manual in the glovebox. Both remotes have to be done at the same time or it only learns one.

    >couldn't lock doors
    Are you saying the doors won't lock from the remote? Or won't lock from the buttons in the car?

    Is there an aftermarket alarm on the car? If so I'd personally take it off.

    I don't know much about the alarm system that was an option on the certain option packages--I ordered my 98 with only the load leveling struts and avoided the other options in the package because I didn't want the alarm. People have trouble with the sensor on the trunk lid in Bonnevilles and suggest disconnecting it.

    If you're talking aftermarket alarm, I don't know.

    As for the door locks not working from the inside buttons or the remote, all I think of is the problem with buss connections which get wet and salted in some areas of the country. Then they corrode. like this or this

    The pictures are ones found on the net. I did not take them.

    I posted one picture to show you it's under the carpet and the plastic door sill. There is also one on the passenger side. It's wrapped with lots of tape against the bundle of wires leading to the rear portion of the car. I had a '93 leSabre where the door locks occasionally wouldn't work and the AC would revert to default control of AC on and defrost mode because this buss was occasionally not making contact.

    Anytime funny things happen, check grounds. This buss is one. But your main battery cables are another. Check the grounds at the battery and where they connect to fenders, motor, etc. At the battery look for corrosion down into the plastic covering the battery cable. Check the double layer positive cable where there's a lead spacer between the top and bottom cables.

    Remember to turn off the AC with the key on before disconnecting the battery. I turn everything else off.

    You'll find Bonnevilles are even more popular with people doing their own trouble shooting, so you might check some Bonneville forums as well. You'll note I mentioned them.

    Good luck.

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

  • budlbudl Posts: 1
    In taking the advice about using a Westinghouse 8111 bulb from, I first check with the Buick dealer. The new switch unit was 43.00. Then went to atlantic light bulbs. The bulbs were, as you said, 1.15/bulb. But there is a minimum of 10 bulbs, so it is 11.50, not 1.15. Then there is 7.50 shipping, so it is 19.00. But wait, they have a minimum order of 24.50, so it is 24.50 + 7.50, if you can find an exactly 13.00 item to make up the 24.50, so now it is at least 32.00. Might as well spend the extra 11.00 at the Buick dealer, not have to mess around soldering and have a new switch, unless someone can tell me where I can really buy 8111 bulbs for 1.15.
  • I have a 97 LeSabre that doesn't have the power trunk latch option.

    I would like to retrofit one.

    I would like to know what parts I need and what parts are already there (wiring, etc)?

    The existing latch has a wire to it but does not appear to have an actuator. I am assuming I will have to replace it, but I wonder what the existing wire is for?

  • Hello All,

    Just wondering - I have a '95 LeSabre Custom & would like to swap out the instrument cluster with that of a 96/97/98. Is this possible? I want a tach & other guages rather than just the idiot lights & speedometer.

  • My rear left blinker randomly quits working. It lights up when I open the door like it suppose to but does not blink at times. I have changed the bulb and it worked for awhile but then it started again. Any ideas?
  • Hey Bud
    I realize there might be hestitation with min orders, but those bulbs are probably used through out the vehicle, in the dash, the radio, and the HVAC controls, and the steering wheel controls..
    When the snow starts flying here in West. Pa. the LeSabre will be parked in the warm garage for some TLC and all of the bulbs burned out in the areas mentioned.
    EDIT: I just ordered 35 bulbs from Atlantic for $43 something.

  • The driver door works, but suddenly the others don't (windows nor locks).

    Switches on the dead doors neither so I'm skeptical it's the door controller. Also checked the fuses (why, right? ... sheesh...)

    Is there another controller? What else?

    Thanks very much.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    By any chance have you had water in the car under the front seat area? You might check. Some Bonneville owners have had corrosion on a wire splice that joins three wires there from the other three doors to the wire from the driver's door controller. If I can find a picture, I'll show you. I think the wires are light brown or tan.

    Check fuses in the rear fuse block under the seat, but I think those controll the two rear doors. I don't know that the right passenger door is through that area.

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

  • Thanks for your help... no water (I don't think) under the front seat and did check the fuses (there's one for door, one for windows).
  • maras016maras016 Posts: 1
    We have a 91 buick lesabre with 63k miles on it the fuel pump runs constantly even though we put a new fuel pump and a new fuel filter on. Our thoughts are that it is a fuel pressure regulator. We don't know if it has one or where it would be. Any ideas anyone?
  • imidazol97 i have the same year car and the same problem with window and door lock and everything else not working i checked fuses and grounds and went to junkyard and got pdml for passenger side but they might not be good, i will try tightening th bolts on the fuse panel what was the fix to this
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