Buick LeSabre Steering/Suspension

wjohns02wjohns02 Member Posts: 1
I have a 2005 Buick Lesabre with less than 10,000 miles. The car has a consistent vibration at highway speeds even though we have tried a new set of tires and a complete rotation and balancing of the tires. The dealer indicates there is no problem with the car; however, the vibration persist. Is anyone else having this problem?


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Which size wheels and tires do you have? The 60 series tires tend to be stiffer. The problem is a known problem due to lack of tire quality and the lightness of the suspension parts and the rigidity of the car chassis-someone told me it's based on the original Aurora and Riveria.

    The tires needed to be Road Force balanced using a Hunter 9700 balancer. If your dealer doesn't have one, find a dealer who does. This adjusts for the uneveness in the tire's rolling height when under pressure. In other words, many tires don't roll round; even if they're balanced they crush differently on one part than another under the car's weight. So they essentially roll as if they are not round.

    Park Avenue and some LeSAbres and Sevilles went to Michelin tires (Symmetry) to get away from tire imperfection. The company swapped tires on Park AVenues to put on Michelins to fix the problem.

    Also, the wheel alignment affected my 03 with 16 wheels and Michelin symmetrys that it came with. I had a good service manager who used the vibration analyzer to be sure it was wheel and tire speed related. I told him that after he had really carefully balanced them, it seemed to oscillate on uphill pulls but not ont he downhill pulls o smooth interstate in Tennessee. He felt the alignment wear on tires and took it in. The rear were out of toe and the front also. He set them to what he considered the middle even though they were within tolerance. GM paid for alignment touchup up to 12000 miles. So get back with alignment complaint andget them to print it out. Also do Force Balancing.

    Fixed it. Ain't perfect, but no car is. They stayed balanced until 35K and I paid to have them rebalance @ $7.50 each.

    What tires were on the car and what ones did you replace with?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • sundogsundog Member Posts: 2

    Do you have a cabin air filter installed? Did it come with the car? I just purchased a 2005 Limited Prestige with the Celebration package, but no cabin air filter.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    The filter was omitted after 02 with little fanfare. You can buy the plastic skeleton holder which snaps into the heater box and it comes with a filter. You might try aftermarket but the skeleton is probably a dealer only item. The filters are about $18? at PepBOys-Purolator.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • sundogsundog Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Imadazol97, I don't know why Buick would drop the cabin air filter. Really keeps the interior cleaner. I'm asking my dealer for a holder.
  • shoshmshoshm Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Buick LeSabre with the same problem. I have been to the dealer again and again. Sometimes they tell us we are nuts, there is no problem; sometimes an honest technician says, yeah, this car has that problem and we don't know how to fix it. They have even tried new Michelin tires. I have initiated a Lemon Law complaint with our state attorney general's office. BBB Autoline (Better Business Bureau) has a website that can help you get started. I would encourage you to stick it out; I test drove a used Buick before purchasing mine and it's vibration was even worse - probably a testament of what is to come. Unfortunately I had no idea this was a consistent problem with the LeSabre, or I never would have bought mine. Good luck. :sick:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Which Michelin tires were put on?

    Was the car aligned correctly?

    Has the car been driven with the vibration analyzer attached to various parts to diagnose the vibration type?

    Were the wheels force-balanced on Hunter 9700 by someone who knows what they're doing? Preferably a GM dealer who knows what's needed for trouble-shooting the vibrations in the stiffer frames with lighter parts in today's modern cars?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • dshepherd3dshepherd3 Member Posts: 194
    Mys 2003 Les with cheap Goodyears has no problem, there are tsb's out there about the issue relating to this being more prevalent with the lite weight suspension components, as mentioned a road force balance is important and there is even a suggestion of replacing front hubs and bearings.Even a slight runout is felt in the car.
  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Member Posts: 122
    FWIW, Michelin Harmonys stopped the vibration in mine. I love these tires. Quiet, good traction, great ride. Had them on 1.5 years and 21K miles.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    I'm glad you mentioned them on you 05. I have an 03 with Symmetrys on it and I want to put the Harmonys on as I wear them out two-by-two. I have Harmonys on my 98 leSabre.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • tres99tres99 Member Posts: 1
    I am driving Lesabre 2001. It made 36K with no problems and no other maintenance than oil and air filter change. While oil change service the shop recommended fuel injection cleaning, and transmission power flush. User manual does not mention this at all. Should I go ahead with this recommendation?.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Only if you don't mind donating to the shop owner's summer vacation home fund or for the college fees for his kids.

    The injectors are kept clean by the detergents in quality gasolines, which is most brands. Use a few tankfuls of only a top tier http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.htmllink title

    The transmission probably benefits from a drain and filter change between 36 and 50K. But the shop manual doesn't recommend that early a change; I think it's 100K unless you use it in hillclimbing, taxicab service, etc.

    The flush concept is another money maker in my opinion. They don't take the pan off and drain the fluid in the pan and change the filter. That's the preferable method even though it drains about 60% of the fluid that way. I doubt that the flush method which means easily connecting a nice machine that pushes fluid through is better at getting all the old fluid out.

    I drain and change my own fluid and do it about 36 K just for preventative maintenance. Find a local, reputable established local shop from friends or family. Pay them to drop the pan, change the filter, and refill with Dextron III. Cost of filter at PepBoys $18; fluid, $15+; the old gasket is reused because it's rubber and contains metal to conduct heat to the bottom of the pan to help cool the transmission.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • jw1981jw1981 Member Posts: 1
    Hello. I have a 2001 LeSabre with roughly 37000 miles on it. I bought it used 6 months ago and hadn't had any problems until fairly recently. In late January I started noticing a front end vibration in the car. It's intermittent and doesn't appear to be specific to any particular speed (it happens at most speeds) but sometimes I'll go for days without it happening at all.

    Now I am noticing that the steering wheel is tighter than normal. I can still make turns with no problems but something doesn't feel right (in addition to the vibration).

    I've had the tires balanced and aligned so now I'm thinking it might have something to do with the steering/suspension but I'm not sure as I don't know much about cars.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • auddie13auddie13 Member Posts: 2
    Hello! I have a 93 Buick Lesabre that has been leaking power steering fluid for some time now. About every other day i need to put more power steering fluid in. My husband looked under the car and seen that it was leaking from a thing called a cooler tubing. Does anyone know anything about that, he said the box thing that is there is real rusty, hes hoping he could by pass the tubing some how, if anyone understands what i'm talking about and can help please let me know thank you audra
  • skeenanskeenan Member Posts: 1

    My LeSabre has been in the dealer's shop several times and they can't seem to find what the issue is. The Stability Sensor light comes on and off periodically and the front end while making turns, in either direction, makes a stretching sound. Almost like a rubber band being stretched too far.

    I had another mechanic look at the front ens suspension and he said it was NOT the struts and the front end looks good. I am wondering since it is when turning, if it's something with the steering or could it be the idle arms, u joints, stability bar or something else they may be related to the steering housing.

    Help!!!I can't continue to let my child drive this car like this worrying that they will break down somewhere.


  • twohundredtwohundred Member Posts: 5
    I recently changed my rear struts on my 1995 Buick Lesabre. I replaced my springs also. On one side of my car the bottom of the tire is tilted out and the top is tilted in. How do I go about fixing this. I have to do most of everything myself because I am financially strapped at this time.

    Thank you,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    It needs an alignment. When you replace struts an alignment needs to be done or you'll wear the tires, which is expensive.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 17thabn17thabn Member Posts: 10
    Where can these be bought at a lower price than $128 a piece from GM.Or do these press in and out??
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Can't find the parts on rockauto.com
    gmpartsdirect.com has

    link title
    Identify the part or parts and look in their listing under rear suspension.
    I'd sure do some asking for parts at local advanceauto and autozone and others. The replacement brands should work just as well.

    Good luck. What happened to yours?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 17thabn17thabn Member Posts: 10
    I replaced the front inner and outer tie rods.I was looking at the back ones.I found out today that the rear inner tie rods are replaced,not pressed in.Just as I suspected.I took off the mini boot that is on it and greased them up and put the boot back on and then replaced the outer tie rods on them.The inners are good for
    another 10-20000 milkes.I was lamenting to Medley's Alignment(after I did the front end inners and outers and rear outers I had to get it aligned)he said he could get
    them for me for $80 apiece.Heck of a lot better than $128.By the way it drives like
    a New Car.
  • 17thabn17thabn Member Posts: 10
    Have inner and out tie rods checked.They have been known to fail at that mileage.
  • searcher9searcher9 Member Posts: 2
    I have the 2005 Buick lesabre that had the vibration at 65-70 MPH. I tried every thing that I could think of to stop the problem. The dealership said they could not find any thing wrong. We changed the tires to the Michelin Harmony had the force tested and nothing help. Them a mechanic suggested to change the front struts and rear shocks’. This took care of the variation. I have over a 100k on the car. I did not try this until it had 90k. I would have gladly paid the money for the ride it now has.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    What shocks and struts did you put on? Brand and model? How do you like the ride compared to the original? My car has 90K and I'm beginning to think about replacements in 20-30K

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • alans59alans59 Member Posts: 1
    you may have a bad tie rod or just be out of specs.you have to get a 4wheel, wheel alignment .
  • searcher9searcher9 Member Posts: 2
    I sorry I have not got back with you sooner. I replace Front and Rear shocks and struts with Monroe. I have not had the vibration since. The car has over 120K .
    I tried have Mich. Harmony tires new rotor, Every kind of wheel balance possible. I drove this car for 3 years no one could find the problem. I spoke with a BIG old tire store they suggested the shocks and struts. Now it drive like a buck lesarbre. :)
  • thurmskythurmsky Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Buick LeSabre and the vibration issue has returned again but under the same certain scenario. The previous time 2007 it began shaking after driving down out of the Colorado mountains after many miles of braking...result was new rotors and brakes. Now after driving out of the mountains of north arizona the vibration has returned.
    Do you think the strut replacement is the better move this time? It almost feels like the car is too heavy...strut sympton?
  • dottie007dottie007 Member Posts: 1
    My Service Engine Soon Light is on. I had my nephew (mechanic) check for the code and it is EBP P0496, he tells me that the gas tank is going to have to be dropped (he can not do this job). He told me to take the car to the dealership and get the job done. How much is this going to cost me? Does anyone know?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    >he tells me that the gas tank is going to have to be dropped (he can not do this job).

    You need to diagnose first. An engine code is just the symptom. What is causing a problem. I don't know what P0496 is indicating that is a gas tank problem. It means "flow during nonpurge." I take that to mean a leak in a hose, a gas cap that's not on tight or is not sealing, or a purge valve that's not working right.

    First I'd get a better opinion than your nephew if he thinks the gas tank has to be dropped on an 05 Buick leSabre to service the pump and sender unit. The access cover is in the trunk; remove the carpet and you'll see it.

    Second, the charcoal cannister is underneath the rear of the car. I don't recall just where. I'd start with that. I'd do a visual check of hoses. Then I'd see if the purge valve is operating properly which may require a computer or Tech II to operate to see if it's working. I recall some people needing a replacement purge valve on some cars.

    I suspect you'd save money by taking it to someone who can check what's happening with their computer. Do not throw parts at it.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bigbluebuickbigbluebuick Member Posts: 6
    Just got the tires rotated on my 95 LeSabre. now the car has a noticible pull to the left. Driving around 25mph, i need to keep the wheel about 3 degrees off axis to the right to keep going straight.

    I haven't hit any potholes recently, alignement was fine at the last checkup (August). Tie-rods, rack, etc less than 1 year old....

    Could this be caused by uneven wear on my treads? If so what is the soultion? Will the wear pattern even out eventually, or do I need new tires?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    edited November 2010
    Try an alignment. Could be a bad tire with a belt problem.

    If you actually want to chase the problem, switch the two fronts left and right and see if the pull moves. That tire should have been on the the opposite rear tire if the rotation was done right. A bad belt wouldn't be noticed until it was on the front again.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bigbluebuickbigbluebuick Member Posts: 6
    Long term problem with the forward suspension. At highway speeds 65-75mph, the front end vibrates as if its out of alignment. So far I have had the following work done:
    - Tires new & balanced
    - Suspension aligned
    - Transaxle & CV joints - new
    - Front shocks - new
    - Motor mounts - new

    My mechanic (AAA Service center) informed that because the car is so old, it will take a while (10k) miles for the new parts to sync up with the old frame. The vibration will therefore continue until the parts sync up. :mad:

    Any advice/comments would be appreciated.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    edited July 2012
    Bushings on the A-arm?

    Have the tires and wheels been checked with a RoadForce balancer? That will show up belt problems and quality problems in the tire and wheel.


    Tire rod ends, inner AND outer?

    Mounts (4? or 6?) holding the engine cradle to the front of the unibody? On several Bonnevilles I've read about problems with rust around the rubber bushings--I don't recall just how it occurred. Search for engine cradle or stub frame bushing?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • bigbluebuickbigbluebuick Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for the quick reply,

    The tires & wheels were checked with a computerized diagnostic system. I'm not sure it it was "RoadForce." The Service center is billed as state of the art for what its worth. Its a real AAA car care center - not just a private garage endorsed by AAA, so I believe its on teh level w/ top quality gear.

    2 transmission mounts were replaced (not motor mounts) The diagnostic report i received from the techs did not mention a problem with rust around the bushings, however It is worth investigating.

    The tire rods & bushings are all new as well.
  • gifrongifron Member Posts: 9
    I have two issues; don't know if they're related.

    2003 Buick LeSabre Custom
    93000 miles

    1. I have a grinding or moaning sound in the front end, when driving about 30-50 mph. Even a slight turn to the right, stops the sound. Outside this speed range, the noise is greatly reduced or gone. Two people suggested it is likely a CV joint/axel. I was thinking it might be a wheel hub.

    2. I get lots of vibration when braking. Pads and rotors were changed out a little over a year ago, and rotors don’t look worn down.

    What do you think? Thanks in advance for your help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    >Pads and rotors were changed out a little over a year ago, and rotors don’t look worn down.


    The moaning could be wheel bearing. If you turn left on a curve, the sound should get stronger, rougher, louder. Then you turn right on a curve, and the load is taken off that right wheel, and the noise is almost gone. My second bearing, a replacement, gave those same symptoms a few weeks back. No play in bearing for wobble nor any in and out play.

    GM's spec on in-out play is .05 inch. That's not the wobble that most people like to test, it's straight in and out.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • gifrongifron Member Posts: 9
    Sorry; front rotors were changed a little over a year ago. None of the four look worn down.

    I jacked up the front, and had very little wobble on both sides, but no discernible in-out play.

    Here are some pictures I took, showing how greasy the left (driver) side is. The right side is free of grease and oil. Maybe this is an indication of something.
  • gifrongifron Member Posts: 9
    Well, I guess the pictures didn't load, even though they showed up in the preview. Anyway, the left side is quite greasy throughout the whole axle area, both on the axle, and on surrounding components.

    I'll try the pictures again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Pictures have to be hosted on another website, such as photobucket.com. Then you link to it there with the address given by photobucket.com with your picture.

    You paste that address into the post here, select the whole thing, and click on the IMG button in the row of buttons down below the post composing box.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • gifrongifron Member Posts: 9
    Yep, that's what I did the first two times. The pics showed up in the preview, but not in the final posts. Ended up just posting the links.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    It's hard to place where that is and what's above it for me. My thoughts are that the material looks gooey, not just oil leaking from the seal there? If it were, it would be fresher and liquid in appearance.

    The coolant can leak from the bypass pipes for the heater on the side with the water pump. That coolant mixed with oil seeping down from the valve covers which can develope seeps may be mixing to give that gooey look.

    You also can have oil coming from the oil pressure sensor above the oil filter. Some have trouble with that giving a 130 lb. reading as it fails and some get a seep through the plastic part of the unit.

    You need to wipe everything clean and start over watching where the material comes from. Usually it's gravity bringing it from higher up.

    I've read that there's a leak detection powder to spray on the area and then the new oil tracking down shows up really well. And there's an ultraviolet additive for the oil and with a cheap LED ultraviolet light, you can see where the new oil is coming from.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    edited October 2013
    Getting ready to replace the rear shocks on my '04 Lesabre, and after doing some reading ordered the Monroe MA822 Max-Air shocks. The job looks relatively simple (even for a DIY such as yours truly), but I've read some conflicting info regarding whether my Lesabre has a threaded or clamp-on air hose connector for the air leveling system, and thus whether I need an adapter kit on hand before I start the job. My initial interpretation is that I *won't* need any adapter, but I'm just not sure. Can someone advise?

    Figured I'd ask here before I get started and find out I'm short an essential part :)

    Thanks in advance.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    Just wiggle to loosen the old clampon plastic is what I had to do.

    Also, do not let the left wheel drop completely. The rod for the height adjuster is on the suspension part; letting the arm fall free when taking the shock off overextends the sensor that it connects to.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    Thank you, sir! That's great info and you essentially predicted my next question - whether I needed to support the wheel independently.

    Thanks again!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,919
    If I recall, I took off the tire and then supported the arm with a large block of wood. I lowered the car jack to take some tension off the top and bottom of the shock.

    I recall something about the nuts used on the old shocks. They corroded to the bolt of something. I had to replace one of them with a corrosion plated
    bolt from the local hardware store.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    Perfect notion on the wood block support. Job is getting simpler as I read this :)

    Re the bolts...as I was researching this project, definitely saw some cautionary info on the risk for breaking some of the bolts, and that it was a good idea to have a handful of M8x1.25 bolts on hand just in case.
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