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Buick LeSabre Heating / Cooling

My 93 Buick LaSabre thinks the external temperature is 185 degrees. I am just guessing but I think that is the reason I don't get any heat unless I crank the climate control to the highest setting. The ext. temp numbers went up gradually over a one year period.

There was another post that made me think this might be a grounding problem. Has anyone seen this behavior? Does grounding sound like a possibility? Where would I start to look?

Thanks, Larry


  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    You can try removing the temperature sensor in front of the radiator. It's attached to the center support for the hood latch. The connection may have corroded slowly over time. It also could be the temperature sensor itself.

    I have a 98 service manual but I'll look in the 98 service manual for resistance for that sensor. You might pick up a sensor from a junkyard if that's the problem. I'm betting on the connection.

    Since you don't complain that the auto control unit isn't doing other things properly I'd suspect the ground is okay for the power to the unit. I believe it grounds through a buss that's next to the driver's seat right at he bottom of the A pillar. it's under the plastic cover rolled over the door frame. I had problems there and the power doors locks wouldn't work and the AC went into a default with the compressor turned on and in defrost for a manual AC unit.

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

  • I found the sensor and I tried unplugging it and plugging it back in. No change. I'll try leaving it unplugged.

    The rest of the climate control stuff seems to work (switches to defrost, panel, etc) except that A/C doesn't blow cold air. I don't know if the system is out of refrigerant or if the compressor never kicks on. Since I live in Michigan I decided I can live without A/C. Unfortunately now the heat doesn't work right!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    The temperature sensor should be about 1000 ohms at 70 F and about 3000 at 30 F. You need to take off your hush panel under the passenger side and look at the link move the arm for the temperature control back and forth. The link is from the bottom of the programmer box that controls all these changes. There's a white nylon arm that snaps onto a threaded rod that goes into the heater box and pulls on he vane to change the air flow over the heater and modulate the temperature.

    I assume both hoses to your heater core are hot meaning it's not clogged up.

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

  • It seems that my heater control valve is malfunctioning. The control cable may be disconnected, but I cannot find how to get into it. Can you please help me?

  • Thank you for all the help. I replaced the temperature sensor and everything started working. $24.50 and I am back in business. Thanks again.
  • I recently aquired a 97 buick lesabre limited and it had the passinger side climate contol removed. When I replaced the part it would not light up or do anything. The stange part is that the blower motor for the main a/c stopped working. ANY help would be greatly appreciated. :confuse:
  • drmrmndrmrmn Posts: 2
    Hi, I just purchased this car used and discovered the drivers side climate control works fine but the two dash vents on passenger side blow hot air when AC is on. Any ideas?
    Thanks, Alan
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    Are you able to work on your own car? Such as under the passenger side?

    I'll bet if you take off the hush panel above the passenger's toes and take off the glovebox and watch the two levers move while you change the controls, you will find the lower one that changes the temperature for both works and moves.

    If you watch the smaller white, upper arm when you adjust the passenger side, you'll see no movement or erratic movement. You might try moving it to see if the door inside of the heater box is sticking. But most likely the little electric motor in the actuator that moves the white arm is broken or disconnected...

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

  • gdt001gdt001 Posts: 10
    I have a 1998 LeSabre and the A/C stopped working. I replaced the compresser just last year. As near as I can tell, the compressor is not ingaging when it is turned on. I checked the fuse at the drivers side and it is OK. I watched the area at the pully and nothing happens when the A/C is turned on and then off.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    You probably have lost the freon. The pressure of freon has to be high enough to trigger the switch that's on the tubes under the hood. Remove the electrical connector and short the two leads to make the computer think the freon pressure is high enough. Do this only for a second to see if the compressor turns on. If it does, then you know you have a loss of freon pressure.

    And alternative is to use a pressure meter on a charging kit to see how much pressure is on the low side.

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

  • gdt001gdt001 Posts: 10
    Thank you imidazo197. I got an email that had the first part of your answer. I tried to short out the electrical connector first but nothing happened. It is located at an awkward place down where the compressor is and the wiring is not long enough to get it in a comfortable position to be sure I was shorting out the right leads. I went to the CarSpace web site and seen the second part of your message. I remembered that last year when the air went out, I bought a kit with two cylinders and a gage. According to the gage, I got a 0 reading. The indicator did not move at all. Tomorrow I'll buy two cylinders of freon and see if it charges. If it does, there has to be a big leak in the system. I'll get the freon that has the dye in it to see if I can find the leak. Thanks so much for your suggestion.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    Putting in one should build up some pressure to see if it works. I'd take to the guy who put the compressor on. If you didn't have a leak before, that's most likely place to look for leaks -- where the compressor lines were broke loose or the compressor itself. Then start checking elsewhere. And it has to be vacuumed to install freon correctly so he'll have the right equipment.

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

  • gdt001gdt001 Posts: 10
    Thanks again for your prompt answer, I'll do what you said. Do you know a lot about other cars also??I also have a 97 Lincoln Town Car and I need to remove the door panels to get to the door lock actuator on my side and the window motor on the passenger side. I have not been able to figure out how to remove the door panels. Any suggestions. Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    Have had experience with GMs more.

    Search for words lincoln town in the "Search Forums" box on the right side of this page1.

    Here is the group for Lincoln Town Car Maintenance and Repair
    link title

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

  • riteaidriteaid Posts: 2
    I have a 92 Buick lesabre and sometimes it won't start We have change the plugs and wires .we also have a new battery. It seems to only do it when it's hot. But no engine lights come on. It also has enough fluids. We think it might be the thermostat. What do you think? Also where is the thermostat?? have any pics?
  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 35
    I have a 1997 buick lasabre that when i start the car and turn on the air conditioning, the temperature light blinks and for 30 seconds hot air will blow out of the vents. After that time I get the cold air coming out and after a min the temp light stops blinking and i have all the cold air i can stand, now my questions is why is the temp light blinking with the hot air and after a min everything is normal. I was told it was some kind of sensor behind the glove box that controls airflow or something but after talking to the dealer, they said No, that in order to find out why its doing that they have to do dianostics on it to find the problem and to fix it...Anyhelp i can get here is appreciative cause what they want to charge would eat my pocket up :mad:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    A first guess would be it's a warning that your freon is low in pressure. The flashing indicator numbers can be a warning about several things as the programmer box does its selfcheck.

    What does it do on cooler days when there's no AC on. On some an electric actuator motor that moves the temperature vane can slip. It may cause a clicking sound at first.

    Is yours the dual AC with a passenger control also?

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

  • dewc3dewc3 Posts: 35
    I have filled the freon to the max adn its checks out ok and yes I have the dual AC with passenger control which that is set on cool or as cold as u can go on that.
    On normal days when its cooler outside the temp light still blinks like on hot days even when the air is not on... :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    If you are interesting in troubleshooting it yourself, you can take off the thin plastic quiet panel above the passenger's foot. I thas about 4-5 screws and taps. Than you can lie ont he floor and look up and see two rods that move when you move the temperature settings. The lower one is the passenger adjustment. The one about 10 inches high and on top of the heater box is the total temp which adjusts the driver and passenger other than the delta temp requested by the passenger.

    If you watch these while changing temps on the main dial and passenger dial, you'll see them both move.

    I'll bet at startup of the car after sitting, you'll see one of them not move properly all the way that the programmer box is trying to move it. The top one has a little black box with a motor and plastic gears in it and the gears crack allowing the control to slip. The lower one has an actuator motor like the top but it's inside the programmer box itself.

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

  • cjleavittcjleavitt Posts: 1
    Hello and thank you to all who help & advise.
    I have a 98 Lesabre "Limited" model with the auto climate control system.

    Last summer I noticed the MID position would not send air.
    I made it through the Winter as I don't use the MId for heat, anyway, but I really need the Mid position to cool off with A/C.

    The Floor only, Floor and Windshield work ok. The Floor & Mid only send out through the Floor. The Mid seems blocked or stuck?? I've seen the 4 colored vacuum lines - Green, Orange, Blue & White and the actuators "seem" to be working. In the Mid position, the air does flow through the door channels but nothing come out through the front vents.

    I've removed the lower panels from the driver and passenger side to have a "look-see" - but I don't want to start disconnecting and opening-up more than I need to.

    Your help would be MOST appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Chuck Leavitt - [email protected]
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    Go above the driver's accelerator and see if the blue line gets vacuum when the unit is set for AC and the motor is running to provide vacuum. If you do get vacuum there the motor that moves the vane might be leaking through its diaphragm or the rotating parts might be jammed inside the heater.

    I actually took another color tube off over there and applied it to the AC vanes instead of the blue to be sure they moved.

    I believe the blue line is the right one. I can't check right now. It goes to a vane which has an axis of rotation parallel to the dashboard an horizontal. It blocks the movement of air going upward to the defrosters and forces it out.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    imageSee more Car Pictures at

    The cover for the programmer box unsnaps on one side and can be removed without removing the programmer. The plastic connector slips out of the corner of the box. You CAN cut one one inside and outside and just connect it (both blue in this case) and apply vacuum directly without going through the connector where the black nipples inside closeup with age and heat. Connect using a piece of aquarium tubing or gas line (1/8 inch internal diameter worked for me free from NAPA junk box since I needed only 5 inches... I used about 1 inch long piece.).

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

  • tlamantlaman Posts: 1
    When I set climate control to have A/C on, the air that comes out of the vents is not cold. It is slightly warm. Under the hood, the compressor and lines are very cold. I thnk the problem is with the vent control. When this first happened, I could adjust the passenger heat/cold delta control to cooler and the air out of the passenger vent gets slightly cooler than the driver side. Now, I can't tell if there is a difference. Any ideas on what might be wrong and ow to troubleshoot/fix problem?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    The 2002 unit is operated by electric actuators. I believe the passenger actuator is on the right side and the whole unit actuator is on the driver's side. I have picked this up from reading.

    I suggest searching further on the net. Also spend some quality time with the hush panels off under the dash and watch the actuators move when you operate the AC control unit to determine which one and where does what... At least you can do this with the key ON and don't have to have the motor running like the 92-99 system which used engine vacuum to operate motors to move vanes and had two actuators for the blend doors (driver and passenger).

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

  • keacokeaco Posts: 3
    The automatic climate system is blowing out hot air on the drivers side and cold air on the passenger side during air conditioning when first started. After a half hour or so the system appears to operate normal. Any ideas what the problem could be?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    First check freon level. Lots of folk have found that a low level keeps the part of the evaporator cold that the air that ends up on the passenger side goes through while the part supplying air to the driver is warmer than it should be. '

    Second is that there is an actuator that affects the blend door from what posters have said. It is the one on the driver's side. You may have to take off the hush panels under the dash to see. You should be able to move things by adjusting the settings while the key is in the ON position.

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

  • towneytowney Posts: 1
    2000 Le Sabre with just the passenger side AC blowing cold air. It seems when the AC is first turned on the the drivers side starts to blow cold but turns to warm air. I have read here about thew acuators but for the life of me i can't seem to find what I am looking for. Any suggestions on a fix
    FYI this has seperate warm or colder control on the passenger side located on door panel. Freon level is normal.
  • Thanks for the heads up on the low freon charge. I did not even consider that as the problem, I recharged the system and it works like a champ. Thanks again!
  • I was experiencing the same issue. Cold on passenger side and hot on the drivers side with the dual climate control system. Thanks to the suggestion of one the on-liners, my problem has been resolved. The AC compressor was not short cycling like they normally do on a low charge, but was running continuously. I had used only the low pressure gauge on my manifold set and it appeared to be normal between 40 to 45 psig, but then after a second look I hooked up both guages and found the freon charge was low and almost flat. I weighed in the correct amount of freon and that has taken care of the problem. I hope this helps you solve your problem!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 22,738
    Thanks for coming back and letting other users know what worked on your car. It will help others.

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

  • I have a 2003 Buick LeSabre with an air conditioner problem that the dealer has not been able to repair.

    The air conditioner blower rarely comes on when the car is started but after several minutes, sometimes nearly an hour it will began to work.

    On other times when it is not working I can make a sharp turn either clockwise or counter clockwise and the blower will begin to work.

    When the blower is not working and I drive over a rough stretch of road it will begin to work.

    When the blower is working and I stop the car, the blower will slow down almost to the point of stopping.

    When driving and the blower is working, it surges, i.e. varies rpm for no apparent reason.

    Once the blower begins to work, it will continue to work until I turn the car off.

    Any ideas on how I can get the air conditioner repaired?
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