Buick LeSabre Heating / Cooling



  • rayslesabrerayslesabre Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1995 Buick Lesabre Limited with 150k miles on it and an automatic climate control unit. The air will not blow at all on any setting, but the control unit in the car works. A friend said that there appears to be no electricity going to the blower motor(He used an electrical meter) when I changed the tempature settings in the car. He said it could be the climate control unit in the car or a fuse but I do not have the fuse panel cover so I do not know where the fuse is located. I would greatly appreciate any advice and advice about where to find a fuse panel cover or diagram.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    If it's automatic fan speed control or manual but has the digital readout, then your problem most likely is the blower control module.

    The check is to take the leads from the blower motor and apply direct battery power through a fuse--please use a fuse-- and see if the motor works. They do die.

    Then follow the leads from the blower motor up to the left to the top of the channel that the air goes through from the blower. On top of this boxy channel is the end of an electronic power transistor that controls the blower speed. The circuit board part sticks down into the air stream inside the box for cooling.

    You can access this by removing two screws that hold the Relay Center to the firewall above it. The wires to the Relay Center have enough give to move it up some and allows access to the screws holding the blower control module.

    You can buy modules at rockauto.com, gmpartsdirect.com, and other parts stores. You also can use recycled from wrecked cars. Just check the parts numbers. Or search on car-parts.com; you'll see the interchangeable ones from other cars.



    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • elaineeelainee Member Posts: 2
    I think I have the same problem with my blower motor. The air coming from my AC is cool, and the defrost works when I am driving because enough air comes through the vents, but the blower started working intermittently some months ago. Sometimes it would come on after I had driven a while, and then I noticed I could hit a bump and the blower would come on, sometimes. Then I found that closing the passenger door would start the blower, and this worked for a while. Yesterday, I noticed that the fan would start weakly and then gradually build in strenght, but then it began weakening and then quit. Bumps and slamming doors do not seem to be able to revive it now. I have priced blowers, but someone said it may not be the blower. It might be a loose wire or a sensor. I don't want to buy something I don't need. What do you think? Do I need a blower, a sensor, or simply some wires reattached?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    If yours is 92-99 leSabre, then your blwoer motor is under the hood on the firewall between the motor and the passenger comartment.

    You can test it by using a FUSED wire from the battery along with the ground wire and disconnecting the power to the blower and substituting the power leads from your battery. If it runs fine then, your problem is the blower motor control module or resistor pack or a connection.

    Most likely it's the blower motor has worn out. There are 5 screws holding it, more or less, and it comes out toward the motor and can be wiggled out. Some people push the car forward in park and block the rear wheels which twists the motor slightly forward leaving a little more room.

    Replacement motors for those years are relatively cheap at various stores or rockauto.com.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • elaineeelainee Member Posts: 2
    My car is a 2003. Where is the blower in that model?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    It's under the dash inside the car. Take off the hush panel above the passenger's feet.

    The motor end of the fan is down. The squirrel cage rotates in a horizontal plane. There is a connector that some people have found had poor or burned contacts. it's the one for the fan that leads to it.

    Most like the fan is toast. The brushes inside the fan and commutator wear fast. Poor supplier quality.

    Remove the carpet on the firewall by pulling it down toward the seat. You'll need the extra room. REmove three screws from fan holding it in place. Then Wiggle it out.

    Replacement should go in similarly.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    Greetings, all.

    The blower motor on my 2004 Lesabre Ltd stopped working with essentially no warning. The electronic A/C control indicates it is telling the fan at what speed to operate, but no air is coming out.

    I have researched to the point that I suspect the blower motor and the blower control module. However, getting to the module requires I move the Dash Integration Module off its mounting bracket. I can't tell how the module is mounted to the bracket, so I don't know how to remove it.

    I have removed the blower motor, and observe that it has s three-pronged connector, and that the motor label indicates it expects 14V. Is there a schematic around that could tell me which two prongs are getting the voltage, so I could test the power @ the connector? I hand-rotate the cage on the blower, and it seems to spin without resistance, but I obviously have no reference of how freely a known-good motor should spin.

    I would appreciate any additional advice anyone might have on this issue. It appears I can order an aftermarket blower from eBay for about $60, and a control module for about $90, but if someone has some info that might suggest another course of action would be appropriate, I'd be more than grateful. It appears my aunt and uncle, who have a 2001 Lesabre, spent some $700 getting this same issue fixed at nearly identical mileage (approx 67K) :(

    Thanks in advance
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Did the blower motor stop at once, or did it not work until the car hit a bump which vibrated it so that the commutator and brushes made contact again. There has been a wear problem with the brushes on some cars.

    There also is a problem on some, but I believe earlier than your year, where the ground strap from the armature loses contact with the housing. People lengthen that lead to ensure good contact. Some people have taken apart the working end of the motor to inspect the brushes and the contact--if you have electrical knowledge, you may be able to do that. It sounds like you're dedicated to replacing it if you mess it up by disassembling.

    A quick check of my 03 service manual shows A and B as the leads for the motor which are black and purple. C which is brown is a flange ground that goes back to the blower control module.

    The blower motor controll processor (the name for the blower control module) is held on by a screw at the top of the box. There's nothing else in front of it.

    Is your HVAC the dual temp with digital readout?

    The manual system may be different.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    I drove the car to work in the morning, on highways, and the fan was working; got in the car that afternoon, and it wasn't. Was in the driveway when I changed a fuse, which was by my observation wasn't blown, but I replaced it anyway. Started car, no fan immediately, then after perhaps 30 seconds, the fan ran. The fan started with the car on two successive restarts, again sitting on the driveway (no bumps), then on a third restart was dead again.

    That's led me to pulling the fan out, and trying to get the module out. The control system is the integrated electronic panel with digital display.
  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26
    I have discussed my symptoms with a tech from a dealer that formerly sold and serviced Buicks, and he has strongly suggested that I replace the blower motor rather than the control module. He agreed with the likelihood that the motor has developed a "dead spot" similar to that which arises in some starter solenoids. He obviously cannot guarantee that is the problem, but he felt that was a much higher probability than the control module.

    I will be looking at an aftermarket blower, because the local GM dealer wants $300 for a replacement. I think not.
  • soonerdewsoonerdew Member Posts: 26

    I thought I would update the status of my blower problem. I picked up an aftermarket blower motor here in town for about $139 before taxes (which is still more than the one I priced at ebay, but was looking at $40 shipping to get it out here with even the best shipping option). I installed the new motor and it worked perfectly, with no further indication of stopping or failing to start with the car. My trusty Buick is now comfy cool once again!

    Please allow me to offer my thanks to those who replied here.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    >town for about $139 before taxes

    What brand was that blower motor you used?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 2oldbuicks2oldbuicks Member Posts: 3
    I have been googling for 3 days. I keep coming back to this forum, and get close, but no cigar. Evidently my 94 is enough different in the vaccuum/controller setup from the posts I've seen to have me really confused. I have good vaccum to the controller where the white, green, black and orange lines go out to the separate actuators. What's next? I can't seem to find a schematic of which colored line is supposed to do what and when. As in when X button, such as the A/C Norm button is pushed, which actuator/door closes and which is supposed to open to direct air to the middle vents? Thanks in adavance for any help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Which AC do you have? Automatic control with dual controls and digital readout or the regular AC with a slide lever to adjust the temperature?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 2oldbuicks2oldbuicks Member Posts: 3
    Sorry, I have the regular A/C, I think I have determined that either the little unit that the black vaccuum line goes to and is then distributed out to the different vaccuum actuators is defective, OR, the switch that you push to choose to determine MAX, NORM, HEAT, etc. is not working as it should. But I don't know how to test it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Your problems will be in order of likelihood:

    Poor vacuum due to cracked plastic reservoir tank or rotting, dried lines that are leaking air into them. The one-way valve before the vacuum goes to the firewall box may be cracked, defective, etc. You can suck air through to see if it's okay.

    A vacuum line connector sucking shut where the lines in the control (programmer box) under the inside dash connect to the lines going to the actual vacuum motors (actuators) that move the vanes.

    A dragging, broken, vane or a tear in the diaphragm keeping the motor from pulling with full force.

    You can check lines at the motor, firewall, and into the car.

    With motor running do you feel a good sucking pressure on fingertip from the black line leading inside the car tot he programmer?

    You can take a vacuum line from the motor to each of the actuators under the dash and connect them to see if they move properly. That's what I would do--buy some vacuum line and connect it and probably 8 feet of line would reach inside the car and check the actual motors.

    Then you can run the engine to get vacuum and switch between the settings and see which motors move to control the air flow. This will isolate that the one line that goes to the motor that moves the vane that closes off the flow to the defroster that makes the air come out the dash isn't working, most likely. Also the flow to the floor is turned off by that motor but I believe there's no vacuum used because that's the default position.

    The motor for the defroster/dash has an axis of rotation that is horizontal and parallel to the firewall IIRC.

    Your programmer may have a connector like this which closes off under vacuum.

    This person used aquarium air line to make a sheath over the outside of the lines and connected the lines internal to the black programmer box to the lines outside
    imageYou're in for some upside down time fiddling under the dash.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • 2oldbuicks2oldbuicks Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for your well written reply and pictures.The vacuum up to the programmer seems strong, the rubber connecters to the programmer looks good and so far the individual lines to the actuators look OK. Truthfully, I haven't checked all of them yet though, till I know which actuators are not doing their jobs. My programmer looks a little different but is basically the same thing. I will do as you suggested and make a long line out of some pieces spliced out of an old Ciera I have sitting around. Then as you said, I can find out which actuator does what and go from there and report back.I'm still not sure how to tell if the problem is one or more of the solenoids in the programmer, or one or more of the switches in the dash controller unit. I'll worry about that after I check the actuators, I guess. The A/C is just not very effective bouncing off a hot windshield first, especially in S. Arizona in summer,LOL. Thanks again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    But the plastic connector for the group of tubes looks good even when it's sucking shut under the vacuum. The plastic connector and the black nipples inside the part where the tubes actually connect tend to soften with age and become gooey.

    If you can hear any of the vanes in the heater box move when you press different buttons on the control while the motor is idling to provide vacuum or immediately after shutting the motor down while vacuum is holding in the reserve tank, your programmer box is probably working okay. I'd give replacing the connector portion an 80% probability of fixing it. This problem with heat deterioration and age failure for the connector has been known for years.

    softened plastic in connector blocking vacuum

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • tkkingtkking Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for the low-side charging port on a 2002 LeSabre anyone know where i can find it? thanks.
  • corsow1557corsow1557 Member Posts: 1
    98 Lesabre Ltd, 84K miles, automatic dual climate control. A/C and blower motor not working in any setting; controls respond (audible beeps and displays on LED window but no air coming out any vent. I jumped Blower motor and it works, however when I test the voltage; it only provides 0.45 volts (1/2 volt). Also found vacuum leak from canister which I fixed but still not air thru any setting (Floor / Mid / Defrost).

    Anyone has any ideas...?
    Corsow 1557
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    If the blower works when connected directly to battery through a fuse (hope you used one), then it's probably the blower control module. It replaces the blower resistor pack in switch type blower cars. It's a power transistor that's controlled by some circuits. It's available from some aftermarket stores and rockauto.com and gmpartsdirect.com. Follow the wires from the blower motor to the top of the air channel through which the blower pushes the air--it's cooled by the air through the passage. There relay panel above has two screws holding it in place and then it can be pushed up some to provide enough room to remove the two screws holding the blower control module.

    Module click here

    The picture here shows a resistor pack but the BCM does in the same hole.


    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • odie58gaodie58ga Member Posts: 2
    I am new to this forum so if I am in the wrong place please excuse me and help me find the right place.
    I just bought a 2000 LeSabre Custom with 12000 miles. It has been kept in a garage and everything seems to be like new. The only problem is the A/C does not blow cool air. The compressor seems to work and cycle on and off and the previous owner took it to the dealer shop where refrigerant gas was added about a month ago. The previous owner said it would blow cold air on the drivers side and hot air on the passenger side. My observation is that the passenger side will blow cool air after a while but the driver side blows hot air. When I press the recirc button the indicator light does not come on. Any suggestions?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    The compressor should not cycle on and off except when the car is started and shut down or the control turns it off and on.

    It will do that if the freon is low. So the first thing to check is the actual charge of the freon.

    There are some failures of the supplier parts called actuators that move the vanes in the heater box stack in the middle of the car under the dash. By taking off the driver's side hush panel (the plastic layer above the driver's calves) you can watch these actuators.

    I'll look for a diagram that shows which of the 3 on that side does which. One closes off the defroster to make the air come out the dash vents. One closes off the heater opening at the bottom. And one closes the air flow over the heater core to add warmth or take it away; all air goes through the AC evaporator. If you have dual air, then another one controls the warmth and cool mix for the passenger side.

    If those actuators move when you change temp and button choices, then you're okay on that. They are replaceable by a moderate mechanical ability person. They can be bought online at Rockauto.com or gmpartsdirect.com or your dealer.

    A common symptom of low charge is that the passenger side gets cool air and the driver gets warm air. That's because the freon enters a side of the evaporate where air over it goes to the passenger and the freon is evaporated before any gets to the side of the coil feeding the air to the driver.

    If you are careful, a can of freon 134a without oil without dye without special sealer from Walmart and a separate gauge they sell that can be switched from can to can will let you charge the system while running in a cool temp of say 70 degrees up to the correct pressure on the gauge per the instructions. I put a box fan in front of my condensor while I did it on my 98 a couple summers ago. If the two metal tubes in and out of the evaporator are both cold about the same temp with the AC running blower on high after a couple of minutes, you may not need a charge.

    Good luck.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • nmesllcnmesllc Member Posts: 1
    96 LaSabre had minor front end damage, replaced hood, bumper and AC condenser. Recharged AC system, but now compressor won't cycle off and cooling only comes out defrosters Any suggestions???
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Your compressor is most likely a V5 or a number like that. It's variable. It changes the volume of freon it compresses instead of turning on and off.

    The vacuum to the inside vacuum actuators may not be present. Follow the shiny vacuum line from the upper intake manifold where the big tube goes to the brake booster on the firewall. It goes to the passenger side (take off the cover for the relay center) and meets a T. One line goes to the vacuum reservoir under the right front fender. Lie on the ground to look up to see it. It may be cracked or the tube may be pulled off. Pull off the tube and with the motor running feel the tube there to see if there's vacuum.

    If you have vacuum there, then go inside and drop the passenger hush panel. You'll see a programmer box (large paperback size) on the corner of the HVAC box. There's a connector in the corner with 6 1/4 inch plastic lines that carry vacuum from the programmer to the various actuators on the HVAC box.

    To see if you have vacuum there follow the violet line to the passenger side of the car where it's connected to the black line coming from under the hood at that T.
    Pull them apart--they may be hard since they've been together since 1996.

    I believe the blue line is the one to the vacuum motor that moves the vane in the dash that stops the air from going out the defroster.

    A test to do before digging under the dash is to see if your other vacuum motors move when you push the buttons. Run the motor for an instant. Then turn off motor but leave key ON. Press heat and bilevel, etc., on the control. IF you have vacuum stored, you will hear the other motors move for a few cycles until vacuum stored under the fender is depleted.

    The common problem is no vacuum from under the hood. Since you had body work that's my first guess.

    Second is that the connector ont he corner of the programmer is soft plastic. The line for the AC sucks shut preventing vacuum from getting to the vane that stops the flow to the defroster; the heater vane closes to shove air to the top then the defroster vane closes to force air out the ash vents. If no vacuum anywhere, you always have defrost as a fail safe which is the way GM designed the system for safety.

    You can bypass the connector with little pieces of 1/8 inch gasoline rubber line or an aquarium line is the right size to slip over both ends.
    You cut out one line from inside the programmer box and connect them or cut all the lines. Be sure to write down the color inside the box and the color outside the connector; they are different.

    My old connector:

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • odie58gaodie58ga Member Posts: 2
    You were right about the freon. Earllier when I confirmed that the compressor was working I went on to the next possible problem. Later when I checked for leaks, I found that there was a leak in the compressor; so, it WAS working but also leaking freon. A new compressor has everything working well.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Glad that helped isolate the problem.

    Thank you for letting everyone know what the problem was in your case. That will help others looking for ideas and solutions.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I'm new to this. I have a 99 LeSabre with automatic a/c with the failed female / male vacuum line connections. Air comes out of defrosters and floor vents. Nipples are all soft and two are colapsed. I've established 20.5 in. vacuum to programmer.

    Now I'm ready to splice around the old connections.

    I think I have to remove the programmer to get to the harness as shown in your great pictures. I've been warned that I would probably damage the programmer trying to get to the harness without removing the entire programmer. Looking through the glove box hole, the female/male vacuum connection is at the lower left of the programmer.

    I can see only one screw holding the programmer on. Is this correct?

    Do I have to dis-connect the battery before disconnecting the dash control connection, before I remove the programmer?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    There are two screws holding the programmer box to the HVAC box.

    Take off the plastic hush panel above the passenger's feet. Three screws at the front and two little spin on nuts along the back IIRC.

    Remove the 7 screws for the glovebox. You'll have great access, as long as you don't mind sort of lying across the seat and hanging down onto the floor.

    The programmer box has a snap on lid on one side and that clamps the plastic connector in its corner. I suspect the box could be unsnapped WITHOUT taking it off. I Know you need to unsnap the white plastic link to the metal rod. It just snaps apart pushing forward or backwards.

    If you can wait a day I can find a programmer box and show you the snaps.

    Remember to write down the color tube on the inside of the connect and the color to which it connects on the outside.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    Hey, I'm in Houston and it's 100-104F. I can wait.

    Also, remember it's a 99 LeSabre with auto air, if this makes any difference.

    I have removed the glove box already.

    What about the electrical disconnection? If I remove the programmer do I disconnect the battery before disconnecting the controller electrical connection? Looking into the glove box hole it's sort of right in front of me.

    Thanks so much again.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    the programmer has a big connector that comes off kind of hard. I don't remember if there's a blue key pin that has to come out first or not. There's a little connector on the top that goes tot he passenger actuator that moves the rod on top of the HVAC box.

    Because of those connectors, if you can remove the cover and clip out the plastic connector for one or all of the little tubes, it would be easier.

    I may be repeating, but I used 1/8 inch internal gas line. Others have found aquarium line fits over the little small hard plastic vacuum lines. A little moisture on the end of the line may help it slide in easier.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I'm back. I'm going to try to attach a photo with this reply.

    Regarding the hush panel, what is the IIRC you mention. I can see the front connectors and spin nuts.

    Is the second programmer connector screw on the firewall side of the programmer, the bottom or somewhere else?

    I still am worried about the wiring connected to the passenger side of the programmer, if I actually get to the removal point. Should I disconnect the battery first?

    How do you attach a jpeg photo?
  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I' back again.

    I've removed the hush panel and the small connector arm at the bottom of the programmer.

    I see what I think is the 2nd screw for the programmer at the bottom.

    I think I would be better off if I could get to the vacuum lines internal to the programmer without removing the programmer itself.

    I've already removed the female part of the vacuum line connection, the clear plastic piece with the external vacuum lines going to the motors, once. If there was a way to get the male part of the connection out without tearing up the programmer I might could extend the interior vacuum lines out of the programmer and make the splices.

    There might be a holding clip (black) running around the top and side of the black plate with the male nipples on it. I'm not sure. Breaking this in a removal attempt might not be too critical. This could be sealed pretty well after splicing.

    As a last resort I could make a manifold for the lines to the motors, figure out the functions of the internal programmer lines and set up a plug and play to manually replace the programmer vacuum functions.

    I may have to see if a sympathetic parts man would let me look at a replacement programmer to understand it better.

    You can see I'm getting loopy. Help.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    The programmer side that snaps on is against the HVAC. Have to remove.

    The little actuator motor on top of the HVAC is a clip on snap; pull prong out to pull upward. It's on the picture of the programmer.

    The plastic connector for the tubes is a slide in. There are grooves around it.

    link title

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I can't believe it but I've removed the programmer and the plate/whatever you call it that has the vacuum lines from the internal manifold connected to male/nipple connectors.

    I'm now going to get tubing to go around the male component.

    The hardest part was the removal of the electrical connector on the front of the programmer. I studied the little grey clips/locks/whatevers for a long time until I figured I needed to pry the smaller lock/connector arms out a little with a small screwdriver. There's one of these on both sides of the connector. You know this of course. After much wiggling the connector came loose. The electrical connection on the top of the programmer wasn't hard at all. After the two screws were removed I was able to drop it down and jiggle it out.

    Now the tubular fix, I hope.

    I'll send you the results as soon as I recover from the heat.

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I've made the tubular bypass, hooked up the electrical connectors and re-connected the lever at the bottom of the programmer.

    I started the car and turned on the air. Voila, there's cold air coming out of the dash vents. Selecting windshield/floor works too. No more tests. I'll drive it awhile before re-installing the hush panel and glove box. I'll test heat and vent etc.

    thanks again,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Great! Glad it worked.

    Did you use rubber gas line to connect the vacuum hoses or aquarium line?

    Thanks for coming back to tell us it worked or didn't work!

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    I could not find aquarium line small enough to make a tight connection. I tried some shrink tubing and it was not tight enough to stay on during the re-installation of the programmer.

    I noticed that either GM or the mechanic who did the repair before had used a 1/8in or smaller inner diameter vacuum line to splice the lines coming from the actuator motors (I assume) and going into the clear connector plate (female part). This splice was about 3 to 5 inches before the lines entered the female plate. So I went to my local AutoZone and they finally found some of the same size vacuum line. The outer diameter looks a bit larger than the other, but it makes a very tight fitting. I used 4-5in sections for the connections to give me some room and I tie-wrapped the bundle near the programmer.

    I'm now wondering whether or not to worry about sealing the opening left by the old joined female/male connector plate at the lower left corner of the programmer.

    I gave the cooling settings a good test today and no problems. I need to do the same for the heating adjustments.

    I did notice that the programmer motor driven lever at the bottom of the programmer moves with the temperature settings. I still don't know what vacuum lines are opened or closed for the various other dash control buttons. I'm just interested, after seeing how the solenoid manifold works.

    Thanks again for staying with me through this. By the way I just turned off the a/c at the dash before disconnecting the front and top electrical connections, being careful to pull straight out on the connectors. The top was easy, the front took me some figuring out, but I made it with the help of a small flat blade screwdriver to carefully pry the locking arms outward.
  • clearlakeclearlake Member Posts: 11
    Well, another day with solid a/c performance. I tested all dash controls, except vent and I don't know why I skipped that one.
    Everything seems to work fine. Heat out of any vent selected and air out of any vent selected.

    I'll wait for a rain shower to cool things off and then button things up.

    I wonder how many people have suffered the pain of paying extravagant prices for this repair, or even worse getting rid of an otherwise good car because of the quoted prices.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,128
    My son has a 1998 LeSabre with the 3.8L engine and relatively low miles (70K).

    He has has a problem with water disappearing from the radiator. He states that he keeps filling the overflow tank but eventually (he wasn't specific ) he gets a hot engine light and finds the tank empty.

    I did a quick check and I don't see any leaks from the usual sources (hoses, water pump, radiator) so I starting to think it's the dreaded Intake manifold gasket problem.

    I looked at the exhaust and there is some slight white exhaust but this may be due to the system still being cold. I revved it up and didn't see any increase in the white smoke.

    So what do the experts think? I'd like to have a better handle on this before he takes it to a shop and gets nailed for $800 to replace that gasket.

    Is there any way to diagnose this without any special tools?

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • mybuick5mybuick5 Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 98 buick. They have a weakness in the air intake plenum. It is what sits on top of your eng, that the intake air come into and distributes it to intake ports, It is made of a composite- fiber -sort of like fiber- glass. Near the entrance, driver's side of the eng , there is an egr. valve which is ported into this. that port(which is cast into the plenum) is surrounded with a flow of coolant, The wall between the egr port and the coolant deteriorates with heat and time . Mine failed around the same mileage as your son's. The result is that at first there is seepage into the intake, then as it get worse it will leak enough so that it will drain down into whichever cylinder that the intake valve is open on, when you last shut off the engine, and as a result bind as you try to crank it because it will try to compress the coolant that had built up in the cylinder. In mine I caught it in time so that it didn't end up with a blown head gasket. Everything below the plenum was fine. I just had to replace it . It came with all the necessary gaskets. It is a good idea to drain you Coolant before changing it so that it will not leak into the oil pan as you are working, however it is important to give it fresh oil and filter at the same time. Hope this helps. PS you can examine the old plenum after you remove it. It will probable look charred around that port. It is a hole vertical up into the air intake plenum at the front (driver's side) about 3/4 inch diameter. If you have the means you can cap the other openings for coolant in the removed plenum and pressurize it. check around that port for leakage.
  • dan_1997dan_1997 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Buick Lesabre with Dual Climate control. When I first start the car and turn the heat on it waits to get to a certain temperature and then starts the blower. That is working normal. I only get heat out of the drivers side. The passengers side blows cold. If I turn the temperature down to 60 and back up the 70 then it will start blowing warm air and seems to function normally. I pulled the glove box out to see if there was a loose linkage but everything looks good. What do I look at next?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    The electric actuator on top may have a cracked gear inside. This allows slippage and the programmer (box on the corner of the heater, the computer) loses it's reference. Moving to cold and then back up lets the actuator reset a reference and move again.

    You can watch the link for movement while you move the heater control temp on passenger side up and down (with key ON). Actuator has wire connecting to programmer. It has two little screws on top that are barely accessible.

    link title

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    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • dm26dm26 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 00 Lesabre with no heat. It has the manual slide system, not dual control. The thermostat is ok, blower works fine and directs to the correct vents when setting is changed. The A\C works. I tried another dash control unit, same issue. Is there a valve or vent door that is not opening? If so is it electrical or vacuum? Is there a way to test?
  • dewc3dewc3 Member Posts: 35
    I have a 97 lasabre that when you have the heat on the floor setting, it will blow out hot air on drivers side floor vents, but will blow out cool to cold air for the passenger side floor vents, what could be the problem making it do this? Any help would be appreciated :cry: The same goes when you have the mid level vents on as well
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    You have two electrical actuators--if you have digital readout with a passenger control AC system.

    One controls the driver's side temp
    One controls the passenger side temp

    Take off the hush panel above the passenger's legs. On the bottom of the heater box is a white lever that comes out of programmer box. It snaps onto a small rod that has ridges on it like screw threads. it may be unsnapped. Or the motor for the plastic link is not working.

    The actuator on top of the heater box close to the top of the programmer also actuates a vane inside the heater through a small rod. Check to see if one of these work when you operate the temp control for driver (main) and then check to see if the other work move when the passenger control is varied. Be sure to have the key ON when trying this.

    The actuators may have cracked a gear inside the box. The actuator for the lower one is inside the programmer box which has all the vacuum tubes coming out of it. I assume it requires replacing the programmer.

    I forget which one, top or bottom, controls which temp.

    You may want to take off the glovebox lid by removing 6 screws along the bottom. I think that makes it a lot easier to see. And I think the lower lever is kind of protected by a snap on shield.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    There are electric motors that move the vanes inside the heater box.

    For most if I understand poster's comments, the axles are white and you can see them move in response to different commands from the controls with the key ON. Take off the hush panels under the dash to see the controls. You may need to look on driver and passenger side both.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • stan67stan67 Member Posts: 3
    My 2002 Buick Lesabre heater is blowing cold air only. Would this just be the thermostat?
  • stan67stan67 Member Posts: 3
    My 2002 Buick Lesabre makes a sloshing sound usually when the car first gets going. Some fluid is "sloshing around but I'm not sure what is causing this. At first I thought it might be the gas tank but it doesn't matter if tank is full or not. It sounds like it is coming from the engine or dashboard area.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,727
    Your engine is old enough it might be a thermostat opening too soon and the engine running cool. If you are engine aware, open the hood after the car's been running on a normal short drive of at least 10 minutes, an feel the upper radiator hose. It should be very warm to touch if the thermostat is staying closed and letting engine water come out when the water is 195 deg.

    If it's really warm, and you can tell which hoses go to the heater back on the firewall, touch each of them after the engine has been running and the blower fan is ON high. TURN the motor off before reaching around because of the fan belts. Both heater hoses should be about the same temperature if water is flowing through the heater core like it should.

    Look at your reservoir tank for coolant. Is it a nice orange? Or orange with a hint of brown tone because of the sealer put in the car in 03 for a recall that GM did to use a sealer again that wasn't put in at the factory. If the coolant is sludgy looking and dark, perhaps oily looking on top, you might have a problem with DexCool that was contaminated with regular coolant and is clogging up. Sometimes the heater cores can clog easily with goop.

    But most likely you have an actuator motor that is dead or stuck. They move the vanes inside the HVAC box inside the car. I can't isolate which one is likely for the temp unless you tell me you have an automatic system with digital readout or a manual system without the digital readout.

    Here's a link to a pict showing two or the actuator motors. Notice they have a small circle at one end in white that's the end of the rotor. So with the key ON, motor off, you can change settings on the temperature, air direction, etc., and the actuators will move. If they don't, people say they come off easily with a couple of screws and you can buy news ones at a dealer or by internet.

    This is a picture I found on the net. It is not my picture. Thanks to whoever took it. It is a heater box without the dash around it. You can access this by taking off the thin plastic covers under the dash, left and right sides. A few screws. Carefully remove them. Notice in the picture you can see the white plastic arms that move th vanes inside the box. I don't know if you can see them in the car or not. I do not know if the temperature blend door (changes from warm to cold) is on the left or the right for your car. I suspect left because on a dual system one on the right would control the passenger side of the HVAC box.


    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

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