Buick LeSabre Maintenance and Repair

llaupertllaupert Member Posts: 1
This morning I had the service engine light come on - when I got home I hooked up my OBD 2 meter to the port and no codes showed. So I think I set one in the DTC computer. I have never had to access those codes. My Cadillac I hit a combination of on/off and scroll button up and the computer codes are seen on the speedometer display. I am certain with the 2000 Buick Lesabre something like that is possible. I could not find anything in the searchs - can someone please help?


  • dharkerdharker Member Posts: 4
    I was wondering if any body could lead me in the right direction. My 99 LeSabre has a hesitation problem. There's no CE light, tuned up to see if that would help. she does it when she reaches normal operating temp. Could it be a faulty coolant temp sensor or speed sensor? The temp gauge never reaches the 200 degree mark either. I just bought the car from an older couple who complained about the problem. I fell in love with this car on the first drive!!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Can you give more information?

    How many miles are on the car?
    Is the hesitation everytime from a dead stop? Is it only when moving and you slowly push down on the throttle?
    Has the cooling system been kept up to date with biannual coolant drains and refills?
    If it's over 60K miles have the plugs and wires been changed?

    Plugs and wires would be my first guess. BUT you need to stop by an Advanced Auto, Autozone, or one of the box stores who will use a scanner and check for codes stored. That should show a miss if it is plugs and wires without having kept an engine light on.

    Don't throw parts at the car.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • dharkerdharker Member Posts: 4
    She's got 135k on her... just picked her up. I just did 100k tune-up including coolant flush. Three's no codes stored and she does it when she's at normal operating temp, from a dead stop.. Does not do it when she's cool or from a rolling start. No problem starting, no run-on when I turn her off.
    Also, she never reaches the 200 degree mark on temp guage...always seems to run cooler, even though fans do come on. I agree... don't want to start throughing parts at her. :confuse:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    The first thing that comes to mind is the MAF sensor. I know some people have to replace those. They can be cleaned carefully using a cleaner meant for intakes and a soft brush like an artist's brush to clean the fine wire, which breaks easily. This is held on by three screws and they are security screws requiring a special torx-like screw driver head.

    Second is the throttle position sensor. This is located at the pivot axle location of the butterfly valve inside the throttle body.

    Third is cleaning the whole throttle body. If there's a sticking when cold at first movement of the throttle pedal, the inside of the throttle body may be caked with black goop. That might affect the operation of sensors and other parts.

    Third is the idle air control. This also can cake up with the goopo from the throttle body. It's a valve that bleeds air when the engine is idling. Gooping up blocks it. Then when you're above idle and the throttle plate is open it shuldn't have much effect. It also is removable for cleaning with appropriate cleaner.

    All three of these are located on the throttle body. The whole throttle body can be removed for cleaning but that requires draining coolant and a few difficult screws and a new gasket to seal it to the face of the plastic upper air intake manifold.

    Last I'd pick up a large bottle of Techron Fuel System Cleaner by Chevron at Pepboys, or Meijers, or Walmart (only has small 12 oz bottle but cheaper). Do not use injector cleaner etc. Put it into a nearly empty tank like the bottle says. If the fuel used by previous owners was not always good brands and sat in tank for long periods before use it may have injectors not clean. If you have the 20 oz bottle just fill up tank since it's for up to 20 gallon. If you have the 12 oz bottle put in up to 12 gallons, about 2/3 tank. And drive till nearly empty. If you notice a difference after 5-10 miles, then it has helped.

    Report back.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • dharkerdharker Member Posts: 4
    Well, Now the C.E. light on. I'll borrow a scanner tomorrow and take it from there. Thanks for the advise
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    I'll bet on plugs AND wires. Use OEM wires from AC or NAPA. Don't use fancy wires from the box stores in the pretty packages, etc. I did that one time.

    Stick with the AC plugs recommended by the book. It may be a different number than the originals, if taht's what's still in there.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cae4300cae4300 Member Posts: 1
    My battery went dead from leaving interior light on in a 95 Buick Lesabre. Since then the door locks on passenger and rear doors will not open using the interior lock and unlock button or the key fob.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    It might not be related to the dead battery.

    Check the battery terminals for corrosion. Turn off all accessories. Put AC on off.

    Disconnect negative terminal. Disconnect positive terminals and check both cable ends. Check for corrosion between the cables. Then reinstall after cleaning them to get bright metal.

    I assume the key fob will unlock the trunk but not the doors? Does the emergency button work?

    If neither of these are true, then HOLD the key fob unlock and lock buttons down at the same time while standing next to the car (with the battery reconnected, grin), just in case...

    That resyncs the radio lock and unlock somehow. After 5=10 seconds there will be a short horn beep indicating it has resynced.

    Beyond that you need to check fuses. There may be a fuse or relay for the door locks in a 2nd fuse/relay panel above the passenger's right foot on the bottom of the A-pillar. Remove the thin plastic panel with about 5 screws above the passenger foot-that's the hush panel to quiet noises from the heater and motor area. On top of the hush panel is a small sticker showing the location in the open panel of the fuses and relays. I recall there may be one in there.

    Beyond that the locks may be part of the body control module. But don't go replacing it. I've rarely heard people say one is a problem. Check everything else first.

    And just a thought..., how's your battery? If it's several years old and it ran down, this may be giving lower voltage than normal. It might be a time to replace it with a new one. At least have it thoroughly checked. Most auto stores and Walmart will do that check. Some will do a full recharge free-Advanced Auto, e.g. They hope you'll buy a replacement there if you do need one.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • saucemoneysaucemoney Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1989 lesabre and i put a scanner on it and it gave me code 44 that says lean exhaust indication oxygen sensor voltage stays low after one or two minutes of engine run what does this mean should i change the oxygen sensor
  • gettinitgettinit Member Posts: 2
    Is there any way to pull the codes from a 95 LeSabre without taking it to a dealer or mechanic? On my 94 Dakota you can turn the key on and off 3 times and the light will flash in sequence giving you the codes that are stored. Just wondering if there are similar tricks w/ this Buick? Maybe flick the lights, honk the horn, turn the key and rub my head and pat my stomach kind of deal.....
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    I think 93 was the last year for the ADL 1 or whatever the right name is. You shorted two terminals on the connector below the steering wheel and it gave out codes. But after that the 94 was an odd year for connectors but Advance Auto, Autzone, and others should be able to read the codes for you. They do it free.

    That may be the year where it requires a specific set of cables and some stores myay have them or not. Check with them!

    Are you getting a light? If it's not flashing 90% chance it's a gas cap leak, or some other problem with the pollution controls related to the fuel system.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • gettinitgettinit Member Posts: 2
    I already tried the AutoZone type stores, they say that it has to be a '96 or newer. I Did have a 91 Taurus SHO that I jumped certain terminals and it gave the codes, any info anywhere on doing that w/ the LeSabre?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Check with more than one store. Different stores of the same chain use different equipment in this area. You need one where the manager chose to get the adapted cable.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cityslicker2cityslicker2 Member Posts: 4
    I turn my AC on and the fan decides to turn on about 5 minutes later sometimes longer.... whats going on? Its 105 degrees here in Texas. The AC comes out ice cold when it wants to. AC is working intermittently. Can anybody give me any suggestions or no the answer?

    Thank you, Eileen
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    You either have a blower motor that is not making contact or has gone bad or the other possibility is the blower control module which is the electonics that controls the blower motor speed. I have to check my service manual to be sure the nonautomatic air conditioning uses the blower control module which the dual control auto air does (the one with the digital temperature readout).

    The hush panel above the passenger feet should be taken out. When the blower won't turn, try hitting on the blower motor area to vibrate it. It a round item maybe 6 inches in diameter that is a circle in a horizontal plane on the bottom of the heater AC unit. A worn one may make contact again with the vibration and that may be happening when you start driving. I have even read of someone taking the blower apart after removing it (5 screws?) and finding a contact inside wasn't made well, repairing that, and using the same blower motor.

    The blower control module tends to fail in strange ways. Follow the power lead from the blower motor a few inches to where it connects to a small unit that is actually sticking into the air stream inside the heater case to keep it cool. Those are available from some various auto places for parts as well as the dealer and junkyards if you wish.

    If you have the manual AC unit try turning the fan speed on high. The standard unit USED to use a resistor set where the resistors could break and sometimes make contact again. The resistors get power through a relay which also might fail. With that setup the high speed is a direct lead from the battery through another relay so usually the high speed would work when the lower speeds won't.

    But don't hold me to the description for the resistors because those were used before the leSabre was built on the same chassis as the Seville and Aurora starting on 2000. I'll have to look at my service manual.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • cityslicker2cityslicker2 Member Posts: 4
    Thank you very much for your time and detailed suggestions on how to trouble shoot. Your a good guy! I will let you know how it turns out.

  • natesalgadonatesalgado Member Posts: 3
    I have 1996buick Le sabre.the fuelpump& filters was change.3 months ago Ichange oil,spark plugs(the expensive kind)not the sparkplugs-wire.the check engine light came on,andsometime it gives me a hard time to start.the computer was plug-in and the code read 0171 syst.to lean what does it means?
  • whzrdwhzrd Member Posts: 39
    I can tell you whaat the code is for but unfortuantely I'm unable to tell what to do to repair it maybe someone else can give you technical help for the problem.

    P0771 Shift Solenoid E Performance or Stuck Off

    I was able to check the code on this site. http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/

    Hope that helps.
  • sprinterpasprinterpa Member Posts: 15
    My 1998 LeSabre has a hood that shakes at highway speeds. It is fine near the latch, but shakes to the left and right of the latch. It is fine in the back near the hinges.

    Are there any adjustments I can make to fix this?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    There are two rubber bumpers to the left and right of the front that screw up and down. You can raise those to put a little more lift on the right/left edges of the hood.

    You can check to see if the front center which is controlled by the latch itself can go down a little to put more downward pressure on the bumpers at the sides. There are two bolts holding the hood latch in place. I found mine were already at the bottom from the factory.

    Assess how the hood level matches with the fenders before making larger adjustments.

    Next thing is to question whether the front wheels are out of balance and causing a shaking vibration to shudder through the body. How are they? My hood would give little shakes when going over a bumpy road but not just traveling along. My wheels are well-balanced so they don't emit shake. I have always been sensitive about out-of-balance wheels.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • sprinterpasprinterpa Member Posts: 15
    Thanks for your answer! It appears that the center latch needs to move down a bit as the edges of the hood are a little higher than the fenders at this time.

    My tires are new and balanced. It only shakes at highway speeds or bumps.

    Thanks again for your advice!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    You might check the back of the hood. I think there's a bumper in the middle of the back and also if the sides have bumpers and where the hinges are vertically.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • sprinterpasprinterpa Member Posts: 15
  • art27art27 Member Posts: 2
    When on highway w/cruise control "on" and operating normally, steering gently to the left causes vehicle speed to increase slightly. the quicker the turn, the faster the speed increase [email protected] approx. 10 to 14 mph higher than speed setting the cruise control "kicks off".
    Steering straight or to the right is normal operation.
    Items replaced: cruise control (3x); PCM (1x); speed sensor (1x); instrument panel (1x)
  • dharkerdharker Member Posts: 4
  • JEanesJEanes Member Posts: 1
    I don't see a section for Riviera so I will try here. I have a '97, 3.8 S/Charged. Problem, small skip or "bump" after warm up and mostly after shifting into drive/overdrive. RPM's go up/down 100/200, changed plugs(AC Delco) and (box store wires) . Problem got some better but not gone totally. Tried changing 1 of the power packs and then got a mis-fire code on #3. Went back to orinal p-pack. I also have a bit of a problem with throttle responce. On a grade, I have a bit of lugging, press down on the pedal and have to push about 3/4" and then it jumps to 2300 or so RPM's and shifts into another gear and moves on.
  • billnmd2006billnmd2006 Member Posts: 7
    94 LeSabre front end has noise when you turn the steering wheel left or right. Makes a kind of knocking sound, like something could be loose. Any idea what it could be??
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Could be different things. REquires someone to lift front of car and move steering wheel and wheels to try to cause the looseness giving the noise.
    Could be wheel bearing with looseness (going out).
    Could be loose bolts on the steering rack. I have read one person say that was giving a noise due to movement of the rack.
    Could be intermediate steering column that gives noise on some of the later cars. Don't recall it being a problem on those.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • rvb52rvb52 Member Posts: 1
    My 94 LeSabre makes a binding up type of noise when steering to the left or the right. Kind of pops (like something unbinding) when you first start out, say first thing in the morning, or after work. Gets better as you go along. Is there any type of joints in the column that need replacement? I thought tie rod ends at first but have no uneven tire wear or movement in the wheels.(in-out). I do not hear the popping as much outside the car as you do from in the drivers seat but sounds like it is just beyond the firewall.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Is the sound occurring while moving like it's the CV joints?

    Are you in an area with ice or snow on roads? Does it do it then in a parking lot where there's little resistance to the wheel being turned?

    My suspicion is it's the intermediate shaft in the steering gear. It is replaceable. There were slight troubles with lubrication not lasting in some later years. Yours might just be worn. I saw a Chev dealer selling a shaft for $92 to a guy ahead of me installing his own in a Buick. I've seen how-to-do-it guides for the mechically able.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • tankerman1tankerman1 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 96 LeSabre with 117k miles. It has been a great car but last night I started it as usual and it started right up. Approximately 1 second after starting, everything shut down. The engine stopped, dash lights went out, everything... dead. I checked the voltage on the battery terminals and the hot terminal and ground and everything looks good. It is almost as if a "main fuse" blew somewhere but I don't know if LeSabres have such a thing. Any ideas?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Check the battery cables for corrosion between the cables and the battery posts.

    Check the positive cable between the two layered cables. You might ahve to cut the plastic covering to inspect in between.

    Check the other ends of the cables where they ground for good, fresh contact.

    Your battery might have a broken post.

    YOu might turn the HVAC to off with the key ON if you're getting any power, especially if you have the automatic dual AC.\, before disconnecting the battery to do all this checking.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • tankerman1tankerman1 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply. I thought that might be the problem so I checked the voltage between the battery posts and that looked ok. Thinking it may be a bad ground, I checked the voltage between the positive side of the battery and the frame... that looked ok also. Am I missing something?
  • tankerman1tankerman1 Member Posts: 4
    Wonder of wonders! I took imidazol97's advice and cleaned my terminals and battery cables. They looked clean as a whistle on the outside but I discovered that they were badly corroded once I took the cables off the battery. A little sandpaper and elbow grease and now everything is as good as new! Thanks!
  • tankerman1tankerman1 Member Posts: 4
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Thank you for reporting back what you found. That will encourage others to check those side cables first.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • srcitizensrcitizen Member Posts: 9
    My horn intermittently sticks on and I've read the repair answer in this forum, i.e., replace the airbag unit that has a new switch. I've been quoted around $800 for this job, which coincides with the $600 estimate for the new air bag alone. I also see mention of used bag at $200 - is this a safe option? Also, is this repair best performed at a regular mechanical shop, or a body shop? Thanks. Senior Ciitzen
  • stephen987stephen987 Member Posts: 1,994
    Can't speak to whether or not this is needed in order to fix the horn, but I'd be very concerned about the idea of a used airbag.

    Here's why:.

    1. Airbags aren't something to take a chance on--they're actually very sophisticated devices containing high explosives.
    2. They're not easy to remove without damage. So you might be buying an airbag that won't work properly.
    3. There is a huge market for stolen airbags. You may be buying stolen property without realizing it.
    4. A new part will usually carry some sort of warranty. A used one won't.
  • srcitizensrcitizen Member Posts: 9
    Thanks very much for your advice!
  • srcitizensrcitizen Member Posts: 9
  • srcitizensrcitizen Member Posts: 9
    I took my car to a body shop and they asked them to try the procedure about disconnecting one of the horn switches I found here. Now it has the following sympthoms.
    1 - The horn switch on the side that is disconnected doesn't work at all.
    2 - The other horn switch will intermittenly function normally; and/or
    will not work at all.
    3 - The horn will start blowing on its own while the steering wheel is being rotated.
    4 - The horn will start blowing on its own after the car has been parked for 30 minutes to one hour.
    Assuming there is one hot lead going from the horn relay to the dual horn switches, it appears there is an intermittent short (or open when the horn won't work at all) in this lead some place between the relay and the switch that hasn't been disconnected?? How easy would it be to replace that length of lead between the relay and the horn switches??
  • lhorsmannlhorsmann Member Posts: 1
    My motor mount in the front had to much play. Open hood and have someone watch motor mount while you turn wheel. You should be able to see it jump. I had the mount replaced and noise gone.
  • 17thabn17thabn Member Posts: 10
    you are diagnosing it yourself.turn left,turn right,replace outer tie rods,they are only good for 60-70,000 miles.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    It could be inner parts toward the steering rack having some looseness.
    Could be mounting bolts on the steering rack loosened.
    Could be intermediate shaft on the steering column worn.
    Could be wheel bearing.
    Could be transmission /motor mounts.
    Could be tie rod outer ends.

    It needs to be lifted and someone underneath to check for play and listen/feel for movement while someone turns the steering. It may need to be supposed under the A-arms to keep steering parts in their usual geometric relationship to the car and each other to find the play.

    I'd start with the intermediate steering shaft. I would try to feel the shaft area inside engine compartment while someone turned the steering. Might have to try this with the motor running.

    Let me know what you do find, please.
    Good luck.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • helpmeplease3helpmeplease3 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 93 buick lasabre. It makes like a popping sound ( similar to the sound a motorcycle makes) only when giving the car gas. Other than that the car drives fine. Why is it that it makes this sound only when I step on the gas pedal? What could be causing this?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    Is the sound coming through the exhaust pipe, meaning you hear it out the back of the car? Do you feel loss of power when it does that?

    My first check would be the spark plugs and wires. I needs to have had the plugs replaced inthe last 40K miles with the recommended AC Delco plugs--the book at the auto parts store will tell them what you need. Also the spark plug wires need to be changed with original equipment quality wires. AC Delcos would be expensive, but Belden from NAPA or a similar quality brand would be good. Don't go for the bright blue or hot orange wires with a solid core or other similar claims of ability to make your car go faster. etc.

    If the plugs and wires have been done then it might be a connection at the coils. There might be corrosion. There may be a problem with an individual spark plug wire or plug. A wire may be shorting across the porcelain of the plug because it's coated with salt spray, e.g.

    It will require some thinking and checking.
    Good luck.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • helpmeplease3helpmeplease3 Member Posts: 5
    The sound is coming from the front of the car. I only hear it when I am giving the car more gas and then it stops when I get to the desired speed. The car drives fine. I just hear this noise only when I step on the gas pedal to give the car more speed.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    What does the noise sound like?

    Does it change with engine speed? -- you can try putting the motor in 2 and driving and seeing if the noise occurs under acceleration there?

    Does it change with road speed?

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • helpmeplease3helpmeplease3 Member Posts: 5
    I will try that. The noise is kind of like the sound a motorcycle makes or like a popping like sound which the sound is only made when going up in speed on the odometer. I will try your suggestions. I am not really sure if it makes the noise past a certain speed. I only know it makes the noise when i step on the gas pedal to get more speed and when i get to that certain speed or take my foot off the gas it then dies out. No more noise.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 26,499
    One thing possible is an exhaust leak at the coupling between the exhaust manifold and the exhaust pipe at the back of the motor. There's a donut between the two that serves to seal them. The two move a little with respect to each other as the motor twists. The donut allows some movement while keeping a seal. I believe that went out on my 93 and had to be replaced. It can be heard under the engine compartment if you have the hood up and someone accelerates the motor slightly while holding the BRAKES on securely along with the emergency brake being set so the car doesn't move. You'll hear a snapping sound when the motor is putting out more exhaust gas under the load. It is a barking like sound like a motorcycle.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

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