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Buick LeSabre



  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    If you go to the Bonneville Owners photo gallery and the Aurora forum you will see pics from the gathering we held in Rockaway NJ on Sunday.

    Too bad there were no LeSabres there to round out the full sized GM offerings.

  • bryangzbryangz Posts: 24

    My mother has a 2000 Lesabre and has had a stalling problem. The car stalls and is hard to restart. Additionally, the electric door locks do not work when this happens. This really upset her as she couldn't get out the car (until I showed her the manual door lock ; )). Anyway, the car only has 3000 miles on it, new air filter, oil has been changed, etc. Also, no check engine light has stayed on.

    Anyone else have a stalling problem and the also the associated "dead" electric door lock problem?

    I have a 2000 Intrigue (yes, I'm now an orphan) and recently had a stalling problem that was caused by a crankshaft and oxygen sensor. Any problems like this with the 3.8?

  • My mom had her 2K Lesabre stall once since she bought it a year ago. I have never stalled fuel injected GM car and this brand new car with 2500 miles on it at the time stalled while driving down a hill at low speed. It restarted immediately and has not done it since. Dealer did replace battery for a bad cell.That was due to a battery draining , which we still can't explain. You can also program your door locks not to lock automatically with help from the owner's manual. I disconnected hers because carjackings are a rarity here in southern Missouri, but if she was in a wreck, the doors could be opened quickly.
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    I just finished reading the Auto Weekend section of the Washington Times newspaper, a section that appears every Friday. Lo and behold, on page E13, a review of the Buick LeSabre, under a heading which reads LeSabre isn't sexy, but it sells.

    I had a feeling right away that I wasn't going to like this article. I was pretty much right.

    The article was reprinted by The Times from an article by Jim Mateja of the Chicage Tribune. I felt that Mr. Mateja had a good overall impression of the LeSabre, but I also feel that he missed the boat on a few things.

    Here are a few clips from the article:

    " ... but the LeSabre is a machine for OFs -- or Old Folks. ... But then there's the styling, phoned in by the same outfit that does most full-size General Motors sedans -- Bland and Boring."

    I'll be the first to admit that the LeSabre isn't going to turn heads on the highway, but I don't believe that Mr. Mateja is giving the LeSabre enough marks for styling. Most major automotive publications have given the new LeSabre (2000 and on) very good marks for styling, especially the Jag-type lines and the more aggressive look it has. Compare the new LeSabre to the previous model and the differences are apparent. I would hardly call the styling Bland and Boring.

    " ... the $235 Gran Touring suspension that's tuned for a smooth ride with very little sacrifice in handling."

    I don't believe that Mr. Mateja conveyed his feeling about the GT suspension properly. He makes it sound like the GT suspension doesn't detract from the normal handling of the car, as opposed to stating properly that it is supposed to firm up the cars handling with little sacrifice in road smoothness. At least he stated that this was one of the options to purchase.

    "Forget the $190 optional memory seats/mirrors with power lumbar drivers seat unless you switch drivers daily."

    I think most people would agree that memory seats and power lumbar are very desirable accessories. There is more than one use for memory seating, it doesn't have to be for two drivers. I use the Driver 1 setting when I'm alone in the car. With this setting, the seat is all the way back and reclined. I use the Driver 2 setting to move the seat forward a little and to tilt the seats upwards. This gives rear passengers a little more room when I'm playing chauffeur. Also, anyone who has tried to adjust a manual lumbar seat while driving would agree that a power lumbar seat is the only way to go.

    I really get the impression that Mr. Mateja got the keys to a LeSabre Limited, drove it around the block once, and then wrote this article. He gave the car good marks for value, options, and reliability. At the same time, he really missed out on the opportunity to emphasize the direction that Buick is taking the car. Too bad that the LeSabre has, and probably will continue to have, a reputation as an "OF" car, especially with shallow reviews like the one from Mr. Mateja. I've been around cars a long time. I can tell the goods when I see them. The LeSabre has got the goods. The new edition of the car, inside and out, is a huge improvement over the previous model. Next time you review a car, Mr. Mateja, please give it a fair shake. The LeSabre deserves better.

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Mike - Seems like a lot of these guys don't have a clue what the typical American sedan buyer is looking for. Buick has done a pretty good job of understanding that if prior LeSabre sales figures are any indication. And this OF stuff is beginning to wear thin on me at 46 now. These gen x writers seem to think that all cars targeted at the over 40 crowd are a useless waste of natural resources.

    Give me a smooth riding, spacious and fuel efficient full sized American sedan like LeSabre (or my Bonneville) any day. They handle better than ever and are still the best value for the hard earned dollar IMO.

  • woodybuickwoodybuick Posts: 33
    And knowing what Mateja likes..

    Fair warning, I am about to shread this guy apart!

    Small, imports. Period. He has never liked american cars. Maybe the Viper. I think he said something about the rear window being too small. His job is to critique every car that comes across his driveway, and find faults. He does a great job at it. The only other problem I personally have with him is the fact that sometimes he is dead wrong. I have seen him say something was not available on a car when, in fact, it was standard equipment. I have seen him say this is a great option when, in fact, it isn't available. I am not sure how he kept his job as long as he has or how he became an authority in the automotive industry.

    On a lighter side, I look forward to reading his articles when they come out. Gives me a great hearty chuckle. Grats to you both for seeing through his typical bland and boring reviews.


    ps. I sell more memory seat options to people that have bad knees and backs. I am one of them and I'm 29. Having that exit position is nice..set it up to raise the seat and move it all the way back causes less stress on the joints when leaving. Then, when returning to the car, just hit the position 1 button, viola.
  • dispencerdispencer Posts: 6
    Does anyone have this problem? When you make a sharp left or right turn, there is a creaking noise in the front left side as the car rolls back on an even keel. There is also a creaking or cracking noise as you put on the brakes. My 90 and 94 LeSabres didn't have this creaking noise and the local dealer won't do anything because "nothing is broken" and "Buick won't pay for diagnosis". Car has 11k miles and has been doing this since shortly after I bought it . It was a demo with a thousand miles on it. It sounds like a strut bushing to me - I've written Buick. The Regional service guy will look at it next week. Thanks! Karl
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    I've got a similar problem. When I turn the car to the left, especially on a slow highway curve, my suspension makes a groaning sound. Happens no matter what speed I'm driving. I'm about due for my 6000 checkup, so I'm going to push the dealer a little harder on this than I did last time. As I recall, I got the old, "Thats a problem with every LeSabre" answer.

    I'm a little concerned about this "Buick won't pay for diagnosis" nonsense. I believe that our cars have a 3-year, 36000 mile bumper-to-bumper warrenty. If the suspensions are making a creaking or groaning sound, there is a problem there.

    Let me know how it goes, Karl.

    Woodbuick -- any comments about suspension noises or problems that you have heard of ???


    2001 LeSabre Limited
    Medium Red Pearl, Taupe Interior
  • roseanne1roseanne1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 LeSabre Limited with only 47,700 miles on it. Has anyone ever experienced a slight "chug" in the transmission that only occurs in the last 2-3 feet of a slow stop and only occasionally? I drive the car around town in 3rd and only use Overdrive on the freeway. The transmission shifts up and down great. I have been to my mechanic twice about this issue and he thinks the lock-out converter solenoid is going bad. Aren't solenoids like everything else on the ewer cars, they work or they don't? Everything on the "net" tells me that when the solenoid goes the car dies at a stop. I am told the solenoid is inside the transmission and am not looking to pay several hundred dollars if this is not the issue. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • frank118frank118 Posts: 1
    Hi Folks, first time posting so please excuse any bloopers. I just became the proud owner of a 1996 Lesabre with 94000K. I've never experienced anything like it. This isn't your average run of the mill car, with the GRAN Touring option and Toyo 800Ultra tires it actually handles just about anything I can throw at it. Fact of the matter is I tend to chicken out before it does. Managed to find an almost pristine one, no dings almost no wear and well maintained in white with black molding and pinstripes. With the 16" MAG wheels it almost looks sporty. Anyway I have two questions which I hope you folks can help me with. It seems that the recommended tire pressure sticker got waxed off the door by an over zealous previous owner, so now I can't read the pressure recommendation. The owners guide says look at sticker. Can a kind soul fill me in on this. I'm currently at 32 front and rear. The second question is has anyone experienced the check oil level indicator staying on for about 20 seconds after starting the car, then going off. Yes, checked the obvious, the oil level is fine. But this indicator's behavior doesn't correspond to the owners guide if the the oil was low anyway.
    Says it should go off then come back on for 20 to 45 seconds if over a pint is missing. Afraid to go to dealer cause with this car it looks like it'll cost $200 just to make an appointment.

    Thanks in advance for any insights you can offer.

  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    My 2000 LeSabres owners manual says 30psi. This car has the 16" tire option without handling package. Being a person who seems to favor handling why not just pump them to 35psi which is the factory maximum on most good radial tires these days. Firms up the ride a bit and also gives a slight gas mileage boost. Makes a nice difference if you favor handling over ride. The newer 2000/2001 ride a bit firmer than your 96 right out of the factory. For those who love the pillow soft ride please ignore me. :-)
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Amazing, isn't it??? If you think your 96 handles well, you should check out the newer models. They're even tighter. I've driven both with the GT suspension and the new generation LeSabre is hands down better. I think Buick is finally starting to get it.

    At some point, my plan is to finish the work Buick started. The GT suspension should include 17-inch wheels and tires and well as solid sway bars instead of the hollow ones they provide. This combination should improve the handling even more. Wheels and tires will be easy to find, but adding parts such as sway bars, strut braces, and struts will be more difficult. After all, who makes performance parts for a Buick LeSabre!

    Enjoy! Driving a Buick can be fun.

    2001 LeSabre Limited
    Medium Red Pearl, Taupe Interior
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    Every once in a while, I'll try a new product to see how good it really is. Blue Corral Car Wash is the real deal!

    They claim that you won't need to dry your car at all after using this stuff. I was a little skeptical about that, but let me tell you, there was hardly any water left on my car after I was done. It only took a few minutes with a terry cloth towel to get the rest of the water up.

    Wash a section at a time and then rinse off with a stream of water (don't use any spray attachment). Once you have washed the whole car, rinse it all again with a stream of water. Wait a few minutes and most of the water is gone.

    I've used a dozen different car washes before, including the stream of water trick to minimize beading water on the car. Nothing I have used works as well as Blue Corral. It also helps if your car has a good coat of carnuba on it.

    Check it out. Should be available at most auto stores.

  • nick01nick01 Posts: 84
    My first buick was a 1956 buick century, back in 1959. I was 20 yrs old and loved those big cars. All my buddys loved it and it was fast for those times.
    For those who think buick is just for old fuddy-duddys, they'll have to explain why it was the best selling full size car for 7 yrs in a row during the '90's. And the Regal's didnt do bad either. I put in many an overtime hour on those regal and lasabre assymbly lines. Lots of week-ends and 12 hr days. Somebody really liked the 92-99 buicks. I was one of those that liked them.
    For those of you that love the buick but dont have the h-d suspension, here is what I did and it worked well. My '98 LaSabre was only 2yrs old and had 17000 miles on it. The factory struts were still in good condition. I didnt like the bonce or porpoising I got on uneven pavement or intersections. So I took it to Midas and had them install Heavy-Duty Gas Struts on the front only.
    It took out most of the bonce and all of the porpoising. Best $250.00 I ever spent. The car drove, handled, and road much better.
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    Just a thought here, no one does make performance parts for LeSabres but LOTS of people make performance parts for Pontiac Bonneville----same chassis. HMMM heavy duty stuff should exchange just about straight across the board. Doesn't Pontiac have like three suspensions? Standard, handling pkg and kidney breakers??. Might be worth checking at local Pontiac house??
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Welcome to the "old timer's" club! I'm 46 now too - and have a few gray hairs to prove it. I drive a 2000 Bonneville, not a Buick, but still the full sized GM 3.8L highway cruiser.

    There's nothing like the riding comfort of these road cars and the gas mileage on the 3.8 can easily beat those Camcords and Maximas. Best wishes with your car - I hope you find the answer to your question . You may wish to ask it in a few other GM forums as well - maybe Regal, Impala, Intrigue, Bonneville.

  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    Maybe it is a dented line from the transmission to the transmission cooler (the lower radiator) When the fluid is cold it may make a noise as it squeezes through the restriction, but when it warms up and thins out it passes through quietly. Now that is a shot in the dark if there ever was one.
  • stan13stan13 Posts: 14
    Has anyone experienced a high pitched whistle or whine emanating from the alternator (2000 LeSabre)and had it successfully dealt with by the dealer?
    I've had two replacements and so far to no avail. The whistle/whine persists. Any suggestions or success stories would be welcome. The dealer has pronounced this annoyance "normal".
  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    I think mine may have the same problem. Happens around 3000RPM. I'm not sure what the sound is, but I've driven cars with the 3.8 in it before and I've never heard a whining sound like I'm getting.

    I'm going in for the 6000 checkup next week and I'll have the dealer look at it. If I get a good answer, I'll let you know. I don't believe that this sound is normal.

    Stan13: Does you car make the sound at any particular RPM level???

    2001 LeSabre Limited
    Medium Red, Taupe Interior
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I know some of you H-body breatheren visit us over on the Bonneville discussion boards, so you might be interested in this. I've noticed a distinct lack of "home-grown" web sites devoted to our cars. There's Grand Prix, Impala, and even Alero, but not much on the LeSabre and Bonneville. So I got motivated yesterday and put together a site of my own. Just for fun, really. So I'd like to invite everyone to check out what I've done so far. You will notice that there isn't much on the LeSabre yet, me being a Bonnie guy, but I'm hoping some of you can contribute (vtech?). What I'd like in particular are the VIN breakdown and RPO codes so I can put together a page with those. One of you must have the service manual! Anyway, let me know what you think (constructive criticism only, please), and keep in mind that this is a work in progress. Thanks!
  • charly3charly3 Posts: 1
    Just purchased a new 2001 LeSabre Custom with leather interior but didnt realize till I drove it a few days that the front seats were not that comfortable. My driver side seat is a power seat that can be adjusted but you cant power adjust the seat high enough so that thighs are even with knees.In other words,the seats are set very low in the Custom.This causes knees to be higher than buttocks which I feel causes back pain. I should have rented a Custom before buying. Many of the people on this site have bought LeSabre Limited according to their messages. Maybe the seats are more adjustable and comfortable in Limited. Anyway Id like to hear from people who have bought the Custom to hear if they are having same complaint. Im unhappy with the car because of this problem.
  • stan13stan13 Posts: 14
    Vtech83...The whine is heard mostly when stopped (at idle) or at very, very low speeds so I'm assuming it is masked by road noise,etc. at higher speeds. I can't believe this is "engineered" into the design of the alternator so I assume it is abnormal. Any fixes to this annoying problem would be appreciated. Other than that, the LeSabre is a gem.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Posts: 647
    The _ is not valid in a domain name. So I can't link to the URL listed above.

    Here is what our caching server has to say about your URL:


    The requested URL could not be retrieved

    While trying to retrieve the URL:

    The following error was encountered:

    Invalid URL

    Some aspect of the requested URL is incorrect. Possible problems:

    Missing or incorrect access protocol (should be `http://'' or similar)
    Missing hostname
    Illegal double-escape in the URL-Path
    Illegal character in hostname; underscores are not allowed

    If you had tried the suggestion provided above and still have problems, please use Servicedesk for further assistance.

    How's that for constructive critisism?

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Funny, it works for me (and others have had no problem either). Perhaps your ISP is generating that message? Try this, it is the same page:

  • jimsxnjimsxn Posts: 108
    Is there a way that the steering ratio can be changed on a pre-2000 (1994 to be exact) LeSabre?

  • vtech83vtech83 Posts: 66
    So far, so good. What a great car. Had the oil changed and tires rotated as the 6000 mile check called for, but I also had the Driver IDs changed. They didn't really do a very good job here. They put the names in OK, but there are asterisks where spaces should be. They didn't charge me for changing the Driver IDs, so I'll try to get them to correct this next time at 9000 miles.

    I also tried to get the Magnasteer setting changed to firm, but apparently the Magnasteer setting in the LeSabre is not adjustable. That's a little odd since the Seville, Aurora, and Bonneville do allow this setting to be altered. I'll have to do a little digging on this issue.

    Happy Motoring.

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Mike - got any plans to put 1000 miles or so behind you over the summer? I've done 3 trips of this variety so far (Maine to PA monthly biz trips) in my Bonneville and have enjoyed them immensely.

  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    I recently bought a '93 LeSabre Limited for my work-site car (I commute NY-IL). This my first ever American car; I guess as you get old, you start appreciating their comfy ride more.

    When the car is at a rest or at a slow speed, I get a continuous, monotonic, squeak/rubbing noise when I turn the steering wheel. There also seems to be some resistance in the wheel, though it turns smoothly. The noise goes away at regular driving speeds and the wheel feels even smoother.

    The limited offers variable assist steering though I am not sure whether this car has it. I would appreciate if others have any experience to share on this problem and possible suggestions/remedies.
  • rhrolandrhroland Posts: 1
    My mother owns a 98 Lesabre and her speedometer has started to fail. She is just about to go over 50,000 miles. From conversations with her, it appears that sometimes it will work but more often there is no reading. This creates a problem (actually alot more than one problem)in that around 38,000 miles her fuel gauge started to fail and she began to fill up every 250 miles. With the speedometer and hence the odometer not working it's kind of hard for her to get around.

    She does have parts on order to replace the unit (hopefully to be installed the beginning of next week) but I was curious if anyone else is familiar with these problems and have knowledge of the cause or possible alternate solutions. I find it hard to believe that a speedometer can fail with less than 50,000 miles it and have it be an isolated incidence.

    Thanks for your help. Rich
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 205
    I did some further checks on the steering noise on my 93 LeSabre Limited.
    The noise comes whenever he steering is turned.
    It increases when the amount of turn increases.
    The noise comes even when the car is not moving and I can reproduce it with the car in Park.
    It also seems that the engine revs up a bit as I turn the steering column. There is no tachometer so cannot confirm it, the change in the engine noise is subtle.

    It seems to be coming from the Steering column
    and not from under the hood. Looks like some kind
    of motor noise. It is not clanky but a continous humm/squeak. Perhaps it has something to do with the variable assist power steering.

    Do I need to worry about this and take it to a dealer or is it just an old motor which is showing its age. I do not have a problem steering the car and can feel the power steering assist come into action. When I take a turn, I can sense the steering wheel trying to straighten itself after I am done with the turn.
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