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Buick LeSabre



  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    I love michelins. However, I was suprised to read all the negative comments at Tire Rack on the Synmmetry from folks who have Honda vans and other non-sporty cars. I have X=1s on my Monte. You can't beat them for smoothness.
    I would consider the Harmony, even though the name sounds dorky.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    That odd rating by eclectic people who happened to allegedly write reviews of certain tire is what I was talking about. It doesn't match what I get from friends and my dealer about Michelin Symmetry. The symmetrys were used on the big Town Cars and Sevilles. Bad tire???--I think NOT. The people buying Odysseys may have come from a different background of how they drove and what they owned before so they expect some thing different. Maybe the Oddysey is so margin that the tires aren't sufficient for it.

    I also have X-Ones on my 98 LeSabre. They have worn nicely. They are quiet except on concrete, textures overpasses. I find my Symmetry tires also tend to talk when they hit the same interstate overpasses in the city.

    If I were replacing my tires, I'd get the Microedge or the Harmony by Michelin. I'd probably go for the Microedge because the tires area long time purchase. A little more paid for top of the line tires (the X-Ones were top of the line when I bought them) costs little per year extra. It's worth not having the aggravation of fast wear or noisy treads. I've had General, Goodyear, Firestone, etc. I'll stick with Michelin when my tires wear out. Sears also has some Michelin tires with different treads and so do some of the big box cost-cutter stores. By matching up with infor on Michelins website about their tires, you can equate theirs to curren t or past Michelin tires. If I could just put X-Ones from Costco or Sams, I would do that.

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

  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    I was considering the Symmetry for the Lesabre also. I had time to monitor two cars of my family with these (Town Car, Impala), both driven gently. These tires were rotated on schedule and the cars were aligned. The ones on the TC lasted until 32K and the Impala's to 45K. They kept their balance, but looked bad toward the end.
    The driver of the Town Car owns a tire store and was disappointed in the mileage. He also reported a noticeable degradation in wet weather braking.

    I do think that most any new tire will make a huge difference in the feel of the car. Since the feel deteriorates slowly, the cheapest tire replacing a worn out expensive tire will feel better.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    We had wind gust caused stability problem in our 2003 Le Sabre Limited and it was resolved when the passanger side rear door was properly reinstalled.

    Perhaps you should check the wind lekage from doors.
  • jf2jf2 Posts: 4
    I'm thinking about purchasing a 97 LeSabre
    It has 86k, in nice shape
    Fuel gauge doesn't work
    Runs fine on test run
    The owner wants $4200 for it
    Anything I should be inspecting more closely
    on this model ?
    Is the 3.8 a good engine ?
    Any response appreciated and helpful
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    Intake manifolds warp and seep around edges requiring replacement. Sometimes the leakage goes inside the intake and puts coolant into the engine. The EGR tube through the plast intake manifold to feed exhaust right behind the air intake can cause the plastic of the intake manifold to deteriorate and allow seepage of coolant from the channels around the air intake (the coolant warms the incoming air in cold weather).

    The transmissions have a problem with the control valve for the lockup torque converter wearing the channel where it moves back and forth in the valve body. The lockup begins to fluctuate. The Torque Convert Clutch has a slip capability in it to cushion the roughness from the engine that would be felt if it locked up completely like the early 93? versions of the trans did.

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

  • jf2jf2 Posts: 4
    Which mid to late 90s Buick should I be looking
    to purchase ?
     I drove an 87 Century till the arm holding the back axle tore off the body. Maybe the slightly
    over sized tire I put on that side had something to do with that.
    I'd like some info on a good model mid to late 90s
    I'd like to stay with Buick
    Any info appreciated and helpful
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    Hello, I know this discussion is for the LeSabre, but it seems to be more active than the Park Avenue discussion, and I know that the LeSabre and P.A. are quite similar. My parents (late 50s) are considering a '99 Ultra, but, Dad also likes the LeSabres (2000+), and could probably go either way. Any problems known with the 99+ Park Avenues and 2000+ LeSabres? To my knowledge they are pretty reliable vehicles. The car they are replacing is a '93 Bonneville SSEi with 120k on it. Dad also has a '98 Grand Prix, and even though he vowed to never own another GM vehicle after the unpleasant experience with the Bonnie, he really liked where GM went after that. Any info is appreciated! You can also read my post on the Park Avenue discussion.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    The only major update is that a recall replaced the air intake plate bolts where it bolts to the air intake manifold and put in sealant int he coolant--that's all been taken care of by a recall (already done to my 03 LeSabre).

    The wheels and tires on certain cars have had a tendency to set up vibrations at certain speeds in the car. If he's buying used car, he can drive each and see if it has a tendency to vibrate at 65 or so -- it's just like an unbalanced tire. Certain tires and brands from the factory had the stiffness that would interact with the frame. 16inch tires did it more. Requires troubleshooting the tires using a Hunter 9700 Road Force wheel balancer to test the uneveness in the rolling of the tire which causes the up and down spring just like wheel balance would. Mine is fixed after the wheel balancer by the dealer.

    Other than that the difference is in 1.5 inches more legroom in the back (our son uses the back) and a few hundred pounds more weight and 5 inches total length (part of which is the bumpers protruding more. The seat backs on the front are slightly thicker on Park Avenues I compared. The rear seats have a cigarette lights in each door and a cubbyhole int he center armrest that's the pass through to the trunk. The strut valving is softer in the Park Avenue, changing the ride slightly. I think the LeSabre 03 with Michelins drove more nimbly. I ended up buying the LeSabre instead of the Park Avenue in Dec. 03. Saved $8000 and have a slightly less prestigious car that drives great at 80 and gets 35 mpg on interstate at 65 with air on trips -- like this week. Great car whichever he likes.

    He also might want to check a used Aurora. There are great bargains there for the same, more or less, chassis as Lesabre, Bonneville, Park Ave, Deville, STS, and Aurora. Our friends (GM employees) had one of the last model year Auroras and loved it. He got a Grand Prix Anniversary model to replace it just cause he used to have Grand Prix when he was younger.

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

  • tale47tale47 Posts: 1
    I am thinking of purching a 2004 Buick LeSabre limited. The list price is about $34,000. With today's factory discounts what is a fair price to pay for the vehicle here in the Boston area.
  • ROMANELLO- Sorry about the problem with your new car. I have a 2004 LeSabre. The only problem that I have had was a rattling sun visor. The dealer replaced the visor without question.

    I can tell you that when you have a problem with any GM (and probably other makes) car, the dealer will only replace a part if the scanner shows a code. If no code appears, they will usually note on the work order “unable to duplicate the problem”. Either the repairperson is unable to think for themselves or they depend on the scanner for a code and if none appears, they refuse to look further. I was told that the dealer would not replace a part even if they believe it is a fault because GM will not reimburse the dealer for any work done without a computer code.

    If I were you, the first thing that I would do is go to the service manager and demand that this new vehicle be repaired. If this fails to take care of the problem, I would take the car in for service several times for the same problem and make sure that a work order is prepared and a copy given to you. Check your state on the lemon law, which you should be able to find on the Internet.

    I had a 2000 Chev. Impala with a safety problem. I had it to the dealer seven times for the same problem. Each time the work order stated “unable to duplicate the problem. They refused to replace anything without a computer code.

    I advised the service manager (as required) of my intent to file under the lemon law. I filed, and did all of the necessary steps required. GM, after a few weeks, returned all of my money plus the sales tax. I had no argument from them at all. Seems to me that they would have been better off by replacing a suspected part than return my money. As I recall California, required three attempts at repair before you could file under the lemon law.

    Good luck. The LaSabre is a great car. You should be happy once the problem is corrected.
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    After a lot of research I have just replaced the General OEM tires on my 2000 LeSabre. The originals 225X60X16s lasted 44,000 miles. I keep tire pressure at 33psi. The passengers rear tire began a light whumping noise at speed and gradually got worse until I decided to replace the set. Cord deformity. In general the Generals were satisfactory but got louder and harsher with wear. The new tires are Yokohama Avid Touring. I bought them at a local Hibdon Tire dealer in Midwest City OK. Looked at Tire America but by the time you pay shipping and have them installed there is little if any savings. Also there is an advantage of having the purchase dealer local.
    One road trip of 300 miles has show a comfortable and much quieter ride but a rather peculiar low level electrical like hum at speed. Hoping that will improve as the newness wears off. Will update as the miles accumulate.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Did you try tirerack? They have extensive info on tires and will mail them to you? Prices are supposedly cheap but I have not used them?
         I am considering the LeSabre for a new car. How do you like yours? Any troubles? If you had to do it over, would you get the LeSabre again? Have you had any coolant or manifold problems? Do you have the Grand Touring suspension? This is stiffer than the regular one.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    My dad is considering a '00 LeSabre Limited. His decision is between the '00 Limited and an '01 Lincoln Continental. The LeSabre has 31k miles, leather power heated seats, automatic climate control with passenger temperature adjustment, auto dimming mirror with compass, heated outside mirrors, concert sound stereo with CD and cassette, rear air, homelink, and the driver infomation center. It's a very nice car, 1 owner, extremely clean, and was sold to the dealer as a result of it's owner being put in a nursing home. The "bottom dollar" is $12,800.
    The Lincoln has 34k miles, power leather seats (not heated), has the 4.6 V8, homelink, adjustable suspension, adjustable steering, driver information center, Alpine stereo with cassette and 6 disk changer, automatic climate control (no passenger ajustment), auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, heated outside mirrors with reverse tilt down, and rear air. The two are quite similar, and after driving both, it's a very difficult decision. What problems, if any, have you LeSabre owners experienced? I know older models had problems with front end alignment. Do the new generation have any problems with that? Dad is leaning more towards the Buick. Any info is helpful.
  • hagrawalhagrawal Posts: 20
    Recently we started having two problems: (a) the seats often donot return to the driver selected positions and (b) the seat heating activates by itself.

    Has anyone encountered these problems? Any suggestions will be appreciated.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    My dad got the '00 Limited he was looking at, and already 2 problems have arised in 4 days we've had it:
    It rides like a tire is out of balance at highway speeds, but after having tires balanced, still rides the same.
    Also, the driver door window quit working tonight. Our experience with GM vehicles is that the electronics go out all the time, expecially door locks and windows. However we didn't expect this one to happen so soon. The switch is working, because I hear it clicking, so my guess is that it's the motor. Any guesses? There was a '01 Lincoln Continental that is still sitting on the lot, and now that dad is singing the Buick Blues, I think he wishes he'd got the Lincoln instead.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    If you have 31K on the original tires and if they're General brand on 15 inch wheels, you probably have a bad tire. You might try having them Force Balanced on a Hunter 9700 balancer. That would identify the tire that's not rolling round. It may have a bad belt. My two sets of Generals on earlier LeSabres were 'not good tires.' Buick service manager has reminded me of this several times. They're also not a tire I would have wanted the company to replace at partial cost under warranty either.

    You'd be better off replacing the tires with a quality tire that rolls with the same crush diameter.

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

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ok, so now we're in the right place, I like Buicks, don't get me wrong. It's wierd, but Olds and Buick were my two favorite GM brands. My last Buick was a 91 Park Avenue, and while I really liked the car, it did disappoint me in quite a few areas. Like the short in the Windshield Wipers where it would intermittantly turn on the wipers for no reason. But the real pisser was the freeze plugs started leaking on the 3800 engine at about 40,000 miles, and had to be replaced - out of warranty of course. That turned me off. Concurrently, I had a 92 Continental which, while not a paragon of reliability either, was a much nicer vehicle.

    So, keep us informed about Dad's Avalon - er, I mean LeSabre.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    My 03 has an armrest in the rear in the leather option. It does have cupholders in it even, but doesn't have a cubby hole for storage like the Park Avenue does.

    The front cupholders on the 03 at least are great. The way they're built in makes them more sturdy than other hangon types earlier cars had.

    Is that what yours are like? Is there a flip cover over the end of the front armrest that turns over to expose the cupholders?

    The horn doesn't blow as easily as it should because of the stiffness of the plastic. I practice hitting the right spot sometimes, just to know where it is when I need it.

    Freeze plugs: Haven't had trouble in 150K on my 1993 LeSabre, nvbanker. No trouble on the 98 LeSabre either, yet. I would guess you were unlucky enough to hit a sequence of bad plugs from a supplier (or poor specs from GM's engineering department).

    Did have leaky intake manifold on 98 and uneven lockup on torque converter due to wear in valve body where the control valve moves to limit slip.
    If it makes it to 150K b efore tranny needs a rebuild, I'll be perfectly happy. May buy a smaller pickup truck as next purchase.

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

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yeah, I'm the only guy I know who lost his freeze plugs on a 3800, and I had a lot of those engines. I liked em, they were torquey, economical and pretty dependable, generally.
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    This Buick has a set of Mastercrafts on it with the white walls turned to the inside. They are not factory tires, and are relatively new. I doubt they've been on the car even 1k miles. The car sat a lot, so we're hoping it's just flat spots on the tires. After riding in the Buick, and then driving my Explorer, which does have a tire out of balance (both at highway speeds) I can tell a big difference.
    I've heard that some people have had a lot of trouble keeping the tires balanced and their front ends aligned on LeSabres. Anybody else?
    The window started working again this morning when we got in the car to go to church, only to dissappoint us later on by not working when we actually needed to roll the damn thing down. "Typical GM" has been uttered many times in the past few days. My mom's '93 SSEi had window problems as well. Both rear windows would go out intermittantly and only work when they wanted to, and the passenger window wouldn't work with the passenger door switch most of the time, but the switch on the driver's door worked every time. The switch was replaced, but didn't make a difference. Only window she never had trouble with was the driver one. Appears the Buick is going to make up for that.
    Heading out to West Virginia this morning for the Fair. Going to take the Explorer up there, then leave Tuesday morning for Pigeon Forge TN in the Buick.
    So far around town the gas mileage (according to the DIC) has been pretty poor, less than 17mpg. Dad replaced the air filter today, so that may make a small difference.
    Speaking of air filters, this car does have the filtered passenger air, and the filter needs to be replaced badly. I'm guessing you can only get those at the dealer? Or can you get them at an auto parts store?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    I got a Purolator at Pep Boys recently for the cabin at about $17 -- more or less, I didn't pay attention, just throught it was like a ripoff price for gas these days. Dealer was more in the $20s when I put the original filter in (not a standard item in 03).

    Alignment problems haven't been something I've heard about. Tires and wheels on 16 inch setups have on most variations of that platform. I'm guessing it's stiffer than others and the lower sidewalls on the 60 tires and wider treads are more likely to send rhythmic vibrations through the chassis if the tires are as good as they should be made.

    Tire manufacturers haven't kept up in quality of product as far as rolling round.

    On your Mastercraft tires, I'd find a tire store or dealer that has a Hunter 9700 and pay them to check the tires and wheels out for you. I'd worry that the tires will never roll round, especially if they did sit a long time and aren't higher quality tires.

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

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,238
    My son recently bought a 1998 LeSabre and really likes it. His first car was a 1988 LeSabre that's still going strong (he only sold it because he had a 6 month deployment in the Persian Gulf). It did need some repairs along the way, but hey, it's 15 years old now! I'm not big on GM cars generally but the LeSabre seems to be a pretty decent car. It gets better gas mileage than my Maxima too. I would like to hear other people's experiences with them. My son likes it because he's 6'3".
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    While we were on our vacation, we stopped at a Pontiac dealership (Larry Hill Pontiac, Sevierville TN) and got a price for a cabin air filter. $61.00. What happened to $20 something?? For that price, we'll just do without it!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    IF the car already has the air filter in place on the passenger side under the hood, the REPLACEMENT filter is what I said earlier. You pull on the filter element and it comes out of the plastic holder frame.

    When I bought the holder frame and a new element at the dealer, that price was about $60. The filter had been standard on LeSabre in 02 but now in 03. I decided to pay to put it in.

    They told me at the dealer the replacement filter was twenty something out of the total price for the adapter plus element of $60.

    As I said, the filter at Pep Boys, a Purolater brand, was in the high teens.

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

  • idntnvuidntnvu Pulaski, VirginiaPosts: 254
    Well that makes sense. I didn't really pay attention to the way the filter and frame were made. Do you have to buy a replacement filter first or can you just replace the insert in the original?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    and element already in place, you are buying only the paper filter. The plastic frame came with the car originally, or in my case I had to buy it and a filter element as the adapter kit to put in what Buick left out to save a few dollars thinking most people won't miss it now.

    The filter element looks like an engine air filter for the 3800. But it folds near one end and you insert it into the frame and dthe folded end sort of snaps downward to lock in place and form a seal for the incoming air. About $17???

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

  • I've posted on here before, but I'm now curious to know if my car has an air filter. I bought it off of what appeared to be a heavy smoker, and figure that if an air filter is present in this model (a Custom), I should change it. Also, on the comment of poor fuel economy around town, I'll serve as a data point of agreement. I get maybe 15 driving local (highway is incredible at up to 30 mpg, though). If anyone has any interesting ideas or experiences that have improved their LeSabre's (or any other 3800, for that matter) local mileage, I'd love to hear it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,497
    In 97 the LeSabre's did not have an air filter on the heater air intake.

    The mpg's around town. I guess if you're in block to block stop and go and you accelerate briskly away from the stop signs, you could be getting as low as 15. I'd guess my 98's at 20 and up, even when my wife drives it on short trips which pretty much 1 or two stops per mile and she tends to accelerate.

    You might try disconnecting the fuse for the computer to make it forget the stored learning related to how it perceives your driving patterns of acceleration and speeds. The other way is to just disconnect the battery for many minutes... do the ground side cable of course. How many miles are on the engine? Plugs? Spark plug wires?

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

  • I finally had the transmission serviced, so my 3-4 hitch has softened. This has little to nothing to do with my local mileage, though. I've picked up some platinum (manufacturer recommended) Bosch plugs (why are A/C Delco three times more expensive?), and will be changing them when I get the chance. It probably would be wise to swap out wires, too, while I'm at it. Has anyone bothered with Platinum X 2 or 4 plugs? Are they worth the substantial additional cost? The engine has 85,000 miles on it, and I changed the air filter last fall when I purchased the car. I'll take your advice on clearing the computer. Thanks for the suggestions!
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