1988 Buick LeSabre T-type 3800 V6 vin C


Beautiful T type


Alternator died 10 minutes after I picked it up. Replaced it, ran great for a month, then my engine would die and lose spark. It was very hard to figure out why, but it turned out to be the Magnavox coil pack. I replaced it with a newer one from a 3.8 SC. ICM was bad though, had to go back twice and finally she started.

Now it needs a new radiator; she leaks a little.

General Comments:

So smooth and comfortable.

I paid 1300 for it, and it's been 4 months I've been driving it, and it might need some general repairs, but I absolutely love this car. It might be because I had a boring Volvo before, but this 3800 purrrs, and that first gear is very impressive, it has lots of torque. It's only missing heated seats, a potential swap? Will see.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd March, 2015

29th Mar 2015, 03:42

I worked at a Buick dealer in the early 90's. Magnavox ignition coil. Replaced so many of those...

6th Jan 2016, 17:30

I too have got an' 88 Buick LeSabre Limited with 144,000 miles.

Replaced the coil pack, spark plugs, spark plug wires, and oil pressure sensor. Wipers, and thermostat, as it didn't have a thermostat. My problem is it runs one time, before dying. If it sits a couple of hours, it's good again. Very annoying. Any advice?

6th Jan 2016, 23:23

Bad coil when hot? Maybe... Stuck thermostat shuts down when hot. Some are bad brand new out of the box. Take the thermostat out again and try after reassembly. Fuel injection issue. Sensor. Could be one of those.

1988 Buick LeSabre Limited 3.8 V6


Roomy and powerful


EGR valve around 130K.

Coil packs at 118k.

ECM around 135K.

Catalytic converter around 125K.

C/V axles around 120k, then around 150k.

Front struts around 130k.

A/C needed recharge at 120K.

Power antenna broke at 125k.

Headliner has fallen.

Driver's seatbelt clip broke at 140k.

Camshaft position sensor (common issue on these) went at 125k.

Alternator gave out around 140k.

Fuel pump at 158k.

Strange situation where power locks don't work while using the rear defroster.

General Comments:

GREAT highway cruiser. Seats and ride are as comfortable as can be. GM's 3800 gives plenty of power in reserve for passing and surprising takeoffs. It also makes it capable of 30mpg highway (though only about 20mpg/city).

The most reliable car I've ever owned. Even with those issues listed above, the car kept running through all of them. Just kept trying.

The car is also VERY spacious inside, with ample room for real people in front AND back. Comfort for 4 easy in a long trip. HUGE trunk. Stock stereo sounds quite good, and is easy to replace.

Styling is pretty conservative, not much to show off.

Handling however, is quite good for such a large car. Fully independent suspension and dynamic steering make it feel like driving a midsize.

Overall, very pleased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2011

7th May 2011, 20:32

Excellent review.

You pretty much have the full list of what goes wrong with this vintage GM H-Body (LeSabre/Bonneville/88). The one thing I didn't see was mention of the suction-discharge hoses on the back of the A/C compressor - the hoses held up fine, but the aluminum block that went between the compressor, and the hoses would crack, allowing freon to leak.

The 88-and-up H-body was a definite improvement over the 86 & 87 models - more power & better reliability.

1988 Buick LeSabre Custom




The car was nearly totaled in an accident when a drunk driver crashed into me late at night.

The car is barely drivable.

The seat cloth has worn thin.

The paint is peeling.

Rust is apparent

The head gasket blew at 87,000 miles.

The car has a crack in the windshield.

The front safety belts had to be replaced due to extreme forces put on the belts in the accident.

The car has scratches, dents and dings from rocks, weather, and shopping carts.

The car has a poor electrical system, in which the lights do not work and the battery is easily drained.

General Comments:


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th December, 2007

2nd Sep 2015, 16:31

My grandfather bought his LeSabre back in 89. And to everyone it was a great beautiful car. He drove it for 20 years. Then my brother inherited it, driving it for 2. I finally got it last year when I got my license. I've drove her for over a year now. My only complaint is that due to time and use, the interior in the front of the car has fallen apart. Forcing me to get creative and "redneck repair" it. Also the front left hub cap fell off 2 years ago. Everything works still. A very reliable car.