1988 Buick LeSabre T-type 3800 V6 vin C from North America


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 from North America


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 Limited 3.8 fuel injection from Norway


Cheap and comfortable


Nothing so far, but I have only owned it for some months. But if the car has the same good quality as my former Buicks, I think it will be very reliable.

General Comments:

It's comfortable and economic to drive. The 3.8 litre V6 engine is a great motor.

It's not as quiet as my former 1977 Riviera, but it's quiet enough. I think it has a little bit more noise from the wheels and wind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2009