1997 Buick LeSabre Limited 3.8 from North America




Replace fuel cap to solve chugging at highway speeds.

Factory battery connectors had to be replaced (no start).

Receipts in glove box for replacing both front wheel bearings and new fuel pump one month prior to me purchasing car (glad he paid for that).

Also have another '97 in driveway with 128000 kms to replace my '94 LeSabre that has 317000 kms on it if ever dies, still runs A-1, burns no oil and still gets 30 mpg.

However, I do wish they had the plastic front fenders like the '94 has.

General Comments:

Both '97's are identical in colour in and out, but have different made seats, and one is uncomfortable and the other is perfect.

These cars will get 30 mpg easily. (640 kms to a tank).

They are comfortable, they are quick.

The traction control is awesome to have for the snow belt area. (Owen Sound Ont). I mean snow up to level of the bumper.

I gave my '97 Ford Escort to my son and the LeSabre's give about the same fuel mileage, so why would anyone want to drive a tin can when they can drive in style??? So what if you have to spend $800 on the intake, my '94 has 317000 kms on it and still runs like a top. Minus 30 degrees Celsius and the '97 and '94 have started every time without being plugged in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2009

26th Jan 2009, 20:32

Just wanted to comment that the Buick's seem to get better fuel mileage on shell fuel. My '97 and '94 lesabre's along with my brothers 2000 lesabre all get around 100 kms more per tank.

1997 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8 liter 6-cylinder from North America


Crappy plastic GM part = epic fail


Upper intake manifold cracked shortly before I acquired it, leaking coolant into the engine without my knowing it.

Engine now requires a total rebuild in order to fix it completely. The car drives like crap even with new bearings/gaskets.

General Comments:

Despite knowing the history of this car, I bought it from an acquaintance of my father, as he assured me the car had the intake manifold replaced. It turned out his garage had replaced the lower one which typically has no problems, and left the defective plastic upper manifold intact. The car ran fine for about 2 months, back and forth from work and around town.

After driving the car normally on a 80K miles visit round-trip to see some college friends, the engine started to idle rather loudly and seemed to lose pickup changing gears. I took the car in and discovered the upper manifold had cracked around the EGR stovepipe, and now coolant was running through my engine. After replacing all the bearings and gaskets, the car still runs, but I wouldn't trust it to make it another 10K miles, so I'm taking it into Carmax to hopefully get a nice trade-in and buy something more reliable.

Morals of the story are: never trust the person you buy from, always get the car checked out by YOUR mechanic before you drive it, and don't buy GM. Sad thing is, I loved the car (other than the crappy manifold and engine failure); it really handled like a dream and was the most comfortable car I've ever owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2008

6th May 2008, 16:29

How could one, "After driving the car normally on a 80K miles visit round-trip to see some college friends..." Where do your friends live? On the Moon? I have a 1996 Olds 88 and it is the best car that I've ever owned, one year and 7,000 miles no issues or break downs. These cars are made to last.

6th May 2008, 16:32

People should continue to buy GM. I've owned 3 Caddys, one Buick, 2 Pontiacs and an Olds, no issues.

7th May 2008, 18:10

I also drive a '99 Buick with the 3.8 engine with 140,000 miles and have not had the intake manifold problem. However, it is a well known of and common problem which should but won't ever be recalled. Why GM ever changed the design is beyond me. The current 3.8, soon to be phased out, now uses an aluminum manifold. Another prime example of mass units failing is the window design in the late model LeSabre, DeVille, and Bonneville. My '99 has never had any issues with the windows, however the next year the design was cheapened on some models and has cost hundreds of thousands of owners a lot of money. It is thinking like this which is really hurting GM. When you take something which works perfectly and cheapen it to save costs, you only lose in the long run when customers take their business else where. I however plan to trade for another Buick because my experience has been positive.