1998 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8L from North America
Don't buy these cars
Plastic intake manifold cracked on the highway at 50 miles per hour and flooded the engine with coolant. The engine seized before I could get onto the shoulder of the road. $1500 repair.
Two power window regulators needed replacing - $400 each.
Engine belt tensioner seized while driving on the highway, and left the car without power steering or power brakes. $500.
The whole dash rattles in numerous places.
Transmission started banging into gear about 10,000 miles ago. The tranny shop says that it's slipping and the computer compensates for that by hard shifting it. He says I better save up $2500 to replace it because its only a matter of time.
The seats are terrible, with lumps and bumps in awkward locations.
I'm 55 years old and have owned many cars, but this thing is without a doubt, the worst car I have owned. I bought it from a retired fire chief who babied it. I baby it with mostly highway driving and I religiously maintain it, but it falls apart as you drive it down the road. It's so unreliable I won't let my wife drive it out of town. She drives my Mercury Grand Marquis, which is the most reliable car I've ever owned.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 1st July, 2009
26th Jul 2008, 13:44
I have to correct my own entry here. I put latest mileage was 180,000. I just looked at my odometer - it reads 120,000. The only years I did distance driving from Toledo to Detroit were in 2002 - when it kept stopping on me on the interstate, and then again in 2004 when it suddenly started leaking antifreeze (into the engine & unbeknownst to me) and then broke down entirely about a week later.
The insidious thing about this plastic plenum failure & leak - especially for women who do not know a lot about engines - is that it doesn't leak onto the ground, so you don't see it. There is effectively no warning system in the vehicle for the problem until the damage is done. Having had lots of old cars, I check the ground under my car and the tires daily.
When I got this car used I thought, wow, I was getting a real quality vehicle - a Buick LeSabre Custom - wow. It had just over 30,000 miles on it. Only to discover I was driving a rolling time bomb. One of the times it stopped on the expressway in 2002, I barely made it to the shoulder, with semi trucks roaring past me. (I75 is the official NAFTA thruway, and has thousands of semis every hour of every day.) That was the year the dealership just couldn't find any problems.
I bought a Chevy Nova brand new in 1968 and it ran for 18 years. No engine repairs, no struts replaced, just normal repairs as it got older. That little blue Nova ran and ran and ran. (I sold it for $140, still running.) I'm 60 & don't know if it's my generation of managers who ran this once great company into the ground, but this is not the General Motors of 40 years ago. There is a prediction out there that within 5 years they may be filing for bankruptcy. This Buick dissaster is a bigger disaster for the company than they are letting on, coupled with the price of gas.