2003 Buick LeSabre Custom 3.8L Series II V6 from North America


Solid cruiser


Intermittent 1-2 shift problem began at 130,000km, apparently common on this transmission (4t65e). Changed tranny fluid & filter, problem was solved before it got worse. Upgrading tranny fluid to DEXRON VI is a good idea anyway. Tip: change the tranny fluid/filter early, I'd say at around 90-100k. My driving was also mainly highway, manual said it should have been good until 160k.

Driver side heated seat stopped working at 120,000km.

Fuel filter partially clogged and replaced at 125,000km.

Various backlights on the temperature control console and radio became intermittent, then stopped working.

General Comments:

Outstanding reliability on the 3800 series II engine as could be expected. Original Delco plugs and cables are great, and still going strong at over 135k.

Amazing ride quality and comfort inside the cabin. Plan on keeping it until it rusts out from underneath me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2010

2003 Buick LeSabre Limited 3.8 from North America


It is one great car in every way


My reason for sending this message is to back up the information I have read on your site about the GM 3800 engine. I own this 2003 Buick LeSabre Limited now that just had the upper plenum replaced at 24,000 miles. It was covered by warranty.

I traded my 2001 Buick LeSabre in on this car. This 2001 also had the upper plenum gasket replaced around 50,000 miles. I was lucky however I had taken insurance out on that one so that covered the expense. My point is this. The problem is happening on all GM 3800 engines regardless of car make, or model. And it should be handled as a recall as frequent as it is happening to everyone. I love the car in every other way and will continue to purchase the 3800 engine as the economy is great on it. I also have been told that the 2005's have an improved gasket.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2005

2nd Mar 2006, 22:38

I have been told by a Buick sales representative that the upper plenum on the 3800 engine is now all metal not plastic anymore. The above change I think just started in 2005. I think this is a real positive move toward improving an otherwise great engine. I have a 1995 Bonneville with 186,000 miles on it with a non turbo 3800 engine which has had no problems with the upper plenum (its metal though). Also a 1990 Bonneville with a 3800 engine and 199,000 miles and no upper plenum problems-all metal though.