1998 Buick LeSabre Custom from North America - Comments

6th Dec 2003, 10:48

Recently had a problem with my 1998 Buick LeSabre with 96,000 miles on it. The engine started to slightly hesitate and the temperature gauge reading was slightly higher than normal (but not in the red zone). I parked the car and noted the coolant was low. I filled it water so I could drive it to the shop and the next day when I went to start it, the engine seized up and would not start. I had it towed to the shop where I learned it was an intake manifold problem resulting in coolant entering the cylinders. $1,700 later, the car was fine. (Also blew the water pump and the starter when I tried to start the car the car that morning. For all the raves about the 3800 engine, this was disheartening. My mechanic discovered a service bulletin on this matter and, apparently, I'm not alone. This appears to be a defect common in mid to late 90's GM mid-size and full size cars. My mechanic said there was nothing I could have done to prevent this problem. As much as I like this car, I would really think twice before purchasing another Buick, especially if you're considering a 1995-98 LeSabre.

14th Jan 2004, 21:57

We own a 98 Buick LeSabre. It's pretty and very comfortable. However we have the same problem that many others have. We have had a lot of trouble with stalling which caused some close calls in traffic. And we have spent thousands on the manifolds and gaskets. You can read about these serious problems on the NHTSA site. If you have similar problems, please don't keep them to yourselves. It's important that we consumers share our information. Despite what many of us were told by experts, GM initially denied the manifold problem. Now they admit to it, but they still aren't reimbursing us.

9th Apr 2004, 10:48

I also have a 1997 Buick Lesabre. It has 44,000 miles on it. I brought it to the mechanic today, because I found the coolant level getting low and thought that there might be a leak. After reading these posts, I'm lucky I did. The mechanic found that the Plastic Intake manifold was cracked and leaking. I said luckily, because it only cost me $275 to repair (replace plastic intake and gasket) with no damage to the engine. I asked the mechanic if Buick offers a replacement part that is not plastic (considering that I might have the same problem down the road) and he said "no."

I think that Buick should have a recall on this Plastic Intake part and change it to something more durable. I fear that this part might break again and possible while driving on the highway, which might result in more serious damage to the engine and possibly myself.

7th May 2004, 08:28

My 1998 Buick LeSabre Custom required $1000 work on it at 64,000 miles. I bought it new, and I have taken good care of during the 6 years I've owned it. The problem was with the leaking coolant with a hole in the pleneum. My mechanic said they had repaired six Buick LeSabres in this year (it is only May) and the town I live in is small. This must be a major problem with this car. Friends had the same problem with their car, but it was repaired in another town.

21st May 2004, 19:38

I am also experiencing the water leak problem on my 1998 Bonneville with the 3800 engine. Up until a month ago, this engine was running perfectly. After the engine had difficulty starting after a run to the mall, I noticed that the water temp was reading high, but not in the red. After checking the coolant level and seeing that it was low, I filled it up with 50/50 antifreeze and then it wouldn't start at all -- hydrolocked!!! My mechanic hasn't been able to find the leak, but after reading these posts I think I can point him in the right direction. This really sucks... I expected to keep this car for another 100K miles (I bought it new and it now has 131K on it). GM is going to get a lot of bad publicity over this if they don't do something. What the &%$# are they thinking?

29th May 2004, 00:57

I purchased my 1998 Buick Lesabre, limited on 7/2/04 w/63,000 miles. I use 89 octane, and so far so good. I had a $700 dollar problem w/the two zone heat/a.c. programer, and the steering wheel controls do not work, but now have 70,000 miles w/no further problem, so far. Good ride and comfortable. 29 highway, 22-23 combo.

10th Jun 2004, 15:04

Just bought a '98 with 61,000 miles on it. Had it checked by a mechanic and he told me to have the coolant flushed. I did, then drove away from the lube shop and the check engine light goes on and the engine starts trying to stall.

I turned around and got it to a shop and it turns out that it's the intake manifold (plenum). There's still 10000 miles on the warranty so it won't cost much to repair.

The mechanic said that the replacement part sent to him is a re-design, so hopefully the problem won't repeat itself.

That being said, I love the car.

24th Jul 2004, 01:19

I also have a '98 buick lesabre, I also had a manifold replaced, about a month ago buick sent out a recall, but I don't remember the whole thing, but after reading this panel's info I think that I'll check it out and call up gm about their faulty products!!!

17th Aug 2004, 10:18

I also purchased a 1998 LeSabre with a 3800 engine. It had 70,000 miles on it. It just turned 118,000 and started hesitating. Upon the next start-up, white smoke blew out the exhaust. The engine did not seize up. It is in the shop now and I am awaiting word if it is the intake or head gasket. Does anyone know of any recall in the making?

27th Sep 2004, 15:55

We purchased a used 1998 Buick LeSabre 2001, with about 59,000 miles on it then. We noticed loss of anti-freeze. We had it checked for leaks and nothing showed up. Then we noticed a loping feeling when driving down the highway which continued to get worse. Went back to the mechanic shop. He found the plastic gasket was leaking coolant into the engine. Replaced gasket and problem seemed solved. That was about 1 1/2 years ago... now we are having the same problem. I would like to know how to get reimbursed because of all the expense to repair without warranty. Car manufacturer needs to be held responsible for this. Anyone hear of anything to repair or reimburse for this problem? Thank you.

3rd Oct 2004, 17:24

1997 Buick Lesabre C Same same same.

Gasket set from the heads up $225.00, manifold??? Still at the machine shop. No indication of any problem around 135,000 miles slowly loosing coolant. DO SOMETHING AT THIS POINT! Then hydro lock # 1 cylinder. It appears the coolant came through the manifold, down the intake runner and by the intake valve. As both valves close on the compression stroke there is no way to relieve the pressure. Fluid does not compress as air does. This locks the engine. If the head gasket is not junk before this it is now! This does not mean the engine is junk! Inspection of the cylinders indicates no other problem at this point. Will repost when complete!!