1998 Buick LeSabre Custom from North America - Comments

4th Oct 2007, 14:54

1998 Buick LeSabre Limited.

98K. Engine error. Did not find the reason yet. But after going through the information posted here, I believe it is an intake problem.

28th Dec 2007, 14:45

How many Buick executives drive their own products? Do they have the same problems as the rest of us have with the 3800 engine? I LOST the antifreeze and the check engine light came on. I was on the interstate and drove to the next exit and to the garage. The same story as others have stated. Do they know what a recall is? What is going on with GM Buick? Have they been informed?

4th Jan 2008, 07:30

I also have a 98 Buick LeSabre and it's leaking antifreeze. We can't see any leaking or signs of leakage. I am afraid it's the intake manifold. It wouldn't start this morning just click and I think the engine locked or something. I checked and I did not see any antifreeze at all in the resvoire (sp?).

I see a big bill in my future.

I guess from what I read here this is common for this model.

Buick should come clean for this. It's definitely a defect. I heard that they make this part out of plastic? And when it gets hot it expands and cracks. Has anyone else heard this?

30th Jan 2008, 12:38

Yesterday, January 29,2008 the intake manifold gaskets were replaced on my 1998 Buick Regal LS-107,000 miles. Also, the coolant and thermostat were replaced. There was oil all over the back of the engine and oil in the coolant. Price for all the work - $758. My mechanic told me to check the Internet because this is a big problem, but one you have to pay!

27th Feb 2008, 18:50

Add me to the list. Last week my wife parked our 98 LeSabre in the garage. No problems or unusual sounds. The coolant reservoir was low and filled two or three times, but no noticeable leak. Next morning the engine seized. Hydro-lock. I pulled the plugs and coolant poured out. It's a nice car, but I agree that putting another plastic manifold on it is no fix.

4th Mar 2008, 09:35

I feel so not alone after reading all these comments. My son has been driving my father's 1998 Buick Le Sabre and while en route from Denver to New Orleans, he too had the same described problems of the temp gauge going up slightly, stopped, added coolant, drove further only to have it seize up completely. He ended up having it towed from Alexandria, LA to New Orleans where it has been sitting quietly ever since because he is a student and doesn't have the wherewithal in time or money to get it fixed. Now we are wondering about going through the expense of putting in another engine only to have the same problem occur again. Some of you have mentioned a "retro-fit part" that isn't plastic. Are there any engines out there available with a corrected manifold? If so, how do you go about finding them? Any advice would be welcome as I am trying to help him handle this problem from afar.

6th Mar 2008, 20:05

Hi people, I also have a '96 Buick LeSabre and I have the same problem; anti-freeze inside the engine oil. After reading these comments, I guess my next car will be a Toyota. I am just wondering why GM is losing market... it's because of their engineers. Wow, shame on you GM. I will never buy another car from you.

26th Mar 2008, 09:20

I have a '99 Buick LeSabre that recently started issuing white smoke and now will not start. Is the intake manifold on the '99 plastic as well?

Thanks for any information.

27th Mar 2008, 15:27

Yes unfortunately it was. They used it up until 2004 or 2005 on the 3.8. Many of the newer (2000-2003 or so) LeSabres were recalled for this issue, but the 95-99 version was never re-called by GM. The Park Avenue has the same engine but doesn't seem to have nearly as many issues with the intake manifold. I have a 1999 Park Avenue with 140,000 and the original plenium. My boss' '99 LeSabre failed around 130,000. He was able to do the repairs himself for about $300.

12th May 2008, 22:35

I have a 98 LeSabre and had the same coolant leak problem around 45K. While on a cold morning I noticed my heater was no longer pumping out hot air. I check the temperature gauge and it was moving erratically. When I got to work I noticed that the coolant was very low. I still can't believe GM didn't put a low coolant sensor in the reserve tank (way to go). A coolant sensor would have saved a few engines. I bought a plenum (upper manifold) for $200 and spent an afternoon replacing the old one. About 75K and 2-1/2 years later, I noticed the coolant level in the reserve tank slowly dropping. I went out and bought a plenum gasket for $40 (throttle body gasket was included) and replaced it a second time, so far no coolant leakage.

I would like to point out that both of the gaskets did have a noticeable wear (smooth surface) on the throttle body side. I strongly believe vibration was the problem. The worn gasket was most likely caused by having the throttle body supported by the plastic plenum. As for heat from the EGR exhaust, it could contribute. I didn't see any evidence of melted plastic other than a deformed plenum gasket.

13th May 2008, 14:26

Wow! I had no idea about this common problem until today. I have a 1999 Buick LeSabre 3.8 V6... Hydro-locked on me last Friday morning (5/9/2008).

AAA towed it to the shop on Sunday. Learned today that the repair bill is $1K for new intake manifold, starter, spark plugs, oil change, and labor.

Nevertheless, I suppose I am lucky, for the mileage on the car is 197,000.

And now I feel I'm a part of the Buick "One Grand" club.

20th May 2008, 23:22

I have a 1998 Buick Park Avenue with 165,000 miles. My wife called after running into town to say that the low coolant light was on. I had noticed it on the other day, and added coolant. I thought it odd for it to be back on in only a couple of days. When I got home I found coolant was low, so I added more and went to move the car, and found it would not start. I replaced the battery and still would not start. I could turn engine by hand backwards. but hit the starter and engine turned and stopped in the same spot. and now I have wrecked the starter. I have just found this site and I am sure after reading here that I have the same problem. I just hope I haven't destroyed my engine by trying to start it.

27th May 2008, 15:45

Count me in as well. 99 LeSabre with 73,450 miles.. stopped at the store... everything stopped. rest is 1K worth of stories...

26th Jul 2008, 18:40

Well now, I guess I can join the party. I just got my wife's 1999 LeSabre out of the shop yesterday. We bought it new, and have maintained it according to the book. It only has 66,500 miles on it. Never had a problem until this. Same problem! She took it out a few days ago and commented when she returned that it was running rough. I took a spin around the block and noticed it also, but because it was due for a tune-up, didn't get alarmed. It didn't appear to be over heating and the fluid levels seemed OK. Less than an hour later, she went out and it wouldn't start. Locked up! Had it towed to shop, and they did the tune-up and got it started, but discovered that we had an expected blown head gasket. Bottom line: It was the upper and intake manifold gasket, etc. so not quite as bad as expected. Three days and $1350.00 later (including tune-up, replacement belts and oil/lube/filter maintenance) we're back on the road again; hopefully for another 100K miles.