4th Feb 2006, 14:12

I have a 1998 Buick LeSabre. I had to put in a new motor at 46,000 miles because of the plastic plenum problem. Having 2 kids in college I kept the car. At 100,000 miles I had to replace the plenum again. Fortunately I caught the problem before the engine was destroyed this time. Now 30,000 miles later the plastic plenum is failing for a third time. If I had the extra money I'd have gotten rid of the car long ago and will never buy another GM product. Maybe the other cars have plastic problems, but I haven't heard of too many that can cause engine failure every 50,000 miles.

14th Mar 2006, 16:21

What are you talking about? Mitsubishi DOHC engines are famous for catastrophic timing belt failures thanks to an interference design coupled with an overly complex tensioner rig.

1st Apr 2006, 00:13

Well be careful, because Ford had the same problems with the plastic intake manifolds in some of their cars with the 4.6 v8 (96 and up) and a long history of head gasket failure/head warping on V6's. Bad tranny's have been constant throughout the ford line.

Toyota/Lexus had problems with sludge in 4 & 6 cylinder engines causing engine failure and until the mid '90's their V6's blew head gaskets frequently.

Honda/Acura had auto transmission problems.

Chrysler had sludge failures in the 2.7 v6 and tranny failures for years.

Mercedes Benz was rated lower than captive brother Chrysler due to many electrical/computer related failures.

BMW is not much better.

1st Apr 2006, 10:33

Depends on which BMW. Overall, your comment is accurate, but the 3 series and 5 series have proven more reliable than even Japanese cars.

These days, Mercedes thinks its customers are beta testers.

13th Jun 2006, 10:34

All auto makers have problems, but I had a 1998 Buick Lesabre and it was a pile of junk. I couldn't even begin to list all the problems we had, and many started before the car even had 40,000 miles on it. Way beyond any reasonable expectation of reliability. GM junk from the back end that creaked (dealer couldn't figure out why) to the front license plate bracket that fell off.

7th Oct 2007, 09:45

I am a first time car buyer at the age of 19. I don't know that much about vehicles, but at the same time noticing that you can't just go by the looks of a vehicle. I am currently searching for my first vehicle and ran across an ad posting of a 1998 Buick Lesabre for $1300. Particularly my choices were more of the foreign vehicles like for example: Honda, Saturn, Nissan, etc. But for some odd reason I desire the 1998 Buick Lesabre.

As if right now I am weighing the options by going to various web sites like this one and skimming through the reviews of this particular vehicle. Could someone please give me a little in-site or point me towards a good direction rather if I should purchase a 1998 Buick Lesabre or not?

The last thing that I want to happen is to purchase a vehicle that I would have to spend a quite of bit of cash to keep it running. I like the interior and exterior features of the vehicle. I am into real estate and thought it would be a suitable ride for business.

7th Oct 2007, 23:13

Don't buy it, the series II of 3800 have a big problem with the intake manifold. I'm assuming that for 1300 bucks there will be a lot of miles in that vehicle so is very likely that the above problem occur. Besides you will have problem with all the windows that will last forever.

8th Oct 2007, 12:48

I'm 19 and have a 1995 buick park avenue. I agree if it cost 1300 dollars it probably has high mileage on it. My 95 cost almost 3000 dollars and had 108,000 miles on it when I got. The intake manifold can be an issue, but by now it has been replaced with an improved one, and if you actually check on your coolant level you can avoid disaster before it happens. And as far as the window regulators this is a problem for 2000 models and up, obviously the person who made the last comment doesn't own a buick or know much besides from what they read.

8th Oct 2007, 21:18

At $1300 that 1998 Buick LeSabre is most assuredly either a complete beater, is stolen, or has a bad title. I'd stay far, far away! You can't get something for nothing.

Surely you can find something more in your price range at autotrader.com, edmunds.com, etc.

29th Feb 2008, 22:33

I have a 98 Buick Lesabre which is a Gem. 197k miles on it. Only had 2 problems. Plenum of course (around 150k miles though) Replacement has a metal sleeve. I'm told that has solved the plenum issues. So far so good. The other which is why I stumbled on this site, is the tensor pulley a $25.00 item. I was looking to see if it was a right hand thread, which it is by the way. 30 mpg on open highway. 26-27 mpg daily use which is curvy hilly roads. Pretty darn good for a mid size car which rides incredible.

I would by another in a heart beat. Too bad the last year making them is 2005.

4th May 2008, 22:24

I bought my 98 Buick LeSabre with 97k in 03/05.

The transmission went out at 120k and I paid $1300 to keep it going for a rebuilt transmission.

I drive a lot annually and just went over 210k 05/08.

I have had to get the brake pads done, but besides that, change the oil occasionally and gas. It's been great - most the miles I travel are gravel roads - it leaks some dust inside but I like it enough I am planning on giving it to my mom this summer, so she can have something to get around in for awhile - no plenium? problems here.

I bought a 1994 Park Avenue for cheap with 70k about 6 months ago - it's there just in case something went wrong - I am middle aged but I'm guessing there is a reason a lot of old people are driving Buicks - I don't think it is because they look good? Or give a superior ride?