Same problem with leaking plenum. It failed quickly. One day it was at the usual level. Within a week (120 miles) it had drained the tank. $700 later, good as new. The car has 82,000 miles on it.
Appreciate the former comments. We too have a 98 LeSabre with 76K miles. My upper intake manifold recently went bad and had to be replaced. Why in the world would GM engineers create such a problem? We will keep our receipts.
My 1998 Buick Park Avenue had the same intake manifold problem (leaking after plastic developed a hole). My mechanic has seen this problem before. He said Ford stopped their plastic manifold problems with steel in the right place. There is only one temp sensor for the engine located on top. This location does not give you warning enough. There should be another sensor in bottom. Luckly I did not blow a head gasket.
I replaced the upper intake plenum on my 98 Lesabre recently. What a mess! I had to use a modified nail puller to scrape all of the gunk off of the top of the aluminum intake from the coolant/exhaust gas mix. Its too bad that I can't post pictures here, the sludge was impressive. My suspicion with this design is that the aluminum intake is the same intake used with a super charger in other GM cars with this engine. For applications without a supercharger, they needed something to stick on top of it, so they made something cheap out of plastic. I am also not excited about their choice.
I just purchased an 1997 Buick Park Avenue from an older lady, 121 000km. Well, 300km or a week later the car stalled, the intake manifold was leaking a lot of coolant in the engine. I bought the 3.8 L because they were bullet proof, now I will have to replace the intake every 2 years, just to be on the safe side.. I'm very disappointed, my other car is a GM with a 3.4 litre. It could be expensive.
I have a 98 Buick Le Sabre with about 60,000 miles. Recently the intake manifold collapsed and it cost me about $1700.00 to fix it. I now see that a lot of people have had the same problem. How can we make GM reimburse us for our money?
I have a 1997 Buick Park Avenue. I have 80000 miles on this car. I again was looking for longevity. Not so. I am on my second plenum replacement. It becomes expensive after a while.
I also own a ’98 Buick LeSabre and its been the biggest disappointment of any GM product I’ve ever owned. At 30,000 miles the plastic upper intake (as bemoaned above) started leaking coolant into the engine costing $750 to replace (until next 30,000 miles). The engine main developed a leak at 35,000 costing $1,100 to repair. At 60,000 the water pump went out ($400) and the lifters started knocking and now the lower intake manifold is leaking. What is supposed to be a better example of US car manufacturing has been nothing, but a money pit. Do yourself a favor and avoid this make and buy a US made Japanese product. GM made a lemon and will not stand behind their product.
It is amazing that this problem is happening to so many people. I wish I had gotten wind of this months ago. I am having the same problem with the Intake Manifold consuming Dex-Cool Antifreeze. My car's engine has not locked up and so hopefully I will have to replace no more than the Intake Manifolds, which from what I am hearing may cost upwards of 600.00 to 800.00 dollars. I am an upcoming engineering graduate and understand why saving weight is so important, but at what cost. Where's the savings when I have to come out of pocket to pay for GM's careless mistakes. I had planned on taking a cruise or going on a trip, so much for that. I will be sure never to repeat the careless mistakes of previous GM engineers. My suggestion to anyone reading this is to go on the web for whatever car you have and find potential future problems and circumvent them. Whether that means addressing the problem now, or buying another car.
1998 Buick Park Ave.
Same problem as the people above. First time replaced blown engine thanks to the defect. New Motor had only 28,000 miles on the engine so I was safe, I thought!
NOT... It has happened again... Antifreeze leaking into oil. This time just replacing Intake... hope this will work, getting car back in about 2 hours... Then selling it... I will do my homework before buying my next car.
Trent Anthony, Ohio.
Well I have a 98 Buick LeSabre Limited and the Engine started to studder last night (98,000K) on it.
I pulled over, opened up the hood (engine was still running) and noticed I had no anti-freeze.
Shut the car off - thinking it was overheating.
Engine would not start again : (
Had it towed and it is a Manafold issue - $600 later - I hope the car will be ready by tonight.
This car sounds like a time bomb - and you have to monitor coolant levels.
I have a 1997 Buick Lesabre 3.8 3800 series 2. It lost all its water and would not start back up. I've spent 1200.00 and it's still not running, but when I do get it running I will sell it cheap, and I'll never own another Buick. I've owned Buicks all my life and I'm 60 yrs old, but this is my last, thanks.
I inherited a 1999 Buick LeSabre and 6 months ago had to replace my intake manifold gasket which cost me close to $2,000. We were driving it on a longer trip and the engine fails. It was towed to the nearest dealership and we were told that the entire engine needed to be replaced. The cost $4,000 plus! I only have 75,000 miles on it. I have been reading about all the similar problems others have been having and I am angry that the company does not correct the problems!
I bought 98 Buick Le Sabre with only 38,000 miles on it 9 months ago. Previous owner only drove it to church and back. Long story, short same thing happened to me. Coolant went low, mechanic could find a leak, drove it home, next day drove it to work, sputtered into my parking spot and the car has not run since. Took it to a "mechanic" here in the us-vi St. Croix on 12/14/07 and the car has not run since. I need help. email@example.com.
Not to rub it in, but I have a 1992 Park Avenue with the older 3.8 that created the reputation for bulletproof reliability, before it was 'improved' (ruined) in 1995.
I'm wondering, knowing that this previous 3.8 usually goes 200-300 thousand miles before trouble, and the newer one is junk, couldn't a metal intake manifold from the old one be fitted on to these newer ones?
Or do I simply not know anything about mechanics?
I have a 97 Buick LeSabre, and it's been wonderful. However, I almost lost the engine one time on the freeway. Water temp started to heat up past 200 degrees. I always keep a close eye on it, and it usually remains around 190 - 195, even in the summer with the A/C on.
One of the plastic engine coolant pipes had broken. Pipes were $12 each and the LeSabre has three. I replaced all three, and it was only $100, which included the cost of the pipes.
I agree with the post about using the Ken-Co fix on the plastic manifold. This appears to be the logical solution and makes much more sense than replacing the manifold again when it's clearly not designed for longevity. http://ken-co.com/manifold/default.htm BTW, the last time I checked the kit was only $60. I figure that it can be done in two or three hours at the most, which makes it still a pretty cost effective solution.
This will be my next project. Have 55K on it and it runs great. I plan to keep it for a while. I'll post again after I've done the repair. Won't be until summer. Best of luck to all LeSabre owners.