1998 Buick LeSabre Limited from North America - Comments

4th Jun 2007, 10:38

Own a 2001 Le Sabre with the 3.8L with 68,895 miles. This weekend while other work was being done discovered the same problem. Instead of making it better, the GM kit (around $60) still has a plastic gasket, and a couple of other pieces that redirect the heat flow (???). Anyway, the labor added another $350. I agree too that this is a known defect, poor engineering, and that GM should reimburse. A coworker's wife had her engine destroyed by this same problem. When he contacted GM/Buick about "plastic vs heat" he was told if not a safety related problem they weren't required to do a recall. Personally, I think 65mph down the highway in heavy traffic and your engine freezes should be considered a safety problem. I'm thinking about contacting my state Attorney General's office to see if they can put any pressure on GM. I hope this is good for another 70,000 miles because I am getting ready to put about 5000 miles on the highway through August. Seriously considering buying Toyota or Honda for my next vehicle. Unfortunately, all of the great quality statements in regards to Buick have failed to live up to my expectations. Guess that was from when my father was my age.

7th Jul 2007, 22:28

I have a '98 Le Sabre with 86,000. I am loosing coolant and adding weekly. My mechanic believes it is from the water pump as evidenced by a slight streak on the inside of my hood. This is not uncommon with the 3800 gm engine. Since I am in the middle of a dirty divorce and may be buying my lawyer a Lexis, mechanic says to drive as is and keep an eye on coolant. He believes puddling under engine will be a sign to bring her in. Wow a mechanic who is honest! I appreciate the post as was struggling with keeping it for my son, however now, if My lawyer is as good as my mechanic maybe a used Lexis is in my future! Gods Blessings to all!!!

24th Sep 2007, 08:23

I have a 98 Buick Park and was on way from Baltimore to wedding in upstate NY. Engine light came on in middle of nowhere. Got off the freeway. Engine will not turn over. Probably damaged starter or flywheel trying to start car.

Rented car to go to wedding. Told cousin "water in cylinders".

Cousin said, "Buick V6?" That is when I realized I had a problem shared by a lot of other unhappy Buick owners. Now I will call factory and try for help with this, From what I read, it will be denied by General Motors.

How did American manufacturing come to this?

18th Oct 2007, 06:12

More: October 17, 2007. I had the car fixed at the AAA garage it was towed to. When I went back to get it I brought a new starer; the old one was destroyed trying to start a car with water in the cylinders. Cost - about $600 plus the $400 car rental.

First stop was the GM dealer that Buick sent me to to verify that the intake manifold was the problem. And I was thinking that now I would get help.

They found the leak inside the manifold, from the air induction to water jacket. The service manager phoned Buick.

I got another 15 miles and the car engine started sounding like an old tractor. And it quit.

Back to the AAA shop, rented the same little Korean car again, drove home.

Engine is totalled.

Buick is willing to give me a one year guarantee on the new manifold.

I tell them that this is the last Buick I will buy (we got it new) and probably the last car from General Motors. They seemed unimpressed at the Buick customer assistance office.

Guess they have heard it before.

Is anyone suing Buick for manufacturing this defective design?

Harry Leffmann

Baltimore

hlpoet@aol.com

18th Oct 2007, 12:14

October 18, 2007.

Our 97 Lasabre started overheating. Water pump was replaced then 1,000 miles away from home, engine overheated and died.

The upper manifold gasket was the problem. Now 18 months later we are told the lower intake gasket needs replaced. I always dreamed of owning a Lasabre, but now I regret it as it seems to always be something wrong with this vehicle.

24th Oct 2007, 15:15

I have a 2001 SL2 Saturn with only 37,000 mileage on it and I am having the same problem as the people here. The coolant leaked into the intake gasket, according to the mechanic at the Saturn service center. They tell me it is going to cost $700 dollars to fix it. However after doing some research I found out that most people, even after paying around 600-1200 to fix the leak into the manifold, had the same problem (sometimes a couple more) happen again a few months later. I know this is a problem that happened during casting, also know that the usage of the Dex-cool probably made it worse.

My question is, what do I do? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

24th Nov 2007, 14:08

My 1998 Buick LeSabre has the same problem. The engine hydro-locked on me 2 weeks ago. Apparently this car has an upper and lower INTAKE MANIFOLD. The upper one is also called a plenum... and it is plastic. There is a EGR tube that comes up through these manifolds. It gets too hot and melts the plastic. This degrades the material, and ends up causing the coolant to run into the engine.

GM knows they screwed up. It is a design flaw. That's why they UPDATED the parts. The upper is still plastic, but the lower has a smaller bore EGR tube that comes up through the manifold - so there is some sort of airspace that keeps that upper plastic plenum from getting hot and melting. They also updated the gaskets.

I want to tell everyone that has had this problem to call GM and complain. I tried to get them to pay for the repair, as it is definitely a design flaw. I was VERY PERSISTENT. I did not cuss or get mad (though I felt like it). I finally got them to give me a $200 coupon. You can spend it only at a DEALER, and it's only for maintenance type things - like oil changes and things like that.

I still think there should be some sort of CLASS ACTION SUIT, because of the number of people who have experienced this expensive problem - and it's all due to GM's design flaw. Even the dealers will tell you it's a design flaw. So the more people that complain to them, the better.

But be forewarned, you'll get a Customer Service Rep in the Philippines or India. Keep your cool... and keep asking for the next higher up person. You will end up with someone in the USA eventually. GM must hear from us in huge numbers. They used the consumer as a guinea pig to test this part. It isn't good, so they updated it... at the expense of all of us!! Here are the 2 numbers I have for GM. 1-800-521-7300 or 1-866-790-5600. Have your VIN number ready as they will ask! (vehicle Identification number)

Best of luck! Rhonda.