11th Jun 2008, 12:34
A Trans Am doesn't have a series 2 3800. You are incorrectly identifying your potential purchase as a Trans Am. It's a Firebird with a V6 engine.
20th Jun 2008, 11:21
I was just about to buy a beautiful 98 Buick Le Sabre when I read the comments about the coolant leak problems. Thank goodness for this website and all the people that have contributed input. I would have spent every dime I had just to buy the car.
29th Jul 2008, 13:22
My 1998 Buick Lesabre has 122,000 miles on it and had the plenum leak problem back when it hit 85,000 miles ($600 repair). Now it is leaking again from the water pump. Nice car, but lots of problems!
7th Aug 2008, 23:42
If you've gotten 122k miles on with the original water pump you're doing OK... it happens.
22nd Aug 2008, 11:45
I have a 1999 Buick Park Avenue with a 3.8L. Same thing, the upper intake manifold leaked coolant into the cylinders and hydro locked the engine. Had the plenum replaced at a cost of $1200.00.The car ran fine for 2-3 days. Now I have lifter noise on cold start up. The lifter noise goes away when the engine warms up bit is quite pronounced at start up. Also had to replace the starter as it broke when trying to start engine when it was hydro locked. I just would like to thank GM for looking after there valued customers! I will never buy another GM product.
24th Aug 2008, 22:28
I inherited this 98 Buick LeSabre with only 29000 miles on it. After I put 6500 miles on it the manifold is leaking. I'm lucky I can fix it myself; it will only cost me $150.
I always talked trash about GM and this is the first one I owned in the 15 years I've been driving, and it turns out I was right the whole time.
6th Sep 2008, 03:59
I just brought a '98 buick lesabre with 196.000 miles on it... It drives very smooth and hopefully the previous owner took care of it... Does the leaking water means it having the same problems?
7th Sep 2008, 17:10
If you have been running the air conditioning, it is probably from that and should be considered normal. Keep a close eye on your coolant level. At as high of mileage as you have, the plenium has probably already failed at least once.
22nd Sep 2008, 19:26
I just got my 98 Buick LeSabre about 1 month ago. (145k) miles. One day driving I started to lose power, but I made it home and was going to get it fixed the next day. (thought it was a dead battery, because the battery was basically dead). Anyway, the car wouldn't start up the next morning, so I got a ride to work and put in a new battery later that day. Car didn't want to turn over, so I towed it to a shop. After a few days at the mechanic's shop, he tells me I need to replace the upper intake at about $410 including labor. Should I replace this upper intake or also the lower.. and the EGR pipes I think I read? Please help... I don't have all that much money to spare on unnecessary parts.
27th Sep 2008, 00:29
I have a 1999 Buick Regal with the same problem bought it a year ago put about 10,000 miles on it. I am in the process of repairing mine. So far mine does not look like it has the EGR valve problem of melting. I think my gasket fail! Trying that first Defintely a very poor design of a car.
24th Nov 2008, 10:58
I have a 98 Buick LeSabre. It only has 56,000 miles on her. Same thing happened to mine. Hydro locked, starter was ruined.
No wonder GM is going belly up. We should not bail this company out, or the other 2. They put themselves in this mess.
I will never buy American junk again. This car should be recalled.
America has gone to the dogs, the junk yard dogs for we only make junk.
We have a little boy in the hospital hundreds of miles away, we need this Buick to get us to the hospital and now we have no way to go, and even if I do get it fixed, will it let us down and get us killed by being broken down some late night and some sicko coming along.
GM does not see an issue with this. We all as American's should demand better treatment from the company's in this country.
My son says to install a metal intake off a newer model. Well this work?
He said his instructor in school told him to do this, he said you will never have another problem with it if you do this.
29th Nov 2008, 23:24
I bought a 1996 Oldsmobile 88 with the 3800 series II engine. I'm going through the same thing everyone else with this engine. A few months ago I noticed that every once in a while the car would sputter for about 30 seconds and then never do it again for about 2-3 months. One shop could never find the problem because they said it never did it when they had the car. Well now it's doing it almost on a daily basis and I was referred to another shop because they said it was a electrical problem and they don't handle that.
Well went to the electrical shop and they told me I needed a MAP sensor, Mass airflow sensor, EGR valve, PCV valve, and a fuel filter. Well after I have now spent over 1000 dollars trying to fix this car, and it's still doing the same thing, I went to this mechanic who works out of the garage in his house and I told him my problem, and he looked at my engine and immediately knew it was the upper plenum and showed me where it was leaking on the top of my engine. Luckily autozone has the part for 129.99 and he will install it for 120.00.
9th Jun 2008, 20:37
In the process of maybe (big maybe) buying a 95 Trans Am with series 2 3.8.
Funny thing it has oil in coolant. Intake gaskets suspect since besides EGR water issues, it seems GM's choice of coolant also causes problems with gaskets.
GM, GM, GM won't you ever learn. Remember your lack of owning up for the Fiero fiasco (fires that injured people, bad connecting rods, bad hose clamps etc). It was in the beginning a car ahead of its time and decent looking too. But you were silent when they were bursting into flames, running burned up cars as a simple warranty issue instead of immediately recalling all of them. Only to see Fiero initial record sales drop to nearly nothing because of your self-induced bad reputation.
I remember a GM exec's reason for its discontinuance: there just wasn't enough of a market for 2 seat sports car. Coincidentally Mazda, Nissan and Toyota went on to sell billions of them. Why not step up here, since there are undeniable issues that will undoubtedly cost you big time sales in the future? Fix the problem with a redesigned retrofit (metal please, this time) intake manifold, apologize to your customers, then use these obvious numerous ignorant blunders as a way not to handle design and engineering mistakes to train your execs. Stop running from problems hoping to outlast your customers' will. I may be wasting oxygen here, but isn't it about time to begin to rebuild confidence in your customer base? But again, still another shame is befalling you; poor poor GM.