17th Oct 2004, 13:04

Just purchased a 1997 Buick Le Sabre Custom from a stranded friend. What where the engineers at GM thinking, a plastic intake manifold??? Another way to cut back on excessive vehicle weight? I am going to tear down and rebuild. Any ideas on where to purchase an intake manifold that is made or something other than plastic, a metallic substance for instance??? Respond to mufinman72@hotmail.com.

15th Dec 2004, 10:03

I have a 1997 Buick LeSabre Limited. I love the car, but have had a couple of issues with it. First, the plenum had to be replaced on th upper intake after noticing my antifreeze disappeared. Next the blower and middle vents quit working. A mechanic showed me how to manually open and close the vents depending on the weather conditions. The climate control box which operates all of this stuff is 350.00 plus labor. The mileage is great. 27-30 highway.

6th May 2006, 12:24

Like big cars? Want a Reliable Buick or Olds? Buy a 1977-1985 Full Size rear wheel drive GM. Le Sabre, Electra, Park Avenue, Ninety-Eight, Delta 88, Bonneville, Catalina, Caprice, Impala. Try to find as close to rust free as you can for under $2,000 and spend the money to restore it.

This was still an era when GM built real cars made of steel, not plastic. Although huge, these cars will still get 18-24 MPG, better than any pickup truck or SUV. Sure they're not as quick and snappy as a New honda Civic, and they drink a lot of gas, but the money you spend on gas will be saved in repairs if you take reasonably good care of them.

I own a '78 Oldsmobile Delta 88, since new, with 286,000 miles on the original 350 V8 and TH350 tranny. It has outlived a '85 Ford Escort, '87 Toyota Corolla, '88 Honda Prelude, '92 Chevy Lumina, and '94 Dodge Grand Caravan. All I do is change my oil and filter every 4,000 miles, the trans maybe every 60,000 and keep tires on it.

It's pretty sad that Buick's older cars put their new ones to shame. Buick is not the only one using plastic intakes, the Ford 4.6L V8 uses them too.

8th May 2006, 16:15

To the reviewer: Let's get this straight. You're unhappy with your LeSabre, so you buy a DODGE CARAVAN? Are you a glutton for punishment?

7th Oct 2006, 20:30

I just paid $700 to replace a plastic upper manifold (1999 La Sabre). The car only has 80K on it. I used to think Buick's were dependable. I know Honda's are very dependable. I've owned different models of Hondas for 13 years. They don't break down and they have high resale value. It is no wonder GM closing plants and laying off workers by the thousands.

16th Apr 2007, 10:05

I have a 1997 Buick Le Sabre Limited. The middle vents don't work, but the defrost and floor do. Also had to have the plenum on the manifold replaced. 800.00. The climate control box flashes the temp for about one minute and then works. But, unless you keep it on 90, it won't give you heat. Any suggestions out there? Also, I had no problems until the plenum melted and it was repaired. The garage said they had nothing to do with it which seems strange since it quit working when I got it back. Could they have disconnected something and not known it? Thanks KJ.

16th Apr 2007, 14:09

You may want to check under your dash. I have a 1995 park avenue that I got in september that only blew heat on the passenger side of the car. Four months later and a trip to the junk yard fixed the heat. Turns out someone disconnected the rod that attached to door to let the heat in for the driver/back side, and tied it to something with a plastic tie. I had been looking at it for months and never realized it. Now I have excellent heat. I pretty sure someone did this on purpose to the previous owners. Maybe that's why they gave the car to the dealership before it got cold. I got it for a bargain and it's a nice car for an 18yr old.

22nd Sep 2007, 00:21

I just bought a 1997 Buick Lesabre today with 97,000 on it. I sure hope that I don't have that manifold trouble, or whoever owned it before me already went through it. Please pray for me and my Buick. thank you in advance.


11th Dec 2007, 20:26

I have a 97 Buick LeSabre Limited with 74,000 miles on it. I have had it for a year and drove it 10,000 miles so far. I have had the fuel pump go out ($465.00), I have had the brake lines rust out and replaced ($661.00) and today I had the Upper intake replaced ($500.00) after noticing the anti freeze was disappearing. I noticed this right away so I am hoping the antifreeze didn't get into the bearings in the motor. I think I should try and sell it before it breaks again. Are these cars really Lemons? I always thought these were dependable cars. Guess not.

28th Dec 2007, 10:31

I have a 98 Buick La Sabre, have had the same manifold leak problem, 8 months later a water pump leak problem developed. After the water pump leak was fixed a new problem on an aluminum part that holes the belt tensionor started to leak. I have had the car four year, bought it with 56K miles used from a private owner and have put on 100K in the four years. I have spend $5000 on maintenance, repairs, tires etc. On the other hand my wife has a 97 Chrysler Town and Country we purchased new and drives about 10,000 miles a year and I spend $2500 year to keep it running. Never towed the Buick, have been towed 2 times in the past year with the Chrysler and a couple of time prior to that. In the cost of the Chrysler are no transmission repairs (I have the fluid changed every 15000 miles). This is my third Buick. All have made it past 150K, this one I have been the most aggressive in doing maintenance.

23rd May 2008, 15:58

I drive a 1998 Buick Le Sabre with 93,000 KS. The 3800 Series II engine works fine. The body, frame and floors are in excellent condition. What puzzles me is the brake lines completed rusted away and began leaking close to where they come out of the ABS module. All had to be replaced at a cost of $700.00.

19th Apr 2010, 20:29

I've had my 1997 Buick LeSabre for over 2 years now, I bought it from my friend's parents with 138,000 miles on it. I was little disturbed with that much miles on it.

Now this car has 204,000 miles and have not had a major issues yet. Exception of not having AC/Heater. Sometimes it blows air, sometimes not..

RPM gauge and fuel gauge never worked when I bought it, which it does not affect the car's driving performance.

I got an estimate for $500 to fix the AC/heater issue; is it worth the fix? I don't know if I can go another summer without AC... but I'm not sure if I should put in that much money into the car.

5th Aug 2010, 10:38

I drive a 1997 Buick Le Sabre. It has 155,000 miles on it.

I really enjoy driving the car, but I have had the upper exhaust manifold replaced $800, water pump replaced $300 (probably encouraged by the manifold problem), and tires worn on the front due to shaking when braking.

I am ticked off at GM for the plastic intakes. There is no excuse for putting junk on an otherwise great luxury car.

The body is perfect due to the fact that I lived mostly in California during ownership of the car.

I would trade the car, but won't get anything for it. So, I am thinking of a new engine. It would be better than buying another used car and better than paying a fortune for a new model.