The Buick LeSabre has captured the imagination of American drivers for eight generations. It is an absolute classic among the old school sedans. What makes the LeSabre a solid car for everyday driving? We recommend you read here the common faults of the Buick LeSabre.
This car is quite affordable, especially now. Depreciation has already eaten away most of the LeSabre’s value, and a 2005 model is expected to lose about 5% of its remaining value after five years.
How good is the Buick LeSabre?
Most review sites agree that the Buick LeSabre is a reliable full-size sedan. Cars.com users have given the 2005 Buick LeSabre an Outstanding Reliability Score of 4.6 out of 5.0. They are impressed with the car’s great value and fuel efficiency . The 2005 model gets a combined mileage of 24.5 miles per gallon with its 3.8-liter V6 engine. That’s not bad for a car of its size.
The average annual cost to repair and maintain a Buick LeSabre is around the equivalent of $340. Actual cost may vary based on car condition, mileage, location, and service fees. The top five most common Buick LeSabre repairs are A/C recharges, thermostat replacements, brake booster replacements, headlight switch changes, and power steering system leak inspection.
The main common faults of the Buick LeSabre
LeSabre owners love to brag about their car’s excellent ride quality, comfortable interiors, decent fuel economy and low running costs. The seventh and eighth generation Buick LeSabre have their share of problems.
We have listed the common failures of the Buick LeSabre to help you manage your expectations when making a purchase:
1- Defective power window assembly
Some Buick LeSabre models built between 1999 and 2005 are equipped with faulty window regulator assemblies. The window regulators fitted to these models have been known to fail on occasion . This problem is most prevalent on the 2000, 2001 and 2002 LeSabre models, which are the ones that have received the most complaints.
Some users on the site have reported replacing the stock window regulators on their 2001 LeSabre multiple times because they kept failing after a couple of weeks. There are a number of ways window regulators can fail, including overuse, cold temperatures, and frayed regulator wires.
These factors, combined with the fact that the LeSabre’s window regulator assembly has plastic clips that hold the windows in place, most likely caused the problem. The clips can break at any point, allowing the windows to drop right into the door frame.
You will have to remove the interior panels of the car to recover the fallen windows. GM dealers insist on replacing the entire pulley assembly, which costs the equivalent of $450.
The Buick LeSabre isn’t the only GM vehicle with power window problems . In addition, the Buick Bonneville, Century, Regal, Grand Am and Sunfire also share this dilemma. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US, GM has not made any power window recalls for these affected models because they are not a safety concern.
However, they are a security issue. An open window can lead to theft, so you should replace your faulty power windows as soon as possible.
2- Problems with the cracked intake manifold gasket
Dex-Cool, a specialty coolant, has been linked to cracking of intake manifold gaskets on GM vehicles manufactured between the 1990s and mid-2000s. This includes certain 1999 to 2000 Buick LeSabre models. 2005.
Many LeSabre owners believe that Dex-Cool can potentially corrode engine and cooling system components such as the heater core, radiator, and water pump. The resulting coolant leak can have a negative effect on the car’s performance , eventually making it undriveable.
GM has changed the materials used in new intake manifold gaskets so that they are less susceptible to cracking than stock intake manifold gaskets. The company hasn’t removed the faulty gaskets from older GM vehicles, which means drivers will have to replace them.
Replacing a cracked intake manifold gasket can cost between $200 and $550 for labor alone. Aftermarket intake manifold gaskets typically cost anywhere from $180 to $400, depending on materials, quantity, and brand.
3- False fuel gauge readings
Some Buick LeSabre models made between 1999 and 2005 have faulty fuel pressure sensors. Some LeSabre owners say their fuel sensor gives false readings when their fuel tank is running low (usually below the half mark).
A faulty fuel sensor can have dangerous consequences . You may experience a sudden lack of power when driving. This is because the air to fuel ratio in the engine is disrupted by a faulty fuel sensor. In some cases, the engine may not start after starting.
Experts advise Buick LeSabre owners to replace the stock fuel sensors to correct the problem. There are professionals who recommend replacing the entire fuel pump module on high mileage LeSabres . A fuel pump replacement can cost anywhere from $600 to $700.
You can purchase a high-quality aftermarket fuel pump to reduce maintenance costs. Be sure to ask the dealer about your Buick’s repair history to avoid annoying fuel gauge problems.
4- Faults in the change in the automatic transmission
A failed transmission pressure control solenoid is causing shift problems on Buick LeSabre models made between 1991 and 2005 (1996 model is missing from the list). Users have complained of hard shifting, pulling and slipping on LeSabre models with over 120,000 miles.
The transmission pressure control solenoid regulates the amount of transmission fluid going to the internal friction plates so the transmission does not shake or slip when shifting.
Lack of transmission fluid can cause excessive gear slippage, which can overheat or dry out friction clutches . It is important to keep the transmission pressure solenoid in good condition to avoid accidents caused by hard or erratic shifting.
GM has not issued a recall for defective transmission pressure control solenoids on affected models, which means you will be responsible for replacement costs. Remember to ask the seller about the transmission history of the car.
5- Mode door actuator failure
A failing mode door actuator is causing incorrect HVAC temperature on 1990 thru 2005 Buick LeSabre models (1991 model not included). The mode door actuator controls the flow of hot or cold air out of the vents. If the actuator fails, you can reverse the operation of the air conditioning and heating.
This may not be a safety risk, but a failing mode door actuator can make driving uncomfortable during the summer and winter seasons. Be sure to have your desired Buick LeSabre HVAC tested to avoid the hassle of replacing a broken mode door actuator.
The Buick LeSabre is a good daily driver for its price. It is comfortable, reliable and easy to drive. In addition, it will receive the nod from fans of full-size American sedans. Just make sure you know the common Buick LeSabre faults and test drive the car before you buy it so you don’t have to deal with any nasty surprises later.