NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

1998 Buick LeSabre (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,592 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Buick LeSabre engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Buick LeSabre Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Oct 122011

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles


I have a 1998 Buick Lesabre. The car stopped when it was pulled into the garage and when I tried to start it again, it made a screeching sound. The car was towed to a mechanic. The mechanic advised the starter "exploded" because fluid was leaking from the pleneum into the cylinders and starter. The mechanic advised it would cost over $800 to repair.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #31

Mar 202009


  • 62,000 miles
Here's what happened, the car started consuming dexcool antifreeze, but none was noticed leaking external to the engine. The upper intake manifold made of plastic apparently warped, and/or a hole burned in near the egr stove pipe, thus dumping antifreeze into the engine and hydrolocking the engine. Major problem, complete engine failure would not start or run. This car had been well maintained with both regular oil and coolant changes, the car has been adult driving. Cost to repair $450 for just upper intake, add another $450 for the lower intake as well.

- Taylor, MI, USA

problem #30

Mar 262009


  • 150,000 miles
My intake manifold gasket was made of plastic and my engine locked up, I was informed from my mechanic that GM was aware of this problem and came out with a better one made of metal. This a costly mistake leading to 850 dollars of repair, that could have been prevented if GM would have stepped up with this in the first place and been fixed with the new gasket instead of causing more damage then needed.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #29

Sep 152004

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Buick Lesabre. The contact noticed oil in the antifreeze bucket in the vehicle. When the vehicle was taken to the mechanic, he was informed that the cooling coils had burst in the radiator. Currently, antifreeze has settled on the engine block. The vehicle was tested for a pressure leak and the mechanic was unable to find one. The contact was informed that the intake gasket failed. NHTSA campaign id number 04V090000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery) was referenced. The current mileage was 31,000 and failure mileage was 26,000. Updated 06/25/08. Updated 06/25/08

- Rye, NH, USA

problem #28

Oct 242007

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Had anti-freeze in the oil. Plastic intake gasket was broken. I understand this occurs in many 3.8 engines. Had to have new gasket installed at a cost of about $700 dollars. The car is a 1998 Buick lasabre.

- Beloit, OH, USA

problem #27

Jun 172007

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Buick Lesabre. While driving 70 mph, the vehicle sputtered out of control and stalled. The mechanic stated that the vehicle would need a new engine due to an oil leak. The current and failure mileages were 82,000.

- Dirborn, MI, USA

problem #26

Jul 012006

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles


1998 Lesabre upper manifold plenum over heated, melted, causing a hole which allowed anti-freeze to leak into the oil.

- Hilton, NY, USA

problem #25

Oct 142003

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Intake manifold burned at egr passage adjacent to throttle body coolant passage(all plastic- original design was probably cast aluminum). Subsequent coolant loss into engine air intake causes erratic operation and probable engine damage. Replaced manifold with new one at a cost of $500 parts plus 5 hour. Labor complained to GM but to no avail.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #24

Jul 012005


  • miles
1998 Buick Lesabre engine seized causing consumer to come to an abrupt stop. Upper intake manifold had warped causing anti-freeze to go into the motor per mechanic. ** answer required***

- Turnersville, NJ, USA

problem #23

Nov 012002

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
Recall campaign received concerning fuel pressure regulator. The vehicle experienced a backfire which resulted in the replacement of the manifold. The problem recurred and the fuel pressure regulator was replaced.

- Ridgeland, MS, USA

problem #22

Dec 142004

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,372 miles


The 3.8L GM engines used '95 - '98 for the Buick: Rivera, Lesabre, Park Avenue, regal, Chevy: Lumina, Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile: 98,88, intrigue, Pontiac: Bonneville, Grand Prix have a known defect. Service bulletin 01-06-01-007A coolant leak. In December 2004, my plastic intake manifold melted and allowed the engine coolant to fill the cylinders of the engine with coolant. GM resolved the defect with a design change in 99. I feel that GM is responsible for the cost of the repair of the defective part. Second the engine shut down at 55 mph in heavy traffic, which is a serious safety hazard that warrants a recall. I contacted GM; service record number 1-293342957 they never called me back after a number of messages (7) then denied the claim.

- Port Jefferson, NY, USA

problem #21

Nov 042004

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed that antifreeze was leaking from underneath the vehicle. The brakes pedal went to the floor when applied. Consumer drove vehicle to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that oil pan gasket and front brake pads needed to be replaced.

- Burke, SD, USA

problem #20

Sep 012004

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle upper intake manifold failed prior to recall notification. The consumer request reimbursement. The vehicle died while the consumer backed out of the driveway, restarted and backfired along with engine light illumination, and later the vehicle was started, but had ran rough. Since 10/08/02, the vehicle had run fine.

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #19

Jun 182004


  • 95,000 miles
Vehicle's engine misfires and loses power. The service engine light had come on along with the misfires and power loss. The consumer was told that the problem could be due to the engine hydraulic lock. The consumer stated that GM was aware of the plastic intake manifold problem.

- Backus, MN, USA

problem #18

Aug 012002

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
Engine backfiring on 1998 Buick Lesabre. Recall# 04V090000. The heater failed and the consumer was informed that a water pump was needed. The engine also died with less than 100K miles. The consumer requested reimbursement.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #17

Jun 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
The engine light was on, the vehicle was repaired. A recall letter was received. After sending the receipts to the manufacture, they are not refunding the entire amount. The intake manifold.

- Holly, MI, USA

problem #16

Jun 112004


  • miles
While driving vehicle stalled. Consumer pulled over, and had the vehicle towed. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- East Ridge, TN, USA

problem #15

Aug 092004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,100 miles
A recall letter was received. Vehicle was taken to the dealer. Problem was the check engine light. After picking the vehicle up mechanic stated that there would be a $79 charge, and the check engine light remained on.

- Alliance, OH, USA

problem #14

Jun 012004


  • miles
While driving engine light illuminated. Vehicle began running very hard and rough. Finally, engine shut down and would not start again. Consumer states due recall 04V090000 vehicle acts in this manner.

- Port Hueneme, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 232004


  • 55,000 miles
It would be hard to start the vehicle. Once the vehicle was started the engine warning light illuminated. The dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Avondale, LA, USA

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