really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
200,075 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.

2002 Buick LeSabre engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Buick LeSabre Owner Comments

problem #15

Oct 132018


  • miles


Was driving and as I pulled to redlight vehicle smelled of gas but burst into flames from the motor

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #14

May 102018


  • 900,000 miles
Drove car 0.2 miles parked car went into walmart car was seen smoking in parking lot engine caught on fire fire dept came talked to auto shop they said it has happened to this year of vehicle many times due to a manufacturer issue

- Pierre, SD, USA

problem #13

Oct 152016

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated that the engine leaked oil and could cause an engine fire. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the valve cover gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 15V701000 (engine and engine cooling). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 108,000. Updated 01/23/2017

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #12

Dec 282016


  • 178,000 miles


I have had issues with my vehicle's oil leaking then burning/smoking off my car. This issue is on my engine's manifold & hasn't been recalled even though the same engine is recalled on other GM models. The engine on my Lesabre is the same 3.8 liter V6 3800 engine that was recalled twice by GM in the past 6 years. My engine had minimal fire in the incidents I experienced but quite a bit of smoke from the area the oil leaks. Once I kill the engine the smoke stops. GM wants to charge for a diagnostic check & wouldn't recognize the issue on the very same engine, viewing it as just a vehicle not recalled even if it has the same faulty part. It caused my car's catalytic converter to fail as it burned through. A fix is costly, so I went to my own independent mechanic to save myself money since GM does not want to take care of issues that they recalled. Below are the 2 recalls that should apply to my car & also the Pontiac Bonneville as well since they are both built on the same chassis, premise, & engine as the Oldsmobile intrigue. Both Lesabre & Bonneville have the 3.8 V6 naturally aspirated 3800 engine that runs in the recalled intrigue. Engine oil dripping on manifold may cause fire nthsa recall number: 15V701000 report received date: 10/26/2015 General Motors llc (GM) is recalling certain model year 1998-1999 Chevrolet lumina and Oldsmobile intrigue, 1997-2004 Buick regal and Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo vehicles. Engine compartment fire nthsa recall number: 09V116000 date owner notified by manufacturer: 04/09/2009 report received date: 04/08/2009 General Motors is recalling 1,497,516 my 1997-2003 Buick regal, my 1998-2003 Chevrolet lumina, Monte Carlo and Impala, my 1998-1999 Oldsmobile intrigue, my 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix vehicles equipped with a 3.8L V6 naturally aspirated engine.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #11

Feb 132015


  • 43,000 miles
The 2002 Buick Lesabre has the same engine as the 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix, which is covered in the recent recall 15V701. This recall covers oil leaking from the manifold onto the rest of the engine, leading to a risk of fire. The 2002 Buick Lesabre is, however, not officially covered in recall 15V701, even though mine definitely shows all the symptoms of the recall. I have already taken it to the shop once to try to correct the problem. I would like to see the 2002 Buick Lesabre covered under this recall. If not, please outline why. Also, what is the exact fix for the other cars that are covered (because I would like to have that information when I take the car to the shop again to try to correct the issue; I again have oil leaking from the top of the engine)?

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #10

Jan 012015


  • 100,000 miles
Valve covers are leaking oil right on the exhaust manifold which caused a small fire this engine was recalled in other cars for this problem but not Buick Lesabre

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 072015


  • 230,711 miles


Beginning about August of 2015 until now, Oct 2015, the engine of my Buick le sabre has begun to stop running while driving. When that occurs I lose my power steering and power brakes. Tonight (Oct 7, 2015) it happened four times on the way home. I made it home safely fortunately but I will not drive the car again until it is fixed. Last week I had both a mobile mechanic and an auto shop (purcell) look at it and they can not diagnose the problem. They call it an intermittent defect. What I have experienced sounds exactly like the description of the experience of the automobiles that GM has recalled, although my year, make, and model are not on the list that I found on the internet. My experience is so similar that I want my ignition switch replaced by GM before I will drive the car again. Please advise. Thanks.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #8

Mar 152015

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 7,200 miles
The engine keeps stalling and shutting off in traffic after lurching forward. Defective engine burned part of engine hood, and severed ABS brake lines burned off by heat, GM manufacturer defects.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #7

Feb 162015


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated that when the ignition was turned to the on position, the vehicle burst into flames without warning. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the intake valve did not close and ignited the fuel going into the engine. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #6

Jan 202015


  • 150,000 miles
My car will start then stalls immediately.

- Meadville, PA, USA

problem #5

Dec 012011

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated that when attempting to decelerate, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted however, the failure was recurring. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 1/21/15 the consumer stated it was a temperature related problem. Updated 01/26/15

- Marine City, MI, USA

problem #4

Nov 252014

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
My son was driving the 2002 Buick Lesabre from his apartment (less than a mile) and arrived at school (xavier university-cincinnati, oh). He noticed smoke coming from the hood and then smoke started coming in the cabin. He was able to put the vehicle in park and jump out. The fire department had to be called to douse the fire.

- Winthrop Harbor, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 232014


  • 980,000 miles
The approximate incident date.would not let me put date in.date was july23'2014.my car has been stalling out on me when I was driving down the highway it stalled put in neutral started right up drove alittle ways samething happend.checkenginelight came on got stuck on highway for 3 hours waiting for towtruck bad experience. It is at sullivan tire check diagnostics and said everything is all right I told him to take it for a spin he did and stalled out on him.sullivantire is boggled.I was on line and was checking what the problem could be and there is about 10 people that own the same car has same problem we tried getting it fixed its starting to cost some money trying to fix it. I just bought the car Jan.2013. And still owe money on it for 1 more year please help us thank you

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #2

Mar 302014

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,213 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Lesabre. The contact stated that upon initial start-up, the vehicle hesitated and appeared to misfire. The contact then suddenly heard a loud pop followed by a massive amount of black smoke coming from under the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The dealer and the manufacturer were made aware of the failure and declined to provide a remedy to the contact. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 52,213. Updated 05/28/14 MA updated 6/26/14 updated 7/29/17

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 012013

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Buick Lesabre. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle surges forward when brakes are applied. The consumer also stated the vehicle had defective drums, that melted and severed the front brake wiring, exactly at the point when the brake system wires traveled from the engine and entered the brake drums. The consumer also stated the vehicle had poor gas mileage, the three out of the four windows collapsed in the down position, and would not come back up. The consumer believed the engine and the hood were defective, as the paint on the hood melted.

- Reno, NV, USA

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