NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,886 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.

2003 Buick LeSabre engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Buick LeSabre Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 022016


  • 184,000 miles


"defective gaskets fire hazard" oil dripping from valve cover caught fire burning plug wires and 3800 V6 engine shroud'. I had parked the vehicle in my drive. I went inside home for 2 minutes. I came back outside to retrieve a soda when I discovered smoke billowing from under hood. When I released hood latch and raised hood flames shot out driving me to the ground. I quickly got a wash bucket nearby and was able to put out fire. I don't know the extent of damage. I found out that over 1300 GM vehicles have caught fire due to this problem. I reported the incident to Buick and was told a representative would contact me within 24 hours. 2 days pass no call and car sits in drive. I'm lucky I caught it as it could have caused a house fire as well.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #6

Oct 152012


  • miles
When the Lesabre was reliable; it was reliable. However, when issues started to occur, they were massive. At approx 90K miles the transmission went with no warming and was instantly. After that the car still had issues with the drive, transmission and gears. The fuel pump and intake manifolds have been replaced. As of 2014 I continue to have issues with this vehicle. It currently runs very hard and when idle and in traffic (very scary) will randomly cut off with zero warning or even begin to smoke. There is the correct amount of oil and antifreeze. The car will randomly smoke as well. I have been to the mechanic several times trying to figure out the main issue so that it can be repaired. This is extremely frustrating. Anyone have any solutions? I keep reading plenty of owners with the same issue(s) so I find it hard to believe that GM/Buick has not done a recall on parts for the engine, transmission, etc.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012014


  • miles
Well I've already put in one complaint so here's another..now I have to replace another valve cover gasket, ,this will B the second one within a yr..its dripping all my oil out&actually caught fire. Im scared of the car now..I was already scared because of the dashboard is falling in or coming apart...yall might not deal its serious, , but I do last time yall wanted me to pay for Buick to look at my car&I feel that is wrong.. I seriously need someone to get in contact with me about this matter...

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 142014


  • 75,200 miles


While driving on a 40mph road, the engine spontaneously lost power - the power steering and brakes also ceased to function as a result. The radio and lights were still on. After guiding the stricken car to a safe area, I turned the engine back on and was able to drive as normal. The issue repeated roughly a week later at lower speed while going over a speed-hump in a shopping center parking lot. Note: The issue occurred following the addition of apartment and mail keys to the keyring. I separated the additional keys from the car's key following the second incident. The issue has not repeated since.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #3

Jan 062014

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Intake manifold gaskets (both lower and upper) have failed resulting in coolant loss. Poorly designed plastic gaskets are no longer used but this should be a recall as it results in safety issue if coolant is completely depleted on the highway resulting in failure of vehicle to drive due to engine failure.

- Sprinfgield, VA, USA

problem #2

Aug 272009

LeSabre 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Buick Lesabre. Consumer writes in regards to engine problems. The consumer stated the lower intake manifold had to be replaced in 2009 with 50,000 miles on the vehicle. Four and a half years later, the lower intake manifold gasket was leaking again and had to be replaced.. also, the level ride compressor had to be replaced.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 152013


  • miles
For the past several months, I have had a problem with a faulty with the gas cap. The alert I receive on the car states that the gas cap is loose, then the engine light goes on. I have had this issue thoroughly checked out by my mechanic and he is stumped as to how to fix this. We have replaced the gas cap several times, he has performed numerous checks to see if there is a leak in the gas tank or fuel lines, all to no avail. He cannot detect a leak. I have spent over $1000 trying to fix this problem. The problem remains unfixed and with the engine light and fault active, this vehicle does not pass state smog.

- Fremont, CA, USA

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