{1995- 2010} Buick Lesabre Common Problems & Fixes!

Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by Robert Wilson

The Buick Lesabre has been a staple in the American automotive market for decades, offering comfort, space, and a smooth ride.

In this article, we’ll delve into the issues faced by each model of the Buick Lesabre from 1995 to 2010!

We will explore potential fixes, discuss the cost of repairs, highlight the best and worst years to consider, examine its reliability compared to other models, and answer frequently asked questions about Buick Lesabre problems.

Buick Lesabre Issues by Model Year

YearCommon IssuesRecallsFixes
1995Transmission failures, electrical issuesVarious recalls for safetyTransmission rebuild, electrical
1999Intake manifold gasket leaksNoneGasket replacement
2003Fuel pump failures, starting issuesFuel pump recallFuel pump replacement, starter check
2005Leaking coolant, power window problemsCooling system recallCooling system repair, window repair
2008Ignition switch problemsIgnition switch recallIgnition switch replacement

Repair Costs for Buick Lesabre Models

YearEstimated Repair Cost (Average)
1995$800 – $1,200
1999$500 – $800
2003$600 – $1,000
2005$400 – $700
2008$300 – $500

Best Buick Lesabre Models to Buy

YearPrice Range (Used)
2003$2,000 – $4,000
2005$3,000 – $5,000

Worst Buick Lesabre Years to Avoid

Avoid considering the following years due to recurrent problems:

  • 1995
  • 1999
  • 2008

8th Gen Buick LeSabre Problems (2000 to 2005)

When it comes to cars, even the most reliable models can experience issues over time. The 8th generation Buick LeSabre, manufactured between 2000 and 2005, is no exception.

While this elegant and comfortable sedan has won hearts with its luxurious features and smooth ride, it’s essential to be aware of potential problems that can arise.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 problems faced by 8th gen Buick LeSabre owners, along with their symptoms, causes, and solutions.

1. Buick LeSabre Bad Intake Gasket

The intake gasket plays a critical role in maintaining proper engine function by sealing the gap between the intake manifold and cylinder head. Over time, this gasket can deteriorate, leading to various issues on your Buick LeSabre.

Symptoms of a Bad Intake Gasket

  • Engine Misfires: You might experience frequent misfires, leading to poor performance and decreased fuel efficiency on Buick LeSabre.
  • Coolant Leaks: A deteriorated gasket can allow coolant to leak, leading to overheating and potential engine damage.

Causes of Leaking Intake Gasket

  • Heat and Pressure: The constant exposure to engine heat and pressure can lead to gasket deterioration.
  • Low-Quality Gasket Material: Inferior quality gasket material can wear out more quickly.

How to Fix a Bad Intake Gasket

Replacing a bad intake gasket requires dismantling the intake manifold and cylinder head. It’s recommended to seek professional help for this repair.

2. Pressure Control Solenoid Failure

The pressure control solenoid is a vital component of the transmission system, responsible for regulating hydraulic pressure. A failing solenoid can lead to transmission issues on Buick LeSabre.

Symptoms of a Bad Pressure Control Solenoid

  • Erratic Shifting: You might experience rough and unpredictable shifting between gears.
  • Transmission Slippage: The transmission might slip out of gear, making it difficult to accelerate properly on Buick LeSabre.

Causes of a Faulty Pressure Control Solenoid

  • Fluid Contamination: Dirty or contaminated transmission fluid can lead to solenoid failure.
  • Electrical Issues: Wiring problems or electrical malfunctions can disrupt solenoid function.

How to Fix a Pressure Control Solenoid

Replacing a pressure control solenoid on Buick LeSabre often requires removing the transmission pan. Due to the complexity of this task, it’s advisable to consult a professional mechanic.

3. Rear Air Ride Shocks Failing

The rear air ride shocks in the 8th gen Buick LeSabre provide a comfortable and smooth ride. However, over time, these shocks can develop issues.

Symptoms of Faulty Rear Air Ride Shocks

  • Rough Ride: You might experience a harsh and bumpy ride, especially over uneven surfaces.
  • Sagging Rear End: The rear of the Buick LeSabre might appear lower than usual.

Causes of Bad Rear Air Ride Shocks

  • Air Leaks: Leaks in the air suspension system can cause shocks to lose their effectiveness.
  • Wear and Tear: Continuous use can lead to the gradual degradation of shock absorbers.

How to Fix Broken Rear Air Ride Shocks

Replacing the rear air ride shocks might require specialized tools and expertise. It’s recommended to consult a professional or take your Buick LeSabre to a repair shop!

4. Front Wheel Bearings Failing

Front wheel bearings play a crucial role in supporting the weight of the Buick LeSabre and ensuring smooth wheel rotation. When these bearings fail, it can lead to safety concerns.

Symptoms of Defective Front Wheel Bearings

  • Unusual Noise: You might hear a persistent grinding or humming noise, especially during turns.
  • Vibration: A noticeable vibration in the steering wheel or floorboard can indicate bearing issues.

Causes of Broken Front Wheel Bearings

  • Lack of Lubrication: Insufficient lubrication can accelerate bearing wear and damage.
  • Contaminants: Dirt, debris, and water can infiltrate the bearing, leading to premature failure.

How to Fix Bad Front Wheel Bearings

Replacing front wheel bearings on Buick LeSabre requires specialized tools and knowledge. Seeking professional assistance is recommended for this repair.

5. Blower Motor Problems

The blower motor is responsible for delivering air through the HVAC system. Issues with the blower motor can impact climate control within the Buick LeSabre.

Symptoms of Blower Motor Problems in the 8th Gen LeSabre

  • Weak Airflow: Insufficient airflow from the vents, regardless of fan speed, indicates blower motor issues.
  • Unresponsive Controls: Inability to adjust fan speed or turn off the HVAC system can be a sign of blower motor problems.

Causes of Blower Motor Issues

  • Electrical Failures: Wiring problems or motor component failures can lead to blower motor malfunction.
  • Excessive Wear: Continuous use and exposure to dust and debris can wear out the blower motor.

How to Fix a Failing Blower Motor

Replacing a Buick LeSabre blower motor typically involves accessing the HVAC system. Due to the complexity of the repair, it’s advisable to consult an experienced mechanic.

Most Problematic Years model for Buick Lesabre

Model YearNumber of Problems
  2006 Lesabre4
  2005 Lesabre89
  2004 Lesabre193
  2003 Lesabre192
  2002 Lesabre353
  2001 Lesabre363
  2000 Lesabre696
  1999 Lesabre219
  1998 Lesabre405
  1997 Lesabre406
  1996 Lesabre99

Used Value of Buick Lesabre by Model Year

YearPrice Range (Used)
1995$1,000 – $2,500
1999$1,500 – $3,000
2003$2,000 – $4,000
2005$3,000 – $5,000
2008$3,500 – $6,000

Buick Lesabre Reliability Comparison

e debut of the model year (the age of the vehicle).

The results are shown in Table 3.

PPMY Index to Compare Reliability (Lesabre)

Model Year
PPMY Index
  200589105,98718    0.05
  2004193119,74219    0.08
  2003192124,32820    0.08
  2002353137,74121    0.12
  2001363140,20022    0.12
  2000696190,36823    0.16

Buick LeSabre trans hard shift fix

Do Buick Lesabres Have Transmission Problems?

The Buick LeSabre is a full-size sedan that was produced by the American automaker Buick from 1959 to 2005. The LeSabre nameplate made its first appearance on a 1950 show car featuring a futuristic body designed by Harley Earl. For the 1951 model year, the LeSabre was introduced as an entry-level full-size sedan positioned below the larger Roadmaster.

During its production run spanning over five decades, the LeSabre underwent several changes in design and powertrain options. In terms of transmission, the early models were equipped with a two-speed automatic gearbox, while later versions featured a three-speed or four-speed automatic transmission. Overall, there have been few reported problems with the transmission in the Buick LeSabre.

2004 Buick Lesabre Transmission Problems

2004 Buick Lesabre Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid Replacement

If your 2004 Buick Lesabre is having issues with the transmission, it may be time to replace the pressure control solenoid. This is a relatively easy process that anyone with basic automotive knowledge can do. The first step is to locate the pressure control solenoid.

It will be on the side of the transmission near the front. Once you have found it, disconnect the electrical connector and unscrew the retaining bolts holding it in place. Next, take out the old pressure control solenoid and install the new one in its place.

Make sure to tighten the retaining bolts securely and reconnect the electrical connector. Once you have done this, start up your car and test drive it to see if there are any improvements in shifting quality. If not, then you may need to take it to a mechanic for further diagnosis.


  1. Are Buick Lesabre cars reliable? Yes, they are generally reliable, but some model years may have recurring issues.
  2. What’s the most common problem with Buick Lesabre? The most common issues include transmission failures, intake manifold gasket leaks, and fuel pump problems.
  3. Which Buick Lesabre model year is the best to buy? The 2003 and 2005 models are often considered better options due to their relative reliability and value.
  4. How much does it cost to repair a Buick Lesabre? Repair costs can vary widely, but on average, they range from $300 to $1,200 depending on the model year and the problem.
  5. What’s the worst Buick Lesabre year to avoid? The 1995, 1999, and 2008 models have been associated with more significant problems.
  6. Are Buick Lesabre parts expensive? Parts can be moderately expensive, especially for older models, and may require some searching to find at reasonable prices.
  7. Is a Buick Lesabre a good family car? Yes, the Buick Lesabre’s spacious interior and comfortable ride make it a suitable choice for families.
  8. How can I improve the fuel efficiency of my Buick Lesabre? Regular maintenance, proper tire inflation, and avoiding aggressive driving can help improve fuel efficiency.
  9. Are there any recalls for Buick Lesabre models? Yes, several model years have had recalls for various issues, so it’s essential to check with the manufacturer or a dealership.
  10. Should I buy a used Buick Lesabre? Buying a used Buick Lesabre can be a good option if you choose a model year with fewer reported problems and have it thoroughly inspected before purchase.

(Buick Lesabre) Transmission Fluid Change (Video)

Owning a Buick LeSabre offers a blend of luxury and performance, but it’s crucial to be aware of potential problems that can arise.

From intake gasket issues to blower motor malfunctions, each problem requires attention to ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience.

By recognizing the symptoms, understanding the causes, and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can keep your Buick LeSabre in top-notch condition for years to come.


  • Robert Wilson

    Introducing Robert Wilson, your go-to source for automotive technical solutions. With 5 years of industry experience and a mechanical engineering background, Robert's expertise was honed at the heart of Ford Motors in Michigan back in 2010. Join him on this blog as he shares his knowledge and practical fixes to keep your vehicles running at their best.

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