Last post on May 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM
You are in the Buick LeSabre
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Buick LeSabre, Engine, Oil, Sedan
#12 of 61 air ride suspension question
Jun 26, 2006 (6:36 pm)
I have a 1996 Buick LeSabre with about 100,000 miles on it. I am very happy with the car. The only concern I have is that the rear of the car rides high and stiff. It all started after taking my three kids, luggage, cooler, and other goodies on a long trip. After unloading the trunk, instead of the car drifting down to its normal level, it rides high. It seems stuck in this mode. Sometimes it will ride lower and softer, but then it will ride high and stiff for weeks at a time. Is there an easy backyard mechanic fix?
#13 of 61 Re: air ride suspension question [pacecar3]
Jun 27, 2006 (6:47 am)
Crawl under the (right?) rear of the car and find which side has the auto level control sensor. This will be a short rod connecting the moveable suspension part to the body above it. There will be a small box like a playing cards box with a lever that rotates as the car goes up and down. Be sure the rod is connected; if it's off that makes the car go high trying to level itself.
I've read about vent valves not working back at the part that's behind the rear wheel that controls the adding air and venting air. You'd need to test connections there. You also might trying moving the wires that come out of the trunk and around those parts. My 98 had a broken wire that was in the air and water wash behind the right rear wheel. So the system wouldn't do anything. The wire had broken from being moved around in the wash behind the wheel.
You need a service manual with a wiring diagram to properly track what's happening. I traced power from the front fuse panel to the rear before I found this problem. Since your car sometimes seems to operate properly you may have a broken wire making contact sometimes or a bad connector--but they're pretty well made so that's less likely based on my observation.
#14 of 61 Re: air ride suspension question [imidazol97]
Jun 27, 2006 (5:09 pm)
I'll purchase the Haynes manual for it (good to have anyway) and follow your lead during the next backyard oil change or perhaps this weekend if time allows. Thanks again.
#15 of 61 Re: air ride suspension question [pacecar3]
Jun 28, 2006 (6:06 am)
I don't personally recommend the Haynes Chilton type manals. I'd look for the official Helm manual--try Ebay for a used one. Check the original (I forgot what year you've got) at
Look at doityouself DIY for pricing. They might have a sale on yours.
The $130 is for a multivolume set, two or three. I buy them when my car is new and get my money's worth out of it. Otherwise I'd check the used market; the internet has made that easy.
Also, some major libraries have access to car manual copies like those. A major city near us has them online but you need to apply for their card to get a local user number--then you can access the info, and print, free.
#16 of 61 oil looks dirty
Aug 02, 2006 (12:12 pm)
Last year I bought a very clean 03 Lesabre with 32,800 miles. To me the oil looked dirty - much much worse than my 2 other cars which have 60,000 miles (a '99 Grand Marquis) and 91,000 miles(an '89 Chevy on which I've changed the oil and filter every 3K). But he gave me all the maintenance records which show oil/filter changes according to schedule. He used synthetic oil. I changed it and filter at 33K, 36K, 40K, 44K, using the synthetic oil. Each time the oil looks dirtier than that of my other cars. Now the Lesabre has 47K and it already looks dirty to me. The D.I.C. says the oil life is at 72%.
So, my question is, does synthetic oil normally look that way, compared to regular oil? Or could there be dirt in the engine?
#17 of 61 Front wheel brg install on 96
Feb 22, 2007 (3:24 pm)
Maybe you folks can help me. Is there a write-up or procedure listed here that gives me a rundown on how to replace the front wheel/hub assembly on this car?
The dealer wants way too much money for the job so I think I may tackle it, unless there are some special tools required. What does this take to do it? Thanks for any help.
#18 of 61 Serpentine Belt Replacement.
Jun 03, 2007 (11:10 am)
I own a 1998 3.8 LeSabre Custom. To replace the serpentine belt you will need a 15 mm Deep Socket and a 18mm Deep socket.
1.Remove right tire. Remove plastic cover to access engine compartment through right tire well.
2.Remove Bottom Nut and Bolt from Motor mount that sits between bottom pulleys. There is a bolt with a removable sleeve that allows access with new belt to bottom pulleys. You may have to tap out the sleeve since it looks like a solid bar mounted to the engine block.
3. Job takes less than 1 hour if done right instead of the 4 and 5 hour nightmare posted on most websites. Your welcome. by joe kenney
#19 of 61 Re: Serpentine Belt Replacement. [viper2007]
by Karen@Edmunds HOST
Jun 04, 2007 (11:46 am)
Thanks for posting this! It would make a great guide and would have a better chance of being seen by other owners.
#20 of 61 Dex-cool necessary?
Jun 11, 2007 (10:19 am)
I have a '98 LeSabre that's had regular antifreeze mixed in with the Dex-Cool due to having sprung a leak in a hose in the middle of nowhere.
I'm about to take off for a 4000-mile drive, and would like to flush and change coolant entirely, especially now that I have a mix, which is supposedly a major no-no. An amateur shop that changed oil today said they "couldn't get a reading" on the coolant.
Any expert advice on whether to go with Dex-Cool or not? Buick insists on it, of course, but I've read much bad about it, and nothing good.
#21 of 61 Re: Dex-cool necessary? [tdc1]
Jun 11, 2007 (10:27 am)
You have a problem with the mix.
You can drain it completely, flush out all the dexcool and green stuff mixture. Then I would refill with DexCool. I took off the lower radiator hose to drain mine every two years. It will take just about the 6 quarts needed to give a 50/50 mixture. I sometimes have to put the extra into the reserve tank.
If you unscrew a knock sensor on the bottom of the block I'm told a lot more comes out.
Either way your best bet would be to rinse and fill with dexcool, which is really good and nondamaging to water pump and aluminum. An alternate would be to refill with one of the compatible antifreezes that is supposed to mix with DexCool.
With aging the mix is supposed to turn blackish and give a gummy residue. I'd drain and fill at least 3 times to get as much of the old mix out as possible. I would run the motor til it circulated then drain again and refill after it cooled a while. I did that 2 times just to rinse out old DexCool (2 years old). Be sure to get the air bubble in the heater out after the motor warms up by reving to 2500 for a few seconds about 5 times--from the owners service manual. Also after that you can bleed the air out at the thermostat screw to get the last air out. Air mixing with DexCool as it circulates supposed causes part of the problems.