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Buick Forum: 96-99 LeSabre: too old to drive each day?
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  1. #1
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    96-99 LeSabre: too old to drive each day?

    I wondered what those of you here with a lot more knowledge about these cars than I would have to say:

    I'm in the market for a used LeSabre. I typically search for 04-05 models, but frankly, and I wonder if I'm not alone on this, I find a 96-99 model more attractive aesthetically in a number of ways, especially if it's in a dark green or that teal color. Anyway, if I were to find a really nice specimen with reasonable mileage on it, are there reasons I should avoid buying it as a daily driver? I realize maintenance will be an issue as with any older car, but are there issues that should push me to the later generation of LeSabres over these?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: 96-99 LeSabre: too old to drive each day?

    Two things I would keep in mind with the older Buicks. First, the splines on the clutch shaft of the overdrive 4th gear were not properly hardened on the pre 2003 Buicks. If not already replaced, it may go out on you, leaving you without overdrive. If you do a lot of city or rural driving it won't matter much. Secondly, for a time GM used a horrible coolant called Dexcool, which ate out gaskets, leaving GM owners with internal coolant leaks, which are quite expensive to repair. On my 1998 I have had both these issues. Repairing the coolant leak was very expensive, and I am currently driving around without 4th gear overdrive. I am debating on whether I want to try to repair it myself, or just live with it, as I cannot justify another big repair bill on a car that is soon to be 20 years old. Other than these issues, the older Buicks are great cars.

  3. #3
    kmart2026 is offline Full Member My Buick(s): 1997 Lesabre custom
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    Re: 96-99 LeSabre: too old to drive each day?

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    I drive a 97 100 miles each day for work. I'm leaking antifreeze from the upper intake manifold. Same problem as ^I still get ~30 mpg on the highway. I wouldn't distrust this generation lesabre. The only problems I've had with my car are mostly from it sitting outside before I bought it. A lot of the parts in these cars drivetrain were used until about 2010 in the Lucerne and lacrosse along with a whole bunch of other gm cars from the 80s to mid 2000s. Interior parts a pain though. finding a low mile car for a reasonable price isn't hard. Check Craigslist often and you'll find something. The color you want maybe not so easy. But you can always paint it if you really want.

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