How big of a deal is changing the plugs & wires and fixing "gas cap loose" and a broken wheel sensor and other little BS if the car is running nicely?

incommunicado

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Wichita Kansas
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2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
I was thinking the mileage might improve and I might have better acceleration if I changed the spark plugs 🤔 i had bought some Delco copper core ones but we never got around to putting them in though.. the gas cap loose on the ccdic, I don't know, I've tried several different gas caps and I think something is clogged or broken but the car doesn't seem to care much 🤔
She still idles at no less than 800rpm even though I changed the ISC but someone told me that's normal
The wheel sensor wires ripped apart due to front end issues I was having and it looks like the sensor is pressed into or in some way a part of the wheel bearing so I don't really want to fw that - it is causing the classic TRAC OFF and ABS light combo
I had that on my truck for EONS and it didn't matter much .. the ABS still functions anyway
If it is a big deal I could probably buy another connector or splice/solder back together the wires
 

JGBuick

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2001 LeSabre Touring Edition
Rear Plugs and wires are a knuckle buster. Especially if they've been on there for a long time. (Boots get almost "welded" to the metal insulators.)

Obviously, the front three are easy... If you've never tackled something like this... it may cause you to curse and yell and eventually regret it.

ABS stuff is tricky unless you KNOW what the issue is and "where". I recently fixed my "Traction-ABS-Brake" light trio by re-soldering a broken joint on the board... (Another thread posted in the forum.) Chances are, it's not just a single "sensor".... A good scan tool will give you the codes.

Good Luck!
 

incommunicado

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Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
As far as spark plugs you should use Iridium plugs NOT copper. AC Delco 41-101.
You mentioned changing the ISC…I’m going to assume you meant IAC.
As far as the wheel speed sensor it is part of the hub assembly. Buy a pigtail for it and see what happens.😉

I got the copper ones because I didn't think this motor likes other ones due to heat dissipation issues 🤔🤔🤔
______________________________
 

incommunicado

Member
74
12
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Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
Rear Plugs and wires are a knuckle buster. Especially if they've been on there for a long time. (Boots get almost "welded" to the metal insulators.)

Obviously, the front three are easy... If you've never tackled something like this... it may cause you to curse and yell and eventually regret it.

ABS stuff is tricky unless you KNOW what the issue is and "where". I recently fixed my "Traction-ABS-Brake" light trio by re-soldering a broken joint on the board... (Another thread posted in the forum.) Chances are, it's not just a single "sensor".... A good scan tool will give you the codes.

Good Luck!

That was what the guy who changed my control arm and front motor mount said - we were at a shop 20mi from civilization and he said the plug wires might come apart when he went to take them off .. so we waited
I think the trac+abs light occurred when i first broke my front end so it might only be that.. if I'm lucky which .. never mind 😆😆😆
 

incommunicado

Member
74
12
8
Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
As far as spark plugs you should use Iridium plugs NOT copper. AC Delco 41-101.
You mentioned changing the ISC…I’m going to assume you meant IAC.
As far as the wheel speed sensor it is part of the hub assembly. Buy a pigtail for it and see what happens.😉
I would like to reconnect the wheel sensor for sure
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I got the copper ones because I didn't think this motor likes other ones due to heat dissipation issues 🤔🤔🤔
the iridium plugs for these engines are wise because of waste-spark ignition and being able to set and forget them for 100k if engine is running right.
The copper plug will need adjustment and will wear out sooner.
On the heat part, your naturally aspirated engine wont be hurt using copper or iridium. but iridium has a leg up on copper because the irdium electrode is very small/thin. That small footprint doesnt allow it to hold much heat. Platinum is to be avoided for these engines. Esp platinum with large electrode(like a copper plug)
Its in your best interest to use iridium and the ngk(Ac delco) 41-101 are high quality, gapped(DO NOT check the gap on them), and ready to go. If you properly use dielectric grease, heat shields(rear), and good wires you shouldnt need to address them for a long time.
Also your gas cap warning is for evap emissions issue which could be the sealing surface on the neck, could be your purge/vent valve, could be the evap lines. canister. Fuel tank pressure sensor. fuel pump o ring (lock ring) etc.
Your increased idle makes me suspect a fuel issue or a evap issue. block off the vacuum to your purge valve and then run engine. better idle?
 

incommunicado

Member
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Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
the iridium plugs for these engines are wise because of waste-spark ignition and being able to set and forget them for 100k if engine is running right.
The copper plug will need adjustment and will wear out sooner.
On the heat part, your naturally aspirated engine wont be hurt using copper or iridium. but iridium has a leg up on copper because the irdium electrode is very small/thin. That small footprint doesnt allow it to hold much heat. Platinum is to be avoided for these engines. Esp platinum with large electrode(like a copper plug)
Its in your best interest to use iridium and the ngk(Ac delco) 41-101 are high quality, gapped(DO NOT check the gap on them), and ready to go. If you properly use dielectric grease, heat shields(rear), and good wires you shouldnt need to address them for a long time.
Also your gas cap warning is for evap emissions issue which could be the sealing surface on the neck, could be your purge/vent valve, could be the evap lines. canister. Fuel tank pressure sensor. fuel pump o ring (lock ring) etc.
Your increased idle makes me suspect a fuel issue or a evap issue. block off the vacuum to your purge valve and then run engine. better idle?

Well I believe you over the dummies I was learning about the copper plugs from then so I'll get the Iridium ones then .. I'm not good at not checking the gap or something like that.. I don't know if I can live with not checking them .. may I ask why I shouldn't check that 😅

I'll try to check what ever all it is giving me the gas cap error some time soon and report back with any findings
There's probably no way to just hard cancel that warning or the washer fluid one.. eh??
______________________________
 

incommunicado

Member
74
12
8
Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
the iridium plugs for these engines are wise because of waste-spark ignition and being able to set and forget them for 100k if engine is running right.
The copper plug will need adjustment and will wear out sooner.
On the heat part, your naturally aspirated engine wont be hurt using copper or iridium. but iridium has a leg up on copper because the irdium electrode is very small/thin. That small footprint doesnt allow it to hold much heat. Platinum is to be avoided for these engines. Esp platinum with large electrode(like a copper plug)
Its in your best interest to use iridium and the ngk(Ac delco) 41-101 are high quality, gapped(DO NOT check the gap on them), and ready to go. If you properly use dielectric grease, heat shields(rear), and good wires you shouldnt need to address them for a long time.
Also your gas cap warning is for evap emissions issue which could be the sealing surface on the neck, could be your purge/vent valve, could be the evap lines. canister. Fuel tank pressure sensor. fuel pump o ring (lock ring) etc.
Your increased idle makes me suspect a fuel issue or a evap issue. block off the vacuum to your purge valve and then run engine. better idle?

the iridium plugs for these engines are wise because of waste-spark ignition and being able to set and forget them for 100k if engine is running right.
The copper plug will need adjustment and will wear out sooner.
On the heat part, your naturally aspirated engine wont be hurt using copper or iridium. but iridium has a leg up on copper because the irdium electrode is very small/thin. That small footprint doesnt allow it to hold much heat. Platinum is to be avoided for these engines. Esp platinum with large electrode(like a copper plug)
Its in your best interest to use iridium and the ngk(Ac delco) 41-101 are high quality, gapped(DO NOT check the gap on them), and ready to go. If you properly use dielectric grease, heat shields(rear), and good wires you shouldnt need to address them for a long time.
Also your gas cap warning is for evap emissions issue which could be the sealing surface on the neck, could be your purge/vent valve, could be the evap lines. canister. Fuel tank pressure sensor. fuel pump o ring (lock ring) etc.
Your increased idle makes me suspect a fuel issue or a evap issue. block off the vacuum to your purge valve and then run engine. better idle?

What had lead me down that path was seeing quite a few comments such as these around different forums;

Autolite copper plugs are a favorite in the 3800 community. The autolite 606 is what your car calls for if it is stock. The problem with platinum and iridium plugs is that they do not dissipate heat as well as copper. The naturally aspirated 3.8 is a higher compression engine therefore heat dissipation can be a problem with running anything but copper. You should get 20 to 30k miles out of a set of autolite

I most assuredly do NOT WANT TO EVER purposely buy AutoLite Spark Plugs of course but what I got was supposed to be a Delco version of the 606 ones .. I'm still not clear on who manufacturers which ones for what brand anyway though
NGK is one of my favorite brands of anything EVER .. love them

PS; I understand why I shouldn't play with the iridium plugs with trying to gap or check them now
 

imidazol97

Top Dog
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For the increased idle, it's likely due to an air leaking into the intake somewhere. I'd suggest getting a can of carb cleaner and using the long thin nozzle they come with, spray around the base of the upper intake manifold while the car is running after it's warmed up. You're llistening for a change in the idle speed due to the combustible being sucked in where the leak is.

Also agree with Ms. Mars about how the leak can be anywhere. But I'd suggest checking the length of nylon hose that goes from the intake manifold tap along the front of the valve cover over to the purge valve. IIRC, that makes a U turn and in that section there is a rubber portion. That rubber on mine deteriorated from heat and cracked and therefore was leaking. I wrapped it in shrink wrap tubing that was much larger than it and then it shrank to just a nice fit to seal it up.

I believe you might also have a leak at the rubber sleeve that mates the fill tube on the gas cap to the tank. I believe there's a rubber sleeve there.

I agree with BGFM about the iridium plugs. The characteristic of iridium is that that less metal transfers with the spark on the surface, so it stays the same setting width for a longer life (100K) .

Check online for rebates for AC Delco. It's possible there's a rebate for purchasing plugs and other AC Delco parts.

A spark plug rebate just expired. They'll have another for DIY folks in a month or so. Click on Rebates and Promotions icon in upper right corner of rockauto.com page.
 

incommunicado

Member
74
12
8
Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
For the increased idle, it's likely due to an air leaking into the intake somewhere. I'd suggest getting a can of carb cleaner and using the long thin nozzle they come with, spray around the base of the upper intake manifold while the car is running after it's warmed up. You're llistening for a change in the idle speed due to the combustible being sucked in where the leak is.

Also agree with Ms. Mars about how the leak can be anywhere. But I'd suggest checking the length of nylon hose that goes from the intake manifold tap along the front of the valve cover over to the purge valve. IIRC, that makes a U turn and in that section there is a rubber portion. That rubber on mine deteriorated from heat and cracked and therefore was leaking. I wrapped it in shrink wrap tubing that was much larger than it and then it shrank to just a nice fit to seal it up.

I believe you might also have a leak at the rubber sleeve that mates the fill tube on the gas cap to the tank. I believe there's a rubber sleeve there.

I agree with BGFM about the iridium plugs. The characteristic of iridium is that that less metal transfers with the spark on the surface, so it stays the same setting width for a longer life (100K) .

Check online for rebates for AC Delco. It's possible there's a rebate for purchasing plugs and other AC Delco parts.

A spark plug rebate just expired. They'll have another for DIY folks in a month or so. Click on Rebates and Promotions icon in upper right corner of rockauto.com page.

I just cleaned out the intake last night and it made a big improvement.. I never thought of using that spray for leak testing .. that's a good idea 💡
Delco plugs are what I got but they're the wrong ones apparently though
Also someone said that I called the ISC the wrong thing.. I thought it was IAC for idle air control 🤔 and ISC is idle speed control 🤔
Are they separate components???
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
I just cleaned out the intake last night and it made a big improvement.. I never thought of using that spray for leak testing .. that's a good idea 💡
Delco plugs are what I got but they're the wrong ones apparently though
Also someone said that I called the ISC the wrong thing.. I thought it was IAC for idle air control 🤔 and ISC is idle speed control 🤔
Are they separate components???
Idle Air Control. No "ISC" on this car. The IAC controls the idle, the PCM controls the IAC.
The spray shouldnt be used for leak tests. use a propane torch unlit. propane is heavier than air and its also not as likely to hurt plastic and start fires lol
______________________________
 

BuickGirlFromMars

Well-known member
5,544
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113
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
Well I believe you over the dummies I was learning about the copper plugs from then so I'll get the Iridium ones then .. I'm not good at not checking the gap or something like that.. I don't know if I can live with not checking them .. may I ask why I shouldn't check that 😅

I'll try to check what ever all it is giving me the gas cap error some time soon and report back with any findings
There's probably no way to just hard cancel that warning or the washer fluid one.. eh??
youll break the iridium wire or youll brake the plug innerds holding it and that would likely cause ground out of spark etc
 

02LTD

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Long Island NY
Buick Ownership
2002 Lesabre Limited
I just cleaned out the intake last night and it made a big improvement.. I never thought of using that spray for leak testing .. that's a good idea 💡
Delco plugs are what I got but they're the wrong ones apparently though
Also someone said that I called the ISC the wrong thing.. I thought it was IAC for idle air control 🤔 and ISC is idle speed control 🤔
Are they separate components???
I just cleaned out the intake last night and it made a big improvement.. I never thought of using that spray for leak testing .. that's a good idea 💡
Delco plugs are what I got but they're the wrong ones apparently though
Also someone said that I called the ISC the wrong thing.. I thought it was IAC for idle air control 🤔 and ISC is idle speed control 🤔
Are they separate components???
 
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incommunicado

Member
74
12
8
Wichita Kansas
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom Series ✨
Idle Air Control. No "ISC" on this car. The IAC controls the idle, the PCM controls the IAC.
The spray shouldnt be used for leak tests. use a propane torch unlit. propane is heavier than air and its also not as likely to hurt plastic and start fires lol
So if the idle changes when it sucks in the propane you know there's a leak 🤔 that's brilliant I'd say
 

02LTD

Active member
360
224
43
Long Island NY
Buick Ownership
2002 Lesabre Limited
the iridium plugs for these engines are wise because of waste-spark ignition and being able to set and forget them for 100k if engine is running right.
Platinum is to be avoided for these engines.
Funny thing is that these came from the factory with platinum. When I bought my car a few years ago I changed plugs and wires. At 144k miles the plugs still looked good.😉
 

BuickGirlFromMars

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1999 Buick Park Avenue Ultra (Supercharged) , 1977 Buick Electra Limited (350 SBB)
Funny thing is that these came from the factory with platinum. When I bought my car a few years ago I changed plugs and wires. At 144k miles the plugs still looked good.😉
yes platinum are long life too, the factory 03 model year was the switch to 41-101 the reason for the change was primarily for supercharged and driven hard cars like pontiacs (relative to buick that is)
Lots of chipped pistons and predet from hot spotting because the plug would not shed enough heat and has less conductivity design than the iridium. if it worked good then Its only harder on the ignition secondary but the coils are still long life even then
 
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