Bulletins


BulletinBulletin dateReplacement BulletinItem no.SummaryAdded
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE
04060102106/01/200410012148New rear main seal and special tool for installation. *tt02/15/2005
31803180A10010868Dealers may comment on a chuggle, surge, misfire condition. *tt12/15/2004
010601008A05/01/2002010601008634813Some owners may comment on a repeat engine oil pan leak. *tt10/09/2002
01060100802/01/2001619177Some owners may comment on a repeat engine oil pan leak. *tt05/17/2001
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - EMISSION CONTROL
9907010/01/19996089158Voluntary emission campaign for vehicles with an obd-ii calibration that causes a false oxygen sensor code, p1133, to set under certain conditions, resulting in malfunction indicator lamp illumination. *tt01/13/2000
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - MANIFOLD/HEADER/MUFFLER/TAIL PIPE
311501/01/200410009950Engine intake manifold coolant leak. *sc11/02/2004
04060101706/01/200410008471New upper intake manifold and gasket kits. *tt08/02/2004

Investigations


NHTSA IDManufacturerDate openDate closeSubjectRecall campaign
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
PE02050GENERAL MOTORS CORP.06/13/200210/22/2002ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES
 Alleged engine compartment fire during startup.loud pops or backfires before the fire started

Consumer Complaints


Fail datemilesoccurencesPurchase date
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
11/03/201094735
 Car was getting harder to start each time- red light (overheating) came on while on a trip- added 4 + qts of water- drove 15 miles- car would not start--added 3 + qts of water--tried several things to try to start--noticed oil level was up-- assumed coolant went into engine- removed 3 front spark plugs--coolant ran out of spark plug openings- car was towed 60 miles- intake manifold (warped), gaskets, & thermostat were replaced- starter replaced due to broken housing (from attempting to start water logged engine)- total expense approx $ 1,000
11/03/201094735
 Car was getting harder to start each time- red light (overheating) came on while on a trip- added 4 + qts of water- drove 15 miles- car would not start--added 3 + qts of water--tried several things to try to start--noticed oil level was up-- assumed coolant went into engine- removed 3 front spark plugs--coolant ran out of spark plug openings- car was towed 60 miles- intake manifold (warped), gaskets, & thermostat were replaced- starter replaced due to broken housing (from attempting to start water logged engine)- total expense approx $ 1,000
11/03/201094735
 Car was getting harder to start each time- red light (overheating) came on while on a trip- added 4 + qts of water- drove 15 miles- car would not start--added 3 + qts of water--tried several things to try to start--noticed oil level was up-- assumed coolant went into engine- removed 3 front spark plugs--coolant ran out of spark plug openings- car was towed 60 miles- intake manifold (warped), gaskets, & thermostat were replaced- starter replaced due to broken housing (from attempting to start water logged engine)- total expense approx $ 1,000
11/03/201094735
 Car was getting harder to start each time- red light (overheating) came on while on a trip- added 4 + qts of water- drove 15 miles- car would not start--added 3 + qts of water--tried several things to try to start--noticed oil level was up-- assumed coolant went into engine- removed 3 front spark plugs--coolant ran out of spark plug openings- car was towed 60 miles- intake manifold (warped), gaskets, & thermostat were replaced- starter replaced due to broken housing (from attempting to start water logged engine)- total expense approx $ 1,000
11/03/201094735
 Car was getting harder to start each time- red light (overheating) came on while on a trip- added 4 + qts of water- drove 15 miles- car would not start--added 3 + qts of water--tried several things to try to start--noticed oil level was up-- assumed coolant went into engine- removed 3 front spark plugs--coolant ran out of spark plug openings- car was towed 60 miles- intake manifold (warped), gaskets, & thermostat were replaced- starter replaced due to broken housing (from attempting to start water logged engine)- total expense approx $ 1,000
10/20/2008800001
 This concerns a defective design of the intake manifold used by gm on 1998, 1999, 2000, and some 2001 buick lesabre's equipped with the 3800 series ii v6 engine. following the failure and resultant hydraulic engine lock of a neighbor's 1999 buick lesabre with approximately 80,000 miles on the odometer, i visited our local buick dealer (lee chevorlet/buick - washington, nc) to discuss what appears from research done via the internet to be a frequently encountered problem on these vehicles so equipped. it seems that a failure of the intake manifold is a very common problem on vehicles with about 80k miles on them, my wife drives such a vehicle - a buick lesabre limited purchased from lee chevorlet, washington, nc on 2/24/99 it currently has 78,000 miles on the odometer. the dealership owner, and the service manager freely revealed that this is a serious and chronic problem with these vehicles and is the direct result of a poorly designed part used on them. they are prone to failure at about the 80k mile point which results from an internal (not apparent) failure due to materials degradation. the result is very frequently the discharge of engine coolant into the cylinder(s) resulting in a hydraulic lock up with frequently disastrous results involving not only an engine seizure while in operation but also associated significant engine parts damage. their recommendation for a remedy to handle this dangerous situation is to have the involved parts (top and bottom intake manifolds) replaced with the gm replacement design resulting from the problem. these vehicles are all +/- 10 years old and have outlived their original 3yr/36,000 mile warranty. they indicated that the only way to perhaps get gm to participate in a remediation of this problem is to speak with the customer assistance group which i did yesterday. they deny existence of the problem and will provide no assistance in the $800-900 repair. failure of this part in operation could be fatal. *tr
10/09/2007550001005/18/2004
 Tl*the contact owns a 1999 buick lesabre. the contact stated that her vehicle shuts off and fails to restart. however, while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle shut off and then restarted immediately. later that same day, the contact stated that the vehicle would not restart for approximately an hour and a half. while idling at a traffic light, the vehicle shut off and took 15 minutes before it restarted. the failure continued to recur intermittently. the vehicle was taken to an electrical mechanic shop, but they could not identify the cause of the failure. the vehicle was also taken to firestone and repaired; however, the failure recurred. the failure mileage was 55,000 and current mileage was 58,439.
03/08/200885000110/04/2003
 Wife's 1999 buick lesabre with 90,000 miles on it was burning antifreeze in engine. i was told by a certified gm mechanic to try tightening throttle body mounting nuts because being too loose was a common problem from the factory. did that 6 months ago and it seemed to help even though the manifold throttle body mounting surface was warped due to the engine heat. over the past month the car became increasingly hard to start, burned large amounts of antifreeze, and would stall intermittently. on march 13, 2008 i took the intake manifold off the engine and found antifreeze in the intake duct going to the air filter and antifreeze pooled in the intake manifold. this was caused by two separate defects, the upper intake manifold gasket not sealing properly to the lower intake manifold (was leaking in two different spots) and the leaking throttle body to intake manifold gasket (was leaking coolant into the intake duct to air filter), which was caused by excess heat from the egr pipe warping the upper manifold. another serious problem with the upper intake manifold was the heat from the egr pipe eroded the manifold to a point that it would cause leaking coolant to enter the intake manifold in the near future. this seems to me to be a safety concern not only from a standpoint of the car stalling and becoming hard to steer but i work in the outdoors in remote locations in sub zero weather in the winter. i am always prepared for the possibility that my car won't start and i will have to walk miles to the nearest phone but somebody else may not be prepared and it looks like this defect might be dangerous if not fixed. i replaced the upper intake manifold and gaskets with an aftermarket one and the car is fine now. *tr
07/01/200616
 1999 buick lesabre with stalling problems. consumer stated that the vehicle began to stall while turning or stopping. he states that no codes showed when the vehicle was tested. *kb the consumer stated several parts were replaced on the vehicle such as; the fuel pump, and battery but the vehicle continued to stall. *jb
07/01/20061
 1998 buick lesabre. consumer states that the upper manifold plenum which buick changed to plastic overheated and melted causing a hole which allowed antifreeze to combine with the oil. *mc *jb
12/19/20051
 1999 buick lesabre plastic intake manifold failed. *ts *jb
08/15/200580000207/25/2004
 1999 buick lesabre v6 3.8l engine, 82,000 mi. had been experiencing some surging, no other symptoms. 8/05 drove home, parked car, went out next morning and auto would not start. towed to dealer service dept. who found water in cylinders. used stop leak as temporary repair. 11/05 engine again locked, unable to start. water in cylinders, water in oil. contacted buick customer service who suggested engine replacement or purchase of new vehicle. independent mechanic informed me of class action suit due to faulty manifold intake and other engine defects. have contacted attorney handling the suit. suit involves k series 3.8l engines, various models and years. for now, i need a new engine. as realtor and mortgage lender, i work through my car! *nm
04/11/200531014107/01/1999
 While driving the vehicle stalled. the driver pulled over and turned the vehicle off, but was unable to restart it. vehicle was then towed to the dealership, but the mechanic determined that the problem could not be duplicated. *ak vehicle would stall while driving at any speed. the fuel pressure regulator was replaced under recall 03054 and the ignition control module was also replace but neither of these repairs corrected the problem. *bf *nm
04/01/20044
 The vehicle's engine blew while the consumer was slowing for a stop light. *nm the vehicle displayed a hard start and was missing. the coil pack was replaced. the intake plentum leaked water into the cylinders. *sc *jb
08/09/20041
 While driving vehicle stalled. consumer was unable to restart vehicle. had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic informed consumer that the problem could not be duplicated or resolved. *ak
10/15/20020
 Simple facts when rear ended the seats on 1999 buick lesabre broke back sending in back seat,seat belt nearly killed me , and the jack placed on the right wing flew in the front seat...... then in 2002 the car caused a major explosion nearly killing me with a flying buick sign caught on fire the tires .....etc problem ....intake manifold the car only had little mileage and yes was well maintained
04/07/20041
 While parking consumer noticed coolant leaking from underneath the vehicle. consumer started up the vehicle and engine check light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that valve gasket needed to be replaced due to a worn out part. *ak
04/07/20041
 While parking consumer noticed that coolant was leaking from underneath the vehicle. consumer started up the vehicle, and engine check light appeared on the dashboard and remained on. consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that valve gasket needed to be replaced due to a worn out part. *ak
01/18/200254270211/11/1998
 While traveling at 30mph, the vehicle backfired. the consumer pulled vehicle over and looked under the hood and noticed gas spraying over the engine, which was coming from the gas line. the gas line had blown. immediately after, the vehicle died. the dealer was contacted. ts scc
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - COOLING SYSTEM
09/15/2008686281
 Engine seized and wouldn't start. found the intake manifold full of antifreeze. caused by a faulty intake manifold. replaced manifold, changed oil and antifreeze and replaced cracked starter. *tr
08/01/2004105/02/1999
 Problems with intake manifold and fuel intake.*mr the vehicle suddenly backfired. the vehicle was take to the dealer where the computer was scanned. the computer indicated that coolant there was coolant in the intake manifold. *nm
07/03/20041
 Check engine light illuminated after starting up vehicle and steering wheel was shaking. vehicle was taken to a repair shop, and coolant was found in the engine. engine was flushed, and thermostat was replaced.*ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE
01/10/201189400
 Antifreeze leaking into engine through intake manifold plenum c ausing expensive replacement engines and or parts. dangerous if engine locks up while driving
01/10/201189400
 Antifreeze leaking into engine through intake manifold plenum c ausing expensive replacement engines and or parts. dangerous if engine locks up while driving
01/10/201189400
 Antifreeze leaking into engine through intake manifold plenum c ausing expensive replacement engines and or parts. dangerous if engine locks up while driving
01/10/201189400
 Antifreeze leaking into engine through intake manifold plenum c ausing expensive replacement engines and or parts. dangerous if engine locks up while driving
12/25/2006380001
 Tl* - the contact owns a 1999 buick lesabre. while driving 65 miles per hour, the contact's check engine and oil warning lights turned on, at which point, the engine stalled. the contact was unable to restart the vehicle and had the vehicle towed. the contact's current mileage is 37,000 miles. per the contact the nhtsa website sited the incident is a common problem. per the mechanic, the failure was due to the intake manifold flooding the engine. the contact stated that several components were damaged including the starter, spark plugs, and a gasket. the contact called general motors and was told that the intake manifold had previously been repaired in 2004. *nm
09/15/20045
 1998 lesabre stalled while driving on the highway. *ts the first time the vehicle stalled, the problem was diagnosed as a cracked cylinder head and damaged plenum. on another occasion, when the vehicle stalled, the mechanic forgot to reconnect the alternator. the dealer stated another reason why the vehicle stalled on one of several occasions, was because a crankshaft sensor had failed, but was not related to the previous problems, however later that day the vehicle stalled again. the serpentine belt failed, which caused the consumer to lose power steering. *jb
05/01/2003410001
 Nar 06/12/2003. *mr check engine light appear with only 41,000 miles on 1999 buick lesabre. *cb
07/05/20046434350
 The engine light illuminated continuously. the vehicle was taken to the dealership who indicated that two of the engine cylinders were dead. this occurred due to a factory defect. *jb
05/06/200484896112/01/2003
 While driving 25 mph the engine light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. the dealership was notified but did not resolve the problem. *ak the vehicle stalled because of a cracked plenum which allowed water to enter the engine. the dealer replaced the plenum, spark plugs, cleaned lower intake and cleaned the coolant from the cylinders. *nm
12/31/200364200109/03/1999
 After some local driving and being parked, car produced cloud of exhaust smoke and then would not start. problem traced to coolant leakage into cylinders from failure of upper intake manifold gaskets. repair cost: $681.30
200004805/29/1999
 Intermittently when the brake pedal was depressed to slow the vehicle down engine stalled. the dealership performed a diagnostic test, but no failure code was found. *ak the consumer had the vehicle checked by two different dealers who both showed no failure code. *sc
01/01/1901576288
 Problems with check engine light staying on continuously clicking on and off . possible low trace wiring. $72.50 for cost of repairs. *mr *cb the consumer stated the vehicle stalled 8 times.*jb
11/21/20029300010/02/1998
 Upper and lower manifolds leaked coolant into the crank case on the 3800 series engine...($1254.24 repair cost) due to a faulty design on the manifolds, the company redesigned the manifold to take care of the problem...why hasn't the company had a recall on this problem...?*jb
03/20/200395000104/04/1999
 1999 buick lesabre has coolant leak at the manifold intake gasket. engine light came on and smoke out of the back. repair cost = $580.00 *jb
02/10/2003105/01/1999
 The vehicle stalled without warning.*jb *ts
4
 While driving 20- 35 mph on four occaisions engine completely shut down without warning. dealer replaced crankshaft positioning sensor and faulty ignition module which did correct the problem. also, consumer stated there wa sno no correction for the problem . please give any further details. *ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE - GASOLINE
05/04/200455267106/05/2002
 Noticed coolant leak. inspection by buick dealer service department found coolant going into intake manifold. intake manifold & gaskets needed replacement.*ak
10/20/2002105/01/2000
 While stopped at a traffic light the engine was running rough and then the intake manifold exploded. dt
09/26/20011
 While consumer was parking vehicle, he could smell something burning, claim 05-4681-265. *slc
12/29/20011
 Consumer started vehicle and the wiring caught on fire, fire started in engine compartment upon starting the vehicle, claim 15-3100-237. *slc
10/06/20011
 Consumer was in the garage and turned key to vehicle and noticed the engine was on fire, claim 22-v628-103. *slc
04/27/20011
 Vehicle experienced fire which may have started on the left front drivers side, claim 36-a176-319. *slc
09/26/20011
 While parking vehicle, consumer could smell something burning, experienced fire in engine compartment, claim 05-4681-265. *slc
04/27/20011
 Vehicle experienced fire, possibly started in left front of the engine compartment, claim 36-a176-319. *slc
12/29/20011
 Consumer started the vehicle and a fire started in the engine compartment, claim 15-3100-237. *slc
10/06/20011
 Consumer turned the key in the ignition and noticed that the engine was on fire, claim 22-v628-103. *slc
12/29/20011
 Consumer started the vehicle and a fire started in the engine compartment, claim 15-3100-237. *slc
09/26/20011
 While consumer was parking vehicle, he could smell something burning, claim 05-4681-265. *slc
10/06/20011
 Consumer turned the key in the ignition and noticed that the engine was on fire, claim 22-v628-103. *slc
04/27/20011
 Vehicle experienced fire which may have started on the left front drivers side, claim 36-a176-319. *slc
12/29/20011
 Consumer started vehicle and the wiring caught on fire, fire started in engine compartment upon starting the vehicle, claim 15-3100-237. *slc
09/26/20011
 While parking vehicle, consumer could smell something burning, experienced fire in engine compartment, claim 05-4681-265. *slc
10/06/20011
 Consumer was in the garage and turned key to vehicle and noticed the engine was on fire, claim 22-v628-103. *slc
04/27/20011
 Vehicle experienced fire, possibly started in left front of the engine compartment, claim 36-a176-319. *slc
01/01/20015
 Vehicle stalls intermittently at any speed. vehicle taken to dealer 5 times, cause for stalling could not be determined.*ak
11/09/2001106/30/1999
 Consumer stated vehicle had been parked for several days, when the vehicle was finally started the motor cranked slowly as if the battery was low, and then the engine backfired loudly and did not start, fire was detected under the hood, upon examination of the engine, a disclosed failed plastic air intake most likely was the result of the backfire, fire from backfire escaped the ruptured plenum and spread to the rest uf the underhood area and eventually to the passenger area of the vehicle.*jb
 While driving at any rate of speed vehicle will completely shutdown without warning ,cause unknown. dealer cannot identify the problem. please give any further details.*ak
04/24/2000405/26/1999
 When driving suspension is rough. when appling pressure vehicle shakes. dealership is aware of problem.*ak dealer refuses to replace the shocks. air conditioner leak, dealer replaced compressor shaft seal. pressure ocntrol solenoid replaced, consumer stated when shifting into reverse or drive, there is a shudder felt at times, dealer replaced the turbine shaft seal because it was worn and again the vehicle jumps when putting into gear as if gear is not engaging, dealer can not remedy this problem. engine light has illuminated. front rotors warped causing vibration. turn signals inoperable, dealer found wire out of terminal. *slc
06/01/20011
 After coming to a complete stop or when making a very slow turn, vehicle will stall.dealer has inspected vehicle numerous times over last year, and replaced computer. however it did not remedy defect. *ak occurs intermittently. when the driver was in line of heavy traffic waiting to make a left turn at a very busy intersection and the engine quit in the midst of the turn. *yh
103/30/1999
 Vehicle stalls without warning while making turns and while on straight aways, consumer was attempting to get the vehicle to the dealer but the vehicle died halfway into a turn (no brake, power steering) and crashed into a chain linked fence. nlm
12/18/20001
 While driving, the vehicle stalls. *slc
1
 While driving, the vehicle will stall. *slc
1
 The engine stops abruptly while driving in heavy traffic, dealer cannot find the source of the problem. nlm
12/10/19993
 Vehicle experienced a complete loss of power, the oil pressure gauge came on and the engine stopped, the consumer turned off the ignition, restarted the engine and was able to restart the vehicle. *slc
4
 While driving 20- 35 mph on four occaisions engine completely shut down without warning. dealer replaced crankshaft positioning sensor and faulty ignition module which did correct the problem. also, consumer stated there wa sno no correction for the problem . please give any further details. *ak
08/15/20001
 While driving down mountain & had downshifted into 2nd gear, vehicle lost all power. engine had stalled out. had no control of vehicle. power brakes & power steering was not working. had to use emergency brakes to stop. took vehicle to dealer & mechanic ran a diagnostic test. could not locate cause of problem. *ak
11/01/1999511/01/1999
 Vehicle continually stalls, not able to be rectified through repairs. *mjs
 Vehicle stalled and died out. prior to stalling, the interior lights came on. dealer has not been able to duplicate the problem. *ak
08/20/19991006/01/1999
 No summary listed for above vehicle. *ak
08/26/199910
 Ongoing problem with engine stalling intermittently. vehicle has been inspected/repairs made by dealer on eight occasions, and problem is reoccurring.
02/14/20002
 While traveling on the road at 40 mph vehicle lost complete power. dealer notified, and informed consumer that nothing could be found. *ak
112/01/1998
 Without warning, while driving, oil pressure gage came on, power shut down, car stopped.
10/31/1998511/01/1998
 Ongoing / intermittent problem with engine stalling while driving. vehicle has been in / out of dealer shop on three occasions, and stalling still occurs. seeking help or additional information from nhtsa in this matter. *ak
03/22/1999201/29/1999
 While driving about 45 mph engine stopped working without a warning, and left vehicle without power. *ak *ml
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE - GASOLINE - BELTS AND ASSOCIATED PULLEYS
08/09/20032
 While backing into a parking space, heard a loud noise and lost power steering. power steering pump detached from where it was anchored. the two bolts that secured the pump were severed which caused the serpentine belt to come off. the two bolts were severed as if they had been cut with a saw. *ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM
10/15/20020
 Simple facts when rear ended the seats on 1999 buick lesabre broke back sending in back seat,seat belt nearly killed me , and the jack placed on the right wing flew in the front seat...... then in 2002 the car caused a major explosion nearly killing me with a flying buick sign caught on fire the tires .....etc problem ....intake manifold the car only had little mileage and yes was well maintained
03/01/20031
 While driving consumers steering wheel froze. intake manifold ruptured. while the driver was turning on an embankment the vehicles steering froze and the vehicle almost went over the side. the dealer indicated that the intake manifold plenum failed. *nlm
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - EMISSION CONTROL
01/01/19011
 1999 buick lesabre with a air flow sensor malfunction within the emissions system. customer states that the check engine light illuminated sporadically. then the engine failed completely. *kb
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - EMISSION CONTROL - GAS RECIRCULATION VALVE (EGR VALVE)
103/04/1999
 The egr pipe melted the intake manifold. the consumer believed the problem was due to a design defect. *nlm *tt *jb
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - MANIFOLD/HEADER/MUFFLER/TAIL PIPE
05/15/1999509/08/1998
 Dt: the contact stated that when pressing on the gas pedal it hesitated. also, rear side window will not go up or down. the window on the passenger's side will not go all the way up and it will not seal. also ,the headlights came on and stayed on. the dealership reprogrammed the light and it came back on. the manifold intake blew out, costing the contact $150 to replace the intake gaskets. the brakes were noisy all the time. when making a left turn the flap will rub the tire, and it caused the tire to blow out .*ak
08/01/20042
 There is a part which is called the plenum. it causes a problem with the gasket, which messed up the intake manifold. took to the dealer, but problem recurred.
08/02/2004980001
 The vehicle was takento dealer on a recall and mechanic determined that there was a leak in the intake manifold.*ak
07/24/200328000106/10/1999
 While driving at 35 mph, the vehicle over heated due to a plastic intake manifold. the consumer was forced to pull over. an independent technician replaced the manifold. the consumer stated the vehicle did not have a warranty. dealer notified. *ph. the engine coolant ate through the plenum chambers. *jb
05/26/200378676101/06/2003
 Had a new 1998 buick park ave and the intake manifold plenium went out almost ruining the engine. bought a used 1999 buick lesabre and the same thing happened without any warning. the engine is ruined and must be replaced. *tt
09/04/2002111/06/1998
 While traveling on the highway, and without prior warning, there were gasoline fumes coming though the vents and the vehicle overheated. the dealership is aware of the problem. *mr the consumer states that first the fuel pressure regulator was repaired, then the manifold was replaced. the mechanic stated that it looked like the manifold was defected from the factory. *scc