Question about 1997 Buick LeSabre

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Transmission Traction "Off" light stays lit with Traction button

The used 1997 Buick Lesabre Limited that I bought recently is equipped with traction control. I know that in 2005, the transmission was replaced with, probably, a rebuilt transmission.

The dashboard light is lit saying "traction Off" and stays that way despite my pushing the dashboard "Traction" button.

Is there any way to know whether the Traction control is engaged or not engaged, or whether there is a problem with the light, or with the pushbutton? Is there any simple test? I can't afford to pay for transmission work at present.

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  • Anonymous Jan 10, 2009

    I have a 97 lesabre with the same issues as well as sdm fault codes.

    I also have a leak that I can't find as of today(still trying) on the drivers side floor. I just finished the intake manifold gasket and it runs great.

  • k1b234 Jan 11, 2009

    Salvidordali: Here's additional information -- There is no warning light for the Anti-Lock Braking System lighting up when the car is first started. Makes me suspect a problem.

    I tried both of your suggestions -- about flooring it and about panic stopping on wet parking lot. I can't say that I noticed anything during panic stop that indicates that the brakes were being automatically "fanned." During the jack-rabbit start, I could feel a wheel spinning for a short period. I don't know if it stopped spinning by itself or under a control system.

    I saw someone else's comment on a different model car, referring to fuse #8, which in the Buick is for something like Power Train Module. I have not checked this fuse yet.

    Any other comments?


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The traction control system is controlled through the Anti-lock brake system. The way it works is if one of your wheels starts spinning the ABS applys the brake to that wheel to transfer power to the oppsite wheel that is getting traction. If your ABS is bad then your Traction control won't work. To check it I would find a parking lot on a wet day. In an open space mash in the gas. if you hear the ABS system kick in and you don't squall the tires then your good. My guess is you won't. What I would be worried about is will my ABS work. When checking the traction control is a good time to check the ABS. Acclerate to around 15 mph, then mash the brake as your live depended on it. If you hear a motor run and feel a vibration or grind in the brake peddal, then it works.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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