Question about 2002 Buick LeSabre

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2002 buick lesabre transmission sensor bad

Speedometer stopped working in cold weather and after warms up moves but don't know if it is correct on speed. Then when driving noticed that on occasion it seems to be slipping gears, nothing major but afraid it is something really wrong. Just paid dealer $3000 for 100000 mile maint. And not much else. Love the car but don't know if I should keep it or not? Could it be the transmission sensor the problem with both?

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  • Buick Master
  • 77,947 Answers

This is no transmission sensor problem, it is a mechanical issue in the transmission.

Posted on Jul 09, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 93 buick lesabre

My '93 Pontiac Bonneville did this. If I understand the problem correctly, your car will move somewhat when you first start it up in the morning, but will not power forward after the first few minutes of operation. This is such a common problem with the early 90's General Motors front-wheel drive transaxles used on the mid-and-full-sized models that I am willing to bet the farm on this one. I really feel blessed to have one pitched over the plate for my first at bat with FixYa! Here's what's happening.

The automatic transaxle (front wheel drive vehicles combine the transmission and drive axles in one unti) are very complex mechanically, but quite simple to understand in theory. This is a hydraulic system . It relies on a fluid (transmission fluid) under very high pressure generated by the engine turning a pump (called the torque converter) and pumping the fluid into precise passages. Rubber or latex or some other strong, flexible sealing material keeps the pressure up and the fluid in the transaxle.

Your first, and really only function in this system is to check the fluid and keep it topped up with Dexron II, Dexron IIE or Dexron III ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). You can get this at auto parts stores, Wallmart and like stores or Jiffy Lube-type services. The dipstick for the transaxle is toward the rear and at about 1 o'clock of the engine compartment. ATF is red in color, do not confuse the engine oil dipstick (brown color oil) with the ATF dipstick. They are marked. Although low fluid level will cause this "driveability" problem, and would make your life so much simpler, low ATF is not your problem.

Your problem is worn or old brittle seals in the hydraulic system. I know this by the symptoms you described. The ATF is thickest when the car is "cold", meaning that running the engine and pumping the ATF through the very tight, precise passages has not yet raised the ambient temperature of the ATF from its "resting" temperature to its operational temperature. "Colder", thicker, ATF has lower viscosity-a measure of the ability of the molecules of the oil to flow. Basically, the "cold" ATF is compensating for the inability of the old, brittle seals in the transaxle to maintain proper pressure to drive the vechile forward. When the ATF warms (takes from less than a minute to a couple of minutes) the ATF becomes more viscous, it flows better, and can seep through the seals and lower the pressure in the hydraulic system to the point where no power is being relayed from the engine, through the transaxle to the drive (in your case, front) wheels and the car stops moving.

The bad news here is that diagnosing the problem is easy, repairing it is expensive. This is probably a $1500 to $3000 rebuild of the transaxle on a 14 or 15 year old car with a Blue Book value of $700 dollars or so. You could try to find used transaxle in a salvage yard; maybe get lucky and get one recently rebuilt from a wreck. If you are like me, and this happens to be the first brand-new from the dealer car you ever owned, your Lesabre will assume a semi-permanent spot in your driveway and will become a familiar topic of conversation with your spouse. Good luck, my friend.

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

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SOURCE: 1994 Buick Lesabre--transmission slipping

You have a bad low one-way clutch, It has to be completely disassembled to fix. Sorry

Posted on Mar 02, 2009

  • 13 Answers

SOURCE: The car slipps or jerks in the low gears

you should go to a transmission guy they have computers that will find the problem and i think that its free... but i think that your transmission needs to be rebuilt, theres a lot that can go wrong with them things

Posted on Mar 25, 2009

  • 3113 Answers

SOURCE: 2004 Buick Lesabre speedometer not working

Yes it's on the right side othe transmission just above the passenger side cv axle. You most likley need to send the cluster off and have it checked. Model Electronics in NY.

Posted on Oct 09, 2009

  • 3113 Answers

SOURCE: My 1988 Buick Lesabre Limited just began to have a

Get the codes checked. A bad mass air flow meter will do this. Also replace the fuel filter. Check for vacumn leaks too.

Posted on Dec 04, 2009

Testimonial: "Vacuum leak it was thanks to the plastic elbow on the PCV valve. It must have gotten brittle and was missing a good chunk. Cost under $4. Thanks."

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

Why tracker transmission lock in cold weather?

You have valves inside the transmission and electronic controls inside the transmission. When cold, valves do not work because the fluid is too thick. Once warm the fluid thins out and allows tranny to shift OK. You can burn your tranny up by not letting it warm up.

Feb 18, 2013 | 2002 Chevrolet Tracker

1 Answer

Where is the speedometer sencer

on the passenger side of transmission where the cv axle comes out. They don't usually go bad. See if you cruise works, if it does the sensor is working and the speedo is bad.

Sep 24, 2011 | 2000 Buick LeSabre

1 Answer

Speedometer not working properly example traveling at 50 mph on speedometer had not accelerated or decelerated and suddenly speedometer showing 90

passenger side of vehicle, the tail shaft of the transmission has a VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor)
that is most likely the culprit, it has a 2 pin plug and a 10MM bolt holding it in.

Sep 17, 2011 | 2002 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

Speedometer stopped working.

The speed sensors will not fix it. This is something that these cars will do in hot weather. The instrument cluster need to be removed and the contacts from the printed circuit to the connector need to be cleaned. Over time they will lose contact and affect the fuel gauge or speedometer. You may have to replace the speedo cluster. Sometimes if you hit the dash just above the fuel gauge it will start working too. Been there done that, fixed mine as the printed circuit was coming apart at the harness connector.

Jun 03, 2010 | 1990 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

Buick 1994 LeSabre it has to warm before it will engage in gear?then its fine.

I have the same problem in my 1993. have been told, filter, acuator and o-ring in ****** bad. 300.00 ****** and 450.00 to replace

May 08, 2010 | 1994 Buick LeSabre

1 Answer

2004 Buick LeSabre speedometer not working properly. Registers too slow if at all. Is there a sensor in the dash? Cruise control works fine.

Yes it's on the right side othe transmission just above the passenger side cv axle. You most likley need to send the cluster off and have it checked. Model Electronics in NY.

Oct 09, 2009 | 2004 Buick LeSabre

1 Answer


Check the fuse box and replace the gauge fuse if it's bad, Keep me posted if the fuse is good and we can move to the nest step, and that would be a possible wire harness problem on the instrument panel, and does the transmission shift like it should all the way to over drive (OD)?? Good luck 

Jul 06, 2009 | 2004 Buick LeSabre

1 Answer

1993 Buick LesabreTransmission takes 20-30 minutes to warm up

I think you need to have the transmission filter changed, and right away. If that doesn't solve the problem, then have it tested at the transmission shop. Rick

Apr 15, 2009 | 1993 Buick LeSabre

2 Answers

Intermittent Speedometer Operation

Your vehicle has the 4T60E transmission,and there is a speed sensor mounted on the transmission case that the vehicle's computer uses to compute vehicle speed,and relay it to the dash mounted speedometer.The best way to diagnose this problem is to first,hook up a scan tool that is available at automotive repair shops,and scan the vehicle for trouble codes first.Your vehicle probably has a stored trouble code along the lines of a Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS).After pulling codes,go to the data stream on the scan tool and look at the VSS signal that the computer is seeing,and when the speedo acts up,and stops working,look to see if the computer is seeing,a speed signal.If the vehicle computer is seeing a speed signal,then it's probably the speedo in the dash gone bad.If the vehicle computer is not seeing a speed signal,then it is likely a problem with the speed sensor mounted on the transmission,or the wires right before it.So,to diagnose really requires a scan tool,with a data stream,or you could just have the speed sensor replaced,and hope that fixes it.The speed sensor is located on the passenger side of the transmission,only accessible from under the car,but where the pass side axle actually goes into the transmission,the sensor is directly above that point,and retained in the case with a 10 mm bolt.It has two wires going to it.Good luck.

Aug 05, 2008 | 1997 Buick LeSabre

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