Question about 1998 Buick LeSabre

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My 98 Buick LeSabre is spitting & sputtering. Seems like it is choking and coughing. There are some popping sounds & a smell that is different than straight gasoline. When it first started doing this, it was only after I had run it & then turned it off & then tried to restart it. It wouldn't want to start (especially if I tried to give it gas, like I would back in the day before all the electronics). A mechanic, seeing me stuck, asked me what it was doing & told me that this was a sensor that told the car to run lean or rich. Unfortunately I didn't write that down the name of it. He told me the best way to handle this is to start it up & then do nothing (don't push gas peddle) while it figures out the correct percentage of gas & oxygen. This worked for several weeks. This problem has progressed. First, when it's cold, I have to restart about 2-3 times. Also, the problem has progressed to while I'm driving. Once my car gets warmed up, I get the same spitting & sputtering while it's driving. I'm afraid it will die while at a stop light so I put it in neutral & rev it some. My check engine light is on & has been for months. When it first started doing that I went to auto parts & ran diagnostic on it & it didn't show anything. The same mechanic who told me about sensor said that my make & model often has erroneous check engine light come on for no reason. So, I didn't worry about it. Finally, I went to auto parts store & ran another diagnostic. This time it said that the trouble code was P0171 : Fuel Trim System Lean Bank 1. So far I've replaced the Fuel Filter & I also put a tank of Premium Gas in which hasn't made a difference. Can you guys help me with this quandary?? I have a feeling that we should check all the vacuum hoses before putting too much money into a in new oxygen sensor. I've had some other issues with a vacuum leak in my heating/cooling system. Do you think that is a good place to start or do you have some other words of wisdom? Thanks!!

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  • 170 Answers

Before you said you didn't want to put $ into a new oxy sensor, I was thinking that was the problem. Vacuum hoses may be a part of it, but I am not too familiar with them causing the kind of sputtering you are talking about. When did the change occur? It may be a fuel pump, but it sounds complicated enough to have a real mechanic look at it.

Posted on Oct 15, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: P0171 Code (Lean Fuel Bank 1) Engine light on

you nead to check all you vacuum lines for leaks it sounds like you have a vacuum leak or the o2 sensor is going bad on bank 1 **** i still say vacuum leak

Posted on Nov 23, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: my 97 buick stalls some time and wont start for while

code po 171 system lean on bank one on 2002 buick lasabre

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

rabbit7954
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SOURCE: Buick LeSabre wont start replace fuel filter 3 times each time it temporarily fixed it

replace tank or take off and clean out real good. sounds like sediment in your gas tank.

Posted on Jun 26, 2012

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