Question about 1991 Buick LeSabre

3 Answers

The service engine light has come on in my 1991 Buick Le Sabre. After driving it awhile it has that sweet smell that comes from overheating, but very faint. It is running fairly rough, and stalls sporadically, especially when switching gears, most commonly reverse. It's an automatic, and I am pretty sure it's carburated. How can I pull the code on it? Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

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  • sweetdeserth May 30, 2011

    I checked oil needs changing but not milky and only about a quart low. Checked coolant leveld which are totally fine. No smoke at all coming from exhaust. Sweet smell is very faint but oil did smell burnt. Car gets hot pretty quick but is not actually overheating. Also car is definitely injected.

  • sweetdeserth May 30, 2011

    My fiest sentence was that the check engine light came o.. it is still on and yes, is lit on the right side of dashboard. I need to pull the code but shops aren't able to because og how old it is

  • sweetdeserth May 30, 2011

    Nothing visible is blowing out of exhaust... let me check the oil cap...

  • sweetdeserth May 30, 2011

    And the light comes on as soon as i turn the key, not after running While...don't know if that helps

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  • Buick Master
  • 3,018 Answers

  • Is there a dash light on? I did not see that indicated in your statement. If not then there is no code to pull.
  • Now this sweet smell. Is it coming in through the cab? Does the defrost being turned on, after the car warms up, fog up your windshield? Is your passenger floorboard a little wet for seemingly no reason? These are indicators of a leaking heater core in need of being replaced.
  • No then, is the sweet smell coming out of the exhaust? If so is there an unusual amount of white smoke billowing out the tailpipe? Does the oil look like chocolate milk? This is an indicator of a possible head gasket leak or cracked head.
  • It sounds to me like one of the two is happening and this would cause the anti-freeze level to drop and that will cause a hard idle from running hot and causing seemingly shifting problems.
  • Check your coolant level and see if it is low for "no reason."
  • Pull the oil dip stick and see if it looks like chocolate milk. A little pull from the oil plug does this test better justice.

Regards, Tony

Posted on May 29, 2011

  • 1 more comment 
  • Iron
    Iron May 30, 2011

    Well you rated me already so now someone else will come along to help you. All you had to do is comment and I would have readdressed. Sweet smell is antifreeze.






  • Iron
    Iron May 30, 2011

    Well if the engine light is on then you should go have the code pulled. And that rubish your car is to old. I'm a mechanic, I know better.

  • Iron
    Iron May 30, 2011





    • If you have the 16 pin connector under your dash then take a paperclip and jump between terminals A and B.

    • Now turn the key on. Watch for the blinks on the dash. The first set of blinks is the first number and the second set of blinks is the second number. This is how your read your codes. There may be more than one set of codes so have a paper and pen to write the blinks down.

    • Once you get them tell me and I will tell you what the codes read, OK.



    Tony

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  • Buick Master
  • 1,940 Answers

  1. To check the codes on your computer, short the A and B terminals on your diagnostic port under the dash with a paper clip or jumper wire and turn on the ignition (don't start the engine).
  2. The codes will flash on the MIL (check engine) light. Short pauses between flashes are single digits, longer pauses seperate the digits. Each code is 2-digits long.
  3. Let me know the codes you pull and I will let you know what they mean.
If it feels like it is misfiring, you may just need new spark plugs and spark plug wires. The ignition control module is also a common point of failure on these cars.

Posted on May 30, 2011

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  • Master
  • 10,319 Answers

1991 is a fuel injected fuel system. Since 1985 all Buicks were fuel injected
Now for the roughness in running while switching gears. It sounds by the note you wrote you have a leaky head gasket or intake manifold gasket. By checking you engines oil cap take the cap off and look inside the cap. If a milky thick pudding has form inside this cap you have coolant condensing with the engine oil. That means a a leaky gasket. If the cap is clean and the exhaust is blowing white vapors out the rear exhaust pipe, the head gasket is leaking. Both of these situations causes rough running and stalling

Posted on May 30, 2011

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson May 30, 2011

    no codes with show up from a bad gasket until driven quite sometime. After awhile the o2 sensor will foul out causing it to be degraded, and plugging up the EGR system as well

  • frank thomas wilson
    frank thomas wilson May 30, 2011

    The check engine light will always come on upon starting the engine. That lets you know the computer is working correctly. Now if no codes are displayed the transmission has a solid mechanical problem instead which will need a trained mechanic to check out for you

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1 Answer

What engines interchange with a 1998 Buick Le Sabre?


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Tip

Buick service light 1991-01


LeSabre,
Park Avenue


2000-01

Turn the ignition to ON. Press the GAUGE INFO button on the driver information center (DIC) switch to view OIL LIFE INDEX. Press and hold the RESET button on the DIC until the display reads OIL LIFE INDEX 100% NORMAL. The engine oil life monitor is now reset. Turn the ignition OFF.



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When "OIL LIFE INDEX CHANGE OIL" appears in the Driver Information Center, press and hold the "RESET" button while the oil life index is being displayed. After 5 seconds, the oil life will change to 100%



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1995-99
1995-96

When "CHANGE OIL SOON" light is illuminated, access the reset button in the glove box. With the engine off and the ignition switch in the run position, press and hold the button for at least 5 seconds. The light will flash four times and then go out.



Century,
Regal,
Roadmaster


1997-01,
1996-01,
1995-96.

To reset the "CHANGE OIL" light, turn the ignition switch to the run position with the engine off. Fully depress and release the accelerator pedal three times within 5 seconds. The light will flash twice and go out.



Roadmaster


1994

To reset the "CHANGE OIL" light, turn the ignition switch to the run position with the engine off. Access the reset button on the end of the instrument panel by the fuse block. Press the switch and hold it for at least 5 seconds.



Le Sabre,
Park Avenue


1992-94,
1991-94

When "CHANGE OIL SOON" light is illuminated, find the hole in the underside of the dash on the passenger side near the door. Insert a blunt instrument into the hole and press the switch. The light will flash four times when the system is reset.











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