Fixing Buick LeSabre Transmission Problems?

June 21, 2005

Person working on a car engine.I have a 1993 Buick Lesabre with an automatic transmission problem. On cold days it takes 20 minutes to a half an hour to warmup the car before it can go forward in gear or in reverse. Now that the weather is warmer it takes about 15-20 miutes to move in gear? I know it's the transmission but has this happened to anyone else? any suggestions from other Buick owners have had this problem?


Thank you,
Joe from Providence RI


By Dean Williams (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful
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my 2004 lesabre has had one fly wheel replaced and now it is broken again. The dealer is going to replace the torque converter and new flywheel. I have never had a problem with buicks, even close to this.

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By bill (Guest Post)
February 20, 20090 found this helpful
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Try replacing the modulator valve.

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4 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 30, 2016

I have a 1990 Buick LeSabre. My tranmission would not shift to overdrive. I put fluid in, but I put too much So I removed the excess and now it doesn't move at all.


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August 16, 20170 found this helpful
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I am so sorry to hear of your problem. If you have over filled the transmission fluid in your car you will need to have it repaired by a mechanic. This is not a simple fix and if you don't understand about repairing cars it is almost impossible to repair it on your own.


I would call a garage near you and take your car there.

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May 18, 2011

When my 94 Buick is cold and I put in it in drive or reverse it bumps, but won't go forwards or reverse for about 10 to 15 minutes, till it warms up. Then once warmed up it goes into gear and works perfectly until it cools down, then same over again. I changed fluid and filter and no difference. What do I do?

By Richard from Huntsville, AL


August 21, 20160 found this helpful
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I have the same issue with on a 1994 Lesabre and have done some pretty extensive research on this issue.

This is a very common issue on all 4T60e transmissions, often referred to as "morning sickness". These transmissions are pretty weak and you can't expect them to last more than about 150k miles.


The issue in question is related to a bad seal that doesn't allow the transmission to gain enough pressure at cold temps. Once the transmission has warmed up the seal expands and allows enough pressure to build up.

Unfortunately, there is no easy / cheap fix for this. Using an additive such as Lucas Oils Stop Slip may buy you some time, it works in 2 ways by thickening your fluid and "swelling" the seals.

The downside is that an older transmission will have brittle seals and it will work for a while (could be a week, could be a year) but will eventually stop working and the seals will be worse than they were originally.

* Do NOT do a transmission flush on older transmissions!

* Only use an additive if absolutely necessary and you know your trans is on its way out!


* Be prepared for an expensive trans rebuild or replacement!

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September 13, 2013

How do I replace the modulator valve on a 1994 LeSabre?


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September 15, 20130 found this helpful
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If you have a public library nearby, they might have Motor, Chilton or Haynes manuals that cover your car's make and model. One of them should have diagrams and instructions to explain this repair. You might be able to borrow the book, or else photocopy the pages you need.

If not, the librarian might be able to help you get this information through interloan or other research tools. When I worked as a librarian, I helped patrons with these questions many times. Good luck!

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August 20, 2013

I just bought a 1994 Buick Lesabre and everyday I have to warm it up for at least 30 minutes or more in order for my car to drive. If I do not warm it up no matter how much I press the gas the car will not drive. I don't have any extra money; can you please tell me what I need to do?

By Precious M


April 15, 20160 found this helpful
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Verify the fluid level first off. It that's ok it sounds like the tranny is worn out. There are additives you can buy that you put in that may help. I generally don't think these additives are good long term but if the tranny is worn out and needs to be replaced soon anyway I would give it a shot as it may buy you some time.

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