Signs of a Bad Transmission in a Buick LeSabre

by Justan Brandt
itstillruns article image
Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Buick introduced the LeSabre Marquee as a concept car in 1951. The nameplate officially became part of the Buick lineup in 1959. Before discontinuing the model in 2005, Buick had sold over 6 million LeSabres, and for 12 years it was the best-selling full-size vehicle in the U.S. The Buick LeSabre has sold with a number of different transmissions, all of which are prone to problems. Signs of a bad transmission in a Buick LeSabre aren't difficult to detect.


Look at the ground under where the Buick LeSabre is normally parked. Puddles of fluid, stains and spots are all signs of a leak. If the leak appears red in color, there is a good chance the Buick LeSabre's transmission is leaking.


Even without a noticeable leak, the transmission fluid is possibly getting dangerously low. Use the transmission fluid dipstick to check for proper operating levels. If the fluid is not translucent red or smells burnt, change the fluid.


Vibrations and shuttering of the vehicle during gear shifts is a clear sign that something is not right with the Buick LeSabre's transmission. The transmission is designed to shift smoothly and easily; vibrations are a sign that shifts are not happening as intended.


Grinding, whining or any other unusual noises coming from the transmission are a clue that something is wrong with the gears or transmission valves. Transmission noises usually come from the floorboards and near the center of the vehicle.


Overheating of the transmission is a severe sign that something is wrong with the Buick LeSabre transmission. Overheating is caused by internal breakdown or during heavy towing, rocking the vehicle, racing or stop-and-go driving in high-heat environments. Signs of overheating are smoke, burnt transmission fluid and excessive heat near the shift lever.

More Articles

article divider