Car Problem Reports

Buick LeSabre Hydro-Lock Due to Internal Coolant Leak From Intake Manifold

Buick LeSabre Problem
24 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Average Mileage: 112,175 mi (58,000 mi - 185,000 mi)


The upper intake manifold may develop an internal coolant leak causing one or more cylinders to fill with coolant. This can cause the engine to "hydro-lock" and not turn over. Removing the spark plugs will allow the engine to turn over pushing the coolant out of the spark plug holes. Replacing the upper intake plenum and gasket is commonly required to correct this condition.

The engine can be very difficult to start after this problem has been repaired, it can be helpful to clear as much of the coolant from the intake manifold and cylinders as possible before reassembling the intake manifold.

  • Visitor, , 69,500 mi

    coolant leak at upper intake. common problem with the 3800 engine. had repaired along with new hoses. total cost $785. Ouch) i dont know how gm avoided not recalling this problem. there are ten's of thousands of people that had this happen to them too.

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  • Visitor, , 125,000 mi

    I have a 1997 model and just had the plenum which is the intake replaced. It wouldn't start and i told the mechanic there was antifreeze in the black tube going to the air filter and he said it was the intake. Its made of plastic and there is a metal pipe that exhaust heat goes through and melts a hole in the intake that allows coolant to enter the top of the engine. The part is around $130.00 or so but the total repair totalled $530.00. There was no knocking from the hydro-lock so we decided to fix it. Hope this was helpful..

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  • Visitor, , 185,000 mi

    my car is using coolant its going through intake and out into the cylinders and being pushed out exhaust my buick under a load going uphill starts missing because of the coolant leaking into the intake manifold gas chambers causing multiple miss fires

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  • Visitor, , 79,000 mi

    leaking coolant, changed intake gasket

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  • Visitor, , 161,000 mi

    would not start

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  • Visitor, , 130,000 mi

    I have a 98 buick park avenue that had a hydrolock, the engine light came on and off and the motor lost power, i pulled over, opened the hood and the radiator hoses were all collapsed, had to replace the seals on the head, it was over a $1000 to repair, I still am loosing coolant from the over flow

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  • Visitor, , 58,000 mi

    Heater blew cold, engine overheated. Next morn low on coolant. Filled and started. It blew it out exaust then shut down and wont start.

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  • Visitor, , 130,000 mi

    same problem

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  • Visitor, , 70,000 mi

    filled collant tank up. ran engine to warmup. waited a few minites, restarted, blew noise cone off of starter. replace starter, dry out sparkplugs, replace uppermanifold.

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  • Visitor, , 103,000 mi

    tech was doing a major tune up felt water and said the intake was leaking and needed to be replaced before coolant got in to cylinders he fixed it and no more coolant loss.

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