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Gary, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 17017
Experience:  15 years master GM tech and mater ASE tech
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I am considering purchasing a 1997 LeSabre with the 3800

Customer Question

Good afternoon!
I am considering purchasing a 1997 LeSabre with the 3800 Series II engine as a much needed gift for my brother. I have read quite a bit about the plastic UIM failure at 70-80K The car I am considering purchasing has 70K Should I assume that the UIM will fail (I do not have the money to both buy the car and have work done on it) I do not want to give him the car knowing that it is a just a matter of time before he has problems
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Gary replied 2 years ago.

it is very hard to know if the UIM will fail on this engine as some did not and it could have already been changed in the past

there really is not anything you can check visually other than pulling it off to see if there is any decay of the inside plastic that would show us it might be ready to fail and at that point it is off the engine and you might as well change it at that point

the best bet is make sure the engine does NOT use any coolant and does not smoke and runs on all 6 cylinders

if those all check out the UIM should be ok

and again we can not be 100 % sure on if it will fail or not but most 1997 UIM would have failed by now as it seemed they didn't fail by mileage but more so time in a range of @ 6 to 10 years

the odds are it would have already acted up and have been changed by now