Best 3800 to look for?

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If you find a PAU in good shape, jump on it! The only con would be the cost of premium to feed it. 18 gallons of premium gas isn't that cheap these days. Otherwise, a 2005 LeSabre would be a great commuter car.
 
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Originally Posted By: FXjohn
I prefer Olds and Buick. Any reason not to get like a loaded Park Avenue Ultra? Olds 98?
I love em' and they're really durable.
 

FXjohn

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Originally Posted By: sciphi
If you find a PAU in good shape, jump on it! The only con would be the cost of premium to feed it. 18 gallons of premium gas isn't that cheap these days. Otherwise, a 2005 LeSabre would be a great commuter car.
I thought the 3800 got at least 25mpg+ hwy? my whole commute is 55 mph and 3 stops. 50 miles one way. the cost and comfort vs the gas. Only getting about 20-22mpg now.
 
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Originally Posted By: sciphi
The only con would be the cost of premium to feed it. 18 gallons of premium gas isn't that cheap these days.
18 x $3.95 = $71.10 18 x $4.15 = $74.70 It's a $3.60 difference. Let's say two fillups a month, you're looking at $86.40 more on gas a year because of the premium. It's really negligible in my mind.
 
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My 2004 LeSabre gets 29 MPG if you keep it under 65 MPH. On regular unleaded. It has had some small issues, but mostly a trouble free car. (I bought it new.) Hope this helps.
 
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A 3800 (supercharged or not) should get about 30 mpg highway as long as one doesn't go much past 65 and is gentle on the gas getting up there. At 4-5 fillups a month, it'll be about $200 more a year in gas feeding a PAU compared to a LeSabre. More if one takes advantage of the supercharger on the PAU.
 

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Depends on how you drive it. I have a Supercharged Regal. Highway I can see over 27 mpg, but I have a bunch of mods and I am heavy on the go pedal so I am seeing 20 mpg average right now, but my round trip commute is about 30 miles. If you can find a Series III they have all the updates.
 
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These are heavy cars and won't be fuel sippers. Classic big car ride. The Ultra would prefer premium because of the S/C but many people run regular or mid. Be aware that many '97-'03 3.8l engines has intake gasket issues. Not all, but enough that it needs a good look.
 

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Originally Posted By: PhillyJoe
These are heavy cars and won't be fuel sippers. Classic big car ride. The Ultra would prefer premium because of the S/C but many people run regular or mid. Be aware that many '97-'03 3.8l engines has intake gasket issues. Not all, but enough that it needs a good look.
anything over 25mpg at 55mph would be good.
 
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Originally Posted By: RamFan
Originally Posted By: sciphi
The only con would be the cost of premium to feed it. 18 gallons of premium gas isn't that cheap these days.
18 x $3.95 = $71.10 18 x $4.15 = $74.70 It's a $3.60 difference. Let's say two fillups a month, you're looking at $86.40 more on gas a year. It's really negligible in my mind.
Supercharged Park Ave gets less MPG than the non SC version; 18/27 verses 20/29 MPG, in addition to the required premium fuel, which is a must with the supercharged engine. Could work out to $400 more a year depending on the miles driven. Supercharged is nice to have but a non-SC Park Ave would be more economical to drive and maintain.
 
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Originally Posted By: PhillyJoe
These are heavy cars and won't be fuel sippers. Classic big car ride. The Ultra would prefer premium because of the S/C but many people run regular or mid. Be aware that many '97-'03 3.8l engines has intake gasket issues. Not all, but enough that it needs a good look.
Running regular or midgrade in a PAU is a ticket to some expensive repairs, if not a whole new motor. It's designed to run on premium, and says premium fuel required right in the owner's manual. It can be run on regular for a tank or two without issue if premium is not available, but a lot of people have popped engines in the PAU thanks to a heavy right foot and consistently running regular. Putting a FI engine's life in the hands of a knock sensor to save 20 cents/gallon on fuel is a false economy. Also, since it's designed to run premium, the gas mileage WILL go up on premium, negating the extra 20-30 cents/gallon it costs.
 
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3800 Series III. I have one in a Buick LaCrosse - torquey engine. 30 mpg highway on regular. It gets better mpg than the 3.6 that replaced it.
 
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Originally Posted By: RamFan
It's a $3.60 difference. Let's say two fillups a month, you're looking at $86.40 more on gas a year because of the premium. It's really negligible in my mind.
+1
 
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Originally Posted By: FXjohn
Originally Posted By: sciphi
If you find a PAU in good shape, jump on it! The only con would be the cost of premium to feed it. 18 gallons of premium gas isn't that cheap these days. Otherwise, a 2005 LeSabre would be a great commuter car.
I thought the 3800 got at least 25mpg+ hwy? my whole commute is 55 mph and 3 stops. 50 miles one way. the cost and comfort vs the gas. Only getting about 20-22mpg now.
The Ultra is a Supercharged version... The regular 3800 does in my experience get over 25 mpg Highway in REAL WORLD driving. Not doing 55 on level ground with cruise on.
 
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Originally Posted By: sciphi
Putting a FI engine's life in the hands of a knock sensor to save 20 cents/gallon on fuel is a false economy. Also, since it's designed to run premium, the gas mileage WILL go up on premium, negating the extra 20-30 cents/gallon it costs.
Not to argue or belabor this particular point, but the lives of most FI engines these days are in the hands of the knock sensor, even ones where regular fuel is specified in the owner's manual. My '11 Camry 4-cylinder called for regular fuel. It would have a slight ping under certain situations, so I used premium fuel some to see if that ping would go away. Surprise: it didn't. Another surprise: mileage went up. This demonstrates that even when regular fuel is specified in the owner's manual, and when regular fuel is used, the engines are still running at the mercy of the knock sensor. The timing is simply retarded more than it is when using a higher grade of fuel. It's my experience that many modern engines that are tightly-tuned can benefit from higher grades of fuel, even if the owner's manual calls for the regular grade. I do strongly agree that using regular fuel where premium is specified is a false economy. As you note, the cost difference between the two is largely negated by the mileage increase. I've found that to be the case even when using premium in cars that called for regular, but specially when premium fuel is recommended in the owner's manual.
 
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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: sciphi
Putting a FI engine's life in the hands of a knock sensor to save 20 cents/gallon on fuel is a false economy. Also, since it's designed to run premium, the gas mileage WILL go up on premium, negating the extra 20-30 cents/gallon it costs.
Not to argue or belabor this particular point, but the lives of most FI engines these days are in the hands of the knock sensor, even ones where regular fuel is specified in the owner's manual. My '11 Camry 4-cylinder called for regular fuel. It would have a slight ping under certain situations, so I used premium fuel some to see if that ping would go away. Surprise: it didn't. Another surprise: mileage went up. This demonstrates that even when regular fuel is specified in the owner's manual, and when regular fuel is used, the engines are still running at the mercy of the knock sensor. The timing is simply retarded more than it is when using a higher grade of fuel. It's my experience that many modern engines that are tightly-tuned can benefit from higher grades of fuel, even if the owner's manual calls for the regular grade. I do strongly agree that using regular fuel where premium is specified is a false economy. As you note, the cost difference between the two is largely negated by the mileage increase. I've found that to be the case even when using premium in cars that called for regular, but specially when premium fuel is recommended in the owner's manual.
Point taken. My old Buick LeSabre with its 3800 Series II V6 and 2.86 final drive ratio would routinely get 33-35 mpg at 60-65 mph. Best I ever got out of it was 39 mpg doing 55 mph for 15 hours. Nothing like a good old-fashioned bench seat with no bolstering for that kind of driving! Any H or C body such as a Pontiac Bonneville, Buick LeSabre/Park Avenue, Olds 88/98, or even a Lucerne (IIRC) would be a great highway cruiser. The H-bodies tend to be a bit more spacious inside and in the engine bay than the W-bodies like the Grand Prix/Impala/Lacrosse/Regal (don't quote me about the Lucerne and Lacrosse). If one can't find a LeSabre, a newer Regal is also a good choice, as they tend to have better interiors than the other W-bodies.
 
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I would get 30 mpg on the road with my 1997 Cadillac Seville with the LD8 Northstar (the 275 hp version, with a 3.11 final drive). My 2001 had the L37 Northstar, 300 hp with a 3.71 final drive. I was lucky to break 23-24 mpg with that one. Those big GM cars set up with tall gears got excellent fuel economy. Our '92 Crown Vic with about 100 fewer horsepower would only return about 24 mpg on the road.
 
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I too have seen ~30 mpg with the big Park Avenue middle model, non-supercharged, running on non-ethanol regular -- and that at 65 mph on level ground in warm weather, which around here IS real world driving. The big beast gets about 21 overall during the week with my commute and a few highway runs out to the suburbs, too. Naturally those numbers drop when the A/C goes on. But the PA has been a delight to drive and own.
 
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