Want to buy a Buick 3800

Nick1994

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13,309
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I'm on a trip in Montana in my Camry, have done 1,400 miles in the last couple days and I am not a big fan. This car is SO slow and can only barely hold the hills if I have a running start at 80. It's gotten about 33 mpg on the way up here with lots of hills and mostly 80 mph. I would just rather get another car instead of trying to gain a couple horsepower with some mods. I mean I can hardly get onto the highway and pass with it. When I'm back in Phoenix I'd like to sell it and get something else. I've heard so much good about the GM 3800 V6 and am really interested in them. My driving is mixed city with highway and traffic and do about 40-50 miles a day, could be more in the future. My Camry usually gets 22-23 mpg in the mixed driving and I drive it pretty hard so I can keep up with traffic. My concerns are the real MPG. I know a lot of people get 30-32 mpg on the highway but what about city driving and mixed? I know some cars can tank down in mpg. So what's people actual MPG? Thanks guys
 
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25,967
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
About 20 real MPG around town, maybe a little more depending on traffic and weather and of course the city. In a big city like Boston during the day you would be lucky to get 20.
 
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349
Location
Ohio
If you find one at least there will be no GM recall on it ! It's a shame to have working vehicle items perfected years ago ,and have all the problems they have now from making things cheaper and cheaper ,another 718000 more recalls yesterday ,way to go GM
 
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2,266
Location
WNY
I had a '94 LeSabre with a Series I 3.8 from 2008 to 2010. It was no spring chicken with 175k on the clock. Leaked some oil and burnt some too, but ran good. With new plugs and wires and a fairly decent emissions, cooling and fuel system; I used to get a solid 21mpg going from home to school and driving around town. The couple of highway trips that I did take were around 29-30mpg cruising 65MPH with the air on. Comfortable cars, bulletproof engines, good highway mileage, plenty of low end torque and overall decent power band. They don't really scream but are good hill climbers. Once you have the EGR chimney/LIM/intake gasket/coolant elbow/what-ever-else-was-messed with the cooling system problems fixed, they are relatively low maintenance vehicles. With a BITOG member maintenance, they may just go forever.
 
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1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
Originally Posted By: Chris142
when the plastic coolant elbo breaks you will burn it up if your not paying attention.
But if (when) one does break or begins to leak, it's not too difficult to replace. I just did mine this past weekend and if I can do it, anyone can. I get right around 20 mpg with combined driving, with much of the "highway" driving being in stop-and-go SoCal traffic. Edit: Like redhat, I was right around 30 mpg on an extended highway run in moderate heat, A/C on, and some minor mountain driving.
 
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Nick1994

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Originally Posted By: redhat
I had a '94 LeSabre with a Series I 3.8 from 2008 to 2010. It was no spring chicken with 175k on the clock. Leaked some oil and burnt some too, but ran good. With new plugs and wires and a fairly decent emissions, cooling and fuel system; I used to get a solid 21mpg going from home to school and driving around town. The couple of highway trips that I did take were around 29-30mpg cruising 65MPH with the air on. Comfortable cars, bulletproof engines, good highway mileage, plenty of low end torque and overall decent power band. They don't really scream but are good hill climbers. Once you have the EGR chimney/LIM/intake gasket/coolant elbow/what-ever-else-was-messed with the cooling system problems fixed, they are relatively low maintenance vehicles. With a BITOG member maintenance, they may just go forever.
Yeah I'm sure I could put a lot of miles on one and run it forever. I mean I want to like the Camry but I just miss my good old GM (prior models to recalls). I'm looking at around 96-02 Park Avenues, Regals, Le Sabre, Bonneville, and others. I'm changing out the intake manifold gasket on my brothers 96' Lexus, it's not too bad. How hard are the 3.8's?
 
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349
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: abycat
Nice you got a 80 z. I got rid of my 81 a while ago. It was awesome. t tops. 350. miss it allot.
Unrelated to this post but yeah , Its got the looks but not a race car with the under 200 hp 350 smog motor
 
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17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
I'm very impressed by my GM 3800 V6 that's in my 2000 Buick LeSabre. The car is an absolute joy to drive in large part because of the engine. The engine is smooth, powerful, and quiet. You'll hear it sometimes when getting on it, but for the most part it's almost silent. 205-horsepower with 230-pound feet of torque gets the car moving quite briskly. My fuel mileage in town is 19.1 mpg.
 
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36,473
Location
ME
Look at early (98-99) olds intrigues. Later ones got the 3.5 "shortstar". The intrigue has a nice interior and the "widetrack" that Pontiac was briefly advertising. These cars have no resale value so are great buys. wink I had one and squeezed 25 MPG out of it. What's wrong with your camry and hills, don't like it downshifting? You just want torque in high gear?
 
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10,008
Location
Upstate NY
I had a 1999 LeSabre for 3 years. Around town it was about 18-20 mpg. Highway was where that car shined. It knocked down 32-33 mpg all day long without really trying. I'd look for a H-body Bonneville, Olds 88/98, or LeSabre. Those tend to get better fuel economy than the W-body Impala, Grand Prix, or Regal. Less aggressive tunes and gearing on the H-bodies compared to the "sportier" W-bodies. The H-bodies around here also tend to be in better shape than the W-bodies.
 
Messages
3,117
Location
Virginia
My 94 Bonneville 3.8L gets 22mpg in mixed driving around town and 28mpg highway between 65-70mph w the AC on. Solid engine, burns about 1 qt of oil every 5k miles. Stop leak pellets fix the famous LIM leak with no fuss.
 
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5,445
Location
MTL, CANADA
Not a fan of the 3800 engines. Didnt find them very quick maybe more on the outdated side matched with heavy cars. Most of the older cars with 4 cylinders are not very powerful when it comes to hills. I would look at the 3.1L or 3.5 GM engines. Far superior MPG (especially the 3.1) that they put in Buick century's and more enjoyable to drive. Personally I suppose Im one ofthe few who disliked the 3800. Their new 3.6L 305hp engine was certainly quick in the new impala! I averaged 26mpg on it driving it hard. But I suppose you are looking at older models.
 
Messages
25,967
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
How hard are the 3.8's?
Not bad at all. An aftermarket upper plenum with modified egr chimney is a must as well as GM new style aluminum intake gaskets. The whole job with coolant and new elbows is under $250. It takes about 5 hours if you never did one.
 
Messages
2,266
Location
WNY
The 3.5 is a good engine, the 3.1 too but you will without a doubt be doing intake gaskets as they drink coolant and by drink I mean guzzle. But the 3.8... is just... it's 3.8, I mean IMO there's just that charm, that sound, that smooth power. We have a 3.5 in the Impala and had a 3.1 in a Malibu. They weren't as fun.
 
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