How to Change the Oil on a 1998 Buick LeSabre


The 1998 Buick LeSabre features General Motors’ do-it-all 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The LeSabre’s version of this V-6 engine pumps out 205 horsepower. Part of correctly maintaining this engine is regularly changing the oil. Buick recommends changing the oil and filter in the 1998 LeSabre every 3,000 miles if it endures short trips and frequent traffic, or every 7,500 miles if you use it only for long highway trips. This vehicle has an oil-life monitor that displays “Change Oil Soon” when it is nearly time for an oil change. You must manually reset this light after changing the oil.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Six-point box-end wrench set
  • Thick shop cloth
  • Clean, lint-free cloth
  • Torque wrench
  • Six-point socket set
  • Oil filter wrench
  • New oil filter
  • 5 quarts new 10W-30 engine oil
  • Clean funnel

Draining Oil and Changing the Filter

  • Open the LeSabre’s hood and unscrew the oil filler cap from the engine. Set the cap in a secure location. Position wheel chocks behind the rear wheels and wedge them under the wheels. Lift the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and slide jack stands under the LeSabre’s subframe. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands.

  • Crawl under the front of the vehicle and find the oil pan -- the large metal pan on the bottom of the engine. Find the oil drain plug on the front of the oil pan. Position a drain pan under the oil drain plug and loosen the plug with a six-point box-end wrench. Remove the plug the rest of the way by hand, using a thick shop cloth to insulate your hand from the heat.

  • Allow the oil to drain from the drain hole until only two or three drips of oil every five seconds comes from the drain hole. Clean the drain plug’s threads and clean around the drain plug’s mating surface on the oil pan with a clean, lint-free cloth. Hand-thread the drain plug into the oil pan, then tighten it to 22 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and six-point socket.

  • Slide toward the passenger’s side of the vehicle and find the oil filter -- the 4-inch-long metal cylinder. Position the drain pan under the oil filter.

  • Place an oil filter wrench’s band around the oil filter and close the band around the filter; the closing process varies depending on the style of oil filter wrench you use. Loosen the oil filter by rotating it counterclockwise one-half turn. Loosen the filter further by hand, using the thick shop cloth to insulate your hand, until oil flows from the filter. Wait for the oil to stop flowing, then remove the filter. Place the filter in the drain pan.

  • Verify the oil filter’s O-ring did not stick to the oil filter’s mounting boss – the part of the engine on which the filter mounts. Clean the mounting boss with a clean, lint-free cloth.

  • Coat the new oil filter’s O-ring with a thin coat of new 10W-30 engine oil on your finger. Thread the oil filter onto its mounting boss by hand until its O-ring contacts the mounting boss. Tighten the filter an additional three-quarters to one full turn by hand after the O-ring contacts the mounting boss. Do not over-tighten the filter, as it can damage the O-ring and cause a leak.

  • Lift the LeSabre off the jack stands and remove the stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Remove the wheel chocks.

Filling the Engine

  • Insert a clean funnel into the engine oil filler hole. Pour 4 1/2 quarts of new 10W-30 engine oil through the funnel and into the engine. Wait about two minutes until the oil settles in the oil pan.

  • Remove the engine oil dipstick – the yellow-handled component near the front of the engine compartment – and wipe the old oil from the end of it with a clean, lint-free cloth. Reinsert the dipstick into the dipstick tube and again remove it. Verify the oil is near the top of the crosshatched area on the dipstick or slightly above it.

  • Start the engine and allow the engine to idle for two minutes. Shut off the engine and wait two minutes. Again check the oil, using the process outlined in Step 2; this time, the oil needs to be within the crosshatched section of the dipstick. Add more oil in one-quarter-quart amounts, as needed, until the level is correct.

  • Place the funnel into one of the empty oil bottles and fill the bottle with the old oil in the drain pan. Tighten the cap onto the bottle once it is full. Repeat this step until you transfer all the old oil from the drain pan into bottles. Take the bottles of oil and the filter to a used automotive fluid recycling center. Some auto parts stores take old fluid free of charge.

Resetting “Change Oil Soon” Light

  • Turn the LeSabre’s ignition to the “Run” position, but do not start the engine.

  • Open the glove box and find the “Oil Reset” button on the left side of the glove box.

  • Press and hold this button until the “Change Oil Soon” light blinks four times then turns off. Do not hold this button any longer than 60 seconds when attempting to reset the light.

  • Turn the ignition to the “Off” position and remove the key.

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