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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • davidg2davidg2 Posts: 1
    Jim - this is probably too little too late, I just discovered this forum today.

    I've had both front wheel bearings replaced, L/F at 39k and R/F at 48k. Luckily a friend working at GM (engineering) told me early on to "watch out for wheel bearing issues" with the 02's.

    When the dealer (Vyletel, Sterling Heights, MI) hit me with a price tag for the repairs, I politely threw it back in their court and told them that wheel bearings don't just "go" this early, and that they needed to make this right if they valued me as a return customer.

    You'd like to think that would be good enough, but unfortunately I had to use an ace in the hole - a pre-36k visit where I stated a light humming noise that they could not diagnose....which worsened over time and turned out to be....the L/F wheel bearing. Then when the R/F started going, it was replaced on the spot with no argument.

    Wonder what the true stats are on the wheel bearings? As far as I can tell GM didn’t issue a service bulletin for this, must be a dirty little secret.

  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I am afraid that you may not be out of the wood yet - after having my two front wheel bearings replaced under warranty. The third one at 90,000 km and the fourth one to be replaced tomorrow, out of warranty. They already denied my request that this is a defective part on my third one and I would be calling them again to see if the fourth one falls under the same category.
  • rosey1rosey1 Posts: 2
    Our 2002 Rendevouz is perfect...nice leather seats, decent pick up, ok gas mileage, great seating arrangements, etc etc. But every time after we use the air conditioning, which has been a grand total of three times, and then turn off the car, it will not restart. It will start the next day without doing anything to the vehicle or it will even restart immediately with a jump. But after using the AC, we just get a tick-tick, not even a grrrr-grrrr when we attempt to turn the ignition. All lights, radio, windows are a go so the battery does not seem to be the problem. The mechanic cannot find the problem; there is an incorrect computer read out when they run that, so that's no help. Also, as an FYI, when we bought it used the AC failed to work the first time we used it and the dealership replaced the compressor for us. Tired of calling AAA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,413
    If you get a loud tick tick from the starter relay you probably have a bad starter armature that binds when hot. If you can access the starter when this happens, try tapping it with a wooden pole (broomhandle) etc and see what happens.


  • braddbradd Posts: 2
    jk27, glad to hear you will be continuing to post, I agree with your postings in this forum. There are good and bad cars out there of every make and model. I have an 02 CXL AWD and love it. Have had the A/C condenser go out and a leaking head gasket, both covered by warranty. I would buy another Rendezvous in a minute, I recommend it to anyone who asks. :D
  • Well, I was in the same position 2 weeks ago where my a/c stopped working on my 2002 RDV (60,000 kms). I called Buick Customer Service, probably spoke with the same lady (very helpful), who contacted my dealer, and covered my expense (good will warranty) and I was very happy! Be nice to them guys!!!

  • rosey1rosey1 Posts: 2
    Thanks, I'll pass this on to the mechanic as an idea for diagnostics (starter relay), as I really don't want to carry a broomhandle with me all the time. :) Makes sense that a change in temperature could account for the problem. Thanks
  • jsc1jsc1 Posts: 1
    I have a leased 02( 6 months left) which is the biggest mistake of my life, so far! Replaced L. wheel bearing at 67,000kms., the R. one at 98,000kms, and the condenser at 97,000kms. Too bad I just found this forum, otherwise wouldn't have known about these common problems.I think I should get some $ back on the 1st repair, since it was close to the warranty. I'm currently arguing with customer service GM Canada about paint "bubbles" all around th edge of the hood--they claim there is no corrosion yet, so will only pay 1/2--$350.00.
    #1--any advice on money back from wheel bearing(s)?
    #2 how can I get them to pay for the paint repair, since I already know it's a known flaw.
    #3 has anyone walked away from a lease early without heavy penalty?
  • erichnererichner Posts: 14
    I once had a similar problem on a Pontiac Transport. After years of trying to solve it I spoke with engineers at GM and found out there is a crank position sensor that will not allow the car to start. After a few tries or waiting 10-15 minutes the car would work.

    Problem was very intermittent until it almost ruined a vacation in Florida. I would not leave the dealership until problem was found. They did. Car is still going on strong for 11 years.
  • When I was working on the Bonneville, the car had a pass mirror tilt down feature that was activated when put into reverse. The theory being that you would check for the curb in the pass mirror and it tilted down automatically.
  • chrisrnchrisrn Posts: 1
    Hey I have an 03 RDV which has been a nightmare. Replaced brakes twice (the car has 44,000 miles), water poured in the floor when it was raining from a faulty seal, a leaking sun roof, wheel bearing, and now....a ruptured gas tank. I found out from the dealership that the gas tanks are PLASTIC! Can you believe it? How unsafe is that! how can hold up in a car crash. Of course its out of warranty but GM is looking into the situation and will let me know if they will cover it. I reminded them that if I hadnt found the leak I could have been blown up sky high! I also have a breaking problem which nobody can diagnose, its an intermitent vibration in the brake pedal at low speeds and the brakes fail. It only does it intermitently and of course never when the dealer is driving it. So between a leaking gas tank and failing brakes I have now begged GM to give me a credit to buy a new car because I don't feel safe carrying me or my family in this hunk of junk! :( :mad:
  • claude3claude3 Posts: 4
    It probably depends, but I am not wholly convinced by my own experience. I bought a 2003 CXL Rendezvous with 40,000 miles on it back in March. Everything was wonderful for about 4,000 miles. Then the rear driver wheel popped (literally) during a road trip. Within a week, the car started idling rough and stalling during ignition (and sometimes during driving!). The dealer charged me $250 to fix the problem, which turned out to be apparently related to some previous engine work (head gasket?) that the previous owner had done. Now, the car runs fine, but I don't have a lot of confidence in it, which is not good given that I have small children and that this is a family car. It is too early for me to make a final judgment about the car; it may (fingers crossed) not give me any further problems. I definitely don't think the car is worth what they are asking for a new one. If you get one, make sure it has low miles and plenty of warranty left. Also, skip the 2002-03 models and definitely look at the competition (Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, etc).
  • I am new to the board and found it out of despair. I bought a 2005 Ultra with the 3.6 L engine and live in So Cal. I drive 50/50 highway/city and am averaging only about 15 mpg with about 2000 miles now on the vehicle. I have taken the car in to the dealer twice to have them see if there is a problem with the car. GM customer care says they can't do anything about it unless the dealer finds a "problem" which, of course, they don't. Some say they get better gas mileage after a break-in period. How many miles do I need before it is broken in? I bought the car specifically for the 18-27 mpg on the sticker and I'm not even close to that. I've tried both premium and regular gas - it doesn't seem to make much difference and the dealer says don't bother paying the extra $.20. I'm baffled and really mad. Any suggestions?
  • I am new to this board and was reading some of the recent posts and thought I would ask your opinion on my quandry. I bought a 2005 Ultra on 7/5/05. I am not getting close to the gas mileage I should on the car and wondered if this is typical and if the gas mileage will improve in time as the dealer suggests. I am averaging about 15 mpg with about half my useage in the city, the other half on So. Cal. freeways (non rush-hour). I'm thinking I should be in the low 20's in these conditions. I now have just under 2000 miles on the car. I have corresponded with GM Customer Care, but other than telling me to take it to the dealer, which I have done now twice, they say there is nothing they can do. I'm stumped! I am an anti gas guzling SUV person and bought the car because of the mileage and flexibility the car provides. I have been driving a Buick Centry since '98 and have been impressed with the product, so I showed my loyalty and went back to Buick for this next vehicle. I'm in deep regret at the moment and am wondering what to do... Any advice?
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I doubt you will ever get close to the advertised mileages. Those test are not realistic in the real world. Plus your driving style makes a big difference as well. I have a 2002 FWD with the 3.4 engine and average about 16.5 MPG in the city and my style is pretty relaxed already - no hard stomping at the green lights. On highway, I may get in the low 20's but that's keeping it under 60 mph and cruising steadily. I notice a significant drop when you approach 65+ mph.

    Your numbers should improve slightly. Normal break-in period is about 3-5,000 miles.
  • I also have a 05 Ultra, I thought my mileage was pretty lousy too, but my husband reset the mileage average and we took it for a trip and it was up to 22 even with a carrier on top and a bike on back. It is not great for around town I lose the good 20 average and go back to 18 but do try to reset if you are only going by this and not figuring it out with gas fill ups and mileage. I have about 7,000 miles on mine now.
  • I have reset the system and calculated it by hand to be sure. I would like to hear from others on this subject - I'm wondering if my experience is unique to this vehicle or not - I took it on the freeway again this afternoon and I can't break 15 mpg to save my life! It's depressing...
  • I have a 2003 CXL FWD with the 3.4l engine, almost 69,000 miles. I drive about 60/40 highway/city. I try to judge how well I did on a tank milagewise by looking at my average speed on a tank and my milage. I can sort of judge how my highway % was based on if I'm getting average speed 40+ mph. I typically see 20.5-21.5 mpg on a tank if I've driven at 40+mph average on that tank. If I move toward the city side it goes down considerably. I think the EPA numbers they have to post are very non-realistic for the real world. I love my Rendezovous and I don't have any desire to just drive 60 or less on the highway, which I think I'd have to do in order to hit the posted numbers. I've always found this to be true so I wasn't surprized when I didn't get the mileage posted. Mike
  • jp614jp614 Posts: 34
    So sorry to hear that you are not achieving the EPA numbers. My 2002 CX FWD returns around 21 in the city and 28 to 30 on the highway. I may have been lucky but I also babied the engine during the first 500 miles (not going over 45 MPH). I am a believer in the "old mechanics tale" of taking it easy during the first 500 miles to properly seat the gaskets. There is definitely a drop off if you drive over 60 MPH but that is the physics of air resistance. I also have a "feather light" foot and use the cruise control a good deal of the time of the highway. :blush:
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    A couple of other ideas:

    Use the cruise control as much as you can -- significantly improves fuel economy. Also, if you have the auto-climate control system (I do on my 2002 RDV CXL), I discovered that it will turn on the AC compressor anytime the temperature is above 40 degrees. Push "vent" to turn off the AC if you don't need it and you'll save even more MPG.

    I am currently getting 19mpg per the DIC and I drive mostly city (commuting to and from work). However, when I drive on the freeway, my mpg goes up considerably. Also, I am using Mobil 1 synthetic oil -- which I have read can increase your mileage, as well.
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