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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair

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  • Hmm. ok right now im trying to determine if i should try returning the vehicle to the dealership i got it in.

    Im wondering what other potential problems im looking at in the future. I heard some people say their transmission had crumbled for them. Is this a common problem on the 03 Rendezvous.

    I have the 2003 Rendezvous FWD with traction control. 3.4L engine Automatic.

    Im looking for some expert advice here. I really fell in love with the car, i dont want to get rid of it just because of FAULTY gaskets gm put in them. But again im not made out of money, its my first car and I just graduated 2 weeks ago from school. the garage told me that the replacement parts have a 100,000 KM warranty on them.
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    Hi again:

    I would recommend taking the car back to the dealer. There should be a 30 day warrenty on the vehicle and as such the dealer should cover the cost of the gasket replacements (if it was a GM dealer it is garanteed through their so called GMC used car policy). If they do not (and want to be &&?%%$$$??& about it) you can always take them to small claims court (and write GM directly about how poor the dealer was) and you would win hands down (just time and headache on your part). At least you would recover your cost. I dought the dealer will take the vehicle back based on the problems it has, but it might. Good Luck with that.

    As for the transmission I just had mine replaced (2002 RDV) and with AWD cost 3500 through an independent (turns out they do all the repairs for GM anyway in my area) GM quoted me 5300 bucks. It appears these transmissions are hit and miss (planetary gears break up due to a faulty drive shaft coming lose and causing the gears to cross). This was in all RDV up till 2004 when they replaced the drive shaft with a more robust one (welded instead of preasure fit to the main control gear). So do a filter and fuild change every 50 k km but it will go eventually but this may have it last longer before the part prematurely fails completely.

    Anyway for your first vehicle it may have been wiser to investigate a little before purchasing the RDV, because like most GM products it can be expensive to maintain and be unreliable. Current GM products do offer 160 k km warrenties which is allot better, but it does not solve your current problem.

    Anyway takecare and good luck :sick:

    James
  • Just writing to let everyone know that RDV and venture minivans and such suffer from hood corrosion along the windshield. It appears that oxidation is taking place along the hood seam (since it is an aluminum hood) and as a result is bubbling up the paint. I may have read this on this link in some messages posted way back. This is a result of faulty manufacturing exacerbated by the design of the hood (i.e., snow gets trapped and sits there) and as a result bubbling and corrision starts. Therefore lift up your hood and look along the back seam by the windshield, if you see bubbling take it in and GM will repair it (5 year 100000 km warrenty) if not GREAT! (rust check the crap out of it inside and out and hopefully this will prevent the corrosion from happening). I am taking mine in for repair (my last warranty claim since I am just under 100000 km).

    Man this vehicle has some serious quality issues.

    Regards :cry:

    James
  • I had my hood painted,at my own expense.It seems every problem I've had with my RDV has been a common problem.That seam along the hood was very prone to corrosion,a(design/manufacturing)flaw.I recieved a letter yesterday saying my Onstar service is to be discontinued at the end of the year due to it's analogue technology no longer being compatible with current digital tech.I was told all Onstar vehicles with Onstar pre '05 will be redundant.How nice to pay for a premium service,only to have them shrug their shoulders.
  • ha ha, funny that you mentioned that. I have bubbling all around my hood. I found it kind of strange since the rest of the vehicle had no rust at all on the body. Ill have to get GM to fix it for me once i get my car back from its head and manifold gasket repairs.

    oh ya. I thought the corrosion warranty was 5 years or 160,000Km. At least thats what carfax says under its warranty check thing.
  • Maybe you got the 5 year 160 000 km through the GM used car plan. For new cars (2002 to 2006) it was 5 years 100,000km. I am fortunate that I am still within warranty. Also as a follow up to the Onstar situation, I phonedd GM Onstar and it appears that there is a new US law coming into effect at the end of the year to eliminate all analog transmissions (cell phones for example). So this phasing out of older Onstar systems is not by GM`s choosing. They are looking into issuing a digital upgrade for the older vehicles (pre-2005, since 2005 and above have analog and are digital ready). They told me a news bulletin should be issued in July 2007 if this upgrade is possible (cost effective) and if it is not. This upgrade however will involve committing to a two year contract with Onstar.

    This is about it for know :P

    James
  • Mine did the exact same thing. The car would make a grinding noise during slow left turns. Not every time and never could get it to duplicate for the mechanic. But based my description, they were able to determine that the antilock brakes were activating. After much research, they found it was the wiring harness leading to the wheel sensor. Have it checked.
  • Just letting everyone know since the temperatures have reached - 20 Degrees C here my starter has started to act up. It is not disengaging properly at cold startup and then is fine for the rest of the day (it makes a starter stuck on sound for a split second). GM told me this normal and expected. I do not think it is normal and expected. My wife`s car started doing this (after 9 years) and it got worse and worse (3 month period) and then I had to have it replaced. I have been looking at starters for replacement and the cheapest is 127 bucks US (including 40 bucks for old core). Delco is 221 US or 265 Cnd (and this is a rebuild as well). Seems you cannot get a new starter for this vehicle. Man this thing is starting to become a money pit (at least the hood repair is at GM expense). Let me know if anyone else is have this problem and if it is normal.

    Thanks

    James :confuse:
  • I have a stock 2003 Buick Rendezvous. About mid-summer I noticed that my airflow had decreased and wouldn't cool unless I was going in excess of 30-35mph. At the time is wasn't that big a deal because I drive with my windows open. Well now the heater doesn't push air unless I'm going faster than 30-35mph. Which considering its winter in Minnesota, warming my car doesn't do much to warm the cabin. I check the HVAC Blower Fuse and that is fine. I'm thinking about replacing the blower assembly (right behind the glove compartment) as I happen to have a spare one sitting around my shop. Does anyone have any suggestions or other ideas as to what might cause this problem?
  • You could try changing the HEPA filter for the HVAC system. It could be plugged. They are around 50 bucks. Not sure where it goes, but it could be the simple answer to your problem.

    James
  • Thanks for the advice!This year I've had to drive around on full heat,max fan and I never had to raise it past 25C in the past.Can I change it out myself?It's also important to check coolant levels,this would affect circulation through the heater core.
  • Just go to an auto store (Auto Zone for example) purchase the HEPA filter and change it yourself. However, like I said I am not sure where it is located (under the dash on the firewall etc.) As for the coolant level affecting your heating I think not. From my experience if you are low enough on coolant to affect the heater core, you would have no coolant or very little circulating through the engine and such a dead engine.

    If you do have a concern about your coolant though check your intake manifold gasket for leaking and coolant levels in reservior. If you smell a sweet smell very strong on an hot engine good chances are you have a leak (also look for pooling just by the throttle body on top of the engine or leaking on the ground after sitting in the driveway overnight). If you had your intake manifold gasket changed just ignore this paragraph.

    James ;)
  • I just changed out the HEPA's(there is two,side by side, inside a door compartment in the glovebox)no problem!$75 at the dealer with tax(6% Can)Thanks again,they were really grey and clogged,and made a real improvement.I forgot the salesperson told me about them in '02,she had said change them out once a year.But at that price,and considering my personal experience I'd wait a while longer.I appreciate the coolant advice,I had a leak in winter of '04 at -25C.It was cured with some Prestone sealant additive and I haven't had a problem since.Told by the dealer it's the dreaded $1500 gasket job,my Trusted Mechanic said"it's little dribble,try the additive".As for A/C problems,it may be the condensor and change out with a STEEL aftermarket,$250.My T.M. saved me a grand on that one!
  • I just changed out the HEPA's(there is two,side by side, inside a door compartment in the glovebox)no problem!$75 at the dealer with tax(6% Can)Thanks again,they were really grey and clogged,and made a real improvement.I forgot the salesperson told me about them in '02,she had said change them out once a year.But at that price,and considering my personal experience I'd wait a while longer.I appreciate the coolant advice,I had a leak in winter of '04 at -25C.It was cured with some Prestone sealant additive and I haven't had a problem since.Told by the dealer it's the dreaded $1500 gasket job,my Trusted Mechanic said"it's little dribble,try the additive".As for A/C problems,it may be the condensor and change out with a STEEL aftermarket,$250.My T.M. saved me a grand on that one!
  • its the dexcool sludging up. do a google or yahoo search for dexcool sludge. theres a class action against GM for it
  • i hear its because verizon isnt suppsorting analog anymore thats why they are not gonna be supported. personlally i despise onstar and think its an invasion of privacy. i think that GM needs to make onstar optional or a way to deactivate it ive already gottewn my new overhead console minus onstar buttons and pulled the fuse see ya onstar
  • Thanks for letting me know about where the filters are, I will have to change mine as well. I got the RDV back today from the dealer with hood freshly painted and fixed with a sealant added along the back seam. We will see how long this lasts. As for the AC condensor I changed mine out at 38000 km under warranty. There is a bolt that sticks out from the frame some place and rubs against the condensor causing a whole over time (resulting in premature condensor failure). The GM mechanic told me the fix was to grind the bolt down and replace the condensor (so I hope this will not happen again). So if you replace the condensor look for that dreaded bolt and grind it down or no matter steel or aluminum it could problems for you.

    anyway good night

    James
  • I also need to repair a cracked tail light cover on the tail gate - without replacing the whole thing - $500 to replace the tail gate applique!?!
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    Sounds like it might be time to check Ebay for some of your parts you are looking for. There are usually headlights, tail lights, etc listed at good prices.
  • So i was reading this thread and I went to check mine. I have NEVER even known about this "hidden trap door" in my glove box.

    No filter in it?? Is this something standard or something I would have asked for when I bought the car 5 years ago?

    How is not having had the filter for 5 years affected my system. Which, by the way, I don't have heat either. The engine gets hot fine (no thermostat problem)... blower is fine... so where to go from here? (you're going to say "the repair shop" aren't you?)
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