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Buick Rendezvous



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Now that we have had a few snow falls, how do people find winter driving in a FWD Rendezvous?
  • I believe it's true - You can use the factory navigation either as the navigation or as the CD player, but not both at the same time. The ways around this are:

    1. Listen to the radio if you bought the Rendezvous with the navigation option,

    2. Have your portable CD play through the RDV's FM radio using a FM modulator, or

    3. Install an aftermarket navigation system if you bought the RDV with the CD or CD changer option.

    We have option #3 in our 2002. See message #2878. The picture should be accessible by using the link without the http part
  • Our relatives came to visit us recently. Last time they came there were six of us, so we could all fit in with room to spare (we have the 3rd row and a bench 2nd row). This time there were eight of us: seven adults and a one-year old. I started exploring the ways to seat us all safely into the Rendezvous.

    Having looked at the 3rd row seat, I noticed an anchor sign. Aha - there must be a child seat connection... Indeed, there was a triangular-shaped connection on the back of the 3rd row seat, and a metal connector on a harness belt under the 3rd row seat. This looked like an appropriate way to install a forward-facing child seat.

    After some 10 minutes the seat was installed with the two Latch belts fitting right into the under-seat anchor and the third belt connected to the seat back triangle. It was holding the seat very well - much better than when we have it installed in the middle of the second row. So we used this configuration to transport eight of us around town for a couple of days.

    Later I realized that the harness belt under the 3rd row seat was probably a duplicate of the triangular harness point and may be meant for the 3rd Latch belt attachment in RDVs without the third row option. Although maybe it would have held the child seat adequately, it may have not been designed for this. Well, at least we are all safe. However, this is a caution not to use this configuration in your RDV.
  • murfdogmurfdog Posts: 61
    We have a RDV without the third row seats. We had family visit us from out of town and had to drop them off at the airport.

    We had seven. Three kids and four large adults.

    We put two Adults in the front. Strapped in the three kids in the back with safety belts and car seats and put two full size adults and all their luggage and mall purchases in the back and still had room to spare.

    That back space has so much room. I can not think of an SUV is the same price range that could fit people as well as ours did.

    For those who complain about its butt, they should look at it from the inside and check out all the space.

    We would have liked the third row, but without it, the car was only 21k vs like 28k with it.

    There is only three of us anyway (not including the dogs).
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    We've had quite a few snow storms dumping around 6-8 inches around here in the NYC area. I was out driving a bit on the local streets and quite amazed at how well my RDV handled. The streets were not all that well plowed in many places, especially one way streets. Traction control never turned on any time. It felt quite stable driving around. The rear end slipped out slightly once after making a tight left turn at an intersection - day after big storm and temps starting to refreeze the slush. I had no problems driving over small mounds of snow to park in the hole left from the previous car digging out. Parallel parked in thick icy slush and was able to pull out easily after coming back from shopping. Last week I was even able to parallel park up onto a completely frozen over street...had problems keeping my own feet planted on the ground once getting out.

    Only surprising thing to hear was my heater making a bit of a groaning sound in the 0 degree temperature. It went away after 5 minutes. Last Saturday all my doors were frozen shut. The rain and then freezing temperatures froze the top of each door to the the rubber. I had to run a hair dryer outside to melt the ice. But my other car had the same frozen doors in the similar place.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I too had a chance to play with the RDV during the recent Seattle snow storm, and compare it to my Acura sedan which is FWD with traction control.

    The AWD RDV was very sure footed and I felt very confident driving it on slippery roads. Of note, however, is that if you goose the throttle (just for the fun of it), you can easily get the rear end to fishtail because there is no traction control on the AWD model. Once the front wheels lose traction and torque goes to the rear, the rear wheels are apparently free to spin under unreasonable throttle (emphasis on unreasonable).

    In contrast, my Acura never spun a wheel during acceleration because Traction Control and Stability Assist gently modulated throttle and brakes for smooth driving. It was a strange feeling to goose the throttle from a standstill and have the car slowly and gently accelerate with normal revs that never shot upwards. I also climbed a hill in the Acura and had no problem (although I was nervous because if I did lose traction up front, there is no "backup").

    I would conclude that both systems are within a hair of each other in overall winter capability, with a slight edge going to the RDV simply because of the ability to transfer torque to the rear, which could help during hill climbing and allow quicker acceleration. Also, when driving to the ski slopes, the Park Rangers require chains on 2WD vehicles.

    I think the ideal solution for those that live in more severe winter climates would be a vehicle with some combination of AWD with 4 wheel electronic Traction Control.
  • duke36duke36 Posts: 15
    I have a 2003 RDV FWD. I notice that the Traction Control does come up often - suggesting a light weight on the front wheel - obviously the 4WD would do better - but I did not get it for the price.

    My only major concern is the ineficiency of the heater - at least on my 2002 model - during the current cold snap, I never get the cabin hot, just warm- I have to keep my hat and gloves even after 45 minutes driving. I mentionned it to the dealer at my last oil change and they changed the termostat (he tried it for 30 miles and confirmed that it was not up to spec)- the change of termostat helped, but still not great hot car. Albeit sufficient.My small 4-cylinder Saturn works hotter overall.
    Perhaps the 2003 or 2004 have a better heater???

    One last comment about winter driving, if you want to find winter tires, buy as soon as you find some - the size is popular and the dealers are back ordered in November until the spring- again this year. I passed out on Michelin to check prices elsewhere and that was it- I had to settle for Yokos which are not bad - albeit the same price. So plan early on your winter tire purchase.

    Overall a nice value vehicle.
  • theo2709theo2709 Posts: 476
    Hi all!

    I have a 2002 Rendezvous CXL AWD, and overall it has been a very good car. However, there a three nagging problems that I have never been quite able to figure out.

    Problem 1: with the climate control, no matter what setting it is at, it always makes this sort of clicking noise, like a fan is hitting something as it turns. It sounds like it's coming from somewhere near the glovebox. This happens more often when it's cold.

    Problem 2: the steering makes a strange whine when turned a lot, like in parking lots. It sounds like something is rubbing against the steering column, or when you forcefully turn a servo.

    Problem 3: this one is comparitively minor. The back windshield wiper has a strange problem of scraping along one way, and coming back smoothly. This happens in all types of weather conditions.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Thanx for the winter driving comments.

    Heat thing is interesting. I wonder if that is a common complaint with RDV or just an individual issue.
  • nidgenidge Posts: 18
    Hello Theo,
    I think that I know exactly what the clicking noise is that you hear. You mentioned the glove box. I think you are right on. Have you ever looked to see if you have a cabin filter in your car? To find the cabin filter location, you must go through the glove box. Actually, right in the back of the glove . You first see one black plastic cover. Open it and you will see another black plastic cover which holds the cabin filter in place. It too is made of plastic. I think that these cars are made by Monogram in Morton Grove. At one time I was checking on mine , and in the process I broke off the plastic clamp. I now keep it closed with duct tape. Does a better jod and no clicking. Chech it out and good luck.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,701
    You might try what works for me with front wiper blades that vibrate and skip in one direction. When it's raining or drizzling, I get an SOS soap pad and gently rub in circles to clean the coating that gets on the windshield.

    If you operate the wiper before then after doing this, you'll see that the drops spread out over the glass like there's no surface tension in the water afterwards. Sometimes I do it twice. It last for a couple of months before I'll get skipping again.

    Too rub the contact edge of the rubber with the pad.

    It does not scratch the glass. IF you're concerned try a small corner at the bottom edge. After rinsing you'll see that the coating of oil and particles that's on the windshield is gone.

    This message has been approved.

  • ang35ang35 Posts: 14
    Has anyone driven the 2004 Ultra or CXL with the more powerful engine? Haven't seen many comments about it here and was wondering what the opinions of it were...and what actual performance it has (ie, 0-60, etc.). Thanks.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    The coating that you mentioned - is this the OEM rubber leaving the coating? Or are you using those silicone wipers like the Smartblade or Borshe ExcelEdge?

    When my back wipers chattered, I just replaced with a new rubber filling replacement and that seems to do the trick. I replaced about once a year. The windshield seems to start chattering much earlier - about 4 to 6 months.
  • jp614jp614 Posts: 34
    I just started having that problem a few weeks ago. I sprayed some Liquid Wrench on the pins on the joint where the arm attaches to the base to fix the problem (this is where it unit hinges when you pull the arm off of the window). The joints must have had some dirt or ice in in them preventing the wiper from pressing correctly against the window. I hope this helps.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    What tire pressure do people run in the winter? I know running a little less should give better traction on snowy surfaces, is anyone doing this? My tire readings showed all four tires around 31-32 psi. I filled them back up to 35 psi but guess I'll need to bleed some if the temperature gets back higher.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Last time I checked they were still not available up here. GM Canada's web site says "Ultra - coming soon" and I have still heard of no one that has driven one (including the press).
  • just a note about heater ...this is the first time we have used our rdv in extreme cold...up to 50 degrees below wind chill...toasty warm...especially at my 60 year old of the vents on the drivers side is directed just the right way...and you minnesota we have alot of rust problems with our cars...almost no one mentions that the rdv has that special plastic material over the metal at the most rust prone points on the vehicle...2 years and we still love it...yes there are better vehicles at a higher price...but this vehicle is good and inexpensive...period
  • Hi Gang,

    K2QO/Rover here. Used my RDV in the big Amatuer Radio Relay League's VHF Sweepstakes two weekends ago. Check out the photo: 2%20Jan%202004.jpg

    Some other rover photos are here:

    and, full contest reports:

    Due to the cold and need for power for the radios, my RDV ran from noon on Saturday to past midnight only being shut off for a few minutes for a dinner stop. Same thing on Sunday.

    Once nice thing is that it uses very little fuel while idling, a nice bonus for this type of service.

    The antennas are mounted via a 2" receiver hitch in the back and on 2x6's mounted to the Yakima rack. Each year the operations gets better. This vehicle is the next best thing to a full size van, a vehicle that would not suite the other 355 days per year when I am not contesting :-)

    73 (i.e. Best Regards)
    Mark K2QO/R
  • Hey guys... it's Lance...

    Yeah, it's been a while since I've been on... so long the email I used to use doesn't even work anymore so I had to re-register... oh well.

    Anyway, about 2 months ago the warranty expired on my 02 CXL... just as I expected, everything started falling off my car... well, not literally, but close enough. BCM died again (that makes #6...), my steering is going (it makes a very audible growling noise now, but the dealer still can't hear it... I recommended Miracle Ear and was promptly asked to leave...) my alternator has seen better days and is screaming at me all the time... gotta love alternator whine, i tell my friends i superchargd my engine, that's what it sounds like. My battery warning light comes on everytime I start the car now and stays on until i restart the car. Every monring on the way to work my car refuses to shift out of 3rd gear, thus my gas mileage is barely above 10 mpg now... I'm averaging 210 miles/tank... my rear wiper leaves a nice pizza-slice shaped area on the back window at the apex of it's path, apparently it doesn't like to wipe the top of the window... my front wipers move at the speed of special-olumpic hurdlers (can i say that on here?)... my rear passenger captains chair is hanging on by a whim right now... it slides around during slow corroring and there's something loose on it, so it sounds like the chair is attempted to send secret german codes via moorse code while I drive... i only got about 30k miles out of my stock tires, i picked up a set of yokohama YK-420's from Discount Tire... VERY impressed w/ them, would be even more impressed if they were on a different car, but it's just not in the cards, yet...

    There's tons more but I'm sure i'm limted to characters and you're all probably tired of reading this... so I'll stop...

    Overall, I'm sorely disappointed in this vehicle... heck, my 99 Trans Am has less problems and you could take that car apart with spare change...

    Recently I've submitted my case to a few lemon law lawyers so we'll see what happens... that's what got me into the RDV in the first place so hopefully it's what will get me out of it...

    I'll post more in the coming days, as well as some pictures of the car so you can see what my eggplant looks like...

    Later dudes and dudettes!

  • Here are some pictures of some of the interior mods... mainly sound stuff... I'll post more when i find them....

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