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Buick Rendezvous



  • jdks,

       Thanks for the info on problem RDV's at your local Buick dealer.I have seen your name on here before having BCM problems,etc.I'd love to see more dealer reports like yours so we can see how many RDV owners are having problems.Since so few of the 160,000 RDV owners have posted on here its hard to get a handle on things.Most of my friends would never dream of telling their vehicle problems on the internet so just keep quiet.


        The rate at dealers in my area is 25% of the RDV owners with problems and 75% with no problems.This would most likely be on the 2002-2003 models.Like I've said before one dealer we know of has had 3 total lemons out of probably less than 30 RDV's sold.Thats far-far too many.


       I'm not berating any RDV owners nor their vehicles.I'd just like to see Buick build a quality product and stand behind it.We'd still own our 2002 CXL if the quality was there.It had lots of features that we liked.


       OK,now for the good news.Maybe there is possibly a fix for the BCM problems.I found this at another place.Please read this below.I wish I knew how to highlight it.


     I am a auto body tech for a buick dealer in FL. I also own a 04 RDV and love it. I have only had one warranty issue and that was the two front window regulators. I had to replace them because they were making noise. The right side was broken and the window was going up and down crooked. GM needs to redesign these regulators and make them out of some kind of metal instead of plastic. VW has recalled the Jetta because of the same thing and the new regulators are made of cast alluminum. If this vehicle was in a climate with snow and ice it wouldn't last a week. My vous only has 3000 miles.

    The only other things I see common on these SUVs, are the rear hatch and of course the BCM. There is a recall on the hatch. The fix for the BCM I had handled the first day I owned it. It required a $2.00 hose that catches the water from your AC units condensation and deverts it to the outside. This hose is necessary to keep the water from running down the inside of the firewall under your carpet. The water travels to a pocket in the body that contains the BCM. The pocket fills up with water and shorts out the BCM. If you have a dealer that is reputable have this hose installed right away or you will have problems.


       I'd say that this is well worth trying.
  • I have posted several messages in the past and I am still loyal to my rendezvous. I am still happy with my 2003 cxl. I respect and feel for people who have had trouble. I have not and I would buy this vehicle again. As I have said before it is to bad people want to use this rdv section to praise honda and toyota. I know and other people know those vehicles ratings are based on just as much on opinion and what is vogue than reality. The Highlander certain is not in my opinion for my money in the same class as rdv.
  • I have a 2003 FWD CXL with 53,000 miles on it. I won't say they are trouble-free, I had to have the passenger mirror replaced under warranty as the recall feature wasn't working right, and I had to replace the window regulator out of warranty. Overall though I love the car and I'd buy a new one again if I were a rich man. I am sorry that others have had problems, but I wanted to chime in on my experience halfway to 100K.
  • Bought my wife a 2003 model CXL...fully loaded out...approaching 36k miles. Had the service engine soon light come said it was the "fuel vapor pressure sensor" and replaced it under warranty....price was $98 but warranty covered it. Dealer also told me it had no effect on performance of car. It's about time for some new tires, but at that mileage that is expected. The only real problem I have with this car is MY WIFE NOT TAKING CARE OF IT. She throws empty soda cans on the floor which I have to clean weekly, and I have to remember to take it for regular oil changes.
    Our local buick dealer is awesome. The service department is awesome. Come to think of it my 99 century limited only was in service once--THE DAY I SIGNED THE PAPERS ON IT so they could check fluids and stuff....same with my 2002 2004 Century went to the dealer once, and that was because I BROKE the a/c control switch...
    JD power had buick ranked higher than Toyota for 2001...could it be the sleeping giant has woken up? In fact Lexus was number 1, Buick was number 2 in quality. Too bad their Century's take such an [non-permissible content removed]-kicking in depreciation. In my opinion they are a better value than toyota, DEPRECIATION aside.

    For the Rendezvous...No complaints. No problems. And I would buy another one.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 17,699
    Are you taking depreciation based on the 'real' selling price after rebates and discount from negotiations? Compare that with a Toyota where I'm told they try to add on extra hundreds of dollars as document fees or other fees required by the dealer owner and then check the depreciation.

    I'll take the car where I can get parts quickly. And where the dealer appreciates my business.

    This message has been approved.

  • I have read all the messages about problems with squeeky brakes. Has anyone been able to get their brakes fixed? I own a 2004 CXL and it has had squeeky brakes from day one. My dealer has tried to fix them but they say nothing is wrong with them and it is normal. Obviously this is not an adequate answer. Please let me know if anyone has found a solution to the squeeky brakes.
  • I have had my 03 for 53000 miles and 19 months. Never once have the brakes made a squeal. Keep hounding them while you are under warranty. Good Luck
  • Over 7,000 miles of mainly stop n go traffic on our 04 CXL and no brake squeal. I'd say it's limited to your rdv and should be a warranty issue.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    2002 Rendezvous CXL here with 38,000 miles. No squeaky brakes in almost 3 years! Original pads. Go to a different dealer for warranty service!
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    6,000 miles on my '04 FWD CX and nary a squeak from perfectly performing brakes. My neighbor's '03 CXL FWD had the problem which was fixed under warranty. Keep after them!
  • One more thing I should say if your warranty does run out and you still have the issue; I had an ongoing problem with my passenger mirror. I asked a dealer to repair at 11000, 25000, and 34,000. They played the normal games. Finally at 48,000 I took it in for a non warranty repair and a different dealer actually fixed the mirror issue under original warranty because I had my attempts documented. The key is trying a different place as there are huge differences in dealers. Buick always asks me my experiences, but it never seems to change the offending dealer.
  • Consumer Reports recommends the '04. I have a few questions. I have a choice of AWD vs. FWD with traction control. Is there an advantage of one over the other? I've tried the car out for fit but haven't had a chance to test drive it yet. What are the general driving impressions? Is the a lot of lean in tight or sudden truns? How is it for kids. Especially new borns. Are there any "must have" vs. "nice to have" features. Any input would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Because it's the most versatile, useful vehicle we've ever owned! It drives 'like a baby carriage'- smooth, quiet, precise steering and brakes. It does lean in hard turns, but never loses its grip. The FWD, with traction control and the extra [compared to my Regal sedan] ground clearance make it an excellent snow car. Just drive carefully - no sudden changes in speed or direction - how else would you drive? AWD costs more to buy, maintain, and uses more gas, all for an occasional emergency - MAYBE. Also - the third seat is actually OK for adults; get leather because the cloth stains too easily; get the bigger engine for more pep with little gas penalty; and, nice to have but not vital, get the climate control, the 8-speaker stereo and the backup warning system. As to toting babies in it, it's the same as any SUV - higher seats than in a sedan [no bending down] and the usual carseat anchors are right there. Let us know what you decide. Good luck!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    It depends where you live. I live in Wisconsin and we have significant snow and freezing temperatures for 4-5 months of the year. Having AWD "always on" is a very comforting thought. If I hit a patch of ice on the roadway, the AWD system automatically and immediately transfers power to my other wheels. If I did not live in a wintry state, the FWD would probably be fine.

    As for the mileage hit with AWD ... it's not an issue for me. AWD is EPA rated as 18/24 mpg. FWD is rated at 19/26. Both very respectable. As for maintenance costs with AWD ... I have not incurred ANY additional costs due to the AWD so far (I have 38,000 miles on my 2002 Rendezvous CXL), so I believe that's a red herring.

    Bottom line: AWD adds some extra security if you will be driving on snowy, icy, or wet roads. Do you want the extra security? Or do you want to save a couple of bucks?

    We also have the 3rd row seat and we haven't used it as much as I thought we would. However, you can remove the 3rd row seat by simply removing 4 bolts. Easy to do and then you can store the 3rd row seat in your garage until needed. The 3rd row is nice to have, when needed, however, and it allows us to transport 7 people pretty comfortably. 3rd row is tight, but if you want to transport adults in that row, just slide the middle row up a bit (the bench seat slides forward and backward which allows you to increase legroom for the 3rd row passengers).

    Good luck!
  • We live in snowy New England and find that our FWD '03 Rendezvous handles slippery conditions very well. In addition to the issues mentioned by jk and verdi, AWD adds extra weight to the vehicle, so the FWD has slightly peppier acceleration.

    Very happy with our Rendezvous so far. Love the way it drives overall. Would like a bit more power, but it's adequate. Very comfortable for our family of 4.

    Rarely use the third row seats, but they're good to have for the few times we've needed them. Plenty of cargo volume in the back with the third row seat folded -- almost none with it up. Also, I'm not entirely comfortable with the lack of "crush space" behind the third row seat in the event of a rear-end collision.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    It is true that the AWD Rendezvous weighs 176 pounds more than the FWD. Will this really make any performance difference when we're talking about both models weighing more than 4000 pounds? I doubt it. Consider the fact that this vehicle can carry 7 passengers ... that's alot more weight than 176 pounds!

    While I have no doubt the FWD works well in snow, I think it would be difficult, if not impossible, to disagree with the statement that the AWD works BETTER in snow. You have 4 wheels with power, versus only 2!

    It boils down to: is the extra security of AWD worth a bit more in $? That's an easy choice, in my humble opinion.

    Oh, and when the Rendezvous AWD doesn't detect any slippage (e.g. on dry pavement, everyday driving), only the front two wheels have power (helping to get better mileage). In essence, the AWD Rendezvous is a FWD Rendezvous EXCEPT when wheel slippage occurs.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    with you that the extra weight of AWD can't mean much, especially when compared to the possibility of much more weight carrying 1 to 6 passengers. However, as you note, the AWD EPA mileage rating is still slightly lower - about 1 or 2 mpg, for whatever reason [different gearing?]. It's my experience that difference can be overcome with a light foot; even at today's gas prices it's <$100/year for me, but, call me crazy, it bothers me. For the record, I've seen little difference in mpg with 2 or 7 people aboard.

    I also can't argue with the 'AWD is BETTER in snow' statement, although I'd like it even better if Stabilitrak were added. But, it's also true that NO drive system can keep you safe in slippery conditions if you go too fast, make a sudden change in speed or direction, or hit some 'black ice' or the like.

    My 3rd car, a '98 Jeep Cherokee Sport with 4WD, a much cruder version of the Rondy's AWD I'll admit, has an advantage only in deep snow or mud where the pulling power of 4 wheel traction has saved the day a few times. It gains NOTHING in icy going.

    I've driven 2WD cars in snow for decades, and I can say that the FWD Rondy is one of the best ever. As to whether AWD is worth a 'few bucks', that's an individual call. Just MHO.

    PS - Do they still ask people in Wisconsin to tie pennants to their car antennas, the better to be seen coming around those all-winter snowbanks?
  • It's a great SUV for kids! I have 4 (ages 15-7)and our RDV (w/third row seat) carries them, their friends and all of their school supplies and sports equipment with ease. The seats are very comfortable and the kids have no problems getting in or out, even from the third row. While a basic RDV comes fairly well equipped, some nice features to have are the third row seat, 6-way power driver's seat, driver's information center (w/tire monitor feature), On-Star, and rear parking aid. Our RDV is a 2003 CX AWD (w/CX Plus Pkg.) and has all those features and a few more. As for the FWD vs. AWD concern and comments, I would only add that the AWD would probably give you better resell or trade-in value later. Overall, a great family SUV for the price IMO. Good luck
  • jjn2jjn2 Posts: 1
    Have FWD CXL with 16K miles and have been very pleased overall. After 7 Pontiac minivans, My wife and I both love the vehicle for its ride, seat comfort and features. Have had warranty problem with the rear hatch and also needed to have the whole wiper assembly replaced as wipers had a mind of their own on intermittent cycle. Currently have occasional problems with a clicking sound coming from the steering wheel when in reverse and applying the brake. When this happens, the doors will also not unlock when gear placed in park, and also will not alarm from the key fob. Has anyone experienced this problem? It will never do it at the dealer and they cannot duplicate the condition on two different occasions. Still a minor annoyance, but would definitely consider another one when lease is up.
  • Hello!
    I have a question... I own a 2002 cx model with the cxl upgrades. I have 41000 miles on it and purchased the car 3 months ago. First and foremost. We love the car! But, the temp guage moves up and down during a relatively short drive. My wife drove appx. 1 mile and the temp gauge maxed out, then, it would go to the normal level on the guage. Seems to have enough rad. fluid in the resavoir. No leaks, no steam. I let it idle for about 10/15 minutes. Noticed the temp guage fluctuated. Any answers/suggestions?
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