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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • airmojoairmojo Posts: 6
    I just had my wife's 2002 Buick Rendezvous's front wheel bearings replaced by the dealer.

    It seemed like the front tires were making a whining noise, and at first I thought I had a problem with the Firestone tires, so I took it to a local tire dealer who carries Firestone tires for in case the tires could be replaced under warranty. He took the car for a test drive and could tell that it was the wheel bearings. He also noted that there seems to be a lot of problems with GM wheel bearings lately.

    So beware if you hear your tires whinig and singing--its the front wheel bearings !
  • airmojoairmojo Posts: 6
    I've had my wife's 2002 Rendezvous in twice to fix this problem but the dealer still hasn't fixed it.

    Anyone else have this problem and know how it was fixed ?

    The problem is intermittent--does not happen all the time, and never happens when the car is in for maintenance! I suspect that the problem will occur when a police officer or state patrol is behind your vehicle !

    The problem (when it happens): Left tail light brake light does not come on, and when right turn signal is on, both rear tail lights flash on and off. These two problems always happen together.

    First the dealer replaced some sort of multi-switch, then later replaced the left tail light bulb (said it had a short). But neither solutions have fixed the problem.

    And of course you have to be following the car for some time to see the problem occur.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    I have been following this board for about two years and this is the first I have heard of this problem.

    "Left tail light brake light does not come on, and when right turn signal is on, both rear tail lights flash on and off. These two problems always happen together"

    How did you discover this was happening?

  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    Oh No! Not the dreaded bearings!!!!

    I went through that on my 2000 Blazer. changed the front bearings at 20,000 km and again at 50,000 km. I find that so crazy! I've never changed the bearings on any car and here it happened twice under 60,000 km.

    I pray my RDV doesn't suffer this fate.
  • airmojoairmojo Posts: 6
    << How did you discover this was happening? >>

    kenym... Someone has to follow you for sometime to verify what's happening, but it does not malfunction all the time. I wish it would, then it would be much easier to fix. Way too many fancy electronics!

    A few months back, someone told my wife that one of her brake lights was out. So I get home and go to the garage to check it out (kind of hard to do yourself!), and everything was working fine.

    Several days later, I'm following my wife and son home from a doctor's visit where we both drove separately, and I noticed the intermittent problem.

    And after it was supposedly fixed (replacement of multi-switch), I again followed my wife home and noticed the problem again. Took it back to the dealer, and they replaced the left tail-light bulb.

    And while following my wife again to get my new 2003 Dodge Dakota Rhino bedliner installed, I noticed the problem still existed.

    Very frustrating, especially having to describe the same exact problem to the service department over and over again, and he's looking at you like you're nuts.

    To protect my wife and myself, I am going to write a letter for the dealer's service manager to sign and date each time it was supposedly fixed (and state that they have really no idea how to fix the problem), so I can present it to the police officer or trooper who pulls me over for inoperable tail-lights.
  • airmojoairmojo Posts: 6
    philly88... I haven't had a wheel bearing problem since I owned a '65 Corvair (my first car that I bought used in 1972 while a senior in high school). But that was the last GM product that I bought since the 2002 Rendezvous, although my wife has owned a couple of Buicks.

    I've owned a 1974 Dodge maxivan, 1976 Horizon TC3, 1984 Dodge Daytona, 1987 Dodge Dakota 4x4, 1996 Dodge Dakota club cab 4x4, and now a 2003 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 (man I'm getting old!).

    Never had a wheel bearing problem. I wonder who makes the wheel bearings for GM ?
  • olrdvolrdv Posts: 53
    So far we are pretty happy with our RDV. Like everyone else we could use more power.
    Since delivery, we drove just over 2k miles without a single problem other than some brake squeal.
    Am I alone or anyone out there has the same problem?
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    Yup, here too, Brake Squeal. My exhaust was out of line and was rattling against the drive shaft. After that was fixed I could now hear the brakes. Usually after about 5 minutes of driving the squeal leaves or at least becomes less noticeable.

    I'm gonna live with it for a few thousand km, and then ask about it next time something more serious comes up.
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    Since I've had my RDV for about three weeks now, I've noticed a few things and was wondering if others are the same.

    1) When the vents are selected for heating, the air flow is very light. More air flows when set to defrost mode.

    2) The ventilation system is generally a bit noisy. I find myself having to use the higher settings first thing in the morning because of the low airflow, and the high settings are very loud. My Blazer was so quite you would forget the heat was on.

    3) My windshield fluid kinda dribbles out. I think there is something in the line blocking the flow because it takes about 8 or 10 seconds for fluid to even come out and then it dribbles, not sprays. How does your fluid come out?

    Other than the above I am surprised by the maneuverability of such a large vehicle. The turning radius seems very good. With my Blazer I always had to turn, backup, and turn again to make u-turns in narrow roads.

    I continue to be impressed with its smooooth ride. My brother took it for a spin today and aimed for every pothole. In northern Canada this time of year the potholes are huge and pletyfull. While I was in the passenger seat I barely noticed the rough road and never experienced the side to side whiplash effect on bumpy rods my jeep and blazer use to give me.
  • mnfish1mnfish1 Posts: 14
    the other day i had my service engine light come on my 2003 rdv. upon closer examination of my gas cap i found it completely my 2000 buick century 3.1 i can retighten the cap and the light will come off...or i can take it to a place like checkers and they will 'test it' and remove the service engine light... however with the rdv i have tightened the cap and nothing has happened and furthermore the guys at checker auto store disagree as to whether they can remove the service said only a dealer can shut it off...anybody had experience with this...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,307
    It's my guess from LeSabre 98 experience, that if the problem with fuel system seal is corrected by replacing gas cap, after several starting cycles and finding no leak the light will shut off.

    I had a tube break off at the charcoal canister that gave a solid light (no flashing). I didn't realize it was a fuel system check causing it. I could have found the broken tube myself before I took it to the dealer for $44.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • paulmlacpaulmlac Posts: 27
    Yes, I've had rear brake squeal too on my '03 RDV CXL with about 4,700 miles...

    I took it into the dealer a week ago and he said my pads were cupped and chipped and that they needed to be replaced. Only problem was he didn't have the pads in stock (surprised by that!). Anyhow, he ordered them. Had them installed this past Friday. Was done by 9 am and had the same break squeal at about 9:10 am 5 miles down the road from the dealership. I'm planning on going back a third time now to see what else could be wrong.

    Anyone have any suggestions???

  • olrdvolrdv Posts: 53
    Try another dealer, a reputable one.
  • aehoppaehopp Posts: 3
    My ventilation system is also extremely noisy. I have had it in the dealer for them to look at a whiny noise when I run it and also the general noise level. The dealer assures me that both of these are normal. I continue to be more and more disappointed in this vehicle and have contacted GM directly to have an engineer look at the vehicle. Hopefully I will be able to rid myself of it within the next six months. I will never buy another GM.
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    I don't think we can do much about the brakes and vent noise. A co-worker has a Venture van, and his ventilation is even louder, but similar in nature. It seems to be the design and not a "problem". I noticed it when I test drove the RDV and kinda ignored it cause I liked the RDV.

    The brakes too may be due to the make of the brake pads. I've had brake pads never make a noise and others squeaked from installation. Depending on the composition and the quality of the brake pads will result in varying noise levels. Of course the better pads make no noise.

    All and all, every vehicle has something that doesn't sit just the way you would like it. If we could only find the perfect vehicle :)

    My fix for the vents is to use the defrost and floor outlets. They make less noise, have the most airflow, and I don't get air blasted right in my face. If you switch to just floor the noise level is very low.
  • hanahhanah Posts: 3
    Took my RDV in for the 2nd. time yesterday. Had a very bad burning odor from engine area. Was told it was plastic bag stuck to cat converter. I complained again about the wind noise from both pass & drivers side door openings. I was told again, that it was the wind rush over mirrors, and until enough complaints were received by GMC they wouldn't be able to do anything about it! Said they have to wait for a "service bulliten" to be issued. So, EVERYONE with the wind noise PLEASE write to GMC and CALL too!!! ALSO, does anyone else have a "tapping" noise from engine area? Sort of sounds like the old cars when tappets were very loud! I was told it was a "normal" sound of the fuel injectors! Funny, This noise as well as the others (wind and the next I'll mention) weren't there when I test drove the car! Next, is the sound thats happens off and on like a loud fan...I was also told,that noise is the "normal level ride compressor working as designed". Last problem has been the odor after using the A/C ...they were to have fixed it the first time in...this time said they sprayed intake system with odor eliminator. It smells like car freshner, of which I might ad, I'm allergic to! I have a question post #411 from the attorney: Is there any way to get a list of the 2003 Rendezvous owners so I can send a plea out for all with ANY of these three noise problems to call & write about their they will find a way to resolve these problems and issue "bullitens" to the dealers!
  • jzfljzfl Posts: 4
    Looked at the RDV's last year and thought the rear cup holders were too flimsy and no way to open the back hatch from the outside.

    $3k discount and a Golf discount made it worthwhile. Captains chairs solved the cup holder problem.

    While I was looking at the engine, I noticed how hard it was to get to the rear plugs. I asked the service manager how they are changed, and he said they have to tilt the engine to do it. When I inquired about the cost, he said $69. He said they eat the cost on this.

    Anyone change their plugs yet? I'd do the wires at the same time.
  • olrdvolrdv Posts: 53
    The spark plugs are the long life type, 90-100K miles, so you have plenty time to think about it.

    Regarding the "noises", I drove my RDV for 2200 miles and... I dont know what you are talking about. Have a second opinion from another dealer.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    So far so good. I've not had much complaints or things failing or acting up.

    Service engine light - I had my light lit up at around 500 miles on the odometer. I took it in to the dealer and diagnosis was vapor leak due to loose gas cap. It was recommended to tighten the cap until you here 2-3 clicks. Also they tightened something behind the gas cap. I've followed the 3 click rule on every fill up and no problems since.

    Vents - My vents are no louder than my older car (Ford) and friends' Camrys, Altimas, Oldsmobile. They all get equally loud as you turn up the fan speed. The flow of air is no different as far as I can tell.

    Wind noise - I do notice wind noise more distintly as I approach 65+ mph, but again SUV's not generally not aerodynamic as a car. Also on very windy days the noise is more obvious at lower speeds around 50+ mph.

    Breaks - No noticeable squeaking on OEM pads.

    My major maintenance complaint is how incredibly DIFFICULT it is to change the engine air filter or to inspect it.
  • lswaidzlswaidz Posts: 92
    Hey guys... been a while since I've posted!

    I've been noticing some really odd nosises that seem to be associated with steering on my 2002. There is a realy loud whine that occurs when turning the wheel... also there is a "clank" when turning right or when the wheel is turning back to neutral...

    Has anyone else encountered this problem?

  • islandpeteislandpete Posts: 94
    Hi Guys, have not posted in a while. My wifes RDV 2002 just turned 9000 mi. No real problems until coming home from a trip to Atlantic City NJ. Was just taking off slowly from a stop light when I got this whining vibration. As fast as it came it went and the 200 mi trip home was un-eventful. Was just wondering if this rings a bell with anyone. Seem to recall earlier posts there were some "Vibration Issues" Any input will be appreciated. Happy RDV ing :)Stll love this vehicle~~
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    experiencing a humming/whining noise coming from the passenger side front wheel area. I took the vehicle in for service today, advised that they had to replace the hub bearings in the wheel. Others have had the same problem, pattern developing? Also a problem with the compass, would not reset or show the proper direction. Service said they need to install a new part behing the dash, wasn't really specific. First problem I have had, besides the struts on the rear door, which they replaced last January. 17000 miles. QUESTION, once GM repairs/replaces a part under warranty, is it covered for life. Thanks
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    Oh no, I had to do the bearings on my blazer twice within 40,000km. I hope my RDV isn't the same. The newly installed bearings on your vehicle are covered under your remaining warranty, and when that is up so is the warranty on their repairs that were done under it.
  • lswaidzlswaidz Posts: 92
    I was told that any work done by GM w/ certified GM parts is warrantied for the life of the vehicle against defects... check w/ your serivce rep and see what he says.

  • triumphertriumpher Posts: 58
    I had to replace the wheel bearings and hubs of my 2002 Aztek (identical drive train to RVD. The first one went at 28300 miles, and the second one followed about 1000 miles later. The noise generated by defective bearings is most prominent once the vehicle is warm and drives at speeds between 30 to 40 mph on a slightly curving road (loads more vehicle weight and side ward forces on the individual front wheel).

    Good luck!
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    I have never heard of warranty for life other than at muffler and brake shops. If you are refering to "defects" that just means that there would be a defect in the installed part and that would be covered by warranty. But I assure you that GM would see bearings replaced after 40,000 miles not as a defect but as a worn part.

    So if your repair were to fail within a few thousand miles, they would cover it, but after two or three years they won't. I would love to hear any contradicting stories, but from my experience, NOTHING is covered for life of vehicle at GM.
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I am at 48,000 kms and I am on my second bearing fix. Last week I had a new problem with my fuel gauge - was showing half full when it was actually empty. When I took it to the dealer, there was another guy that was reporting the same problem. Apparently, GM is aware of this problem and is asking the dealer to add a bottle of an additive to the gas tank. If this does not remedy the problem after three refill - then they would replaced the sensor or the gas tank. Anyone of you experiencing the same problem. The list of problems goes on and on the vehicle. Within the first 18 months, I had the following : 3 BCM replacement, 2 bearings, 1 alternator and now the fuel gauge - who knows what next!!!
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    When you put fan speed at 2 or more there is a hissing sound. You have to turn off the radio. It is that hissing sound that is the problem - not the loudness of sound of air coming out of the vent. Other cars may be as lound but does has have that hissing sound - a constant beeeeeeeeee...
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I've owned by 2002 CXL RDV for one year, this month. I have not had it in for any service, other than oil changes and tire rotation.

    The only thing that has broken is the driver lumbar support adjusting wheel (made out of plastic). Other than that, I have no complaints or mechanical problems with this vehicle. I'm very happy with the RDV and would highly recommend it.

    It's sad to read others report multiple significant problems, but I'm glad to report that it's not fleet-wide ;)
  • wooleybarewooleybare Posts: 1
    ive had my 2002 CXL since nov of 2001. i have had the following issues 1) on board computer blew out, rendering everything inoperable; was in service for 9 days (no replacement avail fm 'the factory' i was told); the service engine light came on after the 12k checkup. had to have the gas tank replaced cause it was not sealing properly; most recently water has been getting into the cabin of the car through the sunroof. the first time i took it in was told one of the four drains from the roof was clogged; however, it happened again this past week. both times we had had heavy rainfall and the service tech sed that the drains just couldn't handle all the rain. BS! does every RDV owner in the country with a sunroof have to take their cars in for an interior cleaning after a heavy rain?? I dont think so.
    i read all the msgs on this board so far and dont see where anyone has had probs with leaking. anybody out there who has?
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