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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    I've had my rendezvous in 3 times for the tapping noise also, at first the noise was only noticeable on acceleration. The dealers first attempt was to replace the timing chain and tensioner, this only made the problem noticeable all the time. The dealer then brought in the area service manager who said this was a characteristic of the engine and nothing could be done. Funny how the demo I drove never had this characteristic, neither does the rendezvous that a friend of mine has and from the looks of the messages here, there's only one other out there with this characteristic. Since I live in Minnesota the temps here are just beginning to get above 65, and whenever that happens the engine overheats, the temp gauge reaches the 3/4 mark, I brought it in to the dealer and was told this was NORMAL, somehow this just doesn't seem NORMAL to me. Buick's so-called assistance center is a complete joke, they have done nothing to help so much for GM satisfaction. Currently I'm in the process of pursuing the LEMON LAW in this state, and if that doesn't work a lawsuit will be forthcoming. So I'd like to hear from any others about the engine noise or the overheating....
  • cigar95cigar95 Posts: 13
    I've had my CX about four months now. Two times, including last Sunday, while driving on the freeway, I've heard a sound I can only describe as a "ringing" coming from right behind the dash/steering column.

    Imagine an loud tuning fork - that's what I mean by ringing. More like a persistent, high-pitched hum, like something is resonating, rather than like a ringing bell.

    It happened two or three times in the course of about five miles, lasting maybe 15 seconds each time.

    Two incidents in four months is *very* intermittent, so taking it to the dealer may not be useful unless this is something that's well-known.

    So, does what I'm describing sound familiar? Thanks for any feedback.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    No, my CX, which is only 4 months old doesn't make that ringing sound yet anyway. The tapping noise to really describe it would be if you were to put a marble in a glass jar and shake it the jar. So far taking it to the dealer has been fruitless, they've diagnosed all the problems as "NORMAL" engine characteristics, even the overheating. Anytime the temp. gauge hits the 3/4 mark I would think that somethings wrong. Keep us posted though if you CX develops any further problems.
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    I had a really odd loud tapping or chatter when I first bought my RDV. It sounded as if it where coming from the rear brakes but at times sounded much more up front. It occurred mainly while accelerating between 0 - 45km then when away at higher speeds. It also went away when the RDV reached operating temperature.

    End result, one dealer said it was the brakes were a bit rusted from sitting on the lot too long. But my local dealer right away said the exhaust system was misaligned. They re-aligned the exaust system and presto, no more noise, smooth as silk.

    They couldn't really explain why it occurred at just low speeds and why it went away at operating temperature, but the only guess is it had to due with the metal expanding just enough to shift things around not to chatter.

    I don't know if this is anything like your problem, but it is a simple thing to quickly check out. It didn't sound like a loose tail pipe, and could be missed. As far as the operating temp of your RDV, mine doesn't go to 3/4 temp, but the temp hadn't been that hot outside yet where I live. As long as it regularly goes to 3/4 temp and stays there without getting hotter I guess you should be ok.
  • hanahhanah Posts: 3
    This is Hanah in Nevada. I STILL have ALL my noises! Am going out of town & will Take my RDV in to another dealership when I return. The wind noise gets worse all the time. The tapping continues & the "rear leveling" noise goes on every time just after I start up the engine! I'll let you know what another dealer says....may try a shop too that takes care of all makes. I'll report after I do these....also let me know what you find out about your lemon law.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    Here in Minnesota you must first go through the manufacturers arbitration program if one is offered, so that's where I'm at. Currently a meeting is scheduled for June 4, where I meet with the arbitrator and explain my case and show all documentation of the problems. Whatever he decides, the manufacturer must abide by, but I do not have to accept his decision and can further file a lawsuit, which I am prepared to do. Every state is a little different, but you have to have taken the vehicle in at least 3 times for the same problem without it be corrected. You then have to notify the dealer or manufacturer via certified mail of your intention to either go to arbitration or that a lawsuit is coming. I've heard that the lawsuit route is the most expensive for them, so they try to settle before things get to court, we'll see. It will be interesting if another dealer, or shop can correct or explain the problems with your RDV, let us know...
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    Hmmm, I am interested in the results of your action against the dealerships if they can't correct the problems. I've had my fair share of problems with dealers, and have come to know that with things such as noises that have no technical "problem" causing them you can't do much about it, even with the lemon law.

    In their eyes the vehicle is fine mechanically, its characteristics are the noises you hear. I have the wind noise too. I'm sure that it is coming from the rear view mirror on the driver side. When I open the window I still hear the noise and when I stick my head close to the mirror it sounds like its there. Again, with a strong cross wind I find the wind noise much louder, but on less windy days I can barely hear it, sometimes not at all.

    With the leveling sound, it sounds normal to me. I've had cars with the leveling feature before When you start the car it calculates the weight load and raises the rear appropriately when the ignition is turned on. It it a rather loud noise that the only thing I can think of comparing it to would be a lower toned grocery conveyor belt. It levels and then the noise goes away after it is done, 5 to 10 seconds or so. It shouldn't really go back on unless the weight in your vehicle changes.

    The tapping noise may possibly be normal piston slap. I too can not stand the noise. My Blazer drove me crazy as it tick ticked away while I drove. but it is considered normal to a certain extent. Lower octane fuel will make this much worse. Have you tried a higher octane fuel? This simple solution sometimes makes the noise go away all together if not make it less.

    Good luck though, it's no fun to drive a vehicle that you don't feel happy with. That is why my 2000 Blazer is now someone elses problem and I'm driving my Rendezvous with a big smile. 3,000km and no problemmo's.
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    My 2002 CXL has the overheating problem as well. The dealer stated that this occurs when the AC is not on. The cooling fans do not come on until the 3/4 mark on the gauge. However when the AC is on the fans are running all the time. Mine has the trailor towing package so it also has the heavy duty cooling. Sounds strange but that is their belief
  • melsnymelsny Posts: 35
    I have an '02 CXL with 17K miles. I've never heard any tapping noises and my temperature reading never goes above the midpoint under any conditions. Concerning the tapping, is this sound evident to everyone in the vehicle, or just you? I'm an automobile lemon law arbitrator and I've had complaints about noises that most people with normal hearing don't hear. Before the hearing see that the dealership service manager or service writer documents that he heard it. I would be more concerned with the overheating problem.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    My RDV is a 2003, it had about 2000 mi on it when I first brought it into the dealer. The service manager, and the mechanic both went on a test drive with me and heard the tapping noise. As for others, just before I brought it into the dealer I had offered to drive some of my peers at work to lunch on day, after all the ooh's and aah's walking up to it, when I started it, and before I even backed out of the parking space, the first thing my co-worker said was "does it always make that noise?". A hard question to answer when you just bought a new vehicle. I agree I am more concerned about the overheating and really wonder if they might be even related?? Not having ever been to arbitration before, and seeing you are an arbitrator, how do the cases usually go, I can understand that many people likely hear noises that others do not, but when the mechanic admits that they had no idea what the problem was, nor had they ever seen or heard this before, and then after the fact claim it to be a characteristic, doesn't that sound weird. As for the overheating, any suggestions on presenting this to the arbitrator, I been documenting the results of engines that overheat, like warped heads and blown head gaskets, but what would be the best way to present my concern abut this.

  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I've had the overheating problem last summer and when I brought it to them - I was told it was normal. I was told that the thermostat was set at about 3/4 range and that when it goes higher than that the fan will kick in to cool it off. I think that this problem is more prevalent on the ones with a towing package. I will keep an eye on it this summer as it just started to happen at the end of last summer. Keep an eye on your fuel gauge as the material that they used in the gas tank will react to a certain type of gas and would result in a very sticky fuel gauge. Right now they have added an additive and it does not look that it is working.
  • melsnymelsny Posts: 35
    An arbitrator signs an oath at each hearing that he will render a fair and impartial decision. I make all efforts to do this by carefully listening to both parties' positions and looking at all documentation.
    The manufacturer should be required to show some kind of documentation that indicates that this sound is a characteristic of this engine. I've had cases where the manufacturer actually presented a document showing that tapping sounds were complained about and that the engineering people opened an engine after some number of miles to see if there was any unusual wear. As you would expect, in this case, they claimed no extraordinary wear.
    You will have an opportunity to demonstrate the sound to the arbitrator. Some engines do make faint tapping sounds from either the valves or fuel injectors. Sometimes these sounds get quieter when the engine warms up. I haven't heard it on my RDV.
    Concerning the overheating, my gauge never reaches the midpoint while I see that some people have written messages here about having the towing package and having gauges go higher. Just because a gauge goes 3/4 doesn't mean that the engine is overheating to the point of boiling over. I don't believe that you'll accomplish anything showing an arbitrator the ill effects of overheating. You should try to prove that it actually did overheat instead of just having the gauge go higher that usual.
    You can request the Council of Better Business Bureaus (who you have to go through for a GM arbitration) to have an Independent Technical Inspector check for the two specific problems that you are complaining about and submit a report prior to the hearing.
    Good Luck
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    Thanks for your help, I will follow your advice in requesting a independent technical inspection of the vehicle from the BBB. In regards to the engine noise, lets say that the manufacturer provides some documentation about this issue in claiming it is a 'characteristic' of the engine. Even if only 2 vehicles ever sold have this problem, does that still qualify it as an characteristic, and would the arbitrator still look at this way? Would the same be true concerning the overheating, if other vehicles of the same type do not exhibit this, how do you define what is normal operation. To prove the overheating, I guess I'd have to actually be stuck on the side of the road with steam billowing out, otherwise I'm not quite sure how you could prove this, without the manufacturer coming back and saying I did this on purpose and thus invalidated any and all warranties.
  • melsnymelsny Posts: 35
    "Characteristic" surely means the majority of vehicles with that particular engine, etc. See if you can get an opinion from another Buick dealership service manager, they may not wish to get involved, but try anyhow. Concerning overheating, where is your temp needle normally? What do you consider overheating? The range of calibration of the gauge may be such that what you're seeing is just in the high range of normal. Unless there is a significant difference in temp dial readings you'll have difficulty in calling this an overheating condition. If you're convinced that this is abnormal you should be prepared to show pictures of gauge readings at the hearing, or better yet, go directly to the dealership when this happens, don't turn off the engine and have the service manager or service writer look at the gauge. They have devices which can take a temp reading off of the engine block. I hope that some of this helps you.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    You've been very helpful, thanks again. I will see if I can get into another dealership to have someone else look at the problems before the BBB hearing. On the overheating issue, normally, and most of time the needle is between the 1/4 and the 1/2 markings, on the highway it never gets above about 1/3. It appears only when the outside temperature goes above 70 degrees and I'm driving in residential areas, 30 mph, a few stops here and there this is when it starts to go beyond the 1/2 and hits or gets very close to the 3/4. Today for example, the first day since sometime in April that we almost reached 80, on my way home from work the needle came ever so close to the 3/4, and stayed there until I parked the vehicle in the garage and turned it off. Tomorrow it suppose to be warm again, so I'll stop by the dealership and get an eyewitness.
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    When your gauge goes over the half way mark and you are driving slow is the A/C on. That is the key factor according to BUICK about the cooling. If not, the fans are not running and the temp gauge will go up to 3/4's. Check it with the A/C on and see if it makes a difference.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    What does the RDV owner's manual say about the temperature gauge. My guess (I don't have it with me) is that it says unless the indicator goes into the red, the temperature is normal. That being said, I have a 2002 RDV CXL *without* the towing package and my vehicle's heat gauge rarely goes above the halfway mark.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    The high temp. occurs with the A/C off, I haven't had the need for the A/C to be on yet. Also I do not have the towing package. The dealership's service dept. has said this is normal, but I've never had a vehicle do this before. Also from the messages posted so far here, it would seem that most of the RDV owners have never had there temp. guage cross the 1/2 mark, which to me would be normal operating temperature. If this was a normal operation of the engine's cooling system then why doesn't every vehicle exhibit this trait?
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    I have the CXL with the auto temp control. I also have the trailor towing package. If the Auto control is left on the gauge does not move above the 1/4 mark. If I shut the auto control off, the gauge will go to the 3/4 mark, but never goes above it. Buick says that this is a normal operation of the system and that the vehicle is not over-heating. My friend has CXL without the trailor towing package and his does not do this. It never goes above the 1/2 way point.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    Seems to me that there is some underlying problem here and Buick just doesn't want to admit it, either that or they haven't figured out what's causing some engines to get hot enough for the gauge to hit the 3/4 mark while others never go beyond the 1/2. So the question I would ask is does anyone have another vehicle that this is common too, or considered normal engine operation. For myself I have never owned a vehicle whose operating temp. reached the 3/4 mark, so naturally when it happened on my new RDZ I became a little concerned.
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    My 2000 Chev Blazer was always at the 3/4 mark. And my Jeep TJ before that did too. I actually thought my RDV ran cool below the half way point. I must say that mine has yet to go beyond half way, but unless you can show that the engine is iperating at a temperature that is beyond its capabilities, the temperature is considered normal.
  • melsnymelsny Posts: 35
    Even though I previously stated that my gauge never went above the half way mark I did some experimentation today. I almost always drive with the A/C system on AUTO but today I tried it with the system OFF. It was only 71 degrees outside but in stop and start traffic the gauge went up to 3/4. The car was definitely NOT overheating. It seems that this is within the OK range. I then turned the A/C to AUTO and within about 5 minutes, and in the same stop and start traffic, the gauge went down to 1/3 position. I just wouldn't get concerned about this situation. If I saw this as an arbitrator doing a test drive I probably wouldn't consider it to be a problem. Just to be sure, I still suggest that you take the vehicle into the dealership while the gauge is up in the high position. -- Mel
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    I too have the auto temp control. My car has never gone above the half way point on the temp gage. Even during the heat of summer, without the air on. Seems rather strange.
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    Those of you that do not have the "overheating"problem; do you have the trailor towing package? It seems that this option has something to do with the gauge registering higher. As stated before, my friend has a Rendezvous exactly like mine except he does not have the towing package. His RDV does not register higher than half-way point on the gauge regardless of the A/C or temperature outside.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    Why this is does not happen on all RDV's is what's puzzling to me. I did the same experiment that melsny did, but since the temp. gauge in my RDV always goes to the 3/4 mark without turning on the A/C, when it reached this point yesterday, I turned the A/C on, the temp went down a little, but still remained between the 1/2 and the 3/4. So like some others who have friends with a RDV, I asked my friend, who has the exact model and options, no towing packages, his never has gone beyond the 1/2. So if these all have the same engines, why do some run hotter than others? Buick has told me its just another characteristic of the engine, and I think the reason for that is they don't know what the cause is, and until more get reported they likely will not look into it either.
  • melsnymelsny Posts: 35
    I know that a well equipped service department has a device which can read the temperature of the engine by aiming the sensor at the engine block. Since your RDV seems to show consistently high temp you should have them check it when the gauge is reading around the 3/4 mark and see what it is. Since the coolant systems are pressurized it's not a problem to run at normal temperatures over 200 degrees.
  • philly88philly88 Posts: 45
    My 2003 RDV CX AWD with NO towing package runs consistantly at less than half temp. It hasn't been extremly hot yet, but I have run the A/C and no difference. I don't know anyone else with a RDV to ask how theirs is.
  • vmddvmdd Posts: 1
    I have a CX model and always shows 1/2 and when in a traffic 3/4 mark
  • qtmanqtman Posts: 2
    greetings. I have a 2002 buick rendezvous. I have had nothing but problems with it. I am wondering if anyone else, with a 2002 rendezvous has had problems, and what they are? mine are too many to list here. it started with electrical, and has been a steady stream. I have submitted my problems to an arbitrator hopeing that something can be done. anyone else with problems? would love to compare
    thank you
  • obidosobidos Posts: 1
    This happened to the driver door a few weeks ago. Door then wouldn't close properly. Dealer said not covered under warranty and bent hinge back into place (rather than more costly replace), but already hinge is bending back.

    Anyone with similar problem/solution? Were you able to get it covered under warranty?
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