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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    We've had our 02 RDV for exactly 2 years w/ 36k miles approaching. We've had about 20 things changed, at least, since we've owned it - some very major items, and other minor items. - When it's running, however, it's been real good...

    It seems most people have had at least several items changed on their RDV's; thank goodness for the warranty. However w/ the frequency of items needing replacement, the car would be much better suited w/ a 5 yr/50k warranty...I'm sure GM won't do that.

    We've had terrible luck w/ our local Buick Dealer for "service". About 4 months ago we've changed to another dealer, and the service has been much better. If you're in the SF Bay Area, I can tell you which dealer to avoid...

    John B.
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    On July 15th I wrote the Buick Customer Assistance Center to find out the status of the tailgate recall. I was told on July 17th that there was no recall of any kind on the Rendezvous. On the 18th I emailed the center of the statement made by the NHTSA about the recall. It even gave the recall number of 03030. Ironically, after several emails to Buick I received the correct information today, July 21st, that [all] 2002 and some 2003 Rendezvous' are recalled because of a potentially dangerous condition with the tailgate. According to the NHSTA "the liftgate may be inadequate to retain the latch in certain severe vehicle crash events." Please be aware of this condition and contact your dealers to make sure they know of this condition.
  • hofackerhofacker Posts: 2

    I'm looking at the Rendezvous as a replacement for my Ford Aerostar. I plan to to a boat with it. Have any of you had much experience towing trailers? I'm concerned about long term effects on the vehicle of towing and I'm a little reluctant to get into a vehicle that is basically a front wheel drive vehicle.

  • hofackerhofacker Posts: 2
    Do you know if the transmission has a "lock up torque converter"?
  • desaljsdesaljs Posts: 24
    My wife just called me and the dealer installed the cabin filter, no charge of course. Oil and filter change and thats all it needed. So far, no real problems with this vehicle.
  • r_olsenr_olsen Posts: 13
    Well, I'm not so sure about that. I continue to have problems, a month ago we did a little road trip to Montana, on the trip back the AC stopped working, of course it was Sunday and there was nothing to do but keep driving. After stopping for gas about 5 hours later, shutting off the engine and then restarting the AC began working, figure that one out. Then about a week ago the horn quit working, I almost put my hand thru the steering wheel trying to find the spot to make it work. Then 2 day later, just barely touching the lower right and the horn works???? Has anyone had electrical problems with there RDV, now I'm just waiting for the next thing to go wrong.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I have a 2002 RDV CXL, purchased in May 2002, I have about 16K miles on it. I have filled it with gas, had the oil changed (using synthetic oil) and have had the tires rotated. My total list of problems: 1) the plastic wheel seat adjuster on the driver seat popped off. It has not been back to any Buick dealer since I purchased it. I'm very pleased with its reliability (and I most recently owned Honda, Isuzu and Nissan vehicles).
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    jk: If all you've had go wrong so far is the wheel on the side of the seat consider yourself lucky. You're most likely going to have additional repairs/fixes before you hit your 36k warranty. Most owners here on the forum have experienced numerous repairs. A few basic ones include wheel bearings, radio, body control modules, and/or mirror motors. I've had about 20 things changed since June of 01 and am now just at 36k miles.

    If you're unlucky, these repairs will pop-up after your warranty. Something many owners have considered is an "Extended Warranty Plan. Probably not a bad idea...

    olsen: Lots of people have had weird quirks w/ electrical items w/ the RDV. It very well could be the body control module which I mentioned above. Oftentimes people have had their electrical problems temporarily corrected by stopping and re-starting the engine as you described.

    Hopefully you don't experience too many more problems w/ your RDV, but as I mentioned above, there are numerous repairs that seem to affect lots of RDV owners. Good luck w/ yours.

    John B.
  • tmakogontmakogon Posts: 74
    It is possible that the vehicles manufactured during the first few months of production may have had the production startup issues. This is the risk of buying a new car.

    Another problem may be the dealer. In our Toyota everything worked fine until I took it for a 60K mile tuneup. Immediately the engine started to smoke, to lose oil, and it lasted only another 30K miles at which time the pushrod went through the block causing engine replacement. Some dealers might purposely alter the vehicle to make customers come back for other repairs.

    In ours (made Jan 2002) the clock doesn't lose time, the AC works, and the service performed included oil changes and tire rotation. Plus, the Buick dealer washes the car at no extra cost during service.

  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    Yeah, right! R olsen above (#559) has a 2003 w/ less miles on his car than yours, I'm sure. His car was clearly made after yours. Yet, he's got some kind of electrical problem like others have reported here for 2 years. This is clearly not a "production start-up" issue.

    So I don't think your premise of "being an early bird results in poor production" is totally valid. The RDV has had and is continuing to have various problems. Admittedly some of the problems are minor, but others are major. I still think it's wise for RDV owners to consider the extended warranties. 3 yrs. and 36k miles may not be enough.

    And I must say, when it's not in the shop the RDV is great. Btw, I just spoke w/ the Buick service dept. about 3 items that were ordered about 10 days ago and are still not in. Plus an item that Buick has tried to fix twice before (a common problem amongst posters here)is still not fixed. Plus I'm experiencing another unique problem that I've never had before.

    Hopefully your A/C continues to function well, although a number of us have had to change our condensers. If yours goes out, hopefully it's while you still have it under warranty. Good luck.

    John B.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    We purchased our RDV in July 2001 and are approaching the dreaded 36,000. Knock on wood the only problem we have had so far is the clock losing about a minute every couple of weeks. I did the oil changes and tire rotations but other than Firestone replacing two tires after 5,000 miles it has been a great car. I think John gave some sound advice about the warranty extension though. If anything is going to go wrong it probably will happen shortly after the 36,000 miles when the original warranty expires.
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    I remember when you and I went through the tire thing. Unfortunately, Buick only did a re-allignment on our tires rather than replacing them. You had a great service guy as I recall. Anyway, I just replaced my Affinities w/ the Michelin Ltx's. Btw, how are your Affinities doing? Take care.

    John B.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    The Affinities are doing fine. I am going to try to squeeze a few more miles out of them. John what did the Michelin Ltx's set you back and can you notice any difference in the ride or handling? I understand you and Brian have had a few problems lately with your RDV's. Knock on wood but my RDV has been just great from the start. I hope it continues but I did purchase the extended warranty just in case.
    I bought the GM warranty ( a continuance or extension of three more years of the original warranty ).

    John I hope every thing is going good for you and your family this summer. I can't believe it's the end of July already. It has been a lousy ( wet ) winter,spring and summer so far on the northeast coast. I have only been able to play golf three or four times a week all summer.

  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    doesn't sound bad at all. Our summer out here near SF has been pretty good...a fair amount of hot temps lately.

    The Michelins ran about $460 or so out the door... I caught a sale. We've had them for about 2 weeks or so now, and they seem to be just fine.

    W/ the new tires we're all set for our annual trek to Yosemite. This year a couple of the guys and one or two teenagers will hike Half Dome. It should be real nice.

    I'm glad to hear you've had good luck w/ your RDV. Hopefully the remainder of the summer will improve so you can get in some more golf. Take care.

    John B.
  • jzfljzfl Posts: 4
    Help, Don't know what I did. messing around with the DIC mode select, and now everything is in French. I can't get it back to English. Anyone know where the DIC reset is?

    The manual says that the mode or select is suppost to toggle between them, but I can't get that to work. It's not in the driver 1/2 programming, that just changes the units.

    Thanks in advance.
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    I guess since Lance Armstrong just won the Tour de France, the RDV's DIC's are acknowledging his feat. (punsters stay away...)

    Ok, now to return to English, try this. Push the mode key until you get to the selection "Appuyer set pour >U.S.". As you arrive at that screen, keep the "mode button" depressed for about 2 seconds. That should do it. Bon chance.

    John B.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Ne changez pas le DIC en votre Rendezvous, s'il vous plais. Francais est plus bon en ce voiture!
  • I have just gotten my Rendevous, but I drive about 550 miles/week so obviously I won't be under warranty a real long time. With my knowledge of my Buick Regal from previous to this car and from reading this section it appears that it is quite common for Buick (GM?) to have sort of small, but when you add it all up irritating and expensive problems over a period of time. I think that I want to get an extended warranty. I have never dealt with these and wondered what anyone has or has had in the past. What do I need to watch out for? My list for the dealer, so far is quite short, the drivers seatbelt is turned 1/2 turn as it exits the retractor and goes to the guide, so no big deal, but What happens in 2 years when I'm at 50K? I don't want to hate the car because it is nickel and diming me before I have had it a long time. Your thoughts would be helpful!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Have you checked thru the FWI board? There are several current discussions concerning various warranty companies and extended warranties in general.

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  • ezmorphezmorph Posts: 1
    Just picked up my 02 CXL from service due to restart problems. They found a bad battery cell which was causing electrical problems and starting problems. About 8 months ago the entire electrical system failed and vehicle was in shop for one week. This time before I left service area I noticed that the AWD DISABLE Light was on so I went right back into service dept. They hooked up some electrical hand held unit to under dashboard and said nothing was wrong and I should drive it for a few days until the light goes off. Well drove it today and it rides as if the Emergency Brake is on or as if I am towing a mobile home. I am told to "swing by" today after work so they can look at it again!! Something is really wrong here and I am worried since mileage is at 34K. I have had the following problems too:
    1. Paint worn off of steering wheel radio buttons
    2. Inoperable Right side power mirror,
    3. total electrical failure
    4. Cigar lighter inoperable
    5. Replacement of battery due to "bad cell"
    6. AWD Disable light on
    Like the vehicle but these problems can cost big bucks out of warranty. Lease vehicle with 20K/18mos. to go. Yikes
  • divot2divot2 Posts: 1
    Has any one experienced your Rendevous at highway speed suddenly feeling like the brake is being applied and the steering wheel violently shaking. This has happened approximately 7 times since purchase date in April. Of course dealer can not replicate problem. This is my wifes vehicle and she is starting to be afraid to drive it. thanks
  • erichnererichner Posts: 14
    For the first time since I bought my CXL I sat in the 2nd row of seats. I almost got nauseated by the side to side slide the captain chairs did on a curvy road. There seems to be a 1/4 - 1/2 inch sideways play on the captain chairs.

    Has anyone experience this issue? Has any dealer provided a solution?

    Dizzy in Atlanta
  • olrdvolrdv Posts: 53
    I am getting a louder noise from the leveling compressor. Also it seems that the compressor kicks on more often. My RDV has only 8k miles. Am I alone with this problem?
  • I have had mine CXL for about 3 weeks and I have a very small list for the dealer to address. One thing I have noticed, but I wanted to ask a few people to see if they notice the same thing or not. When I have the air flow system, I have the manual, dual zone system, set for face, or face and feet, there is a slight flow from the windshield vent. I have not had this in a car before and I wanted to see if anyone else has this occurence. I noticed it first in the mornings when the window will start to condense some from the A/C causing that area to be cool when it isn't needed. I'm sure the first answer will be, they are all like that. I'll ask them to let me drive 5 of them and we'll see, but I'd like to find out from some here what I might expect to find when I'm driving. Thanks all, this board is always interesting reading.
  • I'm not talking from any experience and I may not know at all what I'm talking about, but just from thinking about how the systme might work, if the compressor is turning on more often, assuming load is the same each time, it could mean a leak in the system. The air bleeds down some cauing a need for the compressor to turn on more. Just a theory.
  • brent48brent48 Posts: 3
    Hello all,
    I'm new to this forum, but thought I'd submit my list of things that have gone wrong so those about to cross the 36 month mark are informed. We have 51,000 miles in 23 months on our awd 2002 model.

    1. left front wheel bearing went out... $400
    2. a/c quit... electronic module
    3. vibration underneath... heat shield vibrating
    4. horn sometimes works/sometimes not
    5. electronics went crazy, doors locked and unlocked repeatedly,
    car alarm sounded, hatch wouldn't open, car wouldn't start... another
    module bad @$650
    6. drivers knob pops off

    Things I like about the car is good handling, good headroom, feels very solid.

    Things I think could be better are ride (pitching) and rear visibility

  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    Things that went wrong – approaching 58,000 km (20 months)
    1. BCM (3 times)
    2. Instrument cluster ( 1 time)
    3. Alternator (1 time)
    4. Ball bearings ( 2 time)
    5. Parking brake (1 time)
    6. Gear stick boot (1 time)
    7. Air Condition condenser (1 time)
    8. Fan not working on level 1 (to be fixed)

    Overall, when it is not in the garage it is a very functional car. But I have not gone over 5 weeks without a problem.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,233
    How much of this was covered under the warranty?

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

  • lswaidzlswaidz Posts: 92
    I've noticed that a lot of you are having issues with the BCM on the Rendezvous. I've had mine replaced 4 times now and it always seems to go bad again within a few weeks of replacement... has anyone heard of a recall or a permanent fix for the problem? It's very annoying especially when it takes the shop 5 days just a plug a module in and program it.

  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    Foturnately for me everything is still under warranty. But I dread the day when it will be out of warrantly. I've been asking them the price of the fix every time they performed one. I've not kept track of each one individually but I did on the total. Based on my calculation the total is well over $3000 Canadian if I had to pay for them.
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