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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well folks, after 2 1/2 years of ownership, we are finally saying goodbye to our RDV.

    Although we love driving it and have been impressed with it's capabilities, comfort, and utility, our electronic and mechanical gremlins finally made me nervous enough as we approached the end of our warranty to pursue Lemon Law Arbitration.

    I carefully reviewed the statutes for my state and discovered that our RDV easily qualified as a lemon, so I submitted my claim to the State Attorney General's Office about one month ago.

    Last week we attented the arbitration hearing and the GM representative immediately capitulated without a single word from me.

    For those of you with continuing problems (BCM!?!), don't put up with them needlessly and don't trade-in your RDV at a loss on another car. Do a search for "lemon law" and then contact your State Attorney General's Office.

    Oh, and don't waste your money on a lawyer, these laws are simple to understand and the procedures are easy to follow.

    We're looking at the Toyota Highlander although on a whim, we test drove a Volvo V70 wagon the other night and fell in love with it!

    I have enjoyed my membership in the "RDV family" and will no doubt continue to lurk in the RDV forums. Best wishes to all!
  • Got 10,000 miles on my '02 CXL AWD with minor cosmetic problems but last week I noticed that the Buick sign stayed on for a minute or two (andd up to five minutes) on the Head's Up display instead of showing the speed (50-55 MPH at the time). I told my wife and she mentioned it has happened to her 3 or 4 times.

    Is this the beginning of the end of our PCM module?

    I also noted that the A/C fan motor would turn up after the key was out of the ignition for about 20 seconds. I went to the dealeship and they said it was normal for an automatic a/c system to turn the blower motor after the key was out of the ignition. Or is it? Any suggestions?

    I'm starting a log with date and times these strange thing happen....
  • I've had my 02 Rendezvous in the shop for many reasons most of which are electrical. since the problems were intermittent I was told to live with it until I could prove there were things not functioning properly (would they live with it if my payments were intermitent? lol )after driving to the dealer & proving problem with mirror moving(can't be good for mirror, to drive that long grinding)they replaced BCM. Since then it has been in shop several times, dealer tells me they "reset it". called gm 800# about frequency of problems and when they said it was only in shop 11 days total(owned less than year at time) I asked if "this was a goal they strive for" & the man said he couldn't comment & told me to bring it back again. Where do I go next,since lemon law in WI is hard to prove when problems are intermittent? gm has offered me nothing but to fix "IF", I can demonstrate problems. What about after warranty? deductibles? will a dealer give me top $ on trade (since first thing they check is for accidents/floods/"REPAIR HISTORY"? HMMM? what if I tape my repair orders to the windows & park near the dealership? How about states atty general or NHTSA?
  • In March 2003 we purchased a program 2002 CXL RDV with 13,000 miles on it.It was trouble free until 2 weeks ago.It has right at 30,000 miles on it now.

    Recently when driving on rough roads we would lose power for 1-2 seconds and the alternator light would come on briefly.In 7 days it did this 10-15 times mostly on rough rural roads.Finally it stayed off long enough to set off several codes.We called Onstar and they said we had 4 codes but none that wouldnt let us drive it home.

    The CXL kept running but we then only had headlights,no tail lights,no radio,no power locks,windows,etc.To turn the headlights off I had to unhook the battery cable.The computer then reset itself the next day and things were normal again.

    Its Friday evening and our Buick dealer has had the RDV since Monday evening.This eve I went by there and they have ordered a BCM.It will be here on Monday.I'm glad we still have our dependable 2000 Buick Regal LS to drive.

    From reading the posts on here it sounds like Buick has a major problem with BCM's,etc .We traded off a trouble free 1998 Buick Regal GS and I'd love to have it back right now.My wife likes our Buick RDV alot better than I do.I feel that its very underpowered and doesnt have the normal Buick quality in it.In my opinion Buick made a very poor choice of engines.The 3800 Buick should have been put in it.

    I have a bad feeling about out RDV and have lost confidence in it.If it acts up again after being fixed we will get rid of it.

    Just start reading all these horror stories and see what awaits all Rendezvous built before Oct 2003.GM needs to recall all vehicles with 3.1 and 3.4 V-6's built between 1995-2003 to replace the intake gasket.Its the right thing for them to do.

    Of course lots of us have BCM problems too with our RDV's.Wake up GM.Lots of us are going to be leaving you.Is quality a thing of the past?
  • I am not sure if I have a problem with my heater or its just the way the buick works.I have the basic Rendv without any upgrades.

    I have the car set where the AC is blowing out the top vents. I then move the temperature gauge to hot and the air stops blowing out the top vents and now only comes out of the floor. The heater also does not appear to blow that much air out.

    I realize heaters normally blow from the bottom; however, I am use to my toyota and our previous honda.

    On those cars, the air blows out of the vent that its set for. If you chose the top, then the top, if you chose bottom, bottom, if you chose defrost, .... regardless of which way the temperature is blowing.

    On the Buick, moving to the hot air, always changing the direction of the air to the floor. I like the idea of being able to turn on the AC and switch to hot and have hot air hit me directly in winter. The buick does not allow it.

    Does your buick Rendv behave the same way or does mine have a problem.

    I appreciate any help. We are down to 4k of warranty.
  • It should be blowing out of the vents that you have it set for. Changing the temperature should not change where it comes from. I think it can change to some degree the air volume, as you are passing it through the heater core, but the vents should match your setting I belive. I'd have it checked. mike
  • Is that how your Rendv works or are you just saying that from what you think it would do. I would like to hear from someone who has one that could test theirs so I could tell the dealer mine is not behaving like other Rendv. When I mentioned it to a Rendv service rep, he said the heat comes from the bottom which did not make sense to me for how it should work. I should have pressed more but I was focused on some other issues.
  • I'm sorry I wasn't clear. My 2003 Rendezvous works as I described. If I set it for the face vents and turn the temperature control to hot I can heat my face up like crazy. I do have the dual zone non-automatic controller. I think you mentioned that you had base options so this is probably what you have. But for sure if it is set to face vents the hot/cold or medium air comes out there. Good Luck
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I have noticed that mine worked the same - if I turn the heat to high completely, there is very little air coming out of the front vent. So I have to either crank up the fan to 4-5 or make sure that the heat level is not at the highest to get some decent heat from the face vent.
  • We also have the same issue on our 2002 CX. Virtually every one of the fan speeds gives squat for air volume. Even if you turn it up to 5, it doesn't push much of anything at all. The wife brought in into the dealership and I know they looked at the fan stuff, but she didn't get any specific response from them on what, if anything, they did, since it still does squat for fan speed.
  • I bought a 2004 Rendezvous 1 week ago. On the day I bought it I called the dealer to complain about a loud thumping noice coming from the back when I hit even the smallest bump. The dealer has attepmted to fix it twice but to no real satisfaction. They say the problem is that the roof flexes and causes the noise.
    The GM customer "dissatisfaction line" told me it was a characteristic of the vehicle and that they wouldn't help. They closed the case file and referred me to the BBB. Anyone else have this problem?
  • We purchased a new '03 CXL in Nov '02. We now have about 16 K miles. Since the first month of ownership, we've had (what I'd consider to be) rather loud brake squeal. I say rather loud because it can be heard over the radio when it's turned up about a 1/3 of the way. The dealer traced it to the right rear. I've had it in to two different dealers a total of five times. Here's what's been done:
    1) Replaced original pads because they were cupped and chipped.
    2) The pads have since been replaced two more times - the most recent with an upgraded heavy duty pad.
    3) The calipers have been adjusted /tightened because they were crooked / loose.
    4) The rotors have been resurfaced.
    5) Lots of Brake Quiet has been applied.
    These repairs last about 1 week before the noise starts again. On the one hand, the noise is an inconvenience. However, three sets of pads, loose calipers, worn down rotors are not routine in 16 months. The dealer now says "it's normal". I say BS & have requested new rotors, calipers, etc until it gets fixed. However, they say they can't because there's nothing wrong with those parts. I'm concerned because I don't really want to spend the time getting brake repairs on my dime once it's out of warranty.
    What should I do:
    1) Call GM customer NO service (and expect to be blown off there based upon other posts I've read above).
    2) Try a third dealer (doubtful that would be a different result).
    3) Get an independent opinion at a local garage (I'm sure that voids the warranty).
    4) Is a problem like this too minor to pursue arbitration???

    I'd appreciate any suggestions...

  • Let me summarize so far. I had one response that said that what I am experiencing sounds like a problem that should be fixed. I had two others say that they have the same problem. What I need to do is go to buick and try out a new entry Rendv and see if it has the same issues before taking back for service.

    By the way, did anyone every get their clock fixed. I told them I had the slow clock problem that appears to be common on these cars based on this discussion board and they said that they have never heard of the problem.
  • See posting #3652(2/16/04) under Buick Rendezvous discussion title.
  • wws2wws2 Posts: 23
    Do you have the auto climate control (CXL) or the manual one (CX)?

    With the auto climate control, I've found that there is an obvious (in retrospect) trick for getting hot air out of the upper vents.

    First, press the mode button until the indicator shows air coming out of the upper vents. NOTE THAT THIS WILL TURN *OFF* THE AUTO MODE. The temperature is then controlled *manually* by the temp knob.

    So second, twist the temp knob to the highest setting (90º) - just like you would on a car that does not have an auto control.

    Last, adjust the fan speed as you like.

    It is no hurricane, but seems to work.
  • Thanks for the update. I have the simple version. I have the CX with zero upgrades.
  • jp614jp614 Posts: 34
    I have a 2002 CX with manual heating controls. The vehicle re-directs airflow from the vents once you go past the halfway point on the dial. You can go up to the halfway point and get semi-warm air. Once you go past that, the air volume is reduced and sent to the floor vents. I hope this helps.
  • thanks for the extra data. Your car sounds exactly like mine.

    So it looks like what appeared to be a problem is just a GM design point :)

    I think it makes more sense to let the user decide which vents to send heat or cold to like most cars do.
  • ate its 2nd BCM in less than one week's time after the first one was installed.I'm sure its on back order too as fast as RDV's are going thru them.Symptoms this time were the drivers information center went to metric and you cant get rid of it,the rear parking aid wont work,drivers side mirror goes crazy,tire inflation monitor doesnt work and the dealer says it never had one which is untrue.This is a loaded out CXL AWD.

    Its out of warranty on 3-23-04 so we have a decision to make.Our trust in our RDV is gone.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The rear sonar failure was the straw that broke the camel's back for us.

    Get this, the dealer mechanic called the GM tech line for advice on how to fix our rear sonar, and here's what he wrote on our service invoice...

    "TAC advised there is an updated calibration for BCM for this concern--this calibration will cause several programmable features to become invalid--did not perform recalibration at this time per advisor"

    Makes me wonder if the BCM's are supplied by Microsoft...
  • Hey you guys could be happy... I'm on my 7th (SEVENTH) BCM right now... among other things, it's been a problem spot for my car. What the service guys don't understand is that the BCM WORKS FINE!!! There's obviously another problem is is causing the BCM to report failure codes... they just never take the time to find the defective component and fix it... last time I had my RDV in i just made up stuff that was going wrong... nothing was really that wrong witht he car... I get a call a day later saying "Your BCM has to be replaced again." I thought that was kind of funny.

  • Iswaidz2,until a new challenger comes along your RDV is the BCM eating champ.

    I agree 100% with you.Something else in the wiring or componets is causing the problem.There has to be a short,bad ground,etc.Some thing is being over looked.The wiring is such a nightmare on these newer vehicles that no one wants to take the time to try and chase down the problem.Its just so much easier to keep putting on new BCM's.

    We live 8 miles out in the country and drive alot of rough roads.Our first BCM problem started when we'd hit a bump in the road or go over a rail road track.We'd lose electrical power for 1-2 seconds like it was a poor ground or loose wire.

    Buick had better get to the bottom of this problem soon or RDV sales are going to go in the toilet because alot of people check here at Edmunds before buying a vehicle to see what the problems are and this is going to scare them to death.The internet is a powerful tool.I wonder if its powerful enough for Buick to own up to the fact that theres a bad problem out here?
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    I drove the new Ultra today with the 3.6 engine. It is a vast improvement over the 3.4. It can be ordered in other Rendezvous' besides the Ultra but it is a $2000 option. I think it is definately worth it. The Ultra also is very quiet. However, I was more impressed with its performance. It had one option on the vehicle, a sunroof, and the sticker was 40,500.00. That is a lot of money!!!
  • Thanks for the Ultra test drive report.I'd love to drive one myself but there are no Ultras around here yet.It will be interesting to see how the new DOHC 3.6 holds up.Our dealer is still sitting on a new 03 CX yet and thats all he has.It would surprise me if he ever orders a new 04 Ultra.They may be a little tough to sell at $40,000+.

    Right from the start Buick should have offered the 3800 engine for the base CX and the SC3800 should have been the base engine for the CXL AWD.Lack of power would have not been a problem then.Gas mileage might have been actually been better too.Our Buicks should have had Buick engines in them.

    Our old 98 GS Regal with the SC3800 used to get 25-26 mpg on trips and I'm guessing that even
    in an AWD CXL RDV it would beat the 3400 as ours only gets 21-22 mpg.Our 2000 LS Regal with the regular 3800 will sometimes beat 30 mpg on trips.

    The thought of our 2002 CXL having a SC3800 and no electrical problems puts a smile on my face.You havent lived if you have never driven a SC3800 powered car.Also I have never heard of a SC3800 with a leaking intake gasket.The internet is full of intake leaking 3.4's.I just found 2 more large sites with numerous stories of leaking 3.1's,3.4's,and some 3.8's.
  • Took the Rendevous into day for the rear door recall.
    Also noted that the seat memory does not work and also the back up alarm.
    No problem a new BCM
    Also had them check the manifold and yes it to needs replacement.
    This is on top of three towings, one ignition switch, one fuel pump, and one other BCM.
    Hopefully the next 35000 miles are better.
    Anyway Buick have given me a nice Ford Taurus as a loaner for however long they have the Buick.
  • At least Buick gave you a loaner.We were never offered one.I sure hope they get your RDV fixed.You deserve 35000 trouble free miles.I hate to give up on our 2002 CXL but it may turn in to a Honda Pilot.

    I have been keeping track and know of at least 40 RDV owners on the net that have had their BCM's replaced,several more than once.Few people ever report their problems on the internet so I'm sure the problem is far greater.Only GM knows and they arent talking.

    So yours needed the intake gasket replaced.That makes the 4th RDV I've heard about needing this.Most RDV's are just too new yet or dont have enough miles.

    I hate to be a prophet of doom but all 1995-2003 3400's have the potential for an intake gasket leak.Some will leak while lots never will.Be on guard.If it wasnt for this problem the 3400 would probably be a decent engine.
  • moosiemoosie Posts: 15
    Well, I guess I am very fortunate as the gaskets began leaking with 33000 miles on the vehicle. Not only were the intake gaskets leaking, but the water pump gasket is leaking as well. I think this is a problem to be considered. I also learned that GM is having problems with the starters on the rendezvous as well as some chevrolet suv's. I hope to get my vehicle back by the weekend. This seems to be a major problem with this vehicle. Good luck to all of you rendezvous owners.
  • Yours is the 5th RDV I've found on the net with a leaking intake gasket.Luckily yours was still under warranty yet.

    I've done considerable research on the leaking 3100-3400 GM intake gasket problems and from estimates that mechanics give I'm betting that 5-10% of all 2002-03 RDV owners will experince leaking intake gaskets on their 3400 engines.This will mostly happen when they are 3-5 years old with 40,000-80,000 miles on them.Lots will never leak.

    You can spend all day on the vmag Venture forum reading about 3.4 intake gasket failures.A Chev mechanic is on there and he says he does 3-5 intake gasket replacements per week just at his dealership.This is a $600-900 job out of warranty.I noticed on vmag that lots of Venture owners that are handy with tools are replacing there own gaskets to save money.

    Of course if you are one of the unfortunate ones that has an internal intake gasket leak then anti-freeze ends up in the oil pan causing severe damage if not caught in time.More than one person has broken a camshaft and ruined an entire engine to the tune of $4-6,000.Keep watching your coolant levels.

    GM has known about this problem for years and publicly denies it has one.If you are out of warranty when your gasket goes its pretty much tough luck with Mr Goodwrench.I highly recomend a GM extended warranty if you own a RDV.There are quite a few problems with them and the warranty will give you peace of mind.

    We are probably going to trade off our 2002 RDV CXL as we have lost confidence in it.We will take a huge loss on it as they depreciate so quickly.
  • I was amazed to see many people experiencing the same problems I've been experiencing. Our 03 RDV has been in the shop 5 times since purchase in 6/03. Problems: Prolonged start, shudder or slight rough idle, service engine soon light repeatedly coming on, security / radio lock, and the most recent is a slight popping noise in the front when turning or taking off. Problems are random and dealer always says they can not duplicate them. Codes stored when service engine soon light comes on indicate random misfire of the fuel injection system. We've had that cleaned and had the 1st and 3rd (??) fuel injectors replaced, and had the PCM or BCM replaced when we had the security issue & radio lock. They said the RDV was losing memory. My question is - what can be done about this? We are at our wits end. Still having same problems and dealer is treating us like we're nuts!! Help!
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