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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • badbuickbadbuick Posts: 1

    We own a 2002 Rendezvous CXL. We love the ride, the room and its looks. In April of this year I heard a funny noise coming from the front. We took it to the local dealer. They said it was the front wheel bearing. We were 1500 miles out of warranty. They suggested I call GM "CUSTOMER CARE" I did. The man on the other end of the phone asked me about the problem. I explained. I hear clickty-click on his keyboard. His next response was "We aren't showing any problems so this will be an expense to you" I said, "This is your response to my problem?" and then asked to speak to his boss and the guy then tells
    me "the buck stops here" No kidding! I since went back to the dealer and they have repaired the bearing under warranty. I have also had the other bearing replaced since and a lower intake leak repaired now my AC condenser has a hole in it!!! I am totally fed up and would like to know what I can do about it? Please help.
  • rdvlemonrdvlemon Posts: 1
    Well on a positive note I just got back from a 5000 mile journey and didn't have any problems with the RDV and I avgd. 26 mls/gal with a very full load. That's the good news. The bad news is that my RDV is once again in the shop and this time it appears to be leaking gaskets in the intake manifold. I was noticing a dark brownish-orange slimy liquid under the veh after I would park. I was quoted a price of b/w $650-700 because of the labor required to bring the engine up to get at the gaskets. Or as a short term fix if we decide to get rid of the veh we can put in a can of Stop Leak. Has enyone ever tried this product and does it work? I've read other stories about leaking gaskets on this forum and think I may call GM to see what's up. I have about 65K miles on the RDV and it is now a little over 3 yrs. old. Of course this problem is on top of a replaced BCM, about 3 months into ownership, a blown tranny at 42K (which Buick replaced even though it was out of warranty), and a new air conditioner compressor at about 51K, which I paid for at a little over $1000 and now this problem. Needless to say once we get rid of this veh, we will never buy another Buick. The guy at the repair shop says he repaired the gaskets on a Montana van (GM) which has the same basic setup as the RDV the other day and they are now making the gaskets from a different material, most probably because the others are made from in inferior material. I guess you get what you pay for, although I don't think spending $29K on a veh should get anyone these problems. Well just wanted to vent since I haven't been here in a while. Will let everyone know what GM says.
  • cudaalcudaal Posts: 34
    Any toughts on reducing body lean at turns an speeds 25mph+.

    I wonder what is available out there: wider tires, arms, shocks etc?...
  • LOVED this RDV til the warranty expired. BRAGGED about it to others. Now I will sell it at a loss, just to be RID of it.

    Has anyone succeeded in getting Buick to pay for part or all of the cost of out of warranty repair work? If so I'd love to know what steps to try and take.

    Buick acknowledges that my $800 worth of new wheel bearings (front R & L @ 42000), and $820 Air Conditioning Condenser, and estimated $400 Fuel Pump (failed today) are all "known defects" (they never told ME... just what does known defect mean? They 'know' you're screwed, but you don't?... )

    Sign me, Disappointed in NH.
  • I have a 2002 Rendevous which was loaded. I have replaced the A/C, the dealer paid the cost of the part, I paid for labor. The wheel bearings were also replaced and right now I am having moaning when I turn the corner at low speeds. Dealer cannot find anything "wrong". I love the features, the quality of the car is terrible. I have 60,000 miles on it and they keep telling me that is normal. I have also replaced the clock spring.
  • They paid for my wheel bearing. I had the car one year and had 36,000 miles on it when the bearings went. They paid for the a/c part but not the labor. I haven't had the fuel pump go yet. I have a 2002 Rendevous with 60,000 miles on it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,316
    you turn the steering wheel or does it continue when the steering wheel is not moved during a turn? If it happens while the angle of the wheels is changing, it could be the mounts for the struts. There's a bearing at the top that can make noise when the wheels are changing their

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

  • The moaning happens when I turn, generally at low speeds. I had the bearings replaced at 30,000 miles. The dealer said the moaning is normal. I drove a new Rendevous with the service manager and it did not moan, but they still couldn't find the problem.
  • nescovinnescovin Posts: 24
    I used to frequent this forum 2 and 1/2 years ago before buying my RDV. Fedlawman too purchased around the same time. I've been completely out of this forum and just read some of the posts.
    My RDV seems to have similar issues. The AC condenser had a leak (around 50,000 miles). The dealer said, it was part of regular wear and tear. I had to shell out $1000 to get that fixed. I had to replace my brakes at 30K. That was around $600.
    I'm having issues with AC again. It only blowed hot air for 2 hours, no matter what I tried (restarting/ turning the AC on and off etc). Then magically it started to function blowing super cold air. It fine now. But seems to have a mind of its own especially during a cold start on a hot day.
    I've also noticed that the doors lock and unlock automatically while in Drive. That was spooky the first time around (we were on a freeway at 70mph and suddenly heard the door unlock). Its done it a few times after that as well.
    I've also started to hear a loud grinding (loud moaning) noise when I turn my steering hard at low speeds.
    Unfortunately the Lemon Law in my state is only valid for 1 year after purchase.
    I feel like most of the other members here. I paid 29K for it in 2001 and its worth only 12K now and shouldn't be having any of these problems.
    Its a well designed car, just wish it had better overall quality or atleast a Japanese brand resale value.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Thanks for the memory. My first post at was in the Buick Rendezvous forum back in January 2001.

    Although I'm active in other forums now, I still come by here once in a while to see what's happening.

    AC condensor leaks, BCM failures, moaning steering racks, wheel bearing failures, faulty parking brakes, and leaking manifold gaskets are all RDV problems the GM knows about.

    I still believe that the RDV is basically a good vehicle (we really enjoyed ours when it wasn't in the shop), and contend that it's GM that should be blamed here....blamed for not acknowledging these problems, and fixing them FOR FREE, regardless of your warranty status.

    It makes me so angry to hear that some of you have shelled out 100's or even 1000's of dollars to repair these problems. GM management should be ashamed of themselves.
  • I just retired my 2002 Aztec. I had the fully loaded version. I had both front wheel bearings replaced at about 20000 miles, 3 new radios (none of them kept the time), and just recently (at 54000 miles) the manifold gasket problem and air conditioning condenser.

    It is all up to the dealer how much GM pays. GM carried ALL the cost, inclusive loaners, except $500 deductible for the last repair. Push your dealer hard!

    A bad awakening was the trade in value, GM dealer wanted to give $8000 for a new Envoy XUV (loaded). I walked and went to VW and got $9500 on a similar priced Touareg (this is a little better than Edmunds value). Both dealers had the same playing filed since I buy for supplier rates.

    No more GM cars for me! I had a similar experience with a Corvette that is now replaced with an Audit Quattro TT.

    At VW and Audit dealerships one gets treated like a purchaser of a $35000 plus customer and not like one who buys a Cavalier/Sunfire type of car!
  • I'm having the same problem with the slapping noise when driving over cracks in the highway. It sounds like thunder coming from the rear of the vehicle almost all the time since most hiways have cracks in them. If anybody had the same problem and has solved it, I would sure like to know what you did to correct the problem
  • Hi All,

    Our '04 Rdv. with the 3.6 engine has been acting-up in stop-and-go traffic as of late. Only have about 2,000 miles on it, but we were in a long traffic jam in 85-95 degree weather last week and the drive train started this nasty intermittent vibration. Even when at a dead stop, i could feel it. The temp gauge was at about 5/8, but no where near the red zone. This has since re-occurred a couple times in short stop and go situations. Any thoughts? I may take it to the dealer, but I don't want to get into a "could not duplicate" situation with the service department.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,316
    It may not be your symptom, but I've had vibration from the engine compartment on LeSabres WHEN the engine reaches a hotter temp and both cooling fans turn on.

    You might try running air conditioning sitting in your garage after returning with a warmed up engine. Let it idle and see if the vibration happens as the fans go to a higher speed as the head pressure on the air conditioning goes up with the heat. Some cars have one fan. Some cars have two fans. One fan will be on with air conditioning until both fans are requested. One fan speeds up and the other turns on.

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

  • I have a 2002 CXL AWD that has been a nightmare. Todate, the repairs are as follows: Engine gaskets replaced, A/C condensor replaced, 5 BCM's, 3 starter switches, 3 instrument clusters, 2 starters, 2 batteries, 3 load levelers, 2 thermostats. In fact, we just got our vehicle back after spending two and a half months in the garage for an electrical problem. This vehicle is also rusting around the rear hatch. I believe GM has a long way to go in their quality control department. We are very disgusted with this vehicle, however it is not worth much on a trade in. We are doomed to stick this out. Thank God we have an extended warranty on this vehicle or we would have to mortgage the first born to pay for the massive expenses this vehicle has incurred. My suggestion to anyone that is considering buying a Rendezvous is: DON"T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244

    My sympathies for all your Rendezvous woes. However, my experience with my 2002 Rendezvous CXL AWD is the complete opposite of yours. I have had very, very few problems with my Rendezvous. I brought mine in for the tailgate latch recall (no charge) and the dealer found that one of my cylinder head gaskets was leaking. They replaced the gasket no charge. Other than that, one seat belt came from the factory twisted (fixed no charge) and my driver lumbar knob cracked. I may need a motor in the passenger side view mirror replaced, but that's the extent of repairs/problems. Fuel and oil changes seem to keep my Rendezvous happy :) I would recommend a Rendezvous for purchase without hesitation.
  • sharshar Posts: 4
    I've been experiencing the same noise issue. I am always checking my windows to be sure they are rolled up.
  • sharshar Posts: 4
    After 50K miles my extended warranty expired. At 51K miles my key would not start the car! Problem was the anti-theft igintion switch which is a part you can't repair without purchasing the steering wheel and steering column! Yikes $1,600 plus. anyone else had this problem?
  • I have a new (8 weeks old) 2004 Rendezvous. When I set the air conditioner on bi-level, there can be as much as 30 degrees celcius (about 90 degrees fahrenheit) difference between the air coming from the floor vents and the air from the vents. My dealer tells me this is the way GM designed the heating/air conditioning systems. I can't believe that everyone else who owns a Rendezvous would accept this as "normal" - yet that is what I am being told by them. The temperature at my feet is sometimes as high as 47 degrees C (115 F). Has anyone else had this problem and if so, how were you able to fix the dealer to fix it? I would like to hear from other drivers of the Rendezvous both if you have and have not had this problem Waybon
  • Waybon,
    I checked the RDV manual - it doesn't say anything about what temperature difference to expect. Just for the bi-level non-auto type it says cold on top and hot on the bottom. I would expect that if the heater is set to max, it could give 100°F, and AC ir temperature would be around 50°F, so the difference of 50°F or 28°C could be close to what you report at 30°C.

    Whether this is good or bad, depends on if you live in a colder climate. I wouldn't mind warm air to my feet in cold winter.

    Can you adjust heat to a reasonable level by lowering the temperature setting?
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Don't know if you'll like this answer, but I have a 2002 Rendezvous CXL with auto-climate control. If it's hot out and the air conditioning is needed for cooling, the auto climate control always selects the front panels vents only (never the floor vents). So ... if you're hot, select the main front panel dashboard vents -- not the floor vents. After all ... cold air sinks. It will cool your feet eventually :)
  • Taras - it sounds like you work for GM - perhaps I didn't explain the situation.
    WITH air conditioning I have temp. differences of 20 to 30 degrees C. between floor and vents. Without a/c I still have temp. differences of 15 -20 C unless the knob is turned almost all the way to the left (no heat).
    Bi-levl is almost useless to me.
    Is it normal to have temperatures up to 54 C (~135 F) at the feet with dashboard vent off, and the temp knob approx. in the middle? Waybon
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    In the winter, for heating. Use the front panel dashboard vents for cooling (not the floor).
  • I don't work for GM. I work for BP.
    My comment about geography stemmed from you using degrees Celsius, which made me guess that it may be colder Canada.

    All I can say is that according to my manual some temperature difference (possibly 20-30C)with AC on may be expected in bi-level with the non-automatic climate control. I have the automatic one, so I can't test mine for you.

    Can anyone with the normal AC in their rendezvous help check their lower vent temperature in bi-level mode with AC on and off, and with the temperature knob in the middle?

    I can imagine that if you close the dashboard vent in a bi-level mode, the cold AC air does not enter the cabin as it should, and the hot air keeps entering the cabin through the lower vent. Then recirculation air keeps getting warmer and warmer until it gets hot.

    With the AC off it the system, probably, gets the outside air in and sends it directly through dashboard vent, and sends the heated air through the floor vents. This may explain the lower difference in temperature (15-20C).

    If you have this temperature difference in non-bilevel mode then you may wish to see another dealer in your area for repairs. Otherwise this sounds normal, as the temperature really is bi-level in the bi-level mode, albeit a tad warm at 54C with the dashboard vent closed. I live in Houston, so 45-50C heat index weather is not unseen here in mid-summer.

    I would use bi-level in cold winter, just as jk27 suggests, but not in Houston.
  • We are always quick to point out the bad, but I have a good now as well. I had a problem with my power window, 4000 miles out of warranty. I didn't like this, but accept it as part of owning a car. When I took it to the dealer Bradshaw of Greer, South Carolina, I mentioned that over the last year they and another dealer had looked at it multiple times for a problem with the tilt mirror either not tilting in reverse, or not returning to correct position. One dealer went so far as to replace the power mirror module, but the problem continued. I sort of gave up on this, although I know I should not have let Buick off the hook, and the car passed the 36K warranty limit. The dealership looked for the problem, finally correctly diagnosed it as a prblem with the actuator and helped get a Goodwill replacment. Although delayed my thanks to Bradshaw and GM here.
  • My wife's 2001 Rendezvous (has 41K+ miles) is in my local mechanics repair shop because the air conditioner stopped working. Four weeks ago, he tested it, and it did not need recharged, therefore no leak, so suspects defective compressor and/or H-valve (whatever that is), and was waiting for parts. The local Buick dealer said parts were on national backorder.

    The other day, smoke starts coming out of the air vents when the wife somehow had the A/C turned on. Turned off the A/C immediately, and now the blower only seems to work on 5 (high).

    Had a radiator leak when the A/C started to not work. Had to get a new radiotor ($445 part plus labor to fix).

    I cringe at the thought of what it will cost to fix the A/C!!!

    Replaced the front wheel bearing about a year ago.

    Are the new model RDV's as big of lemmons as the earlier models ?

    My wife was talking about trading it in for a AWV model several weeks ago, and I laughed at her because hers was about paid for. She wanted AWD because she got stuck twice last year in real deep snow (driveways), and I told her the problem is the low ground clearance and AWD wouldn't help much.

    Now I'm trying to figure out what car she will be happy with. She really loved the RDV, until all these problems started !!
  • I have been searching for someone with the same problems i am having, is the wiring harness that corroded on yours conected to the fuel pump.I Bought a 2002 buick rendezvous, slightly used, very slightly used. as soon as the 36000 mile warenty ran out i was on the freeway with my wife and kids, my car completely died, steering, brakes the whole nine yards, i replaced a wiring harness that was exposed to the elements(stupid place for a wiring harness) a week later the same thing happenedthis time a little rain shorted out another harness, i replaced it, a month later a little more rain this time it shorted out a $450 feul pump plus labor, now i have a check engine light, i had to replace half of my evap sysem, $700 guess why, corrosion more stuff exposesed to the elements, and last friday night my feul pump shorted out again due to rain getting in the harness shorting it out, at least it still has a warenty on it oh yeah, im only at 48000 miles, if you have had any of these problems please let me know
  • Well, I got my wife's Rendezvous back yesterday.

    Needed a new A/C condensor and H-valve.

    The blower problem was caused by a blown resistor (translation: computer-crap, unrelated(?) to the A/C problem.

    Total cost about $1180, and my mechanic then gave me a 10 percent discount.

    A few weeks before, the radiator needed replaced--another $700+ bill ! The GM radiator looks like it was made by Tupperware with all the plastic on it (press-fitted to the aluminum core with a rubber gasket)--a real piece of crap it is!

    The mechanic noted that the biggest problem with this car is that there are no aftermarket parts available, so your stuck buying the expensive GM parts, which to me are junk since the originals keep failing.

    I have to rate this RDV as the biggest POS I have ever owned with all the repairs that have been needed in the brief 3 years that I have owned it.

    Years ago, I bought a really used 1969 Chrysler Newport with 104,000 miles on it for $200 to use as a winter-wonder-car to save the wear-and-tear on my customized 1974 Dodge maxi-van, and it was 100 times the car this RDV is when it comes to repairs and expense!
  • Hi; first let me thank you for this web site , it has been very useful.

    I have an 04 RDV with 16,000 miles on odometer, I am having a problem with steering.I would appreciate any and all help.

    The problem is this, when I make a sharp left turn and come back to straight the steering wheel does not return to center, and if you continue driving the vehicle constantly pulls left sometimes for several miles or until you turn right. The same condition exists after a right turn , except it pulls to the right, but the problem is not as severe on the right as the left.

    The dealer replaced the tie rod ends,rotated the tires , checked for binding on front , and supposedly aligned the front end. After that the dealer claims they drove an 02,03, and 04 and all exibited the same characteristics. So the assumption is that the RDV is performing as per design.

    Buick customer service was contacted they assigned me a number and assured me the area service tech would look at it the following week.
    So far no show but the customer service calls every week and claims he will be there the following week. This has gone on for 6 weeks.
    So I guess I am asking if anyone else has or had this problem if so please reply Thank you
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I have a 2002 Rendezvous CXL -- with no such steering problems. I had a previous vehicle (Isuzu Rodeo) with a similar problem. Had 4-5 "alignments" which did not solve the problem. Eventually had to file a lemon law claim -- car was repurchased from me.

    I'd try taking it to a different dealer first. Then, start talking to Buick about a buy-back or lemon law. That might trigger some action on their part. Good luck!
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