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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • pbeebepbeebe Posts: 3
    I am having this same problem and I have taken it to three different Buick dealers and not one of them can figure it out.

  • You guys are just among many Buick RDV owners that are having the same problem.At a Buick dealer we do some business with they have a customers RDV that will die out on the highway and wont start.They will tow it in and then it will start.They cant seem to find the problem.


    Far too many Buick RDV's have electrical problems for which there seems to be no fix.Fortunately ours never died but it was one BCM after another.
  • pbeebepbeebe Posts: 3
    This same exact thing happened to my RDV (all lights and electrical panel would completely shut down - several times while driving and then turn back on. They replaced my ignition switch/starter and BCM. Now this doesn't happen anymore. Now my car just shuts off completely while I'm driving in traffic - and doesn not come back on. This has happend about four times - BUT it's a mystery because the three Buick dealer(S) that I have had look at my car have not been able to figure out the problem. Right now I'm trying to sell it but I feel bad because I know whoever buys it - it will be a matter of time before it stops on them. I personally and SICK OF BEING STRANDED!!!!
  • I disconnected the battery for about a minute, reconnected it, and everything works normal. Was this luck, or a solution? Anyone else tried this, with success?
  • dspradlin,

      I used to disconnect the battery too to reset everything but it was just a temporary fix for the BCM problem on our 2002 CXL.


      Lots of times we'd be driving along and hit a bump in the road.We would then lose all electrical power for 1-3 seconds.Sometimes it would stay off peroid and all we'd have left was the engine running and the head lights on.The dealer just slapped on a new BCM and in 2 weeks the same problem would be right back again.They didnt have a clue what else to do.


      Local dealer has sold 7-8 new 2002-04 RDV's and has two problem ones in there all the time.He has never gotten in a 2005.Another dealer we do business with has sold 25+ RDV's and has 6-7 problem ones.2 have been bought back by GM and a 3rd was taken to a dealer auction to get it out of the area.Beware of low mile auction RDV's.
  • Well thats great. . . .my wife works for a home healthcare company, and people's lives depend on this Buick. Wonder, if the manufacturer ever considers that. . . . .We take extreme care of our vehicles, and something chronic should be recalled.
  • A little late on this response - but I had the same problem w/my 2003. Per Buick, there was a mid year change and only the early 2003's are programmable. Unfortunately, they never updated the owner's manual accordingly. What's more, even if you once had the programming options, they will disappear if you have your computer replaced or reflashed.
  • I just found this at another place and thought that I'd share it with you.I've always thought that something else was causing all the BCM problems.Its just too easy to slap on a new BCM so the root cause is never found.Please read this below.Its sure worth trying.I wish I knew how to highlight this.


     I am a auto body tech for a buick dealer in FL. I also own a 04 RDV and love it. I have only had one warranty issue and that was the two front window regulators. I had to replace them because they were making noise. The right side was broken and the window was going up and down crooked. GM needs to redesign these regulators and make them out of some kind of metal instead of plastic. VW has recalled the Jetta because of the same thing and the new regulators are made of cast alluminum. If this vehicle was in a climate with snow and ice it wouldn't last a week. My vous only has 3000 miles.

    The only other things I see common on these SUVs, are the rear hatch and of course the BCM. There is a recall on the hatch. The fix for the BCM I had handled the first day I owned it. It required a $2.00 hose that catches the water from your AC units condensation and deverts it to the outside. This hose is necessary to keep the water from running down the inside of the firewall under your carpet. The water travels to a pocket in the body that contains the BCM. The pocket fills up with water and shorts out the BCM. If you have a dealer that is reputable have this hose installed right away or you will have problems
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,309
    >The water travels to a pocket in the body that contains the BCM.


    Wow. That's a possible solution!!! to a major problem!!!

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

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    Whoa. Something that simple? This is major news for Rendevous owners.

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  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    If we can somehow identify people with BCM problems living in more wet climate regions, this solution will even be more probable. A picture of that fix would be very helpful too and maybe simple enough to do yourself if out of warranty.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,309
    Who here lives in a climate requiring lots of air conditioning use?

    Who had BCMs fail during summer air conditioner season from other climes?

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

  • I guess whats strange is that our 02 RDV ran perfect during the summer and lost all its BCM's in the dead of winter.A new one wouldnt last a week.In fact one time when we went to pick it up at the dealer after being there for 12 days it wouldnt even start!!


    Someone on here in the past said their RDV's wiring was all corroded from water damage.Possibly it could have been caused by the AC in the summer which could possibly cause the BCM to short out any time of the year.


    You would think Buick would be addressing this problem as I'm almost sure that every single Buick dealer in the U.S. and Canada has had RDV's with bad BCM's.Its had to cost Buick a ton of money and lost customers.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    regalluvr said, "I'm almost sure that every single Buick dealer in the U.S. and Canada has had RDV's with bad BCM's." Some of your statement simply amaze me! How can you say that with a straight face? Again, you would need a lot more data to back up a sweeping statement like that. "Every single Buick Dealer in the U.S. and Canada"????????? WOW!


    And if the BCM is indeed located in such a place where water can collect, wouldn't the wet (e.g., rainy, snowy, slushy) regions be more likely to have Rendezvous with bad BCM's? Here in Wisconsin, we got 12" of snow a week ago, 6" more a few days ago. I drive through slush, snow, and puddles on a daily basis. This is my RDV's 3rd Wisconsin winter! Still on original BCM here ... hmmmmm ... and I use the air conditioner regularly in our hot humid summers.


    Also, where does your RDV puddle water in the summertime? It's not anywhere near the firewall/passenger compartment. The RDV puddles toward the front of the car. Perhaps this anonymous "Buick tech" could come forward and tell us more about this fix. I'd love to hear more ;)
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I don't think it'll be easy to determine down to the level whether shorting out is due to rain,snow,slush or combination of them. But it sounds like wetness/dampness in general may be the culprit (in my opinion). Also, I would think a car left exposed to the elements while not in drive (say overnight at the curb) would allow more moisture/wetness into the nooks and crannies than a car driving through the rain.


    Hopefully someone from Buick is reading this board.
  • jk27,

       Tell me why it isnt possible for every single Buick dealer in the U.S.-Canada to have at least one Rendezvous with electrical problems?My local dealer has only sold 7-8 RDV's and has ones with electrical problems.I bet most all Buick dealers have sold more RDV's than he has.Ask the Buick dealer where you bought your RDV at and report what you find out on BCM's.I ask at every dealer I go to.


       In the past year I have been on numerous automotive forums.At most everyone you go to the first thing you see mentioned in the Buick section is my Buick Rendezvous is having electrical problems.BCM failures and electrical problems dwarf the rest of the RDV problems mentioned.If it wasnt for the BCM problem we would still own our 02 CXL.


       I have kept track of all BCM failures and have a list of over 100 now.What are the odds of 2 RDV owners buying theirs at the same dealer posting on the internet?Probably far less than 1000 RDV owners have ever posted on an automotive forum peroid so we have 159,000+ to hear from yet.GM could sure tell us how many are having BCM problems but they arent talking.


       A year ago all RDV BCM's were on back order and you had to wait 5-10 days to even get one.Believe me we know all to well.It had to be a tremendous problem everywhere.


       By the way I think the BCM is located inside the vehicle where slush and snow cant get to it,only moisture from an AC.This anonymous Buick man posts on another forum as fenderbender as he works in a Buick body shop in FL.I asked him a question and he hasnt been back on lately.


       Here is another happy RDV owner.Taken from another forum which I'm not allowed to link you too.


    Full Review

    I've had this vehicle for about 1.5 years. Got stuck with this vehicle on the Maine Turnpike...even Onstar would not work to call for assistance. Had to reset the main computer by disconnecting the battery at the fuse box inside the engine compartment, waiting 10 seconds, and reconnecting. Dealer ran diagnostics on it and found error codes for Master computer unit, gasoline info sending unit, and oil pressure sensor. Parts were very difficult to find and had to wait a week to get it fixed. Dealer told me that most of the 2002 Rendezvous's they sold were returned for new master computer unit. The master computer unit has apparently been upgraded by Buick to resolve the problems, but you don't find out about it until you get stuck with the vehicle and have it towed to the dealer if you're not smart enough to figure out that disconnecting the battery puts you back in motion.


  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    regalluvr said, "I CAN POST LOTS MORE LIKE THE ABOVE!". Calm down, there's no need to yell.


    While I have no doubt that you can post lots of anecdotal anonymous unconfirmable posts gleaned from the internet, it doesn't mean that the Rendezvous isn't a great, reliable vehicle (unless you can post 160,000+ posts -- 1 from every RDV owner). The simple fact of the matter is that for every RDV owner who reports serious troubles, there are many, many others who have not had serious troubles!

    Remember ... every single solitary make and model of vehicle will have some lemons. That's just the way it is. Are you somehow making this your life mission to bash Rendezvous and prevent people from buying them? Or, are you simply trying to generate sales of extended warranties? ;)


    I continue to recommend the Rendezvous as a great vehicle. I have a 2002 RDV CXL (with no extended warranty). Still on original BCM, no bearings problems, no electrical problems, no stalling, no bad mileage. 37,000+ miles and going strong! Of course, YMMV ;)
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    About half the time, the CD player forgets where it was when last playing, and goes back to the beginning of track 1. That's it. Could this be a harbinger of computer problems to come? [6 months, 5,000 wonderful miles, and counting].
  • jk,

       Heres an RDV owner thats very glad that he had an extended warranty.You could have very easily ended up with this one?How would you feel then?You seem to have very little compassion for problem RDV owners.This one could sure empty the old checking account in a hurry.If I had one that bad it would be long gone by now.By the way this is from a very well known car magazines forum which I cant mention on here.


    Results: 2002 BUICK RENDEZVOUS User Results


    Submitted by: Reviewer from ottawa , IL

    Date Reviewed: 10/23/2004 9:44:09 AM

    Years Owned: 2 Years

    Mileage: 45000

    Style: CXL awd

    Owned Before: I have previously owned a vehicle of this make.

    Pros: sound system is great

    Cons: quality control and electrical


    Review: This vehicle is on its fifth BCM, third instrument cluster, third PCM,third battery, third leveling pump and third starter. It has had the intake gaskets replaced as well as the water pump. It also has had the condensor replaced. This has not been a good vehicle. I would not recommend it to anyone else. Thank goodness I have the extended warranty on this vehicle or it would have been a financial disaster.



    Overall 1

    Vehicle Styling 2.5

    Braking 5

    Handling 5

    Fuel Economy 2.5

    Interior Comfort 5

    Acceleration 2.5

    Dependability 2.5

    Fit and Finish 5

    Transmission 5

    Ride 5


    I have many-many more like the above stored away on my computer.I just found another RDV owner on his 6th BCM.RDV's are like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.One can be totally good and one can be totally bad.Its hard to believe that they could have all possibly came down the same assembly line together.


    I'm not here to bash the RDV or their owners,just to warn people about the problem ones that are out there.We traded one off and the people that bought it never even bothered to call us for info on its past.If you buy a used RDV please check put its history.I'd even consider owning another RDV if I knew it would be dependable.Most ex RDV owners say they will never buy another GM product but thats not me.Buick really should try to help out the problem RDV owners in some way.Some owners didnt get much for their hard earned money and took a pounding.


    I'm no big fan of extended warrantys but I'd sure have one if I owned a 2002-03 RDV.I've only had one extended warranty in my life and never used it.


    I'll tell you what.Lets call a truce.I think I've made my point.I'll lay low for awhile if you lay low.Lets hear from other RDV owners good or bad.It will soon be corn planting time and I have lots to do.


    By the way over the weekend I'll probably stop by one of the largest Buick RDV dealers in the midwest.I'd like to see my first new Ultra.It might be fun to test drive an Ultra with the new 3.6.Lets face it,the 3.4 was barely adequate.Our local Buick dealer only got in one new 2004 RDV and hasnt even gotten in a 2005 yet.By the way we still watch for RDV's when we are out on the hiway.We see more and more of them and it makes us wish our 02 CXL had been dependable.We didnt enjoy having to trade it off.


    jk,good luck with your RDV.
  • Just to let everyone know that I am very happy with my 2002 CX. Not one problem at 18,000 miles. But this board scares me. I keep thinking any day something will break
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    cmccull said, "Just to let everyone know that I am very happy with my 2002 CX. Not one problem at 18,000 miles. But this board scares me. I keep thinking any day something will break." Don't live in fear ... enjoy your RDV. Keep up with the maintenance and periodically check your coolant levels. If it drops, bring it in for a checkup.


    The "fear" that some posters have put into others here I do not believe is warranted. You have another 18,000 miles of bumper to bumper warranty on your vehicle. Good luck!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244


    I agree ... we've both made our points. There are good RDV's and there are bad RDV's out there. Hopefully Consumer Reports is correct that the reliability has continued to improve and this will become less of an issue.


    Good luck with planting! And let us know how you like the Ultra (I do wish my RDV had a bit more pep!).
  • I have the exact same problem with my 2002 with 55K miles. Today a mechanic at local gas station said I'm loosing antifreeze thru a leaking intake manifold. Antifreeze is leaking into the engine! He said if not repair soon the engine will be severally damaged.

    I need to go to GM dealer tomorrow and see if this costly repair (replace intake manifold approx $1000) is partly covered by GM secret warranty.
  • This may or may not help with this problem but I had a love/hate relationship with a 1990 Grand Prix STE Pontiac that had electrical problems out the door. The dealer had it 4 out of the first 6 weeks that I owned it but I did get 100,000 mile out of it before I traded it. In those 4 weeks the dealer replaced alot of the electrical system and a battery that seemed to be OK but didn't have the right resistance(?). We decided to get rid of the car when we had alot electrical problems some of which I am reading here and I found a wire connector that had melted and was causing all kinds of no lights, not starting and other weird things. I would have hoped that by now that GM would have gotten it right but much to my disappointment, for now I have Rendezvous, it looks like I may have another problem.
  • Regalluvr's suggestion makes sense as the BCM is located inside the center console, and a spilled soda might cause a short circuit.


    Another possibility - voltage regulator gone bad and causing BCM failures. Check wiring and fuses for damage.


    Yet another possible explanation is that it's all in the Motorola's BCM "microprocessor condition" as stated in the latest GM TechLink newsletter at



    Essentially what it says is that you need to double-check that the mechanics replacing the BCM must be trained and follow the service procedure exactly in order to fix the BCM. Just returning to the same dealer to replace yet another BCM won't solve the problem. Consider trying another dealer in your area if the first one can't do it right the first time.



    More on this subject at - 6


    On a different note, someone asked for programming. The BCM keyfob programming method was suggested by pontiac-dude as follows:

    "There's a manual method of programming keyless entry transmitters also. Make sure that you have all the transmitters you want to be able to use handy because the system will have to "learn" each one, even if they already worked before. If you have the memory seat/radio/mirror option you'll need to program the remote for 'driver 1' first, then 'driver 2', then up to 2 others. Here's how to do it:

    1. Close the vehicle doors.

    2. Turn OFF the ignition.

    3. Remove the ignition key from the ignition lock cylinder.

    4. Press and hold the driver side door lock switch to the unlock position.

    5. Insert the ignition key into the ignition lock cylinder and remove the key. (Do not turn the ignition key in the lock cylinder.)

    6. Insert the ignition key into the ignition lock cylinder and remove the key. (Do not turn the ignition key in the lock cylinder.)

    7. Insert the ignition key into the ignition lock cylinder. (Do not turn the ignition key in the lock cylinder.) Leave the ignition key in the ignition lock cylinder.

    8. Release the door lock switch. The body control module (BCM) will sound three beeps in order to verify the Program Mode has been activated.

    9. Press the lock and unlock buttons on the keyless entry transmitter simultaneously for approximately 5 seconds . The BCM will sound two beeps in order to verify that the transmitter has been successfully programmed.

    10. Perform the previous step to program up to four transmitters.

    11. Remove the ignition key in order to exit the Program Mode.

    12. Verify the proper operation of each transmitter."
  • I have an 02 RDV CXL with 41K miles and have begun to see the same symptoms as described by henry2. The dealer recommended a four-wheel alignment, but all that did was to move the steering wheel off-center point from 15 degrees right to 15 degrees left. This now occurs only after I make a left turn.


    I'm interested in any follow up done by Buick customer service.
  • I have an 02 RDV CXL with one serious problem that I am in the process of trading-in.


    I've been having a problem with engine shutting off at a speed of 15-30 miles and it happens every 3-4 months. It happened last Thursday morning and my wife and 4 year old son were riding in it and they almost got hit from behind. I took the RDV to a dealer but could not locate the problem again.

    I've had this problem ever since I purchased this new vehicle and have been in dealer shop for a numerous times just for this reason. Everytime, I take this car into the shop all they do is the "Scan the software and update." I have all their service reports in writing but this problem is not going away and it will happen again in next few months and I can't take anymore risk.


    Besides this, my RDV engine blew at 4000 miles and the dealer replaced. I had a A/C Condenser replaced at 16000 miles and a hub bearing replaced at 22000 miles and both covered by warranty.


    Can anyone tell me if my car is fit into a lemon and how to preceed with?
  • I'm sure sorry to hear of all your problems.I expect that by now you've owned your 02 RDV too long to have it lemon lawed.The lemon laws are different from state to state.


    It just seems like that these days lots of car dealers just dont know what to do about electrical problems which is what yours has.Does your RDV refuse to restart after shutting down?More than one 02-03 CXL RDV has the same problem as yours.A lady in a distant town has one that shuts down at 60-70 mph and she has almost been hit from the rear several times.It will refuse to restart until its towed in to the dealer.They have worked and worked on it and cant seem to find the problem.


    Yours is only the 3rd RDV that I've heard of losing an engine.The Dodge Durango owners seem to be faring far worse on engines as I've read about 100's of them losing engines due to sludge build up.


    Good Luck.
  • I haven't had as serious of a problem as some of the people on here, but we recently brought ours in for service. We needed an oil change, figured on new tires, and thought we might also need brakes, as we were hitting that time at about 42,000 miles. After it was checked out we were informed that in addition to the stuff above, it also had a brake caliper that was falling apart, a leaking head gasket and both front wheel bearings needed to be replaced. Without us even having to argue with them, they indicated that GM was going to cover the head gasket and wheel bearings. Overall we have not experienced hardly any problems at all and are pretty satisfied. Now if GM hadn't covered the wheel bearings and head gasket.....
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Nice to hear that Buick stepped up to the plate to help you out!


    Keep on truckin' (or cross-over'ing)!
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