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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    Its mostly the 2002-2003 RDV's having all the BCM,wheel bearing,and AC condensor problems.Your new Ultra will probably do just fine.
  • tablescapetablescape Posts: 18
    Thanks for the info, I sure like everything about it right now, I hope it is as good as all my other past buick regals.
  • nosuvyetnosuvyet Posts: 72
    Can someone tell me where the BCM is located and what it looks like?

  • nosuvyetnosuvyet Posts: 72
    The reason I ask is because I think I've been hit by the dreaded BCM curse. It was working fine all day, then tonight I go to start it and it doesn't even turn over - lots of whirring and clicking sounds when I crank it but no engine action and the clock reset itself to 12:00. Lots of juice in the battery so it's not that.

    Any thoughts?
  • lenllenl Posts: 1
    Over the weekend, my odometer started reading "error" and when the car is shut off is says "16". Anyone know what this means or what the problem is?
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    That would mean that your cluster is broken - you just have to replace it. Try to find out where the dealer get it fixed and go direct it will save you some dough. Cost me $400 instead of $750 (Canadian) and it comes with 1 yr warrantee instead of the 60 days that GM offers.
  • adhaleadhale Posts: 3
    I have been looking into buying a Buick Rendezvous but now after reading some of this stuff I have my doubts.

    Can anyone tell me - are the wheel bearings on the Buick Rendezvous' sealed? Can they not be greased or are you guys having this problem with the regular "greasing" of the wheel bearings? Just wondered if there is some way to prevent this problem or if its a manufacturer defect/ road hazard problem.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    2002 Rendezvous CXL AWD here, 40,000 miles: still on original wheel bearings and original BCM.

    Do keep in mind that although people are reporting problems here (and they are real), there are approximately 200,000 Rendezvous on the road right now. My point is that I believe there are a LOT more Rendezvous without problems than the ones with. All vehicle model lines have problems. But we have to keep this in perspective. How many owners have experienced bearing failure (or BCM failure or ... insert problem here ) ... out of how many Rendezvous total have been sold? I know several Rendezvous owners who have not experienced wheel bearing or BCM problems whatsoever. Not all Rendezvous owners are going to experience these problems. It would be too bad if you were discouraged from purchasing a Rendezvous based on the experiences of relatively few owners. Good luck! :) :) :) :D

    Should you ignore these posts about Rendezvous problems? Of course not. Do these posts mean you will experience the same problems? Of course not. Keep it in perspective!
  • adhaleadhale Posts: 3
    And it won't, I am still interested and have had a few people tell me they love theirs. But I still wonder if the wheel bearings are sealed??? :confuse:
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I'm sorry -- I don't know the answer to your specific question. How can I tell if the wheel bearings are "sealed" or not? :confuse: :confuse:
  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    They are factory sealed bearings packed with grease when they are new.Its not possible to put grease in them without first taking them apart which is quite a job.Good bearings of adequate size that are properly packed and tightened to the proper specs should easily go 100,000 miles or more with no problems.

    My guess is that either GM got a bad batch of wheel bearings on some of the early RDV's and Azteks or a poor job was done in packing grease in these bearings when new.GM needs to pick up the bill for premature wheel bearing and hub failure.Its just something that should never happen at low miles.

    I drive a 1991 Buick Regal to work with over 150,000 miles on it and the bearings have never been repacked.

    I farm and have many wheel bearings to keep greased and packed.Some of them have grease zerks so its easy to keep them full of grease.Those that dont I have to pull the wheel and hub off and hand pack the bearings.Its a dirty messy job but has to be done every few years.
  • leomomleomom Posts: 4
    I have a 2004 Buick Rendezous that I really enjoy, but I have one problem when I am running the air conditioner or defroster and turn the car off it makes a weird noise sometime softly and sometime so loud people look at me and it only last a few seconds. I took it to the dealer and they said it was coming from the air condition lines - has anyone had this problem and if so what was the solution (if any).
  • tablescapetablescape Posts: 18
    I had written in before that my fuel gauge dropped like a rock when it got to a quarter tank, now it is fine, someone told me the gas caps have to be on tight or they can cause problems. Does anyone know could it have simply been the gas cap wasn't on tight enough? Oh well still loving my new Ultra. Does anyone else love the XM radio as much as I do? :)
  • adhaleadhale Posts: 3
    Thank you for that information. Most vehicles, if you take apart the braking system/wheel you can get to the bearings. I would not define it as easy anyway, but if the Buick Rendezvous' wheel bearings are in fact sealed, meaning you can't get to them to grease them, no wonder everyone is having trouble with their wheel bearings. My family is very strict about vehicle maintenance and I was wondering if people just aren't having them greased, which should be done every time you change the brakes on a vehicle in my opinion. I just couldn't imagine everyone having the same problem with them with proper maintenance.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    adhale said, "no wonder everyone is having trouble with their wheel bearings."

    CORRECTION: "Everyone" is not having trouble with Rendezvous wheel bearings. There have been some reports ... but out of 200,000 Rendezvous on the road, what percentage of people are having these problems? A very, very small percentage. I take issue with people who state that these problems affect all Rendezvous -- when in actuality, the percentage of affected vehicles is tiny.

    I have 40,000+ miles on my Rendezvous and I'm on my original wheel bearings -- no probems whatsoever with my wheel bearings :mad:
  • leomomleomom Posts: 4
    Sometime it sounds like a low moaning noise and then sometimes it's a loud shrill noise.
  • gocomgocom Posts: 4
    I have a base model '05 Rendezvous. The sound system is just "o.k." I previously had an '02 Aztek, with the 10 speaker stereo, which was phenomenal. I was wondering if anyone knows whether I can add a couple of speakers to the rear cargo area of my Rendezvous, which would make it an 8-speaker system.

    Can the plastic panels be cut to accomodate speakers? Is the wiring already in place? Can the existing stereo handle the extra speakers?

    Or, what about just replacing the rear door speakers, which are really, really lousy. The front speakers seem to be okay.

    Any advice is appreciated....thanks!
  • sampson3sampson3 Posts: 6
    Ok I own two rendezvous both 02 CX just got one out of the shop for unlocking and locking bad bcm, the other has error written on the odometer. But now it is getting real fun, both of the cars air conditioning is out, it will take a charge with 134a but both leaked out within 2 days. any idea what is leaking or wrong with both the vehichles, please don't say condenser
  • sampson3sampson3 Posts: 6
    BAD BCM for sure been there done that on the 02
  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19
    Hi jk27:

    I LOVE my RDV. It will be three years old in August. My first wheel bearing went bad at 53,000 and my second at 64,000. There is no maintenance on this part. I've heard that GM is using parts made out of the country (this makes sense to me) and that is the problem with the wheel bearing. I'm not as upset at my RDV as I am at GM for not standing behind the bad equipment, warranty or not. I figured I would drive RDVs the rest of my life because I love this one so much (2002). However, being angry at GM, I may never buy American again! They as much as promised they would pay for the second so I went to the dealership (their requirement) and paid $170 more than an independent charged to fix my first one. After making the commitment, they said they couldn't do it due to wear and tear. Most of my miles are highway because I live 25 miles out of town and I am not hard on vehicles. I was able to get 66,000 on my original tires. Couldn't do that if I was hard on the car. Hope you don't get to 53,000 and have problems. I have a friend who had problems with wheel bearings in the same area (53&64,000). Another strange coincidence? I don't think so. Good luck!

    mnyhats :confuse: ">
  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    Heres proof that the RDV and Aztek wheel bearing problem is pretty wide spread.GM needs to help you guys out.Its pretty obvious they got ahold of some bad bearings.I found a place where you can buy a new RDV wheel hub and bearing set for $157 each but one needs to be a fair mechanic to do this by themself.

    1. Posted Aug 12, 2004, 10:49 AM ET by Raj


    I think you meant the Buick Rainier (the Trailblazer clone) rather than the Buick Rendezvous (the Aztek [blech!] clone).
    2. Posted Dec 27, 2004, 2:09 PM ET by Jeff

    Has anyone else had to have their wheel bearings replaced on the Rendezvous, I own a 2002 model and I had to have them replaced 2 times already, also since the bearings went bad, I had to replace my tires 2 times now and the vehicle is only 2 years old now. Can anyone do something about this>?

    Maybe a recall??
    3. Posted Dec 27, 2004, 2:15 PM ET by Jeff

    Anyone one else have the same problems on their Buick Rendezvous? the wheel bearings went out twice so far, and its a 2002 model. Of course I had to purchase new tires from the un even wear and tear it caused when the dealer could not find the new bearings for my buick. The brakes were also messed up, thus I had to pay for that fix as well. Shouldn't this have been covered under the warranty, since I did not build this car. Also, I am having problems with my All wheel drive being disabled and had to have the cd player replaced not to mention other problems to many to list.
    4. Posted Jan 27, 2005, 4:49 PM ET by terry

    5. Posted Feb 5, 2005, 9:00 PM ET by dave

    I also have a Buick Rendezvous - $1100 bill for 2 front and 1 rear wheel bearings at 66,000 miles. Service manager says that he sees a lot of that on the Rendezvous and Olds Alero. I vote to recall the Rendezvous for bearings problems. Also had to replace CD player at 38,000 miles...$390
    6. Posted Feb 5, 2005, 9:00 PM ET by dave

    I also have a Buick Rendezvous - $1100 bill for 2 front and 1 rear wheel bearings at 66,000 miles. Service manager says that he sees a lot of that on the Rendezvous and Olds Alero. I vote to recall the Rendezvous for bearings problems. Also had to replace CD player at 38,000 miles...$390
    7. Posted Feb 11, 2005, 4:28 AM ET by Brian

    I also have a 2002 Pontiac Aztek and at 41200 miles my left front wheel bearing has gone bad. My mechanic is replacing it for $150, so $1100 for 3 wheel bearings sounds like a screw to me!
    8. Posted Feb 12, 2005, 6:31 PM ET by Tim Garrison

    Read the Rendevous comments so I might as well pile on. I have a 2002 Rendevous that I have spent $2000 on since I paid it off in Nov. The transmission blew up at 51,000 miles, I replaced 2 wheel bearings and now it is leaking a bright green fluid which the dealer can't seem to find the source of. I was told GM isn't using substanial enough parts for the purnisment AWD can dish out.
    9. Posted Feb 24, 2005, 7:47 PM ET by Jeff

    I see that everyone else has had the same problems with the Buick Rendevous, funny when I had my suv worked on, they tried to place the blame on my driving. So, $400 on new tires and now less than 8,000 miles on those new tires I find that I have to replace my tires again! seem that when the wheel bearings went out, they did not do a front wheel alingment at all, so needless to say I have to replace my tires again on a 2002 model. I will never purchase a new GM vehicle ever again, as most will stand behind me, GM does not stand behind what they sell. With as many Buicks that this has happened to, they know it was a design flaw, but they are unwilling to cover it, as it would cost them. Thats just the problems with wheels, not to mention the problems with everything else!
    10. Posted Mar 31, 2005, 6:53 PM ET by Amy Farley

    We bought a 2002 Rendezvous in nov. 2004. it was sold to us as a "gm certified" auto.. HA. just found out (it's march 2005) that it was never certified. the dealer gave us the "form" but it was never signed. NO wonder things are going wrong with this parking brake, transmission broke, windshield wipers locked in middle of rain storm, .. and we have to pay for all of it.. WOW.
    So, our question is.. is this deal void???
    11. Posted Mar 31, 2005, 7:35 PM ET by Amy Farley

    these are our comments
    12. Posted Apr 11, 2005, 5:37 PM ET by Ragnar Schreier

    2001 Pontiac Aztek. Replaced Driverside Front Bearing at 19,000 Miles.(Warrenty) Replaced it again at 38,000 Miles (Warrenty Again) Replaced it again at 64,000 Miles (NO MORE WARRENTY)Now Both Bearings are Totaly Worn Out. I've Had it With Bearings. The Technician Says I Can't Drive it like this because The Wheel May Break Loose From The Vehicle. Maybe Then We Will See A Recall. Replacing Bearings 4 or 5 Times on a 4 Year Old Vehicle Obviously Doesn't Qualify. Perhaps GM is Waiting For Someone To Be Killed!
    13. Posted Apr 11, 2005, 11:59 PM ET by Alan

    On my 2002 Buick Rendezvous, the right front wheel bearing went out ($374)and the rear head gasket went out, both out of warranty about 40,000 miles. A sign of the head gasket problem was a small stain on the top of the engine near the side and a smell of coolant when the vehicle was brought in the garage when it was hot. The final sign was the temperature gauge rising near hot stopped at a stop light. At 58,000 miles there is a vibration noise at 2,300 to 2,500 rpm which I have noted is coming from the rear of the vehicle; possibly a rear wheel bearing. I had the transmission fluid changed about 50,000 miles instead of waiting to 100,000 miles because the color did not look good. The heads up display went out and a power control module was not right, both under the 36,000 mile warranty. It handles great in the snow and rain with AWD.
    14. Posted Apr 13, 2005, 1:08 PM ET by Dave S

    The front wheel bearings failed on my Buick Rendevous at 70,000 miles. I complained to everyone I could and basically just received lip service. Ridiculous. I will never buy a GM vehicle again. Not only have they lost my business, they will likely lost the business of the 100 other people I will tell about the poor service provided by GM. They definitely do not stand behind their products. My brother has a Toyota Previa that is over 12 years old and he has not had to put hardly any money into that car and it has 250,000 miles on it. GM needs to admit the problem with the wheel bearding is a defect.
    15. Posted Apr 13, 2005, 2:58 PM ET by Dave S

  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Regalluvr: You're back to your old ways -- posting only "negative" posts about the Rendezvous and then trying to extrapolate from just a few posts (this time 14) to somehow suggest that the entire Rendezvous line is "infected". It's just not the case. Why do you insist on Rendezvous bashing ... searching the entire internet to find negative posts? I don't get it. NOBODY (at least I'm not) is saying that the Rendezvous is perfect and absolutely trouble-free. But, it's getting a bit old.

    My post from February 2005:

    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 200,000+ 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?

    Consumer Reports shows that each and every model year of the Rendezvous has improved, in terms of repairs and reliability. Consumers Reports made the Rendezvous a "Recommended Vehicle" in 2004. Even CR has acknowledged there were problems early on. OK, we get it, some Rendezvous will need repairs. But how many of the 200,000 on the roads are lemons? A few no doubt, but nowhere close to the amount you are suggesting.

    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. 40,000+ miles and going strong! Of course, YMMV.
  • emhemh Posts: 4
    There is no maintenance on this part. I replaced one for the cost of the part at Autozone of $130. If you are willing to take the wheel off, the brakes, etc. and push the new bearing in, you can do it, but it takes a cheater bar and some physical strength.
  • emhemh Posts: 4
    I have owned a 2002 since October, 2001. Mine has had the BCM module changed at 37,000 (for free). Then the front wheel bearings went out at 55,000 (only $260 since I did it myself). At 75,000 the a/c condensor was replaced for $900.
    Now at 85,000 the SERVICE TRACTION SYSTEM and ANTI-LOCK BRAKE warning lights are starting to come on. Anyone know about this problem???? How do you diagnose, other than taking it to the dealer?
  • emhemh Posts: 4
    Bad news. Same thing just happened to mine. And it cost $900 to fix. The mechanic said the housing of the compressor was cracked. Rumors on this website say there is a design flaw with the vehicle that an engine mount bolt taps on the compressor housing, causing it to crack after x miles.
  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    Hi JK,
    Well this is the RDV problems and solutions forum.Most people that come here arent exactly praising the RDV.The regular RDV owners forum is for that and I will stay off it.I'm not bashing the RDV,its the owners themselves that are.Anyone can do a web search and find what I'm finding.Theres alot of good things about the RDV and we were sad to see ours go.It had a fantastic ride,handled great, and was so roomy.

    Most people that come here are looking for solutions for their problems.It seems like quite a few RDV owners are loosing wheel bearings which is a safety issue.It also gets real expensive paying for them out of your own pocket after your warranty is gone.If enough owners would complain to the NHSTA maybe GM would have to stand the cost of all the RDV owners with bad bearings.Bearings should never go bad before 100,000 miles.

    Didnt you read in several posts where garage owners and service managers say that its very common for RDV's,Azteks,and Aleros to loose wheel bearings?

    By the way I see you had a AC condensor go bad after your warranty was up.How would you feel if you had to pay for it yourself like lots of RDV owners have had to do?

    By the way here are the rest of the posts from that site I just recently found..

    16. Posted Apr 18, 2005, 10:44 PM ET by Rob Neitzel

    Wondering if this bearing issue exists on model years other than the 2002 Rendezvous. I'm looking at a 2004.

    Thank for all your input.
    17. Posted Apr 28, 2005, 7:09 AM ET by Susan Hodo

    I was extremely surprised to find that there were so many problems with these wheel bearings. I just had my brakes replaced on a 2003 Rendevous @ 36,000 miles and was told my 2 front wheel bearings have gone bad and are causing the grinding noise I'm hearing.

    Rob, I don't think I would buy a 2004. It looks like it's gotten worse and not better since I've only made it to 36,000 miles.
    18. Posted May 5, 2005, 5:05 PM ET by john

    have a 2002 rendezvous have had to replace both front wheel bearings both under 50,000 miles
    19. Posted May 5, 2005, 11:29 PM ET by Richard Williams

    I bought a 2002 Rendevous with 51,000 miles on it at the end of March '05 from our local Lincoln-Merc. dealer. It's been well cared for but I bought a 3 year extended warranty for it - sounds like that was the wise thing to do. When I got home from buying the car the annual Consumer Reports auto report was waiting for me and it showed that the Rendevous had slipped in its reliability rating and was no longer recommended by CR. The former owner provided the maintenance records and they show that a left front wheel bearing was installed at 32,264 miles. After putting about 1200 miles on it, I still like it and have no complaints.
    20. Posted May 15, 2005, 10:08 AM ET by Scott

    I had the front bearings replaced on my '02 at about 20,000 miles. On another issue, TIM above mentioned the "mysterious green fluid". I also had that problem (has since disappeared) but nobody could figure out what it was??!! I think I'm starting to hear the bearings problem again, so maybe I'm going to have to replace them AGAIN! Our RDV us now out of warranty. Our dealer has always been very helpful and has covered some things under warranty that maybe they technically shouldn't. I'm just wondering when my luck is going to run out.

    WE've always loved this car, but now we just worry about what is going to happen next.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    I agree with Jeff. I have a 2002 RDV with just under 78K. Been reading this forum for a couple of years and it seems like the same people knock the RDV. I have had a few problems but all handled under warranty. I feel for a first year model and a new concept the vehicle did very well. If they ever change the body style I would definitely buy another one .
    ~Ken :blush:
  • arthur25arthur25 Posts: 3
    It is true this column is for complaints. All be it, as stated there is are still many owners who are very happy with their RDVS. People who get hurt in marriage do not go parading around telling other people not to marry, because there are still many happy marriages. I have stated in the past the people with problems are not to be overlooked. I love my 2003 RDV, I have had a few problems with it but all minor. I see other friends with new mercedes, toyotas,etc with major problems so that we can not say buying a new Japanese car etc will just solve everything.I hope Buick comes out with a new style RDV and they can count on me to buy it.Stated by post 1008 RDV is not recommended by Consumer Reports this is not true, since 2003 it has been recommended. My RDV is just jake with me. I looked at Highlander, Murano, and a lot of other names and I really made a choice. I did not by my RDV blind. It is hard to find a vehicle in it s class that offers so many options, which any fair and unbiased person can not over look.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I agree that Regalluvr2 seems overzealous with his continuing research and stated opinions on RDV failures (especially since he no longer owns one). I pretty much stopped posting here after GM repurchased my RDV 18 months ago. I will say however, that he does make (at least) one valid point that bears attention.

    What I think folks need to take from his comments is that if you own one of the few RDV's that is destined to have a problem, you can bet it's going to be a BCM, A/C compressor, wheel bearing, manifold gasket, etc. that fails.

    More importantly, if it happens to you out of warranty, you will likely be left out in the cold by your dealership and/or GM.

    Honestly ask yourself - if your front wheel bearings failed tomorrow and the dealership quoted you $1200 to fix it (with no help from GM), wouldn't you feel a little victimized?
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    Hey Brian
    Nice to see you are still lurking around this forum. You are absolutely correct. I think Buick should step up to the plate and take care of this or any other documented problems that the RDV has accrued.

    I have noticed that most of the problems other than the wheel bearings have occurred on the models with the most toy's (options). Mine is the bare bones model. I have had it since July 2001 and it has been one of the most enjoyable vehicles I have owned. It has become a very popular vehicle in North East Ohio. Maybe a little to popular for my liking.

    You would think Buick would want to make it's customers happy and take care of these problems especially the BCM's and wheel bearings.

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