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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    I'm not really mad at the Buick RDV,its more with GM and the way they treat their customers.We were loyal GM customers for many-many years but our one year of Buick RDV ownership cost us a $5,000 loss and thats alot of money now that my wife is ill and can no longer work.

    The RDV's have some serious problems that GM needs to address.Heres a company thats built millions of 3100-3400 V-6 engines from 1995-2003 with known intake and head gasket problems.Theyve gotten away with this without any recalls despite 10's of thousands of complaints on the internet.Many owners have spent anywheres from $750 for intake gasket replacement and up to over $6,000 for complete engine replacement as a result of anti-freeze getting in the oil.Some are making payments on vehicles sitting in their drive ways with blown engines because they simply dont have the money to buy a new engine.I've seen the statement on the internet many-many times that "I'll never own another GM vehicle as long as I live" and now we wonder why GM is in serious financial trouble.

    GM has built who knows how many tens or 100's of millions of vehicles since the early 1900's but in 2002 and 2003 couldnt even design a hub and wheel bearing that would last on a Pontiac Aztek or a Buick RDV.This is unexcusable and GM should have to pay for every last bearing and hub thats gone bad before 100,000 miles..You pay $30,000+ of your hard earned money and have to wonder if the wheels are even going to stay on your vehicle.This is deffinitely a safety hazard and will get someone killed some day.I once lost a front wheel off a 2 ton farm truck due to wheel bearing failure and its not a fun thing to have happen.

    I can overlook some of the RDV problems but ones involving safety I cant.Several times we were driving after dark and due to BCM failure all we had left was an engine running,.the headlights were on,and we had On Star.We had no other electrical functions and had no tail lights.One time we were 40 miles from home and went home the back roads.Thank goodness it always happened while I was driving as my wife would have freaked out if she had been alone.It got to where she hated our RDV and was afraid to even drive it after dark.I was more in favor of keeping it than she was.When we called GM customer service they acted like we were the first ones to ever have a BCM to go bad when here at Edmunds there had already been many-many complaints.

    JK27,it amazes me how you defend the RDV no matter what.When someone posts about a bad RDV you have to tell them how great yours is.Do you work for Buick or GM?You seem to think its perfectly normal for your RDV to loose head gaskets and an AC condensor before 40,000 miles.I for one believe that in this day and age of $30-40,000 vehicles we should expect more out of our vehicles than this.

    Its late and past bed time.I bet I still own and drive as many or more liscensed Buicks than anyone else on here.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    OK, OK, we've heard you! I hereby stipulate to the fact that some Rendezvous owners have experienced problems -- some major! And some out of warranty! I have never denied that this is the case! However, what you don't seem to acknowledge is that there are also lots of Rendezvous on the road which are not having problems, or having minor problems, or which have had problems and Buick "stepped up to the plate" and paid for such repairs (like mine). I literally have paid $0 for my repairs; that is a sign of good customer service, in my opinion.

    As I have said ad infinitum ... all models of all manufacturers will have some problems -- it's simply a function of mass production and assembly lines. With ~ 200,000 Rendezvous on the road, I would certainly expect that there would be some problems.

    Regalluvr -- you know I don't work for Buick or GM -- I'm a corporate attorney. This is my first Buick (GM) purchase ever. I'm very pleased with it (even though it's not an "American" car -- as it was assembled in Mexico).

    As for warranties and length, I think that Buick gave a pretty good warranty on the Rendezvous. However, when you as a purchaser go into the transaction, you know up front that the warranty is finite. If you're not comfortable with that, buy an extended warranty. Nobody forced you to buy this car. Nobody prevented you from buying an extended warranty (in fact, I've never heard of a new car dealer that did NOT try to sell the extended warranty). So ... caveat emptor. It almost sounds like you EXPECT Buick to pay for all repairs -- no matter when it occurs (in terms of time or mileage). However, that's not what your contract reads. If you didn't like the contract, you should not have purchased the vehicle.

    You got rid of your Rendezvous two years ago. Move on! As I've pointed out, Consumer Reports has indicated that the Rendezvous continues to improve every single year. All your whining about 2002 model year Rendezvous problems aren't even relevant any more -- as the new Rendezvous have been improved, in terms of repairs and reliability.

    OK ... the horse is now officially dead. Stop beating it! :mad:
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    Just FYI, yesterday I got my third bearing/hub replaced - $555. This one was outside warrantee and I was told by GM customer service that this was normal wear. Does that mean I should expect that every year - as I have experienced. The dealer also told me that intake gasket need replacing as it is leaking - $1000 (Canadian) and when I did a search on intake gasket leak on 3.4 GM Engine I found out that this has been going on for years. I bought a GM car because JD powers was saying that GM quality has improved. Am I going to buy a GM car again? - not in my life time. You keep mentioning about this 200,000 sold, just go back in this forum and see how many bad ones are out there when there was only a few on the road and extrapolate that. Go the Aztek, Malibu, Venture .... forums and see if their problems seems familiar.

    Have a nice day... :P
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    If you're not happy with your purchase, you can always get rid of the vehicle before anything else goes bad. Perhaps you should contact Buick corporate and see if they'll do anything for you. Being mad at me simply because I have had a good experience with my Rendezvous won't help you. And, if you haven't noticed, I've been active on these boards since I purchased my Rendezvous, so I have already read all of the posts regarding Rendezvous. As I've said before, statistically, the Rendezvous has a pretty good repair record. Does that help the people that have posted here about problems with wheel bearings? Nope. The fact remains that ~ 200,000 Rendezvous have been sold. Do all of them have bad wheel bearings? Nope.

    Thank you, I will have a nice day :) :) :D :) :)
  • ckinnyckinny Posts: 14
    I totally understand where Regalluvr is coming from. Not only that but the information he posted helped me in my fight with Buick.

    If you've never been burned with a lemon you have no idea how frustrating it can be. And if you've been through the nightmare you want to warn others and you feel the need to vent. Thankfully there's the internet and you can reach millions of people.

    I would have loved to have owned one the the "good" RDVs. The '02 I had was a nightmare and after a month of fighting I was given a choice of ONE RDV on the dealer's lot in a buy back. I'm shocked at how Buick has cut corners on my '05. The interior is crap compared to the '02, cheap fabric, cheap looking dash. I never would have chosen this car but after being without a car for a month I caved. I've already had problems with this RDV not starting. I'm going to get out of it while it has very few miles and I will still end up losing money.

    From my experience with GM I will never buy another car from them and I have never owned anything but GM cars. But they lost my business and my respect and I will tell every person I can about what lousy treatment I received when I had a problem. I will post my experience on every message board I can find.
  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19
    Hi Ckinny: I'm with you all the way. I totally support what Regalluvr has been saying. If only all of those checking into this site would check into the National Transportation Safety site that he referred me to in an earlier message, perhaps GM would be forced to do a recall on these bad wheel bearings in particular! I LOVE my RDV, however, I'm very angry at GM for not providing any type of reward for customer loyalty, especially after a company rep assured me they would pay me for the second replacement, only then to say it was normal wear and tear after I sent in all my documentation ($500 instead of the $330 at an independent repair place). I, too, have owned GMs my whole life, having only purchased new vehicles til now, and they don't care one bit about my lifetime commitment to their company. I heard an interview of the CEO of Toyota the other day and guess what he said: Toyota's No. 1 priority is customer service. GM hasn't been there for a long time. I'm concerned about having some of these other problems occur on my '02 RDV but so far, so good. And, I hope it continues. I just hope jk27 doesn't have any problems as his RDV accrues a few more miles. Perhaps then he will understand our frustration.

    Thanks again, Regalluvr!!! And to you too Ckinny!


  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    I appreciate the support.Thanks.By the way this stubborn old Swede wont be leaving this site anytime soon.I think the horse still has a few miles left on it yet.Mr jk27 hasnt went thru the anguish of owning a problem RDV like alot of us have so he has absolutely no idea how we feel although at 40,000 miles his has already had $2,000 plus of warranty work.I sincerely hope his problems are over but for many they arent.Its funny that GM will pick up the repair bill for some RDV owners out of warranty but for others they wont.

    By the way jk our 2002 CXL has only been gone for a little over a year now.It was 3 weeks and 3,000 miles from being out of warranty when we dumped it..It was either buy an extended warranty and put up with it being in the shop all the time or get something more dependable.We liked many things about our RDV but its reliability wasnt one of them.

    Personally I think a 3 yr-36,000 mile factory waranty is pretty pathetic in a day and age when many vehicles reach well over 200,000 miles.I sure hate having to pay well over $1,000 for a factory extended warranty but for peace of mind I would highly reccomend one on a Buick RDV.I cant get over how GM says wheel bearing and hub failure is normal wear and tear on RDV's,most with well under a 100,000 miles..What a bunch of BS!!!!

    We found out how little our 2002 CXL was worth when we went to trade.Heres a fully loaded 2002 CXL AWD that listed new for nearly $37,000 and most dealers were only offereing $14,000 for it being 2 years old with only 33,000 miles on it.Thats some pretty high depreciation.

    By the way I put absolutely no faith in Consumer Reports.I'll take the opinion of the people that post here on Edmunds any day.What a fantastic site!!We now base our vehicle purchases solely off whats said on here.

    JK,my son will soon take his LSAT and hopefully will get a full ride to law school.He wants to be an environmental lawyer!

    This will be it on here for awhile.Too many 12 hour days at work,too much farming,and now that tractor pulling season is here I have 2 pulling tractors to keep going.My first hooks are tonite.

    JK,keep defending those RDV's but take it easy with those posting on here with problems that are wanting a little help and sympathy.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    You have apparently missed the point ... which is ... not all Rendezvous are "bad", "evil", "unsafe" or "lemons". Believe it or not, there are LOTS of happy Rendezvous owners out there. I'm not "defending" anything. I am simply sharing MY experience with MY Rendezvous (and my friends who own them). I am, however, responding to the the unfair and inaccurate blanket statements about Rendezvous being made by some posters on here (e.g., "all Rendezvous are bad; here's 14 posts from the internet that says they are bad" or x people have had wheel bearing problems, all Rendezvous BCM are defective"). Sorry, but that's not how statistics work. It's irresponsible to completely stereotype an entire model line based on RELATIVELY few posts about problems. I also think it's irresponsible for Regalluvr to continue to bash Buick for problems he had 3 years ago (and especially when he got rid of it 2 years ago!!). Get over it! 10 years from now, will he still be telling people that he once owned a 2002 Buick Rendezvous and had problems with it? Consumer Reports states that the 2002 had lots more problems than the more recent models (and the 2002 was not a "recommended buy"). However, statistics show Buick quality is increasing and problems have been reduced. The 2004 Rendezvous is now a "Consumer Reports recommended buy". Consumers who are considering a Rendezvous should also be told this information.

    I'm not saying you're not having problems. Nor am I saying that Rendezvous DON"T have problems (I've had a couple of significant problems with mine, thankfully they were fixed and paid for by Buick).

    Fact: it's a big bummer that you're experiencing mechanical troubles
    Fact: ALL makes and models of cars have some mechanical troubles, problems and need repairs.
    Fact: ~200,000 Rendezvous have been sold.
    Fact: There are relatively few posts about problems with Rendezvous. Relative as in relation to the 200,000 that have been sold.
    Fact: You knew going into your purchase the length of the warranty and what it covered. If that wasn't good enough for you, you shouldn't have purchased (or you should have purchased an extended warranty. (my wife bought a Hyundai Sonata and she's very happy -- nice warranty!) The GREAT majority of cars carry a 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. As far as I know, only Hyundai and Kia offer a 5 year, 60,000 mile warranty, with ten year powertrain warranty.
    Fact: Buick Rendezvous continue to improve in quality and problems have been reduced. Consumer Reports now states that the 2004 Buick Rendezvous has "Better-than-average overall reliability"
    Fact: The 2004 Rendezvous is now a Consumers Reports recommended buy.

    I'm not the enemy here. I'm a fellow Rendezvous owner who is simply posting MY experience with MY Rendezvous. I thought that's what forums were for. It's absolutely fine that people post about the problems they have. Just don't make sweeping generalizations based on RELATIVELY few reports of problems. Maybe I'll have trouble down the road (I hope not, but if I do, I'll report back).

    As for me "not understanding what it's like to own a lemon", that's simply not correct. I filed a "lemon law complaint" against Isuzu and won. Believe me when I say I know what it's like to have a car that is not fixable. It was a nightmare and I ended up purchasing the Rendezvous after that car was repurchased by Isuzu. What a GREAT improvement.
  • carlover5carlover5 Posts: 1
    I have the same problem, but I can't see where a motor mount bolt is anywhere near the condenser which is in front of the radiator. I have about 40K on my RDV, air has never been cold, but now I got nothing but HOT! Let me know location of bolt you had replaced, please. :)
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    Believe me JK27, I did try to unload it several times and the trade in value of this car is so ridiculously low that it is not worth it. I just came from a local mechanic (small town) to fix the intake gasket leakage and he showed me a box of those defective gaskets that he has replaced in the last few months. He blamed it on dex-cool and the gasket material. As I recall, you did have an intake gasket leak and you were the fortunate as it was still under warrantee. Just do a find on this board and you'll see how many fails on the Buick Rendezvous alone. For your info, I did contact Buick and GM to no avail. They are not doing well for a reason...
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    So why are you mad at me? Because my intake gasket repair was covered by warranty? I'm just a fellow Rendezvous driver who had nothing to do with 1) your mechanical problems, 2) your warranty, or 3) the trade-in value of your Rendezvous. :confuse:

    Did you look into the lemon law in your state? How far "up the ladder" did you go with GM and Buick? Did you file a formal complaint(s) with them? What happened? :confuse:
  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19

    I don't think people are mad at you but at your attitude. If you had gone through some of these problems, perhaps you would sympathize a bit more. I have gone to GM, I have sent in a letter with all my documentation. They called to tell me no and now I can't get them to send me a 'no' letter in writing so I can take it higher up. I am planning to go to the local newspaper, hoping that will have an effect but I won't do that til I hear back from them. To explain how bad it is, I have called three times and left messages and they won't return my calls. I finally called and asked my rep to let me know the name of his manager since I intend to pursue this. No call. I called in to GM without using my ID number and that person told me he couldn't tell me the name of my rep's supervisor, that I would have to get it from that person. Supposedly he is required to give me his supervisor's name but he won't call me back. Any suggestions? I have already reported my problems at the National Traffic Safety website but unfortunately, most of the people that use this site, haven't reported their problems there. I do love my RDV and am heartsick that GM won't stand behind their product. Customer Service is gone! If you have any other suggestions, I would be happy to listen. I don't think having problems with wheel bearings only is worth the lemon law issue but I would certainly like some satisfaction from GM. I would love to continue driving RDVs but not if this is going to be the situation. Thanks for reading my comments!

    mnyhats :sick:
  • leomomleomom Posts: 4
    I own a 2004 Buick Rendezvous - I have a weird noise when I turn the car off after running the air conditioner and/or defroster, sometimes it is a low moan noise and sometimes it is so loud people actually look at you. I took it in to the dealer and they said it is from the air conditioner unit - can't be fixed. Has anyone had this problem and if so any solution or fix?
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244

    Thanks for the reply. I have been up front about the fact that I have had some problems with my Rendezvous -- so I don't think it's fair to say that I can't or don't "sympathize" with fellow Rendezvous owners. Of course, I do -- and I'm not happy that people are experiencing problems (that could affect my resale value). Fortunately, ALL my problems have been covered by Buick (both in and out of warranty). However, my entire point is that it is not correct, accurate or fair to extrapolate or generalize or make sweeping statements or conclusions based on a few internet posts ("few" = relative to the 200,000 Rendezvous that have been sold) that, for example, ALL Rendezvous BCM's (or wheel bearings, or AC condensors, or whatever) are bad. Or worse, that the ENTIRE Rendezvous line is affected and that the Rendezvous is not a good car.

    The simple fact is that many, many Rendezvous owners have not experienced these problems. If every single owner was experiencing the same problems, I would be much more concerned -- and a recall would be in order -- but, so far, that's not the case. The other inescapable fact that seems to be ignored by some posters is that the quality and repair rate of the Rendezvous has improved each and every year the model has been in production. The 2004 Rendezvous is now a Consumer Reports "recommended" buy -- and now has a "Better-than-average overall reliability." So, for those who claim Buick has done nothing to address problems are in denial.

    As for my attitude? My attitude is that all makes and models of automobiles will have some bad apples (or lemons) and repair problems ... and some will have more than others. MY experience with MY Rendezvous has been very positive. Sure, I've had some problems, but it's still a good, safe, comfortable car. That's what I was looking for. How, possibly, can that be viewed as a "bad attitude"????? That is based upon my own personal ownership experience.

    If you are serious about contacting Buick and voicing your complaints, I suggest you contact Buick corporate and explain your situation. The specific procedure is set forth in your owner's manual:

    If your concern has not been resolved to your satisfaction, the following steps should be taken:

    STEP ONE -- Discuss your concern with a member of dealership management. Normally, concerns can be quickly resolved at that level. If the matter has already been reviewed with the sales, service or parts manager, contact the owner of the dealership or the general manager.

    STEP TWO -- If after contacting a member of dealership management, it appears your concern cannot be resolved by the dealership without further help, contact the Buick Customer Assistance Center by calling 1-800-521-7300. In Canada, contact GM of Canada Customer Communication Centre in Oshawa by calling 1-800-263-3777 (English) or 1-800-263-7854 (French). We encourage you to call the toll-free number in order to give your inquiry prompt attention. Please have the following information available to give the Customer Assistance Representative:

     Vehicle Identification Number (This is available from the vehicle registration or title, or the plate at the top left of the instrument panel and visible through the windshield.)
     Dealership name and location
     Vehicle delivery date and present mileage

    When contacting Buick, please remember that your concern will likely be resolved at a dealer’s facility. That is why we suggest you follow Step One first if you have a concern.

    STEP THREE -- Both General Motors and your dealer are committed to making sure you are completely satisfied with your new vehicle. However, if you continue to remain unsatisfied after following the procedure outlined in Steps One and Two, you should file with the GM/BBB Auto Line Program to enforce any additional rights you may have. Canadian owners refer to your Warranty and Owner Assistance Information booklet for information on the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP). The BBB Auto Line Program is an out of court program administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to settle automotive disputes regarding vehicle repairs or the interpretation of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

    Although you may be required to resort to this informal dispute resolution program prior to filing a court action, use of the program is free of charge and your case will generally be heard within 40 days. If you do not agree with the decision given in your case, you may reject it and proceed with any other venue for relief available to you.

    You may contact the BBB using the toll-free telephone
    number or write them at the following address:

    BBB Auto Line
    Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
    4200 Wilson Boulevard
    Suite 800
    Arlington, VA 22203-1804
    Telephone: 1-800-955-5100

    This program is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Eligibility is limited by vehicle, age, mileage and other factors. General Motors reserves the right to change eligibility limitations and/or discontinue its participation in this program.

    Good luck. Please let us know what happens.
  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    jk old boy,
    You'd better reread my posts.All our 2002 RDV problems happened in Jan-Feb 2004 and we traded it off in early March 2004.Where do you come up with this 2-3 year ago crap?It was just a little over a year ago when we got our new Toyota Highlander.If Buick had built a reliable RDV we would still own ours.Unfortunately we got a lemon.

    2002-03 RDV's have a lousy trade in value so we took a $5,000 bath to get rid of ours just before it ran out of factory warranty..$5,000 might be pocket change for a corporate lawyer but it sure isnt for us and many others.

    If anyone needs ammo to prove to their Buick dealer or GM that theirs isnt the only RDV having a certain problem I'll be glad to refer them to numerous automotive websites I have found that list problem RDV's.
  • richnj1richnj1 Posts: 1
    12,000 miles on my '04 - loved it at first, now wondering what I should do. Brought it back to the dealer 2X, bringing it back next week.

    1. Hard Tranny - shifting from reverse to drive is very hard - even after they had the car for 2 days and replaced the diagnostic issues found inside the tranny. also, at highway speeds, find engaging and deengaging the accelerator is hard.

    2. Odometer Noise - thought it was the steering column at first, but after driving with my head between the steering column and dash, i find that when going over small bumps, especially when the car is warm or the weather is warmer (>70), a metallic, loose noise is coming from behind the odometer/speedometer.

    3. Pulsating & Loose Feeling on the Steering Wheel - This is my biggest issue!!! - It almost feels as if the wheel is about to come off or as if you can feel EVERY bump the front suspension is taking on. since the dealer is off the highway, it is very difficult to replicate. however, it happens the most in city driving, especially between 20 and 40 mph - most frequently when turning, and almost always able to replicate when going down hill with the breaks on coming to a stop - especially on a road that hasn't been paved in the past year.

    Any help or thoughts would be FANTASTIC!!! Right now, my wife's '04 VUE blows this RDV away in terms of reliability and is $10000 cheaper.

    I have called Buick and have been turned back to the dealership for a 3rd time.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095 it getting warm in here, or is it just me? :shades:

    I realize how incredibly frustrating and disappointing it is when you've laid out a lot of money for a vehicle that doesn't meet expectations. I don't think there is any make/model that is exempt from problems. However, let's do try to keep it about the vehicle and not about the person you're disagreeing with.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    Perhaps it is only a little over a year ago you got rid of your RDV. However it just seems a lot longer. What is the grieving period for a lemon anyway? I am sure you are not the only person to have had the miss fortune of getting a lemon and losing money on it. However I am also sure you wont be the last.

    I am not trying to defend Jeff or speak for him but if you could just take a deep breath and give it a rest I think you may see he is saying "SOME RDV's HAD PROBLEMS" and "SOME RDV's DIDN'T HAVE PROBLEMS" period. Nothing too complicated or earth shattering to understand.

    I honestly don't think his statements on the RDV reflect a lack of passion or sympathy towards people who have had problems with their RDV's. His and mine have been positive experiences and I would hope there are more with a positive experience then one's with negative experiences. Otherwise I am sure Buick would cease production on the RDV.

    This forum is for people with problems with their RDV's. Problem is some tend to repeat their postings over and over and no matter how many times or ways that posting occurs it is still only "ONE RDV" having that problem and shouldn't imply or reflect that "ALL RDV's" are having that same problem. I think it would be hard pressed to find a mass produced vehicle irregardless of price which didn't have production problems and/or unhappy customers.

    You sound like you are happy with your Toyota and that is great, but check the Toyota forums and you will find a lot of people who aren't happy with their Toyota's and feel the same way toward Toyota as you do toward the RDV. That is one of the great things of living in this country "Freedom Of Choice" :shades: .

    Everybody is entitled to an opinion some just have more opinions than others. Which by the way is also fine :blush:


  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19

    Thanks for all your information and yes, I am very serious about pursuing my problem with GM. However, I have already done what you have suggested, i.e. gone to Buick Customer Assistance, same telephone number you provided. They are the ones that will not return my calls so I can take it higher up. I sent in all my documentation after they required me to get it fixed through a dealership implying they would reimburse me in full. After I did that, they refused and now will not respond. This has all been in prior postings. Since you were so thorough in your suggestions, I think I will begin Step Three and see where that goes. Unfortunately, it sounds, from what you presented, that they will not do anything 'out of warranty.' ("Eligibility is limited by vehicle, age, mileage and other factors....") I think I'm out of luck but I will give them a call. Thanks again.

    mnyhats :cry:
  • cristybd1cristybd1 Posts: 1
    Since we purchased our Rendezvous we have a chirping/squealing noise to the point you cannot have your window down it is that loud on the passenger side ...took it to the dealer and they replaced a hub... Now the noise is back again...was it the hub or is it some other problem pleasee help desparate in Pennsylvania....Its summer and would like to put the windows down.
  • bab4jdbbab4jdb Posts: 1
    My wife has a 2002 AWD CX with 42K miles. As anticipated, the lower intake manifold gasket began to leak at 39K miles. The reservoir was only down a 1/4", but I knew what to look for based on all of the postings on this forum. The dealer replaced the upper and lower gaskets at no charge, with very little prodding from me, even though the vehicle was out of warranty. Today, the BCM failed, as expected. Check engine light was followed by the "security" light over the odometer. Headlights no longer worked. Hatch opened all by itself. Radio dislpayed "locked". The dealer, again replaced this item, out of warranty, at no charge. But this time, it took some longer discussion and persuasion. I basically told the service manager that there are four major items that will fail on this vehicle. It's not a question of "if". It's a question of "when". Those items are the manifold gaskets, BCM, wheel bearings and a/c condenser. I was up front with him. I told him that he has all of my service business even though he is more expensive than other repair shops. But that I intend on pressing him to cover the wheel bearings and the a/c condenser when they eventually go. He didn't say he would, but he didn't say he wouldn't. The key here is to have a reputable dealer to work with and to have a relationship with the service shop by throwing some business at them even though one could get the work done more cheaply elsewhere. With this vehicle, I believe it is in my best interest to maintain that relationship by having work done there until at least all four items are taken care of. One could argue that if the dealer covered all four of these while out of warranty, he deserves to have your business.

    In any case, two of four have been completed. I await the other two. This has been our first Buick, even though we have been lifelong GM vehicle owners. It has not been my favorite vehicle, but besides these items, it has been trouble free.

    Please do not pay for any of these four items without a fight. Do not believe any dealer that tells you that they haven't seen "too many" of (fill in the blank with one of the four). If the dealer will not help you, call Buick. Then write Buick and don't stop until you get satisfaction. They bank on you getting tired and giving up. Don't do it. No one should have to shell out close to $4K to get known problems fixed because the manufacturer won't stand behind the product. Especially on items that should almost never go on any least any with under 100K miles.

    PS: I saw a recent posting about someone having a problem with a groaning sound coming from the vehicle when they turn "right". This is fixed by flushing/filling the AWD fluid in the rear axle. There is a service bulletin that the dealer knows about.

    PPS: This is my first posting. I've been lurking on this forum for about two years. I felt I should write to tell of my experience because it was due to people such as yourselves, who took the time to write, who provided me with the information to fight back and aided me in getting some of this resolved. Thank you!!
  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19
    Hi bab4jdb!

    Thank YOU for taking the time to describe your problems. I have gone to Buick Customer Service at GM (see my many previous notes) and cannot get a response. They have already told me no but will not send me a letter of denial or call to give me the name of a supervisor. I will persist. I have finally contacted a friend who is getting me some names of 'higher-ups' hoping they will help me. I do love my RDV and just hope none of the other things go wrong. Two wheel bearings were enough. Thanks for your encouragement. It came at a good time. This gets very discouraging. Knowing that some people are having success 'out of warranty' certainly helps.

    Have a great day!

    mnyhats :D
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    mnyhats1 said, "I have gone to Buick Customer Service at GM (see my many previous notes) and cannot get a response. They have already told me no but will not send me a letter of denial or call to give me the name of a supervisor. I will persist. I have finally contacted a friend who is getting me some names of 'higher-ups' hoping they will help me."

    In my humble opinion, I believe the best advice for you is to follow the procedure set forth in your owner's manual (I copied and pasted it above). If you do not follow the procedure, Buick will likely tell you to do so. In addition, if you attempt to follow the procedure and Buick does not follow through, this will not be viewed favorably by the Better Business Bureau, a court or a jury. Document everything you have done (dates, times, photocopies, certified mail, return-receipt requested, etc.). When I filed my lemon law claim (not against Buick), I had to prove that I followed the manufacturer's grievance procedure exactly. Just trying to be helpful ...
  • mmd124mmd124 Posts: 1
    Hi! My 02 RDV is in the shop again for what seems to be a similar problem. It has already had the BCM replaced at 1000 miles an the head gasket went with 15000 miles and now the steering wheel is making a squeeling sound when you turn it as well as a pulsing turning the wheel at times and it also makes a moaning noise when you make a hard turn just after starting it up. Of course they can never hear what I hear or give me some made-up answer as to what is wrong without actually taking anything apart to investigate. I've got 32000 miles on and we are heading towards the end of our warranty. We got some big decisions to make.
  • Well here it RDV won't start now...never had a problem...have had it about 1 year..bought it used...somebody got smart and traded it in. It is an 02 Buick I have to have it towed from my driveway to the dealer...I asked the service advisor and he said he has never heard of the problem of a RDV not starting....this is going to be a great fight. Just wanted to add another 02 RDV owner not alt.....nothing works...waiting for the wheel bearings and A/C...44000 K........trouble and money ahead for me...looking to trade after reading all of the posts.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Although people will blame the BCM for all types of problems, the fact is that BCM's on the Rendezvous do not affect engine cranking, starting or running. From the gmtechlink website (

    Rendezvous BCM Replacement

    One of the common reasons for replacing the BCM was listed as “no crank, no start.” In nearly all situations on the Rendezvous, the BCM has no function in engine starting. In fact, if the BCM were completely removed from the vehicle, the engine would still start and run (although numerous codes would set!).

    TIP: This is not true for all GM vehicles with BCMs. The vehicles share names for components like BCMs but have different functions, depending on the vehicle line. This is a good reason to review the Service Information before performing any diagnostics on a vehicle.

    I also found this info on BCM's:

    Motorola Body Control Modules (BCM's)

    This information applies to the Motorola BCMs used in several GM vehicle lines:
    - Chevrolet Impala/Monte Carlo
    - Pontiac Aztek/Buick Rendezvous
    - Chevrolet Equinox

    TIP: A microprocessor condition that affected early BCMs was corrected during the 2003 model year, beginning with p/n GMAN169 (Impala/Monte Carlo) and GMAN410C (Aztek/Rendezvous). Any BCM with a higher part number contains the microprocessor improvement. The Equinox, a newer vehicle, never had the earlier microprocessor.

    Based on the history of these earlier control modules, technicians consider BCM replacement as the appropriate remedy for a number of customer concerns and vehicle conditions. However, with the improved microprocessor, this is not often the case. Analysis shows that almost 75% of BCMs replaced under warranty have no trouble found (NTF) ... In the following tables, you will learn which systems the BCM directly controls, the systems with which the BCM has an interaction, and the systems with which the BCM has no interaction. As you can see, these lists vary considerably between vehicle lines.

    Aztek/Rendezvous BCM

    Directly Controls
    - Door Locks
    - Interior/Exterior Lights
    - Power Mode Master
    - Battery Rundown Protection
    - Electrical Power Management
    - Security/Alarm (Content Theft Deterrent only)
    - RAP Relay
    - Fog Lamps (Aztek only)
    - Personalization Features
    - BTSI (MY03+)
    - Reverse Lights (MY03+)

    - Radio - Theftlock, RAP
    - Cluster - Some Indicators
    - A/C - PPEI
    - Cooling Fan - PPEI
    - Rear Park Assist – Chime (Rendezvous only)
    - RFA – X Link
    - SDM -- Store p/n
    - MemorySeats - Personalization
    - Power Windows – RAP
    - Sunroof - RAP

    No interaction
    - Wipers
    - Engine Cranking/ Starting/ Running
    - HUD head up display
    - Mirrors

    Bottom line: the BCM has NOTHING to do with engine cranking, starting or running.

    Source: February 2005 Issue on
  • badbuick1badbuick1 Posts: 2
    Hi Karen - I'm experiencing a problem now. I bought my Buick Rendezvous feb 2004. On April 1st It shut down on me while I was on the road. I had to have it towed to the dealer where I bought the car. They looked at this and that and said it was clogging in my fuel injecters. Crap! I won't mention that they originally said the car was fine but when I went to pick it up it would'nt start. Anyways, they finally got it running. Only now I have a power problem. The car has these power surges whenever i stop for a light. My head lights start to dim as well as my dash board lights. The engine revs high & low. The motor sounds like crap and it thumops whenever the power starts to surge. So I received an "ignition relay" recall which I thought might solve the problem. No such luck. The dealer researched the problem and came up with a report from GM stating that this is common behavior for this vehicle and that this is normal??????? The mechanic told me that there is nothing I anyone can do about this problem and that I'm stuck with it. I'm in the process of working with GM on an extended warranty for this particular component but let me tell you, I'm pissed as hell. I truly like the car but I only have 6500 miles on it and it sounds like I have 65000 miles. Are you having any problems too?? Please let me know.
  • badbuick1badbuick1 Posts: 2
    Cyndi1 - It's 6/3/05 -How's your car now??? I'm having problems with my 2004 RDV. Power surges. My dashboard & headlights dim. My motor revs. At times my cd player volumes goes down all by itself. Thumping in the engine. And worst of all, No solution from GM.
  • rostarrostar Posts: 2
    I used to like my 2002 Rendezvous CXL. I have 65000 miles on it and I the last year have had to replace both front hubs, a/c condenser, alternator. The paint is starting to blister on the front hood and the paint is almost gone on the radio controls on the steering wheel. The only thing that is a known problem that I haven't replaced is the BCM and the intake seals. Sure Its just a matter of when not if on these items. This car has the worst quality of any vehicle that I have ever owned. And don't give me the "every vehicle has problems" search the internet for problems and look at the resale values. This car now has a well earned reputation as unreliable. Reliability may have improved as the years have passed but It could also be that some of these problems don't always appear until a year or two or more. Avoid this car as it is a concept that was poorly constructed. Unlike in 2002 when I bought this there are now several vehicles that can do what the RDV can and from companies with better track records on customer service and quality. I will never buy a Buick again. I have tried to get satisfaction through Buick and only managed to get one hub covered (was still under warranty). Court is probably my next destination. Keep trying to prop up the image of the RDV jk27 but faced with reality it is a losing battle. Good Luck
  • mnyhats1mnyhats1 Posts: 19
    Hi jk27: I'm trying not to be too optimistic but, through a friend in higher places, I did receive a call from a district rep Friday night. He informed me that he would start the investigation on my RDV on Monday and would stay with me until "you get your check back." Sounds pretty good to me but I'll wait till I get it. I'll keep you posted! Someone in these pages said, "Stick with it!" Guess that's true. But we really shouldn't have to fight this hard, should we?

    Take care and God bless,


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