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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    has been a zero defect car so far [only13K miles]. As even many of the owners of lemon Rondys will say, it's a GREAT design. It's EXTREMELY versatile and useful + easy to drive & maneuver, good on gas, quiet, etc. I have several 55+ friends who ASK to ride in the third seat; although, as the owner, I can't say I've been there. Clearly, from this forum, you can see that, when a Rondy has problems, it has PROBLEMS and Buick's record in satisfying the owners is spotty, at best. Consumers has rated the '04 models onward highly; it's the owners of the older models who have been the guinea pigs for this car.
  • ckinnyckinny Posts: 14
    Consumer Reports has just comeout with their list of car that are worth buying with the "employee pricing" incentives and there isn't a Buick on the list.

    link title
  • I puchased my RDV 2002 this past Jan. I have 45,000+ miles and the condenser just went on it. My dealer wants $710.00 to fix it. I'm at a loss, any information would be helpful. I've heard that dealers were at one point notified of this problem so I am wondering if I have any amunition to work with. I was thinking of calling GM cust. service to complain. Please help.
  • gail04gail04 Posts: 51
    I come from 20 years w/dodge caravans, and as a single person, I loved the caravans and had a great relationship with them, with no issues, and 120K and 10 yrs on each one!

    I went to the Buick on it's "name" and also because as a single person in caravans for 20 years, I wanted to "downsize" a bit, but still wanted the flexibility of the caravan seating at times, etc. I bougth an 04 Rndy. If, I had known of this site prior to my doing so, I would've like they've said, "taken the money and run and not look back." For what we pay, the car is not at all worth it. I only have 4000 miles on it, and brakes squeal, car thumps in the rear end, been to dealers 3 times for this, front lights load up with moisture and a/c switch blew on a 90 degree day. Would I recommend this car to you or anyone, No, not at all. If you don't like the caravan, maybe toyota highlander may be something of interest. It does ride rough though, which is also a problem I am having with the Rndy, despite their reducing air pressure and greasing undercarriage. Do yourself a favor--look around. There are many similar type vehicles. Sadly, to trade where mine is so new, I will suffer a huge loss. I'd be back in the caravan in a heart beat, if I could work the deal as to not incur such a loss. I wish you well.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    As you can see, opinions vary widely about the Buick Rendezvous. Some people love 'em; some hate 'em. Me? I'm in the camp who loves my Rendezvous. I purchased a 2002 Rendezvous CXL new. I have had 2 major problems: leaking head gasket and AC condensor. The head gasket leak occurred during the 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and was replaced at no cost to me. The AC condensor replacement occurred AFTER my 3 year warranty had expired. Buick replaced it at no charge -- I did not even have to ask (that's great customer service in my book!). The other problems I've had with my RDV have been minor (lumbar support knob broke off, replaced for free; tailgate latch recall, no charge; twisted seat belt, no charge).

    The ride is great, the creature comforts are great, the stereo is great and the mileage isn't terrible for a vehicle this large (I'm getting 19-20 mpg with mostly city driving/commuting). The cargo capacity is gigantic! We purchased the 3rd row and it works great for those occasional times when you are transporting lots of people (it's not as small as some people claim). I have had no wheel bearing problems, BCM problems, starting problems, hard ride problems, etc.

    The downside? Depreciation is about the only one I can think of. This vehicle depreciated very quickly (as many American vehicles do). If you buy it new, be prepared for that. That being said, you may be able to get a good deal on a used one.

    Also be aware that Consumer Reports did not make this a "recommended" vehicle until the 2004 model year. So, the 2002 and 2003 models statistically have more problems. If you buy used, I recommend getting a 2004 or 2005. However, Buick has responded to this by improving the RDV, and reducing problems, every single model year.

    Would I buy another RDV? I would definitely consider it. It's a unique vehicle which carries a lot of cargo, has AWD (VersaTrack on my CXL), conventional doors and provides a safe ride for my family. It meets my needs and, so far, I have not had to pay for ANY repairs. I do recommend this vehicle. Of course, YMMV :)

    Bring on the flames ... ;)
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    No Buicks on the Consumers "employee pricing" recommended list? What do they know? But, maybe that's because the prices are still too high for what you get, not that some Buicks aren't good cars if the price is low enough. Which is how I got into my Rondy. I was looking for another Regal to replace my '02; my wife tested the Rondy and we wound up keeping the old car and buying the new one, too. And, getting a $32K car for $25K with 0% financing helped a lot. Although we've had zero problems so far, I'm grateful to this forum for keeping me informed of potential trouble spots. Would I recommend the Rondy? Only as a new, heavily discounted buy, or, a very late model [post '04] used car.
  • My 2002 rdv is at the dealership today, (now). They are replacing the left front wheel bearing, I have to pay. They are replacing the odometer... for the 2nd time and I have to pay for that this time. Total cost to me today will be around 700.00.
    Can't believe all the post I read with bearing & odometer problems.
    I would like to voice my complaint if I knew who to complain to.
    Any one know ?

  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    verdi942 stated: "Consumer Reports has just comeout with their list of car that are worth buying with the "employee pricing" incentives and there isn't a Buick on the list."

    For the lazy, there are only 6 cars on that list ... and 3 of those cars are, indeed, built by GM: the Cadillac STS, the Chevrolet Avalanche, and the Chevrolet Impala. The remaining 3 are Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Caravan.

    I think what is more interesting is the absence of any Ford vehicles on this list ...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,231
    Interesting how CR doesn't like and does like certain cars... Makes one wonder. Try searching all of edmunds for "consumer reports" and for "CR" to read various threads where their biases and lack of random survey methods for their "dependability reports" have been discussed.

    This discussion may provide all that you need.
    imidazol97, "Can GM survive losing billions in sales and in the Stock Market??" #5154, 11 Aug 2005 11:34 am

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

  • jbholtjbholt Posts: 1
    I've owned a 2002 RDV since 05/02. My ac condensor went at just about the same mileage --- I was told by the shop that replaced it that it was an engineering flaw in the original design. Be aware --- I have 75,151 miles on my RDV right now, and I just had to replace the head gaskets and the fan motor ($1331). I was extremely happy with this vehicle until about the time we passed the mileage for the warranty. Since then, BIG things seem to be going wrong, which are costing me big bucks. At this point, I couldn't be any less happy with a vehicle than I am with this one. Good luck --- and complain to GM!!!
  • pkg1965pkg1965 Posts: 1
    I too have had this happen to me 3 times. The first time was in June (48K miles) at a gas station. Would not start back until I let it sit for 15 minutes. Second time was 2 weeks later and my husband was driving, shut it off, and wouldn't start back. He tried for several hours. Had it towed to the dealership that same day (Sunday). Had it parked right in front of the bay doors (had already had it in to check after the first instance, told me it was just me). They get in on Monday morning and start it right up. Find nothing wrong. Third time happend to me at the gas pump, had to push it out of the way, started back up after 15 minutes. Called the dealership and they are still saying "we've never heard of the problem and can't find anything wrong."

    Again I take them all the print outs of this website and they still say they've never heard of the problem and can find nothing wrong. I have 2 small children and this is getting very old and I'm ready to get rid of it. If anyone finds out what could be the cause, please let me know. Obviously there is something since so many people are having this problem.
  • thanks for the information. I actually spoke with a GM representative the other day. I have to say she was extremely helpful. She put me on hold, called my dealer and ended up speaking to one of the managers. He in turn told her that I was past my warranty, he did however say he would speak to his GM district manager about replacing it. I was told that they will most likely fix it(I'll find out on Mon) just to keep me coming back as a GM customer. I enjoy this vehicle but if breakdowns occure, I'll never buy a GM product again. Once again, thanks for the information.
  • uaw239gmuaw239gm Posts: 17
    JIM..........and anyone else out there with this problem please report this to This is a serious safety issue considering if you lose a wheel at 65 mph what the outcome would be. Be prepared to have your vin# to enter your complaint(s). Maybe with enough registered complaints we can force GM to address this and many other issues where the vehicle is having premature failures. NHTSA( National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration) will not act unless they receive enough complaints so don't procrastinate! Good luck to all...........we need it. :mad:
  • uaw239gmuaw239gm Posts: 17
    I agree with you that it sounds like JK27 works for GM.........maybe customer service since he(she) has been one of the VERY few that has had any good outcome from any contact with them. I do work for GM (UAW) so I come in contact with LOTS of GM product owners with many many of the same problems that are mentioned here as far as defects and dealing with customer service. I hate to be so blunt but I think he/she should go wave their flag somewhere else (maybe the I Love Rendezvous forum) because those of us that come to this forum DO have problems and waste far too much time reading his/her "happy" posts.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    Interesting comment from UAW239gm. I am curious as to his/her statement " I do work for GM (UAW) so I come in contact with LOTS of GM product owners with many many of the same problems that are mentioned here as far as defects and dealing with customer service. " I really can't imagine what his/her job could possibly be. I have owned and driven GM vehicles for years and the only GM (UAW) employee I have ever come in contact with was my brother.

    As far as wasting to much time reading "happy" post just scan the post and if it seems like a "happy" post simply frown and move on to the next one. By the way where can I find that " I Love Rendezvous forum " you mentioned.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    As I host a lot of the P&S discussions, I've learned that it doesn't matter what make/model, there will always be vehicles with difficulties. It is naturally upsetting when you are one of the unlucky ones with troubles. However, just as there are unhappy, there are most times just as many satisfied owners, and they normally don't hang out in the problems and solutions topics.

    So let's not assume that others have ulterior motives and try to advise and support as best we can. :)

    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

  • uaw239gmuaw239gm Posts: 17
    Hey Ken, I guess the difference between us in the number of GM employees I come in contact with is that I work for General Motors, you know on an Assembly line. I guess that's why I come in contact with so many employees. Sorry if you didn't understand that when I said that I worked for GM. That's why I see the problems on a daily basis. I help some of the "guys" stay up on problems because they do not have a computer. Also ...sorry for the trite "I love Rendezvous forum" comment. It's just a way for me to vent frustration because of having to spend so much time on the computer trying to find out what the dealer didn't fess up to.
    ps...I'm having a "new" problem...will post on new posts
  • uaw239gmuaw239gm Posts: 17
    As stated check engine light came on, this time throwing a code of p0453. I replaced the air filter a while back appx 1500 miles before the light came on. Does anyone know what I need to look for with this code or if changing to a high flow K&N air filter did it?
    Next...before I got the chance to fix last problem the AWD disable and ABS lights came on. I read somewhere that it could be the speed sensor. (bad or just dirty) Considering I had the bearing replaced not that long ago I'm wondering if that's where the problem is. Any help IS appreciated.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    uaw239gm said, "I agree with you that it sounds like JK27 works for GM.........maybe customer service since he(she) has been one of the VERY few that has had any good outcome from any contact with them." I needed a good laugh this morning, thanks uaw! No, I don't work for GM. I am a corporate attorney that works for a private company that has NOTHING to do with autos or manufacturing. I find it fascinating that, because of the lack of problems I've experienced, that I am somehow the "bad guy" on this board. I am simply providing MY experience -- if for no other reason than to counteract all of the Rendezvous bashing that goes on here. My point? To make people (potential purchasers, perhaps) realize that not ALL Rendezvous are bad -- and that not ALL owners are experiencing these problems.

    As I've said ad infinitum ... all makes and models of cars have problems. The Rendezvous is no exception. Consumer Reports states that the Rendezvous build quality has improved every single model year.

    And yes, I try to help people with my posts, as well (e.g., I posted that Buick repaired my AC condensor even though I was out of warranty -- at no charge! That, hopefully, will help someone else get the same thing! Again, fascinating that people are "suspicious" of my motives!! :D

    By the way, I plan on continuing to post and read in this forum as long as I own my Rendezvous -- I'm not going anywhere :P Oh, and I'm a "HE", not a "SHE".

    KarenS: thanks for your support and helpful comments.
  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    Hey UAW239gm Madam/Sir.

    You are absolutely correct I don't understand. To preface a statement that you work on an assembly line at GM " That is why I see the problems on a daily basis" is absurd. Even if you worked at the assembly plant in Mexico ( Where the Rendezvous is assembled ) you wouldn't see problems on a daily basis at that level. Perhaps the frustration/anger is really aimed at GM and not the Rendezvous.

    This will be my last post on this I promise. ;)

  • davidg2davidg2 Posts: 1
    Jim - this is probably too little too late, I just discovered this forum today.

    I've had both front wheel bearings replaced, L/F at 39k and R/F at 48k. Luckily a friend working at GM (engineering) told me early on to "watch out for wheel bearing issues" with the 02's.

    When the dealer (Vyletel, Sterling Heights, MI) hit me with a price tag for the repairs, I politely threw it back in their court and told them that wheel bearings don't just "go" this early, and that they needed to make this right if they valued me as a return customer.

    You'd like to think that would be good enough, but unfortunately I had to use an ace in the hole - a pre-36k visit where I stated a light humming noise that they could not diagnose....which worsened over time and turned out to be....the L/F wheel bearing. Then when the R/F started going, it was replaced on the spot with no argument.

    Wonder what the true stats are on the wheel bearings? As far as I can tell GM didn’t issue a service bulletin for this, must be a dirty little secret.

  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I am afraid that you may not be out of the wood yet - after having my two front wheel bearings replaced under warranty. The third one at 90,000 km and the fourth one to be replaced tomorrow, out of warranty. They already denied my request that this is a defective part on my third one and I would be calling them again to see if the fourth one falls under the same category.
  • rosey1rosey1 Posts: 2
    Our 2002 Rendevouz is perfect...nice leather seats, decent pick up, ok gas mileage, great seating arrangements, etc etc. But every time after we use the air conditioning, which has been a grand total of three times, and then turn off the car, it will not restart. It will start the next day without doing anything to the vehicle or it will even restart immediately with a jump. But after using the AC, we just get a tick-tick, not even a grrrr-grrrr when we attempt to turn the ignition. All lights, radio, windows are a go so the battery does not seem to be the problem. The mechanic cannot find the problem; there is an incorrect computer read out when they run that, so that's no help. Also, as an FYI, when we bought it used the AC failed to work the first time we used it and the dealership replaced the compressor for us. Tired of calling AAA.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,328
    If you get a loud tick tick from the starter relay you probably have a bad starter armature that binds when hot. If you can access the starter when this happens, try tapping it with a wooden pole (broomhandle) etc and see what happens.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • braddbradd Posts: 2
    jk27, glad to hear you will be continuing to post, I agree with your postings in this forum. There are good and bad cars out there of every make and model. I have an 02 CXL AWD and love it. Have had the A/C condenser go out and a leaking head gasket, both covered by warranty. I would buy another Rendezvous in a minute, I recommend it to anyone who asks. :D
  • Well, I was in the same position 2 weeks ago where my a/c stopped working on my 2002 RDV (60,000 kms). I called Buick Customer Service, probably spoke with the same lady (very helpful), who contacted my dealer, and covered my expense (good will warranty) and I was very happy! Be nice to them guys!!!

  • rosey1rosey1 Posts: 2
    Thanks, I'll pass this on to the mechanic as an idea for diagnostics (starter relay), as I really don't want to carry a broomhandle with me all the time. :) Makes sense that a change in temperature could account for the problem. Thanks
  • jsc1jsc1 Posts: 1
    I have a leased 02( 6 months left) which is the biggest mistake of my life, so far! Replaced L. wheel bearing at 67,000kms., the R. one at 98,000kms, and the condenser at 97,000kms. Too bad I just found this forum, otherwise wouldn't have known about these common problems.I think I should get some $ back on the 1st repair, since it was close to the warranty. I'm currently arguing with customer service GM Canada about paint "bubbles" all around th edge of the hood--they claim there is no corrosion yet, so will only pay 1/2--$350.00.
    #1--any advice on money back from wheel bearing(s)?
    #2 how can I get them to pay for the paint repair, since I already know it's a known flaw.
    #3 has anyone walked away from a lease early without heavy penalty?
  • erichnererichner Posts: 14
    I once had a similar problem on a Pontiac Transport. After years of trying to solve it I spoke with engineers at GM and found out there is a crank position sensor that will not allow the car to start. After a few tries or waiting 10-15 minutes the car would work.

    Problem was very intermittent until it almost ruined a vacation in Florida. I would not leave the dealership until problem was found. They did. Car is still going on strong for 11 years.
  • When I was working on the Bonneville, the car had a pass mirror tilt down feature that was activated when put into reverse. The theory being that you would check for the curb in the pass mirror and it tilted down automatically.
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