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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • chrisrnchrisrn Posts: 1
    Hey I have an 03 RDV which has been a nightmare. Replaced brakes twice (the car has 44,000 miles), water poured in the floor when it was raining from a faulty seal, a leaking sun roof, wheel bearing, and now....a ruptured gas tank. I found out from the dealership that the gas tanks are PLASTIC! Can you believe it? How unsafe is that! how can hold up in a car crash. Of course its out of warranty but GM is looking into the situation and will let me know if they will cover it. I reminded them that if I hadnt found the leak I could have been blown up sky high! I also have a breaking problem which nobody can diagnose, its an intermitent vibration in the brake pedal at low speeds and the brakes fail. It only does it intermitently and of course never when the dealer is driving it. So between a leaking gas tank and failing brakes I have now begged GM to give me a credit to buy a new car because I don't feel safe carrying me or my family in this hunk of junk! :( :mad:
  • claude3claude3 Posts: 4
    It probably depends, but I am not wholly convinced by my own experience. I bought a 2003 CXL Rendezvous with 40,000 miles on it back in March. Everything was wonderful for about 4,000 miles. Then the rear driver wheel popped (literally) during a road trip. Within a week, the car started idling rough and stalling during ignition (and sometimes during driving!). The dealer charged me $250 to fix the problem, which turned out to be apparently related to some previous engine work (head gasket?) that the previous owner had done. Now, the car runs fine, but I don't have a lot of confidence in it, which is not good given that I have small children and that this is a family car. It is too early for me to make a final judgment about the car; it may (fingers crossed) not give me any further problems. I definitely don't think the car is worth what they are asking for a new one. If you get one, make sure it has low miles and plenty of warranty left. Also, skip the 2002-03 models and definitely look at the competition (Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, etc).
  • I am new to the board and found it out of despair. I bought a 2005 Ultra with the 3.6 L engine and live in So Cal. I drive 50/50 highway/city and am averaging only about 15 mpg with about 2000 miles now on the vehicle. I have taken the car in to the dealer twice to have them see if there is a problem with the car. GM customer care says they can't do anything about it unless the dealer finds a "problem" which, of course, they don't. Some say they get better gas mileage after a break-in period. How many miles do I need before it is broken in? I bought the car specifically for the 18-27 mpg on the sticker and I'm not even close to that. I've tried both premium and regular gas - it doesn't seem to make much difference and the dealer says don't bother paying the extra $.20. I'm baffled and really mad. Any suggestions?
  • I am new to this board and was reading some of the recent posts and thought I would ask your opinion on my quandry. I bought a 2005 Ultra on 7/5/05. I am not getting close to the gas mileage I should on the car and wondered if this is typical and if the gas mileage will improve in time as the dealer suggests. I am averaging about 15 mpg with about half my useage in the city, the other half on So. Cal. freeways (non rush-hour). I'm thinking I should be in the low 20's in these conditions. I now have just under 2000 miles on the car. I have corresponded with GM Customer Care, but other than telling me to take it to the dealer, which I have done now twice, they say there is nothing they can do. I'm stumped! I am an anti gas guzling SUV person and bought the car because of the mileage and flexibility the car provides. I have been driving a Buick Centry since '98 and have been impressed with the product, so I showed my loyalty and went back to Buick for this next vehicle. I'm in deep regret at the moment and am wondering what to do... Any advice?
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I doubt you will ever get close to the advertised mileages. Those test are not realistic in the real world. Plus your driving style makes a big difference as well. I have a 2002 FWD with the 3.4 engine and average about 16.5 MPG in the city and my style is pretty relaxed already - no hard stomping at the green lights. On highway, I may get in the low 20's but that's keeping it under 60 mph and cruising steadily. I notice a significant drop when you approach 65+ mph.

    Your numbers should improve slightly. Normal break-in period is about 3-5,000 miles.
  • I also have a 05 Ultra, I thought my mileage was pretty lousy too, but my husband reset the mileage average and we took it for a trip and it was up to 22 even with a carrier on top and a bike on back. It is not great for around town I lose the good 20 average and go back to 18 but do try to reset if you are only going by this and not figuring it out with gas fill ups and mileage. I have about 7,000 miles on mine now.
  • I have reset the system and calculated it by hand to be sure. I would like to hear from others on this subject - I'm wondering if my experience is unique to this vehicle or not - I took it on the freeway again this afternoon and I can't break 15 mpg to save my life! It's depressing...
  • I have a 2003 CXL FWD with the 3.4l engine, almost 69,000 miles. I drive about 60/40 highway/city. I try to judge how well I did on a tank milagewise by looking at my average speed on a tank and my milage. I can sort of judge how my highway % was based on if I'm getting average speed 40+ mph. I typically see 20.5-21.5 mpg on a tank if I've driven at 40+mph average on that tank. If I move toward the city side it goes down considerably. I think the EPA numbers they have to post are very non-realistic for the real world. I love my Rendezovous and I don't have any desire to just drive 60 or less on the highway, which I think I'd have to do in order to hit the posted numbers. I've always found this to be true so I wasn't surprized when I didn't get the mileage posted. Mike
  • jp614jp614 Posts: 34
    So sorry to hear that you are not achieving the EPA numbers. My 2002 CX FWD returns around 21 in the city and 28 to 30 on the highway. I may have been lucky but I also babied the engine during the first 500 miles (not going over 45 MPH). I am a believer in the "old mechanics tale" of taking it easy during the first 500 miles to properly seat the gaskets. There is definitely a drop off if you drive over 60 MPH but that is the physics of air resistance. I also have a "feather light" foot and use the cruise control a good deal of the time of the highway. :blush:
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    A couple of other ideas:

    Use the cruise control as much as you can -- significantly improves fuel economy. Also, if you have the auto-climate control system (I do on my 2002 RDV CXL), I discovered that it will turn on the AC compressor anytime the temperature is above 40 degrees. Push "vent" to turn off the AC if you don't need it and you'll save even more MPG.

    I am currently getting 19mpg per the DIC and I drive mostly city (commuting to and from work). However, when I drive on the freeway, my mpg goes up considerably. Also, I am using Mobil 1 synthetic oil -- which I have read can increase your mileage, as well.
  • claude3claude3 Posts: 4
    Hi, Nickx281,

    I have already bought one (a 2003 CXL). My post in #1199 was in response to another poster who had asked whether the Rendezvous was a good buy. I am very sorry to hear about your difficulties with your car. I haven't had nearly the trouble (yet), but I don't have the kind of confidence in the car that one should given the price and the fact that it's a family car. The only issue that I have had during my ownership of the car (I bought it two years old with 40,000 miles on it) was a head gasket issue that apparently had not been completely resolved by earlier work done by the previous owner. The troubles that you have had seem to be very common to the 2002 Rendezvous, and Buick really should do a recall to address the A/C, wheel bearings, and head gasket issues.
  • claude3claude3 Posts: 4
    I have an '03, AWD Rendezvous, and gas mileage has been disappointing. On long highway trips with A/C running and 4 people aboard (2 adults, 2 children), the best I get is about 21mpg. Around town, I have seen the average sink to 12 mpg. I assume that if I turned the A/C off there would be a slight improvement, but overall I have not been impressed with the gas mileage.
  • Well it's been a couple of weeks since the dealer replaced the ignition module and passkey security system. Last week after refueling the engine started and stalled. But then it started right up and ran fine. I spoke to a service advisor. He was going to do some research and call me back. That was almost two weeks ago. Tonight we filled the tank. The engine started, stalled and would not restart. The car has been towed to the dealer again. The towtruck driver thinks that it might be the key itself.
  • afmarkafmark Posts: 7

    Interestingly enough, I had the pass lock replaced a couple of weeks ago. The vehicle seemed to start OK although it was not too hot outside. One start after a short shutdown was kind of iffy. It started, stalled and re-started OK just like your vehicle. However, my wife could not start it in our garage with her key, so I had to take it back to get her key programmed. After 3 hours they gave up and ordered a new part which has now been installed. So far no problems, but I must admit I have lost confidence. It is almost autumn up here in Maine and the days are getting cooler so I expect I won't have a problem until next year. I now carry a small wrench with me so I can disconnect the fuse panel to "reboot" the system as I hear this seems to work. I know from experience that if you wait for about 20-30 minutes with the ignition completely off, it seems to start OK.
  • There are so many misconceptions about gas mileage generally that I would like to attempt to clear them up. The single biggest determinant of mileage is weight. It's simple physics. It takes "x" units of energy to move "x" pounds from point A to point B. Since the energy in a gallon of gas doesn't change and the length of a mile doesn't change, the weight is the major determining factor. That's why a V-8 in the same car vs. a V-6 has worse mileage. Not because a V-8 has 8 cylinders running vs. 6 (it will run at lower RPM's than a 6 to offset the difference) but because the V-8 is physically heavier than the 6 in the same car, therefore it takes more energy (hence worse mileage) to move that heavier engine. It's the same reason why AWD or 4WD is worse than FWD. Not because four wheels are turning - that makes no difference. The difference is that in the same vehicle, AWD is simply heavier than FWD because of the extra transfer case at the rear axle. With all else being equal, a 2000 pound vehicle will have exactly double the gas mileage of a 4000 pound vehicle. It's really just as simple as that. I've never gone through the exercise, but to compare apples to apples, compare the EPA listed mileage between vehicles (despite the fact it doesn't represent real world, it's a consistent benchmark for this purpose) to the weight of those vehicles and you will find a pretty consistent ratio. Having said that, there certainly will be variations due to driving habits (heavy foot means more revs per mile), driving speed (high highway speed means more revs to overcome exponentially higher drag at significantly increased speeds), vehicle shape (the higher the coefficient of drag, the more revs required per mile), efficiency of engine (the more efficient in converting the unit of energy in gas into revs, the better the mileage), driver weight (230 pound man vs. 120 pond woman), a/c usage (higher revs to run that compressor), tire pressure (lower pressure means more tire contact with the road, hence more friction to overcome) as well as a few other things I'm sure I've missed. But the point is that these are all minor variationscompared to simply the weight of the vehicle (and contents). The biggest improvements in mileage that Detroit has made in gasoline engines over time is simply by using more aluminum and plastic vs. steel, hence making cars lighter.

    Hope that helps.
  • That is informative, but I am the only occupant most of the time in the car and I am not carrying anything in the back... We took the car on vacation for a 200+ trip one way and varying our speed using the cruise control the best we got was in the low 20's. I don't know what Buick or the EPA did to get 28 mpg. There were 2 adults and one child in the car and a few pieces of luggage and the air was on its lowest fan setting. I just don't think this car is coming close to what it should. Now GM Customer Service says they can't do anything more to help me and have closed my file. I am so frustrated I can't stand it!!! I don't know what to do now or where to turn. Anyone have any ideas?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,307
    What was your speed. Did you accelerate briskly or gently from stops or when passing cars? Mileage varies greatly with how you drive.

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

  • Thanks for the reply. The dealer could not duplicate the problem and asked us to come pick up the car. We arrranged to come back when it needed gas and the service advisor would come with me to the station to see if it failed to start after refueling. The next evening it failed to start in our garage and would not start for over 14 hours. It finally started when I tried it almost 20 hours after the first attempt. I brought it in and they were able to download a fault code that they did not think was the problem. It started and ran fine that whole day and the next morning. That afternoon it failed to start (8th episode) and we had it towed in. This morning it started for the Dealer, they took it for a test drive, shut it off and it would not start. They replaced the fuel pump (second time) and I brought it home. It seems fine now, but, time will tell.
  • Your premise that weight is a factor in fuel mileage is true, but its really only a small piece of the equation. (in fact, when it comes to travelling on a flat highway weight doesn't make much difference at all).

    Wind resistance, rolling resistance, and engine efficiency are all very big factors in fuel mileage. For example, a Rendezvous Ultra FWD is about 18% heavier than a Ford Escape AWD, but uses 23% less gas (per EPA highway estimate). Obviously there's way more at work than just the weight of the vehicles.
  • This last trip was mostly freeway driving - some wide open wherein we used the cruise control - and other times we were in bumper to bumper traffic. I would say the mix was about 70% highway speeds and 30% stop and go traffic. We achieved only 17 mpg on this last tank. I am just so disgusted with this car and I am hoping someone can tell me what my next step can be since GM Cust. Service doesn't want to help... :confuse:
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    socalsandy said, " I would say the mix was about 70% highway speeds and 30% stop and go traffic. We achieved only 17 mpg on this last tank."

    Wow, if you experienced stop and go traffic for 1/3 of your trip, and you still got 17 mpg ... I don't know what you're complaining about. I can't thinkg of ANY 6-cylinder (AWD? mine is; 7 passenger seating? mine is) large cargo capacity vehicles that could do that! When I commute to work daily, I am getting 19 mpg. There is some stop and go traffic there, but nowhere need 30%.

    I'm pleased with my 19mpg city real life experience. Mileage increases significantly with wide-open freeway driving, especially with cruise control. YMMV (pun intended) :)
  • Please undertand I have never driven or owned an SUV and I bought it because the sticker says I can achieve 18 mpg city and 27 highway. I have yet to get better than 17 mpg anywhere! I never dreamed I would be driving a car that is so poor in it gas mileage - I was driving a Buick Century which I loved - that is why I went with a Buick product but I feel I have been duped by the mileage posted - I am a conservative driver, don't carry a lot of weight, use the cruise control, drive freeways a great deal of the time and fully expected I would see mileage in the low 20's. I can't even get close to that! Based on this, I think there must be something wrong, but the posts from others show that you folks are all used to getting crappy mileage and don't mind. Well, I DO mind and can't stand the idea of burning gas unnecessarily. I'm so frustrated! Doesn't this make sense or am I missing something? If the sticker says 18 to 27 should I expect to get close to that at least? I sure thought so or I would never have bought the darn car! :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Unfortunately the EPA ratings don't take into account the "real world". Many people don't make their EPA mileages. Your car will get better mileage as the miles add up though.

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

  • I had very bad experience with it and got ripped off..cost $950.
    I had a same situation where key will go in. Dealer provided no explanation either.

    My Randezvous had to be towed and dealer repair shop had drill the lock barrel to take it out. My warranty company told me that national average for this type of repair is about $400 or less.

    Complained with Buick but out of luck.
  • I agree with it.....numerous problems and there is no end in sight other than dumping it...........
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    socalsandy said, "I have never driven or owned an SUV and I bought it because the sticker says I can achieve 18 mpg city and 27 highway." Yes, EPA mileage is not usually what people get in "real life". There is an excellent article here on Edmunds about this, "Real World Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates": link title

    Quote from the article, "... while car shopping, you should assume that your fuel economy will, as the fine print says, vary depending on conditions. However, it is safe to say that your average will be on the low end of what the EPA is predicting. Proceed accordingly."

    You can increase your mileage by making sure your tires are properly inflated, that you drive conservatively (coast as much as you can), use cruise control as much as you can, choose uninterrupted highway routes (versus stop-and-go city driving), and turn off your A/C if not needed around town. I also use Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil -- which the manufacturer claims can increase mileage.

    Do remember that you're driving a 4,000 pound vehicle and that it will take a significant amount of fuel to get that weight moving -- no matter who built the vehicle. Of course, you could always trade it in for a Toyota Prius. However, I've seen some news reports that state that people are only getting about 40 mpg -- not 70 mpg as claimed. It's not just Buick, in other words.
  • I just purchased a 2003 Rendy...I love it! is getting 11 mpg in town and I watch the needle drop. "They" can't find out what's wrong and I get the feeling that other customers with checks in hand are getting more attention and service. Which brings me to this - what were the symptoms when you needed your head gasket replaced? I know that this can cause poor gas mileage.
  • OK guys the b..... is back with some more updates. Vehicle shut off while driving in a construction zone on a major highway(almost killing myself, son, daughter and grandson) as I was stuck against a concrete barrier in the fast lane with an 18 wheeler next to me. Towed...$167.00 200+ for repair of faulty corroded wiring going to a box under the left side door panel. After that repair car began doing the no start problem. I reached under vehicle, found wiring, jerked around on it and got it started..........drove right to the dealership not knowing if it would start again or even make it. Service manager says may be the same type wiring problem. Wiring block is in a very vunerable place to moisture and corroded quickly(in two years). I do normal driving not offroad nonsence. I hope many of you have heeded my advice about contacting NHTSA and making a complaint. There are too many of us experiencing some of these potential life threating defects. :lemon:
  • Hi again........check out my new post since my last harrowing experience with this vehicle. An attorney about some pointers on a class action law suit for those of us that had near misses. I'm not going to "die" for this car but have taken abeating on the last 3 lemons I have purchased from GM. One went to arbitration...arbitrator all but laughed at GM rep. Only problem was that I had to except another lemon of the same type...they wouldn't even let me buy up to escape that car. Needless to say, here I am again stuck with another :lemon: Without the financial means to do anything about it after taking the hit on the last 2 :lemon: Any advice? Thanks
  • I have not got less than 20.5 mi/gal highway or in town. I have no bad stop and go traffic. I got 22.5 on the interstate at 80mi/hr
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