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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • Did you find out what was causing the noise on your RDV? Our 2003 AWD just started making a similar grinding noise from the left rear. Haven't taken it for service yet.
  • Well, the RDV is back from the dealer. For the 3rd time in a row they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They reset the sensors. We still have the noise, and i am betting the AWD will go disabled within a month.

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    I think in most cases the grinding noise is bad wheel bearing. I believe the wheel sensors are part of the bearing assembly so it wouldn't be surprising they could cause AWD/ABS lights to get turned on, but I'm not a expert by any means
  • I noticed several brake problems listed. I have a 02 Rendezvous CXL with approx 39,000 miles. The past week the brake fluid low light has come on 2x I checked fluid it is fine. When I was parked in the driveway and turned the vehicle on the brakes did not work. I had to pump them to get them to release. I am taking to the shop in a few days, hoping it is nothing major. I know of another person with the exact same problem. Just wondering what I should expect as far as cost, I have no warranty and hate to get taken at repair shop.
  • I don't know about the wheel bearing. I would say yes, except for the fact that our noise can happen even when the vechical is not started. It will do while the key is in the "on" position. It doesn't do it all the time. I love the RDV ride and comforts, but would never buy another one.

  • I need to change my name. We just purchased an 06 RDV CXL Plus with all options except Navigation ($26k after all rebates). Considered a malibu maxx - not a good fit for 3 kiddies squeezed in the back seet. The RDV was perfect.

    Question on the engine: the car has the 3.6 vvt engine. I opened the hood and it was missing that nice plastic fuel rail cover shown on the website. The one that says "3.6 VVT" and has the Buick logo on it. Isn't this cover supposed to come with the car?? Just wondering if anyone else had the same experience.

  • What did you find out about your problem? I have been fighting this same problem for the last 2 years. It started with 18,000 miles and now I have 80,000 on vehicle. Dealer has replace bcm twice all electrical parts in the dash replaced wireing harness in engine compartment. The only thing not replaced is the inside wiring harness. Still does it. I would like to have any help!!!!!
  • Hi all.

    I've seen the posts regarding fuel mileage. Mine (CX FWD) averages 25 mpg combined. Got up to 32 mpg with 5 people in the car on a trip last summer. Should be interesting to see what fuel mileage I get this winter. Bought it used spring 2005. So far other than a very few annoyances it looks and runs great! Now has 70000 + miles on it.
  • I took the RDV for service and found the back brakes were worn, causing the noise. New pads fixed the noise and it's working great now. Kind of unusual for the backs to wear out first, unless a caliper was dragging or not sliding right.

    I've replaced 1 frt wheel bearing (35k), and have the worn paint on the radio buttons and broken lumbar knob. Other than these things, it has been a great vehicle. I would keep it longer, but our lease is coming up, and we need a bigger vehicle for our 2nd child. Will probably get a Pontiac SV6 van next.
  • Having issues with the front doors (again) on my Rendezvous. After we bought our RDV, the drivers front door was whistling. Had that fixed, no cost. In March 2004, passenger front door was "caught" by wind. This misaligned the door and bent the fender to the tune of $600. Now (Dec. 'o5) both the drivers side front door and the passenger front door are out. The passenger door is to the point you have to pry it open. Our dealer said that GM was aware of a possible issue with the hinges on the doors. Has anyone else heard this?
  • Yes- my door was also caught by a strong gust of wind--also bent fender, etc. I went through my insurance(comprehensive), only having to pay a smaller deductible.
    But that's the only break I've gotten: We bought our RDV new in 2001. The engine threw a valve spring at 200 miles, got it repaired, then threw another one at 500 miles! Demanded and got a new engine. They even offered us a 100,000 mile warranty, for all our troubles! We had already purchased a 100,000 mile total plus warranty, so they refunded that amount. Didn't have any more problems for the next year or so, then had the A/C fail. It wasn't until then that we discovered they only gave us a "basic" warranty (major engine, drivetrain). And wouldn't give us our total coverage back!!!
    Fast forward to now... my latest problem is that the car overheats when it's idling. Coolant level is fine. Any advice or suggestions (I bought a new thermostat, but after examining the engine, thought I'd wait for some advice).
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I remember reading a TSB about alleged overheating -- due to customer concerns that the temperature needle was over the 1/2 way mark. This TSB, as I recall, reassured the dealers/customers that this did not mean the vehicle was overheating and overheating was only occurring if the needle moved into the red zone (far right hand side of the gauge). Is your needle in that tiny red zone on the far end of the dial? If not, don't worry about it. I'll see if I can find the TSB and post later.
  • When I'm stopped, or even going real slow, the temp. needle slowly creeps all the way IN THE RED, and the red "engine hot" warning light (info center above and between the main gauges) comes on and chimes!! Once I get moving above about 20 MPH, everything goes back to "normal". I think even the owners manual says any temp out of the red is O.K., but I fear my condition can only lead to bigger problems.... HELP!
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    If it's in the red, there's definitely something wrong. Have you checked your coolant levels? If not, do so immediately. I was losing coolant (which is not supposed to happen with this system) and that was how the dealer discovered I had a leaking head gasket (which was replaced under warranty). If the coolant level is below the line, I'd bring it in and have the dealer check the gasket seals. Good luck!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    a low speed overheat that goes away when you start moving is usually a problem with AIR circulation, that is...your cooling fan.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,309
    Are the cooling fan(s) for the radiator kicking in when the temperature does go up while stopped, a normal thing?

    One way is to turn on the air conditioning and see if the fans run while idling. Another test is if this does work is to kick the airconditioning on when the temp starts to creep up if the outside temperature is above 45. Taht should start the fans running even if the other relay circuit is not kicking them in. The temperature should stabilize and gradually go back down. Yous hould be able to hear the fans running from inside the car with the driver window down.

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

  • Be glad it was just your brakes. Sorry I didn't reply right away, I've had a busy two weeks. When it happened I had a strong suspicion (and was right) that it was the Rear Drive Module. That's the "gearbox" for the back 2 wheels on AWD models. That's a $7600 (6500 US) repair believe it or not. Unf****ing believable. Out of warranty of course. I fought it and GM still stuck me with 30% of the bill. At their hyper-inflated markup of parts, they probably still made money on the deal. I'm still seething. This part should not die EVER, nevermind at 80,000 km. Don't forget, it only engages when the front wheels slip, so maybe on 5 or 10 heavy snow days a year does it actually function and even then for a handful of seconds at a time.

    OK, a bit of history so hopefully others can avoid this disastrous scenario. If you don't have the AWD model you can skip this post. Last year I started hearing noises (like a steering noise when you turn a power steering wheel all the way to one side and hold it there - so I reported it as a steering noise) when turning slowly and sharply (like a U-turn). It seemed random so of course whenever I reported it, the dealer couldn't reproduce it so it continued. It finally struck me that it only happened to make that sound when it was raining or EXTREMELY humid, before or after a rain. The next rainy day I brought it in and they heard the noise and figured out it was coming from that module. They changed the oil and the noise went away. It obviously didn't fix the problem, just put a bandaid over it, so to speak, but it was still under warranty at the time.

    A couple weeks ago I heard a sound coming from under the car. Not while turning, but a moaning whenever the vehicle was in motion, whether the engine was on or not. The noise increased in pitch with speed but still faint. It sounded like the dreaded wheel bearing noise, so since both front ones had been done I assumed it was the back. That night was the first snowfall of the year and when I hit some snow and the unit engaged, it "crunched" and I knew something major was wrong. It sounded like I was trailing tin cans on a string after that.

    Anyhow, the moral of the story is if you hear a noise that sounds like the rear bearings are going, don't assume that. Drive straight to the dealer with this post in mind. Especially if you're out of warranty. If there hadn't been a prior problem, they may have stuck me with the whole disgustingly bull**** bill.

    There's no way this unit should ever fail. I am so pissed off. If they don't end up picking up more of this tab (I'm still fighting with them), it could very well be the last GM I ever get into, and with another 40 years of car buying ahead of me, it's their loss. No wonder they're going bankrupt.
  • Sorry to hear about the Rear Drive Module. My brother is a GM tech in another state, and he said he has replaced at least one of those. I completely agree that engine and driveline parts (Including wheel bearings) should last at least 100,000, if not the life of the vehicle.

    Our Rdv got bit by the intake gaskets. It wouldn't start last weekend, and after reading about the BCM problems, I just had it towed to the dealer. Turned out to be a bad cell in the battery ($140 - ouch!). However, they just happened to notice that the intake gaskets are leaking. Estimated charge was $750, so I declined. I have < 3 months left on the lease, so I don't want to pay to fix for the next owner. I feel kind of bad about it, but I can't afford to pay this for someone else's benefit.

    I got a call the same day to tell me that the early lease turn-in is back. We're working now to get an AWD Pontiac SV6. I just hope the Rear Drive Module problem has been fixed. I read someone's post that the new 3.5L has no intake problems. I hope so.
  • After a small frontend wreck, and a new radiator ect. put in I had a Service Engine soon light on. I had a mechanic check the code and it was P0481 Cooling Fan Relay 2 Control Circuit malfunction. How do I get it fixed and is it expensive. 2nd ? - Right after I bought the RDV I had a click in the steering wheel, took it to the dealer and they replaced the entire steering column, has anyone else experienced this? Thanks Dale :confuse:
  • jhart1jhart1 Posts: 16
    The relay for that fan could have been damaged or crushed or left unplugged after the repair. Have the body shop fix it if they did the work. Check all connections to that circuit and also the temperature guage which controls those relays.
  • Hi blue.

    Out of curiosity, when you next speak to your brother would you ask him if he knows what GM's cost on that part is. Their list is about 4000 US, but we all know the markups are enormous. I would be very interested in knowing what their real cost is. My guess is about $500. If you can find out, I (as well as other list members I'm sure) would be interested.

  • gail04gail04 Posts: 51
    Why don't you try calling/speaking to Onstar directly? They'll probably offer you more help than a dealer would with this. They're phone number is 1-888-4-onstar. (toll free).
  • I have a 2002 Rendezvous and at first my door chime that rings 3 times when you lock didn't ring. now it does and every 3-4 minutes it rings when the car is turned on. How do I fix this? Or at least turn this chime off?
  • jhart1jhart1 Posts: 16
    It is either in the switch which recognizes that a key is installed or the computor needs re-booted. I have a dvd on the way with every factory manual available for all GM cars since 2000. I will download it and see if it can tell what is wrong. In the mean time try a little lock spray in the ignition. Also check the little push buttons that should be by the door hinges. Good luck.
  • We had this happen twice with out 2002 CXL AWD model. First time, 56k miles, it was the intake manifold gaskets leaking - $600+. Second time, 62K miles, it was the head gaskets leaking - $1100. I also had to have the AC condensor replace during this second visit, for $865. Overall, spent over $4K on the vehicle in 2005, about half repairs, half general maintenance, tires, exhaust, etc.
  • Has anyone had the following problem with their auto climat control system: I live in Michigan and it is December, my exterior temp is reading anywhere from 85-100 degrees F, when the actual temp is between 20-40 degrees F. This causes the AC to kick on, which I override, but cannot get heat in the vehicle unless I turn up the requested interior temp to be 85 or more.
  • Has anyone else had this problem? I am getting this on my 2002 RDV only 2 weeks after replacing the BCM at a cost of $600. Any help here would be appreciated. I really don't want to have to go back to the dealer, unless it't the Toyota dealer and I am getting rid of the RDV for good.
  • drdunkdrdunk Posts: 1
    I had these repairs replaced by GM for free. However, my 2002 had less than 50k miles on it at the time. I noticed that new Rendezvous have a 50k warranty now, so that might have been the reasoning. I ad the intake manifold gasket, AC condensor, and radiator replaced this past summer. Right now I'm dealing with the electrical problems with this car. I got my repairs done by Sinclair Buick in St. Louis.
  • I am losing antifreeze from the resevoir but I see no puddles underneath. I cannot get the cap off the radiator, it's stuck. Is this common in the 2003CXL and is this expensive. Could it be the thermostat if the car is not heating like it should? Would the dealer be the best place to take it or should I buy the parts myself and have a friend install them?
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