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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • We are in the process (car at the shop now) to get our 2002 Rendezvous's transmission replaced. By the way the 3rd party extended warranty people have been a pain to deal with, but are going to get this taken care of.
  • I have the towing package. After one year, about 15,000 miles I hear the pump "grinding" shortly after starting the engine. My dealer says this is normal. True or not? Dale12
  • jzfljzfl Posts: 4
    Things had been going well on DW's 2003 with 70k miles on it.

    Then the a brake caliper went. The mechanic said the plastic/rubber diaphragm used to push the caliper back failed.

    This weekend I go in and he says the front left inner tie rod needs replacement and the right strut is bad. I could hear the strut, so I know it's correct. Mechanic says it's the plastic at the top that contains steel bearings that fail.

    Overall, mechanic says they are just using cheaper parts. I remember in the 80's on GM products that when 60k came around, you were usually replacing the starter, alternator and water pump. Suppose that now it's the front end parts that need replacements?
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    The bearing plate can be replaced without replacing the whole strut. If the bearings are not shot, they can be lubed with a spray lithium base grease.

    The caliper can be rebuilt using a rebuild kit. You either have a bad "O" ring allowing fluid past the piston, or your dust boot is bad. Not an expensive kit to buy.

    Ever since they have gone to "lubed for life" components and have done away with most if not all of the zerk fittings, the life expectancy of the parts has gone down. Many vehicles use to have 11-13 zerk fittings, now you are lucky if you have two.
  • I have a buick renezvous 2003 and I"m having problems with the starter, it happened after the alarm got activated, as soon as the alarm started making the noise I put the Key in the ignition switch and turned it on and then the alarm went off but after that I tried turning the engine on and it doesnt want to start again. then after many tries there is still nothing. If someone knows what is the problem would you please tell me?
  • WOW!! I am shocked to see all these issues with RDV owners. I have an '04 RDV and after 70,000 miles I have had only 1 issue. Buick sent me a letter stating that the front wheel bearings were subject to premature wear. I ran to my dealer with the letter and he replaced my wheel bearings on BOTH sides, no charge. I drive back and forth between Durham, NC and Cleveland, Ohio a couple times a month (thats where all the mileage comes from). I have driven Buicks and Cadillacs for a long time (since I was 17) and I can honestly say I probably will always stay with Buicks and Cadillacs. As soon as the Enclave is available, I'm going to run out and get it. I am a little over 40. I also am very meticulous in maintaing my vehicles in both mechanics and appearance. I will NEVER ever buy a car of foreign manufacture (unless I hit the lottery, then it will be Aston Martins). As an American, I would not be caught dead in a toyota, mazda or God forbid a kia or hyundai.
    :). I do understand the older RDV's had some issues, but the newer ones are really nice and reliable.
  • I just got my new RDV. when programming personal settings it appears that i do NOT have the seat recall and tilt mirror options should I have these??
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    The seat and mirror recall feature was included on my wife's 2004 CXL Plus Package. I don't know what they may have made standard on the 2007 CX. You could look in a brochure as standard and optional options are usually listed for each model.

    I also checked the Buick site and Edmunds site for an answer to your question. It looks like the Memory Package is only offered on the CXL.
  • jzfljzfl Posts: 4
    Second mechanic's opinion is the same thing. He says most RDV/Aztec front ends go out at 60k.

    Thanks [442455]
  • Have a same problem. It is not pads. You have been fooled. It is rear (AWD) box. Same story with me. It started at around 35K and fist on sharp (full) stirring in one direction. Few months back it started when making both sharp turns. Now at 51K I had it again.

    Apparently some plates at AWD gear box are coming too close (rubbing each other). This must not happen. Last year they changed fluid and conditioner and the noise (like viu-viu-viu) was gone for 8-10 months.

    Last night I dropped the car off with dealer again. They offered same S... explanation again and said I have to keep servicing rear gear box every year changing fluid and conditioner.

    I am ENG and my wife too. She spend year in automotive deign and QC and this was BS explanation.

    We asked for more inputs from GM. Today the dealer is clinging entire AWD system, flushing all fluids out, cleaning gears and plates, etc.

    We shall see how it would work out. I have extended warranty for another 1 ½ year. I have to keep an eye (ear) on this. If it happens next spring I will ask for the replacement of entire gearbox.

    Otherwise not other issues with the car. (Check breaks regularly. My front calliper ceased. It is warranty issue, however all my breaks were damaged due to wrong breaking force distribution another $ 700+ not out of pocket). I could have not noticed due to ABS.

    Recall of ball joints was done a month back, so it is not the issue.

    Regards, Vlado
  • I came ever so close to trading in my RDV last night after spotting some faint creamy sludge on the inside of my oil cap. I ended up at the dealer, where they ran the regular pressure tests and the like. The service advisor guaranteed me that there was no coolant leak anywhere in the engine. And of course the sludge had disappeared.

    I am especially concerned because the vehicle is about to go past 100K, after which GMC will no longer cover the tab for the dreaded intake gasket repair. However, the advisor says because I have documented my concern, and his manager is aware of it, they will ensure GM covers the repair if the gasket fails over the next few months. I know, but at least it's some peace of mind.

    I have to say, other than this concern, my RDV has been nothing but a pleasure to own... nothing but oil changes. That's why I'm willing to give it a chance, rather than taking the insurance hit of owning a Honda Civic again.
    Cross your fingers for me. :)
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Just a thought on what you are seeing. I believe it could be caused by a pcv valve that not working. Without Positive Crankcase Ventilation any moisture that happens to get in there could condense and cause a little sludge I think.
  • Thanks for the info...I'll run that suggestion by the service advisor if I ever see the sludge again. It hasnt come back. I have to admit that I may have panicked with all the reading I do in these forums. Like I said, my RDV has been a pillar of reliability. I took the family from Toronto to Ottawa, and back recently, and it was like 5 hours on my living room couch. It's too bad Buick didnt deal with all the engine, tranny, computer issues in quick order. This model could have been waaay more popular than it even is now.
  • Did you ever get resolution on your AWD Disable problem? I'm having the same issue with my 2003 RDV. They've replaced the wire harness, but problem still there.
  • I recently said that our 03 was one of the best vehicles ever owned. What a mistake. At 36,000 and 9 months out of warrantee (sp?). Tires worn 33,000 $400, trans shot $1600, service engine light, Sensor broken, oil pressure sending unit shot and intake gasket gone. My dealer was a real "trooper" and made me a deal by getting a "special" extension on my warrantee if I get $900 of "needed" preventative maintenance. They "fixed" the problems but I had to aggree to oil, coolant, brake, fuel injector cleaner flushes and cleaning, New front brakes and fuel filter. I aggree that the coolant may be close to due but I had just changed the oil 1000miles ago (Maybe with the intake also) butI know the brakes were fine ( I change my own oil and do my own brakes and they were fine) I use brand name gas and I regularily put in injector cleaner but if Ididn't want the $1500 + bill I had to aggree to the useless garbage. Sounds like double dipping to me. $$$ from me and $$$$ from GM. I hate being held hostage. I won't go back again.
  • jijjij Posts: 4
    I bought a used 2002 model. The park lights don't seem to come on. When I turn the knob to Park position, it still stays in low beam. Anybody here had the same problem? What could be the problem?

    Also, is there a Buick Rendezvous Haynes (or similar) repair manual. I can't seem to locate one for the Rendezvous.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Just bought a used '05 and it is great so far, but I noticed that about 5 of the lights on the radio do not come on (left side), one of the light bulbs on the speedometer (left side also) does not light up, and the light on the door lock (drivers side/left side) does not come on. All other lights are working normally when the dimmer is adjusted. I am suspecting something in the harness cable, possibly a splice that may be flaky. I checked the associated fuses, and they are good of course, since about 3/4 of the lights on the radio are working and all but one of the dash lights are OK. Anyone have an opinion and also, where can I get the GM shop manual for this car? The real one, not the $15 pseudo manuals that are put out by a bunch of companies. The one I want goes for about $100. Thanks
  • ang31ang31 Posts: 2
    HELP...........I have a 2004 rendevzous and at 47,000 miles had my tranmission replaced which was convered under warranty. Now 10,000 miles later I am having problems again. What I thought was the trans again turned out to be the differential. The dealer is charging me $4000 to get fixed. Does the differential have anything to do with the transmission? And shouldn't that have been looked at the first time I brought my car in when the trans went? If someone can give me any information it would really help.
  • gembogembo Posts: 7
    I have a 2002 Rendezvous that no longer chimes when it should, such as low fuel, too close to rear object, blinker is on, door is open with key in ignition, etc. I have been told that there is something, a multiple plug-in of some type, behind the radio that all the above features tie into before going to the radio speakers which may be causing the problem. The radio speakers do work, therefore, I think the problem is in between the individual modules for each feature and the tie-in to the speakers. The alert lights work on all the features, but the chime works on none of them. Can anyone help me with this problem? Keep in mind that the info above that I have received may be incorrect. I sure could use some help on this. Many thanks to whoever can help out.
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    You can check Helms for service manual publications. Their web site is Helminc dot com.
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    If you did not see my reply to the previous post, you can purchase the service manual from Helms at Helminc dot com. I was able to find mine on e-Bay, but they are very hard to find there.
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    It could be the Body Control Module (BCM), Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC), or even the radio itself. A scan tool at a dealership needs to be hooked up to see which one it is. One diagnostic step you can try at home before going to the dealer, as stated in the service manual is

    1) With the ignition off and the key in the ignition, open the driver's door. If no chime, then

    2) Do the courtesy lights turn on when you open the drivers door? If yes, then

    3) Turn the ignition ON with the engine OFF, turn ON the radio, adjust the radio balance and fade to the left front speaker. Does the speaker operate properly? If yes, then

    4) According to the service manual, replace and do the set up procedure for the replacement radio.

    You might want to try this before going to the dealer because if the speaker does not work properly, you have a speaker problem.
  • gembogembo Posts: 7
    Thank you very much for your reply. I went through the steps you listed, and sure enough, number three failed the test. The speaker does not work. About a month ago, I had to have a window support (not the correct name) replaced in the driver door. I suspect that something did not get connected back correctly. Comments????
  • Happy New Year to all- Tried to deal our 2002 on a new HHR the day. What a joke!! Dealer only offered $6500. Can for it & wouldn't budge.Apparently the RDV's bad reputation is well known. We are really screwed now- if we wait until next year we would only get 1/2 that again. Comments?? :lemon:
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    In the service manual for the front left door speaker (drivers side) upper and lower speakers, there is a wire harness for each speaker. You have to remove the door trim panel to expose the speakers and harness. It does sound like the previous work done inside the door assembly might have caused the problem. Remove the trim cover and check your connections.

    I hope this solves your problem. Cheaper than having to go to a dealer to have a scan tool hooked up or having to replace the radio or BCM.

    If you are not able to do the work yourself, go back to where the original work was done on the window support, or try some type of audio store such as Best Buy or Circuit City.

    Good luck and post what you find. Steve
  • gembogembo Posts: 7
    I will post what I find out, however, it will be a few days before I can get to it. Thanks very much for all the help. Gembo
  • I just had to have my Transmission and AWD box replaced do to heavy metal fragments in both. My mech told the reason was due to have 2 sets of different tires, all four were same size and numbers but different brand. If u bought it used the previous owner may have put different brand tires on or u may have them on right now.
  • gembogembo Posts: 7
    I will try this again. I think that I lost the first attempt. I took the driver door panel off and checked the wiring harnesses with the key and radio on, just in case I bumped a loose connection that might sound off while I was working on it. No such luck. Everything seemed to be connected securely. I guess I will have to have it diagnosed. I sure hate to do that. I am down on my luck financly at this time. Is the Body Control Module something that I could take a look at?? Where is it? Thanks again for all your help. I was beginning to think that I was going to be able to fix it myself.
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    Sorry to hear that you could not get the speaker to work after removing the trim panel. It just seems strange that if someone had worked inside the door recently, and now the speaker isn't working, that something else is the problem.

    I would recheck the wires for the speakers in the door, and pull off the connection and reconnect them to make sure they are on correctly and that none of the speaker tabs that the connectors plug into are broken. Perhaps they had to remove a speaker to do the window work and something got broken or cut?

    The BCM is an expensive item and has to be programmed by a dealer if a new one is put in. I am sure you would be looking at $400-$600 to have it done. I removed my wife's factory CD/Cassette radio and installed a factory 6 Disc CD radio. The radio than had to be programmed by a dealer in order to work with the BCM. Two dealers wanted over $80 and I found one that did it for $45.00

    I would double check the speakers since I think this is where you will find the problem, unless you are having other issues with the items controlled by the BCM.
  • guestguest Posts: 770
    If your mechanic really believes the problem was because of two different brand tires (even though they were the identical sizes) I would be looking for a new mechanic ASAP!
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