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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    Thanks for the support. GM basically told me the same thing. It appears that the reps get the same instructions from PR. It also appears from GM response there is a definite problem here building a inferior product and they are handling this situation by replying/handling it through pollical mombo jumbo. Consumers are not that dumb and ignorant. GMs strategy is to plead innocent and say these things are not happening or true and if GM ignores us long enough once all these crappy cars they built rust away along with consumer confidence they will wake up and they will not have any car issues and in this case any cars to sell as well.

    Just venting a little :mad: But its true. Their your best friend until they get your money.

  • jwlilljwlill Posts: 4
    Thanks for writing such a well written and descriptive message. I've almost identical problems, further pointing to a major manufacturing defect for many of the assemblies in the RVD :lemon: . Has anyone complied the emails or ID of all of the RVD complaints? I'm contacting my attorney today or tomorrow after one more call to GM and dealer. Maybe we should push for a US class action law suit?

    The GM good will program was good for a while (gas tank, gasket, condensor), but for them to baulk on the transmission issue only after 70,000 miles is criminal. :mad:
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49

    I should make one minor correction. I did purchase a GM product once a Saturn in 1991 but at the time Saturn was not part of GM persay, They were a seperate company based out of Spring Hill Tenesse. And you know what that car lasted 12 years and 250,000 km (no major issues or problems) and the customer service was the best ever. At 6 years old (3 years outside warrenty 120,000 km) all my doors cracked and were falling off. I phoned Saturn head quarters in spring hill and you know what they replaced all the door pannels, painted the whole car at their expense and appologized for such a defect (5500 dollars)and they knew of the problem and are correcting it on newer models. Know Saturn is under the fold of GM so know you talk to GM not Saturn and as result no more costumer service or happy people and understanding people to talk too. I also liked the car washes and tire cleaning the Saturn dealer did with every oil change. Know I may not even consider buying a Saturn since it is fully under GM, so sad and for that matter any other product line GM pushes (Saab, Hummer ...etc).

    Maybe in a few years if all our complaints start to mean something GM will do something or someone dies on the highway because of one these issues with RDV, GM will do something. Thanks again for your support. This vehicle cost me 47,500 with tax and when I sell I am going to take a bath big time. But best to be safe then sorry. I should of bought the MDX which at the time cost a few grand more.

    James :sick:
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    Sorry for writing again but it appears I did a writing error upon reading my own post. My intension was not to mean someone should die because of these defects with RDV and then GM do something. I wanted to write that GM probably will not do anything until someone gets hurt and could potentially die because of one of these defects (Trany braking on busy highway for example). I appologize again for my ill approperiated statement.

    I will not be posting again because I think enough has been said.

    James :sick: RDV
  • jpierce,you and jwlill shud lurn howe to spel.....really,it doesn't make you come off as seeming very credible when expressing your opinion about anything,let alone a 45k vehicle
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,564
    Let's not "grade" people on their spelling...some are in a hurry, some are used to "texting", maybe some went to my old high school---so give them the benefit of the doubt and give them a hand with their problem when you can, okay?

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

  • I have an '02 without the driver info centre. That means, to reset the yellow oil wrench indicator light, I have to pump the gas pedal three times while the key is in the on position, but without cranking over the car. ITS NOT WORKING! This is the first time it has failed to reset the light. But oil levels are fine, car's running well, so I damn well refuse to take it in. The light goes off after driving half a block...I can live with that. But if anyone has a fix, I'd love to hear it. I would detach the battery to reset, but i'm scared of the other problems that might cause re: BCM. Great SUV, but she's like a damn land mine sometimes. :confuse:
  • dilldill Posts: 31
    I recently bought an 06 Rendezvous. I have changed the oil 3 times of so in the last 8 months of ownership. The last time I changed it. I changed it myself. I like you have an oil indicator light that pops on telling me the oil is spent and needs changing. I have the same procedure as you do. Pumping the gas 3 times in a 5 second period. I like you did that and it didn't shut off the light. After messing with it for 30 minutes. I called my local Buick dealer told him what the problem was, he suggested coming down and they would look at it. A service guy came out and looked at the car for a second and got behind the wheel to do the 3 pumps of the gas and he did the pumps faster than I had within the 5 seconds and the light shut off. My question to you is, did you pump the gas fast enough? Boy, did I feel foolish when he fixed the problem in no time at all. By the way, the Rendezvous is a wonderful car and I would buy another in a heartbeat if I was in the position to do so.
  • i have a 2005 buick rendezvous that i really love. however, we have replaced the rear differential and serviced it 2x. i still hear a loud moaning sound coming from the left rear while driving up and down a parking garage ramp. its only left turns at low speeds. anyone else have this problem? 2 dealerships claim this is "normal". i think not.
  • I just got a used 2003 Rendezvous. It has 122km so i was expecting some problems. to make things worse when the car finally came home from the dealer about a hour ride turns out that the coolant was almost empty, nothing in the tank and i didnt c anything in the rad but didnt take much to fill it up. i found a bunch of gunk under the rad cap. so im guessing this means oil is getting into the coolant. so i went to mechanic, he wasnt there on sunday but the guy at the shop had a quick look and said it looks like the head gasket is leaking a bit. when i got back from the mech i checked the oil and it turns out it was wayy overfilled, heh i bet that didnt help the gaskets. anyways the oil looked clean and i didnt see any dirt on the oil cap, nor did i see any bubbles in the oil.

    Im definitely planning on a coolant flush.
    now my question is what should i do other than the flush.
    do you guys think i should just replace the gaskets before the coolant starts leaking into the oil. and also has anyone replaced the gaskets themself.

    Im a noob, as this is my first car, but im a person that has lots of patience. and im trying to get my hands on the techline manual, i would not start with out it. guess the question is has anyone done it to tell me the difficulty of this operation. what are some possible pitfalls/ warnings.

    oh yes. i would also like to hear any suggestions for preventative maintenance. btw the car runs great and the message console says my millage economy is 21.7MPG, which sounds about right.

    oh one more thing. is there a rendezvous online community homepage on the net where the mechanic heads hang out?

    :shades: ahh one more thing, i live in canada. at 122km does anyone think GM will cover this. I heard GM is on a good will mission in Canada.

    Thanks, hope its not too much all at once.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I'm not sure I'd want to jump in all at once; I think there are better tests of a coolant or head gasket leak than looking at the gunk on a cap.

    There's not much out there about power flushing a cooling system like there is with transmissions (many people think a "power" flush of a tranny can do more harm than good). There is some stuff about the need for a power flush on some GM engines with aluminum heads but often times the biggest push for power flushing seems to come from the companies that make the machines.

    Check out Got a Quick, Technical Question? - Shifty and his friends can give you some good tips.
  • I would have to agree... don't assume that gunk on the oil cap automatically means blown intake gasket. I have the same gunk, and forced the dealership to do test after test on 2 separate occasions cause I was paranoid. However, the pressure tests kept showing cylinders holding pressure well. As someone mentioned to me, that gunk on the cap... most likely from moisture in the system, is more likely frm a PCV valve needing replacement. And considering you have an 03, it's about time for a coolant flush, so get it done. Just good maintenance.
  • Yes, I have the exact same problem - it's a loud groaning sound and it only happens when you just start out. Recently, it has been accompanied by a vibration in the steering wheel as well. I've taken the car in to the dealer and they tell me it's normal with that make and model. But, I don't think it's normal at all, it sounds terrible, how can it be normal?
    Medford, OR
  • You're suggestion worked. I pumped the gas at different speeds.. a little faster, and the oil change light finally turned off. Saved myself alot of time and incovenience - thx :)
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    I think the gunk may be just from running low on coolant (extra air in system could cause that). I would just change coolant for now and keep a close eye on level to make sure it isn't leaking. One very common thing on these is bad lower intake gaskets that will leak coolant/oil and can many times be visible externaly (oily looking residue below gasket, wet looking) I know the 2001,2002 models had this issue, and perhaps early 03's.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    For the moaning sound I might be thinking wheel bearing gone bad, more so if sound changes with speed. On AWD models sometimes versatrak fluid change will correct moan (if its not bearing issue)
  • Thanks guys. I think you might be right. I just got my hands on the gm manuals. they are sweet but could have been better. they seam too basic. i printed out a bunch of things related to the manifold gasket inspection, replacement. I intend on going through them more closely at work. but at first glance this stuff seams soooo basic. i cant believe the Mechs are taking so many hundreds of dollars for this stuff. And like i said im a noob, its my first car so this means i never played around in one before. this really blows my mind. Now if only my dad got his CNC machines working i could get really creative and start making my own quality parts for this car.

    oh ya. i dont think i have a coolant leak into the engine. the manuals say that if i did the exhaust would appear as white smoke that smells like the coolant. I do have lots of white smoke but its from water condensation, i didnt smell any coolant in the exhaust yet.

    ok enough babble

    I can see some stains on the engine block beside the gaskets which could indicate im leaking to the outside of the engine. I also see a lot of rust on some of the components under the hood. the question is,

    Do you guys think it would be enough to simply re-torque the head gasket, and intake manifold bolts?

    I bet due to the slight corrosion, the bolts lost some material which decreased the compressive strength on the gaskets. it sounds like a reasonable thing to do at this stage. just wondering if there is anything im missing or should look out for.

    Thanks again,
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    I don't think re-torquing the bolts will help. If you have a leak, you will probible find it is not right next to a bolt. Once it starts leaking, because of the design of the old style gasket, it has to be replaced with the new design. I believe GM started installing the new design gasket sometime in May of 2003.

    Also, because of the stretch factor of the bolts, once they are taken out or loosened, they have to be replaced with NEW bolts.
  • Well it looks like my fears have been confirmed. The garage just called and informed me both the head and manifold gaskets are leaking BAD. the guy also said its going to cost $2400 cnd. I might of figured just based on my luck record. i bet that with my luck the transmission will be shot too when that fluid is checked. i cant believe he said 2.4k. i was expected to pay 1.5k and i would have been happy believe it or not. Thanks GM for my first car ever. oh ya. did i mention i didnt even get to drive it yet. well im not counting the half a meter in my driveway. he told me if i say yes to the repairs he could have it done in 2 days. perhaps even tomorrow. I have looked at the process it takes to do all this work. its not 2.4k thats for sure. even 1k would feel like a ripoff. ill just end it since i could complain all day. :sick:
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    If you bought it used and it was within 30 days of purchase and you purchased it from a dealer they should cover a least half the cost. I would start there. If you purchased it privately well there might be some recourse since the persons sold you the care may have known about these issues and did not disclose them at the time sale. My brother-inlaw found this out when he sold his car privately with a rear differential that was going and the person who he shold the car too came back after him for the coin and won!.

    GM only offered the good will program up till 100k or 5 years on the intake manifold gasket. To have GM replace the intake manifold gasket 1200 bucks, to get a private garage to do it 700 bucks. As for the head gasket it would cost around 1500 bucks, but to do both intake and head gasket should not cost 2400 bucks maybe 1800 at the most since your taking the engine apart anyway to get at the intake and head gasket at once.

    Did you get any garantee with the vehicle at all. GM is out of the picture on this one. Also I understand expect to replace the intake manifold gasket and head gasket again at 200 k plus. According to my mechanic GM has made no improvements to these replacement parts (cheap plastic) expect them to go again and again. GM keeps him in business and is Honda and Toyota's best salesman.

    Sorry to here about your troubles

    :sick: :sick:
  • Hmm. ok right now im trying to determine if i should try returning the vehicle to the dealership i got it in.

    Im wondering what other potential problems im looking at in the future. I heard some people say their transmission had crumbled for them. Is this a common problem on the 03 Rendezvous.

    I have the 2003 Rendezvous FWD with traction control. 3.4L engine Automatic.

    Im looking for some expert advice here. I really fell in love with the car, i dont want to get rid of it just because of FAULTY gaskets gm put in them. But again im not made out of money, its my first car and I just graduated 2 weeks ago from school. the garage told me that the replacement parts have a 100,000 KM warranty on them.
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    Hi again:

    I would recommend taking the car back to the dealer. There should be a 30 day warrenty on the vehicle and as such the dealer should cover the cost of the gasket replacements (if it was a GM dealer it is garanteed through their so called GMC used car policy). If they do not (and want to be &&?%%$$$??& about it) you can always take them to small claims court (and write GM directly about how poor the dealer was) and you would win hands down (just time and headache on your part). At least you would recover your cost. I dought the dealer will take the vehicle back based on the problems it has, but it might. Good Luck with that.

    As for the transmission I just had mine replaced (2002 RDV) and with AWD cost 3500 through an independent (turns out they do all the repairs for GM anyway in my area) GM quoted me 5300 bucks. It appears these transmissions are hit and miss (planetary gears break up due to a faulty drive shaft coming lose and causing the gears to cross). This was in all RDV up till 2004 when they replaced the drive shaft with a more robust one (welded instead of preasure fit to the main control gear). So do a filter and fuild change every 50 k km but it will go eventually but this may have it last longer before the part prematurely fails completely.

    Anyway for your first vehicle it may have been wiser to investigate a little before purchasing the RDV, because like most GM products it can be expensive to maintain and be unreliable. Current GM products do offer 160 k km warrenties which is allot better, but it does not solve your current problem.

    Anyway takecare and good luck :sick:

  • Just writing to let everyone know that RDV and venture minivans and such suffer from hood corrosion along the windshield. It appears that oxidation is taking place along the hood seam (since it is an aluminum hood) and as a result is bubbling up the paint. I may have read this on this link in some messages posted way back. This is a result of faulty manufacturing exacerbated by the design of the hood (i.e., snow gets trapped and sits there) and as a result bubbling and corrision starts. Therefore lift up your hood and look along the back seam by the windshield, if you see bubbling take it in and GM will repair it (5 year 100000 km warrenty) if not GREAT! (rust check the crap out of it inside and out and hopefully this will prevent the corrosion from happening). I am taking mine in for repair (my last warranty claim since I am just under 100000 km).

    Man this vehicle has some serious quality issues.

    Regards :cry:

  • I had my hood painted,at my own expense.It seems every problem I've had with my RDV has been a common problem.That seam along the hood was very prone to corrosion,a(design/manufacturing)flaw.I recieved a letter yesterday saying my Onstar service is to be discontinued at the end of the year due to it's analogue technology no longer being compatible with current digital tech.I was told all Onstar vehicles with Onstar pre '05 will be redundant.How nice to pay for a premium service,only to have them shrug their shoulders.
  • ha ha, funny that you mentioned that. I have bubbling all around my hood. I found it kind of strange since the rest of the vehicle had no rust at all on the body. Ill have to get GM to fix it for me once i get my car back from its head and manifold gasket repairs.

    oh ya. I thought the corrosion warranty was 5 years or 160,000Km. At least thats what carfax says under its warranty check thing.
  • Maybe you got the 5 year 160 000 km through the GM used car plan. For new cars (2002 to 2006) it was 5 years 100,000km. I am fortunate that I am still within warranty. Also as a follow up to the Onstar situation, I phonedd GM Onstar and it appears that there is a new US law coming into effect at the end of the year to eliminate all analog transmissions (cell phones for example). So this phasing out of older Onstar systems is not by GM`s choosing. They are looking into issuing a digital upgrade for the older vehicles (pre-2005, since 2005 and above have analog and are digital ready). They told me a news bulletin should be issued in July 2007 if this upgrade is possible (cost effective) and if it is not. This upgrade however will involve committing to a two year contract with Onstar.

    This is about it for know :P

  • Mine did the exact same thing. The car would make a grinding noise during slow left turns. Not every time and never could get it to duplicate for the mechanic. But based my description, they were able to determine that the antilock brakes were activating. After much research, they found it was the wiring harness leading to the wheel sensor. Have it checked.
  • Just letting everyone know since the temperatures have reached - 20 Degrees C here my starter has started to act up. It is not disengaging properly at cold startup and then is fine for the rest of the day (it makes a starter stuck on sound for a split second). GM told me this normal and expected. I do not think it is normal and expected. My wife`s car started doing this (after 9 years) and it got worse and worse (3 month period) and then I had to have it replaced. I have been looking at starters for replacement and the cheapest is 127 bucks US (including 40 bucks for old core). Delco is 221 US or 265 Cnd (and this is a rebuild as well). Seems you cannot get a new starter for this vehicle. Man this thing is starting to become a money pit (at least the hood repair is at GM expense). Let me know if anyone else is have this problem and if it is normal.


    James :confuse:
  • I have a stock 2003 Buick Rendezvous. About mid-summer I noticed that my airflow had decreased and wouldn't cool unless I was going in excess of 30-35mph. At the time is wasn't that big a deal because I drive with my windows open. Well now the heater doesn't push air unless I'm going faster than 30-35mph. Which considering its winter in Minnesota, warming my car doesn't do much to warm the cabin. I check the HVAC Blower Fuse and that is fine. I'm thinking about replacing the blower assembly (right behind the glove compartment) as I happen to have a spare one sitting around my shop. Does anyone have any suggestions or other ideas as to what might cause this problem?
  • You could try changing the HEPA filter for the HVAC system. It could be plugged. They are around 50 bucks. Not sure where it goes, but it could be the simple answer to your problem.

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