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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    No, I don't work for GM. I read a post where someone was complaining about a squeak from the rear suspension, and jumped on the old "inferior manufactoring" bandwagon.
    The vehicle he complained about was 5 years old, and no mileage was stated. Just wondered if perhaps he had not done proper maintenance, such as inspecting the rear shocks, bushings, springs, ect.

    As for the head gasket issue and the wheel bearings, yes, I have been through that with several Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs I have owned. The dealer was fantastic with the repairs.

    With the rebates that GM always seems to have on their new vehicles I have always used some of that money and purchased the GM Extended Warranty. I buy the 100000 mile, 72 month, no deductible policy. I usually drive a vehicle close to the 100000 miles, and when selling the vehicle, can transfer the remaining warranty to the new owner for their peace of mind.

    My wifes 2004 Rendezvous which has 42000 miles on it, and which she purchased new, has had two minor problems. I do all the maintenance on it, and have never noticed any "inferior manufactoring" issues with it. As for too small of a steering column and a lack of an SUV suspension, never noticed those, either. If you need an SUV suspension, buy an SUV, not a cross over vehicle.

    Good luck with your vehicles. I do feel badly for anyone that has had the major problems some have talked about, but just got rubbed the wrong way with the "inferior manufactoring" remark because of a squeaky rear suspension, which the owner has not even had checked out yet.
  • chuckie2chuckie2 Posts: 16
    I guess I kind of feel bad for some of these folks... I've had my RDV since new (04) and have had only 2 issues: wheel bearing (replaced under warranty) and at 72,255 mi. my power steering pump developed a leak which my dealer did a courtesy repair at no charge. I currently have 78,878 miles and I still like the vehicle. I drive between Durham, NC, Brooklyn, NY and Cleveland, Ohio frequently even through the blizzards and I have always felt assured that I would make it there and back. I do have to say though, I am very particular about routine maintenance because I am on the road a lot so my vehicle must run like new at all times. I have driven Buicks, Caddy's and Lincolns since I was 16 and always drove them well past the 150,000 mile mark with no major issues. It seems that the loudest bashers of American metal are folks who dont take care of their vehicle. True, there are some lemons out there....The chevy citation comes to mind...but thats not a class of vehicle I would purchase anyway. I think the RVD is a fine entry level SUV, and my next purchase will be the Enclave with the V-8.
  • jablonsajablonsa Posts: 13
    ok fair enough. I guess i can understand how that might of rubbed you the wrong way. as for your wifes car. the 2004 had the 2 major things fixed. the steering column and the gaskets. I just got unlucky because i went to buy one car, than saw the RVD and it impressed me. i put down some money that day, not knowing anything about the car. when i went home within a couple minutes i knew most of the issues. I wanted to check the gaskets myself before making the final deal and bringing the car home. but my parents didnt listen to me and went to pick it up themselves for me during the week when i was working. imagine this the dealership was around 90km from my house. by the time they got back the entire cooling fluid drained out of the plastic reservoir and enough not to see any in the radiator. the first 3 weeks the car was in the shop more than in my driveway. just a strain of bad luck or miscommunication led to 3k being wasted. at least i hope the car lasts till the summer. there is a lot of corrosion under the hood. this is my first car and i have never been a car head at all. but i learn quick. so i plan to clean up all the rust this summer.

    does anyone have any suggestions on what kind of product i should use to clean the rust off. i want to clean and protect at the same time from future damage if possible. some kind of rust stripping oil i think would be best. if anything like that exists. I dont understand why cant car manufacturers just anodize all the nuts and bolts and metal parts that rust under the hood. If GM started doing that it would build a lot of trust with the customers and perhaps get them back with a quality product. only other thing would be to wait till canada turns into a nice dry desert to keep my car preserved for generations. I hope GM does not have its engineers down in the desert designing cars for us up here in the north where it rains more than once a month.
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    What year and how many miles does the Rendezvous have? GM does have a rust through warranty which may help you. Where is the rust? My wife had a 1988 Chevrolet Corsica, which at 97000 miles the hood started rusting through. The dealer repaired the hood at no charge because of the warranty.
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    To first add. My RVD has 100,000 km (60,000 miles) I am probably the most meticulous person when it comes to maintaining any vehicle and as such when it comes to my RVD I am very protective of it. I am little frustrated with the lack of support from GM in my opinion and how this RVD was very poorly manufactured (made with off-shore parts according to my mechanic and made in Mexico_I guess when I found razor blades hidden inside the doors after I received the vehicle I should of caught on). The transmission went at 90,000 km due to a faulty and poorly constructed main drive shaft and plantary gears (The after market components are upgrades compared to the original and corrected these known issues according to transmission shop that does all the GM transmission repairs). This cost me big time. I hope the new one lasts. If you read my previous posts the number of things gone wrong with my RVD is long and are common repairs being done on this vehicle (as indicated on this web site by many others and other RVD forums on the internet).

    Now to deal with the rusty hood. I just got mine fixed under warranty (5 years 100,000 km or 60,000 miles) through the GM dealer. This is what GM told me. First the hood is aluminum and the problem is the design along the back of the hood/windshield and faulty design of the back seam along the hood. It appears the seam is not sealed properly upon original manufacturing and as a result of snow piling up on the wind shield and falling down under the hood space (where the wipers sit) the moisture seeps into the seam and causes oxidation and then corrosion. The only way to fix this is to grind off the corrosion and repaint (the original repair was to replace the hood, but GM put a stop to that since it was getting so expensive for them). The GM dealer did put a sealer along the seam, but said it will bubble again and their is nothing I can really do about it.

    So if you did not buy extended warranty beyond 60,000 miles or 5 years you will have to try and fix it yourself.

    Getting back to my suspension I just had all new rear end ball joints installed on the vehicle by GM (recall) and a month later the squeaking starts. I was under the vehicle today and everything appears to be tight and OK. The noise is just annoying (since I am meticulous). I will take it into the dealer, but I do not think its critical. I am busy trying to get my older car (96 MX6) fixed up (new cat, o2 sensors, belts, trans fluid change, plugs) for the environmental test we have to do every 2 years to get our plate sticker. This is general wear and tear maintenance since the car so old. RVD goes next year (2008) for the environmental test.

    Anyway I have talked enough. If anyone has any idea what is causing the squeak in the suspension it would be great. I like to go in knowing something then nothing when I visit a mechanic. As always mechanics have you as a captive audience when it comes to car repairs.

    good night

    James :D
  • lindeezylindeezy Posts: 6
    I started my 02 RVD this morning and it started making this awful knocking sound. So I popped the hood to take a look and noticed oil all over the fan and all over the ground. On further inspection I noticed when it is running it blows oil from somewhere above the oil filter. Has anyone had this problem. Please HELP I live in germany and dont know what to do.
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    There could be a few things wrong here. I have had some experience not with the RDV but other vehicles.

    These are the simple ones first

    1.check to see if oil filter is tightened properly. If oil change was recently done.

    2. There is a oil pressure sensor located above the filter and what happens these can crack (since they are made of plastic) causing the leak. This can be serious since it drains out the oil while the car is running.

    3. Specific to the RDV is a rubber seal that can go around the top of the oil pump. Check for oil sitting on top of the engine. In the general location of the intake manifold. This pricey to fix for a 2 dollar part.

    Now for the 3.4 L motor. This engine is notorious for cracked blocks and ruptured head gaskets. This may also be your problem, which is very serious and makes the car undriveable. The only thing you can do is check for the three items I mentioned and if this is not the case take in right away for an assessment Good luck

    James :sick:
  • awill475awill475 Posts: 6
    Hello, I am new here and hope to find some help from you! I took my car to the dealer today regarding my driver's side front window that stopped working. They told me that the motor/regulator was causing the problem and that the regulator needed to be replaced. Here is my confusion: the dealer tells me these 2 parts come as a complete assembley, however I can't find that on line any where, all I find is the motor by itself. Any suggestions where I can find this part? Also, how do I know for sure that it is just the regulator and not the motor, I don't want to spend the $$ on the worng part. Thank you! :D
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    "GM Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) 03-08-64-015 was released to address parts issues with inoperative power windows. They now have the power window motors, the regulators and the regulator clips all as seperate parts. So in the event of a power window failure you do not have to replace all of those parts (unless more than one of them has failed). If you had to replace the entire unit, the cost would be pretty high as opposed to being able to replace each of these individually, especially if the problem is due to the regulator clips as opposed to the regulator itself."

    I copied this out of a different discussion group pertaining
    to Azteks and Rendezvous which share many of the same parts. There are clips which hold the window and seem to break quit often. The clips are around $30.00. The motor and regulator, according to this post, are now seperate pieces. You need to find out what is wrong with yours, and how many components are in need of repair.
  • rcjsrrcjsr Posts: 1
    Hi, My 02 RDV remote lock/unlock quit working. I drove the RDV about 30 miles. No other issues. Two weeks later the battery was too weak to start the car. Recharged the battery and next day bought new battery. As soon as battery was installed the remotes worked normally until I started the car, then quit working again. If I remove battery power OR remove and reinstall fuse for BCM the remote works again until key is switched to run. Can anyone help. I am reasonably able to follow mechanical/electrical instructions. Thanks
  • Hello group I am new to this forum. From what I've read there have been some problems with the RDV. I'm glad to say I haven't had too bad an expireance with this vehicle.

    Having said that...

    My driver side window just fell into the door while I was at a red light. Needless to say I was not happy. When I look into the door I can see that the motors are working fine.

    My question. I've removed the screw and bolt from the door panel but I can't find the location of the clips or clamps that hold this puppy on. There is no repair manual for the RDV that I've found. And I'm not having much luck on finding info on the net.

    Any Suggestions?

    Thanks to all.

  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    Rick, you need to remove the trim panel and the watersheild which is attached to the door. Once these are removed, you should be able to see the window regulator. The plastic clips are at the front and back of the regulator, towards the bottom. They are held on with a bolt. When you replace the clips, tighten the bolts to 97 INCH pounds. the clips are about $30.00 from the dealer.
  • this is all the repair Dvd shows they clips you just pull straight out.

    Open the door.
    Disconnect the power window switch assembly. Refer to Power Window Switch Replacement - Left Front or to Power Window Switch Replacement - Right Front .
    Remove the screws from the front door trim panel
    Use the J 38778 to remove the trim panel.
    Reposition the electrical harness connectors.
    Remove the trim panel from the vehicle.

  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    Well I just had my RDV (2002) diagnosed with leaky head gasket (at 100,000 km or 60,000 miles). My worst fear has come true. I asked GM to replace both gaskets since they will have the engine apart anyway. The rear one is gone. First sign for me was smelly coolant smell and then small drippings on the driveway right-hand side from the back of the engine. I was not too pleased. I contacted GM Customer Service and they are looking into providing some assistance if want to or not. This will cost 2 grand if GM does not help out. This is 6 grand in repairs on this vehicle in the last 4 months (Transmission went at 91,000 km - and GM told me to get lost on that one). That is a year worth of payments on a brand new vehicle. After this repair I will be looking into unloading this vehicle and moving on. Unfortunately my first attempt at GM has left a very bad taste in my mouth. No more for me. Toyota, Honda and Nissan here I come.

  • Just get a new one with the 5 year 100K warranty.:) I agree with you on getting tired of it this is my first GM i ahve ever owned and i love my vous havent had any problems with it but i wont buy another GM I jsut dont like the way an average person cant work on GMs. your forced to go to the dealer for the BCM you cant even change the thermastat without dissassembling the motor and rotating it. Its sad that it doesnt seem feasible to wanna keep a car more than 5 years anymore they drop in value so fast and repairs are so expensive. I would keep your RDV though your not going to get your money back trading it in and hopefully you got most of the bugs out of it.Good luck
  • kirkncckirkncc Posts: 5
    Thanks. You are probably right about the trade in value. I heard back from GM Customer service and it appears I am fortunate. General Motors is going to cover the replacement of the head gasket, rear bank only, since that is the one that is gone. The gasket was cracked. As for the front gasket I will have to pony up the doe since that was my decision to replace it as a precautionary measure. Might as well since the engine is torn apart. Extra 400 to 500 bucks for that repair. Its hell of allot better than 2 grand. Thank you GM. So there is a better side to this story. However, I can not expect this to happen forever, the car is moving on in age. With so many problems with this vehicle though I will probably still have to replace it. I can not trust it anymore. People what more can happen to it, well I asked myself that about 6 repairs jobs ago and it keeps happening. Whats next window problems, power stirring, rear gear box....this list goes on and on. Well until next time

    JP ;)
  • cruzakcruzak Posts: 11
    *Thanks for advice :)
    *Another thing I want to ask, what is the best fully synthetic motor oil in the market?
    Mobil 1?
    or any other leading products for suggestion?
    *How many liters should I put in the engine?
    *My other car seldom I use, should I change the engine oil every 5000miles with synthetic oil or is it good only for how many months?
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    What brand of oil is best? Well, that is a question which is difficult to answer. Many people are brand loyal because they have never had a problem in the past. I use Mobil 1 because it has been around for a long time, and I have never heard anything bad about it.

    Any major brand, if not all brands, will meet or exceed the manufactory suggested requirements. It is just a matter of what you choose to use.

    There is no "time limit" for how long oil is good for that I am aware of. However, if you look in your owner's manual, I am sure that it will tell you to change your oil at certain mileage intervals, and if you drive less than that, it will state to change it at least (fill in the blank with a time period). Usually I have seen it say at least every twelve months.

    My wifes Rendezvous takes almost 4.5 quarts of oil with the oil filter being replaced every oil change.
  • Engine Oil Scheduled Maintenance
    Change engine oil and filter as indicated by the GM Oil Life System™ or every 12 months, whichever occurs first. Reset the system.

    Your vehicle has a computer system that lets you know when to change the engine oil and filter. This is based on engine revolutions and engine temperature and not on mileage. Based on driving conditions, the mileage at which an oil change will be indicated can vary considerably. For the oil life system to work properly, you must reset the system every time the oil is changed.

    When the system has calculated that oil life has been diminished, it will indicate that an oil change is necessary. A CHANGE ENGINE OIL message in the Driver Information Center (DIC) will come on. Change your oil as soon as possible within the next two times you stop for fuel. It is possible that, if you are driving under the best conditions, the oil life system may not indicate that an oil change is necessary for over a year. However, your engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and at this time the system must be reset. It is also important to check your oil regularly and keep it at the proper level.

    If the system is ever reset accidentally, you must change you oil at 5,000 km (3,000 mi) since your last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed. Refer to GM Oil Life System - Resetting .

  • shelby349shelby349 Posts: 13
    One thing that's so consistent is that so many people on this forum have had the same defects.They are problems emblematic of the model.However,I challenge people to think of the things that HAVEN'T gone wrong with their 'vous.The electrical and basic chassis is sound.The gasket problems,hood, apology,but some have received assistance from GM under 100k.I had 150 on my buggy in 4 years.Just drove it home at midnight through 80 km of Canadian Rockies,and it never crosses my mind that the car might fail.I've patted it on the dash for it's traction,and superb steering and braking ability.PS.My opinion about synthetic(I use it)is I'll run it 1.5 to twice as long.It's known to last longer,and it saves me the hassle of another oil change.
  • regalluvr2regalluvr2 Posts: 114
    If you will read thru all the posts on here from the very beginning you will see that the electrical system wasnt sound on the early RDV's.It was a major-major problem which caused us to dump ours..Lots of us went thru BCM after BCM,some as many as 7 of them.Also some had RDV's that would die and not restart.

    The 4 major issues with the early RDV's were the following.

    1 BCM-electrical
    2 Intake gaskets
    3 AC condensors
    4 Wheel bearings

    The things we miss most about our 2002 CXL is the ride and the roominess.It couldnt be beat for that!
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Can anyone help me locate the PCV Valve on my '04 RDV with the 3.4l engine? Is there anything special about removing and replacing it? Thanks in advance.
  • Top right corner of the front valve cover

    (1)Disconnect the vacuum hose from positive crankcase ventilation valve
    Remove the positive crankcase ventilation valve.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Thanks, intrepid. Sounds very do-able.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Whoa!, intrepid! There's a steel collar around the base of the PCV that's riveted [!] to the valve cover casting, making it impossible to remove the valve. The PCV valve itself is set into a rubber "doughnut". I've never seen anything like it. Any ideas?
  • hmmm PCV valves are usually screwed in or pushed in ill look at mine and see but those directions were right out of service manual might just push in . ill look at post tongiht
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239

    Within many historical posts, I noticed a few folks had to replace their factory AC Condensor. Especially on thier 2002-2003 RDVs.

    A few moments ago, I came across:

    If the factory Condensor in my 2003 FWD RDV blows, should I replace with this one, or with the GM factory replacement part? Just wondering which product is better?


  • shelby349shelby349 Posts: 13
    Definitely go to your local aftermarket parts supplier,NAPA/UAP,PartSource,etc. and pick up a STEEL core A/C condensor.Probably around 250 or so.When your trusted mechanic has a look,he'll probably see an extruding bolt that had possibly rubbed through the old part.Have him take it down before he installs the new part.These aluminum condensors are prone to failure and you'll have saved yourself ALOT of bucks!
  • rolynrolyn Posts: 8
    We just purchased a 2003 Rendezvous and notice that whenever we are driving on a concrete or rough asphalt roadway (particularly at higher speeds) It sounds like we are on the inside of a kettle drum. Could be suspension related? Would new shocks help? The tires are new Toyos and are not causing the issue (we think). This vehicle has 60000 miles

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