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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49
    2002 Buick. I am currently going to be installing my third condenser. The first failed and was covered under warranty. I learned a thing or two about condensers. First there appears to be no such thing as a steel one. All are aluminum manufactured. Second do not get your condenser through the dealership ($450 for rebuilt one - $540 to install). The rebuilt is taking your old one and repairing the cracking that occurs around the faulty wielding joints on the original GM equipped one or they sell you a repaired one (lasts 2 years and then needs replacing...awesome scam). I could not believe this when I went and purchased a brand new one (2 year warranty) with accumulator for 150 bucks with the wield joints garranteed not to break (better than OEM). It will cost me $400 to install and charge system. So please be aware about what the dealership is doing. It is much cheaper elsewhere and more reliable. If I had a new one put in when the first one failed (cost me nothing under warranty though), I would not be dealing with this again.

    However, I understand this happening on alot of GM vehicles (Montana`s, ventures, aztec and the like) replacing condensers

    James :sick:
  • intrepidcubintrepidcub Posts: 60
    mine was out when i test drove mine and it was a stipulation on buying it to fix the Ac the first time they charged it 2 weeks later it was dead so they replaced the condenser and 2 weeks later it exploded because they over charged it so the dealership gave up and sent it to a auto Air conditioning place and its worked like a charm since.
  • wormburnerwormburner Posts: 14
    Okay, you're not going to believe this. I took the RDV back in when the Traction control light came back on. The dealer now says the sensor in the Right-Front hub has also failed, and also needs to be repaired at a cost of $600 cdn. I told him forget it, I'll live with the busted traction control/ABS for now. If this is a EBCM issue, and we're being told to replace hubs for no reason, Buick better issue a recall - AND FAST! When you force customers to pay for unnecessary repairs, there's a legal term for that, and it ain't pretty.
  • jwlilljwlill Posts: 4
    This problem sounds similar to mine. However, an old-timer asked if I had any transmission work recently. As many of 02 RDV what answer - YES. It turns out the ground wire was not connected. By merely connecting the ground, the check engine light and O2 sensor error went away and most importantly the AC started working again! This was not a Buick repair center - mind you. The Buick guys wanted $3000 to fix everything, when in fact they may have caused it by not putting this back together when they replaced the transmission. Canada has class action suit going, if there is an attorney that is reading this - please file a suit. Now that everything is working (this week) I've parked the car and will trade in next weekend.
    Wish me luck! :lemon:
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    As intrepidcub mentioned, I wouldn't be suprised if the real problem is corrosion in the connector to the hub assembly causing false reading.
  • intrepidcubintrepidcub Posts: 60
    you jsut gotta be careful cause they will be more than willing to replace the wheel bearings and then say sorry if it doesnt get fixed but im sure corrosion is a big problem alot of the time i wish there was a way to jsut disable ABS uuuhg i treid pulling the fuse it drove perfect but 4 lights plus the shime constantly on
  • psujobupsujobu Posts: 2
    FWIW, our '03 RDV problem appears to have been fixed. They replaced the EBCM, but to no avail. Turned out to be a short in - or damage to - the EBCM wiring harness. Second time in the shop was covered by GM, so it was repaired for the cost of the initial (most likely unnecessary) wheel hub replacement. :)
  • I've posted earlier (message in the high 1300's range) and I still have a low mileage 2002 RDV (now 33,000 mi.). Now the A/C condenser went. I was quoted $1158.00 for replacement.
    Well, I'm fortunately handy and able to read technical instructions - I will fix it myself. I found the condenser on the internet for $177.00 w/shipping or go to a dealer to see what they're asking for the part.
    I've already replaced the brake rotors and pads, since the squealing brakes were driving me nuts. I replaced the brake parts with high quality NAPA parts and now, brakes work excellent. I've also noticed some brake pad retainer "clips" were missing (prevents brake pads from moving around in bracket); bought some from the dealer and installed. I think those clips either get broken or whoever changes the brake pads previously, carelessly remove them. This might be critical to why the brakes prematurely wear out.
    After reading problems after problems in these forums, I find that things will get worse with my RDV.
    I familiar with the starting problems with short trips. But with my RDV, happens once in awhile. Usually, if it doesn't start the first time, I persistently hit the ignition again and hold momentarily until it starts.
    Yes, the RDV is a piece of crap. This isn't the first time a Buick has given me problems, anyone remember the 231 cu. in. V6 back in the 80's?
    The RDV on paper does seem like a sensible vehicle with its cargo space (reason I bought one) and reasonable gas mileage for a decent price. I paid $11,000 for the used 2002 RDV with 24,000 mi. What a deal! or what a deal?
    Well, since I learned on these forums, dealers won't give jack for trading in a RDV (very sad). I'm going to drive mine until the wheels fall off; hopefully, way after the hubs get replaced (something I have to look forward next).
    The other day, I was driving from the city and looked at a traffic jamb in the lanes on the other side to the city.
    I thought there was an accident, but no, it was some poor elderly man's RDV stopped running. I would assume it was one of those problems RDV owners are writing about. Fortunately, whatever the problem the man had with the RDV, didn't end up in an accident or worse, somebody getting hurt.
    ...with the low trade-in value, a lot of RDV's will start filling up junkyards in the future. So, I'll find the parts to fix mine (lol) :P ;)
  • jingles99jingles99 Posts: 13
    Hello, a couple of my bulbs in the rear center mount have burned out. I called a couple of local supply shops, including Pep Boys, and none of them know what bulb is required to replace it. Is this a sealed unit? Thanks for any help
  • Hello all,

    I recently purchased a 2005 Buick Rendezvous CX AWD in April of this year (it now has 44K), within the first month I noticed a Clank-Clank (two times) when I put the vehicle in Drive from Park, or Park to Reverse. From Drive to reverse it's Clank-Clank-Thump (clanks twice followed by a muffled thump) It's pretty loud and embarrassing. I did not get an extended warranty because I just don't have the financial resources to do so. I know that was stupid now. Well so far I've had to replace the front left hub ($450), brakes and rotors (I did those myself $180), transmission mount the repair was questionable to say the least ($178), engine mounts ($554) which I did not pay for because it was misdiagnosed (the clanking).

    So the last mechanic at a transmission shop said my Trans is fine, he pulled my driveshaft off and there's no clanking anymore. I knew the sound was coming from the rear of the half shaft (beside the muffler). I crawled under the vehicle last night and spun the rear shaft by hand and heard a lot of clanking and it felt loose. There are no U-joints on the shaft (that are visible). So I've been driving around the past few days without a driveshaft, but it makes me uneasy knowing how the versatrak system works. If it goes to send 30% to the rear, that's just lost torque and traction. I would think that is dangerous in a "slippery situation".

    I finally put the shaft back on myself, and nothing but clank-clank again. It's only when I put it into gear, not while driving and it's not a drivibility issue (yet). I can't find any parts for the shaft online or at the dealer, it looks like if it is the shaft the whole thing will have to be replaced ($652 part only). Anyone experience anything like this on a RDV or Aztek? Any idea's in general?
  • jablonsajablonsa Posts: 13
    Im no expert in cars but this sort of sounds a little like what i experienced. basically the solution to get the knock out was to engage the parking break before taking the foot off the breaks while parking. than when your ready to go simply start the car shift into drive and take off the parking break while pressing the usual breaks. essentially what your trying to do is not let the car roll while its in the park position. Someone a while back mentioned this problem as well but he never got back to tell me if this solved the embarrassing clank. by the way after a week of using the parking break it becomes second nature, it also increases car security.
  • Thanks for the input. I also read that somewhere and have been using the parking brake every since. Your right it does become second nature, even though it hasn't cured the clank I still do it out of habbit now.
  • jpiercejpierce Posts: 49

    I have several LEDs gone in my rear tail gate light as well. This is a sealed unit (since I took it off and had a look at it). In order to fix it, the whole unit needs to be replaced. The only thing I can figure is a junk yard or dealer. Let know how you fair out.

  • Hello, we are having the same problem. The nose of our hood on our 2003 Rendezvous is bubbling, supposedly due to oxidization according to the GM rep. My wife was told they will take care of it, however we must pay half ($211.00) which doesn't sound like a very good deal to me.

    Any ideas on how to get them to do it for free?

  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    GM has a 100000 mile warranty for corrosion, when the corrosion works its way from the inside out. I had the hood of a 2001 Alero replaced at 97000 miles by a GM body shop, with no cost to me. I also had a hood of a 1988 Corsica replaced with no cost to me around 90000 miles. Both had corrosion which bubbled through, from the inside out at the front of the hood.

    You might check with a different dealer, or show them the warranty which is printed in your warranty book, or maybe even in your owner's manual.
  • toonzeetoonzee Posts: 19
    I called 2 different dealers, they both wanted $99.00 just for the light, not counting labor. I could not find an after market light for the Buick...Has anyone else
  • 442455442455 Posts: 64
    Go to the web site I have posted a link to, and search for "Third Brake Light". I have found some for as low as $20.00. This site searches salvage yards, and you can search different distances, or even make a request for parts.
  • nidgenidge Posts: 18
    I think that I can tell you about the noise in the glove compartment. When the filter was removed by the service people, they broke the latch that keeps the filter door tight and free of rattling. They broke it just like I broke mine. Now, Krazy Glue comes to thr rescue.
  • tahoebctahoebc Posts: 6
    So my battery died a couple month's ago, it had just enough power that all the lights were going kinda going crazy on the dash. For some reason while it was doing this I ejected a cd from the player.

    Once I put the new battery in every thing worked great, except the CD player still thinks there a CD in the number 2 slot, the other 5 slots still have CD's in them.

    When I try to play a CD It trys to play CD #2 but fails. If I try and eject, it works a bit then askes me to remove the CD which I cannot.
    Is there anything I can do besides taking it to the Dealership?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Try some of the suggestions in the How to Remove a Stuck CD guide first. They are mostly geared to single CD players but you may get lucky (and they don't cost anything to try).
  • tahoebctahoebc Posts: 6
    Thanks for the link, tried all that stuff already, guess the computer thinks the disk is in there, when I hit load, say's "CD Player Full" when I hit Eject, say's remove disk but there's nothing to remove. Tried sticking old cd's in there and jiggling them around while it says to remove disk. Tried disconnecting the battery, thing is just to smart for it's own good :(
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Too bad. It may be cheaper to go with an aftermarket replacement than go to the dealer, or at least get a quote from a local shop if you have one.
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    I would think cutting the power would have reset the radio. The radio probably retains memory power for a bit.

    How long was the battery disconnected?

    I would either disconnect it overnight, or I think the better choice is to pull the fuse going to the radio for a day.
  • lindeezylindeezy Posts: 6
    I have a 2002. The problem is the fuel gauge always reads full, no matter how much fuel is in the tank. It also drops to empty when the car idles for about five minutes. Does anyone have any logical explanations for this?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Usually its the fuel sending unit, could also be wiring issue.
  • tahoebctahoebc Posts: 6
    "How long was the battery disconnected? "

    Probably a couple hours, ever try to change a battery in one of these? a royal pain in the butt. I'll try taking the fuse out over night, thanks for the suggestion.
  • jacklin30jacklin30 Posts: 14
    Thank you for your reply. Actually, a dealership finally found that a screw was missing from the dash somewhere (after my numerous complaints that something was wrong). They replaced the screw and it's been perfect ever since. The oil change place did leave the filter door open because it wouldn't shut when they put the filter in backwards. But, luckily they didn't break it. So, all is quiet in the dash at the moment. Now, if I can just get the dealer to figure out why the back tires have cupped spots in them, I'll be happy for the moment. My dad suggested it was probably due to bad shocks or something so I have to have that checked now. So far nothing major has gone wrong, but these little things keep coming up.
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Bad struts can cup tires, definitely. If you have a friend that can help you, each of you drive separately to a rough road. Have him drive behind/next to you, watching your rear wheel. If after hitting a bump, the wheel bounces a couple times (or more) your struts are bad. The wheel should take the "hit" of the bump/pothole and then settle right back against the pavement smoothly.

    Other people will suggest you look at the struts for signs of oil leakage or bounce that corner of the car, but those tests are sometimes tough to interpret. (is that oil, or dirt? is this corner not bouncing because the other corner is still good? is what i'm seeing considered a "bounce" etc etc)

    The drive test is pretty clear, either the strut keeps the tire against the road like it's supposed to or not. :)
  • jacklin30jacklin30 Posts: 14
    Thank you. We will definately try this to check the struts. That way I'll have a better idea what's wrong when I take it to the dealer. It's still under warranty so hopefully it's something that will be fixed under warranty. I sure hope so.
  • topcat13topcat13 Posts: 1
    My fuel gauge goes crazy when the fuel level gets low. It begins bouncing back up to 1/2 or full tank marks, then back down to lower level indicator. Have also had side mirrors constantly adjusting, and ABS seem to grab on a couple of occasions.

    Is this common and is it BCM or sending unit on fuel tank?
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