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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • I recently had the head gasket done in our Rendezvous. It ran great well at least for two hours. Then the lights went out dash and all and it was like the thing went throught the whole start up process. It beeped the lights came back on the fasten seatbelt light flashed. It only happens when you have been driving for an hour or so, and only flickers off then back on. I figured they forgot to connect a ground or there was a short. They told me they needed to put in a new fuse box and it would cost around $600. Since I just gave them $2000 for the head gasket, I said no and have still been driving it. It is fine for close distances like the work commute, but after an hour it goes through the same process. If I turn the lights on instead of having them on auto they will stay on and everything else will go out and come back on. Ground or BCM??? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like the problem started shortly after service for head gasket. I'm thinking it is likely they would have messed with/ wiggled underhood fuse box in the process and perhaps lossened something up in the process. I would try checking the connections to that to ensure they are tight and also perhaps re-seat all the fuses to ensure proper connection (you might want to remove negative cable to battery when you do this and re-connect after)
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    If you lost 4 qts out of 4.5 qts and finished your trip, you need to count yourself very lucky.

    The rear intake manifold is a good thought - BUT the oil has to go somewhere, period. If you crawled underneath and everything was dry, my only thought is that it could have been dripping from the rear valve cover or intake manifold, unto a hot exhaust, and burning away. BUT, again, that would create smoke and smell bad. Perhaps on the highway you wouldn't notice with the wind carrying it away but anytime you would have pulled off the highway for food or gas, you would have smelled oil burning badly at the rate you were going through.

    I guess the dealer is the next stop. I'd be a little curious to get underneath and take a look at the top side of the exhaust, see if there's any signs.
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Check the fuse box connections like the other poster said. Also check the battery connections themselves. And keep your eye out for anything banged up/cracked - just in case they did it, they ought to pony up for a fix.
  • kts1kts1 Posts: 2

    I am considering to buy a 2002 RDV CXL AWD and I would like to know what you think about it. It is hard to make a decision based on the testimonials on this forum. Most of you say that you are having many problems with the cars and the dealerships, but besides that the feeling I have is that you don't regret for the choice because of the features, the comfort, etc. Is that right?

    I drove the RDV for about 20 minutes and I loved it! The mirrors are huge, but I think I can get used to it. But 20 minutes is not enough to make a decision about an investment like that. The price I got is pretty good (around $7500), one owner, I have the maintenance history and the autocheck. It has about 97000 miles on it.

    On the maintenance history there are some things that is hard to know the meaning ( I don't know anything about cars). For example:
    116 miles - NC PDI RECHECK :confuse:
    4656 miles - BODY-ELECTRICAL, BODY-ELEC. MISC1, BODY-ELEC. MISC2 and there is a message "DO NOT USE!!" :surprise:
    11208 miles - BODY-ELECTRICAL
    19387 miles - BODY-TRIM, CAMPAIGN
    26000 miles - REPLACE PCV VALVE
    36628 miles - BODY-ELECTRICAL
    41376 miles - BODY ELECTRICAL
    44964 miles - BODY-TRIM
    49105 miles - BODY-TRIM
    52422 miles - ATF FLUSH
    96584 miles - CHARGING SYSTEM

    As you can see, electrical and trim are there several times. The same with PCV valve. There are more things that I didn't describe...
    I have the last owner's phone but I couldn't find him at home yet.
    I'm sorry for typing all the details, but I really need to know if it is a good idea to buy this car and I can't afford to spend money on repairs all the time :sick: . The dealership will give me only 3000 miles / 3 months of powertrain warranty. And I have the option of paying around $1400 for an extended full warranty for 3 years/ 50000 miles.

    I would appreciate any advice from you about that.

  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    NC PDI RECHECK - No Charge, Pre Delivery Inspection, Re-Check (they just went over the car a 2nd time before the first buyer took it home)

    The "BODY-electrical" could be anything, wiring problems, BCM, etc.

    BODY-TRIM is probably a piece of molding or insulation that wasn't quite right, and the fact it was a "campaign" means probably nothing was even wrong with your particular RDV, but GM decided to update that part on all RDVs.

    Replacing a PCV valve every once in a while is normal. So is flushing the Automatic Transmission Fluid, decarbonizing the throttle body, FI treatment, brake job, etc.

    Nothing on there really scares me. I would insist the dealer do an ATF flush and a cooling system flush, they're both due around 100k miles. I hope the brakes and tires are in reasonably good shape.

    Does the $1400 warranty really cover everything for 3 yrs / 50k miles? At what deductible? That seems like a good deal, if it's full warranty and low deductible. If it's powertrain only, it's still probably worth it.

    How many miles a year do you drive, and, how long would you want to keep this car?

    Brian D.
    07 RDV CXL
  • kts1kts1 Posts: 2
    I don't know the details about the warranty yet. He didn't say anything about deductible. He said that I have to choose what I want to be covered on the warranty and that it goes from $800 up to $1400 for 3 years or 50000 miles. There is an option for 5 years / 100000 miles too but we didn't talk about it yet.

    My budget will be really tight with the car payment and full coverage insurance, so I don't want surprises. And I'm new to the US so It is kind of hard to get good rates on financing. I want to keep this car as long as I can 3 to 5 years. I don't think I will drive even 1000 miles in a month.

    I have the best references about the dealership. They are HUGE here. But sometimes cars are just bad...

    I have a 97 Pontiac Grand Am and one day I drove to work and it was working great. When I was leaving 8 yours later the car simply didn't start. The mechanic said it is the timing belt tensioner. It is expensive to fix and I don't want to put more money on it. The car itself worth about $500 in a trade-in (if it is working fine).

    It is time to get a good car.
    I would feel better about this car if I hear from owners of the 2002 RDV that it is a good buy.
  • cwebercweber Posts: 10
    Im glad you have taken the time to do research before purchasing a new vehicle, very smart move. It sounds like a good buy, and I agree with bxd. The the things listed are nothing to worry about. But just in case I would take the car for another test drive and go to a local mechanic that has a good reputation and have him check it over very from top to bottom.

    If you do take the vehicle to a local mechanic and it turns out that every thing is in proper working condition and I mean every thing. For example: Rotors, diagnostic, Brakes etc.. It might cost around $150 or so to have this done but it would be worth it. I would also consider purchasing the 100k powertrain warranty if you plan on keeping the vehicle for 3 to 5 years, since it has close to 100k on it already.

    When I purchased my 02 RDV, I only took the 50k extended warranty, and after reading all the problems many people have had I wished I would have purchased the 100k.

    My RDV had 79k when I purchased it. Im at 94k and I have owned it for only 8 months, and before the year is over I will have put 20k on it. I realize that you wont be doing that much driving but, you never know whats going to happen 6 mo to a year down the road. Your curciumstances could change considerably like mine did.
  • I own a 2005 RDV CXL with the 3.6-liter DOHC engine. It is the fourth time that the engine looses power to a point that the last time i had to have it towed to the dealer. Nobody seem to be able to find the problem.. Can you help?

    Thanks :-)
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Many have had troubles with bearings going out. I believe it should be covered (paid for) if you have the work done by dealor ( 02,03,04 models 5 years or 60k miles).
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    One thing I don't see listed is intake manifold gasket replacement. If it hasn't been replaced with the updated part, I would be sure to check to see if its leaking. Its a very prevelant problem on that year
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    I would confirm what the deductible will be on the warranty, and buy a warranty that will meet the miles and time you expect to own the car.

    Kts1 is correct that intake manifold gaskets are a problem on these cars, BUT even a powertrain warranty would cover that.

    And frankly... even if I had those gaskets checked out and they were good, I wouldn't own the car without the warranty. That's not really a knock on the car, but, any car over 100k will need some repairs and you said you did not want any surprises.

    Buy enough warranty to cover you during your ownership and I think you will have a good experience!

    Brian D
    07 RDV CXL
  • I posted this in the parent folder, but I didn't get a reply. I hope you don't mind me posting it here again in case no one saw the other one.

    I need to buy 4 new tires for my 2004 Rendezvous CX with 65,000 miles on it. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good tire under $100 bucks?

    Thanks again,

  • cwebercweber Posts: 10
    It Depends on what type of tire you want. All terrain, Touring, winter and summer ect. If you go to your local tire store they should be able to help you. But I dont think you will find a tire for the RDV in your price range.

    I had trouble finding a tire store that carried 215 70R 16. I was told that it is an odd size and it would take about a week to order them. But, I was also looking for a good all season tire, so that might be why I had trouble. The tires I did put on are Copper Discovery ATR. They are about 140 to 160, but they are an excellent tire.

    Alot of the tires I found that fit were around the 130 mark. When replacing tires I always shop around for the best deals on a particular tire. So just call some of your local tire stores and tell them your price range and most of them will get you pretty close.
  • you won't find a good tire under $100.00. go with a Yokohama Geolander H/T at about 115 to 135 a peice . price depends on where you go. stay away from Uniroyal. they dont last on this vehicle. I have an 04 with 105k and the Uniroyals wore out within 20k. I bought the Yokohamas at 77k and they still ride and look good
  • Thanks for the tips. I'll check out the Yokohamas. You never know how different tires perform on different vehicles. It always helps to get some first-hand info.


  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    The Yokohama Geolander is available in 215/70-16, but it has a mild off-road tread pattern. Be sure you are ready for an aggressive tread like this, it will yield more noise and a stiffer ride.

    Besides the Coopers mentioned, you could go with:
    General Ameri-GS60
    Kumho Solus KR21
    Uniroyal Tiger Paw Tour SR

    Based on online reviews of these tires, I would recommend the Kumhos. And they're only $61 each (plus shipping/installation). They're the best choice if you stick to your stock size. - num=17TR6KR21&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&place=1&speed_rating=S&speed_r- - ating=T&speed_rating=U&speed_rating=H&speed_rating=V&speed_rating=Z&speed_rating- - =W&speed_rating=Y&speed_rating=(Y)&minSpeedRating=S#Survey

    If you have time, I recommend studying TireRack's site, lots of tire info and reviews and test results available there. If you don't want the Kumhos for some reason, I can run your size through an online tire size calculator and find a second size that would be acceptable for your 04 RDV. (one that wouldn't mess up the rolling diameter and keeps the speedometer accurate)

    Feel free to ask more questions, and good luck!

    Brian D
    07 RDV CXL
  • I purchased a set of 4 B.F. Goodrich Long Trail T/A from Costco for $327.50 including tax and installation. Periodically, Costco will offer $60 off on a set of four tires. Mine have 20K miles and show no wear. I rotate and balance them every 5K miles and this servive is free at costco for as long as you own the tires. I definitely recommend the tires and the dealer. I have an 04 Rndz.
  • netnerdnetnerd Posts: 118
    Got a letter from GM stating that the 2002 Rendezvous has the potential to "develop a small crack at the base of the fuel fill tube near the fuel tank that can allow ffuel vapors to escape and cause liquid fuel to drop to the ground during refueling and normal driving."

    The letter states that if you think you have this problem, you should schedule an appt. with a GM dealer to get it repaired.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the gasoline smell I notice in the car sometimes.

    Here's a PDF of the letter I got:

    Buick Letter
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Unfortunately all manufacturers have these "notifications", or sometimes even worse, "silent recalls". Reminds me of the sludge problems that were ruining Toyota 6 cylinder engines a few years ago, used in Toyota and Lexuses. If an engine was damaged due to the problem, and the person KNEW to complain at the dealership, they got a free engine. I think they called it a "campaign".

    No manufacturer wants the stigma of "recall' associated with their products.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    Ya. My wife got the same letter for her 2003 FWD RDV as well. One those politically written "don't call us unless your vehicle has this problem. And if it has this problem, its repair is free - if you show the GM dealer this letter". From a campaign perspective, excellent marking technique. re: Its not a recall or free repair (if your vehicle "proactively" needs it). Its only a free repair if your vehicle has the problem - from a "reactive fix" perspective. So... If 20% vehicles has the problem and say 10% of the folks remember to show their letter (assume they didn't lose the letter) at the GM dealer, GM only needs to fix 10% of the vehicles "for free". And if the vehicle is sold to another and that new ower takes the "broken problem" to a non-GM dealer, the problem won't appear on a formal GM/Buick recall list. Thus, the customer pays (out of their own pocket) the non-GM auto shop to fix the gas leak. In the end, GM may end up paying for only 10% of the vehicles to be repaired. For a formal recall perspective, 100% target of vehicles are formally logged and recalls are done on a proactive approach - whether your vehicle has the "gas leak" problem or not.

    Long story short... Their approach on this one is more then a political campain. Its how to reduce their repair costs.... And keeps more dollars in their pockets. To me, very unethical way to fix a known gass leak problem.

  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    Just to put it in a different perspective, they have already identified the vehicles they believe are most subject to the problem and have officialy recalled them. The warranty extenstion is just in case others may develop them problem. To me it would seem to be a large waste of time effort and money ro replace things that aren't broke (and may never break).
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    netnerd, if you smell raw fuel and your not actually at the gas station, or driving behind some other vehicle that may be leaking, or have the SES light on because of fuel cap problem, I would definetly get it checked. Sooner is better then later.
  • spike99spike99 Posts: 239
    If your vehicle has a "high risk" of a known braking problem, then mandatory recall is done. If your vehicle has a "high risk" of known steering problem, then immediate recall is done. If your vehicle has known "high risk" of seat belt problem, then immediate recall as well. These are all human safety issues and without too much debate, a recall is done. To me, a recall isn't a bad thing. Its actually a "good thing". Good thing because Buick is willing to "proactively" fix the under designed item. And yes, under design items happen all the time - in any industry. To me, a recall shows that "they care" and are willing to fix 100% of the vehicles involved - before others are hurt.

    If your vehicle has a "high risk" of known gas leak, then a "campaign" to get it fixed is acceptable? To me, leaking gas is a human risk issue as well. Just like brakes, steering and seat belts. Too bad "the jury" is still out on their leaking intake gaskets and known electronic problems. Especially ib tger 2002 RDVs.

    A "campain" is a means to keep more dollars in their pocket - by fixing less then 100% of the vehicles involved. That's the bottom line behind their political correct written words...

    Something to think about....

  • First Forgive me if this has been asked / answered already.
    Keep in mind all repair made by dealer...

    In last year- have had to replace:
    - moonroof -(bad motor):
    -door switches (stopped working);
    -a pulley (loud squelching);
    -Onstar;--ok so this I saw coming,,,,,,,but since December 2007 my electric system went dead and replaced ignition switch, battery, they also found oil leak on intake manifold,,,,luckily most covered by extended warranty. But then the squelching began again so they sprayed wd40,the rain was blamed. ....

    This past week,,AWD / Antilock brake lights come on --they have to replace a brake sensor and found something faulty in my braking,,also squelching now blamed on bad power steering pump,,,,again most covered by a warranty.

    BUT a Problem that has been consistent is it stalls when at slow speeds, usually 5-10 miles when turning, onto a drive way, parking lot, etc,,,,,doesn't happen often,,,about 1 every four months,,,,,plenty of gas and no dummy lights,,,Onstar runs diagnostic at the time but no problems noted . Had it looked at for this problems at 19,000 miles,,,(currently at 44,000), back then no source of problem could be found, and they stated that without a code,,,,,,,Now, they state that a TSB suggests the fuse box in engine compartment be changed due to corrosion. Warranty wont cover this,,I am insisting that since this problem was originally brought to their attention two years ago,,that they cover it.. I know that was wordy,,but any one else go through this,,,,,,,,any help would be appreciated..... thanks :sick: :sick: :lemon:
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Tell them to take a look at the fuse box and just tell you if it is corroded. This will take them 5 minutes, insist this CHECK should not cost you a penny.

    If they come back saying it is corroded, then you are correct, this condition could be causing the stalling and since you brought it up to them before the warranty expried it would be covered by GM. It's important in these cases to make sure they document your complaint in the service record WORD for WORD. Don't let them get away with anything less otherwise you won't have a leg to stand on in post-warranty claims.

    If they don't find corrosion, then the problem lies elsewhere.

    When it stalls, does the engine sputter/cough and then stall (which would lead me to other issues than just electrical) or does it turn off very abruptly (more electrical in nature then).
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Totally agree with you. They should only charge you for the part if you qualify for the free tank. After all, the new tank will not come with a new sensor, SO if you tell them you aren't paying for the sensor they still have to take the old sensor out of the old tank and install it in the new tank. So you're not increasing their labor by one minute.

    Insist on this.... demand to speak to a service manager. If you don't get what you deserve go to another Buick dealer, or even a Pontiac/Chevy/Saturn (in that order, that's how familiar they would be with this vehicle). Changing a fuel tank isn't very vehicle specific.
  • The fuel guage on my 2002 CXL would go to empty and the low fuel light would come on whenever the car idled for over 2 minutes. I finally took it the Buick garage and they said the fuel guage sensor would have to be replaced, $541, then they discovered there was a recall to change the fuel tank ..... do you think I should have to pay for changing the sensor since it's located in the fuel tank (I can see paying for the part, but not the installation)?
  • GREAT NEWS,,,,The service manager agreed to change the fuse box. This was after several call backs,,,I did go back wIth paperwork from 2006,,that stated WORD for WORD the exact problem that was currently happening. There was no sputtering / coughing when stalling In fact when I went back and asked the service writer if this indeed would be covered if under the original warranty,he explained that it would. Thats when BAM!, I pulled out the receipt from 2006. (although all this was on their computer records)I got the old "I'll have to run this by my manager" bit,,,but after a third call to find out the status on Tuesday, (mind you, I took it in in in Friday 2/15/08, and it wasnt ready until 2/20/08,,but I can live with that. The car appears to run well,,,,,,,,,although I did get the chimes ringing in the
    car when comingto a stop ( no lights, plenty of gas ,no turn signal left on),,,this has happened twice before,,,so I'll will keep watch. Thanks for the advice,,,,,,,,, :) :)
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