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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • ealfordealford Posts: 15
    Maybe the 2006 is different from the 2005. I went on vacation for 3.5 months and left my 05' sitting in the garage and it started right up when I got home. They do use some small amount of current while shut off and the key is out but if your battery is good this should not pose a problem. If they are anything like my Dodge Ram 3500, the doors should be completely closed as well.
  • We are experiencing the same noise. We have a 2005 too. However, it is not a AWD; would your proceedure still apply to our Rendazvous? Your help is appreciated
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    In your case I would be leaning towards wheel bearing as the issue.
  • ealfordealford Posts: 15
    I wouldn't think it would be the differential not being AWD. However you may consider the constant velocity joints in the front. Usually they make thumping noises and are worse turning one direction.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    I have a 2003 RDV CXL, 67K miles. The rear view dimmer function works only when I jiggle the wire harness. The green light comes on for only as long as the road is smooth. Hit a bump, its out. I had a dealer look at it. He said the mirror should be replaced - $250! I think the problem is in the wire harness or the connector simply because wiggling the harness causes the mirror to function properly. Is this a common event with this device?

    The gas tank leaked when it was filled over 1/2 full. A mechanic and a dealer said "$500 for a tank, $250 labor. I called Buick customer relations and complained. Buick paid for a new tank because of an extended service bulletin. Good!

    Had an oil change 2 days ago. The mechanic said the oil pan gasket and crank seal are leaking - $1000 - $1200 to repair. I called customer relations. They sent me to a dealer who cleaned up the bottom of the engine and poured some chemical in the crank case that's receptive to black light (a CSI thing?) I have to drive about 50 miles, then bring the car back to the dealer for inspection. Buick customer relations implied they would pick up all or a large part of the repair bill. We'll see in a couple days when I go back to the dealer. BTW: the dealer charges $69.95 for the inspection, less 10% if you're old. I am.

    So far aside from a brake job at 64000 miles I haven't spent much in repairs. I like the car. It isn't a workhorse by any stretch but considering what it is, a small engine, small SUV, its an o.k. car. Not as good as a Mercury Villager I had but much better than a Plymouth Voyager junker I got rid of. If I were to dump it I'm pretty sure I'd buy a small pickup.

    Has anyone else had these problems with your RDV?
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    Well, after two trips to a dealer, and a $65.00 "inspection fee," Buick said "sorry, you're on your own." The front and rear crank seals leak, the oil pan seal leaks, there appears to be some corrosion in the head gasket as well. The dealer never gave me a price to repair. I get a call from Buick. The "regional adjuster" asked me what the repair bill would be. How do I know, I told her. I never got a price. She said oh, well, we're not helping you with this anyway! I asked "if you already knew you weren't going to help out with this problem, why did you let me spend two trips to a dealer and '$65.00? No response.

    I realize the car has about 67K miles on it, but these are significant problems with the engine that will cost significant dollars to repair.

    Forget Buick/GM I guess. Dump the car and get a Ford.
  • glesserglesser Posts: 2
    Hi there, I am sorry to hear that you have issues with your RDV. I myself have had nothing but a giant head ache with ours. We have a 2002 RDV, and well I don't even think I can list all the problems we have had. I was wondering, you mentioned a Buick Adjuster or Customer Relations? Do you have a website or email address or anyway of contacting them. I want to have a little chat with them and let them know I want my money back. Please let me know on this forum. Anything would be greatly appreciated.
  • I too have a 2003 CXL with 76K on it. Other than a BCM and the crazy Versatrack fluid change, I've had no real issues with it. Are you the original owner? On the mirror issue, if I were you why not pull it off the window, open it up, and see if somethings come loose ( since the only other option is replacing anyway you have nothing to lose). Since Buick isn't going to help, shop around. I'm sure you can find a small local mechanic willing to do the gas tank job for much less. Otherwise remember its a 9 year old car and things are going to crop up here or there. I bet these repairs will still be far cheaper than making a monthly car payment on a newer car. ;)
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17

    I don't know if they'll help but its worth a shot.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    I am the original owner. I got Buick to replace the gas tank because it's a safety issue. That's no longer a problem. I think I mentioned it was taken care of. I did in fact have a local, trusted, mechanic look at the tank. His quote was $500+ for the tank and another $250 - $350 for additional parts and labor. (BTW) My wife drives a LeSabre. The catalytic converter crapped out at 60K. $1200 to replace the entire exhaust system because here in California, you can't replace just the converter, and GM won't sell only the converter. So, the whole shebang had to be replaced.)

    I can live with the mirror I guess. I believe the problem's with the cable not the mirror itself since wiggling the cable turns the dimmer on. Both map lights work o.k. too.

    Sure, its 9 years old. I know that. But the thing of it is that at 67K miles the engine shouldn't be a "threat." Front and back crank seals leaking? Oil pan gasket leaking? And now I was told that's there's some corrosion in the head gasket. I did a web search about RDV problems and found that these are not unique to my car. Head gaskets, oil leaks, gas tank leaks and some electrical problems are common. I checked with NHTSA, the Federal Gov't site too.

    I agree, a new or newer used car would be more expensive than what repairs would cost on this one. Can't argue that. But that isn't the point. 67K is relatively small mileage when one considers how well kept the car has been. I'm not looking for Buick to pick up the entire price but I'd sure like to get some "help" on them.
  • ealfordealford Posts: 15
    From the research I have done on this site in dealing with problems with my own 05' RDV, I think that the problem with your head gasket may be the OEM antifreeze. That was a common problem with the earlier models. You might want to keep an eye on that as it might start giving you problems with cooling.
  • kikirenkikiren Posts: 2
    2002 Buick rendezvous getting hot coolant level reading changed the water pump and thermostat after adding coolant in radiator all the coolant drained straight from bottom of engine fast as I poured the antifreeze in it drained out.
    Here is what I have experienced:
    First, I saw that at the water pump coolant was spitting out so I changed that then after test drive after changing the water pump still got high coolant temp reading now I saw that coolant leaked from the thermostat housing area so I changed that after putting everything back together doing another test drive return home and adding a little more antifreeze in the radiator all the coolant began to leak from the very bottom of the engine just as fast as I poured it into the radiator. What do I do now, What is the problem? Please help
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17

    This is probably not the same thing but early on with my '03 RDV I was seeing a lot of coolant loss. I'd fill the reservoir to the line and a month or so later it was down, near empty. I did that for about 4 - 5 months, refill, refill and refill again until, I guess, all the original OEM fluid was gone. I used aftermarket fluid, the kind that's recommended as a replacement. Since then, no problems.

    This car is the oddest one I've ever owned. Crazy problems that never have happened in any other car I've owned. The car I had before this one was a Mercury Villager - 122,000 miles on it and except for a faulty EGR valve, zero problems. Now this . . .
  • ealfordealford Posts: 15
    What brand of antifreeze are using?
  • kikirenkikiren Posts: 2
    GM brand 50/50 Antifreeze
  • 1wildpete1wildpete Posts: 25
    You are right in what you did getting the OEM grade, I'm an old timer and now work in at O'Reilly Auto part time. I was amazed at the different requirements car to car manufacturer. This includes battiies , brake fuild, trans and antifreeze, so you need to ck your manual for the required fluilds. If it says universal your probably safe.
  • 1wildpete1wildpete Posts: 25
    I owned two buicks previous to my 2004 Rendevous and this car made up for all the problems I never had before. Next time I will not relie on the brand, will ck consumer report. Buicl has slipped on these cars.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    I just checked the fluid in my car. Its full. Last time I filled it was about 1 1/2 years ago. Before that I had to add fluid about every 6 - 8 months. I don't recall the brand I used but its orange, not green color. As I recall, I bought it at KMart or Walmart. Its a direct replacement for the OEM stuff. Perhaps the name is "Nu-Temp" or something like that. Zero problems since I put it in. Now the coolant is 100% the replacement fluid. No OEM stuff in the system.
  • ealfordealford Posts: 15
    Well, it sounds like you somehow solved your problem. You might want to check out all the various complaints about the GM antifreeze they put in the 02' RDZ. I don't know if they are still using it or not but after doing the research, I drained all of it out of mine and went to 5 year Prestone. I have an 05' which at the time had only 40,000 miles and the OEM antifreeze in it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Draining any antifreeze every couple of years is good, lifetime label or not.

    As for taking out DexCool from 02 and replacing with Prestone Mixes with All Colors antifreeze: they are the same. Look at the label and look at the MDS info on the Prestone website. Other than a coloring, it appears to me they are the same.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • jnawrockijnawrocki Posts: 2
    Might be bad wiring to the wheel speed sensor. Could be in the connector.
  • danid73danid73 Posts: 1
    I had this happen to an 98 Monte Carlo, and the only reason I say this is because the 3.8 and the 3.4 motors have been having the same issue for awhile now. And it does have to do with the Dexcool. There was a Class action lawsuit a few years ago, but I never heard anything about it. I honestly hope it isn't the same thing though. Intake manifolds leaked after getting to hot and well mine actually blew a big hole in mine cause it over heated too much and caused the antifreeze to run out as soon as it was put in. It cost me $688 to fix. I do know that This is happening on the 02 Rendezvous, as we just bought one the intake was already replaced, and we also own an 04 Impala that has had the same issue, but was fixed before we bought it.
  • 1wildpete1wildpete Posts: 25
    First place to start and cheapest is to get a fuel system cleaner, like LUcas and add to your gas or you may want to try so more expensive ones - any parts guy will help you. Some times its just a bad tank of gas.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    You can read all my stuff regarding problems with my '03 RDV above. Buick's "regional expert" told me, in essence, too bad. We won't help you with the crank seal, oil pan, exhaust manifold leaks or the wiring problems in the mirror, but thanks for being a Buick customer.

    So, I complained to just about every agency I could find. Two days ago I got a message on my cell phone (I told Buick to never call the cell, call the home phone.) It was from the "expert." I'm passing on your complaint to higher-ups for further review." Great! Now what? I very much doubt that Buick will respond. All I got was that short worded message - no follow-up call, nothing. And nothing from the dealer, either. So tell me about how great GM's customer relations are. I understand the car's 67K miles and 9 years along but in the days of 100 - 150K expectations, the problems with my car and others sure shouldn't be as rampant as they are.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    Well, some may find this interesting. I wrote of all the leaks - crank seal, oil pan gasket, etc., and the problems I had dealing with Buick about them. So rather than going ahead and spending a couple thousand bucks, I bought a bottle of "oil seal leak stop" by STP. I figured what the heck, for a couple bucks its worth a try. I dumped it in a couple weeks ago and checked under the car every couple days. Parked it over a metal pan too. Zero leaks - nothing yet.

    Now, this makes me wonder about a few things. Was the oil filter and oil drain plug tightly closed? Did the Buick mechanic actually see oil leaks? Did the independent mechanic actually see leaks, or did he just see leaks from the filter and plug? Does that gasket seal stuff really work? I'm really confused now. Who to trust? Buick? The independent guy? STP? Fate?

    It is a puzzlement . . .
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    It's probably the STP product. I have used Lucas Stop Leak before with similar results. It can rejuvenate old seals pretty well. What it does is, it gets absorbed by the gasket materials and makes them swell up. So anywhere they have cracked or shrunk from pressure/age, they swell again. I would run it according to the bottle for this oil change, then I would not add any at your next oil change and see what happens. If the leak slowly comes back, reintroduce the stop leak very gradually, about 2 oz at a time waiting a couple days of driving between additions till the leak stops. You want to find that sweet spot where the leak is stopped with the minimum additive because the stop leak additive isn't the greatest thing for your engine. I'm not saying that using it will destroy your engine in short order, but it can increase wear.

    While using the stop leak, I would also make absolutely sure that you are getting 5W-30 motor oil when you get your change (and DOUBLY sure in winter months). The stop leak will raise the viscosity of the oil on startup. In fact if you find that you require a full bottle of stop leak with each oil change, then I would switch to 0W-30 motor oil to compensate. (But from the sound of it, your leaks aren't THAT bad, and I highly doubt it will take anywhere near a full bottle each change.)

    As far as who was being honest with you.... we'll never know. Ideally you would have gotten underneath the car while it was leaking, liberally sprayed it down with simple green, hosed it off, and noted the leak points. If you are uncomfortable getting under the car or don't have the safety equipment to do so, then you'll have no choice but to find a mechanic you trust.

    But, in closing, in my experience working on cars, my guess without being there to look at it: you did have a leak and the STP stopped it.
  • 1wildpete1wildpete Posts: 25
    That stuff really works with the new technology we have today. The mechanic do not make any money by pouring a bottle of this stuff in your engine, they make the big bucks replacing parts. So if i had to add that stuff each week it would be cheaper than repairs. Also they make stuff for tranamissions, head gaskets, Radiators & etc. I like LUcus injector clener that helps keep the throttle valve and sensors in good shape. Buy a quart bottle and add every once in a while, will improve your power. Its a lot cheaper by the quart. Seafoam is another good product for adding to the gas.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    I did crawl under the car a few times, mostly after oil changes, when I noticed some oil drips. Over time the bottom of the oil pan and trans pan became dirty with oil and other gunk. There were wet areas around the filter and drain plug. At the last oil change I told the guy to be sure to tighten the filters and plug. That's when all this "crank seal leak" stuff started. The guy told me the crank seal and oil pan seal leaked. The price to repair both was in the $1000 - $1500 range. So I called Buick. That story is outlined earlier.

    The entire bottom of the engine was power washed to squeaky clean about 3 - 4 weeks ago. So far its still clean. Fingers crossed. What really bugs me is that not one mechanic even suggested the possibility of a loose filter or plug. I understand there's no money in adding a solvent, but there's also no money in losing a customer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    stop leak won't work on a crank seal, or any seal around a rotating shaft.

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  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    No doubt, but my concern is/was - it the crank seal really leaking? Or is/was the problem simply the loose filter and drain plug? Have to wait and see.
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