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Buick Rendezvous Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    edited January 2013
    That's very strange. Did you get a precise diagnosis---a bad valve, or cracked cylinder head, or bad head gasket or.....the "cylinder not working" is pretty vague, and the dealer should have easily been able to zero in on the precise problem. I'd hate to see the engine torn apart for no good reason. They should have performed a Cylinder Leakdown Test.

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  • I assume you have the 3.6 DOHC engine not the 3.4 OHV engine correct? Have heard of some time chain issues on the earlier 3.6s (which yours is if you have that engine). The timing chain repair is expensive. The 2005 3.4 and 2006 3.5 have been pretty bulletproof. I have a 2006 rendezvous with the 3.5 and 117k miles and it runs great and burns no oil.

  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    Agreed 100% with the previous two posters. We don't have a complete diagnosis here. The engine is apparently running on 5 cylinders - if a timing chain issue had come up I would not expect 5 cylinders to run OK. These engines are pretty bulletproof internally. I would make sure they tested the entire fuel delivery system, electrical, and a leakdown before proceeding. Probably time to get a second opinion. I bet it's something cheap. 2007 Rendezvous 3.5L with 84,000mi and it doesn't leak or burn a drop of oil.

    Yes all Ultra's had the 3.6L DOHC.
  • Thanks for the quick replies. Right now I've got $525 in labor in removing the manifold. Will be another $270 if I want to do the leakage test. The leakage test would verify the cylinder failure. To repair the engine would cost a total of approximiately $4,000 (including the $525). I think a second opinion is a good idea. I hate to spend this much money on a vehicle almost 8 years old. Even then the 1 yr./12K miles engine work warranty would only cover the parts replaced. I've got a serious case of sticker shock. Should I do the leakage test first?
  • They didn't do those test.. They pulled the R/H head. The noise is coming from the #6 cylinder. They replaced all right side lifters and went thru the head and replaced all seals (One was bad & on #6). All lifers appears good. Put it all back together and noise is worse after spending $1400.00. Now I've driven it 1,500 miles to Florida with the noise coming & going. Engine now uses no oil. Noise is still coming from #6. At 70 mph, noise starts and chatters, then stops for about 2 minutes, then chatters again. Any ideas?
  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    To both of you:

    First off, sorry to hear this is happening. We've had 7 Buicks over the years and none have had engine or trans failure, so as a fellow Buick owner you have my sympathies.

    Secondly, have either of you opened a case with GM consumer support? You both need to. I believe the email address is I had a case for a Pontiac, and they treated me well, were very prompt. I would explain what's happening and ask for financial assistance and in the case of malott57 explain that the fix isn't good and you don't have faith in that dealer. In both of your cases, this isn't just a normal repair, this is unusual, and not normal for your mileage if you have done maintenance all along.

    Spending $4000 on fixing one of these is not reasonable unless GM kicks in some assistance. There's way too many of these in salvage yards. You can pick up a good engine that's never been opened up for probably $1000 and have a QUALITY independent shop put it in for you and be at $2000.

    #1- keep at the dealer. If you've used the dealer for maintenance and other repairs, make it clear to them that you've been loyal and want some help.
    #2- open a case with GM.
    #3- if all else fails, find an independent mechanic that is well regarded and swap the entire engine. That used engine will last a lot longer than one that gets rebuilt usually, because too many times the person doing the internal engine work doesn't have the experience to get it exactly right and you could end up with 'gremlins' a couple years later.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >#3- if all else fails, find an independent mechanic that is well regarded and swap the entire engine. That used engine will last a lot longer than one that gets rebuilt usually,

    Poster can check and search for whichever engine his is 3.4 or 3.6. I searched and found 3.6's with under 100000 mi in the 800-1200$ range in this area for a used engine.

    I would seriously consider a GM remanufactured engine installed by a good independent if the car is otherwise in good shape and you wish to keep it.

    If you check around some independent shops who often rebuild engines themselves, they may know what the flaw is and may be able to help you without a replacement engine.

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

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I have just emailed GM to see if they can provide me any assistance. Later today I will speak with the service advisor further to see if he can provide me with specifics as to what they have found thus far. Right now I leaning toward having the leakdown test performed as this seems to be the usual diagnostic test for serious engine problems.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Hmmm....I wonder if you have a loose wrist pin. There is a test for that---you run the car at idle, listen to the noise, then pull or short out one spark plug, and if the noise doubles in frequency, it was a wrist pin.

    There's also "piston slap", or a collapsing piston, but that's less likely.

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  • I have had the car for over 3 years, and while there are other issues (replaced sensor in front wheel hub, driver side window rolls up/down when it wants, new battery in keyless remote, but all four doors don't respond in locking or unlocking), but my new primary concern due to how cold it driver's side seat no longer heats up. The light on the switch still lights up when you turn it on/off, but no heat. The owner's manual says fuse #42 works this function, but light would be out if it was a fuse. The wiring under seat looks hooked in properly...what do I need to be looking at here?? I'm so spoiled to this feature......I want it fixed fast and cheap!!!
    Thanks alot :)
  • nlt99nlt99 Posts: 9
    This is not a simple problem unfortunately. Possible causes include:
    - Either heating element in the seat open (seat cushion or back)
    - The heating-control module on the seat frame under the seat cushion
    - The PTC circuit breaker in the wiring harness under the seat
    - The power wiring to the seat
    - The ground wiring to the seat
    - Poor connection in the connector under the seat or elsewhere in the circuit

    If you have someone familiar with electrical trouble-shooting, I can send you the wiring diagram for this function and a GM trouble-shooting chart.

    I read that about 90% of the time, this problem is caused by the heating elements in the seat itself. To replace those requires hog-ring pliers and some familiarity with removing and installing upholstery because you have to disassemble the whole seat to get to them.

    One shotgun possibility would be to check with your local wrecking yards to see if they have a fairly low-mileage Rendezvous to get the seat out of. Make sure that if your RDV has memory seats, the donor car does too....... and vice-versa. If your problem IS in the seat, this should take car of it, assuming the heating function is good in the replacement seat (try to check it at the yard before it's removed from the vehicle)

    To remove the seat, use the adjusting button to move it all the way forward, then remove the two large nuts under the back of the seat. Then run the seat all the way back and remove the two large nuts under the front of the seat. Then you can tilt the whole seat back and disconnect all the electrical connectors underneath and carefully lift the seat out. Reverse the directions to install the new seat.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you want the other info Nick
  • fixit16fixit16 Posts: 6
    edited May 2013
    Have 2002 Buick Rendezvous. Is there any way to unhook the AWD disable light without hurting anything else?
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    I don't know of anyway to make the light magically go away, but I think it might be just as easy to correct the problem (unless something has been done to make AWD not work). Fairly common suspect for the light to come on is the C-305 connector under vehicle just behind drivers seat. If there is an issue with it other problems may occur (starting/stalling/ fuel gauge issues)
  • fixit16fixit16 Posts: 6
    I am having all of these issues, thanks a lot I will replace this and see if that is the problem. Thank you
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    You might want to do a google search on 'gm c305 connector' . Should be able to find how to correct the problem
  • partagaspartagas Posts: 6
    I am not too sure about t he "305" connector. I say this, only due to the fact that, that is just that, a connector, to get the info to the BCM. I can say, if you do know that this "IS" the issue, i would check the rear wheel sensors. only because i have had the front wheel sensor connector break apart (long story, wife driving), Anyway, After fixing that is issue with the broken connector there, my AWD light issue, went away. IF you know for fact it is that 305 , i would check the other ones down the path, to those sensors, maybe it could be a wheel sensor, which is not all that big of an isssue to fix....
    hope this can shed some light.
  • 1wcready1wcready Posts: 1
    Buick Rendezvous BCM in in the center console, you must remove most of the center console to get at the BCM.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    My '03 CXL, about 73k miles on it ran for years at about 20 - 22 mpg. I did an oil, filter, air filter change about 3 weeks ago and saw my mpg drop from the usual to as low as 17 mpg. I took the car to a mechanic who did a computer check. All systems normal. No sensor breakdown. I had to get the car smogged (CA rip-off.) No problems at all. I opened the filter air feed "tubes" and sprayed the inside with filter cleaner solvent. No change. Interestingly, my wife's car, an '02 LeSabre LTD has the same problem. Mpg went from about 22 - 23 to about 19 mpg.

    I added a fuel additive to a full tank. No change. I added half a tank of "hi-test." No change. The only thing I can think of is that here in the land of fruits and nuts, refineries are required to make a "summer blend" of gas to reduce emissions. Maybe there's ethanol added. I don't have a clue. So what's up with this?

    The gauge cluster in the dash, outside temperature and fuel seem to be o.k. I did do a manual mileage check - miles divided by gallons, BTW and the result confirmed the gauge reading. But . . . the temp gauge is goofy. Temps here have been in the 100's of late. The gauge would show 87 for a long while, then jump to say, 100, then jump back to 75 then, eventually back to 100. Something is goofy there. I don't know where the sensor input for the temp gauge is so can't check it. But as I said earlier, I cleaned out the intake filter area (and the filter is installed correctly and the right one, too.)

    So, there's a couple more things wrong with the car. I posted, earlier, my adventures with oil pan and front crank leaks that stopped when I added a gasket leak stopper. It worked even though some here thought it wouldn't. I'm not a big additive guy but I remember Marvel Mystery Oil and Rislone from way back when. I don't know what they did or why they worked, but they did. Maybe I'll try some MMO next. Can't hurt.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,643
    'Temps here have been in the 100's of late.'

    Don't know as I'd be expecting good MPG's with that kind of temp, even without thinking about the A/C being on constantly.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    Sure but how to explain the previous 10 years of 20-22 mpg? This happened overnight. It's hot here every summer, too. Nothing new about that.
  • rjmedvetzrjmedvetz Posts: 1
    The OEM tire size on our 2004 Rendezvous is P215/70R16. We inadvetantly replaced them with P215/60R16 in May. We noticed a speedometer speed error on a recent long trip when comparing the speed to a GPS speed. The speedometer indicated 5mph faster than the GPS speed. A further check on a measured mile confirmed the speedometer error. The speedometer is driven off the transaxle electronically by a speed sensor. Prior to electronics, a speedometer cable connected the transmission to the speedometer and one could change the speedometer driven gear to compensate for this type of error. Does the 2004 Rendezvous transaxle have a speedometer driven gear to affect this change. If not any suggestions short of replacing the tires would be appreciated.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,743
    I don't have the answer to your technical question...

    But, I wouldn't want to run those tires, long term.. They are 6.1% smaller than stock... which means your engine is running at higher RPM to achieve the same speed..... using more gas, more wear and tear, etc, etc..

    I know it hurts to ditch perfectly good tires, but it might be a false economy.


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    edited July 2013
    I doubt it will work, but I was under the impression that some the powertrain control modules, the speed sensors of wheel rotation could be changed by a Tech I or other full-service computer tool to the various wheel sizes that were standard for that vehicle.

    In other words, if one of the potential factory sizes was a smaller diameter tire similar to your faulty size now in place, selecting that size would put you closer to the correct speed. That is important because the computer calculates some operating parameters for the engine/powertrain based on the vehicle tire rotation speed.

    Easiest place to start would be checking for various models of Rendevouz with smaller tires. Check the rotations per mile for that size on Michelin's website to find one similar to the rotations per mile for your current tires.

    Then start asking if the computer is adaptable using a Tech II without a PROM change or something like that.

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

  • bxdbxd Posts: 186
    There are no stock sizes smaller than what you originally had unfortunately. You could go to a custom tuner to get it fixed, but that's expensive and as was pointed out above, everything is going to run 6% off and thus wear 6% faster. Your tires will wear faster, wheel bearings, CV joints, transmission, engine.
    Who made the mistake? If the tire shop sold you the wrong size you need to go back and demand a no cost swap, and if they complain, explain that they've wasted a lot of gas and placed extra wear on your vehicle due to their mistake.
    If you chose the size and made a mistake, I would get the right size installed and put the used tires on Craigslist. I've had good success selling good used tires on Craigslist. You'll probably not get what you wish for them, but on the other hand, living with the wrong tires for 40-80k miles is much worse. Correcting the error will pay for itself and then some over the life of those tires.
  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    Where is it? I have a 2003 Rendezvous. The temp display is erratic. It will jump from say, 76 to 90 then back to 78 then up again, and so on. All fuses are correct, everything in the other displays is fine.

    So I started looking for the sensor. At least three sites told me it's (variously) behind the lower bumper, ahead of the radiator. I couldn't find it there. Another site said, take off the grill and its right there. Nope. The third site said, next to the right headlight. Don't see it. I have seen pix of the part so I kinda know what I'm looking for. I'm hoping the sensor is blocked somehow and that I can clear the obstruction. Changing it is not a big deal either. I found the part on the 'net for about $20.

    So . . . Where is it?????

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    edited July 2013
    Try this link - - 564309

    It should open a page with #19 part being the ambient temperature sensor. It's right in front of the lower parts where the air is scooped up from under the bumper to go into the radiator.

    Note, you can click on the image to enlarge on both the image and in a separate link.

    Some of these go bad, but yours may just be the connector has been corrupted. Take it apart, clean, apply dielectric grease, and reassemble. Because it keeps changing temps, I suspect that corrosion affecting the resistance might be at the connector. Or you might have a wire that has broken. You can turn on key and have someone watch inside on the external temp readout while you wiggle the wires up there to see if a wire has broken some of its tiny wires inside from movement. That would also change resistance as the wire wiggles in the air stream while the car is moving.

    Hope this helps.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    edited July 2013
    Try this link - 564309

    It should open a page with a diagram that shows part #19 being the ambient temperature sensor. It's right in front of the lower parts where the air is scooped up from under the bumper to go into the radiator.

    You can click on the image to enlarge or click on the button above to get an enlarged view. You can right click and drag the image in the box to see the part you want as you enlarge the image.

    Note that part #32 and #33 are the hood latch and bracket for latch. Your ambient temp sensor is right behind and below the way it looks on the diagram.

    Good luck.

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

  • tflanstertflanster Posts: 17
    YAAAY! Found it! It isn't under the bumper. It isn't behind the right headlight. I don't have to remove the grille. Just open the hood and look at the hood latch plate. There's the sensor, right underneath it.

    No tools, no crawling under the car, nothing but releasing a clamp that holds the sensor onto a harness, pop the blue cap that covers the wires and clean it out.

    Now to drive the car to see if the sensor works correctly. If not a new one costs only a few bucks.

    Many thanks to all!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >Just open the hood and look at the hood latch plate. There's the sensor, right underneath it.

    I thought that reference point would help locate it in the pictures. I don't have a view of the hood of a Rendezvous latch area, but that picture would have helped me.

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

  • toni07toni07 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Buick Rendezvous, have had it for about 5 years and my head gasket has blown for the second time. I notice for each time it happen, pulling up to a stop sign or red light the car would idle properly and the temp hand would go down to maybe half but just as soon as I apply gas the hand would run hot and this would happen as soon as I would leave my house sometimes so it was given time to just run hot-hot. It plays out the same each time and cost so much to repair!
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