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Buick Rendezvous: Care & Maintenance



  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I have read all the RDV forums and I need some advice re: motor oil. Can somebody tell me the pros and cons of synthetic oil (e.g., Mobil 1)? Or should I stick with regular oil? I haven't a clue.

    As for waxes, I really like Nu-Finish. Apply, let dry to a haze, wipe off. Do it twice within a month and it will last almost a year.

    Thanks for any help re: motor oil.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Check out Engine Oil-A Slippery Subject in Maintenance & Repair. LOTS of comments/opinions of synthetic vs. dino oil.

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  • ppalonskyppalonsky Posts: 34
    My Indigo Blue Rendevous was starting to look a little dull today, so it was time to test the 3M wax that I bought based on Lance's recommendation here. What a great product!!! It was easy to put on and came off just as easy. The shine was amazing and only got better when I followed it up with the Meguirs mist again based on Lance's recommendation. The final result was better than when I drove the car off the lot, producing a deep wet looking shine. My thanks to Lance for passing on this suggestion.
  • netnerdnetnerd Posts: 118
    Thanks for the report on the waxing. I'll probably try the products based on that. :-) (thanks to Lance, too!)
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I think I may need to replace the rubber wiper inserts in a few months. Does anyone know if the wiper blades are the same as on the GM minivans?
  • I have tried to keep the interior as clean as possible but with 2 kids it is an loosing battle. Any
    one have any tips on cleaning stains on the cloth inserts of the seats and on applying leather cleaner?
    I've used both the liquid and the wipe on the leather and the wipes seemed to work good.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    Has anyone taking their RDV through a car wash (brush-free type)? I'm wondering if the roof would be cleaned thoroughly as the spray nozzles seem rather low on many car washes I've seen in my area (NYC). No chance to wash by hand in the current freezing temperatures.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    That's a good question. I haven't hand-washed my RDV in over a year...and that's the last time I even looked at the roof!

    Out of sight, out of mind.

  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    Unfortunately I have a second story in my house that looks right over my driveway where I park my RDV. I can see all the dirt that's collected on the ribs of the roof top. I may have to take a chance at the car wash if more snow/freezing rain hits my area - just too much dirt (and salt?) on my baby.
  • Yeah the roof is fine in the car washes, hehe. THe only thing you need to make sure is that you remove the OnStar antenna (if you have it) on the back window or at least tilt it down so that it's pointing towards the ground and not the sky, that way it won't be torn off or bent...

    I would actually recommend a brushed carwash to get road salt off though. A lot of the spray (touchless) washes will just move the salt around and can't really get the stuff that's working it's way into your paint.

    Another good suggestion to save some money would be to fill a bucket up w/ hot water and dish soap and just use a sponge to clean sections of your car in the garage and then just use a towel to dry those sections off. It'll take some extra time but you won't freeze certain body parts off and your car will be clean and you'll have $10 in your pocket.


  • kenymkenym Posts: 405
    I live in the North East and some of the car washes in this area recycle the water.
    They claim to filter the water before reusing it but it still isn't a good thing to wash your vehicle with salt water. I would definitely ask if they recycle the water and stay away from them if they do.

    Happy Holidays

  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I took her for a day of snow tubing in eastern Pennsylvania and she was almost white up past the side cladding from all the stuff from winter roads. After that I had no choice but to take her to a touchless car wash. The carwash did an OK job which included an undercarriage wash. It got the roof OK, no soap lefted over or anything like that. I took a final wipe with a towel and there was still dirt left but isn't as visible (I have the Pewter color). I don't have a garage, so washing by hand is out of the question.
  • olrdvolrdv Posts: 53
    I am not concern about the engine, it is an old proven design. My concern is the tranny. Are you guys using anything special to increase the AT life? Any special AT fluid brand?
  • 03whitecxl03whitecxl Posts: 13
    You shouldn't have anything to worry about the engine or the trans. giving out. This engine has been around for about 20 years! although it has been upgraded to be a fine performer. I have this basic engine in my 90 Turbocharged Grand Prix and they easily go 120-200 miles even turbo'd. The trans is the 4t65-e which is the same as in the supercharged grand prix's and are rated for much more power than these engines produce. I was glad to hear these had the better trans. instead of the 4t60-e which often give out at 75-110k miles. If you have the tow package, you have a trans cooler & heavy duty radiator, so there shouldn't be anything to worry about with it.
  • john325john325 Posts: 237
    Perhaps our transmission was an exception, as it was replaced at about 30,000 miles. I'm glad it was changed under warranty and hopeful that it'll last me or someone else the 110K+ miles that you mentioned. Btw, we do have the towing package, but only carry 4 bikes on the back - no actual towing. Our Rdv is, of course, the '02.

    John B.
  • pgn421pgn421 Posts: 5
    Anyone know how to get better gas mileage? different air filter perhaps? It is a pain to change.
  • sequimsequim Posts: 1
    How do you change the air filter? Never in my car owning experience have I seen such a horse shoed arrangement as this air filter! I haven't a clue about how to go about it.

    I'd also be interested in improving mileage too. I've developed a light touch on the accelerator and actually have my foot off it as much as possible, but my mileage is still disappointing unless I'm on the freeway for long stretches.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Are we talking AWD or FWD, 3.4 or 3.6 engine; climate control or manual A/C? I'll start things off here - I'm driving an '04 FWD 3.4 CX w/manual A/C and 10K miles. With the Affinity tires at 36 lbs and the A/C off, I'm averaging 23MPG. That's with a light foot driving about 1/3 in NYC traffic [the Rondy's a joy there!]; 1/3 interstate miles and 1/3 suburban short trips. On straight runs to the Shore [60 mph on flat ground], I've gotten 31 mpg as measured when I actually filled the tank. Putting on the [excellent!] A/C in the recent steambath weather is costing about 2 mpg. I find that using the cruise control on a hilly [even SLIGHT upgrades] highway causes frequent downshifts which I'm sure waste gas. Instead, I use my "right foot with a fresh egg under it" technique to try and stay in 4th gear. My guess is the more powerful 3.6 engine should avoid the downshifts and actually use LESS gas. Am I right? Let me know.
  • I have the 3.6L engine (AWD) and it still downshifts on slight up hill grades when it doesn't seem it should have to. We would love to see 31 MPG -- best so far was 25 going 60MPH on an extended run. Haven't tried calculating it at the pump -- relying on the onboard computer. The AC (climate control system) seems to take more than 2MPG, especially in the city.
  • pgn421pgn421 Posts: 5
    Have you changed your air filter onyour rendevous? Is it hard? A service station quoted me 20.00 tochange it. It looks likea nightmare.
  • pgn421pgn421 Posts: 5
    According to my computer im getting 24.3 miles per gallon, on the highway. Im doing around 70mph. I was wondering if i putone of those high perf air filters i might get better gas mileage. What do you think?
    Pat Detroit
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    I've changed the filter about 3 times (once a year). Yes, it's a complete pain in the [non-permissible content removed] each time. I've scraped up my hands pretty well each time. The documented way to change the filter is to have the metal crossmember that runs across the top of the filter box removed. Then you're supposed to remove the clamp that connects the rubber hose into the filter box. But it's such a pain in of itself, so I skip that.

    I open the airfilter box with everything in place and yank out the old filter. There's just enough room to push the filter cover to the left towards the engine to free enough room to remove the filter with a good hard tug. That's the easy part. The hard part is putting in a replacement and it gets tricky. With everything in place, the top of the filter box opens more than the bottom. You need to slightly lift up the box to free the bottom which has two tabs that holds the cover in place. Once it's up, you slip the new filter onto the back of the filter cover (the part attached to the rubber hose). That part is easy. The hardest step comes when you need to squeeze the cover back in place. It's hard to get the bottom two tabs lined up because you can't see them and the filter itself is in the way. I normally end up flattening the bottom of the filter in this step. But the filter folds will stand back up once it's in. That's the process. It helps if your hands are on the medium to small size.

    Don't bother checking it more than once a year. And when you do check, might as well replace it for all that trouble.
  • pgn421pgn421 Posts: 5
    Thanks for some inside info. Im going to change the filter. Any one have Sirius satt radio? I have it and its great!
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    As I posted awhile back, I been hearing a slight "groan" when first leaving my driveway. This was when the car was brand new. While I may yet fall victim to premature wheel bearing failure, this noise is apparently caused by the ABS brakes testing themselves. At least, that's what the service tech told me.
  • I have a slight groan once in awhile when I back out or turn out of my driveway too. It is always when it first starts up. I hope you are right and it is the brakes. I have read the problems with the wheel bearing and was getting concerned also. Mine is a 2005. I hope the bugs are all out by now. My only complaint is the external temp. my old car was exact all the time this one is all over the place from 115 in the garage in the shade to 74 when in the hot sun and it is 90 out. It changes when I get going and the dealer put a new thermometer in so I am guessing this is normal?
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    table, my '02 Regal's temp reading is always immediate and accurate. My '04 Rondy's always starts about 20 degrees too high and then settles down after about 5 minutes or so. Now, my COMPASS reading is all over the place. Like showing due south when traveling east. I've tried calibrating it per the manual [driving in a slow circle, etc.] with no effect. Also, the CD player sometimes forgets where it stopped the last time it was playing the disc in it. Since I've had zero problems [13K miles] otherwise, I'm chalking this up to a minor computer glitch[es].
  • Well I guess I won't worry about the temp readings. I have never noticed the compass but since I never know which way I am headed it really won't matter. I probably should have gotten the navigation system. ;) I do love my new car/suv so far. I never know what to call it.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    I do believe the brief sound (groan) you hear shortly after starting is the ABS brake system. It happens once, right after starting, every time. I have read this occurs on other makes/models of cars as well.

    My temperature readings are quite accurate, once you've been driving for a few minutes. Initially, the readings are artificially high, as I'm guessing heat is accumulating under the hood. Once you start driving, the temps match the actual exterior temp.

    If recalibrating your compass doesn't fix things, I'd recommend that you bring it in for service. I've had to recalibrate only twice (when I let my battery run down ... oops). And, once I recalibrated, things were just fine with the compass.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    Just wanted to point out (in case someone didn't realize) that you must choose the correct zone of the United States that you are in. Your manual lists the different zones. Mines was set to the wrong zone and made the compass less accurate. When I set it back to the correct zone, it seems more accurate. It may help.
  • I searched the archives and didn't find much information on the care of the leather interior on the Rendezvous. The manual says not to use the commercially available cleaners and conditioners. It says to dust often and use a mild soap if necessary. I called the dealership and they told me they sell a product called Lexall and that they make a conditioner and a cleaner. But, again, the manual says not to use those cleaners/conditions. What do they mean by mild soap - Dove???? Ivory???? Mine need a little cleaning and I don't want to use anything that's going to make them dry out and crack over time. I'm curious what other Rendezvous owners are using.
This discussion has been closed.