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Buick Rainier Repairs



  • Yeah i just figured that out lol well im thinking of getting my cluster fixed by someone on ebay near conneticut. I will be paying about 150 or so to get the cluster fixed then shipped back to me with in 24 hours!!! How easy is it to get the cluster out? I heard of stepper motors. I have to send those to. Is this something that i would have to ask someone to remove for me like a mechanic? Also, can i operate the vehicle with out a cluster or the stepper motor? I dont know much about cars by the way lol thanks buddy...
  • dlh6dlh6 Posts: 2
    My 2004 Buick Rainier is stuck in AWD. Buick garage diagnosed problem three months ago as a faulty transfer case encoder motor. I replaced the motor and two days later it was stuck again. Replaced that motor with another motor and after having no problems for about two months, it is stuck again. I can't believe both replacement encoder motors are defective. Any ideas?
  • I have a 2006 Rainier. In 02/08 it , too, was stuck in AWD. When that happens you are actually stuck un 4WD. A sure symptom of that is that is very difficult to turn while backing on dry pavement. The dealer test revealed "encoder motor stuck". They replaced P/N 89059278, described as the Actuator 4.563. That solved the problem. Hope this helps.
  • dlh6dlh6 Posts: 2
    The two encoder motors that were installed are P/N 89059278. After the first one was installed the AWD trouble light appeared on the dash after a couple days. The Buick garage removed the unit and tested it and said it was defective. The second unit has been OK until last week. The trouble light has not come on. Based on advice from tomh5, I put air in the tires and the problem has temporarly gone away. The air pressure was below 30 psi in each tire. I'm hopeful that this solved the problem! I'm thinking that the original encoder may not have been defective because the trouble light never appeared when it was stuck! The light only appeared with the first motor installed.
  • When I had trouble with the encoder motor and was stuck in AWD the only symtom I had was trouble turning, especially while in reverse. There was no trouble light. I can't believe that low air pressure in the tires would cause the problem. Just this past week I developed a slow leak in one front tire and I didn't notice it until it was almost flat, which I detected visually. There was no indication of the AWD being stuck.
  • tkaratkara Posts: 1
    I have two conflicting stories. One from the manufacturer who states that this vehicle can not be towed 4 wheels down, IE: dingy towing (behind a motor home). The second is from the Motor Home tow guide who advise that My 2004 Buick Rainier can be towed without modification. IE. Put the tow bar on, do the elctrical hook up, put the applicable brake buddy in, place the vehicle in neutral and tow away.

    Can anybody advise me if I need to do any modification to the Buick or can I just tow away. I have gotten less than adequate response from Buick, but I do not wish to risk the tranny or the front differential. I have already installed the tow bar and brake buddy.

    I need help. Maybe some one out there is already towing a dingy Rainier.

    Thanks :
  • Hello all,
    I just bought a 2004 Rainier, one owner just turned over to 100K. When traveling on the freeway, upon reaching about 70mph I start to hear a vibration which increases with speed. The reason I say hear, is I hear it more than feel it. First thing I did was take it to Discount tire and they balanced and rotated the tires and said they were fine. It is more of a dull "hum" heard through the vehicle. I seem to remember my 2000 Silverado did the same thing and I think (it's been a while) that it was the driveshaft. Anyone else ever have this happen and if so was it indeed driveshaft related? It doesn't clunk or anything like that changing gears.
    PS six cylinder engine.
  • I had a similar experience with Michilen tires. I failed to have them rotated in a timely fashion and they became "cupped" and sounded like snow tires. Rotating them solved the problem, but only for a brief period.
  • The tires were my first thought, although the vibration/hum seemed "faster" than it would be with tires, but wanted to eliminate that first. After discount re-balanced and rotated, it made no difference. This is a fairly high frequency hum and the odd thing is I can't really feel it in the car. Mostly audible. I even tried shifting into neutral and taking my foot off the gas but that didn't change the pitch/intensity at all.
  • adf2adf2 Posts: 7
    Anyone had problems with there a/c clutch bearing making a whining noise? Any hints or tips welcome. I did replace the idler pulley, thinking it was the culprit, but the noise remained as loud as ever. I'm sure it's the a/c clutch bearing from what I can hear, and from everything I've read on the 'net'.

  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    I have a 2004 Buick Rainier that I enjoy alot. The problem that I'm having is my right rear is sagging and the 2 dealerships that I have taken it to have told me that this is normal. I have expressed my concerns and I have pointed out that it was not like this when I first purchased the Buick. Both dealerships have told me that it is within GM specs. and that there is nothing else they can do. I have replaced both leveling sensors( the one on the right side and then the one on the left side). Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. Its not real bad but it is noticable. Thank you.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    How large is the sag?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    It is about 1/2 inch to an inch lower on the right side even when the vehicle is running and the air compressor kicks on, it still sets about 1/2 inch lower on the right side. But the driver side never moves up or goes down, it stay's about the same.
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    Could it be the suspensions????
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    I have the same problem, try leaving the car in neutral when you start the car, for some reason thats when i hear the air thingy move up and down, also, try putting some weight on both sides so that the weight sensors tell the air thingy to adjust. Fixed my problem. People and auto parts people told me i might need new suspensions but uhhh yeah id rather not right now since i would have to change all four..Good Luck!

    Buick Rainier
    cxl. V8 engine
    60,000 miles
  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    Could it be the suspensions????
    Do you mean could it be the sensors?
  • adf2adf2 Posts: 7
    Interesting to hear about the sagging. I haven't experienced it on mine yet. Anyone had a strange 'thud' when stationary, especially when car is cold. Almost as if the car behind has tapped the bumper,
  • jim1966jim1966 Posts: 6
    My 2004 Rainier also sags on the right rear side by 0.75 inch. It has done this since the day I bought it brand new. Now have 62,000 miles. I complained to the dealer a number of times about this while it was still in warranty. Got the same stonewall reply that this is normal or within mfg. specs. [non-permissible content removed]. I have watched other Rainiers on the highway and some show the same sag and some don't. Have also noticed this on some Trailblazers. No surprise there since these vehicles (and the Envoy) were all made on the same assembly line. So I have seen these vehicles with no sag, or sagging on the right rear, but I have never seen one sagging on the left side. I don't think this sag is related to the air suspension system because I do not see any change in the vehicle orientation before or after the compressor runs. I suspect the problem has to do with inconsistent suspension components or inconsistent assembly procedures, therefore this is a defect. This is the same cop out that GM has been trying to get away with on the speedometers in the insturment clusters. There have been a lot of failures in these SUV's and some trucks. They should have issued a recall to fix those but instead they tried sticking the owner with paying for that repair. With an attitude like that do they seriously think we would consider purchasing an Enclave someday?
  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    Doe's anyone know if you can change the rear air ride out with a regular Trailblazer suspension. Because from what I can tell you should be able to you would just have to change out the air bags with a factory (Trailblazer) heavy duty spring for each side and then disconnect the air leveling sensors. Please any feed back would be helpful. Because at this point I don't care for the air ride I just won't my vehicle to sit level.
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    Yeah i hear a thud but it feels like it comes from the engine or passengers side floor i think..I was told it could be two things. The engine. Or the truck shifting from four wheel drive to two wheel drive?? idk got me..Could mean oil change or something..If you live in the city like new york there are alot of pot holes, so my truck shifts into four wheel drive alot and back to normal, could be that too...just a thought..its what i was told and it does make some sense, but im no expert lol
  • I have a 2004 Buick Ranier that has a tendancy to stall. It may not happen but, once a week or month. I'll just start it right back up. Taken it to repair shop, put on computor with no luck. I have heard that it could be the tourque converter solnoid. Anyone ever have this problem?
  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    Yes I am currently having the same problem with mine and I have taken it to the dealership with little luck. Mine finally had set off a code saying it was the 02 sensor. So that part is on order and they are going to replace that part and hopefully it will fix the problem but I doubt it. This has been an ongoing problem for me for quiet a while. If you or any else knows how to fix this problem please post the "cure". Thank You.
  • I also had the check engine light come on and everything pointed to the O2 sensor. I changed it out myself for approx. $56.00 and so far so good. Not to difficult to change. Will keep you informed.
  • icemaniceman Posts: 21
    Thanks for the response hopefully that takes care of the problem. Please keep me informed.
  • brittanycbrittanyc Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced a thud type of noise around 25 MPH on the 2004 Buick Rainier AWD and then around 30-35 MPH a studdering motion occurs. The dealer is looking into the problem but tells me the technical advice he received from GM is that it might be due to worn tires. The tires are not worn and this does not sound like it would be the problem. Has anyone else experienced these problems?
  • In Dec '08 while pulling up to a stop sign, my Rainier experienced a severe "clunk" which shook the SUV and then a burning smell developed. I pulled off the road & had it towed to the dealer because the smell was so bad. Turned out the front differential had to be replaced to the tune of over $2,000. The dealer footed the bill since I had brought it in twice that year for differential issues. It's now 30,000 miles later and guess what...the differential needs to be replaced again and neither the dealer nor Buick is willing to pony up. I can't afford $2,500 repairs every 30,000 miles. Anyone else experiencing differential issues or am I just that unlucky? All recommended service work was performed in the interim...
  • I have a 2004 Buick Ranier with the same problem and I checked with United Speedometer in Houston, Texas and they advised repair 1/2 day and $425.00
    They said as it gets worse the other gauges will also have a problem with.
    I can start the engine and turn it off several times and this will bring the speedometer to "0".

  • a_maca_mac Posts: 1
    Hi, I have a 2004 Rainier CXL with AWD. How can I tell if the AWD is working or not? Up here in Michigan I slide all over the road and never seem to hear or feel the front wheels engage. And I do not get any activation lights coming on either. Maybe it is just not working.
  • Well I think the best way is to burn out with snow lol or take it to a dealer.
  • jodiczjodicz Posts: 1
    I own a 2004 Rainier and noticed there were a lot of responses to this issue I am replying to. I also have this problem. I actually couldn't afford what I was told would fix the problem and have been driving by the rpm's. My speedo started off registering really high when I was just accelerating. If it was suppose to be at zero, it would be maybe at 60 or lower, or higher. Then, eventually it would not work at all. Once in a while it would work, but most of the time it was not moving at all. This has been going on for a 1 1/2 yrs now. My vehicle is litterally falling apart. My front diff is also done and has been replaced. My rear needs to be replaced. My fuel gauge is messed up and now doesn't work. My oil gauge now doesn't work. My CD is stuck in my player. These issues have all been discussed on various forums. I am glad they are no longer making this vehicle, but it did make me never want to go to Buick ever again. I am currently looking for a new SUV now that I think something happened to my fueling system or transmission. I'm going to look on the forums to see if anyone else has the issue. I bought it used and it's now at 107k miles. This vehicle has cost me a fortune and I'm done with it. :mad: :lemon: :sick:
  • Hi a_mac,
    I own a 2004 Rainier myself and live in Michigan as well!! Worst place to not have your AWD.
    You'll know when your AWD is responding because your steering will feel "tighter", and the Rainier feels likes it's "stiff". I just got mine back from the shop b/c it needed the TCCM replaced (440.00 repair) Mine wasn't reading correctly so there for it was stuck in AWD. If I were you I'd take it in and have it looked at. Generaly you know when it's in AWD and if it does do it there could be lots of problems. Supposedly they have issues with the DIFFS leaking and ultimately burning it up...................Good Luck
  • bethsrainierbethsrainier Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    I don't know about the speed indicator but the fuel gage being gone usually means your fuel pump is getting ready to dump on you!!! This will leave you stranded when ever it finally finishes.
    Happens to moct GM pumps
  • My 2005 Buick Rainier V6 has a check engine light SU176 Secondary Air Injection Solenoid engine sensor error. I was told the solenoid is bad and needs to be replaced. Do I need to have this replaced? Is this going to affect my vehicle's performance? Will I be able to drive the car? Does this only impact emissions? Is this a necessary element of the engine?

    Additionally, I had the panel gauge issues as mentioned and had to have my speed odom panel replaced. So yes, this is a Buick defect that should be a recall.

    I also have the thumping feeling when I am at a stop light. Like someone tapped my bumper from behind. I guess that is another Buick defect that should be recalled. Wow, wish I would have known these things before deciding to by it. :lemon:
  • How did your Rainier act when it was locked in four wheel drive. I was told mine is locked in and it shudders and shakes when I turn slow left and right turns. Engine runs rough too. It goes fine straight down the road.
  • I didn't have an issue with it being locked in four wheel drive. My issue is when I am at a stop light, I get a "bang" action that feels like someone tapped into my bumper even though nobody did. It is a quick jerking action. No engine issues or loss of power.
  • toastsdtoastsd Posts: 1
    My 2004 Rainier has 55k and has been a good vehicle. The problem is a grinding/clunking noise from the front end and vibration in the steering wheel when turning left. It does not make the noise until the vehicle has been driven for about 5 minutes. It has been doing this for the last year and nobody has been able to fix it. Since my extended warranty ends soon, I brought it to my local Buick dealer. They proceeded to replace the front differential with a used unit, but it did not fix the problem. If anything, it is moderately worse.

    Now the dealer says the issue is inherent to the all wheel drive system and is not uncommon. Has anyone experienced this issue? They are saying the system is performing as it should. It did not make the noise for the first 50k miles, so I am still concerned.

    Any suggestions?
  • tm2408tm2408 Posts: 2
    I had a similar problem but the clunk vibration was eventually occured both when tturning sharp left or right. It felt like it was binding up. I finally took it in and it was the transfer case, middle box, that went bad. It locks into four wheel drive all tme. You only notice it when turning. Cost was 2300.00. It definetly solved the problem.
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    Im having the same issue. Its a thump sound on my right passenger floor it seems like. It happens every 10 to 15 seconds or so. Its louder when i turn on the car for the first time in the day, during the day it get lower but still noticeable. I think it could be a rat or something up there lol jk i dont know much about cars, but i do know i need new tie rods and something for my axel which makes noise in the back, maybe these could be the problem?? i have a buick rainier 2004 70,000 awd v8 5.3 L...about the 4x4 or awd going into gear, i live in the city where theres a bunch of pot holes, i was told my truck would switch to awd due to the many bumpy roads, could be the problem for the thump or any other tugs or sounds,.
    I just hope i dont have to get a new transfer case like the post many before me he paid 2,300 for it, oh hellz no lol
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    Also for those that had problems turning etc and hearing noise i had the same problem, i went for an oil change and they changed my power steering , put some kind of kit, changed or added some fluid to my transmission oil, and now i dont have turning noises, might be able to fix some of your guys problems i have read above...
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    hey how do you change the o2 sensor? where is it located?
  • richslumsrichslums Posts: 12
    I think everyone who has a rainier goes through this. My cd player was done. it got hot and would stop playing. in rainier no matter what radio you got in there it will mess up if you drive long distances frequently, by gettin the car hot or agressive driving, as far as all the gauges? i had to replace the whole thing. i removed the whole cluster and tried to repair it myself and succeded only to find out it was temporary. Electrical problems is number one with these rainiers, you just got cruise with them, lol driving this truck like a maniac ( like i did(do)) lol you will finish this truck fast!! atleast thats what my truck is telling me..
  • crlabcrlab Posts: 2
    Our 2005 Ranier has had problems with the oil and speedometer. My wife is now looking for a new car and refuses even considering GM. The service people charged us a lot of money, but there repairs were only temporary. This vehicle has a lot of inherent problems and the company was not willing to support their product.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello Criab,
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize that you have experiences concerns with your vehicle. Can you please email me more information about your vehicles concerns, so I can look into the situation further? You can get my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • mjacks77mjacks77 Posts: 1
    I cannot believe that there is no recall on the speedometers. I understand that they don't make them anymore, but the ratio of bad speedos to the number of Rainiers on the road has to be high. Mine started acting up a few months ago, but I attributed it to a bad speed sensor and was going to change a wheel bearing until I researched it tonight. I was looking up info on how to reset my computer because it seems that my AWD is engaged all the time and stumbled on this website. I also have a Buick Rendezvous that is my wife's car and the lease is up on it. I am upset to read all of this and to know that GM is not doing anything, and I am not going to buy another GM car. My father put 31 years in for GM just to have them mess with his insurance and pension, and now this! No way! They single-handedly destroyed Michigan and deserve to be put out of business for not taking care of their customers. This is definitely a manufacturers defect and they are holding the customers responsible for it. Unbelievable! :mad: We have a Chevy Malibu on hold at a dealer, but I think I'll cancel and we will buy that Nissan Altima that my wife is in love with. :(
  • loanladyloanlady Posts: 2
    edited May 2010
    I got my rainier from the dealer who sold me the warranty from different company and i dont know if my car is under warranty. i am having problems with fuel pump and sending unit, does any one know. I laso have problems with with my gage it shows fuel always at empty right after I just filled the tank. repair shop is asking about 1000-1200 for the repairs all I need to know what's the warranty on this car. in the beginning it was ok now a lot of problems with the car. I already spent over 1000 to fix the cylinder problems. is there a website which can show the warranty info for the car. I will not buy another GM again I have driven their oldmobile to chevy and this one just sucks.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello Loanlady,
    I am from GM Customer Service. Can you please email me so I can get more information from you to look into your situation further? You can access my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • dmrjlrdmrjlr Posts: 3
    I too started having problems with first my Speedometer, then my oil gauge, next my Tach, then Engine temp, next gas gauge now my air shocks are lowering when the truck is at rest? Does anyone have any thoughts on the air shocks? I'm very up set at Buick for not returning my emails to help resolve some of these issues?
  • loanladyloanlady Posts: 2
    i had extended warranty and i took to the repair shop we take all our cars to.. Mechanic there had been working with GM cars for last 16 yrs and suggested to change the fuel pump and sending unit as well as spark plugs and control unit since ac was not working too. i recently had spark plugs replaced however they were burned, Brian said since sending unit was not pumping fuel spark plugs had to work extra and burned, warranty did not pay for the spark plug work which i am so upset since i never missed any regular maintenance, right now car is working fine. hope thats all i need. i ended up more then 800.00 in cost after the warranty paid. its unbelievable
  • tonyk1395tonyk1395 Posts: 3
    Hey dmrjlr: You are not alone here. This is one of the defects of this vehicle. The gauge control panel is defective and needs to be replaced. The "Air shock" noise you are hearing is not air shocks but your rear stabilizing system which is also defective. Have your tire pressure checked. That is one of the things that could correct that problem. There are issues with the AWD (all wheel drive) unit that causes you to get a jolt in the vehicle when you are sitting at a red light. Another defect. Buick dumped this vehicle a couple of years ago so don't expect them to help you any time soon. Sure they may recommend you "upgrade" to an Enclave but based on their lack of response, I would steer clear. It's no wonder why GM went bankrupt. Paying assembly line folks $70 an hour to produce this schlok can put anyone in the poor house.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello Dmrjlr,
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize that no one has gotten back with you from Buick. Can you please email me with more information about your situation so I can look into the situation further? You can get my email by clicking on my name. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
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