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Buick Rainier Repairs



    I replaced P/N 89059278 for $75 labor at a local IGO and this cured the issue. Actually feels better driving than it has in quite some time! We dis-assembled the old actuator motor and found one of the magnets inside the end housing with a piece snapped off. The loose piece was still inside the housing and may have jammed the motor. Don't know but all works as it should now. Interesting a service advisor at the local dealer told me yesterday "Good Luck with that, don't waste your money just let us replace the transfer case". I didn't yet put my hands on bulletin #3928 which address this issue.
    Thanks to all those here for their diligence in reporting issues and resolutions so that others may benefit. Clearly GM Customer Service won't, or is not
    permitted, to tell the truth about the depth and breadth of problems facing owners of this vehicle platform.
  • mrsmac116mrsmac116 Posts: 2
    edited January 2012

    I have not worked with Customer Assistance. I would be happy to if I will get some action and not just an, I am sorry you are having problems email. I do not have the time to waste or the tolerance for games.

    I did take my Rainier to the dealership and had a new fuel sensor put in. What a huge hassle. Not only are the repairs at the dealership outrageous, but the service was well below a satisfactory level. I made an early morning appointment and at 5pm I had to call and ask when they would be done with my truck. I was told they did not get to it and could I bring it back the next day. What choice did I have? The next day I took it in early again and again had to call in the late afternoon to see if it was done. The first time I filled up with fuel the problem started again. I had to call the dealership and take it back in the next week. They said the fuel sensor they put it must have been bad, so they put another one in. Seems to be working now.

    While they had it they checked a noise I was hearing in the front driver side area. They tested it and found it needed a new wheel bearing hub assembly at a price of $700.00. My husband was able to fix it himself for less than $100.00.

    Now it is winter in Wisconsin and the rear windshield wiper stopped working along with what seems to be the AWD not engaging.

    Sarah, I would be happy to work with someone who can help me with these repairs, what phone number can I reach you at?
  • I understand your hesitancy and skepticism. Hopefully I can clarify what we would be able to do through Customer Service.

    Through Edmunds, I would request that our initial contact be made via email. To investigate your situation, we would need some more information to set up a Service Request in our department: your name/Edmunds user name, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, contact information (your phone and address), and the name of your involved dealership. We would contact the dealership from there to learn more about your service history, and would want to get you set up with a diagnostic appointment for your current concerns (AWD and the rear windshield wiper) so that the dealer can evaluate what repairs would need to be performed. We would follow up on that appointment with you and with the dealership to see what course of action should be taken.

    I have made my email address publically viewable under my profile, and this is forwarded to our database. My coworker Christina handles a majority of the incoming emails from Edmunds and would answer your email and further advise you.

    Hopefully, this helps you know what to expect if you were to work with us towards resolving these concerns.
    GM Customer Service
  • bkc2bkc2 Posts: 2
    We have had all of the above problems with our Rainier, lights dimming and going out
    while driving at night, clunking in rear, coming to sudden stops when trying to turn (
    sound like the transmission is ready to fall out). We have reported to dealer, Buick Customer
    service and have had lemon law lawyer call us. Major problems started occurring within
    a year of purchase (we purchased brand new). Dealer and GM has told us from beginning
    they know there is a problem with the electrical system and the computer on v6 awd
    Rainiers, however, they cannot find a fix. They told us in 2006 they were working on it, but
    I have a feeling since they don't make Rainiers anymore, they are not working very hard.
    We have everything documented, but we have had no satisfaction. My SUV has about
    70,000 miles, and about a month ago I got to experience the problem of filling my tank
    and my gauge showing empty. Yesterday, I was driving about 50 and my speedometer
    surged to show I was doing 120. It still shows me doing 40miles an hour when I am at a
    stop. I agree with calling customer service, they will open file for you, but what is the
    point if they don't help you. They know these things are wrong, but don't care. What
    if I was driving down the interstate at night with my grandkids and my lights dimmed or
    started flickering which they do on many occasions and a semi would rear end us and
    kill us all because they didn't see us? We would like to get rid of this lemon also, but
    I couldn't sell this vehicle to someone knowing the problems. If someone were injured
    in it, I would be worse than GM.
  • With my gauges and sensors decided to fail at the same time in 2 Buicks, and getting told GM will only pay half the repairs, I decided never to buy a GM product again.

    Our President told Toyota to do the right thing and fix their cars, which they did. Now Mr President it is time you took full responsibiltiy since you decided all Americans needed to be owners of GM and fix all these issues free of charge!

    I am an owner of GM and demand that you do for owners of these failed cars what is right and order GM Dealers to fix ever Envoy, Rainier and Trail Blazer that has a fail fuel and oil sender problem.

    Show us why we should have faith in Our Buicks!

    Are Toyota's going to be the New GM Alternative?
  • My 2000 Jimmy 4x4 is used as a camp truck on my Maine wood lot and works better in all areas much better than my 2005 Buick Rainer. I have a great mechanic in Medway Maine, but he can't help me with the Buick.

    The Oil and Fuel sender units are going to cost over $400 to repair and I can only go to a dealer to fix this issue? Now the air suspension is failing. Can it be true this model is a lemon??

    A lemon.

    Toyota and Subaru's are the answer. They fix their proplems, not run away from them.
  • bkc2:
    Wow, you didn't get a response from a "GM representative" claiming they wanted to "help" you with all of your concerns! That is a HUGE surprise. But alas, they are just icing over the problem and trying to make it look good because people are SO unhappy with this GM product. I too have had these problems. I bought the vehicle new and it had been a dealer driven vehicle and had 1000 miles on it when I bought it. Loved the vehicle until the problems started. I even had a problem with the front axle, at a lovely cost of $1900 - in addition to all of your problems! This vehicle has NEVER EVER been in an accident, never driven beyond a trip of 500 miles away and ALWAYS cared for on a very regular basis. Oil changed on time, etc. We had our local GM dealership close long before the rest so we did not have anywhere within a 50 mile radius that I could take my vehicle to be serviced. Knowing this, GM has STILL expected me to have all of my work done by a GM dealership. Not only do I not have a way to get it there, what am I supposed to drive back home or while it's being worked on? None of the dealerships had an alternative other than to RENT a vehicle and they admitted it would be there awhile because they weren't sure what to do beyond replacing the entire assembly. What happened to figuring out how to fix things at a reduced expense? Are we becoming a totally "throw it away when it's broken" society? So much for "buy American when you buy GM". My 20 yr old Honda Accord with 300,000 plus miles has been far more reliable and WAY less expensive than this vehicle! AND I certainly spent a lot less when I bought it new!!!
    On the other hand, I will tell you what we have concluded on the repair end. I have had to have it repaired by some excellent technicians when I've had problems. When I ask around it's agreed that this is an electrical issue. My gauges too are not working, or should I say they work sporadically. But we are also noticing that if the vehicle sits more than one day the battery is dead and it has to be jump started. We have changed the battery TWICE, so they can't blame the battery. There is likely to be a short somewhere, but finding that will take time. Something is probably too close to a part that gets hot or that wears on a cable, but we have to trace the lines to figure this out. Apparently a tech at a GM dealership 100 plus miles from me has traced it and was able to resolve someone's Rainier. Lucky them, and I can only imagine what that repair bill cost. But alas, 100 some miles away? At this point GM owes ME and needs to do something to resolve the situation. I couldn't give this vehicle away if I wanted to. I have to drive with a Garmin to know my speed and guess at the fuel level. Is THAT the GM quality the President is talking about????? I CHALLENGE a GM representative in quality control to respond and actually DO SOMETHING about this!!
  • elsazelsaz Posts: 3
    I used to love my 2004 Rainier but am beginning to have problems. I looked at this forum and found that I have had most of the issues.
    I had fuse problem, air conditioning problem.
    In the past month, the car had problem with suspension. Sometimes it was OK, but there are 3 times when the rear part failed to raise up. I was on a trip, and this happened once more. I restarted the car and it became OK again. After I came home, I think I should bring it to the shop.
    Last week, on a Thursday morning, it broke down. The car could go for a few feet, but I can't make turns and the car would not accelerate.
    At the dealer's shop, they took it apart and it was the actuator. I told them about the suspension. Turns out the air bags had to be changed. They were kind enought to loan me a loaner car. But the entire repair had costed me $2368.
    Don't know if this is a rip off, but I could not afford to trust other smaller shops (I had a buick regal before, everytime I took it to the shop, it magically got more problems afterwards).
    2 days after I took my car back, I found that the panel begins to dim. I still can see, but the light is not as bright . I am worried. So many people have had issues with this part, but I really don't need it now!
    I am a foreigner but I always purchase American cars. My first was Buick Regal, second was gmc 2004 envoy xuv V8, but it was totalled. So I purchased this Rainier. I really want to trust GM, but I don't know how long this trust would last. :confuse:
  • benmaceybenmacey Posts: 3
    I too have a 2005 Rainier, I have blown a front differential, which cost me about 2500.00 to get towed and to replace. I have had to replace the entire instrument panel, and NOW I am getting the fuel level sensor issue. I also have a check engie light that according to the dealer is a cooling sensor, and will cost around 400.00 to fix.
    I have only purchased American cars for my entire 30 years of driving.
    I have a 16 year old Grand Cherokee with 250,000 miles on it that only gets routine maintenance. I have NEVER had issues with it. I am so sorry I bought the Buick for my wife. When everything works, which is rare, it is a joy. but normally there is something going on with it.
    I have an appointment with the dealer tomorrow, not looking forward to seeing this bill.
    My next vehicle will be a Ford, and I doubt if GM will EVER see any more of my business.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations and inconvenience. Can you please email me directly with your VIN, current mileage, and the dealer you are working with? Please include a copy of your post. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your weekend.
    GM Customer Service
  • benmaceybenmacey Posts: 3
    Your email does not appear in your profile.
    Do you want me to post the information here?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I apologize for that! For whatever reason, our email addresses have not been displaying recently. You can email us at

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • benmaceybenmacey Posts: 3
    Christina, and Sarah,
    Email sent.
  • 2 days ago, I started pulling out my driveway and noticed that my dome lights would not go out. As I started coming to a stop, my ABS light came on and abs did not work. I then started testing everything and noticed that my rear wiper quit working and my key fob has stopped also. All of this at one time.
    I bought this car new in 2004 and have had SOOO many problems with it. When is enough enough???
    Has anyone else experienced anything similar?
  • mom0423mom0423 Posts: 15
    Not that one in particular, but my understanding is that there is a short somewhere in the electrical system. My battery will not stay charged but for a day or two, even with a brand new battery. If you notice, alot of functions inside the car work electrically whether the car is on or not. From what I understand there is a short happening somewhere between the battery and the computer. I am not taking it to someone who is going to spend weeks trying to figure it out at my expense. I will wait till I find someone who knows what they're doing. I can drive without the dash by using my GPS, so I will till I find someone who has figured it out.
    Meanwhile, be prepared to get "messages" from gmcustomer support who swear they're going to help you. If it's out of warranty - and most of our are by now, they don't care. They're just posting this on here to make it look like they'll do something. Who would've thought when we spent those thousands of dollars on this vehicle we'd have all these problems!
    PS - I will NEVER EVER buy another GM product. They refuse to stand behind it and rebuild our faith in GM. My kids all have Hondas - made in America, and I can drive it in to a dealership any day of the week and they will honor a problem. And they will fix it at their expense or a reduced one if they've found it to be an issue. And they acknowledge those issues. Not ignore them as if they weren't happening. My 92 Accord with 313,000 miles is running better than my 04 Buick with 140,000 miles. What's THAT tell you...???
  • bkc2bkc2 Posts: 2
    I totally agree. Our dealer has already been told by GM there is "no fix ".
    I am sure they have found a fix, but it would cost them to much to repair
    the mistake to everyone experiencing this problem. They want to use
    our taxpayer money to bail them out, but they don't want to make
    a problem they created right.
    I would love to see someone from GM stand up and own the problem,
    but sadly, they really don't care. They have their money.
    My next vehicle will definitely be a Chrysler.
  • elsazelsaz Posts: 3
    :mad: The control panel lights have dimmed again today. But gauges are fine so far. Should I take this to dealer now or wait? Does anybody else have the same issue?
    Just spent over two thousands on rear differential and air bag. Hate it!
  • mom0423mom0423 Posts: 15
    I still believe this is resulting fron a short in the line from the battery. If someone could research this or find out it would help us all!
  • tlc8268tlc8268 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2004 Buick Rainier CXL on June 14, 2012. Less than two weeks later, the air ride suspension failed. The rear of the Rainier is sitting so low to the ground I won't even drive it for fear of damaging something underneath the vehicle.

    I have done some research online and called various mechanics in the local area in search of a fix for this problem. From what I can find, there are a couple of options available to me. The one that looks the best to me would be to remove the air ride suspension components and replace this with regular coil springs.

    Since I have very little knowledge about this and this is a new problem for my chosen mechanic-- can someone advise me as to what parts I need to purchase in order to have the needed parts for repair?

    Thanks in advance!
  • wallsfewwallsfew Posts: 1
    edited July 2012
    I purchased a used 2004 Buick Rainier in 2010 with 84k+ miles on it. I didn't ask for a Car Fax! What a huge mistake! After the problems started, I looked online for the car fax for my vehicle, and found that there were a lot of "hits". We have only put 10k+ miles on this car and it has had all it's required maintenances. The "check engine" light was on constantly, and every time we have had something fixed, it comes back on. In May, 2012, we had problems with the turning corners. After about $400 we found that the transfer motor needed replacing. Now, almost 2 months later, at the end of June, 2012, while on vacation, this problem has come back. There is no "warning light" that is lit up for this now. After looking at the reviews of this vehicle, it seems that there is a problem with the AWD Transfer somewhere. Today, this is going back into the garage because of the same problem. I hope it's fixed this time correctly! The car seems to have a mind of it's own. If you turn the heater or air conditioner off, it comes on again when it wants to.
  • mclouser1mclouser1 Posts: 1
    05 Buick Rainier is making a clicking noise. The sound comes and goes. Sounds like a valve clicking. It gets louder when you rev the motor. It randomly starts and quits when you turn off the car and let it sit. The sound starts back at random times. Car has 83,000 Miles
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Have you been able to find the source of the mysterious ticking sound since your last post? If we can look into anything (warranty/recall info, help get you connected to a dealership), please don't hesitate to email at (include your name, contact information, and last 8 of your VIN).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • What was the relay you replaced? i have been trying everything.
  • I had the same issue. Went online and purchased the coil springs from a Florida based company (cant remember name) and had a mechanic install them along with air shocks.

    They are working really good. I did use a mechanic who I know and the rate was really inexpensive.

    Get the parts and look around your area, and compare prices you can probably find someone fair.
  • I recently purchased a 05 buick rainier in July 2012 after our other vehicle was totaled in a hail storm. Last month the gas gauge started coming crazy and going from full to empty knowing I just filled the gas tank up.. It has 130,000 miles so I contacted GM and they said well you have to go get a diagnostic test done on it and see whats wrong with it knowing that it is the problem that everyone else is having.. I know they are not going to help me but they say they will do whatever they can do.. I never had this problem with my ford minivan and Im ready to send this piece of junk back to them and they can deal with it!!! I will never buy buick again!!!!
  • pgroseclosepgroseclose Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    I am having the same problem with my 04 Rainier. I just had it checked out, and they claim that it is my A.C compressor stalling. I don't know much about cars, but I do know this part is expensive! In addition, I am not having any problem with getting A.C and heat in my car. It is just idling horribly! :sick: I have also had it diagnosed as a the fuel pump. The Buick technition said it would be a reason for it to die. It says that the oil pressure is low, and it dies! It does this especially at slow speeds, while I am parking, or sitting at a stop light. Did you find out what was wrong with yours? I would appreciate any information you would have. I don't want to replace this compressor unless I know for sure it will fix it. Thank you!
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    More than likely the instrument cluster is on it's way out. Ours is having the same problem. There is a place in Syracuse NY that will refurbish it for $125-175.

    That beats the $300++ that the dealer will want for a rebuilt one.

    The place is United Radio.

    I hope this helps.
  • Just wanted to let you know I've had all the same problems as you. Can't sell or trade it without giving it away. It still runs and looks good but now I've got a noise in the motor. I've already spent out $2,000 in different repairs. Rex in Indiana.
  • jkeyesjkeyes Posts: 1
    I proudly bought one of these years ago with 24k on it. Almost right away we had noise in the front, we took it back time and time again, nothing found. Then we got the famous "locked up" or "getting hit in the rear" feeling. Take it in nothing, now of course the front differential is done, so my options at this point are to pay someone a crazy amount of money to fix it, or dump the vehicle. They are now selling for under $5k here by me, so $3500 to fix something is crazy. I am mad at the dealerships, they pass on fixing these things, and when the warranty all runs out the crap breaks and we get stuck. I have had the rear air pump replaced, and this thing wont stay up for more than an hour after shutting it off, never an issue until they "fixed" it. Did rear brakes just before differential went out, and backing plates are completely rusted away. And we have the issue with the pool on the floor from the clogged ac drain. So frustrated about all of this, this was almost a $43k vehicle when new. Now it is worth less than the cost to repair it, so many of us have had this exact same problem, sounds like a defect, yet we are all stuck. I am not sure what we are going to do, we wanted to trade this in but now it is worth almost nothing in its current state of use. I am not sure if I could do this repair, I have built engines, rears, transmissions, etc. But dont have a hoist and cant lift the motor in my garage if that really needs to happen. Anyone have any suggestions????
  • Noted that rear air bags need refilling regularly. I have diagnosis that both bags are leaking. in my 2004 Rainier CXL V8. Anyone had any experience with replacement cost. Parts were quoted at over $600.
    Another thought was to replace air bags with springs. Any one dealt with this.
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