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Buick Rendezvous



  • I might be wrong, but sounds like you had to request a regular towing truck, not the flatbed type. All towing trucks have a pair of dollies to carry the rear wheels on for AWD cars - for safe transportation, while the front wheels are on the lift.

    Pulling a parked vehicle onto a flatbed also does a trick on any automatic transmission, if not set to neutral - hopefully yours is ok.

    Our Golf Tournament '02CXL still runs trouble-free. I called it that as it was used for Shell Open in 2002 and had 180 miles on it when we bought it new. Still goes as new.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    My Rendezvous still running like new. Not noisy, no BCM problems, no brake problems, no AC problems. I did have a head gasket replaced (under warranty). Other than that, just minor repairs. I definitely would recommend the Buick Rendezvous to a potential buyer.

    I agree that fewer people are experiencing serious problems with the Rendezvous than some might suspect by reading this board. Keep in mind that through October 2004, nearly 52,000 Rendezvous have been sold in 2004 alone. And at the same time last year, nearly 56,000 Rendezvous were sold. You're talking about 150,000+ Rendezvous being on the road and we're seeing reports from just a handful of Edmunds members. I'm not saying those problems aren't real ... I'm just saying not all Rendezvous owners or Rendezvous are affected! YMMV

    P.S. Shar ... I think that you may have a valid claim against the towing company; sounds like they screwed up your brakes!
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    My 2002 CX has been running along well. No surprises or repairs of any needed yet...and I hope it stays that way. It's highly regarded by many friends and family for it's roominess and good ride. Personally, it has served me pretty well when I needed to move large items such as TV's and furniture. No brand can make all perfect cars and I do understand how upsetting it would be if I was the owner of a less than perfect vehicle.

    Someone made a comment in Edmunds that most likely a person would post here when they have a problem rather then a happy owner. Therefore it skews the images of many vehicles to the negative side.
  • 2004 CXL AWD with 3.6 - We have 4000 miles and no complaints. During a 90+ degree August day we were creeping along in a traffic jam (about 45 min.) and we felt some unpleasant drivetrain vibration AND ac variation, but we weren't overheating and all has been well since. We like the room and the ride, but with our urban stop and go commute, I wish the milage was better. We're now avg. about 17. Hwy. milage is fantastic if you maintain a reasonable speed (below 60). The instant milage display has indicated 27 - 30 mpg at times when I've cruised at 52-56 mph.
  • Just purchased 2004 Ultra AWD coming from a Olds min-van. I really like the more nimble handling and SUV looks besides the classy interior finishes. My daughter is in to her 2nd CXL and it suits her for a multitude of reasons. A friend has a new Lexus RX330 which I've been in several times,also a nice ride but my Buick rides more evenly and is larger. Got a good deal at 10k off sticker plus $2250 in GM card awards. Lexus can't touch that value at $28k for my Ultra. Make sure your tires are inflated to about 35psi. Mine came at delivery at only 25psi and that hurts gas mileage. This vehicle is probably the best car SUV for its size in my book.
  • jk27, what had prompted the gasket replacement? I wonder if I should ask for a preventive replacement of the head gasket, AC condenser, and front wheel bearings under warranty, or stick with "if it ain't broken, don't fix it"? We have 21K on the odometer with 5 months of warranty left.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    "jk27, what had prompted the gasket replacement?"

    I noticed that I was losing coolant (Dexcool). I talked with my dealer and he said that it is a sealed system and that, in theory, you should never have to add coolant. Since I had probably added several quarts, I mentioned it when I brought it in for some other minor service items. Imagine my surprise when they called me to tell me that they needed to replace my head gasket! It was under warranty, thankfully, and it was done in an afternoon. So ... if you're losing coolant, ask them to check the gaskets! If you haven't been monitoring your Dexcool levels ... you may want to start! Hope this helps.

    P.S. I noticed no performance, mileage or heating problems at all when I was losing the coolant.
  • manny5manny5 Posts: 16
    Do not get me wrong, the vehicle drives well and the comfort is excellent. For a $30K vehicle, you expect to have trouble free 50K miles. There is inherently something wrong with the design of this vehicle. Many things go bad too soon.

    I owned GMs all my life. I drove all of them over 100K miles with out major problems. I will be happy if I get 70K miles on this Rdv.

    Also, check the resale value. You will be stuck, and can not sell it until you pay off the vehicle. When it is paid off, it probably worth nothing.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    What year/model Rendezvous do you own, Manny5?

    Manny5 said, "There is inherently something wrong with the design of this vehicle. Many things go bad too soon."

    What specifically is "inherently wrong" with the Rendezvous. I've had pretty close to 36,000 trouble-free miles with this vehicle. Any problems have been promptly repaired at no charge by my Buick Dealer.

    What things "go bad too soon"?

    You do realize that not everyone is experiencing what you've experienced. There are about 150,000 Rendezvous on the roads now. How many of these are experiencing the "inherent" problems of which you speak? Seems like I have seen just a handful of posters who got bad apples (and which happens in every mass-produced product line).

    I would definitely recommend a Rendezvous to a friend.

    As for resale value? I'm not planning on selling anytime soon, so it truly is not an issue for me. Why would I want to sell a great vehicle that has provided trouble-free driving, great features, and a great ride?? ;)
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Although it's very early days at 3,000 miles, our Rondy just turned in two great performances - a 250 mile highway run with four aboard with a couple of bags each getting 30 mpg and a city run with six. The guy who had the third seat all to himself refused to switch on the way home - too comfy, he said! Now, if that 3.4 six didn't downshift so much...
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    For me the problems keep on recurring even though they are being fixed with newer parts:

    1) BCM (3 times)
    2) Cluster (2 times)
    3) Front wheel boots (2 times)
    4) Alternator (1 time)
    5) Condenser (1 time)

    If you do a search just in this forum on those items you will see that there are numerous cases like that. Replacing the parts with newer one should fix the problem unless there is a problem with the design itself in which case it will reoccur no matter how many time you change the bad parts.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    jdks said, "For me the problems keep on recurring even though they are being fixed with newer parts:

    1) BCM (3 times)
    2) Cluster (2 times)
    3) Front wheel boots (2 times)
    4) Alternator (1 time)
    5) Condenser (1 time)

    If you do a search just in this forum on those items you will see that there are numerous cases like that. Replacing the parts with newer one should fix the problem unless there is a problem with the design itself in which case it will reoccur no matter how many time you change the bad parts.

    If it's a design defect, as you suggest, then why aren't I (and all other Rendezvous owners) experiencing these failures? Sure, there are a few posters who have posted problems on this forum. However, there are about 150,000 Rendezvous on the road. Based on the reports I've seen here, I suspect that only a few owners are experiencing these problems ... and even fewer are experiencing repeat problems. Just my two cents ...
  • With 5K left on the warranty, I brought it in and just made up a story that I had added coolant a couple times. They pressure tested it (or at least they claim they did - maybe they just wanted the work, knowing GM routinely pays for these things and never questions them) and said there was a leak and replaced both head gaskets. I've never actually added coolant and the level always stayed static for me, but they did the job. Thanks to everyone on this board for making me aware of the issue and avoiding a big repair later on.

    The bearings and AC I think you actually have to have symptoms of malfunction before they will replace. I've had both those done. Also a wonky rear differential. Luckily all this was within the last 7K of warranty after a problem free 2+ years. WHEW!!!!!!!
  • nosuvyet - thank you for the details. I'd better start checking the coolant level regularly. What symptoms are there for the bearings and condenser (e.g. knocking, etc.)?

    inherently wrong! by jdks - Just a thought - might it be your dealer looking for work that makes you return for repairs time and time again rather than faulty parts? Try to fix it at a different Buick dealer the next time.
  • cudaalcudaal Posts: 34
    Congrats , master4, great deal on Ultra!, you've cleaned' em!

    I've made 6000mi(hard to believe) already and at purchase configured CXL with 3.6L, towing, sunroof etc.

    No problems, B'H, whatsoever everythin works only following cocerns:

    -gas milage is low, (heavy big city driving) ~12mpg

    - not protected liftgate lip, easily scratched while loading (only one such a problem in its class. compare with MDX, Rx-330, pilot etc)

    -bit of leaning at fast turns, but then again this is my first 4 door car, always had fast
    2 doors coupes and I do drive my cars hard.. so it depends on your diving style. I think it can be fixed by adding 18"tires that are wider 235-245mm, could cost $900-1600.

    othervise totally agree with you about RX330 and value. I'm curious , how'd you got $10K off the sticker? was it year end special? did you get the $5000 rebate?
  • jdksjdks Posts: 42
    I will take you advice and try my luck at another dealer but I doubt it to make any difference as most of problems were fixed under the warranty and I've lifetime free oil change. Out of 150,000 owners only a very small fraction post to this forum. Based on some other forums that I have seen - the same problems keep creeping up.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    Just out of curiousity, what other Buick Rendezvous forums are there? I'd love to find some other (perhaps more active) forums. Thanks.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Try a net search; we don't permit promotion of competing auto forums here :-)

    Steve, Host
  • There was a 10K off sticker on the windshield when I first looked at the Ultra. It broke out 4500 current rebate, 1000 GMAC bonus for financing and 4500 dealer discount off 40,580 sticker. The dealer had 2 black '04 Ultra's on lot, 1 with nav & mine with moonroof for some time with the 10k off offer. The only problem was getting anything for my 02 Olds van. Ended up getting 10,900 for van with 45k miles with some help from the dealer who is a friend.
  • Now the warranty coverage is almost over for you, your troubles will start. Make sure you have $4-5K to repair all the things that might come up in the next few months unless you have extended warranty.


    I wanted to get rid of it, but the trade in value is so bad, after 36 months of loan payments I still have to pay from my pocket to get rid of it. I am stuck.
  • You are correct about alot of the same problems showing up on Buick RDV's.I've done many web searches and have been on numerous automotive forums and all the problems you mention plus others are far too common.The NHSTA is well aware of GM's BCM problems.


    A year ago when our 2002 CXL AWD started having BCM problems I made a list of all the bad BCM's on just Buick RDV's alone and I had a list of well over 100 owners with problems.One owner was on his 6th BCM.For every person that posts on the internet about problems believe me there are 100's that dont.I work with 20 people at work and not a one posts on any forum.Some dont even have a computer.


    One tow truck owner said his most commonly towed vehicle was the Buick RDV and Pontiac Aztek and it was because of electrical problems.Our 2002 CXL got so bad if you went over a railroad track we would lose all electrical functions for 2-3 seconds.Then you would be driving along and would lose everything except the headlights and nothing would come back on.I had to unhook the battery to turn the headlights off.While waiting for our 3rd BCM we received a decent trade offer and got rid of our RDV.BCM's were always on back order and you had to wait to get them.



    We once drove 30 miles home on back roads in cold weather with no electrical and only the headlights.This isnt very safe.At least it didnt die and leave us stranded like lots have.One family had their vacation ruined at Yellowstone because of this.



    I might add that once in early 2003 when we were looking to trade our 1998 Regal GS off for a program RDV we found one that we liked but then this dealer in Omaha,NE informed us that this was a Buick buy back because of problems the first owner had.We then found a clean low mile 2002 CXL AWD in Oklahoma City and bought it.It ran perfect until 30,000 miles and then the problems started.


    I'm not anti Buick as we have driven mostly all Buicks since 1984.There are (4) Buick Regals in our yard right now that are basically problem free and I would drive anywhere.We were very dissapointed with our 2002 CXL but still miss it as it had lots of things we liked.


    There are lots of good RDV's out there but there are bad ones too.I highly reccomend a GM factory extended warranty to everyone that owns a RDV.You can drop $5-6000 real easy in repairs.Remember that the GM 3.4 has a history of leaking intake and head gaskets plus you have the BCM and much-much more to worry about if you get a bad RDV.I sincerely hope most of you got a good one.
  • manny5manny5 Posts: 16
    I have 2002 CX with 52K miles. When Buick designs and sells a $30K car, you expect to go trouble free for atleast 50-60K miles.


    This car had too many things go wrong for too many people. The engine gasket, BCM module, intake manifold, the A/C compressor, wheel bearings. How can so many components go bad on so many cars? This is definitely a design flaw.


    Look at Toyota or Honda products. They make and sell lot more than 150,000 units. Camry sells more than that in a year. You do not see this type of pattern, so many components fail on so many cars?


    If GM wants to survive long term, they need to stop building and selling cheap cars with rebates and low interest rates. They need to design and make better products that will compete with foreign cars.
  • After 78,0000 miles and 3 years, I would still recommend buying this car.


    I am on my 4th BCM, the first 2 were replaced under warranty, I paid for the 3rd replacement myself.


    I had one radio replacement under warranty.


    I also find that in winter, I cannot play my CD-R's because using the car heater makes them really hot. I can play CD-r's without heating the car.


    I had the slow speed turn moaning problem.


    Bottom line, I got a comfortable car with a lot of cargo capacity, with AWD, pretty decent gas mileage, at a price that was 10-15 thousand less than I would have paid for a similar car. I did use 2K in GM card points.


    10K plus the interest on 10K buys a lot of out of warranty repairs and makes up for massive depreciation.


    I would not buy this car if it were not for rebates/discounts/gm card points.


    By the way, my current BCM was very slightly defective from day one in that my rear parking assist did work with the warning lights, but does not give an audible warning. But, I did not have time to get it reordered and replaced and now have had it for 15 months and 25,000 miles. I figure it is wise to let sleeping dogs lie.


    I have been very happy with my last 15 months because, my car has been relatively flawless except for the slow speed moaning which seems to have disappeared with the cold weather or my hearing is going bad.
  • In the past year I have spent countless hours doing web searches on Buick RDV's and just ran across another interesting place with 10-15 complaints.


    Here is what happened to one 2002 RDV owner.He must be from Canada.I would link you to this site but Edmunds wont allow me.


    Faulty Dash Sensor 15K

    Air Conditioner Condensor 25K

    Rear Wiper Motor 50K

    Fan Blower Motor 50K

    Front Wheel Bearings 50K

    Gas Tank Sending Unit 60K

    Air Conditioner Condensor 65K

    Intake Gaskets 85K

    Rear Wheel Bearings 105K


    He said he was very fortunate to have a 100K 0 deductible GM extended warranty.However,he was constantly renting cars,missing work,and feels like GM took him for a ride.


    It seems like Buick RDV's are either all good or all bad which I dont understand.Many owners are 100% happy while others hate theirs.


    As a former RDV owner I will make a few observations.Why did Buick choose to build off the Pontiac Aztek platform?It had the GM 3.4 V-6 which from 1995-2003 has had a lousy reputation for leaking intake and head gaskets.Go check all the Chevy Venture,Pontiac Montana,and numerous other forums where some people have completely ruined their 3.4 engines to a tune of $4-6,000.Some are making payments on vehicles they cant afford to put an engine in.Dexcool and oil dont mix.There are 1000's of complaints on these intake gaskets.For some reason GM wont issue a recall.


    Buick had the proven 3800 or SC3800 engine that should have been used in an all Buick designed RDV.We own a 1991 Buick Regal Limited with 150,000 miles that I drive to work every day.Other than routine maintenance all thats ever been done to it is one alternator and one PW motor.


    Why does GM flood the market with program vehicles,offer huge rebates,and 0% interest?This drives the trade in value of all GM vehicles to practically nothing.


    Take our program 2002 Buick RDV CXL AWD that we purchased in March 2003 at Bob Moore in Oklahoma City.It was a loaded untitled GM factory exec car that listed new for over $35,000.With only 13,000 miles on it they were selling it for only $23,000.Thats almost a dollar a mile depreciation.


    We traded off our loaded 55,000 mile 1998 Regal GS that we purchased new.It stickered at over $25,000.We only got $5,000 trade in for it on the RDV which is about all you will get when trading on a program vehicle.I sure wish we had that 98 GS back.


    Our CXL ran perfect from 13,000 to 30,000 miles.Then at 30,000 miles the BCM problems came.We lost trust in it and got tired of it being in the shop all the time so decided to trade it off if anyone would give us $18,000 for it.If no one would,we were going to keep it and buy a GM factory extended warranty.Also we were going to have the new improved intake gaskets installed.


    We spent many-many hours researching the web for the most dependable SUV and narrowed the choice down to a Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.Their problems seemed very minor compared to the RDV's.The first dealers we went to would only give us $14,000 for our RDV.We finally called a full line GM-Ford-Chrysler-Toyota dealer in eastern Kansas and told them we'd trade for a new Toyota Highlander if they'd give $18,000 and they gave us $18,300 and they had our old RDV sold in 10 days.


    Toyota and Honda dont do all this program stuff,0% interest and it holds their trade in values high.In fact on the east coast most new Honda Pilots sell for over factory sticker price.GM,Ford,Chrysler had better learn from this.


    So far our Toyota is trouble free at 14,000 miles.Will it stay that way who knows?We once had a 1986 Toyota Camry that had electrical problems galore.However,we also once had a 1977 Toyota Celica GT that was running strong at 200,000 miles when the body rotted off it.


    In all my Buick RDV research on the internet here are the more common problems in order that I see,mostly on the 2002's and 2003's.


    1 BCM's,BCM's,BCM's And More BCM's (Electrical)

    2 Wheel Bearings

    3 AC Condensors

    4 Intake Gaskets

    5 Fuel Pumps

    6 Dying On The Freeway-Refusing To Start-Have

      To Be Towed-Then Starts At The Dealer

    7 Automatic Trans Shucking Out At Over $4,000!! In Early March 2003 Were Looking At A 2002 CXL In Omaha And Then Was Told It Was A GM Buy Back Because Of Tranny and Electrical Problems

    8 Wind Catching The Drivers Door And Bending It

      To The Tune of $1,000.Happened to (4) RDV's In One

      Day In A Small Kansas Town

    9 Air Bags Not Deploying In A Bad Wreck

    10 Fuel Leaks At Gas Filler Neck

    10 Blower Motors Going Out

    11 Front Differential Going Out

    12 Lots Of Little Things


    Do we miss our 2002 Buick CXL?Yes,we do as there were things we really liked about it.We talk about it all the time.Would we buy another Buick RDV?Yes,if we knew the new 3.6 engine was holding up OK and knew it was as dependable as our Buick Regals were.


    If at all possible I highly urge all RDV owners to get a GM factory extended warranty even if it has been trouble free so far.I'm not out here to beat up on Buick RDV owners as I still like Buicks proven by the 2000 LS,1991 Limited,1986 T-Type,and 1985 T-Type Regals still sitting in my drive way.Over 400,000 miles sitting there with very few problems.


    I'm still waiting for the first RDV owner with 100,000 miles and no problems.There has to be one.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    mallaik said, "Now the warranty coverage is almost over for you, your troubles will start. Make sure you have $4-5K to repair all the things that might come up in the next few months unless you have extended warranty."


    Right ... and according to your conspiracy theory, the car is designed to fail only AFTER the 3 year 36 month bumper to bumper warranty fails. Give me a break! There are always going to be bad apples with every car model (even ... gasp ... Honda). This car has been extremely reliable and I will continue to recommend it to my friends/family. YMMV (and apparently it does). If I see you on the side of the road, I'll be happy to stop and give you a ride into town. ;) Like I said, there are 150,000 Rendezvous on the road ... there are going to be some lemons. Fortunately, I did not get one. Sorry to hear you did.
  • It just about has to be Dave Sinclair Buick in St Louis.Right now he has over (50) listed on his website.However he doesnt have a single Ultra.Are they still in short supply?I have yet to see my first one and we circle Buick dealers quite often on trips.


    We were at Sinclairs in Feb 2003 and he had over (80) new RDV's on the lot.I was amazed at the large inventory he carried.There should be a bunch of them on the streets of St Louis.


    Anyone know of a Buick dealer with a larger RDV inventory?We live in the rural midwest and most dealers dont even have new ones in stock anymore.There are (7) RDV's in our town and most came from other dealers.
  • Today we were out for a drive in our 2000 Regal LS and stopped at a distant Buick dealer some miles away to see our first new 2005 LaCrosse.


      A salesman came out to help us and we told him that we were just looking as earlier this year we had traded off a problem prone RDV and didnt really need another payment right now.


      I then asked him his opinion of the Buick RDV and he surprised me by saying that it was about the most problem plagued vehicle they had right now.Without me telling him he then named off all the same numerous problems that many RDV owners on here are having.


      He said that they had already completed one RDV GM buy back,were working on another GM RDV buy back,plus took another local problem plagued RDV trade in to an auction rather than sell it locally.


      He said that one owners RDV will just die going 70 mph going down the hiway and wont restart.They will tow it in to the dealer,and then it will start.They cant figure out whats causing it.


      Another RDV owner says that their RDV is possesed as for no reason the horn will start honking.Its done this at the dealer too.


      I asked him if nearly half the RDV's they had sold were having problems and the look on his face told me that I wasnt far from wrong.This is a fair sized Buick dealer thats sold quite a few RDV's.I dont believe that they have any new RDV's in stock.


      This salesman was so honest that I wouldnt hesitate to buy a new or used car from him and his dealership.Honest ones are far and few between.


      I wish that I had better news as I'm a Buick man.I know lots of you are not having problems but those that are need to get an extended warranty or trade it off.GM needs to make things right with the many problem plagued RDV owners.Sorry if I made anyone mad.
  • manny5manny5 Posts: 16
    You may call it a conspiracy throry. But the history shows it. Majority of problems do show up after 3 years. It may be a pure coincidence, they show up just after the warranty expires.


    I hope you will never have any problems with your RDV. If you do not, your RDV is an exception, and you are a very lucky person.


    see Message #3829 from regalluvr2. The dealerships are even admitting the problems.


    I wish you good luck with your RDV.
  • manny5,

       I was really shocked to see that a Buick salesman would admit to a problem with the RDV's but that shows me that he and his dealership still have some integrity.They have had to deal with many unhappy RDV owners and are working with them.This was one of the most interesting discussions I've had at a car dealer in a long time.


       I know a guy that works at our local GM full

    line dealer and he said 2 of 7 RDV's in this area have had problems.Also he said that they continually get 1995-2003 GM 3.4's in for leaking intake and head gaskets.


       Thank goodness for a place like Edmunds so that we can see that many others are having the same problems.Otherwise you might think that you got the only lemon.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Let's face it - 36,000 miles isn't that much, not in a vehicle that many of us routinely expect to drive for 100,000 miles or more.


    These posts on troublesome RDV's have me very worried. I mean, here's a very well designed car that's a dream to use and drive when all's well but, according to the unlucky owners of defective ones, a nightmare to own.


    Now, I've had no problems in a mere 3,500 miles on my 3.4 '04 FWD so I'd love to hear from anyone out there with a long-term RDV - say, 50,000 miles or more.


    Thanks in advance.
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