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Buick Terraza Owners: Meet the Members

iglooigloo Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Buick
I have the 05 Terraza myself and I have a quite of few problems at 300 miles so far. The flickering lights, horn doesn't want to work at certain spots, noisy interior (no wind noise, dealer says), loud clunk on rear end (decided to keep the orignal springs vs the softer, quieter spring with 600 pounds payload loss, manual doors hard to close from the inside (nothing they can do)

I just found out the Buick is selling the more upscale version of the minivan only in China! I am upset to find that they sell the van with sunroof, navigation system, power folding mirrors with integrated turn signals, dual automatic climate controls, three DVD screens, the features that you cannot get here in the U.S.


  • morewasabimorewasabi Posts: 58
    Most of us like our vans. Yes we may have had a few issues. But we have dealt with them. I am one that really likes my van. I think thousands of others would agree as GM is selling thousands of these vans each month. If you have a complaint take it to and file it with the NHTSA. Oh, by the way the GM vans have some of the fewest and most minor of complaints on the NHTSA. The 2005 Honda Odyssey (92), Toyota Sienna (80) and Chrysler Town and Country (148). The GM vans had the following for 2005: Pontiac SV6 (7), Chevrolet Uplander (46), Buick Terraza(36). You can even pull the TSB (Technical Service Bulletins) under maintenance section for doing car research. The GM vans are a little more than Toyota and way under Honda.

    I think some of the complaints of the GM vans are no different than the Honda and Toyota but are way more minor than Chrysler. For some reason the Japanese van issues are overlooked and the GM van issues are perceived as lemons. Why is this? Is it lemon or lemonade? I think its lemonade and sometime the idiosyncrasies of the van may make you pucker. But I like my van and as I guy ( yes ok I am being chauvinist) can live with the idiosyncrasies. Sorry but true. I'll keep this van until I have over 100,000 miles on it. :shades:

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    There's the demand in China for a loaded Buick minivan. Here, people tend to lean more towards the Sienna and Odyssey.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    I've had my @005 CXL for 15 months with 15,000 miles on it. Sure, I had the alternator replaced, new front stabilizers on the sway bar, kinked hose on the rear air shocks, new in-tank fuel pump, and new muffler installed. But hey, all of these were done during an oil-change (or other routine service) and it cost me NOTHING!! I have a great service-dealer who will sell me another GM van in 2 years. Foreign car??...fahgetaboudit!!
  • Sounds like you've been thinking your rig is more SUV than MiniVan. What have you been doing with it? Taking it off road and giving it a workout? :P
    I have the CXL wit the tow package. Have had only one problem. The rear heater hose in the engine compartment coupling had a small leak. got it fixed with no other problems. It's been a real solid ride to date. Oh the horn spings where a little stiff at first. Just pressed on the horn a few times and it works great now. Guess the springs are stiff and so the horn won't work unless you press on it real hard at first. But they loosened up and worked itself out.
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    Igloo, You didn't say if you'd had any of these problems resolved or not. There is a technical service bulletin out for the horn springs. My dealer fixed that and it's now much easier to press. Do you have the towing package? I've wondered if the larger alternator ( 125 amp) included with this package has the flicker issue.

    Does anyone have the flicker problem that also has the towing package? If not, should we all demand the higher amperage alternator be installed to fix the problem? I had the 105 amp. replaced, but still have a slight flicker at times. I wonder if the 125 amp would fix it.
  • I have the tow package on my TerraZa. Got it for the larger alternator. I have not had any flickering problem or any electrical problem.
  • iglooigloo Posts: 8
    I just got the van back this morning after almost two weeks, waiting for parts to come in. They fixed the horn, which makes it easier to press, but they broke the bottom plastic wooden piece that left the corners sharp in the back of the steering wheel. The both sides are pretty loose, so I have to snap it back in with some force. I have to take it back in when it reaches 500 miles for an oil change. It has about 350 miles on it now.

    I don't have the trailering package. They replaced the alternator and I can see some flickering at idle, it shows up at startup and goes away for a few seconds. Then, if I press the gas and put it in drive, and then park, it will flicker and goes away for a time until you do something. Rev the engine, it goes away fast. So, the new alternator did not fix the problem completely.

    I'll have to see some more and if it still doing that, then I have to ask them to replace the 105-amp with the 125-amp one and pay the difference, if ever. At least, the flickering is not as bad as before. I didn't find this problem in any of the cars I've driven before the Terraza.

    The manual driver sliding door takes some tries to get them to shut completely. Neither of the sliding doors have real handles to shut it from the inside. You have to grab on to the latch and try a couple of times to slam it. I am not too happy about that.

    The van is quite noisy driving on the road. I guess the quiet thread tires haven't broken in yet. Otherwise the engine is relatively quiet. I had them to check out the windshield, but found no bad seals or air leaks. I hope it will not get any worse from here on out.
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78

    Disappointing about the horn issue, I was hesitant to have it done for fear that the dealer would damage the air bag or something else. However, my dealer did a nice job.

    On the web site they are discussing a possible new alternator that GM is testing to solve the flicker issue. I plan to wait and see if that happens before requesting the 125 amp.

    The tires are the source of your noise. Goodyear Integrity tires are low-end tires-see for what people are saying..its not good. Mine have been ok, but are getting noisy at only 15K. I plan to put some Yokohama Avid TRZ's on soon (good price, great ratings).

    Separate issue-has anyone had a successful fix of the rattling passenger airbag? I'm really scared for the dealer to touch that.
  • iglooigloo Posts: 8
    I have a rattle in the van going over rough surface like the broken ice on the street, but I thought it may be the trays in the back or even the front one too.

    I'll have to mention about the tires at the dealer sometime.

    Do you notice some strange shake when you lift your foot off the brake from a stop? I found that it is noticeable on a level surface at stop lights or signs. It feels like the van is shaking laterally.

    Also, the engine does not idle consistently at a stop. It rises and drops periodically. If it drops, you can feel the vibes on the steering wheel.

    Well, wish me luck with the van.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    The rattling passenger airbag was the first thing we had the dealership look at. They did it the same day that they replaced our alternator. I don't know exactly what they did, but it no longer rattles. Our lights still do the dimming thing though. Thanks for pointing out the news about GM testing a possible new alternator. Our van is still under 10k miles, so I'll hold off until the new alternator is available or the van is close to the end of the warranty to mention it to the dealership again, because the dimming isn't too bad in our van, unlike what some have reported.
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78

    This rattle is definitely coming from the right side of the dash. Other than that, our van is pretty tight.

    I do know what you're talking about with the "shake" when you let your foot off. I've just always considered it a characterist of the van. It's not really bothersome to me, just how the transmission and engine are working at idle.

    I've noticed too that the idle goes fairly low at times, but it's never gotten low enough to quit so far.
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78

    Thanks for the info on the airbag rattle, now that I know it can be fixed, I'll be sure to get it in before 20K.

    Regarding the reliability of these vans in general, I would like to point out that what's not being discussed in this forum is a good thing. There are apparently not widespread issues with the critical functions of the van, such as major engine or transmission failures. Although the 2005 vans were introduced with some (usually) minor issues, I really believe that once these are repaired under warranty people will have a very solid vehicle in terms of long-term performance. I haven't heard of anyone with an intake manifold leak. That alone is a huge improvement over the last generation of v6's (3.4, 3.8). My feeling is that the drivetrain will go 150K, easy.
  • I completely agree with you! My Saturn has been solid as a rock. Most people here have had minor electrical gremlins and no major malfunctions - like Honda trannys or sludging Toyotas......... :confuse:
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    Am thinking about trading in my 2001 Olds Silhouette on a Buick Terraza. Initially getting internet quotes from dealers. One dealer still has a new 2005 on the lot and is offering $5,700 off MSRP. Since I will be keeping it for several years, I'm not too concerned with a last years model, but wonder if I can do better on the price. Haven't had an opportunity to wade through the thousands of posts here, but wanted to find out from others whether this is a good deal, or has there been noticeable improvements to the 2006 model that I should consider an 06 vs. an 05? Also, do they come equipped with XM Satellite radio as standard equipment? Many thanks!
  • I have the tow package on my Terrazza as well and have never had a problem with flickering lights. I have an 06. I also have the new 3.9L engine and havent encountered any problems like stalling, low idling etc etc, so maybe the new engine with the towing package is the way to go to avoid these common problems!
  • cla1cla1 Posts: 27
    I don't think there were any significant changes in the 06 from 05. We also replaced an 01 Silo with the 05 Terraza and have been pleased although we did have the flickering lights issue which was fixed without problem by dealer doing the TSB on that issue. We also had a radio that was intermittent with no sound despite display and that was replaced. Otherwise nothing, nice on the road and mileage about same as Silo. The seats seem clumsier to adjust and remove, but are comfortable. The XM is standard in the upgraded radio, but you need to pay for it after 3 months. My wife loves that feature as she is the primary driver. The luggage rack is a downgrade I think from the Olds and the 98 Venture we had, no cross bars unless you buy them and our dealer didn't know where to get them at least when we bought the thing in Jan 05. We've got about 20k on it and are happy with it. I've grown to like the looks as most people do. Grandkids love the video and remote headphones.
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    Thanks cla1. Haven't made it over to the dealer yet, but have received quotes on two Terraza's. Come to find out they have two leftover 05's left on the lot; a CX and a CXL. Since we have the GLS, the CXL would most likely have the same features. Since we are nearing end of April, I wonder if I can do much better than $5,700 under MSRP. I found out I missed a $3,500 incentive on 05's that expired April 4th, but I would think they would offer a great deal to move them off the lot. Now I just need to convince my wife as she's unsure whether she wants another van (we've owned a 97 Venture and an 01 Silo), but I don't think you'll find an SUV that will get 25 mpg on the highway and that much cargo room with the third row seat down. At least I haven't found one yet. If there is anyone that can let me know if $5,700 under MSRP for a new 05 is a good deal, or feel I can do better, let me know. Thanks again for your response
  • genmtrfangenmtrfan Posts: 78
    As the owner of an '05 Uplander, I would spend the extra cash to get the 3.9 liter in the 2006. Don't get me wrong, we love the van and it's been reliable but just be aware that you will have an issue with flickering lights, possibly side moldings that come unglued (not sure if the Terraza has that issue, or just the Uplander), a whistling noise on acceleration around 2500 rpm, and perhaps a rattling front passenger airbag. All of these problems have been resolved or minimized on my van by the dealer. These problems are common throuout this post. Uncommon problems include radio and other electronics problems and power door issues. But, as I've said earlier here that the van is not experiencing widespread issues with major components in the engine or tranmission.

    The 3.9 liter has a different charging system that will avoid the light flicker and it also doesn't have the whistling noise. Also, I think the 2006's have revised door moldings and hopefully no rattling airbag. Unlike some, I think the 3.5 liter has adequate performance, but because of the issues above, I'd go with the 3.9. But, if you get a great deal and are willing to have these issues fixed, then go for it.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'd make sure all the issues some owners have been having here (flickering lights) have been resolved before you take delivery, if possible.

    But otherwise I'd negotiate hard for a little more than $5700 off of MSRP.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    Sorry being so late in replying...Actually, I take very good care of my car, but I live in New York City (Pot-hole City). I always get dealer service...after all, it is a new car, and if there are any service bulletins, etc., they can be corrected. The horn is a little stiff, but I haven't had it corrected (can't blame me for a noisy city). I've stated before that the dealer will make all the difference in your satisfaction of your purchase. My dealer listens to me, gives me A-1 service, and wants me to buy my next car from him. I'm very pleased with my Terraza CXL and my dealer...I'll buy my next one from him. :)
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    Thanks genmtrfan. We looked at the 2005's after the dealership had closed and decided to go back the next day and take a test drive. They had 5 2005's left on the lot, and two were a Terraza CX and CXL. We liked the options on the CXL and test drove it. After all was said and done (and playing hard ball by preparing to walk out twice), we ended up 8K under the sticker, 6K under invoice. It was new but a demo model. Has every option available and drove nice. They gave us the CX to drive until the other was ready. I'm looking forward to the long road trips we will be taking in it. I am not a computer geek and will have to figure out how to dowload songs and moves to the "Phatnoise" system. I am not familiar with it, but it seems to be a nice option so that we won't have to be carrying along a lot of DVDs. Thanks again.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Posts: 588
    We're pretty happy with our 2005 CX (optioned up, but still cost us less than the CXL). As mentioned above we've had the issues with dimming lights and the rattling airbag module. The flickering issue hasn't been completely addressed yet, but I'm waiting a bit more to see if a permanent solution appears to take it back (and ours doesn't dim enough to be a real problem anyway).

    The best part is that the 3500 is capable of easily exceeding the EPA highway estimates- we averaged 29.5 mpg on just over 11 gallons of fuel (under 1/2 tank for 360+ miles) going to WV this past week, and 26.3 on the trip back (I ran some local in-town trips before gassing up, which I'm sure lowered it by up to .5 mpg).

    Both results were manually calculated, rather than trusting the DIC. GMs DICs are normally a bit liberal in my experience (including local driving in this van). But the trip to WV actually read about .5 mpg low, while the reading was dead on for the last fillup (the 26.3). Both were well above the EPA sticker (24 hwy, if I recall correctly). :)

    Oh, and the van is also a superbly comfortable highway cruiser. :shades:
  • stobarstobar Posts: 110
    I will be taking delivery of my CXL tomorrow. The vehicle was missing a few items since it was used as a demo the past year. The front floor mats were missing, although the dealership has ordered another set. The second row has the long floor mat. Was there also a floor mat for the third row seating area? There isn't one, but I'm unsure if it comes with one. Thanks.
  • ericzoomericzoom Posts: 213
    I've had my 05 Terraza CXL for about 15 months now,and I could basically take it or leave it. I find the ride fair and the power with the 3.5 passable. The body integrity sucks,and the A/C barely able to keep up with the FL heat. The MPG is typical of these vans,no big deal. I find the only thing that's decent with it is the interior comfort and the generous standard features. I'm thankful I lease the van and not own it. I'll probably turn it in early and take advantage of GM's pull ahead program when the time comes. :lemon:
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I think you answered the question when you stated, "But I like my van and as I guy ( yes ok I am being chauvinist) can live with the idiosyncrasies."

    Considering the Sienna and Odyssey outsell the GM vans combined, I think the complaints on the NHTSA hold true and show that the Honda and Toyota vans are more trouble free.

    But to a current owner of the vehicle, it doesn't matter. all that matters is your experience with the vehicle.
  • morewasabimorewasabi Posts: 58
    Agree about the Toyota not the Honda. Tons of problems with the Honda. It got spanked with 92 complaints, with some very major transmission and front-end issues. Even on the Edmunds forum for the 2005 Honda they have asked is this the worse Honda ever built? For some reason the Honda slides by on it's issues. The Honda has also had more recalls.
  • morewasabimorewasabi Posts: 58
    If you get the tow package you will not have any of the electrical problems that have been the plethora of these discussions in this forum. The tow package comes with the heavy-duty alternator, extra transmission cooler and oil cooler, as well as the towing harness. The heavy-duty alternator makes all the difference. It’s a low cost option too.

    We really like our Buick Terraza. Just got back from 4 days vacation, put over 1100 miles on the van. Averaged over 25 mpg hwy and city driving on the trip, Have 5 of us in the van. The van operated wonderfully, quiet, smooth and was even peppy with the 3.5 ltr engine. My wife was driving around 80 mph and I was driving 75 mph. On the way home I sat in the back with my boys and watched a movie. It was great.

    The only negative I would say is that I would like to see the seats in the middle row slide side to side so that you could put them together or apart more.

    I would get the 3.9ltr engine, tow-package, and rear heater/ac options. Check out the car buying guide on Edmunds and go particularly to the maintenance section. You can then pull up the service bulletins and really get to see what the issues are on the vans that you’re looking at. Stay away from the Kia. It has many problems, and gets poor mpg.

    Oh, we decided to go with GM as we didn't want to pay a $10,000 premium for the Honda or Toyota. We paid $26,000 and a similar Honda and Toyota was $35K plus. With a family of 5 we have many more things we can do with the extra $$$.

    Good luck.
  • cmyers300mcmyers300m Posts: 206
    We got the tow pkg in our '03 Venture, it is worth the extra cost. We got the Warner Bros Edition so we have the DVD player and 3 captain chairs accross the it!
    I do like that the new GM vans have a split rear seat, I could really use that a lot. It's great to hear you like the Terraza 'cause that's the van we like the most! It's been hovering on the top of my list. I like the added luxury and you get a 4 year warranty!!! All for about the same price as the other GM vans. My only regret would be that I would have to give up the wonderful service dept. my Chevy dealer has. They've been the best service dept. since I had my Infiniti years back.
    I agree with you on the 3.9L engine. I read a lot of postive things about it and I would like to have it.

    As far as cost, you're right. I've priced Honda and Toyota and in the Honda there isn't much room to negociate price and it's more than the Buick. The Toyota is way too expensive once you add options. In addition, you can't get the DVD system unless you get the Limited model!!!! Their packaging of options is still as bad as it ever was. I think the Toyota is a great product, but come's a minivan.
  • morewasabimorewasabi Posts: 58
    I think the Buick is the way to go. It has the added quiet tuning that really makes a difference. The leather on the Buick is also an upgrade. Buick's reputation among GM has always been on the top for quality and service. You get a lot in the Buick that you would pay extra with the others. Also the Buick had an upgrade rear suspension compared to the other GM models. The features we really like is the auto load levelers, the built in air compressor (works great..used it before our trip to get all the tire pressures right), Ultrasonic rear Parking assist. The ride is very very smooth and quiet. It was great as the kids watched the DVD and we could hear them giggle in the back.

    I would have gone for the 3.9 ltr if it was available in 2005. Looks like in 2007 the 3.9 ltr may be standard.
  • cmyers300mcmyers300m Posts: 206
    My WB edition has the load level suspension(which is awesome to have when your moving heavy objects), parking assist(which is great since my wife will hit anything), and air compressor too(which I've never used...wierd huh). I think the Buick's independent rear susp. would be nice, not to mention sound proofing. I also like all the wood accents as well in the Buick. My 300M has it and I really like the looks.

    How have your power doors been? That's the only thing I ever had problems with. Now they're fine, but I've heard of recent GM vans that have the doors opening on their own while the vehicles moving!!! My doors have never malfunctioned like that, thank goodness.

    I heard the 3.9L will probably be standard too. However, I also heard that they may do away with the better suspension and sound deadening material as a cost cutting measure. Just when auto makers get things right, they always change it or get rid of it.
    Regardless, you're starting to sell me on this Terazza van:)------thanks for the input! :)
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