Last post on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM
You are in the Buick Rendezvous
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Buick Rendezvous, SUV
#124 of 155 Just bought a 2003 RDV FWD and have questions..
Mar 20, 2007 (5:28 pm)
Last Monday morning, my wife & I were driving into our local Saturn dealer to buy a new 2007 Saturn ION-3. Being 15 minutes early, we stopped in our local GMC dealer. One of those "let's burn 10 minutes in her before continuing our drive..." things. To make a long story short... My wife bought a used 2003 RDV FWD model. To this day, I don't know if it's a CX or CLX version. That's how fast she wrote them a check for it. With cloth fabric and only 2 rows of seats (front buckets and 2nd row is bench), I would assume its a basic CX model. Its got 71,000 KMs (52K miles) and not a spot of rust on it. If wondering, it only took my wife 2 test drives to fall in love with it. First time was as a passenger and 2nd time as the driver. She loved it so much, she bought it "on the spot". Talk about a women on a mission and knowing what she wants in life. Certainly caught me by surprise. Currently, our new 2003 RDV is being certified, e-tested, cleaned, etc. She'll be "ready for pickup" this Friday (if things go as planned).
After surfing the net, I find this site. Yes, after the fact. After reading many historical posts, I'm getting a little worried. Seems to be more electrical and mechanical problems with the RDV then other GMC SUV and mini-van brands. I was under the impression the Buick was a very solid built vehicle. After lots of reading, the "hot issues" that come to mind are: Rear End (for AWD verson), plastic head gasket leaks on the 3.4L engine and electrical problems. Are these "hot spots" (sort of speaking) only unique to the 2003 AWD version or do they also apply to the FWD version as well? Do these problems suddenly appear or do they give early warning signs of gradual failure? If wondering, I'm worried if we should only use this vehicle as a local "run about" or do risk it on long trips?
#125 of 155 Interesting question...
Mar 20, 2007 (5:52 pm)
We will soon have 2003 RDV CX (???) sitting in our driveway by this weekend. I read a few previous posts that V6 3.4L head gaskets may need to be re-done. Someonething about a plastic thingy and over time, it starts to leak. My neighbour had the head gaskets / Plastic thingy recently re-done on his 2002 AWD RDV model - that has 150,000 kms.
In the old days, I had a 1990 Sunbird car with a 2.0L engine. It ate head gaskets every year. After its second head gasket replacement, my local mechanic told me to install an Aux tranny cooler under its hood. Yes, over kill for a 4 cylinder but I did it. This aux tranny cooler kept its engine "a little" cooler and thus, it stopped burning out head gaskets.
With the above solution in mind, should I get my local mechanic to install an Aux Tranny cooler under the hood of our future 2003 FWD RDV as well? We don't plan on using our 2003 RDV for towing but if a $120 Aux tranny cooler will stop its "plastic head gasket thingy" (or what ever its called) from blowing, then spending $120 now might be worth it.
thanks for your idea on this possible long term solution.
#126 of 155 Re: Interesting question... [spike99]
Mar 22, 2007 (11:33 am)
I dunno botu the head gasket but the RDV has a bad history with the intake gasket and i hear that has to do with the Dexcool system . so flush the cooling system GM claims 150K 5 years on the coolant but it sludges up soooner. research the intake gasket and the dex cool sludge
#127 of 155 Re: Interesting question... [intrepidcub]
Mar 22, 2007 (4:36 pm)
Thanks for your feedback intrepidcub.
Found some great info at:
Very interesting reading in the above sites...
I talked my wife into allowing me to install an Aux Tranny Cooler. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of installing more "cooling" then needed. She said after 1 month (after the dealer end/end 30 day warranty period), I get to install a few mods on it. First mod will be the Aux tranny cooler install - by my local tranny specialist. While doing this work, he can flush, push or change the rad fluid the best way he sees fit. He rebuilt the tranny in my 2001 AWD Safari van and based on his technical feedback, he knows his trannys inside and out. Especially the GMC trannys. If he feels the factory RAD should be also be replaced (with a larger HD 3rd party RAD, we'll get it installed a well. Installing a larger RAD is much less expensive then head and intake gasket replacements - if over heating from sludge build up is the problem. Next time, I'll consult him before buying a future vehicle.
#128 of 155 My experience with my 2006 FWD Rendezvous
May 27, 2007 (4:34 pm)
I have owned my 2006 Buick Rendezvous now for 14 months. In short, I love it. I have the standard 3.5 liter powerplant that although isn't neck snapping on accelleration it is fast enough for merging and other things it would be called upon for. There is nothing specific that the Rendezvous does exceptionally well. But it does a whole lot of things very well and that is how it gets such glowing accolades from me. Comfort is very good, ride quality is extremely good for its segment, get up and go is reasonable, fuel economy is very good considering its a CUV (Crossover Utitlity Vehicle). Most of my driving is highway in nature to and from work its about 35 miles each way. I get roughly 19 city/27 highway as I have calculated a few times over the last year. Relaibility is not stellar but nothing too bad either. I had a winshield wiper motor die, a front tie rod replaced and a generator replaced because of a potential recall issue. The old generator worked perfectly fine except for a dummie light that came on very rarely on the dashboard for a few seconds at a time. It only has gone on when the AC was on and I was under medium to heavy acceleration going uphill. GM said replace it, the replacement generator which is much heavier duty, also makes the dummie light glow on the dashboard. after the replacement generator didn't solve the problem, The dealer by GM that there was nothing more to be done until they(GM) find a solution for the issue. The light is never on long enough to pose a problem. ( Always a few seconds at a time) GM knows about the problem that appears to be fairly widespread across the range of Rendezvous. My documented problem is now in the service computers and if any further problems occur, I will take it up with the GM techs. The GM techs said no damage will happen with the light going on. I realized this before he said it because whatever it is its minor, no loss of performance when it does come on. Besides even if there were damage with it coming on, their computers show that I had this issue well before the 4/50,000 mile warrantee was long from expiring. Therefore it would be covered under warantee since they have known about it for so long. They told me that once they find the appropriate fix they will send me paperwork to bring it in under warrantee service. I am not nor have I ever really been concerned about the dummie light issue. But outside of this minor thing and the other things stated above the car has been great. I have 37,000 miles on it at present and it is just as nice and fun to get around in now as it was when I first got it. I would gladly buy another if I were in the market for another car because it fits the need for carrying people and supplies, it does everything comfortably and with good economy and with lots of utility.
#130 of 155 Worried and scared
May 16, 2008 (8:11 am)
I've been browsing through these forums for the past week and I'll be honest and tell you that owning a 2002 Buick Rendezvous scares me. She's getting close to 100,000 miles - I got her used and still owe on her .. thought about trading in for another vehicle but everywhere I turn, they'll only offer me $3500 or 4 grand. I owe alittle over 8.
As of now, I haven't had any problems with her at all. I did have to change the right rear hub assembly but since I'm the service advisor at an auto shop - it pretty much was at cost. I'm lucky in that regard. I have changed rotors and pads last year and just did the spark plugs a couple of weeks ago - otherwise, I haven't had her in the shop at all for anything.
What worries me is I've never owned a vehicle that had close to 100K miles - I've always traded in. But with the trade in value, this is one I'll more than likely keep until she's paid off.
How many of you own the 2002 RDV with over 100K miles on it. Any problems? I mean, once you hit 100 - did it suddenly become a lemon? I'm really concerned and worried about hitting that mark for some reason and wanted to hear from some of you fellow owners.
I love my Buick ... absolutely love it. Great room - no problems - nice feeling ride.
#131 of 155 Re: Worried and scared [buickinva]
Jul 25, 2008 (5:56 am)
Depending on when you bought it, about every 50k, you'll need to replace the front wheel bearings. Its not too bad, just make sure you don't puncture the boot around the 1/2 shaft : ).
I'm getting ready to flush the radiator and change the plugs and harness. Did you reach the plugs from underneath or did you rock the engine forward?
'02 'Vous CXL AWD 102K currently
Jul 31, 2008 (6:39 pm)
Hi I am Phillip and Live in Rocky Mt. N.C We have owned a RDV for a while and although I like the way it drives and, handles and the gas mileage average about 24 mpg`s with 3.4 V6 we are starting to have problems with it first the intake gasket went out on it $850.00 then problems with the transmission $1800.00 and just yesterday the drivers side front window just fell down in the door. I called the dealer and he said to expect about
$450.00 but thanks to the forum here I have ordered the plastic clips for about $40.00 and expect to fix this myself, It is hard for me to understand why buick would use a cheap plastic part to hold up something as heavy as these windows and according to the forum a lot of others are having the same problem. This car has less than 100,000 miles and seems to me that it is falling apart.
#133 of 155 Re: Worried and scared [pilothoward]
Mar 13, 2009 (4:34 am)
How did you end up getting to the rear plugs? Did you need to remove any other parts to access them?