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Buick Rendezvous, SUV
#135 of 155 Rocker arm bolt pull-out
Jun 13, 2010 (9:33 am)
Our 2003 Buick Rendezvous CX had a strange problem back in March of 2010. We were driving along when all of a sudden we lost 80% of power and a loud clanking, thacking sort of noise could be heard coming from the engine compartment. We limped home for about 3 miles and long story-short... the cylinder #2 (front head passenger side) exhaust valve rocker arm bolt had pulled out of the head taking the aluminum threads with it. The power loss and bad emissions were from the exhaust gases not being able to exit in the normal way and blowing past the open intake valve and into the intake plenum forcing the engine to run on less O2 than normal. The noise was the push rod bouncing around.
****the fix**** The dealer wanted to sell me a new engine or new or repaired heads. Minimum charge: $2000. They led me to believe the problem was on the rear head which is inaccessible for purposes of repairing the threads. But I went to the dealer and saw for myself that it was actually the front head that had the problem and knew from talking to an independent mechanic that if he could get to it, he could replace the threads with a Heli-coil thread insert. I paid the dealer for the towing and the work they did to remove the valve cover (actually 15 minutes of work if you know how) and towed it to my mechanic and he fixed it for $200.00. Everything was great until about 2 months later when it happened again. This time to exhaust valve rocker arm bolt for cylinder #4 (middle front bank). This time I knew what it was and drove it to the mechanic's place and he fixed that one for $200.00. So at least the first on (#2) heli-coil held. But it implies that they all might go at some point. Luckily we've been in our home town of Tallahassee Florida for both breakdowns. If we'd been on the road it would have been total disaster. So now the vehicle cannot be trusted. It does have 123K miles but it has never overheated and has had synthetic oil in it since day one. I used to rev it to the limiter (5500 RPMs) at times but now I take it real easy. My mechanic wants to drop the engine and do all of the remaining threads on front and rear banks. Dropping the engine is the alternative to pulling the rear head. He says it is a 15 hour job and estimates $1500 to $2000 to complete it.
My theory is that the front bank was not torqued correctly on the assembly line and that maybe the back bank was torqued correctly. The current plan is to do all the front threads (replace the threads with Heli-coil inserts) and drive is like I used to - good and hard - and see if any of the back ones go. This morning I pulled the valve cover (steps: unplug spark wires-set to side, unclamp harness and move aside, pull out PVC and set aside (up and over obstacle), unbolt top pass side dog-bone motor mount and flip up (remove bolt closest to engine 15mm and 13mm) loosen radiator side bolt then flip up), move clamp -at engine- away from the 90 degree hose to bypass pipe and pull it off that end, remove oil filler cap and dipstick, then remove bolt (8mm) holding the bypass pipe to the head (also disconnect any other brackets holding the bypass pipe to the engine- you don't need them anyway- then pop the pipe out of the hole- it has an o-ring so make sure you don't lose it, or buy a new one from the dealer or install any one that fits- lift pipe over mount bracket and leave it there. it should move without too much effort- if it feels like it is solidly held in place you'd better investigate more closely- unbolt four cover bolts (they will not come completely out-captured) and take off the cover -takes a bit of twisting and manipulating. The rocker arm bolts have "10.9 m" and "SPS" cast on the head. Not sure of the size but I think the threads are 8mm. I need to verify if I try to fix them myself. So.............. I hope that helps anyone that might have it happen to them. I've not heard of another such incident but would like to hear from anyone who has. This vehicle has be very good to us and we'd hate to loose it to such a stupid problem.
Good luck, Brian
#136 of 155 Re: Worried and scared [buickinva]
Jun 24, 2010 (6:06 pm)
Well you should be worried and scared. These RDV's are junk.
I bought mine in 04, and its a 2002 at about 29,000 miles.
First thing that went was the AC, then both front windows, tie rods, head gaskets started to leak at 97,000 but Dealer did not point it out to me.
On the highway on the TN/KY border near Bowling Green, KY the car started to get hot and smoke. All the head gaskets blew. I crept home stopping often to cool it off, and the dealer charged me close to $3000 to replace them.
Now the All Wheel Drive sensors are out, $800, and the brake something is out.
Also the dealer said the gasket under the motor is bad and leaking, another $700.
This car has cost me close to $11,000 and I cannot afford to get a new car.
It is not worth about $4000, if that.
I just had the radiator drained and something else for $300.
It has 136,500 miles on it. I am thinking of donating it to the Fire Dept. after I set fire to it.
I missed the first Class action suit by a couple of months.
You had better hope that someone hits you while texting their friends.
#137 of 155 Re: Worried and scared [juliaom]
Jun 25, 2010 (4:08 am)
For the AWD disabled message, many times its a wiring problem that causes it, not the sensors themselves, I would have that checked first (including the c305 connector )
#138 of 155 Re: AWD message [ray80]
Jun 25, 2010 (7:36 am)
Thanks RAY, it was checked by this infamous Dealer repair dept. They said it was the sensors, it has 135,000 miles on it. I don't know who else to take it to.
Will check the c305 connector. This car can drive you to drink, but that gives me a headache too.
#139 of 155 Re: Aaarrrggghhh... [verdi942]
Jun 25, 2010 (7:40 am)
Love your comment, "It'll only get better when it breaks in 5,000 miles.
BREAKS is the operative word here, just get the extended warrenty, or a second job.
#140 of 155 Re: AWD message [juliaom]
Jun 25, 2010 (7:59 am)
When they plug in the magic computer to get codes, the first thing it will indicate is a problem with sensor and that will be the first they they want to replace. Many times though it is a wiring issue to the sensor thats the problem (which includes the 305 connector)
#141 of 155 Re: AWD message [ray80]
Jun 25, 2010 (8:27 am)
Wow, kisses and hugs. Where were you four years ago!!
I am taking this email to my dealer and watching the computer magic. They know me by sight and know I don't put up with their crap.
Sometimes I take them bourbon for Thanksgiving or Christmas to grease the wheel.
My rear view mirror fell completely off three weeks ago in the heat, so I went in at 4:30pm as they were closing and they reglued it free. HA.
#142 of 155 Re: Rocker arm bolt pull-out [brithor52]
Aug 27, 2010 (2:03 pm)
I can understand how you feel. I love my Rendezvous, absolutely, but I had another rocker arm bolt pull out today on my way to, of all places, the dentist. This is the third time this has happened to me. The first time was the day I started it up to drive it off the lot (I bought it used). The salesman (who is a friend of mine, yes, still) had it fixed and I picked it up the next day. About one year later, another one came off. Repair cost of about $200.00, and now, another. Told me it would cost about $200.00. Was this ever a recall issue? I never received anything about it, but maybe it should have been. Like I said, I love that car and would hate to think about having to get rid of it. Just thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.
#143 of 155 Re: Rocker arm bolt pull-out [loveshercar]
Aug 30, 2010 (8:37 pm)
I eventually had my mechanic drop the engine and replace the remainder of the 12 threads with heli-coils. If I'd done this from the very first incident, the total price would have been about $1600.00. Which IS a lot but the car is paid for and we really didn't want to pull the heads and now I can drive long distances without fear that another bolt will pull out.
I could have lived with it if it only effected the front head, but the back head was the real killer.
If there is any way to roll the engine far enough forward or backward to be able to work on the back head, then you could have it done for a lot less.
BTW I emailed Buick with my displeasure with the situation but they didn't have the guts to respond.