Buick Rendezvous Problems

by Andy Joseph

Making its debut in 2001 for the 2002 model year, the Buick Rendezvous was Buick's first entry into the SUV market. The vehicle was marketed as an amalgamation of the features of a minivan, with its large interior; a luxury automobile, with its comfort-oriented ride; and an SUV, with its truck styling and all-wheel drivetrain. With most of its problems being transmission and fuel system-related, the Buick Rendezvous was discontinued in 2007.


A major problem with 2002 Buick Rendezvouses is with the transmission pressure control solenoid, the 2-3 shift solenoid and the transmission valve body. These defects can cause harsh and erratic shifts. The valve body would need to be removed and cleaned, and the solenoids should be replaced. Some 2002 vehicles have fragile fuel tank inlet check valves that easily fracture in high ambient temperatures. Fractures may allow fuel vapors to enter the fuel tank, increasing its capability to be set on fire when next to an ignition source. Dealers can replace the fuel tank free of charge. Other problems with 2002 Buick Rendezvouses include failures of the wheel speed sensor and the body control module. These defects slow the vehicle's speed and reduces its stability, respectively.


In addition to inheriting the transmission and fuel tank problems of the 2002 vehicles, some 2003 Buicks may have defective torque converter clutch solenoids. If the vehicle has a Delphi fuel pressure regulator installed--with part numbers FP10020-11B1, FP10026-11B1 and FP10027-11B1--they might not have an O-ring and retainer, thus making the fuel tank susceptible to leaks. Dealers can replace the fuel pressure regulator free of charge. 2003 Buick Rendezvouses are plagued with other problems besides the transmission and fuel system. Driver airbags may rupture or fail to deploy, structural support at the latch attachment in the rear liftgate may be inadequate, and steering column intermediate shaft may be too small. These components are covered under factory recall.


Some 2004 Buick Rendezvouses may suffer from the fuel system problems of its predecessors and the latch defects of the 2003 vehicles. In addition, some entries in this model year may experience intermittent stalls due to contaminated ignition relay contacts affecting signals to the powertrain control module. Dealers can replace the ignition relay at no cost.


Some 2005 Buick Rendezvouses may have Delphi fuel pressure regulators installed in them, thus making them susceptible to the same problems that may plague 2003 vehicles. Additionally, be wary of fitting your seats with aftermarket leather seat covers, as they can cause the front airbag sensing system to malfunction.

2006 to 2007

Apart from the aforementioned front airbag issue of 2005 vehicles, no substantial problems have been reported for the last two Buick Rendezvous model years.

About the Author

Based in the D.C. area, Andy Joseph works full-time as a data analyst and technical writer. He has been writing articles about technology, health, politics, music, culture and automobiles since 2007. His work has appeared in The Express, Congressional Report and Road & Track. He has a master's degree in journalism and technology management.

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