Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Buick Rainier is a replacement for the Oldsmobile Bravada, hopefully minus the transmission issues and AWD complaints.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
90,193 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Buick Rainier electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Buick Rainier Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Oct 192011


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The contact stated that the instrument cluster malfunctioned and the speedometer failed. In addition, the ABS warning light was illuminated whenever the vehicle was started. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they advised the contact that the ABS sensor and instrument panel would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was unknown.

- Connely , GA, USA

problem #29

Mar 182012


  • 90,000 miles
Gauges don't function right. Speedo reads too fast, too slow or not at all, fuel gauge reads twice as full. Needle pegged to stop as is the oil gauge needle. Buying this was the biggest mistake ever made.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #28

Apr 112011


  • 54,000 miles
2004 Buick Rainier- instrument panel - speedometer, temperature, fuel and oil pressure gauges all started working intermittently and providing false readings (120mph at dead stop with engine off, temp in red zone at start up). This appears to be all to common of an issue with GM trucks/SUVS of this era and needs to be addressed via recall. The problem is now getting progressively worse.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #27

Dec 212011


  • 83,868 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The contact stated the vehicle headlights turned on and off intermittently. The air bag, the seat belt, and the brake warning lights also illuminated. The speedometer displayed the incorrect reading. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 83,868.

- Georgetown , SC, USA

problem #26

May 312011

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I have a 2004 Buick Rainier. Speedometer is saying 120mph when only going 25. It would adjust itself for a day but then it was all over the place and now staying at 120 more often. This started at the end of May. For a few years now the hatch window lock is a problem. Can't open it because I have an issue with getting it locked again without slamming it. Have also had condensation in my head and rear lights since I've gotten it. Why they have yet to recall about the speedometer is crazy. This is a safety issue especially when children or the elderly are involved! the cost to fix the cluster alone is 455.80$ (cheapest). This should not be my responsibility when most, if not all, of the Rainiers are all malfunctioning in the same way.

- Oak Hill, WV, USA

problem #25

Nov 152009


  • 78,500 miles
The first incident we ran out of fuel with the fuel gauge showing we still had fuel in the tank. Next incident, the oil pressure gauge indicated a very high oil pressure reading, leading me to believe something was wrong with the engine. Took the car home and drove another vehicle until I could do some testing on the vehicle. Oil gauge returned to normal operation. In April of 2010 I was driving exiting an interstate highway onto a four lane road and the speedometer reading became inaccurate. I was traveling faster than the indicated speed. After stopping at an intersection the speedometer never moved from zero when I was moving down the road. This occurs after a brief period of driving. Mechanics I have spoken to inform me this is a common occurrence with this model vehicle. Gauges such as fuel gauge, oil pressure, tachometer and speedometer are not trustworthy and give inaccurate readings. This is a very expensive item to replace and should be considered a safety hazard because you cannot determine your speed at any given moment.

- Lamar, MO, USA

problem #24

Mar 192011


  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. The contact stated that the speedometer would become stuck at 40 mph and sporadically, would not return to zero when the vehicle was at a complete stop. The dealer inspected the vehicle and advised that the stepper motor in the speedometer had failed. The failure mileage was 71,000 and current mileage 71,488.

- West St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #23

Oct 102009


  • 32,000 miles
Failure of speedometer. Quit working at about 32,000 miles.

- 61350, IL, USA

problem #22

Mar 092011


  • 136,840 miles
I bought this car Monday and the dealer stated it had all scheduled service, including the 130K mile service on February 26, 2011. We drove around the neighborhood and the car seemed to drive beautifully, and appeared to be immaculately maintained. Until I drove to work this morning, and the speedometer started going higher and higher, reaching 80 mph, even though I had slowed down and pulled over. I shut the car off and restarted it. It appeared normal for the first 30 mph, then stuck at 40, even though I was following traffic in a 70 mph zone. It stayed at 40 mph, even after the car was turned off. I did some research on this problem and found that the instrument panel cluster has been a known problem in GM cars, and was supposed to have been corrected as the result of a class action lawsuit. There are several tsbs related to the speedometer, gas gauges, or other instruments in this cluster. I find it unforgivable that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has allowed an unsafe condition exist in virtually an entire brand of cars for over 7 years and has not issued a recall on these vehicles. This allowed the dealer to sell the car, knowing about the problem, but not required by law, to disclose it. And should I be on the highway, driving along at 90 mph, when my speedometer says 60, nobody is safe. Not me, not the other cars on the road, certainly not pedestrians, since the braking distance is obviously far longer than my speedometer leads me to believe it is. How many millions of defective vehicles have been placed on the road in the last 7 years" how would you feel if your 5 year-old rode a bicycle into the street as I drove by? thinking I was going 30, but really going 60" this isn't just an inconvenience, it is a fatality waiting to happen. You have the authority, and the moral responsibility, to fix it. Recall these cars before somebody dies.

- York, PA, USA

problem #21

Apr 112010

Rainier 8-cyl

  • 61,231 miles
I have been experiencing a problem with the instrument cluster in my Buick Rainier. It started with the speedometer which was either to fast or showing below zero at highway speeds. It started about 2 years ago but at that time it happened occasionally. The problem has continued to migrate to other gauges in the instrument panel-- the oil pressure reads anywhere from 50 to the 80 or peg, the tack will read below zero at highway operating speeds and the volt meter reads 14+. these problems happen individually or several at once. I have contacted the dealer where I purchased it and they do not acknowledge it as a problem and offer no financial assistance with a replacement or repair. The dealer will replace the instrument cluster for $370 for parts and labor at $92/hour - approximately $600. I contacted GM about the problem and they acknowledge there is a problem with instrument clusters in certain vehicles during that period of time but my vehicle is no involved. If you research this on the internet you will find several sites with discussions and complaints about the instrument clusters on this particular vehicle, including this site. I think this is a wide spread problem and should be corrected with a mandated government recall. I had an identical problem with a 2003 Cadillac escalade xt and there was a recall and free replace for the instrument cluster.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #20

Jan 212011

Rainier 8-cyl

  • 70,132 miles


Erratic windshield wiper operation. When you turn the wipers on for use they immediately go to "normal" mode of operation and can be switched to "high speed" and back to normal but will not go to "delay" or turn off. Then they may stay on for days before they will stop on their own. They do not turn off with the switch. This has been a problem for about 6 months but is getting worse.

- Henderson, KY, USA

problem #19

Dec 202009

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
No particular event just driving and speedometer stopped working a few weeks later gas gauge stopped once in awhile the speedometer starts but is inaccurate all of the instrument cluster is going. Many other complaints online for same problem. Tried to have the dealer co operate and fix the defect but got nowhere need help as this is a extremely expensive fix on a faulty part that should have a recall as it is a unsafe situation.

- Orange Beach, AL, USA

problem #18

Oct 152010


  • 49,000 miles
Speedometer failing and/or working intermittently.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #17

Feb 012010

Rainier 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Buick Rainier. While driving approximately 35 mph all of the interior and exterior lights came on. The lighting on the instrument panel also became inoperable. The vehicle stalled and upon restart, the lights began functioning normally. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to diagnose the failure. Approximately 5 months later, the failure recurred with the headlights and running lights. The manufacturer advised the contact that he had to pay a fee in order to perform a diagnostic test. The vehicle was not examined or repaired. The failure mileage was 63,000 and the current mileage was 68,000. Updated evoq 10/04/10

- Sedona, AZ, USA

problem #16

Dec 212009


  • 54,000 miles
2004 Buick Rainier instrument cluster failure was a problem the Chevy trail Blazer and it is the same one that is in the Buick Rainier however they will not fix or at least help with the problem.if the same components were used in the 2 different vehicles and there was a recall on the Chevy's why was the Buick Rainier not on the recall list.

- Orange Beach , AL, USA

problem #15

Dec 202009

Rainier 4WD 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I own a 2004 Buick Rainier and the instrument cluster, specifically the speedometer, oil and gas gauges have failed. Called Buick about the issue and received service request # [xxx]. called a local dealer, wagner Buick/GMC in belleville, il to get service and the service manager stated that I would be responsible to fix this issue. The service request will get me nothing since I didn't purchase the vehicle initially. Looking on the internet to find a fix for the issue I have noticed numerous complaints about failed/failing instrument clusters in these vehicles. I'm sure there are other GM vehicles with the same problems outside of the Rainier. Request the NHTSA look over this issue.

- Swansea, IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 012010


  • miles
I have filed a complaint before about our speedometer being messed up. Now the entire instrument panel is malfunctioning. All the gauges are "pegged". there is no reason what so ever Buick can not place a recall on this problem. No fire as of yet, but what if the car overheats" we can't tell as the gauge is not functioning. No damage to other property, but this is my vehicle and there is damage to it, since something is broke. No crash as of yet, but it will happen. What happens when I run out of gas cause the gas gauge is showing beyond full"

- Royersford, PA, USA

problem #13

Jan 222010


  • 42,000 miles
Speedometer sticks. Do not know how fast the vehicle is going.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #12

Dec 272009


  • 49,550 miles
We have a 2004 Buick Rainier. During the colder times, our speedometer tick, and it stops working completely, so you don't know how fast or slow you are going. As of this day its not working at all, this is a safety issue. Having no way to tell your speed, we could get a ticket, cause an accident. I have also noticed online, numerous people having the same problem. There needs to be a recall. We have not had it fixed. It would $600 to fix, and should not be charged to us, but to Buick for a malfunction.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #11

Dec 092009


  • 52,135 miles
2004 Buick Rainier speedometer works sporadically. Sometimes it works then other times it registers to high or to low. From what I've read this is a common occurrence on the Buick Rainier.

- Willard, OH, USA

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