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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
121,369 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. blown head gasket but dealer says i need a new engine!! (3 reports)
  3. external automatic cooler (1 reports)
  4. re machined heads (1 reports)
  5. replace thermostat (1 reports)
2002 Buick Rendezvous cooling system problems

cooling system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Buick Rendezvous:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Buick Rendezvous Owner Comments

problem #17

Feb 012015

Rendezvous CX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


I got my Buick from a used car dealership in roughly 2011 car worked pretty ok until all of a sudden toward the end of fall in 2014 it randomly started overheating. Added coolant, would be fine for a while. I then had to move and drove from ny to oh and got so much worse all at once though it had coolant or water, no other signs of anything else being wrong. after that trip i bought a new motor well used because my dad and step dad confirmed it was a blown gasket or something like that, and since the new/used motor has been fine for about a year and a half. Now again out of nowhere and no reason, starts overheating. Had coolant in it and i now keep adding water before i leave. Will be fine but by the time i reach my destination roughly 20 min already overheating again. we replaced the sensor when we got the new/used motor and going to look at it again tonight but my parents think its already blown again. have there yet been any recalls or any solutions to this very obviously recurring problem??

- , Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #16

Apr 012016

Rendezvous CX 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 149,129 miles

very bad engineers; should have noticed this problem, to many domestic cars overheat, where losing all our customers to overseas dealers, i myself drive a mazda as backup, its 20 years old an works like new, can drive forever on tank of gas, why can't our domestic cars do the same, we pay enough, i cannot name a domestic car thats worth the money we pay, shameful, but still i'am a pontiac man, just love the new 2016 pontiac firebird transam.

- , Beachville, ON, Canada

problem #15

Mar 012016

Rendezvous LX 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

Coolant leaked out slowly until the engine overheated. There was no temperature warning. Mechanic says this is common where there is no indication of overheating on the instrument panel.

Mechanic says not worth fixing.

- , Buford, GA, USA

problem #14

Jan 232016

Rendezvous CX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,947 miles


The thermostat has been replaced three times since 2004. A/C went out not long after I bought it in 2004. I live in the Midwest where it gets really, really hot in the summer. Just had to suffer through the heat all these years. All the estimates were too costly to replace it or repair it even in the winter months. I had the upper intake manifold replaced in 2012. Now I need the lower intake manifold replaced. The actual advice was to replace the engine.

- , Raytown, MO, USA

problem #13

Mar 012011

Rendezvous CXL V6 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,810 miles

American auto makers wonder why we have not been buying American made cars. We'll here is an example. The dealership tells you the vehicle are known to have over heating problems but since no recall, they won't help. Numerous reports on this vehicle. Going back to Toyota. Driving them since 1978 w/o ever an issue. 2004 Camry has 183,000 on it and still haven't even had to replace an Engine part.

Wish I had researched the Buick Rendezvous better. What I did, never said a word about continuous over heating issues.

- , Pflugerville, TX, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #12

Mar 132012

Rendezvous CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,488 miles

Don't have a clue where to take this car or what to expect............

- , Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #11

Jun 132010

Rendezvous EX 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


we changed the thermostat,we changed the heat sensor ,we changed the water pump we bled the system with the valves to get the air out of the system and it did good for one day we put over 100 miles on it all of a sudden it ran hot again ,we drove it again it did o.k. then all of a sudden it ran hot again, i don't know what to do it might be o.k. then all of sudden out of the blue guess what it does it again. if someone knows what i need to do PLEASE PLEASE let me know YOU GET IT PAID OFF IT BLOWS UP I"M VERY VERY UP SET !!!!!!!

- , Dubach, LA, USA

problem #10

Jul 162011

Rendezvous 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,214 miles

I have the CX 2002 Buick rendezvous and it just recently started overheating. I have had the thermostat changed, new radiator, new hoses, coolant etc. and the problem still persists. I have researched this problem with this vehicle and it seems to be an occuring regularly within these vehicles. This sucks you think you are buying a reliable vehicle and it has very bad issues going on after just a short time.

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 122010

Rendezvous CX 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

no point in raising hell I just want to know if the mfg is going to fix this problem. the dealer says this model has a cooling system problem . what good is that???? I would like to know what is the fix??????????????????? I have come to hear this model has this as a universal problem. I have spent over $1,900.00 trying to solve this . what can the dealer do to help.?????

- , Brandon, FL, USA

problem #8

Feb 082011

Rendezvous CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 212,000 miles

My Rendezvous has been running hot for past week and a half. I have taken it in for a pressure test and finally today I had it towed to a dealership only to learn I need a new engine rather than a cooling system repair. Estimate for a new engine is $5000. Given that up until now I have been able to handle most of the repairs, this one took me for a loop. Also after visiting this site, it appears that I have the worst model which happens to be the 1st model of this car.

- , Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #7

Jun 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles


I need to know if this is a common problem in the Buick 2002 Rendezvous. I take care of my car. I get routine oil change. Just had the breaks done. Had tires rotated. I may need a tune up now which I will be getting soon. However the Coolant Red Light went off on yesterday, brought some coolant, and the same thing happened this morning. The reason I brought the car is so me and the children, well mostly me can feel safe. However I do not feel safe in ths car. I have been trying to figure out how to fix it, my searching the web. Don't have the money for repairs. If I know that is an oncurring problem then I know that the failure is in the maker of the car, not the user of the car. That is why I took the time to write my concern. Please if you can help please help. Maybe this is something we need to make Buick aware of and responsible for. Thank you.

- , Kendall Park, NJ, USA

problem #6

Dec 062009

Rendezvous LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I have the same problem as everyone else, and I Dont even wanna take to the shop first I dont have the money to do so, and nobody knows exactly what the problem is, I'm trying to fix it myself but so far it has been a challenge .

- , Shelton, CT, USA

problem #5

Oct 052009

Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,600 miles

This problem started when I noticed the temp gauge swinging higher than normal, then dropping back to normal, only to repeat. There'd been no sign of any leaks. There was coolant in the overflow tank. When the engine cooled, I was able to add about a half gallon of coolant mix to the radiator. The overall problem continued. About a week later the check engine light came on and the engine ran a little rough. Had the code checked at a parts store and it was a "random misfire". The cooling problem continued, and the check engine light stayed on, so I made an appt at my shop. When I took the car in, it started to "tick" with lifter noise. I asked my shop to first check the cooling system because I was worried the lifter noise was because the disappearing coolant was going in the crankcase, causing the viscosity to drop causing the lifters to get noisy. They found a small leak from a weak hose clamp over the valley plate, tightened it and pressure checked. For the check engine light issue, they recommended a tune-up and wires for nearly $600. The tune-up fixed the check engine light, but the cooling problem remained. I replaced the radiator cap - no change. The lifter noise remained. I changed the oil and filter (only two weeks old) to see if it would stop the noise - no change. My shop now thinks the coolant probably damaged the bearings.

- , Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #4

Dec 082008

Rendezvous CXL 93000

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Vehicle began overheating without any warning. Within minutes it would be in the red zone. Thermostat, radiator, among other things were replaced. Buick now states it's a blown head gasket, but because of a hollow (cam?), it is better to replace the entire engine. According to them the chances that this will reoccur is very likely without a new engine. So now I have to figure out how to come up with $5131.00. I don't know if I am being taken for a ride or if this is true. Because the vehicle can't safely be driven, I have to pay tow trucks, so I can't afford to keep moving it from dealership to dealership. I have not had a response from customer assistance

I am so saddened and ashamed that I am in this situation. I tried to buy a reliable vehicle and because of my previous experience with Buick, I believed in them. I am so disappointed. Yet, disappoint will can't cover a $5131.00 bill. I would have done better to trade the thing in and take a loss.

- , Indianola, MS, USA

problem #3

Dec 112008

Rendezvous CXL 93000

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,857 miles


Bought a 2002 Rendezvous CXL with 22,000 miles. For a while things went fine. Then it did just as all the others. It showed it's true colors. Wheel bearing, window motors etc., now it's overheating!!!!! Radiator, water, thermostat, pump, cores, fans, and everything else has been checked. I believe that DEX COOL is to blame, but unfortunately I wasn't aware of the class action lawsuit. I called Buick and asked for what possible recourse I might have even though I missed the deadline. The lady told me to submit a claim. I asked about the expiration date, she told me it had passed. I asked well how can I submit a claim. I'm still waiting on that response!!

The reason the car makers are seeking a bail out is because they have failed to support the customers who brought their products. Buick WILL NOT admit that they made the mistakes when they manufactured the Rendezvous, but like to claim that it's something that the owners do. I service my vehicle according to schedule; religiously

I can't trade it in because it is worthless!! I bought this car expecting to have it while. I don't have money to keep pumping into this money pit!

Thankfully, I have the 96 Nissan that has twice as many miles, but never the problems. So I can get to work to try to make money to repair the Rendezvous


- , Indianola, MS, USA

problem #2

Sep 172007

(reported on)

Rendezvous CX 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,221 miles

called gm, gm rep was nice but no recall, or problem of this occurred. this i don't believe, even if out of warranty, just a not had intake manifold fix under warranty at 90 km, looks like i might have a bad engine

- , Winnipeg, Manotoba, Canada

problem #1

Oct 312007

(reported on)

Rendezvous CXL AWD 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

I purchased my first American car/SUV, a 2002 Buick Rendevous CXL, AWD, factory wheels, etc - Loaded with 68,000 miles on 5/07 - "BUICK'S FLAGSHIP" (vs the last 10 years, Toyotas -12ea) because my friend is a broker and he told me your quality is a lot better now then before, WELL NOT TRUE, within the first week i had to replace a defective gas tank it took an act of congress to get one (2003 and up had recalls but of course not mine) i had to call and wait 2 weeks and get approval to get one, $1500. Next A/C broke, transmission, brakes, sunroof, overheating, burning oil (1 qt per week). Bottom line, I've spent more on my Buick to repair than 10 years of "NO REPAIRS AT ALL" on my vehicles with some over 100,000 miles - my Toyotas. WHY????????? I'll never buy another GM anything. A very disappointed American in our lousy quality.

- , Lantana, FL, USA

Not what you are looking for?