NHTSA — Power Train: Transfer Case (4-Wheel Drive) Problems

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Buick Rainier is a replacement for the Oldsmobile Bravada, hopefully minus the transmission issues and AWD complaints.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,333 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Buick Rainier Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 052006

Rainier 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


: the contact stated while parking the vehicle, the four-wheel drive engaged and the vehicle lurched forward repetitively until the front wheels were straightened out. The manufacturer was notified, who informed the contact that the issue was a result of the design. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, who determined the cause of the problem was the computer reading that one wheel was traveling further than the other, and compensating for this by engaging the four-wheel drive.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #2

May 142004


  • miles
AWD does not engage. Very dangerous on a slick road. Had SUV to dealer 3-4 times. They never fix the problem. Front wheels of SUV make grinding noise after a few hours of driving. Headlights go dim/and even turn off for a few seconds while driving at night. Took to dealer, of course no problem was found. Someone's going to be killed because of both these problems with the Buick Rainier.

- N. Tazewell, VA, USA

problem #1

Jun 302004

Rainier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 65 mph, the vehicle swayed from side to side. The dashboard indicator lights flashed and the consumer found difficultly stopping the vehicle. The dealership serviced the vehicle and determined that the transfer case needed to be replaced. The all wheel drive light had come on and when the brakes were applied, the vehicle was pulling to the left and right. As a result, the encoder sensor was replaced along with the transfer case module. There was an occasion where the consumer's wife was driving the vehicle and almost lost control of the vehicle and had a hard time keeping the vehicle under control. The consumer would also feel a dragging along with a hard time stopping.

- Novi, MI, USA

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