really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,656 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.

2002 Buick Rendezvous engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Buick Rendezvous Owner Comments

problem #14

May 142018


  • 169,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle started to overheat and the temperature gauge started to flash. The vehicle was taken to an unknown independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the intake manifold gaskets were damaged and it would be best to rebuild the engine. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 169,000.

- Harper Woods, MI, USA

problem #13

Aug 202016


  • 165,000 miles
The vehicle was running for 45 minutes on two-lane paved country roads. I drove the first 15 minutes, with one of my sons driving the other 30 minutes while I was a front seat passenger. We pulled into a parking lot and switched drivers so another son could begin a driving lesson with me. When he began to back out of the parking space he said that the brakes did not feel right and noticed what I thought was steam coming from under the hood. I told him to pull back into the parking space and release the hood so I could check for an overheating engine, even though there were no warning lights on the dashboard and the temperature gauge was in the center of the visible range. When I opened the hood I saw a six-inch wide area of flames to the right of the alternator. I told my sons to get out of the vehicle and asked one of them to call 911 on his cellphone and the other to go to the nearest building, about 75 yards away, and look for a fire extinguisher. In the meantime, I opened the rear vehicle hatch to look for something I could use to put out the fire. Finding nothing useful, I ran to the building my first son had approached for a fire extinguisher and found him inside the outer door of a locked lobby area. We both ran to the next building about 100 yards away where we located a fire extinguisher and returned to the vehicle. I estimate this took less than five minutes. When we returned to the vehicle the flames were about twelve inches wide, still only to the right of the alternator. I was able to quickly put out the fire, but had to aim much deeper into the engine compartment than the visible flame area to stop all flames. When the dealer later checked the vehicle I was told it appeared that a ruptured brake line had sprayed brake fluid on the exhaust manifold and started the fire. There had been no prior leaks or brake issues observed.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #12

Jun 012015


  • miles
Oil and anti freeze leaking valve cover gasket needs to be replaced. And also the wheel hub and the vehicle is currently running hot

- Hammond, IN, USA

problem #11

Feb 012015


  • miles


GM has recalled (fire hazard) 6 models for a small oil leak onto the exhaust manifold but did not include the Buick Rendezvous. My Rendezvous doesn't drip a 'few' drops onto the exhaust manifold it 'coats' the whole underside of the vehicle all the way to the rear wheels. I have to carry a 5 quart jug of oil with me to re-fill. Going to the dealer inquiring about a fix they asked me if I lived on a dirt road. I'm totally confused as to what that had to do with anything....but no, I don't live on a dirt road. With the severity of this leak compared to the 'recalls' it seems that GM should be liable for the fix. With that being said I'm sure there are other owners with the same problem. If the engine is running it's leaking, the motion of the vehicle just pushes the oil further to the rear. I don't have pictures now but I can get them.

- Milford, MI, USA

problem #10

Nov 302015


  • 163,000 miles
Driving down the road over heat light comes on tried everything took to service and head caskets need replaced! 28 days after purchasing a used as is vehicle!everything I had to purchase a junk.looks good on the outside and run good for first few weeks even took to midas before purchasing all the fixes all very well hidden.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #9

May 152015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle overheated causing the engine to stall. The vehicle was unable to restart. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012013


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle overheated causing the check engine warning to illuminate and the temperature gauge to rise. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact discovered a leak coming from under the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the manifold intake gasket needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not been notified. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 162013


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the AWD and service engine warning lights illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician was unable to diagnose a problem. The manufacture was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 143,000 and the current mileage was 154,000.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #6

Nov 292013


  • 75,000 miles
I am a 70 year old woman. This is the last car my husband purchased before he lost his battle with cancer in 2009. He is a retiree from GM. He left me what I thought was a good car. I went out to start to go to my daughters in another town that day my car was dead! no lights nothing. My son took me got a battery car seem to run okay that evening. The next day or two dead again! well this time I had to wait a week or so for help! after 5 batteries we took my car to the dealership. They charged me like crazy for diagnostics and checked my battery, starter, and alternator! they said my battery was bad! so 170 dollars for that then my breaks needed done my tires needed air or sealed, list of things. So okay battery done car running fix breaks etc. 2000,00 later two days later car is dead! take it to dealership again! 1 week later now they say more testing, find a module gone bad $600 more! come get car its dead! wait 2 more days! battery again! get it home 1 week later car is dead! has to dealership again! do you see the pattern, this is over a 2- 3 month period! cold cold weather only! now the next recurring problem! 5 times replacing the AWD harnesses and misc parts! and since all the trouble at dealership now they want more money for more test! that they should have already done! day 1! and now my cluster behind my dash is bad and my check engine light has come back on! please help me! thanks

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #5

Apr 232009

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Bought used in 2004 with 45K miles. In 2006 I had to have the window control replaced. In 2009 at 70K miles I had to have main gasket on engine replaced (was told Buick knew of problem but refused recall) and 2 heads replaced as kept losing coolant & overheating. The very next year the body control module went out & had to be replaced. The ABS light has been on for years & no body, not even the dealer who replaced the control module, can get it to go out. Last year the fuel gauge quit working. This year the left front hub has gone bad at 170K so I can't say it wasn't due, but the overheating gauge keeps going into the red & the overheat light comes. Had it check and the thermostat is working fine, I am not losing coolant and the coolant is good, & there is no water in my oil. I can't drive more than 2 miles without the overheating light coming on & the gauge going into the red.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #4

Jan 162013

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • miles


We begin experiencing overheating and took the car to the manufacturer; $5000 plus later we are still having the same problem. More recently we replaced the radiator and it continues to overheat.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 142013


  • 100,300 miles
My vehicle warms up fine and as I start to drive the engine temp rises to a hot condition and the heater starts to blow cold air. The system has been flushed, the heater core has been flushed, thermostat has been changed. I've been doing alot of research on these problems and there are thousands of overheating problems that never go away. It doesn't matter what you fix the problem reoccurs. I flushed the system and couldnt get it to repeat until a couple days later, then I changed the thermostat with the same result. I never get a warning light for coolant temp but engine temp increases and car will stall and wont restart until it cools down. After 2 weeks of working with this I have the vehicle parked and trying to figure out why GM does not recall these cars and fix them. I was told the only way to completely fix this problem is a new 3.4L engine from GM. Who can afford that, not me. I have contacted Buick but nothing but a report was filed and added to the pile of other complaints. If this happened at 70 mph on a highway it could be very dangerous.

- Rochelle, IL, USA

problem #2

May 152012

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • 166,885 miles
I purchased this vehicle used and days later it was overheating. The man I bought it from said that it just needed a thermostat, approx. $300. Repair. Took it to my mechanic and turns out it needed an entire head gasket. It was a $1,500 repair. I am seeking a recall be issues since this is a common issue on this year, make and model.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #1

Jul 172006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • miles
Main computer failed and has been displaying "error" for yrs. The exact mileage is unknown. Leaking gaskets and intake valve. The most current issue is the leaking gas tank. The gauge is also wrong. The smell of gas is nauseating. There is a recall for this issue, but not my VIN. GM couldn't possibly care less and it infuriates me that the government bailed them out. I will never buy GM again!! fortunately for them, I live in a state where there is tort reform and can't get in on the class action lawsuit. I have also spent lots of $ on this lemon and can't afford to fix it or replace it. Hopefully I won't catch fire or blow up! it's no wonder why most people buy foreign cars, they are made better!!! I will be contacting an atty. To pursue a suit against them as an individual. They can also expect complaints on every avenue I can find. I also call them relentlessly and make sure they record all my complaints and concerns. Best of luck to all....so unfortunate.

- Chunchula, AL, USA

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