NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2002 Buick Rendezvous (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,774 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Buick Rendezvous Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jul 122011


  • 145,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that after replacing the vehicles transmission cooling line to the radiator, the engine warning light illuminated. She also mentioned that the fuel gauge was malfunctioning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 145, 000.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #21

Dec 082005

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased a used 2002 Buick Rendezvous in April of 2004 from a GM dealership (above). It is an AWD V6 cxl SUV. My car manual specifically states not to use anything other than dexcool antifreeze. I never received any notice from GM or the dealership or dexcool regarding the problems on this vehicle and dexcool. Even after the lawsuit against GM in 2008 I did not get notified in any way, and the dealership never told me to stop using dexcool, so I have been continuing to experience engine problems! when I bought this car it had 37,591 miles on it. I paid just under $20,000 for it. On 12/8/05 I did a transmission flush. Four months later, on March 9, 2006, the car was found to have the intake manifold gaskets leaking oil and coolant, and the front timing cover seal was leaking. It also needed front and rear brakes. At that time they told me the coolant was leaking all over everything and was getting into the transmission (and the brakes, too, I think.) had to have another transmission flush done and I think coolant flush done - cost was $222. I had 3 estimates done for the rest of the work and they ranged from $3,300, to 1700 to $1,380. It cost me $89 and $73 for two of the estimates. Had work done at 4th shop on 4/20/06, cost me $730. On August 22, 2007, I had to have the intake gasket done again as well as a coolant flush; cost me $492. On August 11, 2009 I had to have the oil pressure switch replaced as it was leaking plus other work; total was $257. I was told about a year ago that the intake gasket was leaking oil and coolant again and had to be replaced again. The car did not pass inspection in June, 2010; one of the problems is transmission is slipping. Is that a result of the dexcool coolant contaminating the tranny? other work needed is steering rack (again), air compressor, & rear air shocks. The coolant leaking has caused the failure of many of the parts I have had to have fixed on this car, not just the gasket.

- So. Portland, ME, USA

problem #20

Jul 262009


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. While driving 40 mph, the transmission failed. The contact feels that this is a safety issue because the failure prevented the vehicle from accelerating, which could have led to a crash. The current and failure mileages were 130,000.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #19

Aug 152008


  • 80,000 miles


At 54,000 miles and only 2 weeks after the purchase of this vehicle the head gasket had to be replaced. After only 80,000 miles the transmission was replaced. The blower for the heat or air conditioner only works on three or above, the air conditioning no longer works, both rear coil springs must be replaced, an outer tierod is bad, two rear bushings need to be replaced, the front right control arm is broken, the drivers side window goes down but not up, it is leaking antifreeze and the tires keep going bad because they are wearing incorrectly. This car is a total piece of garbage. Every time I turn around it needs another repair. The cost of the repairs is almost as much as I have paid on the vehicle so far.

- Harveys Lake, PA, USA

problem #18

Mar 162008


  • 101,000 miles
I own a 2002 Buick Rendezvous, it is the worst car I ever bought, transmission broke, ABS is damaged, cooling system has been repaired several times dashboard lights are out of control, condenser is cracked.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #17

Feb 012008

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We have an 2002 Buick Rendezvous AWD. Just recently our car starting to act up while driving. It was making a whining noise and acting as if it was in neutral while stopping. We found out that the transmission, intake manifold, wheel bearing, radiator, A/C condenser, rims are bad making our tires lose air, and head gasket all need replaced. We also were told that the power steering had a leak and was causing a noise. We are looking at having to pay over 5 thousand dollars to fix everything. After looking on the internet, we have seen millions of complaints for all these things breaking in the 2002 model. Something needs done about this. I will do whatever it takes to get help from GM to fix these damaged cars. These should all be recalled.

- Cumberland, MD, USA

problem #16

Mar 012006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Buick Rendezvous. While driving 45 mph, the interior lights dimmed for approximately three seconds. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure; however, they replaced the electronic brake and traction control module along with the body control module. The failure continued. The dealer stated that the HVAC control head and the battery caused the failure. The contact stated that her husband replaced both parts and there had been no further occurrences. While driving 35 mph, the contact heard a clinking noise coming from underneath the vehicle. The vehicle then shut off without warning. The mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact took the vehicle to a different mechanic and he stated that the transmission failed. As of November 8, 2007, the mechanic had not repaired the vehicle. The contact stated that the front passenger side electronic door locks would not operate. As of November 8, 2007, the dealer had not inspected the vehicle. The failure mileage was 45,000 and current mileage was 65,000.

- Xenia, OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 012007

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles
Buick Rendezvous 2002 failure with blown transfer case & transmission, main exhaust pipe loose from head, rear end noise, passenger door sticks.

- Merrickville, 00, USA

problem #14

Mar 102006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Vehicle's rpms kept racing when gas was pressed. Eventually felt a slipping in gear when car was in drive. Soon it started happening in reverse. Took in to dealership for diagnostics and a test drive and was told no error codes came up and nothing was wrong. This continued to happen and about a week and a half later - gear shifting got much rougher and the vehicle would not move when initially put into drive, then would jump into gear - but would jump out of gear while driving! brought it to another service company and was told it was major transmission problems. Vehicle only has 54,000 miles on it and is used mostly for local driving. I have heard about 4 others who have Rendezvous state that they are having transmission problems within the past month. Vehicle is currently undergoing extensive transmission work - shouldn't happen on such low mileage. Buick should be made to look into.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #13

Dec 202005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact stated transmission failed. While stopping at a red light she depressed the accelerator pedal and the vehicle would not go forward or in reverse. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. The vehicle was examined and the transmission was replaced.

- Blue Mountain, WI, USA

problem #12

Oct 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,925 miles


Incidents. My 2002 Buick Rendezvous has had 3 transmission problems, the last one the transmission exploded. Per service tech.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #11

Jul 312005

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
It is suggested that you call our auto safety hotline to obtain information on specific defects, recalls, and other auto safety questions, and to report automotive safety issues such as that you describe. The number is 1-888-327-4236. In addition, the NHTSA web site @ www.NHTSA.dot.gov can be used to obtain vehicle safety information as well as report possible defects as you describe. -----original message----- from: Appliancemart [mailto:appliancemart@speednetllc.com] sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 5:02 pm to: Seigel, stu subject: I have a 2002 Buick Rendezvous with the following problem since: 7/31/05 I had left the vehicle in park, and my wife was sitting on the passenger side when the car started to move forward, and she tried to climb over the center console to hit the emergency brake, but could not make it and so she tried to get out of the car and then the car went into reverse and ran over her left leg, banging her up pretty badly and now she is in the hospital. I know that Envoy's, trailblazers had a recall on their trans. Since the last recall. I need to know how to find out what caused this and to get it repaired. My vehicle is an AWD, cxl, 2002 Buick Rendezvous. Can you provide me with any information. Warner glass manager of the appliancemart.

- Alpena, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 252005

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
2004 Buick rendevous 64K miles - complete ato transmission failure - including transfer assembly. Occured 40mph with no previous signs or symptoms - almost caused rear end collision. Lost all gears, 1,2 and reverse - only 3rd barely operable. 5 miles from dealer - had to be towed. Superior Buick (Kansas City) pulled pan - said lot of ground up metal. Initial cost $5K! investigating other cases - finding GM knows of this problem - in some cases dealers buying back '02 rdv's. finding this exact same occurance with other owners is not just a random - but many failures. Just 30 days ago also had to replace entire ac condenser unit $1,500 - now finding this too is a GM defect with lot of other rdv oweners. Will try to pursue vehicle back by from GM - seeing a lot of 'lemon' cases out there.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #9

Aug 172004

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,580 miles
After regular maintenance and with no warning the car started making metallic noise in first gear and reverse. Noise disappeared in second gear. The condenser for the air conditioning failed. The car has 44,600 miles (most are highway miles). The dealer has agreed to "split" the estimated $4,576.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 192004

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,699 miles
Automatic transmission failure with absolutely no warning.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #7

Nov 042003

Rendezvous 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
While driving transmission jerked and won't shift properly from second to third gear. Dealer replaced the transmission. Also, in the last past five months, the liftgate hinges/tie rod, and ignition switch had been replaced. Gears and tires were replaced, but problem still exists.

- South Burlington, VT, USA

problem #6

Sep 032003


  • 25,391 miles
While driving 65 mph vehicle suddenly lost power, was not able to shift any gears. Managed to pull over to side of road. Vehicle was towed to dealership, and the mechanic said that problem was had to with the transmission. The transmission began to slip and make noise while driving. The vehicle was towed and repaired. One week later the transmission suddenly failed while driving. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they overhauled the transmission. The consumer has not faith in the transmission. The front left and right bearing separated occasionally.

- Garden City, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 012003

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The transmission in the vehicle did not work properly (hard shifting). The consumer knew of technical service bulletins issued for this problem. The vehicle did not shift hard at speeds of up 25 mph.. the consumer stated the vehicle did not shift properly and accelerate properly from a stop.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #4

May 032003

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,432 miles
After stopping on a hill with the transmission in 'd', as soon as I took my foot off the brake, the car started rolling back. This is a dangerous situation when cars are behind and you come to a stop on a hill and then need to go. The dealer replaced the torque converter but that did not solve the problem.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #3

Jun 282002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When vehicle changes gears it will stall out.contacted dealer, they can't fix problem.

- Graigville, WV, USA

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