NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2003 Buick Rendezvous (Page 1 of 2)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,361 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.

2003 Buick Rendezvous engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Buick Rendezvous Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Feb 112014

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles


Engine completely dies making it impossible to steer. It willl turn on right away, go a few miles and then dies again. It has been serviced, the trottle has been clean, fuel filter replaced, spark plug wires and spark plugs have been replaced to no avail. We've even changed tramission fluid and filtered.

- Corpus Christi , TX, USA

problem #22

May 012012

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • 67,500 miles
Crank seals, oil pan seal, head gasket corrosion and potential failure. Mechanic found these leaks which will lead to engine failure. Reported to Buick, examined by dealership. Buick said essentially, "too bad, you're on your own." The car is well-maintained, low miles, male senior driver. This should not occur on a vehicle in this condition. GM should take care of significant problems such as these.

- Kingsburg, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 202009


  • 150,000 miles
The car over heated while I was driving. I took it to be seen by a mechanic and he said my antifreeze mixed with engine oil. My head gasket blew, the engine had to be replaced.

- Braddock, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 202009


  • 46,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that the vehicle was leaking antifreeze. The dealer replaced the head gasket, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was repaired a second time. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but denied any assistance with repair to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 46,000 and the current mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Chads Fort, PA, USA

problem #19

Dec 052007


  • 70,311 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that they have had three of the four cylinder's replaced on the vehicle. The carmax dealership were the vehicle was purchased honored the extended warranty on the first two cylinders, but the vehicle was no longer covered by the warranty. The contact took the vehicle to a Buick dealer who stated that the cylinder failure was a known issue and that the contact would need to replace the engine. The contact stated that the all wheel drive and anti-lock brake lights have been going on/off since the vehicle was purchased. The failure mileage was 70311 and the current mileage was 105000.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #18

May 012010


  • 79,000 miles
Losing oil and water everyday temp. Gauge showing hot. Now trac and anti brake light comes on. Brake pedal is got a jumping movement. We got our 2003 Buick Rendezvous a couple years ago.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 292009


  • 54,355 miles


While driving on highway, car bucks, service engine light comes on....either flashing or solid. 1) cylinder bolt on rocker #3 pulled out 01/29/2009; 2) lifters for cylinder #1 collapsed 02/25/2009. Today (04/28/2010) car is back in shop. Driving on highway last night, same symptom. Dealer offered tentative diagnosis of pulled rocker arm in rear of engine.

- Guilderland, NY, USA

problem #16

Mar 012010


  • 65,373 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Rendezvous. The contact started the vehicle and the heater was activated with a burning odor. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The failure was contributed to a melted cable connected to the heater and the air conditioner. The technician replaced the heater module and cable. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there were no recalls and was unable to provide further assistance. The current mileage was 65,500. The failure mileage was 65,373.

- Owosso, MI, USA

problem #15

Feb 042010


  • miles
1st time: Driving into portland, or. When engine started to make a awful noise by the time I found a dealer the sound was awful. The dealer said that I had 1 push rod jammed and locked up. It was replaced. 2nd.time 1 year to the month it happened again. Took to dealer and #4 locked up and bent. The dealer said this is becoming a common item with this car. It seems that because of the aluminum block expands and retracks when it is hot that the bolt used to push the rod comes loose and causes the rod the finelly bend. I check with another repair shop and they had, had 2 in the last year. I was told this will continue to happen until I replace all rods. At which time they will put in new bolts with lock tight so they will not come loose.so far I have been lucky that only one at a time has good. If two had gone out they said I probably would have lost control of the car. As it would lock up.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #14

Jul 062006


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Rendezvous. The contact stated that the vehicle began to leak antifreeze, which caused it not to produce a lot of heat. The vehicle had to have antifreeze added every month, but the contact never actually saw it leaking. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and they stated that antifreeze and oil were leaking into the intake manifold. The repair would cost $700. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer stated that there was no current recall; therefore, they were not liable for any expenses. The failure mileage was 30,000 and current mileage was 105,000.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #13

Jul 242008


  • 116,248 miles


Cooling system continues to get very hot after thermostat was replaced. If ac is on temperature gauge stays 3/4 quarters of the way. GM tested cooling fan operation and both fans are running. Pressure tested system for leak. Found rear head gasket leaking fluid. Per GM head gaskets would need to be replaced. Heads would need to be sent out and milled. Parts and labor would be around $1849.22.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #12

Apr 182008

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Buick Rendezvous. While driving between 40-45 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and drive it to a nearby mechanic. The mechanic stated that the radiator fluid was mixing with motor oil because the intake manifold gasket fractured. The current and failure mileages were 58,000. Updated 05/06/08. Updated 05/06/08.

- Raynham , MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 012007

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
Owner purchased 2003 Buick Rendezvous in July, 2007. At the beginning of August, 2007, with approximately 80K miles on it, the vehicle's ABS, traction control, and check engine lights came on and the gas gauge began fluctuating erratically. Upon inspection at the local GM service center, the service technician diagnosed that the problem had been caused by a manufacturer design flaw related to the air conditioning system in which the condensation drain was made forward facing, which while driving at moderate to high speeds, would prevent the condensation to drain properly while running the air conditioning due to wind resistance. This caused the condensation (water) to pool inside the vehicle, causing multiple valves to rust, various electrical functions to malfunction, and resulted in a musty mildew smell inside the vehicle because the carpet was becoming saturated. The service technician stated he had seen this problem several times before and informed the consumer that Buick remedied the problem for the 2005 and newer models. Therefore, the remedy provided was that the original A/C condensation drain was replaced to match that of the 2005 and newer Rendezvous. This remedy alone would have been relatively inexpensive had Buick issued a recall for this design flaw (which they clearly recognized as evidenced by the design modification on the 2005 and newer models), however since the problem was not observable until significant damage had been done (including multiple rusted valves that had to be replaced and several hours of labor), the repair ended up costing the consumer over $1,000.

- Burlington, IA, USA

problem #10

Dec 082006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The first indication of the problem was that the when the heater was turned on, it would not get warm or hot. I took the car to the dealership, they stated that it was the intake manifold gasket, which is a $900 repair. What they did not tell me was that, when this gasket leaks coolant, it will mix with the engine oil and cause the engine to blow or seize. In researching on-line, I have discovered that this is a well-known problem that both General Motors and Buick are well aware of. In fact, GM sent out an internal service bulletin in July 2001 stating that the intake manifold gasket was defective and that when brought in to the service dept., it should be fixed. Only they will not recall the defective part or pay for or reimburse consumers for the repair. This is outrageous! there are thousands upon thousands of people out there stating this same exact problem, yet GM refuses to recall it! there is a class-action lawsuit in Canada for this exact problem and a petition for GM to recall this defective part in the U.S. GM should be forced to recall this defective part that they have been deceiving consumers about all along. There is no excuse for continuing to sell vehicles with this problem and not so much as do a recall. I want to GM to pay for the repair as well as recall the part. I have already spent over $700 in repairs to the car, including wheel bearing sensors, brakes, and a gas-line leak. These are also well-known issues with the Buick Rendezvous.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #9

Mar 072006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Had to replace leaking intake gasket @ 56,000 miles on 2003 Buick Rendezvous. Buick customer services said this failure was to be expected on a vehicle with 50,000 miles. Traded rdv one year later when head gasket failed.

- Mayfield, KY, USA

problem #8

Feb 152007

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
2003 Buick Rendezvous @ 59000 miles needs rear head gasket replaced. First noticed an overheated condition. Took it to a monroe shop and was told radiator cap was bad. Then it happened again and took it to GM dealership 2-02-07. Told that it held pressure and no leaks. Found orange snow under car 2-14-07. Took it back to dealer and told it is leaking at rear head gasket. Cost for replacement is $1500. Called Buick customer service. They are helping. Found that canadians are suing GM for this problem. The gasket material breaks down when dex-cool is used. This problem causes coolant leak. Engine seizure, gelled oil and possible replacement of engine can be possible results. I would hate to be driving down the road when the engine seized up. Could be an accident waiting to happen. GM called the dealership and will cover some of the cost of the repair and I will pay a deductible amount. I am taking it in to be fixed 2-16-07.

- Brookfield, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 072007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
In 11/05, at approximately 43K miles, my 2003 Buick Rendezvous cxl required a new intake gasket & thermostat after the vehicle rapidly lost all of its engine coolant and I was forced to make an emergency stop. This was a certified used GM vehicle, but the warranty expired at 39K miles so I incurred at $700+ repair bill. Now, at 59K miles, I am having a similar problem; the engine coolant overheated, also leading to an emergency stop and towing, and the repair shop says that the same intake gasket has failed again.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #6

Dec 252006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Intake manifold gaskets corroded by GM coolant after a couple years. Specific to combination of factory coolant and factory gasket. Mechanic replaced gasket with one that doesn't corrode when in contact with the factory coolant. This required 6.5 hours of labor plus parts totaling $600.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #5

Dec 192006

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Buick rendevous. 1st was a 2002 cxl - problems: Rear differential slipped, passenger side window regulator broke, ac condenser broken, rear view mirror fell off, back up sensors shut down vehicle - because of this fried entire electrical system, brakes and rotors replaced at 30K. 2nd is a 2003 cxl - problems - rear differential slipping, passenger side window regulator broken, driver 1 & 2 memory broken, engine running hot because of leak in radiator - again 30K

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #4

Dec 102005

Rendezvous 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Water pump failure at 40,000 miles. Head gasket coolant leak at 45,000 miles. Replaced the water pump. Replacing the head gasket.

- Troy, MI, USA

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