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Buick Enclave Leaks When It Rains



  • nancy1960nancy1960 Posts: 54
    Con't of Secret Warranty:

    Where a secret warranty exists, consumers could ban together to file a class action against the manufacturer for an unfair trade practice but this is a major effort which is rarely used and is a poor substitute for a disclosure law. In 1989, CAS helped the Center for Public Interest Law successfully sue Toyota over a secret warranty that covered up to $1800 in repair costs for pulsating brakes in over 400,000 1983-87 Camrys. To settle CAS' class action Toyota agreed to 1) notify all present and past owners, 2) reimburse consumers for all repair expenses already incurred, and repair all cars with this defect that had not yet been repaired. CAS estimates the total cost to Toyota to be over $100 million, most of which would have been borne by consumers but for CAS' action.

    State Secret Warranty Laws
    In order to protect consumers from undisclosed defects, five states (California, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have enacted secret warranty laws and other states are considering secret warranty legislation. The state secret warranty laws already enacted require manufacturers to disclose their "warranty adjustment" programs by giving direct notice of any warranty extension to affected owners, including information about the terms of the warranty, and provision for reimbursement to consumers who already have paid for the covered repair. Until all states enact and enforce secret warranty laws, consumers will be kept in the dark about secret warranties.

    How to Find a Secret Warranty
    Until secret warranty disclosure laws become the law of the land, the only way to find out about secret warranties is just plain hard work. First, one checks the technical service bulletins for your vehicle type and model year. Service bulletins are published by the manufacturer and sent to dealerships to assist them in diagnosing and repairing problems on the vehicles they service. The existence of a service bulletin does not conclusively prove the auto company has a secret warranty but it does show a defect or problem exists for which the manufacturer has had to develop a repair. Service bulletins can be difficult to decipher, but it is well worth the effort. Finding the right bulletin could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. The right bulletin is the one that tells the dealer how to diagnose and fix the problem. It also will authorize the dealer to make the repairs at the manufacturer's expense even though the defect is no longer covered by the manufacturer's express warranty.

    The trouble is that manufacturers often do not put the terms authorizing free repair in the technical service bulletins but give this information only to their factory representatives so that both the dealer and consumer are kept in the dark. Watch for code words in bulletins such as "check for availability of good will assistance." Companies often use such language to get around the triggering requirements for customer notification in states that have secret warranty disclosure laws.

    Secret warranties are often revealed when owners of vehicles of the same type and age are treated differently by the dealer or manufacturer. If some owners get their vehicles repaired at no cost or at a discount whereas other owners of the same vehicle do not, it is possible that a secret warranty covers the defect involved. However, it is also possible that the dealer or manufacturer has decided on a case-by-case basis to reimburse a relatively small number of owners to retain their goodwill and not as part of a warranty adjustment program. To constitute a secret warranty, the difference in treatment of customers must be based on a corporate policy to reimburse owners that is communicated to regional offices and usually also to dealers but that is not communicated to consumers.

    How to Use a Secret Warranty
    After determining that your vehicle is covered by a secret warranty, the next step is to take advantage of your knowledge. The best way to do this is to take the service bulletin that proves the existence of the secret warranty with you when you go to your dealer to get the defect repaired. Without the bulletin, you will have a much more difficult time getting the dealer to repair your vehicle free of charge. Even if the dealer refuses to recognize the existence of the secret warranty [he might not know that the secret warranty exists] or if your vehicle is beyond the period of coverage of the secret warranty, he still may repair your vehicle at no expense as part of a goodwill adjustment.

    If the dealer claims your vehicle is not covered by a secret warranty and refuses to give you a goodwill adjustment, your next step is to pursue your claim directly with the manufacturer. You should do this for two reasons. First, unlike dealers, the manufacturer will know always know if a certain defect in one of its own vehicles is covered by a secret warranty. Second, every manufacturer has a system to handle consumer complaints, which should be followed even though it may not work in most cases. Complaint handling mechanisms outside the manufacturer's system (e.g. arbitration) require exhaustion of all remedies that the manufacturer provides.

    Contact the manufacturer's division (also called regional, district or zone) office in your area. The locations and correct names of district offices and the complaint procedures are often spelled out in the owner's manual. If the manufacturer's representative refuses to see you, contact the regional office or the manufacturer's owner relations office, often located in Detroit for domestic manufacturers, California for Japanese and Asian manufacturers, and New Jersey for European manufacturers.

    If the manufacturer refuses to extend the secret warranty to your vehicle (perhaps because your car is beyond the time or mileage requirements of the secret warranty), do not give up. Manufacturers only reimburse those owners who complain loudly and persistently; those who put off complaining, or who never complain at all, must pay for the manufacturer's mistakes.

    The next step is to make enough noise outside the manufacturer's complaint handling system to get results. A strong commitment is necessary to successfully use this procedure, because you will not get results unless you are willing to persistently follow up letters and phone calls.

    Complain in writing to the manufacturer's Chairman of the Board or President with copies of that letter to others. Set forth the defect covered by the secret warranty clearly and precisely within the letter and refer to the collected documentation of the car's troubles and your attempts to have the car repaired "within the system."
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning Mark,

    How did everything turn out with this dealership visit?

    GM Customer Service
  • buickleaksbuickleaks Posts: 1
    My 2008 Enclave started leaking last summer (2010). Water is sloshing around under the dashboard and when you make a left hand turn it pours on to the passenger floor. We brought it in to the dealer last summer and they "fixed" it twice. Once pulling off the windshield and re-sealing it and they also replaced the motor for the fan that was sitting in a bunch of water. It appeared to be fine for the winter months except we now have a whistling sound coming through the dash when you are on the highway. this spring our AC failed and we were told it was the compressor. We took it in right away (our warranty expires this week!!) and they replaced the AC compressor and said they fixed the leak and the whistling. The leak is not back yet...but I am worried about the damage to the AC again (having the fans sitting in water) and I am not convinced that he really "fixed" what is wrong. Plus - the whistling is still there. Can I get some help??
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Hello buickleaks,

    I'm sorry that the couple of trips you made into the dealership for the leak didn't resolve the issue completely. If we can look into this further with you, please send the following information to us at your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, the name of your dealership and any details you can recall (date, amount paid, etc.) about those two previous visits.

    We look forward to hearing from you,
    GM Customer Service
  • larryd9larryd9 Posts: 1
    Have read about massive water leak problems, particularly with the 2008 model. I'm thinking about buying a new 2012 model. Does the "water leak" problem still exist on the 2012's after all these years? This would be a deal breaker for me.
  • kbirnbachkbirnbach Posts: 1
    i bought brand new car in sept. 2008 and now it broke down the whole engine felt apart the millage is 102000 and the bucik don't want to fixed it when it there fault the car over heated after 1 year of having the car. i should just sell it than since than it one problem after another i had the car leaked and it was fixed twice and still it leaks, and now the engine broke down because it was not fixed the first time. and Buick don't want to fixed it now.
    No wonder they will bankrupt soon.

  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    Have you worked with Customer Assistance to set up a case yet? If so, would you be able to send that number to us (71-**********) at Alternatively, you can send the last 8 digits of your VIN. We would like to check into the case for you.

    GM Customer Service
  • flywillieflywillie Posts: 1
    Did you get any feedback on the 2012 from anyone. Whether the problem has been fixed. I now have mine at the dealership, 2008 model with 38,000 miles. This is the third trip and now have mold in electrical system. Dealership is telling me the problems/kinks have been worked out since 2011. Has anyone been able to confirm the 2011 or 2012 model issues have been corrected. This is also a deal breaker for me on any upgrade offer they make. Any feedaback will be appreciate as I will make a decision this week or start looking at somethign other than GM. Looks like it may become another government owned bureaucrcy with poor products and services. Very unsatisified and product is untrustworthy, including dealers if I can't get confirmaiton this has been resolved.
  • mickicdmickicd Posts: 24
    Wow, I wonder if I too have mold. How can you tell?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns. Please let me know what you hear from the dealer. Can you please email me directly with your VIN, dealer of choice, and contact information? I would like to look into your situation further. I look forward to your email.
    GM Customer Service
  • kristaskristas Posts: 1
    So I just bought a used 2008 Buick Enclave 3 wks ago. While I thought I had done all my homework after our first hard rain I now have leaks on my passenger floor and on the cloth by the passenger window. I also purchased an extended warranty only to find out they do not cover this. This is so frustrating to find out after the fact that my car has leaks! I'm appalled that GM has not owned up to this and realize this is not a sporadic problem! My in laws are retired from GM and I have owned 4 GM cars and this will be the last. What if anything can be done about this ?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning kristas,

    We're sorry to hear that your Enclave has a leaking issue at the moment. Is your extended warranty a GMPP (General Motors Protection Plan) Service Contract? Which one is it? If we can look into this further for you, please send us more information at, including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • My wife and I purchased our 2008 Buick Enclave last year and loved the car until our first heavy rain which resulted in leaking all around the sunroof and into the fuse area. Since then we have had NUMEROUS electrical issues including the car repeatedly shutting systems down while we are driving and leaving us stranded while on vacation. I just picked it up today after 21 days at the dealership and guess what...the passenger floorboard and ceiling were soaking wet!! Yes, it rained last night and in it came. They know that the electrical issues are tied to the water intrusion but cannot seem to stop it. The most annoying part however is how they act so surprised by this as though it were not documented all over the Internet. I have now even seen YouTube videos documenting the leaks and subsequent electrical issues. No Buick dealer should be surprised by this. I am at a loss and after being a loyal customer for many years, I am about done.
  • kimmbokimmbo Posts: 2
    I also had this problem w/ my Enclave when I bought it used. I called our local Dealer service dept (Ron Smith Buick, Merced, Ca) and was advised that the vents located on the roof in front of the sunroof were probably plugged. The two vents are on either side, in front of the sunroof rails, near the windshield. I blew air, from our compressor through the holes to unplug them. No problems since. I hope this helps you.
  • james252,
    We're sorry to read about the leak and electrical problems you've been experiencing with your Enclave. If we can look into this further with you, please contact us at with the following information: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    All the best-
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • lalexandralalexandra Posts: 1
    edited August 2012
    what a shame..I love this car but now when it rains it leaks and then that sets off some crazy thing in the car that says my emegency brake is on so it makes a loud noise as you are driving down the road. I can hear the water sloshing after a hard rain so I probably will end up with a ruined interior and mold issues. This is something that Buick needs to take care of because it is a design issue. They could get sued if people start getting sick from mold or mildew in their car. My car has 54,000 mile on it and I had planned on keeping it a long time, but now I don't know. Gosh you try and buy american and look what you get! Disappointed in Chesapeake Va!
  • We're sorry to hear that you're encountering this leaking concern! What are your plans for getting it looked into?
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a Buick 2008 that has a sunroof that leaks. In 2010 I had the vehicle serviced because the sunroof leaked, pillar post was soaked, leaving me with with a saturated floorboard, electrical problems and the vehicle wouldn't shut off, and a stinky moldy smelling vehicle. The dealership said it was due to the sunroof seal and replace the seal.
    Then 5/2012, it leaked again. Floorboard saturated, and mildew smelling vehicle. This time the dealership said front drains were plugged and they cleaned them. I am still in my warranty period, and the dealership refused to replace the carpet even though this was the second time the sunroof leaked onto the floorboard. I am allergic to mold, so this is a real problem for me. I can hear water sloshing somewhere in my dashboard.
    Now 3 months later, leaking again. The pillar post is wet, floorboard saturated, moldy smell. Floorboard is starting to get black edges due to extra wear from water damage. I do not have any trees or otherwise dropping debris onto my Enclave. I take very good care of it, because I love it. But now, I feel like its a big wet stinky dog that I have to sit next to. We'll see what the dealership comes up with tomorrow.
    I can't put up with this issue and will have to see how Buick resolves this problem permanently, as to whether I would ever consider another Buick. What is going to happen when I am out of warranty? I even read that 2008 had a recall on sunroofs, but it had to be addressed by 9/2009, and my VIN wasn't in the list anyway. Clearly they are WRONG about what VINs are affected in the recall. This forum was so easy to find. Now that this is my 3rd episode with this, I knew I would be able to find others experiencing it too!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns. Can you please email me directly with your VIN, current mileage, complete contact information including mailing address, and involved dealer? I would like to look into this further for you. I look forward to working with you.
    GM Customer Service
  • I am getting ready to buy an Enclave (08), and took it to my mechanic for a pre-buy inspection. He found a leak at the transmission case. It's still under 100k mi (full warranty), so I took it into the dealer, who said it had loose bolts and everything was fixed by tightening them. My mechanic and tranny guy both howled and said it'd soon leak again and I should NOT buy the car. What do you think?
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