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Buick Enclave AC Problems

bmanlybmanly Posts: 8
edited September 2015 in Buick
On a recent 10 hour drive this summer in my Enclave, I noticed the front AC vents were not delivering the normal air flow about 4-5 hours into the trip. My wife and I were starting to sweat. We did not have the rear "aux" system turned on. We tried taking the system off "auto", turning up the fan motor, turning system off to rest it, etc etc, but nothing worked. We ended up cranking the rear aux system (which was working) to lower the temps and make the rest of the trip somewhat bearable. The next day the front AC worked fine on short twips around town so I know we are not low on freon or anything. On the return trip home, same problem. No front AC after about 4-5 hours of driving in hot weather. Called dealer's service dept who said he had never heard of this problem, but admitted the Enclave does have a series of odd things breaking down.

Anyone else experience this? Any suggestions before I take it in to be looked at and lose my car for a day or two?

See Also
How Your A/C System Works


  • bturigbturig Posts: 5
    Yes, similar problems.

    My wife and I felt the air conditioning was performing poorly for a while, we had the dealership check it during an oil change, and they said it was fine. I think they only checked the temperature in the duct work.

    This weekend we where two hours into a four hour drive, and the air conditioning stopped. We did stop at a rest area. When we restarted the car, the air conditioning started up again and worked for about 30 minutes, and then stopped. I really could not tell if the compressor was running, or trying to run, we could only feel the result.

    We took the car back to the dealership, and they found the freon was low, but they did not find any leaks. This seems strange, to have a freon leak in a one year car. The dealership said it might have come from the factory that way, which I struggle to believe.
  • bmanlybmanly Posts: 8
    Good to know about the low freon. Let me know if that seems to correct the problem. I haven't taken any long trips since my problem nor have I been to dealer for service, but will be going there next month.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    re: Low freon. My upstairs AC had a slow leak in the coil. When the freon would get very low, the coils would freeze up and eventually block airflow. I would turn off the AC and turn the fan on. Over time the ice would melt off and it would cool again, until it froze up again. Sounds like what you were experiencing. Hope it was just low from the factory.
  • bturigbturig Posts: 5
    The dealer put die in the air-conditioning system, so if it leaks it will be easier to diagnose.

    I am also going to run down to the auto-parts store and get one of those thermometers that you stick down into the vents. So I can get a baseline, on a fully charged system.
  • We have the same problem. Our 2008 Enclave was delivered in December of 2007. We first noticed the problem in the summer of 2008 while traveling through Atlanta in 100 degree, high humidity weather. The cool air flow through the front vents slowly diminished until there was no cool air at all. Since that day it has happened numerous times, but only when it is warm with HIGH humidity.

    We've had it in to the dealer four times (the fifth time is tomorrow). The first three times the dealer "could not duplicate condition". The dealer also tried installing a data recorder for one of our trips. The air conditioner quit working once again but there were no unusual readings. On the fourth trip to the dealer they replaced the high side pressure switch. It didn't help. The problem reappeared about 1-1/2 hours into our next trip. Tomorrow the dealer is replacing the following parts; sensor, valve and seal kit. The dealer has never heard of this happening on ANY car before let alone my Enclave.

    What seems to be happening is the air conditioners evaporator is freezing up and restricting the air flow. If we pull over and turn off the car for 20-30 minutes a large puddle (small lake) of water appears under the car and the air conditioner works fine until the next time.

    I really like my Enclave, but when the air conditioner quits during a trip I'd trade it for a Yugo.

  • Thanks for writing. Good to know I am not the only out there with this strange, seemingly unfixable problem!

    I got the same response from our dealership here too. They "couldn't replicate problem" and couldn't find any leaks or low freon. I have had them look at it twice now, and while it won't be an issue until next summer, I am truly hesitant to take the car on long family trips, which is main reason we bought the Enclave in the first place.

    We defintely noticed the lack of airflow but it is puzzling why the rear "aux" system still seems to work when front is shut down as the dealers says there is really only one system for the whole car. Let me know how your repair goes...

  • The dealer told me that the rear auxillary sytem has a seperate evaporator. That's why it continues to work when the front shuts down. Initially we didn't have a problem with the rear. Whenever the front air stopped working, we angled the rear ceiling outlets forward to get some relief from the heat. On our last trip this didn't work. The back unit was somewhat cool but not cold. We live in a southern state where heat and humidity are a normal ocurance in the summer months and it's rather nice to have auto airconditioning that works. :shades:

    Be sure to check the lemon law in your state. In our state, you have to file within two years of the delivery date. The dealer has to have made at least three attempts to repair the problem. Our dealer has been great but the problem remains.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

  • We have the same problem. I noticed that the blower speed was diminished (1/2 speed when on high). I tried everything from a control stand point. Finally, we pulled over at a gas station and the problem went away after shutting off and restarting the Enclave. The dealer replaced the blower and on our next hot summer trip it happened again. We have had many electrical/electronic/mechanical issues with our November 2007 built Enclave (passenger air bag light/sensors, driver electric window switch, leaky rear sunroof, rear shock failure, left and right side front idler arms replaced, cam shaft sensor fuel light). The dealer has been good but the car has been a disappointment. We have 35,000 miles on our Enclave and just priced tires prior to winter - WOW! $1,000 to replace the tires because their are very few choices on a vehicle this size and having 19" tires.
  • paulc8paulc8 Posts: 1
    I own a 2008 Buick Enclave and now have the same A/C problem described in this thread. Didn't notice it before because we live in a northern climate. Has anyone ever found a fix? Our dealer just says that they can't duplicate the problem.
  • bmanlybmanly Posts: 8
    We have been unable to diagnose or have the dealer change anything with the AC problem with our Enclave although we recently went on the same trip that originally revealed the initial problem, and I think we found out how to avoid it. Essentially it appears to be a blockage/ice buildup issue (see above emails) as for us it only affected the front systems. I think if you only have the front system working (as opposed to having the rear "aux" system on too) on long trips in hot humid weather it can build up ice or whatever and eventually reduce front air flow, so we made sure we ran both front and aux systems from the onset of trip. no issues this summer and the weather was actually hotter this year than last.
    We are still counting the days until our lease is up though. We just had to have the entire radio/navigation system replaced among other things.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello Bmanly,
    I apologize that you are experiencing a concern with your vehicle. How many times have you had it into the dealership for the same concern? Do you only experience it on long trips? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • Refer to my original posting on November 18, 2009.

    Here's the update. Neither our dealer nor the GM representative were able to diagnose the problem with the air conditioner on our 2008 Enclave.

    Last December, just prior to the 2 year anniversary of our purchase, we worked with our dealer and GM to utilize GM's re-purchase program.

    GM bought our 2008 and built us a new 2010. We've experienced no problems with the 2010.
  • bmanlybmanly Posts: 8
    I believe we took it in at least twice last summer and kept getting the "can't replicate the condition" line, which you wouldn't be able to do unless you drive it for 5+ hours in hot humid weather. It has never acted up on short trips, only long ones. It is an issue with the front evaporator design as AngusMcGee notes as well. Hope you guys find a fix .
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello Bemanly,
    Can you please email me your VIN and current mileage so I can look into your situation further? You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc. Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • bturigbturig Posts: 5
    We took our 2008 Enclave back in on June 7th, 2010, because air conditioner again. Per what the dealership told my wife, there was a "Factory Recall" on the air conditioner or part of it.

    Anyways, for what it's worth, I am looking at our copy of the service sheet, and it states "SOFTWARE UPDATE", "PERFORM SOFTWARE UPDATE FOR HVAC CONTROL HEAD".

    It's been two months now, and it's been a warm South Carolina summer, with no problems yet with the AC.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,660
    edited August 2010
    I had a similar problem with my 2003 Yukon Denali. I asked the service rep at the dealer and he said to leave the front and rear temp set to 74 Deg. F. for 20 minutes while driving.

    The system automatically reset to blow air conditioned air. I do not know if that will work in your case but it couldn't hurt to give it a try. Apparently, the system needs this every few cycles from season to season.

    Does not solve the failure of the compressor at 50K miles on my Denali, however! :mad:

  • pclaypclay Posts: 10
    Yes, we had the software update also but we have experienced the problem several times since then. We just sold our Enclave. The AC problem, plus the heated windshield fluid fire danger, plus other problems I have seen on others Enclaves convinced us to get rid of the car! Too bad, could have been a nice car if not for so many problems.
  • amblakeamblake Posts: 3
    My 2008 Enclave is currently at the dealer for the same problem. We were about 1-2 hours into our trip when the front a/c stopped blowing and the rear a/c was blowing warm. So far they don't know what is wrong with it and want to keep it overnight. Said they are going to call engineering to see if there is a fix for it. I hope there is, because I don't want to take it back until they fix it. It was extremely hot and humid outside and the temp in the car rose rapidly. I will be afraid to take it on another long trip in the heat. Please let me know if you have a resolution.
  • I Am posting here because i wanted to offer support about the problems you shared. Thank you for posting . i felt alone with my issues about my truck. I too am having A/C problems. I took it to the dealer today and they told me that i was not covered under warranty and that i would have to pay $120 just to have them look at it!!! I felt so angry because this sh#t shouldn't be happening on a 2008. I had a 1993 Colt Vista, the a/c in there needed freon and it was still working when we donated it. Today i felt defeated by my lack of understanding for car mechanics but what really hurt the most was that this was the first brand new car i ever bought and i have had so many problems with that i have not really enjoyed the "NEW CAR EXPERIENCE." :mad: :cry: :confuse: Wht happened?????
  • I bought my Enclave in July of 2007 straight off the delivery truck. It would be my first brand new car experience and our sole mode of transportation. I wa very happy because it came at a time in my life when i was really testing the new information from The Secret (LAW oF ATTRACTION). I will have to make another post under the Buick ENCLAVE Experience 3.2 . My A/C has been acting really weird!! The front vents blower stopped at some point, the rear a/c blows warm to hot air all back in June or July (really hot days). I had freon put in it and then it was ok, just recently i noticed that it was warm air coming out from the front as i had it to the max. I kept thinking NOOOOOOOO! IN the Enclave it is very well insulated so A/C is a must bcause the temp can rise very fast. i took it in to the dealer and they wanted $120 just to check it, i balked because i had issues with my CD player, drive shaft axle, rear door hatch switch, and washer fluid heater. I just wanted to get out of there before they told me that it was gonna be another $1500 for stuff that shouldn't be happening to a 2008. i say that because I had a 93 Colt Vista and the original radio cd player , a/c, and high mileage worked just fine. Are you seriously telling me that this beautiful creation from Buick is a bust? I LOVE THIS DAMN CAR! I DISLOVE THE ISSUES THOUGH.!!! I VE REPLACED MOTORS,TRANSMISSION, door hatch switches. I am outta my warranty and didnt buy the exten ded because i trusted the American Car. I feel slighted, cheated, and hurt. I want my new car experience the way it was meant to be. i guess i have to buy it from a Lexus dealer instead.
  • I have a 2008 Enclave. I will be taking it to the dealership AGAIN on Monday to have the AC worked on. This will be at least the 5th time I have had it worked on so it is becoming more and more inconvenient. Plus, living in Texas, you don't want to be without AC! Do I have any options? I don't owe a whole lot on the car and I don't want to trade in and have to start over on payments.
  • pclaypclay Posts: 10
    Well, we sold ours. It is very clear that GM is refusing to deal with the problem. If we had been in a situation where we could not have traded or sold our Enclave then I would have contacted the BBB and the State Attorney General's Office to file a complaint. Good luck! This just shows that GM has never changed.
  • bmanlybmanly Posts: 8
    I was the orginal complainer in this forum about this Enclave AC problem. We thought after a incident-free summer of 2010 the AC problem had gone away but recently the quickly dissappearing Ac reared its ugly, and now dangerous head again,this time with a full load of angry passengers (including my father in law who recently had open heart surgery!!). This time it was only after about two hours of driving, and this time even the rear aux system seemed to shut down too. We ended up shutting off the AC for about a half hour as we drove and what do you know it came back on fine for the last 10 minutes of trip. The next day, no problem at all with AC. It was a fairly humid in DC this weekend but temps were not particularly hot. Very aggravating. I am counting the days until the lease is up in October as I know I will take it to the dealer and he will say they can't replicate the problem and the Ac works fine for them.

    Has anybody officially diagnosed the problem and gotten it fixed so that it hasn't come back?
  • bturigbturig Posts: 5
    Ditto on the problem being back. It's hot in South Carolina.

    Same issues. My feeling is that they car has a original refrigerant leak. My wife is taking it back to the Dealership this week. Perhaps they can recharge the system. This seemed to help before.

    We are also looking forward to getting rid of this car.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,660
    Buy a CX-9 less money and better quality. If you like a driver's rig, you'll love it!

  • tom320tom320 Posts: 7
    :lemon: :lemon: My Enclave AC problem has has continued as well. Last November I had to take it in for problems that resulted in what I was told air-conditioning lines. Now they are saying that the condenser is leaking. I am frustrated and very disappointed because this was my first brand new purchase and half of the time I spent in the service department. I feel jilted because this car was made at a time when GM had its problems and the craftmanship reflects where the company was at the time. I would love to trade but cannot because it would make me upside-down. We have to ride it out. : (
    I've had so many other problems with this vehicle and GM knows because of the history it has with service department. Wishing I had better options.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. By chance have you spoken with GM Customer Assistance? Please keep me posted.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • pclaypclay Posts: 10
    We had the same problem on and ongoing basis. We frequently travel into hot humid areas. We were told over and over that GM didn't know anything about this problem.

    Frankly, GMs response appears to be that it's the customer's fault. In other words, GM doesn't notify their dealers about the problem and it's up to you to convince them. I believe this is an engineering problem. That is, the A/C system wasn't designed correctly.

    This has been going on for over a year now! Come on GM, does it take a class action lawsuit to get you guys to honor your warranty?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,660
    I ask this respectfully: would you buy another GM considering your experience with the service you received?

  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    I apologize for your frustrations. Can you please send me your VIN? What did your dealer say? Have you spoke with Customer Assistance? I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
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