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Buick Enclave Owners Give Us Your Report



  • rjlukerjluke Posts: 7
    I have a 2008 Buick Enclave with 55,000 miles on it. I bought the vehicle used with about 32,000 miles. I have never been so disappointed with a vehicle in my life. I bought it because I liked the styling, but should have given it more thought. It has been a disaster from the get go.

    To start with, the overall quality of the vehicle is extremely poor. There is a very loud whistling noise right behind the driver's head when driving on the highway. It is very pronounced when there is a cross wind coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. I would expect a vehicle in this price range to have a nice quiet cabin. The vehicle itself makes all kinds of strange popping and clanging sounds when it is started up. It seems as if something is going to fall off of the vehicle or blow apart at any time.

    The transmission is tuned so poorly that the vehicle is tremendously unresponsive. When you step on the gas it seems to hesitate and then makes a strange whirring noise when it finally decides to go. This beast is not fun to drive.

    Blind spots in the rear from the very small window are frustrating. When the DVD screen is folded down there is zero visibility from behind. The front support columns around the windshield create large blindspots as well. It's difficult to see approaching traffic while stopped at in intersection.

    The above items are mere annoyances compared to maintenance issues with this vehicle. In addition to numerous smaller maintenance issues that had to be fixed in the shop, in the short time I've had it, the power steering pump failed and had to be replaced and now the evaporator for the A/C has failed. I'm looking at $2000 for out of warranty repair. It's 90 degrees outside and I have to cram my family into our little sedan to go somewhere because the Buick doesn't have any A/C.

    Needless to say, I'm going to sell the Buick ASAP and buy something else. I had a Honda Pilot prior to the Buick and it was a GREAT vehicle. I got what I thought was a good deal on the Enclave and now I regret ever having bought it.

    Bottom line, the vehicle looks great, but it is of very poor quality and extremely unreliable. GM really botched this one. I will never buy a Buick again. My next vehicle will be a Toyota or Honda.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good evening,
    It looks as though you have decided to sell your Enclave, and I had wanted to express my apologies that you have encountered so many concerns with this vehicle. I wish you the best as you pursue other vehicles, but if in the meantime you would like for us to look into anything further, please send us more information (including the last 8 digits of your VIN, your name, and Edmunds username) at
    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • wfarrahwfarrah Posts: 2
    Had my Enclave serviced 2 weeks ago ($1500).
    It sat idle in the driveway until today. When I tried to start it -- DEAD BATTERY!!!!!!

    I had the battery replaced and the computer reprogrammed for a parasitic battery drain last year after continually having this problem and finally calling the tow truck to pick it up after every event.

    Now again!!!!

    Any suggestions?
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    Take a look at for some good advice on this. This is not an unusual happening but one that is easy to correct and avoid. I owned my '08 for 4 years and never had a dead battery, even after leaving it parked for almost a month when I went on the winter. Take a look at the forum I mentioned.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    It's a shame that you're having so much trouble with your '08. I too had an '08, but mine was trouble-free and a pleasure to own and drive. I leased mine for 48 months and had about 36,000 miles on it and aways GM serviced. (I replaced it with another GM car)
    Now, what does this mean? First off, cars are machines...nothing more. Most are very good, but sometimes things go wrong, either by manufacture or by operation and maintenance. Take a good look at the way some people "drive". Cars are just not made to be operated this way, regardless of their price tag. Next is the service. Sure, you can "service" (change the oil, filter, etc.) yourself, but why? The GM dealer is better trained, and equipped, to do this (or at least, should be). Finally, and most importantly, you bought a "used" (or "previously owned") vehicle. You probably have no real idea of how the previous owner handled the car. Did he service it at all? Did he try to run the guts out of it? Was it a "flood" car? Forget about tracing the previous ownership, anyone can phony that up.
    Try going to the GM Customer Service for some help. And good luck.
    Oh, and maybe your Honda (or Toyota, or whatever) was a good car...but if you have a problem, they don't want to know who you are!
  • This is the worst car I have purchased. I started to have issues with this vehicle last year. 1.) I took it to Dutton Motors for the air bag notification light coming up. I was told they didn’t know was wrong and it seem to be fine. Due to several poor service experiences I stopped going to Dutton. I started going to Lake Elsinore Buick and had good service. 2.) I took my car in for the same air bag notification problem. They identified the problem and held my car to fix it. I was contacted to pick up my car, but when I arrived I was told it was not completely fixed and they had to order another part. The dealer let me drive off the lot with a major safety concern. It took over a week or two for the part to come in, I brought the car in for the repair to be completed. 3.) About 3 weeks ago I brought my car in for an oil change and after I made the appointment, the airbag light came on again. I informed the service advisor (Chris) at the time and he said that he would look into it while the car was in the back getting the oil changed. Chris informed me that I cannot drive the car due to the major safety concern and they would get me a rental. WOW, I was surprised since another service advisor let me drive off the lot before with a major safety issue! 4.) 6/28/2012- my car breaks down while I am driving into work in the middle of a intersection where I almost hit a light pole. The breaks went out, steering, etc., I had to use all of my might to avoid hitting the light pole. I prayed that I would coast to safe spot not to be hit. I did, thank God! I had the car towed from Loma Linda to Lake Elsinore. I received no call from the dealer and it had been about 3 hours since the car was towed. I called and spoke with Denise. She said they do not know what is wrong specifically, but indicated it was a major engine issue and would let me know the next day and offered a rental car for this major safety concern. 6/29/2012- about ½ the day went by and again I had to call for an update. I spoke with Denise and she indicated that I a “rod blew” and I needed the engine to be replaced. She then asked me where I took the car prior to 18k miles since they have no service records. I explained to her that I took it to Dutton in Riverside and their service was poor so I started to come here. I further indicated all my records are uploaded on (I see they are not in the system now). I asked her how could this happen? She indicated lack of lubrication or some other reason.. I called later and spoke with Chris (Denise was gone for the day) and I asked did the tech identify how old the oil was? Was it fresh? Dirty? Chris said he was back there when they checked the oil and said it was fresh. My opinion was at the time, they forgot to do the oil change and that is what blew the rod. I can’t prove it but it seems strange to have an engine replaced after 2 yrs and 3mths of owning a car. I asked to speak with the GM of the dealership was transferred to operator voice mail. I also sent an on-line inquiry and no response as of today 7/2/2012. In my opinion, I am a good candidate for “SONG-BEVERLY WARRANTY RIGHTS”. These are all major safety issues. I may be getting a new motor, but I have no trust driving my most precious commodity, my children! The car value will now depreciate even more. If I want to sell the car, I may have a hard time. Let’s not even mention the liability it places on me when I sell it. I have lost $$ all the way around right now. So disappointed, I am stuck with this “luxury car” as you advertise it….What are you going to do about this!!!!
  • pj08pj08 Posts: 1
    I too am having endless issues. Purchased new Nov 2008. Not even 4 years old yet. Have had two power steering pumps, endless passenger airbag issues, mysterious AC/Freon issues (can't find a leak with dye but getting freon charges every 6 months!) etc. Loved the look of the vehicle. Paid cash for it and wish I hadn't. Just got it back from dealer today for second PS pump in less than 2 years. 65k miles (first pump replaced at 39k). They were oh so sorry nothing was covered and there was nothing they could do for me. I guess Buick expects their fuel pump to go out. They weren't the least bit surprised or supportive of taking care of the issue "outside of warranty". I can't dump this thing fast enough. Buy american? Not the way THIS thing is built!
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good afternoon michellegrant,

    I apologize that this response did not come to you sooner - do you have any updates on the progress of your repair?

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I'm sorry that you have had so many issues with your Enclave. Do you have any current concerns that you are hoping to have looked into? Let us know if we can be of any assistance.

    GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2008 Enclave and have had NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS!! I have had it the shop more than 8 times for the same issues over and over. Is there anything I can do to make GM/Buick fix the issues once and for all without charging me MORE money!! I am just so sick of it but I cant get a new car. I do not have the money for that and I have 3 kids so I need for my car to be reliable! I have been told that they wont tell me my car is a lemon because GM doesnt want to have to pay for it! I am just fed up with everything!!!
  • Glad your car is still running. My 08enclave cxl transmission went out in september with 80,000 miles & warranty was said to run out in july. Gm was happy to offer me half price but after fighting for 2 months they had the dealership I bought it from decide they would fix it again but on the way to pick it up gm called them & said no it wasn't leaving the other dealership, still my car sets at the dealership with gm giving me the run around. In 2010 my 07 gmc acadia slt2 had a $22,000.00 repair which was covered under warranty & was taken care of but its funny that warranty as well ran out 2 months prior to my purchase date. My faith in gm is almost none, always bought a gm product. Came from 2 generations of only owning gm products but strongly considering something else. I don't pay 45,000 to have a pretty car sitting at the dealership while my 3 small kids can't all fit into my other vehicle, but I'm tired of paying 500 a week to get then back & forth to school. Gm has major issues with their transmission with the 321 plate going bad, why hadn't this been already recalled? Who else feels like the 08enclave enclave cxl is junk. If they can't guarantee 100,000 miles & can't guarantee their work in less than a year I don't need gm.
  • Glad to have found you. My issue is with the transmission although I'm under the 100,000 miles they claim my car was 2 months out of warranty. Gm stated that their warranties start once they are built but then told me once it gets to the lot & another told me once the 1st owner purchase date. My 07 acadia slt2 was purchased in july of 07 but my warranty ran out in may 2012 exactly 2 months early. my transmission was worked on in nov 2011 by september it was broke down a 150$ replacement of the 321 plate is now a 4000$ repair with me paying 2800 or 1800 depending on everything. If aamco can guarantee 3 years why can't gm at least do a year? So tired of gm jerking me around would love to get in contact with you & anyone else experiencing problems with their 08enclave & gm. :mad:
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Good morning 08enclave,

    If you haven't gotten a Service Request started on this with Customer Service already and would like for us to check into this further, please email us at with more details (including your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, the name of your dealership, and a brief recap of the situation).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a 2008 CXL FWD and I am somewhat happy with the vehicle but am having many of the issues stated as others in the forum, to include a couple of new ones. I purchased this as a GM certified used vehicle with 28,000 miles on it from a local dealer.
    I will list my pros and cons -
    Pros - Good styling, roomy interior, comfortable seats, relatively quiet (was at first), fair gas mileage for such a large vehicle, lots of hauling space, easy to fold down rear third row seats. Cons - Rear hatch strut opening mechanism failed at 38K miles; Black vinyl appliques on the door posts came unglued - dealer replaced under warranty. New ones are showing signs of bubbling again; Gas mileage has decreased significantly - was getting 17.4 city/21.2 hwy, now down to 16.8 city/ 18.6 seems to be more sluggish now. Had it to dealer twice and they couldn't find a problem (of course) and charged me to hook up to the computer so I am weary of taking it back any more times and them charging me to not find my problem; Car was whisper quiet when I first got it at 28K miles, now have 62k miles and I am getting a loud exhaust noise under slight acceleration coming from the engine compartment sort of an exhaust leak. Had it to dealer, of course couldn't find an issue. What a shame; Driver's side seat seems to have some "play" in it when you accelerate or stop, it feels like it moves about 1/4 inch or so. May be some slop in the seat track; Transmission has a very quick 2nd to 3rd upshift. So much so, that it bogs down because it changes gears so quickly. And yes, remarkably, the dealer put it on the computer and couldn't find anything. Really? I hope this isn't indication of the transmission about to fail, as many others have experienced. I have also developed the steering wheel clunking noise some have discussed on the forum too.
    I love the car, but am seriously thinking about trading it off before it falls apart. I want to buy American but with build quality like this, I think I will go with an import again. GM should address all these problems and issue recalls on them where the owners won't get soaked by the dealerships for repairing these issues that GM knows are pretty commonplace. Now that would be excellent customer service.
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    I hope you had the good sense to purchase a GM extended warranty, especially with a used car!
    Try to remember, all machines fail at some point, and the more complex they are, the greater their failure rate. This is the value of an extended warranty...from GM, of course. Many dealers will only accept a GM warranty.
  • I think it's crap that you get charged to have a car under warranty diagnosed, I had a dealership tell me it was $75& wasn't sure if I would get my money back, I told them no thanks & tried driving it an hour away, but about half way there my 07 acadia broke a timing chain stretching the other 2, needless to say it was towed to the dealership with a 22,000 dollar repair. Later I found out that the machine that tempers the plates had broke leaving me with a defective parts. So when I bought my 08enclave I stressed my concerns when the transmission was acting funny & under warranty was suppose to have been fixed, but less than a year later & more than 4 months left on what I was told the warranty ran out, my transmission was broke. I called gm first they said it was out if warranty. I went to aamco for them to hook it up told me transmission is definitely bad to take it to the dealer which didn't cost one penny & if they fixed it, it comes with a 3 year warranty. I didn't make it 20 minutes away before the transmission lost drive, luckily I only had 2 of my children with me. Gm has been jerking me around on getting it fixed, they feel like me paying half is more then fair, but if it wasn't worked on less than a year prior & if I wasn't told my warranty had longer than it did & also if my previous car warranty didn't run out a magical number 2 months early same as this one was supposedly out of warranty half would be more fair at 2 months out. If you think it's the transmission try aamco they check it for free, but I would find a new gm dealership if they can't seem to find any problems, especially if you live in morristown, tn. I've complained with gm about their service department, but it doesn't do any good. I use to have a gm dealership less than a mile away, great place, but a few years ago it became just a dodge place. The chevy place right down the road was going to have to send their boys to school for 2 weeks & then it was going take 2nd weeks to fix the 07 acadia in 2010, it amazes me after 3 years they still didn't know much about them. I really like the enclave but gm needs to step up to the plate & fix all their problems
  • kcoreykcorey Posts: 130
    I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble with your Enclave. I too had an '08 Enclave with about 40,000 miles on it after 4 years. I had ordered it in June '07 and took delivery in September '07. I always had it serviced by a GM dealer and never had a problem with it. So, how does this help you? Check you warranties. Just about all GM products have a 7 year warranty on the drive-train...check if it covers the transmission. Again, you should have purchased an extended GM warranty. If you're having a problem with the current dealer, try another one. The dealer to whom I purchased my Enclave closed shortly after I leased mine. I finally went to a Chevy dealer who gave me excellent service. I guess dealers are like doctors...some good and some bad.
    As I've stated so many times in the past, be very careful when you buy a used car. If you don't know the previous owner, be ever so careful. There are many flood cars out there. Forget what Car-fax or any of these companies say, it's so easy for shady companies to hide the titles by transferring them from state-to-state.
    Oh, and I can't believe that you paid $22,000 for a repaired transmission...did you mean $2,200?
    I'm sure that if there's anything that can get done by GM that "Tricia" at GM Customer Service will advise you.
    Again, sorry to hear of your troubles.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    If you wanted for us to follow up on any of the "cons" you've listed please don't hesitate to contact us at with more details (including your name and contact information, a brief summary of the situation, the last 8 digits of your VIN, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • stagerlistagerli Posts: 1
    Where should i start? Hmm! Took car home and right from the start there were issues. Simple doors were not aligned and seal on door trim wasnt even glued in properly never had a tight seal. That was the first sign this was a poorly built vehicle. Engine light came on within three months, in fact it seems to come on every three months . Coils were replaced. Timing belt was replaced. Then coils replaced again , missing like crazy. Then front end rack and steering pump replaced , in fact they had to do it twice because it was not fixed. Car has not handled the same since . Just recently had three coils replaced again as well as all plugs since car was again running rough. I have had every coil replaced once and a few twice. Check engine light now on again for catalytic converter. Now rear hatch will not stay up and shuts as soon as it hits fully open with some loud noises. Its a shame this is my 6th GM SUV and the first one i have had crazy issues with. I guess i need to stick to foreign cars as i do with my sedans.
  • newtmnewtm Posts: 1
    My daughter and son-in-law purchased a new 2008 Enclave on June 27, 2007. They have had more than normal problems with the vehicle, many that are posted on this forum.

    They are both very busy, and do not have time to pursue trying to obtain restitution from GM. I am retired, and have plenty of time to develop the line of communication necessary to present the request for a policy adjustment (I have obtained three policy adjustments from GM, for problems occurring beyond the warranty period for the vehicle. Two of these PA's were for my Le Sabre, and one was for my Grandson's Malibu.)

    I am preparing to pursue a request to GM, but I noticed on this forum that some posts are answered by GM representatives, and I am wondering if this method was faster, and required less work, on my part. I do not see where the GM representative actually obtained restitution, or if it was obtained what I need to do to start the procedure.

    If I can obtain the desired results please inform me how to start.
  • barnzoboybarnzoboy Posts: 4
    Bought my 2008 Buick Enclave in October of 2011 as a "Certified Pre-Owned" vehicle from a GM dealer. Worked fine for the first year, the length of the CPO warranty. Now my Enclave is experiencing the lemon-like problems described on these boards. I've already gone through the leaky sunroof/moonroof fiasco.

    Now at 64,500 mile, the engine light comes on, along with "check traction control", "check stabilitrak" which are ancillary warnings for timing chain or other cylinder head failure. GM dealer computer warning comes back as "Cam shaft end play" but they can't diagnose anything specific until they tear down the engine at a cost of $1,500. What's been hilarious to me is both the local dealer and the GM rep on the phone are questioning why I haven't changed the oil in 17,000 miles like I'm an idiot. Fact is, I am following the computerized on-board system which tells me when to change the oil and when it says to change it, I get it done. Apparently post-2008 they did a recall on the oil life feedback system, but didn't do that on my 2008 model. I'm debating on whether to get the car fixed or simply park it across from the dealership with the word "LEMON" painted on the side.
  • Check my message 157
  • i11inii11ini Posts: 1
    I have noticed lately that the battery voltmeter on the dash is varying from less than 13 v to about 14.5 v or so. I know they are not calibrated, but I think the charging system should vary over a volt while driving.

    I have a 2008 Buick Enclave CXL FWD and all the options. It has 46,000 miles on it. Seems like it just started doing this recently. I am calling today for a service appointment.

    BTW when the meter shows around 13 v, I measure 12.8 v with a multimeter.

    Anyone else seeing this? This is the only problem I have had with this vehicle.

    Thanks! Joe
  • barnzoboybarnzoboy Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info biggerfoot1, I will try those things first.

    Wondering though if you experienced low engine oil volumes as part of the problem? My dealer said my engine oil was 2 quarts low.
  • doudadouda Posts: 3
    I am sorry to hear about all of your problems with the Enclave but you did save me over $40K by cancelling my Enclave purchase and going with Toyota Highlander instead. The Buick looks nice but these issues and the GM nonesense has cost them my business. Once more, thanks for posting all of these problems online for us perspective buyers. Happy 4th of July!
  • ndn11ndn11 Posts: 1
    edited September 2013
    I purchased my 2010 Buick Enclave at the end of 2010. We have 4 kids and thought that this was a good fit with the bucket seats and 3rd row that seats 3.

    1st thing was the outlets. They did not work. I have had them repaired by the dealer 4 times. I have no idea what the problem is but now we just don't use them. This is not good as we have phones and other "kid" things to charge.

    2nd thing is the Ipod Plug is loose and I have to jiggle the wire to get the sound to come out. I now that soon it will not work also.

    3rd last winter 2012 the water pump had cracked. That was a $800 repair. I was told that the fluid that Buick uses creates cracks.

    4th thing was the engine kept reducing power so I took it in and the gas and brake peddles were sending a signal that something was wrong. This is not a repair item this is a replace the entire peddle system. This was $1200

    5th thing the trunk motor broke. This was very scary as it went up and then would slam down and did not "read" that there was anything or anyone below it. This also caused the back up camera to sometimes work and sometimes not. $60 for motor have not had camera looked at.

    6th thing is the tire sensor is saying it needs replacing. $100

    At this point I feel like we have a lemon. I was so excited that we were not going to have to get a van, or a big gas car but now I want to get rid of this car.
  • I purchased a brand new Buick Enclave in 2008. I have 70,000 miles on the car over the last 5 years. I have had the car at the Buick dealer over 10 times. Prior to 30,000 miles I had 2 ac compressors, 2 rack and pinion steering replacements, transmission work, 4 climate control cover replacements, 1 seat belt cover replacement on the drivers side, window motor replaced on back passenger window.

    Now I am at 70,000 miles and out of warranty. I just had the 2 front struts and mounts replaced, new battery, new water pump (thank goodness that was on a recall, but I did not hear that until I took it to the service department and thought I was out $500), now the kicker...$4000 for new head cylinder.

    My owner opinion of the 2008 Buick Enclave... DO NOT PURCHASE ONE. I have also vowed that I am done with all GM products.
  • I hope you've learned a important lesson: never buy a car on first year release. If you really like it, just lease it.
    I've had 2011 and now 2014 Enclaves and didn't have mechanical problems at all. I loved the quiet cabin & smooth ride, but don't like the gas consumption on Enclave.

  • paulj5paulj5 Posts: 1
    edited August 2014

    My wife and me purchased a 2010 Buick Enclave CXL-2 AWD, 8 pass., on 9-22-09. Now have 49,000 miles on it and just paid it off! Yay. My wife loves this car and after 5 years, she still loves it. It has been fairly trouble free. We received a recall notice some years ago about leaking water pumps and recently the seat belt soldering recall. I took in to the Buick dealer one hour away from us where we had purchased it. The week before I noticed abnormal wear on the right front tire and took it to our local tire shop for a four wheel alignment, which seemed to correct the high speed vibration, but did not cure the "clunking" sound when turning the wheel at low speeds and a seemingly whiny power steering motor. When I arrived at the Buick GMC dealer for the recall fixes, I was informed by the service advisor that the power steering had a leak and most likely the rack was toast; and engine oil leak on the right side of the engine; and the water pump was indeed leaking and would need replacement (under a GM "special coverage" deal).
    I have to say I was a bit stunned by the failed steering rack and leaking engine (Water pump - not so much). Fortunately, my GMPP extended warranty covered the engine oil leak repair and steering rack replacement. My car was down for a week and I had a rental car. The dealer service was great and we have the car back now and the burning water smell and the clunking steering are gone. And the engine oil seep was also corrected. Our GMPP warranty expires 9-22-14 and after reading some of the other horror stories here from other Enclave owners, I wonder if I should purchase for $2600 a GM-approved extended warranty that my dealer is recommending?
    We will have this car for 3-4 more years, as we had my wife's previous car (01 Pontiac Montana)
    for 8 years. Any thoughts? The GMPP extended warranty cannot be extended. I wish it could. We still love the car.

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