Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Buying the first model year of any vehicle is rarely a good idea. You become a guinea pig for the automaker and they are really not nice to guinea pigs.

The 2008 Enclave has a wide enough range of problems to issue a warning. There's transmission failure under 90k miles, new power steering units costing over $1,300, and enough engine complaints to NHTSA to scare anyone away.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,018 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.

2008 Buick Enclave drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Buick Enclave:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #75

Sep 282014


  • 131,000 miles


Was driving and the vehicle just dropped speed, motor revved. The car continued to lose speed, pulled to the side of the road had to have it towed in to a shop. Mechanic informed me the wave plate was bad and that it was/is a really common problem. Dealership informed me GM knows its bad but no recall. Got a letter in the mail on 4/2/2015 saying they would reimburse me if my mileage was L20000 or less. Nice that they get to choose which ones they fix. Waited till now to report thinking sense so many are bad GM might do something. Hope this problem doesn't hurt anyone.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #74

Mar 032008


  • 70,600 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. The repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,600.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #73

Feb 262015

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Transmission slippage. Expect wave plate or similar issue. Fortunately will be able to drive in for service. Contacted Buick to see if they will assist with repairs as this seems to be a common issue.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #72

Feb 192015


  • 87,000 miles


I was driving 70 mph on I-77 when the car suddenly jerked, felt like a drop, and the check engine light went on. I was able to pull off the road and for the next 4-5 miles my car would not get out of first gear. I had to leave it in a parking lot and tow it.

- Copley, OH, USA

problem #71

Jan 102015


  • 95,000 miles
The wave plates broke while driving 60mph on the hwy. Car jolted and clunked...felt as if we went from 5th to 1st gear. Took vehicle to dealership and found it was the wave plates. Talked to GM - GM district manager [xxx] admitted that GM had an issue with certain models with the wave plates due to them not being heat treated properly. Got this all on recording too. Could have caused a nasty accident. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #70

Jan 152012


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle jerked without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #69

Jan 082015


  • 111,802 miles


Throttle body was full of ice build up, needed to replace valve covers and throttle body to fix prob.

- Bourbonnais, IL, USA

problem #68

Dec 192014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 63,100 miles
While braking aggressively during heavy rain, rainwater poured from the passenger side headliner onto the dash. Rainwater has been leaking into the car for the past several weeks. This issue was apparently repaired three (3) prior times in 2008, but has recurred. General Motors has only offered me one free hour of diagnosis time. This is a major safety issue regarding driver visibility, distracting the driver and could effect multiple electrical systems in the vehicles dash due to the introduction of rainwater. The second issue is the vehicle's transmission is failing. Transmission loses power while shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, then abruptly jerks into gear. The car has less than 64,000 miles.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #67

Dec 262014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Friday Dec 26th at 4:30 pm I was accelerating to merge into rush hour traffic on I-35 when I had a catastrophic transmission failure. There were no alarms, lights, noises, smells or anything else to alert me to the fact that my vehicle was about to fail. As I merged my RPM's suddenly went past 5000 and my 2008 Enclave began to decelerate. By the grace of god there was no loss of life, mine or the other drivers around me, as my vehicle lost power. I was surprised to learn that the situation described above is not an isolated event. Like so many others before me my vehicle (at 80,000 miles) was diagnosed with wave plate failure (P0776). I have called GM and requested that they pay for the repair since it's due to a faulty part, but their response is to deny, deny, deny. The manager I spoke to stated that there hasn't been a recall so GM is not obligated to do anything about the problem. The most distressing part of this situation is not the $3500 I'll be paying after GM's "assistance". it is the fact that I was never notified of the high failure rate of the GM wave plate. I should have been given a chance to fix it before I was put in such a dangerous situation. This transmission problem is like a ticking time bomb. Thankfully, the "bomb" going off in my Enclave didn't result in any casualties, but is that what it's going to take to get a recall? I hope that NHTSA does something about this issue before someone is killed.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #66

Sep 222014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • miles
The engine light came on... (4) recalls for other malfunctions..., the current re-call - 10/2014 on side air bags, that was taken care of. The engine light continued to stay on...the dealership found the problem... the gas tank...a brand new gas tank was needed. How can that be, the car is ( 6 ) years - six. The mileage ( 64,000 ).. record shows consistent car services, good care from the initial purchase. The dealership states the cost would be $505. "the car could at any time stop receiving gas into the tank!!!.... the car at any time, could just stop!!!, due to a defected gas tank; assembled at a GM plant, 2008 to me, this is their/ GM responsibility. This is definitely a **safety road issue, not caused by me.... they did some sort of test; automobile was not even at the service area, when the so-called test was administered; it was then declared that the charge is mind.... I spoke to a gmbuick rep, in detroit. Mi., he sent me to dealership, dealership determines who pays. GM transfers its responsibility to a dealership... please advise.... GM lacks the ability to interact with customer; no options, no customer service, no consideration, no satisfaction was given, especially; no manners... dealership did not make the car; nor equipment...please.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #65

Dec 262014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Driving on the highway RPM's were going up but car was hardly moving. We could have been hit! after checking on-line this seems to be a problem for the 2008 Enclave. Why has there not been a recall? I believe no-one wants to take responsibility for such a costly problem but someone is going to get hurt.....we were on the highway. I will not stop here....I am hoping someone will actually read and respond to me.

- Claremore, OK, USA

problem #64

Sep 072014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
While on the highway on a trip, the transmission of my 2008 Buick Enclave started skipping/shifting roughly when accelerating/upshifting. Soon the transmission would not go faster than 30 miles an hour and seemed stuck in 2nd gear. I exited the highway as soon as I was able to. By then, it could not go on reverse either. At the repair shop, the transmission was disassembled, with a broken wave plate replaced and complete overhaul. A very scary experience! please help look into this safety hazard. Your help is so very much appreciated.

- Glendale, WI, USA

problem #63

Sep 302014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 74,074 miles
The car started to have trouble shifting into gears, especially overdrive. Then it wouldn't go into reverse. The 3-5 reverse waved plate broken, replaced 3-5 reverse housing, replace 3-5R piston and dam assembly, replace all seals and gaskets, replace front cover piston spring assembly, and transmission fluid filter.......$3,173 later I was out the door not happy. I was out of town on vacation at the time! my car only had 74,074 miles on it.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #62

Dec 142014


  • 124,000 miles
Check engine/emissions control light came on as we were driving. Stopped about a half hour later to put gas in, as we were stopped at a stop light the car didn't want to go (no power, no shift). As we were leaving the station, the car would not go. It would not shift into 3rd year, rpms were at 4000 at only 40mph. Drove home and later drove it to the mechanic. Drove fine then, but the RPM gauge was fluctuating. Mechanic read the codes as 716 and 717. Took it to a transmission specialist and it did the same thing, wouldn't shift. Trans mechanic states its the clutch wave plate that probably broke and magnetic pieces attached to the sensor causing it to go into a limp mode. Approximate cost to replace the $20 part (wave plate) will be in the upper $2000! ridiculous. I'm losing my faith in GM vehicles. Per a web search, this is a common problem with Enclave, acadia, outlook and traverse. Something needs to be done about this!

- North Mankato, MN, USA

problem #61

Dec 082014


  • 72,500 miles
During acceleration on a busy highway, car lurched and lost power. Evasive action was taken to avoid collision with big rig trucks hauling large hay loads. Check engine light came on.told by shop the vehicle needed a new transmission. Gear 3,5 and reverse were affected by automatic transmission clutch failure. Vehicle only had 72500 miles on it. Have several other owners who stated their transmissions in like vehicles also failed well short of 100,000 miles. Danger to driver and passengers due to sudden lurch and loss of power.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #60

Nov 132014

Enclave 4WD 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
When accelerating I was just coasting. I put it in park and then back in drive and went about a block then lost acceleration again. I had the car towed to the dealership. I was told the 3-5 clutch failed. Some metal pieces in the transmission come loose. When the car cools down they settle and the gear may work. As it warms up they get in the way again and the gears stick. I was told I needed a new transmission or a rebuilt one. I was told they would be putting in another 2008 transmission but that the part that failed had been corrected. I asked them to contact GM to see if they would cover the cost but they would only cover half of the cost. I am thankful for that but I feel this should not have happened to a 2008 car with 96,000 miles on it. I had been on the expressway the day prior to this happening and the very next time I drove the car this happened. It could have resulted in an accident. So I was without my car for eight days.

- Williamsburg, MI, USA

problem #59

Mar 102014


  • 67,500 miles
Purchased vehicle end of Feb 2014. Problems started right away. 3-13-14 replaced front struts, complained about trans shifts and heater motor working part time. Dealer said they could not duplicate. 4-8-14 replaced blower motor and pigtail. 6-5-14 replaced ac evaporator old one was shot. 7-5-14 replaced transmission, & water pump, & steering gear pinion shaft seal. Now we currently have clear coat pealing and water coming in on the drivers side floor.

- Arlington, OH, USA

problem #58

Nov 042014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Car was not accelerating properly at low speeds and the transmission seemed to be slipping when depressing the accelerator to accelerate at highway speeds. We took it to the dealer and they mentioned that 3-5-R clutch had failed. The car only has about 85000 miles. We feel this is a safety issue based on research that indicates there is an unusually high number of failures of this part, which can cause sudden decelerations, not enough power to accelerate, or failure of the transmission to engage when in "park" causing cars to roll. (our car had issues with acceleration.) we feel lucky we did not have a major incident. GM has not acknowledged they have a wider problem and so far has refused to cover the total cost of repair.

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #57

Oct 292014


  • 138,000 miles
While driving the vehicle, the vehicle started to shake and then lost the ability to move. Check engine lights came on. Vehicle engine would run but vehicle would not move. Entire transmission had to be replaced.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #56

Aug 162014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 114,267 miles
My family and I were on our way back to Wisconsin from a trip to Florida on Saturday, August 16, 2014. My husband had exited the interstate and was pulling into a parking space at a fast food restaurant. The space was on a slight incline. As he pulled into the space, the Enclave started to roll backward. I checked the position of the gearshift thinking that he had accidentally shifted into neutral but found that the vehicle was still in drive. The engine revved when he pressed the accelerator but the car continued to roll backward. The only gear the would work was park. We had the vehicle towed to the local Buick GMC Cadillac dealer. On Monday, August 18, a service technician called to let us know that the 35R wave plate had failed and the 35R housing was also damaged and that metal debris had been found throughout the unit. The repair took about two days and cost $3589.49. Thankfully we were not on the interstate when the failure occurred. Had we remained on the interstate another mile and suddenly not been able to keep the vehicle moving forward while the traffic around us moved at expressway speeds, we could have had a serious accident that resulted in terrible injury or fatality. I wrote a letter to Buick requesting reimbursement of cost of the refund and expense we incurred due to having to wait to have the vehicle repaired. I also requested that they issue a recall for the wave plate failure due to the severe danger that the failure creates. Finally, I mentioned information I found on the internet stating that this failure is common on the Enclave and its sister vehicles. They refused to reimburse me since there was no recall on the vehicle. They also said that the NHTSA, not GM, issues recalls and gave me the phone number to contact the NHTSA to file a complaint.

- Sturtevant, WI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?