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:
95,207 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

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

May 092014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 1,039,000 miles


We were driving our Enclave on the highway (route 1 near stafford, va) when it felt like it was suddenly not shifting gears correctly and quickly thereafter lost power beyond 30 miles per hour. We drove into a parking lot. We called the nearest Buick dealership/repair shop (route 1 Buick in woodbridge, va) and told them of issue. They said it sounds like transmission and the wave plate is a "known Enclave problem." They said to have it towed to them and they may be able to assist us with cost as it's close to within powertrain warranty. We had it towed to route 1 Buick. They diagnosed and found all transmission and wave plate codes. They said it was a "known problem" and so they called Buick GM service manager. Route 1 Buick called us back to say GM would not assist us as we were outside warranty by 3,000 miles and had no previous issues with transmission (I have found several other transmission and power loss complaints I and the previous owners made on this exact vehicle in my research into this...I have kept all records!). route 1 said that our cost would start at $3,800 with no guarantee they wouldn't find other issues needing to be addressed. The said lucky for us, our vehicle had an open recall on a side air bag issue they could fix. As we realized we must pay out-of-pocket and couldn't afford $3,800, we paid them the $120 for diagnosis and towed it (at our expense) to dun-rite transmission in fredericksburg, va. Dun-rite found it had a broken wave plate. They rebuilt transmission for $2,800. Unfortunately, the stabilitrak, traction control, and air bag sensors are all also going off and car has had 2 other instances of losing power when driving since. We purchased the certified GM car Nov 2012. My car payment is $462. Per mo. Since that time we have spent an additional $6,095 on repairs and maintenance. Our average monthly expenses are therefore $801. Help us!

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #42

Jun 242014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 80,001 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed the wave plate needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 80,001. The consumer stated the power steering went out. The vehicle was almost impossible to turn. The vehicle was towed the dealer. An inspection revealed the power steering rack was leaking from both sides, and the pump seized. Also, the dealer replaced the water pump, because it was leaking. Updated 08/06/14 updated 08/11/14

- Dana Point , CA, USA

problem #41

Jun 232014


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was not to diagnose a failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and no repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure and current mileage was 73,000.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #40

Jun 072014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 78,680 miles


We lost our transmission entering onto a busy interstate! no indicator lights ever came on until it happened. We are not in the habit of beating our vehicles. We are a retired. This I feel is a defect in something. There were many cars coming behind us on the ramp. It was a 2 lane ramp that went to one lane. I got into the right lane when I noticed the problem that the car was jerking and would go intermittently. I sayed right until I could get to a pull over area. Full lines of traffic behind us were having to slow down which it looked pretty scarey when I looked in the rear view mirror. My husband and I feel that the way we drive should not make us lose a transmission. Also, when we purchased the vehicle we took it in for a steering squeek, loud, and were told nothing was wrong. It still squeeks and worse. We are having that looked at now, again! we do not trust the warning lights on this vehicle. We purchased it new.

- Galena, MO, USA

problem #39

Jun 072014


  • 81,700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While turning the vehicle at approximately 15 mph, the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and the trouble code detected internal transmission failure. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 81,700.

- Freeport, TX, USA

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problem #38

May 072014


  • 93,980 miles
About 3 weeks prior I noticed very subtle clunk when changing gears. Than out of no were the car started slipping gears at around 40mph. The engine would rev high RPM but it wouldn't kick into 5th gear. Only did the it once. Within 1 day it slipped every time 5th gear was engaging, within 2 day of that 3rd gear was slipping every time. Brought it to aamco and was informed of a R/3/5 wave plate clutch disc tsb with this model transmission. Transmission needs a rebuilt to the tune of $2000-2500. Pathetic that a $45K vehicle cant even make to 100K miles. Who says china makes all the crap? GM must employee the chinese.

- Lehigh Acres , FL, USA

problem #37

Apr 162014


  • 73,200 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate as the check engine warning light illuminated. On another occasion, the contact stated that the vehicle failed to operate in reverse. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 73,200 and the current mileage was 73,800.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #36

Apr 062013


  • 102,000 miles
My wife and I, with our 2 kids were driving on the highway and the transmission just stopped working. We were stranded on the highway for hours and wound up having to replace the transmission. My wife was driving. Good thing there wasnt a lot of traffic on the highway. That was last year. Now this whinning noise thats been going on for a while has gotten louder and louder. I looked up online and there are hundreds if not thousands of complaints on this issue with the rack and pinnion. This should be a recall.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #35

May 092014


  • 111,000 miles
Transmission has become defective on the vehicle, not sure of the extent because it is currently in the shop. Stopped accelerating the cost so far to fix is $625 and that is just to have it taken out and looked at but I am sure it will increase once they find out that the problem is the same issue as a lot of other 2008 Buick Enclave owners have had. This is a manufacturer issue and needs to have a recall, why should the consumer have to pay for a crappy GM product.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #34

Apr 182014


  • 110,607 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph, the vehicle jerked and failed to accelerate past 15 mph. The contact also stated that the engine light illuminated then the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic who stated that the tranmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 110,607.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #33

Apr 282014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact restarted the engine but the transmission would not operate in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the transmission was faulty. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 73,000. Updated 06/24/14 the consumer stated the check engine light did illuminate. The vehicle would not exceed 40 mph. The engine shakes along with making noise. The dealer advised the transmission wave plate failed. Updated 06/24/2014 the diagnosis was internal damage to the transmission. Updated 04/09/15.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #32

Apr 282014


  • 73,200 miles
Have an 2008 Enclave at 73, 300 miles and suddenly it feels like the transmission is stalling or sticking. Won't reverse and the transmission engine light is on. The engineer was shaking and noise.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #31

Feb 012014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Driving through intersection roughly 35mph, transmission stalled and vehicle quit moving. Luckily all other vehicles stopped and no crash occurred. Vehicle had all seven seats full with passengers, 2 adults and 5 children. Vehicle had to pushed out of the way to side of road. Passengers (adults, children and babies) were stranded in snowy weather and had to be picked up by another vehicle. Vehicle has 78,000miles on it with no previous issues with transmission. Was told by mechanic that its the 35R wave clutch plate. There is a service bulletin on this vehicle and other models like it such as the acadia. Cost will be upwards of $3500 to replace and the vehicle barely has any miles on it! why has this problem not be taken care of...."??" it is a huge safety issue. Could have easily caused an accident and killed all seven passengers had we have gotten side swiped! this is a large SUV multi passenger vehicle...not a two seat car!!

- Beaufort, MO, USA

problem #30

Jan 242013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Transmission failed 3 weeks out of powertrain warranty and required a rebuild then failed again about a year later. Steering pump and cooling motor failed during warranty period and were replaced and then both failed 18 months later (out of warranty) stabilitrac and check engine lights keep turning on after the dealer has repaired it 3 times (turns on about 30 minutes away from dealer each time). NHTSA really needs to take action against Buick and GM regarding the 2008 Enclave, it is a lemon and people are being ripped off over it and put at serious risk because of its' short comings.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #29

Mar 122014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked with the engine turned off. A four-year old child was in the vehicle and haphazardly moved the vehicle out of park. The vehicle then rolled away and crashed into a fence from the drover's side area. The child did not sustain any injuries. A police report was not filed. The dealer inspected the vehicle and was unable to duplicate the failure. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #28

Jan 292014


  • 64,838 miles
Car lost all forward motion with no warning. Diagnosis: Transmission gone. I was on a narrow 2 lane roadway and was stuck on a curve. A sitting duck. I was able to pull over to side a bit but still in harms way. No indication of any kind that there was a problem prior to incident. 12 hours prior at 11 pm at night, I was traveling in the tunnel under boston. Thank god it didn't go then. The car was 9 months out of dealer 5 year / $100,000 warranty. Also had to repair steer gear bushings for $350 (which I see on this site has been a problem for many others). These seem to be defective parts, that put me in danger.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #27

Feb 032014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The power steering lines as well as the transmission cooler lines have defective crimps where the rubber portion of the hose mates with the metal portion. This causes leaking power steering and transmission fluid that could potentially leak onto hot exhaust and start a fire. Or these lines could burst and cause rapid loss of fluid causing vehicle control issues.

- Boscobel, WI, USA

problem #26

Mar 032014


  • 69,000 miles
While accelerating from a stop through an intersection, the transmission failed and the vehicle coasted to a stop blocking traffic. After turning the key off and then starting the car, my wife was able to get the car to move at a crawl 15ft at a time. After doing this several times she was able to park the car safely off of the road. We had the vehicle towed to the GM dealership and they diagnosed the problem as a R, 3,5 wave plate failure. The dealership has recommended a new transmission at a cost of $4,400. After some research I have found this to be a common problem with the 6T75 transmission across the entire GM line of vehicles manufactured in late 2007. There is a service bulletin (09-07-30-012B) that addresses this, but no recalls yet.

- Cleveland, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 012008

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact state that the vehicle experienced several failures the transmission gear could not be shifted out of first gear, the engine compression failed, the suspension sway bar failed, the traction control failed, and the rear lift gate opened on its own. The dealer replaced the transmission and all other parts that failed however the failures were not corrected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000 and the current mileage was 117,000.

- La Grange, OH, USA

problem #24

Jan 282014


  • 65,360 miles
I just had my transmission repaired, cost me my savings, and a known issue with many owners. Now the power steering is caput. Have to waist my precious time and money on taking the car to the shop again. There is already a class action law suite for this exact issue. Shame on GMC for producing such poor quality car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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