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.

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 1 of 5) Seal Of This Might Hurt 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:
95,202 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 1 of 5)

problem #98

Sep 212016


  • 108,039 miles


I have financed this 2008 Buick Enclave, which I got in February 2016. Love the car and all the space it has. That was until today! this week as I was leaving the car wouldn't shift into reverse. Once I got it into neutral I was able to back down the incline from the carport to the street. It did shift into drive, but would only go about 25 mph on a busy highway and stayed in first the whole time. I contacted the local Chevy/GM dealer and he said to bring it in. I couldn't because I was at work. This morning the dealer called again after being asked to by my husband and sent a technician to my home. The tech checked it and wrote some codes down and went back to the dealership. The dealer then called and said if I could get the car to him he would have the tech check the fuses and relays. He checked the codes he had pulled and checked all fuses and relays and said that I needed to contact a transmission shop because the computer was not talking to the transmission. All of this after an almost hour trip to drive 8 miles to the dealership and drive that same 8 miles back home because we kept having to stop on the side of the road and stop the engine and then restart it again on that same busy highway. We had several near misses (people driving the 65 mile speed limit nearly rear ending us). Surely there is something that can be done to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else!

- Kingston, OK, USA

problem #97

Sep 202016


  • 105,000 miles
Waveplate debris in silinoid car jerks from park to drive doesn't shift well at all

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #96

Aug 242016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving 20 mph, the transmission malfunctioned and the check engine indicator illuminated. In addition, the vehicle was stuck at 3,500 rpms and the vehicle smelled of smoke and burnt metal. The contact pulled over to the right shoulder of the road and stopped the vehicle. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and drive away. The vehicle was taken to a dealer to be repaired, but the dealer could not duplicate the failure. A transmission control module was replaced based on the diagnostic test. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #95

Jul 112016


  • 93,600 miles


The Buick dealer is saying the timing chain(s) is slipping and needs replacement and that the heads and or cams may also require replacement. The vehicle went into the shop because the 2nd and 5th gear was not engaging properly, there is hesitation in the transmission/engine. The vehicle has 94,710 miles. The powertrain warranty is 5 years or 100,000 miles. GM issued an extended warranties of 10 years and 120,000 miles for both transmission clutch wave plate (3/5/R) and for timing chain slippage. So they acknowledge they have these problems with the material used and or engines. My concern is that for the timing chain extended warranty GM skipped the Buick Enclave 2008 year model and cover only the 2007 & 2009 year models and they do not want to extend the coverage to cover my timing chain replacement. This is not a normal routine service item per their Buick Enclave user manual. Timing chain should be covered under the powertrain warranty. I should not have to pay for replacing the timing chain on a vehicle with under 100,000 miles because GM used poorly manufactured chains. Usually metal timing chains last well beyond 100,000 miles. I've never replaced a chain on any of my vehicles past or present. This is a known defect with the GM timing chains which should be covered. If the timing chains breaks it will cause tremendous damage and may cause me to get into a catastrophic accident. The diagnostic codes provided by the dealer are as follows: P0011 intake cmp B1 P0391 exhaust cmp B2 P0366 exhaust cmp B1 chains noisy diag doc 08-06-01-011K repair cost range: $2,577 + tax to $5,231 +tax depending on whether heads and or cams require replacement.

- Glen Rock, NJ, USA

problem #94

Jun 042016


  • 77,827 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving 50 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. While at a stop sign, the failure recurred. The vehicle had to be shifted into different gears for the vehicle to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,827.

- Columbia, SC, USA

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problem #93

Feb 222016


  • 148,000 miles
My 2008 Buick Enclave had the transmission go out at at 135,000 as we were traveling home from my parents house and left us stranded about 60 miles from home. After this happened I looked online and seen that this has been a problem for others as well. Now at 148,000 the timing chain is stretched and caused the stabilitrack and traction control warning to come on and off, even though there was nothing wrong with the traction control. This causes the traction control to stop working when it is feburary in Minnesota and still have snow and ice.

- Sartell, MN, USA

problem #92

Feb 292016


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the vehicle would not switch gears beyond the second gear and would not accelerate beyond 30 mph. It was diagnosed that the wave plate inside the transmission had malfunctioned. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #91

Oct 282015


  • 124,276 miles
While traveling on a Florida interstate at express way speeds, the transmission just quit functioning. I had just gone over the top of a bridge, let up on the throttle, than pressed down again to maintain speed. The engine increased RPM's but I continued to slow down. This was with heavy traffic on my side and behind me. When I found room enough to pull over, I had slowed considerably causing traffic to swerve around me and caused panic braking on their part. Buick motor has a notice out saying they will repair at no charge for 10 years, or 120,000 miles. I had 124,276 miles and they have refused to reimburse me. I consider this feature to be a safety issue, as there could have been a very serious accident because I no longer had any control in order to get out of the way. If this were to happen on a multilane express way, and you were in one of the center lanes with heavy traffic, the result could very easily be accident/death. I believe Buick should be forced to recall before serious things happen. They should also be forced to pay for those that have already had the work done.

- Fort Myers Beach, FL, USA

problem #90

Nov 012015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving approximately 75 mph, the idle transmission warning light began to illuminate and the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that a fuel odor emitted from the front end of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the wave plate on the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and remained inoperable. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and stated that the vehicle did not meet warranty requirements; therefore, the repair would not be covered by the manufacturer. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Centerton, AR, USA

problem #89

Jan 062016


  • miles
My car has less than 75K miles on it and been maitained very well! the transmission has gone out and I am being told that it will cost 5K dollars to replace due to a wave plate issue. Whay has this not been addressed with recall? in addition to that the sterring has a terrible sound coming from it and this is not being diagnosed right. All the Buick dealers want to do is charge for a repair instead of really fixing the problem. I would like to know where the transmission comes from so when I have to spend money I do not have on a new transmission I don't have the same issue with shotty crafsmanship! I am not ever buying another Buick. I will also encourange all my freinds to steer clear of them!

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #88

Oct 222015


  • 194,545 miles


The check engine and stability track warning indicators illuminated the vehicle lost acceleration from 50 mph to 10 mph. The vehicle was driven home. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the diagnosis was the throttle body was damaged and needed replacement, the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 194,545.

- Brownsville, TN, USA

problem #87

Feb 252015


  • 86,000 miles
Under 100K miles, transmission went out. Dealership stated, faulty wave washer and snap ring. This caused the vehicle to go into a neutral position at 70 miles/hr. Engine revved. Lost steering and vehicle would not accelerate. Had to coast to the shoulder during heavy traffic. GM stated replacement would cost $4500 for new transmission. Declined GM's estimate and went to a different auto shop and rebuilt the transmission. Mechanics at the transmission shop stated that GM/Buick was well aware of the faulty transmission but they have not recalled these faulty transmissions. Auto shop stated the part to fix the transmission only costs $7. didn't want to get a new GM transmission as it may be just as faulty as the current transmission that had the problem. GM should be held accountable and I expect full reimbursement for the payment and emotional distress this problem has caused me.

- Marblehead, OH, USA

problem #86

Oct 022015


  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle decelerated independently and the check engine light illuminated. In addition, the contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to switch gears. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the wave plate needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 149,000. The VIN was not available.

- Clarkson, KY, USA

problem #85

Sep 292015


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle failed to change gears. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that clutch wave plate needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #84

Aug 012014


  • 78,841 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While attempting to accelerate, the contact heard an abnormal noise coming from the engine compartment. The check engine light illuminated and the vehicle would not accelerate past 10 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the failure was due to a fractured wave plate in the transmission. The transmission was repaired and the failure was remedied. The failure mileage was 78,841.

- Sarsota, FL, USA

problem #83

Jul 232015


  • 140,000 miles
Driving at interstate speeds with cruise control on, set to 80mph. After hitting a ridge at edge at edge of bridge, the vehicle suddenly shuttered causing vehicle to automatically shut off cruise control and decelerate quickly. I went from going 80mph to 55mph in a short amount of time. After touching the gas to try to maintain speeds, car suddenly shifts into a neutral position pushing engine to red-line, then shift into 5th gear roughly. The vehicle from this point on, had issues shifting into 3rd and 5th gears. This car had absolutely no prior issues with the transmission prior to this date. I had the car serviced and completely checked out by a mechanic for any mechanical issues a few days prior to this trip. I took it to the dealer, who fixed two separate transmission plates and replaced the transmission module. I was guaranteed by the repair shop manager that I would have no further issues with the transmission. Little did I know, I should have gotten that conversation in writing. I continued to have hard shifts after the repair, only to be told that's the transmission module sensing how I drove. Less than one week later, transmission completely failed, leaving my wife stranded on the side of the road with the vehicle unable to not shift out of 1st gear, forcing me to call a tow truck to bring it to back to the dealership. Now they are telling me I have to replaced the entire transmission, all at my cost. After paying for the plates and module to be replaced less than a week prior, now they want to again replaced those parts with a completely new transmission. If I were being followed too closely by another car or semi on the interstate, I would have been rear-ended. If that were the case- there wouldn't be a complaint, but a lawsuit. Get this transmission issue fixed. I have read countless stories of the same exact problem.

- Elk Point, SD, USA

problem #82

Apr 242014


  • 163,350 miles
Driving down the road and the vehicle starts revving. Transmissions slips and then hoes out. Vehicle would not move

- Evart, MI, USA

problem #81

Sep 192014


  • miles
2008 Buick Enclave. Consumer writes in regards to reimbursement for vehicle transmission repairs. The consumer stated GM denied her request for financial support. In spetember 2014, the transmission was replaced due to a wave plate defect. The consumer received a letter from GM stating they would offer full reimbursement for vehicles that had the repair if they were less than 10 years old or had less than 120,000 miles at the time of the repair. The consumer was denied, because her vehicle had a 122,000 miles by the time she was able to afford the repair.

- Big Lake, MN, USA

problem #80

Aug 102015


  • 130,000 miles
The transmission suddenly failed. Upon taking this to both a GM dealership as well as a transmission specialist it was identified that an internal clip failed resulting in complete transmission damage. It is my opinion, as well as the opinion of both mechanics, that this transmission should not have failed at such low miles. There are many complaints on the internet regarding this same premature failure.

- Burlington, IA, USA

problem #79

Jun 252015


  • 82,800 miles
While I was driving vehicle it failed to accelerate as necessary between the speeds of 35-50 mph. It has continued to do this.I'm sure it is because of the transmission. The transmission has a humming noise for the 1st, 2nd,3rd gears. It (transmission) also gives a slight jerk when putting in reverse gears. I have canvased a couple of transmission shops for information about problem and have been told that this is a common problem with this vehicle and all the other early models ( GMC-acadia, Saturn-outlook). It has been expressed that the 3-5-rev waveplate and other possibilities of failure. I have less that 84,000 miles on my vehicle and GM has a 5yr/100,000 mile warranty. GM, I am told is well aware of these failures and has repaired them under the original warranty, I am trying to find out if they have extended this warranty outside of the 5 year limit, especially since I have less than 100,000 miles.

- Oxford, MI, USA

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