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:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,867 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Nov 212016


  • 38,000 miles


Transmission going out

- Waller, TX, USA

problem #43

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 #42

Feb 012014


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving 50 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle lost power. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the timing chain needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #41

Oct 012015


  • miles


I bought this 2008 Buick Enclave a year and a half ago with less than 80,000 miles on it, and it's been giving me transmission problems already. I almost got stranded and couldn't go aby faster than 30 mph. It almost cut off on me in the middle of the road. My transmission and engine both would lose power and wouldn't go past first geat. Myrpm hand went all the way up to 4 which it normally stays between 1 and 2, and my gas hand went from full, to half, full, and almost empty in a few seconds. Engine rides rough and has to take off speed. Transmission and engine problems were advised by Buick as being a known issue but apparently they haven't stayed true to their name "Buick." This is a safety hazard as I could've gotten easily hit with no take off speed as it barely moves. It has happened 5 times with these same issues but dealership kept saying that no codes would pop up to see what's the issue until a week ago, it did it again for about 5th time and I took it to the dealership who advised all kinds of codes were popping up with my engine and transmission. Also the writing on my control buttons have worn off and my front suspension needs replaced and my driver seat tracks which are not covered under my warranty. Buick nerds to hold true to their name and compensate or replace these detected 2008 Buick Enclaves. Buick is not holding true to their name. I'm very dissatisfied and is my first time being a Buick owner. Now the dealership is trying to fix these issues, bit I shouldn't have to pay anything.

- Heath Springs, SC, USA

problem #40

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 #39

Nov 302015


  • 10,161 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated continuously. While driving, the vehicle stalled and the engine reduce warning error illuminated. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V118000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,161.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #38

Dec 232015


  • 78,000 miles


P0011 P0016 P0017 are showing as faults, all crankshaft and cam shaft sensors replaced, dealership says needs $5000 repair for stretched timing chain. Car runs fine, no slack in timing chain we cannot get a passed inspection due to faulty codes. 78,000 miles on vehicle. This is common problem and GM needs to address.

- Celina, TX, USA

problem #37

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 #36

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 #35

Apr 302015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the contact noticed a burning odor coming from the air vents in the vehicle. The contact pulled over and upon further inspection, noticed that the front of the vehicle caught fire. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #34

May 052015


  • 119,852 miles


I have an 08' Enclave and I live in Wisconsin, today I started my vehicle and proceeded to drive and about 2-3 minutes into the ride, the vehicle rapidly began to slow down and the vehicle began to jerk. The check engine light and the stability-track light both came on during the jerking and slowing down of my vehicle. The dic strolls the following message "reduce engine power and service engine." I drove my vehicle all the way home and the entire time I was unable to drive no more than 20 miles per hour even though my foot was completely down on the gas pedal. This is my only transportation and im hoping that there is a recall for this issue because I googled the problems with my vehicle and apparently im not the only one with this problem.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #33

Feb 162015


  • 65,985 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving at approximately 45 mph, the vehicle made a loud bumping noise that ceased as the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, where it was diagnosed that the engine blowing connector rod and the engine block fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,985.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #32

Apr 102015


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While driving 50 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate over 40 mph and the rpms increased. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 124,000.

- Darby, PA, USA

problem #31

Mar 012015


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the transmission automatically shifted from third to fifth gear. The contact also stated the vehicle accelerated and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the snap ring and pan within the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 97,000.

- Marblehead , OH, USA

problem #30

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

problem #29

Jul 082009

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
The vehicle repeatedly stalls at random times. This includes at high speed, in the middle of the eisenhower tunnel on I-70, to driving down the street. Repeated visits to the dealership reveal no "codes" so it continues to be ignored. My wife will not drive it anymore so I do. The dealership says "trade it in" but we feel like we would be passing a coffin onto another family. My family has been killed nearly twice from stalling in tunnel and high traffic.

- Edwards, CO, USA

problem #28

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 #27

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 #26

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 #25

Nov 122014


  • 67,615 miles
At approximately 67,000 miles, the rpms in my 2008 Buick Enclave started going wacky and I could not accelerate when I pressed the gas pedal. It felt like transmission problems, so I took my Enclave to the dealership immediately. Turned out the 35R wave plate was broken -- debris throughout transmission -- and $2700 later they returned my Enclave to me with a repaired/rebuilt transmission. I was extremely fortunate I was not rear-ended when my car lost all power as I had to literally limp my Enclave into the dealership. After researching this, I found that this transmission issue is extremely widespread among owners of the 2008 Buick Enclave, but neither NHTSA nor GM is moving on investigating and solving this problem. All parties seem to be kicking the can down the road until someone gets seriously injured and then maybe something will happen. Issue a recall now before it is too late !!!

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

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