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Transmission Failure

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Buick dealer.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
82,609 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (12 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
  3. replace (4 reports)
  4. repair to transmission (3 reports)
  5. replace wave plate and fluid pump (1 reports)
  6. sell car - lemon since i bought (1 reports)
2008 Buick Enclave transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Feb 262014

Enclave CXL 3.6L Vd Dohc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


After doing some research on this Wave Plate and transmission failure in my 2008 Enclave. I found that LOTS of people have had the same problem. If that is the case then why did I have to pay to get it fixed. GM NEEDS TO RECALL!!! I will NOT buy another GM product again.

I loved my Enclave up until now, despite all the other recalls and the problems I have had with the service department getting things fixed. QUIT BEING LAZY GM and BUILD QUALITY CARS! Really considering contacting a lawyer and starting a class action suit to have GM pay for this. It may have only cost me $1700 to fix (that was because we were able to convince the dealership to pay for half) It was $1700 that I didn't have to spend on fixing something that was obviously faultily made and needs to be fixed by the car manufacturer.

We have been long time GM owners, my husband owns a GM truck and has had it for years. It has over 100,000 miles on it and still going strong. But not anymore, when the truck is done, we are done.

- , Wagoner, OK, USA

problem #27

Feb 032014

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

After having the transmission rebuilt for an out of pocket cost of $3800 almost a year ago, it has failed again. Fortunately this time it was covered under the repair warranty from the dealer (1 year or 12000 miles). The car would shudder around 30, 40, 50 miles as the transmission would change gears.

- , Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #26

Feb 282013

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

3 weeks after the Power Train Warranty expired the transmission went out on our Enclave. GM agreed to cover parts on the repair (after I complained extensively to my Buick dealer). The dealer then proceeded to REBUILD the transmission instead of replacing it with a new one ($3800 out of my pocket for labor charges).

- , Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #25

Mar 182013

Enclave CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,442 miles


Bought this car used at 38000 miles. One year later I went out of town with my two young daughters. The car started acting up on the return trip and I barely made it back home. The following day I was able to drive to the dealership at 20 mph because the car would not leave first gear nor would it go in reverse. Seems at 56442 miles the transmission was caput. Wave plate was damaged and repairs had to be done to transmission.

I was unhappy as the car was now out of warranty, but dealer said he would make it good. Still charged me labor and get this, a $583.94 warranty deductible? Total charge was $851.49 for a car that was just over 50000 miles. GM knows about this problem by the way. Looks like I paid for it nonetheless.

Strike 3 against my Enclave.

- , Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #24

Jun 142013

Enclave EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

On vacation again. This time in Myrtle Beach SC. Transmission just quit. Had to be hauled 60 miles to Florence SC. Family had to take a $70 taxi cab ride. I had to drive 60 miles to go pick them up and bring them home. Had to go back the next Friday to pick car up and pay $3300 to have it fixed just so I could give the thing away at a Toyota dealership. Had local dealer perform maintenance the week before so I wouldn't worry about family leaving without me. Assured me it was fine. No problems.

Probably last Government Motors vehicle I'll own.

- , Lancaster, SC, USA

problem #23

Mar 252014

Enclave LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

GM is ripping off their customers. I had the wave plate fixed in 2012 after it broke. Now the damn thing needs two TFP switches and the control module replaced. They should fix all transmission issues free of charge. I drove my Camry past 200000 miles and not one single transmission issue. GM you owe me and I have one day to decide whether to fix it first or try and sell it as is.

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #22

Mar 102014

Enclave CX 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,300 miles


This is my wifes Enclave and we have owned it for three to four years and have had nothing but problems. First the damn airbag sensor won't stop going off, everytime someone in the passenger seat moves. The sensor holder was recalled but the sensor itself was not therefore in order to fix it that cost would be $800 dollars. The waterpump has gone out of it and the steering column has gone out of it. We have spent thousands to fix these items. Last week we payed this POS off and now the transmission just went out. We did buy a warranty but of course it expired two months ago so we are screwed! It will be going to the shop early next week so we will find out then what that cost will be, but I'm sure it will be thousands! I am a die hard gm fan as I own three of them currently and have owned over 15 of them through the years. This will be the last one I own. They all seem to be made out of inferior products and GM don't stand behind their products. The public has started calling them Government Motors after their bailout and I think they got some of their management from our failing govt. since they are sinking!

- , Reed City, MI, USA

problem #21

Dec 232013

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

My wife was on her way to work and the vehicle started lurching and acting like the clutch wouldn't fully engage. We had to have it towed to the dealer who indicated that it was a bad Wave Plate and they would replace it for $2400. We Purchased the car new 6 years earlier so we missed the warranty by 1 year. Though we don't really drive the car that much so the mileage was only 75k out of the 100k warranty if we had been within the 5 year limit. There's no way that this should have failed and I have noticed a lot of posts that this is a common problem with this transmission that was installed in several GM models. This should have been a recall.

Since it wasn't covered under warranty I ended up taking it instead to another garage that specializes in transmission repair (Express Transmission) after the dealer charged me $90 to tell me it was the wave plate. They started by replacing a couple of sensors and test drove it. It didn't help and they lost reverse while on the test drive. Ended up rebuilding the entire transmission that included replacing the bad wave plate for about $400 less than what the dealer was going to charge just to replace the one part.

- , Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #20

Dec 302013

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

We purchased this vehicle in June of 2013, it was in "perfect" condition, or so we thought..1 week after getting it home here are a list of things we encountered: 1.The DVD System in the backseat doesn't work 2. Leaking roof (i had a swimming pool in the front seat, after forking out $500 to get it "fix" it i take it home) 3. Bad tires ($1,300 later new tires were on) 4. IT rains again....I have an even BIGGER POOL in my seat and my passenger seat and above the passenger seat (that is another $250) 5. Traction control lights and alarms are going off while driving along with the stabilitrak light and alarm 6. Brakes are going bad (that's another $150) 7. A few months go by, and she purrs like a kitten..than BAM the traction control and stabilitrak lights go crazy again 8. While breaking the truck jumps 9. When accelerating the truck jumps and sounds like a wind up toy starting :-/ not cute! 10. Just recently (past 3 days) when "accelerating" the truck doesn't want to go anywhere unless you slam your foot all the way down on the gas pedal and it will throw you back in your seat and go...

Needless to say, I will NEVER buy another BUICK product again, and when you call GM's customer service, they told us, EXACT WORDS: "Well, that's what you get when you purchase a used vehicle."

- , Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #19

Dec 282013

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,662 miles

My son was stranded on the side of a busy road at a curve (with 3 others in the car) when the transmission went out on my 2008 Buick Enclave. Everything died - he had no lights, it wouldn't shift gears, and it wouldn't move. We had to have a deputy sheriff come out to direct traffic and keep everyone safe. Then, we had to have the car towed (at our expense). The car only has 76,662 miles on it, but the 5 year warranty had expired. After much research on the internet, I found out that the number 1 complaint on the 2008 Buick Enclave was the transmission. Why hasn't a recall been done on the transmission of this car, if they know that is the main problem?

I assure you, this has not been the only problem we have had. It seems they recall minor stuff, but not anything major. I have complained to Buick Dealership and Corporation with nothing being done. I have also complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

- , Tifton, GA, USA

problem #18

Oct 012013

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


GM mechanic says transmission was low 5 quarts fluid! No signs of leakage under car or in my garage for 5 years. I was just out of warranty by time, 5 years 9 months. My theory is that I bought vehicle with the towing package which includes the trans cooler and it was never filled completely to account for the cooler. I would be interested to know if the other owners with trans failure also had trans cooler! I see complaints all over the internet.

- , Monticello, IN, USA

problem #17

Aug 092013

Enclave CX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Come on. Seriously? Car is just over 5 years old, only 45K miles on it, lightly driven by wife & babied. Looks brand new. I guess don't judge a book by a cover though. The Transmission Just went out.

Spoke to GM Customer Service and got the District Manager who lightly negotiated to reduce my total cost that I had to pay. I have 4 phone calls into the DM as 5 days later I have another major problem with car & still have not received a phone call back. Utter failure. This car has been a nightmare from day 1.

No wonder GM had to be bailed out. They make crappy products & then when the problem continually occurs they just hope to brush it under the rug. Look up how many people have had early transmission issues with the Buick. Way too many. Stand behind your product GM.

- , Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #16

Jun 042013

Enclave CLX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Transmission began whining. Soon after it began driving poorly, poor acceleration, halting, jerking while at stop lights. Dealership replaced the transmission out of warranty. Ouch!

- , Lake Jackson, Texas, USA

problem #15

Sep 272013

Enclave 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,200 miles

I purchased a 2008 Buick Enclave in February 2011. I fell in love with this car until I had to paid 4300.00 in repairs in 2 years. First new tires, no problem that a wear and tear item but then I was told I needed 4 new rotors and brakes 1200.00. Next the exhaust needed replaced 1100.00. 2 months after replacing the exhaust then my A/C coil went out in the middle of a heat wave costing me 1100.00. On my way to work on top of a mountain the transmission decides to go out with NO warning at all. Now you can add another 4200.00 to the already expenses from this vehicle. I only had this vehicle for 2 years 5 months. This is the worst car I ever owned in my life. But I see I'm not the only one to have problems with this car.

Everyone here is some advice Stay Away From Buick Enclave unless you want to be in the repair shop all the time.

- , Dornsife, PA, USA

problem #14

Oct 012013

Enclave CXL 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Seems I have the classic hot transmission problem with erratic shifting if at all.

Dealer says the fluid was 4 quarts low and no sign of any leaks. I did have the towing package. I wonder if it was ever full with the extra cooling !

- , Monticello, IN, USA

problem #13

Sep 192013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,565 miles

Driving with children in the car. Car stopped accelerating as transmission slipping and could not move out of gear. Diagnosis is that the wave plate and speed sensor were defective. Died in the middle of the road, thankfully we weren't on the highway. Purchased brand new. For all new Buick owners, get your transmission fully serviced and checked out BEFORE YOUR GM WARRANTY EXPIRES AND GET THE DEALER'S SERVICE PEOPLE TO WARRANTY THAT WORK BEFORE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU. Contacted GM Canada and the "customer service" associate said that the dealer was giving me a "deal" by repairing it for half the price ($1,800 taxes in) because the transmission needed to be dropped. GM Canada offered absolutely nothing. First and LAST GM vehicle.

- , Oakville, ON, canada

problem #12

Nov 062012

Enclave LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

I purchased the Buick Enclave because it was a buick. Had 74,000 miles on it when i bought believing it was all good. Still supposedly had up to 100,000 mile warranty. Didn't think about the 5yr side of the warranty. Still i was very close to that time frame. I took the car in after several weeks of issues. Dealer said this was a common problem with Buick and so did my local mechanic. I should have been aware or told this but wasn't. Now i am out $3500 bucks with no help from Buick. This isn't fair, in my business i could never get away with it. I feel since the mileage is under a 100,000 and Buick was aware of the problem i should be able to get some help. If anyone knows how or what i should do please let me know. 3,500 is a huge hit for me.

- , Tuttle, OK, USA

problem #11

Apr 102013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

3rd time to have transmission issues with our Enclave. Now we're past the powertrain warranty so I guess we'll find out how much this will cost us. I knew we should have went with the Kia.

- , Farmington, Minnesota, USA

problem #10

Apr 152013

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

This vehicle is the most disappointing one I have EVER owned! I had been driving Japanese vehicles for years and made the decision to try the GM Buick Enclave in 2008. The transmission has always been a nightmare - it never knows what gear it wants to be in and the responsiveness is zero! When the car was new, less than 5000 miles, it was recalled for transmission problems. I took it to the dealership and when it was returned I could see or feel no difference. I complained again and was told that's just the nature of this particular transmission and no more can be done. I've had overheating problems, Navigation/DVD problems, sensor problems and now.....................a $3800.00 transmission problem! I've spent over $7500.00 in the past 90 days on repairs - so typical: Everything starts breaking and failing about the same minute the warranty expires. I will do anything to get rid of this lemon money-sucking SUV as soon as I'm able. GM knows there are big problems with this vehicle and they don't seem to care that they are profiting from all the repairs and headache, inconvenience and extreme out of pocket expenses to the consumer. In a word, the 2008 Buick Enclave SUCKS!

- , Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #9

May 012013

Enclave CXL Vvt V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,720 miles

NOT IMPRESSED !!!!! GM/BUICK HAVE TO MAN UP !!! My fault for not reading up before i bought this piece of S*%T of a product that Buick calls "a great family SUV" GM says "could be a $2,000-$4,000 fix and you are on your own no help from us" they say W H A T T H E H E L L !!!!!!!!!! NEVER BUYING A GM PRODUCT EVER LOST ALL CONFIDENCE IN THEM!!! 60% OF 2008 BUICK ENCLAVES HAVE TRANNY PROBLEMS AND SORRY TO BAD ATTITUDE FROM BUICK GM DOESN'T WANT TO RE CALL IT WAY TO GO GM HERE IS ANOTHER BAD MARK ON YOUR BACK

- , Hamilton, ONT, canada

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