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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
80,610 miles
Total Complaints:
53 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (26 reports)
  2. not sure (12 reports)
  3. replace (5 reports)
  4. repair to transmission (4 reports)
  5. replace wave plate and fluid pump (3 reports)
  6. rebuilt transmission (2 reports)
2008 Buick Enclave transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #53

Dec 032014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,993 miles


Same as other folks. Took into dealer complaining of transmission slips, could not find an issue related to it. Did find something else wrong with brakes to the tune off $800. Two days later, transmission failed, now they say I need a new one.

- , St. Augustine, FL, USA

problem #52

Oct 172014

Enclave XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,350 miles

2 weeks ago at 73,350 miles, got off highway onto back streets. Started shifting funny. RPM flaring up before shifting, slight "bump" at low speed shift. In reverse, surging and clunking. Had it towed to dealer in Deleay Beach FL. Told me nothing wrong with transmission, you need a right front axle and 2 motor mounts. $1500 later get the car back, still doesn't seem right. Some surging in reverse first couple of days but no clunking, just some slight RPM flaring (maybe my imagination he thought).

Now at 73,575 miles, get off the highway last Sunday and wham, RPM's go nuts. Get to house, put in reverse and sure enough, nothing... already knew this was a symptom from research. Get it towed to dealer again, Dealer called and said $4800 for new GM cert transmission. I already started a case with GM Customer Care when I first took it in in anticipation of getting run around. Dealer says if he calls CC they will want to rebuild instead of installing GM cert'd re-manufactured. Well, call them because I am surely not going to tell you "oh then go ahead and put in the cert'd tranny and I'll pay for it"

I can't believe they begged us to bail them out and we did... and now what do we get POS designs and astronomical cost of ownership... as this is just the latest in a series of problems the car has had...Think of all the money they must be making on (just) out-of-warranty work. I too had a Toyota to 180k miles and only a few minor issues. OK, enough ranting for now...

- , Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #51

Oct 162014

Enclave CX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles

I purchased this nightmare from a local dealer in Calgary Alberta at 120,000 km. Not even 5000 km later the frigging transmission went on it. I phoned the dealer about the problem and because I never purchased an "extended warranty" on it.... ( they never offered this in the first place) I was told I was SOL. So after fighting and arguing with the dealer they offered to pay for half the expenses, shoving a "normally we don't do this" S%&* in my face. I'm still out the other $2000, have no vehicle indefinitely with four children, and am now worried about whether or not this thing will fall apart after they "fix" it.

I had brought it in to a friend's transmission shop after lagging it to work with a check engine light and found 8 transmission failure codes on it. My friend had explained to me that the fluid was black, and this happens over time, NOT a couple of months. I've had the PCV breather dripping oil into the intake hose onto the air filter. The muffler is falling apart and leaking in three different places. Surprise, surprise ! that's a dealer only part that costs 1200$. The AC makes this hissing noise that they won't deal with either! My family and I have all driven Hondas ... what a stupid mistake to give this crap a chance.

I can honestly say, this kind of customer care and quality control is despicable on GM's part. Re-call your garbage and pay back your consumers what you robbed from them! After all, they're the ones who kept you alive on your verge of bankruptcy!

- , Calgary, AB, canada

problem #50

Sep 272014

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Almost $50000 vehicle with 65000 miles and an almost $5000 repair bill. All GM can say is sorry, not under warranty. Known problem, many complaints. Sorry, not under warranty. Came from GM family, always owned GM. Never again. This vehicle has been the biggest pile of junk. Yet nothing is ever under warranty. New GM same as old. Do not care about customer, just the almighty $$$$$$$$

- , Temperance, MI, USA

problem #49

Oct 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

The transmission wave plate is shot and the vehicle is stuck in 2nd gear - great. When we pulled over - coincidentally RIGHT by a transmission repair joint (NOT GM certified though)- he stated 'oh, known problem with the 08/09 Buick Enclaves and GM has no recall on them.' Soooooo $4000 plus labor and waiting 7-10 days for the repair = not a happy person. For the cost of the vehicle and less than 100,000 miles....GM needs to do something!

- , Jackson, WI, USA

problem #48

Sep 232014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

The timing chain of this vehicle began to slip at 85,000 miles. This caused the vehicle to drive erratically when the chain slipped. At the same time, the 3rd gear wave plate in the transmission failed causing the car to shift poorly when accelerating. When changing lanes on 9/23/14, the car would not accelerate and to avoid hitting another car I had to steer off the road and I hit a street sign (no damage).

This car also experienced the other issues common to this model....Steering rack and power steering failure.

- , Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #47

Sep 212014

Enclave CX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


We bought this car when we were expecting our 3rd child. It seemed like a great car except for the annoying whining sound in the power steering. We were on vacation with our 3 small children, 4 hours away from home, IN THE MOUNTAINS, when the transmission went out. It nearly caused us to have a severe accident while coming down the mountain. Luckily, we broke down in front of a hotel and was able to get if off the road so we could check into a room. After doing some research, I found the infamous "wave plate issue". Since we were 4 hours away from home, we ended up having to stay a couple of extra days, until someone from home with a trailer could bring us a rental car and haul our broken down Buick home. Needless to say, that ended up being one expensive weekend getaway! After taking the car to our local dealer and having them to connect it to the computer for a diagnosis, we found out the wave plate was the exact problem. I was given the choice of replacing the transmission for $3,700, or rebuilding it for $200 less. We are in the process of trying to trade it in now, because I am no longer willing to let my wife & kids drive in this death trap! GM needs to address this problem and correct it asap. We are lucky we did not end up in a crash, but it could easily happen to someone else!

- , Metter, GA, USA

problem #46

Sep 222014

Enclave LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Second transmission failure for 2008 Buick Enclave. The first one died at 55,000 miles. Now at 130,000 here we go again. Expensive repair for an expensive vehicle.

- , Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #45

Jun 102014

Enclave CXL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,651 miles

Just your standard wave plate issue here...car worked perfectly for the first 7 months we owned it. Then on Memorial day coming back from a family vacation I went to accelerate and the engine rev'd but nothing happened. Wouldn't go over 25 mph or go into reverse. Luckily we were less than 5 miles from home. Limped back to the garage and started searching the internet for transmission issues. Discovered the infamous--and well-documented--wave plate issue. Based on research in other forums I decided that repair wasn't the best option and went instead for a re-manufactured GM transmission that came with a 3-yr, 100,000 mile warranty. Now I'm having issues with the front steering bearings and the engine always seems to be lagging. I'm selling this crappy thing before the engine dies on me.

- , Springville, UT, USA

problem #44

Aug 042014

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

Transmission failure at 48K is never heard of. I love Buick but this time i am rethinking and unhappy about this.. the dealership had not been supportive in handling my situation and would not pay for rental or loan a car, so i called up Buick and they spoke to the dealership and now they ask me to come down and talk to them and are willing to see if they can reimburse me for the past week as well for future rental till my vehicle is repaired. I was saved by the extended warranty as the basic has already expired.

- , Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #43

Mar 122013

Enclave ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


It's sad how much I paid for this vehicle and all these things go wrong!! I had the transmission replaced once and I'm not paying again!!! Get a recall.

- , Proctorville, Ohio, USA

problem #42

May 092014

Enclave CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles

I am so upset, I was driving home from work and just as I make it to my garage the car will not accelerate into the garage. Thankfully I was home but it is still very upsetting nevertheless. I turn it off and turn it back on and it drives into the garage. I have it towed to the dealer the next day and I am told it is an issue with the transmission and it is going to cost $625 just to take it out and figure what the problem is.

When I think back and after reading some of the complaints on this site I was having trouble a while ago with the jerking when the car was started but stopped. Just my luck my warranty is over and there definitely needs to be a recall. GM fix your vehicles, no one wants to go through car troubles, it already cost a lot to maintain and run a car, problems are the last thing consumers need to deal with.

- , Frisco, TX, USA

problem #41

May 122014

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

Car wouldn't go out of first gear, had transmission flushed, it went for 1 day and they said it was transmission which would cost about $3600/$4000. I came online to see if anyone else or recall and I found this site with all the same problems.

I emailed Buick because I cannot afford car note and a $4000 repair bill and asked why has this car not been recalled with transmission and water leaks? They said it's not on recall list. I told them I know this, I want to know why? They don't have that information. So why call me with it's not on recall list? I asked where do I call or email? They don't have that information.

So I guess I'm going to have a repossession on my credit report. They can come get it. Will not buy another Buick or GM.

- , Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #40

May 212014

Enclave V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

i was driving in a school zone 30km/h and when i got out all of a sudden my RPM goes up but no power to the vehicle as i pushed the gas. I pull over get out the car nothing seems to be wrong, Then my check engine light comes on as i put my car in reverse it doesn't go i put it in drive it doesn't go over 30km if i was on the highway or something along those lines this could of been very dangerous. I am told that i have to get the transmission replaced and this could cost roughly $5000. This is a manufacture issue and i feel they should cover the cost i never push the car hard only drive to work and back home which is less then a 10 minute drive. Please let me know how i can get a reimbursement. Would GM even help me? I read that they reimbursed a few people and other people have no luck.. which isn't really fair at all.

- , Surrey, B.C, canada

problem #39

Jun 242014

Enclave CXL 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,200 miles

The reverse brake plate went out on my transmission june 24th, 2014. I have 104,200 miles on it. I am amazed that I made it that many miles after talking to the mechanic at the transmission shop. He had 3 other vehicles in his shop with that same transmission. I have always bought GM products but have come to realize that quality is a big issue with this company!! I will be taking my business else where.

- , Eaton Rapids, MI, USA

problem #38

Jun 252014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Just bought the vehicle, felt ripped off after buying the vehicle. Dealer lied about malfunctions with the car. Then the car stopped on the highway. Could not get it to move, had my children in the back and we were on a two lane highway. Luckily it started back up enough to get it off the highway. Now the dealer says they won't cover the cost because it does not involve the warranty.

- , Colby, Kansas, USA

problem #37

Jun 232014

Enclave CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I've had most every problem that I have seen listed for this model year with the transmission being the worst (so far) - but I'm not going to give it any more chances: we are getting rid of this car. Been to dealer about a dozen times: water pump, leaking sunroof, AC issues, loose dash trim, rear window defroster or similar recall, navigation issues with DVD (no inexpensive upgrades).

These were rushed out to sell without regard to the public. It was all about saving Government Motors. I helped to bail out GM and this is how they treat their customers. All I can do is to never buy another GM product and discourage anyone else from doing so.

- , Tyler, TX, USA

problem #36

May 152013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The transmission failed when it was 10,000 miles under and 2 months over its warranty. I yelled at GM and it cost me $500 for the $3,800 repair. The problem was the wave plate. It would not go into reverse and would not shift above second gear. The same thing happened a year later and they said it was something else wrong with the transmission and it is not covered under the original repair.

This 2008 Enclave transmission is terrible on the highway and around town. It shifts gears more frequently than other cars.

The power steering is also a problem. It always has a whining sound to it. Repairs have been done a few times.

- , Amherst, NH, USA

problem #35

Jun 242014

Enclave CX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,100 miles

I purchased my Enclave in 2010 with approx 40k miles. The car has been serviced regularly and has been running as intended with the exception of the known issue of the steering wheel humming noise when turning.

I tried to accelerate after stopping at a red light and the rpms went extremely high and the car was barely moving. Luckily the situation I was in allowed me to pulled right into a residential neighborhood. AAA towed the car to the Buick dealership service center in Irvine, Ca. Fladeboe GMC Buick Service on Auto Center Drive. Diagnostic results show wave plate TCM, and the service consultant advised that I need a new transmission. My warranty ran out the end of 2012, but I didn't expect to be replacing a transmission at 80,001 miles! They gave me the cost which included $120/ hr labor.

I was reviewing the web during the waiting period and found many complaints for this same issue for the 08 Enclave. I explained to the consultant what I found and he indicated he sees it a lot, but there is no help he can give. I authorized the work and advised I would be calling GM. He advised against calling and says you will get nowhere. I called GM later and they will talk with service center and said there was a 75% probability that I could get 30% off my bill. They returned my call today and said they could only get the labor charge down to $100 Per hr. $240 savings, a whooping .07% off I believe.

I'm so frustrated right now! But luckily, I'm able to finance the cost. A bill like this on my income is a real hurt piece, but I need my car. I see GM on the news constantly these days with recalls and believe this issue should be considered. Is there anyone else I can talk to about moving this along? This is my first time blogging like this, but I needed somewhere to vent, and this worked fairly well. Thanks for reading... Don

- , Dana Point, CA, USA

problem #34

Jul 012014

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I wish I had read these reviews before I just recently purchased my 2008 Enclave in May of 2014!!!!! I bought it used at 81000 miles, thinking because it was GMC/Buick made it would be a good car....was I wrong!!! It rode good the first 3-4 weeks, I even drove it out of town. On that second month, (the present) is when the problems started, I noticed that when I accelerated it would do a shaking number, like between 25-30 MPH and then it started getting worse, every time I came to a stop and started again, the shaking would get worse! Took it back to the place where I purchased it 3 times to tell them about the problem, they of course didn't feel or notice anything! So it kept doing it so finally I took it to a GMC/BUICK dealership, they diagnosed as a needing a new transmission and all brakes, pads, rotors were shot!! How could this be and I just purchased the car? There is no way I am driving that hard on this car to where the transmission is gone and the brakes are shot! This is my first time with a Buick, GMC or whatever it is, I should have stuck with my Toyota made vehicles!!! I had no problems out of those, I had my Camry 2002 for 9 years 151,000 miles and the transmission never went out!!! American made cars suck and now I'm stuck with this one! UGHHHH! I will never ever get another one! I agree with all of you, if this is a persistent problem with this make and model car, GM needs to either do a recall or pay to get them fixed! This is terrible!

- , Louisville, KY, USA

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