2008 Buick Enclave drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 2 of 6)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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:
94,803 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Buick Enclave:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

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

problem #78

Jun 192015


  • 102,700 miles
Transmission would not shift above gear 2. dealer agrees this is a wave plate issue. Both of us initially thought this would be covered under: #14404: Special coverage adjustment - transmission clutch wave plate - (Mar 3, 2015) but my VIN isn't covered. Not sure why, and I would like to know why. There are many other 2008 Enclave owners complaining that their vins are not covered either for this issue. www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=26706.160 it looks like #14404 needs to be extended to additional Enclave vins

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #77

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 #76

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 #75

Sep 282014


  • 131,000 miles


Was driving and the vehicle just dropped speed, motor revved. The car continued to lose speed, pulled to the side of the road had to have it towed in to a shop. Mechanic informed me the wave plate was bad and that it was/is a really common problem. Dealership informed me GM knows its bad but no recall. Got a letter in the mail on 4/2/2015 saying they would reimburse me if my mileage was L20000 or less. Nice that they get to choose which ones they fix. Waited till now to report thinking sense so many are bad GM might do something. Hope this problem doesn't hurt anyone.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #74

Mar 032008


  • 70,600 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. The repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,600.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #73

Feb 262015

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Transmission slippage. Expect wave plate or similar issue. Fortunately will be able to drive in for service. Contacted Buick to see if they will assist with repairs as this seems to be a common issue.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #72

Feb 192015


  • 87,000 miles
I was driving 70 mph on I-77 when the car suddenly jerked, felt like a drop, and the check engine light went on. I was able to pull off the road and for the next 4-5 miles my car would not get out of first gear. I had to leave it in a parking lot and tow it.

- Copley, OH, USA

problem #71

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 #70

Jan 152012


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle jerked without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #69

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 #68

Dec 192014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 63,100 miles
While braking aggressively during heavy rain, rainwater poured from the passenger side headliner onto the dash. Rainwater has been leaking into the car for the past several weeks. This issue was apparently repaired three (3) prior times in 2008, but has recurred. General Motors has only offered me one free hour of diagnosis time. This is a major safety issue regarding driver visibility, distracting the driver and could effect multiple electrical systems in the vehicles dash due to the introduction of rainwater. The second issue is the vehicle's transmission is failing. Transmission loses power while shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, then abruptly jerks into gear. The car has less than 64,000 miles.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #67

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 #66

Sep 222014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • miles
The engine light came on... (4) recalls for other malfunctions..., the current re-call - 10/2014 on side air bags, that was taken care of. The engine light continued to stay on...the dealership found the problem... the gas tank...a brand new gas tank was needed. How can that be, the car is ( 6 ) years - six. The mileage ( 64,000 ).. record shows consistent car services, good care from the initial purchase. The dealership states the cost would be $505. "the car could at any time stop receiving gas into the tank!!!.... the car at any time, could just stop!!!, due to a defected gas tank; assembled at a GM plant, 2008 to me, this is their/ GM responsibility. This is definitely a **safety road issue, not caused by me.... they did some sort of test; automobile was not even at the service area, when the so-called test was administered; it was then declared that the charge is mind.... I spoke to a gmbuick rep, in detroit. Mi., he sent me to dealership, dealership determines who pays. GM transfers its responsibility to a dealership... please advise.... GM lacks the ability to interact with customer; no options, no customer service, no consideration, no satisfaction was given, especially; no manners... dealership did not make the car; nor equipment...please.

- College Park, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?