2008 Buick Enclave drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 5 of 6)

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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

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jan 012008

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


TL-the contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact state that the vehicle experienced several failures the transmission gear could not be shifted out of first gear, the engine compression failed, the suspension sway bar failed, the traction control failed, and the rear lift gate opened on its own. The dealer replaced the transmission and all other parts that failed however the failures were not corrected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000 and the current mileage was 117,000.

- La Grange, OH, USA

problem #24

Jan 282014


  • 65,360 miles
I just had my transmission repaired, cost me my savings, and a known issue with many owners. Now the power steering is caput. Have to waist my precious time and money on taking the car to the shop again. There is already a class action law suite for this exact issue. Shame on GMC for producing such poor quality car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #23

Dec 232013


  • 76,662 miles
As we were driving around a dark curve on a well traveled country road, the car quit pulling, the battery died, and the car would not shift. We were unable to move the car and were in the dark. There were two adults and two children in the car at the time. We had to call a wrecker to pick up the car and a deputy sheriff to direct traffic and keep from being hit by oncoming traffic. Apparently, the shifter broke and the transmission died. Both had to be replaced. I found out later that the transmission is the #1 complaint on this particular car. Why has a recall not been done" do lives have to be lost before something is done??"

- Tifton, GA, USA

problem #22

Dec 172013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles


Was driving down highway and vehicle started to hesitate and couldn't do anything with it..had to call two truck and tow it to capital Buick..was told transmission went out and had to replace it..

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #21

Jan 092014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 89,958 miles
I started from park and shifted to drive. As soon as I gently stepped on the gas to accelerate there was a jolt and loud noise. It shifted rough basically. The check engine light came on immediately. I stopped and looked under the car and hood for any signs of damage or leaking fluid and found none. I then decided to stop at the first auto part store I found to get the code read for the warning light. The codes read P0717, P0716, P0700, P0756. The tech told me that this indicated one of three problems all dealing with the transmission. So I decided to drive home and figure out what to do. As I started to drive it failed to shift from first gear. So I ended up driving slow due to the car being in first gear. Then suddenly the car acted as if it was in neutral, not allowing me to go forward or reverse. So I coasted to a stop and had the vehicle get pushed the remaining block. The shop tells me that it is some kind of wave plate and requires a new transmission at close to an estimated $5000. I just bought this car because I recently had a baby and have another child. I work for the military and can't afford this kind of repair 8 months after I had purchased it. Since this problem I have done some research and there are hundreds of people with the same problem. Which leads me to my question, when is enough" how many does it take to have a recall" my family are now down to one vehicle until I can figure out a way to pay for this repair.

- Moncks Corner, SC, USA

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problem #20

Dec 302013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
While driving down the freeway at 70 mph the vehicle kicked out of gear. Engine was still running. Pulled to shoulder of freeway and coasted. Once the vehicle slowed to approximately 50 mph it engaged back into gear. Was able to drive between 55 and 60 at about 3000 RPM but transmission would not shift to higher or lower gears. Took freeway exit and came to stop. Upon turning onto adjacent road the vehicle only used 2 gears to reach a speed of 55 mph, shifting from a low gear to a high gear at 4000 RPM.

- Corvallis, OR, USA

problem #19

Dec 202013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


I was driving home from work and slowed down to avoid an accident in front of me. When I accelerated, the car would not go faster than 40 mph. I pulled over to check vehicle and everything seemed fine. I restarted car and could not go faster than 20 mph. I went to local GM dealer and was told the transmission had failed. Reverse, 3rd and 5th gears were gone. I limped the vehicle home and am now looking at $3-5000 worth of repairs on a high end, well maintained vehicle with only 112,000 miles. I am very upset with customer service at General Motors and with the quality of this overpriced lemon!

- Mattoon, WI, USA

problem #18

Dec 122013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the service engine warning light illuminated. In addition, the vehicle would not respond to acceleration attempts and then stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed as the transmission needing to be replaced. No repairs were performed. The manufacturer was notified but no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 74,000. Updated 02/11/14

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #17

Nov 152013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 82,040 miles
While driving with my daughter, and dogs from the vet; the car began to slow down and eventually stop. I tried to restart and vehicle turn on lights, ac, radio came on however would not crank. Pedestrians pushed me out of harms way and into a parking lot. Towed to dealer immediately without inspection they said it is engine failure and I would be responsible for over 7000 worth of damage. The car had a full warranty and extended warranty which just recently ended. I am still making payments and had the vehicle less than 1 year.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #16

Nov 022013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 74,704 miles
Transmission failed while driving. Driving home, stopped at a red light, when the light turned green the car wouldn't move. Engine was on and would rev, transmission was in drive, but car didn't go. Turned off car for a couple minutes, turned back on, car started. Tried to drive home, but at about 20 mph all power to the wheels failed and we coasted to a stop. Car had to be towed to dealer, $5000 repair bill, 10 months out of warranty. The worst part was that there was no warning about the failure. It was going fine, and then suddenly we had no power to the wheels. Fortunately we were going slowly and no one was injured, but if this happened at freeway speeds it could be a major accident. In doing some searching, it seems that many people are having the exact same issue in cars built around 2H 2007. Buick needs to address this before someone is injured or killed.

- Woodinville, WA, USA

problem #15

Nov 012011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


This car has a whinning noise coming from the steering column that gets louder the more drive it. I have contacted the Buick care dept and they indicated it is a known problem but they will not fix it. They had me take my car to the Buick place where I purchased the vehicle and they come up with about $1900 to fix this and say that it is a known problem with the Buick steering that some housing is too close to the steering column and it creates the noise and steering problems and that Buick and everyone else is aware of it and that they should issue a recall but do not. In addition I have engine stalling problems where there is lack of power upon sudden acceleration. This happens frequently.

- Fort White, FL, USA

problem #14

Oct 082013


  • 66,359 miles
After stopping at a stop sign my vehicle would not move... I shifted into neutral then back to drive and it went forward very slowly, then nothing. I coasted off the road (at a very busy intersection) and fortunately 2 policemen stopped to help me. They looked under the hood and could smell something burning. They called the Buick dealer for a tow and when I went into the dealer they said they 'thought' it was probably the transmission, but wouldn't know the problem until the trans. Was dropped. Also that the warranty had expired in July! I was told, two days and $3100 later it was a wave plate problem. After searching online I found that this seems to be fairly common for this vehicle and other GM products. I bought this Enclave used in Jan./2010 with 41,000. Miles. It supposedly had rave reviews, and now has terrible ones. That says a lot. No one should have to replace a transmission after 5 yrs., or 66,000 miles, especially in a high end model vehicle that costs this much!

- St. John, IN, USA

problem #13

Sep 242013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Transmission failure. No reverse or 2nd gear. GM did not pay for the costly repair even though it is a known problem with several tsb.

- Neosho, MO, USA

problem #12

Sep 052013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 60,531 miles
After driving the car and parking, next day noticed leakage in carport under car. After a day or two noticed a bigger spot under car, checked spot out it looks like transmission fluid on the carport surface and on the underside of vehicle.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 162013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 45,697 miles
Broken 3-5-R wave plate in transmission.

- Hubertus, WI, USA

problem #10

Aug 082013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My two children and I were traveling on a highly elevated ramp between major highways in san antonio (281 and 1604) when my car no longer would move into a higher gear and suddenly stalled at its current speed. The engine roared, but the car would not go faster. The traffic behind me almost hit me, as I unexpectedly was not increasing speed as one would typically do entering a highway. It was extremely frightening to all three of us (especially my 9 year old) and required our exiting the highway immediately. The problem continued, and we immediately took the car into the dealership service center. The technician was able to determine the problem quickly, because it has been a frequent repair. The "wave plate" failure led to the failed transmission with additional engine problems. The bill exceeds $6000. Both the near accident and cost have been highly stressful. We want GM to address this "wave plate /transmission" issue before more people almost get hurt. The forums for GM vehicles containing this part have dozens of complaints already.

- Bulverde, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 282013


  • 64,000 miles
We brought this car from landers Ford collierville in 19apr13 and I have had to get the brakes redone, and a valve with the air conditioner fixed. But we went to sunrise GMC on 28jun13 and they advised us that we need a brand new transmission in the car due to a crack in some part of the transmission. I haven't had the car that long and now it needs a new transmission. Landers Ford knew that car had transmission problems. GMC advised us that this is a problem that happens in the Buick Enclaves and the arcadias. So if you know that this car had these problems, then why haven't a recalled been done on the cars. We did research this past week and everyone complains about the transmission. We also called GMC and they advised me that since I brought the car from a Ford dealership and not GMC that they can not replace the transmission. But they can give us 70/30 we pay 70 percent of the repairs which I can not afford. They advised us that the car came off the line in 2007 and that is why the car is 10 months out of warranty.

- Memphis , TN, USA

problem #8

May 042013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 57,900 miles
We were driving and the transmission disengaged and the car would not move forward with power when the gas was pressed. We coasted to a stop and were nearly rear ended. We had the car towed to the dealer and were told the transmission needed to be replaced.

- Harleysville, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 222013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 54,236 miles
My 2008 Buick Enclave only has 54000 miles on it and the transmission had to be replaced. The rpms would race up but the car would not move. The air conditioner also quit working at 39,000 miles but I waited until this breakdown to fix it because it was the beginning of the cool season. The high pressure line to the condenser and evaporator had to be replaced.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #6

Mar 042013


  • 100,000 miles
As I begin to accelerate the RPM's would go to 4 but my speed would only be 25mph. This has happened several times. When I pull over, turn the car off, start it again, then it runs like it should. I contacted the dealer and they said I needed a new transmission which will cost $4000. I have researched this problem and it seems that many people have had this problem but so far no recall. I have read that a part in the transmission is not properly hear treated which is the cause of the transmission problems.

- Fairview , TN, USA

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