2008 Buick Enclave electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 2 of 3)

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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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,722 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Jul 102008

Enclave 6-cyl

  • miles


I purchased this car on January 20, 2008. I went to get my first oil change, and when I picked up the car and started to drive off every light in the car including the button for the door locks came on. I returned to the to the dealer where I got the oil change and they kept the car for 4 weeks.mind you this was a brand new car, a Buick Enclave, that I purchased out of the stock room on display. I was given a rental car for that period, picked up the car after four weeks, returned back with the same problems and a leak in the roof that I also had to repair. Since that time it has been back and forth to the dealers. I changed dealers and took it to another dealer. They did a good job but time after time I was still having problems. I should not have had the problems after paying $47,000 for this car brand new. I feel I was given a bad deal, and they should have taken this car back because I am having problems to this day. I am smelling smoke like something is burning and I'm afraid to drive this car in fear for my and my daughter's life!! I've had valves changed, cylinder heads changed, seals, gaskets, , bolts, , ignition, coil replacement, ,lift-gate replacement, master cylinder replacement, , replaced steering gear. This car has been nothing but a problem to me. In spite of all this it's a very nice comfortable car, but I got a bad engine, and Buick should have handled this differently instead of fixing it they should have given me a different car. When I park this car in the parking lot and I come back this car front window has no visibility and windows are frosted like something is still running in the car. Since I purchased this car I have been in a rental more than this car. This is a second request was sent old ODI number is 10605243 corrections done.

- West Park, FL, USA

problem #25

May 252011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 38,360 miles
The steering has been an ongoing event since the second year of having the model. I would lose control of the vehicle when turning left. It would have a mind of its own and not turn. I have run off the road and went into several ditches not being able to turn (tech service date 6/20/12 rack and pinion binding causing stiffness in steering--replaced steering gear and flushed system). We almost had a head on collision when I turned it in again with the same issue demanding something be done. (5/10/13 correction-replace leaking steering gear and failed P/S pump, fill system, bleed sys and verify operation). Difficulty steering and loud popping noise while turning left (service date 4/18/14- found internal leak form power steering rack -replaced rack and bleed system and aligned vehicle. Drove out of the the dealership and noticed A/C not working and same noise coming from the front while turning left. Took it back in (5/5/14-found left front axle shaft to be popping needs to replace at owners expense. The dealership had the vehicle for 20+ days and did not fix. Airbag warning light illuminated so I took the vehicle into the dealer (6/29/10--poor connection at sir harness--diagnosed and repaired. Received a recall notice in the mail-took vehicle into the dealer (4/18/14--correction completed). Airbag warning light illuminated again. Took vehicle to the dealership (5/5/14-intermittent short in passenger presence module, checked an rechecked -- corrections needs from passenger presence module at customers expense I was called to picked vehicle up as is after 20+ days. Dealership would not fix.

- Lewisburg, TN, USA

problem #24

Jun 022014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 97,982 miles
A small grommet failed allowing the sunroof drain located inside the roof to drain water to the interior front drivers side. The leak was not easily detected until a moldy smell developed inside the car, humidity issues, and the radio stopped working. The amplifier located near the leak shorted out and failed. (no fire luckily) after $1700 worth of damages and repairs were made by Buick, this design defect was corrected at full cost to the owner. This water leak could have easily caused more problems and possibly even a electrical fire. Other Enclave owners with similar problems should form a class action suit. GM does not take responsibility for this obvious design flaw even though the Buick Enclave forums have numerous similar complaints. GM's response was to offer a $2500 credit on a new vehicle purchase. I certainly have no need to ever purchase another problem.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #23

Dec 022011


  • 51,061 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The instrument panel also failed. Additionally, the vehicle began to lose power and stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle which was taken to an independent mechanic, who advised that the wires under the driver and passenger's seat short circuited and were exposed. The vehicle was repaired but the repairs did not prevent the vehicle from stalling again. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle after the failure. The vehicle was towed to a local dealer, who replaced the wires under the seats. The contact stated that after the second repair, there were still exposed wires protruding from under the driver and passenger's seat and the air bag warning light would illuminate sporadically. The manufacturer was notified of the recurring failure. The approximate failure mileage was 51,061.

- Briar Cliff , NY, USA

problem #22

Dec 182012


  • 30,450 miles
A water leak caused by a backup in the drain tubes of my wife's 2008 Enclave evidently caused an apparent computer system incident whereby I was locked in the vehicle and could not get out. The key was stuck in ignition (and could not be removed) and manual door locks would not unlock vehicle because there was some kind of safety interlock. Evidently there was a short in the electrical system which disabled all methods of exiting or starting vehicle. For some reason the onstar system worked, but onstar had no clue as to how to assist or override the interlock feature. It was winter time, and my wife and our dog were also stranded in very cold weather outside the vehicle. Luckily we were assisted by a stranger that used his jumper cables to get the car started. I am concerned that this could happen if the car were submerged or the computer system was somehow compromised it could cause a similar problem. Filed problem with Buick customer relationship via email but all they wanted to do was to replace the battery. As of this date (4/4/14) we still have the original battery, but they deny any knowledge of the problem. I have emails from Buick and their service request number if you would like to verify my claim. I only recently became aware that I could file a complaint with NHTSA in this manner.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #21

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 #20

Apr 272013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 115,700 miles


An audible "sloshing" sound had been detected for some time but origin/exact location of sound not identified. When parking car after driving in thunderstorm all warning systems lights flashed, radio stopped, and radio and turn signals failed. Car did restart after sitting for brief period of time and systems worked except for xm radio. Took vehicle to Buick dealer who diagnosed problem as leaking windshield, removed and reinserted fuse for xm radio, and referred to company who had replaced windshield several months before. Windshield company determined windshield not leaking, but drained water from motor blower and blew out drainage tubes. One week later, water started to pour on to passenger floor mat. Warning lights for all systems flashed and electrical system shut down and care would not restart for a few minutes (and could not connect to onstar). When car restarted, lights did work, but turn signal indicators inside car did not, nor did speedometer, power windows, passenger airbag, etc. Had to drive 60 miles to dealership without these working. Paid to have "foam seal" replaced to prevent rain from entering car (the presumed source of problem). They also claimed to have drained water from motor blower housing cleared tubing. On the way home from repair, water again poured from area of motor blower onto passenger floor mat, and once again, electrical systems not working. Buick still does not know where water is coming from, [but believes that since electrical systems working fine...after sitting there for 24 hrs...everything is fine. Obviously it is not. I have seen numerous similar complaints online dating as far back as 3 years. I will add that this follows 2 years of dealing with stabilitrak...which is supposed to be a "safety" system but can be life threatening when the car suddenly reduces power in heavy traffic and/or no maintenance lane.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #19

Feb 012012

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Our 2008 Buick Enclave began leaking water onto and under the dashboard from the sunroof. Not only has this been a known problem since 2008, but there was an actual recall that year to fix this leak. For some reason our VIN number was excluded from the original recall but it is experiencing the exact same issues that the recall was to address. This leak can cause several safety issues including corrosion and failure of airbag systems, the fuse panel, the blower motor that operates the defrost/defog function, and a buildup of mold and mildew. The dealer told me that my fuse panel is shot and needs to be replaced. I suspect that I have other damaged electrical components as well. I have attached the url's of several sites which reference the extent to which this problem is occurring with these vehicles. It is obvious that the initial recall did not cover all of the vehicles with the underlying problem and now we are stuck with a dealer quote for $1900 repair that does not include the blower motor and airbags. I would appreciate a prompt response as I can't drive in the rain and am concerned about hidden damage that could affect the car's safety. Thanks. www.youtube.com/watch"V=fnykjlhusxi video of water-damaged damaged blower motor due to this known problem with the leaking sunroofs. www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=3411.0 contains the 2008 Enclave recall notice www.faqs.org/car/Buick-Enclave-2008/visibility/ lists the GM technical bulletins for this Enclave leak issue www.enclaveforum.net/index.php?topic=2039.0 34 pages of posts regarding the leaking sunroof issue townhall-talk.edmunds.com/webx?14@189.V7qqaxgahvh@.F17fc13/53#msg53 several pages of complaints on an edmunds forum www.edmunds.com/search/results.html"Q=Enclave+sunroof+leaks&src=usergen&ac=&X=29&Y=11 etc.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #18

Jul 292012


  • 90,000 miles
Driving the car yesterday and the speakers began to flicker on and off. Suddenly they all went off and seem to no longer work. This seems to also effect my turn signals as no sounds are indicated when they're turned on, which seems to be a safety risk. Looking online, this same issue seems to effect a number of Buick Enclaves. I'd like Buick to fix this issue at their expense asap.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #17

Sep 142011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Blower motor, fan motor for from doesn't work water leak on it, stering weel skeking noise do to driving shaft. Is leaking oil also.

- Grovetown, GA, USA

problem #16

Feb 082011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that the rear camera and sensor failed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the module for the back up camera failed. The dealer called the manufacturer who stated that the part for repair was unavailable and they were unsure of when it would available. The current and failure mileages were 39,000. Updated 04/05/11 the consumer stated the problem has been corrected. Updated 04/25/11

- Boalsburg, PA, USA

problem #15

Sep 302010


  • 63,000 miles
Fixed rear glass skylight on a 2008 Buick Enclave leaked water causing many electronic components to short out and fail.

- Yorktown Heights`, NY, USA

problem #14

Aug 102010


  • 30,052 miles
Just bought my 2008 Buick Enclave used with 30,000mile on it last month. Since that time I have experienced several dead batteries after driving the car most of the day. I had turned off the radio, air conditioning and un plugged any adapter in the outlets as precautions after the first episode but the problem continues. I browsed several forums that suggest this is a wide spread problem with this car as well as the GMC acadia. Someone even said that GMC had a recall for the acadia that solved the problem, curious to know what that was. Very frustrated that my $35,000 car has more problems than my 2003 van did upon selling it!!! anyone know what the end problem was with the acadia was so that I could guide my dealer in resolving the issue.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #13

Aug 122010

(reported on)

Enclave 6-cyl

  • miles
2008 Buick Enclave. Consumer expresses discontent regarding compensation for the loss of a feature on the vehicle that was paid for in the original purchase according to the recall letter, the consumer was to receive a $100 stipend to compensate him for the removal of the heated wiper washer fluid system. However, when he arrived at the dealer, he was informed he had to mail in a form and a copy of the repair order documenting the removal of the feature. The consumer has since traded the vehicle, but still believes he should be compensated since he paid for the feature in the original purchase.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 152010

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 39,002 miles
The contacts owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that he received a recall notice for the heated washer fluid. The contacts primary concern was that the dealer would not repair or replace the parts but they were willing to disconnect it. The dealer advised the contact that they would give him $100 if he did not repair the vehicle. They also stated that they have not been given permission from the manufacturer to repair the part. There have been no repairs to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 39002 and the current mileage was 39040. Updated 10/21/10. Updated 10/26/10

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #11

Aug 042010


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact received notice of NHTSA campaign id number: 10V240000 (electrical system). The recall was for the heated windshield wiper fluid. The contact was dissatisfied that a feature he assumed he would be able to use was being disconnected. The manufacturer was reimbursing the consumers of the vehicles affected by the recall but the contact did not believe the reimbursement to be fair. A failure did not occur. The current mileage was approximately 39,000.

- Fort Collins , CO, USA

problem #10

Apr 142009


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated while driving at speeds of 25 mph, there was an abnormal knocking from the vehicle front end. The dealer replaced the tie rods to correct the failure. On a separate occasion, the power steering and water pump failed and the dealer replaced both components. The contact stated there were several failures in the vehicle including warped rotors and brakes at 22,000 miles and several unknown recall repairs. The contact received notification of NHTSA recall campaign id number: 10V240000 (electrical system) and was not satisfied with the $100 refund offered by the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 22,000 and the current was unknown. Updated 10/27/10.

- Newark, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 242010


  • 3,104 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) 2008 Buick Enclave VIN [xxx] GM case #[xxx] has had electrical failure resulting since October 2008 in total vehicle being inoperable and once began smoking in the right side of fire wall when jump started. Dealer has replaced all wire harnesses, BCM, 2 radio head units/navigation, all light bulbs, check for water intrusion, bpp sensor calibration, lgm bracket, checked for chaffed wire, replace both sun visors. Vehicle was in the shop for 30 days in last 6 weeks and a total of 42 days since vehicle was purchased new with 61 miles on September 2, 2008. The vehicle would not start 45 minutes after being picked up from dealership last Friday, 5-28-10, after being in shop for 2 weeks. Contacted dealers service department at that time. No phone calls from dealership since, I stopped in at dealership on Tuesday, 5-25-10 to ask for another service. Dealer has not picked up vehicle and I spoke with the general manager of the dealership regarding a buy back or trade in this morning. GM customer service offered to pay 2 months car payments, detailing and an oil change at no charge. I told them I wanted this vehicle to be safe for my 22 month old, his friends that ride in this vehicle and my wife. GM told me that they will not consider a replacement vehicle, a GM engineer would not be sent out to make sure this vehicle was fixed properly and this was their final offer. I am concerned the vehicle will catch fire with my family in it. When the car looses power, none of the electronically controlled safety features operate as it is totally without power as if the battery was taken out of the car. This vehicle has been taken to the dealership on a flat bed tow truck on 2 occasions.

- Inwood, WV, USA

problem #8

Jun 082009


  • 9,000 miles
After not driving my 2008 Buick Enclave for 3 days, when I tried to start it the battery was completely dead and I couldn't get the key out of the ignition. I had to have it jump started, after just 9,000 miles on it. Apparently, after doing some quick internet searches, this is a wide-spread problem with the Buick Enclaves.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 162008

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact believed there was a design flaw with the easy exit seat function. When the key is placed in the ignition, both the seat and steering wheel are supposed to move to pre-determined positions, and then move back when the key is removed. The contact stated that the seat and steering wheel did not move back when the key was removed. For months, he attempted to have the dealer repair the vehicle, but his appointments kept getting pushed back. Recently, the dealer stated that the issue could not be repaired because the vehicle was designed in that manner. The manufacturer agreed with the dealer. The current mileage was approximately 6,000 and failure mileage was approximately 500. Updated 04-17-09 the drivers seat would move back when the key was removed from ignition. The steering column would also move up and forward. Updated 04/20/09.

- Hartland, WI, USA

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