2008 Buick Enclave engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 2 of 3)

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:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,753 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

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 #27

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 #26

Sep 302014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 74,074 miles
The car started to have trouble shifting into gears, especially overdrive. Then it wouldn't go into reverse. The 3-5 reverse waved plate broken, replaced 3-5 reverse housing, replace 3-5R piston and dam assembly, replace all seals and gaskets, replace front cover piston spring assembly, and transmission fluid filter.......$3,173 later I was out the door not happy. I was out of town on vacation at the time! my car only had 74,074 miles on it.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 122014


  • 67,615 miles


At approximately 67,000 miles, the rpms in my 2008 Buick Enclave started going wacky and I could not accelerate when I pressed the gas pedal. It felt like transmission problems, so I took my Enclave to the dealership immediately. Turned out the 35R wave plate was broken -- debris throughout transmission -- and $2700 later they returned my Enclave to me with a repaired/rebuilt transmission. I was extremely fortunate I was not rear-ended when my car lost all power as I had to literally limp my Enclave into the dealership. After researching this, I found that this transmission issue is extremely widespread among owners of the 2008 Buick Enclave, but neither NHTSA nor GM is moving on investigating and solving this problem. All parties seem to be kicking the can down the road until someone gets seriously injured and then maybe something will happen. Issue a recall now before it is too late !!!

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #24

Sep 232014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The timing chain in the engine 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).

- Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #23

Oct 012014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
While driving the vehicle just shuts down. The first time it restarted, but on the second occurrence it would not restart. The vehicle has "stalled out" several times while traveling at rates anywhere from 25 mph to 45 mph. We have had it towed to the shop (including the dealer) 3 times and are told nothing is wrong. But the problem happened again today. I see other people are experiencing the same problem. Although we have avoided it thus far, it is going to cause an accident.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #22

Jun 072014


  • 90,000 miles


Since I bought my truck I heard a weird noise from the steering wheel I thought well maybe because im not used to it because before I was driving an Nissan X-terra 2002. So im a women don't know anything about cars so I said it looks good it was from only one owner before so I think we are good. Plus I thought it's not like I'm paying $5,000 for a truck and it's a Buick it's consider luxury so I didn't think I was making a bad choice. Well the noise it's getting worse I barely made it to my house yesterday because the steering wheel didn't want to work anymore it was raining so hard im 9 months pregnant I made that investment doing a huge sacrifice so me and my child could be protected, feel confident that at the end of the day we are in good hands in that truck. Also when I bought this truck a month later the air bag service light was on I did a research it said that this truck had a recall for that so I took it to the Buick and they fix it. And now the engine light turns on every now and then. I mean I'm doing everything I should for this vehicle I change oil regularly and I pay for the synthetic oil because they said it was better for this type of brand cars that are luxury for our middle class people. And it's not like I travel in that vehicle I only use it to go to work, groceries, family and friends house honestly I don't use it to travel where I live is a small town so it's not like I have this truck all over the place if you see it's like new it's the cxl it has 2 sunroof, leather seats, dvd player I mean im in love with this truck but C'mon that's not safe for me and my baby.

- Brownsville , TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 312014


  • 66,000 miles
After 66,000 miles of easy driving, our 2008 Buick Enclave has a broken wave plate and needs a new transmission! the transmission failure caused two separate dangerous driving situations, one of which could have been fatal. The first event occurred when stopped at an intersection to make a left turn. I had two children in the back seat. When the intersection cleared, I began to make the left turn, but the engine failed to accelerate and merely coasted into the lane of on-coming traffic. The left side of the vehicle and the 7-year-old child sitting there were left exposed to the threat of impact by fast-approaching traffic. After about 2 seconds, the engine accelerated and we were able to leave the intersection moments before on-coming traffic arrived. The second event occurred two days later. Traveling 45-50 mph on a local highway, the engine slipped gears and would not shift out of first gear. The check engine light came on. We returned home at slow speed. In the driveway, we put the car in park, then in drive and reverse. It barely moved in either direction. The next day, we were able to drive it to the nearby dealership. It shifted gears on the way, but the warning light stayed on. The dealership informed us that the wave plate is broken and that the transmission must be replaced. We tried contacting GM customer service but received nothing more than a recorded message asking us to hold on the line. We held for over one hour and received no customer service. A review of many website postings reveals a widespread failure of the Enclave wave plate and transmission, that GM is fully aware of it and has taken no steps to address it or to ensure of the safety of the thousands of Enclave owners and other drivers on the road. Failing any accountability by GM, we insist that NHTSA take action on this widespread safety hazard and issue a recall.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #20

Jun 092014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Transmission, power steering pump, steering gears are gone @ 116,000 miles" one owner Buick Enclave has huge problems - not one lemon - all Enclaves are lemons! where is the recall on these cars" many others have same problem and even more.

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #19

Jul 272014


  • 89,000 miles
Engine lost power...on interstate 90 going 70mph....tried to accelerate and engine revved up but no power to the wheels....I was able to steer the car from the passing lane to right lane then on to shoulder of road and turned off the engine. Prior to this event the vehicle's transmission was shifting a great deal as well....car has been towed to a Buick dealer in rochester, NY awaiting a call....from the internet readings expect the problem to be the wave plate and transmission to the tune of $4000....I plan to escalate this problem to the highest levels at GM as the failure was very scary being on the nys thruway driving at 70mph

- Pittsford, NY, USA

problem #18

Jul 202014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


I was driving at approximately 55 mph when I felt my steering wheel go stiff and my RPM gauge dropped. I tried pulling over but had problems turning the wheel. That is when I realized my Enclave had completely shut off while I was driving. I was able to put it into neutral and hit the brakes to bring the vehicle to a stop where I then restarted it. That was 2 days ago. Today I went to start it for work and for the 3rd time in 2 months it would not start. I have already had the battery as well as the connections checked with no wrong findings. I have only had this car for 4 months! I called the dealership and they said that there is a 'service bulletin' posted in their repair shop because "many people" were experiencing the same problem but it was not a recall.

- North Judson, IN, USA

problem #17

Apr 282014


  • 73,200 miles
Have an 2008 Enclave at 73, 300 miles and suddenly it feels like the transmission is stalling or sticking. Won't reverse and the transmission engine light is on. The engineer was shaking and noise.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Apr 182014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 50,625 miles
My husband, I, and our 3 young children were driving on I-94 at 70mph when our check engine light started flashing, the vehicle immediately starting shaking and riding extremely rough and the engine died. Fortunately we were in the right lane, and there was a wide shoulder for us to pull onto. We had the car towed to a GM dealership, who ran diagnostics and found that there were cylinder misfires on cylinders 1,3 &5. they ran further diagnostics and found that a valve spring broke & dropped into the cylinder. The piston hit the valve, knocked a hole in the piston, and pieces of the valve went through the engine. This vehicle was purchased 5 yrs and 9 months ago (9 months out of the warranty), but only halfway through the 100,000 mile warranty. We were given a GM customer service contact name ([xxx]) and number, but she will neither answer her phone, nor return our numerous messages! we purchased this vehicle brand new and have done all maintenance work on schedule, and have never had a problem with this "luxury" vehicle. We chose this vehicle for all of its safety features, as parents of 3 young children, safety is of our utmost concern. We certainly didn't feel safe 3 hours from home, traveling back from vacation, in the middle of wi completely stranded with a vehicle whose engine died within 5 seconds of the warning lights coming on. As inconvenient as it is that our vehicle is 3 hours from us, we are so thankful this didn't happen in downtown Chicago, where a dead vehicle on I-94 could have easily turned into a fatal collision. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 282014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 69,500 miles
I was driving on a highway the check engine light came on approximately 25 seconds later the engine seized I was able to get to the shoulder of road but experience was life threatening. GM has done nothing to help refuse to pay for anything even though I pay them 1 year ago to solve this problem

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #14

Feb 012014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Driving through intersection roughly 35mph, transmission stalled and vehicle quit moving. Luckily all other vehicles stopped and no crash occurred. Vehicle had all seven seats full with passengers, 2 adults and 5 children. Vehicle had to pushed out of the way to side of road. Passengers (adults, children and babies) were stranded in snowy weather and had to be picked up by another vehicle. Vehicle has 78,000miles on it with no previous issues with transmission. Was told by mechanic that its the 35R wave clutch plate. There is a service bulletin on this vehicle and other models like it such as the acadia. Cost will be upwards of $3500 to replace and the vehicle barely has any miles on it! why has this problem not be taken care of...."??" it is a huge safety issue. Could have easily caused an accident and killed all seven passengers had we have gotten side swiped! this is a large SUV multi passenger vehicle...not a two seat car!!

- Beaufort, MO, USA

problem #13

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 #12

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 #11

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 #10

Nov 162013


  • 82,040 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly lost acceleration power and failed to restart after it was shut down. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 82,040.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #9

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

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