2008 Buick Enclave engine NHTSA complaints: Engine And Engine Cooling

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,165 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

problem #12

Mar 222015

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


Was driving on I-35 almost to wichita ks, about 9 miles out, low oil pressure light came on and binging alarm for me to stop engine, had grandkids with me, and it was dark on highway, pulled over and turned off engine, waited for about 10 mins, made it to a hotel in wichita, it was about 1 am Sunday morning. Had a mechanic look at the oil pan and check the oil, said when I get home to have it checked out. Noticed that car began to make a shaking or shutter noise upon acceleration, made it back to home, took car to Buick dealer on 3/26/15 Buick dealer said it might be something in the transmission after they test drove it, quoted me a $4000 repair price, I just paid the $123.12 for the diagnosis, dealer said that if not repaired I might lose my 3rd, or reverse gear. On Friday 4/11/15 I received a letter from GM about a possible broken/cracked wave plate on 2008 Enclave which stated that I might lose my 3rd, 5th or reverse. Since it was the same wording as what the dealer told me, on Saturday 4/12/15 I took my Buick back to the dealer, because of the mileage requirement in the letter, dropped it off 04/15/15 and. On 4/16/15 dealer informs me that this is not my issue, they want to replace my transmission at about $4,000. I am just leary because I received the letter after they had informed me that I might lose my 3rd/reverse gear, but now they telling me that this is not my issue and I will have to pay to have my car fixed. So I have to pay $520 for them looking at my wave plate, and putting my Enclave back together. After seeing so many other Enclave owners on this site, I just decided to add my own so others owners can be informed of the ongoing issue with the 2008 Buick Enclave. I love my car, I want her fixed.

- Raytown , MO, USA

problem #11

Mar 102014


  • 67,500 miles
Purchased vehicle end of Feb 2014. Problems started right away. 3-13-14 replaced front struts, complained about trans shifts and heater motor working part time. Dealer said they could not duplicate. 4-8-14 replaced blower motor and pigtail. 6-5-14 replaced ac evaporator old one was shot. 7-5-14 replaced transmission, & water pump, & steering gear pinion shaft seal. Now we currently have clear coat pealing and water coming in on the drivers side floor.

- Arlington, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 242014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 80,001 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the transmission failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed the wave plate needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 80,001. The consumer stated the power steering went out. The vehicle was almost impossible to turn. The vehicle was towed the dealer. An inspection revealed the power steering rack was leaking from both sides, and the pump seized. Also, the dealer replaced the water pump, because it was leaking. Updated 08/06/14 updated 08/11/14

- Dana Point , CA, USA

problem #9

May 052014


  • 70,000 miles


Air conditioning is leaking due to power steering hose collar rubbing and vibrating. Several problems with this car since purchase including rebuilt transmission, etc. Design flaw and lemon.

- Somerset, PA, USA

problem #8

Feb 032014

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The power steering lines as well as the transmission cooler lines have defective crimps where the rubber portion of the hose mates with the metal portion. This causes leaking power steering and transmission fluid that could potentially leak onto hot exhaust and start a fire. Or these lines could burst and cause rapid loss of fluid causing vehicle control issues.

- Boscobel, WI, USA

problem #7

Oct 262010

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 20,140 miles
The first problem that occurred was the engine overheated and the water pump had to be replaced. Car was only 3 years old with 20,140 miles on it. Since then the main problems have been with the sunroof leaking. This caused the blower motor to fail. The water leaks have happened at least 4 times. The drains keep clogging. There is no fix for this according to the dealer. Not acceptable! they told me not to park under trees. Are you kidding me? I've had sunroofs before and never had a problem. The recall for the drain extensions did nothing. Eventually there will be other problems. Who knows what else is getting wet where I can't see it. Mold is inevitable. I have 3 kids and this is ridiculous. I didn't spend all this money for a piece of junk! I will never buy GM again if they don't do something.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 292011


  • 50,000 miles


Faulty intake gasket on all GM vehicle.(coolant can mix with oil or run out).

- New Brunswick, 00, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Feb 082009


  • 12,000 miles
We own a 2008 Buick Enclave that has failed to start three times in the last 4 days. Took it to the dealership and they said no problem with the battery. My wife drives this car with our two your children and we can't afford for them to continue to be stranded. Dealer said they fixed issue with software update. Apparently not as it would not start again tonight.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #3

Feb 042009


  • 28,000 miles
I drove my 2008 Buick Enclave like normal to get kids from school. Turned the car completely off while I was waiting for them. Went to start it back up and nothing dead would not even turn over. Tried several times even giving it a break in between and still nothing. Called a tow company to tow to the dealer I use for servicing (plummer Pontiac GMC and Cadillac in lodi, ca.) and awaiting a call back to see what needs to be done to repair it. I have about 28K on it. I did know others were experiencing the same problem. Thank god I wasn't in a dark area or stranded in a bad area. This is definitely a safety issue being stranded in a newer car is not what the consumer pays for with this vehicle costing well over 40K you would think you were purchasing reliability. Not so much.

- Galt, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 232008


  • 4,341 miles
I slowed for a curve in a two lane country road. After the curve I pressed the accelerator to resume speed of approximately 45 miles per hour. The car engine raced loudly, the RPM gauge shot way up, and the car decelerated rather than accelerate. I again pressed the accelerator to speed up and the engine again raced but the car kept slowing. I became afraid that the engine was going to accelerate and engage the transmission and take off on me. I looked at the gearshift to be sure I was in "D" mode, and I was. I downshifted into low gear and limped home about 20 mi les per hour, but could not accelerate more than that without the engine racing. It scared me to the point that I am afraid to drive it, nor will I let any one else drive it until I know the problem has been completely resolved, and I have a clear understanding of what caused it. I am so thankful I was not driving on the freeway when this occurred. I called the dealer and told them to expect the car to be towed to their service dept first thing in the morning.

- Valley Center, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 202007

Enclave Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On Aug 20 the truck in front of me with a hitch stopped; so did I. the car behind me and the car behind him didn't stop. I took the car to springmall auto body in springfield - $5500 worth of damage. One week after I picked it up, I was driving and the engine shut down. I got on onstar and they said the traction and ABS control module failed. I took it back to springmall. Because it's so new, they drove the car to where I bought it - rte 1 Pontiac, GM and Buick, woodridge va. Upon receipt of the vehicle, the mechanic never asked for paperwork from the autobody shop who delivered it - they had no idea the extent of the damage. The mechanic said he needed to drive it home to see if it would do it again. The next day, they said they fixed it and told me to pick it up. One week later after a 2 hr ride to richmond - it petered out again and I had to dive for the breakdown lane. I brought it back to rte 1 Buick and they said they would have to keep my car (which I am leasing) and apparently it was something else wrong. I asked them to immediately call springmall and get a fax of the accidnet and extent of damages - they were shocked. I said I didn't mind leaving it, but I wanted my miles refunded. They said no. The whole scene turned ugly and they told me to leave the shop. I have a pregnant daughter and a granddaughter who ride in that car a lot - why did they tell me it was fine to drive if it wasn't? the car just stops!! the head mechanic said the only thing he could do was put a black box on my car, which he did. That was over two months ago and the problem hasn't occurred yet. He said just becuase onstar said what it was, that may not be the problem. They told me to stay in the slow right lane and if it occurs, push the top of this plugged in black box and head for the breakdown lane. I never know when it will happen, and I am scared to death. Please help me I have a new car that I can't drive; it may even take the lives of people I love.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

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