2008 Buick Enclave engine problems: engine failure

Engine Failure

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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
111,850 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced engine (11 reports)
2008 Buick Enclave engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 162018

Enclave CXL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


I purchased the car in 01/2018 from a dealership who told me that the car was fine but 10 mins after driving off the lot the Stop Engine Low Oil Pressure message came on so i took it back to the dealership and a couple of days later that told me that it needed another engine. After the re-manufactured engine a couple of months later had to replace the rack and power steering pump. Stay as far as you can away from the car as looks were very deceiving.

- drmello, Cincinnati, US

problem #10

Sep 012016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Left work one evening and my 2008 Enclave would not start. Towed to shop, they discovered the timing chain had gone bad and completely ruined the valves. $5,200 to fix it.

I only have 80,000 miles on my 2008 Enclave, I should not be having this issue already. So I did some research and found out I am not the first one with this issue. I contacted Buick to see if they intended to stand behind their product, they offered me $100 off a diagnostic.

The diagnostic was already complete and paid for. Ultimately I can not afford the extensive repairs so I am currently paying monthly payments on a vehicle I can only look at sitting in my driveway. Apparently Buick made a cheap timing chain, knew about it, changed them for the next year model and now refuse to fix the jacked up ones that poor souls such as myself paid $30,000+ for. Way to show appreciation to your customers, BUICK! Wonder if there are enough of us to file a class action suit?

- Melissa Z., Ashtabula, OH, US

problem #9

May 172015

Enclave CXL V6 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,274 miles

A problem again with my Buick Enclave. This time the head gasket blew. I noticed it when it blew oil all over the side of the car. The engine was also blowing white smoke out of the exhaust. GMC shop checked it out and highly recommended replacing the engine as it appeared to more extensive damage than just a head gasket. There is no warranty coverage.

I have changed oil as recommended and used nothing but synthetic oil. The filters have also been changed as recommended This engine should have ran much longer without any issue. I strongly believe that this 3.6 liter engine is under powered for the vehicle - a GM engineering issue.There should be a recall for this issue. Currently, I am on the hook for $8000 CDN parts and labor.

Also, we have had to replace both front struts, power steering pump and rack, transmission and fuel pump all within the last 2 years.

An extremely expensive car to maintain !!!!!! Not something I would expect from Buick.

- Jerry And Linda V., dewinton, Alberta, canada

problem #8

Jul 282015

Enclave CXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles


This vehicle had been serviced by dealership on every mechanical issue it had. They even completed many of the routine oil changed and tire rotations etc. The car NEVER missed a scheduled oil change. We were on vacation when this low oil pressure light came on, we took it to a dealership in N.C. and they ended up telling us the engine was toast. It was full of a heavy black grease type of substance, they called sludge. The only thing they could imagine it was caused by was lack of oil changes. THIS WAS NOT TRUE. We are extremely unhappy that this 40+ thousand dollar car was valued for trade on a new vehicle at 3K and it had only 91 K miles on the engine. We intended to buy a new Enclave this year when the 2016 models were available, but due to our circumstances , being out of state with no transportation for 6 travelers, and needing to get home etc. Plus the vehicle did not last even a hundred thousand miles, we decided not to go with Buick Enclave again.

I feel sorry for the folks that own the same make and model that we had, as we KNOW how well cared for the engine was and for it to self destruct at 91 K miles is ridiculous. Sad, as we LOVED Buicks, now we will never own one again. :(

- nascarcody, Reynoldsburg, OH, US

problem #7

Dec 262014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

For a vehicle that we've owned for 6.5 years to need to have the engine REPLACED is disgusting! We researched this vehicle before buying it for reliability, comfortably, size etc. We live in a small Northern town and have to travel long distances (1000 km) for medical appts with our severely handicapped daughter and this vehicle was perfect for us. (We have the All Wheel Drive) Right up until the motor went and GM said "that's too bad." Now we are left with no vehicle, of course no warranty and a HUGE bill we can't afford and DID NOT EXPECT on a vehicle 6.5 years old!

I have heard that other enclaves have had power-train issues that wrecked the motor. Any helpful information regarding stats etc would be great.

- Pam C., Houston, BC, canada

problem #6

Jul 222014

Enclave CLX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

I've had this car since July 23rd 2007 and I've had nothing but problems with this car. From the power steering to the transmission and water pump. I've had melted pipes & faulty sensors. The list seems endless. This is frustrating to no end because I keep regular maintenance on my car.

Now they are saying that I have a big hole in my engine and my car is out of warranty. Great....just great. But here lies the rub, how does one blow a hole in the engine when you have been getting regular oil changes on the vehicle? This is nonsense! Complete nonsense. I'll never buy another Buick again! It saddens me to say it because it's an American car...but if this is what it means to buy American nowadays, I want no part of it. I'm just done with all of this.

- Lacey R., Dolton, IL, US

problem #5

May 152014

Enclave CXL 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles


So you can only list one complaint per entry well I'll start with our engine blowing up cause the list is LONG with one thing after another since the first week we bought this SUV it's been electrical issues water in the fuse box it not starting or only going so fast towing it NOW the key won't come out of the fing SUV after being at the shop 2 different times equals 2 weeks and no resolution but a 700 BILL back to the engines failing that was a trip we were without the car for almost 4 weeks try having 3 kids and a life with that I get it we bought a used car BUT my son says "MOM they didn't build this car right at the factory !" I agree and I'm now ready for the world to listen to me I guess or I'm just so fed up and have no where to turn we are so deep in this car financially so we cant get rid of it we have a car we can't safety drive SO that's it for this complaint going to drive it back to dealer to be without it again there should be recalls on this stuff and buick should be responsible this has been so stressful!!!!!!

- Kally B., Bangor, WI, US

problem #4

Aug 152013

Enclave 3.2L, V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,125 miles

Stranded on a bridge in 110 degree temperatures with 2 moms & 5 kids for hours!!!

Coming home from our vacation, all of a sudden the cars speed dropped to 10mph on a freeway with a few quick flashes of warning signs on the dash & a completely dead car. We were able to pull over on the bridge & wait on hold with GM forever trying to find out what to do. After an hour we all piled into a police car to be escorted off the freeway because we couldn't even get a cab to pick us up or a tow truck! Getting an approval for a rental car large enough for the 7 of us through GM was impossible. We were forced to cab it with no car seats to an airport where I paid out of pocket for a rental van. It took over a week to get a diagnosis on my car, and they ended up saying it needed an entire new engine. Which took a little over a week to get done. Meanwhile I'm fighting with GM to keep a rental vehicle. Complete nightmare & now I'm dealing with a failing transmission, and no warranty. DO NOT BUY A 2008 Buick Enclave!

- Stacy C., Lake Havasu City, AZ, Laos

problem #3

Jan 152013

Enclave V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

My car has always been taken care of. Oil changed timely, all fluids checked regularly etc. We were driving down the interstate and the engine bogged down... we braked immediately and the stabilitraction warning light came on... we pulled to the side of the road and it stalled. I would not start and smoke billowed from the engine.

It was towed to the dealership where they found that internal parts from the engine came loose and blew a softball size hole right through the engine block.

I had to apply for a loan for which I am not sure how I will pay off or how I will even be able to make the payments. but I had too. I had no choice since I have an existing loan on the car already and it is my main transprotation.

I'm just sick over this. When they told me it would be $6500 for the repairs ... well they might as well have told me $100,000. One was as bad as the other.

- djbrelinski, Flushing, MI, US

problem #2

Dec 202012

Enclave CXL 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

During a long trip home (400+ miles) my car just quit an hour away from my destination. I called and had my car towed to a Buick dealership in the area. After they reviewed the problem, they hit me with a repair estimate of $7,400. They could only tell me that I had no compression in my engine. They suspected timing chain but it was not worth the effort to find out and told me that we needed to replace the engine in it entirety. All regular service and recommended maintenance was performed. Other cars we have owned exceeded 200,000 miles due to the care we take of our vehicles.

All repair people we spoke with told us they thought this was a fluke but upon research we are uncovering that this does happen to this vehicle as well the Acadia model. We have written to Mark Ruess, GM President of North America on our situation and have received no response as yet.

We are highly disappointed in this occurrence and will not purchase another Enclave in the future unless Buick is held to a higher quality standard.

- Mike N., Supply, NC, US

problem #1

Jun 042012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

The problem started just after having the car for one year it got overheated and it had to be towed to the dealership after that I was told the car was fix, and after that when it rained the water got to the vehical and when you drive the car you can hear the water splashing through the frames and leaking on you, that never was fixed. and now the engine felt apart. just after 3 years no wonder they are almost bankrupt.

The dealership Miller in woodbridge NJ are nasty and have no attention of helping you. DO go there ever.


- xkathyb, Woodbridge, NJ, US

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