2008 Buick Enclave steering NHTSA complaints: Steering

NHTSA — Steering Problems

2008 Buick Enclave (Page 4 of 4)

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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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,968 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Jul 182012

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


Loss of power steering during turns.

- Ruther Glen, VA, USA

problem #16

Apr 252013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Steering would click, grind & knock while driving, particularly when turning. We took our Enclave to an independent shop where they found that the rack and pinion assembly had to be completely replaced. It was a safety concern, so we had the independent shop replace the rack and pinion assembly immediately. I've contacted GM as well as the local dealership several times regarding this issue. Asking for reimbursement of repair costs since this is a design flaw by GM, not a consumer driving issue. I have 60K miles on my 2008 Enclave and all maintenance has been kept up to date on this vehicle and we are the original owners. I was told that they would in no way reimburse me because one I took the vehicle to an independent shop not a dealership and two my bumper to bumper warranty is out and rack and pinion assembly is under bumper to bumper not the power train warranty which is available to us for the next year (approx). I told GM that there are several postings on the internet (including NHTSA.gov) regarding rack and pinion issues with the Enclave. I was told that the internet was free and anyone could post on there. My response back was I personally know two Enclave owners that this happened to and their repairs were covered by Buick because their warranty hadn't expired. GM told me there is no recall to date. I find this to be disappointing as there obvious design flaw issues with the Enclave. I am getting the run around and on my latest call with a supervisor at GM I was told that he would pass the information to his manager, but I probably wouldn't get a call back because they are more hr they don't handle customer issues. I was told to send a letter to GM via usps. The Enclave is unsafe to drive as the steering can lock up at any time. I believe that this should be investigated more closely and as a result I believe a recall will be done.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 132013


  • 89,935 miles
While turning into parking spots or in an intersection while at low speeds the steering becomes extremely difficult if not impossible.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #14

Dec 032012

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


At low speeds, the power steering seizes up, making the car virtually impossible to steer.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #13

Feb 012013

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Power steering would grind, occurred for over 20,000 miles, and dealer could not diagnose the problem on several instances of being in for maintenance. Steering would be sluggish at times but not easily reproduced for dealer service. Independent shop found massive leakage in the rack and pinion system on both sides as well as complete leakage from the rear differential. Independent shop indicated both were significant safety issues requiring immediate repair; they also were surprised at the dealer's inability to diagnose the issue.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #12

Oct 072010

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the steering wheel seized. The contact stated that the failure recurred approximately 25-40 times. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection where they advised that the steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified and stated that there was no recall on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 30,000. The consumer stated he heard a clicking noise whenever he turned the steering wheel. The dealer replaced the power steering pump, power steering gear, steering column. The consumer stated he would loose power steering assist when driving and the steering wheel would lock up., there was excessive play in the steering. The consumer hit a pillar, when the steering locked up, and caused damage to the vehicle. The dealer replaced several components within the steering several times. The key would get stuck in the ignition. Updated 01/28/13

- Saint Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #11

May 012012

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


Intermittent problem with power steering. The steering becomes extremely difficult at times, making this a very hazardous situation.

- Colbert, WA, USA

problem #10

Aug 032012

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Transmission completely went out. Also for about 1 year, the power steering has made a loud squeaking noise and the dealer said it couldn't be fixed.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #9

Jun 222011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 57,215 miles
A terrible screeching noise led me to bring my car to the Buick dealer for repair.... they replaced the steering gear, the steering pump, fluid, etc. With a cost to me of $1409.99. Had I not heard the noise, I would have lost steering...... the car was just out of warranty.... far too early for this to have happened.

- Petersburg, , PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 102011

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Steering column makes a clicking and squeaking sound when turning. Also, when slowing down to turn and at complete rest, the power steering goes out, making it difficult to turn. We were told by the dealer in our area that there were several complaints on this issue and he thought a recall would be issued, soon.

- Sherman, IL, USA

problem #7

Aug 232011


  • 55,000 miles


Power steering! issues with the power steering locking up while the car is in motion. Major safety issue. It is the worst when turning into a parking spot, however when driving around a corner at normal speeds it is very hard to handle and changing lanes on the highway was also an issue. You can hear a roaring noise coming from the steering column.

- Georgia, GA, USA

problem #6

Nov 282010

Enclave 6-cyl

  • miles
Grinding noise when turning steering wheel

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 262010


  • 78,600 miles
Vehicle was making a right hand turn into a parking lot at approximately 15 mph when the steering wheel jerked to the right. The resulting jerking movement/feedback resulted in the operator under steering the vehicle and striking a large boulder on the shoulder of the parking lot entrance. The vehicle sustained moderate damage to the bumper, skirting and right front fender. This vehicle had it's power steering rack replaced less than 12 months prior for the same performance issue. In the summer of 2010 GM redesigned the power steering racks for all lambda platform vehicles (Buick Enclave, GMC acadia, Saturn outlook, and Chevy traverse) presumably as a result of complaints lodged by customers directly through dealers or General Motors.

- Kunkletown, PA, USA

problem #4

Jun 172010


  • 60,200 miles
I was driving my Enclave and I pulled into a parking lot I lost power steering. I called on star and they said it was not something they could diagnose. Suggested I check the ps fluid...I did and it was just below the min line. I added fluid, it got better but I could still sense some problem. Svc shop said there was a leak, needed to replace the rack and pinion. Bringing to dealer next. I've seen several complaints/articles about pw pump problems, leaks. I have 60,200 miles. Seems like this is a big safety issue (what if I lost ps on the highway), why isn't GM doing something about it?

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #3

May 152010


  • 43,500 miles
My 2008 Buick Enclave became unable to control in the rain at 55 mph. Took to dealer after 3 day run around was told that there was a bulletin on this vehicle that the steering position sensor became wet and started boosting steering control. They replaced sensor and inner fenders (to keep moisture off sensor) this vehicle was the most dangerous thing I have ever tried to control. How can anything stay dry under the hood of a car in the rain??

- Jasper, TN, USA

problem #2

Jan 282010


  • 26,500 miles
Snowy conditions - about 2 inches on the ground; as I began to descend the hill near my home I tried to apply the brakes to keep a slow pace down the hill. Brakes failed and I began to slide down the hill. Steering was unresponsive; messages interchangeably flashed on the dashboard - 'service stabilitrak' and 'service traction control'. I had no control over the vehicle, and halfway down the hill jumped an 8" curb. Fortunate that the vehicle swerved to the right because there were parked cars to the left. Also, fortunate there were no people/children around, who could have been hit. $3000 damage to the underside of the vehicle. Very frightening to lose complete control of the car - I thought AWD, ABS, traction control and stabilitrak are supposed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in adverse conditions. Everything failed at once. Got the vehicle to the closest GM dealership; they ran diagnostics and surprise, everything checks out. They have no indication anything failed, so nothing further they can do except repair the physical damage. I experienced a complete failure of brakes, steering, traction, and electronic stability control and the dealership is telling me I did not - that the conditions were slick and that's what caused the accident. Isn't that when all of those safety features are supposed to engage? this is the first time I experienced a malfunction like this in this vehicle. Now I'm afraid to drive the vehicle, once it's fixed, esp. With other passengers. I may not even keep it.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #1

Feb 262009


  • 13,000 miles
I was driving on randall road traveling about 50 mph. I slowed to enter a right turn lane and the steering began to shudder when I moved the steering wheel. I braked aggressively and was able after much effort to maneuver the Enclave into a parking space. I phoned my husband and upon arrival found that the steering wheel would not move with the engine running. He phoned the dealer and Buick assistance. After 3 hours the car was loaded on a truck and taken to the dealer. The service person stated that the cooler line had developed a pin hole leak and lost fluid to the power steering system. I am still waiting since the steering pump was also damaged. No mention of replacing the rack and pinion (my husbands help with that term). I do not feel comfortable driving a car that the steering locks up if the power steering system fails. This could have been a fatal outcome under different circumstances because I could not steer the car. This is the third safety related problem since it was delivered December 31, 2007. The driver windshield wiper came loose (husband fixed) and the right rear strut weld failed leaking oil all over the garage floor and making the car feel loose driving it to the dealer for repairs. We have also noticed the passenger seat belt sign does not always work. I do not trust this car. The only bright spot is the dealership has been very responsive.

- St. Charles, IL, USA

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