2008 Buick Enclave transmission NHTSA complaints: Power Train:Automatic Transmission

NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,954 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Buick Enclave Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 072014


  • 81,700 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While turning the vehicle at approximately 15 mph, the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and the trouble code detected internal transmission failure. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 81,700.

- Freeport, TX, USA

problem #10

Apr 162014


  • 73,200 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate as the check engine warning light illuminated. On another occasion, the contact stated that the vehicle failed to operate in reverse. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 73,200 and the current mileage was 73,800.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 302010

Enclave 6-cyl

  • 50 miles
This is an update to complaint 10280929 for a 2008 Buick Enclave AWD after fuel efficiency reaching an all-time high of 17mpg combine hwy&city, within weeks it began dropping and settled between 14-15 mpg. Water leaks that began dumping cup full of water on occupants last year fixed. More definite hesitation between gears continues, as well as momentary lapses in power relationship between pedal and engine. Last month a whirring sound started that was associated with turning the car. The sound would rise during acceleration and fall during de-acceleration. Break job took care of it (although I doubted the dealer's assessment) until yesterday. The whirring has returned, albeit intermittently. After 3 yrs I know that if a problem can't be replicated on test drive or show up as codes on a computer--the dealerships (and I have been to 3 over the years) will do nothing. My solution is to turn this pretty looking car in (3 weeks!) and turn my back on all GM cars after 30+ years of driving all sorts of them.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #8

Jul 242010


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. While the contact was driving approximately 10 mph, the transmission exhibited hesitation and shaking. The reverse gear was nonfunctional. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The failure was related to the transmission clutch pack. The contact was awaiting repairs to the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 40,000.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 122010


  • 22,000 miles
Within the last four months, I have noticed a vibrating noise as part of my steering. My major complaint is a very loud sharp whistling noise coming from my engine after driving it for a short time. The screeching, whistling continues while it is idling for long periods of time. I am concerned of what it is and also find it not acceptable to have to put up with the noise constantly, especially being only 2 yrs. 4 mo. Old and less that 25,000 miles. Obviously it is a defect by GM and they are responsible for fixing it asap as I'm not sure if the noise is all there is to it as far as safety. The technicians at the dealership worked on it, put in a new defibulator, took it back out and said they called GMC. According to the technician, GM said all Enclaves make the same noise. I am irate as not one on the lot makes the noise nor do any other's that I know people drive. I did not pay close to $40,000 for a luxury vehicle that sounds like a 15 year old clunker in which again is embarrassing as well needs to be reckoned with before my next description may be a big safety issue too!.................. take care of your consumers GMC as integrity should be #1 in your company.

- Waunakee, WI, USA

problem #6

Dec 292009


  • 22,300 miles
08 Buick Enclave normally downshifts and upshifts all the way up a hill. Took in three times and they said everything checks out normal, just drive it. Then driving out to Arizona, it started out downshifting at the start of a hill and upshifting at the top of the hill like a normal car. Then once every five to ten hills it would not upshift at the top of the hill until I shut off the cruise control. Once I went five miles downhill before I shut off the cruise and it upshifted. I took it in to the dealer, but the few miles they drove it, they could not make it happen. They said there were no codes so there was nothing they could do, so just drive it like it is, as its still under warranty. It had also happened only once before when it was new, but they could not find anything either. I don't know if this is connected or not, but if I want to accelerate slowly, I have to push the gas pedal down farther and then back off quickly to not accelerate too fast. I sure hope they can come up with a fix for this problem.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #5

Nov 282009


  • 35,000 miles


Buick Enclave stops suddenly without warning on highway due to some sort of transmission failure. Occupants in vehicle narrowly escape serious injury from possible rear end collision. Onstar diagnosed problem as some sort of transmission related failure. Vehicle was towed to Buick service facility. GM technical support recommended that electronic codes be reset and vehicle is to be returned to customer. Customer picked up vehicle and vehicle transmission failed again one hour later on same day. Onstar diagnosed problem again, this time a similar but different problem relating to the automatic transmission system. Vehicle is Buick shop again waiting for GM solution to fixing problem. Fix is unknown at this time. Exact cause is unknown.

- Westfield, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 152009


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The automatic transmission would not shift from 1st to 2nd gear. When the failure occurs he experiences a violent vibration. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, and a technician concluded that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 44000. The failure mileage was 29000.

- Miama, FL, USA

problem #3

May 152009

Enclave 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,234 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Buick Enclave. The contact stated that his vehicle rolled backwards while it was in drive on a hil and stalledl. The Buick dealer performed a diagnostic test; however, there were no error codes to instruct them on what needed to be repaired. The contact stated the vehicle could be too heavy for the transmission. There are no related recalls or warranty available. The failure mileage was 15,234. Updated 10/5/09 updated 10/07/09

- Inwood, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 062008


  • 10 miles
From the day of purchase my Buick Enclave has failed to achieve the rated the fuel efficiency (12 mpg initially upto 14mpg 18mos and numerous trips back to dealerships. Basically computer checks and adjustments were done. Finally, last month a valve job was done, as well as some transmission work and now my fuel efficiency is improving. I have driven 400 miles since this mechanic work and the mpg is approaching 17mpg.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 192008

Enclave 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2008 Buick Enclave that has had transmission problems for 8 months (new car was picked up in August of 2007). After several service attempts to fix this problem, it still doesn't perform like it should. Today when driving the car the engine was racing to over 4,000 RPM while driving down a 35 mph road -- thought the thing was going to blow up because it wouldn't shift into the next gear. Also had water (from rain) on the inside of the car after it rained due to faulty rail connectors (not sealed) on top of car.

- Brecksville, OH, USA

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