Which Buick Enclave Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Buick Enclave is, without a doubt, a more upscale take on the compact SUV market, or at least it should be. The issue with these little SUVs is that they have issues.

When buying a car, these Buicks should make car buyers nervous since they aren’t as Ill-rounded as they appear. Here are the Buick Enclave model years to stay away from.

Normally, I would categorize the issues by year or by category, however, outside of the 2008 models, they all have similar issues.

The 2008 model is noteworthy since it was the first year Buick introduced the Enclave to the market, and it is the one year you should consider purchasing under any circumstances.

Buick Enclave Years to Avoid (List of Year)

The Buick Enclave has had its fair share of good and terrible years, which I’ll go over in detail in this section.

According to CarComplaints, a few Buick Enclave years have received substantially more complaints than other model years due to a high amount of gearbox problems recorded.

These are the years that you should avoid:

  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2014

According to CarComplaints.com, the 2008 Buick Enclave is the worst model year because of the high amount of transmission problems recorded and the fact that it has received much more complaints than any other model year.

It’s usual for most cars to have a lot of teething problems in their early years, and the Enclave is no exception.

At roughly 60,000 to 80,000 miles, older first-generation Enclaves Ire notorious to have serious difficulties, with repairs costing around $3,500.

Other issues with these early models include:

  • Stretching chain at the right time
  • Failure of the transmission
  • The water pump is leaking.
  • Failure of the power steering pump
  • Problems with climate control

Buick prolonged the warranty coverage on these items for 10 years or 120,000 miles, whichever comes first, due to the extensive timing chain, transmission, and water pump failures on the 2008–2009 Buick Enclaves.

If you’re considering buying an older Buick Enclave because of its inexpensive price, have it inspected by a qualified technician first to ensure it won’t cost you a fortune in repairs.

The Buick Enclave’s annual repair and maintenance expenditures will average $720, a little higher than the $573 average for all midsize SUVs and only slightly higher than the $652 average for all cars.

During the first ten years, a bad Buick Enclave will cost you $8,660 in maintenance. This is $220 less than the national average for maintenance and repairs for all popular SUV models.

What Makes These Buick Enclave Years Worth Avoiding?

Over the years, General Motors has manufactured a large number of SUVs. The Buick Enclave is one of the company’s most successful models to date, with over 600,000 units sold since 2007.

However, just because it’s popular doesn’t imply it’s without flaws. One year, in particular, caused a slew of problems for business owners. The worst model to date is the 2008 model, which has gotten the most complaints so far.

Today, I’ll show you the most typical issues that Buick Enclave owners have had. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has received the following issues:

  • Stretched Timing Chain
  • Transmission Issues
  • PoIr Steering Issues
  • Engine Light Problems

1. Stretched Timing Chain

The timing chain, unlike the transmission, is not a major component; yet, it may still be expensive to repair, and it will need to be done. Your car will not function correctly or at all if your timing chain is strained or cracked, just like your gearbox.

Timing chains are known to Iar out, although, for most cars, this doesn’t happen until the vehicle has traveled between 150,000 and 200,000 miles. According to reports, the timing chain on the Buick Enclave frequently fails around 40,000 miles.

It’s easy to overlook the possibility that your timing chain is malfunctioning. It’s possible that your check engine light is already illuminated and you’re simply ignoring it.

But, depending on how long you wait, this repair might cost anywhere from $1,700 to $2,100, and the longer you wait, the more money you’ll lose. Look for indicators like a lack of power, a sluggish engine, or strange noises coming from the engine compartment.

When these warnings are disregarded, whether the timing chain is broken or not, you are most likely inflicting extra harm by not getting it corrected.

2. Transmission Issues

Here are some Buick Enclave years to stay away from 2008. Transmission difficulties occur on all Enclaves, but the 2008 Enclave has the greatest troubles. Transmission problems have usually been reported at 91,000 miles, according to owners. When speeding up or changing gears, the car shakes, makes clunky noises, or both.

Regrettably, like many larger parts on a car, this will not be a simple fix. The cost of repairing or rebuilding the gearbox in a non-warrantied Buick Enclave may be as much as $3,500.

Buick made some adjustments in 2009 and later as transmission problems became less common, but they did not go away completely.

3. PoIr Steering Issues

The 2009-2011 models have the highest complaints about this issue. Even a motorist who is not mechanically inclined will be able to detect a problem with the power steering.

If you realize that turning your steering wheel is difficult, you’ve lost power steering. This might be another costly component to replace.

however, before you go to the shop to have it looked at, you should check to see if it has power steering fluid. Although it’s doubtful that this is the issue, if it is, you might save your car from being told to the dealership.

If your Buick Enclave has 80,000 miles on it, you can expect to pay $1,700 to repair the power steering.

This is another component that will ultimately fail throughout a vehicle’s lifetime, although 80,000 miles is a very small period, and they have been known to fail significantly sooner on certain cars.

4. Engine Light Problems

Here are the Buick Enclave years to stay away from if you’re having engine light issues: all of them. The engine light on most vehicles indicates that something is amiss with the vehicle, but on the Enclave, it may be a real pain.

When the engine light comes on, there may or may not be an issue. This can lead to owners and mechanics pursuing their tails for a long time only to discover there is nothing wrong with the vehicle.

The issue with this ghost-like engine light issue is that you don’t want to just ignore it because if there is a true problem, you might be causing serious harm to your Enclave if you don’t have it looked out.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

The Buick Enclave, which debuted in 2008, is a dependable midsize SUV that is ideal for families. This beauty has seats for seven or eight people, so no one is left out.

If you’re looking for a used Buick but aren’t sure which one to go with, the Enclave is a good option. This car, which is still in production today, has undergone several alterations throughout the years, including new technology and safety features.

Let’s see which used Buick Enclave model years offer the most value for your money. The most dependable Enclave year models are:

  • 2008
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2017

The 2008 Buick Enclave makes a nice first impression as an entry-level vehicle. It provides comfort and convenience features that you will appreciate, with three rows of seats and a well-appointed cabin.

A powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine combined with 6-speed automated transmission poIr all vehicles from this manufacturing year. With 275 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, this SUV can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

While there may not be any obvious differences between a 2008 Enclave and a 2012 Enclave, there were numerous significant improvements between the two model years. The powertrain, for starters, saw a considerable jump in output.

While it is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed automated gearbox, the 2012 model’s V6 delivers 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. As a result, you will notice a change when you step on the gas pedal.

The Buick Enclave received its first cosmetic redesign for the 2013 model year. The 2013 Buick Enclave is another wonderful used vehicle that you could enjoy, with more current aesthetics and some more sophisticated amenities.

Another terrific model year to consider is the 2014 Buick Enclave. The majority of the previously listed features are included in this model. There are a few improvements, though, that you might prefer.

If you have some wiggle space in your budget, a 2017 Buick Enclave is a good option. This was the final model year of the first generation, so it’s both reliable and cutting-edge — a great combo for any secondhand car. It will also most likely be less expensive than a second-generation Enclave.


Finally, the Buick Enclave is a tough, dependable pickup truck with a host of user-friendly features that highlight Buick’s commitment to its customers and consumers.

With the Enclave, Buick has a lot of catching up to go. Everything before 2015 should be discarded. There are far too many potentially dangerous issues with those automobiles. Instead, a 2020 Buick Enclave is a better option.

Even though they are more costly, they already appear to be far more sophisticated than their predecessors.

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