2019 Buick Enclave Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, powertrain, structure and electrical system and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Buick Enclave is a luxury SUV meant to carry passengers in style, as the company claims it is “tailored for tomorrow.” However, it turns out that this premium model is filled with faults. This Buick contains a recalled powertrain, a defective engine, a faulty electrical system and poorly made structure.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018  2020 2021

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Buick Enclave

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Vehicle Speed Control
Air Bags

Problems with the Engine

Under the hood of a premium vehicle, a high-performance engine is expected. Yet, that’s not what is found in the Buick Enclave.

Read this Edmunds review. “Less than 7000 miles on odometer, the coolant was leaking from Engine cylinder head. Part to be replaced. Whoever planning to buy BUICK Enclave, please think/research about it‼”

GM is completely aware of engine problems. Service Bulletin #19NA256 talks about squealing, squeaking, rattling and knocking coming from the internal parts. Plus, previous Buick models were the subject of class-action litigation because of a faulty engine relay terminal. It’s only a matter of time before people realize that this model is just as defective. When the company was tailoring this model for tomorrow, it forgot to leave behind the faults of the past.

Problems with the Powertrain

Another big complaint with the Enclave SUV is the powertrain. It appears that Buick used a faulty transmission under the hood.

Another Edmunds user says, “I too have a 2019 Buick Enclave with transmission problems. Took it into the dealer after 2000 miles after it started shaking when accelerating. The dealership said it needed a new torque converter and we could drive it until the part was available.This was around New Years, we went back to get the Enclave and the dealer said they were later told by GM just to flush the transmission as it had too much lubricant from assembly. We took it home and it still shuddered, called the dealer and GM said to flush it again. This time when we picked it up it was worse than when it started. So now GM told the dealership to replace the torque converter however they cannot locate one.  So now 6 weeks after this started we are still waiting for a torque converter that may or may not fix this.”

It turns out that there is a powertrain-related recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V668000 states that nearly 200,000 vehicles were constructed with missing bolts on the start/stop accumulator endcap. This defect can lead to a transmission fluid leak and a loss of propulsion, which only increases the chances of an accident. Plus, the leaking fluid puts occupants at risk of a car fire. With so many problems, it might be better for this SUV to burn into a pile of rubble instead of it traveling the streets.

Problems with the Structure

Further engineering issues are seen by looking at the structure. It’s clear that no more thought was put into building this model over the Chevy lineup.

An Edmunds customer points out, “After driving a Denali I am almost in tears every time I get into my 2019 Buick Enclave. I’ve had it 3 months and it’s rattling in the dash, and a piece of the exterior trim molding had come off. If this is any inclination of what I have to look forward to, the future’s not looking too bright. I was a complete idiot for trading my Denali.”

Again, these problems are no secret to the manufacturer. Service Bulletin #17NA231 talks about possible water intrusion into the cabin, so the company is clear that the SUV isn’t built the way it should have been. Oh well – maybe “tomorrow’s” model will be better.

Problems with the Electrical System

A final look at the electrical system shows even bigger issues that are sure to push drivers over the edge.

One final Edmunds review says, “The ‘hands free’ lift gate at the back works only sporadically – it is much faster to just open it with the button – so this feature doesn’t get much use either.”

Service Bulletin #PIE0588A goes on to talk about battery discharge issues, which can’t be enjoyable to deal with, especially when someone is already running late for work. Hopefully, owners have roadside assistance because it is almost guaranteed they will need it with the Buick Enclave.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Buick pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryPower Train, Steering, Wheels
DateMar 13, 2023
Traveled and car begin to shake when I got to destination. The shift gears lights started going from neutral to low gear and my speed began to drop down even when I was accelerating. The engine light came on and the stabilitrak light was on during times I stop at lights or stop lights only when in traffic but not on the highway. After seen by an auto service dealer, the stabilitrak light still comes on during stops at the light or stop signs and hesitation to accelerate with a heaviness to steer. There appears to be a dragging or pull when accelerating not very smooth. The service was with the transmission, however, no attempt to fix the stabilitrak and now I am to take it back in, not really enjoying my vehicle, my american vehicle, this really saddens me.
CategoryPower Train, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateFeb 16, 2023
Stabilizer trak
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System, Seats
DateJan 19, 2023
The passenger side seat air bag exploded and burned my daughter's back while she was getting into the car. The car was in park and auto started. My son was sitting in the back seat behind her while this happened. She has 1st and 2nd degree burns and thankfully my son is okay. The car has been sitting in my driveway since that day. I have contacted the dealership and gm as well as my personal insurance. Gm is moving very slow and stated they would send someone to look at my vehicle within 7-10 days from yesterday . The investigation could take 30-60 days before we have an answer. We are currently on day 11 since this happened. Insurance doesn't want to touch it until gm or the dealership looks at it and determines if it is a malfunction. The safety of my kids and family is definitely a priority and the fact that this happened is scary. The loudness of the explosion was like a gunshot inside the vehicle and the fire that came out of it is insane. Literally looked like a firework. With the airbag deployed I am sure the seatbelts are now compromised but either way I will not risk my life or anyone else's and step foot in it. The car was looked at by local law enforcement and pictures were taken. The car is available for inspection but the dealership hasn't called me back and gm is following their protocol and has no hurry. The airbag light had come on the week prior to this happening and had gone back off. I also had the tire pressure lights go on and back off twice in the past couple of months.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateJun 14, 2022
Evaporative emission canister purge, solenoid valve, yes. My safety was at risk due to stalling 3 different times on busy roads/intersections after refueling my vehicle. When the solenoid valve and canister fail when coming to a stop after refueling it causes the car/engine to flutter and completely stall then goes into neutral. It takes multiple restarts in order to even make the car go along with pressing on the gas. This part has been replaced twice by the dealership once at the end of march and again on the 10th of june. The first incident occurred mid-march, the second end of march and the latest incident occurred 7 june where I had to restart it 7 times before it would even drive, at that time my check engine light was on and it was making a loud noise. After this last replacement the vehicle was refueled and it started to flutter and idled hard, it will be taken to the dealership once again on the 20th of june. The vehicle has not been inspected by anyone other than dealership. There were no warning lights prior to the failure, the only indication was the car started to flutter prior to stalling. The most recent date is stated below.
CategoryElectrical System, Power Train
DateJan 07, 2022
On the morning of october 25, 2021 at approximately 7:05 am, I was fixing to leave to go to work. The carport light was on, so I open the door to my car, slid into the driver's seat, started the car up and the lights came on. As I was starting to get out of the car to go turn the carport lights off, I realized the car was going backwards. I tried to get back into the driver's seat to try to stop the car but I was unable to do so. The door knocked me down on the concrete floor of the carport and the front left tire ran over both my legs. The car continued to go backwards, the door hit the column between the carport bays but continued to travel backwards down our approx. 11-foot paved drive way, crossed the dirt road and stopped when the back of the car went into the deep ditch that runs along the dirt road at that point. When my husband arrived, the car was still running and the lights were on. The man driving the wrecker for the local ema director and my husband all looked at the gear shift and the car was in park.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
DateSep 03, 2021
Waited for train to pass and gate to raise at railroad crossing, then started to cross tracks. The car went halfway across the tracks, then the forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking activated, stopping us on the tracks. Tried again to move forward, but the collision alert and auto braking immediately activated for a second time, bringing us to a stop again. Finally was able to very slowly make my way through the crossing. I was on the tracks for 30-60 seconds. No train was approaching and it was only my wife and me in the car, but if I'd had six passengers with me and another train had approached, I am not sure I would have been able to get everyone out of the car in time. Note that there were no obstacles in front of the vehicle, but the sun was at a low angle from the front of the car and the sunlight was dappled through the treetops on the other side of the crossing (there's a left-hand curve after the crossing), creating a "moving" glare through the windshield.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 04, 2021
Rear door with the automatic open/close feature. While accessing the rear portion of the vehicle (looking in boxes, accessing under floor storage compartment,etc) I have experienced on several occasions where the door starts to close. I was able to turn around, push the door upwards and the door stopped closing and reversed to the open area. This happened to our buick enclave that we own in canada. The dealer was able to find on buick's database where this was documented and the suggested solution was to "turn this feature off using the "control knob located in the driver's door". My wife and I are 80 and this feature was one of the reasons that we purchased this model new in may 2020. So solution that buick has offered is not the greatest. However, my wife is disabled and if the rear door had started to close on her, I do not think that she could have stopped the door from coming down. I will be notifying the canadian highway vehicle association of this problem. But seems to me that buick has a problem with the design of this system and is not addressing it. Are you aware of this problem with buick enclaves 2018 -2021 in the usa? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJul 20, 2021
The contact owns a 2019 buick enclave. The contact stated while driving downhill, he shifted to a lower gear and was depressing on the brake pedal however, the vehicle inadvertently accelerated. The contact also stated that the rpm was very high. The contact stated no warning light was illuminated. The contact stated he continued driving but had to stop 5 times to allow the vehicle to cool down. The contact took the vehicle to the local dealer. The mechanic found no failure with the vehicle. The contact stated that the failure persisted. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000. Contact was on top of pikes peak in colorado. The fast idle has the engine revved to high so that when foot was off the brake on a 5-8% slope the car accelerates to 6500rpm with in 250 feet taking the car to 30mph in low gear. Consumer had to push on the brakes constantly, all the way down the mountain which caused the brakes to severely overheat. Park ranger measured the temperature of the brakes at 375 degrees f it was after consumer had stopped to allow them to cool 3 times in about 4 miles. The car will idle at 950rpm stopped and will lurch forward when foot was off the brake. Driving on the highway speeds its fine but not on switchback mountain roads.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJan 08, 2021
My husband had the key in his pocket upstairs in our house. It accidentally activated at some point by his bending /sitting. The car remotely started and we did not hear it. Only because our pets became upset did we discover the running car in our closed garage. We were able to turn it off and vent the garage of co accumulation.
DateDec 02, 2020
The seal around the timing chain was leaking right from the first day we bought the car. The camshaft was also pitted and replaced. It was fixed by the dealer under warranty. This also happened on our 2009 buick enclave. It leaked a large amount of oil that could have caused major engine damage.
CategoryEngine, Structure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 29, 2020
I have had this new car just over for 1 year, im prior service military and was able to purchase this 2019 buick enclave for me on father's day last year because pur other car broke down on a family road trip. So I garage my vehicles I noticed a oil leak on the garage I didn't want to think it was from this car so I watched it seemed to be intermediate at times but recently got worse so I took it in told them and they said it was a bad oil filter but the oil filter is opposite side of the car from where this leak is dripping on my driver's side. So I just went under there to see what I could find I too was a mechanic in the army and outside as a civilian after so I looked took me 5 seconds to locate it that is the picture of the leak. Then I noticed rust cracks on my frame so I looked more and discovered the rust cracks are on the bottom and topside of the frame. So I did some research and saw coming up in dec a recall is going to happen for cracked frames on the buick enclave 2020 but starting from build date's 3 months after mine was built but mine shows all the systems of that recall but isn't included. Also I had a issue with the starter stop my family and I were stopped at a red light on a city street with a car infront of us when the engine stopped normally then when it turned back on my rpm kept going up like your pushing the excellorator peddle but I wasn't because my foot was on the brake when I look down I eased up a bit on the brake and it shot forward on me I didn't hit the car infront of me because I depressed harder on the brake to hold it. Thats when I started looking and saw this recall soon to come out.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 08, 2020
Broken rear sunroof clip to hold sunroof shut close there is no replacement part and sunroof stays open!! Part was made out of plastic and im sure more people have broken theirs too especially if they have kids
DateMay 27, 2020
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 buick enclave. The contact was concerned about a manufacturer's defect in the design of the passenger's side kick panel. The contact stated that the design may cause injuries to the passenger's feet. Two unknown dealers were contacted and informed of the contact's concern. The contact was informed that the panel was designed to manufacturer's specifications. The kick panel was not replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and informed of the failure. The failure mileage was 3,000.
CategoryPower Train
DateJan 21, 2020
When vehicle reengaging from auto start/stop during stops in traffic and/or lights/signs, slamming into gear after removing foot from brake, prior to pushing gas pedal. Happens in highway travel (if having to come to a stop) and city travel. Dealership replaced auxiliary fluid accumulator and added fluid to transmission. Owner now realizes fluid spots in driveway are where vehicle must have been leaking some fluid.
CategorySeat Belts
DateJan 15, 2020
Driver side 2nd row passenger's seat belt is not bolted to the frame. While driving this rental car on vacation, the paneling fell off revealing that the seat belt spool was hanging loose and not mounted to the frame. Based on what I can see from the threads, it appears never to have been connected (as opposed to being snapped off). This is a rental, but I don't trust the agency to report this appropriately so doing so myself. How this has gone unnoticed for 12k miles is beyond me.
CategoryAir Bags
DateOct 08, 2019
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 buick enclave. While driving 35 mph, the contact became distracted while making a right turn and crashed into a telephone pole. The air bags did not deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The crash occurred in front of the contact's insurance company where the vehicle was inspected and towed to the contact's residence. The front end of the vehicle was damaged. The dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact to call nhtsa to file a complaint. The cause of the failure was not determined. The vehicle was repaired by an independent mechanic. The failure mileage was approximately 7,712.
CategoryElectrical System, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 15, 2019
After the vehicle is started, with the engine running, if a door is closed or opened/closed anything plugged into the aux outlet will short out and reset (I. E. Radar detector will reboot as if power supply was interrupted) and/or if the factory installed dvd players are powered on, they will turn off. Does not qualify under the lemon law because gm has been investigating a similar issue since 01/24/2019 with no current resolution or path forward. Gm advises dealers to attempt no repairs at this time and expect the consumer to "live" with a potential electrical short in the vehicle. Gm pit5653 explains a portion of the issue, but not all. Pit5653 applies to (10) different gm manufactured vehicles.
CategoryEngine, Power Train
DateJun 05, 2019
Traveling at highway speeds car suddenly shifted itself into neutral and could not be engage back to any drive gears. Brakes were inoperable and accelerator was in operable. Finally came to a stop by coasting to the shoulder and waiting for speed to drop far enough to get vehicle to go into park.
DateApr 03, 2019
Note: mileage is 1240 miles, just purchased three months ago with 54 miles on it and shipped to germany (dod civilian). While in europe, I am using the vehicles' "metric" setting (kph versus mph), which switches the speedometer to read kph and auto tunes the engine to the appropriate levels to match kph. I have been driving this vehicle for the last three weeks until the issue happened last night around 1830 hours cet. Issue: while accelerating and tuning left from a stop (stop light with the city), the engine suddenly loss power then jerked into a lower gear, but somehow got stuck in 3rd gear restricting max speed of about 25-30 mph running at 5000 rpms. After several attempts to stop, start, and proceed, I found the vehicle seem to be slipping when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear, but would not go beyond 3rd gear causing the engine to strain and rev at an unsafe levels. Tried several times to shift to "l" to manually engage the engine, but it kept changing back to "d" automatic. Also noted that when the vehicle reaches the next programmed gear shift (e. G. 2nd gear to 3rd gear) it then jerks, stalls for about 2-3 seconds, then suddenly engages 3rd gear running at extremely high rpms and never shifts beyond that. Now check engine light is on. Vehicle has never been in an accident, damaged, or wrecked.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 18, 2019
Front brakes locking up at any speed. Replaced the master cylinder . 48 hours later it happened again

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Mary G

    Thank you for your information concerning the 2019 enclave. I have a 2015 enclave and love it. The miles are at 85,000. I thought I should trade…..not so sure now.
    Any advise ??

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