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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Left Buick and GM

Hello Forum:

This is a rather lengthy post, so I apologize in advance. I was a previous member of this forum and originally posted under the name TFL850 beginning around May 2009 after I purchased my 2009 Buick Enclave CXL. I posted for a few months and then left the forum.

At that time I was very pleased with my purchase and had high expectations for my Enclave, which I considered to be very stylish with nice features. It was the most expensive vehicle that I had ever owned and was proud to have moved up to the semi-luxury category with my first-ever Buick. I trusted the Buick name for quality, and hoped to keep the vehicle for 10-12 years (an important factor in my financial planning for retirement in a few years).

Unfortunately my vehicle succumbed to the numerous problems that plague the 2009 model. My list follows, and I'm sure fellow 2009 owners know some of these issues quite well:

-- Steering rack failure, replaced
-- Water pump failure, replaced
-- Driver seat track rail and motor failure, replaced
-- Seat heater failure, replaced
-- Brake master cylinder, failure, replaced
-- Early battery failure, replaced
-- Motor mount failure, replaced
-- Power steering pump failure, replaced
-- Coil pack failure, replaced
-- A/C actuator failure, replaced
-- Brake booster failure, not replaced, just tolerated a loud squeaky brake pedal
-- Struts failure, not replaced, just tolerated a rough ride
-- Rear hatch opens spontaneously, not fixed, just tolerated the uncertainty that my car might remain locked or might not
-- A/C that stops blowing cold air on long trips after two hours if someone is sitting in the passenger seat (never when driving solo), not fixed, just tolerated
-- Instrumentation buttons with the facing flaked off, not replaced, just tolerated
-- Short circuit in both daytime running lights, not fixed, just tolerated

My Enclave has been well maintained and is low mileage; only 73,600 miles on a vehicle that was put into service in May 2009, an average of less than 10,000 miles per year.

After years of disappointment, I recently decided that I didn't want to keep the Enclave, which I considered to be a "ticking time bomb" waiting for the eventual failure of the 3-5-R waveplate, which I considered to be almost a certainty given the 2009 model's track record for poor quality. I just didn't want to risk having the transmission fail leaving me stranded somewhere.

Well ... if you've read this far ... this is where the story actually gets a bit humorous. After realizing that my 10-12 year plan of Enclave ownership was not to be, I decided to check out a new Ford Explorer. I drove my Enclave to the Ford dealership and test drove the Explorer. While working up a sale price, the Ford tech took my Enclave for a test drive to assess its trade-in value. They commented that my Enclave is exceptionally clean, so if it were mechanically sound I would get a good trade-in value. When the tech returned with my Enclave he said he barely made it back to the dealership because the car would not shift into third gear. I went out to see for myself. When I shifted the Enclave into reverse gear to back out of the parking space, the car would not move. The Enclave had experienced the dreaded 3-5-R waveplate failure AT THE VERY MOMENT I was about to trade it. My trade-in valued dropped $4,000 in the blink of an eye.

I had the Enclave towed from the Ford dealership to the GMC-Buick-Cadillac dealership. The service tech recognized the waveplate problem and had the Enclave repaired under GM's extended 120,000-mile 10-year warranty. The vehicle was in the shop for 11 calendar days. When it was ready for pickup, the steering wheel was no longer facing center, the driver seat adjustment controls no longer worked, and the A/C actuator was not functioning (with two front vents blowing hot air). The Enclave did not have these three issues when it was first left at the dealership for repair. I left the dealership with one major problem fixed, but with three new annoyance problems.

The following day, I took the Enclave back to the Ford dealership with proof of the repair and my original trade-in value was restored. I now drive a new 2017 Ford Explorer XLT. I'm hoping for good quality and a positive ownership experience, but one never knows.

The bottom line for this long story is this: I had owned two Chevrolets earlier in my life, had moved up to the semi-luxury Buick, and thought that one day I might upgrade to the luxury Cadillac -- climbing the ladder like in the old-fashioned American Dream, so to speak. However, given all the problems I've experienced with the Enclave, I will never purchase another GM car. Never.

I'm sure other stories similar to mine are out there; some reported on forums like this, but most which simply go unreported. Just consumers silently making the decision to walk away from GM and not look back.

As I said at the outset, I thought the Enclave was a beautiful car for 2009 and I was optimistic about its quality; I was a proud new owner. But there was another reason for my Enclave purchase. If you recall, in early 2009 GM was in the midst of bankruptcy reorganization. I bought the Enclave anyway, thinking that this iconic American car maker should indeed be saved because its success was good for American workers and the economy. Now I'm not so sure; apparently the new GM is very much like the old GM that got itself into such a mess years ago. (Just look at the GM's deadly mishandling of the faulty ignition switch issue a couple of years ago.)

I just don't think GM cares. Even if GM designs a stunningly beautiful car with solid engineering (like the Enclave), if that engineering is executed using cheap, poor quality parts manufactured in China then the quality will suffer. But, if GM can save 80 cents per part by outsourcing, then that's what GM will do. And the consumer will ultimately pay the price in repairs and frustration. A company can't build brand loyalty if it takes such a dismissive attitude toward its buyers. Granted, I'm just one person, but I'll never give the GM brand another chance.

Even though I left the forum years ago, I continued to visit and read the content. That was very helpful in knowing which quality problems to anticipate, and I appreciate those who posted their information and insight. Good luck with your Enclaves. I genuinely hope the recent Consumer Reports rating of Buick as No. 3 in quality proves true, and that your ownership experience is better than mine.

Best wishes and drive safely!
TFL850-redux is offline  
post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 09:24 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

Sorry to hear, one would think a modern vehicle would not have that many issues. We had both AC and steering rack issues < 30k. Actuators for hvac. Got GMPP but as designed, nothing since, after 13 mos. We plan on driving this vehicle into the ground, with no plans on getting another GM nor Buick. Since they now seem to be ranked 3rd to Lexus and Toyota for reliability (I know unscientific and unreliable results), it's not so much the reliability per se. It's the way the co. and dealerships operate. Hey, I own the stock, so I hope people buy their vehicles and service them as well....good luck with the Ford, my hunch is you'll do much better just playing the odds....

'11 CXL1 AWD, white diamond, navi, sunroof, NE emissions
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-30-2016, 06:44 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

he bought a Ford.

<br />2016 Silverado LT NHT<br />2016 Buick Enclave Premium<br />2002 Camaro SS Convertible 35th Anniversary
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 10:00 AM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

To the OP. You had the bad luck to buy an early model. I owned a 09 traverse LTZ that i had problems with also. Todays GM's fit and finish is as good as ever. I hope you good luck with your ford . I bought a 2015 enclave premium That is far better than the traverse. Mainly because of the 6 years between the two. The problems have fallen off greatly from the first years to now. With any of todays cars there is no way i will let the warranty expire.

1998 Torch Red Corvette 2011 Silver Ice Equinox LTZ 2015 White Diamond Enclave Premium
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 11:11 AM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

What a frustrating situation! I'm not sure how I would have handled it, but I'm sure that it would have involved at least some bad language. I hope that you have better luck and lots of enjoyment from your new vehicle.

2008 Gold Mist Enclave CX AWD, Cashmere Cloth, Driver's Confidence Package, 8 passenger seating
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 07:49 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

+1 on the earlier models being more problematic.

It sounds like your wave plate was ready to go and all it needed was a heavy foot by the dealer's tech to finish it off.

Ford Explorers are great vehicles and we are on our 3rd one, however it is an 09 and not the most current platform. We considered a used Explorer like a 13 or 14 because we like the redesign in 11 but saw so many complaints mostly about exhaust fumes entering the cabin when the A/C is on we decided to pass and bought an 11 Enclave with 22k miles. The problem with the Explorers extended into some 16 models and my last research was back in April 16 so who knows about the 17s. Hope your 17 is trouble free.

Its too bad your Enclave and GM disappointed you to the point of moving on. Its your right to do so. However, my first Explorer an 04 (3rd year on that redesign) was a lemon and I gave it back. I then bought an 06 and put 112k on it with no issues and liked it so much sold it and found a used 09 Explorer with only 3k on it in 2012. Still have it with no issues and it has 57k miles. I considered never buying another Ford again but I chalked it up to it being a lemon. My point being is sometimes you just get a lemon and I am sorry your Enclave was one.

FWIW, another reason we did not go to an Explorer or even an Acadia is that those vehilces would have felt like a lateral move instead of a move up from a "nice car" or luxury point of view. To me, the Enclave is just a nicer vehicle.

2011 CXL1&nbsp; AWD, Carbon Black Metallic, Ebony Leather, Dual Moonroofs, Nav, 8 Passenger, Hit the Road and Driver Confidence Packages, 23k miles.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

I agree with your sentiments about the Enclave's luxury. I still feel that it belongs in the entry level/near luxury segment after having traded it in for my new Audi several months ago. The Enclave is a very nice large CUV.

2008 Gold Mist Enclave CX AWD, Cashmere Cloth, Driver's Confidence Package, 8 passenger seating
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 12:06 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldEnclave
I agree with your sentiments about the Enclave's luxury. I still feel that it belongs in the entry level/near luxury segment after having traded it in for my new Audi several months ago. The Enclave is a very nice large CUV.
I made this comment already in a different thread; but I still anticipate the Gen 2 Enclave to fully enter the luxury CUV segment.......well, however that's actually determined these days......with a maxed-out MSRP exceeding $60K.

'09 CXL FWD (invoiced 9/4/08, delivered 12/18/0 replaced by a 2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited on 3/16/12.&nbsp; Added a Nissan Altima 2.5 SV on 3/2/16, a 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL on 4/21/15, and a 2002 Honda Accord SE on 5/22/14.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 12:36 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TFL850-redux

The bottom line for this long story is this: I had owned two Chevrolets earlier in my life, had moved up to the semi-luxury Buick, and thought that one day I might upgrade to the luxury Cadillac -- climbing the ladder like in the old-fashioned American Dream, so to speak. However, given all the problems I've experienced with the Enclave, I will never purchase another GM car. Never.
I've spent enough time around here to realize this Message Board is as much (or more) about owners' bitching and moaning about their problems as anything else. Of course, nobody in this galaxy is better than yours truly at bitching and moaning. I also freely admit I exited my own 2009 well in advance of any major problems, so I admittedly come at this from an entirely different angle.

That said, what never fails to amaze me is the almost-neurotic need some disappointed Enclave ex-owners have to come here and triumphantly (or angrily) proclaim how they'll absolutely never buy another GM vehicle. Obviously, it's no skin off my.....or anyone else's.....nose if that's case. And beyond that, who really cares......it's your money, you make whatever decision you make and you buy whatever you want.

I honestly don't direct this editorial solely at the OP, because he's simply the latest of many early Enclave owners looking for a similar avenue to vent on the way out the door. But I've never been able to figure out what folks like this hope to gain by doing it on a Message Board filled largely (and primarily) with Enclave advocates.

Of course, given similar circumstances, I can't prove I wouldn't have done the same thing as the OP......though I can only say I truthfully don't think so


'09 CXL FWD (invoiced 9/4/08, delivered 12/18/0 replaced by a 2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited on 3/16/12.&nbsp; Added a Nissan Altima 2.5 SV on 3/2/16, a 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL on 4/21/15, and a 2002 Honda Accord SE on 5/22/14.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-14-2016, 03:45 PM
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Re: Left Buick and GM

In my lifetime, I have had many GM products. Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick. Only one was a problem for me, the first Cadillac El Dorado. It got to the point where every time I started it up, I wondered what the problem would be at that time, Second El Dorado, I exited for completely different reasons. All personal, First, every time I sat in it, the low seat profile sent my left hip into physical pain, pain, pain. Second, had 2 small great-grandsons, in car seats. It was a pain to try and get car seats in and out. Went to enclave. two minor items I had fixed under warranty. Cracked plating on one wheel, and the seal around the bottom of the windshield. Both fixed, no questions. Now on Second Enclave. I figure this is probably the last vehicle I will but in my lifetime, so I went whole hog, and loaded up a Tuscan edition.

2016 Enclave, FWD, Premium Group, Dark Chocolate Metallic, Choccachino leather, SunRoof/Skylight, Captains Chairs 2nd row, Rear Seat Entertainment, 20 in. Wheels, Trailering Pkg. Hit the Road and Cargo Convenience <br /><br />There are two kinds of people in this world.&nbsp; SAILORS!.&nbsp;And those who wish they were.
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