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Author Topic: Broken Wave Plate  (Read 81905 times, 563 Replies)
dzs3fz
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« on: June 20, 2011, 02:44:33 PM »

I’ve been reading all the “broken wave plate” posts and was wondering how common is this failure and is any one year more prone to failure more than another?  It appears this part is made of cheap materials, however, is it a vendor quality issue and can we all expect a failure before 100k?
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 03:03:37 PM »

Just for data collecting on this thread:

I do NOT have this problem, 2009 Enclave FWD CX, 18,700 miles
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 03:24:48 PM »

Ive read of the issue. as theres been posts about it.
But I wouldnt say its a VERY common issue.
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 09:46:16 PM »

What's a "wave plate"?
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 10:03:24 PM »

What's a "wave plate"?

a wave plate as a cushion plate


http://www.performancetrucks.net/forums/showthread.php?t=419779
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 10:59:46 PM »


Thanks for the link. I've been curious to know what the wave plate is, too. thumbs up
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 10:00:21 AM »

Thanks SAILFISH!  I had a broken wave plate problem with my 08 Enclave at 55k miles.  The mechanic showed me a broken a wave plate he pulled out of a tranny the previous week.  It looks just like the rings shown in your link above.  The transmission wouldn't shift above third gear.  I questioned the mechanic about the failure mode - he said that the transmission has speed sensors that measure the input and output speed of the transmission.  This infomation is used by the Transmission Control Module to shift the transmission.  The broken wave plate was brittle from heat and broke. What happens is - some metalic parts get attracted to the magnetic speed sensor, and blocks the speed sensor from working, so it won't shift properly.  The broken wave plate seems to be the 3-5-R plate, with an engine code of P0716 among others. 
  To fix this - the transmission must be dropped, and disassembled.  Broken metal parts have to be removed, the input speed sensor replaced, a new plate installed,  and the transmission fluid lines including the transmittion cooler were flushed.  I am not sure if there are filters in the transmission - my repair invoice did not list any filter changes.  One recent post on this matter said there are no filters.  Kind of strange I would think. 
  I don't belive this is a wide spread problem as not that many posts.  However my dealer mechanic had fixed a few.........   
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 10:44:35 PM »

The transmission does have a filter, but it is only can be replaced by splitting the tranny case open.  Maybe they don't replace them even if they have it apart? 
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 01:50:19 PM »

I have a 2008 Enclave. As posted elsewhere, just had the broken wave plate and speed sensor fixed on my car right after it hit 100k.
The plate cost $5.63. The sensor cost $28.42. But the labor cost $2,000. Ouch.

The Buick Customer Care people have been really excellent through this process. They just notified me that they will be refunding 30% of the cost back to me as a goodwill gesture. Good luck and be relieved if it's the wave plate and not the entire transmission!

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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 01:55:06 PM »

I have a 2008 Enclave. As posted elsewhere, just had the broken wave plate and speed sensor fixed on my car right after it hit 100k.
The plate cost $5.63. The sensor cost $28.42. But the labor cost $2,000. Ouch.

The Buick Customer Care people have been really excellent through this process. They just notified me that they will be refunding 30% of the cost back to me as a goodwill gesture. Good luck and be relieved if it's the wave plate and not the entire transmission!



Yikes, that is an expensive break down! At least Buick is helping out a bit. Hopefully you don't have an more major repair expenses in your Enclave's future. Good luck.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 02:47:59 PM »

2008 Buick Enclave CXL AWD.. approx 110k km , and just had transmission failure ... I believe it is the plate that shifts between gears 3 & 5 (maybe the wave plate). It failed and took quite a number of other parts with it.

Currently in the shop, and waiting for parts

Fortunately have extended warranty to 120K km (and on lease with 1 month to go !)

also water pump failed (leaking) in May 2011, and then engine goes into shutdown mode and into idle reduced speed (wherever you are to save the engine). No indication that water was leaking though before it failed.

Also navigation system continues to fail with DVD error and freezes whole system. Had whole Console unit replaced once ...
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 02:45:38 PM »

Mine broke at 80,200 miles on a 07 Saturn Outlook.
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dzs3fz
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 02:13:37 PM »

Has it ever been determined if the broken wave plate issue is a manufacturing defect and if so how many vehicles are prone to failure?   Are all model "E"s experiencing these failures?  My '08 has 92k and I was just wondering if there have been any failures after this many miles?  I have my fingers crossed so far.

Thks 
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 04:11:48 PM »

Has it ever been determined if the broken wave plate issue is a manufacturing defect and if so how many vehicles are prone to failure?   Are all model "E"s experiencing these failures?  My '08 has 92k and I was just wondering if there have been any failures after this many miles?  I have my fingers crossed so far.

Thks 
Caused by how you drive it.... Shocked.... Happy....... hilarious2......NO, not really, but I think there's NO way to tell what causes these problems.  I think, and this a big assumption, that the wave plates are a hit or miss.  You may drive 200K with not an issue, you may drive 15K and have a failure.  I agree with you, I would also like to know the facts, but I'm afraid there is no way to forcast how long these will last.  Without all the data, it's next to impossible.  You would have to have the owners who had wave plate failures mark down how the vehicle was driven each day, temperatures they live in, whether they tow or not, how much stop and go traffic, how many hills, how much they use cruise, if they use the manual settings for the gears, and many more variables.  My guess....it's not a manufacturing defect, it's a crap shoot,
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2011, 04:50:56 PM »

Caused by how you drive it.... Shocked.... Happy....... hilarious2......NO, not really, but I think there's NO way to tell what causes these problems.  I think, and this a big assumption, that the wave plates are a hit or miss.  You may drive 200K with not an issue, you may drive 15K and have a failure.  I agree with you, I would also like to know the facts, but I'm afraid there is no way to forcast how long these will last.  Without all the data, it's next to impossible.  You would have to have the owners who had wave plate failures mark down how the vehicle was driven each day, temperatures they live in, whether they tow or not, how much stop and go traffic, how many hills, how much they use cruise, if they use the manual settings for the gears, and many more variables.  My guess....it's not a manufacturing defect, it's a crap shoot,


I have the feeling that you are correct. Undecided
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« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2011, 05:14:35 PM »

My '08 has 92k and I was just wondering if there have been any failures after this many miles? 

Failure on an Outlook with 108K on the odo....fixed on owners dime
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2011, 12:02:17 PM »

Failure on an Outlook with 108K on the odo....fixed on owners dime

How much did the repair cost?
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2011, 01:08:10 PM »

The OP never responded with their original location.  They ended up replacing the whole trans with a new one at a dealer discounted price of about $4k.
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2011, 01:28:17 PM »

That's a whole lot of dimes!  so sad
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2011, 06:37:42 PM »

The problem is due to the original wave plates being slightly over tempered in production which made them brittle. Plus, if it was flashed cooled (something foreign steel producers are NOT supposed to be doing any longer), this forces carbon to the surface rapidly which also makes the steel brittle. However, I don't know the precise composition of the metallurgy used for the reverse clutch wave plate, so the flash cooling comment is 100% speculation.

Should they be failing at this rate on the Lambda series vehicles, obviously not. But try explaining THAT to the GM corporate brass.

So, based on the information I received, as far as them eventually cracking, chipping, or breaking, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

Yes, this obviously includes vehicles over the 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty period. It is inevitable.

Now, if it's not going to be addressed in a TSB or a full campaign, you obviously have three choices:

1) Dump the car before 100,000 miles

2) Hope it breaks before 100,000 miles

3) Keep the car and pay for it out of pocket when it breaks after 100,000 miles.

. . Falcon
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. . .but, what do I know???
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