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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2012 Enclave with a power lift gate. We bought it used in 2014. It has 112k miles. It is still in great shape and has never been wrecked. After having it about a year, when closing the lift gate it caught the left (drivers side) tail light and broke both the inner and outer light housings where they come together.

After repairing the light housings the lift gate still wont close properly when using the automatic feature. The lift gate will close manually.

I have no idea where to start. Any ideas?
 

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This is what I would do first:



Turn off the power lift gate from center console, manually close the lift gate slowly to see if you can find any loose hinges or incorrect alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It wont let me upload a video. The drivers side lift arm pops when it is all the way open. Any ideas how to share the video?
 

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I see. So when it closes in auto it goes down all the was as if it may latch and then it reverses? There have been a couple of clunking complaints on the other forum, Acadia I believe. The dealer replaced the actuator and motor but also needs to order a bracket, Another member says he is living with the clunking.
https://www.acadiaforum.net/8-gmc-acadia/31249-am-i-getting-ripped-off.html

You would need to get into the area of the actuator to see if you may just need a bracket, actuator or adjustment. On my 2008 the whole door would release from the actuator if it met a bind, then all I would need to do is reset it back into place. Your 2012 and my 2015 look different.
 

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It wont let me upload a video. The drivers side lift arm pops when it is all the way open. Any ideas how to share the video?
You need 10 posts b4 you can add pics and vids.
 

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I just looked at mine, you can remove the little panel to see the actuator. I got inside and used the remote to operate it.

***************Moving parts! No Fingers please. *********************
It is hard to imagine what can go bad on it, it is a gear cluster and the actuator arm is connected to the bottom of assembly. Something may be loose or bent on yours. Looking at your second video, maybe it skipped a tooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It took me two hours to replace a headlight. I got the videos uploaded to youtube and linked them.

I have looked into the area where the arm is and i cant see anything that appears out of place.

I dont know why the arm on the left side would pop after it is all the way up. When it closes its not lined up and the inner taillight on the lift gate hits the outer light. i dont know how to change this alignment
 

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The lights still hit each other, that is a problem there. Are you mechanically inclined or know someone who is?
One possible cause is that the strut rods are not doing their job.
Another one is that on one or more cycles, something got caught on the way down and caused it to go out of alignment.
What I would do, is open the hatch and make sure it will stay there by propping it up with something, such as a ladder.
Disconnect the rod from the automatic actuator at the hatch and at the actuator.
Carefully remove the ladder make sure the hatch doesn't drop down, and try the door using just the struts and see how it is balanced.
Does it stay up?
Is it heavy during the opening and closing movement.
Does it open and close smoothly.
Does the door still rub at the taillights?
If it doesn't work as it should you probably need to replace the struts. There are two different numbers left and right.
There isn't much of an adjustment point PER SE. If it is misaligned if it still hits the taillights in full manual, then either you could try to adjust the whole hatch but you should probably bring it to a body shop.
If you aren't comfortable doing those steps then you probably should bring it to a good body shop or mechanic. A Dealer will be OK but probably charge you more.
 

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:ditto: what electbc says.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks electbc. this forum kept locking me out then stopped sending notifications. I will try as you suggested and report back.

I am mechanically inclined. Not much I cant do.

Just an update. I have taken as much of the inside apart as I can and watched it go up and down. The only thing I can think (if it doesnt turn out to be the struts) is that maybe it skipped a tooth. I seem to remember years ago either me or one of the boys trying to shut it manually when it was still going up. Dont know why that sticks out in my head but I just thought bout it.

Thanks again!
 

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From Ricks Free Auto Repair Advice:

Power liftgate closes immediately after fully opening. Usually has a loud clunking noise at top of gate travel just before power closing— it will open fully, drop a few inches, then power close.
Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Weak strut(s) (PLG goes into a customer safe mode and power closes gate slowly). Turn off the power liftgate using the disable switch in the bottom of the center stack. Manually open the liftgate to the full open position using the exterior liftgate pull handle. Verify that the liftgate will remain at or near the full open position for several minutes. If the liftgate will not remain open, replace the liftgate strut(s) that are weak. Though both struts should be inspected for weakness, it is often only the LH strut that requires replacement. It is important to note that the LH and RH assist struts have two different part numbers and each should be installed in its proper location.

I meant to post this from Rick back in March, don't know why it didn't post. Thanks for following up on progress.
 

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I just had the same issue with my tailgate catching on my tail light. It was a worn out strut used to hold the gate open. I replaced both sides and the lift gate opens and closes normally now.
 

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I just had the same issue with my tailgate catching on my tail light. It was a worn out strut used to hold the gate open. I replaced both sides and the lift gate opens and closes normally now.
:thumb:
 

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Good evening! My problem with my 2008 CXL is also related to liftgate operation, but is different from the issues I could find on this site. My liftgate will start to open fine (by actuation from the console switch, the key fob, or the exterior rear liftgate switch), but when it is open about two-thirds, will suddenly begin to close. There is usually a "clunk" just before the liftgate starts to descend again. I can stop the liftgate from closing by pressing any of the three actuator buttons a second time (console switch, key fob, or exterior switch). When I do that, the liftgate, will then open completely and stay open, but it is being opened by the struts, and not the motor. The liftgate closes fine by any of the three activation methods.

A little more: ONCE in a awhile, the open cycle works fine. Maybe once in 20 cycle attempts. No second push of any button required. Also, when the open cycle does fail the other 95% of the time, I can interrupt the closing cycle by pushing any of the 3 actuation button types, no matter what button type initiated the opening cycle.

I have examined the motor gears, and everything looks good there ...no missing teeth... I lubricate them with a light grease. The struts are new-ish, and have no difficulty in raising the liftgate manually. (Hat-in-hand) I am hoping that somebody can give me some guidance on what the problem(s) may be. My Enclave is 12 years old, I bought it in 2007, and I am the original owner (257K miles). I love it!! My thanks to you for your replies! Steve (Cowboy)
 

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First of all, congratulations on your mileage, great return on your investment. I had a 2008 Saturn Outlook and sold it with 212k on it, now I have a 2015 Clave, bought it CPO with 42k on it. Are both struts both the same number or do they have different numbers? There is a left and a right for proper balance with powered gate. Did you replace them and what brand?
 

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Good morning, Electbc!

First off, I wanted to thank you for the time you took in responding to me! I really appreciated that. I was kinda hoping that you would, because I could see from your other posts that you really know yur stuff about this vehicle!

So when I read your reply, I got to thinking..."It's the durn struts! Of course!!" The OEM struts lasted 8 years, and I replaced the struts myself in early 2017. Because the first ones lasted so long, I figgered that these struts were too new to be a problem.

After your post, I went out and looked at them. There are no numbers on them at all, and they are rusty in places, and something is bubbling around the cylinder/piston of the motor-side strut. So propping the liftgate up with a board, I removed them. I could compress the motor-side strut by hand. Uh-oh. That's a problem!!

So new struts, designed for a LH AND a RH application are on the way! I'll let you know how it goes! And this Cowboy has his hat in his hand in thanks! You pointed me in the right direction, which is what I needed!
 
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