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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered my Enclave last October and finally it has arrived in Germany. Some changes have to made according to German EPA and DOT so I will get in in 2 more weeks.
The company that takes care of the import for me advised me to have them install a underbody protection( hope I was able to find the correct english words ), they say there is no protection against rost from the factory side. Also they want to seal all "hollow spaces" with a special fluid.
Does anybody have any experience with this subject. Any recommendations?
By the way - the import company told me that most like my Enclave is the first ever to be on the road in Germany. Drove the car last summer one month as a rental car from Hertz in California and loved it.
 

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In the US the Enclave has a 6 year rust through protection warranty. Be careful with additional rust protection offers. Make sure that the "hollow spaces" that they plan to fill are not drain holes. There are stories of these rust protection measures causing rust by trapping water because drainage pathways were blocked.
 

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Congratulations, and please post some pictures of th Enclave flying down the Autobahn!!

You do not need any additional under-coating for rust, on the Enclave. It has plenty and the metal is also coated in rust-prohibitives (Zinc, I think?)

Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the hints.
Once the car is on the road here I will post some pictures. It might take another 2 or 3 weeks until it s street legal. German law requires orange turn signals in the back but does not want orange lights in the front... and so on, it s kind of ridiculous but I knew this problems front up.
"The"flying down the autobahn" might not be exactly what I can do. As far as I know the car has a speed limiter set on 110mls and I decided not to overwrite the software to make it faster. Sounds funny to some people over here to have same hoursepower than a Porsche but limited to this speed. I loved the Enclave when I drove it as a rental in California for the very comfortable cruising. And with gasoline close to 9 ( in words NINE) dollar a gallon ( 1,50 Euro per liter) You need to look for good mileage.
 

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Congrats! Did you order this from the States? or are you buying this a Buick Dealerships there? Just Curious cause if you ordered it then you are going to have a unique veh, which is going to be cool.
I don't think that you should have to spend more money on under carriage protection cause here in Canada its a money making schme. And many people pay like close to $1000 for it. When I bought my car they wanted to sell me this and I mentioned are you telling me that my car not protected cause if that's the case then you should reduce the price. They didn't bother me after.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the recommendation on the extra protection.
I spend a lot of time with friends in Long Beach/CA so I tried to order a car at one of the local dealerships. I was very surprised when they told me that they are not allowed to sell to foreigners for export. Of course I could have asked a local friend to buy and then sell to me but then I would loose all the local tax and registration money.There are no Buick dealerships in Europe so its even more surprising that the Buick headquarters confirmed that I cannot buy a car in the USA, they recommended to buy an Opel ( that s the German type of GM cars).
So I ordered the car through a german based agency and they have their way of legally getting the car. It s maybe a bit more expensive but they also provide a 2 year limited warrenty as the manufactures warranty is not honered anymore as soon as the car leaves the USA or Canada. So far to the global markets :mad:
As for the extra protection I will not order it as I also think it s not necessary. I drove a Voyager which I bought in Long Beach years ago and after many years it did not show any rost at all
 

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haggibear said:
Thanks for the recommendation on the extra protection.
I spend a lot of time with friends in Long Beach/CA so I tried to order a car at one of the local dealerships. I was very surprised when they told me that they are not allowed to sell to foreigners for export. Of course I could have asked a local friend to buy and then sell to me but then I would loose all the local tax and registration money.There are no Buick dealerships in Europe so its even more surprising that the Buick headquarters confirmed that I cannot buy a car in the USA, they recommended to buy an Opel ( that s the German type of GM cars).
So I ordered the car through a german based agency and they have their way of legally getting the car. It s maybe a bit more expensive but they also provide a 2 year limited warrenty as the manufactures warranty is not honered anymore as soon as the car leaves the USA or Canada. So far to the global markets :mad:
As for the extra protection I will not order it as I also think it s not necessary. I drove a Voyager which I bought in Long Beach years ago and after many years it did not show any rost at all

Fascinating details! Can't believe you said " $9 a gallon" for gasoline!!! :eek: Here, in USA, Diesel just went to $4.25 a gallon!! I'm sure gas will catch up within a few months :sosad:

Yes, the speed is limited because of the tire specification! If you ever change the tires, re-set the speed limiter and I bet she can go 135MPH, with those incredible gear ratios. Wind resistance will probably prevent more than that however. It's a BIG automobile :thumb:

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Smokin SRX said:
Fascinating details! Can't believe you said " $9 a gallon" for gasoline!!! :eek: Here, in USA, Diesel just went to $4.25 a gallon!! I'm sure gas will catch up within a few months :sosad:

Yes, the speed is limited because of the tire specification! If you ever change the tires, re-set the speed limiter and I bet she can go 135MPH, with those incredible gear ratios. Wind resistance will probably prevent more than that however. It's a BIG automobile :thumb:

Good luck.
yes, 9 $ a gallon is crazy but it sounds so high right now because the US Dollar has such a bad exchange rate to the Euro money at the moment.
Also I have to say that nearly 70% or even more is state tax ( gasoline tax) and sales tax (VAT is 19% in Germany)
I probably keep the limiter as I as I got a really good insurance rate for this big car
 

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Yes, exchange rate is poor, but even if the US dollar gained some strength.......$6.50 a gallon would still be very high. I read most European Countries have very high gasoline taxes. Unfortunate, as you have some beautiful roads to drive on! Guess this is why your train systems are so well developed, also.

In my State (New York) we pay about $.50 cents (1/2 dollar) more per gallon, for gasoline, than the neighboring State of New Jersey, just from taxes! My daughter lives only 10 miles from the boarder, and goes there to fill her gas tank. She saves $45 a month, this way.

Good luck with your Enclave. Please let us know when you receive it :thumb:
 

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Rust has been a very minimal problem in at least the past 10 years. In the US we use sand, coal slag (rough on paint), and a variety of salts to deal with snow and ice. Drainage is designed into the vehicles various panels that are subjected to water intrusion, and anything that keeps the water in will increase the risk of problems. In fact, good water flow through the natural paths within some panels helps flush corrosive elements out. Panels are treated in a number of ways to minimize rust, and they should not be disturbed or coated. In my opinion, you run less risk by doing nothing. To be fair, the job can be done in such a way that no harm is done, but I would doubt you should expect that.

Undercoating (as compared to selectively and sparingly applied sound deadening [which the Enclave doesn't need]) is one of those "used to make sense" products that has outgrown it's legitimate market. Some dealerships still sell it as an "up" to increase their gross profit on the total sales transaction. It is a high profit item. Most dealerships no longer sell any Undercoating products as part of their new vehicle sales transactions. The legitimate use of these products is with collision repair (and then its not used as much as it should be).

In the end, the purchase of an applied undercoat and "waxy" interior sealer is a personal decision. It can be done right resulting in no harm, though of questionable benefit. Unless I could be sure the installation was right, I wouldn't do it.
 

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xz8pdb said:
Rust has been a very minimal problem in at least the past 10 years. In the US we use sand, coal slag (rough on paint), and a variety of salts to deal with snow and ice. Drainage is designed into the vehicles various panels that are subjected to water intrusion, and anything that keeps the water in will increase the risk of problems. In fact, good water flow through the natural paths within some panels helps flush corrosive elements out. Panels are treated in a number of ways to minimize rust, and they should not be disturbed or coated. In my opinion, you run less risk by doing nothing. To be fair, the job can be done in such a way that no harm is done, but I would doubt you should expect that.

Undercoating (as compared to selectively and sparingly applied sound deadening [which the Enclave doesn't need]) is one of those "used to make sense" products that has outgrown it's legitimate market. Some dealerships still sell it as an "up" to increase their gross profit on the total sales transaction. It is a high profit item. Most dealerships no longer sell any Undercoating products as part of their new vehicle sales transactions. The legitimate use of these products is with collision repair (and then its not used as much as it should be).

In the end, the purchase of an applied undercoat and "waxy" interior sealer is a personal decision. It can be done right resulting in no harm, though of questionable benefit. Unless I could be sure the installation was right, I wouldn't do it.
Hey, good info! And :welcome: to the forum! That's quite a "moniker" ;D ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
xz8pdb said:
Rust has been a very minimal problem in at least the past 10 years. In the US we use sand, coal slag (rough on paint), and a variety of salts to deal with snow and ice. Drainage is designed into the vehicles various panels that are subjected to water intrusion, and anything that keeps the water in will increase the risk of problems. In fact, good water flow through the natural paths within some panels helps flush corrosive elements out. Panels are treated in a number of ways to minimize rust, and they should not be disturbed or coated. In my opinion, you run less risk by doing nothing. To be fair, the job can be done in such a way that no harm is done, but I would doubt you should expect that.

Undercoating (as compared to selectively and sparingly applied sound deadening [which the Enclave doesn't need]) is one of those "used to make sense" products that has outgrown it's legitimate market. Some dealerships still sell it as an "up" to increase their gross profit on the total sales transaction. It is a high profit item. Most dealerships no longer sell any Undercoating products as part of their new vehicle sales transactions. The legitimate use of these products is with collision repair (and then its not used as much as it should be).

In the end, the purchase of an applied undercoat and "waxy" interior sealer is a personal decision. It can be done right resulting in no harm, though of questionable benefit. Unless I could be sure the installation was right, I wouldn't do it.
Thank You very much for sharing Your experience and the recommendations. I have deceided to tell the dealer that I prefer not to take any action.
Today acually is THE BIG DAY. Exactly after 5 months I was able to pick up my new car. The 5 months include the Buick delivery time, ocean freight and an additional month to get all necessary documentation to get it on the road in Germany. I will post more details soon but now I have t take the new car out for a nice ride first.
 

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Congratulations and welcome haggibear. :cheers:
 

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Please let us know the reactions you get driving this unique looking vehicle on the streets of car savvy Germany.

Funny how its possible for you to import a car that has no export market in Germany and is not built to German rules, but it is much more difficult if not impossible for a US citizen to import a non-approved/US spec vehicle to the US, "the land of the free." Do you know if there are any collision testing and safety requirements in Germany required that a new car needs to meet before you can drive/own one?

TM
 

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Hey TM, maybe the Germans recognize the safety and good looks of the Enclave, almost as is? It may not cost $65-85K and can't do 135MPH, but so what? ;)
 

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After waiting for 5 months, I hope he doesn't live in the mountains like me, no reflash available to him
 

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Smokin SRX said:
Hey TM, maybe the Germans recognize the safety and good looks of the Enclave, almost as is? It may not cost $65-85K and can't do 135MPH, but so what? ;)
Yeah, for sure. It would be a nice experience.

I would love to see Buick making it possible for Germans and others to buy their cars here, maybe pick them up at the factory, drive them around for a month, and then export them to their country. Just like we can with German and Swedish cars.

What I want to know is how difficult it is to import an Enclave into Germany for regular use. Would be interesting given how difficult it is to do visa versa.

I'm disgusted about our state of bureaucracy here in the US not being as well thought out and streamlined as it should be.

TM
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
iDrive said:
Congratulations and welcome haggibear. :cheers:
Thanks a lot. If You ever happen to travel around my city - we have a good german beer brewery just 5 mls from my house, so we can have the beer in reality
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tin Man said:
Please let us know the reactions you get driving this unique looking vehicle on the streets of car savvy Germany.

Funny how its possible for you to import a car that has no export market in Germany and is not built to German rules, but it is much more difficult if not impossible for a US citizen to import a non-approved/US spec vehicle to the US, "the land of the free." Do you know if there are any collision testing and safety requirements in Germany required that a new car needs to meet before you can drive/own one?

TM
Hello TM, I know You have the Epa and Dot regulations. Some 20 years ago ( when the dollar was very powerful to buy German cars ) I helped a friend in California to import a Mercedes which was like half price here at that time. I remember it took him several months to get all papers but then he enjoyed it and it s still driving ok.
About the import of US cars to Germany - After I lived in California for a few months during my studies and decided to buy a Voyager as my first car for the business. Of course Chryslwer had started to sell the cars offically in Germany ( those Chrysler s were build in Austria ) but by buying the car in the US I saved around 10 000 dollars. I found a dealer in Long Beach that had no problem selling for export, so no tax to pay. These days it has become way more difficult - there is hardly any chance for a tourist to buy a car in the USA as the dealers are not allowed to sell for export. Those are regulations the manufactures put on the dealerships. So to buy a car you need a US adress and then they force you to register the car to that adress thus charging the sales tax and registration for the first year. Some staes you can clame back those tax if you proof you never actually drove the car and export it right away but it s a lot of paperwork and takes time.
So I decided to use an agency in a nearby town (www.uscars24.de) ( they have an english page as well so have a look). This agency buys or orders the car for the clients at a US dealership through their US sister company. Then the sister company can legally sell to Germany ( as they are not a dealership for a specific car manufacturer ) and then the company in Germany sell to me.
There is no crash test needed as the european laws believe that US crash test are some of the toughest in the world. However the engine has to be fully tested for emmissions ( that s not the smog test but a full test on all data so other than posted the enclave has more than 300 CO2 and that s really high), then I need a full test on the lights system and few changes. Orange side markers are illegal in Germany so we changed to wight light bulbs, red turn signals are not legal in the back, they must be orange. So we converted the reverse lights to turnsignals ( we put orange light bulbs) but as reverse light and "fog" light is mandatory in Europe in the back we put those under the bumper, which look kind of tacky so I try to find a way to install them in the bumper or tailgate ( I post some pictures later)
Other than that there is nothing that needs to be changed, just a lot more of papers stating that US mechanic is similar to what our law would request here - and You think US is burocratic??
Well, after the first kilometers it s a little hard to say how the car is doing here
there are some pro s and some con s as well -
I still like the look of the car and it gives a lot of car for the price ( which after all costs went from around 40000 dollar in the USA to 44000 Euro but for 44000 Euro there is no similar equiped car on the market here, Audi Q7 costs from 55000 Euro, Mercedes ML OR GL from 55000 ( base only) or Volvo XC 90 from 60 000 well eqipped.
I woud not order the sunroof again, it s too small when open and one of the strong pro s is the quietness of the enclave, I would not order the net and shade, those are completely useless
I am little shocked to see that there is no chance to make the "flash to pass" work - that s a safety hazard to me not having that feature and its just "cheap" that one has to open the gas filler manually.
Hope the gas consumption will adjust, right now it shows only 12 mls a gallon and with my rental in USA I was able to do more than 20
Also the check engine light stays on but the car dealer has ordered a part already and will fix it for free even though there is NO Warrenty from Buick on the car after the export.
WELL, hope I did not make a too long and booring story and apologize for mistakes in grammar and writing in my english
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
bsox said:
After waiting for 5 months, I hope he doesn't live in the mountains like me, no reflash available to him
Hello
What s bad with the Enclave in the mountains?
I am driving a 15 degree teep hill everyday to my house up and down as our city of Ennepetal ( means Ennepe which is a river and tal means valley) has a little mountains range around the city but no real mountains
 
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