Buick Enclave Won’t Start—What Could Be Wrong?

A Buick SUV has long been a choice for those that would like to combine a spacious interior with sleek luxury. The extra space in the Buick Enclave is often used to carry important cargo, whether it's luggage for a family trip or tools needed for a job. Whatever the ways you use your vehicle, you want to know you can rely on your car. You may be wondering why your Buick Enclave is not starting. We have thoroughly looked into this topic for you and have found some answers.

Though many reasons may cause your Buick Enclave not to start, the problem is most likely one of the following:

  1. Keys aren't working
  2. Battery needs to be replaced
  3. Ignition or starter is faulty
  4. Alternator has stopped charging
  5. Fault in the fuel system

Don't stop here; in this post, we'll go into more detail about each of these five reasons that your Buick Enclave isn't starting. We'll also cover some other questions that you may have. Keep reading!

A white Buick enclave at a dealership, Buick Enclave Won't Start—What Could Be Wrong?

The Five Most Common Reasons Your Buick Enclave Won't Start

1. Your Keys Aren't Working

Keys for the Buick Enclave come in two main types. Older vehicles will have a mechanical or laser cut key that turns in the ignition. Starting in 2018, some trim levels in the enclave have a push-button start with a key fob.

Mechanical Key Won't Turn

If you have a cut key that fails to turn in the ignition, check that the vehicle is fully in park. If the key still doesn't turn, gently wiggle the steering wheel while turning the key. This will get the steering wheel to unlock so that the key turns.

If your key turns but is stuck, jump your battery to see if you can remove the key. In newer models, a dead battery can cause issues that make it seem like your key is not working.

Examine your cut key. If there is build-up, try cleaning your key. If there is a lot of wear and tear, this type of key can stop working over the years. You'll need to get a new one cut by a locksmith or dealer.

Buick Enclave Key Fob Is Dead

In newer models, as long as the key fob is on your person or in the car, you can press the push button to start the car. If your car fails to start and there is a message on the dashboard about the remote, your key fob battery may be dead or low. 

The Buick Enclave has a remote transmitter or backup spot for this situation. This will usually be in the center console or cup holder. Refer to your owner's manual for the exact location for your year.

With the key fob in the backup spot, press the push button to start your vehicle. You'd want to change the battery in the key fob as soon as possible if you could start your vehicle using this method. Most key fobs use a Cr2032 battery.

2.. The Battery Needs To Be Replaced

After the keys, the first item that should be checked should be your battery.  You'll want to check the terminals. First, they may need a thorough cleaning. If it appears that they are dirty or corroded, make a simple solution of a tablespoon of baking soda to one cup of water to clean the terminal connections.

Use a battery tender for best results when disconnecting the battery so that your dashboard does not reset. Always use gloves and eye protection when providing maintenance to your battery. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual for best practices when dealing with your battery.

See an example of a battery tender on Amazon.

A sign of bad terminal connections can be low lights or problems with the infotainment center. In a Buick Enclave, the battery may be located inside the car behind the front passenger seat. The following video shows how to locate and uncover the battery in a 2016 Buick Enclave.

Why Won't My Car Start But It Has Power?

When the lights and stereo still function but the car doesn't start, it could still be the battery. The battery may be providing enough charge to power your dome lights but not enough to start your vehicle.

A sign of a low battery could be the engine revving but not catching. If the battery is low enough, you may only hear a series of loud clicks. Fast or slow clicking is usually a sign that the battery is dead.

You may charge your battery yourself or take it to an auto parts shop. Most will test the battery quality for free to see if you'll need a new one.

Click here to see this tester for your battery on Amazon.

3. Ignition or Stater is Faulty

If you have power but your car is not starting, it could also be an issue with the starter or the ignition. The ignition switch is a system that reads your key information and sends messages to other electrical systems so that they can begin to function as well. Your ignition switch may be to blame if your car locks and unlocks, but the dash or lights fail to turn on.

How Do You Tell If It's Your Starter Or Ignition Switch?

If you start your vehicle and hear one loud click and then silence, it could be your starter. The starter is a motor that receives the message from the ignition and transmits power to get your engine running.

These systems have become rather complicated in recent years, and we recommend taking suspected starter and ignition issues to a trusted mechanic or an authorized service center.

4. The Alternator Has Stopped Charging

You may have just jumped your car battery, made it to your destination only to find that your Buick Enclave is not starting again after your trip. If you have checked your battery quality and were able to jump it, this could be a sign that your alternator is faulty.

The alternator is responsible for charging and maintaining the charge in your battery. If you suspect a bad alternator, it should be looked at immediately. Signs that your alternator is not working correctly could be the car dying while in idle, low headlights and domes lights, and problems starting the vehicle even after a recent jump.

5. A Fault In The Fuel System

The fuel system is one of the central systems in your car and can be one of the main reasons it is not starting. Check for leaky fuel injectors or faulty fuel pumps. In some climates having too little gas can keep your car from starting even if the tank is not empty. You may be able to use a scanner to diagnose issues with this system.

Click here to see an example of a scanner for engine error codes on Amazon.

Starting Buick Enclave In Cold Weather

Some years of the Buick Enclave have trouble starting in frigid weather. This may be especially true if it gets below zero degrees Fahrenheit. To rule out a flooded engine, try starting your car by pressing on the accelerator slowly to clear out any flooding. In a vehicle with the push-button start-stop, press and hold 15 seconds with the accelerator pressed to the floor

Is The Buick Enclave A Reliable Car?

Most assessments of the Buick Enclave's reliability put it at average when compared to other SUVs of the same size. Though some years have seen some problems, overall, the combined cost and ease of maintaining the Buick Enclave make it a good choice at its price point. Some experts feel that more reliable options can be had at higher price points with other brands.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Buick Enclave?

It is agreed that the Buick Enclave has become more reliable in recent years. If you have a 2015 model or newer, provide proper and timely maintenance, and you can expect your car to last over 200,000 miles or more.

To see how long this is in years, you would want to calculate your average usage. For an average commuter, this could translate to over 13 years.

What's The Worst Year For The Buick Enclave?

Most car professionals state that the worst year for the Buick Enclave was 2008. The transmission went out on many of these at just 90,000 miles or less. Other reported complaints with this year's model involved problems with the motor like blown gaskets and damaged parts even with regular maintenance.

Regular Maintenance To Prevent Non-Start Issues

Now that you know some of the common reasons your Buick Enclave is not starting and have some tips about what to do with each one, maintain your Buick Enclave o a regular schedule to prevent troubles that lead to your car not starting. With the proper care and attention, your Buick Enclave can last for years to come!

You may also be interested in the following:

Which SUVs Have Lane Keep Assist?

8 Best Lithium Jump Starters That Will Get Your Car Running Again

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One comment

  1. Hi my 2009 Buick Enclave bogs down when using the ac I was going up a hill the car wouldn’t go then when I got on top the car all of a sudden wouldn’t turn when I turned it off it wouldn’t start again

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