Buick Encore Problems: 15 Most-Common Issues (Explained)

The Buick Encore, a popular compact SUV, has garnered attention for various problems its owners have faced over the years.

In this article, the focus will be on some of the most common issues that have surfaced.

From engine and transmission troubles to braking malfunctions and electrical issues, these problems can cause significant inconvenience and concern for Buick Encore owners.

By examining these issues, potential buyers and current owners can make well-informed decisions regarding this vehicle.

The 5 Main Problems

Outdated Electronics System

The Buick Encore has had numerous reports of its USB not working, primarily due to an outdated electronics system. Even in the 2020 models, this problem persists.

The primary issue lies in the system’s inability to run 3.0 USB devices, while the 2.0 USB devices work fine.

Engine Issues

The engine code-named LE2, found in some Buick Encore models, has displayed several common issues. This engine is also found in the Chevrolet Cruze and is part of the GM Ecotec engine family.

The most affected models are:

  • 2013 Chevy Cruze
  • 2015-2017 Buick Encore

Check also the best and worst years for Buick Skylark.

Defective Airbags and Seatbelts

A significant issue with the 2015-2017 Buick Encore is defective airbags and seatbelts. Due to the severity of the problem, General Motors LLC (GM) recalled over 3.6 million vehicles of different makes within their brand line.

Braking Malfunctions

In some cases, Buick Encore owners have reported braking malfunctions, which can be quite dangerous.

Most of these problems appear before the vehicle reaches 12,000 miles, which is unacceptable for a new car.

Check also the best and worst years for Buick Roadmaster for more.

Smoke and Fire

A less common but extremely dangerous problem is smoke and even fire associated with the Buick Encore’s engine. Models prone to this issue show symptoms early on, usually before the 12,000-mile mark.

10 Other Problems

Aside from the major issues mentioned in the previous sections, the Buick Encore also experiences several smaller problems that can affect its performance and overall user experience.

In this section, we will enumerate some of these additional concerns:

  • Rough idling due to excess air in the system
  • Failing throttle body leading to reduced engine power
  • Turbo problems on the 1.4L engine
  • Brake screeching noises
  • Transmission stuttering
  • Grinding and delayed shifting
  • Slipping transmission
  • Unusual noises from the transmission
  • Frequent replacement of transmission fluid (every 30,000 miles)
  • Potential damage to the transmission if fluid is not replaced timely

It is essential for Buick Encore owners to be aware of these potential issues and monitor their vehicle’s performance to address any problems promptly.

Regular maintenance and paying close attention to any unusual sounds or behaviors can help in detecting and resolving these concerns before they escalate.

General Pros and Cons with the Models

The Buick Encore has received mixed reviews over the years. Many consumers have praised the vehicle for its luxury feel and smooth ride, while others have reported issues with certain model years and components. This section takes a closer look at the general pros and cons of the Buick Encore models.

On the positive side, drivers often appreciate the Buick Encore’s quiet and smooth ride, which is frequently compared to that of a luxury SUV.

Many also note that the vehicle delivers excellent value for its price point, offering a premium experience compared to some of its competitors. Some specific factors that Encore owners enjoy include:

  • Stylish design
  • Comfortable interior
  • Well-integrated technology

However, the Buick Encore is not without its flaws.

Some model years, particularly the 2013, 2014, and 2015 versions, have faced a higher number of reported issues. Common problems experienced by owners of these models include:

  • Lack of engine power
  • Severe brake issues
  • Door lock problems
  • Decreased reliability in certain units

It is important for potential buyers to weigh these pros and cons when considering a Buick Encore, keeping in mind that certain model years may be more prone to issues than others.

What’s the Resale Value?

When considering purchasing a Buick Encore, it is essential to explore the resale value of various model years. This information helps potential buyers better understand the vehicle’s depreciation as they assess whether it’s a suitable investment.

Generally, the resale value of a Buick Encore depends on factors such as the model year, mileage, condition, and trim level. On average, the resale value of a 5-year-old Buick Encore in good condition with 12,000 miles per year is estimated to be around $17,679, experiencing 35% depreciation.

The following table provides examples of used Buick Encore models with their approximate resale value and depreciation percentage:

Model year Mileage Price Depreciation
2020 12,000 $15,808 35%
2018 12,000 $11,225 35%

Note that the provided figures are rough estimates, and the actual value may vary depending on factors such as the vehicle’s condition and optional equipment.

It is always advisable to consult with experts or conduct thorough research when evaluating a vehicle’s resale value.

What Do the Reviews Say?

In terms of reliability, the Buick Encore has earned fairly respectable ratings from expert automotive sources. U.S. News and World Report has given the Encore a 7.5 out of 10 overall score, while J.D. Power rates it at 84 out of 100 in quality and reliability.

Consumer Reports, however, has pointed out that some earlier models of the Buick Encore may experience engine problems. Specifically, it is recommended to avoid models from 2013 through 2015, as the later models between 2016 and 2022 have shown improved reliability.

The performance aspect of the Encore is not its strongest suit. The small SUV is equipped with turbocharged 4-cylinder engines prioritizing efficiency over power. U.S. News and World Report states:

“Performance is poor from both of the turbocharged 4-cylinder engines which focus more on efficiency rather than power.”

Source: usnews.com

Although the overall reliability of the Encore is deemed as acceptable, Edmunds reviews point out that there might still be a few concerns. In their 2021 Buick Encore GX review, Edmunds mentions:

“The Encore GX didn’t have the best reliability rating.”

Source: edmunds.com

Despite some drawbacks in performance and potential engine issues in the earlier models, the Buick Encore continues to maintain a respectable reputation for reliability and quality for a smaller SUV in its class.

Check problems across other buick models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.