Crossover SUVs are taking over the worldwide automotive market by storm. The American-made Buick Envision is one fierce competitor in the league that offers impressive power figures, and a fairly decent reliability rating. That being said, the vehicle does have some issues that occur more commonly than others; and we’re here to discuss them and their probable solutions. Firstly, let’s just start with an instant response.
The most common problems in Buick Envision include air conditioning and electrical equipment problems. The 2016-17 models have fuel line damage, seat adjustment issue, and other electrical faults. The 2017 model is also notorious for airbag problems and poor build quality. Lastly, service brake malfunction and head restrain position issues are also some recurring issues with the Buick Envision.
Now that we have a vague idea about the kind of problems that could arise in an Envision, it’s time to dive deeper and learn more about them.
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1. Fuel Lines Damage
The 2016-2017 Buick Envision has been recalled by General Motors due to a faulty flange weld. According to details, the vehicle’s fuel pump has a flange weld that may deteriorate and fail over time. This can result in damage to the high-pressure fuel lines.
When the weld decides to fail, the fuel line will get detached from the fuel pump. This could prove to be catastrophic in case the fuel starts to leak out. The potential for vehicle fire would be greatly increased in the presence of such a leak.
In an alternate case, fuel lines would be damaged due to the detachment. This would put a strain on the owner’s pocket since high-pressure lines can be expensive to replace.
Since the victim vehicles have been recalled, we’d suggest the owners to get their parts replaced at their earliest. GM is fitting a new fuel pump and pressure fuel pipe, that too free of cost.
The NHTSA campaign ID for this recall is 18V358000.
2. Seat Adjustment
A generic issue that holds the potential to become a known fault in the 2017 Buick Envision is memory seat adjustment. Owners have complained that whenever there is a new update in the system, memory seat settings are reset to default. Thus, personal settings have to be done again after every new update.
This can be shocking for the unsuspecting drivers since they can get used to their own seat settings. Reportedly, the heated seat and easy exit functions are turned on again after every new update.
We hate to break it to you but there really isn’t a generic fix for this problem. What you can do is keep an eye out for new updates. This way you’ll know when the seats get reset and when it’s time to do the settings again – avoiding having to sit on them unknowingly and causing unrest.
3. Electrical Faults
Several electrical issues have been reported about the 2017 Buick Envision. Some owners have had problems with the auto engine start function. When stationary at a traffic light, the engine turns itself off in order to conserve fuel. As soon as the brake pedal is released, the car should immediately start back up under normal operating conditions.
In these particular cases, however, the crossover refuses to start immediately. Rather it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up, and in the meanwhile; power steering gets locked up, doors are unlocked, and the exterior/interior lights begin to flash. In a few exceptional cases, all of this mayhem is occupied by the engine’s failure to start back up.
This problem has the potential to become a road hazard and can put the lives of occupants and other motorists in danger.
Unfortunately, no recall has been issued regarding the problem, despite there being numerous accounts of incidents and reports. If your vehicle does the same, your best bet would be to get it checked by a reasonable dealer. In case nothing works out, it might be the best to get the auto engine start/stop function disabled by using an aftermarket module. This little adventure would cost you around $130.
4. Air Conditioning Unit
Problems have been reported regarding the temperature of air that the rear AC vent blows. According to these reports, the rear air conditioning unit gives out hot air even when set to the cool setting.
There are quite a few probable causes for this phenomenon to occur. They include refrigerant leak, faulty compressor, and a dirty cabin air filter. While the last option is relatively cheaper and easy to fix, the first two may require dealership intervention.
A refrigerant refill would cost you around $300; add to that a refrigerant line replacement and you’ll be having to spend a total of $900. Whereas a compressor swap would be worth around $1200 to $1300.
5. Build Quality
When it comes to overall build quality, manufacturers are particularly conscious, since it has directly to do with how long a vehicle lasts. Durability and occupant safety are two terms proportionally linked to build quality.
Concerns have been raised regarding the interior quality of Buick Envision’s 2016-2017 and 2019 model years. Owners have reported instances where the dashboard lights would suddenly go dim at night time. Others faced issues with their infotainment systems when trying to play audio.
The dimming issue has been highlighted on other forums as well. According to details, the LCD panels start dimming to the point of becoming unreadable. The transmission between Day Time and Night Time settings also creates a key problem for the occupants.
Thankfully, Buick had issued a recall for the affected vehicles (2016-2017 model years), in order to recalibrate the Body Control Module (BCM). A BCM reprogram is necessary since this is the module that controls panel dimming and light sensors.
The NHTSA Service Bulletin Number is 16-NA-357.
6. Defective Airbags
A strange problem that plagues the 2021 Buick Envision is that the airbag light may not function as intended. There is a communications gateway module within the vehicle that can process a lot of incorrect information with the sensing diagnostic module (SDM).
This failure triggers the airbag malfunction light to pop up inconsistently on the dash. This can cause a lot of anxiety and tension on the consumer’s end, since you wouldn’t want your car’s airbag system showing weird signs right?
Fortunately, General Motors has issued a recall to fix the problem through an update. All of this will be held free of cost, and there are rumors of an over-the-air (OTA) update as well.
The NHTSA campaign ID for this recall is 21V421000.
7. Service Brakes Malfunction
Owners of the 2017 Buick Envision are terrified of a reportedly brake failure condition. According to details, brake fluid leak seems to be the main culprit here. In case the leak is spotted while the vehicle is stationary, it’s safe to say that an accident can be avoided. If, however, the fluid leak is not spotted and a person proceeds to drive the vehicle; an accident might become inevitable.
As part of some immediate fixes, people have tried shutting down their cars for about 5 to 10 minutes before restarting. Unfortunately, this does not seem to do the trick since – without the presence of brake fluid or a full level of this fluid, the brakes cannot function normally. Brake failure is the ultimate fate of such a vehicle if it is continued to be driven.
Thus, it would be wise to get your vehicle diagnosed by an expert that can trace any leaks or other problems. In case leaks are found in the brake fluid lines, your best interest should be to get them replaced as soon as possible. As for the situations where other related parts are causing issues, check for any recalls regarding the particular parts. If you can’t find them, replace the parts on your next visit to the dealership.
The total cost that you may expect to pay would be around $150 for brake line replacement and another $60 to $80 for topping up the level of brake fluid.
8. Head Restraints Position Issue
Head rests serve the basic purpose of accelerating your head forward at the same rate as your body. In case they are missing or are loose, the chances of sustaining a head injury are greatly increased. Keeping in view the general occupant safety measures, General Motors has issued a recall for the 2016-2017 model years of Buick Envision.
As per the details of this recall, the main culprit is a universal tablet holder that hinders the correct position of head restraint. When such holders are installed incorrectly, the head restraint posts are kept from fully engaging in the seat back.
In order to fix the problem, GM has decided to check the restraint and tablet holder. If an issue is found in their respective positions, the problem will be rectified then and there. The good news is; no labor cost will be charged to the owner.
What are the Worst Years Of Buick Envision?
Buick Envision is one of the most reliable cars Buick has to offer. A decently managed Envision will last for around 150,000-200,000 miles. But Buick has seen its fair share of problems. Like all cars, it also had years to forget – years that were spoiled by several problems.
The worst year for Buick Envision was 2017. Not only does it have the most complaints on Car Complaints, but also it is unanimously considered the worst model of Buick Envision by the automobile industry.
Despite knowing for its luxurious interior, the 2017 Buick Enclave had several interior issues such as A/C abruptly blowing hot and cold air, head restraint position issues, and overall poor build quality. The electrical faults did not make it any better. Therefore, if you’re in the market for a new Buick, we suggest you avoid the year 2017.
All other model years are decent and have the high-end features that have become the hallmark of Buick. Out of these, the 2019 model has prominently come out as the overall best – primarily due to reliability, minimal problems, and lack of negative feedback from users.
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.
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