2018 Buick Encore Problems and Complaints

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Ranked #3 in Subcompact Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$24,400 - $32,100

2018 Buick Encore SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: April 27, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Buick Encore is the smallest child in the carmaker’s stable that combines American luxury in a bite-sized offering. The compact SUV starts at $23,000 and brings in a luxury seen in much more expensive cars like the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3. The Encore has won many hearts in the market and has seen steady sales but also comes with its set of issues. The most commonly reported issue is about overheating of the engine due to a loose turbocharger hose. Apart from this, the crossover gets a lot of criticism for the many electrical issues and niggles one has to endure. The Encore sees no recalls for the 2018 model year but does that mean a positive turn of events? Let’s find out. 

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2018 Buick Encore Problems

Electrical issues:

  • Wiper problems: People have reported the wiper gutters filling with elements and causing an error in the functioning of the wipers. Some people have faced this error while driving in low-visibility environments. Such malfunction affects visibility and increases the risk of a crash.
  • Battery issues: The Encore battery issues have been there for eons and nothing much has been communicated from the manufacturer in this regard. People have faced complete battery drain when the car is not in use for a couple of days. There have been battery malfunctions when the car is moving. In a handful of cases, faulty terminals have also resulted in an electrical fire. 
  • Headlight issues: The headlights in the Encore are very unreliable and turn off without any input. Frequent fluctuation in the light’s intensity is another problem Encore owners face. Some complainants state that the lights started flickering and reducing visibility to nil.
  • Speaker issues: The speakers in the Encore aren’t up to the mark and give a lot of issues in under a year of ownership. There have been numerous complaints of the volume fluctuating when switching between FM and XM. There is distortion if audio is played from the connected phone. Some people have also reported popping sounds coming from the speakers at volumes higher than half, causing headaches on drives.

Mechanical issues:

  • Turbo hose malfunctions: A rather common occurrence with the 2018 Encore owners is the turbo hose coming loose automatically. People report the car overheating due to this and stalling, even on busy highways. The affected units are towed to the dealers where a new hose is installed, if available. There are numerous reports where the part is on backorder and no remedy can be availed. People have reported the car to turn into a fireball if the issue turns for the worst. 
  • Faulty start/stop button: The main reason for Emcore engine stall issues has to be a faulty start/stop button. There have been numerous complaints about the car stalling and not starting due to this, causing a major inconvenience for all the motorists around. 
  • Vacuum pump failure: Some people have experienced brake vacuum pump failure which zeroed down the braking of the car. The issue has, thankfully, surfaced at low speeds and has not resulted in any crashes or casualties yet.

Safety issues:

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) failure: Some people have experienced a complete failure of the ABS in the 2018 Encore. Such failure locks up the wheels under emergency braking and might result in loss of control. Upon investigation by the dealers, the ABS sensor was found to be the culprit and was replaced promptly. 
  • Driver-side blind-spot warning malfunction: The blind-spot monitor on the driver’s side is reported to fail and gives no warnings if a vehicle is there. This failure has resulted in the Encore hitting/scraping the vehicle in its blind spot. Thankfully, no collisions have been reported yet. 
  • Airbag deployment: Non-deployment of the airbags is a rampant issue in the 2018 Encore and is communicated to the manufacturer as well. People have reported collisions that had injured the occupants due to this issue.

2018 Buick Encore Recalls

Currently, there are no recalls for the 2018 Buick Encore. 

Should you buy the 2018 Buick Encore?

The 2018 Buick Encore is a very lucrative package for someone who needs poshness at a low price. As a result of this, some corners are cut and clearly visible with the issues popping up. The compact SUV is an electrical nightmare with small niggles popping up every now and then. The turbo hose malfunction is another serious issue that is further aggravated by the backorder times. Though engine fires aren’t common, people have had to go through the massacre due to the battery and the turbo-hose overheating. If you want to go for an Encore, proceed with caution and have a hands-down approach to tackle the electrical issue. We don’t recommend a used Encore since the older batches might have a lot of niggles that will ruin the ownership.

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Used 2018 Buick Encore For Sale

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2017 Buick Encore16
Price Drop, $1000
Previous Price: $1699910 Jun 2022

2017 Buick Encore Essence

Essence 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$15,999
Est. $217/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,828 Below market
RMV: $18,827
Dallas, TX
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2019 Buick Encore39
Price Drop, $598
Previous Price: $2059211 May 2022

2019 Buick Encore Essence

Essence 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$19,994
Est. $271/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,535 Below market
RMV: $23,529
West Palm Beach, FL
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2018 Buick Encore6

2018 Buick Encore Sport Touring

Sport Touring 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$16,495
Est. $223/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,865 Below market
RMV: $19,360
Rutherford, NJ
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2017 Buick Encore6
Price Drop, $544
Previous Price: $1734617 Jun 2022

2017 Buick Encore Preferred

Preferred 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$16,802
Est. $228/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,903 Below market
RMV: $19,705
Orlando, FL
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2019 Buick Encore12
Price Drop, $1000
Previous Price: $1999809 Jun 2022

2019 Buick Encore Preferred

Preferred 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$18,998
Est. $257/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,277 Below market
RMV: $22,275
West Babylon, NY
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2017 Buick Encore12

2017 Buick Encore Essence

Essence 4dr SUV AWD (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$17,995
Est. $244/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,075 Below market
RMV: $21,070
Taylor, MI
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2017 Buick Encore43
Price Drop, $995
Previous Price: $1899501 Jun 2022

2017 Buick Encore Preferred II

Preferred II 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$18,000
Est. $244/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,023 Below market
RMV: $21,023
La Crosse, WI
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2019 Buick Encore22
Price Drop, $300
Previous Price: $2069912 Jan 2022

2019 Buick Encore Preferred

Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$20,399
Est. $276/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,430 Below market
RMV: $23,829
Elmhurst, IL
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2018 Buick Encore8
Price Drop, $175
Previous Price: $1693224 Jun 2022

2018 Buick Encore Preferred

Preferred 4dr SUV (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

$16,757
Est. $227/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,821 Below market
RMV: $19,578
Victoria, TX
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