Buick maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

Buicks cost a pinch below average to repair and maintain

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image showing a white Buick Enclave vehicle

Anyone who writes off Buick as being an “old person’s car” in 2024 is missing out. Modern Buicks are well-equipped, affordable and highly dependable, despite falling in that semiluxury space where vehicle reliability often starts to trail off.

As a result, many value-minded buyers might be looking at Buick as their first “nice” car. But how expensive are Buicks to own long-term? Are there any common problems associated with Buicks? And what do they cost to fix?

Read on to find out.

Key insights

  • Buicks cost roughly 7% less than your average vehicle to repair and maintain, according to RepairPal.
  • The Enclave is the most expensive Buick model to own, followed by the Encore. (The Envista and Envision are simply too new to have reliable data for, but evidence suggests they’ll be equally as cheap to own as their stablemates.)
  • Buick vehicles have average costs for tire rotations, oil changes, spark plugs and other routine maintenance tasks.
  • As semiluxury vehicles, Buicks can still have large, surprise repair bills after their factory warranties end. To mitigate that risk and get peace of mind, some owners opt for extended warranties.

Are Buicks expensive to maintain?

Buicks cost slightly less than the average vehicle to maintain and repair.

According to RepairPal, Buicks cost an average of $608 per year in repairs and maintenance as of 2019. Adjusting for inflation from 2019 to 2024, that’s about $831 per year — 7% below the adjusted $892-per-year average for all brands.

That’s impressive, considering Buick is considered a semiluxury marque, and luxury vehicles tend to have far more expensive parts and labor than your average vehicle.

Mechanics seem to like them, too. “Most of the time we see Buicks, it’s just for routine maintenance stuff,” said Chris, an experienced automotive technician in the Atlanta area. “We don’t really see them that much for repairs because they seem pretty well-built.”

Most of the time we see Buicks, it’s just for routine maintenance stuff. We don’t really see them that much for repairs because they seem pretty well-built.”
— Chris, a technician at an independent repair shop

On that note, let’s see how Buick compares to other automakers in terms of average maintenance and repair costs.

How Buick compares to other automakers

Buick vehicles are reportedly cheaper to own than vehicles from luxury brands, like BMW, and even some nonluxury brands, like Ford. However, they face steep competition from other “semiluxury” brands, like Acura and Mazda.

*Based on figures from RepairPal adjusted for inflation

Of course, these are just ballpark averages across the brands’ entire lineup of cars. Some Buicks may be more reliable than some Mazdas, and vice versa.

With that in mind, let’s look at which Buicks might be cheaper to own than the rest.

Buick maintenance and repair costs by model

Buick’s lineup consists of just four models at the time of publishing: the Encore, Enclave, Envision and Envista.

The Envista was introduced for the 2024 model year, so we aren't sure yet how much it’ll cost to maintain and repair long-term. But, considering it’s a gas-powered crossover just like its siblings, chances are it’ll cost in the $450- to $750-per-year range like the rest of the lineup.

The same goes for the Envision. Though it’s older than the Envista — tracing back to 2016 — it’s still “new” enough that more than half of all Envisions could still be covered under the factory powertrain warranty. That means some Envision owners aren’t paying out-of-pocket for engine and drivetrain repairs, which could explain why the average maintenance and repair cost is so low at the time of publishing.

In a nutshell, the cheapest Buick to own is probably the Encore. We just don’t have enough data about the Envision or Envista yet to know for sure.

*According to RepairPal (not adjusted for inflation); **Many Envisions are still under warranty, which could explain why average maintenance and repairs are lower than average

Up until this point, we’ve been combining maintenance and repairs into the same estimates. However, they’re not really the same thing:

  • Maintenance items are regular services that happen on a fixed, predictable schedule. (Think about things like oil changes every 5,000 miles, new brake pads every 40,000 miles, etc.) These are things you can book and budget for well in advance, and most manufacturers encourage you to do so in order to prevent breakdowns.
  • Repairs are unexpected and don’t happen on a fixed schedule. (Think of things like failed radiators, blown head gaskets and power steering issues.)

All vehicles require maintenance, but not all require repairs. That’s why it’s helpful to look at each number separately, which we’ll do next.

Buick maintenance schedule

Here’s a quick summary of the recommended maintenance schedule for the Encore as an example of what you can expect from your Buick.

All in all, Buick’s recommended maintenance schedule looks somewhat typical for a gas-powered vehicle in 2024. There’s no mention of brakes, batteries, wiper blades or other common maintenance items, but we think it’s because all of those are covered under the multipoint vehicle inspection (MVPI) you’re supposed to get every 7,500 miles.

In other words, while Toyota tends to list out every single maintenance item (e.g., brake pads every 50,000 miles), Buick seems more content to let your technician tell you what you need.

While we like the idea of regular checkups, Buick’s system relies on dealers and mechanics being honest with customers, which isn’t a given. Case in point, we saw one Buick dealer’s website that listed brake pad replacements every 15,000 as a “regular maintenance item.” But Buick makes no mention of this in its owners manual, and brake pads typically last 50,000 miles.

When we surveyed drivers a while back, 83% of them told us they sometimes or always double-check their mechanic’s recommendations with someone they know.

Scheduled maintenance for severe driving conditions

Buick has additional maintenance items for owners driving under “severe conditions,” which it defines as:

  • Public service, military or commercial use
  • Vehicles that are regularly used for short trips of four miles or less
  • Off-road use, including farming, mining, forestry or driving in high-dust areas

If your vehicle is often driven in severe conditions, Buick recommends the following services in addition to those in the chart above.

Buick maintenance costs

First, some good news. If you buy a brand new Buick, your first 7,500-mile service is free. That includes an oil and filter change, four-tire rotation and multipoint vehicle inspection at the dealership.

After that, you’re on your own, and here’s what you can roughly expect to pay for various maintenance items over time.

Example: Buick Encore maintenance costs

According to RepairPal, these are the upper estimates for what regular maintenance items might cost you on a 2024 Buick Encore.

*According to RepairPal for a 2024 Buick Encore

The cost of the 60,000-mile service depends on what your mechanic says you need done. If it’s just an inspection plus an oil change, you can expect to pay as little as $250. But if you need a strut, for example, it might cost another $700.

The good news is that even though maintenance on any vehicle isn’t cheap these days, it’s still relatively cheap on a Buick. “They’re pretty easy cars to work on,” said Chris, the technician we mentioned above. “There’s nothing that special about them from a mechanical perspective, and that’s a good thing when it comes to ownership cost.”

» MORE: Average car maintenance costs

Buick repair costs

This is the section where we’d normally tell you, “The most common problem on a Buick is X and it costs Y to fix,” but as far as we’ve seen, the four Buick models currently being made don’t seem to have major problems worth mentioning.

It’s hard to predict specific issues for new Buick vehicles, but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever need repairs.

According to CarComplaints.com, the most problematic Buick models are the Enclave and the Encore, with 654 and 213 total complaints, respectively. But the vast majority of these complaints stem from model years 2017 or earlier. Recent models seem to have very few complaints, which bodes well for potential owners.

That being said, things do happen. “We did have one Buick Encore come in a few years back that needed all new power steering, right as the warranty expired,” said Chris. “It ended up costing the owner $4,000.”

Multiple ConsumerAffairs reviewers have also reported issues with paint. “I purchased my 2021 Buick Encore on 7/29/21 with only a few miles on it. In less than 2 months, I have paint chipping off the hood of the vehicle,” wrote a reviewer from Tennessee. “I went to the dealership who said that it must be rocks or maybe I hit something. I drove the same route to and from work for the last 3 years in my previous vehicle, a BMW 328i and never had problems like this.”

While rock chips are relatively easy to repair yourself using sandpaper and a $20 paint pen from Buick, failed power steering is another story. That’s why, despite their vehicles’ reputation for reliability, some Buick owners opt to purchase an extended warranty as insurance against the rising cost of vehicle repairs.

» LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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How can an extended warranty help?

Extended warranties can mimic your Buick factory warranty (three years/36,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage and five years/60,000 miles of powertrain coverage) and effectively extend coverage for up to 10 years — sometimes even longer.

In our analysis of Buick extended warranty options, we found that they’ll cost you between $800 and $1,000 per year of added coverage, on average. That might be worth it if you value peace of mind, but you probably won’t end up ahead financially unless you get a great deal or your vehicle is one of the rare Buicks that develops an expensive problem.

To learn about extended warranties, check out our list of the best extended warranty companies.

» MORE: Pros and cons of extended auto warranties

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. RepairPal, “Buick Repair & Maintenance Costs.” Accessed March 4, 2024.
  2. CarComplaints.com, “Buick Overview.” Accessed March 4, 2024.
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