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Common GMC Acadia Failures: Tips, Problems & Solutions!

The GMC Acadia is a midsize SUV that is relatively good on the road, compared to other vehicles in its segment. Not only is it easy to drive, but it also has other user-friendly features. However, it is also prone to some problems. Stay until the end and find out here the common faults of the GMC Acadia .

There are a few specific Acadia model years to avoid if you are in the market for a used 7-seater. In terms of resale value, the Acadia tends to depreciate 50% after five years.

How good is the GMC Acadia?

The GMC Acadia is a dependable vehicle , but it can do better in some areas. With a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, the GMC Acadia ranks 23rd out of a lineup of 26 midsize SUVs.

The average annual repair cost to maintain an Acadia is $734. Compare that to the average annual repair cost to maintain midsize SUVs ($573) and other vehicles in general ($652), and you’ll see which is pretty standard.

In terms of frequency and severity of repairs, you can expect to drive your Acadia 0.4 times per year on average, with a 19% chance of repairs being serious, which may be a bit of a concern for some.

Regarding mileage, the GMC Acadia can last around 200,000 miles, with proper care and regular maintenance.

The main common faults of the GMC Acadia

While generally considered a fairly reliable vehicle and popular with crossover enthusiasts, the GMC Acadia has had some nagging problems over the years.

Every vehicle has its fair share of problems, and the Acadia is no different. Below are some of the common GMC Acadia faults:

1- Faults in the defective power steering

Some drivers experienced power steering issues on their 2010 GMC Acadia. This issue caused some drivers to have difficulty making turns , steering, and even parking. According to some Acadia owners, they also noticed steering fluid leaks.

GM published a TSB (PI-0029B) in June 2010 with repair recommendations and instructions for the faulty steering. In addition to the 2008-2010 Acadia, models like the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and Saturn Outlook were also covered by the TSB.

Another TSB (PI0671A) was published in March 2017 addressing a similar steering issue on GM passenger cars and light trucks equipped with hydraulic power steering.

2- Airbag service light on

On some 2012 GMC Acadia models, the service airbag light would come on from time to time with no clear trigger. This problem is quite dangerous as it can cause the airbags to not deploy correctly in the event of an accident .

Some drivers who reported this problem found it when the vehicle was still new. Most of these drivers have said that they have gone to their dealership to have the problem fixed at least a couple of times.

According to the Acadia’s owners, the problem was likely caused by faulty wiring, which some of them were able to fix on their own.

Because the problem was a major safety concern, GM issued a safety recall in March 2014. This safety recall covered the 2008-2009 and 2010-2013 Acadia and extended to other GM vehicles as well, affecting 1,176 .407 vehicles in total.

3- Failures in the air conditioning

Both the 2014 and 2012 GMC Acadia had issues with their A/C systems. For the 2014 model year, the root cause of the issue was reportedly an evaporator leak that was shutting down cooling in one area or the entire vehicle.

Some owners say that even after fixing the leak, the A/C system wasn’t keeping the cabin cool like it used to . On average, the average cost to fix the problem was around $1,000.

Meanwhile, the 2012 GMC Acadia also had issues with its A/C. Specifically, some owners complained that the A/C works intermittently. The A/C took a long time to cool the cabin at startup, and after a while, the cooling would suddenly shut off at low vehicle speeds or when the vehicle was idling.

While some say that replacing the a/c pipes fixed the problem, others were told to replace the evaporator coil. On average, this A/C problem appeared at 34,550 miles and took owners $700 on average to fix.

4- Engine problems

Another top concern for Acadia owners is engine issues, specifically with early model years (2008, 2010 and 2011). A sudden loss of engine power is a common problem for the 2011 GMC Acadia.

Some owners have reported that their vehicle suddenly slowed down and stopped in the middle of the road, while others report that they saw an error message. A few say that nothing indicated that anything was wrong. On average, repairs to this problem cost drivers $7,000 to fix.

The 2010 and 2008 model years have similar engine problems. Drivers of the 2008 and 2010 GMC Acadia would find themselves stranded in the middle of the road when their engine suddenly died. Repairs would cost drivers $3,000 and up to nearly $9,000. Most Acadia owners who experienced engine problems resorted to engine replacement.

5- “Change to parking” alert

According to some 2017 GMC Acadia owners, a ” shift to park ” message on their dash would suddenly appear out of nowhere. This issue is said to prevent some from locking their vehicle.

According to some drivers, the message would appear out of nowhere and then disappear after a trip to the mechanic. The problem would appear a few months later and worsen. Some even claim that their vehicle battery died as a result of this error message.

The problem was so serious that a driver from Tennessee (USA) filed a class action lawsuit against GM. The lawsuit claimed that GMC Acadias have a shift defect that can cause a number of problems.

One of these alleged problems is the possibility of the vehicle moving even when the driver has shifted the SUV into Park . According to the lawsuit, many consumers were harmed because they unknowingly purchased defective vehicles and were not offered any repairs.

General Motors (GM) issued a technical service bulletin (TSB 19-NA-206) in September 2019, to address the ” shift to park ” alert issue.

According to the bulletin, one of the most likely causes of the intermittent message is a park switch in the transmission control assembly that is not pulling the signal from the BCM enough to show that the vehicle is in the park position. The document details how to fix the problem by installing a jumper on the inline gear shift wire harness.

6- Premature wear of the timing chain

Owners of 2010 GMC Acadias also complained that the timing chain on their vehicles needed to be replaced very soon (88,000 miles on average).

This problem is supposedly caused by an oversized timing chain. Affected owners said that before the error was diagnosed, the check engine light would come on and various trouble codes (including P0008) would appear. Many of them had to shell out an average of $3,000 to replace their worn timing chains.

GM published TSBs to address timing chain issues. TSB #PIP3423P was intended to provide timing chain repair information for affected GM vehicles, including 2007-2017 Acadias, that had stored trouble codes P0016, P0017, P0018, P0019, P0008, and/or P0009. This TSB, which was published in August 2018, is the most recent bulletin to address the timing chain issue.

7- Transmission failure

One of the most well known problems with the 2008 GMC Acadia, which also applies to the 2007 model year, is the much feared transmission failure. Owners notice the transmission seizes up and suddenly stops working. To resolve this issue, most affected owners had their transmission replaced , a repair that easily cost $3,000 or more.

GM had released a few service bulletins that addressed the transmission issues. TSB #14404 from March 2015 addressed special coverage adjustment for 2007-2009 Acadias and other GM models that had a cracked/fractured wave plate.

TSB #14404B, which was published in August 2016, contained updated repayment dates for customers who were established in the previous TSB. Other than the TSBs, however, no recalls were announced.

In summary

Being aware of the potential problems with the different GMC Acadia model years can help you make an informed decision when planning your purchase. When looking for used Acadias, do some research on the most common problems with the particular model you’re thinking of buying. Also, make sure that you and the seller have clarified everything before committing to the purchase.

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