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The GMC Acadia is a midsize SUV that’s relatively easy on the wallet, compared to other vehicles in its segment. Not only is it easy to drive, it also has other user-friendly features as well. In terms of resale value though, the Acadia tends to depreciate by 50% after five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Is the GMC Acadia Reliable?

The GMC Acadia is a reliable vehicle, but it can do better in some areas. With a RepairPal 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 of keeping an Acadia is $734. Compare that amount with the average annual repair cost of maintaining midsize SUVs ($573) and other vehicles in general ($652), and you’ll see that it’s pretty standard. As for frequency and severity of repairs, you can expect to bring your Acadia 0.4 times a year on average, with the probability of the repairs being severe being 19%, which may be a bit worrying to some.

As for mileage, the GMC Acadia can last for about 200,000 miles, with proper care and regular maintenance.

white gmc acadia
The GMC Acadia is a midsize SUV that’s relatively easy on the wallet compared to other vehicles in its segment.

Top GMC Acadia Problems

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

“Shift to Park” Alert

According to some owners of the 2017 GMC Acadia, 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 then appear a few months later and would get worse. Some even say that their vehicle’s battery died as a result of this error message.

The problem was so severe that a driver from Tennessee filed a class-action lawsuit against GM. The lawsuit claimed that GMC Acadias have a shift defect that can cause a range of issues. One of these alleged issues is the possibility of the vehicle moving even when the driver has shifted the SUV to Park. According to the lawsuit, many consumers were harmed because they unknowingly purchased defective vehicles and were offered no repair.

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 probable causes of the intermittent message is a park switch in the transmission control assembly that’s not pulling the BCM signal enough to show that the vehicle is in the Park position. The document details how to address the issue by installing an in-line shifter wire harness jumper.

A/C Not Working/Working Intermittently

Both the 2014 and the 2012 GMC Acadia had problems with their A/C systems. For the 2014 year model, the root cause of the issue was supposedly an evaporator leak that shut off cooling in one zone or in the entire vehicle. Some owners say that even after fixing the leak, the A/C system would not keep the cabin cool as it used to. On average, the average cost to fix the issue was about $1,000.

Meanwhile, the 2012 GMC Acadia also had problems with its A/C. To be specific, some owners complained that the A/C works intermittently. The A/C would take quite a while to cool the cabin upon startup, and after some time, the cooling would suddenly turn off at low vehicle speeds or when the vehicle is idling. While some say that replacing the A/C piping fixed the issue, some were told to replace their evaporator coil. On average, this A/C problem would appear at about 34,550 miles and took owners $700 on average to fix.

Service Airbag Light On

In some 2012 GMC Acadia models, the service airbag light would illuminate from time to time without having a clear trigger. This issue is quite dangerous, as it may cause the airbags to not deploy correctly in the event of a crash. Some drivers who reported this problem encountered it when the vehicle was still brand new. Most of these drivers have said that they’ve been going to their dealership to have the issue fixed at least a couple of times. According to Acadia owners on this forum, the issue was likely caused by faulty wiring, which some of them were able to fix on their own.

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

gmc acadia service airbag light
In some 2012 GMC Acadia models, the service airbag light would illuminate from time to time without having a clear trigger.

Engine Issues

Another major concern Acadia owners have are engine issues, specifically with the earlier year models (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 seeing an error message. A few say that nothing indicated that something was wrong. On average, repairs for this issue cost the drivers $7,000 to fix.

The 2010 and 2008 year models have similar engine problems. Drivers of the 2008 and 2010 GMC Acadia would find themselves stranded in the middle of the road as their engine suddenly shut off. Repairs would cost the drivers $3,000 and up to almost $9,000. Most of the Acadia owners who experienced engine issues resorted to engine replacement.

Faulty Power Steering

Some drivers experienced power steering issues on their 2010 GMC Acadias. This problem made it difficult for some drivers to make turns, steer, and even park. According to a few Acadia owners, they also noticed steering fluid leaks.

GM released a TSB (PI-0029B) in June 2010 containing repair recommendations and instructions for faulty steering. Aside from 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 with GM passenger cars and light-duty trucks equipped with hydraulic power steering.

Premature Timing Chain Wear

Owners of 2010 GMC Acadias also complained that the timing chain on their vehicles needed to be replaced pretty early on (88,000 miles on average). This issue is supposedly caused by an overstretched timing chain. Affected owners said that prior to the error being diagnosed, their check engine light would come on and multiple trouble codes (including the P0008) would appear. Many of them had to shell out $3,000 on average to replace their worn-out timing chains.

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

Transmission Failure

One of the most well-known 2008 GMC Acadia problems, which also applies to the 2007 year models, is the much-dreaded transmission failure. Owners would notice that their transmission would seize up and fail to work all of a sudden. To resolve this issue, most of the affected owners replaced their transmission, a repair that easily cost them $3,000 or more.

GM had released a few service bulletins addressing the transmission issues. TSB #14404 from March 2015 tackled special coverage adjustment for 2007-2009 Acadias and other GM models that had a cracked/fractured wave plate. TSB #14404B, which was released in August 2016, contained updated customer reimbursement dates that were laid out in the previous TSB. Aside from TSBs, however, no recalls were announced.

Being aware of potential problems with different GMC Acadia year models can help you make an informed decision as you plan on buying your own. When looking for used Acadias, do a bit of research on the most common problems with the particular model you plan on buying. Also, make sure that you and the seller have cleared everything before you commit to the purchase.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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