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If you want a highly capable pickup that’s easier to handle than a full-size truck, the GMC Canyon is a good choice. Able to haul and tow massive loads thanks to its powerful engine, this midsize pickup also responds well to steering inputs and rides smoothly no matter the terrain. It’s a popular model, so replacement parts are plentiful, making even older model years excellent investments. Indeed, an analysis by shows that the price of a Canyon only depreciates by a mere 16% after 5 years.

Are GMC Canyons Reliable?

RepairPal gives the Canyon 4.0 out of 5.0 in terms of reliability. This puts the SUV in 2nd place out of 7 midsize truck models. It also costs less to own than its counterparts, and its high reliability means this truck rarely develops problems that will require major repairs.

Your GMC Canyon can easily reach 200,000 miles or more if you take good care of it. Follow the maintenance schedule recommended by GM, and don’t delay replacing old or bad GMC Canyon parts.

Top GMC Canyon Problems

The GMC Canyon’s first generation (2003-2010) includes compact trucks, while its later generations have scaled up to midsize trucks, and they all have their fair share of issues. identifies the 2015 GMC Canyon as the model year with the most number of problems. Here’s a list of the most common GMC Canyon problems:

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Transmission Troubles

Many owners of the 2015-2020 GMC Canyon have complained about a troublesome transmission. While the 2015 model has the highest number of transmission-related reports, the 2016 Canyon is pretty close behind its immediate predecessor.

Many 2015 GMC Canyons have been reported to have problems related to shifting between gears. Some trucks take too much time to upshift or downshift, while others shift roughly. This is dangerous, as driving in the wrong gear can cause problems like jerking and make it difficult to control the truck.

2015 GMC Canyon from GMC Pressroom
Some owners of the 2015 GMC Canyon have reported shifting problems. Image source: GMC Pressroom.

Other frequently reported 2015 Canyon transmission problems include the truck moving while in parking gear, the automatic 4WD getting stuck in low gear, and transmission failure. These problems can lead to car accidents.

Transmission problems in 2018 Canyons typically involve a slipping torque converter, which can cause the transmission to shift dangerously hard. Meanwhile, several 2017 Canyon owners have complained that their truck’s transmission chugged, jerked, or shuddered.

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Steering Issues

Almost all GMC Canyon models have robust steering systems with convenient features like power steering assist. However, the steering can still develop problems.

The 2015 GMC Canyon received a number of complaints about its power steering. Many owners have reported that the power steering assist often turns off while driving, increasing the risk of accidents. Replacing the steering racks and pinions could fix the problem, but the power steering may still fail afterward.

Other common problems include the power steering failing outright and the steering drifting to one side while driving. Some 2017 GMC Canyon owners have also complained that their steering column failed in just 4,000 miles. This is far too early for a steering part that’s designed to last as long as the vehicle.

Engine Problems

GMC Canyon engines are sturdy and powerful, but some of them can break down as early as 3,000 miles. Common complaints from owners of the affected units include stalling, engine misfires, hesitation, and refusing to start.

The worst GMC Canyon engine problem appeared in some units belonging to the 2015 model year. Many drivers have complained that their trucks ran roughly or stalled when they changed speeds. In the latter case, the engine tends to cut itself off and shut down without warning while speeding up. Slowing down or speeding up could also cause the engine to turn itself off.

Faulty Brake Calipers

Several 2015 Canyon owners heard loud squealing whenever they hit the brake pedal, and most were able to trace the unpleasant noise to the stock brake calipers. GM recalled the affected vehicles to replace the defective brake parts.

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Unfortunately, the brakes continued to squeal even after they got new brake calipers. Some drivers were able to resolve the problem by installing aftermarket GMC Canyon brake calipers.

Malfunctioning A/C and Heater

The GMC Canyon’s climate control system keeps its cabin comfortable no matter the temperature outside. That’s why some 2015 Canyon owners were displeased when their truck’s A/C stopped working properly. This can be caused by a faulty instrument panel, a defective heater, leaks in the heater core, or a noisy fan clutch.

While you can count on GMC Canyon’s reliability, it’s always a good idea to learn about the most common problems for the model year you own or plan to get. That way, you can prepare for the potential issues it may develop accordingly.

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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John j

With all the issues why would anyone own a GMC truck. Also how can they be ranked 4 out 5 for reliability?

Done w GMC

My 2019 GMC Canyon Denali just keeps on having issues. Transmission, the heater core, now the ignition fails to turn off and return the key. Under 20k miles and countless problems – never again

Brian kennedy

I have 2012 canyon with 93,000 the frame completely rusted out making it unsafe to drive. Absolutely no help from GMC. I EVEN attempted to buy a new frame and was told they don’t make them anymore. It was 9. Years at the time. Whatever happened to the 10 year deal for parts? Absolutely no. Help from any government agency either.

Shelton nowell

2004 g m c Canyon check transmission rebuilt in February stay at a steady speed 60 70 miles an hour what would maybe my transmission jump up to three and a half doesn’t shift down or up just tacked up to three and a half what could be the problem

John Wilkins

I have a GMC canyon that the radio freaks out and trys to change channels and changes the info on the dash to the radio symbol

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