GMC Acadia Years to Avoid

Published: 09/14/22 •  9 min read

The GMC Acadia is a stunning SUV with an attractive exterior and spacious interior. It comes with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. You can also get a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 230 horsepower. The Denali comes with a V6 engine that can produce 310 horsepower. The V6 engine gives drivers extra towing power with all the right equipment. 

GMC Acadia has some issues that car owners may have to address. Car owners should know these potential problems to avoid them or deal with them when they occur. This blog will discuss GMC Acadia years to avoid and most common problems with these years models.

Most Common GMC Acadia Problems

Acadia was launched in 2007 and had many significant flaws which not all customers knew about when they purchased it. Through its first few years of production, Acadia’s first generation was plagued by constant problems. These issues range from minor inconveniences to significant safety concerns, leading to expensive repairs that could cost thousands of dollars. Keep these things in mind as every make and model of Acadia has its pros and cons.

GMC Acadia Engine problems

Engine problems have plagued Acadia models for many years now. This may make some drivers hesitate to drive. Blown engines were a severe issue in the first year of production. This caused power loss and fried pistons. The leaks were more frequent than they should have been. 

Similar issues were reported for the 2008 model year. This issue was fixed in the 2011 model with 71,000 miles cost drivers on average $7,000 This is a lot of money, but it’s necessary for such a severe issue. You need to fix it or buy a new car, both costly solutions.

If engine problems are a concern, it is best to avoid older models with known problems instead of focusing on newer models that have never experienced such issues. These complaints have been mostly resolved by the 2012 model year. Engine problems are no longer an issue for the GMC Acadia. GMC Acadia’s newest models have entirely redesigned their engines, so the problems of the previous generation are almost non-existent.

GMC Acadia Transmission Problem

The transmission issues have been the most severe. Acadia’s transmission has been a weakness since its inception. It was arguably the most severe problem the GMC Acadia ever faced. 

The transmission is often thought of as a simple mechanism that shifts gears in your car’s engine. But there are more. Transmission needs to change its oil and filter every 30,000 miles. The machine will make strange sounds, and you will know when it is time. GMC Acadia owners report problems with their transmissions starting at 20,000 miles.

The SUV’s first year of production saw the transmission fail without warning or reasonable explanation. This was not only inconvenient but also very expensive. Drivers have reported feeling a thud when shifting gears or acceleration, while others complain of an engine that won’t go into gear.

If you are looking for a used Acadia, this is something you should be aware of. It is essential to avoid looking for a 2007 model. A replacement gearbox can run up to $4000, which is quite expensive. These problems continued for the next year, and it became difficult to find replacement parts.

The transmission problems with the GMC Acadia were resolved over time, and the newer models are rarely affected.

GMC Acadia A/C Problems

GMC Acadia A/C Problems

if you are facing issues with AC, it’s time for you to get help. The Acadia’s interior can heat up when driving long distances or waiting in traffic during the summer months. The flow of air cannot be controlled inside the vehicle because there are no vents. Over the years, many owners complain about its air conditioning system.

Other Issues

Depending on the year of its manufacture, many of the secondary systems and other components in the GMC Acadia have had problems. Older models were plagued by oil leaks and stretched timing chains that required costly repairs. 

Some models had power steering issues. The system could leak, causing the vehicle to become unusable and costly repairs. These problems, like the engine issues, cannot be ignored. They can be fixed, or the vehicle must be replaced.

Other issues include the wipers breaking down under the pressure of moving snow. The snow weight caused the arms of the wipers to become detached and couldn’t clear the windshield anymore. This was a serious safety issue if the accident happened in a storm.

Battery problems have plagued the GMC Acadia for several years. Many drivers have reported that their batteries were draining too quickly, and they still drain after jumping or going to the shop. These drains can be attributed to problems with the remote starter system or relays that fail to shut down properly when the vehicle is switched off. However, a complete diagnostic is often required to pinpoint the cause.

The second-generation Acadia was introduced in 2017. While it has been much more reliable, there were still some issues with activation the first year. A noticeable wobble at higher speeds was the primary concern for 2017 Acadia models. 

Is it Worthwhile to Buy a GMC Acadia?

If you are looking for an SUV, the Acadia is a good option. However, it isn’t the best in its class. A newer Acadia might be the right choice if cost is your main concern. Even though there are numerous issues with the GMC Acadia’s older models, it is worth noting that recalls can happen at any time, and some are more severe than others. 

It’s best to avoid older models of the GMC Acadia because they pose a risk to your safety and could cost you money in repairs. However, Acadia’s newer models have been proven to be far more reliable. It is less likely to experience problems over the long term. The newer models are more stable than, the older models and are safer to invest in than the riskier older models.

GMC Acadia Model Years to Avoid

Although it is a popular crossover vehicle and generally reliable, the GMC Acadia has experienced some issues over the years. There are some model years that you should avoid. Although it is not easy to generalize, these years were markedly more difficult than others.

GMC Acadia Years to Avoid: 2008

Although there were occasional problems with all first-generation models, 2008 was particularly difficult for consumers. The major issues were:

The 2008 model year saw the most severe transmission problems. Most of these were due to moderate use. With significant transmission problems reported at 75,000 miles, that’s not an impressive amount of time to achieve optimal performance. Acadia model year 2008 has a high repair cost of over $4,000. 

Although it had some excellent features that could improve the driving experience, transmission issues in the 2008 model have significantly reduced the overall value of the SUV.

GMC Acadia Model Year to Avoid: 2012 & 2013

Consumer Reports has rated the 2012 Acadia “Poor.” The first generation’s mechanical problems were fixed for a while. But some reported the same issues with the 2012 model year. It had the most problems, but four significant recalls affected drivers for over a year. This created a headache for consumers. The problems were:

Although there were no significant safety concerns, 2013 saw the return of engine problems from the previous generation. For the 2013 model year, common issues include:

Many owners reported engine misfires due to faulty ignition coils or injectors. This led to costly repairs. It could cost about $7,000 to repair and that is pretty high for an Acadia with less than 80,000 miles. Although the majority of the features are better than the previous generation, mechanical problems were still the same. 

GMC Acadia Model Years to Avoid: 2017 and 2018

The Acadia was free from significant problems for a few years. There were some familiar issues with Acadia’s 2017 and 2018 models. These were:

The most frequent problem was a faulty driveshaft. It was the most frequent issue for drivers in these model years. Drivers were exposed to danger when a piece of the drive shaft detached while it was in motion. The car could have lost propulsion, causing significant risk while moving. However, the exact mechanism was known to fail even when the car wasn’t moving. The vehicle could slide downhill, regardless of whether it was parked on an inclined surface or driven on it.

A reasonably severe but rare recall for 2017 and 2018 vehicles was the failure of high-pressure fuel pumps, which had leaked and caused a fire. Recalls were also issued for other components, such as tires, seatbelts and airbags, fuel systems, electrical systems, and exhaust components. Although recalls may not apply to every vehicle, they can cause headaches for drivers.


What Year Were GMC Acadia Drivers Plagued with Engine Problems?

Most of the issues were reported in 2012 models, but two recalls affecting drivers over a year and a half span created headaches. There weren’t any significant safety concerns uncovered, but 2013 saw a return to the engine troubles from the previous generation.

What year GMC Acadias have transmission problems?

The 2008 model has the most reported transmission issues of any year in the Acadia’s production history.

Is the GMC Acadia a reliable vehicle?

The GMC Acadia has a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, putting it in the bottom third of midsize SUVs. It typically costs $734 to repair each year, making it an average ownership choice. Repairs are relatively frequent but not too severe on average.

Closing Words

You don’t need to worry about the past problems if you are aware of what you are doing and enjoy the overall performance and look of the GMC Acadia. Keep in mind that this model is still prevalent, so parts and services are not as difficult as for something rarer. Should any older issues occur again, newer models will be covered under warranty. The warranty on older models, which date back to 2012 or earlier than Acadia’s first year, will expire. It is also not worth the expense of fixing severe transmission or engine problems.

GMC Acadia models produced after 2018 are considered reliable and well-made by the industry. US News gave the 2020 Acadia a rating of 7.3/10, which is higher than average for vehicles in this class. Although it isn’t a perfect vehicle, this rating does not mean it is not an unsafe choice. Always do your research and speak to an expert before you choose!