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GMC Acadia Heating Cooling Problems



  • chnedychnedy Posts: 1
    We were really enjoying our 2012 Acadia. Of course we're beyond the warranty at 44,000 miles when I receive the call explaining the A/C repair is $1500 (replacing A/C line and opening dash to access an evaporator where the refrigerant leak is thought to originate). Quick research of the situation and, lo and behold, one finds A/C issues are a common thread for GMC vehicles on a number of sites. Seems like a recall is in order, or at least a dealer check during the maintenance visits. This is a dealer maintained vehicle. I'm also curious whether the refrigerant is remotely toxic. We use this vehicle to chauffer the kids around. I'll be researching that next.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 2,574
    edited April 2
    In the event of a major release of refrigerant such as a sudden system failure while it is being serviced a technician could be in some danger, but that's about the only way. Here is the MSDS for R134a.
  • artgamble711artgamble711 Posts: 1
    Another disappointed Acadia customer here. I have a 2010 slt1. No air. I am told I need a front evaporation core, about a $1,500 repair.
    It appears GMC has had so many problems with this that they should do something about it. My mechanic told me this unit usually last the life of the car...but not on the Acadia, he has seen many of them need to be replaced.

    I called G.M., spoke with Lou in The Philippines, and he gave me a case number. Nothing to do with the case number, no help with repair...but I have a case number.

    I have owned G.M. my entire life. Not again, when I see all these problems with the same item and no recall or help with repair.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,242

    Another disappointed Acadia customer here. I have a 2010 slt1. No air. I am told I need a front evaporation core, about a $1,500 repair.
    It appears GMC has had so many problems with this that they should do something about it. My mechanic told me this unit usually last the life of the car...but not on the Acadia, he has seen many of them need to be replaced.

    I called G.M., spoke with Lou in The Philippines, and he gave me a case number. Nothing to do with the case number, no help with repair...but I have a case number.

    I have owned G.M. my entire life. Not again, when I see all these problems with the same item and no recall or help with repair.

    Hi Artgamble711,

    I apologize for this, and we would be happy to look into this further for you. Can you please send us an e-mail to along with your case number? We look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Patsy G
    GM Customer Care

  • 41tonya41tonya Posts: 1
    Just wanted to add to the list. I have a 2010 GMC Acadia which I purchased new. It has 56000 miles and now the air conditioner does not work properly. There seems to be no problem with the fan or thermostat. We refilled the coolant after which it blew cold air for a couple of days. We noted the placement of the tubing when refilling. It's definitely not a great place for something used in cooling the vehicle. I have to admit I have loved driving this vehicle better than any other, and there have been quite a few. It is disappointing that after 50,000 miles there is a problem with something as basic as the air conditioning. That's not the case with our Ford which is the same age but has twice the miles. 
  • wgraham1wgraham1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2009 Acadia now the AC adds to a long list of issues. New engine at 85K, Transmission wave plate broke now the AC. When the AC is on there is heat on the Drivers side but cool air every where else. I did have my battery boosted. Is there a quick fix? This thing is a piece of junk.
  • jgrisham10jgrisham10 Posts: 1
    Add me to the list, was just informed my rear evaporation core needs to be replaced. 2013 GMC Acadia, with 36,125 miles...88 miles out of warranty. Talk about frustrating, local dealership is telling me their hands are tied. My out the door cost is roughly 1K. This is my second and possibly last Acadia, waiting on GM reponse...GM, fix the AC problem!!!
  • spartan20spartan20 Posts: 1
    My 2009 Outlook XR is having AC problems and I am about to put down over $200 to have it recharged, and if there is something wrong I hope my extended 7 yr GMPP warranty will cover it. It is amazing that the lines are exposed the way they are - saw them when installing an accessory and reminded every time I change the oil. I did see in this thread that an AC line was damaged by an engine mount. Guess what the other issue is that my Outlook is in for....a bad mount that I was mistaking for a tranny issue. I had suspected it was tranny due to all the issues on websites. Avoiding the adversarial nature of dealing with the dealer/GM process is why I got the warranty, specifically the GM warranty. I will let the readers know how this plays out in detail, and involve GM customer service reps if necessary. I would like to keep buying GM as my Dad did 30 years with Olds but I don't like the trends I am seeing in customer services. Wish me luck.
  • patty__7patty__7 Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 GMC Acadia (with under 100,000 km) with the same issue as many have mentioned above - air conditioning blows air but it is not cold and even gets warm on the passenger side. I have driven GMC cars since the day I turned 16 and got my license (2 Jimmy's, 2 Envoys, a Pontiac Torrent and finally this Acadia). I haven't had any issues with any of my past cars but this Acadia has been a disaster. It has already required a new transmission about 2 years ago, just two weeks ago a part of the muffler broke causing my car to sound like a race car (a $500 fix) among countless other issues. Will take it into the dealer today as it is +30 degrees in Toronto and I am 6 months pregnant - this may be my last GMC car.
  • baw76baw76 Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 acadia having issues with the a/c not working.  Freon charge is correct.  A/C compresser is constantly cycling on and off.  System was working intermitently and now has completely quit.  Blower only blows hot air.  Does gm have any recalls out for a/c issues since this seems to be a chronic issue for acadias? Or is gm helping fincially with repairs?  I have owned numerous gm products and constantly have issue unlike other brands i have owned. Another very dissatified gm customer.
  • We own a 2008 Acadia SLT and love the vehicle, but we are disgusted with all of the problems we have had with it. Last summer my R-3-5 flywheel went out on my transmission. Thank god we had an extended warranty or it would have been $6000 out of our pockets. Early this Spring GMC comes out with a recall on the transmission and finally owns up to all of the identical issues people were having with it. Last week we were driving to a wedding and the AC started making sounds like pressure releasing but continued to cool the cabin. After the wedding, we left to go to the reception and it was blowing cool (but not cold air) and it was about half the flow volume as usual. Let's just say it was a hot ride to the reception! I already had an appt set up for the following Friday because I asked the dealership to check it because my wife said it was occasionally making these pressure noises. I took it in last Friday and they said the work would be covered by my extended warranty.
    They call me back 2 hours later and tell me that its my heater core (coil???) and I'm not covered under warranty. I only have 66,000 miles on the vehicle and the warranty expires at 68,500. Unfortunately, the service person didn't look at the dates and it expired 9 days prior. They then informed me that it was going to be $1800 to repair because they had to tear the entire dash out to get to the part. Since I had made the appt 7 days prior, I asked if they could reconsider since I couldn't get it in any sooner and it would only make the warranty expired by 2 days. The dealership said they would check. They call me back again and tell me that the warranty dept has agreed to cover the labor which leaves me with a bill of a little over $700. It's much better than $1800, however, I still don't feel its fair that I should pay anything since its so close to my warranty expiration date. I'm still waiting on them to call and let me know that it's fixed. It's been 2 days. I'll be requesting my service history report because I do recall mentioning these same symptoms to them 1-2 years ago. All in all, if I wouldn't have an extended warranty on this Acadia, we would've spent over $10,000 in repairs in the 7 years we've owned it which is ridiculous. Worse yet, I just purchased a new RAM 1500 and don't have the extra cash to get my wife a new vehicle. Now we're forced to wait and see what will be the next BIG COST this Acadia brings us. I'd love to stay loyal to GMC and purchase a Yukon in the future to better handle our family of 5, but at this point I'm steering away and may cave into my wife's request of a Honda Odyssey and turn into that minivan family.
  • sad_gmc1sad_gmc1 Posts: 2
    I'm another unsatisfied customer. I own a 2011 GMC Acadia Denali, which was bought brand new. So far I have had several expensive repairs including replacing the power steering unit. In addition my daytime light does not work on one side (thanks GMC for issuing a recall on this because before that, the repair was going to cost me an estimated $1,200). Now I am experiecning a problem with my air conditioner. I checked into this and it appears that many of you have also experienced this problem.

    I contacted customer service, was provided information regarding my concern, and was given a service request number. After discussing this with the technician, I learned that GMC has not been known to cover this issue unless it is under warrenty (they have also noticed the trend). Unfortunately, I no longer have a warranty to cover this issue. I understand that cars do not last forever, but with good engeneering and a company that stands behind their product, it should last more than 100,000+ miles. Especially if they are mostly highway miles like mine.

    The issue was indeed the rear evaporator coil. This seems to be a trend! The technician kindly did not charge me for the freon and knocked off around $100.00 toward the repair (Thank you Meyer Automotive in Seward, NE); however, this issue is still going to cost me a significant amount of money.

    I love my Acadia and have even talked a few co-workers into purchasing an Acadia Denali similar to mine. Hopefully they do not experience the same issues. I am unsure what to do. My vehicle is paid off, but I fear I will continue to have to invest money into it and I might be better off trading it in and looking for something more reliable. Any suggestions?

    I really appreciate this forum, I hope others can make an educated decision on investing in a vehicle that is worth the money.
  • gmcac12gmcac12 Posts: 1
    I bought my 2012 Acadia new and I have been having an AC issue for one year now, so it started around 25,000 miles. It sometimes make a high pitch noise or a blowing noise like it is losing air. I have taken it to the dealer a few times now and they can't diagnose it because it isn't throwing a code. Which is crap. It will work and then won't work, sometimes it blows cold and sometimes not. I took it in today again and they said it was low on freon but surprise they can't find the leak. So my problem will continue and my warranty runs out in December, so needless to say this will be going down the road by the end of the year. Not happy with our local GM dealer and it makes me really want to buy a Ford next.
  • I left a post on August 19 regarding the air conditioner on my 2011 Acadia Denali. It is now repaired and seems to be working well (at my expense). However, I was on my way to work this morning and the cruise control wouldn't work. In addition I got a message that my traction control needed serviced. I am just sick! I was debating on what to do with my Acadia. I was concerned that I would have to stick more money into it after several expensive repairs. My husband and I are now looking looking at a Toyota. I love my Acadia, but I can't be robbed due to a poor purchase. It's too bad a 4 year old, 1 owner vehicle, with primarily highway miles can't be reliable. Unfortunately, I suppose I will give a foreign vehicle a chance (I've only owned GMC and Chevy vehicles with one being my husband's 2015 Chevy truck). I'm done. Best of Luck to all of you. I am hoping this is only a concern with my vehicle as I have talked my sister and two of my husband's co-workers to invest in Acadias.
  • I own a 2013 Acadia, bought it new in 2013. Just 2 days ago the rear air stopped blowing. We drove for about 2 hours yesterday and after every 20 or 30 minutes, the rear air would start blowing but only for about 20 seconds. I was hoping there was going to be some type of recall, but the only recalls out there have already been taken care of on our car. I guess I will call the dealer, but I don't have a good feeling about this after reading all the previous comments. :disappointed: Only have 41K miles on the car. We've been thinking about trading it in since the first issues started after we bought it.
  • Wow! I just left my dealership and was very unsatisfied with what they told me, so I googled acadia ac problems and found this!
    I purchased my 2010 acadia a little over a year ago. When I test drove it the ac didn't work, but they recharged it and it seemed to work fine, but like others have said it made a hissing noise. Well a couple weeks ago it quit working altogether. So I took it in today & I'm told they are draining it & putting dye in to check for leaks, I reminded them that was what was done a little over a year ago but was told it was the only way to diagnose the problem. 20 minutes later my car is done & magically no leaks! I'm so disapointed to see others with the same problem that isn't being addressed! So apparently ac is yearly subscription like XM radio at $129/year! Fabulous! 
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 2,574
    edited September 12
    AC oil dye isn't the only way to locate a leak. The problem with AC oil dye is that it takes time to show where the leak is at. That means testing by re-inspecting the system has to be done in about a week to a month after the recharge where dye has been added for the dye to reliably show up.

    An AC system that is not cooling could still have as much as 60% of its refrigerant charge remaining. At 2.3 lbs. (37oz, 2010 GM Acadia) total charge that means a system that is undercharged by about fifteen ounces doesn't appear to work. Right now we don't know how much refrigerant was left in the system, it might have been totally empty but that's not likely. When a shop charges an AC system and attempts to locate a leak that is that small they are attempting to find approximately .0026 ounces of refrigerant that has leaked in the time that they have had the car. (think of this as a single drop of liquid by volume, except that it is a gas that has leaked)

    There are electronic leak detectors capable of identifying refrigerant leaks that small, (2600ppm in this example there are tools capable of detecting very small amounts of refrigerant 100-200ppm) but they are seldom used due to the expense of not just the tool, but the time that it takes to use them. (Junk ones are in the $200 range and truly good ones approach $700) On top of that, the tools wear out and have to be replaced just about every two to three years and that expense is not typically made by the shop, but by the technician who chooses to invest that much into his/her craft. It can take an hour or two in order to carefully search the entire AC system for a small leak with an electronic leak detector, and there is every chance that it might not be located with that kind of effort if the leak is actually intermittent, or only occurs under operating pressures and vibration. Meanwhile an AC service and leak check might pay the technician somewhere between .5hours and 1hour, no matter how much time he/she actually invests.

  • ericawvericawv Posts: 1
    I have a2009 Acadia SLT with around 85k miles. A year ago the heat on the passenger side stopped blowing hot air...AC worked fine from all vents, it was just the driver side that only blew freezing cold air and no heat. My poor feet had frostbite every morning by the time I got to work. We took it to the dealer who told us it was the heating element and would be about a $1,000 repair... I decided I would just be cold in the winter. However, Recently I had to have an my emissions sensor replaced. Here is the messed up part....since replacing the sensor my drivers side now only blows scalding hot air, and no AC. The AC is ice cold in every other vent in the car (including the passenger side), however drivers side - no AC only heat! What in the world???? We are trying to trouble shoot this problem because obviously the drivers side did not need the heating element replaced a year ago as now the heat works just fine! thank God we didn't fork out that money. However now we are scratching our heads. Thank God summer is over for now.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 2,574
    A temperature blend actuator that is failing could cause what you have reported. There are not separate heating (or cooling) elements for each portion of the dash, only control doors operated by electronic actuators to change the temperature of the air. That is likely what the service advisor at the dealer was trying to explain but was misunderstood. While the actuators themselves can and do fail, problems like doors that have stuck, and even control or wiring harness issues do happen and testing must be done to prove what is happening to your car and what must be done to repair this problem.

    As far as the emissions repair having anything to do with the system changing from being stuck on full cold and now being stuck at full hot, a battery disconnect could cause the control head to attempt a recalibration of the mode doors and its possible that it just happened to move and complete part of the recalibration process. When the control head detects a problem with the system as it would have when it was previously stuck on cold it should have been generating trouble codes. Once codes are generated the actuator was likely prevented from even trying to move the door until the codes would have been cleared by a battery disconnect.
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