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GMC Acadia Transmission Problems



  • I am in sheer an utter disbelief and I thought I had done my research before purchasing this car. Gmc is still rated highly for it's dependability? Not in my book anymore. I never considered searching for transmission problems before, yet here I am (luckily) after attempting to merge onto a highway and I need speed to merge in front of a tractor trailer, yet stepping on the gas only gives rims, no acceleration as if I am in neutral. Taking the foot off and it engages in a lower gear as if downshifting so the front end jerks down then gas again and it shifts pulling front up. Imagine three or so iterations of my car bucking and an 18 wheeler blaring at you as you try the slim emergency lane. I am in complete shock that a 5yr old car with 58k is having this problem. Going to the dealership tomorrow and am guessing wave plate or new transmission. So absolutely disappointed in gmc for not being proactive on this issue, they are not apparently looking at the cost of losing future customers. I am a US believer that they are destroying with this ongoing junk. Never another Chevy for me, ford or dodge will be getting my business. I'll let anyone else know this disgusting issue with gmc at the large place I work, bulletin boards just for this reason. Feel so scammed.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello disbelief21

    I deeply apologize that you are facing transmission repairs on your vehicle. If there is any assistance I can provide to you for this matter please let me know.


    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • scottmay3scottmay3 Posts: 17
    The assistance you could offer is to recall the dang things before more people get killed over this...the wave plate is a major issue......seriously..the new recall issue is to extend the warranty on my water pump???? Talk about the elephant in the room...........
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello disbelief21,

    I'd like to follow up with you and find out how your visit to the dealership turned out. If you would email your full name, address, telephone, VIN number, current mileage and involved dealership, I’d like to research some options that may be available to assist you. Our direct email address is I'd like to work toward delivering a satisfactory resolution to this concern, if possible. I look forward to working with you.

    Marlea Wilson
    GM Customer Service
  • pernetaperneta Posts: 1
    edited June 2013
    08 Acadia won't shift out of 1st gear...check engine light is on. It's mind boggling to see SO MANY PEOPLE have the same problem yet GM will not do anything to help out. They love, promote and thrive off of "owner loyalty" but yet they DO NOTHING on their end to show loyalty to their customer. If something repeatedly breaks it's your problem. Not theirs. Now I have a vehicle i can't drive and i can't afford an expensive repair bill. So now what????
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    If you're out of your warranty period what do you expect that GM do for you? However unfortunate your situation is you're still out of your warranty period and GM is under no obligation to repair your vehicle. This would be true for any make. Because it's GM you believe they are obligated to help? Would you expect the same from Ford or Dodge? No one knows the true amount of transmission failures except GM.

    Here at Edmunds there have been reports of failures but by no means any amount near requiring a recall vs. the amount of vehicles sold.
  • et_austinet_austin Posts: 11
    I own a GMC Acadia 2008 that started having transmission problems one year ago (July 2012), I was on a busy highway in Austin, TX and had my three young daughters with me when I started noticing I couldn't accelerate very well. Next day my GMC Acadia just stopped in the middle of a road and I couldn't accelerate at all, thank God this time my daughters were not in the car with me. I had the car towed and it turned out the problem was a broken wave plate. I couldn't believe it when I searched on Google and found out transmission problems were very common on this VERY EXPENSIVE CAR. Luckily the repair was covered by the drive train warranty. Before buying this Acadia I owned Nissan and Mazda cars (not even fancy ones, I owned a Nissan Sentra and two Mazda Proteges) and I NEVER had these kind of problems with those cars, I remember feeling a little sad when it was finally time to sell them. But with my GMC Acadia is the opposite, I'm going to feel happy and relieved when I finally get rid of it; other serious problems I've had with this car are:

    - About two months ago water started POURING inside the vehicle every time it rains, we're not talking a few drops, we're talking streams of water. There are not one but several leaks in the roof of the car. Again I couldn't believe it when I searched on the Internet and found out this is a common problem with GMC Acadias, and based on what I've read so far I'm going to have to pay a fortune to fix it.

    - The hinged sun visor flap on the driver's side has a little mirror with a plastic cover. I occasionally use it when applying makeup in the car, well, just by the normal use of opening and closing the little plastic cover it broke one day and the broken plastic hinge pushed on the mirror and cracked it. So now I have to drive around with the broken plastic lid hanging in front of my eyes. The quality of the interiors is just terrible (again, compared to the Sentra and Proteges I owned for several years), a control knob on the second row of the car fell apart in little pieces, and the paint is peeling off at least 5 buttons on the dashboard, I can't tell apart the A/C buttons anymore.

    I've had people stop me on parking lots to admire my GMC Acadia and tell me they are thinking about buying one, I used to be proud of it myself but now I warn everybody against buying one.
  • dagger6dagger6 Posts: 14
    Really? With hundreds of people reporting the same problem you don't think this deserves a recall? There have only been SIX reported fires on certain GM models out of the hundreds of thousands sold and that was enough to prompt a recall. And when the Toyota stuck throttle issue came up, there were only a handful of stuck throttle reports. And that prompted a recall. What's your baseline for a problem to become recall-worthy? Can we know the actual number of reports you've gotten on transmission failures? And let's not forget that you probably won't get a report if the transmission was fixed under warranty as my first failure was. That I didn't report. But after the next two catastrophic failures OUT of warranty? That's when I went online and discovered similar widespread problems.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I do apologize that you are having so many issues with your GMC Acadia. I would like to do more research on your concern. Could you please send us an email at Please provide your name, address, phone number, vehicle identification number, and current mileage.

    Thank you,

    Jessica L.
    GM Customer Care
  • misc23misc23 Posts: 22
    My rebuilt 2007 GMC Acadia transmission is showing the same signs as it did before. I pulled out to try to pass someone and as I tried to accelerate the tach shot up to 7000 rpm and the vehicle did nothing. I am taking it back to the dealer but I know I will get the same ol' line. There is nothing wrong. My GM nightmare is up for sale and it will be the last GM I own.
  • After 9 years, my wife and I decided to get a newer car. We were planning a trip across the country this fall with the kids and wanted something roomier. We loved to look of the Acadia and I bought a used 2007 2 wks ago. Last week after only a small amount of miles it missed a shift while we were on our way out of town for a short weekend trip. Turned around and drove it back home and got our old car (my 2001 Mazda Tribute with 200k+ miles). Monday morning I went to take it to the wouldn't even get into gear. fortunately the dealer I got if from had it towed to their shop. turns out it's a solenoid in the transmission, the chevy dealer said they keep the $700 parts on hand because it's "common."

    That's crazy. Now I have to pay the $700 for the parts. the dealership is going to eat the labor. this car only has 75k miles on it. I've never had a car have any problems with a transmission that soon. I'm highly disappointed. My wife and I were so happy because the car looks great and it's comfortable, but now I'm worried at how "common" this problem may be that I'll get stranded with my family on our cross country trip.

    This is my first GMC and I've always heard great things about them but I'm not going to be recommending them to others. It does sound like with so many transmission issues that they need to do a recall and put in higher quality materials or something. This is ridiculous.
  • How many miles did you have on the first tranmission? I got a rebuilt one at about 83000 miles. Worried about it, it's been about 12000 miles since I got it.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello Misc23,

    I'm really sorry to hear about your transmission issue. I would like to do further research so could you please email me at In the email can you please provide me your name, address, phone number, vehicle identification number, and current mileage.

    Thank you,

    Jessica L.
    GM Customer Care
  • misc23misc23 Posts: 22
    We had 110k on the first transmission, but it always did the same thing I was describing. We would take it to the dealer and they would say "they couldn't replicate it" or "that is how this new transmission is". It makes me worry that GM has done nothing to fix the problem and it will just be a matter of time before this one goes. I asked the technician who replaced mine if I should ditch the vehicle. He didn't say no, but he did say that the wave plates he puts in now seem to be a little more beefy and he hasn't seen any back yet. But that is one technician in one shop. We have ours up for sale because of the numerous other things that have or are going wrong (Power steering, AC, front plate oil leak, expensive to replace a head light, valve stem tire pressure sensors ). We got a letter from GM that they are reimbursing people who had the water pump go out. That makes me nervous because that is one thing we haven't had to replace.
  • misc23misc23 Posts: 22
    Jessica L. I have been down that road. The only thing you can do for me is to get your company to admit there is a problem and stand behind their product.
  • I had the same problem and called GM. The representative that I had told me that I didn't have a strong enough business case because I was a 3rd owner including a major chain (Carmax) and that I had no maintence history with a GM Dealership which the car had been taken to Bellany Strickland in McDonough GA that is a GM certified Dealership and that I had purchased it from a a 3rd party not a GM Dealer. I am sorry but if GM can not make a transmission to last more than 5 years that is pitiful. I have had a multitude of of makes and ran them up to 150,000 to 200,000 miles and never had transmission or engine trouble. My warranty went out in Jan 2013 and I have only owned this car 4 months. What can you do Jessica that is different than Shawna?
  • I am sick of seeing all these posts that GM has offered to help at the same out of warranty people, but refuse to help me because I bought from a 3rd party dealer and not a certified GM dealer. It is a GMC Acadia and GM should own up to their crappy wave plate transmission designs.
  • Oh, I had to get the water pump replaced in late June of last year. I just got that recall notice two weeks ago, and took it with copies of my paperwork (over $2000!! ) to get the water pump repaired to the dealer. Am waiting for the rebate check to refund most of that $2000. But it doesn't cover the rental car I had for a week (they have to pull the engine out to get to the water pump).!! I hate worrying about what will go wrong next. My car is paid for and has 102000 miles on it. I planned to keep it for 200,000 miles but I worry.
  • Jessica_ GM did not offer to help me. My warranty on the transmission ran out in June, it went bad in Sept and I had to pay for a rebuilt one while I was out of town (broke down in GA 300 miles from home). I always went to the the GM dealers for everything, and it did not matter one penny on my transmission. Still waiting for GM to come clean and make it right. I WILL NEVER EVER buy another GM car and will badmouth them forever for this Acadia.
  • kristintempleskristintemples Posts: 7
    edited June 2013
    I wished I would have searched Google before I purchased the GMC Acadia. I love this vehicle, but I am very disappointed that the transmission went out 5 months after the manufacturer's warranty. I bought this car 4 months ago at Carmax and a few weeks after I bought it the camshaft had to be repaired by Carmax. Now after 4 months the transmission's wave plate is broke. This is going to cost me $4,000 out of pocket from GMC dealership. I contacted GMC and got a huge run around that there was a major guard policy that could possibly be transferred to me from the previous owner, but after speaking to GMP they stated that the people would not transfer it to me since they were entitled a refund from selling the car. I was also entitled to their information to contact them which is understandable, but the person would not even give my information to the previous owner to call me to try to work something out so I would only have to pay the deductible on the transmission. So I called GMC back and was informed that my case could not be escalated because I didn't have a strong enough business case with them because of the following reasons:
    1. I am a 3 rd owner (including Carmax)
    2. I have no maintenance history with a GM Dealership (Carmax sent my car to have diagnostic work done to it through a Certified GM Dealership in GA but she has not record of that) I have the paperwork.
    3. I purchased it used from a 3rd party and not a certified GM dealer

    I guess for every person that does not purchase a brand new car from GM or does not purchase a used car from a Certified GM Dealership you are screwed and will not receive any type of assistance from GMC when your vehicle messes up. If an American owned company can not guarantee a transmission or motor passed 5 years with under 100,000 miles why did the government even bail them out? I am sitting here with a broken vehicle in my driveway that I have had for only 4 months and still making payments on this vehicle to sit there. Not to mention I can not take my family on vacation because the only other vehicle I have is a truck that will not seat all of us thus the reason I purchased the Acadia. I have owned other makes and models and have never had engine or transmission problems this early. I have driven Honda's and my previous Chevrolet trailblazer that I purchased from Carmax as well with over 150,000 miles and not one problem. I can tell this Acadia was probably owned by an elderly couple because it is in immacculant condition therefore didn't see a need for extended coverage. If I had only read the internet to see that this vehicles transmission is a lemon and GMC is well aware of it, but refused to do anything about it. I can maybe understand not recalling all of them, but at least own up fixing the outrageous number that messed up. If this problem were to happen pulling into traffic it could be a deadly situation. I have already contacted:
    1. National Highway Traffic Safety Association
    2. Better Business Bureau
    3. Lemon Law-Alex Simanovsky (already sent them all my paperwork waiting to hear back from them)
    The next step I plan to complete is Facebook to go viral if nothing is done by GMC. Isn't word of mouth the best advertisement? I have a big mouth!
  • Shawna did not help me either. I am very disappointed in the American company. I expect a transmission and an engine to last at least 10 years. Unless you dog it out, but that is not the case with me. I like to keep my vehicles in great condition.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Besides the transmission the engines on these vehicles prematurely self-destruct due to the timing chains stretching. Without a powertrain warranty an older Acadia is like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode in my opinion. You'll probably be better off in the long run to trade it in once the transmission is fixed. Good luck.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,199
    If an American owned company can not guarantee a transmission or motor passed 5 years with under 100,000 miles why did the government even bail them out?

    Good question. There was and is no good reason for the bailouts, no legitimate worthy argument that I've heard thus far, and I've heard many. Bush bailed them out because of his ego, and not wanting GM to go under during his watch (mainly). Obama bailed them out so he could get victories for re-election in two battleground States, Michigan and Ohio, States he won, without which, he'd of lost re-election; so the plan worked for him personally, but was a royal screwing to tax payers.

    Buying used is a big risk, and you bought American used.....

    I hate to say it, but... you got what you were asking for.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • I didn't get what I was asking for. I previously bought a Chevrolet Trailblazer from Carmax as well and I didn't get a warranty on it. I did not have one problem with the transmission or engine. It had 130,000 miles when I sold it. With all these computer malfunctions I don't plan of buying new ever!
  • arleenrarleenr Posts: 2
    I bought my certified pre-owned 2008 Acadia from a certified GM dealer and less than 2 months into having the truck it would not shift into gear. After 2 and half weeks of the dealer having my vechile I find out the transmission had to be rebuilt. The car had almost 39,000 miles on it when I bought it. The car now has almost 42,000. For a car that is five years old and only has 42,000 miles on it to have to get the transmission rebuilt is insane. I bought a brand new toyota rav 4 in 2003 had it 10 years put over 200,000 miles on it and never once had any transmission or engine issues. What value does the title GM certified pre-owned have??!!! What value does the title GM certified dealer have?!!!
  • Apparently none! They are refusing to back their crappy design and make it right with the owners. I think that is bad business practice because if you want repeat business you do what it takes to satisfy the customer. From looking on all these blogs on the internet they might need another bailout if these people are not coming back to them to buy another vehicle. Like I said before if an American company can not guarantee there workmanship then we don't need to buy from them. If it were a water pump yeah I see things like that go out that I would gladly be responsible for, but not a transmission that is proven time and time again to go out!
  • I too wish I would have found this forum BEFORE I bought my 2008 Acadia...this car has been the biggest financial mistake of my life. My warranty expired six months ago and since then I have sunk about $6000 into it fixing the multitude of things that have gone wrong with it, including but not limited to the air bags, fuel line, brake fluid leaking, roof leaking, and the wave plate on the transmission. Prior to this piece of junk, I owned 3 Toyotas and a Lexus and I have had more problems with this Acadia than I have with all four of those cars combined. I am petrified to drive it especially with my three kids in it because I am scared of what is going to fail on it next while I'm driving it. I am trading it in the second it is paid off and will never, never buy another GMC car again.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize that you have had issues with your GMC Acadia. If there is anything we can do to assist you please let us know.


    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello arleenr,

    So sorry to hear about your transmission issues. Please keep us posted on the status of your repair.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • arleenrarleenr Posts: 2
    Well apparently the transmission was rebuilt and everything should be fine. However, on my way to work this morning I was in traffic put the car in park because the traffic was extreme. I put the car in drive when the traffic started moving again and the car would not go into gear! I shut the car off and turned it on again and it started fine. Thank god because I was in the middle lane!! Then it happened during lunch reversing out of a parking spot, except I was on a small incline and the car started to roll backwards and would not brake. I put the emergency brake on, put the car in park, shut the car off, pumped the brake, and turned the car back on and shifted it into reverse and it worked. Called the dealer, apparently they were real busy and I had to leave a message. Waiting for a call back, safety is a serious concern. Especially, because I have a child. I will call again first thing in the morning... the saga continues. This is ridiculous.
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