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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,968 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 GMC Terrain drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #19

Sep 072016


  • 93,000 miles


Timing chain broke while reversing out of driveway into road causing engine to stop.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #18

Aug 152016


  • miles
It has a loud knocking sound which gets louder with the a C on.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

Jul 262016


  • 47,000 miles
The car did not change gears at the "proper" time, and then when the brakes were applied or acceleration was ended the car would hard shift to the next gear. It is almost as if the gear was locked into place by the acceleration. Because of this shifting issue, it feels like the car is bucking, which can be a potential safety issue for myself and my family. Issue mainly occurs on slope like conditions in the 25 to 35 mile per hour range, our car is up to date on all recalls per dealer, they were unable to replicate the issue, but replaced the shift stick, this also prevents the car from shifting gears by accident I.e. without the button pushed, this repair has corrected the manual shifting issue. The automatic shift issue still remainsthe car has less then 50K miles. The issue was 1st discovered in the mountains of pa on the 80 hwy the stickiness was between all gears but mostly 1st/2nd and 3nd/4nd since we are back in the city we can only deal with 1/2 gear on the hwy and this problem persists. When doing basic research on this issue I noticed that others experienced a similar problem in 2011 shortly after the cars release, but a flash to the emc "fixed" the problem. Our dealer says that all recalls and software are up to date. Last occurrence 7/26/16 we dont drive the car much since then.

- Flsuhing, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 012012


  • miles


Since I first purchased the car, it has given nothing but issues, the ac went out while still under warranty, it was fixed so I thought, it broke down again and because I was unable to describe word by word, I was told it would not be covered since it was not the same issue and I no longer had the warranty. A mechanic told me that GMC installed really cheap ac compresors/unit and he has had a lot of customers with same issue. It is a shame that we pay so much money in the purchase of a vehicle and in return we get a piece of junk. I need help.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #15

Nov 012015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving approximately 65 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power train belt failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Bessemer, AL, USA

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problem #14

Jun 112015


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. While driving approximately 35 mph, the transmission began to hesitate and jerked. In addition, the transmission slipped gears intermittently with a rapid loss of engine oil. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who was unable to locate the failure. The transmission fluid was flushed however, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 71,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #13

Oct 012014


  • 80,000 miles


We bought this and had it three months when the transmission went out at less that 80000 miles. It lost power and also had lost oil after just having the oil changed. Supposedly it was "dry" and also no transmission fluid. It had just been serviced and have the proof of servicing. It took us three months to find a transmission to put in it, since we were still making payments on it!! had to get a rental car for three months. It was a nightmare. We both believe that GM knows this vehicle make and model transmissions are faulty. We were very disappointed. We had owned a jimmy with 300000 miles on it. Very disappointed in this vehicle.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #12

Oct 282014

Terrain 4-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2011 GMC Terrain. Put the vehicle in reverse and backed out of the driveway, then I put the vehicle in drive and it wouldn't go forward.therefore, I put in reverse and backed back into the driveway I took it to the dealership and was told that the torque converter went bad on the transmission.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #11

Aug 022014

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Started car and shifted from park to reverse. Car did not change into gear. Car was in neutral. Shifted to drive and still no gear change. Shifted to manual drive mode and still did not shift. Turned car off and back on, then gear changes were made. Second time this occurred in about three months.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #10

Jun 302011


  • 2,000 miles
About a month after purchasing this brand new vehicle, there were several times that after starting the car & putting it into gear, it stalled. There has also been times that after driving it for a while & coming to a stop sign, then getting ready to pull out into traffic, it either stalls or hesitates. There were a few close calls where there could have been a major accident. Taking this to the dealer did nothing. They said they have heard of this before, but unless it did it at their dealership, they couldn't fix the problem. Another issue I have had is that many times the transmission doesn't shift properly & it revs up more than it should before actually shifting & when it does, there is a major clunk. I have owned many cars in my lifetime, this car always on startup, makes a terrible noise at first which to me sounds like it's not getting any oil or that the bearings have a problem. That noise goes away after a few seconds. Another issue I have, as do all other Terrain owners, is that the sticker on the window from GM when buying this car, stated that this car would get 23 mpg city, & 32 mpg highway. Most all my miles are highway miles, & the most I ever get is 22 mpg. This was the main reason for buying this car in the first place. I think GM should be held accountable for this grossly mis-representation of what I would be getting for gas mileage. I am not that wealthy where I can just go out & buy a new car every year, but am fearful that with the car stalling out whenever it feels like, that I may have an accident. I am also not thrilled with the noise it make when I start it, & wonder how long before it doesn't run. I now have 36,000 miles on it with these issues, my last vehicle that I traded in for this had 250,000 trouble free miles. GM needs to buy this back, or lifetime warranty on motor along with free gas to make up for the 10 mpg I'm not getting.

- Bolton, CT, USA

problem #9

Dec 012011


  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that there was an oil leak and the vehicle shifted erratically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times where it was confirmed that there was an oil leak and the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the transmission was eventually replaced but both failures recurred. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 26,000.

- Blakely, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 172011

Terrain 6-cyl

  • 4,800 miles
The contact owns 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that while ascending an incline or turning at 25 to 40 mph, the vehicle downshifted and lost power. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer numerous times for the failure where it was found that the transmission's third gear had failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 4,800 and the current mileage was 26,902.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #7

Feb 012013


  • 7,500 miles
Oil smells like gas. Head linear fell down very poor gas mileage engine runs ruff has poor acceleration.

- Santa Barbara , CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 132011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 2,600 miles
Vehicle continues to be checked with dealer for awfully jerky, hard hitting transmission when changing mostly in low range gears. Service department continues to say transmission operating normal" vehicle has over 17,000 miles on it and continues to be plagued with jerky transmission periodically. Hard to believe there has not been a service bulletin on this problem"

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 132011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 2,600 miles
Vehicle has been in dealers service on several occasions complaining about the jerky transmission in first/second change. When changing in the low range transmission hits real hard and jerky particularly if pulling away from a stop at a moderate speed. Service department told me it would smooth out after break in period. Dealer claims transmission is operating normal and due to it being a 6 speed causes this. Hard to believe GM cannot fix to have a smooth operation. Vehicle now has over 10,000 miles and still has the same jerky transmission at low speed.

- Fleming Island, FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 012011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
2011 GMC Terrain. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle's performance and request assistance with repair the consumer at about 6,000 miles, the vehicle started jerking when picking up speed. The jerking would usually occur while increasing speed when it would get to approximately 18-40 mph. The vehicle also stalled twice; once when backing out of a parking space, and the second time when moving forward from a parking space. When driving the car for the first 2,000 miles, the consumer stated she drove the vehicle in standard mode. Thereafter, she drove in economy mode. When the vehicle started jerking and hesitating, she stopped driving in economy mode. When the consumer arrived at the dealer, she was informed a recall was issued 6-8 weeks prior. However, the consumer never received a notice. The recall was performed and the dealer stated the problem she was experiencing was an extension of the recall issue. The vehicle did not stall anymore after the recall issue was fixed. However, the jerking did continue. The consumer returned to the dealer, but they insisted there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, as it was a normal characteristic. The consumer went to the dealership where the vehicle was leased to have them inspect it. They stated the shift adaptive learns needed to be rest. The consumer stated after leaving the dealership and driving several blocks, the jerking returned.

- Congers, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 172011


  • 15,900 miles
While the car is idling, and moving at crawling speeds it stalled out 3 times, both in drive, and reverse.

- Fishkill, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 172011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that the vehicle would jerk violently and sputter when accelerating. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer four times and was told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle and it was performing as designed. The contact was concerned because the vehicle had also stalled on a few occasions without warning. In addition, the vehicle would jerk when driving 16-18 mph. The failure mileage was 6,000 and the current mileage was 9,000.

- Congers, NY, USA

problem #1

Jun 012011

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
3 problems with my 2011 GMC Terrain AWD, 2.4 liter 1. poor gas mileage - averaging 18.8 miles for a vehicle rated 20 city, 29 hwy. I drive 42 miles daily, 4 city, 38 hwy. Dealer checked, no codes and states "operating as per deigned intent" 2. jerky transmission shifts and severe hesitation on startup and slow speeds in eco mode. Dealer checked, no codes and states "operating as per deigned intent" 3. engine "knock" on startup that last from 3 to 10 seconds, normally on "cold" startup. Dealer checked and could not duplicate complaint, checked cam phaser screens per service bulletin and states no debris is present. Dealer states no codes are present and nothing they can do. Oil and oil filter were changed at my request. Engine knock and poor gas mileage still exist, transmission issue seems to have changed to normal and slightly hard shifting now after dealer visit.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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