Notes: Ahh, the ole' sophomore slump. The 2008 Acadia suffers from widespread transmission failure around 75,000 miles.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,666 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.

2008 GMC Acadia drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 12 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Nov 232012


  • 77,700 miles


I'm concerned about the safety of the 2008 GMC Acadia and similar GM vehicles, as I was driving with my family out of town when the transmission suddenly had problems shifting in and out of gears. While driving the weekend after thanksgiving and approximately 4 hours from home, our 2008 GMC Acadia started down-shifting hard after passing a vehicle on the highway. A few minutes later this repeated, and then the check engine light came on. Soon after, when almost to our destination, the vehicle had no power to get up hills on the highway, and once we exited, could barely make it off the exit ramp and through a very busy intersection. It seemed to be stuck in a high gear. Being late Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend and now in a rural area, there weren't any repair shops that were either open or could look at it. So we had to rent a car and attempt to drive the Acadia back another 40-50 miles to get to a Chevy dealer that was open and could at least checkout the transmission. On Saturday they confirmed it was the transmission, and specifically the 3-5-R wave plate, but the vehicle wouldn't be ready until the following week. Later I researched and found this to be a common problem, but it still wasn't being recalled by GM. Luckily we were barely (1 month) inside of our power train warranty and didn't get hurt. I will say that the Chevy dealer that did the repair was great to work with, especially since we were from out of town. But now I'm worried about being able to safely drive this vehicle for any significant distance from our home.

- Dardenne Prairie, MO, USA

problem #13

Nov 222012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
We were coming home from family on thanksgiving night and the check engine light came on as we were getting on the highway. When we got off the highway and onto our exit, we hit a red light. Luckily, it was on a hill, because my husband hit the gas and we didn't go anywhere. The car just revved up to around 4 RPM's. we finally gained some momentum going down the hill and then the car drove just fine again. Next stop light, same thing...only this time, we were making a left hand turn and facing on-coming traffic. It took everything it had and about 20 seconds just to roll through the intersection! if our kids had been in the car with us, this could have been a major accident if we had been hit! the car was towed to the mechanics and was found to be a broken wave plate. There are numerous complaints about the wave plates in the Acadia's, traverse's, and the outlook's, but no recall. I am also only 1 month out of the power train warranty! please help! thank you!

- Glenpool, OK, USA

problem #12

Nov 232012


  • 74,450 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC arcadia. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle failed to move. The contact merged to the shoulder of the road and had the vehicle towed to the dealer. The dealer informed her the reverse wave plate had fractured and the reverse clutch four, five and six housing were damaged. As a result, the housings had to be reconditioned and the reaction sun gear needed to be replaced. Recently, the transmission failed again with the same problem. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was being repaired at the dealer. The manufacturer was notified who stated a representative would contact her within twenty four hours. The failure mileage was 74,450 and the current mileage was 110,000.

- Fairview, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 202012


  • 61,000 miles


Been going through forums and know a few people who have purchased Acadia's and the transmission gives out on these cars really quick and it's a 5000 dollar fix that GMC knows about and refuses to fix and at 50,000 miles their is no reason you should need a new transmission I personally am two weeks out of warranty with a 22000 dollar sitting brick and expected to pay for poor production quality this should be addressed on the national level and is extremely unfair to loyal tax payers to be almost robbed in plain daylight.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #10

Nov 022012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 32,200 miles
Picking up my car after an oil change and tire rotation at the dealer, the car would not go into reverse. They ran diagnostics on the vehicle and I was told the transmission or more specifically the wave plate in the transmission broke. It's been at the dealer going into the second week now. They are still having a shifting issue.

- Linden, NJ, USA

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problem #9

Aug 252012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 61,002 miles
My friends and I left a store and was pulling out onto a busy route. Speed limit is posted as 45 mph. I was idling at the stop sign waiting for a vehicle to pass. When it did I pulled out into traffic. I gently pressed on the accelerator and that is when I felt the truck jerk and then the pedal was floored!!! I was not doing this!!!! I was in amongst the traffic, trying to Dodge others, and then I tried to turn my truck off. I couldn't do it. It was not allowing me to and the speed had increased dramatically!!! I reached down and was messing with the accelerator hoping to pull it up from the floor. The accelerator was completely pressed into the floor as if someone glued it there. I crossed over 3 lanes of traffic trying to Dodge vehicles and trying to prevent a crash. I finally managed to free the accelerator. It freaks me out when I drive now, .

- Farmer City, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 272012


  • 72,000 miles


I was driving on the highway and pressed the gas and started to move then without the warning the car stopped running. It felt like the car had been pushed into neutral, the motor would rev but it would not go anywhere. Took it to the GM dealer. I was told it was all set. Fast forward 2 weeks later same exact thing happened, also my car started to "buck" in reverse. Again brought to GM dealer and told nothing is wrong with it. Fast forward 4 days later heading on vacation with my 4 year old int he car. Same thing happens in the middle of the highway, we came to a dead stop. This was very scary since I had my daughter with me and we were 150 miles from home. Called GM dealer I had been dealing with and they gave me the number for the GM dealer closest to were I was located. Called the GM dealer on cape cod, MA. Was told to drive it there and they are so busy it will be days before they could even look at it. They had my car for 2 weeks and told it is fixed. I can tell it is not the transmission is still acting up. Due to the incidents with this car I do feel myself or my family could have been seriously injured with from this car stopping in the middle of highways. After doing research on the vehicle I have come across numerous GM owners with the same situation. I do believe that this situation could have been life threatening- by a major car accident. I hope someone can help us because GM does not seem to care about what is happening.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #7

Jul 252012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I bought my GMC Acadia in February and have had it at the dealership I know 15+ times. Everything is wrong with it. It started off that it was the stability track and stability control censors, then it went to both rear wheel bearings replace, bypassing the wiring (because GM) told the dealership to bypass the factory wiring and build a new harness for the wiring, several other things wrong, and now the transmission!!!! what will happen next!!! so many people are having major issues with the Acadia. Not dependable nor safe for me nor my family!!!!!

- Pulaski, TN, USA

problem #6

Jul 132012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
My Acadia's transmission failed (the 3, 5, R wave plate) while 4 hours from home. It has now been at the dealership for 22 days... the transmission has been taken out 3 times and still can't "get it right". this is a huge mess that GM has not handled well at all. They will not let the dealership put a new transmission in it. They can't tell me when my car will even be ready... there are 4 other Acadia's at the dealership with the same problem.... just google GMC Acadia transmission problems and you will see that I am not alone..... thank you for any help you can provide.

- Pulaski, TN, USA

problem #5

Jul 012011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle shook and decelerated to 40 mph. The contact was unable to accelerate beyond 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the transmission was replaced. Approximately one year later, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken back for repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #4

Jun 252011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


I have had the rack & pinion steering rack replaced 2 times since I've owned the vehicle (bought new in July 2008) dealership replaced both after getting ugly with them, now at 75,000 miles transmission went out, replaced it. Got it back from dealer and now the steering locks up when turning, usually happens when taking off from a stop and then it finally unlocks as your trying to turn with excessive force. Feels like the power steering just goes out for a few seconds and then comes back. Have just dealt with it last few weeks, but now after not able to turn and hit a curb while turning, there is obviously something defective. Doing research on this there is numerous complaints about the steering locking up, this is very dangerous if its defective. Paying 45K for a vehicle you shouldn't have to argue with the dealer on replacing this part. Is there something being done to fix this issue. I have almost come to a decision that GM doesn't stand behind their product and have about given up on them.

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #3

Apr 072011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Cause code: 6021 - component damaged/cracked, reverse clutch plate replacement reading various forums, these seems to be a problem with all lambada platforms, hundreds if not thousands of transmission failures, creating a major safety concern for myself and the public. GM needs to replace these trannys with a new more durable/reliable design before someone is seriously injured or killed, its only a matter of time. Please confront GM with these complaints...thx

- Etobicoke , NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 222011


  • 57,000 miles
My power steering groans and moans when turning at low speeds. Turning the wheel is very difficult even for me being a male. The noise is very annoying and may affect the steering. The car is for my family of three kids and wife --- not sure they should be driving this anymore. I called the a GMC service dealer and they said they have heard of "very similar issues" waiting back to hear if they will repair this. I've had too many repairs lately for a car with only 58K miles -- one sway bar, another sway bar, transmission issue, headlamp issue, faulty thermostat, limited life brake pads, now power steering issues! ugh!

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #1

Nov 202008


  • 2,000 miles
Purchased a 2008 GMC Acadia sle on Oct. 23, 2008. Took it to the dealer on Nov. 20, 2008 because "check engine" light came on. Informed that the cam shaft was bad, and that the cam & both headers would need replacing. Vehicle has just slightly over 2,000 miles. Discovered through the service department, and internet chat forums this is a common problem with this vehicle. Vehicle is still at the dealer, repairs not complete yet. It appears this problem has been on going since the 2007 model year(first year of production). Why hasn't GM addressed this problem? it appears that they are just standing by, and putting the burden on the consumer.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

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