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:
81,411 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 3 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #206

Apr 132015


  • 152,000 miles


This is the second time I have had the same issue. I am driving the vehicle and the transmission does not shift out of 2nd gear. The check engine light comes on. I have the vehicle repaired once for this issue. I was told it was the valve body the first time and it was replaced out of warranty.

- White Bear Lake, MN, USA

problem #205

Apr 162015


  • 53,000 miles
2008 GMC Acadia with slightly under 53,000 miles. Was driving across town and the transmission started to shift unexpectedly as if slipping out of gear and the engine going to high revolutions. Check engine light came on. Vehicle stopped for awhile, restarted, began heading towards dealership. Acceleration completely failed and vehicle rolled to a stop with inability to go forward or in reverse. Vehicle towed to GM dealership. Been informed that the clutch broke and spread metal bits across the transmission. Transmission must be replaced even though vehicle only has 53,000 miles on it. Complaint also filed with GM customer care requesting financial assistance with the prohibitive cost of premature repair.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #204

Feb 152015


  • 83,000 miles
Transmission went out. Had to fight with dealer about the fact that this is a known issue on these vehicles. I understand I was out of warranty. But how many people expect their trans to go out in the first 100K? if you own an Acadia, expect to replace transmission between 75-85K. There are hundreds of horror stories on transmissions in the Acadia, traverse, enclave, and outlook alone on the web. GM knows about it but never issued a recall for a sub standard transmission with faulty wave plates. But when it goes out, you get to pay for the "new and improved" version. Dealers are well versed in the failure. In addition to the trans, my sway bars had to be replaced before 50K and I had to pay for it. The headliner was damaged from clogged sunroof drain tubes which new design was installed. New style water pump. All 3 of these items were newer style replacements because GM had to redesign them. That tells you they had known issues with them and instead of standing behind their problems, they hide behind a black and white warranty policy. At the end of the day, a one off problem should be black and white. But when you know there is a major failure history that causes you to redesign components, you should goodwill the customer and proactively perform recalls.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #203

Feb 132015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 739,421 miles


Driving down the road pressed the gas to go up a hill and car would just rev up. Acting as if it were in neutral and it was in drive. Lost all gears. Shut it off and started it again and I had low gear. Continued to go back up the hill to get to my mechanic and when I got to the top of the hill the car lost all gears again and would just rev up. Turned it off and started it again and it let me make it a little further down the road and did it again. I then had it towed. Was very happy with this car until this happened. There was no warning that my cars transmission was going to go. The car never acted up until the moment this happened. I have since looked online and seen that the transmission going around this mileage is a typical issue for this year of Acadia."action=search2 why hasn't there been a recall on this transmission????" it isn't right for people to have to replace a transmission at only 73-74,000 miles. Bought my Acadia (which I am still making payments on) last year on March 28th and haven't even put 10,000 miles on it and the transmission went.

- Morrisville, VT, USA

problem #202

Feb 092015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Power steering failed and transmission stuck in 3rd gear from a stop, couldn't move out of the way of a car and got hit.

- Mission, TX, USA

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problem #201

Feb 052015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 84,800 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into any gear outside of first or second. In addition, the contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to accelerate above 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,800. Updated 5/5/15 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired at the owner's expense of $2,200. Updated 9/16/2015

- Duck River, TN, USA

problem #200

Jan 062015


  • miles


Yet another safety issue w/2008 GMC Acadia. Dropping daughter off at school (19 degrees out/inch of snow on ground), as I'm pulling out of parking lot going very slow thankfully, the car feels like it shifted and then flashing light service traction control, power limited or something and engine buckling like it's going to shut off. I only live a mile from school and kept driving on back road unable to go over 15 mph. Had I been on a highway or going 30 or so I can't imagine what would've happened the way the truck just buckled. I let the truck sit for a few hours, now when I turn on the check engine light is flashing but the service traction control is gone soooo taking it to the GM dealer will be useless, been here before and they never find anything wrong. Hoping it's just the very cold weather making it act up but cold weather should not make this happen, unacceptable. My Acadia acts up with lights, flashing low tires, etc. Etc. All the time when it's cold and this would be the worst time for the vehicle to not work and leave me stuck somewhere. All the $ I dish out for this truck ugh, I would be better off buying an old beater and taking my chances cuz this vehicle seems like if one thing is off the truck just has a mind of it's own and everything is out of whack. GM please stop selling unsafe cars!! I have kids and I do not feel safe driving this truck. I hope this issue gets recalled, read numerous complaints with the same issue but dealership never knows how to fix.

- Shillington, PA, USA

problem #199

Nov 292014


  • miles
2008 GMC Acadia. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle transmission problems. An inspection revealed a broken wave plate and a damaged clutch.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #198

Jan 012015

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 52,875 miles
Transmission is slipping really badly to the point it is unsafe for me to drive and this is will less than 53,000 miles on the vehicle. Brought it into a mechanic and the transmission needs to be rebuilt or be completely replaced with an estimated price of $3,000-$4,000 for the repair. I know that there are many, many other people that have experienced this same transmission issue and have filed complaints so when are you going to hold GMC accountable for these defective transmissions?

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #197

Aug 272009

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I have had continuous problems with this vehicle and now the transmission wave plate is damaged. How many transmission wave plates need to go bad before you make GM recall this defective item. I've searched your database and you have numerous complaints on this item, which affects more than one vehicle and is problematic to all GM mid-size crossovers. This problem needs to be investigate further to full resolution before someone get seriously injured. I was driving this vehicle with my wife and children, and they could have been seriously injured if I was not at the wheel. I want to be contacted by your Agency to discuss this further. --[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Austintown, OH, USA

problem #196

Dec 092014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 118 miles


I am requesting a recall on 2008 GMC Acadia's (throttle body). I have a 2008 GMC Acadia that is experiencing major issues. These issues include speed reducing in the middle of a busy intersection with my 16 year old son in the car. The panel displayed a red message "service traction control". went a few blocks further when the car shut off completely on a busy street; police pushed me off the main street to a less populated side street. Messages displayed on panel "'traction control reducing power". I'm concerned not only for my safety but concerned about the many other customers of GMC who have experienced the same issue (similar issues found on the internet/blogs). My son and I could have been seriously injured if not killed because of this faulty part. I trust that GMC will do the right thing and recall this item before someone is seriously injured.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #195

Sep 272014


  • 131,000 miles
We were out in South Dakota 200 miles from home. We were driving the Acadia and the transmission began to slip. We didn't think anything of it at first. We drove the Acadia home and scheduled to have the car looked at. On the Monday after we got home, I was driving my kids to school when suddenly the car went completely out of gear and the check engine light came on. I tried putting it into park and then back into gear and had no luck in getting it to go into gear. I shut the engine off and started it again and it did go into gear. I dropped my kids off at school and when in park it went out of gear again. I shut the engine off and on again and got it to go into gear. Drove it directly to the auto shop. They ran the codes. They said it was a 3/5 wave plate issue. Had to have the transmission rebuilt. 2200 for the rebuild. Reading online that this seems to be a common issue with vehicles. Talked to the transmission shop and they said they were rebuilding 8 of these a week from the Saturn, Buick, Chevy and Acadias with the 6 speed transmission. They said the wave plate wasn't heat treated at the factory or something like that. It gets heated and deteriorates. GM would do nothing to help. Hopefully, you guys can.

- Darwin, MN, USA

problem #194

Oct 292014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
Drove to pick up someone at the airport noticed that the car was shifting weird. After parking in the airport parking lot for about an hour wanting to leave tried to pull out of the parking spot in reverse I had no response in reverse. Called tow truck because I felt unsafe driving not knowing what else could be wrong. Next day had it towed to the dealer they called said need more time to find the issue. Dealer called the following Monday claiming 3/5/reverse are gone that I have an internal failure in my transmission $4500 repair. Since then I been trying to communicate with GMC customer service they pretty much told me the car is too old and over the warranty. But they considered helping at first since I didn't reach 100,000 miles yet but once they spoke to the district manager from my dealer her said no assistance. GMC has been knowing about the issue since they manufactured this car and has not done anything to stand behind their product. The parts on the inside of the transmission are breaking apart because of faulty material. Why is the customer held responsible for something the customer has no control over. If I do something illegal I get held responsible a manufacturer should too. Just because I was lucky enough to make to 83000 miles and over the 5 year warranty why should I endure the full cost of something that should have been fixed by the manufacturer. I hope more people file a complaint so action can be taken against GM.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #193

Nov 112014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 49,154 miles
We don't even have 50,000 miles on our Acadia and the transmission went out. The dealership is quoting us $4,200 to fix it. This is a well-known issue with Acadias yet GM has not placed a recall. This should not be happening on a vehicle with only 50,000! what a hardship:( we have done everything right with this vehicle since it was new, all regular maintenance and keeping up on the recalls.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #192

Jun 152012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Transmission failed. This is the first of two 2008 Acadias in which we had to rebuild the transmission as the wave plate broke. There needs to be a recall is this is a very common issue and happens around the 70K mile mark!

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #191

Nov 012014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The transmission went out and needed to be rebuilt. $3300. This is the second transmission we have replaced - we did our other 2008 Acadia 2 years ago. This is a very well known issue and there needs to be a recall!!

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #190

Jul 302014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I'm logging these issue as I have now come to realize that the issues we have had with our 2008 GMC Acadia are very widespread among owners. Very early on in the life of the vehicle approx Oct 2008 we began seeing small amounts of water inside the cabin. Water would drip along the windshield occasionally, no action was taken as it was not consistent or so we thought. On multiple occasions my wife would complain that the vehicle would "cutoff" or "die" generally at slow speed in areas such a parking lots when turning, however the dealer was unable to re-create the issue so no repairs were made. One day this summer (2014) my wife was unable to start the vehicle, it just would not crank. On taking it to the dealer the vehicle was diagnosed with a corroded battery cable that ran from the middle of the vehicle to the starter in the engine bay. Cost to repair $1,200. In approximately June 2014 the vehicle began experiencing a slight rollback when placed into drive. At first we didn't think it was an issue as it didn't get worse with time. However by October 2014 we got a check engine light, diagnosis transmission failure cost to repair $4,890 after a $200 discount.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #189

Aug 252012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 73,730 miles
I purchased my 2008 GMC Acadia on 9/22/11. The following summer on August 25, 2012 the transmission went out while on vacation. It was towed to a dealership where they told me the wave plate and snap ring were broken. They replaced the clutch housing, all pistons, all fibers, replaced side cover and pistons and seals and springs. They replaced control valve body spacer plate and tom solenoid gasket screen. The vehicle had 73,730 miles on it. Since then I have also replaced the headlights twice, the battery once. My dash lights only work when they want to and my windshield sprayer stopped working. To top it off my transmission went out again just the other day!!!! it's November 10th 2014 with 119,000 miles and I'm already needing to have another transmission!"!" this vehicle is junk, and I still owe a ton of money.....something needs to be done about this!

- Lansing , MI, USA

problem #188

Oct 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
I just purchased a 2008 GMC Acadia one month ago. We live in Washington state and it rains alot. The first couple days of driving the vehicle, we experienced water dripping all over our seats, floor, and in corners of windows when we drove it getting my 3 children and myself wet. I didn't think it was such a big deal at first since I figured it was a minor leak I could easily fix. Over the next 2 weeks, I noticed my front headlight would flicker on and off and sometimes not work at all. I also figured it was a typical vehicle issue. Up until a week ago I tried to start up the vehicle and it wouldn't start, I knew it was the battery. I took it to get checked only to discover the battery, which is located under the floor board on the passenger back side, was submerged with water. The battery was taken and checked out good out of the vehicle. I researched online that there plenty of others experiencing this same issue and there are no recalls in place now. What am I supposed to do? this is a definite safety issue as its affecting the electrical system. I have a 2 year old,4 year old, and a 5 year old. My 5 year old has health issues and my husband and I bought this vehicle in hopes to have a reliable and most importantly safe vehicle because he is in the U.S. navy and is away alot on deployments and underways. The rain draining inside also causes mold which is dangerous for my children. The dealership wants to charge us almost 1,000$ to repair this. They were unsure how to fix this permanently so they referred me to the body shop.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #187

Oct 302014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 75,200 miles
Transmission. Problem shifting...3rd gear. Vehicle would attempt to shift at 40mph but unable to do so. Engine would rev up then shift extremely hard with a loud clunking noise. Took vehicle to local dealership who informed me transmission would need to be replaced. More cost efficient to replace than to rebuild. No third gear. Transmission should not need replaced at 75,000 miles.

- Lebanon, MO, USA

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