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 4 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #174

Aug 052014


  • 80,000 miles


My GMC Acadia 2008 constantly stalls on me the issues started August 5 and has continue up to last night August 17th. While I'm driving the car would shut off on me and the check engine light would appear. I wont be able to restart the car so I had the car towed to the nearest GMC dealer. After paying for a diagnostic report the mechanic told me they could not find any codes indication the check engine light even came on. Last night I was scared because I left work at midnight after driving about 10 minutes the car started jumping then turned off and the check engine light came on in the middle of the street. I called on-star and they were dispatching a tow truck because the car would not come on. After 45 minutes I tried to turn the car on and it came on so I cancelled the tow truck service. This is a issue that's been happening for the last 2 weeks. I cant get the issued fixed because the last 2 diagnostic reports that were ran states no issues. I also had on-star run a diagnostic report right when the issue happened and they also told me they don't see any issues. I took a picture with my cell phone when the check engine light came on but no one seems to know the issues the SUV is facing. Everything stays on the radio the lights just the car shuts off and wont start for like 45 minutes to an hour. I've looked on different GMC Acadia forums and it seems I'm not the only person having this issue with this same make model and year car. Someone on the forum suggested I make a compliant at the ntsa.

- Bronx , NY, USA

problem #173

Aug 022014


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 60 mph, the vehicle lost power and the transmission gears failed. The contact stated that the transmission gears intermittently slipped. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated that the waveguide needed to be replaced and the transmission needed to be rebuilt. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 133,000.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #172

Aug 102014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 58,658 miles
While driving my 2008 GMC Acadia on the highway, the car started shifting hard, jumping, slipping, etc. This caused a very dangerous situation as this could have potentially caused an accident. I was able to get to a parking lot and then my car would not go in reverse, so it had to be pushed into the parking space. The 3-5-reverse wave plate is broken and will need to be replaced. After doing some research on the internet I have found that this is a major problem with 2007-2009 GMC Acadias, not to mention several other GM vehicles with the same transmission also have this issue. If there are that many vehicles having the same issue, this proves there is a major defect with this part and GM should be held responsible for this. This problem created an unsafe driving experience for myself and my family while on a busy highway that potentially could have caused a serious accident. Please do something about this and hold GM accountable for their defective part.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #171

Aug 072014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 60,085 miles


Vehicle seemed to have dropped out of gear, so I pulled off highway into parking area. I realized vehicle wouldn't move when in reverse. After pushing the car backwards so I could turn around (in said parking lot) I pulled back out on highway. Vehicle would not accelerate over 40 mph and tach was doubled at over 4. I did make it home and I had vehicle towed to transmission shop where it is now being diagnosed.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #170

Aug 072014


  • 60,084 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated while driving 45 mph the transmission failed. The check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact engaged the accelerator pedal and the vehicle did not move forward. The vehicle was driven onto a parking lot and placed in reverse gear; however, the vehicle did not move. The vehicle was turned off, restarted and the failure recurred. The vehicle was placed in neutral gear and pushed from the front end however, the vehicle was driven to her home and later towed to a private mechanic. There was no diagnostic test performed nor was the vehicle repaired. The failure mileage was 60,084.

- Wilimngton, NC, USA

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problem #169

Jul 022014


  • 83,700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle failed to respond when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the transmission was replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 83,700.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #168

Aug 032014


  • 83,000 miles


The vehicle refused to shift out of first gear and the check engine light became illuminated upon pulling out into the roadway. At 25 miles per hour the rpms were 4000 and it just would not shift. We pulled over, called for help and were stranded on the side of the road with two small children. We were hours away from home, and had to call family from hundreds of miles away to come help. The vehicle after being turned off and sitting for a while did then return to normal operation when restarted. Vehicle was driven home and two days later the very same problem recurred. Going to trade in this pos before someone gets hurt.

- Wyoming, PA, USA

problem #167

Jul 022014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 58,500 miles
2008 Acadia purchased in 2007, transmission intermittently slamming into gear for high speed up and down shift. On dry pavement the SUV will change several mph well within a second. My concern is that this is potentially dangerous while driving in inclement weather. Especially on snow/ice! I am taking the SUV to the dealer on Monday for a diagnosis. I suspected an internal clutch problem or valve control problem couple of weeks ago. The problem is progressively getting worse. After reading online I found that this is a common problem with this series of transmissions starting after 47K. I wanted to add my concern. My car just passed 63,000 miles. I truly believe this is a potential safety hazard. Several things would have to happen at once (ie let off the accelerator, accelerate, brake, and be on wet or ice roads). The shift is intermittently hard during any of these changes in acceleration causing a potentially dangerous condition.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #166

Jul 092014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 96,200 miles
I was driving home from work at 2am and the transmission went out on my used Acadia after I bought it only a week before. I'm filing this complaint because after much research I have found countless other 2008 Acadia owners who have had the same issue. I feel the transmissions for this vehicle needs to be reviewed and possibly recalled. I have three small children and feel this vehicle is unreliable for them.

- Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #165

Jul 152014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 81,487 miles
I was on my way to my kids school with my 12 year old son in the car with me, when I eased over a speed bump I applied gas and my car would not accelerate. My car came to a complete stop in the road. Fortunately no one was behind me at the time. I immediately put my hazards on and my son and I tried to push the car off the road onto the side but could not. The engine continued to run. I put car in park then tried drive and reverse even low but nothing happened. A nice man stopped and helped push car out of road. My car is a 2008 GMC Acadia. We waited for the tow truck to arrive. It has 81,487 miles on it. I am told the transmission is crap. I am shocked and upset. This should not be happening. I do not appreciate putting my life and especially my child's life in danger. Thank goodness we were off the major highway!!!! and that my entire family of seven was not in the vehicle at the time. GMC needs to recall and fix the issues. Please don't wait until there are fatalities. Thanks!

- Camilla, GA, USA

problem #164

Jul 122014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 131,000 miles


Started from a red light, car dropped in gear and jolted. Tach revved up to 3000+. finally caught a gear and slowly made my way off the road. Parked and waited for a family member to come tow my car. Reverse and 3rd gear definitely out. By looking at the other threads, seems to be the ominous 35R waveplate. Need to replace transmission now. Luckily I can do the labor myself and save some money. I'm astounded how any other people experienced the same issue. Haven't seen any injuries yet though so I doubt this will become part of the numerous amount of recalls GM is sending out.

- Greencastle, PA, USA

problem #163

Jul 072014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Transmission needs to be completely replaced. Most of my mileage is in-town driving and have under 64,000 miles. I have heard of many GMC Acadia's 2007-2009 having transmission problems.

- North Mankato, MN, USA

problem #162

Jul 032014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 43,990 miles
I went to accelerate and when I pushed on the gas the engine revved and the truck did not respond. I thought some how that it slipped in neutral but when I looked it was still in drive. After that happened the truck would not go over 20 mph. I got home and went to park and had no reverse. I called the dealer and they said it was out of warranty and there was not a recall on the transmission.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #161

Jun 092014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
I pulled out to merger with on coming traffic and my 2008 GMC Acadia transmission stopped working. The only reason I didn't have a crash was because I was able to pull back on the merge lane. No warning light came on dash. I my car was towed. When I called a repair shop (GM dealer was booked with recalls) and told them I had a 2008 GMC Acadia I was told they had 4 others and this was only Tuesday ! my issue is that GM has known about this transmission issue (3,5, R wave plate) for years and not sent out any alerts. This is a safety issue. If I had been hit I am not sure anyone would have guess why I pulled out in traffic and just stop. The owner of the shop said he has called GM and ask them to send out something to GM car owners about this transmission issue for the safety of the car owners. How many cars have crashed as a resulted of this transmission issue and were not reported ? this transmission was uses 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011 and changed in 2012. GM needs to send out alert about this now.

- Gambrills, MD, USA

problem #160

Jun 222014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
The car transmission slipped into neutral, the engine revved to 5000 rpms. I was traveling on interstate 91 in springfield, mass. I had to shift the gear into manual and then back to drive to get the car into gear. The car reduced speed and it was very scary. I had my son as a passenger in the car. The GM dealer told me the "wave plate cracked" on the transmission.

- Old Lyme, CT, USA

problem #159

Jun 212014


  • 72,000 miles
Our 08 Acadia has been one problem after another since we purchased it. The latest issue is the transmission going out while on a family vacation going 65mph down the interstate. The stability track lights start lighting, the engine light comes on and then the transmission just stops working. We get the car pulled over, shut it off, turn it back on and it resets itself. It starts going, but then goes back out again. We've had towed it to our final destination. We are now more than $4500 out of pocket and ruined our family trip, we couldn't go anywhere. A transmission shouldn't go out with only 72K miles. We see this is a very common problem with GMC Acadia and nothing is being done by GMC. This is a major safety concern and this should be addressed along with the power steering issues. Many families can't afford these major issues, and shouldn't have to after paying so much money for this vehicle. Please investigate this issue and get relief for Acadia owners!! GMC is aware of this problem and continue to ignore this problem.

- Brentwood, TN, USA

problem #158

Jun 062014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
The transmission had been hard shifting from 3rd to 4th for about 200 miles. At 25 mph while turning through a very busy intersection the engine revved shifted through what felt like every gear, the car lost acceleration power; going from 25 mph to 10mph. Parked the vehicle. Restarted to find that only first and second gears worked and the check engine light illuminated. During the 200 previous miles of concern; I had heard a faint whine during acceleration. The first time any trouble occurred the vehicle was stopped behind a school bus loading and while I applied the brake (still completely stopped) the car lurched forward. I immediately shifted to neutral, not wanting to rear end the school bus.

- Grantville, GA, USA

problem #157

May 022014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 117,905 miles
I was driving through a residential area and pulled to the side of the road and left the vehicle running when I got out. A few minutes later I got back in and put it in drive and when I tried to accelerate nothing happened. I had no gears at all. I eventually got it towed back to the dealership where I bought it 4 months earlier. They said the 3-4 reverse wave plate failed and filled the transmission with debris. Had to replace the transmission cost about $4200.

- Austin, MN, USA

problem #156

Apr 212011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 20,150 miles
Most recent incident was 5-25-2014- transmission wave plate broke. I have learned that these plates were not stress relieved on the 2008S. 02-2014 water pump cracked and had to be replaced, this caused a total system failure while driving. Vehicle has been towed at least 3 times. Vehicle currently in shop, all repair paperwork is in the vehicle. I don't remember the specifics of the first time, it was days after I got the vehicle.

- East Lansing, MI, USA

problem #155

Nov 122013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 77,219 miles
So the window switches don"T work, when I'm trying to open the window it will open but then it won't close back, the steering wheel makes squeaking noises and most important the most costly thing to repair was the transmission. We purchased the car used with 53,000 miles on and after driving another 20,000 miles the transmission broke I had to pay out of my packet about 4,000 dollars for the repair I have two small children and when it comes for safety im not sure if we should keep the vehicle. When I'm reading all those recall issues I'm getting worried about my kids safety.

- Burbank, IL, USA

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