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 8 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #94

Oct 202013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


I was driving during daylight hours on the highway and I pressed on the gas to accelerate because there was a slight incline on the route I was traveling. When I pressed on the gas pedal, there was no acceleration and I got nervous that it might be the alternator. However, I was still able to drive the vehicle although it did not want to pick up speed. I exited the highway and noticed that the vehicle was having difficulty shifting gears and was making what sounded like a whirring noise from under the hood. I drove the vehicle straight to my mechanic's shop. He was surprised to find out that it was the transmission as the vehicle is routinely serviced. It appears that the wave plate failed and there was debris inside the transmission.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #93

Feb 112012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Hundreds of complaints about the transmission problems I am complexed that there is no recall at this time. February 2012 my GMC lost power as I was driving. The car was towed to GMC and I was told something was wrong with the transmission (on top of all the other major problems I have had) this luckily was covered under the warranty. Fast forward one year later February 2013 transmission fluid leaking went to the dealer where they put in a dye to trace the leaks as they said they did not believe it was the transmission, they wanted to charge for this but agreed to do this for free. I was also told the transmission that they fixed was only covered for 12 months or 12,000 miles. At this point it was a lost cause dealing with the dealer as they were not covering any of their work and said these issues did not fall under warranty even though it was still under the 5 year/100,000 mile warranty period. After driving it for a while we noticed more fluid leaking from the car so my husband brought the car to GMC in early October 2013 to discuss the issue of the transmission, he was told the 5 years period ended 9/27/13. On October 15 I was driving on the high way and the check engine light came on and the car would not go faster than 40 mph. I drove the car to my mechanic as GMC was clear this car was no longer warrantied. I am now told that my car is in need of a new transmission costing over $4,000. Calls into the dealer went unanswered for over a week and complaints to GMC corporate were useless. This is not normal wear and tear of a car and if you look at all the complaints made on the transmission of this car there needs to be a recall as this is a huge safety issue with transmissions failing more than once. If you look at the Buick enclave and Saturn outlook yas these "triplets" all have the same issues it is enough to justify a recall or class action law suit.

- Monroe, CT, USA

problem #92

Oct 172013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
My Acadia (which I just bought in March) began shifting harshly between the 3rd and 5th gears and my check engine light came on. The next day I took it to an auto repair shop where I had the codes read and was told I had a problem with the 35R waveplate and the transmission control module. I was told I would have to pay $600 just to have my transmission taken apart to diagnose the extent of the damage. I was told that a drum came apart causing "extensive damage" and that I would either need a complete transmission rebuild for $3600 or a brand new transmission for $4000. This car has less than 100,000 miles on it (although I know that is high for the year, a brand new transmission for a fairly new car is extreme). I was told by the mechanic that this is extremely common for the 08 Acadias and it was not uncommon for this particular car to go through several transmissions before reaching the 100,000 mile mark. This is a joke. GMC needs to recall the car and pay the costs of the many owners who are having to pay thousands of dollars to repair a part that should not have been put in the car in the first place!

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #91

Oct 182013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


Transmission failure - wave plate broken forcing vehicle to be stuck in one gear and fail in reverse, 3rd and 4th gears. Automatic transmission slips in reverse, 3rd and 4th. Multiple owners report same issues and recall is needed by GM on the Acadia transmission.

- El Segundo, CA, USA

problem #90

Oct 112013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
My wife was driving her 2008 GMC Acadia on the freeway when the transmission suddenly gave out and slipped out of gear. The vehicle would not accelerate. She was in the fast lane traveling 70 mph in the fast lane. She had to fight through traffic to get over to the shoulder so she could pull off the freeway enough to avoid getting hit by other cars traveling the freeway. She then had to exit the vehicle with our children during high traffic time. Very unsafe situation for a vehicle with only 69K miles on it. This is a known issue with the 2007 and 2008 lambda platform vehicles. GMC knows about the 3-5-R wave plate that was not heat treated during the building of these transmissions. Search the web or even forums for 3-5-R wave plate failure and see what comes up. I feel they should atleast extend the warranty if not recall this transmission before somebody gets hurt or killed when one goes out in traffic.

- Splendora, TX, USA

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problem #89

Jun 192013


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the transmission failed with the illumination of the transmission warning indicator. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the contact was informed that the transmission clutch plate would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred three months later. The vehicle was taken to a second dealer, where the contact was awaiting the rebuilding of the transmission. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Marlborough, CT, USA

problem #88

Sep 282013


  • 70,450 miles


Driving GMC Acadia to my sons baseball game and the car jerked forward, so I immediately slowed down. Continued to drive and the car basically would not get out of 1st gear. The RPM's kept going up and never came down and the car would not go over 40 mph while the engine was gearing up. The transmission was completely shot. Took to the dealership to have repaired. GMC has tons of 2007 and 2008 Acadia's with the same problem and are forcing customers to pay for the repair. The wave plate was shot along with everything else in the transmission. On my bill they put N/C in all the parts and labor and then just plugged in an amount in a line item called " misc customer deductible" no one will explain the charge. Dealership told me the GMC calculates the charge and GMC told me to call the dealership. They are giving people a "discount" of some sort so they clearly know they have an issue but they should be footing the entire bill. My car is 30,000 miles under the warranty and 28 days over the 5 years and it cost me over $1,200 to fix it when they put in a defective part and they know it.

- Green Brook, NJ, USA

problem #87

Sep 212013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 64,671 miles
I was driving 45pmh and all of a sudden I didn't seem to have power so I pulled over and called my husband where he asked me my RPM and if I could manually shift, etc. I could manually shift and only had 2nd gear. I called and had it towed to the dealer where they charged me $4400 to replace the transmission due to faulty wave plate. No help from GM due to out of warranty because I've had it over 5 years.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #86

Oct 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 42,315 miles
2008 GMC Acadia slt-2 with 42,300 miles; not yet 6 years old. "service stability control" and "service traction control" warnings received periodically. This week, transmission started to shift unevenly; not correctly upshifting/downshifting while driving at 30mph. Car now only operates in 1st gear. No higher gears, no reverse.....engine just revs. Car has complete service rec no longer safely drivable. Appears to be part of the known waveplate issue. Why no recall with the great number of similar Acadias with the same problem over and over? thanks for your attention.

- Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #85

Sep 182013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 77,400 miles
While driving, the vehicle suddenly lost power and would not accelerate. The vehicle could only be driven 20 mph. When the vehicle was taken to the dealer, the customer service manager immediately diagnosed the problem and said he had recenly seen several GMC Acadia's with the same issue. He stated the problem is the wave plate inside the transmission which are faulty in several generations of GMC Acadias. He further stated the wave plate could only be replace with another one that is also succeptable to failure. Upon repair of the problem, the dealer confirmed the transmission wave plate was cracked however said there was nothing they could do about it.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #84

Sep 112013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


Vehicle has a delayed shift into 3rd and 5th gear, with a vibration felt in those gears. Found codes P0717 P0716 for input speed sensor on transmission. It is believed the vehicle has a broken 35R wave plate and need to tare down to inspect or replace transmission at only 63,000 miles. Extremely common problem on these vehicles (please refer to GMC Acadia forums online everywhere for other victims).

- Hermiston, OR, USA

problem #83

Sep 202013


  • 81,319 miles
Check engine light came on. Had onstar diagnose it and it came back as transmission codes. The transmission solenoid is clogged up, could be from contaminenents in the fluid or could be my clutch wave plate is coming apart like so many others have experienced. Out of warranty 5 months. Contacted GMC customer care, they were no help.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #82

Sep 222013


  • 57,401 miles
While accelerating at a light, the transmission started to jerk. Within 5 miles, could not drive faster than 30 mph. Could not get into reverse. Appears that the transmission is totally shot. 57,000 miles and 5 years 10 months.

- Newport Beach, CA, USA

problem #81

Jun 012012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 77,700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the steering wheel failed and became hard turn when parking or when turning at low speeds. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who flushed the power steering lines. The failure was not corrected. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,700 and the current mileage was 104,000. Updated 11/19/13 the consumer stated that the wave plate and timing chain were both replaced under warranty. The steering gear box pump was not covered under warranty. Updated 12/2/2013

- Deerfield, NH, USA

problem #80

Sep 102013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The transmission failed climbing a hill with an approximate 10% incline. My wife was transporting two young children at the time at had to turn hazards on while the vehicle crept up a very heavily traveled roadway (us highway 31). This occurred after the transmission was repaired two weeks earlier for the same problem. At that time, I was informed by GMC that it was the input speed sensor. Turns out it is transmission failure, which I have since learned is very common with this model. After reading vast entries of many other Acadia users with the same problem, I can't help but think that this is a design flaw. I mean, how many transmissions fail at 48,000 miles. I'm just glad my wife wasn't driving at night, on a long trip, or on the interstate, which would have left my children and her in a very vulnerable position. For the price of this vehicle, I would expect reliable usage up to at least 100,000 miles. In my opinion, because of reliability issues and the shear volume of people with the same problem, GMC should recall these vehicles and replace the transmissions with what they are now installing on the newer models. The fact that they have improved the transmissions on newer models proves there is a flaw with my model year. Why else would they correct it. Thanks for your consideration.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #79

Feb 262013


  • 116,608 miles
I've had my GMC Acadia in for service on the transmission 3 times in the last 6 months: Speed sensor, wave plate, now torque converter. Dealership responds they are completely independent, and that this is not an issue with this model. However, the failure of the transmission in these vehicles is prominent on GMC Acadia forums. Why has GM not stepped up to own and fix this common issue?

- Saline, MI, USA

problem #78

Sep 032013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I was driving and it just stopped shifting/going anywhere. The engine light came on. Then it started going again and then stopped again. I took it to the shop, and I was told it needed a total transmission overhaul/rebuild. A transmission should last longer than 80,000 miles. We paid good money for this vehicle and I would expect better performance. GM needs to stand behind their vehicles.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #77

Sep 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Tramission is running hot (sends message to idle engine) then check engine light comes on and temp fluctuates up and down. Then car will not shift into gear it's like it's in neutral. About 50 miles later it starts all over.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #76

Aug 232013


  • 58,000 miles
While driving on the highway, going 60 mph, my car lurched forward and made an awful sound. The car completely slipped out of gear into neutral. The gas would not work. After coasting down a hill we were able to pull over.thank goodness no one was behind us. We turned off the car and were able to restart it, but the maximum speed was 40 mph-and that was pushing it, the rpms were revved so high. We had called a tow truck.

- Coos Bay, OR, USA

problem #75

Aug 052013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 72,309 miles
I was driving on the interstate and it just stopped shifting/going anywhere. The engine light came on. Then it started going again and then stopped again. I drove home and took it to the shop later that week. It needed a total transmission overhaul. A transmission should last longer than 72,000 miles. We paid good money for this vehicle and I would expect better performance. GM needs to stand behind their vehicles. I don't expect a full refund for my bill, but I do expect some substantial assistance.

- Findlay, OH, USA

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