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 9 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #74

Dec 062008


  • 6,000 miles


I have had problems with this car for the last 5 years. First the airbag light came on when we were going on vacation I took it to the dealer and was told it was fixed but it kept coming on and off took it again and same thing happened it kept doing that so I took it to the dealer and they said they had to reroute the airbag harness to fix the problem. Again it only lasted for a few weeks and it came back on. By that time the car was over 60,000 miles and it was past the extended warranty so I'm stuck with that problem. The transmission had to be repaired a few months ago and it needs to be repaired again but don't have money to fix it and GMC won't recall the 2007 and 2008 Acadias knowing that the Acadias of those 2 years were made with a faulty transmission and a lot of people are having problems with them. They fixed the problem for the 2009 and later models but won't do anything about the 2007 and 2008 models and a lot of people don't have money to pay for a very expensive repair that is GM's fault. My Acadia is sitting on my driveway because I don't have money to fix itand I'm stuck using a 16 year old car that is more reliable that our new car. I have had the following problems since a few months after I purchased what I thought it was a good and reliable family vehicle. Air bags light on and never got fixed suspension repaired about 3 years ago lighting problems a couple of times and now there is a recall for that transmission problems for the last 6 months the car has only 70,000 miles and it should not be having all this issues please look in to this I know there is a lot of people having the same problem and GM won't do anything to fix the problem. They knew they had a problem with the transmission's the 2007 and 2008 models that's why they fixed the problem for the 2009 and later models. Please do something about it. Thanks.

- Northlake, IL, USA

problem #73

Aug 212013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
I bought the 2008 Acadia new in June 2008. It just came off the 5 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty (81K miles) and the transmission began to slip. I have read numerous cases where the defective part is the wave plate. It appears common in 2007 and 2008 Acadia, Buick enclave and Saturn outlook. GM rectified the problem by using new parts in 2009 and newer models. GM should be forced to issue a recall. In this day and age transmissions should not have problems at the low mileage that has been identified in countless NHTSA complaints and social media forums.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #72

Aug 082013


  • 67,000 miles
I was driving to work and noticed a shutter while accelerating and took it to dealership. The transmission failed and the dealer said it was a wave plate failure.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #71

Aug 182013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles


Transmission went out without any warning. I had my 3 kids in the car while going up a steep hill amongst other traffic.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #70

Aug 142013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 79,500 miles
My transmission started to fail while driving at a high rate of speed on the highway. The vehicle was getting stuck between gears as I was traveling up hills. Transmission failure is a very common issue with early Acadia's (with low mileage) and a recall needs to be issued. I have taken it to the dealer who recommends a complete transmission rebuild or replacement.

- Centerville, UT, USA

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problem #69

Aug 132012


  • 41,000 miles
Transmission failed with defective swash plates. Stuck in gear and would not go into to reverse. Common issue with 2008 Acadia and needs to be recalled. Luckily transmission did not stick in gear on freeway that could have caused an accident.

- Bountiful, UT, USA

problem #68

Aug 102013


  • 83,400 miles


Vehicle experiencing bad transmission problems when shifting between 3rd and 5th gears. As accelerating, the vehicle begins to shift, but begins to idle and RPM's rise extremely high. Vehicle begins to slow down and finally jerks into the next gear causing rapid acceleration. This issue almost caused me to run into a car in front of me after pulling off from a stoplight. It is extremely scary to continue to drive the car, but with this being my only vehicle and I must work, I am forced to drive daily. Warranty just expired 5 months ago in March and I cannot afford to fix the problem (March 24, 2013, 5 year/100,000 mi. Powertrain). Vehicle was purchased March 24, 2008.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #67

Aug 062013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Transmission failure, no reverse only low range, no warnings until failure.

- Carrollton, OH, USA

problem #66

Jul 282008

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 54,846 miles
Engine was revving up to 4000 RPM while going 20 miles an hour. Transmission was not shifting. Had whole family in car on main road. Very scary. Second time this has happened, last time at 46,000 miles reverse clutch plate was replaced that time. This time entire transmission was rebuilt.

- Saint James, NY, USA

problem #65

Feb 112011


  • 47,686 miles
I was driving to visit my daughter up at college and drive her and 2 friends home. As I drove though the college town my car started acting funny. Just not accelerating and the RPM were racing, transmission appeared to stuck in first gear. Drove as little as possible just needed to get home safe. As I was driving home, again car not accelerating properly. I drove though the ezpass toll on the tappan zee bridge and my car just wouldn't go. Drove along it was very scary. I had to stop on the side of the road in the bronx. Eventually got it to the dealership who replaced the reverse clutch plate.

- Saint James, NY, USA

problem #64

Jul 202013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 91,500 miles


Traveling on the interstate with my 3 year old daughter when transmission failure message came on. Has come on multiple times, requiring me to pull onto the shoulder of the busy road with semis speeding past. GMC is aware of this issue, yet refuses to address it on a large-scale. Someone is going to get killed before they actually come to action on this manufacturing defect!!!

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #63

Jul 182012


  • 82,000 miles
3.5.R waved clutch plate failure in 2008 GMC Acadia 6 speed transmission. Engine in reduced power mode. Call to onstar - diagnostics - transmission issues. No reverse gear. Limited forward gears.

- Castle Hayne, NC, USA

problem #62

Jul 282013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 109,750 miles
We live in camarillo ca. We left to go to sacramento for my daughters college orientation. About two hours into the first leg of our trip the dic informed us the transmission was overheating and the car should be idled for it to cool off. We did just that. After it cooled off we began driving again. It did this once more before we arrived in san luis obispo. We left the next day to sacramento. Again about two hours into the drive the same thing occurred. We idled the car, trans cooled off and we got under way again. It did this once more before we arrived in sacramento.. while in sacramento it drove fine. On our return trip it did this twice on the way home. After looking back it seemed to do this when we were going up an incline. We were not towing anything either. We were lucky that while on the freeway when we received the overheat notice that the car did not lose power and slow down while on the freeway in traffic. This is the third transmission for this vehicle since we purchased it in 2008.

- Camarillo , CA, USA

problem #61

Aug 262011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 71,309 miles
8/26/2011 - 71,309 miles - water pump went out and had to be replaced. 5/07/2012 - 86,885 miles - transmission shuttered when coming to a stop in traffic. Would not start and had to be towed to mechanic. Transmission assembly replaced with GM reman transmission due to broken reverse wave plate that damaged the carrier, sun shell and metal throughout. Also detected an oil leak in the engine front cover that needed to be repaired and heard power steering noise so bled power steering system. 12/31/2012- 100,947 miles - headlight switch fell inside dash panel. 7/26/2013 - 112,506 miles - power steering has never worked properly. It has always made noises and has been stiff. Had it bled several times with no improvement. Power steering went out while making a left hand turn into a busy intersection. At shop now to determine if it needs a new power steering pump, rack, and/or serpentine belt. I have read many complaints with the same issues as those that I have experienced. I am disappointed that GM isn't more concerned about the safety of their consumers and the reliability and quality of their vehicles. I have never owned such a lemon! I personally will never own another GM product. Going back to Lexus.

- North Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #60

Jul 272013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 117,245 miles
At driving speed it was noticed that Acadia began to fail to shift gears, basically on highway it is stuck in first gear and after finding a place to stop, it will now not go into reverse. Have found the edmunds, ask and numerous other sites are full of transmission complaints concerning the 2008 Acadia and it's failures. This transmission has had minor issues in past, minor leak and some whining, but this is a complete and hazardous failure while driving in traffic. I have since learned that this is a common and known issue to General Motors costing the consumers approx. $3000 to $3500 per instance. Is there nothing to be done to assist the consumers?

- Roseboro, NC, USA

problem #59

Jul 222013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I was driving my Acadia to work on Monday morning and it started having transmission problems, it would not shift in the lower gears and would rev up to 4-5 RPM between gears. I drove it to a transmission shop the next morning and they diagnosed it, needed a whole new transmission. Upon leaving the transmission shop, it completely stop moving, causing me to roll to a complete stop on a highway. I got it pulled over, stopped the vehicle and restarted it. I was able to drive a block or so before it stopped again. I was stranded and stuck in the middle of the road. I was finally able to get it to a parking lot and had it towed to a dealer to look at.

- Auburn, IL, USA

problem #58

Jul 092013


  • 46,000 miles
I was at my son's baseball game and went to move my vehicle when I was pulling out of the parking lot and the vehicle started revving and would not move other than coasting (since I was on a hill). I was 3 hours from home and had to have the vehicle towed to the tune of $300 +. I have since had to have the transmission replaced. This has cost over $4500 not to mention having to drive 2 vehicles with my family since the Acadia was the larger of our vehicles.

- Sayre, PA, USA

problem #57

Jul 092013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
About a week ago my family and I were driving home from vacation and had been on the road for about 3.5 hours. As we pulled out of a driveway about 5 minutes from our home the car engine light came one, the car would not gain speed like normal and it began to over heat rapidly. We took side roads and slowly crawled home. I took it into the shop the next day and it came back with a crack in the radiator and codes P0700 and P07016, which they confirmed to be a transmission issue and suggested to have a specialist look at it. I did some research and found that this are common codes that come back for the 2007 and 2008 Acadia's that require a rebuild/replaced transmission with an average cost of $4000. This is a known issue with GMC for many years and they have yet to acknowledge it. I am very lucky to not have had a worse incident in discovering this issue, but I am very concerned that at any moment the transmission will go out, and we do not have $4000 to drop into a new one, especially when I just spent $650 on a new radiator. These are not problems that a reliable car, the 2008 Acadia, under 100,000 miles should be having. GMC needs to own up to these issues and take action to correct it before something more serious happens.

- Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #56

Jul 132013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 85,200 miles
We are a family of 5 driving along the highway when the check engine light came on. We stopped and put the car into park. When I went to put into drive, the car would not engage. Finally after a few minutes we were able to get the car going again, but the car would not shift itself (automatic transmission). We then had to drive along the side of the highway for 13 miles to the next town with the hazards on at 20 miles per hour. Went to a Chevy dealership and after they read the codes, there appears that the transmission is completely out. We were more than 800 miles away from home on vacation in Missouri. The car is still in Missouri at the dealership, as they will not be able to take the transmission apart until early next week.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #55

Jul 092013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 69,046 miles
As I was pulling off of the interstate onto rockville rd I noticed that the car upshifted from 3rd very violently. I then hit a stop light and it dowshifted pretty rough as well. I thought uh oh and noticed the check engine light come on. When I pulled away from the light I noticed the car was most likely stuck in 3rd gear as the rpms matched the mph and from driving a stick all those years they made sense. I later found out this was done on purpose to stick the transmission in 3rd gear to further damage it and allow you to continue to drive. I got to work and had onstar run a diagnostic. It came back with a P2715 code for the transmission control. After looking into this code it appears to involve the 3-5-R waveplate that controls the clutch for these gears. I, of course, am 6 months out of warranty on the drive train. After confirmation with GMC it was the wave plate. This appears to be a common problem cropping up with this transmission when you look around social media.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

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