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


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
166,539 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Sep 272013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


My 2008 Acadia transmission failed as I exited a highway (70 mph) and was going up the exit ramp. It began bucking like a horse. Once I pulled over and parked, I could not go in reverse. The car had to be towed and a new transmission had to be put in it after only 56K miles. Also have had the sunroof / moon roof trays overflow because the drainage tubes are not large enough to drain all the water from the trays. The dealership stated it was a poor design and nothing could be done to replace it. Now water has entered my vehicle causing the electrical box to become wet causing the horn to blow randomly and the car to continue running after turning it off and removing the key.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #35

Aug 122011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 85,168 miles
Blower motor inoperative. Replaced 08/12/11 and 06/06/12. It has an intermittent problem at the moment. Living in the North in the winter time it is impossible to defrost the window if the blower motor doesn't work.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #34

Nov 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving the car, I felt water drip from overhead and heard sloshing noises. Shortly thereafter, water began leaking from airbag indicia. Though the vehicle was turned off and key removed, the engine continued to run. Imagine how unsafe to turn off a vehicle, remove the key and the engine to remain running. Before I could get to service, the temperature plummeted to below zero, and I could not get the defroster to work. I scraped the interior of the windows, but without heat, fogged again. Zero visibility. The dealer said there were multiple points where water was seeping into the car, wreaking havoc with the electrical system, including HVAC, defroster. Service tech said there was "blower mower" failure. After some research, I discovered my vehicle had same problems as GMC Acadia campaign 08207, with failure of sunroof part 25930220, which affected limited VIN numbers. We also discovered the airbags are not working from the water damage to the electrical system. The current status of this getting repaired is unknown -- obvious safety concerns! in addition, I had noticed floor mats being damp, but assumed a consequence of the snow and rain. I am convinced that the leak/damp floor mats is reason for the mildew/mold smell. Each of these problems are well documented in their tsbs. I was also shocked to find so many similar complaints! please, please review the correlation between tsbs electrical system failures and repairs to the leaking hose. Of course, GMC denies this is their problem, and says repairs will all be at my expense. Finally, I am not the first person to have this problem! surely, the fact that I (and many, many others) are having the exact leak problems as referenced in GMC campaign 08207 indicates that problem went beyond those VIN#S. they are hiding a big problem. Help!!

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #33

Jan 302014


  • 108,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that after the ignition was turned off and the key removed the vehicle remained on for five minutes. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 108,000.

- 32340, FL, USA

problem #32

Jan 012013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
Transmission started failing and finally went out at 108,000 miles, sitting in our driveway and we had to have it towed to dealer. GM dealer replaced it under warranty but the labor cost us several thousand dollars. Now at 170,000 miles, this remanufactured transmission is now going out. It sticks in low speed and then overheats driving 65mph in 40deg weather. The dealer claims that a stretched timing chain has to be fixed first, before the transmission, at a cost of $1944. They also said the on board computer didn't store the numerous overheated transmission events that began occurring immediately after the remanufactured transmission was installed at 108,000 miles. The GM dealer is trying to tell me that the transmission is probably ok and that the overheating is due to some other reason, but he then couldn't even guess at what the other reasons might be! the fluid level is good, and the vehicle has a tow package with a cooler for the transmission fluid. GM dealer said the transmission will be covered by warranty, which will likely mean another several thousand dollar labor charge on top of the so called stretched timing chain cost of $1,900. The power steering pump has been whining for about a year and is getting loud. The navigation and dvd player system failed twice. Might be time to trade the vehicle for something more reliable. My wife is getting scared to drive it too far and end up being broken down in atlanta traffic...very dangerous.

- Milton, GA, USA

problem #31

Aug 212013


  • 112,000 miles
Passenger side headlight failed to properly function, bulb was changed and still failed to function properly. Problem seems rooted in manufacturer's wire harness not properly functioning.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

problem #30

Jun 012009


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that the air bag, the stability control, and traction control warning lights failed along with the daytime running lights failed. The contact also stated that the engine overheated and the power steering also failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the light bulb was replaced but the failure recurred. The dealer was also unable to diagnose the other failures. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 33,000 and the current mileage was 112,000.

- Livingston , CA, USA

problem #29

May 262013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Had to wait to give my daughter a ride. Sat in the pouring rain for about 40 minutes. Put the car in drive and began to pull forward and water poured down the windshield from the inside. Water also came in from the front left curtain airbag and the visor arm. Engine began to idle rough. Anti-lock brakes grab on low speed slow down. Our area of Texas is drought prone so no more significant rain until July 14-16. Water pours in the front windshield, both driver and passenger side. Water from curtain airbags and under the dash. Standing water in the floor board. Obd light is on and my parking break warning light turns on and off. Park assist goes on and off. The warning chime comes on while driving and won't turn off. No telling how much damage all of this will cause. I have one more payment until the thing is mine free and clear. No warranty and no recourse. It figures.

- Harker Heights, TX, USA

problem #28

Jun 292013


  • 140,000 miles
While out shopping with my children when I attempted to turn off the vehicle to depart for the mall, the ignition turned to the off position, I removed the key but the car remained on. I then noticed that the check engine light illuminated. Shortly after, the car began shaking violently; I assume as it was attempting to shut off. I inserted the key, shifted into to reverse, pulled out of spot and then back in again. Proceeded to turn vehicle off and again, key removed but car still running. Again the violent shaking along with loud noises began. Afraid, I instructed my children to leave the vehicle. We got a comfortable distance from the vehicle and continued to watch. It took 25 minutes for the car to shut totally down. When I went back to the car, as I opened the door, I noticed the warning sound as if the key was in the ignition and also although the entire dash was off, the check engine light was still on, (im not sure how since the car was "off" and no key inserted). I drove the car home and the same thing happened when exiting the vehicle. The car remained on, began shaking and the check engine light also stayed on after the car was totally shut down. Very scary experience. I noticed via the internet that this was not a new issue. I wonder why GM would not have corrected this problem with its vehicles by now. I am a single parent and my teenage daughter sometimes has to run errands for me in this vehicle, I would hate for this to happen when im not with her.... its was frightening enough for me!

- Redan, GA, USA

problem #27

Aug 012009

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 25,415 miles
I have had multiple problems with the daytime driving lights over heating and causing the entire headlight assembly to melt. Incidences on 8-1-09 8-15-09 4-8-10 and 11-15-12. And again in 2013. The fact that there is enough heat to melt the assembly to the housing tells me there is possibility of a fire. This is obviously a design and mechanical flaw of the vehicle. The consumer end of this is that along with the chance of fire, the vehicle's design requires the entire front grill to be removed in order to replace the headlight wiring harness and housing. This labor intensive method means that replacing this part can cost upward of $900. And it still does not address the initial problem of the overheating that caused the wiring harness to melt into the housing. So you are just waiting for it to happen again and hope that it is within the 30 days warranty for repairs. And wondering if my car is going to catch fire.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #26

May 202013


  • 72,000 miles


2008 GMC Acadia- steering problems!!- 65,000 started noticing power steering loss when slow turning and on...then got more often and much worse...replaced rack ($300).....problem still not trying to replace power steering pump ($$ yet to find out)...recall on headlight- socket melted and replaced....airbag light continues to come off and on...traction control, stability track, and airbag light come off and on randomly. No sound...took to GMC dealership, they told us it was the radio. Replaced radio($450), still didn't work. Dealership stated amp blew and needed new amp ($400)...thought it was the amp the entire time due to the cd player working visually, but no sound in entire vehicle for any electronic feature. Shifting randomly when going down highway. Gas mileage horrible-- about 14 to 14.5mpg-- much worse than when we first got it at 48, the look and when it works....why is there no recall will the power steering?? come on GMC step up and do the right thing already!!!

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #25

Apr 112013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
We were parked with the back end up on a slope, when we went down onto level ground a large amount of water came in between our windshield and ceiling- it poured onto our passenger side dash. We thought we got all the water soaked up right away. The next morning our car was making a clicking sound and wouldn't start. It wouldn't give the key back. When we jumped it- it wouldn't shut off. We had to unhook the battery- very dangerous. This went on for days.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #24

Apr 102013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 70,200 miles
My vehicle sat out in the rain over night and the next day when I got to work I shut the car off and got out of the car. When I got out of the car I noticed that the engine was still running, so I got back in the car and all lights were off only the engine was still running. I turned the key over and then back and then at that point the engine stopped. When I returned to my car that evening after work my car was dead. It took two guys 30 minutes to get my battery to charge. Once my battery was charged my service air bag light remained on. The next morning my car was dead when I turned the key absolutely nothing turned on and I could not get the keys out of the ignition. The car is currently sitting in my garage and we are trying to determine what step to take if we should get it towed to a dealer to look at, but looking at other reviews it seems like this is a common problem with no resolution at the dealership. In the past and on this occasion my vehicle was leaking water mainly above the driver side visor area. I often would notice water on the passenger floor and water in the third row lights ceiling area. So I am assuming my electronics are wet and when they dry out my car will act normal again. I can not believe that there is not a recall or some type of remedy for this. I guess from now on my vehicle needs to go in the garage, but what happens when my family is on a trip. I can not rely on my car so not sure what the point of keeping it is, but I sure don't want to keep passing my car off on some other poor person. There needs to be a remedy. I would like to have a reliable car and I am also worried about the safety for my family with electrical shorts and fire hazard due to the water leakage problems.

- Caledonia, MN, USA

problem #23

Mar 092013

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Our vehicle sat out in the rain for several hours because we were at our daughter's sporting event in another town. When we came back to our vehicle to drive home, we noticed the carpet was wet and when my husband pulled forward water began to come out of both the third row light and seatbelts. We did our best to clean the water up and planned on contacting the dealership as soon as we could. We drove the car to work the following morning as this is our main vehicle and when my husband shut off the car he noticed that it was making a strange noise. When he tried to restart the car it would not start. We attempted to jump the car, but it would not turn over. We ended up contacting a towing company to take the car to the local dealership. After a month of our car being out of commission, GM and the dealership have determined that there is extensive damage and we will need to have the wiring and circuit boards replaced at a cost of $6000. GM has completely washed theirs hands of this and continues to say it is an environmental issue and we didn't maintain the sunroof properly (although no documentation was given to inform us that this needed to happen) and clearly they know of the design flaw since they recalled it once for a leaky roof (we had the recall done). There are documented mold issues (which make people sick), airbags that have quit working, defroster motor issues in northern states, in addition to a complete vehicle failure while driving in an undesirable neighborhood. Here is a link to where there are many, many complaints.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #22

Jan 252010

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Vehicle leaks water when it rains onto driver and front passenger. Water leaks into airbags and visors. After rains, vehicle will not turn off, even with key removed. Vehicle rolls significantly while in park or when in gear. Transmission skips and slips.

- Belton, TX, USA

problem #21

Mar 102013


  • 71,000 miles
Water water water leaking in vehivle everywhere. Dripping from rear overhead lights, rear back-up sensor, around emergency brake, A-pillars are soaked, pooling on driver side floor. Water and electrical = nothing but problems and more problems. This is now our second Acadia in the last month first was a 07 which water was also leaking from even more areas (opened overhead dvd and water just poured out). That vehicle was fixed per tsb yet problem never solved it just continued to leak. Dealership bought it back once they found us a different Acadia which I now have a 08. They said they found out that the 07's water leaking was a major issue but not with the 08's. well we signed the papers on March 1st and no suprise water leaking everywhere by March 10th. I contacted GMC and was told to have it diagnosed and then they will pass it on to some other department claim specilist person to see if they can help. Oh yeah and found out from GMC that the tsb for drain tube extensions has already been done on vehicle. I am hopefull that GMC will take care of this issue at their expense. ---with the first vehicle, after water issue started my wife would be driving and the power seat would move all the way forward and she could not stop that from happening. She tried to hit the button to stop the seat from moving but it was non responsive until the seat was all they way forward. My wife as very long legs and said if she would have had to make any sort of emergency manovers she would not have been able to. If GMC does not reslove this issue I plan on start the process of a class action lawsuit for all affected Acadia owners.

- Okauchee, WI, USA

problem #20

Dec 102012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 48,984 miles
Water leak from either sunroof drain tube or faulty seam seal, caused water to come into vehicle causing floors and doormats to be wet and cause moldy odor. Also caused major corrosion to harness and fuse box. Told there could be more corrosion, but won't know until they pull those parts out. I have researched water leak recalls for GMC Acadia's, and although it is currently not a recall, it is a very common problem that happens in many Acadia's, therefore, I believe this problem should be made a recall! I am told that water leaks are not covered under my limited warranty and they only offered to go half with me on the repairs. Told it will be between $900-$1,600. Even going half on either of those amounts, I do not feel it is fair that I pay anything toward a problem that GM knew about when the Acadia came out in '07. Instead of doing something about it back then, they opted to wait and deal with it on a case to case basis. This is not fair that we consumers have to pay for their poor workmanship! GM should be held accountable for their negligence in selling a vehicle that has proved to have continuous water leaks.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #19

Nov 192012

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Daylight running lights overheat both driver and passenger sides. There is evidence that both bulb sockets have overheated and the light housing has cracked from the overheating. With the bulb and socket overheating this has the possibility of causing a fire, with evidence being the cracked lamp housing form the heat. I have replaced the bulbs on both sides always using dielectric grease. I have owned this car since 2010 and replaced the right side bulb 3 times and now on the left side 4 times. There is a factory recall on other year models but not on the 2008 GMC Acadia slt-2 having every bell and whistle. It was Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 when this electrical system failure happened again.

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #18

May 102012


  • 39,000 miles
We bought the Acadia used from a local dealer and the first time it rained significantly water leaked in around the door post at front of vehicle. This leak caused some of the electrical boards to short out which allowed us not to be able to shut the vehicle off even with the key removed. We took it to the dealer, they informed us about the electrical boards and stated the charge to repair. After a call to GM complaint line they repaired the board at no charge to us, but after about 2months same problem accrued same issues. Dealer said water still leaking in but could not find, they dried out the electric connections and said to try it again. After 2months the problem happened again to no help from dealer, my concern is fear of fire from shorted boards or the build up of mold under carpet. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

- Idamay , WV, USA

problem #17

Nov 012011

Acadia 6-cyl

  • miles
My vehicle has an issue with the daytime driving lights and headlights. The lights have failed multiple times due to the bulb melting into, and fusing to, the headlight assembly. This created a condition where the entire headlight assembly needs to be replaced. This includes the lens piece, the bulb, and the wiring connector. This is an issue at night (no/misaligned headlights), the loss of the benefit of daytime driving lights, and I imagine a possible fire.

- Newport Coast, CA, USA

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