Transmission Failure

2008 GMC Acadia (Page 1 of 3)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your GMC dealer. Seal Of This Might Hurt Notes: Ahh, the ole' sophomore slump. The 2008 Acadia suffers from widespread transmission failure around 75,000 miles.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,700 miles
Total Complaints:
53 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace the transmission (34 reports)
  2. replace transmission (8 reports)
  3. not sure (5 reports)
  4. fixed under warranty (4 reports)
  5. replace torque converter (1 reports)
  6. replaced transmission under warranty (1 reports)
2008 GMC Acadia transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #53

Sep 292019

Acadia SLT V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 220,000 miles


I bought the vehicle and was able to drive it literally for 2 days and suddenly the vehicle kept shutting off and then the power steering went out. Also, my power windows went out, the liftgate went out, and then my key got stuck in the ignition and it wouldn't release and there was no power to my vehicle at all with a brand new battery. I had it towed to a shop and the mechanic told me that it is a common issue with the transmission that the GMC Acadias seem like they are designed to have the transmission go out after so many miles.

So now I am stuck with a vehicle that is at a mechanic shop in now I have to pay storage for it and if I do sell it I'm going to sell it for a large loss over what seems to be a common problem or what seems to be something that GMC has purposely designed their transmissions to go out after a hundred and fifty thousand miles and the vehicle was well cared for and kept in a garage and only service by GMC. It is in superior condition otherwise, so you tell me why is it that GMC believes that it is okay for someone who believes in the GMC product to be treated like this. It is now disappointed due to the fact that it is going to cost me near $5,500 to get the vehicle fixed, which of course I cannot afford. Thanks GMC for screwing me!

- Tara J., Chicago, US

problem #52

Aug 022018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

My hubby and $8500. Dealership said it was ineligible for an extended warranty as it was 8 years old. Drove great for EIGHT DAYS. We hitched it to our pop-up camper and it didn't move! After turning the car off, it DID move, but it shuddered, whined and sputtered after about a mile and just fell into neutral. Turn the car off and back on-same thing. Worked for a mile and then got funny. Took the pop-up off, but it made no difference. A trip to the mechanic and he said the transmission is shot. Really?! With under 100,000 miles?! Turns out this is the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM reported for this year and make. I wish I'd been warned!!

Update from Aug 9, 2018: My hubby and I purchased it for $8500. It was 10 years old at time of purchase, so no warranty was offered.

- Christie B., Eastpointe, MI, US

problem #51

Nov 292017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,518 miles

I bought the car on November 7th, 2017. On November 29, 2017, I was 234 miles from home when the transmission completely failed. It was towed to a GMC dealer. The dealer I'm buying it from, put a used transmission in it! USED!!

- JoAnn G., Indianapolis, US

problem #50

Mar 222018

Acadia ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,387 miles


I have only had the vehicle since August 2017 and was bought from a dealership. I of course still owe on this vehicle and if I fix the transmission I will have a lot more in it than its worth. Why is GMC not doing a recall on a worthless vehicle like this? there should have been something on a fax about how bad this Arcadia is for a warning to customers. This is the only Vehicle I have and I don't have $4250.00 to repair it, I don't know what I am going to do now. Something needs to be done about this. GMC needs to make good on this transmission problem that is known by everyone. I just can't believe this is 2007-2009 vehicle have been such a problem and GMC is doing nothing to fix it. Shame on GMC

- awhitaker55, Cameron, US

problem #49

Feb 202017

Acadia SLT2 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,331 miles

I bought it used, my first mistake. The transmission completely went out and I could of been killed. The dealer fixed the transmission for free becuz I had only owned it 24 hrs. The brakes were also replaced at that time. Now 8 months later the transmission light is going on and at times it appears to be slipping. I will never again buy a used car. Also when there is a rain storm I can hear the water in the roof of the vehicle. Yep, I guess the sunroof drains are clogged and the rain accumulates in the roof. Then when I put the brakes on the water comes down like hell fire. The rain that has accumulated in the roof leaks through and the entire dashboard and my legs get drenched. I have met 2 other people that have the same problem with the 2008. do not buy this vehicle.

- brooklyn, Crystal, US

problem #48

Mar 182017

Acadia LT 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

The engine light came on and the motor zinged and all of a sudden the car would not shift past second gear. We were barely able to limp it off the highway at 30mph. Thank god nobody hit us as we were trying to get to a safe stopping spot just so we could get towed away. At first I had hoped it was just a sensor then found out these transmission are pretty much junk. The shop I took it to had 2 more just like it parked there already and had said the just fixed 3 more last week. GMC really dropped the ball on this vehicle. I have been a loyal customer of theirs for years but no am questioning the quality of their products.

Update from Apr 10, 2017: Turns out the computer failed and caused the the transmission to over pressure and eat itself. Had to get a complete rebuild of the transmission. While it was still $2,500, it was better than the $4,500 the dealer was asking to install a factory rebuild. I hope trade this one in before the cam sensors go out like I've read in some of the other post.

- Brian W., La Vernia, TX, US

problem #47

Mar 292017

Acadia SLT 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,500 miles


Very similar issue to most on the site, 2008 Acadia with transmission failure. The good news, GM has a factory defect program for this where they will fix it free of charge. It appears my issue was the wave plates which from reading thru the comments is very common. They said the program will fix and rebuild the transmission free of charge. So this is one of the few times it really pays to use the dealer for after warranty fixes. Hopefully this can help some others out there as it appears this year/model had some known issues.

- Curt P., Osseo, MN, US

problem #46

Jan 102017

Acadia SLE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,100 miles

I bought this car in Dec 2016 and within a few weeks the transmission went out...decided it did not want to shift out of 1st. Dealership replaced the transmission for me BUT now the Check Engine light is on and hasn't gone off....Why would that happen?!?

- Kristie B., Timpson, TX, US

problem #45

Oct 072016

Acadia SLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Bought this 2008 GMC Acadia from what I thought was a good dealer, after the sale about 2 months the transmission goes out while driving to work. Lucky no heavy traffic at the time but Sat on side of road until wrecker arrived to take to garage. Paid more than I wanted for this vehicle but thought GMC would be worth it. Guess again!! Won't buy again!!!

- Jeff K., Sperry, IA, US

problem #44

Jun 272016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

So, my car is a 2008 GMC Acadia. I own a 2002 GMC Envoy and it drives just fine. I have never had the issues with that car that I have had with this car.

There has been a slow but logical issue leading to a transmission failure. First a transmission switch plate. Then some transmission wiring issue in February 2016 that was causing my car to sound really scratchy. The car would not shift gears properly.

The issue resolved temporarily. Then on the way to Colorado Springs, CO from El Paso, TX, my car completely started failing to shift gears. We had to finish our trip at a very slow pace and drive it straight to a dealership. There was nowhere to pull over with a family for a repair. Very inconvenient and potentially unsafe.

So we were told the $2000 repair had nothing to do with the $4000 repair. I called GMC and they would not offer any assistance and also said the issues were unrelated We had to pay $4000 for a transmission shortly after I asked if the car needed a new transmission. I made them FULL aware than buying a new car might be an option. We paid $4000 for the repair...and now we are facing a $2600 timing belt repair that they claim they told me about. The dealers do not care how much money the customers pay.

The amount of money is ridiculous. Who stands behind a car with almost $9000 of repairs in one year. That is ridiculous. The car is not getting better, performing better, and these expensive repairs just seem to lead to another expensive repair that no one decided to discuss with you.

GMC is aware of these problems. They are putting military families and other families in physical danger and causing them financial harm. We have NEVER spent this much on a car for repairs. This is the only car that we have owned that has repeatedly caused us NOT to have a reliable car and has had us stranded. I own a 2002 GMC Envoy and this GMC Acadia has had more problems than a car that is 6 years older. This is ridiculous. GMC needs to accept responsibility and not pass these costs off to their very loyal customers.

This is seriously putting a HUGE financial stress on our family. We have always kept a reliable car, did required maintenance, used car dealerships for major repairs. We are not getting any serious consideration in return.

- clmjen, Colorado Springs, CO, US

problem #43

Jun 012016

Acadia SLE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


The reverse in my 08 Acadia is gone. Come to find out from this site it is an ongoing problem. I will never buy another GMC vehicle. I do not know why there is no recall on this. Most of the complaints has been for transmission failure. I am scheduled to take it to the dealer tomorrow to have it diagnosed.

Can someone tell me if they had to fix the problem more then once and if the GMC help pay any of the cost. My Acadia is out of warranty now so that totally sucks.

The other thing that has fail in my Acadia has been the AWD system. Took it to the GMC dealer like 10 times and they could never figure out why it was kicking the AWD system off. So i just stopped taking the car in for this problem since they could never figure it out.

Any info is welcomed.

- blackhawk09, Grand Rapids, MI, US

problem #42

Dec 262015

Acadia SLE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

click to see larger images

transmission failure

Vehicle initially taken in for eval due to slipping of 23 gears. Told by dealer that they couldn't diagnose a problem and to bring back if worsening. Well, no worsening, just flat out failure occurred a couple months later while driving in the mountains the day after xmas. Car would not go passed 2nd gear and over 30 mph. 200 miles from home we were forced to rent a hotel and wait until the holiday weekend passes to take it in to a GM dealership. Had done much research on slipping and transmission failures in this year and model and explained upon dropping off vehicle that we believed the wave plate had failed. After a week of having the vehicle, and several requests for pictures of wave plate (as we were now back home 200 miles away and couldn't easily drop in to check in progress), we were told that the failure was caused by a 3/4 ring spring, and that failure had nothing to do with a wave plate issue. After the diagnosis, we contacted GM customer service to see if they would help with repair costs of a complete new transmission ($4500). It was settled between GM CS and the dealership that they would cover $1000 (basically the core cost of the old transmission) and nothing else could be done to help with the situation since no warranty parts were involved in the failure. So, now 2 weeks in, we need our vehicle back, and we pay for the complete repair with a new warranties transmission. Here's where my concern comes in....over the 2 weeks, we repeatedly asked for pictures of damaged parts pulled from the failed tranny. We got none! Upon picking up the repaired vehicle we are allowed to take pictures of the transmission pieces in the service center. Since we had done our research we had seen several pictures of failed wave plates on the Internet. What do you know, when we get there, there is not 1, but 2 broken pieces and one happens to look exactly like a damn wave plate. When asking the service manager about this mystery piece, he explains that it is not a wave plate and that the wave plate belongs on the opposite side of the transmission which they never even opened to asses.....what? So, how do they know it didn't fail if they never looked. We were told they were certain that these pieces in the picture were the culprits and would send the transmission into the manufacturer for an investigation and they would let us know if there was more found. Hands tied bc we need our car back and are far from home, we settled, thinking we would hear back if more came of it. Now, another month later, we have heard nothing, and why would we....we've already paid and they got their money. Grrrr! My hopes in posting this complaint is that someone would confirm or deny my suspicions about the two pieces in the posted picture, and also identify of other owners have had complete failures as such from this smaller "ring". Any feedback is welcome!

- Nichole Q., Erie, CO, US

problem #41

Jan 012014

Acadia STE 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81 miles

Worst experience ever, I did not know that there were bad cars like this.

- Sadek M., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

problem #40

Nov 162015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This is my wife's vehicle and it has had many problems and has left her stranded numerous times. Every time we get one thing fixed something else goes wrong with it. I have had enough!! Unable to finance a new car until we are through building our new home, but as soon as that is done, I am trading this junk in and NEVER dealing with GMC again!!!

The latest problem is the transmission. While driving the transmission suddenly decided to quit shifting. Somehow when turning the car off and turning it back on, the problem fixes itself for a little while. Brought it to the mechanic who said we will have to replace entire transmission for $3700.

Worst timing possible for us. We are in the middle of negotiating house construction to relocate to a safer place and have all of our money tied up with the house. Had some money set aside for Christmas and medical expenses but it looks like that money is going to car repairs since we cannot do without the car. So thank you GMC for steeling my kids Christmas this year!!!

This car is a piece of CRAP!!! I will STRONGLY RECOMEND to all DO NOT PURCHASE a vehicle like this or any GMC product for that matter.

- Marcus D., Opelousas, LA, US

problem #39

Oct 052015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I figured this was a ticking time bomb and boom it went off. Very expensive.

- Daniel S., Centerville, OH, US

problem #38

May 042014

Acadia SLT 2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Bought this car with 74,000 miles on 80,000 transmission failure!!!!! While I was going 75 down the interstate in Memphis.....far from home might I add. The place I had repair it said it was the wave plate that busted up and was shot through the transmission which resulted in complete transmission failure. Whole transmission had to be replaced!!! RECALL ALREADY GMC.....DAMN.....WHAT A PIECE OF SH*T!!! SEVERAL OTHER MECHANICAL PROBLEMS ALSO!!!

- lawrenceky, Smithland, KY, US

problem #37

May 302015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I bought this GMC Acadia in August of 2008. Brand new. I followed all scheduled maintenance recommendations set by GMC. At 78,000 miles while driving down the interstate, a hole blows in the side of the transmission stranding my wife and two young sons 3 hours from home.

Naturally the factory warranty is up. BUT, I told my wife, "This is why you buy from a company such as GMC, they will stand by their product, and help us pay for it." WRONG! GMC totally turned their backs on us! GMC customer service told me twice there is nothing they will do. They did tell me if I had taken it to a GMC dealer they'd look at it. Really? I can't drive it! It's at a private mechanic. What pay to have it towed again to a dealership so they can tell me they wont help me again then over charge me to fix it and make more money off me that I don't have???? NO WAY!

The funny thing is, I've read reviews of tons of people having this exact same problem with GMC and this Acadia transmission problem. Wake up GMC! I say this because not a couple months ago, I told my wife we'd buy her a new Tahoe in July of 2016. NOT NOW! I'm totally disgusted that a big company such as GMC, has no problem squeezing the "little people" of America!

- Darren W., Chester, IL, US

problem #36

May 252015

Acadia SLT-2 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,860 miles

Just bought this used car 5 days ago, and the transmission started acting up today. I didn't check the complaints about this vehicle, but I bought an extended warranty through the GMC Dealer from SGI that I am counting on covering the transmission repair. Stay tuned...

- Michael S., Houston, TX, US

problem #35

Feb 242015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Second issue is with the transmission. Brought it in twice and had them check for a transmission leak, only to have them tell me it must have been overflow from the previous visit (unreal). This was about a year ago. Now, I don't know much about vehicles, but I know this, I shouldn't be adding transmission fluid to my vehicle every THREE MONTHS if there ISN'T a leak of some sort!!!! Also, I wouldn't have transmission fluid leaking all over my driveway if there wasn't a leak! NOW I AM STUCK WITH A BAD TRANSMISSION!! I can't reverse my vehicle, I can't go passed 25 miles an hour, and for what? For the sake of an "innovative company" that can't stand behind their belief of "We are passionate about earning customers for life. This vision unites us as a team and is the hallmark of our customer-driven culture." Complete nonsense if you ask me!

My extended warranty expired, and they offered to fix it for $6500! No fault of theirs of coarse! I ended up having to get it rebuilt and still fork over $3500! The GMC Customer Care Center calls me about every week to see if the issue has been resolved. No, no it hasn't! Until they give me a reliable vehicle that doesn't have issues, this will never be resolved. They obviously love complaints regarding their vehicles! I will never purchase a GM product again!

Now that I paid for the issue to get fixed, they think that my complaint is complete, and that I should be satisfied with my vehicle because it drives again! Unreal!

Wouldn't you know I received a letter from GM stating that my vehicle may experience a cracked or fractured wave plate, resulting in a loss of 3rd, 5th, and reverse gears, Wouldn't you know that is exactly what my vehicle was experiencing, but by the time I brought it in, they had stated that it was the entire transmission, but I'm sure the issue mentioned above was the root of the problem! Let's see how far I get with them on this one. I'm sure they'll deny, deny, deny like they are used to doing with their customers. SMH.

- jgarciawi, Green Bay, WI, US

problem #34

Dec 302013

Acadia SLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

Transmission slipped several times that day. We drove to Hershey park with 7 people in the car and on the return trip we experienced a complete transmission failure.

Our lives were placed in danger when we had to maneuver to the side of the freeway and sit there in the cold for two hours.

I did not get to bed until 3 am and I missed the Redskins game against the Giants and lost $375 in tickets.

Good things happened. Onstar was really helpful and GMC gave us price support.

How I received price support was by calling GMC customer service with a number from the internet. It took some talking but the GMC representative finally came around. I ended up paying $1600 in labor and they provided free parts.

- doug6l, Ijamsville, MD, US

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