really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,150 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.

2009 GMC Acadia engine problems

engine problem

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2009 GMC Acadia Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Aug 152016


  • 103,000 miles


My car completely died while driving it a few months back. Just got it back after about 3 months, partial sucky dealership, partial back order issue. Turns out the sunroof leaked into the dash. Had to replace the body harness and something with the dash. $5100. I estimated on the date it happened because it's been awhile.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #33

Jul 042016


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. While driving approximately 65 mph, there was a sudden loss of engine power and the vehicle was unable to be driven over 40 mph. The stability traction control warning indicator illuminated. The dealer was unable to replicate and diagnose the failure. In addition, while driving highway speeds, "engine hot" and "A/C off" appeared on the instrument panel. The contact noticed smoke under the hood. The vehicle was coasted over to the shoulder of the road and turned off. The vehicle was unable to be driven due to the failure and was towed to the dealer. The dealer diagnosed that the water pump needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the part. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and indicated that they also had campaigns that needed to be addressed. The timing chain needed to be replaced, there was a loss of power steering assist, and the transmission cutlet leave plate failed. There were no recalls. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Alburtis, PA, USA

problem #32

Aug 012016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving at any speed, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was pushed over to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The vehicle was diagnosed that the catalytic converter had to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified about the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Jemison, AL, USA

problem #31

Aug 182016


  • 103,000 miles


My vehicle turned off while driving on a side highway, and was unable to be jump started. Took it to a mechanic and found the ECM was bad. Mechanic called different dealerships to price an ECM, and was told by each dealership that this is a common problem. He was informed that even with a new ECM installed, it may go out in another year.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #30

Mar 282016


  • 66,000 miles
I have replaced two ignition coils and now have a third going out. When the car is under load it misses.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #29

Nov 012015


  • miles
GMC knows of defective timing chains in this make and model. They addressed some of these issues in tsbs and the information was known by dealers but never conveyed to owners that did not receive a tsb. The dealership performed numerous oil changes, which if increased in frequency and more closely monitored, could have been part of the fix, but the dealership never informed the owner of potential catastrophic consequences of not increasing oil change frequency. According to dealer, GM forbids them from disclosing such information. These engines were also equipped with a pressed on crankshaft reluctor that could shift and result in a total crankshaft replacement. Failure of any of these vital engine parts alone or together while the vehicle was in motion could, I believe, cause an engine seizure which could potentially lead to devastating consequences. Non disclosure by dealers to alert owners who could then divest themselves of these vehicles before the 120K deadline set by GM is dishonest at best. No tsbs relating to this were received by owner. There is now an engine warning light concerning the timing chain and possible reluctor but GM is unwilling to assist with repairs since the vehicle is about 15K beyond their arbitrary 120K deadline.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #28

Jul 012014


  • miles


2 months after I bought my vehicle used I have had to replace ignitions coils, so many recalls and only had some replaced cuz of being told they don't have the part in store at the dealerships. The electrical system for heat and A/C don't match up when turning the knob and the defrost doesn't work 3/4 of the times. I get flashes of loss power and my tire monitoring system keeps acting up. Now my engine and transmission are failing and no one can tell me exactly what it is without paying $5000 for them to diagnostic it and take it apart!! where do I have that kind of money"? this vehicle was the worst $16000 I have ever invested in and have only had it less that 2 years!! I am scared on a daily basis to drive my kids anywhere in it let alone myself to work. I so wish I would've kept my Jeep Grand Cherokee but we need more room for travel. Well you can't travel in something that's unsafe and unreliable. GMC won't call or respond back and either will the dealership. Lemon law in Michigan is for new vehicles only so I am basically paying for something I can't drive and I can't afford to fix. What do I do?"

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #27

Jan 032016


  • 105,000 miles
I was driving my car at about 70 mphs on the interstate and the car began to slow down and check engine light starting flashing. I almost got hit by the drivers beside and behind me. While honking my horn and putting on the emergency lights I was able to get over to the side of the highway. Towed my car into the dealership and they keep it for about 8 days saying they were very behind. Notified them that my car was coming in for service and was never told they was behind. Finally about 7 days later the dealership is saying they don't know what is wrong with my car. Then on the 9 day the service guy calls me and says they think its the motor but they would have to take it out to see. Possible cost would be any where from $4,000 to $7,000 to fix the problem. There are several special coverage open on my car such as timing chain, water pump shaft seal, loss of power steering and throttle body. After reading other GMC customer complaints I feel it is the throttle body that needs to be replaced. Dealership states they don't know whats exactly wrong with my car but can't figure it out till they take out my engine.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #26

Jul 102015


  • 130,000 miles
I just entered the highway with an increased speed of 50 mph when the dashboard flashed..."engine power reduced." My car was about to shut down in the middle of a very busy highway. I made it to the side of the stretch with cars almost hitting me to call a tow truck. The car was towed to gateway Buick GMC in St. Louis, Missouri where the service worker informed me that I needed the following: Valve element heater hose camshaft actuator thermostat mode door activator I then received a call back the next day stating that I needed a new engine. My car is under ten years old.

- Kirkwood, MO, USA

problem #25

Apr 222015


  • 70,000 miles
Car stalls as I am turning into parking spots, turning or going around significant curves in the road, while im in a round about etc. Luckily I have been able to put the car in neutral and it starts back up and off I go. I am the second owner of this car and I bought it from a non GM dealer. My mechanic is at a loss as to what is wrong because a) there are no codes that are coming up and B) the stalling is very sporadic, it will do it twice in one week and then not do it again for 3 weeks. I have had this car about 5 months and it has happened about a dozen times. I pulled the carfax and called the dealership that did all the work on it with the previous owner. After speaking with the service department, I was told that the previous owner had the same problems and the dealer could not get the car to malfunction while they had it in for servicing. Although she didn't tell me everything that they did to try and resolve the issue, I do know that they went as far as to replace the cylinder head hoping that would solve the issue, but clearly it did not. This is a very dangerous safety issue, I have almost hit several cars due to the fact that when the car stalls, everything locks up and you have no control over anything.

- Canandaigua, NY, USA

problem #24

Feb 192015


  • 101,604 miles


While driving the vehicle the check engine light comes on and the vehicle monitor text says to pull over and turn car off. This is done and after 30 minutes we are able to take car to local shop, since dealership is 30 minutes away in snow conditions. After diagnostics malfunction indicator lamp is on due to poor acceleration, ice deposits and oil deposits in air inlet duct. Due to all the oil and ice deposits all spark plugs are replaced, but I was told if I don't replace the valve cover which are the original to the car, I will have to replace the plugs about every 15K to 20K miles. When I talked to GMC cs they told me to call local dealer which in turn said they could do nothing for me. I would have to replace the valve covers at my expense.

- Eagle, CO, USA

problem #23

Jan 262015


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 GMC Acadia. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle stalled as the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the coil and the spark plugs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the failure occurred after the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V266000 (seat belts) and 14V118000 (air bags). In addition, the contact stated that the all the doors locked and unlocked sporadically and the battery failed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,000.... updated 03/19/15

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #22

Dec 192014


  • 83,300 miles
I had purchased the vehicle used from what I had thought was a reputable dealer, boy was I wrong. I was on my way home with it from the dealer an hour and a half drive 1 way, going down the interstate at about 65 mph, when the vehicle started to shake something severe, and the RPM, S went wild. I slowed down, but the shake, vibration continued. Finally it did straighten out, and I got home. A couple days later on my way to work the engine light came on, and than the service all wheel drive system light came on. The next day my dad who is a mechanic, drove it and it shook and vibrated so bad, he thought the wheels were falling off. Came back and put it in the workshop and checked the wheels for tightness, they were ok. Noticed a rather large coolant leak above the water pump, , seemed to be coming from under intake area. Called the dealer and said we were bringing it back on a trailer. On 1 / 1 / 15 at about 9:45 am dropped off at the dealer, told them again what the problems were and left it there. On 1 / 5 / 15 the dealer called us and indicated there was a upper radiator hose that the clamp was loose. I told them it was not and my dad knows where it was from. They also stated that they drove it and could not find any problems with it. After telling me that they said that they are a Ford dealer and do not have the tools to diagnose the vehicle. Right after that the general manager says that he did notice a problem with shifting, but its nothing to worry about. I said than you put your family in the vehicle and take them for a drive, because I will not put myself with my 3, and 5 year old kids in it. He said he will look at it again tomorrow. I will never buy another GM product ever again.

- Marshfield, WI, USA

problem #21

Jul 152013


  • 98,000 miles
The car felt as though the gears weren't catching and RPM would drop but if you took your foot off the accelerator it would go away for a second but then it would happen again. No one seems to know what's wrong, but it seems as though the transmission is slipping. It seems to happen at speeds of 50 miles and higher which is very dangerous especially when traveling on the expressways.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #20

Dec 082014


  • 82,000 miles
We purchased a 2009 Acadia from a reputable dealer that claims quality in regards to their used vehicles. We have had the vehicle for 6 months and the vehicle has left me stranded on different occasions and compromised others individuals and my own well being. First incident the car was in gear but would not start. We never found the reason the vehicle would not start. The battery fully charged. No other issues noted. Second incident the vehicle the vehicle again did not start after several attempts to start. Eventually car just started, no issue was uncovered as the culprit. The vehicle overheated out of the blue while in route to respond to an emergency call and had the water pump replaced. While on the interstate with my 4 month old grandson the vehicle jerked after reaching the speed of approximately 65 mph and then the RPM registered about 3800 to 4500 and the vehicle came to a crawl on the interstate. The check engine light came on and I took it had diagnostics ran and it indicated transmission concerns. I took the vehicle to the dealer and the light had gone off and the dealer stated that there was nothing found. My husband and I left and while in route to another city the vehicle again jerked at approximately 65 mph and the RPM once again registered between 3500 and 4500. We were able to crawl along at about 25 mph and barely made it safely to a certified GMC dealer which stated that the transmission was completely gone and we needed another and the cost would be approximately $3900. The dealer refuses to honor or stand behind their product. We recently had the vehicle at the dealer to ensure safety recalls were taken care of, the dealer indicating no concerns after a "proposed" inspection. There is clearly documented concerns with this issue. We were lucky as there were no injuries, but the situations that we were left in were extremely dangerous.

- Morristown, TN, USA

problem #19

Jun 262014


  • 57,000 miles
2009 GMC Acadia coil pack failures. The coil packs fail without warning causing a loss of power from the engine. It can occur at any time. We had 2 failures since June of 2014. Both times we were in traffic and this loss of power created unsafe driving situations.

- Bechtelsville, PA, USA

problem #18

Sep 242014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 98,500 miles
I took my car to be service on many occasion and the car was making a sound when you put it in gear. I inquired about what was going on before my power train warranty ran out. The guy that was servicing my car stated that the mount needed fixing and I was giving a card with the price on it that it would cost to fix the problem which was $335.well not long after that my transmission went out right after my warranty had expired. Although the deal paid 60%, if the car dealer ship had been honest, they had to know the transmission was going but I was told to continue to drive the car because it would be all right. This was not true because not long after the power train warranty had expired, the transmission went and I had to come up with the different. I am on a fixed income and I really needed my car because it was the only transportation that was working. I had to charge the amount on my credit card which has really created a financial burden. I have come to realize that car dealership does not care about the customer, only the money. Since they fixed the transmission I do not have that problem with the car jumping when you pull off. This was and still is my dream, but I never would have thought this would have happened with a new car. I have a 2003 montero sport and I have never had this problem. I do not feel that I should have had to pay anything. This just shows that their product is not as good as I hoped for. I wanted to up grade to another Acadia but the dealership did stop me from looking into it because he told me it would be more money out of my pocket. This is very sad for the people that trusted in GMC product.

- Loganville, GA, USA

problem #17

Sep 102014

Acadia 6-cyl

  • 51,700 miles
Transmission had a hard shift into reverse. Diagnosis was the 3-5-R wave plate and upon reading other complaints seems to be common. Transmission shop theory is that the wave plate was hardened too much and became brittle with the flexing causing it to break. Dealership fixed problem with warranty help from GM but still cost $750. I believe that GM should have paid the entire amount since it was well under the 100,000 mile but we owned it for 6 years. Seems that this failure is a function of mileage and not time and thus should be totally covered.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #16

Jun 112014


  • 49,897 miles
Vehicle was exhibiting a miss under load at low RPM. Diagnosis was a bad coil on number 1 cylinder which was replaced along with the associated spark plug for approximately $300.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #15

Mar 102014


  • 60,598 miles
I was driving the vehicle on the highway with a steady acceleration. I noticed the car start to shake a little and the tachometer fluttering until it appeared the car down shifted. I took the vehicle to the dealer where they test drove the vehicle and found no problems. The next weekend a long trip the vehicle was doing the same thing. I noticed it more on slight inclines with the cruise control on. At one point my brother driving behind me said he said a puff of black smoke come out of the exhaust pipe. I noticed the service engine light was flashing at times. Took the vehicle back to the dealer where they said the vehicle had codes P0300 and P0303. They replaced the #3 ignition coil. Since the vehicle was out of warranty, my total bills were $623. I should not have had to replace an ignition coil at 60K miles!

- Noblesville, IN, USA

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