really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
68,000 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (4 reports)
  2. replace intake camshaft, position actuator, solenoid valve cnt (2 reports)
  3. removed head, cleaned valves, replaced hp fuel pump (1 reports)
  4. replace engine (1 reports)
  5. replace fuel pump (1 reports)
  6. replace heads and valves (1 reports)
2010 GMC Terrain engine problems

engine problem

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2010 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 162017

Terrain SL1 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,928 miles


A week ago my engine light came on and the engine died. Upon restarting it I had a loss of power and it sounded terrible! I limped it to my mechanic and the codes came up that it was the items under Special Coverage #12313C – Engine Balance Chain and Fuel Pump. He contacted the dealership and they indicated that it was covered if this was the issue. When I called them they asked me to drive it to their location and they’d have a look at it. They uncovered these issues and said that they felt there was more issues and asked to look further into the engine. I gave them permission and they discovered that the damage was more extensive as the loose chains had wore down the teeth in the gears and that the debris would be throughout the engine. They recommended replacing the engine at a cost of $9500.00. I felt that I had no choice but to agree as I need my vehicle.

I have been doing my research and discovered that you stopped producing this engine for fuel efficiency reasons. Yet seeing the complaints on line, it would appear that there were more issues than just the fuel efficiency. Upon speaking with mechanics and getting a better understanding of how this engine works, it only makes sense that once you have internal components such as these out of balance and not working efficiently, they would affect the other moving components in the engine causing even more problems. I have come to the obvious conclusion that this engine should have been recalled to either fix the issues prior to them doing damage or the engines should have been replaced under factory warranty. It is also clear that the damage to this engine is a direct result of the Special Coverage items listed above. This is a known GM issue (as I’ve noted in on-line forums) and the cost of the engine should be covered by GM. I tried to get the persons contact information who looks after this zone but the person in charge is away until next week and the person I spoke to isn’t allowed to give me the contact info for the zone manager prior to going online with their customer service which also resulted in no satisfaction.

I purchased my Terrain in November of 2009. Since then I have tried to get satisfaction from the dealer and GM Canada on the oil usage issue, only to be told that using a litre of oil every 3000 km is within their specs. This was not acceptable then and is not acceptable now. I bought a new vehicle so I wouldn’t need to deal with the expenses of a used vehicle. This has been the most disappointing vehicle I’ve owned to date and my most recent experience has left me stunned.

- Shelley P., Hamilton, ON, Canada

problem #11

Aug 012016

Terrain SLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,438 miles

Well after taking it to a dealer several times and have them try to sell me all kinds of things the vehicle started running rough. After 1 small trip to the store the check engine light came on. Took it to a REAL mechanic and the code came up for a solenoid. Swapped for new and changed the oil. STILL ERROR CODE!! Went back and the next thing the GM book says is to rip it apart and check timing belt. Timing belt DONE, and metal fillings all in engine and the cam shaft is scored. Now I need to replace engine. Extended warranty for 100000 km but only 5 years. Almost 6 years old but only 85,000 and change in km. What a piece of junk!! Fuel pump, oil life indicator, door rust, and a couple more recalls. STAY AWAY!! THIS CAR IS JUNK!!

Update from Aug 21, 2016: A GM dealer has replaced the timing balance chain and timing chain. It had skipped 3 teeth. They now say the heads and valves are toast and it will be $3900.00 to fix. Dealer expert says they cannot prove the chain skipped as a result of this and that the REAL MECHANIC, ie not a GM tech, may have done this to make a claim.

All these issues are from the oil consumption problem and the the chains inside.

They, GM Customer service, rely on the dealer service manager to deal with each case. Not only is the Terrain junk, the dealer is now trying to rip me off!

- Nikolai W., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #10

Feb 132013

Terrain SLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,203 miles

Having problems with the car running rough and continuing to run for 10 seconds after shutting off. Also died a few times when idling at a stop light. Dealer performed decarbon of engine, called tech line & were instructed to remove cylinder head and remove all valves to clean all carbon deposits. Ck engine light still on and still ran 10 seconds after shut off. Replaced high pressure fuel pump.

- shereer, Post Falls, ID, US

problem #9

Jun 092016

Terrain 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles


This engine is JUNK!!!!! Have had every single problem with weird codes, idle issues, timing chain, stall, loss of power and noise. NO HELP from dealer!

- Roxane P., Easton, MO, US

problem #8

Feb 022015

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,366 miles

The 2010 GMC Terrain has been a very bad investment for me and my family. I have encountered excessive oil consumption when being told at time of purchase that an oil change would not be required until 6000 miles. The vehicle has cut off on me 5 times 2 of which in the dead of winter. Once the engine light comes on its best you try to make it home or to the nearest dealership because the vehicle is going to leave you stranded as you begin to lose power. I have had issues with the transmission not shifting properly and with engine running rough/hard starts. My local dealership continues to tell me there are no recalls on the 2010 GMC Terrain and that it appears I am the only guy having these issues in America. I know I am the little guy in this fight but I look forward to the day that my voice can be heard, because for a vehicle that is costing me well of $30,000 this simply is not the way you treat a customer.

- Mike C., Mishawaka, IN, US

problem #7

Feb 082016

Terrain SLE-2

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,322 miles

Be Warned- Avoid this model year, if not the entire model of the GMC Terrain. The 2010 model year appears to be the year of the 'Lemon'.

- murphyia, Washington, IA, US

problem #6

Apr 032015

Terrain SLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,788 miles


This has been an ongoing issue for 9 plus months. The vehicle was running great nice and smooth then one day it started running rough to a small degree. Then the issue slowly got worse to the point of stalling and also in park if you rev up the engine to 1400 - 2000 rpm it has a very noticeable roughness, so much that you feel it through out the vehicle. You can be driving down the road then the traffic light changes and you stop with the engine running so rough that it is about to stall. Tried tune-up but that did not fix so they put in new ecm but still the same issue persists. Has been to several dealerships without being fixed since they just don't know or care. As of now it is at the dealership again trying to be resolved but I doubt it. These guys don't want to look at anything warranty related only customer pay since that means more money in their pockets.

Update from Dec 14, 2015: Had at the dealership for two days and all they did was drive the crap out of it and put a can of cleaner in the gas tank and said that will fix the problem. I use the best fuel system cleaner on the market and have the system professionally cleaned at regular intervals due to the quality of gas nowadays.The problem is that they just don't know and say it is a normal occurrence with these vehicles. As a retired mechanic I would fix myself if I was physically able now and had the right diagnostic equipment. With all the GM equipment available to these mechanics they just don't know what to do if it does not show a code. This vehicle has had many codes show up on the monitor but when scanned no codes were able to be read, so no issues as they say. Gm has problems with these vehicles but will not accept responsibility for the crap being made today. When I bought the terrain it run so smooth you did not even know it was running, then around 9-10 months ago this issue came up. If any one else has the same problem and got it fixed please let me know.

- David R., Niagara Falls, Ontario, canada

problem #5

Nov 202015

Terrain SLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

So we thought we bought a "reliable" car! Boy was I wrong! Only less than 6 months ago and Barely 50k miles. One morning around 3am leaving for work, barely driving down my street it began to idle real loud, the reduced engine power came on, then possible ice warning, then the service stability. Piece of poo! Because I did have a second car I was okay.

So couple days later I started it up. Engine light gone!!! Drove normal. For about 2 weeks! Until one night already almost home! Car temp read at 37 degrees.( it was t that cold) then boom same thing happens! Barely being able to accelerate, no more than 30mph, I kept having to pull over to turn it off and on. 2 days later engine light has stayed on and I am about to throw it into the shop. What could all of this nonsense be?

- Judy W., Fresno, CA, US

problem #4

Dec 102014

Terrain SLT 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

I have had numerous problems with this GMC. My catalytic converter failed, timing belt failed, transmission failed. I had had relatively good success with GMC and Sterling McCall GMC here in Houston. They have just failed miserably. Ms. Davis at GMC basically told me to go jump in the lake. I have missed work and am having such troubles from a huge investment. DO NOT BUY GMC. I was almost killed when my timing chain failed and the vehicle siezed up on the freeway. I dont know what to do!

- Byron J., Hockley, TX, US

problem #3

Dec 122013

Terrain Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,351 miles

Wow! About 3 years old from new purchase (2.4L) , the timing chain stretched. If you have rough idling, loud rattling, vibration, excessive oil consumption, check engine light, chances are that you have a bad timing chain. My wife and I actually noticed a rattling noise at six months. GM was kind enough to send a letter explaining that the fuel pumps were bad in these motors which happened to this vehicle and was replaced under warranty.

There was not enough chrome on the pins of the timing chain. There are many pins on a timing chain and any significant wear causes the chain to stretch and then valves get bent, and oil consumption was also terrible. The chain also wore out the chain guides and metal stud holding a

section of the guide. The metal stud needed to be removed I think by drilling and then a spiral coil insert properly installed so that a new stud could be replaced into the same position. In the mean time all kinds of shavings went into the oil pan and it had to be completely flushed. Im not exactly sure where the high¸ oil consumption was taking place but it seemed to disappear after they repaired the timing chain and bent <p>valves(all warranty). <p>The engine is running fine for now 4 1/2 years old 145,000 kms. but Im not confident about what comes next.

- apannunzio, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

problem #2

Mar 062012

Terrain Limited 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,069 miles

Fuel pump wore out. Was getting worse on idling , had to press gas peddle down just so it didn't shut off. Took it to the dealer and the mechanic knew right away. Also this problem causes fuel to back leak into the oil pan causing thin oil. Really good for the bearings! It was under warranty.

As I understand it, this is a high pressure fuel system. If GM is putting aircraft technology in cars why can't they properly test something like the fuel pump? They stated that it was bad seals and/or bad shaft bushing/bearing. Oh I know, since the car doesn't actually fly, you just pull over to the side of the road in case of failure and no one should get hurt. Also check engine light kept coming on because of this problem.

A different dealer said the Equinox has the same problem probably because it is the same 2.4 L engine.

- apannunzio, Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

problem #1

Sep 222011

Terrain SLE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

engine rattle, sudden decreased power or lunge forward

Okay, I bought slightly used a 2010 GMC Terrain with Factory warrant still in effect and also an extened warranty (SMART MOVE ME).

1. Loved it at first ,,,but say 5 or 6 mos.in,,it started making strange sound that illuminated from engine area. (chirps, rattles,sputterings) all increased over time and sometimes felt it wasn't shifting gears normally (like a loss of power then speeds up). Took it to GMC.dealer under factory warranty. They say 201 terrains are a whole new engine type for them,,which translates as - the car sucks and I'm the lab rat. So they say some are making these noises and put some kind of cap to muffle sound. (mmm! how is this fixing it) also did something with the timing. No Charge; Free loaner.

2. Few months later same thing .....supposedly fixed it..Happy for a month or two..slowly returns louder than ever..sometimes engine light comes on sometimes not. Took in in...gave me a loaner 2 days later hear nothing...finally they call,,keep loaner...have engine in pieces all jover garage...may take a week. (I'm not feeling too confident they know how to fix it or if they can.) WHY ME!, finaly two weeks later ...it is fixed, Right?

3. Few months later same noise,,and new tire noise (bearings or something). fixed. next day took back because none of my power seats worked.

4. By now all my months are blending together, but I know I've been to them at least 5 or more times and this week I get to keep loner car all weekend " I truly was scared for my life when on way to take it in it lunged in speed at light and almost cut off when crossing traffic with sudden loss of power. ( a 2013 terrain ,,Yea me- I'd like a camero at least!) After having it all week they called today and have not started fixing it yet...don't have enough qualified mechanics available due to very busy. This translates to me as:" Her engine is piece of "BLARNEY" and we are not sure what to do about it because we can't fix it and need time to come up with a good excuse. I'm hoping since the problems occurred under factory warranty that I have a Lemon law case even though I bought it used. "

- whassell50, Greenville, NC, US

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