hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,881 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.

2011 GMC Terrain engine problems

engine problem

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2011 GMC Terrain Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Feb 252015

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


During a normal commute on route on 2/15 received about 3 miles into the drive received a warning error - loss of engine power and the car would not accelerate. The car started shaking violently and received a stabilititrak error. The car was pulled to the side of the road and placed in neutral. The shaking became worse and the car was shut off. After two minutes the car was started again, with no issues and was driven 6 more miles without issue. After 6 miles of driving the same engine power warning and stabilitrack error came back. The car was violently shaking and the driver shut it off. It was towed to the dealership. The dealership received one code for the throttle sensor positioner. The code was reset and a loose connection was diagnosed as the fault and returned to owner. Five days later the car was started in the garage. Upon startup it started again to shake violently. The car was put in reverse and began to shake violently and the driver received a stabilitrak warning light. The car was shut off and was again towed to the dealership. The dealership found two codes crank position sensor and misfire. The car was driven five miles with no issues. The dealership cannot locate the root cause of the problem. This undiagnosed issue posses a severe safety risk to the owner of the car and family if it were to occur again while driving in congested traffic or on a highway.

- Seymour , CT, USA

problem #17

Feb 212015

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
I was traveling down the road with my family in the vehicle when all of a sudden the vehicle decelerated and starting vibrating and operating roughly. The stabilitrak/reduced engine power trouble light was displayed. This certainly became an immediate safety concern because the vehicle could only accelerate to 15 to 30 mph. I was able to manage the problem long enough to return home, which was only a few miles away from the onset. I have always had performed the required scheduled maintenance on this vehicle. However, since purchasing this vehicle new in 2011 and experiencing multiple recalls and a air bag safety issue and now this, I have become concerned about the reliability and safety of this vehicle. The vehicle has only 61,000 miles on it and should not be experiencing this type of problem. I believe GMC corporation should make a concerted effort to recall any of their vehicles with this problem.

- Batavia, OH, USA

problem #16

Feb 152015

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 46,200 miles
I was driving on the highway at 60 mph and all of a sudden lost power. The reduced power and check stabilitrak messages appeared on the screen. I pulled over to the side of the road and turned the engine off. I immediately tried starting the vehicle again and it did, so went on my way. Got down the road about three miles and the same thing, so pulled to the side of the road and turned the engine off. I tried to start the vehicle, but there was no response, everything was dead. I waited several minutes and tried again and it started. I continued on my way and didn't have anymore trouble getting to my destination. A couple of days later, the same thing happened except when I tried to turn the vehicle off, it continued to run very roughly and then finally shut off. It did start again and had the engine light on. I've had the vehicle to the local GMC dealer when the first incident happened, however when they tried to read the codes, there were no codes to read even though the engine light was on. I was told everything checked out fine. I was down the to dealer again today with the engine light on again, but before they could check it out, the engine light had gone out. To me this is a very serious problem as it can very easily cause an accident. So far I've been lucky that I haven't lost the power steering or brakes.

- Montevideo, MN, USA

problem #15

Feb 122015

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


While driving the vehicle stalled from 35-40 mph to 5 mph. A message came on the screen " engine power reduced". had I been on highway that would be ended in accident. Contacted GM and everyone I have been talking to them seems to be reading a script to me.

- Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jan 132015

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I had oil changed that morning. That night, while driving, "engine power reduced" and "service stabilitrac" lights came on and vehicle would not accelerate over 15 mph. I had to pull to the side of the freeway and turn off the vehicle, wait a few minutes and try again. It was fine until the next day when the same thing happened again. It has been one week and has happened multiple times everyday since. I read many complaints on-line addressing this same issue and stating that it is the throttle body. I took it to the dealer and the diagnostic said the throttle body needs replaced. This is a safety issue! imagine traveling 70 mph down the highway, and you lose power to your engine! this is an accident waiting to happen!

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #13

Jan 162015


  • 55,000 miles
We were driving towards a stop sign and all of a sudden the car started shaking and slowed down on its own, the dashboard read stabilitrak off, engine power reduced, and the engine light came on. We could barely drive the car, so parked and turned it back on and the problem stopped, but the engine light stayed on. If this had happened on the highway it would have caused an accident. I took it to the shop to run the computer and it reports the throttle body needs replacing. This is a known issue with Chevy and GMC cars (many reports on Chevy and GMC forums and other websites, and my mechanic said it was common as well) and needs to be recalled before people seriously get injured.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 182014


  • 67,000 miles


Several times over the last week my car is stalling. It happens if I am at a stoplight, don't get up to speed fast enough, etc. The M as malfunction indicator lamp keeps going on and off. There are several complaints of similar issues and this should be handled by GMC.

- Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #11

Nov 132014


  • 97,200 miles
I have taken my Terrain to the dealership a countless number of times for various repairs. The latest issue is the "engine power is reduced!" notification. While I was at a complete stop, I heard an extremely loud rattling noise come from under the hood of my car. I turned the ignition off to see if the noise would stop. To my surprise the car did not immediately restart. After turning the key several times the car started but with an even louder rattling noise. I tried to later take the car to the mechanic only to find that the car would not crank again. After repeatedly trying to crank the car, it finally started. I was not able to drive faster than 15 miles per hour. I later found out that I needed much more than a catalytic converter (GMC dealership advised that this may be the issue), instead I needed a new engine that may not be covered although I was still within my factory warranty. This car is horrible stay far, far away...

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 082014

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 51,400 miles
Well it appears that there are several complaints on here about the 2011 Terrain stalling. It's been happening to me off and on the past several months. I would be in traffic and it would stall, I would be at a stop light and it would stall, I would go to back out of my driveway and it would stall. I took it in and they can't find anything wrong. Well last night it finally died. Great!! I heard noise when I started the vehicle that sounded like plastic water bottles rubbing together. I had a bag in my front seat so assumed it was nothing. It bucked forward as I put it into drive and stalled. Well...the stalling I'd become accustomed to so I re-started. It seemed fine until I went to accelerate onto the main road...it bucked, started shuttering, and wouldn't go above 5 mph. I barely got it into a parking lot before it died. I counted no less than 5 similar reports on here. I live in the metro detroit area...had this happened on a highway or during rush hour, I could've been killed. Someone needs to do something before GMC has yet another scandal on their hands or how many people have to be hurt, maimed, or killed before NHTSA gets involved??

- Romeo, MI, USA

problem #9

Jan 152014

Terrain 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the traction control system and reduced engine power warning lights illuminated. The contact experienced a sudden loss of engine power. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 44,000. Updated 08/11/14 updated 8/13/2014

- Breinigsville, PA, USA

problem #8

Dec 272010

Terrain 4-cyl

  • miles


2011 GMC Terrain. Consumer writes in regards to engine problems and several other issues with vehicle. The consumer stated the district manager of GM refused to allow the dealer to check the ECM/ECU and other appropriate systems, to make sure all the engine settings were as they should be, since he experienced several strange events, such as the shifter hanging in D sometimes as he tried to move to park, very low mpg for several days 24-25 mpg, when he usually got 28-33 mpg. The oil percent meter used to be at 95%. the engine would rev to 7K-8K RPM when the first started and held 2-3 seconds. Sometimes the engine revved to 1600-1800 RPM and the vehicle would almost stall, and sometimes the malfunction indicator light would illuminate on the instrument panel. Soon after, the fan belt began to squeal. The squealing began, when the vehicle was started or when driving at various speeds with the ac on, and going up some slopped highways, roads and streets. The dealer replaced the belt. In the summer of 2011, when the vehicle was started the engine would make a chattering-tapping metal-to-metal sound, as it there were no oil in the engine. The problem would occur with a cold or hot engine. The problem stopped after P0011 error solenoid was replaced.

- Palestine, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 112013

Terrain 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Our vehicle has experienced the rough idle and hard/stalled shifting since we bought it in 2011. It has been reviewed by the dealership and we were told a recent recall would fix the issue. It did not and these issues have continued. Recently, this issue happened again, followed by the check engine light turning on, followed by (a few hours later) the engine going into "reduced engine mode" and the entire vehicle shaking uncontrollably with thumping noises coming from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped and restarted and within a few miles, this same issue happened again, which was very difficult to handle and very unsafe for travel in the city. We had to get a tow to the dealership and the service department at the dealership we bought this from says the throttle positions sensor is defective and needs replaced as well as there is a misfire in the injectors due to carbon buildup in the fuel line. None of these repairs are covered under the power train warranty, and this vehicle only has 50,000 miles on it currently. Upon research of these part, symptoms of this part going out are stalled shifting or hard shifting, as well as rough idling. Please research this case as I feel this is a more universal problem that has yet to be addressed properly.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #6

Aug 302013


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that the tail pipe overheated while driving 50 mph, causing the rear cargo carrier basket to catch on fire. The fire spread to the bumper and the contact was able to extinguish the fire but the fire department was also present. The vehicle was taken to a local body shop for repair. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 25,232.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 302011


  • 2,000 miles
About a month after purchasing this brand new vehicle, there were several times that after starting the car & putting it into gear, it stalled. There has also been times that after driving it for a while & coming to a stop sign, then getting ready to pull out into traffic, it either stalls or hesitates. There were a few close calls where there could have been a major accident. Taking this to the dealer did nothing. They said they have heard of this before, but unless it did it at their dealership, they couldn't fix the problem. Another issue I have had is that many times the transmission doesn't shift properly & it revs up more than it should before actually shifting & when it does, there is a major clunk. I have owned many cars in my lifetime, this car always on startup, makes a terrible noise at first which to me sounds like it's not getting any oil or that the bearings have a problem. That noise goes away after a few seconds. Another issue I have, as do all other Terrain owners, is that the sticker on the window from GM when buying this car, stated that this car would get 23 mpg city, & 32 mpg highway. Most all my miles are highway miles, & the most I ever get is 22 mpg. This was the main reason for buying this car in the first place. I think GM should be held accountable for this grossly mis-representation of what I would be getting for gas mileage. I am not that wealthy where I can just go out & buy a new car every year, but am fearful that with the car stalling out whenever it feels like, that I may have an accident. I am also not thrilled with the noise it make when I start it, & wonder how long before it doesn't run. I now have 36,000 miles on it with these issues, my last vehicle that I traded in for this had 250,000 trouble free miles. GM needs to buy this back, or lifetime warranty on motor along with free gas to make up for the 10 mpg I'm not getting.

- Bolton, CT, USA

problem #4

Dec 012011


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 GMC Terrain. The contact stated that there was an oil leak and the vehicle shifted erratically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times where it was confirmed that there was an oil leak and the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the transmission was eventually replaced but both failures recurred. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 26,000.

- Blakely, PA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012013


  • 7,500 miles
Oil smells like gas. Head linear fell down very poor gas mileage engine runs ruff has poor acceleration.

- Santa Barbara , CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 012012

Terrain 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
I was in the drive thru line with the engine running. When it was time to move forward, I put the truck in drive and as soon as my foot hit the gas pedal it stalled. I started the engine back up and tried to drive forward and the engine stalled again. This has occurred about 10 times since I have owned the vehicle (in cold and mild weather). I took it back to the dealership and they could not find anything wrong.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 202011


  • 8,000 miles
My truck experienced it's first problem in August of 2011. I had only had my truck for six months. The truck was entering onto the expressway and as I was pressing the gas the truck begin to stall. The reduced engine light came on and the truck decelerates and cut off. We were blessed that we were able to get to right shoulder of the road. We waited about ten minutes, the truck finally started and the engine light remained on. I contacted the dealer and took the truck in as soon as I could get an appointment. Was told the truck was fixed and since I have been in five times for the same problem. The fact that the truck decelerates while driving on the expressway is enough that I don't want to drive the truck. I have been using other peoples cars and trucks because I don't want to put mine on the expressway out of own. It is a death trap waiting to happen and anyone driving a Terrain should be made aware of the problem. The service department did everything possible and had to contact manufacturer about the problem and they could not narrow down the problem. They have replaced so many parts at this point I have lost track of things that have been replaced. This truck is not safe and the problem is not been resolved. The car still idles and shakes and no one plans to find out why as long as the engine light is not on. No one wants to take responsibility for this issue and it is really disappointing that the manufacturer would rather not deal with this problem and wait for a fatality to occur before looking into. You would think they would learn from Toyota and take customers lives seriously. Would they put there families in this truck ? I just want them to take the truck back because I don't want to use my life as an example for a defective truck.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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