really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,300 miles
Total Complaints:
11 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. repair throttle body sensors (3 reports)
  3. timing chain replaced (1 reports)
2011 GMC Terrain engine problems

engine problem

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2011 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 012018

Terrain ES 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


I regret ever buying my GMC Terrain. It has been one problem after another; several recall repairs, and wasted money on repairs which solved nothing. The personnel at the dealership are nice enough, but I don't think they have a clue about the cause or repair for my vehicle. The vehicle will shift into reduced power without notice and start to shake as it misfires. The problem also affects the braking and steering systems and another element of danger.

GMC is well aware of this chronic system failure in this vehicle, but is waiting for the accidents and bodies to pile up before taking action. Its all about the bottom dollar for big business; They rather deal with the lawsuits from the drivers killed or seriously injured in their vehicle, rather than just doing the right thing. They know the product is faulty, but will not do right by their customers. I'm looking to change vehicles and believe me, it will never be a GMC again.

Don't place your family in this death trap!!!!!!!!!!!

- Andres G., Bronx, NY, US

problem #10

Jan 032018

Terrain 2.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

It is cold in Minnesnowta this time of year with -10 temps etc. The yellow check engine light came on as I started up the vehicle a couple times over the last week or two. I would let the engine warm up, and eventually the light would go out. Yesterday got a car wash with undercarriage, it was approx 1 degree farenheit, the blow dryer did not blow dry the underbelly. Today No engine light on, I drove to pick up a cousin and drop them off at grammas, I went to gas station filled up and then went home. Put the car in reverse to park, then the engine light and stability notification started to flash, car also shook. I turned car off and on again, same issue, I pulled forward and reversed car again, same issue, I turned car off and on again, car stopped shaking but yellow engine light remains. GMC PLEASE FIX THIS, RECALL IT. I start new job tomorrow. So I can only hope and see what happens.

Update from Jan 10, 2018: I have 135,000 miles on vehicle.

I have also noticed what seems to be an increase in gas consumption.

I also turned off Eco Boost, our weather has warmed up a bit and the check engine light and other issue has not come on again... yet.

- W Z., Twin Cities, US

problem #9

Oct 202016

Terrain SLT 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

will never buy a terrain again. all we have had is problems with it. always was a chevy guy, now thinking about going to ford. Worst part was only had the terrain for a month before all this happened. dealership wont do nothing about it. never buy a car or truck from Kars-Inc in Des Moines Iowa.

- Rick M., Albia, IA, US

problem #8

Jan 212017

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,194 miles


click to see larger images

engine powering down with stability control light on

I have been so happy with my Terrain. I am meticulous about caring for my car. I get my oil change 1000 miles early, my interior is flawless and my exterior is always clean and waxed. I get my recalls done in a timely manner and I pay extra for fuel cleaner. I've had my car 6.5 years and I have less than 70,000 miles on it. I keep my miles low intentionally. Because I care about my car and I believe that if you take great care of your car, you can drive it longer with fewer issues. This situation has proven me wrong.

On Saturday, I left my home heading to work and my car had a total meltdown. Two messages were displayed: "Stabilitrak" and "Engine power reduced." My car started shaking and when I pressed on the accelerator it barely moved the car forward. I was terrified!!! I held up traffic, I prayed my way up a hill, and barely got home safely. I took it in to be repaired the next day (dropped it off on Sunday for a Monday repair). I spent $266 to have the solenoid valve replaced (code P0011 and P0010).

I asked the GMC serviceman if the issue was fixed because I did not ever want to feel the terror I felt on Saturday. He said it was fixed. He's a nice guy by the way. I'm not mad at him I'm mad at the situation. The very next day, the same issue with the same messages occurred again!! I took it back and the serviceman said it was my throttle sensors (code 2625 I think) and it's going to take another $460 to fix what I was told was already fixed!!!

Here's my problem - there is nothing that I have done to cause this issue. It's not a wear and tear issue, it's not caused by careless treatment. I asked! It's just out of the blue one day it works and the next day it doesn't! And I have to pay $700 to fix it? That doesn't make sense to me. In truth, it sounds like a recall issue and I'm terribly disappointed that GMC is not stepping up and taking care of its customers. I'm a new GMC customer.

I have loved my Terrain! But after this, I cannot in good faith make my next vehicle purchase a GMC.

- tediouswalk, Alpharetta, GA, US

problem #7

Dec 222016

Terrain LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

Going to visit son, daughter in law and grandaughter in Virginia from Michigan. Got reduced power with stability control light. First time was without warning on the curvy hilly Pennsylvania turnpike in traffic. Lost power on hill had no acceleration, vehicle decelerated in front of traffic. Put on hazards and worked our way over to shoulder across 2 lanes of traffic. Thank God this didn't cause a pileup of holiday travelers. Stopped vehicle, engine was misfiring, there was no throttle response. Shut off engine and restarted, power was back but check engine light is on. Continued trip, 2nd incident was about 1 hour later also without warning. Had about 5 incidents this trip. Taking it in to the dealer now.

- whitmanmi, Grand Ledge, MI, US

problem #6

Jan 012016

Terrain 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

My engine power reduce light has been coming on, that cause my vehicle to shut down in the middle of traffic. I have taken it to the dealer several times and it keeps happening. I just recently purchased the vehicle. I need to know who's responsible for this problem. My check engine light is on. I have to turn my vehicle off just for the engine to reboot itself...

- Latricia B., Rochester, NY, US

problem #5

Mar 162015

Terrain ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


I have a 2011 GMC that is a piece of crap car. I have had to take it in for repairs 6 times now. 3 times for the same exact thing, engine loud, car rattles (hot and cold) car jerks when driving, like its having problems catching. I have had the car start beeping at me several times, all lights blinking and unable to accelerate. I had taken the car in last year 2014 and the service department advised me I was low on oil and with new cars I need to put in extra oil as they burn through oil quickly. I had the service guy start my car and state "engine sounds fine to me". of course it does douche you don't have to drive it or pay for it every day.

The second time the service stability track light came on, Service power steering and traction light, check engine light and the car stopped accelerating with my husband and 2 children in the car in the middle of traffic. Car ran a diagnostic report in which they stated 15 problems showed up on the car. They ran an in depth diagnostic report that showed all it was, was the battery. It needed to be replaced. I bought a new battery, got an oil change, topped all my fluids off and the same exact things happened today. Luckily I just dropped my kids off because this happened as I was driving down a busy street with a lot of traffic.

I am so tired of this crappy car. Every time I take the car in, the service department tells me it's something simple. If it was something simple my car would run fine and I would feel comfortable driving it. I need help, I need to know what to do next with this crappy car??

- brandioregon, Beaverton, OR, US

problem #4

Feb 242015

Terrain S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

Engine light went on few month ago. Call dealer made the app. before app light went AAA. Called dealer and they told me not to worry, the problem got fixed. This past Thursday Feb 19 took the family to NY. On the highway I couldn't go more than 60, the accelerator didn't let me. I made it to NY. On the way back the light engine went on and same thing happen.

Did not drive the car until yesterday. Car couldn't turn on and when it did it stalled. Engine light and stability track was on. The engine lost power, couldn't go no more than 10 miles. I am just glad didn't happen on the highway. I called dealer and got the car towed to them. The dealer told me for diagnosing car will be, so far, $120 out of pocket.

- chipiuya76, West Roxbury, MA, US

problem #3

Feb 182015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

There are many forums on this and it's a known issue with the Terrain, Equinox, and the Acadia. I was driving to work in the ice and snow when suddenly my truck jerks and my check engine light comes on and the display states that the stabilock system needs to be serviced and engine power is reduced. My truck then drags and won't accelerate more than 30 mph.... imagine the horror in trying to navigate onto the emergency lane again rush hour traffic in ice and snow. I power down my truck and let it sit for about 5 min and proceed to the nearest exit. Mean while it feels like it's okay but the check engine light is still on. Not five minutes later it happens again, when finally getting to work I call the dealership and they say oh you can bring it in but if it happens again just turn it off for ten min and it whom be okay. That was not my experience however and my truck was not drivable because every few miles it would power down to reduced power. Finally get a day of to get it looked at and when scheduling my appointment the issue was so common that I figured it was a recall issue. Oh boy was I wrong the dealer tells me is my throttle body and that it had bad sensors in it and to have it fixed will cost me 700 hundred dollars....what the what!!! I'm a single mother and that is not acceptable. I send a out raged email to gm and they respond a day later requesting me to call them. Take time out of my day to call and it's a waste of time to only tell me you're sorry. The I'm sorries don't mean crap, what would they tell my family had my son and I lost our life. How can they justify not covering this by the warranty or doing a recall. Such mindless disregard for human life but they would rather hide behind excuses instead of doing the right thing by people. To think my father worked for gmc from age 16 to retire from them just sickens me. Then to have me call into their customer service line as if they were really going to try to be helpful. The young lady on the phone claimed she would send up a compliant and tell me she's sorry pisses me off. I didn't hear not one keystroke while she was on that phonecall and I'm supposed to believe that she actually sent up a compliant on my behalf. I had already done that via email...don't piss on my back and try to convince me it's rain. If they truly want to help how about refunding me my 700 plus dollars so that I can feed my son and pay my rent instead of having to work 12 hour days and taking time away from hI'm to make up this darn fee.. that wold be helpful. I will definitely turn any and everybody I know away from buying another gm product. I'm glad my father has passed on and can't witness this mess he was always so proud to say his family only drove gm and that he worked for them most of his life.

- Mila P., Memphis, TN, US

problem #2

Apr 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The first time this occurred we were traveling in the middle of the night with family and suddenly in the middle of a high crime area in the city (freeway passes through this area so I didn't select this path.) lights on the dash went indicating engine was powering down. It was 2am and I could only drive about 30mph. I couldn't pull over for safety reasons but managed to limp it the last 40 miles home. This was extremely scary. By the time Monday came around to take it in the vehicle wouldn't replicate the issues. Traveling on a freeway and having power cut out is extremely dangerous!!!!

- ksversion, Mesa, AZ, US

problem #1

Dec 042014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

Entering freeway during heaviest traffic time in Phoenix and stability control came on and indicated engine powering down. All of a sudden I couldn't keep up with traffic! Cars behind me had to slam on brakes. When your traveling 60 on a freeway and all of a sudden you lose power it's extremely dangerous. A crash was narrowly avoided but this is an awful problem!!

I have contacted GMC via Facebook and have not heard anything back. Maybe they're waiting for someone to die before they figure this out. I should add, the next days after letting car sit for a while the problem was gone.

- ksversion, Mesa, AZ, US

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