2011 GMC Terrain engine problems: engine stalls/shuts down while driving

Engine Stalls/Shuts Down While Driving

2011 GMC Terrain

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your GMC dealer.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,550 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (11 reports)
  2. replace engine (6 reports)
  3. this problem was fixed by changing camshaft actuator solenoi (2 reports)
  4. replace engine and high pressure fuel pump (1 reports)
2011 GMC Terrain engine problems

engine problem

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2011 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 122019

Terrain SLT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,500 miles


Just finished a trip of approximately 2,000 miles the day before. Have noticed an oil consumption problem and have used synthetic oil. The next day sitting at a traffic light the engine died and would not start. Called AAA and vehicle was towed to the AAA certified garage. The next morning I received a call from the garage and was informed that the engine needed to be replaced and advised to take the vehicle to a GMC dealer for repairs. Now I am waiting to find out what the Hyatt Buick/GMC Dealer will tell me and if GM is going to cover the repair costs. I am very unhappy with GM for putting a defective engine in the vehicle and for not correcting the problem to avoid this failure. My research shows that GM knows about this problem.

- David P., Myrt.le Beach, SC, US

problem #19

Aug 112018

(reported on)

Terrain 4cyl 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

In May 2017, Engine begin sputtering while driving, shortly after, the engine and dashboard power died. I was able to restart and park safely. When I returned to tow the vehicle, I could not access power or start engine. AAMCO reported low oil once again (was within 3,000 miles of previous oil change). AAMCO SR replaced alternator and belt, performed a transmission flush with less than 55,000 miles driven (trans fluid was brown). They also charged the battery and performed an oil change. [see attached diagnostics]

- bhalinov, Los Gatos, US

problem #18

Jan 072019

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,131 miles


- mce, Dayton, US

problem #17

Nov 092018

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles


This car is only 8 yrs old, and to have the engine ruined, the dealership said it needed replaced, but it would cost 7,000 and the car was only worth 5,000. They quit looking into the problem once the found that the engine needed replaced. No warning lights, no prior problems with engine, oil changes regularly. So PISSED!

I have a toyota that is 2007 that has no problems what so ever, NEVER Buying GMC again. Staying with Toyota!

- Sona S., Peoria, IL, US

problem #16

Jul 052018

Terrain 4cyl 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,691 miles

On 7/5/18, engine died while driving. No check engine lights or alerts on dashboard. Had vehicle towed to AAMCO Santa Cruz, Ca. AAMCO reported there was no oil in engine and that the entire engine needed to be replaced. I received a quote on a reconditioned engine, plus parts and labor from AAMCO SR and SC. I also gathered quotes from additional resources and vendors for good measure.

- bhalinov, Los Gatos, US

problem #15

Jan 102017

Terrain SLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

Bought 2011 GMC Terrain brand new in 2011. I had to have timing chain replaced twice within the first 90k miles. Car would shake, rattle and stall. Apparently, this car, despite having over 50% stated oil life, runs out of oil. Now, I have to have my oil changed every 2500 miles. At around 2000 miles, my check engine light, service stabilitrack light or both will come on. The car will start to make strange(r) noises and buck and stall and I have to get oil changed immediately.

The dealer (Century Buick GMC) replaced the first timing chain under warranty and replaced the second one under a special warranty, although still stuck me with 500 dollar bill for uncovered parts damaged when the timing chain went. Tried to get GMC involved and they would have none of it - kept referring me to the dealer. The last time I brought it to the dealership after it stalled on the highway and almost killed me and my kids, they told me the timing chain was ok but that it was bone dry on oil. I had driven less than 3k miles since the previous oil change. That's when the dealer told me that these Terrains consume too much oil and that I should just get it replaced every 2500-3000 miles. I was told there were no other fixes and that GM wasn't going to do anything about it as this was a known problem and it would have been corrected already if it was going to fixed.

This was the first new car I had ever purchased and I wish I had gone with something, anything else.

- Chris H., Tampa, US

problem #14

Apr 102018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


Engine stalls unexpectedly. This is a defect in the engine design. I had to replace this engine.

- thisiswinning1, Powell, US

problem #13

Oct 012017

Terrain SLE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,001 miles

I took it to a certified mechanic who tried to charge $3800 to fix it and then to the GMC dealer that gave me an estimate of $6001.77 to fix it. It is frustrating as I have been having to catch rides or rent cars until I can get the money together to fix it.

- Kola O., Tallahassee, US

problem #12

May 312017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

My Terrain stalled out in the middle of the highway while an 18 wheeler was coming at me. Putting the car in park and re-starting on the highway was something I wont soon forget. Nor will I forget the 7 stalls after it, just trying to get to safety.

After Googling the issue, I could tell that this is a problem that GMC is aware of and obviously (by my conversation with the lady reading a script to me) doesn't intend to address.

My own dealership told me they haven't ever heard of this being an issue, guess they didn't fix any of the recalled terrains?! The dealership also told me they haven't had any of the terrains actually meet the guidelines for the oil consumption issue mine is having. Really? So is there an oil troll siphoning this shxt out of my truck? Could it not be from the recall that my vehicle falls under? what does it take to get them to do the right thing? I will make a stink, I suggest the same for all of you.

GMC put MY LIFE IN DANGER yesterday, by their NEGLIGENCE.

- Rachel G., Forney, TX, US

problem #11

May 052017

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Engine die on me while slow down or stop, I got to keep engine running above 1000 rpm to keep going until the day it quit running. I had the Terrain towed to dealer to fix the issues. I am so mad that I heard from dealer that I need new engine due old engine have metal shaving inside!!! I have oil changed as schedule.

- Brian B., Ansonia, US

problem #10

May 042017

Terrain SLT 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


Problem started in the fall of 2016. Car would stall for no reason. Finally stalled and would not start. Had it towed to the garage. They said nothing wrong with it. Keep dumping money into fixes but the problem just keeps coming up again. In the shop for the 4th time. Still no fix in sight. I will unload before the transmission blows. Reading online this is a big problem with this car but GM will not take responsibility.

I already had to replace a transmission in another GM car with no warranty yet was a vehicle problem. Done with GM. Switching to Toyota now

- Nancy G., Pembroke, Ontario, canada

problem #9

Feb 212017

Terrain SLT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

GM should not only have a recall for the stalling, but they should have several recalls. They all could cause very serious injuries. Just about got rear ended several times over the stalling incidences. When I start my 2011 GMC Terrain I do believe sometimes it is going to blow up from the noise from the ignition and then there's the misfire in the engine. Come on people....get on it and start fixing your problems. We the people pay dear for our vehicles....seems to me you would man up and stand behind your junk !

- Sue Y., Oakwood, OH, US

problem #8

Jan 262017

Terrain SLU 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

I have a 2011 GMC Terrain 4cyl. and I had an issue with stalling about a year ago while gently pressing on the gas. I first noticed that the engine was getting loud and clicking so I took it to the dealer and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I took it to a private mechanic who replaced the cam position sensors and it was fine and hasn't stalled in almost a year until today. I noticed the engine was getting loud again about a week ago and again today I was driving with the heater on and getting off at an off ramp I stalled again! This is a danger and with all the complaints I've seen on the 2011 GMC Terrains specifically I think GMC would've had a recall or at least come up with a fix. The car is very loud and rattles and is worse if I use the AC or heater.

- Monica F., Torrance, CA, US

problem #7

Jul 122011

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,797 miles

Purchased a 2011 gmc terrain back in February 2011 ...about 6 months later was driving to the mall and car quit ...put it in park and tried starting it again ..it started only for a minute or so and quit again .had onstar at the time they said it was overhead cam module and to get it fixed with in seven days lol..I contacted dealer I purchased from and they replaced the module ....after that I had a ticking noise like the timing was out a bit but they said nothing was wrong so I continued driving it .as time went by the noise was getting worse and sounded like a sewing machine took it back to dealer again nothing wrong .received notice that chrome can come off timing chain but don't take to dealer unless something happens just extended warranty ..I have replaced all four wheel bearing since 2011 until 2014 replaced o2 sensors for just about everything in car and including the cataylist o2 sensor in January of this year ...after that was replaced mechanic said I needed a new cataylist converter as that was what was showing on his tester they have to tell u what is wrong with the vehicle ...251,00 kms and the rod came through the oil pan motor is done ...dealer would not do anything and it's 3000.for another motor installed ....I have had nothing but problems of some kind since I purchased this vehicle and will never purchase from that dealer again or will not buy another gmc...I think it is bull... that once they get your money for a purchase they don't want to help....and as for gmc just extending warranty is bull... also ....sorry for the lengthen and thanks for reading

- Lori W., Otterville, ON, Canada

problem #6

Mar 102016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I have GMC 2011- that engine shut off while driving. It;'s very dangerous. GMC had to inform us about this problem and recall all GMC 2011 cars to fix this problem at no charge before having someone hurts. The constructor surely is aware of this problem and other complains. I have not received any letter or warning about this problem. It's very scary, I scare for my wife that take often this car.

- Serge H., Marietta, GA, US

problem #5

Dec 022015

Terrain SLE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

I had to replace the transmission, extreme oil consumption, replace water pump, chains and guides,timing chains,camshaft actuators,gasket (2times),spark plugs,cylinder,fuel induction service, throttle body,catalyic converter,

- M J., Decatur, GA, US

problem #4

Jul 012015

Terrain 4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Terrible and unsafe to be driving and have the car shut off.

- Stephanie J., York, PA, US

problem #3

Jan 012014

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

We are desperate not to die...Our 2011 GM Terrain is stalling again. After being stranded in a snow storm last winter when the time belt went on a relatively new car with only 50K miles on it, the car has been stalling and shutting down on us while driving, engine light going on. It's a LIFE RISK and no one is minding the shop. We have taken the car numerous times to Varney GMC in Bangor and there is no real help. We are fully aware of the conspiracy after the collapse and cutting corners but this is outrageous. We are told "nothing is wrong with the car"-REALLY? The engine light is always on, and yet no one takes it seriously!!! Please help us not to die!!! No one there bothered to us about the front seat recall, no one cares we get oil change alerts when we change oil regularly! Is anyone left there??? Why are you not taking responsibility on your lemon GMV Terrains??? People would DIE. We are planning litigation!

- George A., Brewer, ME, US

problem #2

Jul 162014

Terrain SLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,500 miles

Went to leave work yesterday and the car sounded awful when starting. The service stability track light and engine light was on. It would not go into gear. Turned the car off and waited a few seconds and restarted. Service Stability light was off but engine light still on. I was able to put it in gear but it would not shift properly. I parked the car and then husband and I came back an hour later and the car worked fine. The next morning the engine light was off.

This is the second time this has happened but the first time I was actually on the highway and I lost power. Luckily I was able to get it off the road safely and get it back to my parent's house. Had to wait about an hour for the car to reset itself that time as well. I have not taken it to the dealer yet to see what if anything they can do. But the fact is if it loses power while driving who knows if we will be in an accident or what next time.

- westtx , Graham, TX, US

problem #1

Oct 222013

Terrain ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles

Our Terrain has had several issues with stalling out. Back in December it stalled out on me at a light and would not turn back on. I finally got it to start but it kept on trying to stall out at each stop. I took it into the dealership and they supposedly fixed the issue. It did seem to work better for awhile, but then in July we started having issues again. It was not stalling out, but when you hit the gas it would hesitate. Now its October and in the last week it has stalled out on me again several times. It is currently at the dealership right now and they can find nothing wrong with it. They said since a red engine light is not on there is nothing they can do. I told them to keep it another day and drive it around so they can experience the issue. I am really frustrated at this point and ready to trade it in and NOPT for another GMC. It may look nice, but who wants to keep an SUV that is having so many issues when its only two years old!!!

- Donna G., Munster, IN, US

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