pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
91,250 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (10 reports)
  2. replace engine (5 reports)
2012 GMC Terrain engine problems

engine problem

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2012 GMC Terrain Owner Comments

problem #15

Oct 012019

Terrain SLE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles


My first vehicle getting it financed by myself was Great. Bought it in August 2019. Started having trouble in October 2019. Replaced 26 parts to the Engine in May 2020. It took 6 weeks to get all the parts. Yes i did get it fixed. Now hoping the Transmission holds out. I have 4 more years to pay it off. The rep at GMC was very helpful so shout out to Joaquín

- Sherrie K., Alna, US

problem #14

Jul 192019

Terrain 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,056 miles

never received any information on excessive oil consumption--but at last oil change noticed that drained oil was low by about 2 quarts. Finished oil change with correct amount. While wife was driving a few months later the engine started rattling and then stalled and would not restart. bottom line is that the engine is toast. Repair shop recommended total engine replacement. This is absolute BS! Now I get a letter in the mail about a class action suit that will only cover up until mid-2018!!!!! This is even more BS! I am out a car and there is nothing that GM will do to help?????

- gbpfeif, Grand Blanc, US

problem #13

Mar 012019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I've only had car about 6 months and the engine is blown. I am pissed due to the fact that I'm still paying on car.

- O & J., Fountain Inn, SC, US

problem #12

Nov 102016

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,255 miles


I did notice the problem of oil consumption after dealer update software for oil service. After that, as a mechanic I was keeping eye on the oil level and I was doing oil service myself way before the % of oil life, now the problem is getting worse. The oil is black and slash, like water mixing with oil, I'm worry that the engine is going to go at any moment....Now the car has 126,000 miles and is no warranty on it. I don't know what to do.

- John V., Westminster, MA, US

problem #11

Mar 042019

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,400 miles

Over the past 2 years I noticed my 2012 GMC Terrain was consuming oil at an excessive rate. I regularly maintained this vehicle and always used dexos synthetic oil at every oil change (which was often). There were 2 instances when I was driving and the car began jerking when idle, accompanied with a rattling noise coming from the engine. When I checked the oil level it was dangerously low so I topped it off and began carrying extra oil in my car in case this were to happen again. Never any notifications for low oil.

Then, this past week as I was driving to work the jerking began again as did the noise, except this time it was worse. I barely managed to get it to the shop after the engine stalled out as I was turning across traffic, very scary. My mechanic told me it needed an engine replacement. After reporting this to GM, they told me to take it to a certified GM dealership to have it inspected. Same diagnosis.

After doing some research I found that GM knew about the excessive oil consumption issue and had issued a special notice to perform an oil consumption test. However, I did not know about this before my engine completely died, so now it is my word against GM's.There is no way I am going to replace the engine at my own cost with the possibility of this happening again.

I had almost paid off this car, and now I have lost basically the entire value and have to take on a new car payment. I am very disappointed in GM for not owning up to this issue. This issue is impacting hundreds if not thousands of GMC Terrain owners and GM is putting their safety at risk. I will never be buying another GM product for myself or my family.

- Brandon M., Edmond, US

problem #10

Aug 152018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

I have been working with GMC for over a month now on the oil consumption problem with my Terrain, the oil consumption problem started before my car hit 121,000 miles. I have had it in the shop 4 times to try to resolve this massive amount of oil it uses. The garage I took it too tested it after putting oil in it and it burnt a quart of oil within a half hour of driving it. Now I am told that I need a new engine. GMC dealership want $1500 to tear apart to diagnose, $1500 to put back together, and that is no new parts or anything. GMC corporate is refusing to help out or acknowledge that there is a problem with the Terrains.

- ccslone11, Phoenix, US

problem #9

Aug 122016

Terrain SLE-2 2.4L L4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,888 miles


I purchased a Certified Pre-Owned 2012 GMC Terrain from Beck & Masten GMC-South in Houston, TX back in 2015.

Ever since I bought the car, I have been having issues with it. I had a flag for the fuel system in December 2016 during one of their "27-point Multi-point Inspections." I have experienced the check engine lights, my car shaking and stopping, and making this rattling diesel engine sound when accelerating.

Since then, I have had several oil consumption tests ran, a fuel injection and throttle body flush, followed by having to replace both cam solenoids and intake cam actuator along with some valves, until recently having to get my dam engine rebuilt!!! I brought my car to a mechanic who performed a diagnostic and he advised that I had a few engine related codes pop up and that I need to bring my car to dealership for them to honor their warranties.

He also advised that for my year and mileage, my car should not be having those issues. I wound up bringing it to a certified Chevy dealership for repairs. Some of the parts were still within the 12 month warranty and others were not. I am still trying to figure out what my money was spent on all this time?

I am in the midst of seeing what course of action I can take. I would have never thought I would have all of these issues with an American brand.

- Kimberly T., Houston, TX, US

problem #8

Sep 132017

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Last year my 2012 GMC Terrains check engine light came on. I was unable to get an inspection sticker so I took it into the dealer. They charged me 125.00 and performed a diagnostics test. They told me I needed a new Timing Chain and it would cost 1800.00.

I specifically asked if this had anything to do with the Oil consumption recall letter I received a few months prior in the mail. They told be it had absolutely nothing to do with that. I left and took it to a private mechanic who replaced exhaust/intake sensors and the light remained off. I got my inspection sticker and was on my way. I took it back to the dealer to perform oil consumption test. I Paid 45.00 to change oil and come back in a month.

I came back in a month and was told it failed oil consumption test burning over 1 qt of oil in less then a month. They took it in and replaced Pistons, rings, gaskets, and TIMING CHAIN. But wait a minute I thought that the timing chain had nothing to do with it?. Anyway they tell me now I am good to go and am on my way.

One week later driving down the road total failure. Every light imaginable comes on my dash, lose power steering and am dead on the side of the road. I open up my engine compartment to get a jump and the engine is covered with oil and my serpentine belt is totally gone. Get vehicle towed and the dealer says oops something wasn't fixed correctly and a seal burst causing oil to make the serpentine belt totally come off. They then affirm to me that they replaced the seal and I am now all set. (Deep breath)

Well 2 weeks later and the car breaks down driving down the road to the supermarket. Off to gm it gets towed again. Now they are telling me that the wave plate on the transmission has failed and they will have to take apart the transmission to fix it which will be 2700.00. The car is currently at the dealership broken down and I am walking from this point forward😠

- brdevinbd, Hanson, US

problem #7

Jun 082018

Terrain SE 2.4L Ecotec

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

The last 2 oil changes, the service technicians have informed me that they only retrieved about 2 quarts of oil from the engine. So I began digging into the excessive oil consumption issue and found GMs website says my vehicle is not included in their recall, even through the recall includes 2010-2013 GMC Terrains. I plan to contact GM and try to dig further into this issue.

- smplummer, Indianapolis, US

problem #6

Jan 012018

Terrain 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Got letter from GM regarding excessive oil consumption in some 2012 GMC Terrains. I had been having to add significant oil to the vehicle since I purchased used in 2016. It was GM Certified.

Took the car to the dealer I bought it from and showed the letter. They said I would have to come back every 1,000 miles five times to have he oil consumption checked. The first 1000 miles, no usage. Second 1000, two quarts, third 1.5 quarts.

Two days after the third test "REDUCED ENGINE POWER" appeared on my dash screen. I drove directly to the dealer, maybe five miles. Was told they would replace the pistons and the rings as the recall letter indicated but said I might also have a rear mail seal blown and that I might have to pay to have that repaired. First number I heard was $1,400. I told them I felt the whole repair should be covered because of the oil issues I'd had since the beginning. They said they would see what GM would do. They had my car for two weeks. No loner provided. Called today and said they would replace the pistons and rings and would share the cost of the rear main replacement which would cost me somewhere over $600. They said they would have to pull the engine to make that repair. I was told earlier that the repair might require a new crankshaft and bearings but the cost would be minimal because they already had the engine opened up. The service manager said they would probably share the cost of the crankshaft and bearings. So, got several different versions. I read online that a rear main seal repair should cost between $659 and $836.

My contention is the blown rear mail is a result of the fluctuating and sometimes very low oil levels as a result of the piston and ring issue. It's all one issue and should be totally covered by GM. This is a huge flaw in these cars that costs the owners a lot of money and time with adding quarts of oil every few thousand miles. I've been driving for 50 years and have never had a vehicle use this much oil. With these problems our resale value is diminished. I have been left without a vehicle for weeks. My previous vehicle, a GMC Envoy was retired by me with 270,000 miles on it. It never had an engine issue of any kind. Research tells me that rear mains are designed to last for the life of the car. I was very satisfied with the Envoy. . Obviously I was a very satisfied customer for GM until this episode, which is still unresolved, but very frustrating.

- crj1949, Warren, US

problem #5

Nov 242017

Terrain SLE-2 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles


Purchased the car in April 2017 with just over 64,000 miles on it. Needed a vehicle for my husband to drive while working out of state on construction projects. We have had the vehicle for 7 month's and he has put over 20,000 miles on and had the oil changed 4-5 times as scheduled. He has had to put extra oil in the engine between the oil changes every time.....2-3 quarts each time. There is no leaks, and until recently there wasn't even a knocking sound. The check oil light keeps coming on and he has to add oil. We love the car, but the dealer we purchased it from has said it needs a new engine! We financed it for 6 years, and we've only made 7 payments on it! A new engine will cost $6K ±. I don't know if I should fix it and keep it? Or Fix it and sell it? I'm afraid if the engine has this much problem, what else could go wrong with it? Too bad they don't make 'em like they used to!

- 9smithn, Bloomfield, US

problem #4

Apr 112016

Terrain SLT2 2.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,556 miles

I get my oil changed regularly and every month I am having to add oil because the engine starts to knock because it's bone dry with no oil.

- Lorenzo C., Battle Creek, MI, US

problem #3

Jan 292017

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,555 miles

January 29, 2017 date the problem was noticed

So my GMC Terrain has 52,555 miles. Roughly 2,000 miles or so ago was the last oil change I had done on it. I'm never late on an oil change. So it came time for an oil change at 52,555 miles which is where I'm at currently with vehicle. Mind you I am not due for an oil change quite yet and the oil life was at 48%.

So a couple days ago I hear this clacking noise not very loud and wasn't sure what it was at first. It would only happen upon acceleration in 1st gear. So this happened on and off for about 2 days before my scheduled oil change. I check the oil myself to make sure that for some reason maybe the oil level was lower than it should have been?!? Well, wouldn't you be mind blown to know that I pulled out the dipstick, wiped it clean, inserted it to get a clear reading and it is DRY..WTF!!!! How the F&%^ is it DRY!! Where is the Oil???? There appears to be NO LEAK anywhere.. the engine is dry, the ground where I park my vehicle everyday is clean. So I add roughly and slowly in between checking the dipstick to make sure I'm not over filling the oil reservoir. It takes 4 QUARTS of oil!!!!!!! I am beyond pissed off.. I have had this vehicle since February 14, 2015. I am still in love with it, but after joining the GMC Terrain site via facebook and my own research I am almost wanting to trade it in before anything worse happens!!!

- rad_ct, Southington, CT, US

problem #2

Feb 222016

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

The vehicle sounded to be running a little rough and the change oil notification just appeared on the dash. Upon seeing the alert for an oil change and hearing the unusual sound coming from the engine I decided to take a look at the oil dipstick and was shocked to see that it read no oil on the dipstick.

I became very concerned and took the amount of oil consumption as a cause for concern with the engine. I also noticed a lot of liquid coming from the exhaust which is where I suspected the vehicle to be leaking oil. Next steps involved a phone call to GMC warranty where I was told to take the vehicle to the nearest dealership service department. I was told that the diagnostics would be free and they would be able to determine any potential engine problems since the engine is still within the 5 year or 100,000 warranty.

After taking my vehicle to the dealership I received a call from the service department and was told that I would be charged the ~$90 diagnostic fee due to the oil levels being low and this not being covered under warranty. In addition, they would charge me ~$40 for oil change.

Neither of the above charges have addressed the underlying issue that my nearly brand new vehicle that cost $27,000 has consumed 100% of oil in the engine since its last routine oil change.

The employee at the dealership proceeded to explain that oil consumption for GMC vehicles is "normal" and typically consumes about 1 quart of oil every 2,000 miles. Having owned several cars in the past I do not believe oil consumption as he described to be "normal".

I am told that next steps involve taking my vehicle to the dealership every 1,000 miles at least 4 times before they will be able to determine whether or not the oil consumption rate falls within a reasonable range. I will continue to update my experience as the issue progresses. So far, I am not impressed with the service I've received.

A wait and see method seems to be an inadequate response concerning the year and mileage of the vehicle. Not to mention, being charged in the process.

- jasonma84, Raleigh, NC, US

problem #1

Nov 022015

Terrain STE 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,500 miles

Excessive oil consumption putting oil in my car every week.

- stanciel, Comstock Park, MI, US

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