GMC Acadia Transmission Problems

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The GMC Acadia is a mid-size crossover SUV. It was first introduced in 2007 and has become a popular driver choice. It caters mostly to people looking for a versatile and spacious vehicle.

While it delivers a lot regarding providing space, it also comes with many issues. GMC Acadia transmission problems are rampant and have persisted throughout the car’s lifespan.

Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. Transmission Failure
  2. Transmission Hesitation
  3. Transmission Fluid Leakage
  4. The torque Converter Not Working
  5. Transmission Slippage
  6. Shudder At Low RPM
  7. Backward Rolling While In Drive
  8. Parking Issues
  9. General Vibrating And Revving
  10. Acceleration Issues

Lastly, I’ll try to explain the various issues you can get in the transmission of the GMC Acadia and the models affected by these problems, so it is a good idea to read the article until completion.

10 Signs Of Transmission Problems In A GMC Acadia

Is there a recall on GMC Acadia transmission? Let's find out

One thing about transmission problems is that they are mostly universal in cars.

The GMC Acadia is no exception and has many issues that are quite common in other vehicles.

The issue is that they are very prevalent and are usually caused by manufacturing errors more than user errors and mismanagement.

Here are all the widespread issues plaguing the transmission of the GMC Acadia.

I will also talk about the signs and causes of these issues, so read carefully if you think you are dealing with a faulty transmission.

1. Transmission Failure

Transmission failure can be caused due to wear and tear or a general lack of maintenance. Signs of transmission failure include strange noises, slipping, or hesitating during shifting.

The cause of transmission failure can vary but is often due to worn-out gears or a malfunctioning clutch. This is one of the biggest issues that you can find in the GMC Acadia.

2. Transmission Hesitation

Transmission hesitation occurs when the transmission fails to shift gears properly. This ends up resulting in a delay in acceleration.

Low fluid levels, a clogged filter, or a worn-out clutch can cause it. Signs of the issue include the car taking longer than usual to shift gears or feeling stuck in the same gear.

3. Transmission Fluid Leakage

Transmission fluid leakage can happen due to worn seals, cracked pan gaskets, or damaged transmission lines.

Signs of transmission fluid leakage include low fluid levels, burnt or dark-colored fluid, and strange noises while shifting gears.

This issue can lead to even more future problems, so ensure you always have a good amount of transmission fluid.

4. The torque Converter Not Working

A torque converter struggling to work properly can result in poor acceleration and overheating. All of this is localized in the transmission, which will undoubtedly get damaged.

Signs of a faulty torque converter include slipping, shuddering, or strange noises while accelerating.

5. Transmission Slippage

This issue occurs when the transmission fails to engage properly. It easily ends up causing a loss of power and acceleration.

Some of the signs include the engine revving but the car not accelerating. Other signs include a burning smell or strange noises coming from the transmission.

6. Shudder At Low RPM

As the title suggests, this issue occurs when you are at low RPMs.

A worn-out torque converter, a damaged flywheel, or dirty transmission fluid usually cause it. Signs of this issue range from the car shaking or vibrating while driving at low speeds.

7. Backward Rolling While In Drive

Generally, you should be able to identify this issue easily.

Backward rolling while in the drive can be caused by a malfunctioning transmission, a faulty torque converter, or worn-out brakes.

In the case of the GMC Acadia, it is mostly because of the transmission.

8. Parking Issues

There can be many problems that can lead to parking issues.

Usually, it can be caused by a faulty parking pawl or a damaged parking brake. In the case of this vehicle, it is usually a worn-out transmission.

When facing this issue, you will find engaging or disengaging the parking brake difficult.

Other times, the car will roll while parked, or you will face difficulty shifting the gear into the park.

9. General Vibrating And Revving

Vibrating and revving are serious signs of transmission issues. They can be caused by worn-out engine mounts, damaged transmission, or a malfunctioning torque converter.

Car shaking, vibrating while driving, a rough idle, or the engine revving without an increase in speed are other symptoms of this problem.

10. Acceleration Issues

As the title of this problem suggests, you will have trouble accelerating the car while driving.

Acceleration issues can be caused by a worn-out clutch regarding transmission-related problems.

You may be dealing with this issue if you feel your car hesitating or jerking during acceleration, sluggish acceleration, or just having difficulty reaching higher speeds.

The Most Expensive Transmission Problem In The GMC Acadia

GMC Acadia has a huge transmission failure issue. The GMC Acadia has been known to have transmission issues, which can occur as early as 75,000 miles.

Many owners have reported experiencing problems such as the transmission slipping, hesitating, or failing to shift properly.

Others have reported strange noises or vibrations coming from the transmission. The biggest offender is transmission failure which completely causes the transmission to become useless.

Not only this, it forces people to get a new transmission which is a very expensive replacement.

A full transmission replacement can cost between $3,000 to $5,000, depending on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as the mechanic performing the repairs.

If you want to prevent transmission failure in the GMC Acadia, you need to follow recommended maintenance schedules.

This includes regular transmission fluid changes and inspections.

Automatic Transmission: Column Shift Recall

Generals Motors had a big recall on their hands back in 2009.

Not only did they end up recalling the GMC Acadia, but they also had to recall various other lineups as well, including the Cobalt, Buick, and Traverse.

The main reason provided for this recall was the fact that the Shift Cable was not adjusting properly.

When not fully engaged, the shift lever and the transmission gear do not properly match. This ends up with the car seemingly in a particular gear, only to be in another one entirely.

This issue easily led to the car rolling away when parked or now being able to start.

Since the cars were not able to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, a recall was called, and the cars were returned back to have the issue fixed.

Which Year Did GMC Acadia Have Transmission Issues?

From the start of the lineup, the GMC Acadia has had some history with transmission-related issues.

While they started off pretty small, they eventually ended up being one of the worst issues in the entire lineup.

These transmission issues were most common during the mid-years of the lineup.

Due to this reason, I will be taking a look at all the models that you should avoid when it comes to the GMC Terrain.

1. 2008 GMC Acadia

The 2008 GMC Acadia is one of the worst models in the entire lineup.

It received a lot of complaints from the NHTSA, and while those were mostly about the engine, the customers had a lot to say about the transmission.

The biggest issue is one I mentioned earlier, transmission failure. Along with that, transmission fluid leaks were common, and the transmission would hesitate constantly.

There were instances of the torque converter stopping and the shift cable causing issues.

2. 2007 GMC Acadia

Transmission failure was still very common when it came to this model, with the transmission slipping being another major issue.

The majority of the issues were also caused by the automatic transmission, which had issues with the power train. This is also reflected in the bad torque converter.

3. 2017 GMC Acadia

Another rough model for the lineup came in the form of the 2017 GMC Acadia.

This car had a lot of issues presented to the public via the NHTSA. Once again, it was the customers who complained more about the transmissions.

The car would constantly shudder at low RPMs. Other times, it would not even recognize that it was in the park, and owners would constantly get the shift to park alert.

4. 2010 GMC Acadia

Overall, 2010 was not a bad year for the lineup. However, it still received a lot of issues from the NHTSA, which is why it had to get on this list.

Luckily for customers, there were not a lot of transmission-related issues in this model. That being said, the biggest issue that the transmission faced was also very dangerous.

The car would roll backward while in drive, and this can easily lead to a lot of accidents.

5. 2012 GMC Acadia

While the number of issues was generally low, especially when compared to previously mentioned models, they were very widespread.

Most systems were complained against by the NHTSA. The transmission for the 2012 GMC Acadia was known for being clunky and would vibrate constantly.

It was also notorious for failing in manual mode.

6. 2011 GMC Acadia

2011 seems to be a bit of an anomaly, at least from the side of the customer.

While many systems of the 2011 GMC Acadia were criticized by the NHTSA, not a lot of issues were reported by the owners of the car.

This was reflected by the lack of issues with the transmission in the car.

Most owners only had to deal with difficulty in acceleration, an issue that was common in the automatic version of the transmission.

7. 2014 GMC Acadia

Three years later and the same things could be said for the 2014 GMC Acadia. There were a lot of issues raised by the NHTSA, but very few issues that were brought up by the customers.

On the side of the transmission, there was only one major problem that people complained about. This was the fact that the transmission was not shifting properly.

8. 2018 GMC Acadia

2018 is probably one of the last models that the GMC Acadia will struggle with when it comes to transmission. That is unless the newest model in the lineup ends up with serious issues.

Regardless, this model had a lot of complaints in recent years. Many owners of the car complained about the shift to park message.

This issue was still lingering from the 2017 model, which came a year prior to this model.

9. 2013 GMC Acadia

Five years earlier and the main thing that the lineup had to worry about was a series of electrical issues. For the most part, the 2013 GMC Acadia was a pretty good car.

Unfortunately, there were still a few transmission issues that needed to be sorted out. The most complained about the problem was the fact that the car would not shift properly.

10. 2015 GMC Acadia

To end this list, I will talk about the 2015 GMC Acadia. This model of the lineup also had its fair share of issues and a fair amount of transmission-related problems.

Firstly, the component would jerk constantly. Owners could feel the transmission vibrate at every gear shift. This was also accompanied by rapid fluttering.


Owners of the GMC Acadia are no strangers to transmission-related issues.

While this is a sad reality for most, the company has taken steps to completely reduce the issues in recent models.

That being said, there are still a ton of GMC Acadia transmission problems that persist in older models.

With the help of this article, you should now be better prepared to tackle them.

You should now also have a good sense of which models are worth your investment and which ones are to be avoided at all costs.