Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start?

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The GMC Acadia is a midsize SUV that is as comfortable on the road as it is off. The Acadia has plenty of legroom, so you can stretch out and relax while you drive.

It also has several storage compartments, so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra bags when traveling. While it may be a superior SUV, it is not free from problems.

One annoying issue that owners of this crossover have had to face is related to starting.

They have often been stranded on the side of the road, wondering, why won’t my GMC Acadia start? Unfortunately, there can be many reasons for this.

The most common ones are:

  1. A Dead Battery
  2. Frayed Battery Cables Or Corrosion
  3. Low Charge On The Key Fob
  4. Rodent Damage
  5. Faulty Fuel Pump
  6. Clogged Fuel Filter

Some of these causes are pretty serious, and I would advise you to read through this article to narrow down exactly what is preventing your Acadia from starting.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

What Would Cause A GMC Acadia To Not Start?

How do you turn over your GMC Acadia when there are some issues with your vehicle? Learn what causes

The introduction stated some common reasons that can lead to the GMC Acadia not starting.

This section will take a detailed look at them and offer solutions, so you can know what to do.

1: A Dead Battery

If your GMC Acadia doesn’t start, the problem may be as simple as a dead battery.

If you’ve left your lights on or your car has been sitting in the garage for a while with no use, the battery will eventually lose its charge.

This can also happen if the alternator is failing. It is responsible for charging the battery. If it fails, the battery will slowly lose its charge while powering up the vehicle’s electronics.

The battery can also be completely dead. You can check that by connecting a multimeter to it. The battery has fulfilled its lifespan if it shows anything less than 12V.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your battery is dead, then there’s not much else that can be done other than replacing it or replacing it.
  • You’ll need to take your car into an auto repair shop for this service if the battery is under warranty, but if it isn’t under warranty, you may need to purchase a new one yourself.
  • Replacing the battery is quite simple.
  • You need to make sure that you have a battery charger lying around. Shelf batteries are sometimes completely drained. So, you need to be prepared for it.

2: Frayed Battery Cables Or Corrosion

One of the first things to check when your GMC Acadia having issues with starting is whether the battery cables are frayed or if the terminals are corroded.

If you’ve been having trouble with your SUV starting, check the connections between your battery and the terminals.

They may prevent your car from turning on if they’re loose or corroded.

Both of these issues can result in partial or complete prevention of power transfer to the starter motor and the vehicle’s electrical system.

This results in the SUV not starting. You may still see the lights or the radio work, meaning the connection is not stable.

What Should You Do About It?

If you notice that your battery cables are frayed or if the terminals are corroded, you can easily replace them yourself by following these steps:

  • Use a wire brush to scrape the corrosion off. You don’t need to get all of it but still give it all you got.
  • A proper connection will be established, and your Acadia will finally be able to start.
  • For frayed wires, new ones are not that expensive. You need to ensure none of the SUV’s electronics are on. Replacing them is the easy part.
  • You can always watch guides on YouTube if you want additional help.

3: Low Charge On The Key Fob

The key fob is the remote control that lets you start and unlock your car. The charge in the key fob’s battery will determine how far away from the car you need to be before it starts.

If your key fob is not holding its charge, it can cause problems starting and unlocking your GMC Acadia. Although this happens once every few years, it is always frustrating.

The issue can be troublesome, especially if you are late. No one expects their key fobs to be dead one morning.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Fortunately, this is the simplest problem of the bunch. All you need to do is replace the battery.
  • To do this, you’ll need to remove the top of the key fob. Then, take out the cell and replace it with a new one.
  • Once that’s done, put everything back together and try starting your Acadia again. It should start without an issue.
  • For your information, a CR2032 battery is needed to get the key fob working. You can find it easily at any hardware store for a couple of dollars only.

4: Rodent Damage

Rodents like to make their homes in the engine compartment of your GMC Acadia, and they can cause a lot of damage.

If there is a rodent infestation in your area, it’s important to take action to prevent them from getting into your vehicle.

Knowing how to spot the signs of rodent damage and what can be done about it is also important.

They can chew wires, resulting in not only starting issues but complete engine failure and sometimes engine fires.

If that is the case, you should not even try starting your GMC Acadia. It could lead to disastrous consequences.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you suspect rodents have damaged your GMC Acadia, you should make an appointment with a mechanic as soon as possible.
  • Some common symptoms of rodent damage include noise from the engine compartment, smoke or steam coming out of the hood when you start the car and smells from your exhaust system.
  • The sooner you get this checked out by a professional mechanic, the better chance you have at avoiding major repairs later on down the road.
  • You can also use deterrents that will keep the rodents at bay. This way, you can at least have an assurance that the electrical system will not end up in their stomachs.

5: Faulty Fuel Pump

The most common reason your GMC Acadia will not turn over is that the fuel pump has failed.

The fuel pump is responsible for dispensing gasoline from the tank to the engine, so if it’s not working correctly, you won’t get any gas.

Fuel pump issues can be caused by wear and tear. New ones have a little to no chance of failure, as they are generally problem free.

When the fuel pump stops working or is not working to its full capacity, it will prevent the SUV from starting.

Even if it starts, it will not be able to fulfill the engine’s fuel demand, resulting in stalling.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your Acadia isn’t starting because of a faulty fuel pump, you’ll need to have it replaced. To do so, visit an auto parts store and buy a new one for your vehicle.
  • Then take your SUV back to the dealership from where you purchased it and have them replace it for you—or take it to a mechanic if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself.
  • You can’t drive your GMC Acadia, so you must get it towed to the mechanic or the dealership.
  • Make sure to buy the correct model of the fuel pump, and one that is brand new.

6: Clogged Fuel Filter

If your GMC Acadia doesn’t start, there could be a problem with your fuel filter.

The fuel filter is located near the gas tank and works by filtering dirt and contaminants out of your fuel before it gets to the engine.

It serves an extremely important role and ensures that your engine will not get damaged by these contaminants.

If your fuel filter becomes clogged or dirty, your car may not be able to start as the engine will not be able to get any fuel.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your fuel filter is clogged, remove it from its housing, clean it in some solvent, and put it back again (make sure it goes in correctly).
  • This should solve the problem and allow you to start your GMC Acadia again smoothly.
  • Although it is recommended to replace the filter altogether, people who are stranded on the side of the road have no other option rather than cleaning it. They should still replace it as soon as they have the chance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start With New Battery?

If you’ve recently replaced your battery and your GMC Acadia is not starting, then there is a chance that: the new battery may be drained.

You should also make sure that the cables aren’t frayed or worn.

If they are, have them replaced. If the issue still is not resolved, then you need to head to the top of this article and cross-check which symptoms your car exhibits.

Q2. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start Even With A Jump?

If you are unable to jump start your GMC Acadia then it is possible that the battery itself is not the source of the issue.

The starter motor could be failing to engage when you try to start the vehicle. You need to get your SUV checked by a professional to confirm if that is the source of the problem.

Q3. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start But Lights Work?

If your GMC Acadia’s lights are working, but it doesn’t start then it could be one of a few things.

The first thing to check is the battery—if it’s low on charge. This is the job of the alternator, and the fact that the battery is not charging means that it is faulty.

Q4. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start But Cranks?

There are a few things that could be causing your GMC Acadia to crank but not start. First, it’s possible that your spark plugs are faulty.

It’s also possible that your fuel filter is clogged or the fuel pump is faulty. The cranking sound is only emitted when fuel cannot be ignited. So, these are the possible sources of the issue.

Q5. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start Just Clicks?

The most likely cause of a clicking sound when you try to start your GMC Acadia is a bad battery. The battery could be completely dead, or it could simply need to be recharged.

Another possible cause is frayed or damaged battery cables, which can prevent the battery from sending the power needed to turn over the engine.

Q6. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start In The Cold Weather?

Your GMC Acadia’s battery may not be designed for the cold weather. The cranking amperes must be greater than 800 in order to start your vehicle in the cold.

And you should consider a battery with a higher cranking ampere rating. Brands like Optima make high-quality AGM batteries that you can consider.

Q7. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start After I Get Gas?

If your model is old, then there is a good chance that the fuel filter is clogged, preventing fuel from entering the engine.

In this case, remove and replace the fuel filter using a manual or online guide.

Another possible reason your GMC Acadia is not starting after filling up is that the fuel pump is failing. It needs to be replaced too. There are no repair options.

Q8. Why Won’t My GMC Acadia Start But Radio Works?

It sounds like your battery might be low on charge, which can result in the radio working but the engine not starting.

The first thing you should do is make sure the battery is fully charged and then try to start the vehicle again.

If that does not work, then you need to check the alternator and the starter motor.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The GMC Acadia?


If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get your GMC Acadia to start, it might be time to bring it in for a check-up.

You might have a bad battery, or there could be something wrong with the starter or ignition system.

Although I’ve stated all the possible reasons which can result in it not starting, some of you may not be able to figure this out.

So, instead of wondering, “Why won’t my GMC Acadia start?”. You should call a mechanic, so he can help you.

I hope this article was detailed enough for you to find out what is exactly wrong with your SUV.