2012 GMC Acadia Problems

Let’s talk about some common 2012 GMC Acadia problems I’ve come across in my time as an auto mechanic. Now, the Acadia is generally a pretty solid SUV, but like any vehicle there are definitely some issues that tend to crop up. So I wanted to share my experience fixing these things to help you all out if you happen to own one.

Engine Problems

2012 GMC Acadia Problems

One of the more common 2012 GMC Acadia problems is with the 3.6L V6 engine. These engines have a tendency to burn oil due to worn piston rings. It’s not super uncommon for me to see Acadias coming in needing a quart of oil between changes.

Now burning a little oil isn’t the end of the world, but it can lead to other problems down the line if left unchecked. Another issue is with the timing chains – these seem to stretch out over time which causes a rattling noise. When that happens, the timing chain and guides usually need replacing.

2012 GMC Acadia Problems Transmission Issues

2012 GMC Acadia Problems

The automatic 6-speed transmission in these things can also act up from time to time. One problem is delayed shifting from first to second gear in the morning until the transmission warms up. This is usually caused by worn bands inside the transmission.

The transmission fluid also breaks down over time, so keeping up on fluid changes is a must to avoid more serious transmission 2012 GMC Acadia problems. Slipping gears or hard shifts are signs it may need a rebuild sooner than later.

Electrical Nightmares

Man oh man, the electrical stuff in these Acadias can really drive you bonkers. One annoying 2012 GMC Acadia problem is the power sliding doors not working right – they may open part way and stop, or just refuse to close all the way.

Nine times out of ten this is due to a bad motor or actuator inside the door mechanism. The power liftgate is also prone to issues like not latching properly. And I’ve seen more than a few Acadias come in with weird electrical gremlins like windows not working – these can be really tough to track down!

Suspension and Steering Woes

Ride quality seems to go downhill after a few years with these vehicles as well. Worn ball joints are common, which can cause clunking noises over bumps. The front control arm bushings also dry out, making the steering feel loose.

Rust really takes its toll on the suspension too in areas like the state of Maine. Sway bar links and bushings will need to be replaced if they start knocking. As for the power steering system, leaks in the rack and pump are pretty standard 2012 GMC Acadia problems.

Air Conditioning Troubles

During the hot summer months is when I see a lot of folks coming in with air conditioning issues in their Acadias. The compressor clutch will engage but the a/c won’t blow cold – in these cases, the compressor has usually given up the ghost.

Low refrigerant levels are also a common cause, so having it charged back up typically does the trick. Make sure to check that the condenser fan is working too – I’ve replaced more than a few of those as well over the years. Proper a/c maintenance can help prevent 2012 GMC Acadia problems down the line.

Body Hardware Failures

Rust really takes a toll on Acadias up here in New England. The rear hatch struts go bad, so the hatch won’t stay up on its own anymore. Door hinges also rust and need to be replaced. A real pain is when the rear liftgate cables snap – then the whole thing won’t open!

Rocker panels tend to rust out too. As for mechanical body issues, faulty door locks and handles are common. I’ve replaced a ton of both over the years on Acadias as they wear out. Always good to keep an eye out for potential 2012 GMC Acadia problems like these.

Common Fixes and Maintenance

2012 GMC Acadia Problems

To help avoid many of the 2012 GMC Acadia problems I mentioned, staying on top of basic maintenance is key. Change your oil and filter regularly to protect the engine. Flush the coolant every few years as well. Inspect suspension components like ball joints and control arms for wear.

Keeping up on transmission fluid exchanges is also important. And address any electrical or air conditioning issues before they become bigger problems. Following the manufacturer maintenance schedule goes a long way with these vehicles.

Final Thought

Well folks, I hope sharing some of the most common 2012 GMC Acadia problems I’ve seen over the years has been useful if you happen to own one of these vehicles. The Acadia has some reliability issues like most cars, but taking care of routine maintenance and addressing small problems before they worsen can really help you avoid many of these headaches down the road.


My Acadia has high mileage, can anything be done to prevent transmission problems?

The best thing is staying on top of fluid changes as recommended. You can also consider having your transmission gone through by a professional as preventative maintenance. Things like filter replacements and adjusting bands can help it last longer.

The AC only blows lukewarm air, what could be the issue?

First thing I’d check is to make sure the refrigerant level is good. Low refrigerant is a common cause. It could also be an issue with the compressor or climate control head unit. A technician can diagnose further.

How do I know if my Acadia needs new ball joints?

Watch for signs like clicking or clunking over bumps, the steering wheel vibrating at highway speeds, or the vehicle not tracking straight. You can also have a mechanic inspect them – ball joints that are worn out can cause instability issues.

The engine makes a rattling noise, is the timing chain stretched?

A timing chain rattle is definitely a possibility. I’d recommend having the technician listen to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. It could also be other things like a loose or worn accessory belt. Best to have it properly diagnosed.

What maintenance can I do myself to help things last?

Simple things like oil changes, filter replacements, fluid top-offs and inspections go a long way. Also check things like brake pads/shoes, ball joints, belts/hoses for wear. Addressing small issues helps avoid bigger repairs down the road.

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