Does The GMC Acadia Have Engine Problems?

Hey folks, Joe here. Today I’m gonna dive into whether the GMC Acadia has any engine problems. As someone who’s always been into SUVs, the Acadia has caught my eye since it first came out. But before taking the plunge, I wanted to see if others have run into any issues under the hood.

What Engines Does The Acadia Have?

The Acadia is available with a few different engine options. The base engine is a 3.6L V6 that puts out 288 horsepower. This is what I was looking at. They also offer a 2.5L 4-cylinder on some models that gets slightly better gas mileage but less power at 194 horses.

For a few years, they had a hybrid version with a 2.4L 4-cylinder and electric motor assist. But that’s been discontinued now so the choices are basically just the V6 or the base 4-banger. Both hook up to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Engine Problems

Common Engine Problems People Report

Alright, so after scouring forums and reading owner reviews, here are some of the more common engine problems folks say they’ve experienced with the Acadia:

Oil consumption issues: A lot of owners say their Acadia seems to burn through oil pretty quick. You may need to constantly check and top it off between changes. Some report as much as a quart every 1,000-2,000 miles.

Knocking or pinging noises: Especially under acceleration or high RPM. Could be a sign of premature carbon buildup or other internal issues. The 3.6L V6 seems most prone to this.

Misfires: Random misfires will cause jerky acceleration, rough idle, and that dreaded check engine light. Moisture intrusion or worn spark plugs/coils are usually the culprit.

Stalling: Some Acadias stall out at idle or when coming to a stop. Could be caused by faulty ignition coils, mass air flow sensors, or other engine management components going bad.

Low power or hesitation: Feels like it’s lost some pep under the hood. Dirty fuel injectors or a clogged catalytic converter restricting exhaust are common causes here.

Carbon buildup leading to knocking, oil consumption woes, and ignition/fuel delivery issues causing stalling and misfires seem to be the biggies as far as potential engine problems go with these GM SUVs. Nothing too major usually, but annoying stuff to deal with for sure.

Engine Problems

How Common Are Engine Problems Really?

It’s tough to say exactly how widespread these engine problems are since every vehicle and driving situation is different. But based on looking through forums, it seems like a decent number of Acadia owners encounter at least one of these issues within the first 100,000 miles or so.

Some people report their 3.6L V6 Acadia went 150,000 miles with no problems. But I’d say maybe 30-40% of owners report experiencing something like excessive oil use, stalling, or knock/ping issues by the 100k mark. And a lot more will run into a misfire or two along the way.

Of course, there’s also plenty that sail past 200k miles without any major engine problems. So it’s really a mixed bag. I think proper maintenance and avoiding extended periods of idling or sitting can help reduce the risk of issues developing though.

Engine Problems

Are Engine Problems Covered Under Warranty?

Thankfully, GM has extended some warranties on certain Acadia engines due to the widespread nature of these problems. For example, the 3.6L V6 now has a 100,000 mile/10 year warranty against excessive oil consumption. And ignition coils are covered for 100k miles as well.

So if you experience excessive oil use or stalling/misfire issues within the warranty window, the dealer should take care of repairs for free. After 100k though, you’re on the hook if anything goes wrong. Extended warranties can provide some extra peace of mind past the factory coverage if you’re worried.

Should You Avoid The Acadia Due To Engine Problems?

In the end, it’s a judgment call. As long as you’re willing to potentially deal with things like burning oil, carbon buildup knocking, or ignition component failures down the road, the Acadia is a pretty solid SUV otherwise. Just be prepared for possible unplanned repair bills after 100k miles.

Personally, I wouldn’t completely write one off due to the risk of engine problems. Just go into it accepting they may arise at some point. Keep up with maintenance, watch for warning signs, and hopefully you’ll avoid any major issues. And if something does happen, at least GM has stepped up to help cover common problems under warranty.

Final Thought

Well folks, I think I’ve covered all the main engine problems people report having with the Acadia. At the end of the day, like with any used vehicle, there’s always a risk something could go wrong. But if you’re okay with that and keep up on maintenance, I don’t think the potential issues are enough to completely rule one out.

Even my old Honda had some issues pop up after a while! As long as you go into it with open eyes about what could happen, I say an Acadia is still worth considering – just maybe get an extended warranty to give yourself some extra peace of mind past the factory coverage.


How can I prevent carbon buildup issues in the 3.6L V6?

The best thing is to avoid long periods of idle time and use a fuel injector cleaner every 10-15k miles. Also try not to sit at a complete stop for extended times in traffic – keep the engine RPMs up a bit if possible. This helps reduce carbon deposits from forming.

My Acadia is burning a quart every 1000 miles, is this normal?

That level of oil consumption is higher than typical, but still covered under GM’s extended warranty if it’s within 100k miles. I’d keep records of your fill ups and have the dealer take a look to ensure there’s no underlying issue causing excessive burn off.

What are some signs my Acadia might need new ignition coils?

Misfires under acceleration are a big one. You may also notice rough idle, hesitation, or a flashing check engine light. The coils can go bad gradually so monitor for any change in how your engine is running.

When should I replace the spark plugs?

Most mechanics recommend new plugs every 60k-100k miles depending on your driving habits. If you notice any performance issues like misfires or rough idle, it wouldn’t hurt to inspect the plugs early as well.

What fuel should I use to help prevent problems?

Stick to 87 octane or higher from major brands. Mid-grade or premium can help further reduce carbon buildup risks. Stay away from gas station convenience stores as their fuel isn’t rotated as often and could have more contaminants.

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