Common 07-16 GMC Acadia Problems

GMC Acadia Problems

Some common 07-16 GMC Acadia problems include transmission problems, timing chain problems, and power steering problems. These issues’ symptoms can range from common leaks to reverberations felt while driving. For an in-depth look at these and some other common 07-16 GMC Acadia issues, read on as we cover the symptoms, causes, and fixes for the top five most common problems on the 1st generation 07-16 GMC Acadia. For install videos related to these and other repairs on the 07-16 GMC Acadia, check out 1A Auto’s how-to videos.

Top Common GMC Acadia Problems—1st Generation 2007-2016

1. Power Steering Fluid Leaks

Symptoms of Power Steering Problems

  • Low power steering fluid
  • Leaking power steering fluid
  • Power steering fluid stains
  • Swollen CV axle boots
  • Power steering fluid moisture on parts

Causes of Power Steering Fluid Leaks

Power steering problems are common on the 07-16 GMC Acadia. The power steering system tends to leak and causes the power steering fluid to run low. We cover the signs to look for and the areas to inspect below.

How to Fix Power Steering Fluid Leaks

How to Check the Power Steering Fluid Level
  • Remove the oil cap near the engine cover
  • Lift the engine cover
  • Remove the power steering fluid cap
  • Clean the dipstick and reinsert it
  • Measure the fluid level (Should land between the high and low marks)
How to Check the Power Steering System for Leaks
  • Check the power steering pressure line from the power steering pump to the power steering rack for leaks
  • Check the transmission housing for leaks
  • Inspect the CV boots for swelling as the power steering rack can leak fluid into the boot
  • Inspect the base of the power steering pump for moisture
  • Although not as common, check the low pressure hose from the steering rack and frame, which goes in front of the frame, into the power steering cooler, and into the power steering reservoir.

2. EVAP Purge Solenoid

07-16 GMC Acadia purge valve
Purge valve located near the air intake hose

Symptoms of a Bad EVAP Purge Solenoid

  • Check engine light with EVAP code
  • Extended cranking or hard starting after filling the gas tank
  • Excessively loud clicking sound from the front of the vehicle

Causes of a Bad EVAP Purge Solenoid

The evaporative (EVAP) emissions control system prevents fuel vapors from your vehicle from entering the atmosphere. The purge valve allows fuel vapors collected by the charcoal canister to move from the canister to the engine to burn off. Sometimes the purge valve can stick open, which can turn on the check engine light and make it difficult to start the vehicle after filling the gas tank. If the purge valve is stuck open, it will need to be replaced.

How to Fix a Bad EVAP Purge Solenoid

  • If an EVAP code triggers a check engine light, check the gas cap first and confirm it is sealed tightly
  • Check the gas cap seal for wear and tear, stretching, or breakage

Basic steps for removing and installing the EVAP purge valve solenoid

  1. Disconnect the purge valve electrical connector

  2. Disconnect the hose

  3. Remove the bolts

  4. Remove the purge valve solenoid

  5. Reverse these steps to install a new purge valve solenoid

3. Cold Start Misfires

Signs the 07-16 GMC Acadia Has Cold Start Misfires

One of the common GMC Acadia problems is when starting the vehicle with the engine cold, the engine misfires

Causes of Cold Start Misfires

Inspection camera showing valve with carbon build-up, a common problem on the 07-16 GMC Acadia
Inspection camera showing valve with carbon build-up

Direct fuel injection gives the 07-16 Acadia better fuel economy, but the direct injectors also spray fuel directly into the engine’s cylinders. Because of this, the valves have less opportunity for cleaning, causing carbon build-up on the engine’s valves.

How to Fix a Cold Start Misfire on the 07-16 GMC Acadia

  • Inspect the valves with a borescope or inspection camera tool, or remove the air intake hose and inspect them
  • With an upper engine cleaner or a de-carbon cleaner, add the cleaner to the engine and let it soak on the valves for about 5 minutes
  • After the cleaner has soaked, upon start up expect a lot of smoke. Rev to higher RPMs to get some of the carbon off the valves
  • After de-carbing the upper engine, change the oil to remove any leftover fluid that may have mixed with the oil
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4. Timing Chain

Signs the 07-16 GMC Acadia Has Timing Chain Problems

  • Timing chain tends to scratch and wear
  • Check engine light for engine position performance code or a camshaft position performance code

Causes of Bad Timing Chains

Timing belts help time the engine so parts like the crankshaft and camshafts can work in sync. When a timing belt is worn and stretched, it can affect the engine timing by changing the timing of the camshafts.

How to Fix Bad Timing Chains

It is not easy to diagnose or repair timing chains and repairing them requires the removal of the front of the engine

  • Inspect the timing chains for wear or stretching
  • If the tensioner is pulled out, the timing chains are stretched and need to be replaced
  • Change the oil regularly and with a quality oil
  • When accessing the timing chain, if you see oil stains near the chain underneath where the timing cover sits, the timing cover needs to be resealed
  • If the timing chains aren’t stretched, they are not the cause of the check engine light

5. Transmission Problems

Symptoms of Transmission Problems on the GMC Acadia

  • Feeling the transmission slipping at highway speeds
  • Feeling vibrations or droning noise when driving at an incline
  • Issues shifting

Causes of Transmission Problems

  • Early models had a wave plate issue where a spring in the clutch assembly was prone to breaking and causing internal damage. Most of these are probably fixed from warranties as it was happening every 20,000-30,000 miles
  • The diaphragm on the transmission control module (TCM) tends to rip
  • The torque convertors tend to wear

How to Fix Transmission Problems on the 07-16 GMC Acadia

  • Service the transmission regularly and add fluid if needed
  • The transmission filter can’t be changed unless the transmission housing is disassembled. You can drain and fill the transmission or have a professional perform a flush

Shop 1st Gen 07-16 GMC Acadia Parts and Tools Featured in This Article

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GMC Acadia Model Years this Article Applies to

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