pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
86,300 miles
Total Complaints:
21 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (9 reports)
  2. replace engine (6 reports)
  3. new pistons, rings, catalytic converter, timing chains, cams (2 reports)
  4. replace piston rings (2 reports)
  5. replace thing chain, repair damaged parts (2 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your GMC dealer.

problem #21

Apr 232018

Terrain SLE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,300 miles

Have less than 70,000 on my car and it is burning oil. Took it in to Kool Chevrolet and they are telling me that it needs to replace the pistons and rings. GMC covers Equinox but does not cover Terrain. I thought I brought a car with low mileage and it would last me for the rest of my life. I am going to be 69. Figured this is it last car. Surprise surprise.

- Donna K., Belmont, MI, US

problem #20

Apr 102018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Engine uses too much oil. This is a defect in the engine design. I have had to replace this engine.

- thisiswinning1, Powell, US

problem #19

Dec 202017

Terrain AND 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

I have spent, in the life of the 2011 Terrain, over 3500 dollars. All work at the Dealership. Thought car would last to

200k miles.

The oil and transmission fluids were burning internally thus pistons and rings were gone, told to put a new engine in.

- Richard C., Wakefield, US

problem #18

Jun 152017

Terrain V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I will NEVER BUY A GMC AGAIN. I absolutely HATE the gmc terrain. It has been nothing more then a constant stress and worry in my life. I have spent 5000 dollars to replace the engine and it almost happened again this morning even though the oil life said 33% and it was UNDER the 5000 miles. When they checked the oil, it was 1 quart and a half low and didn't even register on the dip stick. The only reason i took it in was that it was making a god awful rattling noise and reminded me of what happened in June when essentially the motor burned up. I drained my savings to pay for it the first time and won't be able to do a second. I am FED UP with GMC. I will post this complaint and call and file complaints until i get a response from GMC letting me know they actually care about their consumers. This is the 3rd GMC purchase and will be our last!

- carolinehowse, Conway, US

problem #17

Jan 052018

Terrain SLE 2.4L 4 cyl 6a

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Have had the car for 3 years and it has given me nothing but problems. It seems like the check engine light is always coming on and is a costly repair. The biggest issue is over the last 3 years there has been excessive oil consumption, no oil leak just the engine continues to burn the oil up leaving nothing in it. With synthetic oil you are suppose to get 5k miles out of it before a oil change but I constantly had to have additional oil put in around 2k miles. There was always a terrible clicking noise the engine would make and it sounded like a diesel engine running. The check oil light would never come on and the oil gauge never read as low. It is a pain to deal with and just now it took a turn for the worse because I was driving down the road and the check engine light came on and the next time I tried to turn on the car it wouldn't start. Had it towed to the mechanic and it turns out the engine is a total loss because there wasn't any oil. The last oil change I had was LESS than 2k miles ago. GMC has no recalls but knows it is an issue with 2011 Terrains because the dealerships are offering a test to determine if the vehicle is overly consuming oil and will potentially change out the pistons if they validate the issue. It would have been nice to be notified of this before my engine gave out to see if it would have solved the issue but it's to late now. I'm replacing the engine because I still have 2 years left on the loan but can't wait to be done with this car. If you or know of anyone looking at buying a GMC Terrain it will be the worst car decision ever made. I hope GMC will do the right thing and recall this issue or at least do something knowing these issues exist.

- mcolaner11, Massillon, US

problem #16

Dec 122017

Terrain SLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,350 miles

Just had oil change after engine light came on. Something with cam shaft problem. Check oil level. Four quarts low. Took to Service had oil change on a Monday and Wednesday the engine siezed on the freeway and scared the holy bleep out of my wife. Car a total loss. Repair would be twice the blue book value of the car. NOT repairing the piece of junk. The car actually ran great for six years to the day then up and died a terrible death.

- David G., Angels Camp, CA, US

problem #15

Oct 112017

Terrain SEL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

In October went to have oil changed - not quite 5,000 miles on a synthetic oil change. 3 quarts low. Took to mechanic - said oil consumption not leak. Mechanic had researched and found a service bulletin where the excessive oil consumption for a 2.4L engine might be covered under the extended warranty by GMC. Took to GMC dealer, changed pistons and oil. Drove less than 500 miles, engine light came on, drove less than 7 miles with light on, to local Auto Zone. Indicated Engine Control Module. Drove less than 1 mile to GMC dealer - engine overheated in parking lot. After further inspection, service tech said oil was 3 quarts low. That 3 quarts of oil was in the coolant overflow. Problem not resolved. GRRRRR

- barbw62561, Riverton, US

problem #14

Sep 012017

Terrain LS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

I brought the car into Don Bohn GMC when I hear the tapping. They changed the fuel pump and said the problem was fixed. One thousand miles before my next oil change I heard the tapping noise. I brought the card to Auto zone checked the oil, no oil on the dip stick, brought it to Napa and checked it again still no oil. The gentleman said to add oil to make sure it does not lock up my engine. So I did. Brought it to the Dealer were I always get my oil changed. He changed my oil and said come back in 1,000 miles. I did and now they are telling me my car will use 1 1/2 quarts of oil per 1,000 miles. THIS IS NORMAL........When I’m 2,000 miles into my oil change put 1 quart of oil into my car to hold me over to my next oil change.......THIS IS NOT NORMAL.....THE CAR SHOULD NOT BE USING OIL.....(it’s not burning the oil) my car is 7 yrs old I need this problem fixed.

- Gina F., Marrero, US

problem #13

Mar 172017

Terrain SE 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 55,923 miles

GMC covered it when it was out of extended warranty?

- Bob H., 100 Mile House, BC, Canada

problem #12

Oct 202016

Terrain SLT 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

changed oil, did not even get 4 thousand miles on oil change and had to put more oil in. engine is a piece of crap. gmc needs to fix or replace the engine.

- Rick M., Albia, IA, USA

problem #11

Aug 092016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles

Had oil change less than 2 months ago, the car started making terrible noises. Took it to the shop and they said there was no oil in it!! This is ridiculous. Have not even driven 1500 miles.

- Elizabeth G., Wynne, AR, USA

problem #10

May 062015

Terrain SLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I am constantly having to check my oil to make sure there is enough in there. I shouldn't have to do this. I should be able to replace oil filter and change oil every few thousand miles, or at least when the sensor tells me too. I check once a week and usually have to add oil every 750 miles. This needs to get fixed. I feel like I bought a lemon. This vehicle needs a recall on the engine.

- tfeibel, Thorne Bay, AK, USA

problem #9

Jan 132016

Terrain SLE 4.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I haven't even had the car a year when they oil consumption had appeared! I took it to where I bought it from Larry Spacc GMC Dunkirk NY. They replaced the pistons and rings under warranty but what a crappy job they did. After that I had problems with my oil pan being wet and also most of my sensors started to pop up which leaves your engine light on! So I called and complained! They replaced the oil pan for no cost but would not replace the sensors for no cost which I believe is their fault after they took the motor out. I had no problems with the car at all until the oil consumption started to happen which caused knocking of the engine and a little bit of shaking when you start the car! All I have to say is I am completely disgusted and unsatisfied!! Now I am stuck with a car that I have to worry about day by day with knocking and still having a oil problem! The dealership will no longer fix the car without cost! So that means I am stuck paying for a car that I cant fix due to payment! When you are paying for a vehicle on a loan you SHOULD NOT have this many issues! My problem is dealerships are so unfair and do not tell their costumers at all the truth which is very unfair!!

- nnelson, Sugar Grove, PA, USA

problem #8

Apr 082016

Terrain SLT 3.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Over the course of a year, my GMC 2011 terrain started to go through oil rapidly. I let the dealership know and I didn't seem to raise any concerns. The mileage is getting up there and the car is starting to use some extra oil. Well I started to have to add a quart of oil every couple weeks. Then one morning, 10 below zero in the middle of nowhere, I get a bunch of warning messages and I loose engine power.

Well, It turns out the engine went to crap. I could have tried replacing the timing chain, sensors, ect, but the metal parts were warned down and it looked like the damage had been done. So 4800 dollars later I have a new engine. Now 2-weeks later, after the new engine replacement, my catalytic convertor is shot because of the old engine burning to hot. That's going to be another 1000 bucks to fix.

I had regular maintenance done on this vehicle, and 100,000 miles for an engine to fail is way to early. Can't say I would purchase another GMC in the future. Hopefully the new engine I had put in is upgraded to fix any problems they are having with the original engines in these 2011 Terrains.

- huebner10, New Prague, MN, USA

problem #7

Jul 012014

Terrain SLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Brought the car numerous time to the dealer. Returning to the dealer today with notice that I received from GM.

- James T., Burlington, VT, USA

problem #6

Mar 172015

Terrain LS 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

September 8, 2015

To Whom it may concern,

A few months ago I experienced an incredibly disappointing situation that I was hoping you may be able to assist me with. In September of 2013, I purchased a “CERTIFIED” GMC Terrain from your dealership. I had been loyal customer to Jeep but found myself willing to try a GMC. I was attracted to GMC due to your statements around how reliable your certified vehicles are and the rigorous multi-point inspection they go through before resale.

On Friday, March 27, 2015, I was stopped at a stoplight at a busy intersection roughly around 5:00 pm. I was with my 19 month old son when, without any kind of warning, my car completely died on me. No check engine light, no buzzing, no noises, and no other warning lights, just nothing, the engine just cut off. Out of confusion and fear of safety, I quickly called a tow service. The towing service took my car to a local service station. The mechanic on site reviewed my car and informed me that my car likely stopped due to having no oil. I was shocked and immediately dismissed the claim. I am always very conscientious about changing my oil on schedule. How could I possibly be out of oil? What is more concerning is how could my car burn through what my husband told me is likely 4 quarts of oil in such a short period of time? Upon additional review, it was confirmed that no oil was in fact the cause of my vehicle seizing up. The oil was not leaking from the vehicle, as there was no evidence to support that. It is garage kept and there were no traces of oil where the vehicle is parked.

As you can imagine, due to the engine burning all of the oil in the car, the damage to my engine was extensive. I was told that a new engine would be my only option. I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am in the quality of a GM vehicle. As stated above, I have kept up with all of my oil changes usually getting changes before the recommended 3,000-5,000 miles. I have attached the receipts of my oil changes as well as the documentation for the engine replacement. I also periodically check my oil as stated in your owner's manual. Does GM really expect that the consumer check the oil daily?

I am asking for GMC to reimburse me for the cost of these repairs. I find it absolutely shocking that this could happen on a relatively new vehicle. I have no leaks and have no further explanation other than the engine was burning oil at an alarming rate that ultimately led to engine failure.

- Greg C., Independence, KY, US

problem #5

Sep 182013

Terrain SLE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

I had to replace the transmission, extreme oil consumption, replace water pump, chains and guides,timing chains,camshaft actuators,gasket (2times), spark plugs, cylinder, fuel induction service, throttle body, catalytic converter.

- M J., Decatur, GA, USA

problem #4

Jun 052015

Terrain LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,388 miles

This smell of oil burning every time I drive my vehicle, is very annoying. I heard that this problem can cause an engine fire. That's scary!!!!!!! I hope you all will fix the problem, to avoid any problems, in the future.

- Charlene C., Jacksonville, AR, US

problem #3

Oct 052015

Terrain SL 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,236 miles

Always had maintained work done on my 2011 GMC Terrain every 3000 to 4000 miles. I had 59236 miles on it. I'm a 62 year old woman that did not drive it hard.. Thought I was doing good. Went on a 6 hour trip. No problems. the next day drove about 20 miles and lost power in a hill, so I turned around and drove 1/2 mile to my sons house. Checked the oil...there was none. Went to store bought 5 qts of oil and put 3 in it to see if I had any leaks I left it for a while and went back to check. No leaks. Tried to start it...won't turn over. Hired a wrecker to bring it to Gm garage in next town. Was told that the timing chain was stretched and loose and then broke. This is where my oil went. Really??? they replace the timing chain and them found other problems caused by the timing chain. Cracked exhaust manifold Engine exhaust manifold cracked at mounting header, engine head damaged by broken timing chain guide retainer timing chain guide retainer holes damaged and oblonged from loose retainer and exhaust valves damaged and bent from timing chain stretching enough to allow piston contact with exhaust valve. Timing chain and loose of 5 qts of oil. anybody I talked to that know any thing about automobiles tells me this is just not right. Not the way I treat my terrain and all the up keep I do On it. Thank God it was still on warranty. Garage told me this would have cost me over $4500. But the thing of it is I was on a freeway that day before. can you imagine what could of happened if had happened there, could have had a very bad accident and even death for all that was with me or others traveling on that freeway. GMC is very lucky that they haven't got sued yet. They need to take care of the problems these terrain's are having. I wonder if any of their family members drive one of these? I have a lot of recall notices with this terrain, but not to bring them in yet not unless you experience problems. Want us to die first then bring them in?????

- brooks9627, Clarksville, NH, USA

problem #2

Oct 102014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

My 2011 Terrain is using two to three quarts of oil between oil changes. there are no signs of oil in the garage, no oil near the motor or underneath. Can anyone help?

- Bonnie G., Cordova, TN, USA

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