GMC Acadia 2009 Problems – Are They Actually Dangerous?

by Conner Mckay

Are you planning to purchase a GMC Acadia 2009 model and you want to learn more about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? Well, if that is the case and you are interested in this model, then you are at the right place because there will be quite a bit to cover on this vehicle.

Doing your own research before you go out there and purchase a car is a smart idea. Why we are saying this? Well, because it is true. Nowadays cars cost a fortune, even on the second-hand market. They are expensive to buy and also very expensive to repair.

So, choosing a car wisely is the way to go because you don’t want another problem in your life. And cars can carry a lot of issues. Issues that can cost thousands of dollars to fix. And this money you probably want to spend on something more fulfilling, rather than on fixing stuff on the car. And this is why we are here to help you out.

First, we are going to learn more about the GMC Acadia, specifically, the first generation, then we will discuss the specs of this generation, as well as the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. We will elaborate on all of the problems of this model in detail. Then, we will discuss the recalls and the reliability of this model year. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is The GMC Acadia

Now before we dive into complex topics such as the GMC Acadia 2009 problems, let’s take a look at what is the GMC Acadia in general. Why this is needed? Well, there are a lot of people facing similar issues and want to learn about the reliability of some models. So, this will be a good chance to introduce them to the core concepts of the GMC Acadia.

So, what is the GMC Acadia? Well, the Acadia is a crossover SUV that GMC offers in the mid-size category. GMC, as you probably know is the truck division of General Motors and this model shares a lot with other GM products.

GMC Acadia 2009 Problems

The important thing about the Acadia is to know that the model was introduced in 2006 and 2007 was the first model year. As of today, this model is in its second generation. The present generation of the Acadia sits in between the bigger GMC Yukon and the smaller GMC Terrain.

Even though the first generation that we are interested in was bigger and was basically a full-size model. For the current generation, GMC has decided to reduce the size in order for the Acadia not to be a competition for the bigger Yukon.

Since we learned more about the core concepts of the Acadia, we can now slowly move on and cover more about the first generation of this model before we cover the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. We will only stick to the 2009 model since this is the model that we are interested in.

First Generation GMC Acadia

Now let’s dive into the specs of the first generation of the Acadia. As we mentioned previously, this article is dedicated to the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. So, will primarily focus on this generation only.

This generation of the Acadia was first introduced in 2006 and 2007 was the first model year. This GMC Acadia was produced until 2017. So, we can say that it had a rather long production stint and the model kept being refreshed and refined throughout the years.

This model is based on the GM Lambda platform. This Lambda platform was shared with the Buick Enclave, Chevy Traverse, and Saturn Outlook.

The first generation was assembled at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Delta Township, Michigan. Basically, it was assembled in the same factory as the other mentioned models.

All these models are very connected to each other and share the majority of the components. The main differences are the exterior and interior looks. The mechanical components, as well as the chassis, are all the same.

And this is not necessarily a bad thing because this is what makes these models cheaper to operate and maintain. But what about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? Well, more on that we are going to cover in a bit. Let’s first discuss the dimensions and size.

1. Dimensions & Size

Now let’s cover another topic before we cover the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. And that is the dimensions and size of this model. How big is the Acadia?

Well, this model unlike the current one is a full-size vehicle. Which means that it is longer than 200 inches.

The first generation of the Acadia has a wheelbase of 118.9 inches and an overall length of 201.1 inches.

The Acadia is 78.0 inches wide and 69.9 inches tall. The ground clearance of the model is between 7.4 and 7.6 inches depending on the equipment. Which is a rather good number. The curb weight of the 2009 GMC Acadia is 4,936lbs.

The model has a modern suspension, even for 2022. It implements a front independent MacPherson strut suspension, while on the rear it uses multi-link suspension. So, drivability is rather good. But what about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.

2. Engines And Transmissions

In terms of engines and transmissions, it is worth noting that there were a few variations of the 3.6L V6 engine.

But for this case, we are only interested in the engine used from 2009 to 2016. This was the 3.6L LLT V6 engine. This engine produced about 288hp and 270lb-ft of torque.

The transmission used in the GMC Acadia from 2009 was the 6-speed 6T75 automatic transmission. This transmission was co-developed by GM and Ford in the early 00s. But what about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? More on that we are going to cover in a bit.

3. Towing Capacity

Now let’s discuss another topic before we cover the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. And that is the towing capacity of this model. We think that this is quite essential because a lot of buyers also want their Acadia to be able to tow as well. So, what is the towing capacity of this model?

Well, the towing capacity of the GMC Acadia is rated at 5,200lbs. Nothing too crazy but still quite enough to tow most of the trailers on the road. Also, this model performs quite the same when compared to the Chevy Traverse and the Buick Enclave. But what about the GMC Acadia model years to avoid? More on that in a bit.

4. Fuel Economy

The fuel economy of the GMC Acadia is not bad considering the size of the vehicle itself. Remember that this is a full-size vehicle that is rather large and weighs quite a bit.

The FWD model gets 17 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. Not as good as for today’s standards considering that now the average fuel economy is above 25 mpg. But still rather enough for most people. But what about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? More on that we will cover in a bit.

5. Safety

The safety of the 2009 GMC Acadia is rather good. This model was tested by the IIHS and got good scores on all of the tests. A “Good” score on their test is the highest score possible. Because of this, the model got the Top Safety Pick award by IIHS for its exceptional safety rating.

What makes the Acadia so exceptional in this segment is the weight of the car. This model weighs almost 5,000 lbs and it has a rather strong crash structure. Not to mention that it also has a ton of safety features and a number of airbags all over the vehicle.

Still, this was back in 2009 and standards have moved forward a bit. Just be aware of this if you want to get the best in terms of safety. But what are the GMC Acadia 2009 problems? Well, more about what, we are going to cover next.

2009 GMC Acadia Problems

Now as we covered the basics of this generation of the Acadia and learned some of the specs. We can now move on and focus on the GMC Acadia 2009 problems.

We need to learn from which problems this model is troubled in order to determine its reliability alongside other SUVs and see if this model is any good. Since you don’t want to buy a basket case full of problems.

So, let’s cover the problems that relate to the GMC Acadia. First, we will cover the engine and the transmission problems and then move on to the other issues. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

GMC Acadia 2009 Engine Problems

Now let’s start with the GMC Acadia 2009 problems concerning the engine. As you probably know, the engine is one of the most important components since, without an engine, the car will not move. This is why, engine problems, especially common problems should be one of your top interests. And this is why in this chapter we are going to learn all of them.

If you didn’t know, the engine in the 2009 model is the 3.6L V6 LLT engine. Previously it was used the LY7. The LY7 was a rather problematic engine. This is why you should definitely avoid the models built before 2009.

Even though the LLT was a big update on the previous generation. It still has its fair share of problems. Although, to a much lesser extent than its predecessor. But we are going to list some of the complaints on which most owners of the Acadia of 2009 complained of.

It is worth noting that this model was the first to include direct injection. So, these engines are quite prone to developing carbon buildup on the intake ports because of the way in which the gas is injected. On port injection, the gas basically cleans the intake ports. In direct engines, it does not, so there is carbon buildup.

Also, direct injection is rather damaging to the ignition coils, as well as the spark plugs. So, on most of these engines, it is expected to replace them more often than on a port injection problem.

So, this is why a lot of owners complained about the service engine light on accompanied by frequent misfires. Some even reported that they had to replace the whole engine. Now let’s move to the next GMC Acadia 2009 problems.

GMC Acadia 2009 Transmission Problems

Now let’s move on to the next GMC Acadia 2009 problems. And these are problems concerning the transmission. We need to learn more about the GMC Acadia transmission problems because the transmission is also a very important piece of the puzzle that can be rather expensive in terms of repairs.

As we mentioned previously, the Acadia is using the 6T75 6-speed automatic that was co-developed with Ford. Even though, this transmission is reported to be quite good. It still has two issues that are worth discussing and that you need to be aware of.

Namely, the first problem of this transmission is overheating. This transmission tends to overheat. Especially if you have dirty ATF fluid. This is mainly because the transmission fluid is not able to remove the heat from the transmission and under heavy usage like in stop/go traffic, towing heavy stuff, or driving uphill, the transmission is quite prone to overheating.

Also, overfilling the transmission with ATF can cause it to overheat and blow some seals. This is why you should be rather aware of this when changing the transmission fluid.

And the last problem is the issue with the broken wave plates. The wave plates basically help the transmission lock the gears together when you are shifting. So, these wave plates can break and when they do, they can create catastrophic transmission damage.

On, there are a total of 7 transmission failures for the 2009 model year. But considering how many of these were made, this is not a significant number. Even though, it is still a thing that you need to be concerned about when it comes to the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. Now let’s move on and discuss some miscellaneous problems on the GMC Acadia.

Other GMC Acadia 2009 Problems

So, we have covered the engine and transmission GMC Acadia 2009 problems. And now we think that we need to cover the other problems that often appear in this model. There are also other miscellaneous issues that often appear on the Acadia. So, let’s discuss them in detail and learn more about them.

The biggest problem is probably the problem with the steering. There is a big issue with the steering system on this model. There are 12 complaints about this system.

Some owners reported problems like hard turning reportedly caused by a power steering pump. While others reported problems with a leaky rack and pinion.

In some instances, there had to be done a replacement of the steering rack, as well as the power steering pump. This is why the steering system should be one of the top priorities. Mainly because it is rather expensive to replace.

Other problems were reported with the AC condenser and the AC lines. The refrigerant tends to leak on this generation of the Acadia. So, in the worst case, you will have to replace a line or the condenser.

And the last important problem that is worth covering is the GMC Acadia catalytic converter. There were three catalytic converter failures reported on And this was likely due to the reason that owners simply delayed some repairs in the engine and this caused the catalytic converter to fail. Also, a rather expensive component to fix. So, we covered the GMC Acadia 2009 problems, now let’s move on to the recalls.

2009 GMC Acadia Recall

Now as we covered the GMC Acadia 2009 problems. Let’s take a look at the recalls. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a GMC Acadia air conditioner recall or GMC Acadia timing chain recall as most of you would expect. But there were six recalls that are worth covering.

Namely, there was a recall for the liftgate, this liftgate tends to fail and not hold. So, this component was recalled in 2015.

The second and third recalls were concerned with the seat belts and these security issues were patched out quickly.

There was also a recall for the airbags. Namely, the seat belt pretensioners did not deploy in the event of a crash. And this recall was done in 2014.

There was also a recall for the electrical system. Namely, the models with the heated washer fluid system. A circuit board can short out on these and create a fire. So, a fuse was added.

And the last recall was concerned with the transmission of the GMC Acadia because the model failed to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 102. And on some of these vehicles the transmission shift cable adjustment clip would not engage.

Also when this happens the shift lever and the actual position of the transmission would not match. So, if the driver moves the shifter to park and removes the ignition key, the transmission might not be in park.

And the last problem was recalled in 2009. So, overall, make sure that the car that you intend to purchase did all of the recalls. This way, you can be sure that you will avoid some possible issues down the line. Now before we conclude this article on the GMC Acadia 2009 problems, let’s discuss more about reliability.

GMC Acadia Reliability

We covered the GMC Acadia 2009 problems and learned that this model does not have many serious issues. So, what is the overall reliability of this model? Can we consider this model year reliable?

Well, yes, the 2009 model is a rather good purchase compared to the 2008 model or the 2007 model. Mainly because of the updated engine that does not have a lot of problems with the timing chain as the previous years.

But still, this model has problems because of the direct injection system. So, spark plugs and ignition coils can suffer more often. As well as carbon buildup on the intake ports.

GMC Acadia 2009 Problems

The transmission also when too stressed out can overheat and run poorly. And the last concern is the steering system. Namely, the steering rack and the power steering pump.

So, when it comes to the overall score for this model, we can easily give it a 4/5 stars rating because overall it is not a bad vehicle. Take your time and learn more about the GMC Acadia 2009 problems and test drive the car that you intend to buy beforehand and you will probably be good with your choice.

GMC Acadia 2009 Problems: In Conclusion…

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the GMC Acadia. First, we learned what this model is all about and understood that there are two generations that were introduced to the market.

Then we covered the first generation with the prime focus on the 2009 model. We learned the specs, GMC Acadia 2009 problems, and recalls, and also we gave the GMC Acadia a reliability score. Overall, the Acadia is a rather good purchase.

FAQs On GMC Acadia 2009 Problems

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

What Year Did The GMC Acadia Come Out

The GMC Acadia debuted in 2006 and 2007 was the first model year of this model. The Acadia was a brand new model on a completely new platform known as the Lambda platform, shared with the Buck Enclave and the Chevy Traverse.

What Problems Do GMC Acadias Have

2007 and 2008 model years have a lot of timing chain related problems. So, we would advise that you avoid these model years. 2009 model came with an updated engine that got rid of these issues. But still, this model has problems with spark plugs and ignition coils and other problems because it came with a direct injection system. Carbon buildup in the intake ports is another problem of these direct injection engines as well.

Is GMC Acadia A Good Car

Overall, they are rather good cars if they are maintained properly and not pushed over the limits. The Acadia has only two problematic years. Namely, 2007 and 2008. These model years have problems with the timing chain. The ones that follow do not have major concerning problems.

Are GMC Acadia Reliable

Yes, they are generally reliable vehicles. They do not have major problems. Except for the 2007 and 2008 models which have problems with the timing chain.

How Long Does GMC Acadia Last

A GMC Acadia from 2009 and after should easily last 200,000 miles or even more in some cases. These models do not have any major engine problems like the 2007 and 2008 model years.

What Year GMC Acadia To Avoid

When it comes to the years to avoid, we would advise that you avoid the 2007 and 2008 model years. Mainly because these two models have problems with the timing chain. So, get a 2009 or later model if you want to be safe.

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