2018 GMC Terrain Problems and Complaints


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2018 GMC Terrain SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: May 5, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The GMC Terrain has been a good contender in the compact SUV segment and for 2018 the brand chose to completely rework the Terrain from the ground up. The 2018 GMC Terrain offers a whole bunch of features and is priced at $24,995 making it look like a great value. Usually, a completely new vehicle is likely to have multiple complaints and recalls, and in the case of the GMC Terrain, there have been 5 recalls and a total of 89 complaints which isn’t all that bad because the competitors like the Honda CR-V, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Ford Escape fall in the similar category with 2 to 5 recalls and a lot more complaints compared to the GMC.

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User complaints and problems

Electrical Problems

  • System malfunction – The warning lights activated and the gauges started fluctuating. This was followed by acceleration and braking on its own and displayed messages stating that the vehicle was unsafe to drive. Later, the car failed to start even after multiple tries.
  • Infotainment screen – When backing the car, the screen was noticed to go either completely black or white.
  • Rear hatch door light – The light was reported to stay on even after the rear hatch was closed.
  • Doors – The doors wouldn’t unlock after a car was making it impossible to enter the car. This was probably caused due to a short circuit caused by the wire harness that isn’t weather sealed.

Mechanical Problems

  • Transmission – The transmission was stuck in drive and wouldn’t move to neutral. The car had to be dragged onto the tow truck bed and remained stuck till it reached the dealership and found that the turbine shaft had broken.
  • Engine – The start-stop feature isn’t reliable and even after lifting the foot off the brakes, the car fails to start back on. Also, the engine fails to respond at times to the accelerator and requires the driver to restart the car.
  • Fuel system - Users noticed a gas smell around the car and later found out there was a leak from the tank that was causing this issue.
  • Steering – The power steering fails at times making it hard to maneuver.
  • Brakes – Brake assist engages and makes braking the car very hard as the pedal gets stiff.

Safety Problems

  • Airbags – certain airbags failed to deploy during a crash and some sidewall airbags were reported to burn a hole through the occupant’s clothes leaving them to suffer a 2nd-degree burn.
  • Seatbelts – Seatbelt warning lights keep flashing even after fastening them properly.

Interior Problems

  • Seat – A bolt snapped under the seat leaving it to rock forward and backward.

Exterior Problems

  • Tire – The rear tire was found to vibrate and make a loud noise when driving.
  • Moon roof – The moon roof glass shattered for no reason but nobody was injured.


S. No.



Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



29th October 2020


Bolts missing on the start/stop accumulator

This could lead to a transmission oil leak and in the presence of an ignition source can cause a fire.

Dealers will inspect and replace any missing bolts.


30th August 2018


Insufficient coating on rear brake caliper piston.

Reduced braking performance can increase the risk of a crash.

Dealers will bleed the brake system, free of charge.


31st May 2018


Fuel pump flange weld may fracture

This can cause a fuel leak and increase the risk of a fire.

High-pressure fuel pump and pipe will be replaced.


24th May 2018


Sensing module may not power down correctly.

This issue will not detect crashes and may not deploy the airbags.

The module will be reprogrammed with updated software.


22nd August 2017


Driveshaft fracture and separation.

Separation of drive shaft assembly can cause the vehicle to lose propulsion or move unintentionally.

The right front intermediate drive shaft assembly will be replaced.

Should you buy the 2018 GMC Terrain?

There isn’t a reason why you should ignore the GMC Terrain when it comes to buying a compact SUV as this vehicle provides a lot of features, especially in terms of safety. The Terrain is slightly priced higher than the competitors but the difference isn’t a lot and shouldn’t put a hole in your pocket. The only worthy rival to the Terrain is the Honda CR-V as it offers all the standard safety features and has the reliability that Honda has always been associated with for a lower price but for the extra that the Terrain asks for, you get a very premium cabin that has a build quality far superior to the one found in the Honda. It’s a no-brainer that the GMC Terrain is the car that you should go for in this segment.

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