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GMC Engine Problems: Troubleshoot, Repairs & Costs

GMC Engine Problems

A car is a complicated machine, and one of the most complex parts is the Engine. If your GMC Engine Problems are severe enough, you might need to replace or rebuild them. But before you do that, there are some things you can try yourself first.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

A word about cost: these repairs aren't cheap! And even if you don't have an expensive car like a GMC Yukon Denali XL, the odds are good that your Engine will need to be rebuilt at least once in its lifetime. That could easily be $5-10K, depending on what needs to be done and where you take it for repair work. The best way to know how much this job should cost is by getting quotes from various mechanics.

This article highlights the top GMC Engine Problems. Read on for more details about ways to troubleshoot, repair, and how much to expect for costs.

2017 GMC 6.2 Engine Problems

GMC: History & Background

Founded in 1902 by the General Motors Investment Group, GMC currently operates within the American car manufacturer General Motors. What started as a pair of automobile brands under one umbrella soon became known as General Motors Truck Company about its vehicular trucks.

The company was originally established due to founder W.C. Durant's interest in trucks, which he had hoped would be used by businesses operating in the industry. Under General Motors' umbrella, other car manufacturers included Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Oakland (Pontiac).

Although GMC initially produced mostly light-duty vehicles, it began producing heavy-duty trucks in 1960 following a stake in J.I. Case Co. This led to a move into the agricultural equipment industry, which it still plays a part in today through its affiliation with Rostselmash and AGCO Corporation.

Another notable acquisition was Elwood Haynes, an Indiana-based company specializing in diesel production for commercial vehicles. These engines were produced under the GMC name until 1971, at which time they began being referred to as Detroit Diesel.

These acquisitions enabled GMC to enjoy greater prosperity throughout much of the 20th century, with its market share reaching a peak of 14% in 1998. However, it wasn't until 2010 that the brand was demoted to third place within the G.M. group, with only Chevrolet and Cadillac ahead.

GMC Engine Problems

What are the different engines options in GMC vehicles?

GMC currently has several noteworthy engine options available, some being far more popular than others.

The 3.6 liter V6 is the standard option for most vehicles under the GMC name, including its Terrain and Acadia crossovers and Envoy SUV sport utility vehicle (SUV). However, more specialized vehicles such as the Sierra light-duty pickup truck and Yukon SUV will run on a 5.3-liter engine.

In addition, there are four other available options beyond this, including a 6.2 liter V8 in its Sierra HD line of trucks, a 3.5 liter V6 in the Terrain SUV and diesel engines in the Canyon and Sierra HD pickups.

The Common Causes Of Cracked Engine Blocks

10 GMC engine problems: Troubleshoot, Repairs & Costs

Typically, you'll find that several problems could potentially afflict your Engine depending on its make and model. However, the problems listed below are some of the most common you'll encounter, given that there are more than 30 million GMC vehicles currently on American roads.

1. Loss of power or difficulty accelerating

This is one of the most common GMC Engine Problems and will be noticeable when you press your foot on the accelerator, and nothing happens.

If this occurs, the first thing you'll want to do is check your oil. If there isn't enough, it could be due to sludge buildup that has restricted the flow of oil within the Engine and is preventing it from functioning at its usual level.

This can be resolved by draining out some old oil and replacing it with new. However, you should have this done by a mechanic to avoid worsening the problem.

If there is no sludge buildup, it may simply be due to lack of maintenance or engine wear. If so, you'll need to have your engine oil replaced more regularly than usual and even get it serviced every few months, depending on how much you drive.

You should also avoid taking your vehicle off-road or driving it through particularly rough conditions, as this will cause the engine to overheat and possibly result in permanent damage.

Repairs options & repair costs

Repairs will typically cost anywhere between $100 and $1,000, depending on how many components require replacement or servicing. For example, a new oil filter alone would run you just over $20, whereas an entire engine rebuild might cost in the region of $7,000.

2. Engine ticking noise when it starts after being parked for a long time

This is another common problem with GMC vehicles, particularly older ones. It occurs when sediment builds up within the Engine over long periods of inactivity and begins to clog it up.

When this happens, you'll typically notice a ticking or tapping noise each time you turn the ignition key to start your Engine.

If the noise is particularly loud or distracting, you can have it looked at by an independent mechanic to determine exactly what's causing it. If there's heavy sediment buildup, they'll be able to recommend replacing gaskets and other filters before the Engine is functional again. However, if your vehicle is newer with fewer miles on it, then it may simply be due to the vehicle's design.

Repairs options & repair costs

This will affect your repairs options and prices, as it's cheaper to replace parts on newer engines than older ones. For example, gaskets will run you between $50 and $200, whereas an entire engine rebuild might cost upwards of $7,000.

3. Engine won't start / Cracked engine block

Finally, if your GMC vehicle doesn't turn on when you press the ignition key, it could be due to several issues.

For example, there may be a problem with the starter motor, an issue with the spark plugs, or possibly even a blown a fuse. It could even simply be due to a lack of pressure within the fuel system, which you can check by filling your gas tank with more gasoline.

If none of these are the case, there may be an issue with the engine block itself. If so, this will require the replacement of the Engine entirely or at least certain components depending on how extensive the damage is.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs can vary significantly here, but you'll typically find that they fall anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. You might not need to replace all or even any parts in some cases, though — for example, if only one part has cracked, then it may be cheaper to have that specific section replaced rather than the entire Engine.

4. GMC Check Engine Light

The GMC check engine light is a common problem with GMC vehicles due to several issues.

For example, it may indicate an issue with the emission system or even simply that you need to have your vehicle serviced for maintenance purposes. If this isn't something already listed in your owner's manual, you can also check with your local mechanic for any issues that they may be able to repair.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will typically fall anywhere between $100 and $1,000, depending on the specific issue at hand. For example, a faulty oxygen sensor might cost around $250, whereas replacing an entire catalytic converter could run up to $700. You should note, though, that these prices are only general estimates and may change considerably depending on your location and the services provided by each garage.

As such, it's important to consider all available GMC engine problems when looking into repairs and maintenance. This will ensure you're always aware of what needs fixing or replacing before making the final decision to visit a mechanic or not.

Engine Problems Signs

5. Engine won't start / Engine is sluggish

There are multiple reasons why your GMC vehicle may be having issues starting up, including an issue with the battery, starter motor, or fuel system.

If it turns out that there's something wrong with your battery (for example, if it doesn't hold its charge for more than two hours), you can either opt to replace it yourself or have someone else do it for you. However, if you don't know what you're doing, then this could end badly and potentially lead to battery acid spilling all over the place (and expensive damages).

Likewise, if the starter motor is faulty, it may be easier and safer to opt for a professional fix, particularly if there's an issue with the fuel system.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine. These issues will cost less than $500 but could become hazardous or even very expensive if you don't handle them properly.

6. Leaky valve covers

If you've noticed oil leaking from either side of your GMC engine, your valve covers may be faulty.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine. However, this isn't a major problem and will require the replacement of worn gasket seals only — these might cost as little as $50. However, you might also need to replace leaking valve stem seals which will push repair costs to somewhere between $300 and $600.

7. Overheating problems

Overheating is one of the most common issues faced by GMC vehicles, particularly those poorly maintained over a long period. This can lead to problems within your Engine's cooling system and even damage the cylinder heads if left for too long.

As such, you must get any overheating issues checked out as soon as possible (ideally before they lead to more serious complications).

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine. However, Replacing an overheated radiator typically costs around $250 – $350 but maybe even be higher depending on the extent of the actual damage.

8. Leaking oil or engine noise

If there's an issue with either your Engine's oil levels or more serious mechanical components, this must be identified and dealt with as soon as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing significant damage to parts of your car — even leading to expensive repairs down the line.

If there are no leaks, but you can still hear strange sounds from inside your GMC vehicle, it might be worth looking into having these checked out by a professional mechanic. As long as you stay safe when carrying out repairs yourself, this could end up saving you money in the long term.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine.

9. Strange smells

Strange smells coming from your Engine could be a sign of either an oil or coolant leak. If you ignore these, it's possible that they could get worse and cause further damage to other key components of your vehicle.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine.

10. Strange sounds

If strange sounds are coming from somewhere inside your GMC, it could be a sign of a more serious issue with one of the mechanical components, including the exhaust system. If you ignore these noises, it's possible that they could lead to problems down the line — especially if you don't have them checked out as soon as possible.

Repairs options & repair costs

The cost of repairs will depend on what exactly is wrong with your GMC engine.

how much does it cost to fix engine Knocking

How to prevent GMC engine problems?

The best way to avoid problems like these is through regular maintenance and servicing of your GMC vehicle every few months, particularly if you're a frequent driver.

Even if service staff find certain issues during a checkup though it's still possible that they may not need immediate attention unless they pose an immediate risk to the safety or performance of your car. For example, there may be slight oil leaks that you can come back later to have fixed instead of taking your GMC in for repairs immediately. In addition, depending on how often you drive and what kind of driving style you have, certain issues may only arise after 50,000 miles or more.

Engine Problems Signs


GMC engines are known for their durability and power, but even the best cars can experience problems from time to time. In this article, we've highlighted some of the most common GMC engine problems, along with tips on how to troubleshoot them and potential repair costs.

It's important that you stay safe when carrying out repairs yourself and always consult a professional if you're not sure what's wrong with your car. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your GMC running like new for years to come!

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