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GMC Acadia Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

GMC Acadia Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

GMC Introduced the Acadia in 2006 as a 2007 model, and it was the company’s first-ever passenger vehicle that featured a front-wheel drive.

Only two generations of this car have been sold with various improvements. The GMC Acadia has a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, which is pretty decent for midsize SUVs. In this article, we’ll discover the accurate scale and useful life of its transmission and determine whether it is a reliable car as reviewed by its users.

The first generation 2006-2007 models are equipped with 6-speed 6T75 and 6T70 transmissions. 2017-2019 models have 6-speed 6T50 or 6T70 automatic transmissions. 2020+ models have 9-speed 9T50 and 9T65.

In this article, we will provide you with the basic knowledge regarding GMC Acadia’s models and the transmissions they employ. As almost all the transmissions have some issues, this guide will alert you about what you might encounter in the future with different transmissions and their cost.

What Transmission Has the GMC Acadia Used?

First Generation

  • 6-speed 6T75 (2007-2016)
  • 6-speed 6T70 (2016)

Second Generation

  • 6-speed 6T50/6T70 automatic (2017-2019)
  • 9-speed 9T50/9T65 automatic (2020+)

How Long Does a GMC Acadia Transmission Last?

The earlier models of the GMC Acadia’s first-generation were reportedly not as efficient and durable as the later models- something I’ve seen firsthand.

Early 2007 models have a reported transmission lifespan of 100,000-150,000 miles with proper maintenance and the transmission was one of the most common issues over these years.

The later models (first-generation 2012-2016 and second-generation 2019-Present) have a far better transmission. You can expect an average of 150,000-200,000 miles from your GMC Acadia’s transmission and the overall vehicle can last much longer.

You can expect even more life out of its USA-made transmission if you maintain your ride regularly.

Unlike some other GMC vehicles, like the Sierra, you’re not going to find a diesel option for the Arcadia which means you’re not going to see the often more reliable Allison transmission.

How Much Does a GMC Acadia Transmission Cost?

Transmission replacements are the most expensive transmission fix, but they must be done once the old transmission cannot be rebuilt or repaired because they are too damaged. During this process, all parts of the transmission are replaced, not just those that have failed or worn out. Note that you may not find brand new transmissions on the market, so you may have to purchase a refurbished one.

If you carry a first-generation GMC Acadia, you’ll have to change the 6T75 and 6T70 transmission.

  • 6T75 transmission costs around $2,955
  • 6T70 transmission costs around $2,955

For the second generation of GMC Acadia, you’ll need to change the 9T45 and 9T50 transmission.

  • 9T65 transmission costs around 3300$
  • 9T50 transmission costs around 3250$

How Reliable Is The GMC Arcadia’s Transmission?

Early GMC Acadias (2007-2012) experienced transmission failures due to wave plate issues. The revised 6T75E (2013-2016) improved reliability but had occasional hard shifts. The 2017-2019 Acadias with 6T45/6T70 showed smooth operation with minor issues. Recent models (2020-present) feature a more reliable 9-speed transmission.

That’s the big picture answer but let’s dive a little deeper starting with the early years and the 6T75 6-speed automatic transmission. Whenever I see an issue with these it’s typically related to wave plate issue, especially if the vehicle is over the 100,000 mile mark.

These vehicles have sometimes reported transmission failures related to wave plate issues, particularly around the 100,000-mile mark. GMC issued recalls and extended warranties for certain VINs to address this issue.

From 2013 to 2016, the Acadia continued with the now revised 6T75E transmission. This updated version resolves some of the earlier issues and you don’t see the same frequency of wave plate issues here. However, I have seen occasional hard shifts and jerky acceleration, often linked to software calibration or sensor issues. This is confirmed by plenty of owners online too.

In 2017, GMC introduced a refreshed Acadia model with two transmission options: the 6T45 6-speed for the base engine and the 6T70 6-speed for the larger engine. These transmissions are smooth, although some owners have reported shifting irregularities that might require software updates or solenoid replacement.

From 2020 onwards, the GMC Acadia has been offered with a 9-speed automatic transmission (9T65) which has proven to be more robust and efficient. I’m a big fan of these but we really need a few more years before we can really see how they hold up.

Common GMC Acadia Transmission Problems

6-speed 6T75/6T70 Overheating Problem

One of the most common 6-speed 6T75 transmission problems is overheating. This happens when the moving parts inside the transmission create more friction heat than the ATF can remove. This overheating can lead to ruptured seals and damaged torque converters, valve bodies, bands, and clutches.

The most common cause of this condition is towing heavy loads, driving in stop/go traffic, or on mountain roads where the transmission must shift a lot. You can use an auxiliary transmission cooler to address this issue.

9-speed 9T50/9T65 Shifting Problem

A common 9T65 transmission problem can occur during warm-up and everyday driving. If the transmission is cold and, pronounced deceleration can occur during the 1-2 upshift. This may also happen when the transmission being manually shifted from 1st to 2nd gear. When the transmission is warm, a momentary neutral may occur during the 2-4 upshift. The check engine light may also illuminate.

This issue can occur on early production 9T65 transmissions due to an undersized 9T65 spacer plate orifice between the 9T65 valve body and transmission case.

Difference Between Transmissions

6-speed 6T75/6T70

The GM 6T70 / 6T75E transmission first saw production in 2007 GM models. The transmission fits both front and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

GM and Ford Company cooperated in 2002 to create a new automatic transmission/transaxle designed for transverse engines, SUVs, and cars. Both companies have different names for the same models, i.e., GM: 6T70, 6T75 Ford: 6F50, 6F55, 6F35.

9-speed 9T65

GM partnered with Ford to create the 9-speed 9T65 transmission. The 9T65 Hydra-Matic 9-speed transmission weighs just 22 pounds more than the gearbox it replaces. It is designed to fit into the same space as the outgoing 6T70E / 6T75 transmission.

It has a selectable one-way clutch as it combines two grips into one and is responsible for engaging first and reverse gears. Depending on what the 9T65 transmission control module tells it to do, it can freewheel or hold torque. And it’s smaller than the traditional plate clutch pack and sprag clutch used in the old GM 6 speed automatic. Lastly, it has an Active Oil Management system to control the fluid pressure and volume. The 9T65 valve body has an internal expansion tank built into its side cover, which will hold excess ATF until the 9T65 TCM decides that it’s needed.

9-speed 9T50

9T50 9 speed automatic provides a better fuel economy than the 9T65 mentioned above. It has been fitted with a unique coil spring accumulator to hold fluid pressure when the motor shuts off. The 9T50 valve body has also been equipped with a unique expansion tank, allowing the TCM to control the fluid pressure precisely.

Also, the 9T50 transmission control module is fitted with a unique 32-bit processor mounted on the outside of the transmission case. The 9T50 TCM is also calibrated to compensate for normal clutch wear, and it’s programmed for manual control capability and automatic grade braking.

Transmission Fluids and the GMC Acadia

Transmission fluid is as vital for your transmission as motor oil for your engine. It helps you keep your transmission greasy and running steadily. Without the proper sort, your transmission could face many issues such as overheating, locking up, rusting, and many more.  A

lso, to keep your transmission running smoothly, it is significant to check your transmission fluid type and its level. Don’t forget to change them on time. I recommend changing the transmission fluid of GMC Arcadia every 45000 miles.

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