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The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A GMC

The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A GMC

When you’re in the market for a new or used GMC, you’ll eventually wonder what a GMC generally costs in maintenance. In this blog, we’ve done our absolute best to give you a complete rundown of the costs and what you can expect for different models and model years. Let’s start with a quick answer:

GMC models have average annual maintenance costs of $744 when compared to similar brands such as Ford, Chevy, and RAM. However, they’re more expensive than many Asian brands because they produce larger vehicles, but also because their labor and materials aren’t sourced from Asian countries, which typically makes the cars cheaper to manufacture and maintain.

However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below, we’ll start by looking at the annual maintenance cost of the most popular models and their corresponding model years. Furthermore, We’ll look at the eight most common service points and discuss what a GMC costs you in this regard. We’ll also compare the annual maintenance costs of a GMC to 24 other car brands and discuss why a GMC is considered cheap or expensive in maintenance. Read on!

How Expensive Are GMC Models To Maintain?

First of all, we feel it’s essential to understand how much each model, and different model years, cost per year in terms of maintenance. For this, we’ve taken data from Repairpal. We’ve compiled this data in the table below.

First of all, we want to clarify that data for newer model years of these cars is not available. This is because newer cars typically still fall under their warranty which means problems are solved without cost through the dealerships. However, models around 3-4 years old do start to have some defects that will cost some money.

Looking at the table below, we immediately see that GMC does seem to have higher maintenance costs in the $500 – $800 range. What also becomes apparent quite quickly is that these costs have a strong correlation with the size of the vehicles.

YearTerrainYukonSierra 1500AcadiaCanyon
2019 x x x x x
2018 $687 $566 $573 $574 
2017 $534 $739 $809 $650 $555
2016 $427 $736 $772 $515 $493
2015 $485 $897 $765 $558 $504
2014 $512 $655 $787 $638 x
2013 $515 $742 $693 $778 x
2012 $575 $698 $666 $781 $696
2011 $609 $679 $705 $829 $528
2010 $692 $721 $619 $817 $516
2009 x $650 $649 $810 $525
2008 x $584 $611 $659 $516
2007 x $570 $500 $618 $442

For example, the GMC Terrain is considered to be a compact SUV. This is reflected in the annual maintenance costs that fall between $500 – $700 a year, depending on the model year you have. On the other hand, the Acadia is a mid-size SUV and therefore has maintenance costs between $600 – $800.

Finally, the Yukon is a larger vehicle than the Acadia. Here, we again see that the annual maintenance cost is higher and that they fall in the $600 – $900 range.

We note that the Sierra 1500 has higher maintenance costs than the Canyon, even though both vehicles have around the same size. However, the Sierra does have a larger engine and higher towing capacities, which does mean it’s most likely used in more challenging environments. In turn, it probably needs more maintenance.

Are Parts And Services Expensive For A GMC?

Furthermore, it’s essential to discuss the average cost of general maintenance tasks. This way, you know what to expect from your GMC, and you’ll be able to see if specific maintenance is more expensive than others.

Oil Change

An oil change on a GMC will generally cost you $96 – $139. On average, an oil change costs $40 – $60 for conventional oil and $60 – 120 for full synthetic oil for a car. Therefore, GMC are slightly on the higher end of the spectrum but that’s not that strange considering the size of the vehicles that are being sold.

Brake Pads

Replacing the brake pads on a GMC costs between $228 – $359 per axle. On average, brake pad replacement costs between $150 – $300 per axle. Therefore, most GMC have a slightly higher than average price for this maintenance task. But again, that’s mainly due to the size of the vehicles, which means they need larger brake pads.


Replacing filters is also a task you’ll encounter from time to time. The fuel filter is generally the most expensive filter to replace. Replacing a fuel filter in a GMC will cost between $68 – 142. Replacing a cabin air filter is $48 – 91 and replacing an air filter is $51 – 108.

Typically, replacing a fuel filter costs between $80 – $150. This means replacing the fuel filter on a GMC has average costs. Replacing a cabin air filter costs typically between $60 – $80, meaning GMC is again quite average. Replacing the air filter usually costs $50 – $70, which means GMC is once again quite average or maybe slightly more expensive.


The average price to replace a GMC battery is between $150 – $250. On average, replacing a car battery costs between $120 – $240. This means that GMC has average costs in terms of replacing the battery. As can be expected, the larger the vehicle is, the more expensive the battery will be just because of its size.

Timing Belt/Chain

Another replacement that you’ll come across when owning a car is a timing belt replacement. Timing belts need to be replaced around the 100,000 miles mark. However, replacing the timing chain or belt on a GMC will cost $507 – $1,121.

How much this truly costs depends on the vehicle you have. For example, the Canyon uses a timing belt that can typically be replaced for $507 – $599. However, many other GMC, such as the Sierra 1500 and Terrain use a timing chain that will typically set you back more in the range of the $700 – $1,100 mark.

Tire Rotation And Replacement

Replacing a set of tires on a GMC will cost $300 – $650. On average, replacing a set of tires costs between $150 – $500, which means GMC are more expensive than the average cost. However, this is only due to the size of the vehicles, which means tires are simply going to be more costly, and there’s nothing you can do about that.

Spark Plugs

Replacing a set of spark plugs costs between $139 – $366 per set for a GMC. On average, it costs $75 – $250 to replace a set of spark plugs. This means that replacing spark plugs on a GMC has a higher than average cost.

Headlight Bulbs

On average, it costs between $47 – $410 to replace a set of headlight bulbs on a GMC. On average, replacing headlight bulbs costs between $100 – $150 for a set. Some GMC have average costs for headlight bulb replacements, while others are very, very expensive.

The main problem here is the average replacement cost for the GMC Acadia, which uses HID bulbs. These are very expensive, and replacing a set will cost between $300 – $400 at a dealer. However, most other GMC have average costs and will only cost between $50 – $150 per set.

Are GMC More Or Less Expensive Compared To Other Brands?

Knowing everything we know now, it’s essential to have a final look at GMC as a brand. For this, we’ve compiled data from 24 other carmakers. The average annual maintenance costs of each carmaker are in the table below. By comparing all brands to each other, we understand how expensive a brand truly is in maintenance.

When we compare GMC to all these other brands, GMC ends up in the 18th spot in the ranking of most affordable car brands. At first sight, this implies that the brand is quite unaffordable. Given that GMC has average annual maintenance costs of $744, and the average for all brands is $646, they seem to lack in this area.

However, saying GMC is expensive is not an entirely fair comparison. GMC focuses on a very select segment of cars which means it’s more appropriate to compare the company to other brands with a similar line-up. We’ll talk more about this in the subheading below.

BrandAverage Annual Maintenance Costs
Honda $428
Toyota $441
Mazda $462
Hyundai $468
Kia $474
Nissan $500
Acura $501
Mitsubishi $535
Lexus $551
Buick  $608
Chrysler $608
Subaru $617
Dodge $634
Jeep $634
Infiniti $638
Chevrolet $649
Volkswagen $676
GMC $744
Volvo $769
Ford $775
Cadillac  $783
RAM $858
Lincoln $879
Mercedes $908
 BMW  $968

Why Are GMC Expensive To Maintain?

At first sight, GMC are expensive to maintain. However, let’s now look into why this seems to be like that and if their annual maintenance costs are justified.

First of all, we’ll have to compare GMC to brands such as Ford, Chevrolet, and RAM. This is because these brands manufactured models that are essentially the same. For example, GMC mainly produces SUVs and trucks. Therefore, it’s not fair to compare the brand to many Asian brands, which typically focus on smaller sedans.

When we do this, we see that Chevrolet is the cheapest of all carmakers. However, Ford and RAM are more expensive to maintain than the average GMC. Therefore, it seems that GMC is not that expensive. It’s just the fact that GMC manufactures larger cars which means replacing parts and maintaining them is a whole lot more expensive.

The final note we want to make is that Asian brands do have a smart competitive advantage compared to many American brands. This is because many Asian brands design and manufacture (parts of) the car in Asian countries. Since labor and materials are cheaper in those countries, they can sell them for less. On the other hand, brands like GMC, Ford, Chevy, and RAM don’t have this advantage, and therefore they’re also more expensive than Asian brands.


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