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The Oil Type, Weight, And Capacity Of A GMC Terrain

We have written about the Canadian/Mexican-made GMC Terrain extensively. A key factor affecting your vehicle’s performance is its engine oil, and that is why we have covered everything you need to know about the Terrain’s engine oil requirements in the sections below. Before we get into the details, let’s look at a short answer.

Gasoline engines of the first generation (2010-17) GMC Terrain and the second-generation GMC Terrain (2018-Present) use the ACDelco dexos1 full synthetic engine oil. The diesel engine models of the second generation use the ACDelco dexos2 engine oil.

*The engine oils used in GMC Terrain are not limited to these brands only. All engine oils fulfilling the requirements given below will work well with your GMC Terrain.

This was but a small summary. To understand all of your vehicle’s engine oil needs, read on. We discuss the oil type and viscosity required for the Terrain and its oil capacity. Essential tasks such as checking the engine oil level or changing the engine oil have also been described below.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A GMC Terrain Last? (Answered)

What Type Of Engine Oil Is Used In The GMC Terrain?

There are two generations of the GMC Terrain. The first started back in 2010, even enduring a facelift until the second generation came out in 2018. Read the section below to determine the best engine oil for your respective GMC Terrain model.

  • First generation engines (2010 – 2017) and second generation gasoline engines (2018 – Present) require the use of Engine oils that conform to the dexos1 specification. ACDelco dexos1 full synthetic is recommended.
  • Second generation diesel engines (2018 – Present) require the use of engine oils that fulfill the requirements of dexos2 specification. ACDelco desox2 is recommended. If such an engine oil is not available, a substitute engine oil that meets ACEA C3 of the appropriate viscosity grade should be used.

What Is The Weight/Viscosity Of Oils Used In GMC Terrain?

Engine oil viscosity or weight measures how well the oil flows at specific temperatures. The viscosity specifications required vary with models due to different engines. The section below specifies the recommended viscosities for the various engines.

Gasoline Engines

For first-generation engines and the second generation’s LTG 2.0L turbo engine, use engine oil with the viscosity grade SAE 5W-30. In areas where temperatures fall below -20oF (-29oC), engine oils with the viscosity grade SAE 0W-30 may be used as they provide easier cold starting. To find such engine oil, click here.

For the second generation’s LYX 1.5L turbo engine, use an oil with the viscosity grade SAE 0W-20. To find such engine oil, click here.

Diesel Engines

For diesel engines of the second generation, use engine oil with the viscosity grade SAE 5W-30. Engine oils with the viscosity grade SAE 0W-40 may be used in areas where the temperatures fall below -20oF (-29oC). To find such engine oil, click here.

Also read: Types Of Gas A GMC Terrain Uses (All Generations)

What Is The Oil Capacity Of a GMC Terrain?

The Oil Capacity of a car is the amount of oil needed by the car’s engine to run adequately. The tables below summarize the oil capacities of the various models of GMC Terrain.

Gen 1 (2010 – 2017)

Engine ModelOil Capacity
2.4L L4 Engine5 Qt.
3.6L V6 Engine6 Qt.    


Gen 2 (2018 – Present)

Engine ModelOil Capacity
1.5L L4 Engine AWD5.3 Qt.
1.5L L4 Engine FWD4.2 Qt.
1.6L L4 Engine5.3 Qt.
2.0L L4 Engine AWD6 Qt.
2.0L L4 Engine FWD5 Qt.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A GMC Terrain

When To Change The Oil Of A GMC Terrain?­

The vehicle has an Engine Oil Life System that alerts you when it’s time to change the engine oil. The engine oil life is calculated based on vehicle use and may vary. When the CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON message is displayed, change the engine oil within 1000 km (600 miles).

The engine oil must be changed at least once a year or at 5000 km (3000 miles).

Also read: How Well Does A GMC Terrain Drive In Snow? (Answered)

How To Check The Oil Level Of A GMC Terrain?

Ensure that your vehicle is on level ground when you are checking the oil level. If the engine is running, turn off the engine and wait several minutes for the oil to drain back to the oil pan. This will give you more accurate oil level readings.

Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean. After it is cleaned, push it back in all the way and remove it again. Check the oil level while keeping the tip down.

If the oil level is below the cross-hatched region, add one quart of oil and recheck the level.

How To Reset The Oil Level / Oil Life Of A GMC Terrain?

­­­­­­­­­­­­The engine oil life system alerts you when the engine oil has to be changed. However, the system has to be reset manually after it alerts you. Once you have changed the engine oil, follow the steps below to reset the system.

The first method is using the DIC Menu. Turn the ignition to ON/RUN with the engine off. Press the DIC MENU button and then press up to view the remaining oil life. Then proceed to press the SET/CLR button until the oil life displayed is 100%. Turn the ignition to LOCK/OFF.

The second method uses the accelerator pedal. Turn the ignition to ON/RUN. Then, within 5 seconds, fully press the accelerator pedal three times. Turn the ignition to LOCK/OFF.