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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, new to the group.

We have a 2015 Acadia. 120K miles. We love this vehicle. It has been bullet proof until ... 3 days ago. It just stopped at a intersection, out of the blue. Traction control, airbag, engine light flashing on dash. We had it towed to a dealer. After 2 days, the dealer says they will need to tear into the engine to find the issue (possible timing chain issue) or just replace the engine. Obviously we are shocked and have many questions. has anyone had this happen to them? i'd love to hear any suggestions or ideas. replace the engine? get it back from the dealer and sell it to someone willing to fix it? take it to another shop? (the dealer shop has been good in the past, but they have terrible in our last couple of visits)
 

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Once towed to a service shop it is difficult to determine if you want to accept the diagnosis or not.
With the cost of a new engine. . .. it's may be worth it for a send opinion? But I would make sure that anyother shop you choose to look at it has a good reliable and honest reputation.
Without knowing the maintenance history, difficult to say why it failed. Many service shops have fewer and limited repair techs what with people off or moved on for one reason or another..

A 2015 engine should be more reliable than earlier 3.6L versions. HOw many miles between oil changes did you usually do? And what kind of oil?
 

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You might not have many choices if they got very far along in tearing the engine down for inspection.
 

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Question EVERYTHING.

I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the techs and service managers are going off historical '07-'10 memory for these vehicles, even though GM made a number of running revisions to improve reliability and/or supplied components.

My dealer just tried to tell me that my '14 needed a new transmission and torque converter. Why? Mostly because of the earlier run of wave plate, solenoid, and torque converter issues, etc. They just spoon-feed the bull that these aren't reliable drivetrains because of the first few model years.

In reality, they had overfilled my f*&$#!g transmission fluid during a flush by over 2 quarts! After my finding and the subsequent fix, the vehicle runs like normal again.

Get the codes. Ask for more detail. Have them walk you through why they think what they do.

It still might be a true engine failure, but be diligent.
 

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I agree with @speleos. You don't really have a lot of options. Did you authorized them to do some tear down to determine the problem or are they waiting on you?

Have they told you why they are recommending an engine replacement?

We also need a few more facts. When the engine stopped would it turn over and try to start or did it seem to be locked up?

Personally, I would just tell them to keep it and buy something new.
 

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2021 GMC Acadia SLE Satin Steel Metallic Elevation Edition Jet Black interior
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I disagree with others here. You always have options and as far as something that is that costly, I’d get a second opinion from at least one other reputable shop in your area. After we drove our ‘21 Acadia off the lot when new it’s never been back to the dealer. I do the maintenance in our Acadia and Silverado because I don’t trust the dealership one bit.
I don’t care how far they are into a tear down, I’d tell them to put everything in the trunk and have it towed to another shop for a second opinion. Most of the good mechanics are on their own. One of my buddies from high school is a prime example. He has a small shop so it looks like a hole in the wall but he’s honest, reliable, does phenomenal work, and charges reasonable rates. If I can’t do a repair, he’s who I use. It’s all up to you but I surely wouldn’t take a dealerships word for it as most of them are just in it for as much $$$ as they can make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Greetings, new to the group.

We have a 2015 Acadia. 120K miles. We love this vehicle. It has been bullet proof until ... 3 days ago. It just stopped at a intersection, out of the blue. Traction control, airbag, engine light flashing on dash. We had it towed to a dealer. After 2 days, the dealer says they will need to tear into the engine to find the issue (possible timing chain issue) or just replace the engine. Obviously we are shocked and have many questions. has anyone had this happen to them? i'd love to hear any suggestions or ideas. replace the engine? get it back from the dealer and sell it to someone willing to fix it? take it to another shop? (the dealer shop has been good in the past, but they have terrible in our last couple of visits)

I asked what the current amount due. $500. which, after reading all of your comments, makes me wonder if the technician really knows if the engine needs to be replaced or is just guessing.

The estimate for a reconditioned engine, installed: $9K

Thank you!! for you comments!
 

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I asked what the current amount due. $500. which, after reading all of your comments, makes me wonder if the technician really knows if the engine needs to be replaced or is just guessing.

The estimate for a reconditioned engine, installed: $9K

Thank you!! for you comments!
All you need do is ask your service advisor how they arrived at their conclusion of needing an engine transplant.

I would take the word of the tech that has seen your car over the advice of some random folks on the internet. Sounds like the tech has spent about 4 hours. Enough time in many cases to determine if the engine is worth saving.
 

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All you need do is ask your service advisor how they arrived at their conclusion of needing an engine transplant.

I would take the word of the tech that has seen your car over the advice of some random folks on the internet. Sounds like the tech has spent about 4 hours. Enough time in many cases to determine if the engine is worth saving.
+1 Both the service advisor and tech should also be willing to show someone results of the inspection if requested to do so.
 

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All you need do is ask your service advisor how they arrived at their conclusion of needing an engine transplant.

I would take the word of the tech that has seen your car over the advice of some random folks on the internet. Sounds like the tech has spent about 4 hours. Enough time in many cases to determine if the engine is worth saving.
I'm still confused on how they're $500 in already. Someone had to authorize that much investigation — I guess the OP did?

I'm REALLY curious what was said to start down this rabbit hole. I mean, if a service shop torn into my engine without authorization, I'm suing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
All you need do is ask your service advisor how they arrived at their conclusion of needing an engine transplant.

I would take the word of the tech that has seen your car over the advice of some random folks on the internet. Sounds like the tech has spent about 4 hours. Enough time in many cases to determine if the engine is worth saving.
Apologies for not being clear in my previous reply.

The battery was bad, 2 bad cells, which i believe as it's been in the car for a long time. and the negative battery cable was "shorted". hope that makes sense.

the battery and cable installed was ~$350. the rest of the $500 is time spent diagnosing the issue. the service advisor told me was that the tech observed a code that led him to believe the issue may involve the timing belt. at this point, the tech will need to start tearing down the engine to find and fix the issue, no telling how long that will take or how much it will cost. or, it may be easier to replace the engine. i plan to talk with the advisor and tech tomorrow morning and have them take me through the diagnosis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm still confused on how they're $500 in already. Someone had to authorize that much investigation — I guess the OP did?

I'm REALLY curious what was said to start down this rabbit hole. I mean, if a service shop torn into my engine without authorization, I'm suing.
I wasn't clear. the tech reported that the batter was bad and the negative cable was shorted. that needed to be fixed before he could do any further investigation. the batter/cable installed ~$350. The rest is investigation.
 

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I asked what the current amount due. $500. which, after reading all of your comments, makes me wonder if the technician really knows if the engine needs to be replaced or is just guessing.

The estimate for a reconditioned engine, installed: $9K

Thank you!! for you comments!
That price seems very very high to me. I texted my mechanic friend, he said if it was in his shop, that’s about a 6 thousand dollar job, engine, labor, and everything. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck man.
 

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... i plan to talk with the advisor and tech tomorrow morning and have them take me through the diagnosis.
Hopefully they can refine the repair estimate for you at that time, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
update (kinda long)
i talked to the service advisor this morning. the tech determined that the timing chain “jumped timing, basically jumped the sprocket”. the pistons and valves were trashed. i reviewed the estimate for $9300 for a reconditioned engine, installed. the engine was ~$4300 which is what i’ve seen by googling for acadia engines. it didn’t make sense to me to pay that much to repair a vehicle with 120K miles. i ended up trading the adadia for a buick enclave. i feel like an idiot for going with basically the same car. but the dealer gave me a trade in value for the acadia. it felt like the only way to get anything out of my acadia.i tried to get a trade value at a couple other dealers and they wouldn’t touch the acadia.

question: what causes a timing chain to fail, taking the engine out in the process? we’ve kept up with normal maintenance, oil changes, etc. wouldn’t we have heard a “bang” or “crash” when it happened? my wife said she heard some clicking noises in the last couple of weeks but barely detectable. it just stopped.

THANK YOU for all your comments and help. i don’t have an acadia anymore but close.
 

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... question: what causes a timing chain to fail, taking the engine out in the process? ..
You made a good decision, IMO. Glad the dealer worked with you on the trade. Good luck with the Enclave.

An engine can fail at any time, regardless of how well it's maintained. That's an unfortunate fact of life. TBH, I believe failures in many of the VVT engines are largely caused by lack of keeping oil at a proper level. Many folks don't check oil levels between changes. Too many believe OLM means oil level monitor when, in fact, it means oil life monitor - two distinctly different things.
 

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question: what causes a timing chain to fail, taking the engine out in the process? we’ve kept up with normal maintenance, oil changes, etc. wouldn’t we have heard a “bang” or “crash” when it happened? my wife said she heard some clicking noises in the last couple of weeks but barely detectable. it just stopped.

THANK YOU for all your comments and help. i don’t have an acadia anymore but close.
I agree with @speleos, trading it was a better decision then spending $10k on the Acadia.

Many times it is not the actual timing chain that fails but the timing chain tensioners. Their job is to do as the name implies, keep tension on the timing chain. When they fail a chain can jump off a sprocket. Sometimes there is catastrophic results.

The clicking noises your wife heard may have well been warning signs the tensioners were failing.

Enjoy the new ride.
 

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Once in the bay all bets are off. Get a second and third opinon. I have a suspicion the dealer repair departments are under intense pressure to make up for lost sales revenue. A friend with a Suburban was told he needed a new engine. His non-dealer mechanic discovered a bad starter coil. He's filed a complaint with the state.
 

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Once in the bay all bets are off. Get a second and third opinon. I have a suspicion the dealer repair departments are under intense pressure to make up for lost sales revenue. A friend with a Suburban was told he needed a new engine. His non-dealer mechanic discovered a bad starter coil. He's filed a complaint with the state.
My son is a service advisor. No intense pressure to make up for lost sales revenue. They have more work than they can handle. No need to create work. The intense pressure for most service departments is finding enough qualified techs to handle the workload. Seems fewer and fewer want to turn wrenches for a living.
 

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Unfortunately, some of the techs Dealers do have are not very good at the work they do. We had wife's car in for a new radiator and there are transmission oil lines connected to the radiator. So, based on some other past Dealer service work, I checked the transmission fluid level using the PROPER way after a good warm up with the engine running. . level surface, pulled the side level check port plug and over a quart of excess fluid drained out !
They also left off a plastic panel under the radiator that should have been replaced.
Why should a customer have to second guess and check over work they pay for?

Also, I always took my trucks and cars into the dealer for oil changes and other service work.
A few years ago I happened to go under my 2017 truck and touch up the the frame where some rust was occurring and found that the oil pan drain plug had all corners rounded off. I checked wife's car and it had the same. This was after only 3 oil changes on both vehicles.
Funny how I've changed oil in cars for years myself and made sure that didn't happen.

There were other incidents in the last 10 years or so and even my neighbor 30 year Dealer tech says more of the newer "techs" do not seem to care about how they do the work. He says ever since the service departments just pay by job instead of base pay plus job rate, the worker quality has gone down. It often encourages rushing to get the next job and more pay. Not to mention, some favoritism of who gets the plum jobs and who gets the head ache jobs. I've heard the same from my 50 year old nephew who has been a service adviser at 3 dealers over the years.
Some may not like to hear this or agree. . . . but it IS what is happening.
 
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