Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2013 GMC Terrain: should I walk away?

Found a used Terrain. Bought it 17 days ago. Dealer told me they had taken the engine apart to replace solenoid and everything else was good. Had a new brake job and fresh oil change too.

Drove out of town (700mi trip) on the way home noticed car was shifting slower and at higher RPMs. No check engine light, but took it to a transmission shop to see if they could confirm the transmission was working. After their assessment they told me there were two engine codes they did not erase, didn’t tell me what they were but said to get the car back to dealer as it wasn’t a tranny issue.

I went straight to the dealer (this happened 8 days post purchase and inside their two week return no questions asked timeframe) to ask them to tell me what was going on. I told them what the tranny shop said. They kept the vehicle overnight, claimed it was “driving as designed” and all they did was fix an open wiper sensor recall at no charge to me.

I was sick and didn’t drive the car again for almost a week.

Car “threw a rod” on the highway in morning rush hour traffuc. Dealer sent a tow truck to collect the vehicle. Told me they didn’t have a loaner so my daughter and I had to get a cab to get back home. I heard nothing from them, but when I called later that day the service guy said it was a rod and they would cover the repair.

It’s been two business days and I’ve heard nothing. This was a used as-is car and the dealer is not obligated to do these repairs so - on the one hand I’m glad for their help - I also don’t want a lemon that is just being patched together to get me past their 30 day exchange window.

I really wanted this car, but need to be smart. Should I be walking away from this vehicle?

You already did walk away… to a cab. Let the dealer repair it. I’d guess that even As-Is sales in your state have a 30 or 90 day warranty because I can’t see many dealers doing this kind of expensive work for free if they weren’t forced to. Of course they DID have the engine apart once before…

Based on your post, you really have no idea about what is or was wrong with the vehicle and haven’t told us anything concrete but that it threw a rod. Impossible for me to conclude that it is a lemon with this little info.

See what you have when it comes back. And have a little patience, if this thing threw a rod it will take roughly a day to get the engine out, a few days to get the new or rebuilt engine and a day and a half to install it assuming they started on it right away.

Also, when you bought this car, you believed the dealer (dealers lie!) and didn’t have an independent mechanic look this As-Is vehicle over before you bought it. Now, I can’t guarantee your mechanic would have advised against buying it but you just walked in blindly and bought it. Always have the car inspected before you buy it. It is the cheapest $100 you’ll ever spend. Good Luck