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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys –

Semi-new to the forums.

I have a 2011 GMC Terrain AWD 2.4 cyl. with about 63k miles on it. Bought it used last Summer. It was sitting at the dealer for a while and one owner, no crash reports, etc.

Probably about a month ago, I noticed that sometimes when completely stopped, the vehicle would surge forward over and over. Almost like I was revving the engine or like you see cars do when they're about to drag race. (Just not that pronounced.)

Lately, it's been doing this every single time I stop. Today on the way to work in freeway traffic it started surging at slow speeds in addition to when I was fully stopped.

It will surge with Eco mode on or off. It will surge with A/C on or off. Neither makes a difference. Shifting into Manual will not stop the surging either. The only way to stop it from surging is to put it in Neutral.

I also notice the RPM's fluctuate between 800-1100 RPM when this happens.

The Check Engine light is NOT on, also, in case that helps any.

I am not a car guy and I'm a single dad of a 5 year old boy, with limited income. I'm terrified this will be a big transmission issue / costly repair.

Any ideas? Is there a recall that addresses this?

Many thanks,

Michael
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Possible crank shaft position sensor or related.

Take it into Advanced Auto or Auto Zone for a free scan of any "Pending Codes". That will tell you and if it is the sensor usually about $40 IIRC.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Curious: You indicate the rpms surge up and down when in drive, does it do it in neutral too?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Thanks for the replies so far guys.

13NOX - I'll check to see if there is RPM fluctuation when it's in Neutral. I do know that the Terrain is not surging/jerking forward when it's in Neutral, but I can't be for certain until I check, if there is fluctuation in the RPMs. Will get back to you today.

Much appreciated,

M.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Ok so the RPMs intermittently will fluctuate between 800 and 1000 rpm even in neutral but it's not as frequent.

However a new development: I stopped at the local auto parts store to pick up some fuel system cleaner and when I started my Terrain to leave, the check engine light came on for the first time.

I'm hearing it might be a coil pack? Would that cause it? If so, how would I tell which coil pack it was or do I have to replace all 4 of them? Is there an engine code that I can get by taking it to Advanced Auto or wherever?

Thanks in advance,

M.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

That's good - at least you have a clue. Sometimes the code will indicate which cyl. is misfiring, or some of the bluetooth or USB diagnostic equipment, and for well under $20 will def tell you which cylinder is guilty. But, without fill info, I would probably just buy one coil pack, and do some guessing. Actually, pulling all of the plugs will probably add to you info. "One of these plugs is not like the other". Sounds like "fun" - do you live in Upstate NY ? I'll offer some help !
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Super-generous of you man and very much appreciated! If I were near you, I'd definitely take you up on the offer.

I'm in Central Ohio though.

So, take the Terrain to AutoZone or something, have them pull the codes and that will tell me if / which coil pack it might be - or - I just pull each coil pack and swap with the new one I bought until the check engine light goes off?

Again, apologies. Not really a car guy and I'm hold you car guys in the utmost regard.

Many thanks,

Michael
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

monolithic said:
Super-generous of you man and very much appreciated! If I were near you, I'd definitely take you up on the offer.

I'm in Central Ohio though.

So, take the Terrain to AutoZone or something, have them pull the codes and that will tell me if / which coil pack it might be - or - I just pull each coil pack and swap with the new one I bought until the check engine light goes off?

Again, apologies. Not really a car guy and I'm hold you car guys in the utmost regard.

Many thanks,

Michael
I would 1st pull the plugs and look for one that looks different - maybe wet, or black from oil. That is probably the bad coil pack. If they all look the same, get a new coil pack and move it around til the engine runs normal.

Oh - very first , see if the code reader gives you the misfiring cylinder info. They are 1 -> 4 from the passenger side to the drivers side.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

If you don't have a torque wrench and spark plug socket, AutoZone and some other stores will loan you the tool.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

The auto parts stores know that alot of the diy people like us can't afford the tools. So they have a code reader and extra tools that we don't need every day. They will often give you advice. (Not always good advice lol)

Spark plugs should be torqued to 15 foot pounds.
This car is super easy to work on.
Here is a video on your engine's spark plug change.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D2TWwFXwkhvA&ved=0ahUKEwigmYiY8LbSAhVl9YMKHWLJAyIQwqsBCCIwAg&usg=AFQjCNEdPiJhsiRMoLvjOQ0kIh1lyJMDdg&sig2=frJ-hUaoW_-pE05Sobn0MQ

Or this one

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DUkf_0MRoWkM&ved=0ahUKEwigmYiY8LbSAhVl9YMKHWLJAyIQwqsBCBwwAA&usg=AFQjCNFx2G2SelNYZbZDsPulMdv5vIoL5w&sig2=ydOt0F0UbvmecfJHao1BAw
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging / jerking at idle

Thanks man - appreciate the videos.

I posted another thread with new symptoms. But the check engine light came on for a few days and then went off. But now the car is stalling at low speeds (usually under 10 mph). Power brakes do not work, pressing on the accelerator will do nothing / no RPMs, but the dash will look normal, no warning lights come on, radio functions normal, electrical system 'seems' to work fine. I had to coast the vehicle when this happened and when it finally stopped, it restarted fine.

Also, I'm getting a strong smell inside the Terrain / cabin. Maybe gasoline smell? It was strong today and last night (first two times the vehicle stalled). I can still smell it and I've been out of my Terrain for a couple of hours now.

Does this sound like a coil pack?

If so, I tried looking for "coil pack" on Rock Auto, etc and there is nothing labeled that. There are other parts called 'coil' or 'ignition coil'. What should I be looking for?

Many, many thanks,

M.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

I think what is needed is to go to Autozone and get the code read.

If you can provide the code (ie: P0011 or P0301, etc.) the people on this forum can definitely get you headed in the right direction.

I would hate for you to get a coil pack and find out that it had nothing to do with this.

To be honest, it sounds to me like the VERY common cam solenoid issue that happens on many Ecotec 2.4L. I had it both my Regal and my Terrain. It is a ridiculously easy and fairly inexpensive repair. However, until we have a code, I wouldn't want speculate.

Can you get it to a place to get any codes read and share with us? Once we have this, we can give you some very specific steps to take to resolve.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

tygriff said:
I think what is needed is to go to Autozone and get the code read.

If you can provide the code (ie: P0011 or P0301, etc.) the people on this forum can definitely get you headed in the right direction.

I would hate for you to get a coil pack and find out that it had nothing to do with this.

To be honest, it sounds to me like the VERY common cam solenoid issue that happens on many Ecotec 2.4L. I had it both my Regal and my Terrain. It is a ridiculously easy and fairly inexpensive repair. However, until we have a code, I wouldn't want speculate.

Can you get it to a place to get any codes read and share with us? Once we have this, we can give you some very specific steps to take to resolve.
I can take it to an AutoZone today. The problem is that the Check Engine light is no longer on. It came on for a few days and then went off. I read on here that they can still pull past codes?

If so, I'll take it over there right now and come back with the code if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

AutoZone pulled the error code and it was P0014.

Thoughts?

Many thanks,

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

I'm at Jiffy Lube now. Low oil and low quality oil.

He said that since the oil was so low and low quality he can't give me a warranty?

Also, why didn't a light come on my Terrain's dash alerting me to low oil? Also, OnStar monthly report didn't alert me to anything?

Thanks,
M.
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

monolithic said:
I'm at Jiffy Lube now. Low oil and low quality oil.

He said that since the oil was so low and low quality he can't give me a warranty?

Also, why didn't a light come on my Terrain's dash alerting me to low oil? Also, OnStar monthly report didn't alert me to anything?

Thanks,
M.

how many miles since the last oil change?

Check your oil level often- weekly basis if you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

So I went 3k miles over the recommended mileage to have it changed. I learned a valuable lesson.

He said the oil was dangerously low and that it was black and thick.

Now I'm concerned that it used that much oil. Does that sound right?
 

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Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

3000 miles over the recommended...

what is the recommended you were told/heard?


some of these 4 cyls burn oil.
there are threads on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

I cannot remember what the mileage recommendation was, but I was 3k past that today. I had it changed at a Valvoline place. I was 3k over the sticker in the window. Didn't even realize it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: 2011 Terrain AWD 4 cyl surging at idle **Update: now stalls**

Just found this link:

http://www.autonews.com/article/20130405/RETAIL05/130409922/gm-alerts-779000-owners-to-need-for-more-frequent-oil-changes

All-in-all, very glad it was just an oil change. Hopefully nothing was damaged as a result.

Hopefully this helps anyone else having this issue who didn't think to check the oil level first. I believe someone in this thread might have mentioned it. Can't believe it was something that simple.

I'm very appreciative of all of the advice and helpful responses. This is a great community.

Thanks guys,

M.
 
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