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Why Is Your GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working? Fixing This Problem’s Causes 

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GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working

In a world of ever-advancing technology, the convenience of remote start features in vehicles has become a sought-after luxury. However, when your GMC Acadia remote start fails to function properly, it can be frustrating and leave you searching for answers. 

So, why is your GMC Acadia remote start not working? The most straightforward answer is a range of factors, including a lit check engine light, valet mode activation, and dead key fob batteries. Other reasons include an unlatched hood switch, oil pressure, coolant temperature concerns, improper starting procedures, or key fob reprogramming.

Read on to discover in-depth explanations, step-by-step troubleshooting methods, and valuable insights into diagnosing and resolving issues with GMC Acadia remote start. 

Why Is Your GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working?

Why Is Your GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working

Here are the major factors that can contribute to GMC Acadia remote start not working:

1. Check Engine Light Is On

A lit check engine light can disable the remote start feature as a safety measure. The check engine light is triggered when the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) detects a fault or malfunction in one or more components. 

This indicates that there may be an issue that requires attention, such as a faulty sensor or a problem with the engine’s performance.

GMC Acadia Check Engine Light Is On


Follow these step-by-step instructions to diagnose why the check engine light is on effectively:

  • Step 1: Use an OBD-II scanner to read the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) stored in your vehicle’s onboard computer system. 
  • Step 2: Connect the OBD-II scanner to the port under the dashboard on the driver’s side. Ensure that the ignition is in the off position before connecting the scanner.
  • Step 3: Switch on the vehicle’s ignition without starting the engine. This step provides power to the OBD-II scanner and allows it to communicate with the vehicle’s computer.
  • Step 4: Use the OBD-II scanner to retrieve the DTCs stored in the vehicle’s computer system. Follow the scanner’s instructions to access the codes. 
  • Step 5: Once you have identified the specific issue causing the check engine light to illuminate, take the necessary steps to address it. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you may choose to fix it yourself if it’s within your skill level or consult a qualified mechanic for professional assistance.

2. Valet Mode Activation

If your GMC Acadia is in valet mode, the remote start functionality may be disabled. It is activated when you use the remote start feature more than two times consecutively.

Valet mode is a security feature that limits certain vehicle functions to protect your vehicle when it is entrusted to someone else, such as a valet or service technician. Valet mode typically restricts access to features like remote start to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

GMC Acadia Valet Mode Activation


To turn off the valet mode, you will have to turn the engine on and off manually. After doing so, your car will be in the position to be started remotely. 

3. Dead Key Fob Batteries

The remote start feature relies on communication between the key fob and the vehicle. If the batteries in your key fob are dead or running low, the remote start function may not work properly

Insufficient power in the key fob can hinder the signal transmission between the fob and the vehicle, preventing the remote start command from being executed.

GMC Acadia Dead Key Fob Batteries


Replace the batteries for your key fob to ensure your key fob has no more faults. Ensure you get a high-quality battery to ensure no further issues occur.

4. Unlatched Hood Switch:

Your GMC Acadia has a hood switch as a safety measure for remote starting. The vehicle may disable the remote start feature if the hood switch is unlatched or malfunctioning.

The purpose of the hood switch is to ensure that the hood is securely closed before remote starting the vehicle, preventing any potential accidents or damage.

GMC Acadia Unlatched Hood Switch


Here is a quick and easy fix to restore the functionality of your GMC Acadia’s remote start system.

  • Step 1: Start by locating the hood switch, typically near the front of the engine compartment.
  • Step 2: Ensure that the switch is securely latched in place. If the switch is loose or not properly engaged, firmly push it down or lock it into position. 
  • Step 3: Once the hood switch is securely latched, test the remote start feature to see if the issue has been resolved.

5. Oil Pressure and Coolant Temperature Concerns

Abnormal coolant temperature readings can disable the remote start feature as a safety precaution. This safety precaution will also be triggered if your oil pressure is too low. After all, the oil pressure is affected by the viscosity of your oil. 

Excessive viscosity can result in increased oil pumping resistance, which may cause insufficient lubrication within the system, subsequently resulting in decreased pressure levels.

The vehicle’s engine must meet certain operating parameters to ensure a safe and reliable start. If the oil pressure is too low or the coolant temperature is outside the recommended range, the remote start will be disabled.


To fix the coolant temperature, you should let your GMC Acadia cool down. Once it does, the start feature should start working. As for the oil pressure, you should let a mechanic check your car’s oil viscosity and replace it if necessary.

6. Improper Starting Procedures

Using the remote start feature requires following the correct starting procedures. Failure to adhere to the specified sequence of steps will result in the remote start not working.

GMC Acadia Improper Starting Procedures


Here is how to properly remote start your GMC Acadia.

  • Step 1: Ensure your GMC Acadia is locked by pressing the lock button on your key fob. 
  • Step 2: Press and hold the remote start button until the engine starts. The vehicle’s lights will flash, indicating that the remote start sequence has been initiated successfully.

7. Key Fob Reprogramming Is Required

Sometimes, the key fob must be reprogrammed to resolve remote start issues. This can happen if the key fob loses synchronization with the vehicle’s remote start system or if you buy a new key fob. 

Reprogramming the key fob restores the proper communication between the fob and the vehicle, allowing the remote start feature to function as intended.


Here is how to reprogram your key fob.

Step 1: Put your key in the ignition and turn it into the ON position.

Step 2: Press the driver information button, located near the radio, till you see “Press to relearn remote key” displayed.

Step 3: Now press the Press reset button.

Step 4: On your remote key, press the lock and unlock button at the same time. Hold them down until you hear a chime. Your key fob would then be successfully reprogrammed.

Here is a video to show you how to reprogram your key fob.

How to Diagnose GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working?

If the previous troubleshooting steps did not resolve the remote start issue, it may be necessary to diagnose the problem further. Follow these steps to identify potential underlying causes:

How to Diagnose GMC Acadia Remote Start Not Working

Step 1: Disconnect and reconnect the battery

Loosen and remove the negative (-) cable from the battery terminal, followed by the positive (+) cable. To reconnect the battery, align the positive (+) cable with the positive terminal and tighten it securely. Repeat the same process for the negative (-) cable, connecting it to the negative terminal.

Step 2: Inspect wiring connections

Visually inspect the wiring connections related to the remote start system. Look for any loose or damaged wires disrupting the signal transmission.

Step 3: Consult a professional

Consult a qualified automotive technician if you cannot identify the problem or lack technical expertise. They have the knowledge and diagnostic tools to pinpoint the exact cause of the remote start malfunction and provide appropriate solutions.

How to Reset GMC Acadia’s Remote Start?

How to Reset GMC Acadia's Remote Start

If you’re experiencing issues with your GMC Acadia’s remote start feature, resetting the system can often help resolve the problem. Follow these detailed steps to reset the remote start functionality:

Step 1: Sit in the driver’s seat and ensure you have all the key fobs. Having the key fobs nearby is essential for resetting the remote start system.

Step 2: Insert the key into the ignition switch and turn it to the ON position without starting the engine. This allows you to access certain functions and settings within the vehicle’s system.

Step 3: Locate the lock button on your key fob and press and hold it for a few seconds. This action signals the vehicle’s remote start system and initiates resetting.

Step 4: Once you have held the lock button, turn off the ignition by switching it to the OFF position. Remove the key from the ignition switch to complete the reset process.

Step 5: To ensure a complete reset, turn the key to the ON position, hold the lock button, and turn off the ignition three more times.

Step 6: Exit the vehicle and ensure all doors are securely locked. This step finalizes the reset process and prepares the remote start system for further use.

If your GMC Acadia’s remote start isn’t operating as intended, you’re not alone in grappling with this perplexing issue. Similar remote start problems might also emerge in other models, such as Mazda vehicles and Lincoln vehicles, both of which could also experience difficulties with their remote start functionality. For Mazda vehicle owners experiencing remote start problems, our article on Mazda remote start not working offers guidance for troubleshooting and resolving this specific issue. Additionally, if you’re facing remote start issues with a Lincoln vehicle, our article on Lincoln remote start not working provides insights into addressing this particular concern. By exploring these resources, you’ll be better equipped to address remote start problems effectively.


Here are a few additional questions you might be interested in, too, about the GMC Acadia remote start issues.

Q1: Is remote start available in all GMC Acadia models?

Remote start is not a standard feature in all GMC Acadia models. It is often offered as an optional feature or included in higher trim levels. Check your vehicle’s specifications or consult your dealership to confirm if your specific model has remote start capabilities.

Q2: Can I install a remote start system in my GMC Acadia

You can install a remote start system in your GMC Acadia. However, it is recommended to have the installation performed by a professional to ensure compatibility and avoid any potential warranty issues.

Q3: Can extreme weather conditions affect remote start functionality?

Extreme weather conditions, such as extremely low temperatures, can impact remote start performance. In cold climates, it may take longer for the engine to warm up and provide heat to the cabin. Similarly, extremely hot temperatures can affect cooling capabilities.


Troubleshooting and resolving issues with GMC Acadia remote start not working can be straightforward when armed with the right knowledge. By understanding its potential reasons, you can regain the convenience and functionality of your vehicle’s remote start feature.

Remember to check for error codes, inspect wiring connections, consult professionals when needed, and address any underlying issues promptly. Taking the steps outlined above can help you overcome these challenges and enjoy the benefits of effortless vehicle ignition at your convenience.

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