GMC Terrain: Starting the Engine / Diesel Engine Starting Procedure

The diesel engine starts differently than a gasoline engine.

  1. With the Keyless Access system, the RKE transmitter must be in the vehicle. Press ENGINE START/STOP and observe the wait-to-start light. See Wait-to-Start Light 0 139. This light may not come on if the engine is warm.
  2. As soon as the wait-to-start light goes off, immediately press ENGINE START/STOP with the brake pedal applied to start.

    The engine has a fast warm-up glow plug system. The wait-to-start light will illuminate for a much shorter time than most diesel engines, due to the rapid heating of the glow plug system.

    Caution

    If the wait-to-start light stays on after starting the vehicle, the vehicle may not run properly. Have the vehicle serviced right away.

  3. If the engine does not start after 15 seconds of cranking, wait one minute for the cranking motor to cool, then try the same steps again.

If you are trying to start the engine after the vehicle has run out of fuel, follow the steps in Running Out of Fuel (Diesel).

When the engine is cold, let it run for a few minutes before driving. This lets oil pressure build up. The engine will sound louder when it is cold.

Cold Weather Starting (Diesel Engine)

Use the recommended engine oil when the outside temperature drops below freezing. See Engine Oil. When the outside temperature drops below –18°C (0° F), use of the engine heater is recommended.

See Fuel for Diesel Engines for information on what fuel to use in cold weather.

If the Diesel Engine Will Not Start

If the vehicle has run out of fuel, see Running Out of Fuel (Diesel).

If the vehicle is not out of fuel, and the engine will not start:

Press ENGINE START/STOP. Immediately after the wait-to-start light goes off, press ENGINE START/STOP to start the vehicle.

If the light does not go off, wait a few seconds, then try starting the engine again. See your dealer for a starting system check.

If the light comes on and then goes off, and it is known that the battery is charged, but the engine still will not start, the vehicle needs service.

If the light does not come on when the engine is cold, the vehicle needs service.

If the battery does not have enough charge to start the engine, see Battery - North America.

Check that the correct engine oil has been used and changed at appropriate intervals. If the wrong oil is used, the engine may be harder to start.

Be sure to use the proper fuel for existing weather conditions. See Fuel for Diesel Engines.

If the engine starts, runs a short time, then stops, the vehicle needs service.

Warning

Do not use gasoline or starting aids, such as ether, in the air intake. They could damage the engine, which may not be covered by the vehicle warranty. They could also cause a fire, which could cause serious personal injury.

    Gasoline Engine Starting Procedure

    With the Keyless Access system, the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) transmitter must be in the vehicle. Press ENGINE START/STOP with the brake pedal applied...

    Stop/Start System

    If equipped, the Stop/Start system will shut off the engine to help conserve fuel. It has components designed for the increased number of starts. Warning The automatic engine Stop/Start feature causes the engine to shut off while the vehicle is still on...

    Other information:

    GMC Terrain 2018-2021 Owners Manual: Tire Pressure Light


    For vehicles with the Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS), this light comes on briefly when the engine is started. It provides information about tire pressures and the TPMS. When the Light Is On Steady This indicates that one or more of the tires are significantly underinflated...

    GMC Terrain 2018-2021 Owners Manual: Antilock Brake System (ABS)


    This vehicle has an Antilock Brake System (ABS), an advanced electronic braking system that helps prevent a braking skid. When the vehicle begins to drive away, ABS checks itself. A momentary motor or clicking noise may be heard while this test is going on, and it may even be noticed that the brake pedal moves a little...

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