Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,393 miles
Total Complaints:
56 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. buy a new engine (17 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. rebuild the engine (10 reports)
  4. replaced timing belt (5 reports)
  5. Sell it for's a lemon! (5 reports)
  6. check your timing belt (3 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Aveo engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Aveo Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Feb 132012

Aveo Sedan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


I bought my aveo used from a dealership less than a year ago warranty just ran out was running fine had oiled changed as directed driving home from work one day check engine light came on when went to stop the car was puttering like it wasn't getting gas overdrive isnt working past 45 miles an hour and just got a call from the mechanic that this is probably gonna be expensive i still owe alot of money on this car i make my payments on time and i just got screwed after reading all the complaints on this site i feel like gm knows its a problem they should be held responsible for it and if any car dealer sells a used aveo they should have to change the timing belt first and put a big warning on the car that says cheap on gas but you will need to replace motor every 60,000 miles i will be contacting the bbb on this if anyone needs me for a reference on what a piece of crap this car is im glad to help we work hard for our money and should not be taking advantage of by a big manufacturer like gm

- , Tipp City, OH, USA

problem #35

Nov 232011

Aveo LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles

Replaced engine at Dave's Care Care, Woodstock, GA with an engine from LKQ. The replacement engine once installed had continued "Check Engine" light before I have been able to take delivery of the replacement fixes. We were told that LKQ was aware of bad Aveo engines and the cylinder heads were recalled but they never divulged this until after the engine was delivered. I have paid even more now for a replacement head that was supposed to fix the problem but has not. Tech says it runs fine but repeating "check engine" light has not allowed me to take delivery of the car. Original timing belt failure occurred on highway speeds and just trashed the engine.

- , Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #34

Jan 072012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Boy do I feel like a schmuck. I bough this car for my daughter for her 17th birthday 2 years ago with 88,000 miles. I was never told of the possible problem with this car until after I bought it. I was also never told from a dealer that I took it to just a month ago that this could be a problem. If the timing belt is just bad 300.00 if the motor is bad they quoted me 1500.00 for a used motor with 60,000 miles on it. Hmmm same problem I would think. I would be wise to have the belt and waterpump changed it we do that. We will see. Wish me luck.

- , Waterford, WI, USA

problem #33

Jun 222011

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,500 miles


My loyal Chevy dealer who I have purchased over 20 cars and trucks from in the past 18 years tells me, my extended warranty ran out 90 days ago SORRY. I ask them to help my find a fair price on a rebuild, their to busy to help. To busy sell more Aveo's to more uninformed buyers, this car is a problem that Chevy should be standing behind.

- , Peoria, IL, USA

problem #32

May 292011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

Going down the highway my 2004 Aveo just stops on me no warning at all. I get it towed to be told that the timing belt is broke and it bent the bolts in it and is going to have to have a new motor to be fixed. At 39000 miles this should not happen to anyone. I have had the car for 6 years exactlly so it is no longer covered, but I think someone should replace my car or fix it so it is driveable! I will never buy another chevy again, this car should fall under the lemon laws. If anyone knows what I should do or who I should call please let me know. Thank You

- , Cinti, OH, USA

problem #31

Feb 102011

Aveo 3.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 83,885 miles

Can't believe how many people this has happened to and can't believe timing belt alone is only 125.00 but because of style of motor need head and head gasket because the pistons don't stop. really frustrating like many of you i still owe and have been quoted 2,700 to fix it and have been busing it now for one month trying to save.

shame on chevrolet and the most frustrating part is that the chevy dealership i bought it from has now turned into mitsubishi. don't even know what else to say other than will never buy chevy again....

- , Surrey, BC, canada

problem #30

Apr 122011

Aveo LS 1.6l4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


Why would u still have an interference motor in a vehicle today, the cost is prohibitive for repair as it is less expensive to replace the motor than to repair. The cost of repair I was quoted was $3500.00 dollars too much for a vehicle that has a 5000 to 6000 average retail value.

- , Portage, MI, USA

problem #29

Feb 092011

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Ok, here you go. I am doing this as a public sefrvice announcment to all of the poor people dealing with the timing belt issue. First of all, there is nothing wrong with an interference engine. The valves and pistons do share the same place at different times, but that creates better horsepower and fuel economy from a smaller engine. The issue is the timing belt. first off, let me give you some background on what you own. the aveo is sold by Chevy ( you know that) , built by a pretty much defunct Korean car maker ( you probrably knew that) In Communist China ( bet you didn't know that)

If you would have bought, say, a Toyota Yaris for a little more, you would have gotten Toyota's bullitproof 1.5 engine with a timing chain, not a belt. The timing chain lasts usually in excess of 150,000 miles with no problems.

- , Belvidere, IL, USA

problem #28

Mar 022011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

gm Chevy knows about this problem!! car just died on busy highway!! never so scared in my life!! i will never buy Chevy/gm again!! never notified etc. dealer lied! i am a working class hero and this will set me back soo far! going to Honda but i did try to buy American!

lets get a class action lawsuit together!!

- , Highlands, NJ, USA

problem #27

Feb 162010

Aveo LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,484 miles

We brought the car used from a Chevy Dealership in March 2005. We thought wow what great deal. The time belt went while I was in a passing gear and it sound like someone taking their last breath before death. We never received notification that the timing belt needed to be replace prior to 90K miles. My mechanic did research on the issue and found that GM was aware of this issue sent out wire suggesting that the belt be replace at 50k. It took over 3 months to fine a replacement motor ($2,700). My mechanic suggested that replace the belt at 40k miles.

GM should have sent out notices to owners of this issues. This is another reason that I probably switch to Ford!

- , Brookhaven, PA, USA

problem #26

Oct 012010


  • Manual transmission
  • 67,000 miles


My complaint involves a replacement timing belt manufactured by General Motors Detroit and purchased on my behalf from the Parts Department of Steve Rayman Chevrolet on March 29, 2010 by Ken Black of Fairground Auto and Body Shop for installation on my 2004 Chevrolet Aveo. The replacement of the timing belt was routine maintenance and was intended to protect my auto from damage that might occur when a timing belt fails. At that time my car mileage was 69631. On October 1, 2010, this replacement timing belt failed after only 4327 miles and 6 months of service. A section of the teeth which engaged the timing belt separated from the body of the belt. The defective belt flew into my engine causing extensive damage. I had the vehicle towed to Fairground Auto where this damage was repaired at a cost to me of $2098.30. Mr. Ken Black advised me that since the belt was defective he believed that General Motors should reimburse me for the repair. He took the belt back to Steve Rayman Chevrolet where he showed it to the Parts Manager Mike Stewart who concurred that the belt definitely had a manufacturing defect and made attempts to get GM in Detroit to stand behind the part and take care of my damages. GM refused to do anything. These details can be verified with Ken Black of Fairground Auto at 770 429 8473 as well as Mike Stewart, Parts Manager at Steve Rayman Chevrolet, at 770 953 0100 Ext 3047.

After paying the repair bill of $2098.30, I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint against General Motors (case file 71-886754) which was processed by Constance Stevens at: BBB of Detroit & Eastern Michigan 26777 Central Park Blvd, Ste. 100 Southfield, MI 48076-4163 Phone: (248)223-9400

In response to the BBB complaint, I was contacted by Sonia, a Customer Relationship Specialist at General Motors (phone 1-866-790-5700, ext 41480) who advised me that a casefile number had been assigned (casefile 71-886754121).

In response, I sent Sonia the following letter with documentation regarding my damages:

November 14, 2010

952 Villa Rica Road SW Marietta, GA 30064

Dear Customer Relationship Specialist Sonia,

This letter and the supporting documents are in reference to my BBB complaint (case file 71-886754). Last week I received a phone call from you stating that I would have to take my Aveo and the defective belt to a GM dealership for evaluation. Since my car has been repaired, it would make no sense to have a diagnostic performed on it at this point. Furthermore, I do not feel the opinion offered by a GM dealership would be impartial. The parts manager at Steve Rayman Chevrolet in Smyrna did in fact examine the timing belt when the belt broke in early October. Mr. Kim Black, the owner of Fairground Automotive, took the belt to the dealership and the parts manager agreed that it was defective and offered a replacement belt but would not consider the damages to my car caused when the defective belt broke. I have emailed the parts manager several times this week for a statement but he does not respond.

I am enclosing the following: 1. a copy of invoice 557038 from Steve Rayman Chevrolet showing that a timing belt was purchased on March 29, 2010 by Fairground Auto and Body Shop; 2. a copy of repair order 0051577 showing that the timing belt was installed on my Aveo on March 30, 2010 and that the mileage on my Aveo at that time was 63961; 3. a statement by Mr. Kim Black on preliminary repair order 0054062 dated October 5, 2010. This repair order shows towing charge and diagnostic. Mr. Black’s statement relates his visit to Steve Rayman Chevrolet during which the Parts Manager agreed that the timing belt was defective. This document also shows the mileage on my Aveo on October 5, 2010 to be 73688. The timing belt had disintegrated after only 4327 miles. 4, a copy of the completed repair order 0054062 dated October 6, 2010 which shows the total amount paid to repair the damages caused by the broken timing belt to be $2098.30; 5. a photo of the defective belt clearly showing section where teeth separated from the body of the belt.

I believe this documentation is enough to show that GM produced a defective timing belt which caused damage to my car for which I should be reimbursed in the amount of $2098.30.

There is a principle of law which states “the thing speaks for itself”. The fact that teeth are missing from the body of the belt causing it to fly off and damage my engine is very clearly demonstrated by my evidence. A timing belt should certainly stand up to more than 4327 miles of service. A defect in the manufacturing caused the belt to fail and damage my vehicle. The thing speaks for itself.

I would like your written response in the form of a letter to my home address or email to I do not wish a phone call because it is so difficult to document a telephone conversation.

If we can not come to an agreement, I will certainly pursue filing a small claims suit against General Motors in Michigan’s 36th District Court. I have looked into the process for filing suit and since I have flight privileges with Delta Airlines, I would be willing to come to Detroit for a fair and impartial hearing.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely, Barry Hopkins

In response to my letter, Sonia called me again and requested that I once again take to timing belt into Steve Rayman Chevrolet and have the Parts Manager examine it. She told me that she would phone him after he looked at it and get his opinion. I did as she asked and took the belt into Mike Stewart, Parts Manager, again. He told me unequivocably that the belt was defective. He said that he would be happy to tell Sonia the same thing and that he hoped GM would do something to reimburse me for my damages. Sonia called me the following week and verified that she had indeed spoken to Mike Stewart and that he told her exactly what he had told me. Sonia said that she still could do nothing to reimburse me for my damages. She asked me to take the belt in again to Steve Rayman Chevrolet and this time I should show it to the Service Manager. I told her that I was not going to keep taking the belt in for different people to examine and that I felt she had sufficient documentation and an expert opinion from Mike Stewart. I am contemplating coming to Detroit to file a small claims suit against General Motors to recover my damages of $2098.30.

Update from Jan 23, 2011: I want to encourage everyone who has experienced a timing belt problem with the Aveo to file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at their website When a timing belt breaks at highway speed, that is definitely a safety issue!! Let's bring all the pressure to bear that we can on GM to do the right thing about this problem.

Update from Jan 27, 2011: Just today I was contacted again by Jim (refused to give a last name) a District Manager at GM in Detroit who told me again that even though the parts and service department at the dealership verified that the replacement belt was defective and caused the damage to the engine of my Aveo, General Motors would not reimburse me for the damages. No one at General Motors seems to have a last name or an email address. All contact is anonymous. Just typical of their shady business dealings.

- , Marietta, GA, USA

problem #25

Dec 282010

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,942 miles

I was sitting at a stop light when all of the sudden the engine sputtered a couple of times and quit. No warning what so ever. I called to get tow truck only to find out that it was a bad timing belt. Pulled the valve cover and it appears that 14 of 16 valves are belt. I do not have an extra $2500 to repair a vehicle that I still owe on. I never received any notices that said to replace the belt early. I bought the car new in 2004 with less than 90 miles on it.

GM had better start working with us or they will have a lot of GM owners buying other makes of vehicles. I will be calling the Attorney Generals office and GM tomorrow. I will also notify The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration as well to lodge a complaint. If others know of a Class Action Lawsuit please contact me at If enough of us speak loud enough maybe we can get GM to work with us.

On a side note I have seen some comments about a popping when turning. That was repaired under warranty shortly after I bought it. It was a recall item if I remember correctly.

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #24

Dec 052010

Aveo LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,600 miles

This is my first car purchase. I've never felt so used in my life! I got this car 2 days ago!!! When I went to the dealership, it seemed like a great deal (A 2004 for 4995 after trading in my junky Sonata hand-me-down?! Sweet!). I took out my first loan. I got insured. I even got a warentee from the dealer for 30 days. I was driving to my friend's house last night and out of nowhere, my car stops! I had 4 people look at it, and it was the timing belt. The engine needs replacement, because the thing is warped. The dealer won't refund my money. My parents are prepared to sue. I have to carpool to work and school (the week before finals). I'm regretting this purchase entirely, because I didn't do my research. Always do your research!!!! Now I'm stuck paying for a car that's broken. What a rip off.

- , Nashua, NH, USA

problem #23

Nov 062010

Aveo 1.6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,500 miles

timing belt broke, setting engine out of time, bending valves, scaring pistons and piston walls. don't know what to do. I still owe on this car.

- , St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #22

May 212010


  • Manual transmission
  • 41,000 miles

I was driving down the road and noticed that my car was accelerating very slowly. I parked and turned the engine off, then was unable to restart it. According to the mechanic, the timing belt failed. I had them replace it, and then they informed me that every valve in the engine was bent. Upon receiving this news, I had the car towed to the dealer, who informed me that the repairs would not be covered under the extended warranty I purchased on the vehicle (I bought the car used). I then contacted GM and after making me wait for 3 weeks, they informed me that they would not cover the repairs, but they would be happy to sell me another f-ing GM.

I filed a complaint with the attorney general and received a call from GM informing me they would take my concerns as high up the chain as possible. Today (nearly 3 months after the car failed) GM informs me that because I did not have a GM dealership repair the timing belt they will not cover the repairs. At this point, I am looking into small claims court and filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If there are any other suggestions, please e-mail me at GM shouldn't be allowed to operate like this.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #21

Jun 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,500 miles

The timing belt on my 2004 Chevrolet Aveo snapped at 47,500 miles. The belt failure caused 14 of the 16 valves in my engine to bend, costing me a whopping $2,175 for a replacement cylinder head and timing belt.

For the record, GM issued a technical service bulletin recommending drivers replace their timing belts at 60K miles (TSB 06-06-01-021B: EI06005, which you can see in entirety here: According to the bulletin, timing belt failures before 60K miles and 5 years may be considered under warranty if the issue is submitted as a Field Product Report (whatever that is). My Aveo is one year too old to be covered and I took it to a mechanic to be fixed, so I'm basically screwed. Still, a timing belt blowout at 47,500 miles is completely unacceptable and certainly should warrant at least partial compensation from GM.

I called GM to see what they could do as far as compensation, but they were no help. The customer service representative was unable to pull up the TSB and could only tell me that, based on my vehicle's VIN number, there are no "recalls." She advised me to take my car to GM for a diagnosis, after which I may or may not be compensated. Considering the innumerable complaints I've read about GM dealing with this issue, I'd probably be wasting my time and money if I took the car in for diagnosis (Besides, I had 2 mechanics give me a diagnosis already... and the car is fixed!)

At this point, the only thing I can do is take GM to small claims court, file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and Congress, and hope to find some kind of class action lawsuit.

If anyone is interested in joining me for a class action lawsuit, or if anyone has advice about what I can do for restitution, please e-mail me at

- , Pennsauken, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jun 292010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Driving on Interstate, clunkkerbang and it kept running then a few miles down the road it quit. Same as the other reports...tow, mechanic said it was timing belt...bent rods...ruined engine...will replace for 2400.00 used engine. There ought to be a law against the Automakers being able to make cars like this. What is going on with this country. They get bail out money we get the shaft.

We heard the company does not make the engine we need anymore and it is very hard to find a used one with low mileage, then you MUST be sure to replace the timing belt....what if the water pump goes or the mechanic forgets something...surely there is a protection law that will help us all. We still owe half of what we paid. Lord...please help us!

If anyone gets help, please let us know! Thanks and may you all be blessed!


- , Springdale, AR, USA

problem #19

Jun 012010

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

My timing belt went on my 2004 Chevy Aveo at 82,000 miles. I have owned many, many cars throughout my lifetime....and NEVER had I heard of, had trouble with or heard of anyone else having "Timing Belt" issues! Until my car died on a busy road where I was driving 50 MPH. I heard absolutely NOTHING when this fact I didnt even realize the car was no longer running until I began pressing the gas harder because the vehicle seemed to be slowing down. I barely made it off the side of the road by the time I realized it was no longer even running.

I had AAA tow it to my mechanic where I was told that the timing belt went and that it destroyed my engine. 8 of the 16 valves were destroyed and he wasn't sure if the pistons were bent in the ordeal. Another was not worth the time or money to try and rebuild it. He stated that the smartest thing for me to do would be to let him put in a used engine (with 20,000 less miles than mine had) and that he would also replace the timing belt on the new engine before he put it in to avoid this from occurring again in the near future. $2,500.00 & a few more issues later......I am getting rid of this TIME BOMB before it blows another hole through my wallet!!!! This car is a JOKE!

You want to stay away from cars that take out your ENTIRE engine if one little thing goes wrong?! I was told to ONLY buy a vehicle with a "Non-Interference" engine. You'll never have a problem like this again. =)

My mechanic said any car (such as the Chevy Aveo) with an "Interference" engine will cost big bucks to repair because they do not allow enough clearance in these engines for when something goes wrong.....such as the Timing Belt!!! Which GM obviously sets to self destruct between 30,000 and 90,000 miles. Kinda like a box of never know what you're gonna get. I was advised to change the timing belt at 36,000 miles regardless of what the owners manual states. He also said it's only $150. job to have the belt replaced vs. the $2500. ordeal I just had.

Here's a website where you can check whether your car is a ticking time bomb with an INTERFERENCE ENGINE....or a well made piece of machinery with a NON-INTERFERENCE ENGINE... -------->

This site could save you A LOT of headaches.....after you enter your vehicle info and the information pops up, look under the COMMENTS section for anything in RED that states: Interference engine application. This indicates a vehicle that you want to steer clear of unless you have plenty of $$$ for costly repairs!!

Hope this helps!!

- , Windham, ME, USA

problem #18

Sep 302009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Well my story is the same as every one else. Was on the high way and all of a sudden it sounded like I got a flat so I went to pull over and my car went dead. Then I find out from the mechanic it will cost 1,500 dollars to fix my piece of sh*t car. Thank you Gm for my great reliable car.Who would of thought to make a car when the timing belt goes it takes the rest of the car with it!! That a great way to make some money dont you think!! This of course happens 2 months before its paid off. I have not tried to fix it. Really is it worth it!! I think not!!! With all the other problems I have had its just not worth it!!!

- , Medford, WI, USA

problem #17

Jun 012010

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,588 miles

The manufacturer recommends the timing belt get replaced at 60k - failed at 61k, guess they where not f-ing around.

- , Englewood, CO, USA

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