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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,720 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Aug 152014


  • 75,000 miles


Initially the issue started with rough idling of the car, engine ticking, and engine stalling. After indicating this to the dealership, they informed me that the ECM needed to be reprogrammed because the oil life indicator was not properly calibrated causing the system to think that there was more life on the oil than there actually was. The engine balance chain eventually broke while on the interstate (55 mph), due to improper oil lubrication. The fuel pump, water pump, and a few other items had to be replaced due to the damage caused when the chain broke. I notified the dealership once again after engine ticking/ rough idling re-occured and they indicated to me that the engine ticking during startup was normal. The engine ticking progressed to becoming a constant noise. I noticed that when I took the oil in for an oil change, approximately 2000 miles in, that the oil dipstick would come up completely dry. This indicated the vehicle was experiencing an excessive amount of oil consumption. I took the vehicle to the dealership who indicated that pistons had to be replaced and the exhaust manifold was cracked. This indicated that the engine was observing some excessive amount of heat most likely due to the oil consumption issue. During these issues, no service engine light ever came on. The car had to be taken back to the dealership after the service engine light came on which indicated that the cam shaft actuator solenoids and catalytic converter needed to be replaced. The catalytic converter most likely failed due oil seeping into the exhaust which coated the ceramic substrate & the excessive heat experienced by the engine (as indicated by the cracked manifold) damaged the ceramic substrate. Oil consumption leads to excessive heat from the engine which can be a fire hazard. Engine stalling due to oil consumption leads to crash safety issues.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #38

Nov 142014


  • 70,000 miles
I was driving and all of a sudden, the check engine light came on and "reduced engine power" message appeared. You are at highway speed and suddenly you can only go 30 miles an hour no matter how much accelerator is depressed. After pulling over at the first available safe area, turning off the car and restarting seemed to reset the car so it was able to proceed. This continued to happen until I attempted to clean the throttle body. The throttle body wasn't operating correctly. Cleaning it did stop the "reduced engine power" message. This car also burns oil, no leaks, but you need a quart or two of dexos oil a month. GM seems to think this is normal. Also the car stalls as you reduce speed, like coming to a traffic light. It works fine for awhile, but on certain days, it stalls every time you slow down. The check engine light points to a gas pedal switch.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #37

Apr 022014


  • 90,000 miles
Transmission failed to shift into any gear when stopping after a long drive. So far two instances where the car failled to move after stopping at a light and at a stop sign after driving more than 50 miles. Dealer can find no problem with car.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #36

Mar 242015


  • 71,018 miles


A three occasions I have sat a stop light with the car idling, with a rough sounding idle, the car sounding like it was going to stall. On the third occasion, it actually did stall with me needing to restart (which luckily it did) as traffic was bearing down from behind on an early morning commute. I took the car to get serviced within the next two days, with the mechanic telling me that that car was dangerously low on oil. I was shocked and surprised to hear this, as I am diligent about getting my oil changed on time. The oil was changed only 3 months prior and the mechanic said it was 3 quarts low on oil!! after hearing this, I've researched and found that this has been a major issue for people with similar year model equinoxes. Scary as I felt helpless sitting stalled in heavy morning traffic. Lucky I wasn't hit!

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #35

Mar 262014


  • 80,585 miles
Upon leaving the home driveway, as the car began to accelerate, the "check engine" light came on, and the information station flashed the warning "stabilitrac / power reduced". the car was still drive-able, but would not accelerate past the first transmission gear. After getting the vehicle back home, I restarted it, and the same warning was displayed in the information station. The vehicle also began to idle very roughly and emit thick black smoke. All indications from internet sources point to a bad throttle body, which was later confirmed by the car dealership. According to the massive amount of complaints about this part, it has a very high failure rate in this vehicle. However, Chevy refuses to cover this part as part of their power-train warranty. The "power reduced" condition caused by this part failure is a very dangerous thing to have happen to you if you are turning in a busy intersection or on an interstate highway, and if something is not done, there will be injuries or fatalities because of it.

- Calhoun, GA, USA

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problem #34

Aug 042014


  • 82,000 miles
1.while driving in nashville for work the first occurrence started with check engine light. Moments later check traction control warning popped up and immediately after a reduced engine power notification and vehicle lost power. Went from 55 to 30 mph in seconds. I have no clue how this did not cause a wreck in the heavy traffic. I took the vehicle to the dealership I purchased it from (james corlew in clarksville, tn) and they told me it was a loose timing chain and that they fixed it. 2.4,000 miles later while working all the same messages popped up and the car completely stalled and would not restart on a busy bypass. Vehicle would not restart and I paid to have it towed. This time the dealership said they had to replace the entire timing chain assembly and a housing due to it being destroyed. It was covered by warranty again and they serviced it for free. 3.vehicle ran great for 3600 miles and again the same message sequence occured. The car fortunately continued to run and I drove it straight to the dealership. I insisted it was a safety hazard and that I wanted to trade it in immediately. 2 hours later they offered me $7,000 under blue book because of engine problems. This was very funny of course since it is Chevrolet and the dealerships fault for selling such a lemon. I told them it was under warranty. To fix it again for free and I would pick it up. Dealership called next day. Said everything was fine. It was out of oil and that caused safeties to kick in and that created the problem. I ask how this is possible you changed my oil 3600 miles ago. 4.last week (again 3800 miles later) the car produced all of the same messages and stalled on the same busy bypass. This time I had my 3 year old and 1 year old in the car. The speed limit is 55 so of course traffic regularly runs 60 mph. I was stranded with my children on 20 degree weather with no heat

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #33

Jan 312015


  • 59,410 miles


I was driving my 2011 Chevrolet Equinox and the message "engine power is reduced" displayed. The car slowed down to about 30 mph. Then the message "service stabilitrack" displayed. I was ablr to pull into a parking lot and shut the vehicle down. I waited a minute and restarted and drove the vehicle 20 minutes and the problem re-occurred. It was sat afternoon, so the dealer was closed. I nursed the vehicle the rest of the weekend and took it to the dealer Monday morning. The dealer says it is a bad throttle body before they even looked at the car, which tells me this is a common problem. The vehicle is unsafe to drive withouy the repair, so I had them do the service for $603 doing some research and speaking with some mechanic friends, this is a known problem that occurrs between 50,000 - 60,000 miles and I feel should be covered under the powertrain warranty. If this had occurred at interstate highway speeds, it could have led to an accident.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #32

Jan 122015


  • 57,569 miles
When you are driving the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox ltz and the vehicle goes into ┐┐! engine power is reduced┐Ł mode the vehicle comes to a complete stop within 10 feet. You are unable to turn the steering wheel or continue to move forward in any way with the phrase ┐'service stabilitrack┐Ł appearing right after. You can be driving slowly at 20-25 miles per hour or faster at 35-40 miles per hour and this is able to happen at any moment. Total control of the vehicle is lost and the engine is unusable. Chevrolet informed us that this is caused by a bad sensor in the throttle body. The sensor is unable to be replaced without replacing the entire throttle body. The vehicle is unusable without replacing the throttle body and the throttle body is not covered after the emissions warranty of 24, ooo miles. From years 2006-2009 the throttle body was covered under the powertrain warranty at 100,000 miles. After researching the internet and speaking with local mechanics, it has been noted that multiple Equinox drivers have had this issue and it always occurs between 50,000-60,000 miles. Frankly the vehicle is unsafe and Chevrolet does not care. Something should be done to either include this faulty part in a 100,000 mile power train warranty (as the engine will not operate without it) or a recall should be established. In the event that an Equinox is traveling at higher speeds (such as on a highway) the situation could potentially cause a fatal injury. Video of this occurring will be provided upon request.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #31

Dec 252013


  • 102,000 miles
Was driving about an hr check engine light came on reduced engine power came across screen could not get the car to drive even with gas pedal pushed all the way to the floor ran test code came up throttle body had to disconnect and reconnect battery to make of work again. Cleaned throttle body found that the exhaust manifold broke in half and melted one 02 censor. Never had problem again til 12/27/14 again the reduced power and check engine light came on once again it was the throttle body

- Malvern, AR, USA

problem #30

Oct 162014


  • 55,000 miles
I was turning left on a green light at the corner of argyle and oakleaf suntrust bank when the car slipped into neutral and I was stuck in oneway opposite traffic until I turned off the engine and restarted it and then was a ble to go into drive, I was almost in a serious accident with several cars. Then I was traveling North on hwy 295 and I had it in cruise control and I could not get it to quit until I turned off the engine. The power train was slipping after I had taken it to the Chevy dealer and they said it was fixed but less than a year later it started doing the same thing as before, slipping, making loud scratching noises.rubbing noises and it smelled funny like it was burning but there was no fire.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #29

Aug 112014


  • 18,000 miles


My wife purchsed a 2011 Chevy equanok with a window sticker stating a four cyclinder engine. It had 1800 miles on the vehicle when purchased. We took the vehicle in to have the oil changed and found it has a six cyclinder engine. How is this possible and who should I speak wiht at GM. I'm very concerned because of the terrible gas milage and a six cyc engine was not shown on the paper work?

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #28

Aug 302014


  • 54,005 miles
While driving the 2011 Equinox will jerk or jump as if being hit from behind while attempting to accelerate between 2nd and 3rd gear. The check engine light will not turn off. The stability track light comes on and off periodically while in motion. When the car is being turned off it shakes as if the motor is going to fall out. I have to turn off the ac before turning the ignition switch to off position to decrease some of the shaking, yet it does not prevent it. Furthermore while driving at approx.. 30-35mphs, the car jumps to 5th gear without allowing to accelerate any faster in the mist of traffic.the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox shakes and makes a wining noise while idling. It does so to the point where the hood is shaking. The car only has 54000 miles on it. Also I have to constantly adjust the seatbelt while driving because it cuts into my neck which is very uncomfortable and a huge distraction. This car will now go forward in drive but it will not reverse.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 072011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
Trying to pass a truck at about 55 mph I stepped all the way down on the accelerator, only to see the RPM's race up high but no acceleration. I have taken my vehicle in six times to correct this problem, I have also contacted GM several times with this complaint, all to no avail. GM's answer is "we have your complaint documented". I have not bothered doing anything since Sept 10, 2013, thinking that my problem may be a fluke. This past week I drove my son's 2012 Chevy Equinox (same configuration - 4 cyl, 6 spd transmission) from his duty station, over 1,000 miles to home. I have experienced the same problem with his vehicle.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #26

Oct 042012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 8,889 miles
Loss of power for a few seconds after accelerating, letting off of gas and re-accelerating. Lag in engine/transmission response leads to potential accidents! has occurred multiple times. 4 cylinder.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #25

Dec 142012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
This has occurred multiple times ant infrequent and unexpected intervals. It has been presented to dealerships multiple times without resolution. When trying to accelerate from a stop at an intersection, the motor will lag and/or drop in RPM similar to a manual transmission car. The lag creates a 1-2 second delay in the transmission propelling the vehicle forward or doing so at a speed that is constantly increasing. This occurs without regard to the amount that the accelerator peddle is depressed. This delay creates a significant delay that poses a safety hazard and has nearly resulted in multiple intersection collisions.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #24

Apr 022012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
Vehicle has had inordinate transmission noise since around 10K mileage. While vehicle was idling, went into incredibly rough idle, vehicle shaking with warning message about stabilitrack error and vehicle shut down. While this initially happened while idling, it also happened numerous times at speeds from 20-50 mph as reported by spouse. After multiple trips to the dealer for unacceptable engine noise, engine shutting off and cel illumination (separate issue that has also never been remedied), an issue with the timing chain and fuel pump was alluded to and that a "fix" for this would be available in late spring of 2013. Fuel pump and timing chain replaced at no charge that summer, but similar symptoms continued. Loud, rough idle, intermittent vehicle shutdowns. Eventually took to another dealer who stated it was a throttle body issue and that this somehow was not covered by powertrain warranty even though this "used" to be part of the transmission, it somehow no longer is on newer models. After a $500+ repair, issue hasn't recurred in last 3 months (so far), but cel still illuminates during wet conditions (which both dealers cannot seem to fix). I feel this vehicle has been a lemon since about 10K miles and continues to be so. We only own Chevy's but between this vehicle and our apparently dangerous '05 cobalt, we can no longer afford to put our trust in Chevy and will need to seek out other vehicle manufacturers. It is apparent Chevy only cares about the money we can funnel to them for buying american. That will stop with the next vehicle purchase this summer when we turn in the cobalt (for probably next to nothing due to its new safety reputation). I mention this info as we really want to put our faith, trust and money into an american car corportation like Chevy and have been overly patient with them. No longer...others need to know about these issues.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #23

Mar 212014


  • 50 miles
This vehicle has never gotten anywhere near the advertised epa estimated gas mileage. I have over 20000 miles on it now and have only averaged around 23 mpg on the highway in eco mode. This really should be considered false advertising. I bought the vehicle mainly because of the estimated 30 mpg. Really disappointed in GM at this point.

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #22

Jan 212014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • miles
Engine loss of power, with service engine light illumination and reduced engine power message while driving on interstate highway when under 5 deg. F at night.. onstar advised to stop driving the vehicle due to engine damage concern and potential fire. Drove vehicle in "limp mode" direct to servicing dealership, dealer advised of engine code P2135 and stated vehicle required a "throttle body" replacement (same as onstar), at a full parts & labor cost of almost $500 dollars. Dealer stated that this repair is no longer covered under GM's powertrain warranty (yet is a P-code and is obviously powertrain related as it is the throttle body) or the emissions warranty. Not only is the failure mode dangerous, so is the vehicle response to the condition (reduced power). Not having the issue covered by warranty of some type makes it even worse.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #21

Mar 072014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 50,750 miles
Engine loss of power, with service engine light illumination and service traction control message. Drove vehicle home in "limp mode" before taking to servicing dealership, the following Tuesday. Dealer performed balance chain repair under manufacturer special warranty letter. Afterwards, dealer advised of engine code P2135 and stated vehicle required a "throttle body" replacement, at a full parts & labor cost of $583. Dealer stated that this repair is no longer covered under GM's powertrain warranty. Multiple online posts indicate that this same loss of engine power issue has occurred with vehicles traveling at freeway speeds, which will be mush more dangerous.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #20

Oct 122011


  • 29,000 miles
Good evening, 6 years ago I had a Chevy cobalt and experienced that situation. My vehicle powered itself off and the steering wheel locked up and I went straight for a wall inside a parking garage. Later that year I received a recall for the vehicle. Now I have a 2011 Chevy Equinox and the same thing happened. The only difference was I was on a four lane highway and my vehicle powered off and the steering wheel locked. Thank god no one was behind me and I didn't get knocked off the street or even worse killed. I took the car into the dealership only to find out they couldn't find anything wrong and my concern was something unheard. I expressed to them my concern of that happening on a crowded highway or an expressway. When I took my car into the dealership they said that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I dropped my vehicle off there and left it for a day. When I called the dealership the following day before getting off they told me my car was ready I went to pick it up and they had me waiting for 30 minutes. When I inquired about what was taking so long the service manager replied that the mechanic was back there making love to my car. I couldn't find any humor in the situation because this is a very serious issue.before I was nonchalantly brushed off and told if it happens again to bring it into the dealership. I couldn't get GM corporate office to understand how serious this issue. It wasn't till now that I realized that others are also experiencing this issue with GM and it is unfortunate that lives have been lost. Thank you for all you all do. Please email me back if you can.

- Bellwood , IL, USA

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