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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,411 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 #21

Apr 022012


  • 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 (seperate 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 reoccurred 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 coportation like Chevy and have been overly patient with them. No longer...others need to know about these issues.

- Lockport, IL, USA

problem #20

Mar 212014


  • 50 miles
This vehicle has never gotten anywhere near the advertised epa estiimated 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 estiimated 30 mpg. Really dissapointed in GM at this point.

- Azle, TX, USA

problem #19

Oct 122011


  • 29,000 miles
Good evening, 6 years ago I had a Chevy colbat 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 recieved 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 abd 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 nonchantly 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

problem #18

Feb 102014


  • 77,000 miles


Cruising along at 65 mph on highway when service stabilitrak light along with reduce engine power came up on the dash. I lost engine power and went from 65 mph to 15 mph. I was able to pull onto an exit ramp. I quickly pulled over & parked the car. Shut the car off & waited about 1 min & turned the car back on. The stabilitrak & the reduce engine power cleared off my dash but the check engine light stayed on. Then was able to merge back into traffic & pick up the 65 mph speed. I was worried that it would happen again when I had to cross oncoming traffic. When I got in my car later, the service engine light had even turned off, but on the way home it happened again. Took it to the shop and was told it was a throttle body/solenoid issue & that it needs replaced. They told me it isnt covered under the pt warranty. As others have also said, I'm seeing a number of people with this same issue & wondering why this isnt a recall? it's very unsafe especially cause you dont know when its going to happen. If your doing 65-70 mph on a highway & there are cars close to you & the vehicle decides to do this, you and your family are going to get killed.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #17

Sep 032013

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Received notice from Chevrolet 2.4L engine may contain 2 parts subject to premature failure due to wear. Failure of either part has potential to render vehicle inoperable and cause major engine damage. Chevrolet's proposed fix is for owner to drive vehicle to failure and then deliver it to a dealer and they will repair at no charge. Owners should not be subjected to the personal safety risk of being stranded on the side of the road late at night or on some deserted highway. Chevrolet's proposed solution is totally unacceptable; the defective parts should be replaced before someone is hurt while waiting for help.

- Spring, TX, USA

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problem #16

Jul 012011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
When driving vehicle at slow-mid speeds (less than 30 mph), it loses power. It appears that the transmission is not in gear and engine bogs down. Vehicle had to be pulled off to the side of the road, turned off, and restarted. Problem is intermittent and the dealer has made 3 repairs to address the issue, however it still occurs. Last service was 6-5-13, problem happened again 6-14-13. Overall this has occurred approximately 10 times since buying the vehicle in Feb. 2011.

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 152004


  • 700 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that the vehicle seized in reverse and the brakes continuously slipped. Also, the contact mentioned that whenever making a turn, the vehicle would make a loud popping noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times. The technician diagnosed that the clutch was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any additional assistance. The VIN was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 700 and the current mileage was 1,500.

- East Chicago, IN, USA

problem #14

Dec 182012

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 9,778 miles
On 18 Dec 2012 the car lunged forward while exiting a parking lot. Ten minutes later the car lost all power on a busy highway. I could not steer the car to the shoulder of the road.... the car was dead. Police arrived to warn me of being in a very dangerous spot. I was towed by aaa to the dealership where the car was purchased. Service at the dealership = oil/filter change. Odometer - 9778. The old problem recurred today 22 Feb 2013. Odometer 10329 sluggishness, slow response to acceleration, died twice in reverse, and general undependable. I'm afraid to drive the car. It is a hazard on the road. Please help.

- Ivins, UT, USA

problem #13

Feb 052013

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
While driving at 50 mph, the check stabilization system light came on. Next, the engine cut power without warning. I had the car towed to the dealership and I was told the car needs a new throttle body. However, the part is back ordered and nobody can tell me when it will be available. Apparently there is a national shortage. I was just fortunate that another car was not behind me when the engine cut power. I have called GM about this issue. My concern is that this will happen again even if I replace the throttle body.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #12

Jun 292012


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox lt. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph with the vehicle speed control activated, the gear disengaged itself and would not shift into another gear. This caused the engine to rev. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who ran a diagnostic test and could not diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact to file a complaint and contact NHTSA. They offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 37,000.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #11

Jul 302011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 6,230 miles


I purchased a new Chevy Equinox on May 13, 2011 from maritime motors in fairfield, ct it has been a nightmare from the beginning drivetrain/timing issues, bucking on acceleration and deceleration and pulsing at traffic lights and stop signs. The Equinox still occasionally clatters upon starting (after the recall was apparently fixed in summer 2011), and the vehicle also pulses at stop signs and traffic lights to the point it feels like it is going to stall and I have to remove my foot from the brake to stop the pulsing. I have had nothing from maritime motors (or General Motors) in terms of support on this issue. I do not feel safe in the vehicle - I have five witnesses/passengers who have experienced my concerns. In addition, I have two friends with the same make and model (purchased from maritime motors) and are experiencing identical issues. The state of Connecticut department of consumer protection has resolved four recent complaints with GM for the exact same issues.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #10

Jan 192011


  • 1,500 miles
Dear sirs, shift 1st to 2nd, complete lockup for approximately 2 seconds. After two complete lockups in a week, Equinox now has 12000 miles and has intermittent problem every week or so. Bad shifts 1st to 2nd and 5th to 6th.including slam shifts. Delays in shifts and down shifts, as much as regular, 2 to 4 seconds and bad ones from 6 to 8 seconds. For hard downshifts( passing gear) car very sluggish to respond. After those fatal lockups, now has intermittent hardware problems. Dealership, where I bought it, the sales manager told me to take my car elsewhere for service, because I did not give his service department a good survey. Grade. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Indianapolois, IN, USA

problem #9

Dec 012010

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
My 2011 Chevy Equinox 4 cylinder shifts horribly between 2nd and 3rd. If you accelerate to approx. 20 mph and remove your foot from the gas the transmission hesitates and then it shifts to 3rd gear with a jolt that would make you think you were hit from behind. When it down shifts from 3rd to 2nd it is like an anchor was thrown out the back. Returned it to a Chevy dealer who was able to duplicate it but said that it was normal and that all Equinox do it. They had their district manager check on it and he said that Chevy designed it to do that and there is nothing wrong. It is going back again tomorrow to a different dealer but I expect to here the same story. When imports are designing constant velocity transmissions that you can't even feel shift, why would GM design theirs to jolt you out of your seat. Guess they no longer what my business.

- Laporte, IN, USA

problem #8

Aug 232011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 4,123 miles
At 4000 miles the radiator failed and the car overheated. Replaced radiator. At the same time there was and still is a clunking at low speeds and when up-shifting. The clunk has been so dramatic that I thought on several occasions that I was hit from the rear. It actually makes me sick to my stomach driving the car and makes people in the back sicker. Additionally some where above 30 miles an hour the car has several times hesitated as if running out of gas. The gas peddle does not respond properly, hesitating before catching on. Now at 11,000 and three return visits to the dealer they say that this is how all Equinox cars have this drive performance and it is "normal". this was not an issue when we first got the car and had I been told that some Equinox drive like this, I would not have bought the car knowing this. I know from searching the internet that this was a problem in 2009 and still is and was sold a car that they knew could be faulty without a current software fix. I will not drive this car again, especially knowing now that they can stall at 30 miles and hour.

- West Brandywine, PA, USA

problem #7

Mar 312011


  • 600 miles
Owned for 6 days and the battery was dead hesitation, stalling, hard shift, RPM's bounce all over and it auto shifts all over the place, terrible gas mileage, smells like it runs rich when started, down shifts going thru the middle of town at 20 mph and throws me forward, some shifting hesitates like it sticks in neutral temporarily, has been in the dealership constantly. GM has not done anything, I am always told that it is a part or that it is updates that come from GM. Purchased March 25, 2011 and not one wk without problems. Dealer does not provide paperwork for most visits.

- Newton, KS, USA

problem #6

Nov 092011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 7,100 miles
I started my car which sounded like a jet engine, like it was going to go airborne. I accelerated and going only 5 mph the RPM raced to 4,000. I took my foot off of the gas and the car jerked. I accelerated again going only 5 mph and again the RPM raced to 4,000. The car jerked again and I felt like I had been hit from behind. I had just left my driveway so pulled back in and called my dealer. The car was towed in but the problem could not be duplicated nor was there a code. I have the car back but expect this is going to happen again.

- Luthersville, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 092011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 7,100 miles
I put the car in drive and the engine sounded like an airplane taking off. I pulled out on the street, accelerated and noticed the needle go up to 4 RPM's at approximately 10 miles an hour. I took my foot off the accelerator and the car jolted and felt like I had been hit from behind. I accelerated again and the same thing happened, again feeling like I was hit from behind. The car is presently at my dealership but they cannot duplicate the problem. Today they are going to drive it for a good distance on the expressway. I had read one complaint on the Equinox forum where someone was driving on the interstate with cruise control on and something very similar happened to them with the RPM sticking at 4 RPM's. I told my dealership about this and ask if maybe they are related problems.

- Luthersville , GA, USA

problem #4

Sep 232011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 5,152 miles
Car jerked when slowing down. While waiting at a stop light, the car shut off. Upon starting vehicle, there was a rattle. Car was taken to the dealership where purchased and recall #11195 was done, to include an oil change.

- Luthersville , GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 062011

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
I purchased a 2011 Equinox lt - Chevrolet -Dec 2010 - wanted a nice and safe car for the new year - I am a mother with small kids and wanted a smaller car than what I had, which was a Ford Windstar, I had for 13 yrs. I started to have problems with the Equinox in July, August and again now, with the stability tract service light going on and losing power and now this third time with no power to the tranny - I could not change gears, I would give it gas and it just wouldn't move - then the car power locks go crazy -lock and unlock and the transmission jerks. I do not feel safe in this car. I hope they fix this problem and figure out what is wrong before someone or myself are in an accident.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

May 102011


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that when shifting from first and third gear, the engine would rev and the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where they were unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

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