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2011 Chevrolet Equinox drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2011 Chevrolet Equinox (Page 1 of 2)


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,317 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 #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


  • 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

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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

problem #19

Feb 102014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 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 isn't covered under the pt warranty. As others have also said, I'm seeing a number of people with this same issue & wondering why this isn't a recall? it's very unsafe especially cause you don't 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 #18

Jan 232014


  • 44,225 miles
Sensors for the throttle control went out causing reduced engine power in sub zero weather at a stop. This made for hazardous driving in rush hour traffic as it was difficult to get the car above 15 mi per hr especially up any slight incline when the normal speed limit was 45 and every one is annoyed they are being slowed down.

- St Charles, IL, 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

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

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