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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,165 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 3)

problem #49

May 282014


  • 72,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving 65 mph, a loud banging noise was heard under the hood of the vehicle when the gears were shifted. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission, catalytic converter, and engine chain failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was out of warranty. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Gouldsboro, ME, USA

problem #48

Apr 172016


  • 63,240 miles
Purchased my 2011 Chevy Equinox in March 2014 at 36,000 miles. At this moment I have 63,000 miles. Past couple months or so I have had many issues with my vehicle. There was a ticking for a period of time after parking and shutting off the vehicle, a rough/loud running of the engine, inconsistent times of knocking type sound, and a hesistant during accelerating and so rough. When we inquired about these things from the dealer we purchased from we were told that everything was 'normal' and that's what a Chevy sounds like. Today I was driving up a 30 mph road and could not accelerate over 20 mph going straight up the road. There was a hesistation then it stopped in the middle of the road. I turned the ignition off.waited a few seconds and it started back up. I drove fast home and turned onto my street and it started to slow down and not accelerate. It was still running but didnt go anywhere. I turned it off again for a few minutes. It started up I drove it into my driveway. The engine light came on and it shutoff. This appears to be a consistent problem in this type of vehicle from what I have now found and something that should not happen with only 63,000 miles on it. I do not drive long distance. Work, school and home. I am extremely frustrated with the entire situation. I have always bought Chevy and this is the first major issue. They need a recall on this. Can someone help. I do not have a warranty anymore. Im a single mom of 2 and can not afford this. The crazy thing is. I received a notice in the mail about this issue a few months back. I chuckled and said not my car and threw it away now look at me.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #47

Mar 122016


  • 48,000 miles
Sudden internal failure of transmission with around 48,000 miles on vehicle. Vehicle was in motion, started making high-pitched humming noise, wouldn't accelerate, and then stopped moving/driving but stayed turned on.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #46

Dec 032015


  • 67,000 miles


This is a fwd model with 2.4L engine. The transmission 3-5-R plate failed at 67,000 miles and the transmission was ruined. When it failed it caused acceleration and speed problems while the vehicle was on a major highway but there was no check engine light initially. The car limped a few miles home stalling out completely once a block from home, it would not go into reverse and had to be towed to the dealer for diagnosis and repairs. I was the original owner of the vehicle it was purchased 06/11/2011. The vehicle also had oil consumption issues and rough idle at this time. The vehicle had its cam shaft actuators replaced in August 2011 after the engine made very loud noises with about 2000 miles on the car. I traded the car in 3 days after the dealership replaced the transmission because I did not trust the car.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #45

Jan 302016


  • 86,000 miles
The car stopped shifting gears and stopped moving going down the street. Upon stopping the car in a safe location, the car would not go in reverse. Had I been in busy traffic or merging onto an expressway, this could have been very serious.

- Essexville, MI, USA

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problem #44

Jan 252016


  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle began to decelerate independently. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the 35R clutch wave plate had failed causing the transmission to fail and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 121,000. Updated 05/03/16

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #43

Jan 132016


  • miles


I was driving to get my 3 small kids from after school and my 2011 Chevy Equinox started losing power. Could not go over 35 mph.check engine light turned on, then the stabilitrak light followed by reduce engine and it had vibration. The car was in motion. I got to the stop sign and it vibrated. I pulled over and was scared to cut it off. Then after about 2 mins I was able to pull of slowly by the car stalled. And I still couldn't go over 35mph. Slowly made it to my kids school and I could here clunky noises. I cut off, after 5 mins I was able to crank, the only light that was on was the check engine light and its stil on. I was able to drive regular but still had a little vibration. I do not have warranty and im a single mother of 3 small kids from age 18months - 9years old. I dont know what to do. I cant afford any repairs. I just got this vehicle January 30, 2015

- Lloyd, FL, USA

problem #42

Nov 302015


  • 85,600 miles
Transmission shifting issues causing car to jerk and not accelerate. Has been an on going issues for the last 13 month brought in to be looked at multiple time. Dealer is stating that's how the transmission were made.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #41

Oct 142015


  • 56,200 miles
I purchased my 2011 Chevy Equinox in March 2014 at 40,000 miles. In that time I have only added 16,000. In the last 6 months or so I have had many issues with my vehicle. There was a ticking for a period of time after parking and shutting off the vehicle, a rough/loud running of the engine, inconsistent times of a 'whirring' type sound, and a bucking of the vehicle during accelerating and decelerating so rough that I thought I had been hit from behind a few times. When we inquired about these things from the dealer we purchased from we were told that everything was 'normal' and that's what a Chevy sounds like. In August the compressor for the air conditioner went and we thought perhaps that was causing most of the issues and spent quite a lot of money to fix that. It did seem to run a little better for a few weeks. Today I was driving down a 30 mph road and could not accelerate over 20 mph going straight down the road. There was a grinding noise coming from the engine and the check engine light came on. I went to the closest garage as I would not have been able to drive the vehicle to the other end of the next town from where I was. I barely made it to the garage. They hooked it up to a scan and determined that the transmission would need to be replaced. Now I am finding out that I am out of warranty by less than one month. This appears to be a consistent problem in this type of vehicle from what I have now found and something that should not happen with only 56,000 miles on it. I do not drive long distances or even on a daily basis, as the fact that I have only added 16,000 miles in the last 19 months can attest. I am extremely frustrated with the entire situation, especially since I had told the dealership months ago that there was an issue that they didn't bother to look into and conveniently can no longer find record of. Neither the dealer or Chevy were helpful.

- Derry, NH, USA

problem #40

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 #39

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 #38

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 #37

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 #36

Mar 262014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 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

problem #35

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 ([xxx] 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 occurred. 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. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #34

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 able 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 without 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 occurs 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 #33

Oct 012014


  • 33,950 miles
Transmission bangs when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear at slow speed.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #32

Jan 122015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 57,569 miles
When you are driving the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox ltz and the vehicle goes into "engine power is reduced" 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 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 24,000 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

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 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

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