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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,260 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #70

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 #69

Jun 012015


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that the vehicle was idling extremely rough and then the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician diagnosed that the cam shaft actuator solenoid needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 105,000.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #68

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 #67

Apr 302015


  • 55,000 miles


In February 2015 the throttle body was replaced/repaired due to reduced engine power and stalling while driving. Although no longer under warranty, Chevrolet picked up the repair cost. Since the repair, there has been hesitation in acceleration. More recently there has been loud engine noise (sounds lile a diesel engine), rough idling at a stop & hesitation when turning off the vehicle. It sounds and feels like the engine is going to fall out. The check engine light has come on 2X. I will be scheduling service.

- Franklinville , NJ, USA

problem #66

May 202015


  • 114,000 miles
I am a taxi cab driver I was driving with my customer suddenly car stopped then I start again and few miles later I had engine power reduced sigh on than engine check light and stability truck light came on car slowed to ten mph I tried to speed up but gas pedal was not responding if this happens to me on highway with 60-66 mph speed some one would run over

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #65

Apr 102015


  • 45,000 miles
While driving my 2011 Equinox the car seems to intermittently misfire, causing the whole car to shake. Some days the car seems to run fine, some days it runs badly. Sometimes the engine light comes on, sometimes the check stabilitrac light comes on. Sometimes the car runs fine and no light comes on. The problem seems to be getting worse and happens more frequently. In the last week the car has started to run for 3-5 seconds after shutting off the ignition. It also has begun to run very rough and almost stall, but not every time I drive it.

- Mineral Wells, WV, USA

problem #64

Apr 022015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 162,000 miles


I was driving and came to a smooth stop at a red light and as the vehicle came to a stop, the RPM gauge needle fell below 1 and then kept lowering and the engine shook and jostled and the car engine died. All interior electronics were still working. I had to put the car into park in order to get it to start up again. It did this later while reversing. And now it just seems to do this anytime I come to a stop at a light, stop sign, anytime really. Something I found perplexing was that if I put it into park, it idles smooth. Take it out of park, it idles rough again and will stall. The information panel between the gauges says to service stabili trak. Last night, the engine overheated and coolant exploded from the engine. I have no clue what to do with this car. I have it financed and if it isn't repairable, ill be stuck with no car and no ride to work, but still have to find a way to make a car payment. I've been reading all over on different car forums and apparently this is a very common problem with other Chevy Equinox owners. First it starts idling rough, then it starts stalling out, some people have even had it stall out while on the highway, and then one guy even had the engine catch on fire. He luckily jumped out of his vehicle just in time to avoid his own death. All of them describing the same issues my Equinox is having. The mileage seems to be irrelevant as far as this goes. Some of them had 30,000 miles, some had less than 5,000 miles. Some had 100,000 miles. Some of them took it to the dealer, and the dealership replaced cam shaft stuff. That sometimes fixed the issue, sometimes not. It just seems like there is definitely something wrong with this vehicle. Like something was wrong in production. Please help!!! I have children. What should I do?

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #63

Mar 242015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 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 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 #62

Mar 052015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 50,700 miles
Discovered vehicle using around 2 quarts of oil in between oil changes. It was 200 miles short of next oil change. Added the oil, drove approx. 500 miles and it was 1/2 qt. Short. GM says normal to use 1 quart in between. This is crazy. We have began the oil consumption test with photos documenting. When we had the oil changed at a dealer the oil was way overfilled.

- Sparta, NC, USA

problem #61

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 #60

Feb 122015

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 154 miles


I was driving with my 7 year old son and 15 year old nephew on a 35 mph busy street when all of a sudden my vehicle started shaking and the steering wheel and brake pedal lock on me I couldn't move the luckily there was no car coming at the moment, and I was able to turn off the vehicle and turn it back up. After that I it started up again and nothing seem to be wrong until the engine light turn on and I continued on my way, all of a sudden my on the dash board it said stability check/lost engine power and all of a sudden the engine shut off on me. I couldn't move to from lanes to avoid causing an accident luckily the vehicles on back of me notice my vehicle slowing down and they where able to miss hitting my vehicle. I really do want something done to fix this issue because I could of cause an accident with that sudden stop and all because of the engine powering off. I believe something needs to be done a.S.a.P. before on of all these other people putting their complains end up dead or causing a deadly accident. I sure don't want my family to be in danger in any type of way, especially not in a vehicle that I know is malfunctioning and feeling helpless because nothing is being done. I hope my complain helps even more to get this issue fix a.S.a.P.

- Brooklyn Center , MN, USA

problem #59

Feb 092015


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving approximately 35 mph, the reduced power warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The contact had to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road in order to come to a complete stop. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The following day, the vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle body assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 61,000.....updated 04/23/15

- Greenbay, WI, USA

problem #58

Dec 152014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated and would not exceed 10 mph. The service engine, reduced engine power, and service stabilitrak warning lights illuminated. The contact managed to coast over to an emergency lane and shut the engine off. The vehicle was restarted and the failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #57

Jan 312015

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
This car has been burning oil and I have had on three separate occasions in the past few months experienced the car stalling, or near stalling while driving or sitting idling in traffic at traffic light or stop sign. I have complained to the dealer and an independent mechanic both of which told me I hardly had any oil in the engine when checked. (I change my oil as recommended my car is maintained as it should be) my most recent experience was the most dangerous, I remote started my car on 1/31/15, I came outside to get in it and I could smell oil burning, the inside cabin smelled of burning oil/ fire like smell. I witnessed smoke coming from under the car at junction of pipe coming from engine area and muffler. I had my father come and check the car out with engine off my father popped the hood and when pulling the dipstick out to check the oil, the oil shot 2-3 feet in the air onto him and down the driver side wheel well of the car. My father could have been severely burned or had eye damage had in been any closer or standing on side of car when checking. I took the car to the dealership on 2/2/15 I told them what happened they kept the car and checked it, I got a call the same day telling me that the car had to have the pistons, valve cover and time and chain replaced, all covered by my power train warranty (thank god). I feel compelled to tell you this B/C it is very dangerous both for those driving and anyone on the road. I have read numerous complaints about this engine (4cyl) and it seems nothing is being done. I believe Chevrolet should have a massive recall, because obviously something is very wrong! I do believe this has been part of another problem that have complained about early on when I first purchased the car it would, and continues to decelerate while driving, completely on its own and very randomly. This is an obvious safety concern.

- Villas, NJ, USA

problem #56

Jan 102015

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 100,653 miles
I was driving around 50 mph down a rural road when a message suddenly appeared saying no oil pressure, stop engine. I continued about a half mile to stop sign and engine quit as I was braking. Would not re-start. I was stranded on the roadside. Upon checking reason for no oil pressure I determined there was no oil in the engine, no visible leaks or drips on undercarriage of vehicle. Engine apparently had ceased up. Oil change indicator was at 44%, what happened to the oil. There were no oil spots on my garage floor. No low oil indicator light appeared on the dash panel prior to the stop engine warning. There was no knocking or lifter ticking sounds coming from the engine prior to indicate there was a low oil issue. 3.0 L V6.

- Byron, MI, USA

problem #55

Oct 012014


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

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #54

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 #53

Jan 092015


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and the engine light illuminated. The vehicle was coasted off of the road and shook constantly. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the timing chain, fuel pump, and engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #52

Dec 112014


  • 63,996 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle restarted after numerous attempts. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the vehicle needed a new cam shaft sensor. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 63,996.

- Lebanon, KY, USA

problem #51

Dec 142014

Equinox 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I tried to put the heater on and cold air came out. I replaced the thermostat and still had the same problem.

- Chicago , IL, USA

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