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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 1 of 6)

problem #110

Sep 302016


  • 93,000 miles


Engine has always made a rattling noise which now I believe loose/worn timing chain. Last week the Equinox was stalling at stop signs. It will start right back up then die again. Once it's takes off it runs fine. We took it to the dealer, they said there were 2 codes. 1 read engine misfire other read intake cam valve actuator (something). The dealer cleared the codes (charged me for clearing codes) and then said there was nothing wrong with car and sent me on my way. Couple days later it dies 3 times in a row at stop. The check engine light comes on and stays on for one day. Next day check engine light goes off and vehicle runs fine. Later that day it dies at stop. I call dealer to get another appointment and they say without check engine light on or it dying for them there isn't much they can do. Do a quick google search of Equinox timing issue and this is a very common issue. Of course now it is 3 months out of the 5year powertrain warranty. I have read where there is an extended warranty for this issue. I have a feeling I'm going to be forced to take it to another dealership after they do nothing for it and charge me to clear any codes.

- Carrollton, IL, USA

problem #109

Sep 212016


  • 96,800 miles
Starting approximately two weeks ago my car would hesitate when accelerating from a stop and either lurch while going into gear or would cut the engine. This would happen every day and I would lose the engine between 1 and 10 times per day. I took my car into the dealership on Tuesday, Oct 4, and was told it was the cam actuator solenoid that wasn't working. I know there is a recall for the year, make L, and model for my car but the VIN isn't covered.

- Grandville, MI, USA

problem #108

Sep 212016


  • 89,000 miles
While driving on the freeway it would shut off during low speeds. Issue happened 20+ time during one 15 minute drive. I would need to put the car in neutral to start it again, but once I slowed down it would shut off. This also happened when stopped at a light, once I pressed on the accelerator to begin moving, the vehicle would stall out, powering off and requiring me to place in neutral to start again.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #107

Aug 102016


  • 59,600 miles


Car stall many time in the middle of an intersection when you pull out from a light or stop sign due to bad intake cam solenoid. Had to restart car severial time just to get clear of the intersection. Car may then run ok for weeks and then do it again. GM stated it is not part of there recall, even thou it has the same issues as the cars under the recall

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #106

Aug 012016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While operating the vehicle, the odor of fuel and oil were present inside the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the pistons would need to be replaced and the vehicle experienced an oil consumption failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #105

Mar 252016


  • 126,582 miles
Chevrolet released this car with a bad engine from the beginning. I literally have to change the oil on my car ever single week. " excessive oil consumption " is what they say & only has a warranty up to 120K. When my car started acting out, I was at 126K. It drives very sluggish and horrible, like my engine will give out at any moment. Someone really needs to issue a recall, because this affects all ( or close to) 2010 - 2011 GMC terrain & Chevrolet Equinox & I just so happen to have an 11' Equinox. I don't want to lose my car over a classic Chevrolet screw up!!!

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #104

Jul 212016


  • 34,681 miles


Vehicle engine stalled while the vehicle was in motion at 35 mph resulting in impaired steering ability, and loss of vehicle control in a road curve. A crash was narrowly avoided. No warning light or operator notification was present prior to the incident. Odb scan codes indicated a P0010 code ¿camshaft position actuator solenoid valve¿. vehicle stalled while vehicle was in motion on at least 5 other occasions returning vehicle to dealer for service. Service history indicates the intake camshaft solenoid was replaced under warranty in 2011 due to identical failure mode and fault code, the exhaust camshaft solenoid failed with code P0011 and was replaced under warranty in 2015, and the intake camshaft solenoid failed again in 2016 at 34,681 total vehicle miles. Vehicle has been operated in nominal city driving conditions with consistent maintenance of the oil and oil filter per the oem oil life monitor. The third failure of the camshaft solenoid was charged at customer expense. Repeat failure of the camshaft solenoid actuator indicated an unmitigated product design issue resulting in engine stalls without warning while the vehicle is in motion and impaired steering control.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #103

Jul 292016


  • 140,000 miles
My engine light came on and sometimes when I start to accelerate my car it will just die (even on the highway in traffic!!!). it has happened 9+ times already and some of those times the engine light was no longer on.

- Excelsior Springs, MO, USA

problem #102

May 052016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving at any speed and making a right turn, the engine stopped. The vehicle restarted. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was driven to the dealer's mechanic where it produced intake cam actuator failure code P011. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #101

May 172016


  • 63,000 miles
While driving on the highway the check engine light came on. Immediately in the message area two message were displayed - "reduce engine power" and service stabitrack soon". immediately the vehicle would not go over 3000 RPM and 50 mph. Within a mile the engine lost all power (luckily this was as I was hitting the exit ramp off the highway). After waiting for a few minutes I was able to fire it up but the errors returned. I limped the vehicle home and had it towed to my local garage. My mechanic indicated there were 9 error codes when he looked with his scanner related to fuel pressure, cam sensors, and motor timing. Furthermore, since I was due for an oil change, he drained the oil pan and saw I was nearly 3 quarts low on oil. This is puzzling as (1) I just checked the oil two weeks ago and, while a bit low, was in operating range and (2) the low oil pressure light never came on. After reading other complaints on this and other sites this seems to be a common occurrence. So now I have a vehicle with 63,000 miles that my mechanic says has significant engine damage (timing chain tensioners, cam sensors, fuel pump). This is very difficult for me to believe since there was no warning lights that came on for low oil and at this relatively low mileage. My only alternatives are to pony up for the parts (and hope the pistons/seals are undamaged) or replace the motor. I also think its quite dangerous for the motor to just cut out like this without more advance warning (I was lucky I was already getting off the highway). Needless to say my confidence with GM is pretty much gone.

- Lyndhurst, OH, USA

problem #100

May 112016


  • 34,800 miles


Vehicle stalled when engaging drive gear. Code indicates engine variable timing solenoid intake to be replaces.

- Sylvania, OH, USA

problem #99

May 092016


  • 73,000 miles
While driving on a major highway with an 18 wheeler behind me, the vehicle stopped going forward when I pushed on the gas. It was still running but had no power and began to slow down to nothing. I was able to coast to the side of the road, but was almost run over due to the sudden loss of power. I cut off the vehicle and tried to restart it, but it would only make a clicking sound. According to the dealership we towed it to, the timing chain slipped and ruined the motor. This is a 2011 vehicle with only 73000 miles on it. This should not have happened and since we made our final payment last month, none of it is under warranty. Surely this is not typical of this vehicle and the Chevrolet company can stand behind this repair.

- Hamlet, NC, USA

problem #98

Apr 252016


  • 86,000 miles
Excessive oil consumption. 1qt per 1,250 miles. Needs major engine repairs at less than 86,000 miles. I've heard that if allowed to continue that engine can stall while driving. This could be a dangerous condition if stalling while travelling at maximum highway speeds. Driver could lose steering control.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #97

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 #96

Apr 132016


  • 109,000 miles
My 2011 Equinox had a loud banging sound in the engine. The oil was changed at 104K and is now at 109K. Car broke down in driveway. I had it towed to the dealership where they could find a leak or burning of oil. They stated that there was not one drop of oil left and the timing chain and guides were ruined. The dealership blamed jiffy lube by saying they did not put sufficient oil in the car; and jiffy lube blamed Chevrolet stating they know they have engine issues in this model (the cars "eat" oil) the dealership said that corporate headquarters want to open the motor up for 2K to see if it is a defect in the model. I am not willing to pay this. Two years ago they had to rebuild the cylinder head because of a manufacturers defect.

- Commack, NY, USA

problem #95

Apr 172016


  • 5,000 miles
The headrests on this car push my head so far forward that I have terrible pain while driving. I also cannot see where I am going due to the extreme angle of my head jutting forward. Not too safe--any reasonable person can figure this out. In addition, the car is burning excessive oil. Also, when trying to accelerate after slowing down in heavy traffic, it bogs. Again, not very safe. This car is a piece of crap--never again will I get a Chevrolet. This happens all the time!!

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #94

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 #93

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 #92

Apr 272015


  • miles
Bought the car used in April 2014. In April 2015 had to have the timing chain replaced. In July 2015 had to have the rings, pistons, and cylinder head replaced. Now in February 2016 I have had the to replace the battery, and the starter and it still won't start.

- Wellsville, NY, USA

problem #91

Feb 172016


  • 95,000 miles
Was sitting at a stop light, vehicle engine started surging and a warning light came on saying reduced engine power, had to really push on the break so it would not lunge into the inter section, light turned green and I started to go, but I could only get up to 25 mph, then all the warning lights on the dash came along with a service stabilitrak message, managed to get to a parking lot and shut off the vehicle for a few minutes, started it back up and it ran better but check engine light remained on. Took it to the Chevy dealer, he new before even looking at it what it was. Ended up being the throttle body, if you look online there are many Equinox vehicles with this problem. But GM will not cover this under their power train warranty even though this is what supplies air to the engine.

- Howe, IN, USA

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