Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: There are a fair-number of power steering related complaints which is a continuation of problems from the previous model year. Considering the problem tends to happen beyond the standard warranty (73k+) it's best to avoid this vehicle or at least be prepared for the $1,300+ repair.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,753 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 Traverse engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2011 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Oct 052014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


While backing up at a very low speed the vehicle steering wheel locked up, I then realized the engine had shut off. I noted the key was still in the on position and the back up camera was still on. Restarted vehicle and no further problems were noticed. When attempting to duplicate this issue the only time I could get the steering wheel to lock up was if the key was removed from the ignition. Also back up camera would only stay on if the car was running and in reverse so it is unclear why the steering wheel locked up with the key in the on position. This could be a serious safety issue if it happened under different circumstances.

- Marlborough, CT, USA

problem #26

Feb 142014


  • 34,000 miles
Received service stabilitrak and traction control off errors 4 times since Feb 2014. Dealer has "fixed" 3 times.

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #25

May 122012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 11,500 miles
Serpentine belt shredded, water pump, battery and power steering failed twice, once in 2012 and once in 2013. Serpentine belt replaced again in 2013 because it was damaged by a stone. Currently have lawsuit against GM to replace the car for safety reasons. They are dragging their feet. Lawsuit going on over a year.

- Port Clinton, OH, USA

problem #24

Mar 152014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles


Vehicle was 2011 Chevy Traverse w/ AWD with history (four instances) of engine oil leaks/requiring engine removal and reinstall. Vehicle was on interstate when AWD/vehicle stability control lights went on. Dic indicated 'service stabiltrack', 'service AWD' and 'AWD disabled'. at that time, vehicle was 'chugging' but shortly after chugging got much worse to the extent that the vehicle could not accelerate or maintain speed at cruise, or without cruise up normal hills on an interstate. When gas pedal was pressed further, RPM/speed would increase but then drop sharply (500-1000rpm) multiple times and no further power could be applied. Vehicle slowed down to about 50mph at the top of a hill. Happened for the next 15-20 miles until it could be pulled over. Vehicle was taken in once right after original occurrence, all three lights had gone off at point and vehicle drove normally after that. Service center indicated a wheel censor (front right) was reading defective information. They cleaned 'dust' from the sensor. Happened again about two weeks later, similar circumstances/results. Service center indicated wheel sensor was bad, they replaced (at my cost) and had no further instances for about four months. Similar situation happened again today (7/19/2014, conditions and results). However, the engine chugging was much worse and vehicle could not be driven safely on the interstate, would not accelerate or maintain safe interstate speed.

- North Liberty, IA, USA

problem #23

Mar 012014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
While driving down the highway at high rates of speeds, all of a sudden the dashboard display lights up with all kinds of messages. It says to check traction control and reducing engine power. The engine reduces power and when you step on the gas it doesn't go anywhere. This happened a few times. At first I thought maybe it was ice buildup but after it happened a few more times I looked online where I came across a forum and found out there were hundreds of other Chevy Traverse owners who had the same problems. It happened on the highway when I was driving and I almost got smashed from behind by people going over 70mph. The car would barely move. The Traverse was only 2 years old. After taking it to the dealer they stated it was the throttle body. It wasn't covered under warranty. I believe it should've been since the throttle body is part of the engine. How can a vehicle 2-3years old and have a 100,000 mile power train warranty not be covered. After talking to a few Chevy people I found out this has happened to other types of GM vehicles too. They stated there has been bulletins put out on earlier models but never a actual recall. I called GM corporate but they didn't want to hear it. Very serious problem that needs to be addressed.

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #22

Aug 232011

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 4,007 miles
Hesitation upon acceleration.incident reported to cox Chevy 08/23/11, maher Chevy 11/02/12,04/16/14 and an accident 06/07/14 with bodily injury hitting a concrete wall.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #21

Jun 072014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


While driving at highway speeds my 2011 Chevy Traverse began to overheat. The temperature gauge pegged all the way up to 260 degrees. I checked the coolant tank and could see that it was slightly low but nothing to cause an overheat. I attempted to drive to get to an auto parts store to get coolant. I was able to get the coolant and added the coolant and allowed the car to cool before attempting to start again. After about 30 minutes had passed I started the car again and the temperature gauge was down to 211 degrees. I attempted to drive again and a message came up on my dic, it read engine overheat idle engine, the engine power reduced and I was only able to go about 40mph. I pulled to the side of the road and to no avail in the end had to have my car towed to a repair shop. After $745, the water pump and thermostat had to be replaced. The technician indicated that the water pump had been leaking. I never saw any leaking in my driveway or when I changed the oil.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #20

Apr 262014


  • 50,500 miles
We came to a brief stop at a drive through lane (approx. 5-10 seconds), hard crank of the wheel left, mild acceleration, traveled about 15 feet, crank to right, pull into a parking spot. Immediately prior to the vehicle coming to a stop, I noticed thick white smoke emanating from the edges of the hood, and when the car came to a stop I ordered everyone to get out. Black smoke started as we exited the vehicle. I had the fire out quickly, estimate 45-60 seconds from seeing smoke until the fire was completely extinguished with a chemical extinguisher. Immediately after the fire was out, when I was checking the undercarriage, I noticed a trail of oil leading up a couple of feet from the final resting place of the vehicle. This was obscured by additional oil leaking, shortly thereafter.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #19

Mar 242014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Condenser and all belts had major leaks for no apparent reason. Lost all refrigerant in less that 24 hours.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #18

Feb 022014


  • 58,000 miles
While driving on the highway, multiple warnings and lights came on and speed was reduced by the engine to 20 mph from 65mph. If there had been another vehicle behind us at the time we would have easily been hit because of the rapid deceleration. The fix was to replace the throttle body on the engine. After much research this appears to be a very common issue in Chevrolet vehicles, and because of the manner of the vehicle slowing down so rapidly I fear that there have probably already been accidents related to this issue.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #17

Mar 242014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


My issue started when I was making left hand turns it would sound like the engine would make a loud noise with some grinding noise. Then it started happening with right hand turns as well. Took it to the dealership today and they believe that it is the transmission. After doing some research I found alot of similar issues. This needs to be fixed by GM. I am curious to see how this is handled by GM and the dealership. Basically it should be a no brainer, the vehicle is 4 years old, transmission should not go out that fast. Already filed a complaint and contacting GM this afternoon as well. I have a feeling this is going to be a fight. Below are other issues reported to NHTSA, I stopped looking after page 3 took car in for odd noise in steering. Was told pump was bad and seal was bad. Appears that this is a common issue with this type of vehicle and no recall has been made. Its not just one or two cars, after research is hundreds of cars. NHTSA id number: 10567931 loud whining sound coming from front end. When turning steering wheel slowly you can hear a loud scratching noise. Bought the car brand new and only have 17K miles in 3 years. Entire steering column had to be replaced. Power steering fluid leaking. NHTSA id number: 10566861 TL* the contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that there was an abnormal vibration in the steering wheel when turning in either direction. The contact also indicated that the vehicle was stationary. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the power steering fluid and pump were replaced but the failure was not remedied. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 20,000. NHTSA id number: 10555889 power steering has issues at low speeds when turning. Dealer cost to replace pump and gear is 2,500! NHTSA id number: 10520885.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 052014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Traveling at 70 mph, suddenely traction control light came on, then engine powered down, I find that this is a common problem with this car, why isn't something being done. This has happened 4 times since March 5, 2014. At shop now will cost me over $500 to replace the throttle control. This needs to be a recall.

- Quincy, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 012013


  • 15,500 miles
Loud whining sound coming from front end. When turning steering wheel slowly you can hear a loud scratching noise. Bought the car brand new and only have 17K miles in 3 years. Entire steering column had to be replaced. Power steering fluid leaking.

- Villa Park, IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 222014


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not taken to dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 79,000.

- Conneautville, PA, USA

problem #13

Feb 072014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 43,094 miles
I was driving at 65 mph, and hit a small bump where a bridge ends and the pavement resumes. The check engine light came on as well as service stabiltrak and reduced engine power indicators. I was able to limp the vehicle to the local dealership for repairs, but at a very reduced speed. The dealer found that the "throttle position sensor" to be faulty, and after replacing that item the vehicle ran normally. This was not covered under warranty. The repair cost was $540. I am told that these are a common problem both by the dealer as well as by an independent shop. I am surprised that: 1. a part such as this is failing in a vehicle with so few miles 2. that this was not covered under any type of warranty.

- Ferron, UT, USA

problem #12

Jan 042014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 68,900 miles
Traveling at 45 mph or greater, warning message comes across dash "traction control off"' with in 2 minutes warning message changes to "service stabilitrak system" within 2 minutes warning message changes to "reduced engine power". within 2 minutes of this message the engine loses most of its power immediately and car lurches to less than 5 mph.

- Ellwood City, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 032014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Multiple times without warning, traction control off light turns on followed by service stabilization system and engine power reduced to 10 %. this happened while going 60 mph on a highway with a tractor trailer behind me, I suddenly went down to 20mph and had to swerve off the road. I was nearly hit by the truck as it passed me. Very dangerous situation that multiple Traverse owners have complained about. When will this be a recall? only after someone is killed or seriously hurt! dealer replaced the throttle body at a cost of nearly $500, a 3 year old car should not be having these issues, GM should be paying for the fix!

- Mendon , MA, USA

problem #10

Dec 212013

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 74,050 miles
This vehicle at random times tells you that you need to service you stailitrak and traction control and reduces power which is dangerous because of the fact it loses power and when you want to pass your not able to. Even if your climbing a small little hill it will barely climb which puts others at risk of crashing especially in icy or dangerous conditions, or maybe even worse. This is a good family hauler, but not when it reduces power and puts others at risk.

- Worthington, MN, USA

problem #9

Dec 092013


  • 61,900 miles
Driving on the highway and all of a sudden there was an alert on the dashboard saying that "traction control off" then immediately after another alert came on stating that "engine power has been reduced". I was unable to accelerate fully. I turned the car off and back on and it reset it but the same alerts came back on minutes later. The next day I took it to the dealership and they said the throttle body had to be replaced. This seems to be a common occurrence for these vehicles and after researching online I have found hundreds of others that have had the same problem. This is extremely dangerous and Chevy/GM should seriously consider recalling this part.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #8

Nov 082012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 61,334 miles
I was driving on a state highway with nowhere to pull safely off the road when the throttle body failed. This failure caused the engine control computer to set the engine to "reduced power mode" where I could not drive the car past 20 mph with the engine barely running. I had to drive the vehicle for about 1/2 mile in this condition before I could get the car off the road. This happened on a dark winding stretch of road where traffic normally moves at around 45 mph so there was a significant potential for a rear end collision with a car speeding up behind me.

- Quakertown, PA, USA

Read the next 7 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?