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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,450 miles
Total Complaints:
57 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. buy a new engine (17 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. rebuild the engine (10 reports)
  4. replaced timing belt (5 reports)
  5. Sell it for's a lemon! (5 reports)
  6. check your timing belt (4 reports)
2004 Chevrolet Aveo engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Aveo Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #57

Nov 022019

Aveo LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,702 miles


First I must say my Aveo really never gave me any problems. It actually lasted into my retirement. The problem was, I suddenly lost motor power in my car. Anyone knows on any given day on a busy Los Angeles city road and on a Friday, it is horrible to be stranded on the road. I called a tow and found out it was a broken engine timing belt. Yes it's expensive and along with other damages to repair. After reading many prior complaints regarding the same problems. Shame on you Chevrolet!

This is a serious problem and hopefully no one loses their life on such non warning of this problem.

- Victoria W., Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #56

Mar 132016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My son bought this car used with 35000 miles. Extremely low for the year, which was one of the selling points. My son put on 5000 miles when the timing belt broke. No indication whatsoever that there was a problem. Now the valves, pistons, etc are so damaged that the only solution is to trade it in (at a substantial loss) for another vehicle.

My complaint is: why isn't this a recall issue. It's obvious from doing research that this is a typical problem with this model. Who makes a car that will only last for 40000 miles. I've never heard of a vehicle experiencing this kind of problem with only 40000 miles. Chevrolet basically put a disposable engine (Interference engine) in this vehicle, knowing that if the timing belt went it would immediately ruin the valves and possibly the pistons. The manual states that you have to change the belt at 50000 miles, sadly it doesn't seem to even make it that far.

Great job Chevy, this is the kind of quality I've learned to expect from American products.

- Stuart C., Barton, VT, US

problem #55

Mar 122015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,321 miles

I am on a fixed income. I bought this car used with 22,000 miles on it which I intended to take care of and drive for years to come, in fact into the ground. The manual I received with the car indicated that the timing belt should be replaced at 100,000. I live in a rural area where you really need a vehicle. I had driven to another town for a medical appointment. While traveling at 55 mph the car just died in heavy traffic in a 55 mph zone. I was lucky that a good Samaritan helped me out of the dangerous condition I was in on the road.

I had to have the car towed to a dealer. It was determined the timing belt broke causing valve damage. I was told it would cost $5,000 to repair it which is what I paid for the vehicle. I did not having $5,000 so I junked the car. This ordeal caused significant problems for me financially, emotionally and physically. I was 62 at the time.

- Julie S., Camp Verde, AZ, US

problem #54

Feb 032015

Aveo 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


if you do not change the timing belt at 60000 or 70000 it will break then your motor needs to be replaced it cost a 100 dollars or a little over if a dealer it is lots more

- gcarroll247, Louisville, KY, US

problem #53

Apr 012006

Aveo LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,200 miles

Its not really the car that is the problem. Its the DOCH motor made in Korea. Many cars have this engine. There is a reason why they chose this, money!!! Maintenance and parts for this costs 1500 every 40-60K miles. And if you missed it, 2-4K dollars in repairs depending on the mechanic. Its genius that they make more on vehicle maintenance vice selling a fuel economic vehicle. Better to swap with a motor that has timing chain or know how to convert it. Do that and you will have a decent running car.

- jr92139, San Diego, CA, US

problem #52

Jun 032014

Aveo LS 1.6L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,802 miles

was driving home when car gave a jerk, speedometer started dropping and all dashlights came on. Pulled to side of road immediately but when I had it towed to GM dealer they told me timing belt had broke. They said it would be about 800 dollars to fix. The next day they told me that I had to have a new engine as there was damage to crank shaft, valves, etc. They found a used engine but it would be over $2000. for the bill. The car is only valued at that amount. I am a retired senior with a limited income so could not afford that bill. Told them to forget about it. Now I have to sell to the salvage yard for peanuts and no longer will have any way of getting around. Why did GM not recall this vehicle and fix the problem a long time ago. If I had known I would never have bought it in the first place.

- rcafmouse, Hanover, Ontario, canada

problem #51

Feb 022014

Aveo V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,423 miles


My child and I was on our way to a Superbowl party driving on a busy interstate when my car just shut off. I was completely in rare form not only for being broke down in traffic and far from home but more than that because I only purchased/leased this car 3 months prior. So that's my beef more than anything, I feel like I purchased a lemon to some degree.

I purchased this vehicle 1st week of November 2013 and here it is February 2014; and of course it's a week+ after my dealer warranty expired. In any case I had to get my car pushed out of the road and me and the guy just looked at the engine without touching and we could clearly tell while trying to start the car it had something to do with the timing belt. 2-3 hours later the tow company finally came and towed my vehicle to the nearest repair shop; unfortunately since it was a Sunday they were closed so I couldn't get any information until that coming Monday. When I spoke to the mechanic on that Monday he stated that it is the timing belt, however, it affected the engine so I will need a whole new engine.

I am completely in rare form and do not know what to do. My extended warranty will cover timing belt but not the engine. If I pay for the engine then it would be a waste because then the finance company will be picking up my car for repossession; because I cannot afford to purchase a new engine and still pay car payment and insurance. I am so at a lost, and not to mention I am a single parent and reside in a Maryland neighborhood with limited mass transportation. I do not know what to do at this point.

- sherrese82, Belcamp, MD, US

problem #50

May 162012

Aveo 4D 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles

We purchased this car new on 5-4 04 less then 5000 miles. The front-end bushings were bad and after many trips to dealer the problem was repaired.

Now the big bitch. 1 year after car is paided off and having the car routinely serviced and never told that the timing belt may be a problem, as my wife was on her way to work and with no warning the timing belt broke. After being at a dealer for 4 days I was told the motor was shot and the cost to repair is $2500 to $3500. This is still a good car, just put 400 dollar set of tires on her, no dents, inside clean as the day we bought her. It is a shame that if I had been told of the problem I could have spent a couple hundred and not thousands.

Well the dealer gave me 1000 dollars for her so I came out better then some. I have owned 8 Chevy's and will still buy Chevy. But I wish they would help us out on this problem or at least stand up and admit they have a problem.

- Donnie H., Jonesborough, TN, US

problem #49

Oct 162012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles

My car made the most annoying noise in the world. later i started losing power. Once this started happening i got it checked. it was the timing belt and the water pump.

- sandler, Lexington, SC, US

problem #48

Mar 172013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Chevy never sent a letter to Aveo owners to make them aware of this significant problem. Some information was posted in a bulletin at some point. They do not accept the word of anyone but an authorized dealer. I had it hauled for 30 plus miles to find out the problem and was quoted $2000 to a new engine if valves and gaskets were damaged. Driving down the highway I lost power and almost got rear ended, everything in that engine is messed up

You cannot find a replacement engine on this vehicle because this is the problem that kills the car. To change the timing belt you would need to replace the water pump; an $800 plus fix every 30-60,000 miles. This makes it no longer an "economy car".

I gave it to a family member that works on cars, they cannot believe what a mess the gaskets, valves and engines are, so to say it's a timing belt issue minimizes the true problem, it has engine problems

- Caroline G., Huntingdon, PA, US

problem #47

Nov 142007

Aveo LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


i bought this car brand new w less than 20 miles on it in 2004. I am a single mother and needed something economical (had a few chevys before but NEVER AGAIN ). before 30k miles I had my timing belt break and busted the engine. REAL ECONOMICAL. I was told that since there was a recall (funny they never sent me anything on that) that they wouldn't fix it under warranty. well after the 1st engine replaced costing a few grand after water pump replaced and other "items that need to b replaced as u do when taking an engine out" .. then went the transmission a yr later soooooooooooooo economical for who????? .I just had the timing belt break again... IM done this car has had other small but costly issues w the check engine light and the car hasn't ran right after the first breakdown.. NNNNEEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEERRRRR buy a chevy AVEO.. thank u ferman chevy of tampa and chevy for allowing me to see ur true colors because if I was dumb enough to believe that I had to have "special tires" for my car I would Still b waiting on them from 8 yrs ago when they said they were going to call me when they could ORDER them in...SO long chevy!!! thanks for being the HEART BREAK of AMErica

- Angela T., Riverview, FL, US

problem #46

May 202013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,750 miles

Timing belt went out on this car while I was out on my lunch break. The only fortunate thing to happen was that my car rolled to a stop in front of a repair shop!

The orginial solution was a "simple" $230 timing belt replacement. This very quickly turned into a $1300-1400 repair job when they discovered that all the valves were bent. I had to endure a verbal humiliation from the head mechanic who ridiculed me for driving "a piece of sh*t crapmobile." When all was said and done and the shop factored in their labor fees (after the car sat in the shop for 5 days), I was paying almost $2000 for the repairs.

It's disgraceful that Chevy refuses to do a recall on this, or even acknowledge that there is an issue. My first car was a 1984 Chevy Cavalier that lasted almost 20 years (before an ex torched it, but that's another story). It's a shame that there's been such a decline in quality.

- heathernj, Howell, NJ, US

problem #45

May 092013

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Until now, my car's only given me minor issue/headaches that were easily handled. BUT as of the posted date, my wife & I were out running errands & all of a sudden the car lurched slightly, started making an unhealthy noise that my wife detected before I did, and all the lights in the dashboard flashed on...then it died!! Had to push it to the side of the road and thankfully we have AAA! Had a tow truck there within a half hour and towed to the nearest auto shop. After some small inspection, the mechanic told me that it was the timing belt mechanism!

He also informed me that my Chevy Aveo was NOT THE ONLY ONE to have this problem! He said mine was the 3rd or 4th to go through his garage with the same problem! So, as of right now, my car is junked in his garage and we don't have the money to get it all fixed!! He even told me that when the timing belt came off after the tensioner failed that it also did minor damage to one of the cylinders! That's where it gets into the $1,000.00+ range!

Am I angry? YES! We're hoping to find some help on resolving this issue....not just for us, but for others who're having the same or similar problems!! Feel like we've been screwed!

- Ted T., New Bern, NC, US

problem #44

Feb 062013

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,894 miles

I have a 2004 Aveo that I thought was a pretty good car until the timing belt failed at 93000 kilometers. This is before the GM recommended replacement of 100,000Km. The failure resulted in $1500 to $2000 worth of valve damage.

Of course GM have no interest in helping out even though the failure occurred due to erroneous information in the manual. Clearly the timing belt should be replaced well before 100,000 km, at least on the 2004, which may have been fitted with inferior belts. GM should immediately issue an advisory to owners and help out with the costs of repairs due to premature timing belt failure.

I will never buy another GM.

- Bruno V., North Vancouver, BC, canada

problem #43

Aug 232012


  • Manual transmission
  • 78,500 miles

After reading this I a VERY concerned.Driving to work at 5:30 am and the car acts like it is out of gear, tach is still at 3000. I slow down and the realize the car is not running. I have it towed and find that the timing belt, serpentine belt and water pump all need to be replaced. They are still waiting on the parts so will not know for another 4 days about any other damage. I am not having the dealership repair, I have a automotive repair shop working on it. I have never had a problem with the car until now.

- Trish R., Wilsonvlle, OR, US

problem #42

Aug 252012

Aveo 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,300 miles

I have heard and seen a lot of people with this same car with the same problem Chevy should have a recall on this problem. I was driving down the road and it stalled out and made a son like belt flopping in the engine.So now I have a junk car.

- Dbbie C., New Tazewell, TN, US

problem #41

Jul 152012

Aveo 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

This is actually the second time I'm having to repair the timing and the valves being bent because of it. After seeing all these reports and this being the second time this had happened to me, chevy needs to at least do something. This is not just happening to one car but to all chevy aveos. Something is just not right. It's an un-needy cost and something needs to be give about it. I was driving down the road and the car just shut off. I got towed to my dedication to find out the same thing happened to my car the same as it did almost 60,000 miles ago. I didn't know it would something I would have to continue to do. There is no warning, or no notification when buying my car in 2006. I ended up having to fix the engine the first time at $1,247 . Turned around and still had to buy a new engine so year later. A throw away engine they say. Wow.. For the money I have put into this problem I'm putting something down on a new car.. At least posy back to us that has had this problem and fixed and fix the ones that sure having these problems to show that you are loyal company that stands behind your cars and your name... Chevy should be ashamed.

- sharleen, Decatur, GA, US

problem #40

Jun 162012

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,000 miles

WOW! I could not believe when I got on here and realized I was not alone with my timing belt issues. On the way home my car just quit and left us stranded on a busy interstate. Had to have my car towed. Found out it was the timing belt and it tore up heads, valves, etc, Bottom line- I need a new engine. OMG! That is so crazy and VERY expensive. I agree with every one else that this needs to be recalled. It is pretty sad GM will not do anything about this. What a rip off!

- nnf, Bells, TN, US

problem #39

May 032012

Aveo ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

I just got done talking to GM regarding our 2004 aveo, opened a file but they are not doing anything about it, do to the fact we are already working on it. My daughter was at a friends house and was leaving when the car started and then just died. So we had it towed home the next weekend we changed the timing belt and the water pump, as suggested, started it up and was miss firing come to find out that when the timing belt went it took 2 exhaust valves and 2 intake valves with it.. Called GM now this is what was told to me because we have done the work and not called to have it checked at a dealership for defects they can not do anything, I told him that I have the bent valves and the receipts for the other parts, but, NO. The on thing he did tell me to do is let all of your guys call GM 1-800-222-1020 and file or make sure you get a file number the more complaints the better chance of getting a recall on this problem. SO PLEASE ALL OF YOU CALL AND OPEN A FILE GET IT RECORDED. I am pushing for a recall on the timing belt it should not bend valves.

- Corinne M., Claremont, CA, US

problem #38

Jun 062012

Aveo 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

My 2004 Chevy Aveo has ran like a dream. It has had one other minor issue which my brother-in-law and father were able to fix with little time and no money. It has had good maintenance, oil changes, etc. I have not driven this car excessively hard. i went to college about two hours away from home and it made that trek every one to two months, sometimes more, sometimes less depending, and the occasional three hour trip to a specialist. In the 6 years I've had it I've put just over 60k on it, which I think is very reasonable. My husband and I were on our way home from the specialist, on interstate in a two-way traffic area and we were about halfway home. The car made a rattling noise, we lost power the check engine and ABS lights came on and we pulled over. the car would crank, but as my husband said "it wouldn't turn" We immediately called my dad and my brother (mechanic) and they both agreed it was timing belt. we said "whew" no big deal that is not as bad as many things, but boy were we wrong. we waited for the tow truck and he also agreed it was the timing belt, he took us to the repair shop. when we got there the repair guy told us that yes, it definitely sounded like a timing belt so he got on the computer to check other reports to give us an accurate estimate and to make sure it couldn't be something else. he said that 3/4 reports he read had bent valves and that would be pricey. he said it was a flaw with the cheap little car with (not-so-)cheap little parts. he said timing belt alone would be 500-600 but if the valves were bent we were looking at at least 1200 bucks. now my car has some dings from inconsiderate people in the parking lot at college, so the body is not in pristine condition, this is nearly what the car is worth around here (very rural kansas). We toyed with junking the car and becoming a one vehicle family because of the cost, but it just isn't feasible with my husband's gas guzzling truck to make that our all-around vehicle, and with a baby on the way, we need a family friendly sedan. Well, the repair shop called today and said yes, your valves are definitely bent. He did some checking and he estimates the cost to be about 2000. This seems like an awful lot of money to pay to fix something that the company KNOWS is wrong with the vehicle. Had I gotten the info that it should be replaced, we would have had it done, on our own dollar, to prevent this high dollar expense. we checked with other mechanic shops and they said this price is about right. I am very frustrated because I absolutely love this little car and have been a die-hard chevy girl all my life. Due to this, our next purchase will most definitely be anything but Chevy, and we will check into known problems prior to purchase via this website. We have decided to fix the car, as with the baby on the way, I need a reliable four-door to get me to and from when he gets here, but this whole thing could have been avoided by a simple letter from the company urging us to replace the timing belt to avoid further problems. big corporations need to take care of their customers. Like I said, if my husband didn't drive a large gas guzzling truck, we would simply be a one car family, but i can't stand to drive the truck in traffic or pay the bill to fill it up regularly. I urge everyone who already owns an aveo, to have the timing belt inspected, regularly. and I urge anyone considering purchasing an aveo to look into another car. This is not worth the hassle and is not an "easy" fix.

- mkspears, Plainville, KS, US

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