Print this page Notes: The 2006 Equinox is plagued by a heating problem, as in the heater only blows cold air.

The reported cause of this problem is a small door, known as the air temperature blend door, which allows air to flow past the heater core. This door has a plastic connecting shaft to an electric motor and the shaft is prone to breaking after a few years. The problem has a typical repair cost of over $800.

The 2006 Equinox also has a number of reported problems ranging from the key getting stuck in the ignition, to failing speed sensors, and trouble starting the engine. All in all, this car sounds like one worth avoiding.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,992 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.

2006 Chevrolet Equinox cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2006 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 222011


  • miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Equinox for 5 months now. Engine light turns on sporadically, car overheats while in traffic or idling. I cannot drive my too long. While the car is in motion temperature gauge is in the middle. A/C blows out hot/fan air while idling, sometimes blows out bad smell. While car is in moving motion A/C blows cold air. After approx. 30 minutes of highway driving, hot air comes out again. I have taken this car for diagnostic and repairs are too expensive to fix. Last incident is report below, however I cannot have the car parked on for more than 2 minutes.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 212011


  • miles
Broken blend door on 2006 Chevy Equinox.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

problem #13

Mar 072011


  • miles
The blend door in my 2006 Chevy Equinox lt is broken. The knob that turns it from cold to hot is cracked and I was told by a mechanic that this piece should not have been broken and it is a manufacture defect. It is only blowing cold air. I have read many complaints online from people with the exact same issue. This is a safety issue because I can't defrost my windshield on a cold day with cold air. I have driven with fogged windows and windshield almost hitting objects on the road because I couldn't see anything. The repairs are expensive and GM needs to place a recall on this.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

Mar 012011


  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that coolant began leaking from the vehicle abnormally and the temperature gauge would signal that the vehicle was overheating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the intake gasket was faulty and would need to be replaced. She then took the vehicle to a second dealer who advised the same. The manufacturer was not contacted in regards to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 73,000.

- Charlotte , NC, USA

problem #11

Dec 282010


  • 95,505 miles
2006 Equinox started blowing cold air, engine overheated at stop light. Replaced thermostat, but didn't resolve. Vehicle needs new head gasket. Cost with initial thermostat and current work approximately $3K. Mechanic shops contacted GM and were not provided the information of numerous complaints such as mine, though a myraid of complaints posted on line that states that GM is well aware of the problem.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

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problem #10

Nov 152010

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The heat started to take longer to warm up then after a month of this the heat totally stop working. I can't defrost the windows. This occurs everytime. I have research this and there are numerous complaint about having this issue. GM needs to recall this because they charge anywhere from $900-1200 to fix the problem. I found that the air blend door on the actuator that controls the temp of the airflow. I have found this problem going on since 2008 on the 2006 Chevy Equinox and Pontiac torrent.

- Aurora, IL, USA

problem #9

Nov 062010

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 83,300 miles


Heater not working on 2006 Chevy Equinox causing safety and visibility problems. One day the ac and heat were working fine, the next day the heater would only blow cold heat as well as a non-working window defroster. This began in early November. The dealership says the actuator needs to be replaced as well as the temperature door (blend door). Cost is $100 for the analysis and about $1,000 for parts and labor. I have a securenet extended warranty but they say this is not covered. Car is at dealership now awaiting my approval to do the work. I am in limbo and looking for another shop who can maybe fix it cheaper. Considering the hundreds if not thousands of complaints I have seen online about this, and the fact the parts were cheap and should not be breaking so soon, this needs to be recalled!

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #8

Oct 032010

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 70,409 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox that is blowing ice cold air through the heater as well as the defrosters I think along with the other 329 people who I read about has the same problem.and they all estimate the cost of repairs is 1,000 dollars we need help I tried replacing the thermostat but no help still cold air.

- Claysville, PA, USA

problem #7

May 072010


  • 53,000 miles
2006 Equinox with less than 55000 miles needs a new head gasket. Yesterday was the 4th trip to the dealer to find the problem with my car overheating. This morning I was told it's a blown head gasket. I did a small amount of internet research only to find this is a known problem. I love my car but am so pissed over the run-around I've been getting for a known problem and that the problem has not been corrected on all vehicles affected. If I didn't have an understanding boss, an issue such as this could have cost me my job as I've spent a lot of time going back and forth between work and the dealership and now I'm without my vehicle until it's repaired. Thank god I purchased the extended warranty when it was offered.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #6

Mar 202010


  • 31,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Equinox. Earlier this week, the heater stopped working. I took it into a mechanic, and was told the heater door was not working properly. This car has 31,000 miles. Then we were driving the car home and got caught in a snow storm. Our visibility was extremely impaired and we almost hit 2 cars. We had to pull over every 10 blocks to manually defrost the windows and clear off the fog. After looking online, this seems to be a common problem with this make and model. No heater/defroster is a serious safety hazard in snowy conditions. Repair is estimated at $1500.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #5

Jan 072010


  • 38,159 miles


HVAC system went out on 2006 Chevrolet Equinox vehicle. Vehicle has 38,000 miles and was just out of warranty which was 3 years or 36,000 miles. We live in Colorado springs, Colorado and had major snowstorm when heater went out while driving on interstate 25. Safety of driver and others were put at jeopardy due to vehicle heater failure. Front windshield and windows would not defrost putting driver at risk. After getting home safely looked at internet site ( and found approximately 230 other vehicle owners with same make and model that has had the same type failure of the 2006 Equinox heater system failure. There has been no recall of this problem by Chevrolet putting at risk the safety of drivers of this vehicle model when Chevrolet knows of the failure of the heater system. Took vehicle to dealer on January 8, 2009 and explained heater failure and concern to local service manager. Service manager stated that there is no vehicle recall for this failure and that the number of heater failures for this model versus sales of this model is low. Costs to replace heater on vehicle was $1100 but due to my complaint. There should be a recall notice issued by Chevrolet due to number of heater failures on this model of vehicle putting drivers at risk by not being able to use defroster to provide clear visibility on windshield and could result in a crash without warning. There is presently a safety recall (#090298) dated December 18,2009 NHTSA campaign id number 09V489000 for the 2010 Equinox dealing with the same issue on safety and visibility issue. Due to the number of failures of the heater system in the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox a recall should be issued for vehicle owners. Owners are having to pay from $800 to $1100 dollars to have the heater system repaired so that they can safely drive in this model of vehicle during inclement weather and safely see out of the vehicle with a working defroster. This is definitely a safety issue and should be reviewed by the NHTSA.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #4

Dec 012009


  • 48,000 miles
Loses antifreeze after each time it is used. Always having to put more antifreeze back in it. Also, heat quits working often.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #3

Jan 022010


  • 65,000 miles
Driving down road, heater quit working on my 2006 Chevy Equinox, I know of at least 200 more people that have had the same problem.

- Springtown, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 142008


  • 42,500 miles
Took 150 mile trip from Delaware to NJ. Car died in drive way of destination. Towed to local dealer. Engine needed to be replaced. Warranty not covering repairs. Picked up car I NJ Aug 30th with new engine. Drove approx 500 miles and engine light came on again. Towed to dealer on 9/14, waiting for dealer to contact us.

- Lewes, DE, USA

problem #1

Mar 032006


  • miles
17 trips to the dealership for repeated problems with brakes, rotors, bearings, transmission, clicking/other sound in engine compartment not fixed as of yet by GM, broken door hinge, broken license plate bolt receivers, starter, seat belt clip, air conditioner, remotes, noises in front end, engine miss, clunking when wheels spun on wet pavement.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

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