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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,881 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Sep 192015


  • 93,232 miles


I was backing out of a parking spot and the wheel locked up on me. I had an extremely difficult time getting out of the parking lot. I had several warning lights on at one time and the gas level in the car was not registering. I was two blocks away from my house at the store so I was able to make it home safe to park my car. This same incident happened to me a week prior to the date on the report. The first time it happened, I parked the car and it was fine the next day. This time around, when I attempted to drive the car the next day, I noticed that all the signal lights went off, but the steering wheel was still not functional.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #21

Jul 032015


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, there was smoke coming from the top of the steering column and a burning odor emitted inside the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred on three different occasions. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the dimmer switch module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Burbank, IL, USA

problem #20

Jul 242015


  • 141,000 miles
Lately driving has been a bit of a challenge; turning corners tough which lead me to think maybe I needed steering fluid or something! something was exactly it! while driving home Friday night, 7/24 going my usual route (90W highway in Ohio) I went to turn for the off ramp and wheel/steering locked completely, there was a knock with each attempt to turn and it would let me move. Luckily I am not one to panic and there were no cars behind or in front near me; thank god! I tiptoed her to the edge away from traffic and contacted the nearest tow/garage. The mechanic said I was lucky because I could have been killed because the whole steering locked completely on a major heavy traffic highway. :-( I really like my Equinox and have never experienced anything like this from any other vehicle, but I am now seeing more & more situations involving the steering!!!!what's going on" are the newer models having the same problem" updated 9/15/15.... updated 09/30/15 updated 11/10/15.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #19

Jul 142014


  • 75,000 miles


I turned the steering wheel to leave a parking lot and the wheel snapped in my hands and I could not steer the car. It happened a couple of more times and since I felt unsafe I, of course, took it into the dealership where the car was purchased and they attempted to repair it. $900 later we had the same problem. At that point they said the steering column needed to be replaced but suggested we wait until we could actually hear a thumping noise. The problem did not happen again until May 2015 right after we gifted the car to our grand daughter. Now we are right back where we started but another mechanic has told us it could be in the electronics. This is an unsafe situation. The steering could become disabled and cause a very serious accident.

- Brick, NJ, USA

problem #18

Oct 222014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving 10 mph, the steering wheel seized. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing, but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Brick , NJ, USA

problem #17

Oct 012012

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
This vehicle has been difficult to crank, you have to manipulate the steering column, and repeatedly try to crank it. Key is difficult to remove. On Sept 29, 2014, the key came out of ignition while in drive. I reported to GM at 18002221020 at 8am on Sept 30, to, who took details, and said a sr. Service advisor would call me in 24-48 hours. No one did. I called GM back today and spoke to a hispanic man, who said [xxx] is the sr. Advisor assigned but she is not available at this time. I left a voice mail for her. I also contacted riverside Chevrolet in wetumpka Alabama, and was told a service person would call me back. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Eclectic, AL, USA

problem #16

Jul 192012


  • 58,000 miles


Total power steering failure at any speed, almost caused an accident. It was like trying to drive a bus ! please make them recall the power steering motor before someone gets killed ! if my wife was driving there would have been an accident.

- Carriere, MS, USA

problem #15

Feb 172014

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 80,125 miles
I bought my car from a GM dealership in hanford, ca after just I took my used 2006 Equinox home and went out the start it that night it would not start key kept getting stuck, also a very rough idle, ignition switch issue I would have to fight with it from time to time did leave me stranded I called the dealership they had be bring it in the looked at and did nothing took it back again and they cleaned the throttle body? but did not look at the ignition issue because they advisor said there was no due bill for it also 3 months later my ABS and trac control light was on I took it to a different service shop in visalia ca and they found that I needed a rear hub and senor also a alignment paid almost $400, and still did not fix the issue they were helpful and told me that there tons of issue with my make and model regarding this make and model to take it to the place I got it to see if they can help me, it was horrible to drive spoke with a sales manager I told them about the ignition issue and ABS & trac control light, they got it in there shop to check it out and gave me a rental to use to get back and forth to work, called to pick up they had a 600. 00 dollars bill for me!!! and still did not fix the ignition !!! it did it the problem in front of the sales manager and he said oh wow I refuse to pay that amount I just paid $300 he told me when another manager comes back we can make a deal, I feel that I was sold a car that is unsafe for me and my family!! I can drive and go down a rough road or my leg hit the keys and my keys will fall out of the ignition and the car is still operating !!! and they will not fix it its just unbelievable!!!

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #14

May 032014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that while making a right turn, the steering wheel seized and the contact had to apply extreme force to the steering wheel. Additionally, the contact stated that the vehicle would slip gears intermittently. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 04V302000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #13

Mar 012013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the power steering suddenly malfunctioned making the steering wheel very difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the electric power steering motor had malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defective. The failure mileage was 60,000. P

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #12

Jan 302012

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 98,546 miles


En breaking 90% of the time.when I was coming to a stop on the freeway my steering column started vibrating and continues to do so. When starting truck the ignition keeps going as if the truck is on repeat start. Sometimes when I turn the ignition off the truck stays on.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #11

Aug 292012


  • 150,000 miles
As reported by other Equinox owners, the electronic steering cuts out randomly while driving. As it is difficult to replicate the problem, I have not been able to find a mechanic who can work out why it does this. The electronic steering can cut back in as quick as it drops out, that makes driving very dangerous. The only advice I have been given, is to replace the whole steering column & electrics at a great cost with no guarantee that this will rectify the issue. Very shocked that GM is not responding to these issues. I guess there will have to be a fatality before they sit up & listen.

- Victoria Harbour Ontario Canad, AL, USA

problem #10

Feb 012010

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Equinox had four problems that were fixed by replacing the steering column and motor: * several incidents where I could not turn the key in the ignition until I jerked the steering wheel back and forth (out of frustration). * several incidents where I could not move the steering wheel after starting the engine on a hot day. Turning engine off and restarting a few times finally engaged power steering assist. * several incidents where I lost power steering assist while turning corners and required assistance from the passenger to turn the steering wheel. * several incidents where I completely lost power steering and engine power while driving in rain. Steering column was smoking, shaking side to side and up and down, and felt like the whole steering column was falling apart under my hands. The car slowed down and did not respond to the gas pedal, even though the engine was running. Three times the escondido dealer said nothing was wrong because there were no failure codes. I thought it was wrong that I almost died and there is no error code for that, but realized I was talking to a wall. My problems continued and I went to the poway dealer who said the overheated steering motor was forcing the engine into protective mode. They asked me to leave my car and replaced the entire steering column and motor on GM warranty. None of the described incidents have recurred since replacing the steering column and motor. My problems seem similar to those stated in these complaint ODI numbers: 10168607, 10181373, 10195505, 10207818, 10210502, 10245868, 10248789, 10250004, 10321311, 10364217, 10383115, 10383313, 10410417, 10419886, 10440553. These are very dangerous problems. I could have died several times and could have killed people in other cars on the road with me. I bought this car B/C my dad was a lifelong Chevy fan. This is not my father's Chevy.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 122011

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 6,015 miles
I've had three incidents while driving that I completely lost control of my steering. After turning the car off a mechanic started it up to check it out and it did not have a problem. It seems that after I turn the ignition off it resets itself. It has happened this way several times now that I was in a safe area but I do not feel safe driving it far from home..

- New Freedom, PA, USA

problem #8

Aug 312011


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact drove over an uneven road surface and a popping sound was heard in the steering column. The steering wheel became loose and difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostics where the mechanic stated that the components in the steering column failed. The mechanic advised that the steering column would have to replace. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #7

Aug 152011


  • 76,670 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated while parking the vehicle the steering wheel malfunctioned, and the contact was unable to move the vehicle. The contact had the vehicle towed to the dealer. The dealer stated the steering column disconnected from the steering rack. The dealer stated the vehicle needed a new steering rack. The contact stated if the vehicle was driving at high speeds the vehicle could have caused a crash. The failure mileage as 76.670..... updated 09/15/11 updated 2/23/12

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 302011

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 61,450 miles
2006 Chevy Equinox has steering column shudder, noise, vibration while turning and slowing from 45-5 mph. Feels as if the entire steering column will fall apart in your hands. I have heard this may be a carrier bearing/intermediate shaft/steering column replacement issue.

- Dudley, MA, USA

problem #5

Feb 182011

Equinox 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I took my 2006 Chevy Equinox to dealership for power steering failure. We were losing steering functionality while driving. Dealer did not find anything wrong. Problem continued and after 2nd visit I was informed the entire steering column and motor needs to be replaced. I see from internet message boards this is a common problem with this vehicle. Dealer and GM does not consider this a safety issue and requires auto owners to repair the vehicle at our cost.

- Park Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #4

Sep 302010


  • 107,147 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. The contact stated that the steering column wiring began to smoke which caused the steering to fail. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who replaced the entire steering column. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 107,147.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #3

Nov 232008


  • 28,000 miles
2006 Chevy Equinox. Upon turning on the car, in cool weather(25degreesf),the power steering failed to provide power assist. Drove approximately 5 miles like this. Later that evening around 1 hour later, went out and power steering worked properly. First and only time it happened to date. Went to dealer to have it checked and they found nothing wrong, no failure or codes. Warranty expires in 2 weeks.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

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