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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,100 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace rear main seal or rebuild engine (12 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
2016 Chevrolet Equinox engine problems

engine problem

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2016 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 212024

Equinox LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles


I bought this 2016 Certified Used Chevy Equinox from Burtness. I just paid off the loan, got my oil change and went on vacation. I was driving home from O'Hare on I-94 and...boom!!! Lost most power and had to find the nearest place to barely get off the interstate. Looked at the manual, and it said it was just a safety issue. (I did smell some oil though.) So we drove it home slowly and in hazard mode. I had two kids in the car, and it was freezing out. Got it back to Burtness, and they said the engine is gone. The Rear Main Seal on the car blew, which they said is very common, and I read online happens all the time with Equinoxes. I did everything I was supposed to do on that car. Got all the required maintenance, etc., etc. I feel someone could've have told me about these issue at the dealership or wherever. I will never buy another Chevy. This is the 2nd Chevy engine I've had blown on me within a year....

- David F., Whitewater, US

problem #15

Jan 172024

Equinox LTZ 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,345 miles

I have never owned a vehicle less than 10 years until I bought this 2016 Chevy Equinox LTZ 2.4L back in 2017. Everyone knows how I take proper care of my vehicles and now I'm about to lose money, because of my rear main seal broke the day I was taking it in for it's 100,000 check up to see what all needs to be done. Last year (2023), I spent $1,592.75 on it to get it fixed on numerous parts. Now I'm hearing that it will cost me, at the most, around $2,000, because they have to drop the transmission and engine to replace the rear main seal. It has been extremely cold here and my vehicle died while dropping my daughter off at school. Please tell me how am I supposed to be added onto this lawsuit, because I have a family to take care of and with no wheels, life will be very hard to continue providing for my family?

- Jessie A., Jeffersonville, IN, US

problem #14

Feb 012023

Equinox LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I just bought the suv 3 months a go, and had a blown seal, I am a senior citizen, so I had to borrow the money from my brother, I live on a fixed income.

- Wanda Annetta B., Midlothian IL, US

problem #13

Sep 162022

Equinox LTZ 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


I drive a 2016 Equinox and had the rear main blow, no recalls for it but on my wife's 2013 Terrain it had a recall on it for the same issue.

- Corey P., Georgetown, IN, US

problem #12

Jan 282023

Equinox LTX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

This had nothing to do with our ability to take care of the vehicle. It was a manufactured problem that now needs to be paid by me to fix it. I’ve had nothing but problems with this car since buying it 1.5 years ago and has been a money drain ever since.

- zbohar, Dundas, US

problem #11

Feb 012022

Equinox LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

Bought the extended warranty for problems like this, they said it was not covered because PCV valve froze. Paid the 2000 for warranty, now have to pay another 1900 for them to fix it !!! There is something wrong with this picture!! It was bad enough that GM doesn't let you know that this can happen in really cold weather, It happened on the way to work. Tow bill 230 dollars to get the car to the dealer it was purchased at so they would cover the warranty just to find out, they wont. They wont cover the towing either, plus the lost wages for having no car to go to work. GM you have lots of Money, so Part with some of it to cover the problem...A recall was issued for the years 2010 thru 2014, but GM didn't fix the problem with the PCV valve. The fix is to ream the hole in the PCV valve bigger so it won't plug and freeze. There fore I feel there should be an extended recall to cover and fix this problem. There wasn't even any bulletins or anything at dealers so owners could be aware of this problem and get valve reamed out to avoid problems in cold weather.

- Isabell J., Yale MI, US

problem #10

Dec 192022

Equinox LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles


Left me stranded on the hwy in extreme weather conditions and cost me 444.00 to have it towed. My mechanic said it will cost 6500 to fix.

- Kim K., Schuyler, NE, US

problem #9

Dec 292022

Equinox LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,800 miles

click to see larger images

blown rear main seal blown rear main seal blown rear main seal

Oil is basically pouring out of my car, all because of some cold weather? You'd think after nearly 140 years of cars being invented that they would be doing a better job. How far has technology come in just the past 40 but we can't get a vehicle that works properly. Gotta love planned obsolescence.

- Josh A., Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #8

Dec 232022


  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Hasn't been not a whole year car was in good shape bought the car from the dealership 16,000 something only had a one person owner bought it at about 116,000 miles. Carfax were good I kept the car warmed up all day drove it home on the first cold night two days after a full new oil change and it just broke from the main seal as well as a tire sensor completely then made the battery die and have to pay $3,000 just to get it fixed at the dealership not including the other problems. It was a good car, I took care of this car it shouldn't have broke down, they need to fix this problem this shouldn't have happened.

- Monica S., Detroit, US

problem #7

Jan 242020

Equinox LT 2.4L

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,864 miles

Same story as a lady from New Jersey and Ohio that I saw on here.

I was driving to work and came back out to start the car and go get lunch, then car doesn't want to start. I hear a grinding noise like steel plates are just rubbing against each other, and thought it was something different than what I found out. I called the tow truck to take it to the service station - I thought insurance was going to help. But when the adjuster came out to look at it he called it a non-repairable for them to pay off the fix because the PCV valve wasn't covered under the coverage. They included the blown-out seals and everything else that's wrong with it, so now I'm sitting without a car and the means to pay for a new engine for the car to get fixed.

I did read on here that there was somebody going through the exact same thing put a lawsuit through. I wish I had their number number to their lawyer so I can tell him I saw his story. I'm looking into it and to see if it was a recall - did GMC knew about the problem and didn't fix anything?

- Joseph M., Lake Station, IN, US

problem #6

Feb 172021

Equinox LT Ecotech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Looking online it appears GM knows about this issue with the Equinox PCV valve freezing in colder climates, causing back pressure in the engine and blowing out the main rear seal. Entire engine/transmission has be removed to repair. There's a tech bulletin from GM on it, however they don't cover the cost. For the life of me I cannot understand why they have not sent out a notice to let people know with a simple retrofit kit to allow proper venting when this happens.

I've owned three equinoxes but this will be the last one. Been lucky, we've had easy winters for years, probably why it didn't happen sooner. It's one thing to have a problem appear and takes some time to address it, from what I've read they've known about this since 2010.

- Ava N., Chagrin Falls, OH, US

problem #5

Feb 062021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

We were in another town... stopped at a red light and an awful smell came through the front defroster, we thought it was the car ahead of us as when we took off it seemed to go away. But when we stopped at the store, it happened again, so we turned the front defroster to the floor and it seemed to let up. Well, we opened the window a crack and headed home.

Got to our dealer, the mechanic got in... I guess they thought we were exaggerating, but they quickly got out of the car, looked underneath and saw the rear main seal blown... No lights, no bells, no nothing to tell us the oil was low and this was one week from the oil change the dealer just did... The smell of burning oil was so bad it made me sick.

Had it been someone who did not realize something was wrong they may have passed out while driving. Shame on GM for not correcting this. So now it is in the shop. Thankfully we had purchased an extended warranty... but we had to cover part of the car rental.

It's been about 2 weeks...they say it should be soon done.

- Tammy W., Medina, NY, US

problem #4

Mar 022021

Equinox LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,500 miles

2016 Chevy Equinox, all oil changes done on time, Exhaust system maintained properly, brakes, etc. Preventative maintenance taken care of. This past week extremely cold out in New England (0 degrees or so). Driving on freeway and got off to stop for coffee. Thought the car was going to stall out at the light! Get to the gas station, seems OK, but when goes to idle, awful sound from the engine. Put in park, no issues, when driving, no issues.

Finish driving another couple miles without any noise and/or issues. No dash lights on, no sounds coming from the car. Nothing that would suggest any issue. Oil had been changed three weeks (maybe four) prior, and the exhaust manifold changed out in between that. No issues had been found on either of those visits.

We call the dealer to touch base, they recommend bringing it in. As long as no lights are on, warnings, they think its OK to drive there. Go to backup, warning light says "Low Oil Pressure" but still no engine light on. Park it and turn it off. Oil stick is dry. Oil underneath the car. Have it towed in.

They took a look, found the rear main seal was blown out due to excessive pressure from a stuck/frozen PCV.. Now they're stating there's engine damage and recommend a replacement put in to the tune of $7-8 grand. Car isn't worth that much.

Amazing that they had similar issues with 2010 - 2014 with Oil Consumption being an issue, and now it seems others are having this same issue with rear main seal failure (catastrophically!). Dealer claims they've seen it before, but nothing they can do. Seems to me they're aware (or becoming aware) of this issue. Do not buy an Equinox from the 2015-2017 years because this is how they fixed the previous issue!

- Andrew B., Enfield, CT, US

problem #3

Jan 082020

Equinox LT 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

Car felt like it was going to stall as I paused to enter a roundabout. I continued through the roundabout and then pulled to the side and shut the car down so I could think without it shaking and hesitating. I decided to pull to a nearby gas station so I held my breath as I did and made it. It was -7 degrees out so I was grateful I stopped short of entering the freeway. It was early morning and I found a shop open. I called a tow truck who charged me $200 to tow (no AAA membership). I was then charged $130 to run diagnostic which they reduced to $50. They gave me an estimate of $2700 for 10 hours of work and $400 in parts. I was sick so I checked with a less commercial mechanic and he said he could fix the rear main seal blowout for $1000. However, he had not seen the issue and I neglected to tell him how bad it was. When I spoke to him next, he suggested that I take it to a Chevy dealer. I spoke to 2 different dealers, verified that it wasn't compensable by any recall, bulletin or warranty but that Chevy may help with costs based on my loyalty and the fact that this is a known mechanical issue. I then had to rent a vehicle at my expense as I was told it would take 2 weeks for anyone to look at it and do repairs. After 1 week, the dealership I chose gave me a loaner car. I was also going to be charge another $90 for diagnosis. Details that I did not include in this were that I spoke to several mechanics who wanted no part of this because of the severity/size of job. There was oil leaking from every crevice. Several felt that buying a new used engine could lead to this occurring all over again. This was a major struggle for anyone to look at.

In the end, for 5 of 6 of my cars being GM cars in my lifetime, my loyalty got me $200 from Chevrolet/GM. By the way, I could have saved that little bit by going to a decent local mechanic but it was very difficult for any of them to commit. Everyone that I spoke to insisted that I go to Chevy. Instead I paid to have it towed a second time to the Chevy dealer and pay the inflated hourly rate through them.

I vow that this issue will not end with me. I will continue to make this issue known until I reach a reasonable deal. And for all of their $200 loyalty I will return them a favor by NEVER purchasing another Chevy and talking everyone out of their GM cars.

- pharm522, Waterloo, US

problem #2

Jan 222019

Equinox LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,575 miles

click to see larger images

blown rear main seal blown rear main seal blown rear main seal blown rear main seal blown rear main seal blown rear main seal

Driving on the NJ Turnpike freezing cold out day and my car just dies. I came to a rolling stop on the side of the road. Tried starting car and nothing, then I hear a grinding noise as I turn the key, get out and open the hood. I turn key again and I hear this grinding noise again. Call AAA but they can't pick me up on the Turnpike needs to be a separate tow truck company.

After 45 minutes freezing in the car the tow truck guy shows up. Takes a look at the truck check oil and says I have no oil. Turned key and dash did not show any oil lights lit. Looked at the back of the truck and there was oil all over it see pics. Had to get towed to yard then called AAA to take me to Elkins Chevy. Elkin's Chevy looked at it and said the pcv valve froze causing the rear main seal to break causing engine to lose all oil and cease up. No warning lights or sensors lit up at all. Dealer said I was out of warranty 88,575 miles so i was responsible for fixing.

New engine $6,000 used $4,500 plus what ever other damage to the pvc seal and case. estimated 7,000 to 9000. to fix the truck was only 2 years old and always got serviced oil changes ect. I Bought another equinox 2019 and while transferring my stuff from 1 truck to another service guy said this a common thing with this engine and Chevy is aware. I went home and google what happened and sure enough they have a class action suite against them. They said it should only be on the 2014 and that it was fixed but clearly it was not fixed. I called Chevy, escalation and managers they said since I sold the truck and got a new one there was nothing they could do.

- Ted K., Neptune, US

problem #1

Jan 312019

Equinox LT 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

Parents (senior citizens) got a 2016 Equinox 2wd. Hhad oil changed every 5k @ Valvoline care center. While on a short trip smelled oil, motor started to tick. Parents were close to oil change shop and pulled in. Attendant looked under car pointed out entire bottom of Equinox covered in oil from blown main seal and dip stick was blown up slightly from internal motor pressure. Now parents stuck with large uncovered repair. Warranty should be higher than 60k. Side note: mechanic said many of this type motor go before 100k...:-(

- Adam T., Sebring, OH, US

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