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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,844 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.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2018 Chevrolet Equinox Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Dec 302020


  • 92,000 miles


When accelerating it will create a hard shift or not fully engage into 2nd or 3rd gear. Also, when auto stop/start engages it jolts the car when stopped.

- Royse City, TX, USA

problem #21

Mar 022021


  • 1,000 miles
Twice in two years my vehicle has experienced a problem with the differential. The first time, the vehicle was brand new. This time it has about 5300 miles on it. It makes a noise while driving it. It sounds kind of like a small plane is flying behinds you. It doesn't matter where you are driving, highway, small town driving, etc. And it doesn't matter if you are in all wheel drive or not.

- Alpena, MI, USA

problem #20

Nov 042020


  • 49,500 miles
The car started going into auto stop and would not go forward one the brake was released on the highway or at stop signs. This caused us to almost have a wreck because the car wouldn┐T go when it needed to when pulling out onto a road when it was clear to go. It created a time lag that could cause an accident.we also almost rolled into the car behind us while stoped at an intersection on a hill that entered a highway. We took the car to the dealership. The first time they charged us for diagnostic and only cleared the code. The check engine light came on immediately when we picked it up. Then they changed a sensor, and we had to bring it back. Then they rebuilt the transmission. We have to bring it back the same day. Then they replaced the torque converter. We just picked it up today.

- Tahlequah, OK, USA

problem #19

Dec 082020


  • 51,000 miles


My wife and I noticed this past week that our 2018 Chevy Equinox will accelerate all on its own without driver input. We feel this increase in speed without input is dangerous. We have an appointment at the dealer in anchorage, Alaska that sold us the vehicle.

- Palmer, AK, USA

problem #18

Feb 122019


  • 16,000 miles
When I need to accelerate to pass a vehicle or speed up from a off or on ramp, engine light, ABS light, check ESC light, all come on and cruise control is not able to be used. Engine has to be shut down. Transmission is slipping as well.

- Trufant, MI, USA

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problem #17

Feb 282019


  • 1,800 miles
Took car to dealer for routine oil change and service, I reported to them a very frequent problem with car hesitating to accelerate andjerks at speed between 40 and 50 mph also passsenger can feel this riding in the back seat. Took to dealer they said nothing showed on computer but GM has software issue. For the price of cars feel that this is not acceptable performance to have to drive an otherwise nice car I notices several other similar complaint on this website

- North Vernon, IN, USA

problem #16

Feb 042020


  • 20,074 miles


I had stopped at a stoplight. When the light turned green depressed accelerator. The car moved forward but did not process through the gears staying in first gear only. Pulled over and put the vehicle in park and then it worked fine. A few days later I was stopped at a stop sign making a left turn across a busy highway. Went to accelerate and the vehicle did not respond. It was as if instead of shifting into 1st gear it somehow shifted into 3rd which left me with no acceleration as I pulled out to make a left across traffic. I immediately to the vehicle to the dealer on 2/4/2020 but dealer service garage did not find any problem. Filed a claim #9-5847192733 with the manufacturer but they said that if the dealer could not find anything then there was nothing they could do. I reviewed with them the dealer stated that they could only perform the work the manufactured allowed them to which was to check the battery cables to make sure they were tight.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #15

Dec 192019


  • 32,000 miles
Just finshed my second year into my 3 year 2018 Chevy Equinox lease and for the last month or so the service brake assist has appeared and dissapeared dozens of times when starting the vehicle and while driving as well as the check engine light has come on and off for the last few weeks. Orginally mad an appointment but the dealer ship canclled it and then my car suddenly had reduced power the died in the middle of the road as I was driving on the road. Not a highway. Got it towed to the dealer and the say a vacum pump seized? now are saying there is metal in the engine amd they dont know why. Trying to get me to pay for cost. Have taken car of vehchile and done the required matinence. This should not be happening on a 2 year old car with on 32000 miles. Very concerned there is something defected with the car. As numerous vehicles have been recalled for similar issues to mine by GM.

- Forest Lake, MN, USA

problem #14

Dec 102019


  • 43,000 miles
Vehicle suddenly powered down while on the expressway in morning traffic, causing the vehicle to shake and slow to an unsafe speed. I eased off the expressway to get out of the way of big trucks, etc., and was scared to turn off the exit for fear that it would stall again and I would be hit by oncoming traffic. This is the 3rd time this has happened, each time they replace something else. You need to force Chevrolet to make a recall on these unsafe vehicles!

- New Castle, KY, USA

problem #13

Sep 272019


  • miles
Car hesitated to move when gas applied when taking off from made a quick jerking forward, and backward movement as if to go, or shut down, then took off. Possiblely related to powertrain?.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #12

Sep 272019


  • miles


Brakes grabs, makes loud scrubbing noise when applied to slow down, stop, or turn.sound like right front end rods going to break, and feels like brakes slipping, and not wanting to stop at times.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #11

Jul 162019


  • 4,500 miles
On two occasions my transmission wouldn't engage when I shifted it from "park" to "drive." My car started rolling like it was in neutral. I slammed on my brakes and after about 3 - 5 seconds the transmission engaged and I was able to accelerate as normal.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #10

May 222019


  • 9,500 miles
There are 2 problems which are interrelated 1) when stopped at a stop light the vehicle does not repond when the gas is applied to move forward when the light turns green. Then, the vehicle suddenly lurches into gear. 2) the "D" for drive on the dashboard flashes indicating an error code has been written to the transmission control module. When I took my vehicle in for repair because this was happening the dealership told me that there was no error code on the transmission control module so they do not have a way to diagnois what is happening and that this is a known problem and were advised by the manufacturer to not make any repairs because that may not solve the problem. The dealership indicated the manufacturer felt this may be due to a software problem and may need to complete a software update at some future point in time. However, I've seen posts from other Chevy Equinox owners with models dating back to 2014 with this same hesitancy and jerking issue.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #9

Mar 142019


  • 14,600 miles
Was driving in parking lot and vehicle shut down unexpectedly. It would not restart. Contacted GM roadside assistance to tow vehicle. After about and hour and a half of waiting for a tow I tried to start my vehicle again and it did start. The check engine light was in. I was able to drive the vehicle to the dealership. The vehicle was at the dealership overnight. When I picked up the vehicle I was told there was a problem with the vehicle computer and they fixed it.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 142019


  • 4,000 miles
When accelerating from a stop (as in turning from a stop sign into a lane with oncoming traffic) to merge into flow of traffic the automatic transmission shifts up normally but then suddenly downshifts into first gear causing rapid deceleration creating a situation that may cause someone to hit the rear of my vehicle. This has happened 5 times so far. After the first time there was also a check engine code and the dealer replaced a transmission sensor. Since the 1st time (with just over 100 miles on the brand new car) it happened 3 more times without the check engine light and after shutdown and restarted it would operate normally. The 5th time (2 days ago) it happened again almost causing an accident with another vehicle and the check engine light stayed on, I went slowly straight 2 the dealer (1 mile away at the time). It is still at the dealer. This has all been on city streets. When this occurs I tied the manual function on the shifter and it still wouldn't shift

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #7

Nov 272018


  • 5,100 miles
Car will not shift out of first gear. Goes up to 5000+rpms and will only go about 25 mph. Then it will randomly accelerate without you having any control of the speed. Check engine light came on and the gear indicator D flashed. Dealership cleared the code and could not replicate the actions. We drove the car about 30 miles and it happened again without the check engine light coming on. We videoed what happened. Dealership could not replicate again but still are working on it. They have called Chevy in Texas and there may be an ongoing transmission issue with this model. GM tech assist sited similar issues having debris in transmission valve body. Debris will clear and get trapped in filter as designed. This occurred driving on a combination of highway, city streets, and country roads. Vehicle has 5100 miles to date.

- West Union, WV, USA

problem #6

Mar 222018


  • 1,173 miles
When parking the car in the parking lot, I turned the car off with my foot on the brake, didn't notice I had not put car in park and when I took my foot off the brake it rolled backwards. I quickly put my foot on the brake and put the car in park. Thankfully I was in an area where no one was behind me. I was shocked that the transmission disengages when the engine is turned off. I was told by the dealer that this is a normal. After looking at recalls on previous models, I saw a recall for a similar problem on some 2015-2017 Chevrolet vehicles. When it first happened I thought I imagined it. So I tried it yesterday in the driveway and sure enough if the car isn't in park and you turn the engine off the car will roll.

- Oxford, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 012018


  • 12,000 miles
My 2018 Chevy Equinox with the 1.5L turbo engine fails to shift into 6th gear when the ambient temperature is below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. I have brought the car back to the dealer several times for this problem. The first response I got was "this is normal for this vehicle, just drive it as normal". where I live the temperature is very often below 14 degrees in January and February. Driving at hwy speeds, the engine is often running 3400 RPM or higher locked in 5th gear. I have driven thousands of miles this winter in this condition. This is not normal to me, and the increased fuel consumption, engine noise and wear on the vehicle are not acceptable to me. In addition I was told by dealer service, that 6th gear would return as soon as the temperature rose above 14 degrees. It did not return until the temperature was above 32 degrees. Another trip back to the dealer, and they replaced the "charged air cooler". this worked only until the temperature dropped below 14 degrees again. Obviously this is not a fix. I had filed an online complaint with GM, and was shortly upgraded to a "senior customer service consultant". this consultant aided in the replacement of the cooler, but never followed up with me. When I called back to tell them the problem was not fixed, I was told my case was closed. Great service there GM. Close the complaint without even talking to the consumer. My take on this after the last 2 months of issues, is that GM knew about this problem before the vehicle was released. The transmission is programmed not to shift into top gear below 14 degrees as an inept attempt to prevent condensation from freezing in the "charged air cooler". even though GM knew this before they sold the vehicle in northern climates, they did not inform the buyers of this problem. This will potentially affect all GM vehicles with either the 1.4 or 1.5L gas engine and 6 spd. Trannny.

- Pierz, MN, USA

problem #4

Mar 082018


  • 629 miles
The car was idling and in park on a no-grade (flat),private road preparing for school drop off. A few minutes later in preparing to drive away, my foot was on the brake pedal as I moved the car from park into drive. Immediately after I took my foot off of the brake pedal, the car began moving backwards as if I was on a significant hill. I don't know how far the car would have continued to move backwards because I quickly pressed the brake pedal again to stop it so I didn't roll into the car behind me. I confirmed that the car was in drive and proceeded to quickly move my foot from the brake pedal to the gas pedal to ensure that I moved forward (as if I was stopped on a hill). I have been using the car for this drop off for months without this problem occurring previously. The car is scheduled to be examined by the dealer tomorrow.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #3

Jan 032018


  • 12,000 miles
My 2018 Chevrolet Equinox has not been shifting into high gear (6th) for several weeks now. I brought it into a Chevy dealer near me, and they informed me that this is a normal condition for this vehicle, when the ambient temperature is below 14 degrees.. the service manager cited a GM tsb #18-na-035. This tsb instructs the dealer to inform the owner that the vehicle is operating normally, and instructs the dealer not to attempt any repairs. This is definitely not normal vehicle operation to me. At highways speeds the engine RPM is running high and noisier than normal. The gas mileage has also dropped by 10% to 15%. I was not informed by GM or the dealer when I bought the vehicle that high gear would be disabled in normal Minnesota winter temperatures. I believe GM misled buyers of this vehicle by not informing them of this vehicle defect, which they had to know about, because the vehicle was programed to do this. Also once the temperature did get above 14 degrees, the vehicle still did not shift into 6th gear. Several days later when the temperature was 36 degrees, the transmission finally started to shift normally. If Chevrolet does not have a suitable fix for this I will report this as a "lemon law" defect in my vehicle.

- Pierz, MN, USA

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