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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,129 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.

2013 Chevrolet Sonic engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Chevrolet Sonic Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Oct 012020


  • 80,000 miles


My 2013 Chevy Sonic developed ticking sound shortly after I bought it at 60000 miles. The ticking got worse over time and then check engine light came on. I scanned the codes and multiple four codes were found. P0171, P0496, P1101, and P2270. After doing some research it seemed to be that most Cruze, Sonic, and trax vehicles all had the same issues. I took it to the dealer for diagnostics and was informed the vehicle needed a new intake manifold, purge valve, PCV hose, and valve cover. They called the dealership to see if there were any recalls and the only one was the valve cover but would have to pay for diagnostics to see if they would cover it or not. The breather diaphragm in the valve cover goes bad due to a fault intake manifold on these vehicle models. There is a little orange gasket in the manifold that goes bad and causes the diaphragm to go out resulting in having to replace the entire system. The intake manifold not only causes ghat issue but causes the car to get jumpy at stops and stalling out. Have almost had a few people rear end me due to this. The purge valve goes out as well and when at the fuel pump the car will hesitate to crank or run at very low idle shutting off multiple times before it starts up and then runs rough until a decent amount of fuel has ran through the engine. The car would not get enough fuel when at stops or on highways and would also just lose fuel and cut the engine off. Those components have since been replaced by myself and no more issues. Chevy will not recall the parts that are causing the issues and therefore there is a safety issue when out on the highways.

- Jblm, WA, USA

problem #47

Apr 092020


  • miles
The fuel system is running weak, for a car with only 30000 miles, one owner and full maintenance, the engine light came and go all the time and everything was checking

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #46

Oct 152020


  • 125,961 miles
The PCV pressure reg valve fails and causes damage to the engine. GM sent a letter to customers but only covers the work up to 120K miles. Mine failed at 125K miles and cost over $1000 to fix. GM is refusing to pay for the repairs.10/15/2020

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #45

Mar 182020


  • 110,000 miles


I purchased my vehicle 3 years ago preowned from the dealer and within these 3 years I have already had a catalytic converter recall, the issue recently is my ac system in my car is out and as a did research on the specific year there's people who have already replaced the ac system up to 5 times for 2013 Sonics. This is a manufacturing issue that needs to be fixed on Chevrolet's behalf.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #44

Jun 152020


  • 95,000 miles
Leaking water pump

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #43

Jan 132020


  • 113,000 miles
My car has leaked out its entire coolant twice now within a six month period. This time it has leaked fluid onto the computer causing further issues than after the first fix. The lack of a temperature gauge to prevent the car from overheating is a huge issue. I constantly make sure there is coolant before driving the vehicle and all in the same day it has emptied without my knowledge causing a check engine light and breakdown instantly. It has happened twice now with my toddler in the vehicle, this should be a recall because fortunately it has happened while on street roads, where I could immediately and safely move into a parking lot, and not the highway but this situation puts my child's health at risk and that I am not okay with.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #42

Mar 032020


  • 99,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. The contact stated that while stopped, the vehicle started shaking abnormally and stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to bob grimm Chevrolet located at (2271 S main St, morton, il 61550, (309) 263-2241) where an appointment was scheduled to have the vehicle diagnosed and test driven. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 99,000.

- Deer Creek, IL, USA

problem #41

Dec 202018


  • 90,000 miles
Car gave me a code of U0101 and took it to Chevy dealership and told me it has something to do with lost communication. They tried fixing issue but couldn't.

- La Feria, TX, USA

problem #40

Jan 092020


  • miles
Began over heating at short distances. A/C went cool ran hot air tried to see if freon just needed refilling but even using alomst a full can still nothing. Having fuel issues big difference weeks apart fuel issues.then over heating, next unable to hold coolant, car was returned to dealer for repair. Still unable to keep coolant from leaking, while driving on interstate I 95 out of no where I loose the ability of speed then shuttering running hot again blew head gasket lost power hard to gain control and was almost hit 2 times by car behind and on had to be pushed to shoulder and picked up with wrecker service. Mechanic had to come to car bc it wouldn't stsrt. He said the gasket is gone. Car will not do anything now. Will get receipts from dealer servicing, wrecker, auto zone mult coolant purchases, mechanic

- St Johns, FL, USA

problem #39

Dec 312019


  • 131,000 miles
I was driving to work and was coming up to an intersection I had to turn at. I pushed the break pedal, but it was really stiff and didn't do much. My car slid across the road into a wooden electric pole because it would not stop. My car is totaled and now I have to figure out some way to get a different vehicle.

- Leroy, MI, USA

problem #38

May 012014


  • miles


Code P0171 and P0420. I have replaced everything in the car that these codes state. New thermostat, catalytic converter, both 02 sensors, exhaust hose. Fixes for a few days to a week and the same codes keep coming back. Now the button on my gear shift sticks keeping the gear shift from locking into place. This stops me from being able to turn my car completely off and removing key from ignition.

- Myerstown, PA, USA

problem #37

May 092019


  • 90,000 miles
The Sonic now runs very spotty, poor acceleration, and slow bumpy idle. Prior ball joint was replaced and the cv axil, entire engine replaced. Believe it or not, water pump replaced. These repairs, with receipts, constitute a lemon law breach. I should be entitled to a new car or compensated. Yes, the suspension issue did happen while I was driving, as well as the engine. Will upload documents soon.oh, one last thing, very difficult removing key from ignition, been going on 4 months.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #36

May 012018


  • 79,000 miles
When the car is first started and turned off, the horn goes off each time. If parked but still running, the horn goes off every 2-3 minutes. When locking the car, it doesn't make any noise indicating it has been locked. When phone is plugged in, the music doesn't always work properly. There is a piece to one of the hoses that broke and is now making car run lean. When idling (at a red light or stop sign) the engine shakes vigorously and is harder to get back speed. When car is running and the hood is open, there is a hissing sound.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #35

Apr 172019


  • 94,000 miles
Takata recall - the engine has been misfiring this has also happen to someone else I know who has had the same vehicle. This is very unsafe and they don't have it as a recall yet but all of the dealership are aware of it. The vehicle jerks when your driving or when its parked. This is not the alternator or anything else I had that replaced and nothing was wrong with it and the same issue is still occurring. It a bad part they put in the engine and it neeeds to be recalled. It is unfair and not safe for customers with this issue. The vehicle jerks and when is does it it feels like it hesitates to drive while in drive mode. This has been happening for a couple of months it has just gotten worse and I am truly scared.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #34

Feb 042019


  • 69,500 miles
I have found one new leak and one leak that has been there for at least a year. The new leak is the radiator. It is leaking at the top on the driver side right where the plastic and aluminum meet. The other leak is the plastic thermostat housing. Current miles: 69,500

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #33

Dec 012017


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While operating the vehicle, a burning odor was present. Upon inspection, it was discovered that fluid/water was leaking from the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken to 5 star Chevrolet (495 watson blvd, warner robin, ga) where it was diagnosed that the water pump was faulty. The contact indicated that the water pump was previously replaced, but the failure recurred one year later. There were no warning indicators illuminated when the engine overheated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #32

Jan 022019


  • 131,143 miles
I have experienced four cooling system (radiator, water pump, engine block coolant intake, coolant expansion tank, engine/turbo coolant piping) related problems with this vehicle amounting to over three thousand dollars in repair costs. Four major repair expenses on the same system is questionable in my opinion, the two most major occurring within the same month. These all were noted during normal operation of the vehicle.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #31

Oct 232018


  • 74,000 miles
Air intake system. Not long after we bought the car the check engine light came on reading a code PH171. We were told it was a knock sensor which we replaced and it didn't fix the problem, after we were told it was the air intake hose, checked it and it looks like it's a new hose no issues with it. Now we are trying everything we can to figure out the problem. We check online forums and found out that this is a huge problem with this car and almost no one knows exactly what it is to fix it. When the car is driving it seems fine but as soon as you stop and it idles it seems like it wants to die and almost has a few times. Was just curious if this is such a huge problem that so many people are having why there has not been a recall?

- Newalla, OK, USA

problem #30

May 212018


  • 62,000 miles
The water pump was leaking.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #29

Sep 042018


  • 24,397 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Sonic. While the vehicle was stationary and while driving various speeds, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was towed to sarra Chevrolet (1170 centerpoint parkway, birmingham, Alabama 35215, (205) 853-2906) where the thermostat was replaced at approximately 24,000 miles. The contact stated that failure recurred. The dealer diagnosis revealed diagnostic trouble code: P0597 (thermostat heater fault, replace thermostat housing). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 24,397.

- Springville, AL, USA

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