Notes: There are a fair-number of power steering related complaints which is a continuation of problems from the previous model year. Considering the problem tends to happen beyond the standard warranty (73k+) it's best to avoid this vehicle or at least be prepared for the $1,300+ repair.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,777 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.

2011 Chevrolet Traverse engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Nov 112014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Stabilitrak control, anti lock brakes and engine speed reduced. Wife's car while on her way to work. There are hundreds if not thousands of consumers with this exact same issue with various makes/models of GM vehicles. Once the throttle body / throttle positions sensor becomes dirty, it sets off a series of failures causing the vehicle to reduce power to the point where it can only travel at about 35 mph. This is a very dangerous situation to place drivers in. I called my local Chevrolet dealer to inquire about whether or not this was covered under the 5 year 100,000 mile power train warranty and was told that it was. When the dealer verified that it was the throttle body, they told me that it would cost me about 500 dollars and that it was not covered under the powertrain warranty. This is a vital engine component. How can it not be considered to be part of the power train?

- Petoskey, MI, USA

problem #31

Nov 182014


  • 110,000 miles
Four times today as I was driving my Chevy Traverse the traction control went off, the stability control went off, and a message flashed that I could experience a reduction in power, which happened immediately after the notification. The car barely had enough power to make it safely out of traffic. This happened one other time last year but when we brought it to the dealer they could not replicate the problem.

- Lake Ridge, VA, USA

problem #30

Sep 192014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 81,251 miles
I was driving the truck on the main street when the truck just turned off, everything shut down even the radio...checked the ignition and the key was still on, luckily when the car stopped the cars behind me stopped.I was then able to turn the key again, and the truck turned on...this has happened one other time but don't remember the date exactly... I also had the water pump replaced after being told by the dealer that it was ok...I am looking to get refunded for that repair...bulletin no. 13079.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

problem #29

Oct 262014


  • 32,000 miles


Have had two incidents where the stability track has come on and had to pull over and turn vehicle off wait 10 minutes and restart and finally it goes off. The last incident was I was driving the light comes on saying engine power reducing and it drops speed down to where I have to pull over not to get hit. I pull over turn the truck off and it starts but reduces power again and turns itself off this happens about three times before I give up. I then have to call a tow truck when they arrive and tries to start it does start now. I have been having this vehicle for 6 months.

- Batchelor, LA, USA

problem #28

Oct 302014


  • 30,000 miles
At a stop and engine started to rev past 2K rpms and would accelerate without touching the gas pedal.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #27

Oct 052014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
While backing up at a very low speed the vehicle steering wheel locked up, I then realized the engine had shut off. I noted the key was still in the on position and the back up camera was still on. Restarted vehicle and no further problems were noticed. When attempting to duplicate this issue the only time I could get the steering wheel to lock up was if the key was removed from the ignition. Also back up camera would only stay on if the car was running and in reverse so it is unclear why the steering wheel locked up with the key in the on position. This could be a serious safety issue if it happened under different circumstances.

- Marlborough, CT, USA

problem #26

Feb 142014


  • 34,000 miles


Received service stabilitrak and traction control off errors 4 times since Feb 2014. Dealer has "fixed" 3 times.

- Beltsville, MD, USA

problem #25

May 122012

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 11,500 miles
Serpentine belt shredded, water pump, battery and power steering failed twice, once in 2012 and once in 2013. Serpentine belt replaced again in 2013 because it was damaged by a stone. Currently have lawsuit against GM to replace the car for safety reasons. They are dragging their feet. Lawsuit going on over a year.

- Port Clinton, OH, USA

problem #24

Mar 152014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Vehicle was 2011 Chevy Traverse w/ AWD with history (four instances) of engine oil leaks/requiring engine removal and reinstall. Vehicle was on interstate when AWD/vehicle stability control lights went on. Dic indicated 'service stabiltrack', 'service AWD' and 'AWD disabled'. at that time, vehicle was 'chugging' but shortly after chugging got much worse to the extent that the vehicle could not accelerate or maintain speed at cruise, or without cruise up normal hills on an interstate. When gas pedal was pressed further, RPM/speed would increase but then drop sharply (500-1000rpm) multiple times and no further power could be applied. Vehicle slowed down to about 50mph at the top of a hill. Happened for the next 15-20 miles until it could be pulled over. Vehicle was taken in once right after original occurrence, all three lights had gone off at point and vehicle drove normally after that. Service center indicated a wheel censor (front right) was reading defective information. They cleaned 'dust' from the sensor. Happened again about two weeks later, similar circumstances/results. Service center indicated wheel sensor was bad, they replaced (at my cost) and had no further instances for about four months. Similar situation happened again today (7/19/2014, conditions and results). However, the engine chugging was much worse and vehicle could not be driven safely on the interstate, would not accelerate or maintain safe interstate speed.

- North Liberty, IA, USA

problem #23

Mar 012014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
While driving down the highway at high rates of speeds, all of a sudden the dashboard display lights up with all kinds of messages. It says to check traction control and reducing engine power. The engine reduces power and when you step on the gas it doesn't go anywhere. This happened a few times. At first I thought maybe it was ice buildup but after it happened a few more times I looked online where I came across a forum and found out there were hundreds of other Chevy Traverse owners who had the same problems. It happened on the highway when I was driving and I almost got smashed from behind by people going over 70mph. The car would barely move. The Traverse was only 2 years old. After taking it to the dealer they stated it was the throttle body. It wasn't covered under warranty. I believe it should've been since the throttle body is part of the engine. How can a vehicle 2-3years old and have a 100,000 mile power train warranty not be covered. After talking to a few Chevy people I found out this has happened to other types of GM vehicles too. They stated there has been bulletins put out on earlier models but never a actual recall. I called GM corporate but they didn't want to hear it. Very serious problem that needs to be addressed.

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #22

Aug 232011

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 4,007 miles


Hesitation upon acceleration.incident reported to cox Chevy 08/23/11, maher Chevy 11/02/12,04/16/14 and an accident 06/07/14 with bodily injury hitting a concrete wall.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #21

Jun 072014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds my 2011 Chevy Traverse began to overheat. The temperature gauge pegged all the way up to 260 degrees. I checked the coolant tank and could see that it was slightly low but nothing to cause an overheat. I attempted to drive to get to an auto parts store to get coolant. I was able to get the coolant and added the coolant and allowed the car to cool before attempting to start again. After about 30 minutes had passed I started the car again and the temperature gauge was down to 211 degrees. I attempted to drive again and a message came up on my dic, it read engine overheat idle engine, the engine power reduced and I was only able to go about 40mph. I pulled to the side of the road and to no avail in the end had to have my car towed to a repair shop. After $745, the water pump and thermostat had to be replaced. The technician indicated that the water pump had been leaking. I never saw any leaking in my driveway or when I changed the oil.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #20

Apr 262014


  • 50,500 miles
We came to a brief stop at a drive through lane (approx. 5-10 seconds), hard crank of the wheel left, mild acceleration, traveled about 15 feet, crank to right, pull into a parking spot. Immediately prior to the vehicle coming to a stop, I noticed thick white smoke emanating from the edges of the hood, and when the car came to a stop I ordered everyone to get out. Black smoke started as we exited the vehicle. I had the fire out quickly, estimate 45-60 seconds from seeing smoke until the fire was completely extinguished with a chemical extinguisher. Immediately after the fire was out, when I was checking the undercarriage, I noticed a trail of oil leading up a couple of feet from the final resting place of the vehicle. This was obscured by additional oil leaking, shortly thereafter.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #19

Mar 242014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Condenser and all belts had major leaks for no apparent reason. Lost all refrigerant in less that 24 hours.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #18

Feb 022014


  • 58,000 miles
While driving on the highway, multiple warnings and lights came on and speed was reduced by the engine to 20 mph from 65mph. If there had been another vehicle behind us at the time we would have easily been hit because of the rapid deceleration. The fix was to replace the throttle body on the engine. After much research this appears to be a very common issue in Chevrolet vehicles, and because of the manner of the vehicle slowing down so rapidly I fear that there have probably already been accidents related to this issue.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #17

Mar 242014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My issue started when I was making left hand turns it would sound like the engine would make a loud noise with some grinding noise. Then it started happening with right hand turns as well. Took it to the dealership today and they believe that it is the transmission. After doing some research I found alot of similar issues. This needs to be fixed by GM. I am curious to see how this is handled by GM and the dealership. Basically it should be a no brainer, the vehicle is 4 years old, transmission should not go out that fast. Already filed a complaint and contacting GM this afternoon as well. I have a feeling this is going to be a fight. Below are other issues reported to NHTSA, I stopped looking after page 3 took car in for odd noise in steering. Was told pump was bad and seal was bad. Appears that this is a common issue with this type of vehicle and no recall has been made. Its not just one or two cars, after research is hundreds of cars. NHTSA id number: 10567931 loud whining sound coming from front end. When turning steering wheel slowly you can hear a loud scratching noise. Bought the car brand new and only have 17K miles in 3 years. Entire steering column had to be replaced. Power steering fluid leaking. NHTSA id number: 10566861 TL* the contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that there was an abnormal vibration in the steering wheel when turning in either direction. The contact also indicated that the vehicle was stationary. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the power steering fluid and pump were replaced but the failure was not remedied. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 20,000. NHTSA id number: 10555889 power steering has issues at low speeds when turning. Dealer cost to replace pump and gear is 2,500! NHTSA id number: 10520885.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 052014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Traveling at 70 mph, suddenely traction control light came on, then engine powered down, I find that this is a common problem with this car, why isn't something being done. This has happened 4 times since March 5, 2014. At shop now will cost me over $500 to replace the throttle control. This needs to be a recall.

- Quincy, MI, USA

problem #15

Oct 012013


  • 15,500 miles
Loud whining sound coming from front end. When turning steering wheel slowly you can hear a loud scratching noise. Bought the car brand new and only have 17K miles in 3 years. Entire steering column had to be replaced. Power steering fluid leaking.

- Villa Park, IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 222014


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not taken to dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 79,000.

- Conneautville, PA, USA

problem #13

Feb 072014

Traverse 6-cyl

  • 43,094 miles
I was driving at 65 mph, and hit a small bump where a bridge ends and the pavement resumes. The check engine light came on as well as service stabiltrak and reduced engine power indicators. I was able to limp the vehicle to the local dealership for repairs, but at a very reduced speed. The dealer found that the "throttle position sensor" to be faulty, and after replacing that item the vehicle ran normally. This was not covered under warranty. The repair cost was $540. I am told that these are a common problem both by the dealer as well as by an independent shop. I am surprised that: 1. a part such as this is failing in a vehicle with so few miles 2. that this was not covered under any type of warranty.

- Ferron, UT, USA

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