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2011 Chevrolet Traverse engine problems: engine failure

Engine Failure

2011 Chevrolet Traverse (Page 1 of 2)

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Chevrolet dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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.

9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$5,210
Average Mileage:
88,050 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replaced engine (16 reports)
  2. not sure (8 reports)
  3. replace timing chain (2 reports)
2011 Chevrolet Traverse engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Traverse Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Aug 112019

Traverse 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We had a 2011 Chevy Traverse which was maintained regularly. My 19 year old daughter was driving our 2011 Chevy Traverse and merging onto the highway when everything died on her. The power steering went and the vehicle started to slow down. She managed to pull off to the shoulder. She called me and we sent a tow truck and I went out to meet her. We had the car towed to our garage and the next day they called us with the bad news. The engine was blown and it would cost somewhere between $6000 & $9000 to fix. There were no oil leaks & the mechanic stated that the timing chain had broken. This vehicle is only 8 years old. What an absolute piece of garbage. I will never buy another GM product as long as I live. I am scrapping the vehicle and getting an import.

- E D., Hamilton, ON, Canada

problem #25

Jul 012019

Traverse LT 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

This is ridiculous, my 2011 Traverse LT has rounded 94,000 miles and the engine failed with no warning. We were driving down the road and next thing you know we heard a knock and it died. We had to coast down a hill at 8pm drive thru someone grass to pull into a parking lot. We had all 4 kids. Had to wait 3 hours for a tow, and shop quoted almost 7k for an engine. The bearings blew with no warning. And busted the rods. There was never any issue with the truck, except for a head gasket that was replaced June of 2018, and regular maintenance. GM fails to cover the cost of the repair, and now we still owe $12,000 on a lawn ornament. We only drove the car 3 years and only put 45,000 miles on it. We are furious and plan on filing a class action lawsuit.

- Victoria L., Conneaut, US

problem #24

May 172019

Traverse LT V6, 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles

This happened out of NOWHERE! I was coming home from my firehouse the previous night and I stopped to get gas. I noticed my vehicle was having a hard time getting up to speed (45mph on this road) and was making a knocking noise. My dad works on cars a little and I called him. He said to take it easy home. It took me 45 minutes to go 7 miles up the road. Well, the next morning, I was driving to work with my 5 year old in the back seat. When all of a sudden, the car just takes a total crap! Everything shut off at 7AM and I was stranded with my hangry 5 year old son for close to 5 hours before my tow truck finally arrived. I live in the middle of BFE so there's no food to find unless I hunt a deer with a spear.

Anyway, my car shuts off, in a 45mph roadway. Very busy road in the morning. Power steering cut off and brake failure. Basically I had to use my entire 125lb body to move the steering wheel and push the brakes so I could manage to get into this old woman's driveway and not slide into the Susquehanna river. On top of this, that old lady, was more rude than the engine smoking.

Back to my story, I bought my car at a local Ford dealership, and they couldn't help me. I managed to get the car towed to my closest Chevy dealership- 26 miles away. After they looked at it, they determined it would be apx. $9K to fix. SC-a-REW that. So I dropped another $150 to tow it to my job, who fixes and repairs commercial sized vehicles. They couldn't do it. DROPPED another $150 to tow it 7 MILES to a Jasper Engine approved facility. Spent just under $6K getting it repaired and a month driving my mothers car- who's a smoker. I have asthma. Ew.

Did I mentioned my car was inspected and the oil was changed 6 days prior to this event?

- erouse28, New Bloomfield, PA, US

problem #23

Jul 122017

Traverse LTZ 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We had an engine bearing failure on a very well maintained vehicle. After the diagnosis of the vehicle engine failure we were told we had to pay $8,000 for the repair with no help from Chevrolet even though we were only a few months from the vehicle warranty expiration and we were still under the warranty mileage. We were still making a monthly payment on the vehicle could not afford to fix the vehicle. We were treated very poorly by the local Chevrolet dealer and also by the GM customer service. We were left with no vehicle to transport our family and still making a payment on a very expensive broken vehicle.

- cc51cc, Pocatello, US

problem #22

Jun 152018

Traverse LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I bought this car just less then 2 years. In June I had to take my daughter to her court appointment. She was only in there for 20 minutes. I waited outside for her. Soon as she got into the car, it wouldn't turn over. I was horrified. I just had the inspection done a few months ago, everything was great. Plus I just had an oil change at the same time. I always keep everything up. I read so many stories on this website about the danger of this car. I ride my other kids in this car on the thruway and you have to be doing 65 miles, because that is the speed limit. I came into some money in 2016. I bought this car for $9000.00. I don't have 3 or 4 thousand to replace the engine. I am highly upset knowing that I didn't get my money's worth. We should all get together and file a lawsuit against GM. When I took it to my mechanic he called and told me that the engine seized. That is how I found out about the problem. I can't afford to pay for another engine, so now I am out of a car. SOMETHING REALLY NEEDS TO BE DONE, THIS IS NOT WHAT WE PAID OUR MONEY FOR!!!! JUST IMAGINE IF I WAS RIDING ON THE THRU WAY AND THE CAR STOPPED. I WOULDN'T BE ALIVE NOW. THOSE CARS BE DOING AT LEAST 80 SOMETIMES. I JUST HATE TO THINK IF THE CAR STOPPED THEN! REALLY SCARY TO IMAGINE.

- Sheila S., Utica, NY, US

problem #21

Mar 082018

Traverse LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,600 miles

Purchased a used 2011 Chevy Traverse on Friday, October 13th, 2017 for $13,500. Friday the 13th should have been our first clue about this car. The vehicle had only 63,900 miles and was 6 years old. Pretty low miles for the age, so we thought we could drive it for 2 to 3 years, then trade it off and still be under 100K. Well, that was the original plan.

We live in a very small town in rural Nebraska. Our commute to work is literally 3 blocks, so we walk whenever the weather allows. By March 1st, the car had 66,800 on the odometer when my husband had to drive about 120 miles to Grand Island,NE. He had pulled into town and at the first intersection he came to, the engine began making a loud knocking noise. He made it to the next set of lights before the check engine light came on and then it stalled. He luckily was able to coast down the hill, into a Chevy dealership of all places. To their credit, the service adviser recognized he was from out of town and stranded at 5PM so he set him up with a nice loaner and said we could keep it as long as the repairs may take. Should have been our second clue.

By the next afternoon we got The Call. The engine had thrown a rod and a complete replacement was needed. We could opt for the U-Pull it engine for maybe $3-4,000 or get a completely rebuilt engine from GM and get a 3yr/36K warranty with it for $6-7,000. For options, we asked what they would bid it as is as a trade. We decided their offer of $1200 for parts was too much of a loss after buying the car only 4 months earlier!

While the tech was doing a test drive after the engine install, they noticed a strong fuel odor in the cabin. Now add replacing a fuel line also to the bill.

In total, it took almost a month for them to diagnose, order, install and test the repairs. Thank goodness we had a loaner car the whole time. Our bill came to $7,954. The cashier commented, as we paid, "was this car very sentimental to you?" Ouch. That doesn't help right now. We already are kicking ourselves for a repair over half the worth of the vehicle.

In summary, we have owned a MINI Cooper, Honda Odyssey, Volvo V70, Subaru Forester and NEVER had a repair for something major like this. Buying a domestic SUV was not in our plans, but trying to get maintenance service on the Subaru in our town was impossible and driving 200 miles for an oil change was ridiculous. We bought a Chevy because they are everywhere around here and could easily be repaired. We just didn't know how soon we would be in the shop. :(

There was NO warning. No stalling. No oil leak. Out of the blue, just failed and cost WAY TOO MUCH to repair. I am nervous just driving the car now. We have two little kids and I'm worried I'll be stranded out of town next. The new plan is to drive the car for the 3 years and try to recoup some of our loss. My advice? Check THIS WEBSITE before BUYING ANYTHING!!!!

- Dawn W., Newman Grove, US

problem #20

Mar 032018

Traverse LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

All the timing chains stretched and had to be replaced. Water pump replaced and actuators and guides. Finally afford a nice car. Chose a Chevy, this is wrong never again a real let down!! Also dealer would not help me with this. It was no fault of mine, it was a fluke. I this is a problem Chevy should stand behind this, they do not !!

- Traci F., Silvis, IL, US

problem #19

Jul 162018

Traverse LX 3.6L V5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

OK, so part 2 of the story.... I replaced the engine in my 2011 Traverse as noted in a previous post. I used a used 2010 Acadia engine and followed all recommendations. 2 weeks ago it quit on my son as he was going to get the check engine light checked. The oil was showing low so I changed the oil and was able to get it cranked but now it has a loud knock... no oil in the coolant and none anywhere on the driveway... I know have a 2 ton paperweight in my driveway.... seriously Chevrolet.... when are you going to make this right?

- Joe G., Monroe, US

problem #18

Apr 302016

Traverse LTZ 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

At just under 60,000 miles the car suffered from a spun bearing on cylinder #1. GM Power train warranty replaced the entire engine, and gave me a loaner while that was happening. The car had to make 2 trips back to the dealer after the engine replacement for oil/fluid leaks - which was also a headache.

Overall, the warranty worked just as it was supposed-to and GM stood by their product and warranty. It was a very unfortunate event sitting on the side of a busy road waiting for the tow truck with my wife and 2 young kids. This isn't the end of the world as the problem was fixed and cost me nothing, but if looking for buy one of these used - beware.

- Mike P., Channahon, IL, US

problem #17

May 182018

Traverse LS 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Replaced the timing chain at 85,000 miles, not a year later I have to replace the motor at 94,000 miles due to a rod knock. These 3.6 are absolute junk!

- Bradey S., Watertown, SD, US

problem #16

Feb 052018

Traverse

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I'll NEVER, NEVER BUY a Chevy again!! No one in my family will ever own a Chevy again either!! That's how done we are over their Chevy Traverse and their lack of responsibility of their defective vehicle!! The timing chain broke which then caused the heads to be damaged from metal. After having that fixed, out of pocket, since Chevy refused to help with any costs, it jumps time again 3 weeks later!!

My husband has always owned Chevy and preferred them but now he is dead set against event their mere name!! They have got to have lost so many loyal customers from just their traverse make and models alone! they need sued and should have to pay for time lost from work and the stress from having to deal with problems that are clearly a defect on their part!! I will forever buy Toyota or Nissan til the day I die starting today!!!

Good riddance Chevy!! I've made it my life mission to warn as many people as I can about the Chevy Traverse or anything Chevy from this day forth!!

- crydoda, Gray, US

problem #15

Nov 272017

Traverse SLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,400 miles

No warning! Engine stalled in middle of busy intersection. Had car towed to garage where it was diagnosed as blown engine. After talking to dealer found out there are currently 2 other Chevy traverse in shop with blown engines. These are very expensive engines because demand is high. GM should be ashamed. Up until now I believed in Chevrolet. I will have to reconsider.

- Terri N., Erie, US

problem #14

Jul 312017

Traverse LX 3.6L V5

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I am a life-long Chevy fan and I am so disappointed. I bought a used 2011 Traverse almost 4 years ago. It now has about 108,000 miles on it. I have serviced it as recommended. About 1 week prior to July 31 I noticed a knocking sound from the engine. No warning lights at all. No trouble with power etc. I was driving it to take it to my mechanic and it just lost power and quit. Would not start. He tells me it needs a new engine (used low mileage with a cost of $4,000 total. I just paid the stupid thing off early and now in it for $11,000, add another 4,000 and I'll be in it for 15,000! Anybody have any thoughts?

- Joe G., Monroe, US

problem #13

Jun 242017

Traverse LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

Vehicle stalled on busy Memorial Drive in morning traffic. I managed to get it to the side of then road where it would not start again. Towed to the nearest Chevy dealer who eventually diagnosed the problem as timing chains. $2,700 repair job.

Vehicle stalled again after 10 miles from taking it from the dealership. Towed again to the dealer who then found the catalytic converter clogged. Advised to replace it. We had it replaced and during this the starter motor was also found in need of replacement. $1,700 to fix.

The next day after picking up the vehicle, on the busy I10 at 50 mph it stalled again after a mechanical grinding noise from the engine. I managed to get the edge of the freeway without causing a pile-up. It would not start again and had to be towed after nervous (dangerous) moments on the freeway edge.

After having the vehicle for two weeks, the dealer advised that the engine needed replacing! Their theory was that the clogged catalytic converter had started to disintegrate and abrasive ceramic "dust" was blown back into the engine causing eventual catastrophic failure. $7,000 for a new engine replacement. So I will be $11,400 out of pocket due to this episode.

Chevrolet (General Motors) refused to give any assistance to replace the engine yet there have been enough incidences to show that this type of engine failure is a recurrent problem with the Traverse. The service manager informed us that Chevrolet has done nothing to stop this problem from occurring! It could happen to subsequent models after enough time and the right circumstances for the catalytic converter to clog and start to break down.

Traverse owners beware! It's a dangerous and costly (to customers) decision by GM to ignore that there is a problem!

- Nigel S., Houston, US

problem #12

Mar 172017

Traverse LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

Purchased this Traverse slightly used, only 1 year old. Have 100% maintained the vehicle at the Chevrolet dealership, any recommended services have always been completed. I take very good care of my vehicles. 5 years to the day I purchased this 25k vehicle driving home from the grocery store in my neighborhood doing about 10-15 mph out of nowhere I heard an odd sound. I wasn't sure if it was my vehicle or if I was driving by something that was making the sound. So I turn the radio/AC down and as I'm rolling down my window to get a better listen, my card just dies. I drifted to the side of the road put it in park and tried to start it, it attempted to start, but didn't. I tried to start it again... nothing but a click. I just had the 28pt inspection and its regular oil change at the delaership mid February and they said everything looked great! So I have it towed to the dealership and I'm told the engine has seized... so badly they can't get it apart to figure out what caused it?! WHAT! this vehicle is 6 years old with 38k miles on it. There wasn't a warning sign, no check engine light, no check oil light zero warning that there was anything wrong with the vehicle until the moment it happened. We were 4 days from going out of town, What if this happened while doing 80 on the freeway with my children inside?!! Of course I am just out of power train warranty due to the time (obviously not mileage) I've been quoted depending on what engine i choose anywhere from 9,300 to 10,300 (worse case scenario pricing) for a new engine... which is pretty awesome since I still have a lien on the vehicle! I'm now without a vehicle that i'm making payments on while trying to figure out how I can afford to fix it or buy another or both! I pretty much get to purchase the same vehicle TWICE! Is this the reward you get for taking care of your vehicle?

After doing some research... it appears I'm not alone. Will Chevy/GM make this right? I sure hope so!!

Update from Mar 27, 2017: After calling GM Customer Assistance and explaining the situation in hopes they would do a good will adjustment for a loyal customer, I'm sad to say they will do absolutely nothing for me. I asked for the reason(s) why they wouldn't help and I was told because I purchased this vehicle used and they have no idea how it was treated before I owned it. I bought this Traverse from a chevy dealership 3/17/12 - it was 1 year old, 9k miles on it and still in factory warranty. I am the second owner of this car, I've have a it for 5 years. Maintained 100% at the dealership for those 5 years, but apparently they think someone at some point 6 years ago did something that would cause the engine to fail.... 5 years later, and the dealership in all the times servicing it didn't catch it. The second reason I was given, you are out of warranty. Yes, I am by 2 1/2 months! This vehicle has 39,004 miles on it, an Engine should not fail!!! I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told "you won't get a different answer" but he agreed to have one call me back, I haven't heard from them since. I called the service manager at the dealership, also no call back. So I am stuck with a repair bill of $9,800.00 to get this vehicle working again. Needless to say I am getting rid of it ASAP. I have zero trust in GM products and zero trust in GM as a company to look at situations on a case by case basis and say hey... something isn't right here, we need to do something. I was told this was a fluke problem - really? get on the internet GM... sadly it's not!!

Shame on GM for making a crappy product and shame on them for not treating its loyal customers a little better.

I am crossing my fingers for a class action law suit for all of us that have had to go through this, it really puts people in a financial bind and its more than likely not the consumers fault obviously there is a major defect in these engines. Doing the right thing isn't always the easy way - clearly GM takes the easy way.

Update from Apr 5, 2017: My Traverse, as of today 4/5/17, now has a new (used 30k mile) engine at the price of $9,400. It has a 2 year warranty, but I must say It sounds and feels so different that even with the warranty I feel very uncomfortable driving this vehicle. Even my kids are paranoid to ride in it! A child shouldn't have to have the worry that the car they are riding in is going to leave us all stranded, sad times! Needless to say I am going car shopping in the morning and cutting my MAJOR losses with this awful vehicle. If there is anything I can tell you, please learn from my mistake and don't buy GM, specifically a 2011 Traverse unless you can afford to pay for it 1 1/2 times minimum! Honda here I come!

- Candice M., Idaho Falls, ID, US

problem #11

Jun 042016

Traverse V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Driving up a mountain, engine pulled back, pulled off to side, called AAA. Starter and cylinders shot. Car under MaxCar warranty, ok'd top-end rebuild. Roughly $5000 job. Had car for about 12 days, steering pulled, engine died again. Towed back to dealer shop, bottom end shot. Needs new engine. No rebuilds available, so brand new engine ordered. Manifold issue cropped up. New engine installed (have not picked up, but am told a $9000 job), and car still not running right. Now told that the car has fuel injection problem. Warranty company, which is covering new engine -- after paying for rebuild -- oks one injector replacement. Shop says unsure if that will do trick, but believes fuel injection system likely cause of blown engines. Recommending replacement of all injectors b/c not sure whether/where leaks are. Not sure what to think about all of this.

- kerryva, Berryville, VA, US

problem #10

Aug 072016

Traverse LTZ V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Auto was maintained 100% by Chevy while under warranty with the exception of two oil changes after the warranty had expired. The engine light came on while driving through SC headed home in GA. By the grace of GOD, I made it within 1 mile of my home before the car stopped completely. I had an oil change 2 weeks prior, by CHEVY, and had not problems until it just STOPPED. Thankfully I wasn't on I85 going 85 MPH when this happened. I can't image what might have happened. I agree this is a DEATH TRAP. Based on the other comments here, I will support and advocate for any class action complaints filed against GM. There is not way that a basically "new" automobile should need a new engine at this point. I'm currently driving a borrowed Acura with over 200K miles on it!!!!!!

I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER CHEVEROLET AUTOMOBILE AND I ADVISE EVERYONE I KNOW TO GET RID OF IT ASAP.

- Michelle H., Lawrenceville, GA, US

problem #9

Dec 142015

Traverse LS 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,548 miles

82K miles GM will not cover it under the 100k/5year warranty. We changed the oil at 3500-4k miles as recommended. It just quit one day. had it taken to my mechanic and they said the block was cracked. I complained to GM, and GM says because it has an aftermarket oil filter(Firestone) and it was loose, they will not cover it!

There was never any oil leaks on my driveway or anywhere we parked! No engine noise! No dash lights indicating low oil! Just quit.

And the American car companies wonder why people buy the foreign cars, They through their loyal customers to the wolves to fend for themselves!! SHAME ON THE AMERICAN MANUFACTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I work on CNC machines and am meticulous at my job. therefore understand the importance of taking care of my cars! and maintaining them!!!

- Linda L., Irmo, SC, US

problem #8

Jan 202015

Traverse LT 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,639 miles

In January, we had our 2011 Traverse towed in because it had died on us twice. Once while going over a bridge about 40 mph. The anti theft light kept flashing. We had the oil changed regularly at a oil changing station. When we took it in for repair they said it had no oil, therefore the engine would need to be replaced. There was no oil on our driveway, we had never smelled oil burning and my husband checks it often in addition to having it changed. We were shocked that our fairly new car needed a whole new engine! We also had the water pump replaced about two weeks ago because it was over heating.

- Melinda H., Sand Springs, OK, US

problem #7

Jun 292015

Traverse LT 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

This car is a death trap. It quit going down the road! NO warning, no service engine, no lights, no NOTHING!!! I drive my children in this car daily and it is not AT ALL SAFE. I for one did not expect to buy a 38,000.00 car and have a blown motor 4 years later. I treated that car well serviced it as it needed parked in a garage and overall took very great care of this car. I used to actually like it a lot until this ongoing issue with it.

I have replaced the throttle body as I too had the traction control issue service stablitrack, where the car lost all power just all of a sudden with out a warning. I live in Vermont and our last winter was horrendous, to say the least. I lost control and power in my car several times being stranded in a snow storm with two kids.

I will never get back into that car. It scares and is not worth risking my life for. GET IT TOGETHER GM AND HONOR this poor product and start recalling your junk 2011 Traverse's yet you recall the 2010 and the same idiots making them did not address the problem in the new 2011's.

I have contacted the congressional office and I will be going as far as I need to make sure GM honors and stands by the poor product that they are making an selling to the American public who buy GM products thinking it is worth it when it is not. This is nothing anyone wants to buy to high priced to be fixing a motor 4 years in. It is a scam and a joke and an insult. GM is too busy making junk and is a disgrace to the USA. I mean come on GM you have cars from 1995 still on the road but MY 2011 TRAVERSE NEEDS AN ENGINE. What a shame!!!!!

- chapsmom, Rutland, VT, US

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