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2010 Chevrolet Equinox Transmission Fix
Today I spent 3.5 hours with the engineer in charge of fuel effeciency for the new Equinox. GM sent him down from Detroit (to Lexington, KY - about a 6 hr. drive) specifically to drive with us. Very nice and very smart. Without typing a novel, I'll tell you what happened.
It turns out to be a tranny programming issue as the dealers thought. The person who actually writes the tranny program for the Nox works under the engineer who came down. Everything I have described in threads on this board as symptoms it did, which was good. The driving characteristics were rather harsh to him compared to other Noxs he has driven, which are many. He was, however, able to explain why every symptom existed except for one (but the solution fixed that, explained below). He did say that although uniformity in parts and software is the goal, small differences happen during the manufacturing process (and GM largely buys parts from suppliers and doesn't make them themselves) that can make one vehicle behave different from another. This might be why some on this board say theirs are very symptomatic, and some say they don't even notice the tranny behavior described.
Without going into specifics, all the symptoms were related to things designed to conserve fuel. Long story short, he put a new tranny program into my vehicle that influences the operation of various transmission and fuel conserving features/components. It actually was just officially approved yesterday, and will begin to be put into new Equinox production vehicles possibly as early as Tuesday (Sept. 22). My vehicle is the first one with this new program that is not a GM corporate vehicle, and only a few of those have it.
The difference is amazing! It drives like a different vehicle. There are still a few small things I'm a little bothered by, I understand why they are the way they are and don't have a problem with them. Although the symptoms we experienced while driving the vehicle were either new to him or more harsh than he's experienced before (i.e.: they didn't specifically make this new program to solve the symptoms I've described), this new program makes a world of difference and solves most all of the problems I've described.
For those thinking about not buying the Nox because of the tranny issues described - don't be hesitant any longer. I no longer discourage people from buying this vehicle because of transmission behavior. If GM is full of people like this guy they will do great so long as people put their biases aside and actually give the vehicles a chance.
For those of you experiencing the tranny symptoms described on this thread and who already purchased one, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll tell you how I understand to get the fix. They may not release it as a full-blown bulletin (there are what I consider good reasons for that based on what this engineer said), so it might not be obvious to your dealer that there is a fix out there, but they should be able to get and do the fix (though I'm not sure on the timeline when the fix will be available to dealers - I would'nt think it would be too long if the new program is going into newly built vehicles possibly this coming week) with a little prodding. The fix is literally a 5 minute thing to actually perform. Also, they may tweak the tranny program a little based on today, but as of now there are no plans to do another tranny program modification on the 2010 vehicle. There are several improvements planned for 2011 model year Noxs, but those can't be loaded on to 2010 vehicles (sort of technical why, he briefly explained that, too).
Also, it is a "learning" transmission, but it keeps "learning" throughout the life of the vehicle. So it isn't just the first 1000 miles or whatever that determine how the transmission behaves for the life of the vehicle. It actually readjusts every 150 shifts or so per gear. This will result in a harsh upshift every now and again (we've had two in two months - one while driving with him today, actually) as a result of a short-shift (he explained this in detail but I don't remember details), so just be aware of it.