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2005 Chevy Equinox Problems



  • holdn5holdn5 Posts: 10
    We have an 05' equinox that has had nothing but problems in regards to the heating system. The thermostat was recently replaced for the 3rd time in 4 years and on our 3 hour drive home over the weekend, the heat went out again!

    Anyone know what could be causing the issue? The mechanic is at a loss. Each time following the replacment of the thermostat the heat will work great, slowly it's starts getting worse. Often, when I slow or come to a start it start blowing cooler or cold air, but then heats up again when I start moving. If I turn the blower on more than the 2nd switch it will start blowing cooler air as well.

    Of course the 1st two times that the thermostat was replaced GM covered it because it was under warranty. The 3rd time I fought with them to get it covered eventhough it was out of warranty because it's the same issue each time. THey're obviously not fixing the actual problem, just covering it up!~ I've always been a GM fan, but after this REFUSE to purchase another GM Vehicle, especially after being brushed under the rug!
  • glodatoglodato Posts: 20
    hey well i got rid of my 05, the problem is the decool that gm used as a coolant, it causes alot of problems one also being a blown head , with will cost you thousands to fix, since the government owned gm for the bailout, they donot have to do recalls.. check comsumer and type in your car and year and you can read more....
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Call GM's service at the 1-800 number and a explain your problem and disappointment.
    Let me tell you what happened to me with my 2005 Equinox... and everything went on warranty even though they told me that the brake system is never on warranty because of the fact that it’s “wear and tear” usage.
    My rotors were always warped causing a vibration in my steering when applying the brakes. They had to turn/shave the rotors at 4,400 K again at 9,000 K and then change both rotors at 14,800 K because they couldn't turn them anymore (to thin) and then again at 20,300 K again at 25,800 K and again had to change both rotors again at 32,000 k
    Finally I traded the Equijunk for a 2010 HHR 2LT…what a difference in every way.

    P.S. Like “glodato” (post # 23) They had to change a “blown head gasket” at 30,000 K
    Cost me 3,800.00 $ and the mechanic told me that blown head gaskets are very common on the 2005 Equinox.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    I was thinking about looking at an 05'Equinox if it is still available in a few weeks(as of NOW it still is) but after reading some of your posts I'm wondering if I should just pass on it. It has approximately 104K on it and is the AWD model. That sound system issue really doesn't make any sense and is further made worse by repeated replacements that don't work for whatever reason. But the potential head gasket problem is what really gets me. I don't have piles of money laying around to fork out to KEEP the thing going. The asking price for this Equinox is 8 grand and it comes with a 90 day/4500 mile warranty. It's at a small used car lot about an hour from me. I see that you, glodato, seem to feel that the coolant issue is one of, or perhaps the main cause for the head gasket failure. I have worked on a lot of cars, never professionally in my day and years ago we didn't even HAVE pre-mixed anti freeze. YOU did the mixing yourself. Now I think you're talking about Dexcool antifreeze, yes? I was under the assumption that this was an extended life mixture and just about all the manufacturers use something like this in their vehicles. Do you mean to suggest if your Equinox had regular antifreeze, like say Prestone or any Auto part store brand and NOT this brand of extended life coolant, the head gasket would NOT have blown? And I'm wondering if Holdn5's problem with having to frequently change thermostats is related to this Dexcool coolant. I've personally never heard of such things, but then again, not being employed by a Chevy dealership is probably why.

    You would think GM would do all necessary to stop this madness. What have they done, if anything, to stop this radio and blown head gasket and thermostat issue from happening in later models? They are still making the Equinox so now I wonder seeing how you have no faith in the 2005 model how did the 06', 07', etc model years do and was anything specific done to eliminate these problems that would have made me want to drive the thing through the Dealership window! So I guess what you all are saying is, "Run, don't WALK away from any 2005 Chevy Equinox, or as you say, "EquiJunk"? I thank you all for your candor.
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    It's up to you...but I would change my mind if I where you and think of buying something else.
    In all my years of driving (36 yrs) and always a loyal GM customer (my 2005 Equinox being the 7th GM vehicle) the Equinox was the worse. It was really unbelievable to say that it was a Chevrolet.
    I traded it for a 2010 HHR and this is a fun to drive, reliable, economic vehicle to drive...I adore it.
    It's a good thing that I got rid of it or else I'd be ruined today.
    P.S. All my cars where bought new and I'm a conservative driver and always follow the maintenance schedule religiously at a GM dealer.
  • holdn5holdn5 Posts: 10

    Took the car back to a mechanic (NOT A Dealership) I'd much rather give my hard earned $$ to someone local. He hooked it up to something (sorry, I'm going to be a girl here) for 24 hours and found no leak in the head gasket!! The lines were flushed again and wouldn't you know it, we have heat, but the question is for how long? He said the lines did not appear to be blocked though? What's causing this problem, the mechanic is at a loss!! It seems to fix the problem for a few weeks but then we're back with no heat. Mechanics suggestion was to trade it in before 100K - currently 93K.

    FYI- I did go round with GM and their 1800 customer service. Spoke to 3 district specialists and was told that it's out of warranty. We're at a loss, we were hoping to keep this car for another 5 years!!

    If we do end up trading it, I can guarantee it will NOT be for another GM. So sad, we've always driven one but to get swept under the rug after having it in for the same problem 3 times under warranty, I'm done, I don't care what my husband says!
  • holdn5holdn5 Posts: 10
    I would pass also we have an 05'! I LOVED my equinox up until GM started to screw us. We don't have any problems with ours besides the heating system, but that's enough for me to say NO NO NO and is $$ to fix.

    I love the size, cargo room, gas mileage is decent, but I can't get past the way that GM is screwing us. I wouldn't risk it if I were you, there have been too many problems documented with this vehicle for me to waste my money on!
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Hey! Woa Nelly.
    I am a loyal GM customer since 1977 and "YES" I traded my 2005 Equinox after 5 years of owning it...I was fed up (not of GM, but of my Equijunk).
    I traded it for a 2010 Chevrolet HHR 2 LT. I didn't like the body of the HHR until I test drove one and I got slowly in love with it.
    What a marvelous machine, fun to drive, reliable, economic, spacious (as much as the Equinox), well equipped and after 9 months and 10,000 K TROUBLE FREE. (my Equinox was in the garage @ 800 miles with radiator hoses problems). Go figure!
    The 2010 HHR has been my 8th GM vehicle that I own (bought everyone of them new) and by far...the best one.
    Do what I did....don't throw the whole apple basket out because of 1 bad apple.
  • holdn5holdn5 Posts: 10
    edited January 2011
    To each their own ;) I've had enough problems with most of my GM vehicles in my short life of car buying (I'm 30, so I've been purchasing cars for 14 years) and this one broke the camel's back! I'll be glad to list:

    1994 Camero Z28, bought brand new in 1994
    -Clutch went after 2 years, I realize it's a HP sports car, but still.
    -Leaky water pump after 3 years.
    -A/C quit after 4 years
    -CD player quite working when I traded it in 1999

    1997 Chevy Silverado purchased in 2001 USED
    -The tranny went after 1.5 months, of course we had a 1 month warranty on it. so it had to be rebuilt.
    -Fuel Pump went in 2002
    -water pump went soon there after.
    but had a heating system like no other :)

    2001 Oldsmobile Aurora
    Bought brand new by my parents and we purchased from them in 2006, soon there after we started having all kinds of problems with it. At the time it only had 35K on it because my dad always had a company car.
    -sun roof doesn't open and if it does, it sounds like it's going to shatter
    -Transmission hits hard every so often, diagnosed as a MAJOR electrical system problem that we refuse to pay to fix. Happens every few months and then stops when the car shuts off.
    - A/C quit a year ago, we went the whole summer without it cause I'm not dumping any more money into the car.
    -Service engine light soon light stays on has something to do with the electrical system.

    2005 chevy equinox-Major heating system problem which GM refuses to fix.
    -paint on dash rubbed off after a year
    -stereo overheats and on occasion quits working (not often though)
    -has a constant smell of running hot

    Enough said, all of these vehicles when purchased were in excess of $20K and while I realize some of the issues are from normal wear an tear, most are major issues!

    I'm done handing over $20-30K to GM for shotty products. My parents just purchased a new ford edge and I'm in love!!

    The only vehicle we've ever purchased from GM was a S10 that was just a small truck we purchased for yard work, etc..a back up vehicle and it was a great little truck!
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Well...I'm 54 and driving since I was 18 so that gives me 36 yrs experience with cars/trucks and vans.
    My first car was a used 1973 Dodge Swinger (will never buy another Dodge).
    Then all the rest we're bought new...
    1977 Chevelle Malibu Classic (very good, no problems)
    1983 Blazer S-10 (very good but a bit lazy on take off)
    1990 GMC Safari LS (very good, but slippery in winter)
    1994 Blazer S-10 LT (Very good, no problems, one of my best)
    1999 Venture ST (very good, no problems, loved it alot but demolished by a hurricane in florida)
    2005 Equinox LT (worse pile of s*** ever owned)
    2010 HHR 2LT (very good, no problems, best so far, economical, fun to drive, handy.

    Ford isn't bad, lots of my friend own or drives Fords and they like it.
    No offense my friend.
  • glodatoglodato Posts: 20
    i know maybe right now it looks good and maybe you;re will hold, but i was just to a friends of mine who does heads one cars, and the last one he got he found 18 cracks in it. the problem is the dexcool antifreeze clogs everything up enough to cause all these problems, and i know mine started with heat problems first too. wish you luck....
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 151
    I went over to a local Chevy dealership this week to see what they had on their lot, and to ask the service advisor about this model. I have to say, meeting this guy for the first time that he was NOT about to badmouth or admit that the 05' Equinox was bad, or that just certain numbers of them were bad, etc. He was rather non-committal about the subject. You'd expect this from him, of course, since he WORKS for a Chevy dealership. I guess he knows which sice his bread is buttered on! I asked if there was any TSB's on this model(Technical Service Bulletins) and he started scrolling through them, but not zeroing in on any one thing in particular. I mentioned your above comments on replacing the thermostat multiple times, or issues with Dex-Cool antifreeze and I thought he was somewhat vague in his responses. He said something like, "Well, did this person use a genuine GM replacement thermostat"? Now how would I KNOW something like that? I would ASSUME that if you bought an aftermarket one and it didn't work right, the next one would have been a genuine GM replacement. He really seemed aloof about the whole ordeal of me picking his brain for info. When I asked him if you HAD to use Dex-Cool antifreeze, he said no, you CAN use Prestone regular or 50/50 mix, but that it is imperative that you flush ALL the Dex-Cool out as it is NOT compatible(so HE says) with other mixes.

    Long story short, I may PASS on the '05 Equinox AWD, but I have a lead on an 06, 07, and an 08. And if I do buy one, I'm gonna be sure to see if I can get an extended warranty with it to protect ourselves. Thanks for all your imputs!
  • glodatoglodato Posts: 20
    i;am glad you went ready if all the right questions, and just so you know i always used gm parts. you can also show him all the letters on commsumer affairs .com on where some states are now working on class action lawsuits so i;am glad i helped....
  • pkw3pkw3 Posts: 1

    I am also another "proud" owner of a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox with a blown head gasket requiring a new engine to fix the problem.

    At the first signs of any problems with the vehicle, I took it to the dealer and after close to $400.00 later they diagnosed it as just some clogged fuel injectors and bad spark plugs.

    I then picked it up from the dealership and on the way home (in 10 degree weather) it overheated on me.
    I then had it towed to the dealership the next day. They called me back and told me that it was a blown head gasket and would need a new (or rebuilt engine) at he cost of $2800.00-$3800.00.
    This caught me off guard since I had all of the prescribed (recommended) maintenace done on this vehicle. I the nproceeded to call GM/Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center where they rudely told me that they would not be able to asssit me with the cost of this matter.

    After 2 weeks and 2 calls back to the customer service number they told me that the only assistance that they would able to offer me would be a GM Loyalty certificate in the amount of $1500.00 towards the purchase of my next GM Vehicle.

    After being treated so horribly and by the lack of help offered by GM/ Chevrolet, I am now in the market for My first Import Vehicle.
    I have previously owned nothing but Chevrolet vehicles but due to this situation I am nol onger loyat to Chevrolet since I feel they they were not loyal to me during this horrible situation (which was not due to anything on my part but due to shotty design on GM's part.

    I would not recommend this model year vehicle to anyone (unless you want to become good friends with a mechanic and can afford to do so)!!! :( :(
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    I know what you mean, I owned a 2005 Equinox (bought it new) and the maintenance was always done religiously. Same thing...blown head gasket at 30,500 miles without talking about a long list of repair (lucky for me, mostly on warranty) but not the "Head Gasket".
    I am a GM loyal customer since 1977 and traded my Equijunk for a brand new 2010 HHR 2LT last year. What a marvelous little truck, fun to drive, economical and realiable, not comparable with the Equinox.
    My HHR has 12,000 miles and nothing wrong with it since I bought it.
    My Equinox was towed at the dealer with only 800 miles on it because of "over heating" they had to change all my hoses because my coolant had turned to a brownish color, sludgee and stinky.
    When I traded for the HHR GM gave me automatically, without asking anything a 1,000 $ rebate as a "Loyalty Rebate" because I was buying another GM vehicle.
    I'd say the HHR is the best car/truck I've ever owned in all my years of drive that totals 7 GM vehicles...Cars/Trucks/S.U.V./Vans.
  • colt_herocolt_hero Posts: 104
    My advice to everyone out there:


    It starts with the instrument gauges and knowing what's NORMAL for your vehicle so that you can detect abnormal trends when they start to occur.

    For example, my Taurus is ALWAYS at mid-scale on the temperature gauge. My Impala is ALWAYS just below mid-scale on the temperature gauge. Over the last year or so, I noticed the temperature on the Impala routinely starting to creep over mid-scale. I knew this wasn't normal, but the car wasn't in any danger of overheating so I let it ride. But then I started noticing the coolant level in the plastic tank being chronically low (and needing refill). I knew I was losing coolant. Well, I kept filling it until I found the source of the leak (turned out to be a pinhole in the radiator side tank). But if I wasn't paying attention to the gauges and didn't know what was NORMAL for my vehicle, the coolant would've run down until the gauge spiked into the HOT range and that would've likely been it for my engine!

    So at a minimum, watch the gauges and check your fluids periodically. And if your car doesn't HAVE a temperature scale and only has a light, you better make sure you know which light (or message) it is so you don't continue driving along while your coolant is draining away.

    Same goes for oil. An engine without lubrication or cooling fluids is a dead engine.
  • glodatoglodato Posts: 20
    hi, yes i know how you feel, and like i said before if you look at consumer you we see it;s happened to alot of people and some states are working on going after them in court, see the catch is once the government took tham over in the buyout, they don;t have to do recalls, it woulg make the government look bad, and than no new cars would sale, funny who the government went after toyota, well i can tell you after 40yrs of gm, i now own a toyota.....
  • db80db80 Posts: 1
    I had NO problems with my 05 Equinox until Saturday when the check engine light came on. I was gone and thought I would tell my husband about it when I got home the next day. On the way home, I had heat then poof, it turned to cold, (was 15 degrees out) I had no power and the engine coolant light came on. My husband told my son to check the radiator and it wasn't leaking water so he said to not turn on anything and drive the 60 miles to get the car home. We went 60 mph and when we did get home, my husband went to open the coolant cap and it started fuming and bubbling. He said it was hot and needed to wait until it cooled down. I went to get gas which is a block away and only the check engine light came on at that time. We took the car to our mechanic and he called this morning to say it had a blown head gasket due to the coolant being low. My husband went to mechanic school and last month changed the oil and he checks everything including the coolant so I know it was fine then. My car only has 62,000 miles on it. It has been interesting as it was "my fault" for mishandling the car. I am so glad I came on here to look for any recalls. I can not believe there has not been a recall on the cars or the dex cool yet. I am waiting to hear from the mechanic with a price to fix the car and then the salesman who sold the car to me who is a good friend. He is going to get an earful! Thanks for posting the messages!
  • laserbluelaserblue Posts: 313
    Same thing here...blown head gasket happened on my 2005 Equinox 2 yrs ago @ 30,500 miles.
    The reason for a blown head gasket is not driving with a low oil level.
    I do all my maintenance religiously and check all my levels every 2 weeks and when it happened my oil level was right on the level mark.
    Could it be the 3.4 L engine? My previous vehicle was a 1999 Chevrolet Venture with a 3.4 L engine also and the head gasket blew on that one to @ 59,000 miles.
    For the cost mine was 1,275.86 $
  • jonoxjonox Posts: 84
    I owned an early Equinox (built Sep 2004) purchased as a dealer Demo in July 2005. Experience with some early Noxes was marred by defective cooling system hoses from China which, as was extensively documented in contemporary posts on this forum, were apparently unsuitable for use with GM's proprietary coolant. My 2005 Nox Demo had done 6900 miles with the dealership and I had no coolant issues.

    Maintenance history during my 5 year ownership was limited to:-
    Oil and filter changes at approximately 10 month intervals.
    Front strut plate replaced under warranty at 10,128 Miles.
    Front brake rotors machined twice - last time at 19,700 miles at which time the engine was tuned and fuel system and carburetter flushed.
    The coolant system was drained, flushed and refilled after 5 years as recommended by GM.
    Lastly, the electric power steering failed to activate one time. The dealership technician checked fuses but found nothing wrong and the system self corrected when the vehicle was restarted. If you find yourself with this problem, turning off the ignition then restarting the engine may solve it.

    Overall I had no complaints with my 2005 Equinox which for my relatively light usage after 24,000 miles had given good service. It averaged 17.44 mpg (13.49L/100k) overall but Winter fuel consumption was considerably higher.

    I did test drive a 2010 Equinox but felt that GM's new engine technology, especially the 4 cylinder, might need more time in service to be proved reliable. So, in July 2010 when my extended warranty was about to expire I traded the Nox for a Mitsubishi Outlander ES. Production of the Outlander's 2.4L MIVEC engine began in 2005 and comes with a 10 year, 100,000 mile drive train warranty.
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