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2011 Chevy Equinox Problems

cat317cat317 Posts: 3
edited March 5 in Chevrolet
Note: This post is very long but I think it is important to share our story as there is not a lot of reviews from consumers who have experienced issues with the 2011 Chevy Equinox.

After months (literally) of researching, sitting in, and test driving hundreds of cars, my boyfriend and I were excited to find a car (Small SUV) that fit our specifications perfectly!!! We set 3 criteria we wanted our car to fill:
1. It must be comfortable and drivable for both of us (he at 6'4", me at 5'3")
2. Under $25,000
3. Great on gas as we travel 35+ miles each day
We were simply ELATED when we found that the 2011 Equinox fit all of that AND was really cute, stylish, and technically modern!

We purchased our 2011 Equinox (4 Cyl.) in October 2010. We were in love with our brand new car until day 13 of ownership when we were driving to work, 3 lights (including the engine light) came on and the car completely died on the highway. Our car was towed away that morning and in the shop for 2 days. We picked it up the night it was ready.

Problem #1 - We were informed that one of the high-pressure gas valves got lodged which shut down the entire car.

The night he picked it up, as my boyfriend was waiting in the car for me, after only about 30 minutes of getting our car back, the check engine light went back on...we brought it back to our dealership within minutes. We picked up the rental we had just dropped off again and were promised that it would be fixed the next day.
Come the next day, our dealership called to say that our car was ready to be picked up.

Problem #2- what caused the check engine light to come on a second time was a coil in our engine that had apparently burnt out.

The following day, I drove off the lot and immediately became concerned when I noticed that my car seemed to be idling rough. Once I got on the highway, I noticed hesitation when the car was down shifting when slowing down.
The next morning, as I was driving to work, my brand new Equinox was jolting forward when transitioning from 1st to 2nd gear. It honestly felt as if I had been hit. That following day we brought the car back to the dealership where the tech who worked on our car sat in it with us and claimed that he did not feel the jolts/rough idling we were even as he was sitting in it with us. We were told that it was possible that the gas we had been putting in the vehicle may cause what we claimed to experience. When we first purchased this vehicle we were informed that "this car is meant to be driven...just use regular!" but now, this technician was suggesting we allow the tank to run through and then switch to mid-grade. After 2 weeks of using higher grades of brand name gas, the car was still idling extremely rough.
Since then, we had brought it back once to complain about this on-going problem and were again sent away and made to think that we were a little crazy or "sensitive".
After a couple more days, (Nov. 15th) we were so irritated with this idling problem (which seemed to get worst in the cold even after warming up in the morning for 20+ minutes) that we demanded that our dealership take the car in inspect it.

Problem # 3 - After 3 days of it being in the shop, I received a call from our dealership where I was told that there was an issue with the cylinders in our engine. I was also informed that GM had told my dealer that because there was a slight issue with them, that they would not receive the part until appx. Dec. 20th!!

The part came in a couple days earlier then expected and we had our car back the week before Christmas. Still however, theough I did not notice any problems or hesitation in downshifting, our car was STILL idling very rough!

However, because the dealership informed us that they did everything GM instructed them too and there were no codes coming up that there was basically nothing else they could do, we continued to drive the car despite the frustration for a couple more weeks.

Then, once again, in early January, as I was on my way to work the "check engine" light came on yet again!

I immediately called the dealership (thank you BlueTooth) and was enraged at this point! I brought it back and after 3 days of our car being in the shop, we were told the car was fine, they cleared the code and drove it 35+ miles, and claimed that it was running great.

Yet still, rough idling. We purchased our car in early October 2010, it was in the shop total for over 45 days...that says something...I will also add that of our total 32 miles of traveling per day, 28 of them are highway yet our vehicle shows that we get on average only 20.1 mpgs. Though good for an SUV, certainly not what is advertised or "estimated".

At this point, we have indeed contacted a lawyer. GM has declared our car a "lemon" and will be buying it back from us.

This is more disappointing then I can explain as we truly, truly love the style, modern technological capabilities and of course the fit and gas mileage but we have no choice but to start at square one, and look elsewhere.

I truly hope that sharing our awful experience with this car has helped someone else feel like they are not alone in the struggles as we do. We continue to be hopeful that Chevy fixes and figures out the engine/transmission issues that are obviously occurring in the 2010/2011 models and hope that one day soon they will release a higher-quality version as there are obviously flaws in the engine design : ( I hope to one day have a perfectly reliable Equinox.I am glad to see that there are consumers who have had great experiences with their Equinox and truly regret that we were not one of them.

Thanks for reading!


  • this is really a sad story...takes the fun out of a new car. i always wonder if it is really the car or the people fixing it. one problem shouldnt lead to other problems. on the bright side they arnt all like that. my daughter has a 2010 equinox shes had since 10/09. 19k miles and has been perfect and she loves it. hard as it sounds i might consider another equinox and a different dealer.
  • After reading your story (among others) & many other blogs I got my deposit back from chevy & went to Subaru to buy the outback. I must say my wife & I are very pleased with this car. This might be an option for others who are looking for a small crossover. Pricing & options are similar. Nox looks nicer but that dosnt help if it's in the dealer.
  • triciag1triciag1 Posts: 6
    Got my 2011 Chevy Equinox a month ago. The second day I had to bring it back to the dealership to have the module for the onstar bluetooth replaced. I just dealt with.

    A couple weeks later while driving , my car seemed to downshift with a jerking motion. Brought into the dealership and after 2 days of hearing nothing from them I called and they told me they were not sure what was wrong with it and would probably have to put a new transmission in it. I called Cheverolet and told them of the issue. I want a new car or my money back !! We wanted to buy an american made vehicle but dont know that I would do it again. Very unhappy with my Chevy Equinox !!!!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    You stated you contact Chevrolet; do you have a case set up? If so, could you please email me the case? I would like to look further into your situation.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • sade1on1sade1on1 Posts: 4
    edited May 2011
    I purchased a 2011 Chevy Equinox in March 2011. I have been having problems out of it since I bought it. Whenever I slow down at a stop sign it stalls, The engine just shuts off. It doesn't do it everyime but it does it enough. About 2 weeks after I purchased it. My check engine light came on. I called the dealership up and they said it was th cam shaft sensor. They replaced it and the next couple of days when smoothly. Then the stalling started again. I called he dealership and made a appointment. took it in and according to them they called GM and GM said that it was a Valve that was causing the problems. They replaced the valve. I almost got home and the check engine light came on again. I called the dealership and they told me to bring it back. Took it back and they had to overnight the part, it was the accuator( or something similar) within the camshaft. They Service Manager said he wanted to keep the car and drive it to make sure it was working properly. I called today to get a status on my vehicle and now they are saying the Time Sensing Chain needed to be replaced and that the bolt had to be overnighted. I contacted GM on Thursday and spoke to a District Manger who pissed me off today. He said after the vehicle is fixed and works normaly then maybe i could be compensated for my loss of time. In the State of NEW YORK this is a lemon!! I either want a new car or my money back that I have paid including monthly payments, GM to take over the loan and pay for packages that I had put on the vehicle and my tag and tittle fees. I am so unhappy with GM. I heard alot of good things about this vehicle but have experienced nothing but problems.
  • roykulproykulp Posts: 52
    I'm in sales and drive my SUV locally and long distance around Florida. I have only had one issue taken care of in the last 30,000 miles with my 2010 Equinox LT that needed attention; the controls panel for a/c and heater had circuit board issues; the dealer was great getting this matter resolved ASAP and offered a loaner.

    However; I have experienced the eratic up-shifting ussually when accelerating getting into traffic from a lower speed going up a slight incline or interstate Hyw entrance ramp.

    In addition; I have experienced the notchy / sticky steering when on a straight and smooth high speed freeway at around 65-70 MPH on a sunny clear day in Florida; I have been monitoring this steering matter; It's good to know that others have the same steering issue.

    Finally; I just started having issues with the A/C switch not working; the A/C compressor continues to run when switch is turned off; not a huge problem in Florida. However I would be at the GM Dealer TODAY getting this matter resolved; if I lived in CANADA where this awsome SUV was built!

    With this being said; I like the vehical and the fuel mileage did improve as I approched 10,000 miles; I average over 25 MPG and 28 - 29 MPG on a trip cruisng at 75 - 80 MPH with A/C Running.

    This is a Great SUV and I will probably purchase another one in the furture.

    Roy in Tampa Florida
  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    edited May 2011
    Hi all! I've had my 2011 Equinox LTZ AWD (4 cylinder) for about a month an a half and it's been to the dealer 4 times to date It's has been in the shop for 21-22 days cumulatively a no one will do a damn thing! I called my dealer the very first week I had the truck to say it was idling very high and grossly lagging in power. I also told them the vehicle smelled like gasoline. It was permeating through the vents into the cabin area. There were no error codes and they did not find anything. I called each time the gasoline smell occurred and promptly brought it in only to be told "they could not duplicate" the issue. I got GM's Customer Assistance and Executive Office Customer Assistance involved only to be told "Sorry, but there is nothing we can do since we can't find the source of the problem." I could not believe that out of 41 days I'd owned the vehicle that it was only in my possession for 17 of those days and I only put half the mileage on the truck. The dealer literally put at least 300 plus miles on the truck "test driving" it to get it to duplicate the issue. I feel my truck is unsafe and has a latent defect but neither GM nor the dealer will do anything! I love GM but this has totally soured my taste for them. What is the point of being a good customer if there is no "real" support when you need it. They were very happy to take my money but do not appreciate my patronage now that I have an issue with my truck. The dealer and GM in my opinion have left my family "holding the bag" and that isn't a nice thing to do. We don't currently have a legal case since the issue could not be duplicated. Here's the real kicker, two GM representatives told me that "the issue of smelling gasolne in some of there vehicles" does happen from time to time and concerns us. Well, they offered NO solution as to what the cause could be and in the end did nothing. Although, I do like the 2011 Equinox design (and have had plenty of GM cars in my lifetime that I've loved) I would never give them another hard earned dollar of mine. Shame, isn't it? I am hoping that if anyone else is having this issue that maybe they can offer some insight into the matter. On a side note, for my tens of thousand of dollars spent on this vehicle I was offered a $100 gift card for my troubles........truly insulting to say the least! Thanks for listening to my rant..:)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    I apologize for the problems you have experienced with your new vehicle. You stated you spoke with GM Customer Assistance, were you given a case number? If so, could you please email me the number? I would like to look further into your situation.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    Hi Caron,

    Thank you for your concern and I do appreciate your willingness to look into my case further. Yes, I do have a service request number however, while I do not have a legal case at the moment I am in contact with an attorney who has advised me not to communicate with GM any further regarding this issue. I am supposed to just keep bringing the vehicle into the dealership each time the problem occurs in hopes that we can finally duplicate it somehow or have it happen while the tech is in the vehicle. The dealer also blames the high rev and lack of power on the 4 cylinder which I disagree with as this not my first vehicle. I am going to have to see what a different dealer says by comparison and take it from there. It's quite frustrating. While I'd like to give you my case number I am hesitant because frankly, if the person in GM's Executive Office in Detroit, MI could not assist me why would you be able to? Thank you again for your response.
  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    I look forward to your response and in the meantime will think it over though, what is your e-mail address? Thank you.
  • kyfdx%40Edmundskyfdx%40Edmunds Posts: 25,856
    Click on the member name for the e-mail address

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    Thank you! I'll wait for Caron's response first but now I know for future reference..:)
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Do you currently have a case set up with GM Customer Assistance? If so, could you please email me the case number? I would like to look further into your situation.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • roykulproykulp Posts: 52
    I find the chevy Nox drama / issues interesting; how some owners bash, threaten legal action, over-re-acting when the GM Vehical has a 100K bumber to bumber warranty and dealer loaner is provided. I have had a few issues with my 2010 LT and most were resolved by the GM dealer.

    There is one pending issue with Steering that GM Dealer is aware of; intermittant sticky / notchy steering on straight hwy; this has only occured in my Nox 2-3 times in the last 30,000 miles.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,913
    edited May 2011
    How do you figure it's bumper to bumper? Edmunds says the warranty is:

    Basic: 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
    Drivetrain: 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
    Roadside: 5 yr./ 100000 mi.
    Rust: 6 yr./ 100000 mi.

    Chevy appears to agree with us (pdf file).

    So, if the steering rack goes in 37 months or 37,000 miles, will it be covered under warranty? "Drivetrain" typically means the engine, transmission and perhaps the axles.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    I apologize and understand your frustrations. I do understand not wanting to give your case number since you are speaking with an attorney. I do want you to know we are here if you change your mind.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • roykulproykulp Posts: 52
    While the car is under warranty I'm not going to 2nd guess repair issues /matters. I can assure you; if there are any major health / safety issues after the warranty expires; GM will need to step up.

    Enjoy your car and let the GM engineers do their job and tweek the service / repair issues.
  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    Hi Caron,

    Once again, thank you for your reply however, it's not the fact that I have an attorney that is keeping me from giving you my case number. As I said I have an attorney but unfortunately no pending legal case as of yet.

    You did not respond to my question which was: If GM's Executive Office in Detroit, MI could not do anything for me how is it you can?"

    I appreciate your continued attention and look forward to hearing from you.
  • jade62973jade62973 Posts: 24
    I'm glad your issue was resolved but mine were not and my dealer (who I'd never go to again) did not provide or offer me a loaner vehicle that was appropriate. Only the first visit did they give me a beaten up Silverado, which I could barely drive much less put a car seat into. When my car was in for the 2nd consecutive week I finally asked for a vehicle I could actually drive and miraculously my car was ready. Again, though they could not duplicate issue and nothing more could be done by them. You may not have received the run around from your dealer or GM but I unfortunatly have and am currently stuck with a vehicle that is defective (my opinion). I could trade it in yes, but I just bought it in April I can not and should not have to endure the financial loss I will take trading it in..:(

    I do still have a the standard warranty so any work would be covered. Not sure about other people but my "reactions" are well warranted.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001

    Please keep us posted when the issue has been taken care of. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us directly.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
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