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2010 Chevy Equinox Problems

I just purchased a 4 cylinder 2010 Chevy Equinox, and am having one major problem (I don't know if it is actually a "problem", I'll explain below), and one thing I just want people to be aware of.

The main thing is how it brakes. It seems that around 25 mph (about where it goes from 4th to 3rd gear) when slowing down it will "self-brake". It does it from this point until maybe down to 10 mph, when it switches to 1st gear. I don't actually think it is braking on its own, but it feels like it. It seems a little jittery during this time. It does it with ECO mode both on and off, but seems a little less with ECO off (maybe due to how the ECO mode cuts off fuel at certain times).

I don't know if it is the way the tranny is geared, or the engine not being broken in, or the brakes maybe being adjusted too tight, or what. It has about 400 miles on it, seems to be happening less (not as extreme but just as often), but it might just be us getting used to it. We noticed it during the test drive but seemed worse once we got the vehicle. Also remember the 4cyl. LS trim we drove on July 2nd did it some (at the time thought it was brake assist kicking in, but after reading more about what the brake assist actually is it isn't that), but don't remember details (it was a month ago!).

Anyone else notice this with their new Equinox, or just on a test drive? I haven't seen anyone else mention it on forums, or auto magazine/web site test drives talk about it. I don't even know if it is a "problem" or just how it is, possibly related to something(s) they did to get better fuel economy.

Also, know many of the 1LT trims don't come with the USB port installed (need Vehicle Interface Package). They just forgot to put it in a whole bunch of 1LTs.

Also, OnStar says the microphone is bad. Using Bluetooth it sounds like the person talking (from the car) is really far away. Dealer says it should have the part in a week.

Overall, love the vehicle. Seats are comfy and it is very quiet. Interior styling is great (hard plastic dash, but it doesn't look "cheap"). Acceleration is good, love the Vehicle Interface Package features (an option), and moonroof.


  • vrmvrm Posts: 309
    What did the third dealer say?

    If transmission is the problem, then GM will replace the transmission free of charge. What are you worried about? You have posted a lot of messages but so far I have only counted 2 different owners (on this forum) who have complained.
  • I've noticed similar performance on mine, but I mainly notice it at higher speeds than what you describe. My previous vehicle (Mitsubishi Endeavor) acted the same way, so I'm not too worried about it. With 5 yr/100,000 mi powertrain coverage we should be pretty well protected against any major transmission problems that develop.
  • I just test drove two 4 cyl Equinox's at two dealers and noticed your issue with slowing down. But if you look at the tach, you will see RPMs bump up a bit as the transmission downshifts while slowing down, foot off the brake. I think it is a quirk of the transmission/engine combination and not a brake issue. Since I only have about 20 minutes of seat time, I may be all wet.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    I also noticed it at higher speeds too over the past day or so. It just seems to be doing it more than I remember on the test drive (with the LS 4 cyl. a month ago or this actual vehicle before buying). I also noticed the RPM change from the beginning. I think they may have adjusted the tranny to do this to save on brakes and save gas, assuming once you take your foot off the gas you're going to slow down or stop. I think it is just something they did. I'm glad you guys noticed it too, so I know it isn't something abnormal for this vehicle, even though I don't like that they made it do this.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    So I'm finding out more the more I check into this. It gets very jittery at about 17mph when going on a flat surface/slight decline. You can literally feel the car going back and forth from front to back. It does this in regular mode and ECO mode both, with the automatic engaged and with the sport-shift, but is most noticable in ECO mode in regular automatic mode.

    It also seems to start decelerating immediately when you take your foot off the gas, nomatter what speed you are going (to different degrees, though). In other words, it won't let you just coast like normal.

    My question: Anyone have a 4 cylinder and NOT have this jittery problem or where it slows down dramatically from 4th to 3rd and from 3rd to 2nd when in the normal automatic mode? It doesn't seem to do the slowing down thing when shifting manually with the sport-shift feature.

    Anyone else notice this HAPPENING for them?

    I'm just afraid of going to the dealer, they do a scan, and say nothing is wrong because no codes came up. But this behavior is clearly not normal, even though it appears I'm not the only one experiencing these things. I'm just wondering hope prevalent this is. You'd think it would have shown up at some point with all the magazines and web sites test driving the thing for their evaluations of the model if it was with every 4 cyl., but this problem is nowhere to be seen in any "professional" review I've seen, and no one mentions it in any user reviews on any of the sites I've looked at.
  • npgmbrnpgmbr Posts: 248
    My suggestion is that you go back to the dealer and make then look into the problem other than just looking for a code. I'm am certain GM leadership wants to know about any problems their vehicles are having so can they fix them immediately.

    Something like this (if it is indeed a problem) can likely be resoled with some tweeks to the cars computer.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    What I did last time I had a problem that "could not be duplicated" is I took the tech for a drive so he could experience it first hand. Worked like a charm!
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Yeah, I'm also sure they want to know about any problems since they are making such a big deal out of this vehicle. It is one of their "New GM" launch vehicles, so to speak, so I'm sure they want it to build a good reputation.

    We'll see what the dealer says tomorrow, but I plan on going on a drive with the mechanic if they tell me I'm nuts. It is so obvious I don't think it'll come to that. It also seems that while I'm not the only one who has noticed it, some have not. So it doesn't seem like it is "just the way it is", meaning it should be able to get fixed.

    Everyone please keep posting your experiences in driving the new Equinox regarding the downshifting problems and jitteriness, especially the 4 cylinder. The input is appreciated.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    I talked to mechanic at the dealership and they said all the 6 speed autos are like that (the braking feeling when downshifting) now because of the "clutch-to-clutch" design of the trannys. This includes the trucks and Malibus, he said.

    But on forums I can't find anyone complaining about it except on the Equinoxes, and not everyone with Noxs is experiencing it.

    I did get a response from the "Ask Fritz" thing on GM's Re: Innovation web site. Asked me for a phone number so they could call me to talk about it. I hope this is a step toward it getting resolved. I'm also in conversations with a different dealer, and will talk to them again tomorrow.

    I will let everyone know what happens after talking to GM directly and this other dealer.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    There are no Equinox vehicles to be found, but I drove a Malibu today. 2.4 L 4-cyl (same as in 4 cylinder Equinoxes), 6-speed tranny (model 6T40, in the Equinox it is a 6T45, mostly the same). It drove perfect. The tranny was smooth and shifted quick, up and down. They are nice vehicles for a sedan! GM should have put the soft dash materials in the new Nox, and I also like the HVAC controls better in the Malibu.

    Anyway, this confirms the problems I've listed on this board (and some others have noticed in their vehicles/test drives) are not things that were designed to be that way on purpose, there is a problem with a batch of these trannys (at least it seems like it is a tranny problem).

    I'll keep people updated after I talk to the GM Executive Office (hopefully they try and contact me on Monday at the phone number I gave them in my reply email to them wanting it to call me).

    Please keep posting your eperiences with any downshifting or jitteriness problems on the Equinox. Also list if you are not experiencing these problems. Please list engine, and whether AWD or FWD.
  • I purchased a 6 cylinder, FWD, Equinox 2010 a couple of weeks ago and I've noticed the shift down concern you folks are talking about. I think it is the tranny adjusting to the slow down when you take your foot off of the accelerator. I kind of like the effect since, it seems to me, you are saving having to use the brakes as much. So, when I approach a stop I take my foot off of the accelerator and only apply the brakes as needed to come to a stop. I've also noticed the effect when I have set the cruise control and start going down hill, the tranny will drop down a gear or two to keep the car at about the same speed I set it to prior to going down hill. To me this is a good feature, otherwise the vehicle will accelerate significantly going down hill and draw attention from those who are concerned about cars being over the speed limit!
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Thanks for the info. pete. The downshifting while going downhill is intentional with these trannys. I initially thought the same thing with the downshifting not going down a hill - i.e.: it is to save on brakes. But after finding out some people who own/test drove the new Equinox experience this, and some don't, and after learning the other GM 6-speeds don't do this, I think it is a flaw with some of the trannys put into these vehicles. Plus it drives me nuts. I'll keep everyone updated. I've already started looking at Rogues again in case GM doesn't satisy me on this issue, knowing I'll take a few thousand dollar hit over if I'd have just gotten the Rogue to begin with.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    LOL Have you read the Rogue Forum? Many people there are complaining about the CVT tranny..... :sick:
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381
    Apples and oranges.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I like it in my V6 Malibu also. I don't really notice it but like you said, it likely saves a little brake which is all good.
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Not really....seems like the same thing to me...... :P
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    So an update on the tranny issues in the 2010 Equinox. I talked with the person from the GM Executive Office today and they are going to contact the dealer I took the vehicle to last week, and will get back to me in a couple days. Later this week I'm probably going to take it to the other dealer in town.

    I called the other dealer in town today (mentioned above) and asked them if they've ran into any of these problems on any of their 6-speeds. They said no. They did say some of the Allison trannys have some roughness to them, but none of the Hydramatics (of which are in the new Equinox). So the mechanic at the first dealership was, as expected, full of... well, you know. :mad: :)

    So nothing new in terms of fixed or not, but I'm almost certain many of these trannys (or the computer component of them) are bad, based on many on here not experiencing these problems, driving the Malibu and it being fine, and this other dealer saying they've never heard of this problem on any of the other 6-speeds.

    Hope to know more by the end of the week.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I have never read about a 6-speed issue on the Malibu, I am thoroughly impressed with mine. Hope they get the issue with yours resolved soon!
  • snawdjjsnawdjj Posts: 6
    I’ve got a 2010 Equinox 4Cyl FWD, had it for a couple of weeks now. I noticed the slower deceleration when coasting. I’m big into Hypermiling and part of that is coasting to maximize your momentum, so I notice it quite frequently. Here is what I’m seeing, when I get down to about 20-25mph I see a downshift and the associated (heavy) deceleration. Being a Hypermiler I have a Scan Gauge hooked to the OBDII port and I see something interesting during the 20-25 downshift. The motor enters Deceleration Fuel Cutoff (DFCO) mode. I assume the fuel cut is the cause of the increased deceleration, as the speed decreases below about 10-15mph the DFCO stops and there is an associated decrease in coasting resistance.

    Just want to throw that out there as a cause as I’ve not see anyone else mention it and because I see a correlation between DFCO and the decelerations.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Some good comments. I have thought the same regarding the jitteriness I feel most of the time when decelerating from 17-12 mph. This still doesn't explain the increase in RPM at downshift (seems like a timing thing, shifting too soon), and it does this in ECO mode and regular mode. I don't know how involved DFCO is in non-ECO mode? Something else to look into, though. But again, it doesn't seem like everyone is experiencing these symptoms. I still think it is a tranny computer problem but this is something I'll definitely bring up next time I have it looked at (Tuesday).
  • mabe40mabe40 Posts: 2
    I purchased 2010 Equinox AWD 1LT two weeks ago (ordered from dealer in May). I was disappointed that the USB was missing and was not given an explanation why, just a credit on the invoice. Reading this forum I see that it was not installed on several of these vehicles. I have not been able to get the blue tooth running either, the display panel indicates it is not available. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was looking forward to this feature.
    My major problem, which hopefully is fixed, started 5 days after I bought the Equinox. When I started the car for my commute home, a low battery warning appeared on the dash and the display indicated that it was going into battery saver mode. As a result, the AC and fan would not turn on. Being a 90 degree day, I was not a happy camper. The engine turned over easily, so I didn't think it was a battery issue. I drove it home and the AC and fan never kicked on, even after the battery had been charged by driving 40 miles. Later that evening I went out and the AC and fan worked. Go figure. The next morning, I started the car for my daily commute and the low battery warning was on again (no fan and no AC) so I drove it straight to the dealer. 5 days and two body control modules (BCM) later I got my car back. This seems to have worked. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. By the way, my rental was a 2009 Malibu. I really liked the way it drove.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Yeah, many of the 1LT vehicles that are supposed to have the USB port don't. One dealer I was working with was unable to find one with it within a 300 mile radius, so I ended up settling w/o. I also was looking forward to it. For the Bluetooth ours worked great by doing the directions in the book. Make sure your phone is Bluetooth capable and you have it set up properly to sync with the vehicle. Try calling OnStar if you need more help or to see if may be there is a defect with the feature on your vehicle.

    Do you notice any of the transmission issues with your Equinox explained in this forum with the braking feeling with the downshifting, especially from 4-3 and 3-2nd gears? See earlier in this thread to see what I'm talking about further. I also drove a 2.4L 6-speed Malibu (tranny model 6T40, Equinox tranny model is it's brother, 6T45) and it was great.
  • snawdjjsnawdjj Posts: 6
    Not sure why the bump in RPM’s is so noticeable. I guess there is a big ratio difference in the gears, or the torque converter is locking and making the shift feel harder.

    The eco button should make the engine enter DFCO more aggressively. But my experience shows it does not enter DFCO much at all (eco on or off). Other cars I’ve had the ScanGauge in regularly enter DFCO when coasting. With the Equinox I only see DFCO when decelerating from ~60mph to about 40, and then again in the 20-25mph to 10mph range.

    I know with some cars you can feel a little lunge when the RPM’s get too low and the motor has to stop DFCO. But I think what we are seeing in the Equinox is the opposite, increased deceleration when in DFCO. It’s not a deal breaker for me, I don’t find it annoying. But I would like to see GM tweak the transmission program. They just have to be aware of the issue.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    snaw, your analysis seems right on. Your last sentence about GM being made aware of the issue especially.

    Please call GM and let them know about the problem, or even go to your dealer (dealers have a direct means of letting GM know about the problem and if enough complaints are received by GM they come up with a fix).

    So far two dealers say it is probably a computer problem with the tranny (as you also think it is), but they can't/won't do anything w/o a new program put out by GM. I am taking it to a third dealer tomorrow.
  • The problem could have been something simple like the battery connectors coming loose. You said you ordered your vehicle so it was shipped to your dealership for you, it wasn't a tester. Sometimes in transit, things like the battery connectors come loose. Maybe your dealer didn't check it thoroughly enough or it had only begun to loosen so your driving loosened it more as time went on. This happened to one of our marketing vehicles (I work as a product specialist for some Chevy models) last week. We had been out showing the Equinox and stopped for lunch and the car wouldn't start, not even catch. A quick look under the hood showed the connector had come loose, probably from shipping it from MI.
  • I work as a product specialist for certain Chevy vehicles and I know from first-hand driving experience that even our automatic 2SS Camaro has a "braking feeling" when it downshifts from 2nd to 1st gear around 15mph. The Camaro is a RWD vehicle so this has nothing to do with FWD vs AWD. I didn't notice it in the Equinox, but have only driven it one weekend (2 weeks ago) and was still getting acclimated to the vehicle. I'll have it again this coming weekend and will see then. I don't believe that this is a problem with the vehicle. I don't want to leave a detailed (or vague for that matter) explantion of why the vehicles do that until I have a concise explanation for you, but I've put a call into our training specialist and will post back when I have the information you're looking for.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Any perspective from an engineering perspective is appreciated. It is doing more than just the braking feeling, to elaborate. It also has a "suddenness" feeling when you take your foot off the gas, similar to what you feel in most vehicles when you are driving and switch from N to D while coasting or something. It shudders back to front when coasting from 17-12 mph, decelerating. It also shifts hard from 2-3 and 3-4 sometimes when accelerating. And tonight, it slipped into gear very hard from 3-4 during a normal (not hard) acceleration from a stop. It made a big clunking feeling and noise. :mad:

    I have a feeling GM is going to be getting a lot of complaints about these in the next few months and they'll be forced to do something.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It looks like you've been around CarSpace for a while and it sure is nice to have someone with access to real product knowledge posting. Welcome to the Equinox forum!
  • roxanne3roxanne3 Posts: 23
    Wow, after reading these posts, I am not sure if I should go ahead and purchase the Equinox I have on order or not !!! It should be delivered sometime in the next 2-3 weeks. Maybe I should cancel. If I don't get the Equinox, I'm thinking of a RAV4. Can anyone give me their opinion on that ? Are you sorry you purchased an Equinox? I'm getting scared to buy one. :( :confuse:
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    I guess what I would do is test drive the one you ordered before signing anything or handing any money over. If you'd even sense an inkling of the problems discussed on this board, run away FAST! We thought it was the brake assist and a minor annoyance, but found out it is a much bigger transmission issue once we owned it.

    back2front on here said his dealer contacted GM and they are aware of the problem and working on a fix, but who knows how serious they are about fixing it and who knows when a fix might be coming. And this is assuming the people at his dealer were even told the truth by GM that they are in fact working on it.

    We drove a RAV4 and thought it to be loud and unrefined. As for the other main competitors of the Equinox, we didn't drive the Honda CR-V because we don't like how it looks, and we didn't drive the Escape because after looking at the interior it wasn't as nice as some, especially the Equinox.

    But we did drive many vehicles, including a lot of hatchbacks. The only other one we liked enough to seriously consider was the Nissan Rogue. It drove and rode great (might be a little firm for some), and was very nice inside.
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