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Chevy Equinox Downshift Problems

wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
edited October 2017 in Chevrolet
Note: for anyone feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) if you are OR are not having tranny problems (described below). For those who do have these problems, please do the things suggested in post 3 of this thread, it will help all of us get things fixed faster.

The problems I've been having with our new 4 cyl. FWD 2010 Equinox are well documented in the "2010 Equinox Problems" thread. Also, many others have noticed this issue, but many have not.

After driving with two dealership mechanics, they finally admit the downshifting issues are not normal. They even noticed it upshifting harshly, though we weren't able to duplicate the jitteriness between 17-12 mph (of course I felt it that night while driving). They think it is the computer program that controls when the tranny shifts.

But they are saying there have been no updates to the software program, and so they can't do anything! Obviously some of the programs are working, because not everyone has this problem. But they refuse to get new tranny computer hardware with the software loaded (think of this as having a PC with a Windows problem, and replacing the hard drive with a new one that has Windows already installed), or even try to reinstall the software. If they'd try and fix it and it still did it, then I'd wait for a fix because one would be coming. But they just refuse to make an effort to replace or even reinstall anything.

And it isn't just the dealer, it is also the person I've been communicating with at GM's Exec. Office that has been ZERO help. She tried to buy me off with some maintenance program for a few years. I can pay for my own oil changes, thank you, I just want my BRAND NEW vehicle fixed!

If you buy this vehicle you are likely to have problems, and when you have problems GM won't fix them. We are spending $50 billion in taxpayer money to bail them out and this is what we get?! Never will I buy a GM product again, this is a company that needs to fail once and for all.


  • This sure is not good news, I have been following your posts because mine does exactly what you have described. I have a 4 cyl. AWD LS and when it shifts into second gear it jumps and causes you to buck forward in your seat. It also almost drags to a stop when you take your foot off the gas under 20 mph. After the second gear problem it shifts the rest of the way smooth and without any problems. I did notice mine is worse when the A/C is on and the engine hasn't warmed up yet. Let's face it we are the test for the 2010, my hope is this is something they will get complaints on and will in turn come up with a fix. I have an appointment tomorrow with the dealer about this, now I'm not expecting too much help.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Note: for anyone feel free to send me an email if you are OR are not having tranny problems. For those who do have these problems, please do the things suggested below, it will help all of us (as I explain).

    Thanks for the reply, b2f.

    Would you mind posting or emailing me your VIN so I can send it to the lady I'm talking with at GM so maybe they can start a database determining the vehicles impacted? [email protected] if you don't want to post your VIN.

    Besides just going to the dealer, you should let GM know directly by calling their Customer Care line. If this isn't the exact place they would be able to get you the right number. 1.800-222-1020. I can also get you the contact info. of the person I've been talking with at the Exec. Office (who tried to buy me off with a maintenance package in place of fixing the problem) to complain to her directly if you'd like - doesn't seem like she has much pull, but it is the Exec. Office. You also could submit a message through the "Tell Fritz" part of the web site.

    I'd suggest doing all of the above. The more people tell them their problems, and the more vocal we are, the quicker they'll be a "bulletin" or "recall" fix (since they don't want to do anything unless there is one of these things).

    Good luck tomorrow. I have an appt. for next week with a different dealer that hopefully will actually want to fix the problem (they get paid for warranty work from GM anyway).
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    feel free to send me an email

    Why don't we just keep the conversation here so everyone can benefit from the exchange. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381
    One thing I've done for almost 30 years is not to buy a new model in its first season. While the 10 isn't totally new it has enough newness, if you will, that I'll wait at least 1 or 2 years before buying one.
  • I totally agree, usually I have waited also but this time I thought it had been out long enough for the bugs to be out but with a new engine and tranny I should have waited. It's problems like this US car makers got into the mess they are in. I'm going to try to stay positive and wait for GM to address this. :confuse:
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    b2f, could you please email me ([email protected]) or post your VIN? If you want to do anything with mine in your quest to get yours fixed, mine is: 2CNALDEW2A6200740

    Also please do the steps I mention above (phone number listed above, Tell Fritz feature), like I said, the more people complain and the more vocal we are the better our results about getting it fixed will be. I can get you the contact info. of the person I've been talking with at the GM offices - I put it on here once but the mods took it off so I'll have to get it to you by email if you want it.

    Anyone else also feel free to send me anything or post anything that might be helpful to all of us.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    JD Power did a study a few years back that said that quality and reliability problems with brand new models wasn't any worse than ones that had been around a year or two.

    My minivan was the new "second generation" model (tweaked engine, major body style changes, etc.) and it's been a gem over the last decade.

    There's going to be ~205 new-model launches in the U.S in the next 3 years. There's too much at risk for the automakers not to spend a lot of time and money to get them right the first time. Inaugural Vehicle Launch Index

    Consumer Reports is more wary of new models but even they gave their highest scores to a brand new model line. (link)

    If you like it, buy it.
  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Posts: 381
    I've seen some of those surveys. Yet I've been in the automotive business for 40 years and have seen new release problems during the first year or 2 more times than not, that when seen after 2-3 years were not seen again.

    2 recent examples are rear tire problems on the Matrix/Vibe in 2003 & 4. The 05 and up have been great. The first 2 years of the Cobalt had electrical issues. I could go on but that has been the trend since the early 80s.

    Second generation vehicles don't always have issues but I've seen some. I'm talking big picture industry overall, not a select few.

    Part of the issue too is most people don't realize they even have a problem when they do. Gas it a go!.

    Having been under the hood for 40 years & written warranty claims for 30 years for GM, Ford, Mercedes, Honda, Suzuki and Chrysler I can state this without reservation. Likewise many times people THINK they have a problem but don't.

    If you like it buy but, I won't be a first year and sometimes second year guinea pig.
  • Wally,

    If there is indeed a problem I would really think that GM in on it and if there was a serious issue there will be a recall issued.
    Cases like this depend on ALOT of things, I kinda get the feeling that a handful of bad apples are leading you to believe the whole orchard is spoiled.
    I can say that our LS 2wd 4 cyl. is fine...could not be happier with it.
    If you have a tranny issue bring it to your Chevy dealer and demand a loaner in the mean time. Let them fix it.
    One thing I am thinking of is "break in"
    How many people follow this rule, and how many don't?
    What kind of driving conditions are you putting the vehicle thru during the early stages of engine wear?
    I personally take it very easy on new vehicles until 1000 miles. Drive speed limit, no harsh breaking and no hard acceleration...seems to work great on the 5 new vehicles I've owned in my life.
    I understand that you are frustrated, but let people make up their own minds.
  • clebo1clebo1 Posts: 78
    You are absolutely right on this issue. If this is the Vehicle the" Chevy Equinox "that GM is counting on getting them out of the hole,they will stay buried. Looks great,lousy design of powertrain and other mechanical Issues. GM does not address anyone concerns,theie cac(customer service center at 1-800-222-1020) their customer service reps believe in giving a reference # and not doing anything to address any Automotive Mechanical Issue on any Chevy product. You may call this 1-800# yourself so they may give one one. They are free!!! It's probably
    the only thing you want pay for if you buy any Any year from 2005 on equinox.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    dragonsback, could you please provide your VIN?

    I'm trying to get a list of them for both good and bad vehicles so I can pass it along to GM so they can narrow down the bad ones and get a fix. I'm not at all convinced they are aware of how widespread this problem is, much less working on fixing it. On the contrary, from my experiences with GM on this at both local and national levels, they seem to be doing everything they can to say it is "normal". Just recently at the local level the local dealship admits there is a problem.


    Keeping with the apple analogy, I'd say it is about 30 acres of bad trees out of the 100 acre apple farm. It seems to be a lot of them that are bad.

    I'm sure this isn't a breaking in issue. The problem with having the dealer fix it is that they say they won't because they think it is a software problem and there aren't any software upgrades, even though they admit there is a problem. I want them to replace everything computer-oriented for the tranny and see what happens. They refuse. They didn't even call back saying it was done when the bad microphone got fixed. Worse dealer I've ever dealt with on the service side. I have an appt. with a different dealer next week.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I'd say it is about 30 acres of bad trees out of the 100 acre...

    I am curious. What would be your basis for that estimate?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    This thread has gotten off topic in comparison to what I meant it as. I was hoping it would be where people would post their VIN, or email me theirs, so I could forward them to GM so they could try and pinpoint the vehicles affected and start working on a fix. As of now I've experienced nothing that would make me believe they are even admitting a problem on a corporate level. Unfortunately none of this has occured. :cry: :confuse: :(

    About the percentage, it may be more than 30% of vehicles affected, it may be less (I doubt it, I think a lot of people who might be experiencing the problem don't think anything of it). But I base it off of the posts on here over several threads, as well as the other one we test drove in early July (a 4 cyl FWD LS) doing it. At the time we thought it was just the brake assist, only once we owned ours have we realized the extent and likely genesis of the issue.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I base it off of the posts on here over several threads

    For what it's worth, the size of the sample here would have little statistical significance and the sample is certainly not random as participants are self-selected. People with car problems tend to seek out help whereas those who are trouble free don't.

    Regarding the VINs, if there is a problem then GM already knows the VINs and therefore have pinpointed the vehicles affected.

    I don't mean to disourage you but I just thought you should be aware of those factors.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    I am a scientist so I am well aware of significance, sampling, etc. I still stand by my estimation that a large portion of the new Equinox vehicles are having this problem, but it is likely many of those experiencing it don't think it is a problem. I do not believe GM is working on this problem, since they don't even admit there is a problem in the Exec. Office with the person I've been communicating with. Admittedly this isn't a mechanic, but this person's job is to help rectify people's problems and so if they were working on it this is info. this person would have.

    That is why I belive it is important that to collece as much info. as possible and pass it along to GM so they know the extent of the problem (and thus will even admit one exists) and get a fix. I don't want to get into a urinating match on a forum, but you seem to be disregarding the problem I and others on this board are experiencing, and I'm just trying to collect info. that might help all of us experiencing the problem get it solved faster. Though so far that has been futile. I guess that is the nature of forums, people come once then don't visit again usually.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    GM's warranty accrual rate has been running around 3% for several years now. Meanwhile, their warranties have gotten longer.

    I suppose the rate could be significantly higher for an individual GM model, but I doubt that there's much difference.

    It's real significant when it's your car that breaks down though. :sick:

    Worldwide Auto Warranties (Warranty Week)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    but you seem to be disregarding the problem

    Not at all. As a scientist you certainly know the difference between methodology and conclusion. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166

    What did you find out about your tranny with your appt. at the dealer?

    FYI: tonight mine slipped hard into gear when accelerating from 3-4, a clunking feeling. Totally different causes for the feeling, but it felt just like six months ago or so when one of my u-joints locked up in my truck and then released because they were all rusted up inside.

    Something is not right with these trannys, or at least a bunch of them. GM is going to have to rectify this at some point, and quick, if they want this vehicle to have a good rep.
  • I found out from the service manager they have already had 4 other complaints besides me for the "weird tranny problem". After driving the vehicle the head mechanic said it behaved just like the other ones he has tested. He stated he and his manager has contacted GM about this problem and they assured they are aware of this and had collected vin numbers and have narrowed it down to a specific batch. and are in the process of coming up with a fix. According to the mechanic it will require a small adjustment to the software and shouldn't be anything major. At least this is what I was told and they are a good dealership so I trust them. Mine seems to be at it's worst when I first drive it and then after that I can hardly notice anything. I will keep you posted on anything else I find out.
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166

    Very helpful post. I hope everything they were telling you is legit. What dealer in what town did you take it to?

    Did they say they'd try and get "non-bad batch" components/software and fix the problem? Or did they just say to stick it out until GM comes out with a fix? Did they give any indication when a fix might be coming?

    It sounds like we are both getting the same explination, at least. Today I took mine to yet another dealer, and they said the same thing the others have - nothing is "wrong" but maybe GM will come out with a fix to make it smoother, etc. in the future.

    It sounds like everyone in CA that has one is fine. Maybe GM only sent them the good ones.

    Also, I emailed a while ago several of the professional reviewers from various web sites and newspapers. This is the most recent reply I got:...

    My apologies for the late reply. When driving the four-cylinder Equinox I experienced what I'd call normal automatic-transmission downshifting characteristics: smooth and barely perceptible. It sounds like you experienced something altogether different.

    To date, there aren't any complaints listed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation but we'll have to see if anything turns up in the future. Here's the site:
  • I hope everyone that's experiencing this problem gets a fix soon. Keep the pressure on, and eventually they will figure it out and fix it for you. But, don't get too carried away with telling people not to buy the vehicle and so forth. This is apparently not a design problem, but rather a sample defect with a certain batch of transmissions. They will get the problem isolated and corrected. In the meantime, you have a 100,000 mile warantee so if the transmission fails it will get fixed. Overall, this is a decent vehicle (although certainly not perfect). Once they get the problem fixed for you, you can get back to appreciating the reasons you bought it in the first place.
  • Well we bought ours new back in 07 and I wish we wouldn't have. We just replaced the 5th piston rod with only 46K miles. We are having tons of electrical problems, which most korean cars seam to have. I know that the next car we do buy it will be with your guidelines stated above.
  • what year is your equinox?
  • eadgbeeadgbe Posts: 1
    Hi, all:

    I am the proud owner of a piece of paper that says I will be getting a 2010 Equinox Real Soon Now (it's on the way from the railyard). I don't need to be told that buying one sight unseen (and un-test-driven) borders on the foolhardy, but in the land-grab atmosphere of the last days of the CARS program and other incentives that added up to $6750 off MSRP, I decided to take the chance. You may all offer a collective "I told you so" if it doesn't have a happy ending.

    My automotive background is that I'm coming from a 1996 Dodge Caravan with 375K miles on it (all mine), so I know a thing or two about transmission issues... :lemon:

    Anyhow, this site has been very helpful to me, so I am going to try to give back in kind and will provide my experience in this thread concerning the transmission misbehaviors that are being reported.

    To set the stage, my incoming vehicle will have these (very standard) specs:
    LS trim line
    2.4L 4-cylinder
    6-speed automatic
    (Nothing else)
    ...So if the issue demonstrates itself, it'll be on a very baseline unit.

    I checked with the dealer on the topic, and they had no reports (no surprise there; I don't think they've delivered too many of these yet). They seem like a 'play it fair and square' outfit, so we'll see how it goes if anything like this arises.

    I'll be sending in my VIN to add to the database and I will follow all the guidelines posted above if I find a reason to. I will also report back here yea or nay at intervals.

    My driving pattern is going to be about 80% freeway and 20% in-town. The freeway routes are mostly flat, the in-town and side roads are moderately hilly, so the transmission should see pretty average conditions. I will be using first-tier name brand regular gas for the first several thousand miles (and keep with it if it seems to give the best gas mileage as someone reports) and intend to use a high-grade synthetic oil at the changes the computer specifies. All routine maintenance will be done on schedule and by the dealership or certified mechanics.

    A/C will be used for the next couple of months as needed and I will take advantage of the ECO setting to the maximum extent possible. I am not lead-footed; in fact I am probably one of those drivers you curse at for only doing the speed limit+5MPH on cruise control in the inside lane. I don't do any towing or hauling of any particular amounts of cargo either. So, hopefully this is a plain-vanilla set of circumstances to measure any transmission peculiarities against.

    I'll be back in a couple of days with any first reports and experiences, transmission-wise. Everyone drive safely and kindly and enjoy the view and the ride.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I'll be back in a couple of days with any first reports...

    We're looking forward to it! :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wallyuwlwallyuwl Posts: 166
    Thanks for your post. I also noticed the problem with an LS model, the first one the dealer got in very early July (also FWD 4 cyl). Thought it was a brake assist issue at the time, later to find out it is a tranny programming problem (probably). If you aren't obligated to buy at this point, I'd test drive it before you take delivery and run away if you notice any symptoms. I hope you don't have this problem, however. I think it is more of a problem than GM is letting on, but certainly not everyone is experiencing this with their vehicles. Keep up posted.
  • clebo1clebo1 Posts: 78
    Dear sir, do you have this person name,phone number,e-mail address,I have gotten as close as the Executive Assistant to the recently removed President Richard Wagoneer. believe Mr. Wagoneer is some place now counting his 7.5 million dollar severance package money.Please e-mail it to me If you Have. Thank you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    You could Just Ask Fritz:

    Share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions directly with GM CEO Fritz Henderson

    Otherwise I just have the usual Contact info that you see on their website.
  • brueggiebrueggie Posts: 46

    We purchased a demo '07 Tahoe (redesigned model) with almost 6k miles on the engine. We took a 6k mile road trip from Dallas to Seattle and back visiting various states and cities along the way. The trip got real interesting as we were in Kansas on I-70 and all the sudden we feel a huge clunk, all the warning lights started flashing, the air turned off (100+ degree day) and we had no overdrive. Onstar did a diagnostic scan while we were driving and the nearest dealership was 30 miles up the road. As we were exiting the highway, we definitely could tell that the transmission wasn't shifting correctly at all. Got to the dealer and they spent around 2 hours trying to duplicate the problem or find any problem codes associated with what we experienced. We left 4 hours later with no explanation. As we continued on, we figured out that after driving for 4-6 hours straight it would happen again. We would pull over, turn off the truck, open the drivers door, shut it, lock the truck, unlock, open the drivers door, shut the drivers door and start the truck up and everything reset. Didn't happen again for another 4-6 hours on the road. We stopped at another dealer in Reno, NV and again they did not find anything wrong. Got back to Dallas and immediately dropped it off at the dealer we bought from with an extensive note describing the conditions, what we did and basically said don't give it back until you have figured it out. Turns out it was a sensor that was bad. These new vehicles have so many more sensors, much more sophisticated computer system which amounts to many different scenarios and problems that could exist. You, me and the rest of the educated consumers would have heard about yours and a few others problems long before the 2010 model was released. I hope they figure out your problem soon, being a new vehicle it may take a while. I stopped at two dealers on my vacation and they had no clue what the problem was but the one I bought from knew exactly what it was and there was a bulletin out about it.

    As for anyone looking at the Equinox, just like any car you buy, look at it thoroughly, test drive it for 50 miles, not just 5-10. Take it on the highway and side streets. Ask the sales rep if there is a demo you could look at that has more than 1000+ miles on it and test drive it. Ask a lot of questions and if the sales rep doesn't know the answer have him/her find out for you. If there is anything you aren't sure of, don't commit to the buy. Again, if GM had a problem with the Equinox's, we would have heard about it long ago. Enjoy this new vehicle, I am looking forward to mine.
  • I am considering an Equinox. How can I check whether the transmission is deffective? Does it show up right away?
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