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Chevy Equinox Downshift Problems



  • Yeah, the symptoms will be apparent right away when decelerating. They are less noticable the faster you slow down, so don't beat on it when you drive it.
  • So GM's Executive Office said they are just going with what the dealer says. The dealer says the transmission behavior is "normal" and insist they can't do anything about it, though they acknowledge what I'm experiencing. So the Exec. Office offered me a token 2 year maintenance plan. Big whoop. :mad:

    So I'm glad to hear about this new GM program where you can return your vehicle for a full refund within 60 days, and am going to be contacted (so I've been told) by the manager at the dealer to talk about it.

    There was also a person who workd for GM and saw my posts on here and emailed me, said he'd get me in contact with an engineer. So far that has not happened, been about a month.

    So if I return this vehicle I'll be in the market for another (I'm just waiting for GM to say it is not valid on recently purchased vehicles, and only valid going forward). Anyone have any suggestions? We liked the Rogue, but you sit lower than in the Equinox and it is a little smaller. The Murano is a little expensive and has bad gas mileage. Would like more of a SUV type vehicle than a wagon. Too bad, since the Nox is everything we want except the crappy tranny GM won't fix. Any suggestions?
  • I know you have exhausted options with GM, start going through the local media and see if they can push any buttons. With the recent announcement of the buy back program, I am almost certain they would jump on a story like yours where you most likely won't be able to do anything. Have you recorded the problem on video and posted it anywhere?
  • Great idea! No, haven't put it on video, don't plan to since only a few people would see it even on YouTube. But will call local media. Great idea!
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 571
    Test drive a Ford Escape. I'll bet you will like it.
  • Dang man,you sound like me :) I am considering buying a 2010 Equinox because it would be a prefect car with great mileage and lots of room.I will be reading everything about the Nox until I can test drive one.I must admit that this is making me nervous.
    I have a well maintained Optima EX with all the options.and a 97 Town and Country LXi.I am hoping to combine their two utilities into one super car.Comfort,style good mileage and cargo room.
    Maybe that is asking too much.
  • runoxrunox Posts: 156
    Geez, shoulda clunked the T&C and stacked the deal with a trade on the Optima.
  • My Optima has leather,heated seats,power Drivers and passenger, other words everything.It's the 2006.5 and has only 31,000 miles.Pretty hard to part with that.
    Chrysler is the same way, and has been taken care of like a family heirloom.Kinda hard to junk it.
    I'm currently doing a lot of thinking about it,and we were not ready to make a deal last month.Kinda testing the waters right now.
    I have a feeling that many who bought new cars would have anyway in the next 6 months or so.This should mean a surplus of new cars everywhere.You know what that means,right?
  • So today I was able to talk directly with GM's chief engineer in charge of the Equinox, largely because of someone else at GM getting me in contact with him based on me posting the problem on here.

    Anyway, it seems the transmission symptoms are somewhat intended based on features to save fuel. However, based on what I said he thinks what I and others are experiencing is more harsh than what is intended. So he is having a member(s) of his engineering team contact me (don't know a timeline) to set up a time for them to come down and drive with me.

    Also, back2front I think mentioned that his dealer told him they contacted GM and were told GM was aware of this problem and was working on it. The engineer said this is not true, that GM was not aware of the severity of these symptoms in some vehicles. So it seems the dealer was lied to by GM, or the dealer lied to back2front.

    When I hear more I'll update more.

    eadgbe - how's your Equinox?
  • I tend to believe the dealership did not lie to me, they are extreamly upfront and I've done business with them several times and have gotten to know several of the key players there, I think the information given to GM was probably not followed up on by the person recieving the call. I love this vehicle but do wish they would come up with a fix, I have 2700 miles on it and it probably has "learned" all it is going to. Mine doesn't do it all the time which makes me believe there has to be a problem, it has clunked into 2nd gear a few times also. Good work Wallyuwl !!!!! :)
  • Thanks, b2f. :)

    BTW - where you located? If in fact the problem is only with some vehicle, I wonder if it is a regional thing (I recall at least two people on here who said they don't notice it said they were in CA).

    I'm with you - if they get this problem fixed it is an exceptional vehicle. I wouldn't take another small to medium SUV under $40k, all things considered, with this problem fixed. But this is a BIG problem.

    You mentioned it "clunking" into 2nd gear. Is that upshifting or downshifting?

    We've also had it clunk hard (almost felt like we ran over something sort of feeling) once three or four weeks ago while upshifting from either 2-3 or 3-4 (don't remember), but it did it just that once. I had bad u-joints that locked up in my truck this spring because they were rusted inside, and it was a huge clunk once they freed up. This felt just like that.
  • I live in Illinois about 2 1/2 hrs south of Chicago in the Peoria area. Mine clunked while it was upshifting, there was a brief hesitation and then went harshly into gear. The other day I was on the interstate and for the heck of it I tried the passing gear, it didn't throw me into the back seat but it performed without a hitch, ironically I didn't notice it shifting hard again until a few days later. Maybe it learned something and then forgot it. :confuse:
  • Toyota Camry had a learning transmission a few years back with loads of complaints by the customers and no real fix either.

    I would never buy a vehicle with any learning type transmission because of the complexity and other people within the house hold that may drive the vehicle other then just one person.

    Good luck to those with this issue. Glad I came accross this thread after looking at a Chevy Nox yesterday. Couldn't drive one since they were all sold at the time.
  • The chief engineer of the new Equinox called me today and he is having the engineer that actually designed the tranny program on the Equinox come down from Detroit tonight (I'm in central KY) to drive with me tomorrow. Sounds like he can even load different tranny programs into the vehicle on the spot and I can drive the car and see how I like it. I've been very impressed with the experience with the engineering dept. so far. And it was just because of posting on here that someone at GM put me in contact with them. Maybe they've already developed a fix and don't even know it! Though I guess until now they didn't know of the problem at this high up level. So I'll let everyone know how it goes tomorrow.
  • runoxrunox Posts: 156
    Glad to hear Chevy is actively pursuing the issue. I tested 7-8 different '10s before buying, 4 and V6, AWD, FWD, rag and leather seats and never experienced the tranny issue on the highway or back roads. 2000 miles on mine and not an issue. All I can say, based on commentary here is that the issue may be limited to a number of vehicles. Before you sign on the dotted line, test drive the unit you are going to buy and check it out. If an order, test it anyway and refuse the unit if not satisfied. I am sure Chevy will do whatever is necessary to complete the deal.
  • Where are you located, runox?

    Mind sharing your VIN?

    I'm meeting with the engineer in an hour (11 o'clock AM EST). Hope you have the automatic notification of replies and get this in time.
  • Today I spent 3.5 hours with the engineer in charge of fuel effeciency for the new Equinox (the "ECO" button - he created that). 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 this thread and others 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 a little different from another. This might be why some exhibit more symptoms than others.

    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 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. 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 if 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 symptoms who already purchased one, email me ( 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) with a little prodding. The fix is literally a 5 minute thing to actually perform.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    email me ... and I'll tell you how I understand to get the fix.

    Let's keep the conversation right here so everyone will benefit. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I don't feel comfortable doing that because the engineer had very good reasons behind them possibly not making this new software program a full-blown bulletin (they still may). Considering that, I only feel comfortable telling people who explicitly seek out the information from me regarding their symptomatic vehicle how to get the fix (again, as I understand how others would be able to get the fix).
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't feel comfortable doing that ...

    Yet you're comfortable inviting people to contact you "privately?" Perhaps you ought not to have extended the invitation in the first place? Personally, I don't see why you just wouldn't "reveal" the fix if you think you have one.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I don't have a problem with people contacting me. If people don't want to contact me for whatever reason, that is fine. If their dealer is a good one they should still be able to get the fix (though maybe not for a little while - unsure when GM will put something out to dealers on this). The engineer went way out of his way to try and understand and resolve my problem, and while it wasn't explicitly said to not "spread the word", I don't believe I should. From what he said to me about the reasons for them possibly not making it a full-blown bulletin, I do not believe I should spread it around. So I believe the most ethical thing I can do for both the engineer, GM, and those who have symptomatic vehicles is to offer to help those who explicitly contact me regarding their symptomatic vehicle. It is a trust thing, I'm sure you can understand that.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    It is a trust thing.

    And that is why I wonder why you brought it up in the first place. When one raises an issue in a public Forum I think one should endeavor to keep the conversation in that Forum rather than inviting people to take the discussion off line which tends to defeat the purpose of a Forum. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Glad to hear you got your issue resolved. (I knew you would, as indicated in my earleir post.)

    This was the only significant issue I've heard about with the '10 Equinox. Now that it's fixed, it seems that the early results are very good.

    Now that you've changed your mind about your earlier comments about not buying this vehicle, its too bad you can't Re-name this thread to something more appropriate ;)
  • Yeah, this seems like the major issue people have had so far. There are some complaints about a problem here or there unique to a specific vehicle, which happens with every model. Nothing else systemic so far.

    Although I wouldnt' say the issue is "fixed" (a few tweaks to the cal would still help, though I'm more picky than most), the driving characteristics of the vehicle are much better with this new cal. Also knowing what GM did to further understand and resolve the complaint once the "right people" knew also counts for something.

    Wish the title could be changed. Oh well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    We can do that. :)

    If you have a better suggestion than ours, just yell.
  • 10lt210lt2 Posts: 18
    My 10 2LT with the 4cylinder was produced the week of October 19th. The transmission shifting is very good. No problems to report.
  • wingrootwingroot Posts: 43
    I just put in an order for a 2LT 6 cyl....You guys are scaring the hell out of me?
  • I have been having problems with my transmission since the day I drove it off the lot. My tranny shifts rough between 30 and 40mph (third gear). All other gears seem to be shifting fine. I will forward my vin tomorrow. Took it to the dealer they said they installed a software upgrade. Helped for about 2 weks then it returned.
  • hi,
    ive owned my equinox for about 8 months. since driving off the lot, every two months the tire pressure light would go on, warning me about the back left tire. the first time, i manually checked the pressure of that tire and it was, in fact, low, so i pumped it. the second time, i went to a dealer to check the tire out, and while again, the pressure of that tire was low, they said it was not damaged. the third time, i brought it to a different dealer, who also said it was not damaged but low pressure, and rotated the tires. so now i had a different tire in that back left position. a few days ago, for the 4th time, that same back left tire has low pressure -- and this time it is a different tire (post-rotation). any ideas???
  • berriberri Posts: 7,960
    Do you have aluminum wheels - could be a porous spot on it leaking, a bad fit with the tire bead, or a bent rim.
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