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2011 Chevy Equinox Problems



  • After having patiently read all of the 2010-2011 Chevy Equinox problems associated with the 2.4L engine I have decided to add to the discussions. I purchased a 2011 Equinox in April 2010. Approximately 1 year later we had the same issues with engine knocks and excessive oil consumption that many other owners have reported. After researching the problems I also reviewed the many PI's, Bulletins, and Engineering Investigations that are currently in effect for this vehicle. For those of you that are frustrated (along with me) I do have several recommendations.

    1. Immediately file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau auto branch. This can be found online. You will be asked to provide some information and sign a few papers.

    2. Investigate the lemon laws in your state and contact an attorney for guidance.

    3. We need to get the word out to the consumer public that this is a problem GM vehicle. Establish accounts and relay the problems that you have had with your vehicle on all the major blogs and auto consumer review websites that are available.

    4. If you have a consumer watch advocate (local TV station or radio) in your local community contact them and explain some of your issues.

    5. Make sure that you are documenting every repair made to your vehicle and ensure that you have given your dealership ample opportunity to fix the problem. Lemon laws vary from state to state as to what "ample opportunity" is.

    Yes, to get any real resolution to your problem it is going to take some work and effort. I personally am a patriotic person and purchased my Chevy Equinox because of its good reviews and I wanted to see the company succeed after being in such financial difficulties. But, after spending my hard earned money on what I hoped would be a long term, reliable vehicle and getting such a nightmare in return, I can honestly say that I will never purchase another Chevy vehicle. You, the consumer, can make your own choice.
  • gary0410gary0410 Posts: 5
    I just bought a used 2010 Equinox with the 2.4L engine. I read all the reviews from the big sites, and consumer ratings here on Edmunds and I saw no reason to hesitate in getting the 4 cylinder version - and I did. Two days after I bought it, it stalled in traffic which lead me to this blog and others like it with the engine problems.

    That is the first part of my story.

    The second part is I called my Dealership (Which is a Chevrolet Dealership) and spoke with the service department to set up a drop off date. I dropped it off 07/11/2012. When dropping it off I included a letter with this blurb to the Service Advisor:

    ......."The Equinox stalled on me in traffic last week. It was running rough so I turned the A/C down thinking maybe it was just too hot to have it blasting with the weather we were having. At the next stop light, I stopped and it immediately stalled on me. It started right back up, but still ran rough. Since this has happened, on start-up many times it runs rough, especially when being engaged in reverse. It has on numerous occasions seemed like it wanted to stall when I slow down and stop at stop signs and stop lights. Also, upon acceleration, I have occasionally been getting a Chugging (thwap thwap thwap in fast succession) sound (like it’s misfiring within the engine) – with this seems to come reduced power. I have read numerous Technical Service Bulletins that pertain to this issue within the 2.4L DI Engine in my vehicle and even a couple recall campaigns. I trust that you can do the research and find exactly which ones may pertain to my vehicle.

    One important thing: During my research people having this problem report that gasoline mixes with the oil and can cause excessive oil consumption and the viscosity of the oil becomes unsuitable for the engine. Please verify that my engine oil is suitable and not in need of replacement."........

    This morning (07/12/2012) I received a call from my Service Technician that he has just experienced many if not all the problems I spoke about and my vehicle is receiving an ENTIRE new engine. No questions asked, no run around, no trying to fix this or that - an entirely new engine.

    I have a loaner vehicle now, while it's in the repair shop for the next week. So far, even though I do not feel that I should be going through this with a 2 year old vehicle, I must say that my specific service department is being amazing about it. I will definitely update on this thread any and all information I receive through out this process.

    Hopefully I can help some of you get your cars working in correct order again. There is nothing worse than having no confidence in a new or almost new vehicle that you are making massive monthly payments on. But as I said, for now, my experience STARTING OUT in this endeavor is going smoothly.

    I will update soon.
  • firstnoxfirstnox Posts: 12

    This is encouraging news. Where is your dealer? Are they willing to provide you with a written explanation on why the stalling occurs and why they are authorized to replace the engine? It takes one snowflake to make a snowball and your information will help us all.

    Thanks you for the news!
  • gary0410gary0410 Posts: 5
    I will definitely be asking for a report on what exactly was done and why it was done when my vehicle is ready. I own it and I feel I have a right to know that information.

    When the service adviser told me the entire engine would be replaced I was a little taken aback - only because I haven't seen this outcome many times in the blogs and forums. I'm happy about it - Just didn't expect it.

    When I asked, over the phone, what the reasoning was - the service adviser told me that it was an internal problem with the engine. (Which for many or most people is probably a sufficient answer, but I want details) He said no more about it and we went straight to scheduling my pick up of the loaner vehicle.

    My dealership is in Merrillville, Indiana - 35 miles southeast of Chicago. I have bought four cars from them the past seven years, and the service department never fails me. I've never had a problem this severe in the past, but hopefully it all ends well too.

    The other three cars I bought from them were brand new, this one is the first used car. I have no records or knowledge of what engine problems the previous owner had, if any - but I do know it was a local one-owner vehicle and not a Rental/Fleet vehicle or anything of that sort.
  • naphirinaphiri Posts: 3
    I began having problems with my 2010 Chevy Equinox shortly
    after I bought it NEW in late 2010. I started to hear a clattering noise when I accelerated especially in first and second gears. During the first year of ownership, several brake lights went out so I took I to the local dealership and asking about the clattering noise. I was essentially patted on the head and told to use a higher octane fuel to address the knocking. Naturally that didn't work. Once he noise became so loud you could hear it with the windows rolled up and the air conditioning on, I took it back to the dealership. Thankfully they had been bought out in the interim and the idiot I dealt with before was gone. Immediately, the staff recognized the problem and after several days in a rental car told me gas had leaked into my oil but the engine would not require replacing and the issue had been resolved. Needless to say, it has not. A few months later my car was back in the shop again and now the engine is being replaced just like so many others in his forum. Gradually the engine noise returned to the point that my 4 cylinder sounded like a diesel truck. I hope to have the car back by next week. I was told there is a bulletin out about the engine failure but they have "fixed" the problems and the new engine will work fine. I have no faith in Chevy or this car. The equinox was supposed to be my son's first car. I feel I am between a rock and a hard place because I really don't want my son to drive his car and neither do I want to pass this problem on to someone else. I will never buy another GM product. I wish Saturn were still around. GM really screwed up a good thing there. Did I also mention it left me stranded on the road when the battery failed for no apparent reason? Not even 40,000 miles on the car!
  • naphirinaphiri Posts: 3
    I can definitely confirm that the fuel economy on my new 2010 Equinox is not what was advertised EVER. I have tried higher octane gas and it didn't really matter. My car is now being fitter with a new engine because the fuel injectors were flooding the cylinders with gasoline. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the poor fuel economy. Dreadful.
  • Where did you get this PI0724 from cause no one at general motors knows about this. It's like they want to help but the don't give a damn I'm just sick and tired how this vehicle shifts gears and I'm tired of hearing it's the characteristics of the vehicle and my driving habits this as got to stop and a correction needs to be done. Can someone please help me cause I'm sick of this every single day
  • gary0410gary0410 Posts: 5
    edited July 2012
    Received my Vehicle back last Thursday (7/19/2012). Engine was replaced, REPAIR REFERENCE PIP5025 - If you do a Google search it comes up as Excessive Oil Consumption causing cylinder damage.

    Again, PIP5025 - This is a newly released service bulletin from GM.

    Sounds like a happy ending except I already have gas mixing with my oil again and can smell it in a bad way. I'm going back to the dealership tomorrow morning (Monday 7/23/2012) for them to see what the heck is going on now.

    All I can say to people about this is keep a detailed record of EVERY repair and even conversation you have with your dealership, report to, and keep your fingers crossed that a GM "fix" actually sticks and we can all move on with our lives over this. It's quite irritating, to say the least.

    Will update when I can.

    P.S. If this new gas smell from the oil turns into another long in shop repair, I'm also going to file a report with General Motors - From what I understand it may not do much, but at least I'll have record of doing so.
  • Ive been constantly following this site I guess people are really fed up with these problems GM is such a joke at the way they have been. I've called them wrote on their Facebook page messaged them on their website and nothing they are so full of it. Sometimes they were better off filing for chapter 11 and none of us would of had this problem. I driven GM all my life but I'm coming to a point where I have to change companies. But really they are all the same crap. Nice to you when they need something (a sale) but then they don't give a damn
  • gary0410gary0410 Posts: 5
    Honestly I completely disagree. I think MANY of the issues people are having are with specific dealer service departments. GM is standing behind it's power train warranty - and my dealership has been pretty good to date. Problems arise - and I've been following this site since my problem started, during it's repair, and now afterwards. Many people on here complain complain complain and then they disappear - most likely because their Equinox is now fixed and they moved on with their lives. People are quick to complain but very rarely do they give out praise once they have done so. I'm not HAPPY about having to go through an engine replacement in a two year old Equinox - but GM did everything I expected a company to do once the problem arose - as well as with my dealership. Consider me 100% satisfied with GM at this time.
  • ejbergejberg Posts: 3
    While I'm glad that YOU finally achieved some sort of satisfaction, my nightmare continues and GM is now just brushing me off -- even though they acknowledge the problem and claim they are working on a fix. I don't constantly go online to maintain a diary of dealer and GM failed fix attempts (I'm up to 6 multi-day service visits now, with several part replacements plus reprogramming).

    Although I've gotten GM to admit that there are WIDESPREAD problems with the 2011 Equinox (one GM Customer Service rep actually said "everyone is having this problem"), at this point they are essentially telling me to shut up and stop bothering them, since they have nothing to offer. They expect me to just patiently wait for my dealer to call me when they've released a software update -- which, per their statement, will be available "in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest." And, against my objections (since the vehicle wasn't fixed), they actually closed my case.

    So, the vehicle that I bought brand new off the dealer's lot for my long commute is probably not going last very far past the warranty period, if it even makes it that far. Let's face facts here: the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox has design flaws that GM still has not fixed.

    I've lost all faith in GM and my dealer (Quirk Chevy in Manchester, NH), and they think it is OK to inconvenience me when they are at fault. I've told them repeatedly that I will leave my vehicle with them as long as they want IF they provide a vehicle for me to use, but they insist that I sit in their service department for hours waiting for them to have a revelation before they will authorize a loaner, claiming it's GM's policy.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    With all due respect, people do have the right to complain. Some Equinox owners have had so many problems that they can not rely on their vehicle. Also, consider the following:
    1. Even if GM fixes it right the first time, should engines be torn apart to replace actuators, camshafts, timing chains, etc. on almost brand new vehicles? What kind of engineering goes into these vehicles?

    2. Should stalling in intersections or on the freeway be occurring?

    These are major problems. Customers who spend $25k to $30k of their hard earned money on a new vehicle should not be going back to the dealership to fix so many major problems. My last new vehicle was a 2006 Dodge Caravan that I paid under $16. I had no warranty claims. This should be the norm.
  • CapeCodCapeCod Posts: 117
    I am thankful these "complainer" boards exist. Because of this board I know the startup engine noise I hear intermittenly is not just happening on my vehicle. Like some others here my local dealer still likes to pretend they do not know noise I am speaking of. Also like others here I wonder what problems I will have months or years from now. Some of the posters here have many more miles on their vehicles than I do. They are my test pilots.
    Recently I have noticed (15k miles) that my idle can be rough at times but thankfully no stalling yet. I subscribed to this board so I would get updates! Keep them coming!
  • Finally after almost a year of myself and the many others out there GM has finally released what they call a software update which is PI0724A which is the cure for the 2-3 hard shift I will be doing this next week cause the dealers are way to busy. So after complaining to who knows how many people threatening them to take my vehicle back they've found the solution to this mystery I hope. By Thursday of next week I will be updating my experiences with this update but don't wait for me get this done ASAP and take away all your problems. P.S. when I spoke to the dealer today I refreshed his memory from last year and mentioned to him isn't this the characteristics of the vehicle????? Or my driving habits????? He said no do I replied to him so when I told you all this why wouldn't you believe me. So bottom line is when someone tells you something listen before you jump the gun.
  • First of all, anyone saying that they have a right to complain is right. I NEVER once said you didn't have the right to complain. What I DID say is that it seems to me people are having problems with their specific dealerships and then blaming GM as a whole for their experience. That isn't fair.

    Nor is it fair that GM didn't better engineer their engine before putting into vehicles. Look at my past posts, I wasn't happy about this AT ALL. It's ridiculous. BUT - GM offers a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and IS FIXING these problems UNDER warranty - when it's taken to a dealership that is actually aware of the problem and not making YOU jump through hoops. Don't blame GM for your dealership making you jump through hoops to get a loaner car. I received a loaner the day I dropped my Equinox off.

    I offered up what I experienced to everyone on this board by giving all the information that I received throughout my process. I hated going through it, but you have warranties for a reason. If every carmaker made perfect cars there would be absolutely no need for them.

    And I still stand by the fact that most of the people on here who complained about their Equinox then never came back to update us on their experience is because it was fixed and they went on their merry way. Otherwise, as is human nature, they would have been back here complaining again. Complain away if you have problems - just don't assume they are always GM's fault when they (GM) is releasing the fix information to dealerships and standing behind the fixes 100%.
  • Since my earlier post, I have had my engine worked on. It was, indeed, the camshaft sensors (among other things). Now I only have the updates to do, then wait and see if it's a fix, or a bandaid. The disappointment that we all feel is very real, and may well make us think twice about GM as our next purchase. I, for one, believe that the mistake was rushing to production and not giving this 4 cyl. enough road testing.

    It's hard to imagine, given the shear numbers involved, that this problem would not have come out with proper pre production road/load tests. Yes it is expensive and time consuming to do these tests, but look at what happens when you DON'T do it. Statistically, it's likely that somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of those who own the "bad" engines will avoid GM like the plague for many years. Unfortunate, because overall, these are good vehicles.

    So, as much as it hurts to say this, if GM comes through with a real fix, and takes care of us when the time comes to look into another new vehicle, I will consider moving forward WITH GM. It's not like they are alone in making these mistakes. Ford had a major issue recently software, requiring a patch that is not a real "fix" at all. Range Rover is always having problems, and that is a much more expensive vehicle. I could go on, but why.

    Let's just hope it's fixed... and if not, let's bury GM in a mountain of bad press and social media alerts. There is no better way to make manufacturers deliver a quality product, and hurt them if they don't, then to inform potetial buyers BEFORE they spend. GOOD LUCK ALL!
  • Took my vehicle in today for the update and guess what it's like nothing was even done. So now what after I was told the vehicle was road tested and everything was fine. What's next in my personal opinion it's a waste of time. Or did they not even do anything? I thought my problems were over but there not so whats my next step. I have a plan and GM won't like it so Tuesday when the person calls me back I will let her know, or else I take my action against them.
  • jujudjujud Posts: 9
    I have to turn channel when I hear Chevy's commercial on TV-they will buy back 2012-2013 car if you are not satisfied within certain time/miles. It is like adding misery to pain. I posted last year after my 2011 4cyl. stalled on me right after I bought it in May, then an additional 3 times. Computer did not register them. Dealer finally updated comp. after my insistence from readings on Edmonds. Then finally got GM recall in August and they at that point replaced sensors & celoids. Asked for a buy back/trade even for another car(I paid $31,000 cash)-Chevy district rep said no. At 21,000 miles I am finally getting 18-19 mpg. Talked to 2012 4cyl. 2 mo.owner at gas station yesterday and he is getting 32mpg already-happy for him but sickening for me as I got in my car. Mine runs rough and kind of jerky when it auto changes gears up/down. Just saw new comp.update on here to help with that. Called dealer this week and he had not heard of it, quoted #Pt10724A to him and said he would get back to me. Told him I was sick about their new commercial to Chevy and tell them I still want a buy it will do any good! Should have gotten lawyer last year! Is there a class action suit out there anywhere? They know they screwed up on 2011 Eq. I think. Service manager at another Chev. dealorship told me Chevy changed 2012 engine some when they changed my oil. I am doing all servicing at Chevy and keeping records too. They have not gotten any bad publicity about this car. Why?
  • PI0724A is useless it doesn't do anything now the newest problem I have is there is rust coming out on my vehicle it's very noticeable on the white one is yours white and if it is look at the back where it's most noticeable. I even went to a dealership today saw new ones in the lot with rust on the vehicle this is b.s.
  • jujudjujud Posts: 9
    I don't see rust in back,but I have a plastic back bumper in the back. I do see where my garage concrete is black under the muffler(?) pipe. I back into garage and line car up in same place every time. I do have a white car, but see no rust.
  • Look carefully around the vehicle you will see it also go to a dealership and look at the white equinox they even have it
  • Go to google search 2011 equinox with rust go to equinox forum and see the thread of complaints I'm there also remember us people have to stick together on Tuesday I will be speaking to the manager at GM Canada about this it's like a joke for them not to stand by there product
  • jujudjujud Posts: 9
    Tony, I will look tomorrow in daylight and let you know. Plan on taking it by dealership after reading about all these latest updates. I have not been actually on this site in a while. I read the one Edmonds automatically sends me. I can't even find my posts I wrote beginning June '11 because there have been soooo many since then over this past year!! Is there way you can see all your own posts?
  • Yes it's easier in the sunlight I forgot to say but you should have it on your vehicle I have the rust spots on all 4 sides of the vehicle really noticeable in the back even the plastic bumper has it on mine let me know as I have these updates as they are written go to my phone this is how I reply so fast I'm from Toronto Canada how about yourself? I'm trying to get together with someone from this forum but have had no luck please let me know if you have but go to a dealership and look at the white equinox on the lot I mean the new vehicles and you will see it for yourself Keep me up to date thanks
  • jujudjujud Posts: 9
    Ok......I am from North Carolina
  • To see your posts click on your name or the person you want to see
  • I am in Virginia and have not YET seen rust on my silver Equinox. I have had engine work done, because it kept cutting off. My gas mileage is 24MPG and that is mostly around town, as I don't fully trust it on long trips. This has been a really bad situation, considering I trust my 2007 Mazda for long road trips, more than my 2011 Chevy!

    My dealership has been very helpful in making repairs, but they are the reason I'm in this situation in the first place. I asked the salesman, "have you had any problems with this 4cyl. engine?", he said "not a single problem". [non-permissible content removed], and if I can prove there was a previous communication within that dealership... then I will request some compensation. It's sad to me, as i was a longtime GM fan.
  • It's more visible on the white ones and for long road trips you can trust it, it performs very well on the hiway last road trip I got 35.6 mpg it's only low speeds where it drives like crap
  • I am in Virginia and have not YET seen rust on my silver Equinox. I have had engine work done, because it kept cutting off. My gas mileage is 24MPG and that is mostly around town, as I don't fully trust it on long trips. This has been a really bad situation, considering I trust my 2007 Mazda for long roadtrips, more than my 2011 Chevy!

    My dealership has been very helpful in making repairs, but thay are the reason I'm in this situation in the first place. I asked the salesman, "have you had any problems with this 4cyl. engine?", he said "not a single problem". Total "BS" and if I can prove there was a previous communication about these problems and within that dealership... then I will request some compensation. It's sad to me, as I was a longtime GM fan. Ihope they (GM) decide to make this right.
  • dhoff457dhoff457 Posts: 8
    edited August 2012
    Agreed, cars today are generally more durable and last well beyond the old 100,000 mile standard but the bar was awfully low in the past. Companies like Toyota and Honda have been building cars to high standards for 30 years - the U.S. manufacturers are still playing catch up.

    And they're not there yet; before my 2011 Equinox, I last bought an American car in 1995, a (highly-rated) Ford Taurus. I had ongoing issues and swore off American cars until deciding to give Chevy a chance; my fault, I should have learned - since purchasing it in June, I've had some big problems (car shutting off while traveling on a highway at 60 mph) and continuous small ones. I've owned 7 Toyotas, Nissan's and Hondas - all were nicely designed, ran well and held their resale value.

    I don't care what they advertise or what the reviewers say - this time, I'll keep to my word; the Equinox will be the last Big Three car I buy.
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