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Chevrolet Equinox Reliability and Common Problems

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There’s a lot to love about the Chevrolet Equinox. All of its model years have something great to offer, from advanced safety features and superb fuel efficiency to great steering and excellent engine performance. Its resale value is also good, only depreciating by 48% in five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Is Chevrolet Equinox Reliable?

The Chevy Equinox enjoys above-average reliability ratings, with some of its model years scoring better than others. RepairPal gave it a rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 23rd out of the 26 compact SUVs in its category. Meanwhile, J.D. Power rated the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox 85/100 for quality and reliability.

US News & World Report ranked the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox 11th out of 18 vehicles in the compact SUV market. Based on these figures, it’s apparent that with careful handling and regular maintenance, the Chevrolet Equinox can easily enjoy a long service life.

Top Chevy Equinox Problems

Although the Chevrolet Equinox is one dependable compact SUV, it still has its fair share of problems. Here are the most commonly reported issues for different model years:

Flimsy Fiberboard Wheel Wells

According to owners of the 2020 Chevy Equinox, problems with its wheel wells are common for some units of this model year.

Several drivers have reported that their wheel wells were made out of flimsy fiberboard material, so the parts crack easily in areas where ice build-up is common. The ice also stuck to the fiberboard wheel wells, making it extremely hard to scrape off. Some of the affected owners had to go to a car wash to hose the ice down with hot water.

As of this writing, there have been no moves on Chevrolet’s part to resolve this issue.

Frequently Activating Check Engine Light

Although the 2018 Chevy Equinox has fewer problems than other model years, it has one of the most annoying issues of this unit yet. Many 2018 Chevy Equinox owners have complained that their SUV’s check engine light would frequently turn on.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox - Chevrolet Pressroom
Some 2018 Chevy Equinox owners have complained that their SUV’s check engine light would frequently turn on. Image source: Chevrolet Pressroom.

When brought to the dealer, some mechanics were unable to find an explanation for the check engine light intermittently turning on. As for the others, owners were told that the check engine light turned on because of OBD-II code P25A9, which pertains to an internal engine problem. Replacing the main engine control unit (ECU) should fix this issue.

Battery Problems

According to many owners of the 2015 Chevy Equinox, problems with its battery are typical for some units of this model year. Parts that may become faulty include the SUV’s Bluetooth audio, computerized radio, USB port, and electrical system components. For some, the SUV would refuse to start in colder weather. Mechanics found that issues in the affected Chevy’s battery caused these issues.

Some owners hooked the battery up to jumper cables, and they were able to start their SUV with no trouble at all. Unfortunately for others, it remains a costly issue to resolve, as the battery may need to be replaced altogether.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is a common complaint among 2013 Chevy Equinox owners. The affected units may jerk before stalling or shake violently and stop working altogether. Their check engine light may also turn on to alert drivers that something is amiss.

Upon inspection, most owners found out that their SUVs were consuming an excessive amount of oil. Others weren’t as lucky, as their vehicles had developed leaks before they found out their rides were burning through oil at an abnormal pace.

This is a well-documented complaint, and many 2013 Chevy Equinox owners have experienced this problem. Despite this, there were no actions on Chevrolet’s part to address this as of this writing.

Faulty AC Compressor

Many owners of the 2011 Chevy Equinox have experienced problems with their vehicle’s A/C compressor. Their A/C system would not blow cold air at times or would leak freon. Several owners also noted that their A/C only released hot air.

2011 Chevrolet Equinox Chevrolet - Pressroom
Some owners of the 2011 Chevy Equinox have experienced problems with their vehicle’s A/C compressor. Image source: Chevrolet Pressroom.

When the owners of the affected units got their SUVs checked, most found out that faulty A/C compressors were causing the problems. Some drivers were able to fix this problem by restarting their vehicles, but others weren’t as lucky. To resolve this problem, experts recommend replacing the A/C compressor with a new one.

Rattle From Front Lower Control Arm

Some owners of the 2005 Chevy Equinox have reported hearing rattling from their vehicle’s front lower control arm. Most of them complained that they would hear a rattling noise in the front part of their vehicle’s suspension when they drive over bumps. Some say that the noise sounded like the steering column was going to fall apart when they drove over a rough area of the road.

Replacing the front lower control arm should resolve this issue. As of this writing, there have been no recalls issued by Chevrolet to fix this problem.

If you’re in the market for a Chevy Equinox, be prepared to embrace the good and the potential bad. As long as you know the issues associated with the specific model year you’re planning to get, buying it should come with little risk. Knowing what to watch out for will also help you avoid costly repairs through preventive maintenance, so you can maximize the service life of your compact SUV.

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Vehicle Reliability

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