Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid (5 Common Problems)

The Chevy Equinox is a cool SUV to desire, but you’ve got to be aware of some model years, which are linked with frequent crackdowns that cost quite a lot to fix. But what are the Chevy Equinox years to avoid and why? This article explains everything you should know.

2005, 2006, 2010 – 2013 Chevy Equinox models are reported as the worst years to buy. Chevy Equinox models made in those years are linked with several engine problems, especially excessive oil consumption.

Also, most Chevy Equinox reportedly had AC/heater issues and transmission problems.

Chevy Equinox Overview

The Equinox is a line of compact crossover SUVs manufactured by General Motors under the Chevrolet (Chevy) brand. Production of the Chevrolet Equinox started in 2004 for the 2005 model year. Chevrolet Equinox is a stylish 5-door SUV with quite an appealing design.

Currently, the Chevrolet Equinox is on its third generation, which started with the 2018 model year. Chevrolet Equinox has had a good run over the years, and reports hint that the series may be halted after the 2022 models.

Chevy Equinox comes with multiple engine options you can choose from. But there are just two powertrain configurations available: 6-speed automatic and 9-speed automatic transmission. Available trims are L, LS, LT, and Premier models.

See Also: Cadillac SRX Years To Avoid

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid and Why

Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

Up to 7 model years of the Chevy Equinox are not worth buying both as new or used. Why? These models are problematic, and most of the problems occur in low mileage.

Hereunder is a list of the “flagged” model years.

  • 2005 Chevy Equinox
  • 2006 Chevy Equinox
  • 2008 Chevy Equinox
  • 2010 Chevy Equinox
  • 2011 Chevy Equinox
  • 2012 Chevy Equinox
  • 2013 Chevy Equinox

The 2006 model had the highest complaints by its owners – it is easily the overall “Worst” Chevy Equinox to ever buy. Also, the 2013 model is alleged to break down easily at low mileage.

The repair cost is usually high because the components that typically break down are expensive to repair – talking of rusting doors even before 50k miles.

Common Problems With Chevy Equinox Worst Years

1. Frozen Valves

This problem usually occurs on the 2013 Chevy Equinox, especially when approaching 100,000 miles on the odometer. Owners of the 2013 Chevy Equinox particularly pointed out that the PCV valve got frozen just before 100,000 miles.

In most cases, the PCV valve failure can also lead to the real seal breaking down. Thus, it costs an average of $1,800 to fix this issue on the 2013 Chevy Equinox and other model years that issue too.

2. Rusting Doors

Different owners of different Chevy Equinox models have reported that they discovered multiple rust spots on their SUV’s door.

Some owners found rust spots on the back/rear door, while others got rusts on the driver-side door. The sad part is that the rusts appeared even though the SUV hasn’t done over 50k miles (as reported by some people).

3. Engine Problems

Several engine problems were reported for the 2013, 2012, 2010, and 2006 Chevy Equinox models. The common engine problems included excessive oil consumption, clattering noise while starting the car, slower acceleration, inaccurate MPG readings, the engine shutting off while driving, and others.

Fixing engine problems cost differently depending on the engine parts that need to be worked on or replaced. However, the estimated repair cost average is between $2,000 – $5,000. The early 2010s models seem to have the highest engine problem complaints.

4. Heater Blows Out Cold Air

Heater/AC problems mainly were reported for the 2006 model year. Owners allege that when they turn on the heater function on their Chevy Equinox SUV, they get blown with cold air.

Fixing this problem costs roughly $800 to get the heater replaced. The heater system malfunctioning is reported to occur around 70k – 80k miles.

5. Transmission Problems

Transmission failure is yet another problem reported for most Chevy Equinox models listed in this article as the “worst” to buy.

Apparently, transmission problems are expensive to fix; it costs an average of $1,600 to fix a Chevy Equinox transmission. If you need to replace the system, the cost can go up to $3,000.

What Are The Most Reliable Chevy Equinox Years?

Okay, we’ve talked about the worst years to stay clear of, so then, what model years should you consider buying?

The later 2010s models – from 2016 to 2022- are more reliable and even more appealing, thanks to the redesigned body (for the 2018 model year and onwards) and the facelift (on the 2020 model).

However, because these years are indicated as the “best year to buy” doesn’t mean they don’t have problems. It’s just that you can cop with the problems you may experience with these models.

More so, you won’t face any serious issues with these model years (up to 200k miles) – as long as you stick with the maintenance routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chevy Equinox a Reliable Car?

The short answer is YES. While few model years should be avoided at all costs, the Chevy Equinox is rated above-average in reliability ratings by top, reliable auto rating platforms. It takes home a 3.5 out of 5.0 on RepairPal and over 80/100 on J.D. Power for various model years.

Does Chevy Equinox Have a Lot Of Problems?

Some model years seem to have a lot of issues – for real – ranging from engine problems to AC/heater problems and transmission failures. Well, you can avoid these common problems by ensuring you don’t buy the “worst” Chevy Equinox model years listed in this article.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of a Chevy Equinox?

A well-maintained Chevy Equinox can last up to 150,000 miles or 200,000 miles before showing crucial signs of failure. Sadly, Chevy Equinox models do not last as long as Toyota’s luxury SUV line – Lexus RX.

Why is Chevy Equinox So Cheap?

You’d find used Chevy Equinox at low prices because GM vehicles typically do not last so long. Also, the Chevy Equinox has a lot of “problematic” model years – not everyone wants to risk buying an SUV that is synonymous with different engine and transmission problems.

See Also: Dodge Cummins Years To Avoid and Why


We’ve covered the Chevy Equinox years to avoid and why you should do so. Also, this article lists the best Chevy Equinox model years while also explaining the common problems you could face with this ride. Hopefully, this article helps your search.

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