August 28th, 2019 by

Do Chevy Equinox have transmission problems? If you Google this, you’ll definitely find some anecdotal evidence of the Equinox having transmission issues. Most, from disgruntled owners.

“Aha! So, the Equinox is unreliable!”-not so fast.

The problem with anecdotal evidence is that it might not give you an accurate idea of the scale of the problem. The transmission system is a complex and sensitive component of any modern car. Chances are that just about every model has had its instances of transmission failure. Secondly, people are more likely to complain when something goes wrong than vice versa.

So, we’ve decided to do some research to see if you should really be concerned about transmission problems when buying an Equinox.

Do Chevy Equinox have transmission problems?
Let’s start by looking at some of that anecdotal evidence we’ve mentioned. lists 23 manual and 25 automatic transmission problems reported by Chevy Equinox drivers. That’s not a whole lot, and most of the models mentioned are those from 2010 and 2011.

However, what is slightly worrying is that, for many of these, the manual transmission failure occurred at or under only 50,000 miles or so. The automatic transmission failures seem to have occurred at slightly higher mileage.

This is expected as the average life expectancy for automatic transmissions is supposed to be around 150,000 to 200,000 miles as opposed to 100,000 for manual.

However, that’s for the previous (2nd generation Equinox).

For the current 3rd generation, only lists one reported transmission problem for the 2017 model and 6 for the 2018 model. Sure, these cars have been on the road for a much shorter time. But those seem to be relatively low figures.

Competitors like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V seem to rack up similar numbers, while there aren’t any transmission complaints about the 2017 or 2018 GMC Terrain.

It does seem to be the case that the second generation of the Chevy Equinox, particularly the 2010 and 2011 models, were plagued by occasional transmission problems. However, Chevrolet seems to have picked up on these issues and reacted with a significantly cleaner track record from 2015 onwards.

Although we’re still in the early days, things also look promising for the 3rd generation. Over the last 10 years, the general reliability of cars has also improved dramatically.

What transmission problems are they prone to?
Some of the most common problems listed as a result of transmission failure are that the car starts shaking (especially at around 40-50 mph), loses power, or doesn’t shift properly. Cold weather seems to aggravate the issue or make it more likely to occur.

As you can see, none of these are very serious issues that cause the car to break down immediately, then and there.

There also don’t seem to be any fatal incidents related to transmission failure, which is unlikely anyway.

Furthermore, there hasn’t been any recall of Chevy Equinox vehicles as a result of transmission problems.

What are the signs of transmission problems? What should I do when I get a transmission problem?
As we mentioned, transmission issues usually start off as minor inconveniences while driving. It could be things like sluggish gear shifting, slight shaking, or a loss of power. If left unattended, these issues will gradually get worse with time.

Unless something catastrophic fails, you should still be able to make it back home or to the nearest repair shop/gas station at least. However, the problem is likely to only get worse (and more expensive to fix) with time.

Does the Chevy Equinox have any other problems? How reliable is it?
In addition to wondering do Chevy Equinox have transmission problems, you might be curious about other potential issues. Like any popular car, the Chevy Equinox does have its share of problems. These are some of the issues associated with the car that seem to be more prevalent than transmission issues:

There have been a number of reports of blown head gaskets for the 2005 Equinox.
Both the 2010 and 2011 suffered from excessive oil consumption.
Timing chains, camshaft, and solenoid issues were relatively common from 2010 to 2012.
As you can see, most of these occur with the older, second-generation models. It’s also worth mentioning that although they were known to happen, they weren’t exactly widespread.

Generally, the third-generation Equinox’s reliability is rated quite highly. J.D. Power rates it as “Better than most.” However, true to the stats, the second generation usually ranks as “The rest” which is 2 stars out of 4.

So, it definitely seems to be the case that you have a right to be wary of an older Equinox, while you should be fairly confident driving a newer one. also estimates the Equinox’s yearly maintenance cost to be a relatively low $341 per year.

What’s the verdict?
So, do Chevy Equinox have transmission problems? After reviewing the evidence, it definitely seems to be the case that the transmission did seem to be an area of weakness for the older-generation Equinox. While it was by no means pandemic, you should not have been surprised if you experience some issues between 50,000 to 100,000 miles. However, there is no sign that you should be more concerned about your transmission as a third-generation Equinox owner, than with any other vehicle.

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