Chevy Equinox: The Most Common Problems You Should Know About

As far as compact SUVs go, the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox is capable and practical. It has a couple of pretty athletic powertrain options. It also has a good selection of driver-assist features that are now standard and a solid infotainment setup. The Equinox rides more like a car and handles admirably well.

In the market for a new or used Equinox? There are some issues that have been reported that you may want to take into consideration before you buy.

The 2020 Chevy Equinox

The current generation of Chevy Equinox models started with the full 2018 redesign. The Equinox got new engines that year with two turbocharged engines, including a 1.5-liter that gets 170 hp, a 2.5-liter engine that’s larger and a better match for the Equinox, and a diesel option. Either is available with your choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The interior received an upgrade in 2018, and it got some popular features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Good safety features like lane-keep assist, low-speed automatic emergency braking, safety alerts, and a Teen Driver system were added. The 2019 models got even more features like adaptive cruise control and pedestrian detection.

The 2020 Chevy Equinox made a lot of great active safety features standard like forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. The 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine went away. The LT models now offer a Midnight Edition appearance package that blacks out anything that could possibly be blacked out on the vehicle.

The most common problems drivers face

The Chevy Equinox is among the more popular midsize SUVs since 2005 when it debuted. It seats five, has all-wheel drive as available, and is pretty fuel-efficient. Still, there are several problems with the vehicle. If you’re considering buying one, you’ll want to know about these issues.

There have been starter issues with the Chevy Equinox since the beginning. There have been reports of turning the key and nothing happening. Some report that the starter stops working with no warning. It’s an electrical issue that apparently the Chevy Equinox has more than other Chevy models. While the fix is not complicated, it will set you back up to $850 for parts and labor.

Additionally, the first two generations of the Equinox used a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that put out 182 hp. The same engine appeared in some of the automaker’s other offerings like the GMC Terrain and the Buick Verano. Problems plague the engine no matter where it was used.

The issue centers around excessive oil consumption. According to, the model had two recalls and 772 complaints. One owner of a 2013 model in South Carolina said they were adding as much as four to six quarts per month. That’s in addition to regular oil changes by a mechanic.

The owner kept spare quarts of oil in the vehicle just to be on the safe side. The engine light came on often and it would seem as if the engine were about to stall often. Concerns that the engine would eventually blow destroyed the owner’s peace of mind. The 2010 and 2012 models had reports of similar issues.

The 2006 model had over a thousand complaints, the top one being an issue with the vehicle’s heating. According to Car Complaints, the heating only produced cold air. The cause was a small door – the air temperature blend door – that let air in to flow past the heater core. The door would easily break in only a few years. The repair could cost as much as $800.

Is the Chevy Equinox a good SUV?

2018 Chevrolet Equinox is on display at the 110th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Chevy Equinox | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

While the 2020 Chevy Equinox is a compact SUV that does well enough, the problems may outweigh its good qualities in many models. There are several things the Equinox does well like fuel efficiency and its infotainment system. But there are so many competitors that do just as well in its strengths. When it comes to a quality cabin and cargo space, other SUVs do it better.

With so many compact SUVs on the market right now, if you’re looking for a good or used SUV, you might consider giving the Equinox a pass. If you’ve got your heart set on a Chevy Equinox, carefully research the model you’re considering before you buy.