7th May 2010, 15:45

I have had many of the same issues with my 2005 Equinox LT.

1) Issues with starting the car

2) Car overly shaking when braking over 30 MPH. Usually it is the rotors making the car do this. Although this car seems to be harsh on rotors.

3) I am at 67,000 miles and today was just told I need to have my front struts replaced, rear shocks replaced, and my front link-ends replaced.

When hearing the loud and expensive sounding creaking when turning left and right, it most of the time means you need to have your link-ends replaced up front. These can go bad quickly if your front struts are bad and contributing to their demise.

To have both my front struts replaced and both my front link-ends replaced with labor and whatever other little fees, my total is going to be $594.00. A lot of money, but a fair price it seems. The struts come with a lifetime warranty, so if they go bad again, all it will cost me $100.00 in labor. Not bad.

24th May 2010, 20:51

I have a 2005 Chev Equinox. I purchased it in late 2005. During the past 2 years I have had nothing but problems. The vehicle has 85,000 miles on it, and I have done regular maintenance on the vehicle. My on-going issues are:

CD player has stopped working

The upholstery does not clean well, and the stains are not removable.

The heat and A/C do not put out the appropriate temperature unless you have the gas pedal pushed in.

Current issues:

The radiator and water pump have just been replaced.

A few months ago I had to have the head gasket replaced.

As a loyal GM customer, I have been extremely disappointed in this product.

11th Jun 2010, 16:34

Hi. Wow, I cannot believe we're all having the same problems! My 05 Equinox is having issues with the struts up front, along with the rattling all the way around when encountering bumps, dips or any little piece of crap on the road. $600 for struts! Are you serious? They're struts! And on a vehicle like this one, it isn't that hard to do yourself. Don't pay them to fix it, buy your own parts and do it yourself. Don't allow these scammers to juice you out of your hard earned money! I'm sick of these "American" cars turning out to be lemons; no wonder the car companies went belly up! Should have let them fail.

17th Jun 2010, 16:20

I have a 2005 Equinox, no bells or whistles on this baby. I have had my car since early 2006, it had roughly 14,000 miles on when I got it.

Not more than 6 months after getting it, I had to have the rotors turned. The dealership did that under warranty.

I’ve experienced many of the issues listed on this site. And, I too am on my second set of rotors.

I will say that while this is a pain in the rear end, it's not the worst thing that could happen. I knew when I bought my car that it wasn't a top of the line luxury SUV. It hasn't run like a top of the line luxury SUV either. However, I can say that at 120,000+ miles on her, she has treated me well.

I may not go for a new Equinox when the time comes, just because I'd like to have the 3rd row seating, but if they come out with it, I will highly consider upgrading to the big E.

I don’t work for GM, nor do I have family that works for GM. I’m not even a true GM loyalty customer. I just like my Equinox, imperfections and all.

30th Jun 2010, 18:14

I own a 2006 Chevy Equinox LT. Bought it with 77K miles on it 5 months ago. Not a single problem. I urge people to read the owners manual (not very detailed), but it can solve some of the problems people are having.

My vehicle has a car fax that reports regular maintenance as a fleet vehicle in the state of Utah at a ski resort. It was in service for 3 years with no problem, then sold at auction, then to my dealer, then to me. The only issues reported with this car is that the cigarette lighter outlet had no power and the service tech in his report replaced the fuse. This service report was in the glove box with the car and matched the VIN number.

Gas Cap -

Use OEM, it will set the MIL lamp if you buy aftermarket (check engine soon light). This is because it is an emissions failure as far as the computer is concerned. It means that the gas tank is leaking vapour (which leads to more ozone pollution in cities) and the computer wants you to know about it. It lights the serve engine soon lamp because there is no other way to tell you. After all, there can't be a light for every possible issue that could crop up, the car would be loaded with lights. The tank gets a slight pressure difference on it during use, and it is this that is used to detect the cap missing or wrong type.

Brakes -

Come on people... if you are just now changing your rotors and pads on a car that has over 70000 miles, then you are WAY overdue, and it may be the lack of maintenance that caused you problems. Otherwise, make sure that the rotors are not Chinese, the steel is bad, and is thinner! Check it out if you don't believe me. Checker has bad rotors and brake pads. Use dealer parts. You can buy parts at the dealerships.

My 2006 Equinox is just now starting to vibrate at 65 mph if the brakes are hit hard. I have been working on cars since I was 11, I am now 28. This is not a concern to me because I understand it completely. You will not die, just get the rotors turned, new pads, and INSPECT the rear drums and pads to make sure that they too are adjusted.

Without the rear brakes, the fronts are overloaded. This is true for all cars! Sad really, since brake jobs are so easy to do, why take it into a mechanic for repair. It really is easy. Just get greasy and dusty! Don't trust brake shops, they use the cheapest. You can buy pads for 25 dollars total or you can spring for the 130 pads and get 3x the performance and life. When you do the work, you don't pay 85$ / hr for labor that anyone can do. My father is disabled and can change brake pads. He also was a master mechanic. He taught me a lot. I am in his debt forever.

Take pictures with your digital camera as you take it apart piece by piece and reverse the process. Put the pieces in individual zip lock bags and label them. I do my own brake work and save so much that I buy the best brake linings that are rated for my vehicle, and they last 2x longer than the complaints here list. Also, new pads and shoes contain a lot of binder (glue) that needs to be gently "evaporated" from them before they are at their best. Breaking in pads and shoes is paramount. Did you know that you are supposed to break in pads and shoes? Few people tell you this, and brake shops don't tell you because they know that you will get less life out of them.

- Interior

It is cloth. Cloth gets dirty, especially if it is light grey in color. Use seat covers. My dog (German Shepard) "lives" in the Equinox and it isn't dirty. I just vacuum it and use seat covers. For the intrepid car owner, disassemble the seats, and hand wash the cloth and air dry. Did it to my 1993 Blazer after my dog Heidi bled all over its interior. Can't even tell it happened. Don't eat in the car (this is why there are diners and fast food joints that have tables and chairs). Drink diet sodas, lack of sugar makes clean up better. Makeup and acne face products discolor cloth permanently. Skin oil oxidizes to a dark brown color (makes black-heads on your face dark in color) and will do the same to the cloth. Don't smoke in the car. The tars make cloth sticky and it picks up more dirt and shows it to you in all its glory. Life is dirty.

- Silver paint/dash plastic

Not a problem for me yet. Only clean the dash with a damp cloth, never used any special cleaners or protectants. Some protectants contain petrol products that can weaken paints and plastics. Never used Windex to clean interior of glass on a car. Overspray could hurt plastics. Just use a microfiber cloth and DI water.

Also use a dash sun screen and crack windows in very hot environments. No plastic lasts longer if hot rather than room temp.

- Clicking noise

Yes, this is the purge solenoid in the carbon canister, it clicks 3 times after I start car. Takes up to 3 minutes of driving for it to start. Not a problem. The carbon canister absorbs a lot of the gasoline vapor from the tank and stores it. This vapor is then burned later in the drive cycle. This can happen at any time. In hot weather it happens a lot. It happens at start up because the computer is smart enough to know that the tank has been evaporating a lot, and the carbon canister is probably full.

- Key sticking

Did anyone notice that the "key left in ignition alarm" is dinging while the key seems to be grabbed. There are 2 plates of metal that I surmise are intentionally pushed against the key when the engine is turned off. These metal pieces send a small current through the key and sense that it is still there. This is the car's way of telling you the key is still in there. Look carefully at the ignition hole. You will see what I mean. You can even hear them. They touch each other when the key is removed, and they instantly spring back because the car knows you removed the key. Also note that the alarm stops dinging. Lube as recommended. Please use your scientist skills, I know you all are very capable people out there. I mean that for real. I believe that every human being is EXCEPTIONALLY smart. That is what makes us Human. Thank God!?!

- Turning radius

Yes it is larger than my 1993 Chevy S10 Blazer 4.3L vin W 4x4 with 288k miles on it that I traded in and got $2000 for! This turning radius is probably due to the fact that this car uses electronically assisted steering. Which is also mentioned in the users manual. An engineering difference?

- Starting issues

CLEAN THE BATTERY contacts. I know that this might agitate some people out there. But even the slightest oxidation of a battery post can cause poor starting. It takes 400 amps to star this car. That means that if there is a 0.01ohm resistance due to wear, then the starter loses 4 volts as wiring heat and thus has only 1/6th its original power! I am assuming that the battery is 13.5 volts (good charged) and the starter is 0.0338 ohm (typical). Ohms law

Power = (Volts*volts) / resistance.

- Dexcool

Maybe because mine is a 2006, it isn't prone to the problems?

Fingers crossed that good gaskets are in...

Scare the stuff out of me.

- CD player

Never use labels on home made CD's. Always blow off CD's with the air from the vents before inserting, never let a CD stay in the dash or visor, it WILL permanently warp, you may not see it, but the laser servo position er does! We are talking about millionths of an inch. It is a miracle of modern science that a CD player can even survive in a car as it bumps down the road.

Also, if the format of the MP3 is weird, it will take a dive, the error message I got was DSP error. I found out that I recorded the MP3 with too high a bit rate.

Weird lights -

No it isn't an abduction from ET. This is probably an issue with the CAN data stream, get the computer checked out ASAP.

Noise when wet -

The serpentine belt got wet?? This can cause slippage. Not sure what to say.

Have to push the pedal to the floor to get up hill -

Read the user's manual. GM states that they intentionally put into the computer a feature that avoids repeated downshift upshift patterns to reduce wear on the tranny. This means that you're expected to hit the gas and the tranny downshift, and you get more torque and thus more acceleration and thus feel better. Well, you don't. This is because the computer already knows that the extra RPM and lower gear will not really result in better performance, and it keeps you where you were. It is doing what it was designed to do. Don't worry. You are probably used to the cars that get more power and thus lower fuel economy?? This car achieves its okay fuel economy my ignoring bad driving habits.

Poor starting and performance -

This car really NEEDS the Iridium plugs. Don't go cheap, they are $10 each. Yes this is $60 approximately, but they last 100K miles. Change them out at 70K miles. IF a plug of the wrong temp is used, the plug cannot self clean (too cold of a plug) or it overheats (too hot a plug) and they foul up with either carbon or burned metal respectively.

Again, if you do your own service, the cost of parts is moot!

Tire / bearing noise -

Every vehicle has it. To what degree?? My mud snow's are noisy, but I am used to it. After all I drove a large 4x4 previously.

Smell in steering wheel -

I surmise that this is the horn wiring, watch it, it could be the airbag wiring. DO NOT WORK ON THE AIRBAGS YOURSELF, they are like 1/4 stick of TNT! You can get killed. Watch out for YELLOW connectors in the car, do not touch them. They are most like associated with airbag deployment.

Chrome and bowtie damage -

Wax them, yes wax the chrome. Just don't use a "cleaner" wax. Cleaners use abrasives (some of them) and it can fog the plastics and chrome plate. Use good old Turtle. Wax keeps the chrome from letting water rust it. Chrome does rust, just at a slow rate compared to iron.

Ticking at idle? -

This engine is a traditional push rod type. Hey you think this clicking is bad, try driving a vehicle that doesn't use roller rockers like this one does. Remove the oil cap when the engine is off, see the roller bearing in there?

Check your oil grade. If YOU did the oil change, then you know what is in it. If you let someone Jiffy it up, then it may have old oil in it. Another reason to do it yourself. A word about oils...

Synthetics: All man made, a lot of detergent and wear protections, most costly, best performance. Can cause clicking in engines that have a lot of wear. The synthetic oil is less cushioning than traditional oil and the noise is more. If used in the correct engine for life of engine, noise and wear are minimal.

Blends of synthetic and traditional:

Just as it sounds.


Oil is cheapest, and has more cushion to it. Can quiet a noisy engine. Less detergents, less wear inhibitors. More parafins (cheap wax). Breaks down faster than synthetics.

Right after startup of a previously warm engine or a really cold one, most engines are nosier than they are after 5 minutes of use. It it ticks all the time, get it serviced.

Hydraulic lifters are used in this engine and most others. If they let the oil bleed down too fast, then they do not ride on a good cushion of oil and are noisy. This leads to wear and can lead to severe engine damage.


I am a good shade tree mechanic, and own all the SERVICE manuals for this vehicle, and a good scan tool as well as other electronic test equipment. I am an electrical engineer by trade and love working on cars. I am quite adept at repairing and troubleshooting. I fix all the problems I encounter as soon as the pop up. Use your senses, and take action.

I therefore understand why many of these complaints are as they are. Many things are perceived as being flaws, rather than engineering decisions. Yes there are flaws in my Equinox 2006 LT. This is why I always buy used. Not sour about it.

And before I bought it, I read the users manual completely in the dealer parking lot, and then test drove it for 1 hour. Before the test drive I looked at the pavement under the car, and looked at the engine with a flashlight and mirror. Then after the strenuous drive, I did it again. No leaks, smells, noises.

If you were to read the service manuals, they list most of what you are telling me is normal wear and tear on the brakes, normal operation of the carbon canister, and typical performance of this class and price range of vehicle.

As for the imports, my sister was instructed to take in her Honda for maintenance more often than my Equinox. I guess Honda knows most people really don't know how to work on a car or will skimp on the components, so they agree to do more work for you than the Big 3 do. This is the best thing about import cars. They typically have great service centers. However, as with all vehicles, they all have issues, they all die, they all are less than people wanted.

The internal combustion engine is over 100 years old in principle, and all that has happened to it since the 1970's is the addition of more electronics and fuel injections to squeeze the last mile out of every drop. Part of this is the higher compression ratio engines, which typically need more regular maintenance or replacement due to the higher stresses. Engines are dirty, stinky, error prone, and complex. When someone buys ANY vehicle, they should remember what they really bought, a dinosaur burning oil, and it comes with the territory. Vehicles are all low tech. This is why all manufacturers push the gadgets on us, to cover up the fact the car is essentially the same as it was 20 years ago. Don't be afraid, get a wrench.