2010 Chevrolet Equinox front
2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Used Vehicles: 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox promised a new direction for General Motors

At its 2010 introduction, the second-generation Chevrolet Equinox was one of the first all-new designs to emerge from General Motors after the onset of an economic recession that forced it and Chrysler to accept government loans and handouts in order to stay afloat.

Though its design was likely started well before the recession hit, this compact crossover held a lot of promise for a company looking to polish its image among buyers unsure of its future viability.

Some of our initial impressions weren’t fabulous. Four-cylinder models felt underpowered and not particularly fuel-efficient. A V6 option fixed the power deficit but certainly didn’t help in the economy department.

As it turned out, the Equinox’s mechanical durability left something to be desired as well. Among its more significant issues is a valve system timing chain in the four-cylinder motor that can stretch and loosen, which can result in serious engine damage if not addressed promptly. A rattling noise heard when the engine is running is the main giveaway. This is a problem that affected a number of vehicles introduced around the same time as this Equinox, and we suspect it’s largely the result of too-long oil manufacturer-recommended oil change intervals, which allow the oil to degrade to a point where it can’t properly protect the engine’s internals.

The four-cylinder is also known for excessive oil consumption linked either to worn valve seals or worn cylinder walls, both of which allow oil to enter the combustion chambers, where it gets burned along with gasoline.

Speaking of gasoline, a high-pressure fuel pump that feeds the four-cylinder’s direct fuel injection system can force too much fuel through the injectors and into the engine. That increases fuel consumption and can ruin the catalytic converter, an exhaust component that is a key part of the emissions-control system.

Finally, some owners have complained of rough shifting by the Equinox’s six-speed automatic transmission, a flaw GM responded to by reprogramming the electronic software that controls the gearbox.

Bottom Line: The Equinox has a lot going for it, with a comfortable and spacious interior that includes a slick rear seat that slides fore and aft. But we would take a lot of care when shopping for a used example. Don’t buy unless the sale includes proof of regular maintenance, and make the sale conditional on a passing grade in an inspection by a mechanic of your choosing.

Related links:
Chevrolet Canada

Translate »