2019 Chevrolet Equinox Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2019 Chevrolet Equinox is a small crossover that’s designed for today’s busy family. The company claims it is “Ready when you are,” but we find that’s not the case. Instead, it seems to have finicky engine operation, faulty electronics and issues with the fuel system. The only thing this SUV is ready for is a trip to the service center.

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Problems with the Engine

One of the newest features on many modern engines is the Auto Stop. This is supposed to save fuel and keep the motor running efficiently when it works properly. On the Equinox, there’s a lot of complaints about how it doesn’t respond and puts owners in dangerous situations.

One Edmunds reviewer wrote this, “Stay away from these vehicles equipped with Auto Stop. I own a 2019 Equinox which is equipped with this feature without any way to bypass or disable it. It is the worst feature I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing in driving a vehicle! I have parked my Equinox until I can resell it. It’s 4 months old with less than 1000 miles on it. I am scared to drive it in town or where there’s traffic of any kind. Chevy built a decent vehicle then ruined it with a poorly designed, non effective way to save 8ozs of gasoline per year. Shame on Chevy. This vehicle is worse than a Vega!”

The automaker has issued more than 20 service bulletins discussing trouble with this engine. Among them, there is also documentation about oil leaks, excessive oil usage, stalling and poor performance. They have even outlined how to deal with the engine not starting at all. This isn’t something that owners of a new SUV should have to worry about. If they wanted a car that leaks oil and doesn’t start, they could save a lot of money buying an old junker instead. At least they would know they got what they paid for.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Equinox Engine Problems:

PURCHASED 2019 EQUINOX HAD 957 MILES ON IT WHEN “CHECK ENGINE” LIGHT APPEARED. TOOK IT INTO DEALERSHIP AND THEY SAID CODE WAS P0442 EVAP SMALL LEAK. THEY FOUND PURGE TUBE NOT SEATED FULLY. PRIOR TO DRIVING IT INTO DEALERSHIP WE SMELT GAS FUMES IN THE INTERIOR CABIN. 23 DAYS LATER “CHECK ENGINE” LIGHT APPEARED AT 1426 MILES. HEARD LOUD POP COMING FROM REAR OF CAR. AGAIN GAS FUMES CAN BE SMELT IN THE INTERIOR CABIN. DEALERSHIP SAID CODE P0442 AGAIN BUT IT WAS FROM THE EVAP CANISTER “O” RING FAILURE. THIS EMISSION SYSTEM SEEMS FAULTY AS IT IS A SEALED UNIT BUT SMELLING GAS FUMES IN THE INTERIOR IS NOT SAFE AT ALL.

WHILE DRIVING AT FREEWAY SPEEDS, THERE WAS A LOUD POP SOUND AND THEN THE ENGINE WENT INTO REDUCED POWER MODE & THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON. DEALER STATES THAT IT IS THE CHARGE COOLER AIR TUBE THAT BECOMES DETACHED FROM THROTTLE BODY. MULTIPLE SERVICE WRITERS HAVE STATED THERE IS NO OFFICIAL FIX FROM GM. TWO DEALERS HAVE CLAIMED TO “FIX” MY ISSUE, BUT IT WENT INTO THE SHOP AGAIN TODAY FOR THE FOURTH TIME FOR THE SAME ISSUE. FIRST OCCURRENCE WAS AT 149 MILES. NEXT THREE WERE BETWEEN 7500-8200 MILES. THE CAR HAS BEEN AT THE DEALERSHIPS THREE TIMES THE LAST 6 DAYS

SAME ISSUE AS MOST OF THE OTHER COMPLAINTS. WHILE DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY ABOUT 60 MPH WE HEARD A LOUD POP. WE THOUGHT WE HIT SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND THE WARNING THAT WE WERE LOSING POWER. WE DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING LEAKING AND THE MANUAL SAID IT WAS OKAY TO DRIVE WITH THE WARNING LIGHT. SINCE IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT THERE WERE NO OPEN CHEVY DEALERS WE NURSED IT HOME. THE NEXT MORNING WE TOOK IT TO THE DEALER WE BOUGHT THE CAR FROM AND THEY KNEW WHAT IT WAS RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE THEY HAD SOMEONE COME IN THE DAY BEFORE WITH THE SAME ISSUE, THE CLIP THAT CONNECTS A HOSE TO THE THROTTLE BODY POPPED OFF. THEY PUT THE HOSE BACK ON AND BUT KEPT THE VEHICLE SO THEY COULD PUT A NEW CLIP ON IT. IT’S BEEN TWO WEEKS AND WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE PART TO COME IN. THE CAR IS BRAND NEW, IT HAS 2000 MILES ON IT.

Problems with the Battery and Electrical System

When it comes to a car’s electrical system, everything needs to work correctly for the ultimate ride. From the battery to start the engine to the radio equipment, most components of the vehicle rely on electrical power.

This one driver took to Edmunds to talk about a problem they were experiencing related to the electrical failures. “I recently leased a 2019 Chevy Equinox , it only had 200 miles when I purchased. I been driving it but I have realized some technical problems. When I receive calls I can’t answer them over the car and it keeps ringing like if I was still receiving a call. The screen is now completely black. I can’t do anything I called to get it looked at what frustrates me is that I have to pay for this and I’ve only had the car for 3 months like that makes no sense !!!!! Please save yourself from a hassle I’m currently trying to see if any other person is having the same issues because if so they should do a recall. !!!!”

When looking at the service bulletins from the company, we see there are almost double the amount about the electrical system compared to all the trouble with the engine. This is a big warning sign that things aren’t right with this crossover. According to Service Bulletin 19NA034, it appears that the radio can change the settings for the Lane Change Assist and Cross Traffic Alert. Talk about scary. A driver can be heading down the road listening to the latest jam and find out that their safety systems aren’t working properly as a result. What will they choose – Taylor Swift or proper safety? It’s a tough call.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevy Equinox Electrical Problems:

THE INFOTAINMENT IN THE VEHICLE DOES NOT WORK PROPERLY. IT IS HIT OR MISS. EITHER IT WILL WORK AND I WILL NOT SEE ANY ISSUES OR IT WONT WORK. THE SOUND WILL NOT WORK WHICH THEN DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THE TURN SIGNAL NOISE TO WORK. THE AC FAN IS NOT SHOWING ON WHEN IT IS. THE SOFTWARE ON THIS DEVICE IS VERY GLITCHY.

THE AUTOSTOP FEATURE TURNED THE CAR OFF AND DID NOT TURN ON WHEN I PRESSED THE ACCELERATOR AND I WAS IN A INTERSECTION AND I WAITED FOR TEN MINUTES AND IT TURNED ON AGAIN. THE PROBLEM WAS WITH THE COMPUTER WHICH WASN’T WORKING.

VEHICLE LOST ALL POWER WHILE PULLING INTO A 4 WAY MAIN ROAD. VEHICLE EMERGENCY LIGHTS/FLASHERS DID NOT WORK. COMPLETE ELECTRICAL FAILURE. CAR WAS STALLED IN ACTIVE TRAFFIC LANE DURING NIGHT TIME HOURS. VEHICLE WAS TOWED INTO DEALER FOR FULL DIAGNOSTIC REVIEW- NO ISSUE WAS FOUND WITH VEHICLE, ALTHOUGH SEVERAL EEC TEST CODES WERE DETECTED- P0627, P0629, P01400, U18A2, U1524 AND U18B4+71- MOST CODES HAVING TO DO WITH FUEL PUMP/EMISSION ISSUES. OWNER OF VEHICLE CONSIDERS THIS A SERIOUS ISSUE AS CAR STALLED AT NIGHT, IN A HEAVY TRAFFIC AREA WITH NO LIGHTING OR EMERGENCY FLASHERS WORKING TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FROM ON-COMING TRAFFIC. EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WERE CALLED TO ASSIST.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system in a vehicle is responsible for transferring the gasoline to the engine and making the SUV move. When there’s a problem, drivers experience issues getting the car to respond properly and might not be able to drive at all.

One person wrote this review on the NHTSA website about their Equinox. “Purchased car on 6/21/2019. On 6/22/2019 while driving, I heard a pop in the engine compartment. The vehicle had 400 miles. I lost power while driving. I took to a Chevrolet dealership. Diagnosis was a clip on the fuel injector had broken. New fuel injector line had to be replaced.”

It’s not a surprise that the automaker has several bulletins related to the fuel system as well. #17NA265 talks about a thumping or fluttering sound coming from the rear of the vehicle, while #N182199610 alerts technicians that the high-pressure fuel pump may crack and cause a fuel leak. If that’s not enough, there are multiple reports of engines not receiving enough fuel and failing to start. This just goes to prove that the Equinox is not “ready when you are.” It will only work when it wants to, which doesn’t appear to be that often.

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Share your story

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8 COMMENTS
  • Candace

    I purchased a 2019 Equinox January 2019. It was 6 months or more before I began noticing issues with the autostop feature. It just stopped working (which was fine with me because it’s a crap feature anyway), but the dealership could never diagnose the issue stating nothing was wrong. To this day my autostop has not worked. Fast forward another few months….my Equinox began shutting off immediately after starting the engine. It would start then just shut off. It would be fine after starting it up a second time. I addressed this issue with the dealership when I took the car in for its second regular service. They couldn’t find any problems. This happens on and off, and doesn’t seem to cause any real problems. At this point it’s more of an annoyance. Sometimes I have to restart the vehicle twice.

    My car has been known to idle rough while stopped at a red light. Again, this doesn’t happen consistently, and no warning lights have appeared. I chalked it up to a sluggish engine because the AC is always running. (I live in AZ, and this is something the dealership encouraged when I purchased the car) Since the dealership claims they can never find any problems, I assume there’s really nothing I can do.

    There are glitchy issues with the camera system and infotainment system. Sometimes my camera views will be wonky, and I have to turn the car off and back on to correct the issue. Sometimes my radio volume turns up on its own or is all the way up when I start my car, and I am unable to adjust the volume. This has happened twice. Again, the dealership claims nothing is wrong, as they can never seem to get my car to replicate any of these issues when they have it in for service.

    My car only has 11000 miles on it. It’s still well under warranty. There should be NO issues at all. I’m now looking to trade it in.

  • Joshua

    Equinox LT 2019 59kmi I’ve had several bugs with my electrical. Its happened a few times, not consistent. My screen stays black. Unable to adjust anything or change it. I turn tge car off, open the door then restart it to fix it.

    My transmission is now failing, it shifts very hard into 2nd all the way to 4th gear, 5th and 6th feel fine.

    Things I don’t like is the Increased rpm demand when it’s under 20 degrees out. It forces the car to shift at higher rpm to push moisture out. I originally took it in due to that stating something was wrong. After 5 days, they “dealership” said that’s how its built.

    Auto stop, sounds nice but it’s crap. Oy works typically in the summer for me. Dur to it will only shut off if their is no voltage demand. Winter in Alaska, my heater is all ways on.

    Heating-vent options. When its under 0 degrees any selection of heat through vents my windows fog up. I have to keep it at defrost max only and adjust the temp as needed. Sadly it stays between 78-81 degrees.

    Auto start, I have to hit my lock button twice before I hit my auto start for it to work.

    I had a 2017 equinox LS, imo it ran a lot better then the 2019.

  • Don W

    My 2019 Equinox has 11000 miles. The issues started earlier than this. Sometimes, the radio comes on all by itself (when I start the car) and the radio will be loud and other times while driving the radio goes black or the screen stays on, but the sound cannot be adjusted. Then sometimes the auto-stop works and sometimes it doesn’t. Worse of all, when placing the car in reverse, the car don’t move. I have called corporate there has been cases opened. The bad thing about this is a case only will remain open 30 days. There are videos. The dealer never gets any codes. I wonder if this is an electrical issue.

  • Brooke J

    My 2019 Equinox has 12000 miles. The dashboard dims on and off and the radio comes on all by itself. The screen has a mind of its own and displays whatever it wants. Everytime I use the autostart the rear defroster comes on (dont always need to defrost). Sometimes the autostop works and sometimes it doesnt. Mine makes a constant whistling sound while driving like a window is cracked open. It sounds like a airplane coming in for a landing. Wishing I would have never purchased this vehicle.

  • Ginny N

    We bought a 2019 Equinox in April of 2019, it wasn’t until the summer of 2020, when I started it to go home from work, and it was mis firing, and ran REALLY rough. it has 29,000 miles. I didn’t think much of it, until it did it again, and again, and again…… we brought it to the dealership where we bought it from, they said there was a bulletin on that, so they re-programmed a module. that lasted 5 days. we brought it back, and they said there was nothing they could do with it, as it didn’t throw a code. they spoke to GM and GM told us we just have to live with it. It now lunges forward, and we have to be careful not to be close to anyone as we come to a stop sign. I was at a bank, and the auto-stop kicked it off. when it came back on, it was lunging, and the whole car was rocking….but they say there is nothing to be done with it…. We are looking to change to a Ford, or Chrysler, something other than GM!! Anyone else have this problem? And how do we get rid of this accident waiting to happen??

  • Bobby P

    I found a way to disengage the auto start /auto stop feature on 2019 Chevy equinox. What you do While stationary. Start the car, then put the car into manual mode. Use the button on top of the shifter to switch gears to 6th. You will be able to see what gear you are in on the dash control, by the speedometer. Now drive the car around for a few minutes (10mins). The car will automatically shift like it’s in automatic. Now when you put your equinox in to drive the auto start / auto stop feature will no longer be engaged. I don’t know exactly how long it lasts but, for me it’s at least a couple weeks to a month. When the feature (auto/start) turns back on I just repeat and have auto /start free driving

  • Bob E

    My 2019 Equinox had a similar problem. Water had accumulated in spare tire cavity. I took pictures, cleaned and dried out the tire cavity. Brought vehicle to dealer, showed them the pictures. They said it took awhile, but after spraying water on outside of vehicle and inspecting on inside, they found a leak in rear passenger side window. Window was removed and resealed. Issue was fixed. Vehicle was at dealer for about 4 days (I had a loaner car). I am very satisfied with service.

  • Tracy C

    I leased a 2019 equinox in sept 2018. It is at the dealership again because it is getting water in it. Originally I was told it was getting in the driverside tail light and it was replaced. They gave it back to me with still soaked carpet and water in the spare tire compartment after I was told it would be dried out before being put back together and returned to me. I found there was still water in the back. The dealership took it back and removed the carpet and replaced it. Two weeks later after it sat it my driveway, it had water in the spare tire compartment again. I am now concerned that there might be mold in the undersides of the seats and potential damage to the electrical under the seats due to the water. I am filing a complaint with the BBB as I think GM should buy it back. It has been at the dealership off and on for close to 2 months including a full month at one time.

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