2020 Chevy Equinox Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

As consumers look toward bigger and better SUVs, the 2020 Chevrolet Equinox still maintains a strong customer base. This two-row crossover is a top option, with the automaker claiming it is “ready when you are.” However, customers find that the engine, fuel system, service brakes and powertrain are anything but ready.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018    2019

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Problems with the Engine

A strong engine is a vital component of any reliable vehicle. With the Equinox, this is one part that simply disappoints.

Read this NHTSA review. “Vehicle completely lost engine response reaction to acceleration pedal from a yield turn into main road. From the yield, slow rolling less than 1 mile per hour, I stepped on the gas pedal to merge into the main road and the vehicle had zero response for nearly 30 feet. If there was a car coming I would not have been able to avoid being completely hit in the side. I pumped the gas pedal in an attempt to regain any response, after several pumps the engine RPMs increased drastically to 3000 without upshifting at the proper time and the vehicle surged ahead. Odometer reading 2376. 1200-mile service completed. 2400-mile vehicle service scheduled. Filled tank 37.8 miles prior to event with 89 octane. Roughly 35 to 40 degrees.”

This is just the beginning of trouble with the Equinox engine. Service Bulletin #PIP5598B talks about the possibility of the engine not starting or having an extended crank issue. The trouble is related to an exhaust cam reluctor that is out of position. In reality, this SUV is “ready when you are,” unless it’s time to actually go somewhere. Instead, it might be better to simply sit behind the wheel and enjoy the technology instead.

Problems with the Fuel System

With a reliable fuel system, any drive is enjoyable. However, that’s not the case with the Equinox models.

One Edmunds review points out, “The electronic gas pedal is horrible! You can barely touch it and it takes off like a rocket ship, and other times you step on it and it has a good 2-5 second lag before it even revs up.”

There is a recall related to the fuel system as well. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V667000 says that some vehicles have a fuel tank featuring an improperly sealed seam. If this is the case, fuel can leak along the seal, leading to a higher risk of fire. Having an SUV that can burst into flames doesn’t give anyone the confidence needed to get going at any time.

Problems with the Brakes

Just as vital as going is the stopping function with a vehicle. If the brake system isn’t working the way it should, the occupants are in serious danger.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chevrolet Equinox. While driving 5 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle started to shake excessively. The Check Engine Warning Light and Traction Control Warning Light were illuminated. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] where a diagnostic test and repair was still pending. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 400.”

It turns out, there is another recall to pay attention to, this time related to the braking system. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V704000 states that some vehicles have the wrong lubricant on the rear brake calipers. With this mistake, the brake calipers could drag, which will cause overheating of the pads, thereby inhibiting stopping power. Hopefully, this trouble doesn’t present itself at the same time that a driver is attempting to stop the car to get out of it before it burns to the ground.

Problems with the Transmission

Finally, a look at the powertrain reveals even further defects with this Equinox model.

Here’s one complaint left on the Edmunds website. “BEWARE. MY 2020 AWD LT equinox is in the service center at the moment for fluid leaking out of the transmission. It has 500 miles on it and I have had it for 3 months!!!!!  I wanted a reliable safe car. Very disappointed and frustrated.  I would give 0 stars.”

Chevy is aware of powertrain problems, even issuing Service Bulletin #17NA106. This communication talks about an interior boom sound that exhibits itself while driving in high gear at low speeds. Whether this Chevy SUV is creating weird noises or blowing fire out from under the hoods, it’s like a Mission Impossible message – ready to self-destruct.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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1 COMMENT
  • Brenda S

    7:21 p.m.-3/13/2021: I purchased a 2020 Equinox Premier November 4, 2020.I drove to Labcorp, had a test done, got in my car to go home my 2020 Equinox would not start. My 2020 Equinox Premier is at the Dealership in the shop for a bad Fuel pump and a bad module. What will go bad next?

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