2018 Chevrolet Equinox Problems and Complaints


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2018 Chevrolet Equinox SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: April 27, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

Chevrolet pins a lot of hope on the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox. This is a category that finds a lot of buyers and hence can mean a lot of sales for the brand. However, the car never caught on much and the reason is that it is not very reliable. With 197 issues reported this very year, the brand has tried its best to follow up with 5 recalls. Prices for the Equinox start at an MSRP of $24,995 without options and get slightly more expensive as you go up the trim levels. However, with the competition including names like the Mazda CX-5, the Toyota RAV4, and the Hyundai Tucson, it needs more than that to capture the market. Let us evaluate how successful they have been in solving Chevrolet Equinox issues through this article.

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2018 Chevrolet Equinox User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical problems:

  1. A few owners have had issues with the transmission system of the car. It has delayed shifting of gears and sometimes holds a gear for too long.
  2. One of the most common Chevy Equinox issues is that it jerks violently when drivers take their foot off the brake or sometimes refuses to start back up after shutting down. This is due to the stop/start feature engaging and as an extension of the same issue, owners are facing problems with the service brake assist, parking brake, hill start assist, and so on.
  3. Many owners have faced engine problems with the 2018 Chevy Equinox 1.5 turbo. This was concerning the turbocharged over boost and the vehicle was not providing full power. It was found that this mostly happens in colder climates. However, even after fixing the issue, the RPMs are running high and the car is not shifting properly.
  4. Chevy Equinox acceleration problems have been seen from time to time. Even when the pedal is depressed, especially in cold weather conditions, the car does not respond. This can cause multiple accidents. Multiple exhaust leaks and fuel system problems are being reported.
  5. Many owners have had the check engine light being on inside the vehicle despite doing proper maintenance. This could be due to an oil pump issue.
  6. A lot of owners had problems with the steering system of the car. While making a sharp right turn or left turn from a standstill, the vehicle makes a grinding noise and vibrates the steering wheel. Other people have faced light delays in the action of steering or a loss of steering assistance. 
  7. Many owners have faced issues with the brake system of their car. They say that it squeaks beyond an acceptable level. But the most common issue seems to be that the vacuum pump malfunctions and the brakes are not able to engage at all.
  8. A few owners have faced issues with the brake pedal being too stiff while engaging and hence causing crashes.
  9. Many owners have written about excessive tire wear of the car. It seems to be an alignment issue.
  10. Many people have had issues in which the rims of the car separate the spokes from the barrel. This can cause a loud sound and loss of vehicle control.

Electrical system problems:

  1. Although rare, few owners have reported issues with the power adjustment of the seat malfunctioning. It can sometimes change the position of the seats on its own. Some cars have also reported mirrors doing the same. Talking about power adjustment issues, the privacy screen, and the sunroof are known to have issues as well.
  2. Very few owners have reported issues with the Bluetooth system of the car. They say that during calls, the other person is not able to hear them. Others have had the radio screen as well as the driver information display shutting down randomly. The infotainment screen has also been complained to be very bright during the night. Although there is an adjustment present, owners are mostly not able to do that.
  3. Few owners have reported multiple issues with the car due to the Chevy Equinox battery drain problems. The car issues random warning lights because the batteries are not providing adequate voltage.
  4. An unfortunate owner had the car smelling like burnt plastic. When the owner pulled over and got out of the car, it burst into flames.
  5. Many owners have faced problems with the air-conditioning system of their car. Routing problems, cooling issues, and so on, the problems do not seem to end.
  6. In a few cases, the windshield wipers of the car stopped working. It has been reported by multiple owners.

Miscellaneous problems:

  1. Many owners have had issues with the sunroof water drainage system. This means to clear water and this water can be trapped inside the spare tire compartment which is lined with felt. Hence, it can produce a very bad odor.
  2. Although it is common in many cars, several Equinox owners have also had the sunroof shatter without any impact on it. The same problem also applies to the front windows.
  3. A few owners have said that the vehicle door locks do not function properly after heavy rain or a car wash. The car has then got to be unlocked through the physical key present in the fob.

Safety problems:

  1. One owner reported that the seat belt buckles would not release. Other people have said that it is not comfortable for people of medium height. Other ergonomic issues include the driver and passenger seat height being too low.
  2. The active safety features of the car like lane keep assist are known to steer people into danger due to malfunctions.
  3. There have been multiple instances in which the vehicle did not deploy an airbag or make any attempt to protect the occupant despite the crashes often being life-threatening.
  4. One car had an issue in which the airbag warning light goes on when the passenger buckles their seatbelts. The service center refused to repair it under warranty. Many cars have had the issue of airbag warning lights coming on.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Recalls

S. No.


NHTSA Campaign Number

Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks



October 29, 2020


Missing bolts on the start-stop accumulator

The accumulator end cap missing a few bolts can result in a transmission oil leak

Dealers will inspect and replace the accumulator


August 30, 2018


Insufficient coating on rear brake caliper

Insufficient coating can cause gas pockets to form and reduce the braking performance

Dealers will bleed the brake system


May 31, 2018


Fuel pump flange weld can fracture

This can result in a damaged fuel line which can leak

Dealers will replace the high-pressure fuel pump and pipes


April 19, 2018


Glass not correctly tempered

The glass can break if the tempering is not correct

Dealers will replace the glass in the front doors


August 22, 2017


Driveshaft can fracture and separate

A driveshaft separating will result in loss of vehicle propulsion

The driveshaft will be replaced

Should you buy the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Chevrolet Equinox finds itself in a category with a lot of established players that are quite good at what they do. Despite the recent Chevy Equinox oil leak recall and other attempts the brand has made to fix the car’s issues, it is still nowhere near as reliable. What further disappoints us is that it is not quite as capable as well. Hence, there is no point in going for this car and our pick would be the Mazda CX-5.

Important 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Links:

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