The day we sold our 1999 Prizm, we went to pick up our Equinox. Our boys were getting bigger and we wanted a more substantial family hauler. The Equinox first came on the scene in 2006, and a completely new and larger model emerged for the 2010 model year. It is built at a plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, roughly 130 miles east of Detroit , along with the GMC Terrain.
This generation was a great seller for GM in the midsize crossover segment, and they soldiered on with minimal changes until the 2018 model year when it was 100% revamped. At the time, I believe we paid $24,500 for the car, not a small sum, at least to me. Long since paid off, we have had this car going on 8 years, and 117,000 miles. It’s been a perfectly fine, if unexciting vehicle for us. Mrs. C is the primary driver. Unusual for me, I don’t have too much to say about it.
I do believe GM got a lot right on this car for it’s intended mission. Its competition includes vehicles like the RAV4, CRX and Escape. It’s roomy for 5, comfortable in back, and is handsome on the outside. The interior has a sporty aesthetic to it with a slate grey on light grey two tone look, which I like. There are a lot of hard plastics, the upside being it’s held up well. The two tone seats have a fabric that while not plush, is very durable. There are no ergonomic gaffes in terms of placement of controls and lots of handy storage. It was our first car with XM Radio and Onstar, as well as conveniences like bluetooth , phone connectivity and built in USB ports. All work well.
Driving it? An emphatic MEH. Its weighs almost 4,000 pounds, and wallows in and out of corners. But then again it is not reasonable to expect it to handle like a sports sedan is it? It’s motivated by a 180 hp 2.4L twin cam Ecotec 4, which has to work very hard to move that kind of mass. It is loud and buzzy enough to make that very clear. In Eco mode, the 6 speed transmission does a lot of shifting to get to optimal efficiency. Once at highway speed though, it hums along perfectly fine.
Fuel economy is stated at 22 MPG city, 32 MPG highway. I cannot see under any conditions except in a laboratory that you would get 32MPG in this car. We get 20 MPG around town, and 26-27 MPG on the highway. If I could do it over again maybe I would’ve opted for the V-6, althought an overwhelming majority of buyers opt for the four. As you will see shortly, there is another reason why the 6 might of been a better choice.
Reliability wise, it’s been good, with just one trip to the dealer for a check engine light for rough running in the first year, which was resolved same-day. Life went on merrily after that. In the summer of 2016 however, at 72,000 miles, the transmission imploded. I received a panic call from Mrs. C as the car was immobile and caused a half mile back up on a major road during rush hour. I hopped in, talked to it sweetly, and coaxed it 100 yards to a nearby strip mall parking lot. It it was 100% covered under the warranty, which expired at 75,000 miles.
Right now at 115,000 miles, it is using a lot of oil – about a quart per thousand miles . Nine months ago, Mrs. C took it to our mechanic stating “somethings ticking”, and he found that’s because we were down almost 4 quarts of oil. Research shows that the consumption problem is widely known with this engine. Rumors of a class action lawsuit are all over the Internet but I’m not sure if any of them are legit.
It’s been going back to the dealership for that to be checked every 1,000 miles. This week the service advisor said I was a quart low after my second trip back in. After the next one they will petition GM to authorize a warranty repair. GM can deny it, cover it 100% or pay a portion. Not sure where this will end up, but it’d be nice if they’d fix it. It makes me angry. Modern engines just should not have this issue. There is a GM service bulletin and something of a silent recall on this problem. The service advisor told me that while the engine does not have to be removed to replace the pistons, a repair cost would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.
Crossovers don’t really do it for me. Yes, they have great utility and are good family cars, I just find them …very dull. It is the family pack mule, and while we maintain it, we don’t baby it. I might of waxed it once, but I don’t remember and come to think of it, I don’t think I did. We stuff it to the gills for shopping, camping and vacations and don’t give it much thought. There are plenty of scuffs, nicks, bumps and bruises inside and out. I’m starting to see rust in conspicuous places, and on white cars it’s going to look like it has acne. This climate and these roads are just very hard on cars.
Mrs. C is not really a car person, and doesn’t care much about what she drives so long as it doesn’t leave her stranded. She is working from home now and driving a lot less. Despite it being 8 years old and showing it’s age, objectively it’s perfectly fine for our current needs. And no payment on it is definitely a huge bonus.
But…what if GM doesn’t address the engine oil consumption issue? What do we do? Multiple choice: A). Get rid of an otherwise functioning car and buy new, or newer? B). Pay for an expensive engine repair and extend its life? Or C) No warranty fix offered- just be fastidious about watching the oil? At this point, we’re in it for the long haul, so probably C for now at least. What say the CC community?
Modern engines shouldn’t have an oil consumption problem. Yet GM is not the only manufacturer with exactly that problem. There is Toyota and VW, Audi and probably a few more. What happens is that the small passages of the oil control rings get clogged with sludge and the sludge keeps the oil control rings from doing their job. In many cases an internal cleaning of the engine can solve the issue for some time. Here is one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuIdWfw1aRk
Do that or go with your option C.
What actually causes the sludge problem? I would think that with a high-grade, full-synthetic oil (and I’m talking about a ‘real’ synthetic here, not one of those quasi-semi-synthetic refined dino-oil blends), sludge build-up (and the subsequent oil burning it causes) would not be an issue.
Not in the laboratory. Daily use however provides different conditions. Burning hydrocarbons produces Co2 and H2O. Burning it under pressure also produces Nitrous Oxides (NOX) and soot. The oil can wash that stuff off until it is saturated. The more frequent the car is not getting to operating temperature the faster the saturation is achieved.
Even as a grade school kid; I can still recall the look of incredulous bemusement on my Father’s face when the Ford Factory Rep assured my Father that using a quart of oil every 600 miles was “normal and acceptable” for my Mother’s brand new FE 390 powered ’66 Ford station wagon.
HOW times (and tolerances) have changed!
I believe this was acceptable and normal. Then tolerances got tighter and oil consumption dropped, then oil got thinner and we have new problems.
600 mi/qt was not normal, and certainly not acceptable even in the ’60s.
My ’63 Ford wagon w/ 352 was getting 1600 mi/qt when traded in ’69 with 110k miles on it, but we did change oil every 3 k and used top quality oil (for the time), 10w40, not the thin oils of today.
So, it’s the thin oil that causes the problem? Is this the reason for the myriad choices in oil formulation, such as the ‘high mileage’ blends that are advertised?
No. It is the combination of things.
The myriad of oil choices is mostly marketing hype.
You’re confusing two very different oiling issues. The sludge problem affecting older Toyota V6s and VWAG 4 cylinders had more to do with inadequately sized oil passages in the head, which combined with high head temperatures allowed oil to burn and sludge, clogging the passages and leading to inadequate oiling.
The newer issues, experienced by GM, Hyundai/Kia, and Toyota all on 2.4L fours, and Honda on 3.7 V6s, all have to do with cylinder wall scoring or simple blowby relating to weak liner material or weak piston ring material. I believe GM also has some valve seat issues contributing on the 2.4. Nissan also had scoring issues on their older QR25, but it happened catastrophically due to either exploding manifold cat substrate being sucked into the cylinders or a faulty butterfly valve linkage losing hardware into the cylinders, instantly scoring the walls and leading to major oil use.
A coworker with a 2011 Terrain and a friend with a 2011 Equinox had letters sent to them about this issue. Hopefully yours is covered as well. The guy with the Terrain had the engine repaired, and is chasing them for damage done to the catalytic converter by the oil burning. It had melted.
Keep after them, and contact GM corporate as well, and state that you’ve been a loyal customer in the past. Hopefully it will help.
I’d at least consider going back to the dealership and make it known that you are not happy about the car and are considering going to another brand. See how the sales department reacts to that. Maybe they’ll give you a bit more for your trade or take a little bit off the price of a new car. After all, there are a lot of Chevrolet models on the chopping block right now. There are probably decent deals available for the new Equinox as well.
I think the rust issue also needs to be taken into consideration. If you’re already seeing rust on the doors, what does the suspension and undercarriage look like? Imagine having to replace a rusted out control arm or brake line. Not cheap. Trading it in or selling it makes it someone else’s problem. Your Equinox is pretty much at the point where it might make more sense to take the money reserved for repairs and put it towards something newer.
Try this – add a bottle of motor flush, following their directions, then change the oil. Let it drip for as long as possible to get all the old oil out. Then add a can of Restore , and finish with Castrol GTX High Mileage. Install a high quality filter, and just drive it.
Aren’t you trying to do too much at once? A solvent to clean out stuff, a friction modifier to fill in scratches and a high mileage rubber conditioner for the oil seals. If this changes anything how are you going to tell what the underlying problem was?
If the solvent fixes the problem you know it was sludge. If it doesn’t you are still at square 1.
Sounds like an old GM story to me. Major engine issue and dealer dangling the maybe carrot, plastic interior, premature rust..
However at 8 years & 115 miles that’s well, sort of almost acceptable but by no means excellent.
I’d go with plan C as well, maybe spring for a low mileage wrecking yard engine swap if you intend to keep it a while longer. Not too late for Krown rustproofing either, that’ll stop or significantly slow down the rust.
Our old ’98 Trooper V6 had a designed in oil use problem right from the start, supposedly the oil scraper rings had too-small holes, and it used 1 qt/1k mi always. We watched the level fastidiously, changed every 3k, and my son is still driving it as a woods car in VT with 230k miles. Many self-destructed due to low oil levels resulting from not being watched closely.
Japanese engineering refinements result in our older (of 2) old-school real SUV ’05 Xterra with dohc 265 hp V6 & VVT moving a 4500 lb off-road capable truck with alactrity and still get 20 mpg city, 25-27 on trips, in the real world. It now has 190,000 miles and uses NO oil between 3k oil changes with cheap Valvoline regular ol’ dino oil The Nissan VQ V6 is one of the all-time great engines, it was on Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for longer than any other engine ever. Snow White is finally starting to get some NY rust though. We like it so much we bought another one, Kermit, a frog-green with frog eyes Pro4-X this time, before Nissan stopped Xterra production. With only 40k now, he gets babied and we plan to make it last forever. The old one has become a sacrificial beater, but still in daily use. Imho Japanese vehicles rule! I
I always find it odd and reassuring when I see other people with multiples of the same car. We are in the same boat. Have 2 saabs – a 2008 and a 2009. I guess when you find something you like, you hop on it. It sure does make keeping spare parts and consumables on hand. 1 type of oil, 1 type of oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, whatever.
To the author – I would do some soul searching on how long you intend to keep this car. The problem is not so much the oil burning – you can easily keep up with 1 qt every other week or whatever – its the problem of potentially having to deal with a catalytic converter down the line. So do the analysis and see if you think you’ll be happy dealing with this annoyance for another couple of years – with the potential of having to put a new cat. in it. Maybe it will be fine. Plus – you can now have the fun and joy of messing around with the plethora of engine oil additives, snake oils and miracle cures!
Randerson just how slow are you driving on the highway to get 25-27 MPG out of an Xterra? I find this highly implausible, sorry.
I’d like to see this as well. If there is a secret sauce way of driving, I’d like to be privy to it. Xterra fuel economy should be very similar to my 4.0 4Runner, and the only time I achieved 25mpg in that was with a 30-40 mph tailwind at 70mph.
I’ve heard of guys coaxing 22-23mpg out of the stick shift 4.0L Xterras by keeping speeds closer to 60-65mph on the highway, that’s about it. I researched 2nd gen Xterras extensively at one point when I was looking to upgrade from my 3rd gen 4Runner to something newer (liked the price and availability of a stick on the Xterras). The lack of cargo space and tight 2nd row for rear facing child seats, and unsettled rear end (leaf sprung) dissuaded me. But boy they are fun to pound around town in with that burly 4.0L hooked up to a stick and Nissan’s aggressive throttle mapping.
The last oil burner my family had was my son’s Toyota. It burned one quart in a couple of hundred miles. I can understand being unhappy with your engine oil issue.
My son’s 1994 dodge dakota v6 with 175k doesn’t even burn that much oil per thousand miles yet.
Back in 2011, when I had the duty (annoyance?) of being the fleet manager at work as an “other duty as assigned”, I purchased three of these in AWD configuration.
Your experiences mimic what I’ve seen and experienced, particularly with driving them. I had not heard of the oil consumption issue until now. Why does this not surprise me?
Looks wise I like these much more than the new Equinox. Driving however, is a different story as the new one does not have the seat of the pants power deficit seen in this vintage.
Of your three options, I’d choose “C” and keep driving it. A periodic but ongoing quart of oil is a darn sight cheaper than upgrading or purchasing new, particularly since it sounds like you aren’t putting nearly as many miles on it as you had been.
This is what frustrates me about so many modern American cars. GM (and Ford and Chrysler) knows better but everything is about low cost and light weight and durability be damned. I have been a longtime American car homer, but will admit to being completely spoiled by the Asian car ownership experience in recent years.
As for advice? As tempted as I am to say just keep driving it, I think I would trade it. Between the high oil consumption and the rust (and the possibility of another transmission failure on the horizon) I think this one’s best years may be behind it.
Agreed. It especially bothers me when the Big Detroit 3 (generally GM) introduce niche products instead of investing in improving the quality and reliability of their existing ones. A reputation for good reliability and quality is an absolute treasure to have. Look at Toyota: years of making reliable cars has made them almost synonymous with reliability, meaning people often recommend them and others will happily buy them knowing they’re a safe choice, even if they might not be the freshest/cheapest/best-equipped/most exciting choice.
I’ve been a tech at a Chevy dealer for about a year and a half and we have people with Equinoxes come in all the time for an “oil consumption test.” Basically we check their oil, top it off and document the mileage and how much it’s using. I overheard one of the service advisors telling a customer that using a quart of oil in 1,000 miles is normal. I asked him later if he really believed that was true and he said of course not, but he’s not going to lose his job over it. I asked some of the more senior techs and they said GM used bad/cheap piston rings in these engines and doesn’t want to pay to fix their mistake. A modern car shouldn’t burn oil, plain and simple.
There is a pending class action, but who knows If it’s going anywhere. I genuinely feel bad for people who bought those cars.
We had to do that with our 05 Lacrosse that we bought new with the 3.8 V6. It was using a quart every 1000 miles from day one, GM said it was acceptable. By the time it had 10k miles it was puffing blue smoke when accelerating. We traded it after a year and it sat on the Buick dealer’s lot for about 6 months before it disappeared. My 97 Grand Cherokee that I was driving at the time with the 4.0 straight 6 and 230k miles never used a drop between oil changes.
It’s too bad about the oil consumption issues. Unfortunately, oil consumption is a problem that effects many different modern engines, regardless of make. Hopefully GM will cover the repair. If not, you may consider looking at doing an engine cleaning to see if that helps. I’d be weary of solvent based cleaners, there are more modern alternatives. High mileage oil has seal conditions but also tends to be a bit thicker at temperature which helps reduced consumption. Check out a website like Bobistheoilguy.com where there are lots of people who have real knowledge of tribology (study of lubrication, wear, etc). They may be able to give you advice on that particular engine and methods that may reduce oil consumption. There is a lot of misinformation about motor oil on the internet, far more bad info than good.
If I were you, I’d consider selling/trading this car sooner than later. While it has served okay up until this point, even if GM does fix the engine, I am always weary or an engine tech doing major internal repairs when working flat rate. Some are good, but many cut corners and can be careless. Obviously you have to do what works for you financially and it is generally cheaper to keep an old car and pay for repairs over buying a new vehicle.
The rust on the door bottoms isn’t uncommon around here. Many of our Fords in our are notorious for rusting on the door bottoms. The paint peels off and they rust shortly thereafter.
I vote for C. Buy the cheapest oil you can find and just keep adding. Whatever class action lawsuits are out there, GM will eventually have to pay them off. They did on my 98 Bonneville upper intake manifold claim, although I had to wait until after the bankruptcy was settled for the check.
After having been GM for years, this is why I wouldn’t buy one myself nor would I recommend one to anyone else. A new transmission at 72,000 miles is ridiculous and the engine using that much oil is terrible. GM used to build the best engines and transmissions in the business and a lot of other things may have broken on the car, but the engines and transmissions went forever. A friend has a 2014 Cruze he leased, then bought off the lease, and the transmission went out at 53000 miles, and he takes very good care of his cars. It’s sad to see that GM really has gotten worse in recent years compared to some of the past products.
I can’t even fathom how GM could get any worse. The last good cars they built were the B Bodies, and only to 1979. Everything from that point has been downhill crap.
What is even more amazing is how anyone would buy one, given the amount of information around regarding the quality of automobiles in general.
I kind of hoped, yet again, that GM could really get past its Corporate Crap Culture, but alas my hopes have been dashed yet again.
GM is now in a death spiral and good thing, too. The Cruz is a perfect example. It is being cut because it is crap and consumers don’t buy it. It is GM that has shafted the workers making the things, not the union. The union would love to make a quality product but GM has never let it.
When I was car shopping, I tried every brand except GM and Mitsubishi. I didn’t even bother with them.
GM products often do better in reliability surveys than Ford and Chrysler products so why didn’t you ignore them too? As for Mitsubishi, it may be a “loser” brand in the US with some very dated products but their reliability and build quality don’t appear to be that bad, albeit I’m sure inferior to Honda/Toyota.
I’m not defending a transmission failure at 72,000 miles, which is utterly ridiculous. But to say GM hasn’t made a good car since the late 1970s is a bit of a sweeping generalization. I do wish GM could get their reliability up to Japanese levels but the gulf has narrowed between Japanese and American automakers. And as for the products themselves, there have been plenty of good GM products in the past few decades.
I was disappointed in the new Cruze because it doesn’t move the needle that much further from the quite good first Cruze (which again, yes, wasn’t as reliable as cars from Honda and Toyota). But I would call it average at worst, certainly not “crap”.
Plenty of good products at GM? Name me one. I used to work as a GM service advisor. That was in 2006 and every single product they sold then was junk. Every one. They went belly up after that.
They had a chance to improve their quality after going belly up, but didn’t.
Even better: go plunk your own hard earned cash on the hood of a GM vehicle.
Hey, I’d struggle to find a North American GM product in 2006 I’d have plunked down money on. That was a year of mediocre-to-poor product, of Uplanders and Cobalts and Envoys and stuff I wouldn’t touch.
After that? The ’08 and ’13 generations of Malibu. The current Impala. My understanding is the Lambda (now C1) platform of full-size crossovers are fairly reliable and well-built. The current and previous generations of Buick LaCrosse.
I’ve always been a fan of GM but very little in their current fleet (Cadillac excluded) stands out above the competition for me so I’m not being naive/blind. Their products are generally good but the competition is brutal, especially in the mid-size and crossover segments where I generally prefer Korean rivals and Mazda products.
I don’t blame you for being skeptical of GM, especially considering your experience as a service advisor during a real low point for them. And I fully concede that the Japanese still have the edge in reliability and quality. But you still haven’t explained why you would consider a Ford or Chrysler but not a GM product, and frankly I don’t think you’re going to be able to convince me all GM products are junk and I’m not going to be able to convince you they make good stuff.
Actually, I didn’t even consider a Ford or a Fiat, for obvious reasons.
William, you are young and I don’t think you have ever plunked $30k of your on money on the hood of anything. That makes me a discerning buyer.
It’s not the plunking down the money that becomes the problem as one ages, it’s what is put back on the table when it comes time to trade in for the next shiny thing. At some point, it becomes evident that Brand A, even if perhaps slightly more expensive at the outset, ends up being a vastly better decision than brand B once retained value is factored in. C66 may say that the Equinox owes him nothing especially if he ends up running it into the ground and it may well be worth not much anymore especially with its current foible but if you look at a RAV4 with similar mileage it’s not at all unreasonable to expect around (at least?) five figures for it. Since neither is a particularly engaging drive (it’s transportation, plain and simple) it is interesting how these get sold in the first place. The RAV4 was just a random example, CRV etc could also be used, not meaning to pick on C66 by any means.
Thanks so far for everyone’s advice. It sure seems strange that GM couldn’t get this right. Concerned about the catalytic converter problems. Unintended or unforeseen consequences in the piston design, or a bad supplier…we will never know. So, I am going to see what the dealer/GM has to say and if they do nothing…..it will be C in conjunction with investigating miracle cures and additives. This should play out in the next 4-6 weeks. I own it free and clear and if I get another couple years out of it, it won’t owe me a dime. I have another soon to be featured COAL I’m paying off soon…when that one is done maybe we replace it. By that time though my now 8th grader will need a car. And what a COAL it will be for him to remember to stay on top of the oil.
“And what a COAL it will be for him to remember to stay on top of the oil.”
This is a good lesson that most teen drivers never learn. My 93 Crown Vic was one of the early 4.6 cars with poor valve seals and the car needed a quart of oil every 2 or 3 weeks for pretty much the whole time we had it. “Have you checked the oil?” was part of our normal household conversation with all 3 of my kids. We added to the routine for awhile when the power steering pump was leaking from a bad shaft seal. Oil and ATF were always in the trunk and each of my three (daughter included) could check and add fluids with their eyes closed.
I’d say time to move on and trade it in now.
The letters that were sent to owners cap the warranty repair mileage at 120k miles, so your still in the range where GM should cover the repair, looks like it needs to be at under 2k miles per quart to be covered. As others has suggested, if GM doesn’t cover the repairs I would just add oil when needed.
I never much liked the Equinox. It seemed like it was the same old GM half-assing it in a lot of ways, doing their usual just keeping up with last year’s model from the competition. One of the most obvious was the inability to have a rear seat that folded down flat. AFAIK, all other CUVs of the time had this feature. I doubt this one with transmission and oil consumption issues is an isolated situation, either.
With that said, the new model Equinox has a rear seat that (finally) folds flat. It’s gotten good reviews (including from Car and Driver) with one exception: price. I guess it’s on the high end of new CUVs. With GM’s less-than-stellar reputation, I’d be hard pressed to buy one unless maybe they slathered on some big incentives to lower the price (and it would have to be quite a bit).
I thought these were damn good-looking crossovers, inside and out, and a good size too. And once they finally ditched that wretched 3.0 V6, paying extra for the V6 option became a very good idea. But I’m very disappointed to hear about your car’s reliability. A transmission failure that early is very disheartening.
If it were me, I wouldn’t pour money into a car when your wife doesn’t really care about cars and could be quite happy with something else. And I wouldn’t pour money into a car you don’t even really care about. It’ll always be tainted by its issues in your mind and you’ll be mad if anything else happens to it. I think it’s time to cut it loose.
To be fair, the Equinox ‘was’ a vast improvement over its predecessor, the archaic, Suzuki-based Geo/Chevrolet Tracker. Of course, that was a pretty low bar, too.
Class action has been filed in Florida!
Sorry to hear about that.
I would not hold my breath in regards to a class action lawsuit. If it gets settled, that most likely will be years from now. The longer GM runs the clock the less it will pay out in the long run as most of these cars will be in the scrap yard.
Toyota had issues with their 2.4l engine. These engines burned oil. Despite a lawsuit on this that was started in 2014, nothing has been done. It is nowhere near being settled and this engine has had these issues since the mid 2000’s and is in most of Toyota’s most popular cars. So good luck with GM settling anytime soon Toyota has not.
I would vote for C. Just buy a case of oil and keep it in the back and check the oil once a week.
Also it has over 100,000 miles so if GM does not fix it, don’t go out and buy that over priced Dexos oil that 2011+ GM vehicles “have to have” They don’t. After my 2011 Colorado went out of warranty, I stopped using the dexos oil in it and switched to the regular non dexos oil. The regular oil caused no issues at all. No sludge/ no blockage/ no leaking or burning. Nothing at all. I put about 70,000 miles on the truck after I made the switch to regular oil and it gave me no lick of trouble at all. I traded it in for my Hyundai back in Sept 2018.
I don’t know if it’ll help or not but my 2012 equinox has 142,800 miles on it right now, and it was eating oil. The last oil change I did, I did some consulting with one of my parts guys at work. He said add ATF to the fluid. Being skeptical at first, I asked why? He told me, it will just clean out built up oil through the system. Won’t harm the engine either. So I added half a bottle of Walmart supertech ATF with the next oil change I did and I checked the oil Everytime I filled the gas tank and just when I took the car around the block, and it seems to have helped a lot. It hasn’t fixed the issue of oil consumption, but I didn’t have to add any oil and it stayed around the “full” or “safe” zone on the dipstick. Not saying it’ll help your issue too, but it’s totally worth a shot. It worked for me.
Sad to say, sounds like a typical newer GM product. Cost cut to hell, major mechanical problems by 100k miles, rust. My brother has diagnosed a second set of timing chains on a 2.4L Equinox at 110k miles. Fords and Chryslers depending on the model aren’t much different. Honda and Toyota are simply a decade or so behind on the cost cutting, but are generally speaking going down a similar path IMO. I would buy a 20 year old well kept H-body with a 3.8L before I ever touched one of the newer Chinesium-filled GMs, warranty or not.
My 1997 Ford Escort uses 1 qt of oil in 5k miles and has 178,000 miles on it. Most of the oil lost is likely from the valve cover gasket needing to be replaced. But I lose so little that it isn’t a big problem.
“Reliability wise, it’s been good…at 72,000 miles, the transmission imploded…now at 115,000 miles, it is using a lot of oil…consumption problem is widely known with this engine.”
I call foul! The first sentence cannot exist with the subsequent three.
I dunno, these looked very modern on the interior and are comfortable and quiet, but overweight, overthirsty, overtaxed, and apparently critically under-engineered would qualify this for an F in my book. You’ve been covered under warranty so far. I’d take the depreciation hit and sell it for something with a good track record. Even if that means switching brands.
Dull cars shouldn’t be expensive to own.
Yep, I’d be scrambling to get away from this thing. Heck I would have dumped it after the warrantied transmission replacement.
Say what you will, but even my brother’s wife’s 2010 Rogue made it to 186k on its CVT before it crapped out, the car was remarkably trouble-free aside from that, just a pair of sway bar links and a wheel bearing or two (she drove it through state game lands a lot as a short cut to her long commute). Rolling strong at 210k miles on the rebuilt CVT now, most recently he rebuilt the non-rebuildable rear driveshaft (staked in U joint). She has a vastly shorter commute now so that Rogue should last a number of years yet.
I think I meant to convey reliability was good up to 72,000 miles. Definitely it should not have these issues. No questions about that. Cost wise so far it’s been a set of tires and a set of brakes in 8 years, normal stuff.
Not going to sell something I own free and clear and that still works worrying about potential future repairs that may or may not happen . Depreciation doesn’t factor into this…in 8 years I’d say it’s nearly fully depreciated. Probably would net a $5,000 dealer trade. I’m willing to roll the dice a bit longer…the older I get the less I like car payments.
Oh I’m all for avoiding car payments, that’s what I do, but not by way of driving something that in all likelihood will continue disintegrating. In terms of long term ownership costs including repairs and depreciation, I hypothesize that something like a 2011 CRV would be thousands ahead, even accounting for the higher purchase price up front.
I’ll argue that depreciation does factor into it, because it isn’t losing much value from this point forward so the longer you keep it the lower your cost per mile will be. Selling now would be to give up on that and therefore take the depreciation hit.
What will raise that cost per mile in a big hurry is a major engine repair out of warranty. I was in a similar situation a few years ago, with a paid-off car with low miles but worrying signs of a well-known powertrain weakness for the make/model. My spreadsheet told me that I was going to pay one way or the other, so I decided to pay by getting a better car rather than another bad transmission.
We shan’t be going back to that brand!
Hopefully yours can be mitigated by adding oil, good luck!
We have a 2014 Equinox purchased new with the 2.4 engine with 72k on it now. As of now no burning oil. We have always taken ours to the dealer for oil changes at 5k mile intervals (with the exception of 2 or so times we make it to 6k on the oil), and I’m going to continue to do 5k Mile oil changes and not a mile more. I remember around the 20-30k mark the dealer said that they now required a switch from the Synthetic Blend, to Full Synthetic going forward (forgot the reason they mentioned). The next 30k miles will tell in our case, but i feel the 5k interval and switch to Full Synthetic is the reason why ours has been good so far.
To the original poster, what was your Oil Change Intervals? did you take to the dealer or a oil change shop?
Regarding the transmission failure, if you search youtube for Equinox Transmission fluid change, there is a video of a guy changing it at 30k, and the fluid comes our pretty dark, he stated this transmission seems to be pretty hard on the fluid. That will be the next thing i’m going to do this spring.
I agree with the author, these are decent vehicles, but they are just that…decent. A friend of mine has one and I’ve ridden in and driven it many times with no complaints other than the typical cheap GM materials on the inside and the low resolution touchscreen/backup camera. They are just so unremarkable though. They do everything well, but nothing great. Much better vehicles than a Trailbrazer or and Envoy, those were just mediocre. Stylistically, I actually prefer the previous generation to this one. Can’t speak on the current generation as I have yet to have any first hand experience with it yet, but they do look nice and most of the reviews I have read on them have been positive.
I didn’t read thoroughly thru all the comments, but we have a 2011 Equinox LTZ in charcoal black, which we actually like a lot. We’ve owned it for five years and 120,000 miles. (Odometer is at 160,000.)
Here’s what I believe is wrong with your engine.
The early 2.4s – like mine – came with a fuel pump that operates at too high a pressure or volume.
These engines are also early attempts at DIRECT INJECTION – the air-fuel mixture is squirted directly into the combustion chamber.
Soooo, if the fuel pump is operating at too high a pressure, the mixture will wash oil off the the cylinders.
I’m surprised you haven’t received a notice from Chevrolet about the issue. Actually they’re treated as three separate issues:
1) The high-pressure fuel pump, for which the fix is a replacement;
2) The oil consumption, for which you’ll setup an oil consumption test with the dealer. If it fails, they do a rebuild;
3) The catalytic converter which fails early due to the oil consumption plugging it up – although your service department may tell you otherwise, common sense is king.
If you haven’t already taken action, I’d talk to your dealer as soon as you see this, as they had extended the warranty for these issues to 120,000 miles. Ours was at 116,000 when repaired two years ago. While down, we had the cam sensors replaced as a “just because,” it was only $100 or so since we were only paying for the parts.
This link will bring up the GM service bulletins the dealers get. Unfortunately the archives only go back to 2015 and this became an issue two years before. But an old college buddy had it happen to his wife’s 2011 Equinox LS and he’s the one who made me aware that these bulletins were online, back when it WAS in the archives.
Oh, we have our trans fluid changed every 50k miles. You can feel the difference after a change.
Wish you well with it.
Thanks for this and for sharing your experience. I’m hoping that they will take care of #2. I didn’t know about 1 and 3 being tied into this issue. We shall see in a few weeks what will happen. But knowing about 1 and 3 will be helpful
@chas108: “Oh, we have our trans fluid changed every 50k miles. You can feel the difference after a change.”
I do too. I have a 2009 Pontiac G6 with the 2.4 & 6 speed autobox ~140K miles, follow the factory service intervals. No major issues with this car other than rodents getting under the engine cover and making a nest out of the fuel injection wiring. THAT was expensive. I use the Dexos motor oil in our car even though it wasn’t mandated until 2011.
There’s been a lot of education over the last 25+ years by different companies concerning oil changes, but few attempts to get people to change either their anti-freeze or transmission oil. These also have finite lives and are just as vital to a good running car as motor oil. I guess because it can’t be done super quickly, they get ignored.