Chevy Equinox - PCM Root of Problems

Ardmore, OK

#22 Jan 20, 2010
I bought a brand new Equinox in May of 2007...ran great until December of 2008. It started misfiring. I only had 26,000 miles on it, so I took it to the shop and they said it was the spark plugs and a wire. I have since then had to take it back to the shop 6 times to have it fixed. I now have a lawyer bc some big shout with chevy decided to tell me I have a lemon but they werent going to fix it. My lawyer just called and said that Chevy has offered me $2500.00 Waht the hell will that do? Hope I shut up? No...I want my damn car fixed! I am giving them two options tomorrow...either trade mine or write me a check for 20, buy another car, OR I will hit the media with all of this...I didnt mention it but my husband is currently deployed to Iraq...and I am here alone with our 19 month old son...I do not want to profit..I do not want money. I want my car fixed and for a company to stand behind thier product!
big T

Gaston, IN

#23 Feb 9, 2010
i have a 05 equinox and it has more problems then any car i have even owned. fule pump,carrier bearing,paint,when it rains it vibrates. air bag crash sensor went out. leaks around the back hatch. GM states" there is nothing wrong and we will look IN TO finding a problem with it. i think i will start buying i dont know MAYBE A wounder GM keeps losing money, but don't worry GM tax payers will pay for you KEEP MAKING JUNK.

Frederick, MD

#24 Mar 15, 2010
I recently had to take my daughters 05 nox to the place we bought it. They cannot find why it wont start. After reading posts like these it sounds like the PCM. They want to remove the remote start modules, if there is such a thing. I think I will bring this blog to their attention so they can contact the chevy dealer. I hope I can have better luck than some of you.
I know now why GM is in trouble

Overland Park, KS

#25 Mar 17, 2010
My 06 equinox just got towed today. It will start and can put in drive, but it won't accelerate. Luckily I still have a warranty at carmax and if there is somethiing wrong I only have to pay $50. My dads friend who knows everything about cars says its the transmission. It also has been making a new sound the last few months and today it started making a grinding sound when I put it in gear. Even when it does get fixed I think I'm just going to sell it. The tow guy said he tows Equinox's the most!!
This is why I buy MOPAR

United States

#26 Mar 23, 2010
My wife called me a few days ago while I was out of town and said the check engine light is on in her '06 Equinox LT and keeps coming back on after getting the codes cleared. I get back in town today and take it to the stealership to have it looked at and notice a whole host of problems on the way there. I don't normally drive it, but this thing sounds like it's going to blow up, and not just from the engine. There is a god-awful amount of road noise coming from the rear through the wheel-wells, it's vibrating like it has Parkinson's, the engine feels like it's missing while accelerating, the transmission is whining, and the check engine light is back on giving me codes 404 and 405 (both EGR failure). Finally get it to the dealership and the soonest they claim they can even look at the codes is Friday afternoon (it's Tuesday morning now!). Seriously? Is GM so flooded with P.O.S. cars that it takes that long to plug in the computer and press "start"? And we wonder why GM is going under...
Joe Zajac

Stuart, FL

#27 Apr 1, 2010
Gina wrote:
Our 2007 Equinox runs fine, but since it was badly wrecked and repaired the trunk leaks. I see others complain that their trunks leaked from the git-go. Has anyone found any specific problem that could be causing the leak? I plan to caulk all around the trunk seal and some gaps between body parts and see what happens.
What was the remedy or is the trunk still leaking? As an on-going headache the trunk wheel well fills with water and it needs to be emptied. This usually occurs when it rains as a minimum. We purposely left the Equinox in the driveway, did not drive it at all and it rained for the better of a day. The next day opened up the trunk and the water had returned. I requested the dealer provide a suggestion and his response was to check the seal around the back-up lights, so I will. Can't be any worse than sitting in the trunk area watching for a flow of water while someone hoses down the car.

Hagerstown, MD

#28 Apr 5, 2010
I baught a 06' in 08' with 31,000 miles on it... a few months after my purchase I noticed a grinding noise like it was my breaks.. I had my husband change them and when he did that, he said the pads he took off didn't even need changed. Since he changed them the grinding noise did stop but now my breaks scream from time to time... in 09' it started acting like it didn't want to start and I would have to press the accelerator all the way to the floor for it to start!!! I told my huband and he thought it could be just the cold weather... well we got a few blizzards this year where we live, and one day before it got to bad, I went to the gym for 30 minute (no signs of any problems with the car for a while) and when I left, my car would start!! The battery was completely dead! It took almost an hour for the guy giving me a jump to get the battery charged enough to start again, all the while the blizzrd is getting worse! Now April 10' the I was on my way to the gym and my car read I was on/below "E" and the gas light came on. Now I know how much gas I have in my car b/c I am the primary driver and no one took my car out but me the day before. I had over a half tank, how could possibly be on "E".. I had my husband again come out to se if he saw a leak or someone siphoned my gas! He said if someone siphoned my gas the did great job since there were no signs of a spill around the tank or on the car and we live in a great neighborhood, where the majority of residents are retiered... I went to put gas in the gar and didn't make it out of my development before the car completely shut off. Luckly I wasn't on a main road and a nice bystander helped me move the car from the street to a nearby parkinglot. My husband picked me up and went to fill up a 2 gal. gas can, when we put the gas in the truck and tried to stat it, NO DICE! I thought that since I was parked on a hill the tank was tilted and the truck wasn't registering that gas was there.. we pushed it to flat ground and still nothing!.. I thought "wow it's bone dry"... filled up the gas can once more and the truc still didn't start!!! My batter (even though it is the original) was fine. The windows rolled up the lights still came on, radio came on..although the gas gage didn't move... Oil was okay, no clue what was going on! A few days later a friend of ours helped get my truck back to our house. My husband put his battery in my truck to see if this would help..NOPE! Not the battery and then when he put my battery back.. IT'S NOW DEAD! I posted on my facebook for someone to come look at it since I just lost my job and my husband is low on work and we have 2 samll children I would like to save where ever I can. Luckily a response came through for us to rent a code reader from our local Advanced Auto store and google the codes..I hope it isn't the PCM!! I can not swing more than $200 at this time let alone a minimum of $400!!!! They also showed me this forum..and I feel like I'm in a nightmare... Does anyone know about a recall for this modled year???? Something has to give, clearly it's GMC manufacturing an my family has lived by Chevrolet vehicles all my life and they have always been reliable. I need some direction as to what I can do about this...

Saint Paul, MN

#29 Apr 10, 2010
I can't find the recall you are talking about. Could you point me in the right direction?
Neb wrote:
I just posted this in a separate post, but I thought it would be beneficial for this information to be posted in a new topic for discussion.
Fact: A small percentage of Chevy Equinox vehicles manufactured in 2005 shipped with a faulty PCM. The PCM is the "Powertrain Control Module" which controls virtually everything on your car. Think of it like Windows on your PC at home. If Windows fails, the PC can't do what it is designed to do. Same with the PCM in your Equinox. If your PCM is faulty, you will get random problems at random times - most of the time this cannot be diagnosed at the dealer because the PCM itself cannot tell them it's failing, other than complete failure.
The faulty PCM, which is covered under a NHTSA Recall for replacement, can cause the following problems at random times:
-Failure to start
-Poor fuel economy
-Radio/CD failure
-Fuel delivery issues (engine shut-off)
-EGR issues
-misc other issues
Replacing the PCM and having your new one programmed by a dealership will solve most of your problems.
Cost to fix the PCM:
If your specific Equinox is not covered under the Recall (which some are not) you can still do this on your own at your cost. A replacement PCM should cost no more than $400.00. The PCM takes under 10 minutes to physically install, and about 15-30 to program with a Tech II scanner costing you 1 hour of labor. Suggest this route to your dealer - and if they are honest - they will understand your concerns and go this route. Find a reputable shop/dealer you trust.
Minor Problems not related to the PCM:
-Thumping sounds from rear: Rear sway bar noise. You can replace it but it's not necessary.
-Odd smells in interior: This is most likely caused by the AWD unit (physically damaged from a road obstruction, or leaking) or possibly a leaky EGR valve. Get these checked out and hire a professional Carpet Cleaning service to clean your interior after the problem has been fixed.
In all reality, the Chevrolet Equinox is a great vehicle to look into if you are looking for a Crossover SUV. It offers a mechanically solid drivetrain that has years of dependability behind it (3400 V6 is from the 60* V6 family of engines dating back to 1980, transmission is from Aisin in Japan and also used in the Saab 9-3.) The Equinox can also tow 3500 lbs, has attractive styling, can carry tons of cargo and materials, and has more rear-seat legroom than most BMW/Mercedes luxury sedans. Granted, it's got it's fair share of problems, but don't let something like a faulty PCM for one model year (2005) scare you away from this great deal of a vehicle.
For those of you who are mechanically inclined, this powertrain is extremely easy to work on as well, similar to working with a 3800 V6 powertrain.

West Plains, MO

#30 Jun 3, 2010
I have a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox and recently the sound just quit working. There is no sound whatsoever coming from the speakers and it happened suddenly without any other noise. I have checked the fuses and they seem to be okay. Any suggestions?
Lorry McMahon

United States

#31 Jun 8, 2010
Does anyone have the bulletin number for the PCM/ECM problem on the 2005 Chev, Equinox? We have the same problem and our dealer can't find the bulletin so of course we will have to pay over $600.00 to get this fixed. If you can give me that number it would be a huge help.
Lorry McMahon

United States

#32 Jun 8, 2010
Does anyone have the bulletin number for the PCM/ECM problem for the 2005 Equinox? We have read about this problem and we can get it replaced but it will cost over $600.00 unless we can find this bulletin.

Lansing, MI

#33 Jun 9, 2010
Michael wrote:
<quoted text>
Care to back that number up? I've hated my Equinox since almost Day 1 and only now have gotten to the point of posting. Failure to come to a forum and vent in no way implies customer satisfaction or happiness.
This car is poorly designed and built. Crimony, I've got blind spots on the front of this vehicle because the frame is so wide where it attaches to the windshield. Whoever designed this thing for Chevy should be sentenced to drive it for the rest of their lives.
It takes me over an hour to simply change the headlamp on the Equinox when it goes out. Compare this to my last car, a Volvo, which took about three minutes. It's almost as if the car was designed to make it so inconvenient as to force you to go to the dealer for the most basic of repairs.
Then there are the major mechanical issues. The problem isn't the odd person getting a 'lemon', the problem is that a sizable number of people are reporting the same problems over and over and over again.
The Equinox is quite simply an awful vehicle.
Maybe it's not the car that is the problem. Head a headlamp go out on my wife's Equinox and took about 20 minutes and that was in a dimly lit garage where I couldn't see what I was doing very well. Other than the PCM issue her's has been great for the past 50,000 miles.

Modesto, CA

#34 Jun 14, 2010
Lorry McMahon wrote:
Does anyone have the bulletin number for the PCM/ECM problem for the 2005 Equinox? We have read about this problem and we can get it replaced but it will cost over $600.00 unless we can find this bulletin.
Make : CHEVROLET Model : EQUINOX Year : 2005
Service Bulletin Number : 05212004 Date of Bulletin : MAY 21, 2004
NHTSA Item Number : 10013275
Summary :

I hope this helps.

Medina, NY

#35 Aug 11, 2010
My wife and I have a 2006 Equinox. My wife was driving back form the store and the temp. gauge spiked and the check engine light came on. We had it towed vto the dealer and after a day and a half they told us that it was a head gasket. the car only has 45000 miles on it. We take it iin every 3000 miles for an oil change. We have take one trip with the cars about 3 hours away from our house and that was 3 yrs ago. What I want to know is this a normal accurrance.

Austin, TX

#36 Aug 20, 2010
I have a 2005 Chevy Equinox LT and sometimes it will have trouble starting.....its sporadic and there is no common factor that causes this. It seems to be random. even when you let go of key it continues to crank and make a sipping sound(had full tank of gas) I never let it drop past half.

I have 71K miles on it and keep up with maintenance , but I was reading in the manual that if this occurs to wait 20 seconds and try starting again.

If this is in the manual (NO START PROBLEM) I think Chevrolet put this pile of crap out knowing there were issues.

I am taking car to dealership with the recall inofo and hopefully they dont give me any sh*t and replace for FREE like all other manufacturers do for recalls.
Robert Florida

Bradenton, FL

#37 Sep 3, 2010
I have had my 2005 AWD Equinox for 3 years(bought used with 62,000 miles) and it now has 85,000 miles. While I was driving the other day it shut down and stopped running. I knew it could only be one or 2 reasons... Out of gas or carb getting no gas. I pulled over, pumped the heck out of the throttle and low and behold.. no flooded fuel smell.
I had it towed to my trusted mechanic,$1000 later primary and secondary pump replacement. I guess it was a deal compared to a previous post. Chinese, Japanese or Canadian, I have never had an issue with this vehicle. It looks and drives like new, I hope I can find a site that states a legitimate recall for this untimely expensive repair.

Anchorage, AK

#39 Oct 12, 2010
Robert Florida wrote:
I have had my 2005 AWD Equinox for 3 years(bought used with 62,000 miles) and it now has 85,000 miles. While I was driving the other day it shut down and stopped running. I knew it could only be one or 2 reasons... Out of gas or carb getting no gas. I pulled over, pumped the heck out of the throttle and low and behold.. no flooded fuel smell.
I had it towed to my trusted mechanic,$1000 later primary and secondary pump replacement. I guess it was a deal compared to a previous post. Chinese, Japanese or Canadian, I have never had an issue with this vehicle. It looks and drives like new, I hope I can find a site that states a legitimate recall for this untimely expensive repair.
Just Curious....Is Your Car Still Running/Starting Without Problems After Getting The Fuel Pumps Replaced?? Im Having Issues With My 2005 Equinox That Only Has 29000 Miles On It, I Have Ruled Out The Starter, Alternator, Fuel Pressure Is Correct, I Used Fuel Injection Cleaner, Had My Fuel Injectors Cleaned By Machine At My Local Shop, And Had The Computer Plugged Into It..Which Of Course Showed No Codes...All This Has Been Checked And I'm Still Having Sporatic Starting Issues (It Will Eventually Start, But I Have To Put The Gas Pedal To The Floor)..My Mechanic Swears It's The Fuel Pump, But Honestly With All The Research I Have Done, I'm Beginning To Believe That Its The PCM...I Know That Having The Fuel Pump Replaced Is Gonna Be Expensive And I'm Hesitant To Have Them Replaced Considering The Fact That Everything Else I Have Done To Fix The Vehicle Hasnt Worked.
Just Joan

Indianapolis, IN

#40 Nov 1, 2010
I just had the PCM repaired/replaced at the dealership. My Equinox has been great for 61,000+ miles until it quit while driving down the highway in rush hour traffic. What has upset me the most about the experience is the idiocy of the dealership. They first said it was the auto throttle body and when they "fixed" it and I started to drive through their lot it died again. They said they decided to repair the assembly because there was no code but when it died in the parking lot there was a code. After reading all these very similar complaints and the NHTSA notice I wonder why they didn't check the PCM first. And to top all this off, they were going to charge me until I mentioned I purchased an extended warranty. That's another gripe I have...why didn't they have this on file and it should have flag them when the VIN number was entered in the computer. I love my Equinox but customer service and making an extra effort to get it right for the cusotmer no longer exist. "Back in the day", we used to receive recall notices when there were defects. Why doesn't this happen now....Buyer Beware. I hate it when I have to light a fire under somebody's butt to get it done right. It's not a pretty sight to see me mad at someone and I don't feel good about it.

To Mark, Robert and others....Get the PCM checked out on your car but by now I'm sure you've had it in the shop because the car will no longer start.
Daryl Holland

Franklin, NC

#41 Nov 6, 2010
My wife's 05 Equinox is having the same problems with starting that other people have mentioned. I'm going to check into this PCM issue. Also, her spare tire well was filling with water. We took it to the dealership and of course they said they had never heard of it happening. I wasn't about to pay them to try to locate the problem. So I decided to try fixing it myself. The first thing I tried worked! I just resealed the cargo area seal with some clear silicone sealant. I would recommend just pulling about 10-12 inches of it off at a time, applying sealant, mashing it back down and then move on to the next area being careful to not leave a gap in where you applied the sealant. I did this over a year ago and haven't had any more leaks.

Brockville, Canada

#42 Dec 22, 2010
I am having the same problem with my EGR Tube (which has a crack in it), which is what is causing the noise and smell in your car. I have a good friend that is a mechanic and showed me the deal. The problem is Chevy had a problem with the EGR Tube or Valve we took the EGR Tube off in 5 minutes and ordered the new one for $55. Turns out it is 2" shorter then the original. We called back to the part supplier and they said Chevy was having major problems with the EGR Tube or Valve and now you can only buy a kit that replaces both (with the EGR Tube now shorter)for $280 and a cost of around $400 to have someone else install it for you. I am now looking on how I can get Chevy to pay the difference in cost due to it being a defect on their end. If it was not a big difference in price I would not care, but Chevy screwed up and needs to pay for it, not us. Let me know what you ended up doing, my email is: [email protected] Thanks

Honda Lover wrote:
I cannot find anything about a recall for the PCM on the NHTSA website. All of a sudden, my car sounds like a truck and two dealerships say it is not the muffler system, it is the EGR pipe. One says I can replace just the pipe, the other says it is not safe to just replace the pipe, I need to replace the whole "kit". Do not know which one to believe. I get terrible smell of fumes in the car but first dealership says they could not smell anything and everything was fine. I have also had radio problems, which I did not have when I bought it, and engine starting problems occassionally.
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