Chevrolet’s Traverse, a 7-seater SUV launched in 2008, is a key player in Chevrolet’s SUV range, known for its family-friendly design. This mid-size SUV combines luxury, durability, comfort, high performance, and off-road capabilities, making it ideal for family outings. However, it’s essential to know its varying model years’ reputations.
Knowing which Chevy Traverse years to avoid is crucial when considering a Chevy Traverse purchase. This article outlines those years and explains why.
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Chevy Traverse Years to Avoid List
The Chevy Traverse, a top choice in the U.S. for mid-size, family-friendly SUVs, has had its share of issues. Despite Chevrolet’s reputation, some Traverse model years are plagued with significant design and assembly flaws. Here are the model years to steer clear of:
- 2009 Chevy Traverse: This model year is notorious for engine and steering control failures, excessive oil consumption, drivetrain and brake issues, spark plug coil failure, and a broken timing chain.
- 2010 Chevy Traverse: Notable for engine, steering failures, and problematic AC and heating systems.
- 2011 Chevy Traverse: This year’s model frequently encounters engine issues and a persistently lit check engine light.
- 2012 Chevy Traverse: Engine problems are a primary concern for this model year.
- 2015 Chevy Traverse: Owners report electrical errors, brake, and steering issues.
- 2018 Chevy Traverse: This model is troubled with stalling, power loss, lagging, vibrating, and jerking.
- 2020 Chevy Traverse: Noted for brake and transmission problems.
Why Avoid These Chevy Traverse Years?
While the list above gives a snapshot of the issues with these model years, a deeper dive is needed to understand the extent of these problems fully:
Predominantly affecting the 2009-2012 models, engine failure has been costly for consumers, requiring significant repair and servicing. Complaints in consumer forums frequently mention problems like engine lag, vibration, jerking, loss of power, stalling while driving, and frequent check engine warnings. These issues, although common in vehicles, can sometimes pose serious safety risks on the road.
The 2010 and 2011 models are particularly notorious for these issues. The 2010 Traverse often starts experiencing problems around 103,000 miles, while the 2011-12 models typically encounter them between 70,000 to 85,000 miles. These persistent engine issues are often due to faulty assembly of throttle bodies, drivetrains, timing chains, and issues with spark plugs or valve gasket cover leaks.
The Chevy Traverse has been plagued by steering issues, specifically in the 2010 and 2011 models. Owners of these vehicles have struggled with power steering control, making it challenging to maneuver the car. Complaints highlight issues like excessive steering noise, vibrations, fluid leaks from the power steering system, and instability in the steering pump.
These steering issues have led to dangerous situations where the power steering fails unexpectedly while driving, posing a significant risk to passengers and potentially leading to severe accidents. Additionally, the cost of repairing or replacing the power steering system in these models is substantial, adding financial strain to owners.
Moreover, some owners have reported that these steering problems have caused further damage to other critical vehicle components, leading to additional repair costs.
High Oil Consumption and Transmission Failures
A notable issue with the first-generation Chevy Traverse models, particularly the 2009, 2010, and 2011 models, is excessive oil consumption. This problem often leads to frequent breakdowns and has been reported to become apparent within the first 100,000 miles of the vehicle’s lifespan. The cost of repairing damages due to this issue is high, as reported by several owners.
Transmission failures are also a common problem, especially in the 2009 and 2018 Traverse models. Owners have experienced transmission issues typically between 80,000 to 88,000 miles, with some 2018 model owners encountering problems as early as 4,000 miles. Repair costs for these transmission failures can exceed $3,000, and symptoms include unresponsive behavior, low fluid levels, clutch dragging, hard shifting, gears slipping, burning smells, and overall erratic transmission performance.
Brake issues have been a consistent problem in both the first-generation and more recent models of the Chevy Traverse. Notably, the 2009, 2018, and 2020 models have received complaints about unusual grinding noises from the brakes, even after only about 100 miles of driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has verified several brake-related incidents involving various Traverse models. Chevrolet has acknowledged these issues in some 2018 and 2020 models through a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB).
For a more comprehensive understanding, reviewing detailed owner complaints and comparing model years on resources like several websites, which provide extensive information on the Chevy Traverse models, is recommended.
Which Chevy Traverse Years are the Best Choice?
When considering a Chevy Traverse for purchase, whether new or used, it’s crucial to opt for the model years that have a proven track record of reliability. According to owners, certain years of the Chevy Traverse are regarded as the best choices:
- 2013 Chevy Traverse
- 2014 Chevy Traverse
- 2016 Chevy Traverse
- 2017 Chevy Traverse
- 2019 Chevy Traverse
- 2020 Chevy Traverse
- 2021 Chevy Traverse
These years have shown a significant decrease in major issues following the 2012 models, marking an improvement in the vehicle’s reliability.
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In conclusion, Chevrolet has long been a favored brand in America, known for its luxury vehicles and high-quality performance. The Chevy Traverse, in particular, has received positive reviews across various consumer forums and automotive eCommerce platforms. However, it’s important to be mindful of specific model years with known issues to make an informed decision when purchasing a Chevy Traverse.