Chevy Traverse Common Problems & Reliability Issues (2023)

Chevrolet first introduced the Traverse as a successor to the popular Trailblazer in 2009. First debuted at the 2008 Chicago auto show, Chevy aimed to offer another affordable large to mid-size SUV to build off the success of previous similar models. Now in its second generation, the Traverse has established success in the American automotive market for drivers seeking a practical everyday driver. Yet, with a new Blazer being introduced in 2019, will the Traverse maintain its sales well enough to sustain itself in the Chevrolet lineup?

The Traverse may not be considered to be unique or dynamic in terms of design. Yet, the Traverse does seem to meet some of the standards that many SUV drivers are seeking. With the mid-size SUV market booming, Chevrolet needed to fill a void by producing what the country was demanding. Thus, the Traverse was introduced. But, how does the Traverse stack up against some of its similar competitors? Throughout this guide, we will examine and discuss the Chevrolet Traverse’s overall value. Also, further comparing the Traverse to similar models within the automotive market. No car is perfect or flawless, including the Traverse. This examination will further detail some of the design flaws and potential weak points of this model.

Let’s lay out some of the pros and cons of this model, hopefully clarifying any questions that readers may have about Chevrolet’s popular mid-sized SUV. With that said, let’s now jump into the basic engine specs of the second-generation Chevrolet Traverse below.

Chevy Traverse Common Problems & Reliability Issues (1)

Chevrolet Traverse Engine Specs

The basic engine specs for the second of the Chevrolet Traverse are as follows:

(Video) Chevy Traverse 1st generation from 2009 to 2017 common problems, issues and complaints

Engine2022 Chevrolet Traverse V6
AspirationNaturally Aspirated
Block & Head MaterialAluminum cast with iron liners
Curb Weight4,310lbs
Compression Ratio11.5 x 1
Fuel SystemDirect Injection
Towing Capacity1,500 to 5,000lbs
Max Horsepower310
Max Torque266

Chevrolet aimed to produce a balanced SUV with affordability, practicality, and ample performance value. The Traverse utilizes a V6 direct-injection engine that maxes out at 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. In addition, the engine design uses a cast aluminum block and head with iron liners aimed to reduce overall weight. Overall curb weight for the Traverse is 4,310 lbs with a ranging towing capacity of 1,500 to 5,000 pounds based on the configuration type. Since the 2022 Traverse is offered in five total different configurations, we have listed them with each of their associated starting prices below:

  • LS – $33,700
  • LT (Cloth & Leather options) – $36,200/$39,900
  • RS – $44,200
  • Premier – $46,600
  • High Country – $51,200

Due to the varying configurations and their price range, expectations for the Traverse can vary. However, there seems to be a lot to be desired in terms of engine quality. The Traverse seems to be plagued with varying problems compared to many SUVs today, regardless of configuration type. So, let’s examine some of those problems and the overall reliability of the Chevrolet Traverse further below.

Chevy Traverse Common Problems

  • Transmission Issues
  • Air Conditioning Failure
  • Air Bag Problems
  • Timing Chain Failure

Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Traverse tends to be rated on the lower side of the spectrum in terms of reliability and longevity. Issues are not extremely prevalent in the engine design. However, when problems arise, they tend to be more severe than in comparably sized SUVs of the modern era. This doesn’t mean that the majority of Traverse drivers will run into problems that produce catastrophic damage or require pricey repairs. Yet, this does mean that time-consuming and expensive repairs are more prominent than mid-size SUVs from other manufacturers. With that said, let’s jump into some of the most common problems associated with the Traverse below before jumping into a conclusive verdict on the model’s overall reliability.

1) Chevy Traverse Transmission Issues

Collective issues with the transmission have followed the Chevy Traverse from its initially introduced first generation in 2009 to some of its most recent production years. Such issues are severe enough to cause complete transmission failure. Due to the prevalence and severity of this issue, it makes the top of our list.

Many drivers report problems resulting in poor acceleration and inability to properly maintain speed, especially after surpassing the 75,000-mile mark. Many of these associated problems resulted in complete transmission replacement or a wave clutch plate replacement. Regardless, both issues result in extremely costly and time-consuming repairs. In response, Chevrolet posted technical service bulletins (TSBs) and extended the service warranty on various models. However, certain older models or used cars may not be under warranty and therefore are prone to these transmission faults.

(Video) Top 5 Problems Chevy Traverse SUV 1st Generation 2009-17

Yet even with extended warrants and dealership caution, some drivers report transmission failure or associated issues before even reaching the 5,000-mile mark. In summary, the Traverse’s transmission itself does not have the best reputation. Therefore it’s essential to identify any transmission issues before they develop further or leave you stranded and out of pocket!

2) Air Conditioning Problems

Air conditioning issues, mainly surrounding the a/c compressor, are commonly reported much quicker than anticipated for many Chevy Traverse drivers. Specifically, drivers report a/c compressor problems occurring with time and wear at higher mileages. Around the 100,000 mile mark, the Traverse’s a/c compressor can begin to fail and require a costly repair ranging upwards of $1,000 or more. This problem seems to be most commonly associated with the 2012-2016 Traverse model years.

There are no present recalls for the air conditioning or compressor failures surrounding these specific model years. Drivers must be keenly aware of any unusual symptoms that may indicate a problematic air conditioner. Unfortunately, this seems to be another nagging issue on our list of problems surrounding the Chevy Traverse.

3) Traverse Air Bag Problems

The Chevy Traverse also has problems surrounding certain airbag components. Fortunately, this problem is most commonly connected to the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse. That being said, airbag problems are extremely crucial due to the safety hazard that they may represent. So, if an airbag indicator light pops up on your dash, please repair this problem immediately before driving further and putting yourself or any passengers in danger.

Additionally, Chevrolet issued further TSBs acknowledging problems surrounding faulty airbags for the Traverse. Luckily, this problem shouldn’t be as costly compared to certain other issues that made our list. Yet, again, this might be one of the most severe problems because it revolves around your safety. Therefore, it’s always imperative to fix any airbag components immediately once identified.

(Video) Chevy Traverse problems and dealerships

4) Chevy Traverse Timing Chain Failure

Timing chain issues can be a severe problem for the Chevrolet Traverse. Again, this is an issue most synonymous with one specific year, the 2012 model. Aside from the fact that it may occur most commonly in the 2012 Traverse, timing chain issues are also reported by newer era Traverses as well. Faulty timing chains can result in various symptoms including:

  • Poor engine performance/acceleration
  • Engine misfires
  • Engine rattling sounds
  • Inability to start the engine
  • Contaminated engine oil/metal shavings in the oil

Since timing chain issues may be associated with other engine components, some drivers also reported problems resulting in traction control failures. If you have a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse, check your timing chain’s status and schedule any needed repairs or replacements quickly before further engine damage occurs.

Other Noteworthy Issues

In summary, various other engine issues are also worthy to mention for the Chevrolet Traverse. The following problems below can be found in both generations of the Traverse and may also indicate issues leading to further severe engine damage.

Brake noise

The National Highway Safety Administration has recorded four different issues surrounding the Chevrolet Traverse’s brakes. Certain braking components are fault-prone, resulting in loud abnormal brake noise. Again, if experiencing braking problems or said noise, immediately prioritize proper repairs before driving further and creating potential hazards.

(Video) Used car insanity in the CAR WIZARD's shop! Why did the huge repair get approved on this '15 Acadia?

Steering issues

Specifically affecting the 2009 to 2011 Traverse models are various steering problems. Most drivers online are recording issues regarding steering or turning past the 75,000-mile mark. Due to various potential causes, steering repairs can range upwards of $1000. This is just yet another reminder to properly maintain and prioritize repairs before creating dangerous driving situations or further severe engine system damage.

Excessive oil consumption

Lastly, we must mention the Chevrolet Traverse’s oil leaks and excessive oil consumption problems. Specifically, the initial 2009 Traverse model had blatant issues with high oil consumption. These issues became most prominent, surpassing the 100,000-mile mark. In December of 2020, Chevrolet issued yet another TSB warning drivers and mechanics of the various oil consumption problems that may occur. This problem may not be typical for most current-gen Traverse drivers, yet is reported too often to disregard for older Traverse models. With that said, we simply cannot give the Chevrolet Traverse a rating higher than below average in terms of reliability due to its many associated flaws and the likelihood of their occurrence.

Chevrolet Traverse Overall Reliability

Due to the vast amount of commonly reported problems and the likelihood of the occurrence of severe issues, it is hard to respect the overall reliability of the Chevrolet Traverse. Furthermore, reputable review companies continue to rate the Traverse extremely low in its category/class. For example, Repair Pal rated the Traverse 3.0/5 in terms of reliability, Thus placing the Chevrolet Traverse as 22nd out of 26 mid-size SUVs manufactured in 2022.

(Video) 5 Things I Hate About The 2022 Chevy Traverse!

The problems listed above are too vast and too common before reaching high mileage to disregard. Due to the fact that Chevrolet has reintroduced the Blazer, alongside the TrailBlazer, some may question if the Traverse will soon become obsolete. Regardless, it’s important to note that many Traverse drivers may never experience these issues, especially with the practice of proper maintenance and repairs. Ironically though, the newer generations of the Traverse are receiving high safety scores. For instance, Car and Driver have rated the 2022 Traverse a 9.8 out of 10 in terms of overall safety. This may be a conflicting result considering many of the problems we examined revolve around safety. Yet, the Traverse does have its strengths and decent value, leading to success in the current American automotive market.

What the Traverse lacks in overall reliability or durability, it seems to make up for in terms of practicality. It seems that only time will tell if the Traverse will increase its reliability and durability or slowly digress. Let us know in the comments below your experience with the Chevrolet Traverse, and if any of these problems affected your perspective of the model’s overall value!


What is the most common problem with Chevy Traverse? ›

Powertrain and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners. For people looking at a three-row SUV, the 2021 Chevy Traverse continues to be a top choice.

Is Chevrolet Traverse a reliable car? ›

The 2023 Chevrolet Traverse has a predicted reliability score of 83 out of 100. A J.D. Power predicted reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, 81-90 is Great, 70-80 is Average, and 0-69 is Fair and considered below average.

Does Chevy Traverse have transmission issues? ›

It's a type of car problem that's not hard to notice. Chevrolet Traverse transmission problems can present themselves as shifting delays, jumping or grinding during acceleration, the car shaking at any speed, or whistling noises or a burning smell coming from beneath the hood.

Why not to buy a Chevy Traverse? ›

Since Chevrolet released its first model in 2009, several Chevy Traverse problems and reliability concerns have been reported. Some of the most common problems include engine failure, issues with the power steering, electronic stability control (ESC), brakes and more.

Which is better Acadia or Traverse? ›

Chevy Traverse vs.

2022 GMC Acadia, the Chevy Traverse is the stronger option off the bat with its standard V6 engine. Not only does this V6 offer greater horsepower, but greater torque as well. The Acadia is equipped with a standard 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder, which can't quite keep up in terms of power.

Which 3 row SUV is the most reliable? ›

The most reliable three-row SUV is the Toyota Land Cruiser with a 9.8 out of 10 reliability score. The Toyota Sequoia is the second most reliable three-row SUV with a rating of 9.4 out of 10. The average reliability score for the three-row SUV category is 8.3, with 14 models scoring above average for reliability.

Is Chevy discontinuing the Traverse? ›

The Chevrolet Traverse was scheduled to receive a refresh in 2021 (see 2021 Chevrolet Traverse info), however, due to complications caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the changes were pushed into the 2022 model year. 2022 Chevrolet Traverse.

Does a Traverse have a timing chain or belt? ›

Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then. Belt failure can cause extensive damage to the valves, pistons and other internal parts of the engine.

What's a good year for Chevy Traverse? ›

After the 2019 version, the 2020 and 2021 Traverse models are also good options. They retain most of the good qualities of the 2019 model but with even better performance and fuel economy. Please read our guide on the Chevy Traverse years to avoid to learn which models you should steer clear of.

What's the difference between a Traverse LT and a traverse LTZ? ›

Generally, LT models have features like cloth seating and body-color door handles, whereas the LTZ models get leather upholstery and chrome door handles. Additionally, there are some differences between the LT and LTZ packages in terms of engine power.

How much does it cost to replace a transmission in a Traverse? ›

The cost of a new Chevy Traverse transmission could be over $3,500 depending on the vehicle, however, transmission services such as fluid changes and a transmission fluid flush are considerably less expensive, in some cases costing less than $150.

How many miles does a Chevy Traverse transmission last? ›

Traverse Forum, a site dedicated to the discussion of the Chevy Traverse, shows many owners are reaching 200,000 miles with little issue. Many reports mention rising repair costs past 200,000, often over the engine or transmission. Owner reviews at Vehicle History also regularly boast 150,000 miles or more.

How much does it cost to fix a transmission on a Chevy Traverse? ›

The average cost for Chevrolet Traverse Transmission Rebuild is $3068.

Which is bigger Telluride or Traverse? ›

The 2023 Chevy Traverse provides 23.0 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear and up to 98.2 cubes in total. The 2023 Kia Telluride has 21.0 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row with up to 87.0 cubes total. While the Telluride has more passenger space, the Traverse has more storage space.

Why does my Chevy Traverse jerk when I accelerate? ›

An indication that a vehicle is not receiving the right mixture of air and fuel is if the vehicle jerks or surges forward at high speed. Several components of the fuel or air intake system could cause this jerking or surging sensation to happen. Issues within these systems can also cause fuel economy to worsen.

What is the Ford equivalent to the Chevy Traverse? ›

If you're looking for a rugged, midsize SUV with three rows that can seat up to seven or eight passengers, you're probably looking to compare the two front-runners in this category: the Chevy Traverse vs. Ford Explorer.

Is the Chevy Traverse bigger than the Toyota Highlander? ›

The 2022 Chevy Traverse has 98.2 square feet of overall cargo space while the 2022 Toyota Highlander has 84.3 square feet of overall cargo space. Now let's take a look at power. The Chevy transverse comes standard with a 310 horsepower engine while the 2022 Toyota Highlander comes standard with a 295 horsepower engine.

Is the Traverse bigger than the Tahoe? ›

Tahoe: Dimensions. The Chevy Tahoe is the larger model, but just how much bigger? Both models in 2022 seat either 7 or 8 passengers, depending on your configuration, but the Tahoe offers quite a bit more cargo capacity.

What is the Cadillac version of the Traverse? ›

The 2021 XT6 offers more front and second-row legroom over the Chevy Traverse, so adult passengers can enjoy the ride even more. Luxury is the first thing you think of when you hear the Cadillac name, and the new XT6 continues the trend with standard amenities that include heated driver and front passenger seats.

What SUV has the fewest problems? ›

10 Most Reliable SUVs According To Consumer Reports
  • 8 2022 Mazda CX-9 – 94/100.
  • 7 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid – 95/100.
  • 6 2022 Ford Escape Hybrid—95/100.
  • 5 2022 Lincoln Corsair – 96/100.
  • 4 2020 Lexus GX – 97/100.
  • 3 2022 Acura RDX – 97/100.
  • 2 2021 Lexus NX – 98/100.
  • 1 2020 Lexus NX Hybrid – 99/100.
Nov 30, 2022

What SUV will last you the longest? ›

Toyota Sequoia

What used SUV has the least amount of problems? ›

The Most Reliable Used SUVs in America
  • Honda CR-V. The Honda CR-V is one of the most popular and best SUVs in America. ...
  • Toyota Rav4. The Rav4 is one of Toyota's “Core Four” vehicles alongside the Camry, Corolla, and Prius. ...
  • Chevrolet Traverse. ...
  • GMC Yukon. ...
  • Toyota Highlander. ...
  • Kia Sorento. ...
  • Ford Expedition. ...
  • Hyundai Tucson.
Jul 13, 2022

Will there be a 2023 Traverse? ›

The 2023 Chevrolet Traverse is available in six trim levels: LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier and High Country. All Traverse models use a 3.6-liter V6 (310 horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque) and a nine-speed automatic.

Why are Chevy Traverse so hard to find? ›

Scarcity at dealer lots for over a year now is the result of the Chevy Traverse production being on-and-off throughout the 2021 and 2022 calendar years. The GM Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan was idled on July 19th, 2021, due to the ongoing global semiconductor microchip shortage.

Is the Traverse bigger than the Acadia? ›

Additionally, the Acadia is slightly smaller than the Traverse, making it easier to park in tight spaces.

What does code P0008 mean on a Traverse? ›

P0008 is a specific code that indicates misalignment in bank one of your engine; the equivalent code for bank two is P0009. Additionally, while it is a general OBD-II code, you'll see it more frequently in brands owned by or operating in partnership with General Motors, including Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, and Suzuki.

How much does it cost to fix timing chain on Chevy Traverse? ›

The average cost for a Chevrolet Traverse Timing Chain and Gear Set Replacement is between $2,080 and $2,418. Labor costs are estimated between $1,296 and $1,635 while parts are priced between $783 and $783.

How do I know if my timing chain needs replacing? ›

Timing chain replacement: warning signs
  1. Starting the vehicle is difficult.
  2. Noise in the timing chain.
  3. Check engine light illuminated.
  4. Engine misfires and sluggishness.
  5. When the engine is idling, it vibrates or shakes.
  6. The engine will not start.
Jun 25, 2021

Are Traverse good on gas? ›

The Traverse has been improving its fuel efficiency over time, in 2019 Chevy Traverse with front-wheel drive gets an estimated 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy, while all-wheel drive models get 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy. When compared to other vehicles in its class, the Traverse's fuel efficiency is about average.

How much bigger is a traverse than an equinox? ›

The Chevy Traverse specs reflect an 8-passenger midsize SUV, and at 204.3 inches in length, it is over 20 inches longer than the Equinox.

Is the Chevy Traverse a luxury SUV? ›

Solid American Luxury SUV: The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse AWD RS -- from Planet Dave.

Is Traverse LT better than LS? ›

As we mentioned, the LT trim option is a step above the LS, so you'll see some additional features and available add-ons. Below, you can find a list of all the special features of the Traverse LT that aren't standard on the Traverse LS. Technology features include (in addition to LS features):

Is the Chevy Traverse the same as the GMC Terrain? ›

The Chevrolet Traverse has much lower torque than the GMC Terrain, which generally means that it won't feel as fast or powerful. Soccer Moms and those who need to chauffeur around a lot of people will appreciate the Chevrolet Traverse more than the GMC Terrain, due to its significantly greater seating capacity.

What does LT stand for Chevy? ›

The LT stands for “luxury touring” and signifies models that are above the LS entry-level trims. Some popular Chevy models with LS trims include: Chevy Trailblazer. Chevy Trax. Chevy Equinox.

Does the Equinox and Traverse have the same engine? ›

Similar to Equinox, all 2022 Chevrolet Traverse models offer the same high-revving powertrain, where under the hood you'll find a 3.6L V6 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission that can produce up to 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

Are Chevy Traverse good in the snow? ›

The short answer is that the Chevrolet Traverse is one of the best cars for winter driving because it performs exceptionally well in the snow. That's because the Traverse is equipped with top performance and Chevrolet safety features to give you peace of mind driving in the snow this winter.

Is the Chevy Traverse bad on gas? ›

Review the 2023 Chevy Traverse gas mileage for each drivetrain below: 2023 Chevrolet Traverse FWD: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. 2023 Chevrolet Traverse AWD: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

Is Chevy discontinuing the traverse? ›

The Chevrolet Traverse was scheduled to receive a refresh in 2021 (see 2021 Chevrolet Traverse info), however, due to complications caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the changes were pushed into the 2022 model year. 2022 Chevrolet Traverse.

Do traverses have a lot of problems? ›

The probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 18% for the Chevrolet Traverse, compared to an average of 13% for midsize SUVs and 12% for all vehicle models. The average total annual cost for unscheduled repairs and maintenance across all model years of a vehicle.

What is the Toyota equivalent to a Chevy Traverse? ›

The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse is a comfortable family-sized 3-row SUV with loads of space and plenty of power from its V6 engine. The 2022 Toyota Highlander carries forward its reputation of reliability and resale value as well as room for up to eight passengers and abundant cargo space, an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ score.

Are Chevy Traverse expensive to fix? ›

A Chevrolet Traverse will cost about $8,790 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. This beats the industry average for popular SUV models by $343. There is also a 26.05% chance that a Traverse will require a major repair during that time.

Does a traverse have a timing chain or belt? ›

Newer models use timing belts made of polyurethane and Kevlar for long life and durability. They can go as long as 100,000 miles although it's always a good idea to change it before then. Belt failure can cause extensive damage to the valves, pistons and other internal parts of the engine.

Why is my traverse so bouncy? ›

If the rack bushings become either too loose or too stiff (such as if they get stuck), your car will sway or bounce. Other damage to the steering linkage can cause this problem as well, though the rack bushings are the most common culprit.


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