The Most Common Chevrolet Problems

Some Chevrolet models experience air conditioning issues, but some have rough shifting, ignition issues, and fuel pump issues as well.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The most common problem Chevrolet drivers report is air conditioning issues, but Chevy models can also have rough shifting, a sticking ignition key, fuel pump failure, and fast oil consumption.
Any car owner knows that at some point, your vehicle will have mechanical issues. Parts can wear out and break down over time, but some issues seem to be specific to certain makes and models. 
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What are the most common Chevrolet problems?

As a division of General Motors, Chevrolet is one of the most recognized vehicle manufacturers in the world. They sell a wide range of vehicle types and have a high degree of reliability, but that doesn’t mean that they’re free from problems. There are several Chevrolet models with some serious mechanical issues. Here are some of the most common problems:
  • Air conditioning failure
  • Rough shifting
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Ignition key sticking
The 2005 Chevrolet
has had the most issues, with four major recalls and a whopping 603 complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Compare that with the
Silverado 2500
, which were rated Chevy’s most reliable vehicles. 
The table below has the five Chevrolet models with the most issues, based on the current 2022 models on the market with a list of their common mechanical problems.
Starting price
J.D. Power reliability rating
Most common problems
Years to avoid
Transmission failure, power lock malfunction, heater issues, excessive oil consumption, Passlock failure, intake manifold gasket failure
Flimsy wheel wells, frequent Check Engine Light, battery issues, excessive oil consumption, A/C compressor issues, lower control arm rattling
2005, 2007, 2013-2016
Transmission and drivetrain problems, engine misfire, loss of power steering, key stuck in the ignition, soft brake pedal, fuel level sensor failure, malfunctioning A/C blower
2004, 2005, 2015, 2016, 2018
Fuel pump failure, faulty distributor, fuel gauge issues, transmission failure, ABS failure, gas cap issues
1994, 1998-2000
Loss of engine power, Passlock failure, transmission failure, turn signal failure, power door lock problems, headlight issues, CD player failure, power steering malfunction, cracked intake manifold gasket, broken front coil spring
2002, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016
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Most common Chevrolet Impala problems

Average annual repair cost: $568 complaints: 4,768
Several Impala model years have transmission problems. Drivers reported they noticed their Impala stuttering and jerking—plus a loud noise before the transmission failed. Most Impalas had to have complete transmission replacements, which is an expensive undertaking. A complete transmission replacement for an Impala can be as much as $2,970!
Impalas also seem to have frequent power lock issues. Sometimes the locks work off and on, but other times they fail. Most vehicles required replacements for the faulty components, but the good news is that the replacements seemed to fix the issue.

Most common Chevrolet Equinox problems 

Average annual repair cost: $537 complaints: 2,612
Like almost all Chevrolet models on our list, the
seems to consume oil at an alarming rate. Many owners complained that their Equinox burned through oil so quickly that the only indication they had of a problem was when their engine stalled and then stopped working altogether. Most units didn’t have any oil leaks, so the Equinox was just burning the oil off too quickly. 
The Equinox has also been plagued by battery issues, with several interior components failing and the SUV refusing to start, especially in cold weather. 

Most common Chevrolet Colorado problems 

Average annual repair cost: $599 complaints: 785
Chevrolet Colorado
seems to have the longest list of most costly mechanical issues, not least of which is transmission problems. Many drivers complained their Colorado had a serious shifting delay—sometimes more than three seconds before getting into gear! There have also been reports of transmission slipping.
Colorado owners have also reported engine misfires along with several instances of loss of power steering. All of the Colorado’s issues can be extremely dangerous and should be fixed as quickly as possible.

Most common Chevrolet Blazer problems 

Average annual repair cost: $431 complaints: 642
Several model years of the
Chevrolet Blazer
experience fuel pump failure. Without a good supply of fuel from the tank, most Blazers will either stall or refuse to start at all, incurring some high repair bills to fix.
Some Blazers also experience serious transmission issues, (the worst offender being the 2000 model) making driving the vehicle dangerous. Owners have reported the transmission slipping gears, refusing to go in reverse, and even failing. In most cases, the transmission had to be completely rebuilt or replaced.

Most common Chevrolet Malibu problems

Average annual repair cost: $532 complaints: 4,601
The most common
Chevrolet Malibu
complaint is the loss of engine power. Owners have noticed the reduced engine power along with excessive vibrations and strange noises coming from under the hood. In almost all instances, the Malibu needed a complete engine overhaul to solve the issue.
And like several other models on our list, the Malibu also suffers from transmission issues. In higher mileage vehicles especially, the transmission is prone to complete failure, jerking, and rough gear changes. Fixing the transmission issues on the Malibu can cost as much as $3,260!

Are Chevrolet cars reliable?

Unfortunately for this American car company, Asian auto manufacturers like
completely blow Chevrolet out of the water in terms of reliability. Although there are some great individual Chevrolet models, their overall scores from experts like Consumer Reports and J.D. Power are all over the place.
Repair Pal gives Chevrolet an overall 3.5 out of 5 for reliability (20th out of all 32 car brands). While the frequency of issues with Chevrolet models is on par with the averages of other manufacturers, 15% of those repairs are for severe to catastrophic problems compared to 12% from other brands.

The least reliable Chevrolet model: 2005 Impala

Most common problem: Transmission issues
NHTSA complaints: 603 
The 2005 Chevrolet Impala has a host of transmission issues—all the way from rough shifting to complete transmission failure. Since most serious transmission issues can only be fixed with a complete replacement or rebuild, owning a 2005 Impala can get costly very quickly. 

The most reliable Chevrolet model: 2021 Bolt EV

Most common problem: Electrical issues
NHTSA complaints: 30
One of the first electric vehicles to hit the market, the 2021
Chevy Bolt EV
comes in as one of Chevrolet’s most reliable models. The zippy electric car has earned high ratings with J.D. Power and Consumer Reports and has few complaints with the NHTSA.

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A lot of Chevrolet models—if properly maintained—can last anywhere from 13 to 20 years, or between 200,000 and 300,000 miles.
Chevrolet’s average rate of problems is on par with a lot of other car companies. However, it seems that when a Chevrolet does have an issue, it’s a severe one. Those severe repairs can add up quickly, making Chevys more expensive to own and maintain.
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