Chevy Traverse Problems: 8 Common Issues (Explained)

A Chevy Traverse is a seven or eight-seater car. It’s a mid-size crossover SUV, built by General Motors. The first traverse model was introduced back in 2009 and the traverse was a crossover-based three-row SUV.

It replaced the Trailblazer and its Colorado pickup roots and since then, there have been some alterations made to the cross-over Chevy vehicle.

Check also here how long the Chevy Traverse normally lasts.

Is the Chevy Traverse the Best Car to Purchase?

Chevrolet introduced the first SUV in 2009 and since then it has been making new ones every year as they try to improve on the next.

Despite the many alterations made over the years on the Chevy Traverse, one can never say that the vehicle is perfect because it has its faults and we are pointing out some of those faults.

Problems with Brakes

The brake is a crucial component of any vehicle.

They play a very important role in ensuring passengers’ or occupant’s safety. Unusual brake noise is an occurrence in some SS.

Four users have filed complaints to the National Highway Safety Administration. Some of the owners affected had to take their vehicles to the repair shop after experiencing the grinding noise from the brakes.

Among others, hydraulic difficulties are also reported by unhappy clients.

A/C Issues

While inside the vehicle, the air conditioner tends to be bad for many reasons, and some of those reasons can be poor ventilation of air inside the vehicle due to mildew build-up, a loose horse, or an old ventilation fan that may not be working.

Or the car can be fully packed and the amount of oxygen circulating versus the number of users may not balance.

The faulty air conditioner is reported to be a major problem in the 2012-2015 Chevy Traverse. The 2012 Chevy Traverse drivers reported that the A/C compressor in the SUV blew at a little over 100,000 miles.

The 2013 Traverse owners have also reported that the A/C just stopped working out of nowhere. The 2015 Traverse owners reported that a part of the A/C had just melted.

Transmission Failure

After the first Chevy Transverse was released in 2009, later alterations were done and by 2018, some of the problems experienced in 2009 were fixed.

Transmission failure is one of those problems. The 2009 Traverse owners had complained their SUVs limped down the road and they experienced the issue at 88,000 miles.

Chevrolet had to address the issue by releasing TBSs explaining how to go about it as the owners had to incur costs for repairing the transmission or changing the clutch plate.

The 2018 Chevy owners also experience similar problems with their SUVs.

They report that after starting their SUV from the parking car to the driveway, the engine would produce a sound when the accelerator pedal is pressed but the vehicle would not drive and the SUV would roll forward as if the transmission was in a neutral position. The failure occurred at 4,000 miles.

These problems started already in 2015. You can see a full overview of the best and worst years for the Chevy Traverse here.

Engine Issues

For any vehicle to work very well, the engine must function efficiently.

Some owners have complained that their SUV’s 2010 model engines suddenly stop working while they are on the road and when the mechanic checks their vehicles, they get the information that the problem as suspected is with the engine.

Chevrolet has improved the new models as the engines work more efficiently and the Chevy Traverse engine faults have been reduced to a minimum.

If you check the 2015 Chevy Traverse SUVs, the problem is solved and the complaints coming from the users are not many. Hence, it is believed that the engine issues are fixed in modern models.

Air Bag Problem

The airbag in the Chevy Traverse SUVs is very useful in case of an accident occurring. It protects the upper part of the body or the head of the driver and passenger in the front seat during a crash or an accident.

It is therefore important for a car to have a good working airbag for safety.

The Airbag unit has a sensing system that goes off at the right time on sensing danger.

The 2014 Chevy Traverse SUV’s owners have reported that the airbag indicator is being seen illuminating from the dashboard. The SUV’s owner took the car to a repair shop so that the mechanic could take a look and the mechanic told the owner that the airbag was damaged and needed to be repaired.

Steering Wheel Issues

The early models from 2009 to 2011 models of the Chevy Traverse experienced steering issues in their SUVs.

The owners of SUVs have reported that this problem has put them in a very dangerous situation as it gets hard for them to turn the wheels. Most owners encountered this problem at between 80,000 to 110,000 miles.

Excessive Consumption of Oil

The 2009 Chevy Traverse SUVs have been reported to have large oil consumer reports.

The owner of the 2009 SUV reported that the SUV would start to go unsteadily and the owner would have to fill up the petrol.

This resulted in poor performance issues, so if you want to purchase the Chevy Transverse, then you had better go for the modern models.

Shift to Park Problem

Many Chevy Traverse consumers had to deal with the misfortune of dealing with vehicles not shifting to park. Others have been unable to exit, lock or turn off their vehicles due to shifting malfunction.

The 2018 Chevy Traverse had problems with the shift to park.

The SUV owners reported that the shift to park message appeared and when they turned off the engine and restarted the vehicle, the message went away.

General Pros and Con for Chevy Traverse

The Traverse is Chevy’s most liked family car because of the comfort it provides for moving people. It’s a three-row crossover SUV so strong that it can tow a load.

Additionally, the vehicle doesn’t lack standard entertainment and safety features.

The V6 Engine is Relatively Efficient and Strong

Every model of Chevy Traverse is equipped with the same strong V6 engine to produce a satisfying 310 horsepower.

Even when the car is not carrying passengers and cargo, the engine is more than a capable performer.

A Flexible Family Car

The 2021 model is a versatile vehicle as it can tow up to 5,000 pounds of load. The featured tow/haul mode is a handy feature giving drivers assurance when pulling heavy loads.

With all-wheel drive, the Chevy Traverse is also a good vehicle for weekend adventure road trips. However, you shouldn’t try to drive on extremely challenging terrain.

Easier to Handle

Instead of a truck-based SUV, try the Chevy Traverse. It is easier to handle, and not too intimidating. In particular, the 2021 model provides better handling, with the touring-tuned suspension dampers promoting maneuverability.

The Chevy Traverse is easier to drive, thanks in part to the brilliant visibility which enables drivers to view properly the entire road ahead.

Lots of Spacing

The vehicle’s spacious design is one of its most attractive features. Therefore, it is ideal for family getaways, thanks to the extra legroom. Even the seats in the third row are roomy enough and can accommodate teenagers.

Enough interior spacing adds to the vehicle’s practicality.

It has the capability to transport bulk loads and people, from college dorm supplies, houseplants, etc.

Good Quality Infotainment Unit

The 2021 model features the latest Infotainment three-system, featuring better interfaces in the class. The unit is simple to operate. Even amateurs, will face no challenges navigating through.

The graphics are easily visible even for people with eye problems.

Smartphone synch is allowed and the standard touchscreen operation can be enhanced using conventional knobs and buttons to do certain functions.

Luxurious High Country Vehicle

The country model is luxurious enough, feeling very comfortable and luxurious on the inside.

This can be attributed to ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats.

There is lots of tech provided, including navigation, adaptive cruise control, etc.


  • Problems with Brakes
  • A/C Issues
  • Transmission Failure
  • Engine Issues
  • Air Bag Problem
  • Steering Wheel Issues
  • Excessive Consumption of Oil
  • Shift to Park Problem

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Traverse Is A Spacious Three-Row Crossover That Leans Toward The Larger Side Of Its Segment.

The Chevy Traverse is not as burly and big as the Suburban and Tahoe. However, the three-row spacious crossover makes it lean toward the larger side of the segment of SUVs.

Size and Style Are The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse’s Calling Cards.

The Chevy Traverse is a three-row midsize SUV yet is noticeably larger on the inside than most in its category.

It can carry up to eight passengers. This is a huge benefit in terms of maximum carrying capacity and comfort.

What’s the Resale Value on Chevy Traverse?

A Chevy Traverse is likely to have a lower value on resale after fives years to a resale value of $17,953. You save $9,370 when you purchase a Traverse that has been used for two years.

This is a relatively new car with lots of durability remaining.

It is recommended that you try other vehicles with different ownership length combinations and ages to see if you can find favorable depreciation sweetspots for you.

The 2016 Chevy Traverse could be the ideal model year value to buy. You will pay on average 44% of the brand-new buying price, with 58% of the car’s durability remaining.

Final Thoughts

Chevy Traverse is a midsize three-row SUV which is very family-friendly.

It is the ideal vehicle for a person looking for an incredible family car that has lots of room to spare. In terms of reliability, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The Chevy Traverse can be even a better and more manageable SUV than the bigger Chevy Suburban.

Go back to see problems for all Chevrolet models.


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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.