Chevrolet is known for its pickups, city cruisers, and more recently, its SUVs. While these vehicles differ greatly when it comes to reliability, since 2015, the brand has greatly improved the build quality of their cars. Chevrolet sells around 140,000 cars in the USA every month, and it’s a brand that has a large base of extremely loyal fans. That means some of our customers trust us with both their classic and vintage Chevrolets as well as brand new models that have just rolled off the production line.
We should note that Chevrolet is now producing hybrid and electric vehicles. While we can (and often do) repair these, their range of alternate powered vehicles is too new to offer any insight into reliability trends. If you’re considering buying a hybrid or electric Chevrolet, please consult a specialist car review website such as Motortrend or Edmunds.
The Chevrolet Blazer is a model that was retired and recently revived once the SUV market began growing in popularity. There haven’t been a lot of problems with the latest generation, but earlier years had some serious issues. 2002 was a troublesome year with many owners reporting problems with their Chevrolet Blazer overheating. This was due to several reasons. One explanation was a particular brand of coolant was corrosive to the gaskets, and we saw many cars with leaking intake manifold gaskets as a result. The average cost of repair for this is around $350.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Blazer include:
Sports and muscle cars are built to be driven harder than your average city cruiser, but the extra engineering and better build quality means we generally see much less of them needing repair. Additionally, when something does go wrong, it’s rarely a serious engine issue. An example of this is the air conditioner blowing hot air on the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro, which was due to a problem with the temperature blend door. The price to replace this part is roughly around $850 due to the extensive labor involved.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Camaro include:
The Chevrolet Colorado is a pretty solid choice for a pickup though some owners of the 2018 and 2019 models have needed to replace the torque converter due to a problem with the transmission shifting roughly. This is usually accompanied by a transmission fluid flush. A new torque converter can be fitted to a Chevrolet Colorado for upwards of $1,000.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Colorado include:
- TPS causing vehicle to stall (2016)
- Air conditioner stopped working (2016)
- Power steering stopped working (2015)
Similarly, to the Chevrolet Camaro, we rarely see serious mechanical failures with Chevrolet Corvettes. Not only are they more expensive than your average vehicle, but they are usually looked after and maintained to a higher standard as well. Interestingly, one of the most common problems we see with Corvettes is a shake or chattering from the front end when turning in a tight radius. Rather than being a mechanical problem, we managed to trace the issue to the type of tires that Chevrolet recommends for the Corvette. Fitting a set of tires from a different manufacturer fixes the problem for a cost of around $1400 for a full set.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Corvette include:
- Transmission not smooth (2016)
- Car hesitating under acceleration (2013)
- Seat belt pre-tensioner triggering airbag light (2007)
When it comes to reliability, the Chevrolet Equinox is not one of the best models, although reliability seems to be improving from 2016 onwards. They still have their problems, however, and even as recently as 2018, we get plenty of complaints about the fuel gauge reading incorrectly. Fortunately, this is a pretty simple fix and can be corrected by replacing the fuel sender unit for a cost of around $1,200.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Equinox include:
- Turbo failure in freezing temperature (2018)
- Rear main seal leaking (2016)
- Burning oil (2013)
Far from being the most reliable model that Chevrolet produces, from 2014 models until now, we find Impalas needing less repair work. One of the last prolific problems was with the 2014 model which would emit noise from the front suspension along with illuminated traction control or ABS warning light. We found the part causing this was a malfunctioning speed sensor causing the ABS to malfunction and the wheel speed to be read incorrectly. The cost to replace a speed sensor on a Chevrolet Impala is approximately $300.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Impala include:
- Car not starting (2014)
- Noisy air condition actuator (2012)
- Transmission locked up and can’t be shifted (2011)
The Chevrolet Malibu is one of the oldest vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup and has been getting more mechanically reliable over time, but the model is far from being problem-free. Even as recently as 2016 and 2017, we saw a large number of Chevrolet Malibus registering a ‘shift to park’ error on the dashboard. This can sometimes be the result of a faulty inhibitor switch but in this case, the shifter wiring harness was found to be shorting out and causing the error message. The replacement part was quite expensive and the problem could be repaired for around $700 on average.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Malibu include:
- Wear bearings are worn (2014)
- Fuel gauge inaccurate (2017)
- Steering wheel sticking (2013)
Our technicians are seeing more Chevrolet Sonics than in previous years, but mostly for standard preventative maintenance. The first generation had some cooling system problems for both failures of the thermostat which is not an uncommon repair, but also a bad radiator fan which is less common. The thermostat is small, but plays a vital role in keeping your car’s engine cool and can generally be replaced for around $250.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Sonic include:
- Faulty air intake sensor (2012)
- Transmission not shifting smoothly (2014)
- Engine running lean and misfiring (2016)
The Chevrolet Spark has a reputation for being a good city car or daily driver – it’s small, gas efficient, and easy to drive and park. Its biggest problem, however, is that it’s built to a cheap price point, so while it’s affordable, you will find yourself dealing with squeaks and rattles. Build quality has improved over the Spark’s lifecycle, and most of the problems occurred in 2013 with one of the most common problems being noisy wheel bearings. A noisy wheel bearing can be replaced for approximately $270 each. If they need repacking instead, the average cost is around $125.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Spark include:
- Windows rattling (2019)
- Burning oil (2013)
- Bad knock sensor (2015)
The majority of complaints about the Chevrolet Suburban relate to a problem with the vehicle burning oil which has been the subject of a handful of recalls. A common problem owners of the Chevrolet Suburban complain about though is an air conditioner that has either stopped working or is just blowing hot air. Suburbans that were built from 2014 – 2017 are particularly troublesome due to the air conditioner compressor that was fitted from the factory. Once the compressor is replaced, we don’t see the problems reoccurring. It generally costs around $850 to install a new air conditioner compressor.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Suburban include:
Since a terrible year where the Tahoe had a score of mechanical issues, the model has been getting consistently more reliable, although we still see some issues carried through to the latest version. One example is the problem with fuel injectors which causes the vehicle to idle roughly and jerk or shake under acceleration. The average cost for replacement injectors is around $1,000.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Tahoe include:
- Air conditioner not cold (2016)
- Seat shifts position while driving (2015)
- Vacuum pump on brakes not working (2015)
We find that the Chevrolet Trailblazer sits around the middle of all the Chevrolet models when it comes to reliability. Most problems occurred around 2005, before it went out of production a few years later, so it will be interesting to see how reliable the next generation is with the series being relaunched in 2021. The worst year for mechanical issues on the Chevrolet Trailblazer was 2005 with multiple issues. One common problem was a short in the electrical circuit causing the electric windows to stop working. A new window control module needs to be installed to fix the issue at a cost of around $250.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Trailblazer include:
- Fuel gauge not working (2005)
- Alternator not charging the battery (2007)
- Engine makes ticking noise (2008)
Mechanical issues have persisted throughout the Chevrolet Traverse’s lifecycle making it one of the most unreliable models in the Chevrolet lineup. Owners of the 2015 Chevrolet Traverse would sometimes suddenly found themselves without power steering due to a failure of the power steering pump. This is a pretty simple, but relatively expensive repair with an average cost of $500-600.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Traverse include:
- Transmission won’t shift into park (2018)
- Timing chain needs replacing (2012)
- Emissions sensor causing check engine light (2012)
Being a newer model in the Chevrolet lineup, the Trax hasn’t had a lot of problems but it did have a couple of years with more mechanical issues than others. We perform most repairs on the 2016 Chevrolet Trax, even though the problems we see are not serious issues. One of the most common issues our customers have with their Chevrolet Trax is the air conditioner blowing hot air. This is usually caused by the air conditioner operating at too high a pressure, forcing the compressor to shut off. We resolve this by evacuating the system and recharging the gas to a slightly lower level. The cost to evacuate and recharge an air conditioner in a Chevrolet Trax is approximately $250.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Trax include:
- Park brake needs adjusting (2015)
- Can smell exhaust fumes in vehicle (2015)
- Engine misfire (2017)
Like the Colorado, we rarely see serious mechanical problems with the Chevrolet Silverado. We have seen a couple of examples of a brake pedal being able to be pressed all the way to the floor, which was caused by a leaking brake master cylinder. But nonetheless, there are virtually no serious mechanical problems that we’ve seen with this model. A new master cylinder can be fitted for around $900.
Other common problems with the Chevrolet Silverado include:
- Power steering loss (2017)
- Vehicle won’t start (2011)
- Automatic door locks don’t work (2008)