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Many 2018 Traverse owners complain of drivability problems such as stalling, reduced power, shuddering and jerking.
On the NHTSA website, one complaint reads, “While at a traffic light, the engine auto stop engaged as usual. However, upon releasing the brake to proceed through the intersection, the vehicle restarted but would not run properly. The vehicle would lurch/jerk forward then loose power over and over again. It felt like I would get whiplashed from the movement of the vehicle.”
“This vehicle has given us nothing but headaches since purchasing end of Oct 2017! It began within a few days of purchase, the LED headlight assembly started flashing erratically, other cars began pulling over when I drove up behind them, I assume they were thinking that they were being pulled over by an unmarked police car. Into the dealership, it went. Right after we got it back from the dealership(they replaced the headlight assembly) we noticed a strong jerk at various speeds and thought it was the transmission. We brought it back in and were told that the computer was dropping programs but they were positive the problem was fixed. It was not, it continued and seemed to get worse. Honestly, it was embarrassing to have others ride with me in my vehicle, it was like a whip-lash jerk!” states another on Edmunds.com.
Chevy’s parent company, General Motors, issued a technical service bulletin (TSB) to address the drivability concerns. According to the document, the culprit is the wiring harness between the crankshaft position sensor and the engine control module (the vehicle’s main computer).The crank sensor – a component that provides data for vital functions like ignition timing – may pick up electromagnetic interference from nearby circuits.
To fix the issue, TSB17-NA-317 instructs dealerships to replace the crank sensor portion of the harness with a jumper wire. Whether the solution is effective long-term has yet to be seen.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Engine Problems:
TL* THE CONTACT LEASES A 2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE. WHILE DRIVING IN TRAFFIC, THE VEHICLE POWERED OFF, THE ENGINE FAILED, AND ALL THE INSTRUMENT PANEL INDICATORS FLICKERED. THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO COAST THE VEHICLE OUT OF TRAFFIC. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE VEHICLE CONTINUED TO ROLL WHEN THE GEAR WAS SHIFTED INTO PARK. THE CONTACT WAS ABLE TO STOP THE VEHICLE BY ENGAGING THE EMERGENCY BRAKE. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO COPELAND CHEVROLET (955 PEARL STREET, BROCKTON, MA 02301, (774) 257-5881). THE DEALER TEST DROVE THE VEHICLE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE FAILURE. THE DEALER DID NOT PROVIDE A DIAGNOSTIC REPORT. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,000.
MY WIFE WAS DRIVING TO A COLLEGE INTERVIEW FROM RIO GRANDE CITY TX TO AUSTIN TX; WHILE SHE WAS PASSING BY PLEASANTOWN TX, THE SUV REDUCED THE SPEED BY ITSELF AND SHE COULD NOT GET IT UP PASSING 25 MILES PER HOUR. IT SEEMED LIKE A TRANSMISSION ISSUE. SHE WAS TOWED TO THE NEAREST CHEVROLET DEALER AND IS STILL THERE.
AT 7,256 MILES, THE ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON. DALE WILLEY AUTOMOTIVE REPLACED THE ENGINE COOLANT FAN MOTOR & ASSEMBLY, AS IT WAS INTERMITTENTLY TURNING ON & OFF, CAUSING A CODE TO BE FIRED FOR THE ENGINE LIGHT. THE RADIATOR ALSO HAD TO BE REPLACED DUE TO A LEAK. ALSO, A FUSE HAD TO BE REPLACED THAT WAS INSTALLED INCORRECTLY BY THE FACTORY WITH A PLASTIC COATING COVERING THE METAL CONTACT OF THE FUSE WHICH WAS CAUSING INTERMITTENT POWER.
In 2018, the Traverse received an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission, referred to by its code name, 9T65. The unit, which is known to fail before the 20,000-mile mark, is a downgrade from the outgoing 6-speed it replaces.
“I purchased a 2018 Traverse/Redline on 6 Feb 2018, drove it less than 100 miles, and the transmission stopped working two (2) days later,” writes one owner on Edmunds.com.
Another owner states, “So far the 2018 Chevy Traverse High Country is a huge letdown, not sure which is worse, the fact the vehicle is such poor quality for the price or the poor service from local Chevrolet dealerships. The only real positive attribute is the size. The car rattles and squeaks like a cheap Styrofoam cooler when traveling “rough” highways. The transmission had failed twice under 11,000 miles.”
“646 miles on the odometer and transmission failed. My 15-year-old Tahoe made it 256000 without a transmission failure. It’s hard to accept waiting on the side of the road with a car that doesn’t even have plates on it yet,” exclaims another owner.
Indeed, GM’s fancy new 9-speed has many problems. There are no recalls for the unit yet. But there are several TSBs, including 18-NA-121. The document instructs dealerships to update software inside the transmission control module and replace the valve body spacer plate (a part that directs fluid to circuits inside the transmission). Together, these procedures are supposed to cure the transmission’s ailments, such as refusing to accelerate above 25 mph.
Are the software update and spacer replacement a permanent fix? Or is the new nine-speed transmission inherently bad? Only time will tell.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Transmission Problems:
TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT AFTER STARTING THE VEHICLE AND SWITCHING FROM PARK TO THE DRIVE POSITION, THE ENGINE WOULD REV WHEN THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WAS PRESSED BUT THE VEHICLE WOULD NOT DRIVE. ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS THE VEHICLE HAD ROLLED FORWARD AS IF THE TRANSMISSION WAS IN THE NEUTRAL POSITION. THE FAILURE HAD OCCURRED ON 7 SEPARATE OCCASIONS. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN THE LOCAL DEALER GARBER CHEVROLET SAGINAW (8800 GRATIOT RD. SAGINAW, MI) WHO WAS UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE FAILURE OR DIAGNOSE THE VEHICLE. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 4,000.
I PURCHASED A 2018 TRAVERSE/REDLINE ON 6 FEB 2018, DROVE IT LESS THAN 100 MILES, AND THE TRANSMISSION STOPPED WORKING TWO (2) DAYS LATER. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED BACK TO THE DEALER. THE SERVICE SECTION ADVISED THEY DON’T HAVE THE EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM, AND THAT THE EQUIPMENT IS EXPECTED SOMETIME NEXT WEEK. TODAY, 20 FEB 2018, STILL AWAITING EQUIPMENT. I TOLD THE DEALERSHIP MGR THAT I DONT WANT THAT VEHICLE BACK. THE MGR SAID THAT HIS HANDS ARE TIED AND I WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH GM. CONTACTED GM ON 9 FEB, AND COMPLETED AN APPLICATION FOR WHAT I WAS LET TO BELIEVE WAS A BUY BACK OF MY VEHICLE. THE GM REP INFORMED ME THAT SOMEONE WOULD CONTACT ME WITHIN TWO DAYS. NEEDLESS TO SAY, IT DIDNT HAPPEN. I CALLED GM BACK ON 13 FEB, SPOKE WITH ANOTHER REP WHO HAD NO CLUE AS TO WHY I WAS CALLING. THIS REP ASKED FOR 72 HOURS, AND WOULD GET BACK TO ME. ON 20 FEB, I RCVD A CALL FROM THE GM REP WHO STATED THAT GM CAN ONLY DO A BUY BACK AFTER 3 OR MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE VEHICLE. BOTTOM LINE IS THAT I BOUGHT A 46,000 DOLLAR PIECE OF JUNK, AND OF COURSE, NO ONE WANTS IT BACK. AND GM IS MORE THAN AWARE THIS PROBLEM EXISTS… THANK GOD I WASN’T MAKING A TURN IN FRONT OF ANOTHER VEHICLE WHEN THE VEHICLE STALLED… TRULY AN UNSAFE VEHICLE… BUYER BEWARE !
The 2018 Traverse is equipped with electric power steering (EPS). Unlike traditional power steering, which uses a hydraulic pump and fluid to provide assist, EPS uses sensors, control modules and an electric motor to do the job.
“We recently leased a 2018 Chevy Traverse on 4/26/2018. On 4/28/2018, two days after purchase the car began flashing all services lights (All Wheel Drive, Steering Assist Service, Power Steering, etc.) My wife immediately pulls over the car and contacts the dealership service department letting them know what happened (6 months pregnant and with our 1 1/2 year old) They advised they could fit us in for a check of the vehicle 2 weeks later, and to continue driving it. She drives 3 houses further down the street and the engine begins to knock and shuts down and locks up. (Wish I could post the videos on here) Now the dealership advises they can send a tow truck to pick up the vehicle for us. They call 2 days later saying the computers just needed to be reset and everything was fine. We picked up the vehicle on 4/30/2018, and the next day the check engine light comes on again,” writes one owner on Edmunds.com.
On the NHTSA website, another complaint reads, “Keep getting error message: “assisted steering is limited. Please drive carefully.” The car was in motion on a city street taking turns when error code was displayed. Car only has 552 miles. This could be a potential steering issue for the 2018 models.”
GM has released TSB 17-NA-390 to address the EPS concern. According to the document, bad programming inside the engine control module is to blame. Dealers are instructed to reflash the unit as a correction. One would think GM would issue a recall since the problem affects a vital safety system – the steering – but so far, the automaker hasn’t taken any such action.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Electrical Problems:
PURCHASED A 2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE IN OCTOBER. BEGINNING WITHIN THE FIRST 30 DAYS THE CAR MADE A LOUD ROARING NOISE WHEN @ 2100 RPM AND GOING APPROXIMATELY 74 MPH. JUST THOUGHT IT WAS A FLUKE. THEN STARTING IN DECEMBER, WHILE TRAVELLING OUT OF TOWN, IT PERSISTED EVERY TIME WE DROVE IT. IT ALSO WOULD LOSE POWER OR SOMETHING STRANGE WHEN PUTTING IT IN GEAR AFTER BACKING OUT OF OUR DRIVEWAY. WE WOULD ACCELERATE FOR A SHORT DISTANCE WHEN THE RPM’S WOULD REV-UP TO 6-7,000 RPM BUT THE CAR WOULDN’T GO. IT WAS ALMOST AS IF IT WOULD SLIP ITSELF INTO NEUTRAL WHILE GOING DOWN THE ROAD. WE HAVE TAKEN THE CAR IN 4 DIFFERENT TIMES FOR REPAIR AND THE PROBLEM HAS NOT BEEN FIXED. THE CAR ALSO TURNS ITSELF OFF. THE PANEL GOES BLACK. WHEN WE START HEARING A LOUD RUMBLING NOISE WHILE SITTING IN NEUTRAL AT A FAST FOOD DRIVE THRU OR RED LIGHT WE TURN THE AIR CONDITIONING OFF TO TRY AND HEAR THE NOISE BETTER AND THE CAR DIES AND THE PANEL GOES BLACK. WE HAVE HAD TO ACTUALLY RE-START THE CAR. WE ARE EXTREMELY CONCERNED FOR THE SAFETY OF THIS VEHICLE AND ARE RETURNING IT DO THE DEALERSHIP TOMORROW FOR OUR FINAL TIME. THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO REPAIR THE PROBLEM AND THINGS ARE ACTUALLY GETTING WORSE. THIS IS SUCH A SHAME BECAUSE WE WERE SO EXCITED ABOUT OUR NEW CAR. WE LIVE ON A VERY BUSY ROAD WHERE VEHICLES AND 18 WHEELERS CAN GO IN EXCESS OF 70 MILES AN HOUR AND I AM AFRAID TO PULL OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY WITH THIS CAR. WE HAVE EVEN COASTED TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WHEN IT LOOSES POWER TO AVOID BEING HIT FROM BEHIND. THE DEALERSHIP WOULDN’T EVEN START REPAIRS UNTIL THEY COULD DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM. FINALLY A MECHANIC ROAD WITH US AND WITNESSED THE NOISE BUT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO “DUPLICATE” THE SLIPPING OUT OF GEAR TYPE PROBLEMS. SINCE IT IS HAPPENING REGULARLY NOW, MAYBE THEN CAN SEE FOR THEMSELVES. IT HAS TRULY BECOME A SERIOUS SAFETY PROBLEM.
THE LIGHT FOR THE BACKUP CAMERA IS EXTREMELY BRIGHT AND BLINDING AT NIGHT. IT BLOCKS UP YOUR VIEW OF THE CAMERA AND MUST BE COVERED WITH A TOWEL IN ORDER TO SEE WHEN BACKING AT NIGHT. I SPOKE WITH GENERAL MOTORS AND WAS TOLD THAT THERE IS NO FIX. THIS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE WITH BACKING UP AT NIGHT.
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