Which Chevy Traverse Years To Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Chevy Traverse is one of the most prominent choices from Chevrolet’s SUV lineup, which is a family-friendly 7-seater SUV car first launched in 2008.

This mid-size SUV from Chevy is specially designed with luxurious style, sturdy construction, ultimate comfort, higher quality performance, and off-road abilities for families to enjoy lavish rides on the roads. Over the years, several worst and best model years of the Chevy Traverse came up in the market.

So, before you plan on purchasing a new Chevy Traverse, first learn which model years you should avoid from this following article.

Chevy Traverse Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Undoubtedly Chevy has been offering some of the United States’ best family-friendly mid-size SUVs with Chevy Traverse models.

However, just like any other top manufacturer, Chevrolet could not avoid some major design and assembling flaws or mistakes, which made some of the Chevy Traverse model years be considered the worst.

Remember to avoid the following Chevy Traverse SUV model years-

  • 2009 Chevy Traverse: Engine & steering control failure, excess oil consumption, faulty drivetrain & brakes, spark plug coil failure or misfiring, and broken timing chain.
  • 2010 Chevy Traverse: Engine & steering failure, and faulty AC or heater.
  • 2011 Chevy Traverse: Issues with the engine and the check engine light frequently come on.
  • 2012 Chevy Traverse: Engine problems
  • 2015 Chevy Traverse: Electrical Errors, brakes, and steering problems.
  • 2018 Chevy Traverse: Stalling, loss of power, lagging, vibrating, and jerking issues.
  • 2020 Chevy Traverse: Problem with brake and Transmission.

What Makes These Chevy Traverse Years’ Worth Avoiding? 

Earlier I highlighted what issues you might encounter with those years’ Traverse SUV models, so I guess you already got hints of why I have listed those Chevy Traverse years as the worst and suggested you avoid them.

But having an in-depth understanding of the real issues from that much information is not possible, right?

That’s why I am going to discuss briefly the most commonly complained problems of Each of these Chevy Traverse years here-

1. Engine Failure:

It is the most common issue in the 2009-2012 years models, and due to this particular problem, many consumers had to spend an extra significant amount of money for servicing and repairing tasks.

According to the vast collection of consumer complaints available in the Consumer forums, they have most encountered issues, like engine lagging, vibrating or jerking, significant loss of engine power, the engine often stalls during driving, and check engine warning light coming off very frequently.

Although these issues sound common for any auto vehicle, many consumers have mentioned that sometimes the engine troubles become so serious that driving on the road turns out to be life-threatening.

But if you consider the seriousness of the engine issue, then the 2010 and 2011 Traverse model years are the worst.

Many 2010 years Chevy Traverse users claimed that the main trouble starts as soon the car reaches approximately 103,000 miles or so, whereas the 2011-12 Traverse users claimed that the problem with the engine occurs when the vehicle reaches around 70000 to 85,000 miles.

This engine issue has been continuously occurring due to the faulty assembling of the throttle body, drivetrain, or timing chains. The broken or worn-out spark plugs o leaks on the valve gasket covers can also be the potential reasons behind this trouble.

2. Steering Failure:

Another major complaint issue is the faulty steering of several Chevy Traverse model years.

Especially the 2010 and 2011 model years came up with severe power steering issues, where consumers were having a real hard time getting ideal control over their car steering.

According to several consumer complaint forums, Traverse 2010 and 2011 models’ users have encountered problems, such as excessive noise or vibrating sound coming from the steering, fluid leaking from the vehicle’s power steering, or the steering pump has turned loose or unstable.

As users have experienced situations where those SUV models’ power steering suddenly stops responding accordingly on the road, it becomes an obvious cause of any major clash and can turn into a life threat for the passengers.

Not to forget that repairing or replacing these types of power steering is not cheap, so consumers had to spend quite a lot for the entire steering replacement to fix the problem.

That’s not all according to some consumers, this steering issue eventually affected some other major functioning parts too, and they had to pay extra money for those additional fixing.

3. Extreme Oil Consumption & Transmission Failure:

Another most typical issue with the Chevy Traverse first-generation models is the extreme oil consumption.

Especially 2009, 2010, and 2011 Traverse SUV users have confirmed that the vehicles tend to eat up an excessive amount of oil than usual, which eventually forced their car to complete breakdown.

Many 2009 SUV owners have claimed that they have experienced stumbling in their Traverse every couple of months due to that oil consumption problem.

Some even claimed that the issue becomes obvious within 100,000 miles of operation, and the cost of fixing the damages caused by this oil consumption problem is quite high.

Another common mechanical issue with Chevy Traverse 2009 and 2018 models is the Transmission system failure, where most SUV owners have experienced this trouble within approximately 80 to 88,000 miles of operation.

Some 2018 users even claimed to experience the problem within their first 4000 miles of operation.

People claimed to spend around $3000 and more to fix their vehicle’s transmission failure problem.

Consumers have also mentioned symptoms like lack of active response, visibly low fluid level, clutch dragging, hard shifting, gears slipping, burning smell coming from the transmission, lagging, vibrating, and jerking issues.

4. Problem With Factory Assembled Brake:

Issues with factory assembled brake of the Chevy Traverse SUVs were present in its first-generation models and are still present in some of the recent years’ models.

Many 2009, 2018, and 2020 Traverse users have complained about hearing unusual grinding noises coming from the brakes after driving their cars for only around 100 miles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA has reported four brake-related incidents that occurred with some of the Traverse model years.

Also, Chevrolet had already issued a Technical Service Bulletin or TSB, where the brand addressed this particular issue of the 2018 and 2020 Traverse models.

Besides that, have a brief look at the detailed list of what Traverse owners have been complaining about the most and the CHEVROLET TRAVERSE MODEL YEAR COMPARISON provided by CarComplaints.com to have a more precise understanding.

Which Chevy Traverse Years are Safe to Buy Used? 

Whenever you plan on purchasing a new or used Chevy Traverse SUV, make sure you choose between this SUV model’s best years.

Based on the CarComplaints report, the following years are considered the some of the best Chevy Traverse years-

  • 2013 Chevy Traverse
  • 2014 Chevy Traverse
  • 2016 Chevy Traverse
  • 2017 Chevy Traverse
  • 2019 Chevy Traverse
  • 2020 Chevy Traverse
  • 2021 Chevy Traverse

After the 2012 models, the major troubleshooting issues with Chevy Traverse SUVs gradually reduced.


Over the years, Chevrolet has been one of America’s most popular car manufacturing brands for offering luxurious vehicles that deliver high-quality performances.

Besides Chevy brand’s world-class reputation and all the positive consumer reviews provided on several consumers forums as well as auto eCommerce sites about Chevy Traverse, let me also remind you that there are model years that you should be aware of to avoid.

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