Equinox Heater Only Blows Cold Air

Posted on
Scott McCracken
A Chevy interior with super-imposed animated snowflakes on top.

The most frequently complained about component of the 2006 Chevrolet Equinox is an unreliable climate control unit that doesn't warm the car or defrost the windows.

Chevy heaters: my office now! You had ONE job and you can't even get that right.

Where Has All My Hot Air Gone?

Many owners have shared their stories about how the Equinox heater only blows cold air< over at CarComplaints.com. At the time of writing this it is the 9th highest problem trend and climbing.

Automatic heating systems in cars use a temperature blend door that controls how air flows past the heater core. The blend door is connected to an actuator by a plastic arm that is prone to breaking in the 2006 Equinox. According to owners on CarComplaints.com this typically happens after 60k miles and is due to cheap plastic.

How to Repair

Fixing the problem might seem as easy as replacing the busted plastic part, but it actually requires disassembling your entire instrument panel and center console. Therefore it is only recommended to do on your own if you have automotive repair expertise or nerves of steel. Unfortunately for those who are not as confident this is a costly repair, ranging from $750 to $1000 at a repair shop, with a majority of that cost going towards labor.

What Chevy is Doing About the Problem

In a word: nothing; at least not at the moment. Multiple owners have called Chevrolet directly and have had to deal with a labyrinth of transfers and denials. With that said, there's strength in numbers and you too can call and complain at (800)222-1020.

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Chevrolet generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA