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2010 Chevy Traverse Problems and Review

2010 Chevy Traverse Problems and Review

When the 2010 Chevy Traverse landed on car dealership lots over a decade ago, they made quite a splash as a quality mid-size SUV. The Traverse, especially nowadays, is popular and respected for its versatility and affordability. For the 2010 model, however, the story reads quite differently.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


What’s more American than a Chevy? The company is well-known for its patriotic take on cars. They cut special deals for military personnel and run a baseball-themed campaign for the youth every year. Their call to arms is clear: Buy American. Buy Chevy.

Usually, Chevy’s pretty good – but they made a mistake mechanics still haven’t stopped discussing. The 2010 (and they say 2011, too) Chevy Traverse had a lot of problems that left many drivers with more than they bargained for.

Mechanics assert that the worst part of the 2010 Traverse is the vehicle’s engine itself. Not all of the problems are grave, but when you have “total engine failure” on the menu, savvy consumers certainly take notice. Some of the issues are annoying, others dangerous (and expensive).

Do the math first. A car sold in 2010 in 2021 is over a decade old as it is. The average lifespan of a vehicle is about twelve years. You combine this fact with the laundry list of recalls and problems associated with this particular year, make, and model, and it’s a recipe for disaster, financial and otherwise.

Mileage Matters with the 2010 Chevy Traverse

When talking about 2010 Chevy Traverse issues and problems, noting how many miles the particular car has is worthwhile.

Mileage matters in all used cars, actually. Why? Because no matter how great a car is, after a certain point, if there’s not careful maintenance, care, and repair, that old car won’t be going anywhere.

The cars tend to “crap out” at about 100,000 miles. Whereas reliable and well-maintained cars go twice as far, often for twenty or thirty years. Unfortunately, this was a great car that fizzled out a little too early for its cost. Used car buyers should be advised.

Buying a 2010 Traverse isn’t the same thing as buying a 2021 model “but older.” It has its own set of problems that are pretty costly. If the car’s engine needs to be rebuilt, that will run you about $6,400. 

Beware of the 2011 Chevy Traverse as Well

All of the reports say the same thing about the 2010 Chevy Traverse, the 2011 model’s problems are just more of the same.

Between 2010 and 2011, an overhaul redesign was not done by Chevy for one reason or another. This led to two years of the same type of car, with similar problems, out on the road.

Even worse, the problems began at about 70,000 miles – that’s not a lot for a twenty-first century car!

Minor issues were about $400 to fix. Many Americans do not have that kind of money sitting around for emergency car repairs, though. When the costs rise into the thousands, it’s a pretty serious dilemma.

The average cost to fix the vehicle is reported as about $2000. That’s a lot of cash for a repair on a car that’s over ten years old.

It got worse – around 90,000 miles, the 2011 model was subject to total engine failure. Owners who wanted to keep the car had to pay the high cost of replacing the engine; it’s about $5,200.

This car is mocked amongst used car fans and mechanics alike. It’s considered a total lemon in some social circles. This is said only of the 2010/2011 models, however. 

The car earned back its respectability. Many people rave about the more recent models. Chevy had made some good changes after 2012.

In 2018, the car got another redesign, and complaints have been fairly quiet ever since. 

This can be confusing for used car buyers, and this is why they must, must, must do their homework before turning over a cash payment for a back in the alley car purchase. Somebody hears “Chevy Traverse” and gets excited about the quality. That quality wasn’t there before 2012, though.

A 2010/2011 is usually a no go. Unless the engine’s already been replaced, or you’re a mechanic, you should consider a newer model.

Chevy Traverse Today

Because of all the repairs and redesigns, and Chevy’s general commitment to making things right in the end, the car got upgrades in 2012 and 2018. Nowadays, the Chevy Traverses of our times rarely have major issues.

Common 2010 Chevy Traverse Questions

A lot of car shoppers ask good questions about the 2010 Chevy Traverse before moving ahead with the purchase.

Such questions include:

    • Is the 2010 Chevy Traverse a great car? It was okay in 2010. It was pretty good until about 70,000-100,000 miles. Total engine failure plagued some drivers as the milage climbed. The car, by today’s standards, is not that good.
  • Does the 2010 Chevy Traverse have a lot of problems? Yes, it certainly does.
  • How long can I drive the Chevy Traverse until it dies? You can expect the car to make it to 70,000 to 100,000 miles before major problems start occurring. Then, you might be better off sending the car to the junkyard!

2010 Chevy Traverse Recall Notices

There are two major safety recalls normally mentioned when discussing the 2010 Chevy Traverse. There are others, and checking with the official sources is the only reliable way to learn about recalls.

Before getting into the most commonly mentioned, it should be stated that recalls are tricky. 

You need to contact the dealership and run the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, against the database to find out what recalls have been issued for the vehicle as well as the status of the repairs.

The two most common recalls:

  1. 2015 life gate recall: Basically, the life gate would randomly close, hurting people. This was believed to affect over 600,000 vehicles. The recall was made in 2015.
  2. 2014 Airbag and seatbelt recalls: The side air bags and seat belt pretensioners did not react in collisions. This is a dangerous issue, and it affected over 1,000,000 vehicles.

Bad Experiences with the Chevy 2010 Traverse

Everybody’s experience with the Chevy 2010 Traverse will be different. It depends where the car was manufactured, the maintenance it’s undergone in the past, and how carefully past owners took care of the vehicle. 

Some people bought this used car with 50-65,000 miles on it. At the time, it sounded like a steal. A nice SUV by Chevy for a fair price. Later, though, problems started to pop up, often unexpectedly and repeatedly. 

Having to pay for the same repair over and over again is frustrating, and that’s what you might be getting into if you go for the 2010 Chevy Traverse in this day and age.

People originally went for the car for a variety of reasons. The size is the first. People with children love the space the SUV provides. Some drivers report a decent ride – it’s still a mid-line SUV at the end of the day, so it’s not total sports performance by any means. However, it got the job done.

Later, though, as various issues entered the picture, the dream was shattered. Computer error codes made some of these Traverses nearly impossible to fix. Mechanics couldn’t make heads or tails of the problems in some garages.

Drivers have commented that they’ve faced other problems buying this car used:

  • Heating/AC System Actuator Doors do not work
  • Faulty Throttle Body
  • Timing chain replacement due at only 60,000 miles
  • Drivers cannot replace the windshield wiper on the back of the car – it has to work “forever”
  • Changing headlights is hard because the car must be put on a jack and have a tire taken off to replace the lamp

The average cost of repairs for the 2010 Chevy Traverse ranges from $700 to $900. 

That’s certainly not chump change for the average driver, so used car buyers should have a hefty budget set aside for the repairs if they’re serious about purchasing the SUV as their main ride.

Average 2010 Chevy Traverse Repair Costs

When shopping for a used car like the 2010 Chevy Traverse, it may be helpful to know the average cost of some of the repairs commonly required in the car’s later life. This can help the driver determine if they have enough funds to manage constant and unexpected repairs.

  • Driver Belt Tensioner – $260 on average
  • Crankshaft Position Sensor – $140 on average
  • Headland Switch – $115 on average

In general, the car received a reliability ranking of 3/5. 

With the reported annual repair costs of about $650, that seems doable. However, the majority of the repairs required by these vehicles today are serious and cost more than average. If you don’t have savings, this can be hard to manage financially.

Trading in or Reselling a 2010 (2011) Chevy Traverse

This study has made it pretty clear that a 2010 Chevy Traverse probably isn’t a great investment if you’re not already a mechanic or a collector of 2010 Chevy Traverses. 

The vehicle had its ride as a decent SUV, but as the problems started to hit when the odometer reached 70,000+ miles, the magic had faded. Granted, 2012 and 2018 brought major upgrades, earning the Chevy Traverse its time in the spotlight once again.

If you want to trade in a Chevy Traverse, don’t expect top dollar. The car has outlived its estimated time on the road already. It can’t be sold for a lot of money to any buyer smart enough to run a quick web search on all the problems the car has. 

Reselling would be even more unethical than trading it in some regards. If you think you’re going to post the Chevy 2010 Traverse without disclosing the long list of problems it might have, you could land yourself in hot water with the buyer down the road.

The safest and smartest bet is to send the car to the junkyard. The junkyard comes to you with a tow truck, that makes it a fast and easy process. The best part is they will give you a cash payment. If parts of that car still work, you could be making someone else’s life easier by giving up your car.

When they need to find that headlight lamp switch that still operates, they could pull it from your car (if it still works) at the junkyard. That’s recycling, helping out our fellow drivers, and letting go of the stress of owning this car all at once. Sounds like a good deal!

What’s a 2010 Chevy Traverse Worth in 2021?

The value of any used car, including the 2010 Chevy Traverse, relies on many factors: condition, maintenance, location, style, market, etc.

The worst version of the car, so long as it still runs, will be sold for about $3000. This may sound nice for the buyer, but remember, you’ll be finishing the investment in the form of repair bills paid directly to a local mechanic.

The outstanding, perfect model of the car, on a dealership’s lot, will run as high as $8,200. Now, remember that with this, you might be able to get a car that’s had its recalls done and major repairs already made. You should ask to see the car’s history to be sure. Check if there’s a guarantee, too.

Looking Back and Forth on the Chevy Traverse

The bottom line is that you should probably avoid purchasing a Chevy Traverse from 2010 or 2011. 

When it first hit the market, it was thought to be a sweet ride. Later on, the problems started coming out and people realized it wasn’t all it seemed to be.

Go for something newer, at least the reconfigured 2012 model which is said to have fewer issues.