Chevy Equinox Climate Control Problems (6 Common Issues)

Have you ever taken your Chevy Equinox climate control system to the dealer, only to discover that there was nothing wrong with the system? Then, you might be unwilling to relive the experience if you notice another strange behavior in the system.

Chevy Equinox

In this posts, I’ve covered the common problems with Chevy Equinox climate control system and some fixes you can try.

You’ll also discover the least likely Chevrolet Equinox models with climate control issues, so you can recommend them to your friends (if needed).

Common Problems with Chevy Equinox Climate Control

1. Air only blows through the defrost vents

If your Chevy Equinox climate control system only blows air through the defrost system, the system is problematic. Usually, this issue points to a bad mode actuator.

When you select a vent to blow air into your car, the mode door actuator is the component that directs the air through that vent. But when this actuator is faulty, it sets the defrost vents as a default.

This might be why you are only getting air through the defrost vents.

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to change your mode door actuator. The mode door actuator is a circular plastic object located beneath the driver’s side knee panel. You have to remove the entire knee panel to take out the actuator.

2. AC not cooling enough

Another sign of a faulty Chevy Equinox climate control is an AC that isn’t cooling enough. The AC may start out well, releasing air at your desired temperature. But after several minutes, the coolness of the air may reduce, and you might only get slightly cool air.

If you encounter this issue, your blend doors might not be working properly.

When you set the temperature dial to cool, the blend doors send the warm air into the climate control system through the AC evaporator coil. They leave the air to cool properly before releasing it into your car.

However, if the blend doors are malfunctioning, they might not let the air cool properly before sending it out of your climate control system.

You may need to replace your blend door actuator, which houses the blend doors, to fix this problem. The blend door actuator is located below the driver’s side dashboard. Look for a plastic box with a wire harness running through it.

3. AC compressor goes off on high blower speed

You can tell that your climate control system has issues if the AC compressor goes off when you increase the blower speed. This problem often indicates that your HVAC control module is faulty.

The HVAC control module reads data from your blower and uses the information to regulate your AC to your desired temperature. In contrast, a bad HVAC module might fail to interpret the data clearly, thus causing the AC to go off.

The only way to resolve this problem is to replace your HVAC control module.

The HVAC control module is the panel that contains your temperature dial. It is located at the center of your dashboard.

You’ll need to remove your dash trim cover to detach the HVAC control module from your dashboard.

4. Climate Control won’t switch to other vents

If you can’t change the vents through which air blows, your Chevy Equinox has a bad climate control system. Since the mode door actuator controls the vents, it is the most likely culprit for this issue.

Change your mode door actuator if you can’t get your climate control to blow air to switch to other vents.

5. AC blowing warm air 

Is your AC blowing warm air? Then, there might be a problem with your Chevy Equinox climate control system.

Your air conditioner may be blowing warm air because your radiator fan has stopped working. In that case, you’ll need to replace your radiator fan.

That said, there are other reasons your climate control system might be blowing warm air when you’ve set it to cool. One of them is a bad blend door actuator.

If you aren’t sure whether your radiator fan is faulty, you’ll need to test its efficiency. To do this, check if your AC starts blowing cool air when you drive at highway speeds.

When you are driving at low speed, the AC relies on the force from the radiator fan to convert warm air to cool air in the radiator. But at high speeds, the energy from your engine provides enough force to spread air through the radiator. So, the AC will work properly without a radiator when you are speeding.

If your AC only blows cool air when you are riding your Equinox at high speed, change your radiator fan. But if the AC is still blowing warm air at high speed, your blend door might be the issue.

Hire a car technician to do the replacement.

6. Bad odor emanating from the climate control system

A faulty Chevy Equinox climate control system may release an unpleasant odor every time you restart the engine. Such smell points to a calibration error in the automatic climate control module.

This problem often occurs when you switch off your engine with the automatic start/stop system on your dashboard. Once the engine goes off, the temperature in your evaporator drops below 32°F.

Immediately you switch the engine back on, the evaporator warms up again. The warming-up process introduces the unpleasant smell in the climate control system.

General Motors has since introduced a calibration update to fix the climate control error in affected Chevy Equinox vehicles. Ask your dealer to install the update on your car.

Chevy Equinox Models with the Most Climate Control Problems

The Chevy Equinox models with the highest number of climate control problems are:

  • 2006 Chevy Equinox
  • 2011 Chevy Equinox
  • 2005 Chevy Equinox puts the 2006 Chevy Equinox at the top of the list of models with climate control-related issues. The model received 198 complaints about AC/heater issues from its users.

The 2011 Chevy Equinox ranked second on this list, with about 33 climate control issues. Another notorious Chevy Equinox model for climate control problems is the 2005 model.

Chevy Equinox Models with the Least Climate Control Problems

The Chevy Equinox models with the least climate control issues are:

  • 2020 Chevy Equinox
  • 2021 Chevy Equinox

According to, the 2020 and 2021 Chevy Equinox are the models with the least climate control problems. None of the drivers of these models complained about climate control issues in their vehicles.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Chevy Equinox Climate Control Problems?

It costs about $249 to fix the average Chevy Equinox climate control problems. That said, simple repairs, such as an AC diagnosis, may be priced at $88. In contrast, you may need more than $230 for complex fixes.

Tips to Prevent Chevy Equinox Climate Control Problems

  • Wash your car daily.
  • Park your vehicle under a shade.
  • Recharge your AC once a year.
  • Stick to the PAG refrigerant.
  • Switch off your AC when you are not driving.
  • Update your Chevy Equinox infotainment system software regularly.

You may also like to read about Chevy Avalanche and Chevy Silverado climate control problems.

Wrapping Up

If you discover any of the signs I’ve discussed above in your Chevy Equinox, it means the car has a climate control problem. Fix the issues as soon as they occur in your vehicle.