Top 5 Problems Chevy Traverse SUV 1st Generation 2009-17

Hey friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. Today in the studio, we have a First-Generation
Chevy Traverse. I wanted to go over some of the top problems
that we've come to find. So let's get started. Now, for our first problem, we're gonna talk
about transmission issues. For this one specifically, it's gonna be for
the six-speed automatic transmissions. Now the cause for this issue is gonna come
down to the internals of your transmission. You have several clutch plates inside there
and if one of them goes bad, the 35R which is inside your transmission, you're gonna
have issues.

Some of the symptoms that you might happen
to find if you're having an issue with the internals of your transmission might be shiftability
issues. You might also happen to find that you have
a check engine light that comes on your dash. You go ahead and pull those codes and it's
gonna tell you you got something going on inside your transmission. Other than that, you might be potentially
driving down the highway, it goes one, two, three, sometimes shifting into third gear,
It's gonna have a little bit of an issue or even sometimes fifth gear. You might find that you have an issue with
the shiftability of the transmission. Let's go over some quick fixes for this. Obviously, you're gonna wanna diagnose it
first. One of the best things you can do is go ahead
and check your transmission fluid. Make sure that it's the color it's supposed
to be.

If it looks like it's brown or even burnt
in any way, maybe give a little sniff and it has like this horrible smell to it, typically,
that's because you went over on your maintenance for your transmission. If that's the case, of course, you're gonna
have shiftability issues, but let's say you, of course, keep up with your maintenance like
most of us do because we wanna try to keep our car around as long as possible.

You check that transmission fluid, It looks
fine, but you still have the shiftability issues. This is gonna come down to an internal transmission
issue and it's gonna be a broken 35R clutch wave plate. So you're gonna have to tear apart your transmission. Now, for our second problem, we're gonna talk
about the EVAP system purge valve. For that one, in particular, it's gonna be
located right underneath this cover right here so I'll just go ahead and remove my oil
cap, remove this cover right here, and then there's our purge valve. The purge valve is an electronic valve that's
supposed to open up and allow the vacuum from your air intake system to draw fuel vapor
from your charcoal canister which is all the way down by your gas tank and come up through
here and then get burnt up inside of your engine's combustion chamber.

What can potentially happen with these purge
valves is there's a little valve inside and if it gets stuck open, it's gonna allow the
vacuum to be constantly drawing fuel vapor through this line right here and it's gonna
be trying to draw it into the engine. The problem with this, though, is that the
valve's actually only supposed to open up when the car's computer says that it's time

Essentially, it's only gonna do that when
the car's already warmed up. Some of the symptoms that you might happen
to find if you're having an issue with your purge valve might be a check engine light
on on your dash. If you were to go ahead and pull that code,
you might get a code that comes up P0496. The description for that is probably gonna
say flow during non-purge in system, which essentially means your valve is stuck open. And of course, if you're having this issue,
at the same time you're probably gonna notice that you have a runability issue in your car,
maybe it stumbles a little bit or even hesitates a little bit.

Aside from that check engine light, you might
also happen to notice, as you're trying to leave the fuel station after gassing up, you
go ahead and try to start up the car and it's just gonna crank, crank, crank, crank, crank,
crank, crank over. It might actually start up after a lot of
cranking or even in some cases, it doesn't wanna start at all and you have to be towed
away. Now we're gonna go ahead and talk about some
fixes for this. Obviously, you're gonna wanna check that check
engine light. You wanna make sure you know exactly what
codes you have so you know where you need to be. One of the first things I always like to check
if I'm having an issue with EVAP system is my fuel cap.

Go ahead and take a look at that gasket that's
supposed to be around it. If it looks as though it's cracked or damaged
in any way or even if you can see dirt or debris on the inside of that where it should
actually be sealed and away from all that contaminants, you know that you have an issue
with the fuel cap. I wouldn't just necessarily stop there though
because this isn't actually directed towards that but if your fuel cap's bad, you need
to replace it. After that, I'm gonna come up underneath the
hood, we're gonna remove this cover right along here and we're gonna go ahead and check
out our purge valve. The best way to continue to do this is to
go ahead and disconnect the EVAP line right along here by squeezing these tabs. We'll draw that off.

And then, of course, disconnect the electrical
connector as well. Now, at this point, having the electrical
connector off of here, this should be stuck in the closed position. It should not be open. The next thing I would do is make sure that
the oil cap's on and then hop inside the car and start it up. We're gonna come right back out here and we're
gonna feel along this area and if you feel any vacuum, like, maybe your gloves getting
stuck on there or if you're not wearing gloves, you can try a little piece of paper over it,
if it feels like it's getting stuck onto it with vacuum, then that means that your purge
valve is stuck open and it needs to be replaced. If you were going to replace it, there's one
mounting bolt right along here. Now, for our third problem, we're gonna talk
about front struts. I have one in my hand right here.

It's not the one for this particular car but
it is something that I can show you. Now, the strut itself is, of course, gonna
be responsible for the suspension of your car. So every time you hit one of those bumps,
this is supposed to compress a little bit and of course, take away some of the jaunts
that you might have potentially felt inside of that passenger compartment. Other than that, it's also meant to help ensure
the fact that the wheel is staying firmly to the ground so if you hit that bump, it's
not just gonna come shooting up and then hang out for a little bit and then make its way
down. It's gonna go up, down real quick so your
wheel can remain on the ground. Common things that might potentially happen
to your front struts. You could potentially have an issue with the
cap which is this area right up along the top.

pexels photo 3807319

That's gonna be the area that connects the
strut to the actual body of the car itself. If for some reason something happens with
the cap and it's loose inside, you're gonna hear a clunking noise. If you were to look inside of this springed
area here, you might potentially see some oil looking like it's coming out and then
down the front of the strut there. If that's the case, that means that your strut
inside is blown. You have a little bit of oil coming from it
which also means that the gas that's supposed to be located inside also came out at the
same time. Other than that, if you take a quick look
at this one, you might potentially see that you have a broken coil spring. This spring right here is, of course, supposed
to absorb a lot of the shock if you hit one of those bumps or anything the like. So if your spring's broken, you're gonna hear
like a [vocalization] noise and maybe even a creaking noise as you're going over bumps. Aside from that, any damage to your front
strut, more than likely you're gonna hear the noises over bumps and you might even feel
a loose or even squirrely steering while you're going around curves.

Now, once again these aren't necessarily parts
for this particular car but if you were to look down here, you can see a couple of the
parts that you're gonna need to get. If you had an issue with any of these things,
you're gonna typically replace them all at the same time. You would have your strut assembly. You would have a coil spring that's gonna
go around that coil assembly and then up along the top, you need to have a mount of some
sort. Obviously, when you're putting this together,
you're gonna have to condense or compress the spring right here which is gonna be very
difficult. It's not something that you can do with your
hands. You're gonna need a special machine for that
and, of course, you wanna make sure you're safe as possible because it's gonna be under
a lot of pressure. The easiest way to go ahead and fix something
like this if you had an issue with one of your front struts is to just get it as an
assembly. You can get it with the strut, with the spring,
and, of course, the cap all at the same time.

So if you do one, you're gonna do them as
a pair and of course, make sure you get yourself a four-wheel alignment. Now for our fourth problem, we're gonna talk
about a master window switch. The master window switch is gonna be located
on your driver's door and the reason why it's called the master window switch is because
it controls all the windows in your car. Now, knowing what I said about the master
switch controlling all the windows in your car, if you have an issue with one of the
windows not working, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the master switch that's the
issue. If for some reason I tried to power down that
left rear window right here by the master switch, it didn't wanna go down. The next thing I would wanna do is continue
over to the actual window itself or the door that the window's in and try that switch. If the window worked by using that switch
but not the master switch right here, then you know you have an issue with the master

Now, the master switch can technically go
bad in several different ways. It might just stop powering one of the windows
or even sometimes multiple windows. Why might something like this happen? Well, let's say maybe you left your window
down like this. You went for a little ride. You wanted a little bit of fresh air. You got to where you were going and you went
inside. Well, that's great. Maybe, a little bit of rain came down while
you're inside and you didn't really think too much about having that window open. Well, rain comes down, gets moisture on the
switch and next thing you know, you're gonna have a buildup of corrosion inside of your
window switch. So now here's a master switch out of a different
car. You can tell this is only for two windows
but it could potentially work for four. If I was to look on the backside, you can
tell that there's gonna be a circuit board and a whole bunch of little circuits that
need to make electrical connections.

Looking closer at it, I can see that there's
a whole bunch of green crusties on this and the green is corrosion. Why is there corrosion? Well, moisture got on your window switch just
like this one. So now we're gonna talk about fixes for this. Let's say, maybe, potentially you just came
out from when you went inside and you happen to notice, in the rain, you left the window
down. You open up the door and you can see the switch
is just covered in water. You're gonna wanna make sure you get the majority
of that water out of there. Use something that's absorbent such as a cloth
or anything to like.

If for some reason you don't feel as though
you can get as much water out of there that you think is inside there, maybe you left
the window down in a heavy rainstorm, the best thing that you would wanna do is go ahead
and remove this area right here, remove the switch itself and then try to blow it out
with something, maybe, such as compressed air or even put it in, like, a nice bag of
rice. You wanna try to get out as much that moisture
as possible so that way there the switch doesn't go bad internally. If for some reason you just find that one
of the windows doesn't work, like I said, you try using the left rear window or even
the right front or any of them, it doesn't work and it has corrosion, well, then you're
just gonna have to go ahead and replace that master window switch.

All right. So let's move along to problem number five. Let's go ahead and lift this tailgate and
we're gonna talk about the strong arms. You're gonna have multiple strong arms on
your tailgate and the reason for that is because, of course, it's gonna be very heavy. You need something that's gonna be able to
support this while you have your head under there. This is, of course, for safety. These strong arms right here are pressurized. If for some reason they lose pressure and
you can see oil coming out of them like that front strut that I showed you before, you
know that the gas and oil inside there has been blown out and it's not gonna be efficient. Some of the things that you might happen to
notice for that is, of course, you lift up your tailgate, you go to put in your groceries,
and this thing just keeps falling down on you and you either have to hold it up like
this or even try to put something along here just to hold it so you can do whatever it
is you need to do.

Sometimes you need to have two hands and holding
this up at the same time just isn't very efficient. Now, obviously, we're gonna wanna fix these
strong arms. When you do it, typically you're gonna do
them as a pair. You don't just replace one just because one's
leaking. When you do it, do them one at a time though. Go ahead and just pop off these little clips
right along here and then you can pop this right off of the knob that it's set into. You would do the same on the other side right
there. Go ahead and put in your new strong arm and
then do the same to the other side of the tailgate. Okay friends, so that's pretty much what I've
got for you for some of the top problems that we've come to find on a First-Generation Chevy
Traverse. Of course, every car has its problems, Maybe
you've got one of these cars with problems of its own.

If you do and you wanna talk about it, leave
it in the comments section below because I always love to hear from you. If you learned a little something or if you
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