Snoway95

2018 Chevy Equinox Flat Tow

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Snoway95   

I am setting up my 2018 Chevy Equinox LT with the 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine and push button ignition to flat tow. The owner's manual has you perform the following to prepare to tow:

  1. Turn the vehicle on.

  2. In vehicles equipped with AWD engage the AWD system and confirm that it is on.

  3. Position the vehicle to be towed and secure it to the towing vehicle.

  4. Shift the transmission to N (Neutral).

  5. Turn the ignition to ACC/ ACCESSORY.

  6. Turn all accessories off. 

My Equinox is a front wheel drive (FWD) with a push button ignition. When I complete the above procedure, the warning chime continues to alarm and a message to place transmission into Park is displayed on the dash. I will be stopping at the dealership later in the week to discuss the issue with them but wondered if anyone else has run into this. I'm wondering if the manual is in error and a fuse needs to be pulled.

Update: I stopped at the Chevy dealer today. They did not have an answer but also thought that a fuse may need to be pulled. They are going to follow up with GM and let me know.

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Snoway95   

I stopped at the Chevy dealer yesterday and he was able to shift to neutral using the procedure outlined above with no chime but the green ignition on light on the push button remained lit along with one or two dash indicator lights including the engine icon. Perhaps this is OK but he wanted to run it by GM. When he pushed the start button again to go to the accessory position,  the amber accessory light on the push button lit but the chime started. There is a question as to what else is energized with the green light lit vs amber accessory light and if the ignition is actually in the accessory mode (as required by the manual) when the green light is on. Thank you for your responses. I will provide updates.

 

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Snoway, just a thought! Have you tried moving the fob away from the vehicle, about the same distance as piloting your rig? Just curious if this makes a "lights out" condition after a few minutes. Doing this of course, after completing the towing procedures and placing transmission in neutral. Since this is a newly redesigned 2018 Equinox, it's important to understand how to tow it correctly. The owner's manual checklist is pretty minimal on the subject. I appreciate you bringing the issues of towing the 2018 to light. Rainman 

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Snoway95   

Tried moving keyfob away from vehicle with same results. With ignition in "accessory" position, chime continues, running lights, parking lights and taillights remain lit and message on dash "shift to Park" remains displayed. Still waiting for dealer to get back to me. Think I need to talk with district sales rep.

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This is from pg 214 of the 2018 Equinox Owners Manual. Might be worth trying to see after five minutes if you have a "lights out" "chimes off" condition for towing. It shouldn't be this hard...but. We'll be interested in what the district rep has to say.

ACC/ACCESSORY (Amber Indicator Light) : This mode allows you to use some electrical accessories when the engine is off.

With the ignition off, pressing the button one time without the brake pedal applied will place the ignition system in ACC/ACCESSORY .

The ignition will switch from ACC/ ACCESSORY to OFF after five minutes to prevent battery rundown.

ON/RUN/START (Green Indicator Light) : This mode is for driving and starting. With the ignition off and the brake pedal applied, pressing the button once will place the ignition system in ON/RUN/START. Once engine cranking begins, release the button. Engine cranking will continue until the engine starts. See Starting the Engine 0 215. The ignition will then remain in ON/RUN.

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Moulton   

I have a 2015 Subaru WRX that has the same issues with the push button start.

it turns all dash lights and etc on when it is getting ready to tow. This was to go in passive mode after 1 hour and save the battery. It would function correctly parked but if it sensed the wheels turning it would stay on and deplete the battery in two hours.  My solution was to install a high end battery and install a charging module .

This solved the discharge problems but it now racks up the miles on the odometer as it is towed.

No solution was provided by Subaru even though it was sold as a towable

 

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Have the same 2018 Equinox. With same problems. Tried everything. Still chimes. Rep also came to the dealership.

But, with same results. Said he would get back with us. Been about 2 weeks now. Still haven't gotten an answer.

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Snoway95   

2018 Equinox Flat Tow Issue

 

My question on flat towing a 2018 FWD Equinox with the 1.5 liter gas engine is resolved with help from the dealer. The procedure outlined in the Owner's Manual does work given the following information which was provided by GM through the dealer.  

 

After following the steps in the Owner's Manual which have you place the transmission in neutral and shut the engine off, the chime will continue for approximately 30 minutes then stop. The message on the dash to “ Shift to Park” will remain lit while you are towing. This 30 minute timeout may be the same logic that turns off lights and accessories you may have forgotten to turn off when you exit the vehicle.

 

It is also worth noting that you cannot open the lift gate after the 30 minute timeout unless you shift into Park (there is no manual opening provision on the power lift gate). I have not yet flat towed the vehicle as I still need to install the baseplate but will update this post if any other issues arise. Thanks for the input.

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pjensen   

snoway 95  I  have 2018 equinox 1.5 fwd.  Experienced same issue,  message to shift to park and a chime

Dealer told me,  to let it chime, it will stop in about 25 minutes.  Yes, that is what they said to do.  So I parked in the garage that night, put it in neutral and set switch and such per manual,  30 minutes latter it had stopped,  and message was gone.  I am now letting it sit to see how fast it drains battery.  

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Has anyone set their 2018 Chevy Equinox up to tow yet?  I am interested in finding out what wiring option others have chosen.

 

On the Roadmaster site, they say not to use the universal wiring kit but to use the bulb and socket kit instead.  Blue Ox shows using either type.

 

Thanks in advance for any information.

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There is information in this months magazine about the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain wobble. It is on page 14 in the Readers Forum.

It is something that all Equinox and Terrain owners should read and heed.

Herman

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Mesaloose, wIth regards to lighting, it depends on which 2018 model you purchased. The Premier uses LED tail lights, the LT model uses incandescent lights. The LT models should handle either system. My preference in other vehicles I've towed is to add the independent socket with a 3 way bulb.  Adding a socket keeps the integrity of the vehicle's wiring without splicing wires. The other kit splices in a number of diodes and allows the lights to be powered by another source. This can potentially turn the car's brake light system into a trouble shooter's nightmare unless you have it installed by a knowledgeable professional. The Premier doesn't appear to have enough room to add an incandescent socket in and amongst all the LEDs. I have a 2018 Premier but still pulling my 2007 Saturn VUE until I can sort out the issues from the OP. I may wind up with a diode kit...something I was hoping not to do on a brand new car...Rainman

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Thank you Rainman.  I also have the Premier model.  Roadmaster does make an led bulb and socket kit.  I have not seen the actual kit and don't know if there would be space enough for that either.  I took it to the shop that has set up my last two vehicles to tow and they felt the diode kit would be best. Blue Ox makes a diode kit specifically for led lights.   The price is the same either way.  When I decide and get it set up, I will let you know the outcome.

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On ‎7‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 11:10 AM, Snoway95 said:

Tried moving keyfob away from vehicle with same results. With ignition in "accessory" position, chime continues, running lights, parking lights and taillights remain lit and message on dash "shift to Park" remains displayed. Still waiting for dealer to get back to me. Think I need to talk with district sales rep.

2018 Equinox Towing

As I stated have the same Equinox. The chimes will stop around 25-30 minutes. GM is working with me and telling me to get a battery disconnect for now because some power is still on. They are sending this back to the proving grounds. It is safe to tow.

 

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Bompa   

2018 Equinox tow nice behind my 2013 Concord.  I followed the owners manual instructions. It seemed too simple and it is.  I had problems with the battery.  I left it at my dealer on the way home last Friday.  I just go back from my dealer with the results.  They contacted their technical support and they were advised the the battery has to be disconnected.  Chevrolet is working on it.

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Snoway95   

I flat towed our 2018 Equinox for the first time this past weekend behind a 2016 Itasca Navion. It towed well with no major issues. The "battery disconnect" issue is interesting and I guess we'll have to see what GM finally decides. I installed a Toad Charge on our Equinox allowing the battery to be charged by the motorhome as you drive. Additionally, I purchased a TowMate Wireless LED tow light bar (RVHW32) which requires no additional toad wiring although load resistors did need to be installed at the transmitter which plugs into the motorhome 7 pin or 4 pin trailer connection. Time will tell if this was the right way to go.

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wolfe10   
2 hours ago, Snoway95 said:

I flat towed our 2018 Equinox for the first time this past weekend behind a 2016 Itasca Navion.

I am really surprised your MB-based coach is rated for that weight toad.  Don't have info on the 2018, but the FMCA Towing guide shows the lightest 2017 Equinox at 3,764 pounds.

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FIVE   
On 9/9/2017 at 6:55 PM, wolfe10 said:

I am really surprised your MB-based coach is rated for that weight toad.  Don't have info on the 2018, but the FMCA Towing guide shows the lightest 2017 Equinox at 3,764 pounds.

I wondered about that also, so I did a little research.  The numbers for all 2016 Itasca Navions are:

GCWR  15,250

GVWR  11,030

Hitch Rating  5,000

Cargo Capacity  1,303

Maybe not over, but too close for comfort with 188 screaming HP and 325 ft/lbs of torque.

 

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Snoway95   

Base curb weight of 2018 Equinox 1.5 liter FWD is 3327 pounds. GM documentation states that they were able to reduce the weight of the 2018 model by approximately 400lbs which is the primary reason we purchased the 2018 Equinox LT.  Using the 3764 figure minus 3327 = 437 lbs lighter which is in the ballpark. 

On another subject, I investigated using a diode setup to the 2018 Equinox LT tail / brake lights but abandoned the idea upon finding that the bulb which provides both running lights and brake lights has only 1 filament. I can only surmise that the voltage is varied to provide both the running light function ( lower voltage) and the brake light function (higher voltage). Wiring our last toad, which was a 2010 Ford Escape, was a bit simpler and diodes worked well. I would be interested in what other members with this 2018 Equinox are doing for lights. The led wireless light bar I referenced in an earlier post seems to work well for us but did require the installation of load resistors due to the minimal current draw of the light bar transmitter.

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I tried this and it works. Make sure you have all your accessories turned off. My 2018 Equinox is wired to charge battery as we drive and the 12 volt accessory plug is hot for my Patriot 2 Braking system power. Hope this helps someone. It stopped chiming right at 30 minutes.

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Bompa   

After the first trip, I took the Equinox and 2013 Concord back to my local RV dealer.  Their tech ran a new charge line. Second trip towing the Equinox.  Every thing work like it should.

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