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1996-1998 Chevy Truck Build Quality Problems

JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28
edited March 7 in Chevrolet
Hi all, I'm setting up this topic to discuss build quality issues on Chevy Full Size trucks. I didn't want to bore other groups with my problems, so I decided to do this instead.


  • JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28
    Hi all, I'm setting up this topic to discuss build quality issues on Chevy Full Size trucks. I didn't want to bore other groups with my problems, so I decided to do this instead.
  • dave40dave40 Posts: 582
    You must be talkng about Ford or Dodge
  • JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28
    Now my reason for starting this topic up....
    I bought a 1998 C1500 3rd door Silverado in May. this truck was built by GM Canada in January 1998. I have had many build quality issues with this truck. It has had many rattles and squeaks that have taken several trips to resolve (if resolved). The weather stripping on the passanger side fell off within the first month and had to be replaced. The master cylinder (for the brakes) had a bad leak and had to be replaced. The air conditioner fan began to make all sorts of noise and had to be replaced. The cruise control was not adjusted right from the factory. The glove box was very difficult to close because it was not aligned properly from the factory. The center armrest/storage console stopped opening and had to be replaced. All the doors have been re-aligned to reduce rattles and noise.

    It seems to me that they started putting this truck together at 4:45 and finished at 5:00 and the build quality shows it. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, where was your truck built (the white label on the drivers door will tell you where) and what kind of problems have you had? I am extremely disappointed in this truck but have actually been impressed with the warranty work. For the most part, things are right the first trip in.

    Anyway, that was too long a rant. Thanks to anyone who has any information.
  • JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28

    I wish I was!
  • RichRich Posts: 128
    Actually the last time I went through the factory in Flint the build time was about an hour and fifteen. So figure one of the following:
    First day back after a 3 day week end, start at 08:00 and finish at 09:15.
    Friday before a three day week end, start at 15:50 and finish at 16:59. (yeah I know. But the three day week end is coming.)
  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51

    I'm sorry to hear you're having such a bad experience with your truck. Have all the problems been worked out now? I had a '93 Ford F150 that had lots of mechanical problems. By the time the dealership fixed them all, I was so sick of that truck I traded it in for a Chevy after only 12,000 miles.

    Now I've got a '96 K2500 that was built in Pontiac, Michigan. The fit and finish of it was excellent, and still is three years later.
  • I have been a loyal GM owner for over 20 years which includes 4 cars and 4 trucks. I have enjoyed driving all of them except my 95 GMC K3500 Diesel/Auto. which now has 94,000 miles and has had these components to fail.
    3 Injector pumps
    4 fuel lift pumps
    Vacuum pump
    A/C compressor
    Wiper switch/relay
    2 Original Delco batteries which leaked acid
    into the battery cables that corroded
    2 Activators for the front wheel drive
    Drive shaft for the front axle
    Front grill cracked at mounts and is cracked
    Paint peeled off the fender flares
    2 Door handles inside driver's side
    2 Rear speakers
    Linkage for tailgate handle
    Power booster for brakes
    Otherwise the truck runs good and gets good mileage. It just cost me too much to keep this one any longer and have ordered a new Ford Super Duty.

  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51
    Well, I've got to tell you arrowhd, I guess you can get one of those whether it be Ford, Chevy, Dodge or whatever.

    What it really boils down to is, do they back up their product?

    I was a loyal Ford owner all my life until that last F150 I bought new in '93.

    In the first 12,000 miles, yes only 12K miles, I had these things fail...

    Defective wiring on dual tank switch.

    Engine lost a rod bearing (at 7,000 miles). Because Ford's "roadside assistance program" wouldn't assist me (during a trip), I told them I would have to drive it until the motor blew up or got me home, whichever came first. I made it home, but the engine was a total loss and had to be replaced. Sounded like 8 pile drivers under the hood by the time I got home. They saved a hundred on the tow, but lost thousands replacing my engine. I lost the use of the truck for 2 weeks. I had to pay to rent a truck (NEEDED a truck, not a car the dealership offered me) during this time.

    Brake system failure. The dealer had to do a complete brake system overhaul.

    Latches on tailgate broke.

    Computer module failed.

    Drive belt pulley failed.

    I got a flat tire, and found the factory supplied jack won't fit under the front designated jacking point of the truck when the tire is deflated.

    Paint faded within the first 9 months. Ford flatly refused to fix this. I went through all the proper channels available to complain about this. I even send a letter to Ford president Alex Trotman (I think that's the name). The dealership agreed with me the paint was bad and Ford should pay to repaint it. Ford had a district rep inspect it and accused me of negligence in taking care of the paint. Mind you this truck was in a parking garage during the day while I was at work, and under a carport at night when I was home. It only saw the sun while I was on the road. What could I possibly do to make the paint fade in 9 months when it isn't seeing the sun????? I was living in Southern California at the time, there was no adverse weather to be factored in here. Then Ford had the gall to send me a survey asking if I was satisfied with the outcome of this issue. And asked if I would buy or recommend another Ford! After I replied a resounding NO and NO, I never heard back.

    I saw an attorney about the paint problem, but he told me with the attorney fees I would rack up trying to get them to paint the truck, I could save myself the aggravation and pay to paint it myself.

    Add to this, my previous truck, an '88 Ranger V6, the engine was worn out and in need of a rebuild at 74,000 miles. I changed the oil religiously with Castrol GTX every 3,000 miles.

    That was the last straw for me. I traded it in for my current Chevy, and decided I would never buy a Ford product again. Because they have an interest in Mazda and Jaguar, I will never buy one of those either. If I can help it, Ford will never get another dime of my hard earned money.
  • FETZ

    Thanks for sharing your problems with Ford.

    Yes, GM did stand behind their warranty on this vechile and my dealer has been very accomadating for each repair.

    I think this is a good example of the quality in the vehicles produced today. They just don't make them like they used to.

  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51

    Too bad Honda doesn't build full size trucks fit for heavy towing.

    I'd buy one.

    But Toyota's a better bet for that. I'm still waiting for them to build a serious truck I can pull my travel trailer with.
  • I felt the same about a full sized Truck by Honda, I figured Honda didn't want to be associated with TRUCKS.
    Toyota is/has come out with a full size called the Trunda F150. See Post# 214.
  • FETZ,
    Sorry, You DID say SERIOUS Truck for towing.
    The F150 Trunda will not fit the bill....
  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51

    Yeah, I need a REAL truck. Between the travel trailer I pull, and the motorcycles, firewood, and various other stuff I load in the truck bed, I need at least a 3/4 ton.

    I often wonder about the high tow ratings the manufacturers give 1/2 ton trucks these days. They have the power to PULL that much, but the suspensions aren't up to handling that much weight moving around back there, and the trucks themselves are light. It makes for white-knuckle driving. That's tiresome on a long trip. Been there, done that.

    The 3/4 ton makes towing/hauling heavy loads feel much more secure. Especially on long trips or in gusty winds, and other foul weather. You don't get that "tail wagging the dog" feeling.
  • FETZ
    Yes, I can relate. I used a Ford Courier one time to pull my heliocopter 225 miles across Florida.
    I just left it in third gear and 7/8 throttle. it would faithfully pull 48 mph, but if you had to stop rather quickly the aircraft and trailer weight would push the rear end of the truck up releasing the load on the rear tires and they would just slide. It made for a very watchful trip and long slow downs. As you mention, My present 1/2 ton had plenty of power to pull 10,000 lb and has(short distance), but no frame/tires/brakes to safety control it.
    As such I'm moving to a F250SD.
  • jxyoungjxyoung Posts: 156
    My boss has a 98 Chevy built in Canada and it has been trouble free?? I think it is just the luck of the draw. Get unlucky and get a lemon.
    But, I do feel some make more lemons than others.
  • JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28
    Hey guys, here's an update on my troublesome 98 Silverado. The passenger's side windshield washer fluid sprayer now emits a stream instead of a spray, I know a minor issue, but it adds to my ever growing list of complaints. The truck now leaks rainwater on the passengers side near the A/C fan. I suspect there might be a problem in the fresh air/recirc drains that is letting the water in. I opened the hood and cleaned up some leaves that were on some of the grating and that didn't help. I also noticed on my radiator overflow bottle that there was a dirt starting to collect on the top around the cap. It seems taht when fluid is getting out around the cap of the bottle (not going out the tube, and the temp gauge has never been near the 210 mark so its not an overheat). Anyone else have this problem?

    I think I have an A/C control panel problem. When I switch the fan control to the off posistion, half the time the A/C button will stay lit up. I tested this at idle and could tell that the compressor would still be on even though the fan control was turned off. Is this normal, or just another in a long list of things with this truck?

    Finally, anyone else have door panels that when you use the arm rest they creak like an old wooden bed? Whenever I have a front seat passenger rest their arm on the rest on hte passenger's door, it makes more noise than a punk rock band.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply.

    James (jgt74)
  • JGT74JGT74 Posts: 28
    Sorry for my lack of spelling and grammar in my above post. I just re-read it, and had some trouble following it.
  • dirt1dirt1 Posts: 1
    I've got a 96 Sierra with similar problems. I fixed the passenger side washer spray by sticking a sewing pin in the sprayer the "unclog" it. It worked well. My A/C control panel has been replaced once with the same problem you're having. The new one worked well for about 2 months and then it started to act up the same way. I've just been living with it so far. I don't know if anyone else besides me has a 5 speed with the 5.7. I'm on my second clutch master cylinder and this one squeaks and leaks after only 3000 miles. The truck has 50k miles on it, city and highway. Is this a sign of things to come?
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,240
    Okay, boys and girls, here is a good one for you.
    There have been a dozen or so complaints to NHTSA on the GM Vortec 5.7L not returning to idle when the throttle is released. I don't mean the earlier recall where the floor mat was hanging the mechanicals, I mean the engine control does not follow the throttle. In first gear I can go up to 15MPH and release the throttle and never slow down. In overdrive at 70 MPH I can release the throttle and the truck will continue for 5-10 seconds before the throttle releases. The throttle is closing, but the fuel injection just keeps firing away and the engine goes into a rich condition. The dealer has seen this on several trucks and the "official" GM stance is that this is normal. I have driven the truck at 45 MPH for over 2 miles without touching the gas. This is with a warm engine, with or without A/C, and with the cruise turned off. I had an accident in the truck where I was pulling away from a green light and the car in front of me stopped, and I couldn't get the truck stopped fast enough. I am on my third set of brake pads at 36K because I have to fight this problem every day in traffic. Anyone else seen this problem?

  • FETZFETZ Posts: 51
    Is your truck still under warranty? Is the "normal" stance from GM or your dealer? If it's just the dealer saying that, I would try another dealer.

    Also, GM is constantly making revisions to their engine management programs, the dealer can download the latest revision into your truck's computer which could possibly fix the problem.

    I would consider this problem a major saftey issue. If they (GM) refuse to address this issue, try to find out who the other folks are that have reported this problem, get together and file a class action suit. That will get their attention!

    Good luck!
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