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2011 Silverado, POOR mileage, surging, no check engine light

2001 silverado ext cab 4x2 4.8L 1400 miles purchased new 45 days ago.

Round trip, Ocala florida to Orlando area. tripometer- 235 miles used a full tank (26 gallons +)

I had the truck to the dealer twice so far in reguards to mileage and the way it runs ** crusing, accelerate slightly, slight enough that it does not down shift and is bucks, like a miss under load, also noticed this condition when in a parking lot, slow holding steady low speed, it feels like your applying light pressure to brakes and letting off (repeating). And other possible related condition, slowing to a stop, close to stopping the truck surges like accelerator is tapped. Sometimes applying slight brake others just letting off to coast toward light. This has happened 4 to 5 times since bought. **AND YES I AM SURE I WASN'T TOUCHING THE GAS PEDAL**

No check engine light, dealer states it was scanned with no codes present. I noticed these things in the first week of ownership. The service advisor told me there was probbably some water in the fuel, and that I need to find a new place to fuel up ***this was the complementary tank of fuel at purchase*** and I have fueled at 8 different places since and no changes.

I had been purchasing F-150's since the 80's. Fords do not get exactly what the MPG estimates state, but I still get 19 highway, and 14 city with my wifes 04 supercrew (4.6L) with a drive by wire configuration like my Silverado.

I love the way my Silverado looks better that the new Fords, but I'm wondering if I should have stayed with what I know.

I feel as if I have purchased a sick, hungry St. Bernard


  • yhea,my window sticker said 15/21,more like 12/16 on my pile of regret, add the clankin and banging of gm 6 speed and wa-la- you have been punked, but dont worry, you have a 100K driveline warranty that will make it until it starts to fall apart.
  • I have the same problems!!! On sept 2 of this year I was involved in an accident because the surged after I applied the brakes and I hit the back end of the car. These trucks are not safe at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Some 2011 Silverado 5.3 engine owners don't know it, but you can see if your Active Fuel Management is working while you are driving. It's on your Instant Fuel economy gauge. You will see it switch back and forth from V8 to V4. It will always go into V4 when the road grade is declining or you are slowing to stop. You aren't using much gas then anyway. It is supposed to be in V4 when cruising at a normal steady highway speed (unless you put it under more load like going uphill). The explaination is on page 9-40 of your owners manual.
    Apparently, some owners don't realize that their poor gas mileage, at normal highway speed (around 70 MPH) is because the AFM system is not working as advertised by GM and their sales people. If you are not getting the gas mileage you expected, that's probably the reason. The hidden surprise is, THERE IS NO FIX, according to the GM engineer who looked at my problem. When you test drive one of these, be sure and check to see if it's working properly. Apparently some do, and some do not. And most of the sales people don't really understand how and when it works. They will tell you anything to get you to buy it. BE CAREFUL and verify what you are told. Talk to the mechanics, if you can.
  • ceb66ceb66 Posts: 70

    You are correct about the sales people. I was talked into the 5.3 liter 6 speed. I was told the 5.3 gets better mileage than 4.8 liter due to the AFM.

    I would have never considered the 5.3 had I known how uncomfortable the ride was. To add insult to injury, friends with 4.8s get the same or better mileage than I do.

    I read what the engineer told you regarding the AFM at 70mph. Did he comment on the surging? My truck "surges", lags, growls and sometimes bangs when moving from 4 to 8 cylinders.
  • string2string2 Posts: 71
    edited November 2011
    ceb66 - within a month after I bought my 2011 5.3 AFM Silverado, I took it to the dealer to see why I was getting such bad gas mileage. I told him that the salesman had convinced me that some buyers had reported to him that they were getting 23 mpg on the highway because of the AFM. He just laughed and said he didn't know why the sales people keep telling everyone that. He also said he had a 4.8 without AFM and was getting about 17 hwy/city combined, which is better than my 15 MPG that I paid extra for. It's plain to see that the problem is the AFM, you can look at the DIC guage see when its not working. I don't see why GM won't modify their computer program and adjust it to stay in V4 at 70+ MPH highway speed (which is normal for most highway driving). They are costing people a lot of extra money to drive their 5.3 trucks. Why not offer to have a small deductible if repairs become necessary as a result of the modification, if this modification is requested by the owner of the truck. Please Consider this GM! Thats better than paying an average of $65.00 more per month to drive this truck.
  • ceb66 - I just noticed your question at the bottom of your post to me.
    I was not given the privilege of talking to the engineer. Just a report from the dealer service manager. I have seen other posts on here about your same problem, though.
    Good Luck
  • I now have 2600 miles, my last test of the mileage was 18.2 hwy. Its getting better, I knew it would get a little better, I have never started out with such bad mileage. I still have the surges and the sputtering, still no check engine light but I do now have a slight tick comming from the left bank. I'm not sure if it is a lifter, injector or exhaust leak, but it sounds like its again time to get to the dealer. I have lowered my truck 2" front, 4.5" rear, I have short legs lol, I can't wait until I get the "your problems are due to your mods" Ever heard of Magnuson Moss?........................

    Does sound like I should be glad I got the 4.8 vs 5.3
  • Hotrodjim,

    I’m sorry to hear about the accident you were involved in, but glad that you’re okay. Can we please learn more? Email us your name/username, contact information, and the last 8 digits of your VIN.

    Thanks in advance,
    GM Customer Service
  • Sarah, Mine is also surging (see the original post on this thread) I was told by my service advisor that its probably due to me hitting accelerator instead of the brake, I assure you it's not. Of course the other concerns were unfounded until I pointed them out to an advisor who would listen, and was then corrected. I have shot across the median cut thru and was unable to stop before my nose was half way in the lane, thank god I was more fortunate than Jim and was able to avoid an accident.

    Any help for one and all sharing this concern would be appreciated.
  • Spatzikhi,

    I apologize for not responding to your post directly – we are more than happy to follow up with your dealership with this surging concern that you’ve experienced with your Silverado. I am glad that you remain safe after the scenario you described in your most recent post!

    Please email us with your name/username, contact info, last 8 digits of your VIN, and involved dealership.

    GM Customer Service
  • Thank You Sarah..................
  • I had the same problem today with my 2010 silverrado. So I put it in park and turned the car off. Restarted the car and it went into engine in low mode so it is at the dealer ship in london, ontario right now.
  • I also have complained about the poor fuel mileage to the dealer along with the associated trans problem. I was told that is the way it works with the clutches in the trans, as for the fuel mileage and the dragging feeling, I went from Ft. Pierce to Orlando and returned, 256 miles and used 17.9 gallons of fuel for an average of 14.3. This was at 72 MPH and cruise control most of the way. Far cry from 15/21. It had been averaging 13.9 without cruise control.

    I also found that the caliper on the left font was 60 degrees hotter than the right front after only 3 miles of driving. reported to the dealer and they checked and verified this was so, after tech services call stated that until it is 300 degrees or more, not a concern.

    I also being a multi time GMC truck buyer am very displeased with this model and regret the purchase.
  • string2string2 Posts: 71
    edited November 2011
    I thought my gas mileage was bad, yours is worse than mine! The bad thing is, if those dealers can't find a trouble code, you're dead in the water. It's their excuse not to have to deal with the problem. Either they don't have the time to troubleshoot or they don't know where to start to find the problem without a trouble code. In this computer age, I think the mechanics are only taught to respond to a computer pointing at what they need to fix. Otherwise, they think nothing is wrong. GM reads the posts on this site. They may try to help, but all they will do is call the service manager where you had your vehicle looked at and respond back to you with the same thing they have already told you. By the way, did you try driving 10 or 15 miles to get the wheel temp. higher. Do you think the rotor could be warped and barely touching as it turns? Make sure emergency brake cable is adjusted right. Air filter, fuel filter and run injector cleaner thru.? I've heard cleaning the throttle body and the backside of the throttle butterfly can sometimes help. Also, cleaning inside of air tube leading to Throttle body (real good to make it smooth) can help. This may not help, I just thought I would bring it up for your consideration. Some on this site say that we complain too much and we should have known that these trucks won't get the kind of mileage they advertise. But as you read their posts, you see that their mileage is pretty good. What's up with that?
  • ceb66ceb66 Posts: 70
    edited November 2011
    My mileage hasn't beat my friends' with the "older" 4.8. The same 4.8 the GMC salesman said gets less mpgs than the 5.3 .

    Those lucky guys have the old-fashioned, proven 4 speed, that doesn't clunk bang slip growl and lag like the clumsy new 5.3 liter six speed with active fuel management AFM !

    In fact, this brand new truck with all kinds of computer controls, that according to General Motors, I should be marveled by, GETS VERY SIMILAR MILEAGE TO THE 2004 F-150 WITH 115,000 MILES ON IT THAT I SOLD SO I COULD BUY THIS RATTLE TRAP.
  • Update!!!
    since my first post back in sept things have all gone downhiill. my truck spent 7 weeks in the shop getting fixed. when i got it back i continued to have the transmission problems and the brake system has failed me 3 times!!! thank god no accidents. and after a week and a half gm says the truck is fine. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you are thinking about buying a gm truck DONT!!! These trucks are not safe and gm does not stand behind them at all.I have no other option but to get a lawyer and fight.
  • Purchased a new truck on 7/5/11, within the first 7 days of owning the truck the "Service Brakes Soon" light comes on.....pull to the side of the road, call On Star (truck too new, acct. not activated yet). Turn the truck back on....the light goes off, we think "good to go". Fast forward to 9/2/11 - vehicles turns infront of me, I am travelling a safe distance behind, doing the speed limit (I drive truck for a living so I know how to handle a large vehicle and allow ample time for braking). I SHOULD have been able to SLOW/STOP the vehicle....THINK AGAIN! I flipped the vehicle infront of me TOTALLING it and $10K of damage on my truck sending 3 people to the hospital. 7 Wks later I get my repaired sierra....ONLY TO HAVE the "SERVICE BRAKE SOON" light APPEAR. Fix attempt #1 - "O" ring repaired. Brakes squealing...service says "no longer using aspestis in the brakes, ALL brakes squeal" (don't know about you but I don't hear this on every new vehicle on the road). According to GM service the truck is "operating as designed" (great...operating with faulty brakes there is a stellar design concept). Get the truck back...driving on the highway..."service brakes soon" light #3, in for service again....this time the "replaced the sensor" (Attempt #2). Pick the truck back up on Tues. of Thanksgiving, we go away for the holiday (NOT DRIVING THIS NEW TRUCK...take my wife's RELIABLE Honda). Get back on Friday after Turkey day....squealing in the to the dealer. Service guys comes out the listen (as they suggest to bring it in when it is making the noise). Yep, Jeremy in service hears it. Next thing you know....."Service Brakes Soon" light to the dealer we go....OH this time we have significant amts. of air in the brake lines....booster replaced. Fast forward through the HORRID customer service experiences with GM (not the dealer). All kinds of claim files opened because of the accident, we tell them we want a new truck....even willing to settle for a replacement (reconsidered that now I have done more research). GM Claim tells us today....Accident is NOT due to faulty product! Zone Manager reviews and says "truck is fixed now they them to come pick up their truck"!!!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS GM? Apparently someone has to be SERIOUSLY injured by their FAULTY vehicle for them to pay attention??!! STAY TUNED...BBB arbitration filed, consulting an atty. because we will NOT risk our lives or anyone elses to drive around in this vehicle! BUYER BEWARE if you are considering GM, they do NOT STAND BEHIND their product or care about the future sales that they are "driving" away! MAN do I MISS MY FORD!
  • spaztikhispaztikhi Posts: 7
    edited December 2011
    I was wondering if you had heard anything from GM since you were asked to send the Customer service rep your info (vin ect.) I was instructed to do the same, NO REPLIES for me. How many weeks ago was this? I am cringing, I was raised in a bowtie family, I have 1 8 4 3 6 5 7 2 burnt into my brain (smallblock fireing order) never to be removed. I have only bought Ford trucks before because of all of the Ford dealers I have worked for, otherwise they too would have been bowtie. I feel sickened by the thought of being trapped in this truck for a long time. I cannot just trade the truck off and go back to the F-150 thanks to the economy.

    I have had WAY less than desireable experiences with my Chevy deealers service Dept. since buying this truck. I feel like this may be the normal, and wow I bought an extended warranty. I sure hope I don't need to used it. I would much rather waste my money that way, than need it and be facing this kind of service.

    Thank God I have not had any more surges, but it is still sputtering, and once again the pulsation in the brakes is comming back (3200 miles) and I am noticing a lower speed wobble (tire or rim problem) I'm wondering what will be the response I get this time?

    Remeber what I said about the love of the bowtie? Think if I can do this, (check you links below)"> I might know what I'm talking about when I say "THERES SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY NEW TRUCK!"

    ">!/photo.php?fbid=1031619467511&set=a.1031618627490.550- - 2.1136120156&type=3&theater!/photo.php?fbid=1031619547513&set=a.1031618627490.550- 2.1136120156&type=3&theater !/photo.php?fbid=1182030547694&set=a.1182024867552.28609.1136120156&type=3&theat- er
    <img src="!/photo.php?fbid=1182025987580&set=a.1182024867552.28609.1136120156&type=3&theater
  • I am so very sorry for the delay, spaztikhi. There may have been a few glitches in communication on our end, as I am not the only Customer Service Representative responding to the emails that come in from Edmunds. We've solved that problem now, but again I want to apologize that your message was part of the miscommunication. Please, if you're willing, resend your email and we'll be sure to get things moving.

    Thank you for your patience,
    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    edited December 2011

    If you have sent an email to us and have not heard back, there was some miscommunication between myself and another member of our department (as I am not the only person handling the emails coming in from Edmunds). This glitch has been resolved, but some messages may have been lost in that transition. I apologize for the length of the delay, as I do realize that we rely so heavily upon our vehicles for our day to day lives and that vehicle concerns can have huge ramifications.

    I would like to invite you to please re-send your email if you have not heard back from us, and extend my sincere and humble apologies for the delay.

    GM Customer Service
  • I too have had noting but trouble with the service from GM dealers, a gm engineer and all the way up to gm's main office.
    If the dealer can't find a trouble code, then you just think there is a problem when there really is not a problem, in their opinion. The trouble code gives them a justifiable way to keep from spending time troubleshooting the problem. I really don't think they know how to do it otherwise. Good luck with ALL the GM service assistants. They are really just pacifying you and trying to make you feel like they are trying to help with YOUR problem. When all is said and done, all they do is call the dealer where you had your truck looked at, and report back to you that the dealer was right. My problem was with the Active Fuel Management system not working at normal highway speed. It shows on the DIC gauge that it is not working, but they insist that it is working normally. If I don't want to void my warranty, i'm stuck with waiting until it expires before I can have an after market computer program installed to correct the problem. My 2011 Silverado now has 4600 miles. 93,400 miles to go at 16 MPG on level highway..
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "My 2011 Silverado now has 4600 miles. 93,400 miles to go at 16 MPG on level highway.. "

    How fast are you going?
  • string2string2 Posts: 71
    edited December 2011
    "My 2011 Silverado now has 4600 miles. 93,400 miles to go at 16 MPG on level highway.. "

    How fast are you going?

    Between 60 & 70 mph - actually, slower than normal open highway speed. On level ground, not pulling or hauling, plenty air in tires and not windy. Seems like thay wouldn't build them with those restrictions? Well, its only money.... lots of it!
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Your AFM should be coming on at least part of the time under those conditions. It will not come on much once you hit 75.
  • string2string2 Posts: 71
    edited December 2011
    Your AFM should be coming on at least part of the time under those conditions. It will not come on much once you hit 75.

    I think so too! But GM tells me it is working normal, dispite what other drivers and the specs say.

    It will work for short distances at around 62-63 MPH, but under those same ideal conditions and I don't have the air conditioner on. With the air on, it quits working around 58 - 60 MPH. I'm hoping it will get better, but it seems like it should be broke in by now with 4,600 miles.
  • My issues started with my first visit to the service dept with about 5 minor concerns (mileage, sputtering and brakes included) One of the concerns was a cut in the dash (trim over the top of insturments) and I asked the service writer to, 1- replace it if is a seperate part, or 2 DO NOT replace if it is only serviced with dash assy. I told it was part of dash. Another concern was the radio. The aux port on the front of the radio was loose (plugged ipod in and got terrible static and feedback when touching brakes) among a few other things.

    I sat in the service drive with the writer and demonstrated all items on my list at the time of drop off, made a detailed list and gave it to the writer (just to help) I was told a week earlier that a loaner would be waiting for me at drop off. Well nope I couldn't get one unless they were sure it would be there over night. Ok could have told me this a week earlier and I would be fine with it. I asked to please notify me asap if they had to keep the truck so I could get a way to the dealer after work (5pm quitting time) no calls no nothing, I called and was told "oh yeah ummmm we will not be done today (5:05 pm) come and get your loaner" Hmmmm how am I to get there?

    When I went in to pick up the next day, I asked if I got a copy of the work order (what they found, what was done ect.) No it will be mailed to me. I got in my truck to leave, Now my radio does not play out of lt speakers, went back and asked whats up with that? I was told that there was no prob found with radio.

    The brakes still pulsated, radio didnt work, dash wasn't repaired, Oh yeah Did I mention that I an ASE certified and I-CAR certified? I have been not only a heavy collision repair tech. but I am also an A/C, Suspension & brake, Electrical specialist. I now am a service writter / estimator at a large Independant body shop, Oh by the waythe dash part WAS a seperate part, I pointed this out to the writer and he ordered the part, I called to check on the part (is it in yet?) after 2 weeks I was told the part was not in yet 8/11/11, I called parts dept for work related orders and I was asked if I was ever going to have part installed because if not they would have to send it back (only able to keep warranty part for so long)

    Theres FAR more than these issues, I could go on and on. But this final note..... After 4 weeks of this I HAND DELIVERED my reply to the "Are you satisfied with our service letter" explaining why My answer would be no, Which includes all the above and the derogitory comments the writer had made when he didn't know I was behind him, to the Service director (9 pages) I still have not gotten so much as a BITE ME from anyone. Why? the Directors son, Is the service writer. I'm getting mad all over again!

    Yes Sarah I will resend my info to you when I return to work on 12/19. but as you will see in the letter I sent (the reply to your first reply) I am not so sure I want to deal with the same dealership.

    Thank You
    Dennis L Steinhart
  • Hi, I was considering a Silverado for my next purchase, what size motor and do you think the crew cab cuts the miles per gallon a lot?
  • I have the 5.3-2011 crew cab and get between 13 and 14 stop and go city. I have also achieved between 18 and 20 mpg highway depending on speed. It gets best mpg at no greater than 70mph.

    Remember these things weigh 5,000 pounds and are shaped like a refrigerator, not the best for mpg.
  • I'd be satisfied with that! That sure is a lot better than 16 MPG at 70 MPH.
  • String,
    We are all aware that your truck is an exception and having issues. Thank you for once again reminding us of the terrible mpg you are getting with your truck. Your truck is an exception of not hitting the "high teens" on the highway.

    Shack - these trucks are great values right now and there are deals to be had.
    Good luck!
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