1996-1998 Chevy Truck Build Quality Problems

JGT74JGT74 Member Posts: 28
edited March 2014 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 582
    You must be talkng about Ford or Dodge
  • JGT74JGT74 Member 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 Member Posts: 28

    I wish I was!
  • RichRich Member 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 Member 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.
  • arrowhdarrowhd Member Posts: 8
    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 Member 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.
  • arrowhdarrowhd Member Posts: 8

    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 Member 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.
  • maydaytoymaydaytoy Member Posts: 22
    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.
  • maydaytoymaydaytoy Member Posts: 22
    Sorry, You DID say SERIOUS Truck for towing.
    The F150 Trunda will not fit the bill....
  • FETZFETZ Member 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.
  • maydaytoymaydaytoy Member Posts: 22
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2,242
    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 Member 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!
  • rgjd401rgjd401 Member Posts: 5
    I have a '98 Chevy 350, 3:73 rear end that I tow a 26ft Hi-Lo trailer with and consistantly get over 15 mpg while pulling. Around 20 not pulling on Highway.
    Best tranny I have ever seen in a vehicle. Quitest motor too. They did a great job on this vehicle. I understand the '99 are even better.
    Wish they could build a diesel. 2000 or so chevy will have an Isusu diesel and a 8.0 gas engine. Should be great.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    If you've had an accident as a result of a screwy idle control, I think that the NTSB would be VERY interested.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362

    now you got me thinking. I thought it was the weight of the truck, combined with 265r16 tires with 45psi which lowered my rolling resistance. I did notice that it will seldom slow down when the throtle is released. Where do I get more info????
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    I found info on the NHTSA web site under consumer complaints. I know what you mean about thinking it was low rolling resistance, that is until I shifted the truck into neutral at 60MPH and watched the tach jump to 3500 rpm before coming back down. I swear it acts like the cruise is doing something, but I even disconnected the cruise linkage to prove it was something else causing the problem. I have had an EGR valve replaced, and it seemed better for a while, but has now gotten very bad. I have mentioned this on other topics and have gotten a little feedback. Don't get me wrong, I love this truck and do not want to go through another arbitration with GM. Yes, I have been down that rosey path before with a Safari Vortec 4.3, 200hp engine that would fry a CPI injector without warning. Five injectors in 3500 miles. Some poor soul down near Houston, Texas ended up with that one. Every time he went in for warranty work the customer survey would still come to me and I got lots of them.
    Anyway, if you have a '96 C1500 with the auto, 5.7L, and 3.73 rear axle ratio, you might want to see just how well your throttle is releasing before you do like I did and lay down a bunt with a Mazda Protege.

  • leghornleghorn Member Posts: 1
    I have af 96 chevy s10 with the 4,3 vortec, imported from the states. (no warranty)
    first something broke in the rear axle, cost me 2000 dollars. recently the oilhose jumped of from the pump (I nor any mechanics has ever been near this area to fix anything)I noticed it quite fast, (about 100 meters) so there wasn´t any damage to the engine. would have cost me a fortune if I havent paid attention, a new engine is about 5000 dollars here in denmark
    hope the get better, caus i like the car anyways
  • sd99sd99 Member Posts: 65
    Wonder if Dave40 reads this chat
  • ladyblueladyblue Member Posts: 326

    Probably not. Why burst his bubble?
  • akjbmwakjbmw Member Posts: 231
    sd99, ladyblue:
    Build quality issues (of a negative sort) would not be a possibility for him to even consider.
    It's a "touch with reality" issue. imho.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    This morning I spoke with the technical specialist
    at a large GM dealer in the Austin, Tx area. Here
    are the questions and the answers I was given.
    1. The engine rattles when it is started. Longer
    when cold, but on any start after it has been
    sitting for more than an hour.
    ANSWER: The noise is from the lifters bleeding
    down and is typical of roller lifters. GM sees
    this as no cause for concern as long as the rattle
    stops within a minute.

    2. The throttle does not return to idle when
    released. The vehicle will continue at speed for
    several seconds, and at speeds under 50MPH will not slow down without substantial application of the brakes.
    ANSWER: GM has advised that THIS IS THE NORMAL

    Hmmm. I don't like these answers. The lifters
    are bleeding down prematurely. The fact that they
    are roller lifters has nothing to do with the
    problem. And I cannot believe that GM thinks I am
    stupid enough to believe that unresponsive throttle operation is normal! I have owned two vortec 4.3L with the CPI fuel injection system and neither of them had this attribute. Time to escalate the issue.

  • JGT74JGT74 Member Posts: 28
    Just wanted to give an update on my '98 Ext. Cab Silverado. The master cylinder has started to leak AGAIN (had it replaced a while back for the same thing). Third door is making all those lovely noises AGAIN. Has anyone else noticed that the rear seat belts have different latches (the metal clip you put into teh red slot) on the passanger and drivers side? Is this normal, or did they put the wrong seatbelt on one of the sides? Also I think some of the 3rd door noise maybe coming from where the rear passangers side seatbelt is mounted to the truck. It is a metal loop with a bolt going through it and when i move the seatbelt a bit it makes what I think is one of my rattles. Anyone else notice this?

    I have noticed that sometimes on starting the valvels or starteer seems to make a slapping noise (sort of liek the sound an older car makes when you shut it off and it continues to run for a few seconds) This noise is not consistent and doesn't last very long. I ahve an appointment to take the truck in early next week and want to make sure that I have a legit. complaint before I take it in.

    Overall this truck has seriously disappointed me. This is my first new vehicle and it has more things wrong with it than the 15 year old Nissan it replaced (at least the problems it had had reasons, ie age and mileage). Anyway, enough ranting here. If anyone has any feedback, feel free to reply to my eamail directly ([email protected]) or here. Thanks
  • JGT74JGT74 Member Posts: 28
    One day, I will learn to use spell check....

    To clear up the rear seatbelt thing, the metal clip is the right size, but the plastic buckle part is different on each side. The rear passangers seatbelt latch slides very easily along the belt (and I think that the looseness may cause a rattle), while the rear drivers side latch is different and slides with more resistance (and doesn't seem to make much noise)

    Anyway, this BB is a great place to vent and to hear anyone elses responses. I'm still interested in hearing about where other people's trucks were built and their overall impression of build quality (or lack of) from that location. Mine was built in Canada and my truck has serious build quality issues. Thanks again!!
  • JGT74JGT74 Member Posts: 28
    OK, I will now make sure that I am awake when I post. Anyone notice at highway speeds that the rear pop-out windows tend to let in lots of wind noise? I I asked a passenger the other day to reach back and push the latch down and presto, the noise stopped, (at least until he removed his hand). What can I do to remedy this? Thanks again all!
  • randallvrandallv Member Posts: 12

    The rear pop out windows in my 97 Chevy do the same thing.

  • martinjmartinj Member Posts: 6
    I have a 98 c1500ext-cabwith a 5.o ltr in it. Built in Arlington Texas. With answer to some of the above complaints, 1) Yes, there is a rattling sound emiting from the 3rd door are, I think most of it is from the passenger side seatbelt harnss rings(a good 2nd opinion would come from someone with the same complaint that doesn't have the 3rd door) 2. Yes there is multiple areas of creaking in the cab when driving on unlevel ground,etc. 3. No, I do not have any accelerator/injector problems,yet(have 14000 on the truck) No, this truck does not have the same quality as my Honda did, I never expected it to,though. I am pleased with it so far.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    The dealer and GM now acknowlege the throttle hold problem on '96 Vortec 5.7L engines. The engine specialist at the dealership has indicated that it appears to be a problem in the idle air control (IAC) program, but GM has yet to issue a correction. This week the weather got a little warmer and I turned on the A/C while traveling about 40MPH without touching the throttle. The truck accelerated to 45MPH. I do hope GM figures this one out before I hurt myself or someone else.

    Jim "Stand on the Brakes" Flemmons
  • cookie1cookie1 Member Posts: 68
    I ended up either trading in my 96,96,98, Chevy full size trucks with or without third doors
    partly because I could not stand any longer the noises/rattles coming from the third door, dash, seats, etc., etc. I kept hoping I would receive a new model that was better, but no luck! I even just purchased a 99 Silverado LS, new style, hoping for better build quality. No luck! The truck was fine the first 2,000 miles or so. Now at 6,000 miles, I have three dash/center console rattles, clunking/shifting power bucket seats, whistling wind noise in high wind situations coming from the
    the pop out rear windows, flimsy/useless floor mats, but no third door rattles (so far). Overall, the 99 is a better truck than 98's, but Chevy is far from perfect still.
  • redrickredrick Member Posts: 2
    The paint is falling off of my 1993 C2500 Chevy P.U. It's white, but looks like a
    dalmation dog since the galvanizing under the paint is very dark.

    Anybody else having the same problem? Anybody get GM to repaint their vehicle? Know who I can call?


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