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Chevy Silverado: Problems & Solutions



  • chevy4lifechevy4life Posts: 20
    My '00 1500 4x4 has a problem w/ the gas gauge: when idling in park, the gauge will go from an accurate reading and shoot up to full and then down to empty and sit there. Once I put the truck in motion, it corrects itself.
    Anyway, I took it to my local dealer and they told me that I needed a new sender unit (which is in the gas tank). They said it was $400 for the part and $150 to install it= $550! I told them no thanks. When I got home, I crawled under the truck, and the tank still had mud all over it - they hadn't even dropped it to look, but they did charge me $80 to tell me it would be $550 to fix.

    As if that wasn't suspicious enough, they said my throttle body needed cleaning...Now I am quite familiar when it needs cleaning, as the gas pedal will stick firmly and you have to mash the gas pedal to get it unstuck (a potentially dangerous situation). I clean it myself from time to time; takes about 5 minutes to do. It didn't need cleaning!

    Finally, they wanted $250 to do the rear brakes (new pads).

    While I am not up to date on new cars, I did spend two years of high school in an automechanics course, so I know a few things. I guess if I was an uninformed customer, I'd be getting swindled.

    Oh, I did the brakes myself: $34 for pads and $40 to turn the rotors. $74 vs. $250.
  • ggregory2ggregory2 Posts: 1
    I own a 97 Chevrolet p/u 4X4 with a 5.7 L engine. At 42K a misfire began to occur. After numerous tries at resolving it, a mechanic found that the lifters were collapsing. I ended up having all of the lifters replaced to correct the problem. Even with new lifters, I still got a lot of lifter chatter at cold start. To remedy this, my mechanic had me add a quart of mystery oil and this seems to have cured the problem. One important item: if you or anyone removes the distributor from these vehicles, make sure that you follow the steps to correctly "phase" the distributor. If you don't, the timing will be way out causing a hot engine misfire.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    The fuel sending unit problem can be diagnosed without pulling out the fuel tank. The computer system can be tapped by the dealer's computer and see that no signal (or a wrong signal) is being sent by the fuel level sending unit. Dropping the tank takes longer than $80 worth of labor.
    On the throttle body cleaning thing, they may do recommendations based on mileage. We had a tech working here for awhile who did that. He'd see 50k on the odometer and make a list. I had to weed through the list before presenting it to the customer.
    You saved most of your money on the brake deal by doing them yourself, you saved labor $. The pad price you give is not a GM price, so you saved money buying aftermarket. They weren't scamming, they were using regular charges based on GM parts and their own hourly labor rate.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Don't forget that the labor rate charged is directly from their "book" on how long manf. says it should take to do job. Then there is the real world where the proficient mechanic cuts the time in half but the dealer still charges the "book rate" based on the job. This is where the inequity in the system and customer deception comes to play.
    I have a friend who works for Honda as a mechanic and he gets the "book rate" for job whether he gets it done on time or ahead of time. To me that is a rip off of the consumer. Say you have a particular job done and book rate says 5 hrs., job is completed in 2 hrs. by mechanic but the customer is still charged for the job based on book rate. It's hard to trust dealers or repair facilities that do this and believe me there are more that do then don't.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Ray T.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 613
    I agree. Book time should only be used as a guide. We go more with actual time spent working on a vehicle than book time, unless a customer calls in asking 'how much will it cost?' without looking at the vehicle first. Then we yank out the old 'Motors' manual and start looking up labor. Book time can also hurt the mechanic, especially on driveability or wiring issues. It may take 5 minutes to replace a sensor, but it took the guy 2 hours to be sure that's all it needed.
    In the case of this guy with the fuel sender, $150 doesn't sound bad, if the labor rate is $60 or $75. The part price doesn't sound too far off, either.
  • chevy4lifechevy4life Posts: 20
    I know about book rate. I think it's in the dealers' and mechanics' favor more often than not, though.

      I know everyone has to make a living, but IMO, there's something fundamentally wrong, when something as benign as a fuel sender costs $400! This isn't a Boeing 777; it's not rocket science. It shouldn't cost that much. I refuse to cave-into car companies' ploys of teching-out the car to the point where it's just one big friggin' computer with four wheels.

    Sorry about my rant. Now I'm off to the junkyard to find a used sender.

    Thanks for the replys earlier.
  • 2001 2500HD,6.0, Automatic transmission. Just bought used. When accelerating truck feels like its under load. Is this normal for this truck? How does yours feel. Also, seems like there is slight slip when going from a dead stop to start. You can feel it a little.
  • I have a 2000 chevy p/u with 53000 miles on it. The other day I stoped at a red light. After turning right the truck went dead in the middle of the turn. This was the first time the truck has gone dead like that. The truck stared right up and ran fine. Then tonight I was driving started to stop and noticed the RPM,s droped to almost 0 and the brake pedal felt like it was going to the floor, the truck didn't go dead but almost did. Has anyone had this problem or have any idea what the problem might be.
  • karmakarma Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 HD 6.0 liter/auto and do not have those problems. I bought mine new however, not that it should matter. Sounds like a drivetrain problem of sorts but Im no mechanic.
  • My truck has the same problem with the gas gauge slopping around when stopped and from what I read it is the sender unit. What did you do to fix the problem. I would like to fix it myself if possible. I have heatd you ahve to drop the tank

    Also, I have had the throttle body problem. how do you clean that in 5 minutes. Is it documented somewhere?

    Travis Kisner
  • hennehenne Posts: 407
    I have a 04 2500hd,6.0, auto. When I start it cold in the morn it makes a whine noise for about 2 or so seconds. You know the noise you hear when you blow into a bottle at an angle, thats what it sounds like. Any Ideas?


  • End of August started having a problem with the truck. At a red light, we would hit the gas to go & had very, very slow pick up, but then it would run normal. This happened a few times and we took it to a garage. They advised we fix a few things:

    1. rotor & cap
    2. spark plugs
    3. fuel filter

    Did all those & also changed the 2 front O2 sensors. Ran fine for a few days, then same problem. This time we changed the ignition coil (which said garage also recommended).

    After that it seemed to run ok, but now when we tried to start the truck from a cold start, it would crank but not turn over (I'm not very car savvy, so please forgive the terminology). Fix to this was to turn the key for a second, then start the truck. That worked fine.

    Has "stuttered" twice in the last 3-4 weeks and the start fix still worked.

    Dropped it off last night for them to look at (service mgr said could be weak fuel pump or something with the fuel system). Got a call this morning that it was the battery. That didn't sound right to me, so I called back later in the morning & quizzed them about it. They said the truck wouldn't start at all this morning (didn't get clarification if it wouldn't start or wouldn't turn over). Mechanic also said the Throttle body was very, very dirty and that could cause all the problems too.

    Picked it up tonight, after hours, and when we turned it on, it started, but there was a shudder from the rear passenger side. Turned it off & tried again - same thing. Third time the shudder was much less noticeable.

    What on earth could be causing these problems? The truck has 53k miles on it and I just can't believe that out of the blue in 1.5 months we're having all these problems. Any help would be appreciated! :)
  • I'm having similar problems.
    Does anybody know what this prob. can be.

  • 99 chev silverado
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    My friend was having the same problems, and we did all of the above and got about the same results. It seems funny with only 50K on the ticker but we replaced the plug wires and the problem was gone, never came back and still running strong. Fuel pressure can be tested w/o having to do anything radical, they just hook up a gauge to the fuel rail, it is a fitting that looks like a tire valve, that could be another possible problem, but try th wires first, and don't get the cheapy wires either, I use Delco, Bosch, or Accell wires only, the $20 set will cause problems much much sooner than the OEM wires will. Good Luck and let us know if it helped.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    Anyone with a 1500 4WD Silverado with that famous clunk in the steering? Well if you do you can take it back to the dealer soon. They are replacing the intermediate shafts with ones from a different vendors. The new shafts are on dealer back order until around late December, early January, while they fill the factories with the new parts and get caught up with dealer demand. Best thing to do is to take it in to the dealer and they will diagnose and place the part on order for your truck, this way your part is reserved for you.
  • Travis -

    I've been too busy with work to fix the tank. I did get an online quote from a used parts vendor for the sender. I think they wanted $200 for it if I remember correctly. I may wait until the Spring to replace it myself.

    In the meantime, try this: drive it until it's almost empty and then put in a can of fuel injector cleaner and the fill it up. Do this twice and see if the problem starts to resolve itself. A friend of mine told be to do this, and it actually started working again, although not all the time. Some people may have reservations about using cleaner that frequently, but I've put in 4 or 5 over the course of 6 months or so, and haven't seen any problems. It's a temporary fix, but what the heck.

    To clean the throttle body: go buy a can of spray throttle body cleaner. Remove the rubber connection between the air cleaner box and the engine. You'll see a giant circular disc that will have black gunk around the edges of it. You may not be able to see all of it, but if you spray it down good and take a rag and run it around in there, you'll get a lot of gunk out. While you spraying, rotate the valve open so it's horizontal. There's a giant return spring coiled on the outside of the TB. Grab it and rotate it open and spray and wipe it out.

    Takes 5 minutes and works for 6+months before you should have to do it again.
  • Local dealer finally got the replacement cables in for the tailgate recall.

    I was pissed to see a tag on the new cable

    "Made In China"....

    When will it end?
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    A guy who works in the auto industry posted a topic on another board (gm - trucks . com) website (haha) and he said the original sets were also made in china but with cheap steel. The new ones are supposedly made of cheap ss steel
  • Hello, I'm almost ready to buy a 2002 1500 Z71 with low mi and GM certification. I've heard stories of Piston Slap and the non-compliance involved with GM. I've also heard that piston slap is mainly an issue with the 6.0L, is this true?

    Also, can anyone give me advice that has the same model year what I should look out for or if I should even buy the sucker at all. Thank you, appreciate the feedback.
  • I have 2000 chevy sport side step extended cab with the 4.8 and (piston slap) with tow package.
      What I would like to know is there any way to get more top end when pulling a 5,500 lb. 5th wheel? The truck seems to die at 100kil (60) miles/hr. and the tail pipe is very black, however if I keep the speed around 50 no problems and ideas?
    Dean retired
  • jon6jon6 Posts: 1
    I've had a 2004 1500 crewcab automatic transmission for LESS THAN 3 WEEKS. Two days ago the transmission started having problems. Basically, the truck wouldn't shift to higher gears. The dealer says the planetary gear bushings came apart (probably due to a manufacturing defect), causing a heat buildup that burned up the internal clutches/friction plates. The dealer says that if the planetary gear and low/reverse clutch are replaced, we'll be in good shape. Obviously, a truck with less than 1000 miles shouldn't do it and the repair will be warranty. But is this a good fix? Is this truck a loser? Should I be asking for a new transmission or even a new truck?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Dean: What does the door tag state for GVW. You don't say if it's 4 wd or not. With a fifth wheel or any travel trailer you are going to have wind drag. If your close to gvw limit (which includes loading of truck) it might be time for upgrade if you continue to pull this weight. The 4.8 is working overtime but there is no way to increase top end while pulling a fifth wheel with out sacrificing gvw. What gear ratio did you get in truck? That makes a difference too!

    I have a 2000 Fleetside shortbox ext cab 2 wd 5.3 V-8. Also have 3:73 rear ratio. My truck struggles on long hills but I can still maintain 55mph when pulling my 6600# travel trailer uphills.

    Are you using the tow/haul feature and leaving it in 3rd gear when towing?

    Ray T.
  • Has anyone tried installing any of the "as seen on tv" type accessories to improve power and or mileage on their trucks? I've been looking at the "tornado" and the "helix power tower." Any comments? Worth the money or just junk? Thx
  • That's what I thought. Thanks!
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I have a 2001 silverado with the 5.3. I had the tornado installed in the truck for about a month or two and found out it was pure sh... ahem junk. I have only got a SLIGHT improvement (0.5-1 mpg) by installing a full intake system and a cat back exhaust.
  • So was it really worth it (the intake & exhaust)? I mean, does the sound change (some like it) combined with 0.5-1 mpg increase justify the cost of the parts and installation? (I'm considering a similar set of "upgrades" to my '04, but have held off so far because in addition to my personal feelings, I also have to be able to justify the price to my significant other, lol.
  • If your air snorkle is restrictive with a narrow opening for the air to enter, replacing it with a free flow snorkle kit would give more power. I don't think the Tornado helps (It just spins the air; maybe slightly helpful for carbs, but useless on fuel injection). You best bang for the buck is a power chip, or a less restrictive exhaust (headers with duel exhaust).
  • Sounds like a classic Fuel Pump problem, get ready to shell out $1000, make sure you get a lifetime warranty, because chances are you will be back. This is very common problem with these trucks. Mine had the same exact symptoms, and it cost be a bundle.
This discussion has been closed.