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Chevy Silverado: Problems & Solutions



  • A close relative and I recently bought a 2004 Automatic Chevy Silverado. It's base model (manual locks, windows, etc.). Before the truck had reached 6,000 the back of the truck seemed to "lock up" and make TERRIBLE clunking noises. The problem was not taken seriously by the 1st dealership we took it to didn't take it seriously and sent us home saying it was because our differencial was reacting to its first time on the wet road. They assured us the problem would stop and were not particularly nice to my relative.

    It was taken to a 2nd dealership, in which when they took a look at the had completely fused together. Yet, it was never replaced, just unfused and released back to us. The noise persisted.

    The road was wet again tonight. Upon taking a turn, the clunking became much louder as the back end completely locked up, sending us 2-4 inches away from the guard rail on the opposite side of the road. If someone was there, or my relative didn't have a quick reaction time, there would have been a serious accident.

    Due to the holiday, everything is closed. We have plans to make a trip an hour north into the Poconos for Thanksgiving with our family. Is it a good idea to drive this far? I don't think so, but my relative believes we have no choice because out of both of our cars, his is better inclined for the pot-hole-infested roads and hazardous mountain roads.

    Has anyone else had problems with their brand new Chevy Silverados? I would like to look into the Lemon Law if this is just a manufacturer's default. Any other suggestions??
  • Why take a chance on wrecking a $24,000+ truck if the rear end might lock up? Your dealer won't cover you crashing it! I would drop it off at the dealer and tell him to keep it until he fixes it.
       The locking diff is doing exactly what it's supposed to do. When it senses one wheel slipping, it locks up both wheels in less than three rotations. It has no way of knowing you are driving too fast on a wet, curving road. Mine does the same thing. I ALWAYS put my Auto-Trac on whenever the roads are wet. When one tire slips, the front tires engage automatically. It's the best safety option on my truck.

  • Re: Improving Power / Gas Mileage

    Truck: 2001 Duramax 4x4,LB, SWD, 5 speed Auto w/3.73

    Replaced air filter element with AFE Lifetime Filter (not K & N) Increased HP by a factor of 18.

    Reconfigured computer to 360 HP with 720 Torque (the computer was completely rebuilt by an authorized after-market company)

    Increased tire size from 245 to 265.

    Replaced exhaust system w/high grade 4" diameter stainless steel from exhaust manifold back (Yes, it's a little noiser when you get into it.)

    Results BEFORE 4" exhaust system added to mix: Approximatey 380 HP: 21 MPG @ 80 MPH Cruise; No Diesel hesitation whatsoever. When new exhaust system added was told that mileage might increase by 3 mpg (I believe it). It acts as if HP has increased by a factor of 30. We have a 10' Northern Lite Cabover Camper and on our last trip to New Mexico, Arizona, California truck acted as if it had no load in the bed. We drove up hills that were so steep that the 3-way refrigerator shut off but we had plenty of pedal left while maintaining posted speed limits. FYI
  • I have a Chevy Silverado 2004/2500 crew cab 4x4, and everytime I'm on any type of incline or hill and have to stop once I take my foot off the brake it rolls backwards, the transmission is no longer ingaged, does anybody else have this problem? The dealer told me this normal and I should not worry about it, I told him this is a safety hazard and should be corrected.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    When on level ground does the truck roll forward when the brakes are released? Depending on the slope of the hill, I would think most vehicles would roll backwards unless your idle is set to 1500 rpm.
  • Just about every vehicle I've driven with an electronic auto tranmission does this.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    It's not that it slips out of gear but rather, as Obyone says, the revs are not high enough to hold weight of vehicle with no brake applied on an incline. I think if you tried it with any auto trans vehicle you would have the same results.


    Ray T.
  • I purchased my 2000 Silverado Z-71, Ext Cab with: 5.3,auto and tow package new in Nov 1999. My first problem with the tranny felt like axle wrap up and occurred at 19,981 miles. Chevrolet's fix was, power flush tranny 3 times and problem was gone. Sometime after 38,000 miles, I addressed a drivetrain clunking noise when I brought the vehicle in to a GM dealership service department for an oil & filter change and was told that everything was in spec (no excessive play in any drivetrain components) and backlash in rear end was within specification. There were two other subsequent oil & filter change visits to the same GM dealership and again I asked the service department to check out the clunking in the drivetrain to make sure that the U-joints did not need to be replaced and each time I was told that everything was fine. I brought my vehicle to a different dealership around 73,000 to have them look into the clunking noise and I was advised of the service bulletin on slip yoke. New slip yoke was installed and the dealership Service rep advised me that the GM service bulletin also required the tranny shift pattern to be re-programmed which they did. Around 91,000, I got the "Service 4WD" message and had to replace an electronic selector component and re-program the shifting pattern again. At 92,347 miles, I got a brief "Service 4WD" message light immediately followed by the "Service Engine Soon" message and a whirring/whining noise became audible from the tranny. I drove the vehicle approx. 8 more miles to a Chevrolet dealership and along the way, the message went out but the noise changed into the sound of grinding metal.

    Because of the significant investment at the time of purchase and the fact that I planned to keep this vehicle as long as possible , I have been dilligent in having the the required service work done IAW the specified GM schedules. The service work I had performed included the change of the transmission fluid at each of the 30,000 mile intervals following the first transmission fluid change that was performed by the dealership at 19,981 miles.

    Any one else had similar history on these types of problems and what has Chevrolet done to rectify the problem?
  • The noise is coming from the heater core. Their

    are two restrictors on the engene side of the fire wall the TSB says to remove them I had this done

    and the noise went away I live in northern new york

    and cant see any differace in the heat or the engene

    warmup time in below zero weather.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    You haven't come back for clarification so I am guessing you may be satisfied with the answers.


    If you have to move the shift lever to get it back in gear, IT IS A PROBLEM.


    If applying a little gas to up the RPMs makes it move forward again, it is normal.

    It has to do with the function of an automatic to not need a clutch depression to stand still. There is a "stall speed" that makes the fluid pressure inside the converter cause the transmission input shaft to turn.

    Same thing on sedans.


    If you need more detail, just ask and there are many out here who could provide a better explanation.


    Enjoy the convenience of not having to do the clutch deal on a hill.

    I think there was a model or two of cars that had the "hold" on a hill feature. Somehow, it hasn't spread to other vehicles.
  • noobie1noobie1 Posts: 326
    Just as a note of interest, I tested my truck after reading the above complaint and it does indeed hold on a fairly steep incline. It should also be noted that it's an Allison 1000 which likely has a different "stall speed" than the one previously mentioned.


  • ram5ram5 Posts: 12
    I have 2000 Silverado pickup and the crankshaft sensor is leaking oil. I had checked out by the Dealer. Does anyone have a mechanical manual and provide a picture of where this sensor is located? I know it's around the area behind the fan. Has anyone had trouble with this sensor? I thought maybe it may need a little tightening.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
  • ram5ram5 Posts: 12
    I have a Silverado 2000 model and the blower motor only works on the speed 5. I know there is a harness connecting to the motor switch. Does anybody have any idea what it could be? Could be the Dial switch with the speeds on the dash or is there something near the motor that needs to be changed oout? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I will tell you that I'm not very familiar with the current GMC/Chevy series, but I would guess they have a resistor in series with the blower motor winding with taps at various resistance to deliver the different speeds. Since the highest speed setting of the blower motor doesn't need the resistor, I would suspect that the resistor is now open.


    Good luck,

  • noobie1noobie1 Posts: 326
    You don't say what engine. I'm sorry I don't have the tools to get you pictures, but on the 4.3L the sensor is accessed from the bottom front. The steering linkage shield must be removed first. On the 4.8L, 5.3L, and 6.0L it's behind the starter motor which must be removed. Finally, top driver's side rear on the 8.1L. The drawings for all appear to show the CKP being held in by only one bolt through a sheet metal bracket which seems to argue against tightening as a solution. The drawings which are very poor appear to show an 'O'-ring doing the sealing.

    Also, you don't mention whether your A/C is manual or automatic. Although the diagnostic procedures for both are too extensive to relate here, if it's manual, dustyk's "guess" appears to be right on from what I can gather from a quick scan. The motor resistor is held in place by two screws accessed from the bottom of the motor.

    If you intend to do you own repairs you may consider a set of manuals from Helms. I know they're expensive, but they do pay for themselves over time.


  • If you have an Allison transmission it will make clunking noises when it's heavy duty system changes from a forward gear to reverse and at oter times. Chevrolet provided me with a training videio on this for the Allison transmission in my 2003 diesel Silverado.
  • I am experienceing starting problems after changing my fuel filter. I have checked to see that the gasget on the fuel filter was seated properly and it is. The only way I can get the truck started is to warm the fuel filter with my wifes hair dryer for about an hour and then it starts and runs fine until, I shut it down and it sets for 3-4 hours. I had Gale Banks install a banks Stinger power pack, and exhaust brake about two week ago, but this didn't cause any starting problems. The starting difficulty started the day after the fuel filter was changed.
  • Subject: 05 Chevy Duramax (6.6 liter Turbo)crew cab long bed dually and at 440 miles started coughing and hickupping as if I had some real bad diesel fuel. At 70 the trailing smoke was so dense that I literally could not see behind me. It stopped in 4-5 seconds. The dealer said it possible debris interfering or may be sticking, commanding the EGR open. The codes stored were PO404 and PO401 (EGR Position codes) For another 2000 miles it didn't occur again now it happens at all speeds/throttle on or off. Anyone??
  • Has anyone been having problems with their Crew Cabs transmission. Took it in to the dealer, they said it had to do something with the 2/3 band and the 1/2 band, that a service bulletin has been out on the problem but no fix. It is driving me mad to spend 40k on a truck that makes a clunking sound between the 2nd and 3rd gear and the 2nd and 1st gear. Anyone had the problem or at least some success in fixing
  • I have the same problem and am contacting Chevrolet now. Is your's a 4X4? I have 4,815 miles on mine and it started right away. Please keep me posted on any progress you have.
  • Hi all,

    I'm hoping some of you have some suggestions
    for us, 'cause we're about at wits end.

    We have an 04 Chevy Silverado Z71, 5.3L v8.
    It's got about 13,000 miles on it. We purchased
    it in Flagstaff Arizona, and have since moved
    to Kentucky. Ever since the drive to Kentucky,
    it's been idling really rough. If it were a carbur-
    ated engine, I'd say either the timing was
    off or the fuel to air ratio needed to be changed.

    We've taken it to the dealership. They say nothing
    shows up on the diagnostics. Then, the engine
    light came on, so we took it in. They said it's
    because our locking fuel cap isn't a snug fit.
    Well, this idling problem happened before we
    switched to the locking cap. They tell us that
    there are no locking caps which are made to
    fit an 04 Silverado yet. So we stuffed a plastic
    bag under the cap to make sure the vacuum
    on the fuel system is working ok.

    No matter what we do, the truck idles rough
    and feels like it's going to cut out when sitting
    at a light. It never does actually stop running,
    but as it cycles, it shudders and really feels like
    it's going to sputter out.

    There are a few other things to consider:
    *Before leaving Arizona the fuel pump went out
    and was replaced.
    *The elevation in Arizona where we bought
    the truck was about 7,000 feet. Where we live
    now it's about 480 feet. Chevy dealers insist
    that the truck self-regulates for altitude. Is
    there NO WAY to go in there and fine tune
    the computer for altitude changes? The
    dealerships tell us there's no way they can,
    and that it's not necessary.
    *We have a K&N air filter in it, which has
    never been a problem before.
    *We have a "Tornado Fuel Saver" in it which
    has never been a problem before.

    So. Given all this information, if it was your
    truck, what would you look into next? We've
    discussed the purchase of one of those "Super-
    chips" but it seems like it's a lot of money
    to spend if it's not going to address what this
    problem may be.

    ANY input is going to be greatly appreciated,
    because the Chevy dealership's attitude seems
    to be, "If the engine light isn't on, who cares?"

    Well. If nothing else it's damned annoying because
    at idle, it always feels like the truck is going to
    quit. It can't be running on top of it's game if
    it's idling like that, and it feels like it's affecting
    the shifting somehow.

  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    OK, It's been two months but I thought I'd add new experienced data.

    A week or so ago, we rented a Buick Century for a trip to LA and then a GMC U-Haul truck while there.

    Both exhibited the characteristics that were described above. Disconcerting at first, but after the pucker-factor passes it is just an annoyance. Breaking the "one-foot rule", I found that holding with the left foot on the brake and letting go when starting to throttle-up with the right foot eliminated the roll-back and lurch from the jump from one peddle to the other. Maybe some practice would smooth it out. One afternoon in a rental didn't do it.
    Absolutely could get used to it just like getting used to the coasting effect I first saw on an 87 Sable when you take your foot off the gas. If you really want to slow down - better move your foot to the brake peddle.

    So, this is posted for the fill-in of recently gathered information.

  • I will post my message again here and hope that you had the diligence to hop over to this thread since our dear host doesn't seem to think that we should have a separate thread to addresss a specific issue.

    I have an '01 2500HD 6.0 auto tranny with manual transfer case. I have noticed fluid on the underside of the truck right at about the point where the front u-joint is at. Dealer said it is overflow from the transfer case vent tube. He supposedly checked the transfer case and was full. Truck currently has approximately 45,000 miles and is used primarily to pull with.
  • noobie1noobie1 Posts: 326
    I don't see how, if the problem is as bad as you say it is, that a dealer won't acknowledge that a problem exists. It may be they're instructed by Chevrolet to (conveniently) discount any problem which doesn't show a DTC (because of the increased cost of analysis). Or, the fact that it doesn't may instead indicate a limited level of expertise at that particular dealership given the increased complexity of the problem absent a DTC. Fuel injection, ignition, emissions, all use sensors to regulate engine controls, any one of which have potential to create problems if malfunctioning. However, if so, they normally register a DTC making it a comparatively easy fix. If they don't it's a headache for whomever. If It were my truck I would put the stock fuel filler cap on and take it to a different dealership asking them to pay particular attention to fuel pressure at the injectors, given the coincidental replacement of the pump. BTW- I've been up and down in altitude many times with my truck, including through Flagstaff, without incident. One of the beauties of computerized fuel injection is that it DOES self-regulate.
    One possible clue involves whether it idles rough when first started up on any given day. Because the fuel injection relies on different feed back systems at start up and at normal operating temperature, smooth idle at start up could indicate a faulty O2 sensor. Just a wild poke in the dark.

  • I have a 95 3/4 ton long box silverado extended cab with 201000 miles. The transmission has been
    rebuilt twice @ 100,000 and 150,000 mile. WHen I am driving if I accelerate hard the truck will get stuck in 3rd gear (auto) and I have to turn the truck off and restart it a couple of time to get it back to normal. As long as I use a soft pedal no problem, but as soon as i get on it there it goes again. I have bben to a couple of transmission shops and no one has an answer. They want to take it apart and charge me a small fortune. I think this may have something to do with the power shut off but I am not sure. Looking for an expert opinion from someone who knows about this problem. I need to mention that I have a Power tower spacer under the throttle body and a hypertec chip in the computer. Could this be affecting the transmission???
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I had the same problem with my 2001 silverado. Ended up monthes later being a bad coil pack on the engine. Have them look more closely at the coil packs.
  • Hi David, Bigfur.

    Thanks so much for your replies. I've
    written them down and will discuss it
    with the dealer. It's rather amazing what
    some dealers *won't* do. We basically
    feel like we had the best dealer in the
    world up in Flagstaff Arizona (Terrell/
    Marxen), and the ones out here are
    as different as day and night from that
    dealier in Flag.

    Anyway. We'll check into the possiblity
    of O2 sensor troubles, and talk to them about
    checking the coil packs.

    I *have* noticed the problem is LESS
    present when I first start it in the morning.
    I'll have to pay more attention to see if it's
    really *completely* gone.

    Warm regards!
  • cottoncotton Posts: 1
    Seems as if every message board there is something on this particular topic with the clunking noise on the 2-3 and 3-2 shifts. I took my 04 Z-71 in after about 5,000 miles and they were nice enough to leave me a copy of the service bulletin saying this was normal. Bunch of cr.. if you ask me! I did speak with the sales manager that sold me the truck and he said that I should contact GM directly and explain to them the situation and say how disappointed I was etc. and that if I didn't say something along the lines of I'm switching to a Ford or Dodge he has seen them award a certificate of up to $2000 on the purchase of a new vehicle.
  • I just experienced this problem with my husband's 2005 duramax today. It only had 500 miles on is. What you described is exactly what happened to me. Could you possibly tell me more of what the dealer said? I was on the freeway going about 70 when it happened too. Sounds like we have the same poblem. I thought it could have been bad diesel fuel as well. Thanks.
  • trouble w torque converter which came apart inside causing it to shift hard.stainless steele exhaust pipe broke loose from the cast iron flange connected to the passeger side header on a 2000 chevy silverado 2500 ext cab 4x4 that has been well taken care of.may have seen mud 2 times
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