GMC Sierra: Problems & Solutions

dlaz71dlaz71 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in GMC
I have a 97 GMC Z71. Bought new, 24,000 mi., taken
"WELL" care of. I have replaced the the "Door Sill
Trim" 2X on Drivers side & 3X on Passenger side.
The trim (this trim includes black strip that
against window) cracks! My Drivers side has just
recently cracked again. Does anyone know if there
is an aftermarket piece available? Interior color
is "Neutral (Tan"). I don't use the panel as an
armrest either. Got any connections at GM to ask?
Thanks for your help.


  • dlaz71dlaz71 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 97 GMC Z71. "Numerous times", I've had to
    spray the Torsion Bar Mtg Bushings with silicone
    to stop a "Dry Rubbing Sound" when stopping at low
    speeds. Also, I've had to lube the Body Mtg
    Bushings for body flex noise. Are there any more
    permanent cures? (Maybe teflon lined bushings?) I
    like the truck and don't wish to change brands.
    sure GM was trying to correct some of these
    problems with their frame changes on 99 models.
    Thanks for your help!
  • nognil5nognil5 Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone know whether GM has a fix on the wind noise around the front and rear doors on a 2000 GMC ext cab pickup. Dealer has been giving me all sort of comments about he has fixed it but is reoccurs when there is a slight cross wind. Very annoying..
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    there isn't much the dealer can do. The door hinges are welded on so there is no possibility of adjusting the doors for a better fit. I guess GM wanted to save money on bolts. The solution is to break the welds, adjust the doors, and install bolts to replace welds. They have issued a TSB for the older C/K's on this but none for the newer silverado/sierras
  • woolyback2woolyback2 Member Posts: 21
    I installed a bug deflector on my 2000 1500 ExC SB Sierra and immediately noticed a loud rattling noise around the front window when I was doing around 55 mph. I had heard that some deflectors will cause the rubber weather stripping around the top of the windows to vibrate.
    I removed the deflector and noticed that the noise went away.
    I decided to exchange the deflector for a different brand and different style and tried it again. The results were better, it didn't get noisy until I was around 65 mph but the faster I went the noisier it got. I decided to put up with the noise for the time being as I am going to trade up to an 8.1 2500. Hope this might help others who are having a similar problem.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    The Lund Interceptor has been used by Tahoe, Yukon, Sierra, and Silverado owners with no problems. For $50 you may want to try it, unless 1-you can live with the wind noise
    2-you plan to trade soon

    Good luck!
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    you may want to order a Lund Interceptor for it, hopefully Lund has one by then....
  • pclar08pclar08 Member Posts: 4
    Vehicle: 1999 GMC Sierra 1500, 4wd, ext cab, 5.3
    l, 4.10 diffs(rear locking).
    Description: When transmission is cold (below 25
    degrees)the 2-3 upshift does not occur until 32-33
    mph. As the transmission warms, shifting becomes
    normal. Under light acceleration, approximate
    normal shift is: 1st-2nd: 10 mph; 2nd-3rd: 20 mph;
    OD: 35 mph. 33 mph in 2nd gear is 2500+/- rpm, way
    to fast for a cold engine (or transmission). This
    has been a problem since the first winter (99).
    Not a problem in warm weather but the cold has
    returned & it's the same as last winter.
    Transmission was serviced in Sept (flushed)
    w/approx 32K miles. My brother inlaw has a similar
    setup (4wd/5.3/3.73/sb)& has the same problem. His
    dealer said this was 'normal'. Any advice on this
  • mblrdsmblrds Member Posts: 41
    I have roughly the same vehicle that you do, except mine's a 2000 Z71.
    The owners manual(2-23) says that when the temperature gets below 32 degrees, the transmission is designed to shift differently until the engine reaches normal operating temperature. Something about improving heater to performance.
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    This behavior is by design, it is not a problem even though it may be annoying.
  • pclar08pclar08 Member Posts: 4
    This must be another 'better idea'. Oh, well. Other than that (and the other standard issues this series has had), this is one great truck: rides great, good fuel mileage, tows anything, goes anywhere.
    Thanks for the response!
  • gonzo7gonzo7 Member Posts: 259
    Toyotas "hold" the shift until warmed up too.
  • wxfcstrwxfcstr Member Posts: 18
    I've got a 99 Sierra with a couple of annoying problems the dealership has totally ignored.

    Has anyone had:
    1) A creaking or growning sound in the front end
    when making sharp turns?? This problem didn't start until I hit bout 20k. Everytime I back out of the drivewy, the front end lets loose a "somethings binding" type groan. The classic dealership diagnosis was "dirty PS fluid".

    2) Erratic Fuel Level Mesurement?? Once again, not something that started until several thousand miles were logged. I can put gas in and get one reading. When I get home, it can be reading an 1/8th of tank different. Depending on gas sloshing in the tank, I've seen the gage needle travel a 1/4 tank back and forth. A low fuel gas slosh has occasionally set the "Low Fuel" light blinking off and on.
    The dealer response: The tech sat in 2 new Sierra's and noticed different gas level readings each time he started them, so there is no problem. End of diagnosis.
  • phillipmphillipm Member Posts: 32
    I've been reading all the Sierra info. and wondered if anyone has any firsthand experience with the new Sierra c-3? The 6.0 sounds great but would like to know if the all wheel drive feature is as good as it looks on paper. Any comments?
  • dkacydkacy Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 GMC Sierra purchased New in 97. It is a Regular Cab, Short bed. V6, automatic. It was bought because I wanted something safe.

    This thing has had what I think are alot of problems in it's 3 year, 29,000 mile life. Here are some of the things replaced, most went bad before 20,000 miles:

    Power Steering Pump
    Climate Control panel
    Air Conditioning compresser
    Transmission tail seal
    Tourqe Converter
    2 Brake Master cylinders 8 months apart
    left and right rear axel seals
    Steering Gear Box
    Fuel sending unit in tank
    Passenger window channel (twice).
    Seat belt buckle

    I took the truck thru arbitration, the arbitrator sided with GM, deciding it did not have "4 repairs on the same item").

    In addition to the above, it has lousey fit and finish (I've noticed other 97's that have varring problems with roof-line and door fit).

    The mechanic's at different dealerships insist it's a good truck (they also boast they have "job security" because of GM's junk being sold to the public, and that they would not own a newer vehicle).

    I'm wondering if this thing is better off being sold off at a loss before something major goes wrong (I've read the posts about vibration and transmissions).

    The most irratating is a noise in the front end that started after I had the wheel bearings re-packed. A click noise everytime it goes in a driveway, or over a bump. Not as bad since the cold weather hit, but annoying just the same.

    It also has a problem with the rear brakes staying "adjusted" (I had the brakes checked last week, it still has over 60 percent of the front linnings left, and over 90 percent in the rear).

    Fuel Milage in town is about 13 in the summer, 18 on the highway (60 to 65 mph). In cooler weather it's about 15 city, 20 to 23 highway). I do not lead-foot it, and have "baby'd" it since new, which is why I worry about how it would preform if used normally.

    Am I expecting too much from a new vechile? My old 74 Pinto did not have half the problems of this truck (for that matter I don't recall having any vehicle with this many problems, except for a 78 Subru Brat with an un-fixable 4 speed).

    Any info would be welcomed. You can e-mail direct at [email protected] .

  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    to the 74 pinto?

    Sounds like you just got a bad one.......results are not typical of that vehicle....

    - Tim
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    copy/pasted for jlflemmons:

    #19 of 19: Erratic Fuel Measurement (jlflemmons) Fri 15 Dec '00 (01:01 PM)

    I repaired a Suburban with the same problem. The
    baffle that is in the tank that keeps the fuel
    gauge from oscillating came loose. Unfortunately,
    in the Sub the baffle sloshed into the fuel pump
    pickup and broke it. The pump sucked up the debris
    and locked up. So, new pump and re-attach the
    baffle to the bottom of the tank.

    My 2k Sierra does a neat trick. When stopped long
    enough for the gas to quit sloshing, I can put the
    tranny in reverse and the gauge will drop a 1/4
    tank. This isn't in the tank, but something in the
    gauge cluster. I will get it looked at when I put
    it in the shop for the typical ext cab rear door
    wind noise that showed up after 3k miles

  • mblrdsmblrds Member Posts: 41
    Been thinking on your cold shift.
    True, it's a part of the transmission program. For me, it's not that noticable. Maybe I'm not paying too much attention. So, with that said, maybe it's too noticable for you. Have you taken the truck to a service center to have them update the transmission software? That might soften it up some what, make it less noticable.
    Just a thought.

    '00 GMC Sierra Ext cab 4dr Z71 w/ 5.3
  • mdrd375mdrd375 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 z71 and when I use 4x4 or Auto I hear a grinding noise. Is you let off the gas it lets up a little but not that much. It is worse when you are pressing on the gas, I guess that puts more pressure on the gears.

    Also, if I am in 2 wheel drive and the back tires start spinning and the locking if kicks in, it slams in hard and you hear and feel a loud flunk. It shakes the truck. I am wondering is something will break sometime later on.
  • kurfekurfe Member Posts: 1
    I have a tapping sound coming from what sounds like the engine when the truck is under load. I dont hear it when at idle. It happens when I am driving the truck. It seems to come and go when going up and down interstate type bumps not normal road bumps. I also have a steering noise that sounds and feels like a vibration.. this is more noticably when turning into a driveway.. The dealer has applied a valve TB to the engine tapping sound but it is still there. Has anyone expirenced a similar problem?
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    I too have this feel. I heard from another board the intermediate steering shaft needs to be replaced. There is a TSB and i am verifying the number as we speak.

    I am going to have my truck more than likely looked at next wk when i get my new tires (285's) to have the computer upgraded and the tailgate fixed.

  • mdrd375mdrd375 Member Posts: 2
    Each time I bring my z71 in for a problem they say the computer needs an update program. Then they tell me it is fixed but I still have the problems. (hard shift from 2-3, grinding noise when locking torque converter locks in, .....)

    I heard from a friend that MC does not pay much to the techs for warranty work, so they do not want to spend much time on trying to fix any problem.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    I think they went over and above working on my truck both times it was in for warrenty work. They explained fully to me what they were doing. I wouldnt leave the service area i stayed right by and watched what they were doing each time.

    Shoot i cant even complain this past time you are supposed to be at the service place at 7:30am well i didnt go till about 8:30am because i was only going to get it checked out not actually worked on. They were packed and still took me.

    I would say find another dealer to have work on it

  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    MC = Master Card?
  • gmc96gmc96 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 96 gmc 1500 sle. I have had to replace the oxygen sensors after 45,000 miles. Also a shift solenoid in the transmission went out around 48,000 miles. Truck is very nice and gets great gas mileage-18 city and 23 highway. It has 4.3 liter V6 with 4L60E tranny. 3.08 gear ratio. I hope it last for at least 130,000 miles. The new ones are over priced for what they are offer.I do all the mechanic work my self. I don't trust the dealers service departments. Those guys are always in a hurry and don't take their time with the trucks.
  • smurf3smurf3 Member Posts: 4
    I read Kurfe's message about engine tapping, and a friend of mine(in Ontario, Canada) has same problem on the 5.3 ltr in the silverado model. He has been to the dealer many times and they say that this is normal...I don't think so. He thinks it is a problem with the valves needing to be re-seated, any comments???

  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    I had kinda a tapping noise or you can say ticking. I took it in a few months ago they checked it over for about an hr and a half i watched the whole thing. The noise was determined to be coming from the intake. He described it as an echo that is not affecting the engine in anyway. After i switched to mobil 1 the noise (i call it noise) has for the most part subsided.


    2000 5.3 Silverado
  • mrrogerzmrrogerz Member Posts: 22
    Was your tapping at idle, with the engine warm, or upon acceleration?

    Roger, 2000 5.3 Silverado
  • rtlemoinertlemoine Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 GMC Sierra 5.3L cab pickup. My problem is every day I crank up the truck and use it. Low windshield washer fluid message comes on in the message center on the dash. I've checked the fluid level and made sure it was full. Does anybody know What's wrong or how to clear or fix the alarm. Thanks! this is very annoying.........
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Bad sensor. Have the dealer change it out.
  • rayt2rayt2 Member Posts: 1,208
    washer light coming on even though tank is full, will have dealer change sensor @ next oil change interval.

    Ray T.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    After the truck is warm. After the engine has been running for a minimum of 20-30 minutes and at idle not while driving.

  • mrrogerzmrrogerz Member Posts: 22
    pining clicking noise in my Silver ado is exhaust related and I've only come to this realization recently after thinking it was ping or detonation for months. Good luck. Roger
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    No mine isnt a ping or exhaust related

  • zrt7zrt7 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Sierra 1500 ext cab 4wd Z71 with now 9000mi with this problem. My buddy has the same truck that he bought a couple months before had the same problem. He brought it to the dealer, they realinged it and it still pulled to the right. The dealer had to set up the alignment so lopsided that now sometimes it pulls to the left. this problem seems to happen around 8000 miles. Has anybody else had this same problem.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    My mom had that problem on her 2000 blazer back last sept (99). Had it aligned 3 times. The second time it pulled both ways. they said it was due to road curvature (crown) and wind. BS

    Well after the third time about 500 miles later it didnt pull anymore. It has almost 11K on it and its fine.

    It would wear you out driving that blazer it wasnt fun on long trips

  • zrt7zrt7 Member Posts: 2
    That is what they told my buddy that it is the crown in the road.. It does get tiring after long trips, but right turns are a breeze.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
    We took a long test drive with the service manager and he explained the crown in road theory and yes that plays a part in a pull. I dont disagree with that. He even said our pull wasnt normal. I think the last alignment was done slightly out of gm spec not sure though. Ill ask my dad when i get home tonight.

  • mnllehtimnllehti Member Posts: 3
    Up here in Canada, across the river from Detroit, MI, we are having some cold weather this winter. When the temperature is around freezing or below, the rear doors do not fully click shut. If either door if opened, they will not fully close until interior is heated up. Very friggin annoying, because if the rear door doesn't fully shut, I cannot fully shut the front door(s) either, being that they lock on the rear doors. Seems like it would be a safety concern if the doors aren't fully latched, plus the wind noise can drive you nuts because they are partially open. How is the dealer going to fix this kind of problem? My theory is that the cab/door metal contracts in the cold, and the cab/door latches do not line up. I can beat the hell out of the rear doors trying to shut them, but will not until the truck is warm, then they shut beautifully. Ok if I lived in California eh'
  • eric99504eric99504 Member Posts: 2
    I am considering a 1998 K3500 Crew Cab with the Diesel engine. It's the same engine they put in the Hummer, or HMMWV. I have researched this power plant and have not found anybody ready to "sing its praises". Many say the 1998 K3500 is a fine truck, but nobody raves about this engine like they do about the new Duramax, or the Power Stroke or Cummins.

    Any kind words, or words of warning would be appreciated. I have read many references to the injector pumps failing, and some valve/compression issues. I understand that it has a lot of torque, but only 190 horsepower. I am concerned that while it may get up and pull my trailer (high torque) it may not get there very quickly (low horsepower).

    Thanks for any help you can provide,

    Eric B,
    Anchorage, Alaska
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    While you're waiting for a response here, you should also try asking (copy/paste) your question in this discussion: Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra (1988 - 1998). Good luck. ;-)

    Pickups Message Board
  • shiftlessshiftless Member Posts: 40
    Several problems your service shop should be aware of:

    First is the front end alignment specs from the factory were in error. (New specs get both wheels going in the right direction).

    Second is a defective steering shaft. Original shaft causes a rattle after 9K miles or so. (Replacement shaft is a tighter fit).

    Third is probably your problem pulling to the right. A defective steering box. (The power assist valves are not balanced & cause a pulling usually to the right).

    Factory warranty should cover all costs to you.
  • shiftlessshiftless Member Posts: 40
    PS: For the front end alignment error, they replaced both of my front tires with only 7000 miles with no sign of wear.
  • erikheikererikheiker Member Posts: 230
    Several questions for Shiftless. Is this a problem on the 2WD or 4WD? Have these problems been corrected for 2001 models? Are you also Lazy?


  • shiftlessshiftless Member Posts: 40
    Answer 1. If you read ZRT7 question #35 you would know my answer was directed to him for a 2K Sierra, 1500, 4W/D Z71.

    Answer 2. My experience is with a 2K Sierra not a 2001. The factory is aware of the problems I mentioned to a point of issuing a Tech. Bulletin on each of them. I don't know about the 2001.

    Answer 3. Yes I am lazy.

    For all of you regulars, I have been a steady reader of this forum since March 1999 and I appreciate all of the good information you have passed on to many of us who have stayed on the sidelines. For example, my first direction was to buy another 2 W/D to replace my 21 year old 1978 Sierra. I live in NH & driving in the snow for these 21 years was never a problem with 2 W/D. However, because of the drive line vibrations you covered primarily on 2 W/D, I decided to get a 4 W/D instead. You guys saved me a lot of heartache. Just for the record this is what I have:

    2K GMC Sierra, SLE, 4 W/D, 1500, Short Bed, Regular Cab
    5.3 V8
    3.73 Locking Differential
    Plow Prep Package
    Trailer Package
    Z71 Package
    Polished Aluminum Wheels (Good For Resisting Corrosion From Road Salt)
    Active Transfer Case
    Bucket Seats
    Sliding Rear Window (No Leaks)
    P265-75R-16 WOL
    Block Heater
    Color: Toreador Red W/Pewter (Sorry about that Ryan)
    ARE - Hard Tonneau Cover W/Nomadic "Glider" Roof Rack

    8000 Miles And Enjoying Every Trip (Smooth, Quiet & Strong)

  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    I know I read about this somewhere in the forums, but is there a TSB out for the 4door Ext cab rear window wind noise? I drive a 2k 2500 and at about 3000 miles the drivers side rear door window made a 'pop' and now it has wind noise like a hurricane. If I pull in on the latch firmly, I hear a pop inside the trim, but as soon as I get back up to highway speed, "pop" and the noise is back. The window stays latched, just not very tight. Before I take this in for warranty, I want to be armed with any data on a TSB.


  • yellowdog27yellowdog27 Member Posts: 9
    On the first visit back to the dealer for wind noise, they replaced the rear window latches per the most recent TSB they had at the time. That did nothing to help the problem. Yesterday they replaced the entire window and frame on both sides as per a new TSB. That seems to have done as much as the latch replacement did ! Don't know what they will try next, but the local GM re is scheduled to drive my 2000 Sierra so he can feel the torgue converter lock up at 38 miles and hour. Perhaps he will notice the wind noise while he is downshifting my automatic transmission to get it to go to a lower gear !!
    I would have your dealer at least replace the latches, it might help your problem.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    take the truck up to 50-55 then back down to 38-40. That way you're insured that OD is engaged.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    Seems GM has gone 50/50 on mine as my drivers side is fine but the passenger still leaks air.
  • yellowdog27yellowdog27 Member Posts: 9
    Actually, that is when the converter is locked up. If I am cruising along around 50 mph or so, and I have to slow down into the 38-42 mph range, the transmission will not downshift itself. As I explained to the dealer, it's the same as having a manual transmission and driving it in 4th gear when you should be in 2nd or 3rd.
    The service techs at GM that the dealership contacted, told them that this is the way the truck is designed in order for them to meet EPA gas mileage requirements. They say that if I don't like what I am experiencing, that I should downshift it into third. I feel that they owe me the 800 dollars I paid for the automatic transmission if I indeed need to shift it. This is my third GMC in the past 12 years and with out a doubt the most troublesome. Makes me wonder if I will want another one in the future.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    engage and no driveline growl. The dealer is correct in that there is no fix for this. They reprogrammed mine twice as there was another calibration update. It shifts into third a little sooner when depressing the gas when in OD at 38 mph. It is an improvement but not as much as I had hoped for. You can find the calibration update listed here:
This discussion has been closed.