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GMC Sierra: Problems & Solutions



  • evergreenevergreen Posts: 213
    I will look into that but it sounds like too much of a clank to be the springs.
  • mr_mbunamr_mbuna Posts: 13
    We bought an '03 Sierra 1500 SLE Ext Cab Short Bed 2WD 5.3L pickup today and need to know ASAP of any common problems inherent in the design of the Sierra that we should get addressed. We already have read about and discussed the common rusting of the backside of the front bumper and the dealer has promised to paint the backside of the bumper and also provide a lifetime rust warrantee of the bumper. What else should we have our eye on? What very common problems are happening?

  • slayrdaveslayrdave Posts: 3
    Anyone have this problem? I've got a 03 Sierra SLE Extcab,4x4 5.3L- 1500 miles. Trans started shifting hard between 2nd and 3rd.Downshits are worse.I've never had it in tow mode ,and only engaged 4x4 during my demo test drive.5 days ago I noticed oil directly under the oilpan- oilfilter area.Returned truck to the dealer and was informed that the REAR MAIN SEAL was leaking and that my hard shifts were included in a GM SB on a faulty transmission solenoid.I don't understand how a $34k truck with only 1500 miles can already be junk.I'm sorry I traded my Nissan!
  • gvoigtgvoigt Posts: 63
    Took my '00 to a dealer to day to have them check out the Service 4WD message. They hooked it up to the computer and it said error noted in the transfer case switch panel on the dash. 15 minute fix, new switch! They also replaced a burned out daytime driving light which had just burned out a couple days previous, I had replacement bulb in my pocket to change out once I got home. Everything was covered under warranty even the complimentary hand wash. Am I satisfied, YES! The spare bulbs are in the glovebox for next time.
  • dmaddz71dmaddz71 Posts: 14
    I had the same warning come up on my message center. And it was just the switch on the panel as well. My latest problem has been the Locking Rear Differential in the 10-bolt rear end w/ 3.73 gears. It used to lock up perfectly every time when one tire lost grip the other one immediately kicked in and started pulling. Now it starts off posi but quickly fades out and rarely (never) stays locked. How do go about fixing these things. Is an entire replacement necessary for a fix as I am sure it is broken. Any feedback would be grately appreciated.
  • woolybackwoolyback Posts: 45
    I have a 2001 GMC Sierra 2500 HD 8.1 L with the Allison Trans.
    I just got back from an extensive trip to Canada pulling my 5th wheel. Just about every hill I climbed caused the cooling fan to come on. My temp. guage didn't budge off 190 degrees the whole time. There didn't seem to be any reason for it to come on as my partner who has the same truck and pulling a larger trailer didn't have any problem with his coming on. His temp. stayed about the same as mine.
    I know that the fan somehow works like a viscous clutch and I've heard that they are not really accurate. Does anyone know just what temp. the fan should come on. It doesn't seem to ever want to shut off once it has been activated. Took it to the dealer and tried to get some help there from
     the service dept. but all he could say was that it was doing what it is supposed to do. He couldn't even tell me how it worked but said it should come on between 180-210 degrees.
    Sure could use some help here with this.
  • slayrdaveslayrdave Posts: 3
    Picked my GMC up on 7/16 after replacement of the Rear Main Seal.This repair was completed earlier than expected. Transmission problem was listed as NPF......ok.
    After almost 300 miles,today I noticed fresh oil on the driveway again.Could this be a new leak ??
    I now have 1800 miles on my new truck and more oil on my driveway.Is this Professional Grade ??
  • bonreabonrea Posts: 48
    Have a 2001 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT Z71 5.3L w/AT and towing package GVW 6400lbs. I purchased it used in July w/30000 miles and have experienced a problem with the steering pulling to the left. Not hard but enough to be annoying, the dealer I purchased it from claims they did an alignment on it the day before I was to pick it up but it still does it. I am taking it back to them tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted. I want to keep everyone posted because further back into this discussion, dated two years ago, I noted someone saying that GM has had to replace the power steering pump to solve a pull to the right. May be tough to convince them this may be the problem. I keep the tires [Fstone] inflated properly but still have the pull.

    I also have the hard shifting problem [noticed it when test driving it} from 1st to 2nd gear. It is only getting worse. If anyone has found a solution to this problem PLEASE let me know because the BtoB warranty runs out Jan. 1 of 2004.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Have the tires rotated and see if the problem changes. It is not uncommon at all for tires to develop "pulls" as they age. My 2500 has 21K miles and can almost tell you what each tire will do at each position. Doesn't even mean there is something wrong with the tires, though you will want to watch for any odd lumps appearing.

  • bonreabonrea Posts: 48
    Thanks for the input. Tire pressure was the first thing I checked but didn’t move the tires around yet.

    The update is that the dealer determined that the tire is the problem with the left pull. So they have ordered (under warranty) a new one and will call when it is in. I’ll let you know how that goes. The hard shift for the transmission was solved via a computer update. It DID solve the problem. It did it hot or cold so now I need to test it and see how long the fix lasts. Nice and smooth now.

    On another note; I have the Z71 w/towing package. What size trailer in tonnage is to much for this truck. The wife wants me to get us a camper but am a little dumb on just how to figure the GVW and stuff like that. I pull a small U-Haul box trailer once in a while but she is talking about a BIG boy now.

    Any feedback would be welcomed.
  • I have an 01 Sierra and the inside of both bumpers are rusty. Is GMC replacing them???
  • Last week my passenger door suddenly wouldn't open. The electric door lock cycled but didn't unlock the door. Even using a key on the outside wouldn't unlock the door. Took it to the dealership, they had to disassemble the door from the inside of the cab as much as they could and manipulate the lock/latch from inside with a long screwdriver to get the door to open. It seems the latch is a sealed unit and they ended up replacing it. Since the lock wasn't a stocked item they kept the truck overnight, I had the pleasure of driving a Buick Century for a day...definitely made me appreciate my truck.
  • The dealer called me two weeks ago to schedule another appointment to put the tire that they ordered on the truck. They ordered the wrong tire. So they said that they had a tech that said a simple adjustment should fix the left pull problem. They also rotated the tires to see what effect that would have. Now it pulls worse to the left. I am waiting for the replacement tire to be put on and then I will start with the manager.
  • Well they didn't put on any tires. They worked with the alignment for about 7 hours, drive it, tweaked, drive it, tweaked and drive. The alignment is correct now but I am worried that when I have another alignment problem they or anyone else that I have work on this thing will have to go through the same crap to get it right.
  • I have a 2001 Sierra and the front and rear [inside] bumpers are rusted, and all 4 rotors with20,000 miles on them had to be turned because they were rusted. Do you think that GMC will make good for these defects?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Bonrea, Your GVW is posted on the driver side door pillar. It tells you what you can haul, I believe you said 6400 lbs. So get a trailer that has a GVW of no more than say 5400 pounds loaded. This allows you 1000 lbs. on your vehicles limit to add a full load of fuel, camping gear, firewood & passengers. Adjust accordingly of course.
    A lot of people fail to heed this GVW and end up overloading their vehicles or getting trailers to heavy when loaded for particular vehicles requirements.
    As an example, I have a 2000 3/4 ton Silverado Ex. Cab 2wd/auto/3:73 rear. My max GVW is 7200 lbs. My trailer comes out to 6000 loaded leaving me 1200 lb buffer for fuel, passengers/equipment.
    Hope this helped.

    Mailman: Dealer should cover everything if your still under warranty, if the bumper rust is on backside forget it, if coming thru on chrome surface it's a warranty issue on the "rust protection" end of warranty, 5yrs. I believe. Rotors are not normally replaced under warranty unless they exceed the limits for turning down. Did you have them turned simply because they had rust on them ?? If truck sits for a while that is natural and won't hurt a thing.

    Ray T.
  • They said the rust on the rotors was causing the soft pedal and they had all 4 turned. I am not happy with that because when I do need them turned again, they will say, they are too thin and have to be replaced. The rust on the bumpers are on the inside.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    They turned mine also @ 8k, when I had a pulsating feel coming thru brake pedal, rotors were warped but not enough to replace them under warranty. Dealer says GM standard procedure is to turn them first if reoccurance then replace. More GM BS as usual, anything to save a buck for the CEO's bonus check ! Inside rust on bumpers is nothing to worry about or you can spray it with "Extend" rust inhibitor, it freezes the rust in place then turns it black.

    Ray T.
  • I have read some of the discussion related to rough idle, but they have problems with acceleration as well. The only problem I'm have is that it idles rough for a minute or two then it fine again. It's real noticeable when you're stopped at a traffic light. Gas mileage is excellent as well. Is this a common problem with the 99 Sierra and is there a TSB? By the way my truck has a 105,000 miles on it and runs fine. Any help will do.
  • Thanks for the info. Now I can shop for a trailer and know what to look for.

    Can you help me figure out what the tonage capacity is for the bed. You mentioned that yours is a 3/4 ton. How does one figure this out?

    Thanks for your help...
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    I see in your profile you have a 1/2 ton pickup. Stats from GM website on 03 Silverado standard cab 1/2 ton show GVWR of 6100 lbs. Cargo capacity is 2123 lbs. that means passengers/fuel and payload combined. Does the door tag list UVW rating (unlaiden vehicle weight) By calculations 6100 gvw minus 2123 cargo capacity puts your trucks unlaiden weight at 3977 lbs.

    Clear as mud now ???

    Ray T.
  • I'm going to have to put in my .02 cents worth on this one. The 6400 GVWR on the door has nothing to do with trailer capacity. This pertains to the truck itself. If you're going to put a camper on the truck, this will be of great interest to you. There is also an axle limitation for front and rear. As for trailer towing limitations, it is all dependent on truck type, engine size, and transmission type. With my 1500 with 5.3 and auto, I can tow up to 8200 lbs. I also have the tow package, so I have the extras to go that high. Those without the tow package should consider auxiliary oil and transmission coolers. The trailer towing capacity should be available at the dealer. Otherwise, I'm sure someone on this site will have the info or a link to it.
  • jtt3jtt3 Posts: 20
    Lets use the 6400 GVWR for example

      This is rating for truck only but hitch weight has to be added also

        Truck empty is 5000 plus 2 people 300 plus a tank of gas 200 plus trailer hitch weight 700 lbs

        eguals 6200 lbs which is OK 200 lbs to spare

       Now I beleive this truck has a GCWR (Gross combination weight rating of 13000 lbs.

        take the 6400 lbs and subtract the hitch weight and this becomes 5700 lbs

        Now take 13000 lbs and subtract the 5700

    gives you a trailer weight of 7300 lbs you can pull
  • WOW! Thanks for the info guys... Didn't mean to start such a big discussion thread on this topic but it looks like we can all benefit from this information.
  • If anyone has any questions about the weight of a gallon of gasoline, I found this on the web and thought I would share...

    "When I worked in an automotive engine test lab -dynamometer tests - we often had to calculate the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) of the test engines. We had a chart for fuel density vs temperature for our fuels that was updated monthly. As I recall, the typical weight of gasoline at 72 degrees F was around 6.25# per gallon. As it became cooler it became more dense and thus weighed more and above this temperature it was less dense and a gallon weighed less.
  • 2001 GMC Sierra with the 5.3L... What the heck kind of oil is in this thing. I have people telling me that one can't put just any kind of 5w30 or 10w30, it has to be something from the dealer.

    Any suggestions... and yes I have RTM.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    on the oil cap it should say 5W-30,any name brand oil will be ok.
  • I have read some of the discussion related to rough idle, but they have problems with acceleration as well. The only problem I'm have is that it idles rough for a minute or two then it fine again. It's real noticeable when you're stopped at a traffic light. Gas mileage is excellent as well. I took it to the Dealer and they informed me that I need a throttle body and injector cleaning. This was done and now the rough seems to be worst & noticable. Is this a common problem with the 99 Sierra and is there a TSB? By the way my truck has a 105,000 miles on it and runs fine.
  • Long or hard starting problems. Chugs/rough idle until you first give it the gas then idles ok. This happens most of the time but not always. I have 2000, 5.3, 50,000 miles now. Seems to be getting worst with time. Is this injector clogging problems, fuel pressure regulator problem or fuel pump problem? Any ideas?

    Engine seems to rattle/ping under light acceleration or constant highway speed with normal engine warmed.
This discussion has been closed.