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Chevy Silverado: Problems & Solutions



  • ace2012ace2012 Posts: 1
    I've had my '03 Silverado now for about 2 years, and within the past 6-10 months, these are the electrical problems I've been having:

    -Replaced about 15 fuses for my cigarette lighter
    -Dash lights go dim/bright, dim/bright (happened twice)
    -Interior light will continue to turn on and off for about 15 seconds (happened 3 times)
    -Audible warning bell during start up went crazy...rang in quick burst for about 30 seconds
    -While driving, truck just shuts off completely, and takes about 30 seconds or so to start back up (luckily I was never going fast during any of these times (happened 3 times...and the last time it smelled like something was burning big time!)

    I've taken it to the local dealership twice, and both times they say there is nothing that can be found wrong...visually or on the computer. One technician said he had a truck come in with similiar problems and also was unable to fix problem.

    Also, I talked to a few people that I work with: one said he had the same problems and ended up trading it in, and one of his friends had the same truck as well, and his burnt to the ground. Everyone else says good luck!

    Is there anyone else that has these problems? If so what did you all do to correct it.
  • I have a '99 1500 Silverado (Ext., 4x4, 5.3) with the Autotrac system. The problem is that in 2wd mode, the front driveshaft is spinning as if it was in the "auto" mode. The front wheels are not being driven. There was an intermittent "Service 4WD" idiot light for a while, but it has not come back since I replaced the push-button switch. I had hoped this to be the solution, however this has not solved the problem. Is there a common fix to this problem?
  • jogojogo Posts: 3
    When driving about 35 to 45 miles an hour, it sounds like it is raining even though its a sunny day any. Any help?
  • boomer1bboomer1b Posts: 348
    JOGO...Do you have a bugshield ? If so that is your problem.
    GM has a TSB for a fix.
  • pofficerpofficer Posts: 1
    Can you give me all the info you have on this, I am getting noplace with GM
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Engine - Knocking on Cold Start Explanation

    File In Section: 06 - Engine/Propulsion System

    Bulletin No.: 01-06-01-028A

    Date: March, 2003

    Engine Knock on Cold Start

    1999-2002 Chevrolet and GMC C/K Pickup and Utility Models
    2002 Cadillac Escalade (2WD)
    with 4.8L, 5.3L or 6.0L Engine (VINS V, T, Z, U - RPOs LR4, LM7, L59, LQ4)

    This bulletin is being revised to add an additional engine to the models section. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-06-01-028 (Section 06-Engine).

    Some of the above vehicles may exhibit an engine knock noise that begins in the first 19,000-24,000 km (12,000-15,000 mi) of use. The knock noise is most often noticed during initial start-up and typically disappears within the first 5-30 seconds (may last longer in extreme cold temperatures). The noise is usually more noticeable on the initial start-up when the temperature is below 10°C (50°F) and may be more pronounced on the first cold start following a long trip.

    This noise may be caused by an interaction between carbon that has formed on the piston, the piston motion and the cylinder wall. GM Powertrain Engineering, and an analysis of engines with this condition, has confirmed that the noise is not detrimental to the performance, reliability or durability of the engine.

    Important: At this time, attempts to repair this condition by replacing the engine assembly or pistons are not recommended.

    Please share the information found in this bulletin with customers who inquire about this condition. In the event they have additional questions or concerns, please advise your Area Service Manager.

    Now you know why you're not getting anywhere......
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208

    It figures, don't fix the problem add more engines then rename the problem ! LOL :P
    I can say their right about durability, I'm not seeing any smoke or oil consumption associated with the "knock" in 56k miles to date on my Rado.

    How's your new truck (won't mention the brand here) holding up compared to the old? Still happy with it?

    Did ya see the report on the Silverados having the worst crash test results, "like a rock". Some of us just have blind allegiance! :shades:

    Ray T.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Hey rayt2,

    One thing I liked about the old truck is the ride after I added the Velvet ride shackles, Roadmaster active suspension and bilstein shocks. Too bad they don't make any of those for the new truck.

    When I test drove the '05 rado, it was way smoother than my '00. The sales guy had said that GM had added 6 insulators at various points on the truck to achieve that ride. Too bad the Chevy dealer didn't want to come down off of MSRP due to the $3500 rebate that was being offered at that time. If they did, I probably would have bought a '05 despite its looks. I even tried the GMC dealer where I knew the GSM. Best he could do was $1000 off MSRP less rebates.

    Other than the axle wrap issue, the new truck is flawless. I guess when Carlos Ghosn called in those engineers from Japan to address the quality issues at their USA plant they managed to eliminate most of the flaws of the '04 models.

    Funny thing about the crash test results of the rado. When I bought mine back in '99, one of the selling points was the collapsing front end to absorb energy in times of a front end crash. Little did I know that they went overboard on the collapsing part...lmao.

    If this new one holds up half as well as my '91 Hardbody I'd be happy as the '91 is still on the road with no problems at 150k miles.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Just curious (sorry to be oftopic guys) but when I first seen the Titan at the 03 or 04 ( I think 04) autoshow what I really noticed was how CHINSEY the door handles (inside and out) were. I felt like jus tnormal opening and closing would tear them off or crack them. How do you find the handles? Everyone talks about the interiors of the gm products but at least their door handles (knock on wood ill probably go break mine now) are stout.

  • There is any easy fix for your gas gauge problem. It is the sending unit in the tank, I had the same problem with my 00 chevy Z-71. The best way to do it is to unbolt the box its 6 bolts that are very easy to get off. Make sure you have some help since the box is pretty heavy. Take out your fuel pump and the sensor is on the bottom. I had to get the part from a local dealership for about $150.00 it took maybe an hour and half to replace. Its a simple plug in sensor. Make sure the gas tank is close to empty to make it a little easier. The lines on the tank are just pressure fitted and easy to slip off no special tools needed.
  • I had a similar problem with my 00 Z-71, but what happend to me was the limited slip broke apart and caused me to blow the rear end in my truck. Was only doing about 35 miles per hour going down hill at that.. Heard and felt a huge clunk and when I stepped on the gas I had nothing. The rear end pretty much exploded and shot parts straight through the cover. About $1200 later I installed a percison gear rear end with and alburn locker. No more worries about the rear end locking up on me. The truck only had 65,000 miles on it which where mostly highway miles
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    I made a special trip outside to check it out and it seems that you're right and it does feel a little flimsy comparing to the ones on the Denali. However, I don't have the chrome handles which may be a little different. The handles do give a little when grabbing them....then again to open and close the doors are almost effortless as compared to the rado and Denali. The interior handles must've been changed as they are solid as a "rock" lmao........

    I understand the '05 rado comes with 3.23 gears as stock. A small step down from the 3.42. The truck was never a torque monster...wondering what GM was thinking with that?
  • bulldozabulldoza Posts: 1
    I have the LLY 2500HD motor with the allison transmission.
    The problem is that under load, it will "POP" and then stay locked in third gear. the 4X4 switch and trailer pull option won't work. The car shifts very hard from park to reverse or park to (now stuck in third) drive. I have to shut off the truck and wait. Eventually i can restart and it will run fine. The check engine light does come on yet my dealer who has looked at it 3 different times can't find a legit problem. They have replace the computer twice and the 4X4 switch too. On the last time he told me that they found a wire rubbed against the frame and motor causing this. Well it just happened again so that was probably BS. Is anyone else experiencing this? Did you find any solutions? Lemon Law?
  • noobie1noobie1 Posts: 326
    I have the same set-up in an '02' and overall am very pleased with it. I get a loud CLANK when shifting from 'Drive" to 'Park', but have figured out a way to avoid it.

    Just a stab in the dark, but this TSB may help: ( bear in mind it's for an '02')

    ******************************************************************************************- ******

    Electrical - MIL ON/A/T Stuck in 3rd Gear

    Bulletin No.: 01-07-30-002C

    Date: August 21, 2003


    Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) On, Transmission Stuck in Third Gear, Instrument Cluster Inoperative (Replace Ignition Switch)

    1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade
    2002-2003 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT
    2003 Cadillac ESV
    1997-1999 Chevrolet Full-Size Pickup, Suburban, Tahoe (Old Style)
    1997-2003 Chevrolet Blazer, Express, S-10
    1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe (New Style)
    1999-2003 Chevrolet Blazer RH Drive (Export)
    2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche, TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer EXT
    1997-1999 GMC Sierra, Suburban, Yukon (Old Style)
    1997-2001 GMC Jimmy
    1997-2003 GMC Savana, Sonoma
    1999-2003 GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL (New Style)
    2002-2003 GMC Envoy, Envoy XL
    1997-2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
    2002-2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
    with 4L60-E or 4L65-E Automatic Transmission (RPOs M30, M32)


    This bulletin is being revised to update the model years and to add additional models. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 01-07-30-002B (Section 07 - Transmission/Transaxle).


    Some customers may comment on one or more of the following conditions:

    ^ The Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) is ON.

    ^ The transmission is stuck in third gear.

    ^ The instrument cluster is inoperative.

    Upon investigation, one or all of the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) P0740, P0753, P0758, P0785, P1860 may be set.


    The most likely cause of this condition may be a loss of power to the transmission on circuit 1020. This loss of power may be caused by an open in the ignition switch. This condition may also be the result of an incorrect installation of an aftermarket electronic device such as a remote starter or alarm system.


    With the ignition switch in the RUN position, test for battery voltage at the appropriate fuse shown.

    If battery voltage is present at the fuse, inspect circuit 1020 between the fuse and the transmission for possible opens. If battery voltage is not present at the fuse, replace the ignition switch using the Ignition Switch Replacement procedure in the Steering Wheel and Column sub-section of the applicable Service Manual. Refer to group number 2.188 of the parts catalog for part description and usage.

    If the vehicle is equipped with an aftermarket electronic device and the DTCs are being set when the device is being used, verify that the appropriate fuse listed above is being supplied battery voltage during operation. If voltage is not present at this fuse, these DTCs will be set due to lack of power at the solenoids. This condition is most likely to occur with an incorrectly installed remote starting system. If this is the case, refer the customer to the installer of the system for corrections.

    Parts Information

    Parts are currently available from GMSPO.

    Warranty Information

    ******************************************************************************************- ******

    Have you had any electrical accessories installed?
    You might try a different dealer. If that fails, call Chevy and get a factory rep involved. If you can duplicate the problem in the dealer's presence your in luck.
    If not, UHG!

  • alittlealittle Posts: 2
    I want to change the oem differential fluid in my 2500HD to synthetic. Is there any special additive which must be used with a 8.1/Allison/dyna rear end?
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    What yr truck? If if 2001+ then NO you dont need an additive. Only the old body style trucks used the additive (98 and older for the most part). The rear end comes from the factory with synthetic that is why you do not need the additive

  • alittlealittle Posts: 2
    2001 2500HD Silverado with 8.1/allison/3.73
  • scobilscobil Posts: 3
    I have a 2000 2500 4x4, Automatic (4L60E), 4.10 and starting around 70k miles I have had an intermittent hard shifting problem. The problem occurs usually when forcing a downshift when going up a hill. After this happens there is hard, violent shifting between all gears. It will continue to shift this way until you turn off the motor for about 30 seconds, and will work normal after restart.

    It then began to get this issue sometimes when I was heading up a hill and there was no downshift. When this happens I have noticed that although it does not feel like it has downshifted there is a small increase (200) in RPM's and then they drop back down. After this happens the hard shifting starts, again until you shut it off.

    I have had it in at the dealer a couple of times, each time they have not been able to duplicate the problem, but have added some "software updates" to make it shift softer. They tell me that there is no way for them to really find out what the problem is unless they take the thing apart.

    I was wondering if anyone has found a solution for this.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    had a 4L60E. That in itself could be a problem since the output of the 6.0 should be at the upper limits of that trans. When was the trans last serviced and have you checked the fluid level in the trans?
  • scobilscobil Posts: 3
    In all honesty, I do not know for sure, this is what the dealer told me (perhaps this why they cannot figure out what is wrong). The ordering code was MT1 and was labeled as HD 4 Speed Automatic Transmission.

    The fluid has been changed every 25k -30k miles and each time the fluid is not burnt and there is no fragments in the pan. I do however, have to add a little fluid (.25 - .5qt) at least twice between changes.

    The past two times that the dealer has looked at it they have performed a "complete flush" supposedly to clean up any gummy valves. But each time they do this and update the software the problem gets more and more prominent.

    Thank you for your input.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Transmission - 4 Speed Auto W/Elect Controls H.D. (Hydra - Matic 4L80 - E). That's a good sign. I've heard of some having problems with the "complete flush". Didn't hear exactly what went wrong. Updating the programming seems like a shot in the dark. Did you receive any warranty period for the work that they did on your trans? Did they do any other type of "adjustment" other than updating the software (would be listed on invoice)?
  • I want to get rid of the ugly air intake sys on my 97 1500 is there a way i can not put the stupid looking "cold air" intake and put an intake on it like the ones for a carb ???
  • billskybillsky Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 2500HD, with the Vortek 8.1, ext cab. When I started the truck after 6 weeks in storage the Allison transmission would not shift. About 10 minutes later it started to shift and has been fine ever since. Chevy said there was a kit to fix the problem for $1500. Anyone else experience this problem?
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Not with throttle body injection you can't. What do you expect to gain besides looks ? :confuse:
  • scobilscobil Posts: 3
    I did not get type of warranty other than their standard, but then they really didn't do anything. At least I will have my complaints on record.

    The first time they looked at it they noted that they could not duplicate the problem, the fluid was ok and not burnt and the inside of the trans looked ok. They installed all available updates on the transmission.

    The second time - Perform complete flush on trans and valve body. All programming is now current. Shifted ok on test drive.

    They say that the only way that they will be able to determine the problem is to take it apart. But the whole thing just seems like some sensor that freaks out, since it resets itself when you shut it off. Apparently they cannot hook it up and get any diagnostic information from it, but yet they can upload software.
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    With 56k & 5yrs. on original fluid and my camping trips getting ready to start up again I was wondering when time came if I should do a flush or just drop the tranny pan and change the fluid/filter. (Y2K LS 2500 Shortbed Ext.Cab, 2wd, 5.3L Automatic, 3:73 Locker, Z85 Firm Ride, Tow Pkg).
    After hearing your story Scobil I think I'll just change the fluid & filter and not worry about a flush job. Knowing GM's quality I might end up dislodging something and flushing it down the drain :sick: I really haven't had any problems with tranny aside from when new where it would lurch while stopped for no apparent reason. Dealer plugged it in and did a program update and no problems since (knock on wood) "Like a Rock"
    Hope your problem has been resolved.

    Ray T. :shades:
  • duramaxduramax Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 chevy 4x4 Duramax crew cab 2500. I bought it used and love the truck, but I have had to replace the front hub assemblies twice within 30,000 miles. I dont drive it real rough, but I do use it on the farm. I was just curious if anyone had any ideas on this. The assembly is around 300 dollars a wheel. The chevy place just tells me it shouldnt be happening.
  • I had the same problems, except mine was not only on start but at 50K miles it never went away, my service department said it was carbonbuildup on the cylinders and they instructed me to contact customer service, So I got on the phone with customer service and told them how unhappy I was with paying 34K for a vehicle that sounded like a piece of crap, and they asked how long I expected to keep the truck and I said atleast 10 years and they asked what it would take to make me happy, and I said to atleast cover the engine and transmission to 100K miles, done deal, they gave me the extended warranty at no cost with a zero deductable for service .... I ran Mystery Oil in the gas tank for a while and that cleaned the carbon from the cylinders, no more noise after the cold start knock goes away ......
  • rayt2rayt2 Posts: 1,208
    Curious to how much Marvel Mystery oil you added to tank and what size tank on your truck 26 gal or 34 gal. Been thinking of doing the same. That stuffs been around a long time. I never understood the "carbon buildup" issue since all is controlled by computer it should not be an issue but in this day and age anything is possible as well as the answers from dealerships...........

    Ray T. :shades:
  • I used 6 oz for every 10 gals of gas (as directed on the bottle as a fuel additive). I have the 26 gal tank and never ran it completely empty. I haven't done this in the last 4 months because it solved the problem, even the Chevy garage is dumbfounded. My local mechanic recommended it. I got this from their web page explaing how it works and it really did .....

    Use the directions on the back for amount to put in the fuel per gallon of fuel (4 to 6 oz. per 10 gallons of fuel). MMO goes through the carburetor as a droplet, broken up like the fuel. When it enters the combustion chamber and the gasoline ignites, it is vaporized and soaks into the carbon buildup on cumbustion chamber walls, valve guides, around the valve stem, and on the spark plug. It soaks into the carbon and eventually loosens it up and it goes out the exhaust system.
This discussion has been closed.