What are some of the problems that Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 owners have to deal with? In the blog below, we have identified and summarized all the main issues of Chevy Silverado. But first, let’s start with a quick answer.
The most common problems of Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 include fuel level sensor failure, erratic speedometer, and multiple fuel injectors’ failure. Several recalls were issued for the 2010-2017 model for problems with the passenger frontal airbag and EBCM module. Several 2002 – 2008 models had issues with (parking) brakes.
That was the most straightforward answer possible. In the article below, we’ll outline all the problems in detail. This includes identifying it, fixing it, and how much it costs to fix. We’ve also covered a lot more than common problems for the Silverado 2500 so if you’re looking to learn more about the 8-lug bolt pattern on this beast or the most common transmission problems we have you covered.
But if you want to dive deeper into the most common issues then keep on reading!
Want to save money on gasoline? earn up to $0.25/gallon every time you fill up? GetUpside is a free-to-use cashback app for US gas stations. Use coupon code “THEDRIVERADVISER25” and earn an additional $0.25/gallon the first time! Click here to download the app for Android or iOS.
What’s The Difference Between Chevy Silverado 2500 And Chevy Silverado 3500?
Chevrolet offers some of the best pickup trucks in the form of Chevy Silverado 2500 and Chevy Silverado 3500. Before we dive into their problems, we think it’s important to understand some differences between them and why we believe they share very similar issues.
The main difference between Chevy Silverado 2500 and Chevy Silverado 3500 is in the configuration of their chassis. The Silverado 3500 has a broader chassis with dual rear wheels that deliver much greater power to the truck. The Silverado 3500 has a massive towing capacity – for reference, its towing capacity is nearly double what the same-year of Silverado 2500 can offer.
These trucks share a variety of similarities. For the same year, these trucks have the same engine configuration. They are, in effect, the same inside out. Since the engine is the source of most of a truck’s problems, both models have virtually identical issues.
This is only a summary of what we’ve researched for you. Read on for an in-depth analysis of these problems, their symptoms, and their fixing cost!
The 2001 – 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 suffers from what car enthusiasts know as a bouncy or erratic speedometer. This problem most commonly arises at two instants:
- When you start your truck, the speedometer moves from 0 to 50 mph even though your truck is still in park.
- Even when driving at a constant speed on highways, the speedometer shows a varying speed.
This problem is accompanied by a service brake system error message as well. The most common cause of this erratic behavior is a faulty speed sensor, malfunctioning stepper motor, or damaged electrical wiring. The speed sensors can be damaged by road debris while the electrical wirings are usually disrupted while doing some repair work.
Depending upon the extent of this problem, the solution and the fixing cost vary. Any service technician at a dealership can run a quick scan to pinpoint the actual cause. If the vehicle speed sensor needs to be replaced, it will set you back by around $200-$300.
If the problem is caused due to electrical wiring issues, you might get your car fixed by a simple wiring rearrangement. If the problem has caused irreparable damage, a whole system replacement could be on the cards. If the root of the problem is pinned down to a defective stepper motor, it will cost you around $100-$150 at most.
Fuel Level Sensor Failure
Chevrolet users have reported another problem with their Silverado 2500/3500. The fuel level sensors in Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 are vulnerable to early failures. If your fuel sensor is not working, it is impossible to determine how long you can go before an imminent halt.
The fuel sensor will start showing symptoms as soon as it gets into trouble. Erratic behavior of the fuel needle, fuel gauge deflecting towards the Empty sign right after filling the tank, and largely inconsistent readings should tell you that the fuel sensor is failing.
The fuel sensor can fuel due to both mechanical and electrical problems. Fuel sensors work when the fuel level sending unit sends electrical signals to the gauge per the amount of fuel left in the tank. The fuel level sending tank senses the fuel using a mechanical arm extending inside the fuel tank.
In the Chevy Silverado 2500/3500, the fuel sensors can give in due to failure of the fuel level sending unit. Another likely cause of this failure is faulty wiring or signals system inside the fuel pump module.
This whole fiasco will cause you around $200-$350 to fix.
Parking Brake Does Not Hold
The Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 of the early 2000s has several parking brakes issues. The most notable one is that the parking brake does not hold. This can make driving a large truck such as Silverado extremely risky.
This problem arises from worn parking brake shoes on the Silverado 2500/3500. The units with four-wheel disk brakes restrict the ‘holding’ action of the disc. Another possible cause is a frayed brake cable. Worn-out or damaged brake cables do not allow the cables to pull the brakes as tightly. This, coupled with a faulty brake lever, are the most common cause of this problem.
Replacing the worn cables with new ones and repairing the brake shoes should solve this issue. The average cost of repairing faulty parking brakes ranges from $88-$111.
Passenger Frontal Airbag May Explode
After a 4-year long battle between Chevy and NHTSA, Chevrolet has issued a recall for a recurring issue in the 2007-2014 model years of Chevy Silverado. In the affected models, the frontal passenger airbags may explode, causing severe injuries to the driver or even death.
The airbag inflators contain a propellant that is affected by high temperature and humidity. The extreme environmental conditions lead to propellant degradation causing the inflator to explode.
In the recall, GM directed the dealers to replace the airbag inflators and use temperature-resistant propellants in them. Since this recall has affected around 5.9 million vehicles, the repair parts are in high demand. If your car remains at the dealership for an extended period, the dealership is obligated to provide you with alternate transport.
The NHTSA recall numbers vary depending upon the geographic location. Since this issue is fixed via a recall, it won’t cost you anything.
Multiple Fuel Injector Failures
The 2007-2010 model years of Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 are infamous for fuel injector failures. The fuel injector provides atomized fuel to the engine’s intake manifold and is responsible for efficiently executing the power stroke.
Poor fuel injection cannot go unnoticed. If your fuel injector malfunctions, you will witness misfiring, rough idle, or loss of power. Visible leaks or odor of raw gas are some other symptoms you should look out for, which might indicate fuel injector problems.
These problems are more common in the early model years of Silverado 3500 with Duramax LB7 engines. Some of these engines were recalled, and the fuel injectors were replaced. But there were no recalls for the later models.
If you face this problem, a short visit to your local mechanic should be enough to alleviate the issue. If multiple fuel injectors have failed, their replacement will cost you around $2000-$2300 on average.
Brakes Lock at Slow Speeds
Another common problem in the 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 is that the brake pedals lock up at low speeds. Chevy owners reported that while their car was at low RPMs, the brakes suddenly went rock solid.
This problem can arise due to multiple reasons. It has been reported that sudden activation of the ABS is the leading cause of this problem. This sudden activation is due to faulty ABS sensors.
The other known cause of this issue is a faulty brake vacuum pump. This can also make the brake pedals stiff, leading to the problem. A broken brake vacuum pump means your truck will be left without assisted braking.
A thorough repair of the sensors should get your truck working correctly. If the problem is extensive, you will need to replace the hubs, costing you around $400-$600.
Faulty Electronic Brake Control Module
Another problem that warranted a recall from General Motors was service brakes not working in Chevy Silverado 2500/3500. Service brakes are the foot pedal brakes that every driver uses, while parking brakes are the lever-like brakes keeping the car parked while at rest.
GM has issued a recall for this problem since a manufacturing defect causes it. The recalled models were equipped with a faulty ECBM during vehicle assembly.
Specifically, the problem lies with the bolts attached to the BPMV (brake pressure modulator valve). They may not be adequately tightened, which could allow water to seep into the brakes, causing them to stop working.
This issue has been solved via a recall and will be fixed free of charge.
CP4 Fuel Pump Failure
The 2010-2016 years of Chevy Silverado 2500 with Duramax engine suffer from CP4 Fuel Pump Failure. Failure of this CP4 pump is catastrophic, which can cause the entire fuel system to be filled with metal particles.
The engine codes can quickly identify this problem. If you see P0087, P0088, P0191, or P128E, it usually indicates a problem with your Chevy’s fuel pump. Apart from that, you will also see that your car is experiencing hard or no starts.
The solution to this problem is two-fold. Thorough cleaning and flushing of the chassis lines, engine-mounted fuel systems, and other filter pipes should be done soon. This will also tell you whether any component of the fuel system needs to be replaced or not.
Replacing a CP4 fuel pump is one of the most expensive repairs you could undertake. It costs upwards of $10,000 to get a new CP4 Fuel Pump! If you’re in the market for a Chevy Silverado 2500, we recommend you ensure that its CP4 Fuel Pump is not prone to failures. Otherwise, it can cost you an extremely hefty repair bill.
What’s the Worst Year for a Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500?
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and Chevrolet Silverado 3500 will last you for 200,000-250,000 miles if maintained regularly. The Chevrolet Silverado has been in the market for around 22 years. For a truck to be in circulation for this long, it has seen bad and good years. To give an accurate idea, we will elaborate on which years of Silverado 2500/3500 you should avoid and which years have the best features.
The worst years for the Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 were 2005-2008, 2012-2013, and 2016-2017. These engines are still infamous for their engine and brake problems. They also had faulty EBCM and fuel pump failure problems. If you are in the market for a Chevy Silverado, it is better to steer clear of these model years.
The best versions of this truck came in 2012, 2018-2019, and 2022. The 2012 model year only had three recalls, and its reliability and innovative features made it a fan favorite.
The rest of the years for Chevy Silverado are also pretty decent. They have few recalls, and most of their problems have been fixed. The 2021-2022 models also stand out as great options since they are reliable trucks with fewer problems.
And there you have it! We’ve walked through the most common problems Chevy Silverado 2500/3500 owners might encounter.
From fuel level sensor failure and erratic speedometers to more critical issues like multiple fuel injector failures, it’s clear that these robust trucks have their fair share of potential hiccups.
And let’s not forget those recalls from 2010-2017 regarding the passenger frontal airbag and EBCM module, or the parking brake issues in some models from 2002-2008.
But remember, knowledge is power. Being aware of these common issues allows you to spot trouble before it escalates, saving you time, stress, and likely a significant amount of money. Each problem we’ve covered has its own solution, from DIY fixes to professional repairs. We’ve laid out the costs, so you know what to expect when you roll into the shop.
Still, while these issues might seem daunting, the Silverado 2500/3500 models are incredible machines, known for their durability and performance. And now that you’re armed with this information, you’re better prepared to tackle any problems that come your way.
Of course, there’s always more to learn. If you’re interested in the nuts and bolts of your truck (literally), we’ve got plenty of other topics covered, like the 8-lug bolt pattern specific to this powerhouse, or common transmission problems Silverado drivers should keep an eye on.
Owning a vehicle isn’t just about driving from point A to B. It’s also about understanding how your ride works and how to keep it running smoothly. Thanks for taking the time to read and empower yourself with this knowledge. Happy motoring, and here’s to many trouble-free miles in your Chevy Silverado!
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.