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6 Common Chevy Silverado Problems You Should Know

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

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The Chevy Silverado was first introduced in 1999, and today we’re up to the third generation of this vehicle. This is a beloved American pickup truck, but it still has its fair share of problems.

Many things have gone wrong with the Chevy Silverado, and some problems are bad enough to make you consider switching vehicles due to the questions around its reliability.

In this article, we’ll tell you six common Chevy Silverado problems you should know about.

4WD Transfer Case Position Sensor or Selector Switch Failure

This problem sounds much worse than it is.

While you’re driving along, you may get the “service 4WD” message, which typically happens at around 150,000 miles. This is because dirt and debris from driving can affect the conductivity between the two ground wires underneath the driver’s door. This problem is one of the most common Silverado owners face.

Thankfully, this is an easy problem to solve. All you have to do is buy a new position sensor or selector switch for around $30.

You can also install the new one on your own. You only have to remove the old sensor or switch, clean off the surface, install the new one, and put it back.

Failure to Start (Random)

If you have a faulty ignition switch or your battery’s dead, you won’t be able to start up your truck. If you can’t start your Chevy Silverado, check these two things first.

If the ignition switch is operating and your truck’s battery still has juice, then you probably have an electrical problem at hand. However, many other Silverado owners have tried everything from replacing the fuses to rebooting the computer to no avail.

You can try cleaning off any corrosion to see if this helps, but if it doesn’t, and you want to try other fixes, it may cost you around $300 per fix. They’re not guaranteed to remedy this issue either, meaning you could end up losing some serious cash.

In this case, it may be more worth it to sell your Chevy Silverado.

Speaker Failure

For those of you who love to blast your music, this issue will be a significant bother to you.

Many Chevy Silverado owners have reported that within a few months of owning their vehicles, one speaker will go out, then more will follow. Typically, the speakers in the doors will fail.

The frustrating thing is that sometimes, these broken speakers will randomly work again. This is certainly annoying when you want to listen to your favorite track, but it can also be detrimental for your safety if you need to use OnStar and none of your speakers work.

If your speakers fail, you can either choose to replace them with cheap ones (which means they could still fail), or you can shell out some money and invest in some better ones.

Excessive Consumption of Oil

This can be an annoying issue to have, considering you need oil to power your pickup truck.

Modern-day vehicles use around half a quart of oil for 3,000 to 5,000 miles. With some Chevy Silverados, owners have reported using a whole quart of oil in just 1,000 miles. The problem is so widespread that in 2016, Chevy faced a class-action lawsuit in Minnesota. This is most noticeable past 60,000 miles. 

Over time, this can add up to lots of extra money thrown away on this gas-guzzling beast. You’ll also waste a lot of time either changing the oil yourself or waiting for a mechanic to do it for you.

If you want to keep driving this vehicle, you’ll have to keep up with frequent oil changes, or you can either get a complete engine rebuild or engine assembly replacement. Both options cost a lot of money.

Engine Knock

Not only does the Chevy Silverado excessively consume oil, but if you don’t keep on top of oil changes, it can be prone to sludge buildup on its internal components.

When this happens, it’ll block the oil passages, starving the parts that need oil. As a result, they’ll wear down, which causes an engine knock.

The good news is that if you catch and fix this problem early, you can have your engine flushed of the sludge. However, you’ll eventually need the engine to be stripped and rebuilt or replaced. If you don’t have the sludge flushed, your engine will eventually blow out.

Transmission Issues

You’ll notice issues with your transmission if you have shift flares as you’re accelerating. Soon after, the “check engine” light may come on and your transmission could stop working when going forward, backward, or both.

These issues with your transmission will usually crop up if you don’t keep up with maintenance, so make sure you follow the recommended service schedule. Once you have shift flares, you can’t fix it by changing the fluid and filter. You’ll have to have your transmission rebuilt or replaced, which can cost a pretty penny.

Having These Chevy Silverado Problems?

After reading this list, you may have realized that you have one or a few of these common Chevy Silverado problems. While you can invest some money to fix these things, in some cases, it may be better to just ditch the car and invest in a new one instead.

Don’t have your old Silverado hauled away for nothing. Instead, consider selling it to a salvage company! We at Cash Auto Salvage will buy your car no matter what condition it’s in. As a result, you can put a dent in the price of your new vehicle. Whether you’re looking to get rid of a car that doesn’t work or you want to upgrade and get top value for your current vehicle, we’re here to help you!

Ready to get rid of your old car and get a new one? Get an instant offer from us now! 

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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