The Chevrolet Silverado is the brand’s offering for the heavy-duty full-size pickup truck segment. As a General Motors vehicle, it does share a lot in common with the GMC Sierra. In select markets, the Silverado is also known as the Cheyenne. The Silverado pickup come in three different variants: the 1500, the 2500, and the 3500. If you’re wondering what these numbers represent. They pertain to each of the models’ capacity.
Each model of the Silverado has advantages and disadvantages, but these differences are mostly based on the years of manufacture. That is why most people shop based on the year in which the most extensive upgrades and problems are discovered. The factors that go into rating a model year are usually reliability, performance, manufacturing improvements, and design.
The Worst Chevy Silverado Model Years
The Silverado has had four major iterations with each generation trying to offer improvements over previous ones. While some consider the Silverado a good vehicle in general, there have been some bad Chevy Silverado years, but a few stand out.
If you’re in the market and asking yourself, “What year Chevy Silverado should I stay away from?” The Chevy Silverado’s worst years are 2014, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015, and 2016. You might want to avoid buying these models. 2014 is regarded as the worst year.
Here are some Chevy Silverado years to avoid if you’re in the market for a reliable heavy-duty pickup truck.
2014 Chevy Silverado (3rd Generation)
While the 2014 Chevy Silverado has its ardent supporters, it appears that some things went wrong in this particular model year. Many owners complained about the vehicle’s high oil consumption, electrical issues, and transmission problems, among other things. It had 20 recalls due to defective airbags and software issues that could cause unintended braking. Other reported issues were with its heating and air conditioning system. The AC condensers and compressor failures were also quite common.
2005 Chevy Silverado (1st Generation)
The 2005 Chevy Silverado has 16 recalls, and a lot of them are serious. These recalls were mostly for brakes and transmission failure issues. Other common issues with the 2005 Silverado include speedometer malfunction, air conditioning problems, and clunking noise from the steering wheel.
2007 Chevy Silverado (2nd Generation)
The 2007 Chevy Silverado has had six recalls due to issues affecting wheel hub assemblies, windshield wipers, and airbags. The most serious recall is for the wheel hub assemblies, as it can cause the wheel to fly off while driving. The 2007 Silverado model has serious engine issues that can make it take longer to stop. Other common problems include stereo problems and premature battery failures. Its crash test scores and reliability ratings are below average, so you’d want to avoid a 2007 model if you’re particular about safety.
2008 Chevy Silverado (2nd Generation)
The 2008 Chevy Silverado model had excessive oil consumption issues. Owners also complained that the four-wheel drive affected the truck’s overall operation. The 2008 2500 model had an issue with the dashboard cracking and airbags failing to deploy. Owners have reported that other significant problems with the 2008 model include fuel level sensor failure, strange steering noises, speedometer failure, and check engine light problems.
2015 Chevy Silverado (3rd Generation)
The 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 is considered one of the worst model years because of the number and severity of recalls. It is prone to mechanical failures that increase the risk of crashing. According to the NHTSA, this model has 23 safety recalls. Some safety recalls have included airbag failure, seatbelt malfunctions, and loose brake pedals. Other common problems with the 2015 Chevy Silverado are fuel level sensor failure, stuck fuel injectors, and power steering wheel failure.
2016 Chevy Silverado (3rd Generation)
The 2016 Chevy Silverado also has a few common issues. The most severe issue with the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado was fuel pump failure. Many owners reported jerking and surging of their Silverado or the transmission unexpectedly failing. The speedometer or other gauges on the instrument panel would unexpectedly fail. Repairing this issue will be costly. The engine stalls and cannot be restarted when this occurs. Other reported issues with the 2016 model included A/C and heater air delivery failures.
Common Problems of the Chevrolet Silverado
Do Chevy Silverados have a lot of problems? Here are some common problems you should be aware of.
High Oil Consumption
Some owners report their Silverados going low on oil after 3,000 miles. This mileage is relatively low compared to the average 6,000 miles that trucks can travel without running low on oil. This issue is latent in the design of several of the engines used in the Silverado 1500 across model years. The 2007-2011 model years are equipped with the Active Fuel Management System. While the system improves fuel economy, among its mechanisms causes carbon build-up. This build-up results in excessive oil consumption and can damage the truck’s piston or cylinder.
There are many consumer complaints about the transmission in Chevy Silverados. According to feedback on the NHTSA website, shifting can be jerky and abrupt. It feels lugging at times, like a manual transmission in a higher gear at low speed. Other times it clunks during gear shifts. This problem typically happens in the lower gears. Some owners also reported the transmission overheating and ended up getting stranded which can happen at different mileages. While the six-speed and the eight-speed transmission are affected, problems seem more prone to occur with the eight-speed.
The Chevrolet Silverado has an electric fuel pump which is located inside the tank. This pump is responsible for priming the fuel system on startup and supplying the engine with fuel. To control the fuel pump operation, the Silverado relies on a fuel pump relay. The fuel pump will not continue to function if the relay fails. When this happens, the engine cranks but fails to start. Fortunately, relays are inexpensive, and replacing one is easy.
Some Silverado models have issues with the fuel pump driver module. The module is a critical component as it regulates the voltage supplied to the pump. It ensures that the engine receives optimal fuel pressure and efficient fuel delivery. When this module fails, the engine runs out of fuel, and the vehicle stalls or shuts down.
Silverado models have been included in recalls by Chevrolet due to faulty airbags. The 2015 and 2016 Silverados were included in a massive recall due to their roof rail airbag inflators. GM recalled 410,019 2015-2016 models across their marquee over concerns that the airbag inflators could burst in case the vehicle crashes.
The Bottom Line
If you like pickup trucks, especially full-size ones, the Chevrolet Silverado can be a good choice to buy. Considering it has been around for more than a couple of decades, there are a lot of these trucks still going around.
Are older Silverados reliable? Silverados are some of the most dependable pickup trucks on the market. Reports from reputable auto websites say it can reach 200,000 miles, about 10 to 20 years of pickup truck use. The 2012 Silverado model year is recognized as one of the most reliable trucks, with only two recalls. It is regarded as a standout in what may have been some regrettable years for the model. Several 2nd generation models are among the Chevy Silverado years to avoid but the 2012 is an exception.
However, Silverado owners have encountered a few issues over the years and we have touched on the Chevy Silverado years to avoid in this list. If you’re in the market for a reliable pickup truck, consider the Chevy Silverado 1500, 2500, and 3500 from one of the more notable model years. These said, deciding if an actual vehicle comes down to the actual unit. Be sure to check the vehicle thoroughly or have an expert inspect it before buying.