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Chevrolet Silverado: Model Years to Avoid



Chevrolet Silverado Model Years to Avoid

Chevrolet Silverado: Worst Model Years

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is one of the most popular full-size pickup trucks in North America, second only to the mighty Ford F-150. A robust frame, powerful engines, impressive towing figures, and state-of-the-art features all contribute to the success of GM’s most popular truck. However, not all generations are equally good. The Silverado debuted in 1999 and is currently in its fourth generation. Over the years, there have been numerous reports of reliability issues. According to our analysis, models made before 2004 and after 2019 have the best quality and fewer problems.

So if you are looking to buy a used Chevy Silverado, there are specific models you should avoid. And to help you with that, I made a list of Silverado model years to avoid. Sure, you can keep every generation running smoothly by maintaining it regularly with a Silverado service manual, but I reckon it’s always best to avoid problems in the first place.

So, without further ado, let us look at the Chevrolet Silverado years you should strike off your bucket list.

2005 (First-Gen Chevrolet Silverado Facelift)

The 2005 Chevy Silverado is the worst model from the first generation (1999-2006), infested with a host of manufacturing defects, including a poor-quality steering column. Numerous customers reported leakage and fracturing, posing a significant safety hazard when braking in a full lock. Others complained about low-quality brakes, with the pads wearing out prematurely. Apart from that, the 2005 Silverado hydraulic pressure accumulator is could crack, causing hydraulic fluid leakage and brake failure.

And if all of this seems a lot, the 2005 Silverado is also associated with notorious automatic transmission and AC compressor problems, both highly expensive to fix. Customers can pay up to $865 ($674 for parts and $191 for labor) for a compressor replacement. Even the paint job showcases clumsy production, with some owners reporting peeling.

2007 (Second-Gen Chevrolet Silverado)

2007 marked the arrival of the second-generation Chevy Silverado. Chevrolet built it on the new GMT900 platform, paving the way for a bigger and more powerful version of the truck.

However, it had its own specific set of problems. Its faulty fuel sensor gave drivers wrong readings, which is particularly dangerous since it could leave you stranded. Furthermore, there were several recalls due to defective airbag inflators. The last thing you would want is for one of them to rupture and the metal fragments hurrying toward you at extreme speeds, causing injury or even death.

The 2007 Silverado issues also extend to its electrical systems. Customers report a malfunctioning wiper washer fluid system that causes a short circuit. Combine all that with poor wiring, and there is a high chance that the truck might become filled with smoke or even catch fire.

In addition, excessive oil consumption is another issue affecting the 2007 models. If you wish to buy one, be prepared for higher oil bills.

2008 (Second-Gen Chevrolet Silverado)

The 2008 Silverado retains some similar defective traits as its predecessors, including buggy sensors. Apart from these faulty fuel sensors, the 2008 model is also laden with a problematic 4WD sensor, causing great inconvenience to owners. The heavy oil consumption also makes its way into the 2008 model, with some trucks requiring topping up every 1000 miles.

Overall, this model year fared a bit better than the 2007 version but still has enough issues and recalls for getting red-flagged. Hence, if you find a cheap 2008 Silverado in the market, we advise you to stay away from it.

However, if it’s too good of a deal and well within your budget, we recommend a detailed inspection using your Silverado service manual. You can find one of these manuals at eManualOnline.

2015 (Third-Gen Chevrolet Silverado)

The third generation (2014-2018) Chevy Silverado gave stiff competition to the Ford F-150 lineup in terms of sales. However, the 2015 Silverado was notorious for defects. Despite repeated complaints and recalls for the transmission on older models, GMC still sold the 2015 version with similar issues. Customers complained about gear slipping and hard shifting that only worsened with time. We found several records where customers paid $4000-6000 in transmission repairs.

Others reported improper heat treatment in the vehicle powertrain. In addition, the rear axle shaft was quite susceptible to fracturing while driving, which could cause the rear wheel to separate. A replacement is also costly. Owners can pay up to $213 ($118 for parts and $95 for labor).


The 2016 Chevy Silverado follows in the footsteps of its predecessors but has fewer recalls. A common headache is the “service 4WD”, a message displayed due to a faulty motor position sensor on the 4-wheel-drive transfer case encoder. A repair will cost you between $88 and $111.

However, the most severe issue plaguing the 2016 model is the faulty fuel pump that has left many owners stranded. Without it properly working, the vehicle will fail to start. It is also an expensive repair, billing owners up to $1,133.

Other issues include the fuel injectors getting stuck, resulting in an engine misfire and a check engine light. We also went through complaints stating abnormal behavior in the speedometer and gauges.

Last Words

While the model years I listed in this article are worse overall in terms of reliability, they are not bad in general terms. The differences between them and other model years are tiny.

So, don’t throw them out of contention just yet! Check them using a Silverado service manual, as that’s a much more secure way of deciding than by reading an online article.

You can also use the manual to upkeep your Silverado – regular maintenance is the key to a long-lasting vehicle and a better return on investment, and that’s true even for the best model years too!

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