Founded in 1911, Chevrolet is well known around the world as an All-US brand. Within Chevrolet’s first decade, they were purchased by William Durant, the President of GM. From then on and right through to the beginning of the great depression, they have been known as the nation’s best-selling automotive manufacturer. Over a century later and across much change, Chevrolet has had both its highs and lows as a brand.
With a line of pickups that have been around for decades, Chevrolet has made a name for itself in quality and durability. Those in the US have grown to love Chevrolet, with millions of owners who won’t even consider picking any other brand. With their most famous model, the Silverado, being perceived as a great ‘all US’ vehicle with virtually no issues, we have to wonder if that is really the case.
Complaints about Chevrolet have been increasing in numbers throughout the last few years, with more and more diehard fans doing the inconceivable and picking their competitors. Some of the complaints are not too serious, but others seem to have cost Chevrolet much of their hard-earned notoriety.
Here we have put together a list of the top 25 most common and recent problems that Chevy pickup owners have found. These problems seem to stick out like a sore thumb, but Chevrolet fans continue to pretend not to notice. After reading these, you’ll have to ask yourself how a brand known for being reliable could have so many quality and durability issues.
25 Sometimes They Run Away
It might sound pretty funny, but when your vehicle is rolling away from you we have a feeling you won’t be laughing. Many of the Chevrolet Silverado models have been reported as being prone to rolling away when the parking brake is not engaged. It is all fun and games until your kids are in the car.
If you like your truck to stay right where you parked it, then we wouldn’t recommend buying one of these. Either that or start being very diligent about using that parking brake!
24 Buying A Used Model Could be a Big Mistake
Chevrolet is renowned for its vintage model pickups, with many well-known restorations occurring across the country. What many don’t know is that even if you are purchasing a model only a few years old as an everyday vehicle or work truck, it can be extremely difficult to source used parts.
If you are buying a used model Chevrolet pickup, you might as well go big and buy a vintage year. Finding parts will be equally as hard, but at least you will end up with a classic.
23 Frustrating Faulty Electronics
If you think we must be talking about yesteryear model Chevrolet’s having electronic issues, you would be right. But, the issues are still going on in even the latest new models. Many customers have complained and continue to complain every year about the intermittent power failures, flashing indicator lights, faulty Bluetooth systems, radio problems and ongoing battery issues being some among the many other electrical issues.
So, if you are looking for a high-tech, no-fuss pickup, you might want to think twice about one of these trucks.
22 It’s Simply Less Reliable Than a Ford
Having been competing in the automotive industry for what seems like an eternity, Ford and Chevrolet are still duking it out. Many owners cling to their respective brand and will continue to buy only that brand year after year.
But, in today’s market Ford pickups have a larger selection of engines to choose from, better safety ratings, they sell more trucks each year than GM, they have the best-selling full-sized truck in the US, provide better trucks for harsh weather, they are competitively priced and offer an impressive selection of off-road features. Quite simply, a Ford pickup is the more reliable choice.
21 A Bumpy Ride (Make Sure to Hold Your Coffee!)
With the majority of Chevrolet pickup models being built for the purpose of off-roading and hauling big loads, what no one is telling you is that if you buy one of these for everyday driving, you are in for a seriously bouncy ride.
The suspension in many models is a constant complaint for customers. You wouldn’t want to be driving around with hot coffee each morning as more and more people complain about the absolute rollercoaster of a ride Chevrolet has provided. If you like to feel like you are continuously driving over speed bumps, then we absolutely recommend you choose a Chevrolet pickup.
20 Dim Headlights Means Glaring Safety Issue
Another glaring issue that has been ongoing with many Chevrolet pickup models is their dim headlights. If you are someone that often drives at night, then you are going to have to get this issue fixed and quickly.
Some customers found it to be a quick fix at their local mechanic, others had it cost them big, needing specialized assistance from a GM service center. The big costs link back to our earlier problem with electrical issues. If you are still sold on buying a Chevrolet pickup, make sure you check those headlights before you drive it away.
19 Some Older Models Can’t Tow What They Promise
Customers are going to be pretty upset when they buy a pickup to tow their trailers and find it doesn’t have the power to quite make it. If you are one of them, then you are not alone. Let’s not forget about the time GM was sued over misrepresenting its towing ratings. When a customer purchased a 2014 model Sierra with an 8,800-pound towing rating, he wasn’t very happy to find that the capacity was actually 6,700-pounds.
With a class action that included many disgruntled customers, damages were being perused in excess of $5 million. No conclusion has yet been made in court, but for anyone needing a truck to tow a large capacity, you might want to double check those promised figures.
18 Let’s Not Forget the Recalls
GM has been made famous over the years from their many recalls. To name the most renowned, the latest being the 2017 power steering failure recall of one million pickups. In 2014, 29 separate recalls were made that included a total of 13.8 million US cars and trucks and 15.8 million vehicles worldwide.
Lastly, the 1971 engine mount issue that involved vehicles unexpectedly losing throttle control, and included 6.6 million vehicles being recalled. If you like returning your newly purchased truck, then, by all means, a Chevrolet pickup is the perfect choice for you.
17 If You Lift, It’ll Roll
With numerous reports of both the Colorado and Silverado models being prone to rolling, customers tend to ignore the issue as almost standard. But, if you are the type of buyer that likes to add a bit of lift to your truck, then you are probably going to want to stick clear of these models.
Raising your Chevrolet truck has been reported as having caused some serious accidents across the country over the years. Though the good news is that the serious steel bulk of this truck offers some great protection in the event of unexpected rolling, but – especially if you like going off-road – it is probably not one of their more desirable features.
16 ‘Blinded by the Light’, or In Chevrolet’s Case the Dash Display
Many will be happy to hear that the 2017 Silverado has a very convenient backup camera display. To all those nighttime drivers, you simply need to purchase some UV sunglasses just to look at it. Complaints have been made that the backup camera display is extremely bright at night with no way for the driver to adjust the brightness.
One NHTSA website consumer has complained saying that “it is so bright that you cannot see anything else and can’t even see the screen because it’s so bright!” Others have complained, saying that they need to use their side mirrors just to avoid the glare and see behind them.
15 Air Conditioning Issues Not Recommended for Hot Locations
To all those living in the South, we understand the need for a fully functioning air conditioning system. But, it seems as though Chevrolet does not. One of the major issues many pickup owners are facing is having that lovely cool air stop blowing. Instead you get to enjoy some sympathetically hot air heating you up even more during your summer drive.
And, we're sad to say these reports have come in not for older models, but for new and fresh off the block models. Needless to say, many customers are not happy.
14 It’s Hard to See Around All That Steel
The Silverado’s bulky cab has been reported as causing drivers some seriously limited visibility issues. This might not seem like a huge concern to some of you out there, but if you are looking for a family pickup, your wife is going to have some big issues with it.
If you don’t mind the trade-off of more steel for better safety, then no trouble. But, other family members are probably going to have some trouble driving it. All that steel and bulk means less vision and a much more difficult time parking. To all those wives out there that park better than your husbands, well you might want to consider a less bulky option for your husband too.
13 It Shudders and Shakes at Speed
This charming issue has affected many customers across quite a few of Chevrolet’s model pickups. On top of being one bumpy ride, customers are also complaining about the vehicle shaking and shuddering while driving.
These reports come in not at top speeds as you might expect but at leisurely everyday speeds. If you are already a nervous highway driver, then this issue isn’t going to help you overcome your fears. Customers are complaining of vibrating seats and floorboards, as well as the feeling of the wheel’s being out of balance.
12 It Bangs, Clanks, and Clicks
If the bumping, shaking and shuddering isn’t enough, you can also enjoy a peaceful drive listening to the soothing sounds of loud bangs, clanks, and clicks. Complaint of wheels clanking, engines banging and interior clicking occurring on multiple models and years, it’s a wonder that customers aren’t raving more about Chevrolet’s soothing soundtrack.
This also isn’t occurring in simply older well-used vehicles, as the clanking has been reported to start as of day one driving your new pickup. Though, the majority of these complaints are occurring in 2014 through to 2016 models.
11 Finding Old Model Parts Can’t be Expensive and Difficult
If you are a vintage enthusiast and restoration dreamer, then you have probably considered buying an old Chevy and restoring it to new. Unfortunately, keeping your restoration truly classic can be a difficult and costly challenge. Old parts for vintage Chevy pickups are a rare, expensive and a time-consuming search.
Many over the years have waved the white flag and purchased alternate parts that are suitable. But, if your goal is to keep it authentic, then you are going to find you might have bitten off more than you can afford to chew.
10 Needs a Big Braking Distance
Part of the problem with having an oversized pickup, is that you need a large amount of braking space when coming to a full stop. For any city, day-to-day drivers this is going to be a much more aggravating issue than it sounds.
Drivers of Chevrolet pickups are going to have to be extra vigilant on the road to ensure they have an appropriate amount of space between them and the car in front in order to be able to stop at a safe distance. So, while all that steel is handy should you crash, it’s not much help in preventing the crash in the first place.
9 Hidden Rust in Tailgates and Taillights
Many Chevrolet models, both old and new, are reporting hidden rust spots in the tailgates and taillights. While we have come to expect old model Chevy’s rusting faster than you can fix them, today’s customers are finding it an expensive problem.
Especially as modern models are getting rust appearing in places often not found until it is too late. If you are the owner of any Chevrolet pickups dated from 2013, you are going to want to have a quick look under your tailgate and taillights.
8 Pay More for 2019’s Basic Safety Features
If you are excited about the 2019 Silverado, you are going to want to have a second glance at the fine print. Buyers are reporting having to pay more to get the latest safety features available to you in basic models of other brands like Ford or Ram.
The basic 2019 Silverado model comes without forward-collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. But, you can pay more for the upgraded model in order to get them. In comparison, the 2019 Ford F-150 features forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking as a standard.
7 Hard Seats Make for a Hard Ride
Buyers of Chevrolet pickups dated 2014 to 2018 are complaining of uncomfortable and hard seats. The complaints range from no padding in the butt area, to knees feeling unnaturally high and flexed up.
Many are also feeling fooled with no lumbar support, a standard feature in many competing models. Without it, customers are reporting pain and an unwillingness to take their truck for long drives. The good news, is that in any vintage model those bench seats are still the most comfortable option around.
6 Don’t Trade-In Your Work Truck
Experts are calling this a lifestyle car and warning buyers not to trade in their work trucks. If you are looking for a replacement for your property vehicle and need something that can haul big loads and go where most vehicles won’t make it, then keep looking.
Newer model Chevrolet pickups have constant complaints about the limited weight capacity for hauling and their usefulness on the field falling short of expectations. If a few slabs of timber are all you need to haul, then you should be OK. But, for all those that need their truck to do the work for them, it is recommended you stick to a more suited work pickup.
5 Hard to Steer and Difficult to Turn
On top of the Silverado’s bulky cab reported as causing limited visibility, there are also complaints of the power steering being difficult to turn and an effort to drive. If you have got the muscles to steer yourself around this issue, then no trouble.
But, if you have a family member that is going to find issues steering it, then you might want to consider a less mammoth option. The good news is that this issue has been reported as fixed among reviewers of the 2019 Silverado model.
4 Think Twice About Those Off-Road Adventures
Reviewers are warning buyers to steer clear of the 2019 Silverado if they are looking for an off-road vehicle. With reports of stiff and uncomfortable driving experiences, just OK suspension, and an overall ‘good’ that’s just not good enough when compared with the competition.
Experts are disappointed that this basic four-wheel-drive doesn’t have the low-range gearing needed for serious off-roading adventures. Though in its defense, it does have a “lock” feature that sends equal power to all four wheels, which is a huge help when needing to get the truck out of challenging or slippery situations.
3 There Are Arguably Better Engines in The Same Price Range
The 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 has the advantage of an impressive V8 engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, more engine options with three additional powertrains (including a turbo-diesel). In comparison, however, the 2019 Ford F-150 boasts an advanced Raptor off-road package, a dizzying number of engine options, more max payload, and a higher towing capacity.
We can’t argue, the Silverado has an impressive engine and so does its competition. But, in terms of price, there are arguably better engines out there within the same price range.
2 Even the Latest Models Have Outdated Features
With all the hype going on about the 2019 Silverado, it is easy to get caught up in all the features you do like and ignore what you might not. The interior is quite simply ordinary. With an old-school lever mounted gear selector on the steering column that looks reminiscent of the 1970s, cloth seats that are quite basic and easily worn out, small text digital display screens that are difficult to read, and no satellite radio being among some of the issues.
We are happy to hear that it does have a very convenient remote-control window feature that allows you to open windows from afar. However, it would be better if it would raise them up as well, as this would be a very convenient feature in the rain. This is similar to the powered liftgate that can be lowered, but not raised with the press of a button. All in all, there are some great ideas, but the features seem to fall just short of being useful.
1 They Don’t Compare to Other All-US Car Brands of the Same Class
When reviewing any of Chevrolet’s newer models, to compare them to any of their competition is like comparing apples and oranges. Quite simply, they are no longer in the same class. The ingenuity and creativity certainly show, but in the end, the execution hasn’t met expectations.
Customers are constantly finding new complaints every year, and if Ford and Ram sales records are any example, they are quickly switching to their competition. We have a long-standing nostalgia for Chevy pickups, but when buying a newer year model, customers are looking for functionality, ease of use and comfort. A need that Chevrolet hasn’t quite met, but their competition happily does.
Sources - Car Complaints, Consumers Reports, Chevrolet & Jalopnik