General Motors released the first iteration of the Chevrolet Silverado in 1998, following a name change from the famous Chevrolet C/K. The Silverado is widely known for its long list of premium characteristics, from a lengthy life span to high-end performance. Because of these qualities, it has built up a following of diehard Chevy drivers.

If you're in the market for a new truck or seeing the miles build up on your current one, consider the reliability of the Chevy Silverado and some of the model's known issues to ensure you get the most value for your money.

How Reliable Is the Chevrolet Silverado?

The Silverado has many enticing features and is highly regarded for its long-lasting performance and rugged durability. For over 20 years, this truck has enjoyed a reputation for reliability thanks to its superior safety features, top-of-the-line comfort and excellent function on challenging terrain.

Many owners putting faith in these workhorses have been rewarded with over 200,000 miles of use — some reaching over 1 million! On top of that, newer 2021 Chevy Silverado models continue to receive high reliability rankings on sites like J.D. Power. Of course, to get the most out of your vehicle, it's crucial to perform regular maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations and ensuring proper fluid levels.

5 Chevy Silverado Problems

While the Silverado is considered to be one of the top-performing full-size trucks on the market, it's not perfect. The following are a few of the most common problems Chevy Silverado owners experience with their trucks.

Fuel Tank

Almost every Silverado release suffers from Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor (FTP) issues. In fact, reports of FTP failure range from early models beginning in 1999 and continuing through 2019.

The FTP was created to reduce vehicles' environmental impact. This sensor evaluates the pressure inside the truck and detects evaporative leaks through faulty lines or at the gas cap, illuminating the check engine light when one is discovered. Fuel tank level and malfunction codes may pop up as a result, usually in the P0440 range.

With a faulty FTP, you might notice unchanging fuel levels even after filling your tank. These false readings can cause a variety of performance and drivability issues, including:

  • Poor fuel efficiency: A faulty pressure sensor will dispatch incorrect fuel usage information to the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). Without the proper knowledge, the ECU will distribute the wrong amount of fuel and elicit poor fuel delivery.
  • Trouble starting: With the ECU receiving inaccurate information, the air-fuel ratio will likely be thrown off, resulting in a rich or lean mixture. Unbalanced mixtures can damage the engine, impact its ability to start and even cause stalling.

You may be able to solve these problems by replacing the FTP. In more severe cases, you could need to replace your entire fuel pump.

Transfer Case

Transfer cases are supposed to last the life span of the vehicle. However, in the Chevrolet Silverado, that isn't always the case.

The transfer case is present in most four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive automobiles and is responsible for splitting power between the front and rear wheels based on the mode the driver selects. It helps you meet the conditions of the road, providing a safer and more comfortable ride.

Some Silverado owners have reported transfer case malfunctions that caused their trucks to slip into neutral without driver input. When driving, this problem eliminates all power going to the wheels. When in Park, vehicles are susceptible to rolling away. This electrical problem was widespread in over 400,000 trucks produced for 2014 and 2015, resulting in a recall.

Other transfer case issues common in the Chevy Silverado include:

  • Seals leaking
  • Gears making noises
  • Nuts and bolts coming loose
  • Challenges staying in four-wheel drive
  • Lines clogging

Climate Control System

Another known issue with the Chevy Silverado concerns the climate control system. Countless Chevrolet owners have reported their driver and passenger side A/C units blowing out different air temperatures — one side will blow hot air, while the other disperses cold.

General Motors corrected this problem in their 2021 model, yet it is still common in older generations. You might be able to remedy the issue by reprogramming your climate control equipment, which requires unplugging the battery cables for 10 minutes, reconnecting them and turning your key to the ON position three times before turning on the engine. If this doesn't work, you likely have an issue with your actuator.

Similarly, some A/C systems are known to only blow hot air, even when set to colder temperatures. While this may seem a mere inconvenience, it could potentially be dangerous when driving in the summer heat. It usually occurs randomly and could be caused by a bad actuator, defective condenser or damaged wires.

As a Silverado ages and creeps over the 100,000-mile marker, faults in the climate control panel become more likely. Lights begin to blow and knobs and buttons don't function as intended. If this happens to you, check for a dead fuse box or a loose connector in your HVAC control module.


When your transmission is firing on all cylinders, you'll enjoy a smooth ride and the ability to slow down, speed up and stop with confidence. However, some Chevy Silverado 1500 models produced between 2012 and 2019 are known for having transmission issues, making simple actions quite uncomfortable.

Many Silverado drivers endure a rocky driving experience from difficult and rough shifting. This trouble shifting makes it challenging to change gears and harder to speed up, causing jerky acceleration and an unpleasant drive. This jerking can occur at any time, whether you've driven your truck for less than a year or for over 100,000 miles.

Bumpy rides have been connected to the transmission control module and the torque converter. These areas have been known to be faulty or deteriorate prematurely, resulting in weak shifting signals and fluid leakage. While you can remedy these problems individually, they often require replacing the entire transmission, which can become quite costly.


An assortment of Chevrolet Silverado models released between 2014 and 2019 — plus some other Chevy vehicles — are sometimes affected by a phenomenon known as the "Chevy shake." When traveling at highway speeds, beginning at 35 mph, affected vehicles experience violent tremors and shutters within the steering wheel and suspension. This problem in the Chevrolet Silverado has been connected to two possible reasons throughout various class-action lawsuits — its eight-speed transmission and aluminum drive shaft.

Drivers have claimed the issue stems from the use of below-standard 8L90 and 8L45 transmissions with faulty hydraulic mechanisms. As a result of the hydraulic problems, too much pressure is put on the gears, leading them to wear prematurely and displacing metal fragments within the transmission system. Problems within these transmissions result in violent shaking, slippage between gears and slow acceleration.

Another explanation of the Chevy shake links severe trembling to using an aluminum drive shaft, the part responsible for distributing engine power to the wheels. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal and therefore more prone to deterioration, potentially resulting in the separation of the driveshaft from the vehicle at high speeds.

Locate the Parts You Require at StockWise Auto

StockWise Auto should be your first stop if you're searching for parts for your Chevrolet Silverado. Our inventory is one of the largest around, giving you everything you need at affordable prices. Check out our catalog and choose from thousands of Chevy parts today.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our product offerings, contact us online to connect with a specialist.