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GMC Sierra 1500 Reliability and Common Problems

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When you’re in the market for a reliable pickup truck, you can’t go wrong with a GMC Sierra 1500. All of its models have something great to offer, from high safety ratings to excellent performance. Its resale value is also good, only depreciating by 37% in five years, according to CarEdge.com.

Are GMC Sierra 1500s Reliable?

The GMC Sierra 1500 enjoys average reliability ratings, with some model years scoring better than others. RepairPal gave it a rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 3rd out of 17 full-size trucks in its category. Meanwhile, J.D. Power rated the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 84/100 for quality and reliability.

On the other hand, US News & World Report ranked the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 3rd out of 6 full-size pickup trucks, giving it a rating of 8.0 out of 10. With these figures, it’s apparent that with careful handling and regular maintenance, the GMC Sierra 1500 can easily enjoy a long service life.

Top GMC Sierra 1500 Problems

Although the GMC Sierra 1500 is one dependable pickup truck, it still has its fair share of problems. Here are the most commonly reported issues for different model years:

Poor Quality Headlights

Many owners of the 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 have complained about the terrible quality of their pickup truck’s headlights. Their truck’s headlights offered poor visibility, barely illuminating the road ahead.

The headlights of the affected units were reportedly too dim and unsafe for driving at night. There were also notably no changes between the bright and dim options. Although having poor lighting is a dangerous problem, GMC has not issued any recalls to fix this as of this writing.

Brittle Interior Door Handles

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Some owners of the 2011 GMC Sierra have reported issues about the apparent brittleness of the interior door handles.

Brittle interior door handles have been a longstanding problem for some owners of the 2011 GMC Sierra 1500. Most of them complained that the interior door handle of their trucks suddenly broke off after moderate usage. They believe that their interior door handle was made of low-quality plastic that’s why it broke off easily.

Because of the sheer number of complaints about this problem, some owners think this is a widespread manufacturer flaw. Despite this, there have been no known recalls issued by GMC to address this problem as of this writing.

Dashboard Cracking

According to some owners of the 2009 GMC Sierra 1500, problems with its dashboard are typical for this model year. These owners noted that their truck’s dashboard cracked easily. The crack usually starts from the corner left upper side of the airbag near the windshield. Most owners noticed this problem with just 45,000 miles on their vehicle.

GMC issued a recall for 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks with the same problem but didn’t include the 2009 model year.

Odd Noises From the Upper Intermediate Steering Shaft

According to drivers of the 2006 GMC Sierra 1500, odd noises from the upper intermediate steering shaft are common for some units of this model year.

They noticed that the steering wheel seemed on the verge of popping while driving at low speeds. Some also complained about loud rattling or clunking noises coming from the intermediate steering shaft. The noise would reportedly happen when turning their truck right or left. Some owners observed that this issue occurs with the steering arm every 30,000 miles.

A quick fix to this issue would be to grease the steering shaft. However, the noise usually comes back after a while.

Faulty Mode Door Actuator

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Some owners of the 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 have noted problems with their HVAC, particularly their truck’s mode door actuator.

Some owners of the 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 have noted problems with their HVAC, particularly their truck’s mode door actuator. According to their reports, their truck’s A/C rarely works the way it should whenever they turn it on. Some complained that their heater only blew out cold air, while others noted that only hot air comes out of their A/C.

Upon closer inspection of these problems, most owners found out that a faulty mode door actuator was causing them. Replacing the defective part usually resolves this issue.

Faulty Fuel Pump

According to some owners of the 1999 GMC Sierra 1500, problems with its fuel pump are typical for some units of this model year.

They complained that their truck stalled and failed to restart. Some reported that their truck just suddenly died without any warning, while others experienced their engine turning over and over without starting. Reports show that these problems may occur as early as 10,000 miles.

When they brought their pickup to the dealer to get it checked out, some owners were told that the cause of their truck’s problems was a faulty fuel pump. Replacing this faulty part should fix this issue.

If you’re in the market for a GMC Sierra 1500, be prepared to embrace the good and the potential bad. But don’t worry. As long as you know the issues associated with the specific model year you’re planning to get, buying this truck should come with little risk. Just make sure the seller has cleared everything before taking your pre-owned GMC Sierra 1500 home.

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Vehicle Reliability
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