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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,526 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Sep 262006

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Transfer case failure due to faulty design. Oil pump in transfer case rubs a hole in the case and dumps all the lubricant on the highway. Then the case ends up destroying itself. Hundreds of these failures are occurring. Mine happened at 83,000 miles.

- Ocean Shores, WA, USA

problem #22

Oct 032006

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,404 miles
Transfer case failed causing failure of slip joint and propeller shaft.

- Sun City, AZ, USA

problem #21

Feb 242006

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles
: the contact stated intermittently, when the outside conditions are cold the steering is stiff. This occurs at any speed. The problem is worse when the brake pedal is depressed and turning the steering wheel. The dealership replaced the valve in the power steering. This has not corrected the problem. There is a technical service bulletin, #10013533, regarding this, but no repair available. The water pump gasket was replaced. The transfer case bearings were replaced. Updated 03/22/06.

- Slippery Rock, PA, USA

problem #20

Dec 202003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

4X4 not working, charcoal canister, cd-player 3 times, complete new brake system from rotors, seals, caliperes etc. That I paid for $1,000., window regulator, door latches, noise coming from the steering area, dash peeling apart, chapman Chevy replaced all four tires twice within 50,000 miles-I finally went and spent $1,200 on new tires to make sure my family and I our safe

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #19

Mar 012004

Silverado 3500 4WD

  • miles
All attempts to remove and recondition/replace the front differential to drivable and mechanically safe four wheel drive condition were unsuccessful. (nar)

- Helena, MT, USA

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problem #18

Aug 122004

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles
2003 2500 silvarado with 36,000 miles. So far the transfer case shifting module (dropped itself inot 4 low at 70 mph), transmission (became so sloppy that it slammed passengers around had to be rebuilt), air conditioner compressor (quit working and the new one works poorly), fuel pump (died in the middle of Utah and took 4 days to get the part), radio (had multiple problems had to be replaced after 4 visits), keyless remote failures, and 4 recalls.

- Forest Falls, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 042004

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Service 4 wd light comes on while towing trailer. I've taken the vehicle to 3 different dealerships 4 different times and always find something new creating the problem. Per BBB order Chevrolet was to have another opportunity to fix vehicle and Chevrolet rep. Insisted that he would personally have a allison transmission guru personally review my vehicle. Well they changes some sort of part within the drivetrain and the guru never showed up. To this day the 4 wd light continues to come on and they seem to just call it a "minor flaw" and I have driven the vehicle to much! I purchased the truck just about a year and a half ago and it has 48000 miles. I guess I'm just not allowed to drive the truck that much. I'm just lost since they say the lemon law is good for 18000 miles only and I'm stuck with the truck. Please help with some info!!!

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #16

Jan 042004

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,500 miles
Service 4 wd light comes on while towing trailer. I've taken the vehicle to 3 different dealerships 4 different times and always find something new creating the problem. Per BBB order Chevrolet was to have another opportunity to fix vehicle and Chevrolet rep. Insisted that he would personally have a allison transmission guru personally review my vehicle. Well they changes some sort of part within the drivetrain and the guru never showed up. To this day the 4 wd light continues to come on and they seem to just call it a "minor flaw" and I have driven the vehicle to much! I purchased the truck just about a year and a half ago and it has 48000 miles. I guess I'm just not allowed to drive the truck that much. I'm just lost since they say the lemon law is good for 18000 miles only and I'm stuck with the truck. Please help with some info!!!

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 292004

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,400 miles
On the advice of council, I have been instructed to outline and document to General Motors Corp. Details concerning a vehicle incident that took place on January 29, 2004, approximately 7:45 pm, while driving our 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500hd [xxx] my wife and I were driving on S.R. 224 East of findlay at 40mph when without warning, the entire front end locked up on the vehicle (later duplicated by the service technician at lariche Chevrolet in findlay, Ohio) throwing my wife and I violently against our restraints. This resulted in a total loss of control and inability to move the vehicle from oncoming traffic. We were stranded in the middle of a road that is frequented by semi trailers and vehicles traveling in the 55-60mph range, and were completely unable to get the vehicle to move. The vehicle would not go forward or backward. After pushing the 2wd/4WD buttons frantically on the dash and shifting from park to reverse to drive, the vehicle finally moved in reverse (2wd). I then shifted to drive and was able to pull into a nearby driveway. After testing the vehicle up and down the driveway, we proceeded to get off the main road and went directly home (approximately 0.5 miles). The vehicle was towed to lariche Chevrolet the following morning. (complete background of service work in memo page) as you can see this was a terrifying experience for both of us, leaving my wife unwilling to travel in this vehicle. Fortunately, our problem was duplicated by a technician at lariche Chevrolet who in the manager's words your truck about put my service tech through the windshield". because we are afraid to ride in this vehicle, we are asking to have Chevrolet exchange this vehicle with another equivalent model. This was our second Chevrolet in 2 years, so we are happy with the brand, just not this truck. Please advise us of your decision. Updated 07/30/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #14

Jan 292004

Silverado 3500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Service four wheel drive light comes on. This truck has been to the dealership three times to have the sensor replaced. No apparent cause and no fix for it.

- Thorntown, IN, USA

problem #13

Oct 142003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,136 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

At 6,130 miles the message "check 4X4" was displayed. At the same time, the 4X4 control buttons went inoperable. The 4X4 system was completely disable and inoperable. Onstar confirmed vehicle required service. Redwood city boardwalk found "mode switch shorted, replaced mode switch" and the problem was corrected. Dealer replaced switch module with different color (gray) module than was provided with the truck new (black), gray does not match dashboard.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 212004

(reported on)

Silverado 3500

  • miles
Upon depressing four wheel drive indicator consumer notice vehicle did not respond to the shift change. Vehicle was traveling in two wheel drive.

- Saugerties, NY, USA

problem #11

Dec 042003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,400 miles
On one occasion the viehicle shifted into towing mode by itself, without any reason, (ie: No buttons pressed). Yesterday, the truck shifted into 4WD - low range at highway speed by itself without any reason. This caused the front wheels to temporarily screech and the engine to over-rev. I stopped the truck on the side of the road, turned it off and then the 4WD control panel was inoperative and the service 4WD indicator was on. I took the truck to my local dealer, they told me they didn't have time to diagnose the problem right then, but not to worry because the error code would be stored and they could retrieve it after lunch. I took it back after lunch, and no error code. This is the third time I've had the truck in on 4WD problems, but the first time that the problems have presented a real danger. I had the truck in five times with transmission problems without a fix.

- Devils Lake, ND, USA

problem #10

Nov 142002

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
4 wheel drive becomes non operative and the dash light turns off and message service 4 wheel drive comes on. The vehicle has been to the dealer 4 times and they cannot fix it.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 032003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,638 miles
Problems with encoder motor sensor. The four wheel drive light illuminated several times, the dealer replaced the transfer case shift. Also the service engine soon light illuminated and the dealer replaced the evaporative emission canister vent solenoid.

- Batavia, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 122003

Silverado 3500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Transfer case/differential, service 4X4 lights keep coming on, brakes, shocks, bumper pad falling off, transmission clunking noise, would not start. Goes into four wheel drive on its on. Very dangerous when this happens. Was told by GM that there was no fix. Dealer has put several parts on including reprogrammed module in transfer case, replaced differential case and gear kit, brake pedal would go to the floor, dealer replaced left front shock because of leaking fluid onto rotor, clunking noise from forward to reverse was told this was normal, engine cranks but does not start, towed in, dealer replaced body control module. This truck has less than 9,000 miles on it. The four wheel drive system ( transfer case) the dealer is just guessing that they have fixed the problem. Was told that my truck was a tester to see if they could fix the transfer case problem. What could go wrong next!

- Lyons Falls, NY, USA

problem #7

May 172003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,200 miles
While driving, the vehicle shifted into 4 wheel drive high without warning. For the third time the sensor motor had to be replaced by the service dealer.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 152003

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,330 miles
4WD drive is inop. The transfer case automatically switched to 4 lo on the move. The truck has been in 5 times for the same problem. The dealer and GM says there is no fix at this time, time frame for fix is unknown. Dealer says it can not replace encoder because GM will not allow parts to be installed because it will not fix the problem. This truck has less than 2500 miles on it.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #5

Feb 152003

Silverado 3500 4WD

  • 454 miles
The 4 wheel drive system malfunctioned, and the 4 wheel drive automatically engaged in 4 wheel drive low, no matter what the consumer attempted, the vehicle failed to disengage. Mr the consumer was told there was no fix for the problem.

- Levittown , NY, USA

problem #4

Apr 142003

(reported on)

Silverado 3500 4WD

  • miles
4 wheel drive light came on intermittently while driving. The vehicle sounded like it wanted to engage 4 wheel drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on 4 occasions, however the problem still existed.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

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