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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,705 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 Express drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Chevrolet Express Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 212014

Express 8-cyl

  • 15,500 miles


My speedometer quickly jumps from one indicated speed to another speed that is clearly inaccurate, down as low as -0- while driving, accompanied by the transmission attempting to downshift on it's own, which causes a severe engine over-rev condition or going into a neutral momentarily with no input from me as the driver. There are no specific actions I can take to trigger the erratic symptom, nor any specific action I can take to cause normal operation. With snow and ice on the roads at this time of the year this is extremely dangerous as it could cause the van to lock up the rear wheels on slippery pavement causing lack of control. This condition can occur regardless of whether or not cruise control is selected, regardless of the gear I manually select, and regardless of the trailer mode being selected or not. Simultaneously the "check engine" light goes on, the "ABS light" and "brakes" lights are lit on the dashboard although no braking abnormalities are noted. I reported a less severe case of this several months ago, but received no reply from the NHTSA. Doing internet research I find that it may be a defective speedometer dashboard assembly that would need to be sent away for repair/exchange. They require a large deposit in order to go thru the verification process that the odometer reading I report is the same as the unit I send in. Part cost with deposit is close to $600, and they show an online internet video of how to remove the dashboard unit which takes less than 3 minutes. I've read this is a common problem with this vehicle make, model and year. I am the original owner since new, and it has less than 17,000 actual miles on it.

- Plainfield, NH, USA

problem #2

Aug 252014

Express 8-cyl

  • 16,614 miles
Driving on interstate at 65 mph, the ABS warning light came on, and the speedometer started jumping erratically from actual speed to lower speeds 45, 25 + others as low as 8 (eight) mph. This caused the transmission to downshift unpredictably, over-revving the engine speed. It happened repeatedly so I documented the odometer erratic movement on my cell phone as a video, showing road movement + all gauges + audio events like engine over-revving at same time. The video is of high quality and the events taking place are documented with the video. Rural area with few cars on road at the time. If it took place in a city interstate environment (especially in the winter months) it might have caused a multiple car collision with sudden unexpected downshifting that was out of my control. Engine RPM also hunts erratically and out of my control. Predictable in what it does, it begins approximately within a range of 4-8 miles after leaving home daily. When engine turned off and parked at a local store as an example, it will clear it's problem as if a cpu is "re-booted", and repeat the cycle of erratic behavior from that new starting point. When I bought + installed actron brand obd-II code reader which features ability to reveal ABS brake codes, it never shows any other stored codes except a single PO446 which is an emissions related code. This van was originally sent new by the selling nh Chevrolet dealer to the Pennsylvania based quigley conversion facility, so in February 2004 was modified from rwd to a 4WD by exchanging stock model 2500 front end for a 4 wd pickup truck new factory front end with 4wdl, neutral, 2wdh 4wdh floor control lever. The driver's door jam has an 8600 lb gvw certification which is appropriately quigley's. my very low odometer at 16,614 miles is accurate, as I also have other vehicles to use, and work at home.

- Plainfield, NH, USA

problem #1

Sep 012003

Express 8-cyl

  • miles
This vehicle was bought brand new but unbeknownst to me was made in Canada (something which would not have been acceptable to me had I been told). Upon possession the windshield molding came off on the ride home. The driver side tierod end went at 12,000 miles and again at 24,000 miles because upon inspection the ball joints were never properly tightened. The bolts on the transmission were found by the dealer to have been never properly tightened. The sidedoor hinge had to be replaced at a cost of $600 because it froze up and could not be opened. The power steering unit rusted out at 12,000 miles and started leaking fluid and, what I find most important, I am not sure if I have airbags because the airbag light stays on but is noted to go off when the key is partially turned however the key cannot stay in this position and must be turned to start the vehicle. Fuel expectation was never near what I was told it would be and tailpipe consistently showed evidence of being blackened due to insufficient fuel burning. The poor backdoor design makes it difficult to see out the back window and it is clearly evident by almost every van of this type having a dented bumper due to this blindspot in design. I have not begun to list all the things not right with this vehicle but I will chalk them up to downright lying and just inferior parts and craftsmenship. This vehicle has been a nightmare.

- Columbiaville, MI, USA

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