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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,641 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.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 152016

Silverado 3500

  • 29,000 miles


2012 Silverado 3500hd with dealer installed dejana rugby dump body the dump body hoist makes contact with the electronic trailer brake/body control module eventually cracking open or damaging the top of the module and allowing moisture/water inside damaging the module. This causes a no start condition and or erratic gauges, door locks, ABS & brake lights to come on, drivability issues truck can go into a limp mode with no shifting etc. Test equipment shows no communication to ECM errors and drivetrain- problem will occur while driving. When the trailer brake control module is unplugged all symptoms will go away and truck will function normal. This problem started with a service trailer brake warning from the vehicle information center in the dash.

- Madison, CT, USA

problem #7

Aug 042012

Silverado 3500

  • 135 miles
I bought my 2012 Texas edition Silverado August 4, 2012 the transmission started responding abnormal immediately after leaving the dealership it had 135 miles on it before I bought it I have 32K miles now and nothing has change all the same issues but they seem to be getting worst. My transmission has a hard time shifting no matter what, up, down, turn, forward all normal driving maneuvers. When it does try and shift the engine clatters which is extremely ridiculous I've had several Silverado's and the last one that clatter this way was a 1978 with probably over 300,000(expected). My transmission does as stated by others the coming to a stop sign and applying the brakes the truck will launch forward unexpectedly and shift extremely hard this is the first new vehicle I've ever bought the last 4 were all Silverado from 78-94 and they didn't do this. This truck also wears the outer edge of my tres no matter how many alignments and balance and rotating I get done. You may say your tire your fault but I've looked at over 40 2012 Silverado's in parking lots and saw the exact same wear pattern the owners are probably not the type to check or care. The biggest concern is the $30,000 I paid for this thing and expected it to run for the next 20 years but I'm at less than 2 years and it feels like the transmission and engine are going to jump out and fly through an intersection leaving me at a green light. If I were to let any Chevy "big shot" drive this for 1 week as their daily driver (it's my daily) they would probably stop driving it on day 1 and ask me how I've done it for almost 2 years. My reply would be I don't have the money to get another one and you "big shot" need to get this fixed. Active duty military (no money) over worked under paid. Took my savings bought a truck that I waited 23 years to buy and then the thing is in worst shape than the 1994 extendedcab I had.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 142013

Silverado 3500 8-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
Efm issue: Life-time Chevy Silverado owner, currently own 2003 & 2012 1500 Silverado 1/2 tons. Ever since GM started using efm chips, for some unknown reason the engine will lose several quarts of oil for no reason. Without warning the check engine light comes on. Pull-over & check the oil level. On every occasion, (several incidents now), much to my surprise the oil level barely registers on the dip stick. Where did 3-4 quarts of oil go" yesterday the oil level was full, today the oil level is almost non-existent - without a drop of oil leaking anywhere" I now have to carry 3-4 quarts of oil with me everywhere I go just in case the check engine light comes on. GM should do the right thing and issue a recall. Warning: If you drive a Chevy you better keep 4 quarts of oil with you at all times in the event this happens to you. Not immediately pulling-over & filling the oil level back to proper level may destroy your engine. Fix this efm issue > loss of oil, as it has been going on for years and still persists after 2 complete model changeovers. This major malfunction is the result of the efm system dumping the oil into the exhaust & the catalytic converter burning it away. That is the only plausible explanation for losing so much oil without warning and without a drop of oil being found anywhere outside the engine or underneath the engine compartment or chassis.

- Dryden, MI, USA

problem #5

Apr 112013

Silverado 3500

  • 37,500 miles


Driving slow on wet gravel road and a large cloud orf white smoke and flames erupted from drivers side of hood. Stopped and grabbed the fire extinguisher from behind drivers seat and attempted to open hood with hood release but hood would not open. Attempted to put out fire thru drivers side front wheel well but was unsuccessful. Called 911. Entire cab and engine compartment was consumed by the time 911 arrived.

- Hastings, NE, USA

problem #4

Jan 112013

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,496 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light, the vehicle idled irregularly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that piston number 7 would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified but they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 7,496 and the current mileage was 10,000. Updated 03/28/13 on 01/11/13, the consumer took the vehicle to a closer a dealership and they ran a diagnostic test and found code P0300 misfire #7 cylinder (0322-6579). They installed a new plug in # 7 cylinder and installed a new valve cover and performed an oil consumption test. The truck stared running rough again, so the consumer returned to the dealer on 01/23/13. They removed and replaced a piston, and replaced the valve stem seals. The consumer returned to the dealer again on 01/30/13

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Jan 032013

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado. The contact stated that while driving 2 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and another vehicle crashed into the passenger's side of the contact's vehicle. The vehicle was destroyed and the contact sustained whiplash. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The cause of the engine failure was undetermined. The failure mileage was 12,000. Updated 05/21/2013

- Niagra Falls , NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 172012

Silverado 3500

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. The contact stated that when the heater was activated, the exhaust fumes would enter the cabin of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they advised that the down tube failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the odor was still present in the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #1

Apr 222012

Silverado 3500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I have had a recurring problem with my new 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 lt (5.3 liter engine) going into "reduced engine power mode" which also results in the disabling of stability control and traction control. This is a dangerous condition in that it results in a loss of power while operating the vehicle upon the roadway. An authorized repair facility has replaced the number one and two throttle sensors, the accelerator pedal assembly, the throttle body, the alternator, the computer, and a large ground wire behind the dash. A GM engineer was flown in and now the repair center is replacing the engine wiring harness. The vehicle (which was purchased less than three months ago) has been out of service for approximately 30 days. In researching this matter I have found that Chevy has had an ongoing problem with this in various vehicles in its product line since 2003. Although several service bulletins have been produced there does not seem to be a consensus regarding the cause of this problem. All of the parts associated with trouble codes C0242, P2127, and P2138 have been replaced without result. This condition could result in the affected vehicles being rearended, or, because of the loss of stability and traction control, result in a roll over. This needs to be addressed immediately.

- Neosho, MO, USA

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