really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,715 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.

2004 GMC Sierra 1500 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner Comments

problem #16

Jul 042014

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 231,000 miles


I have been having trouble starting my 2004 GMC, sometime when I turned the key it would do nothing, I had it towed in and spent over $500 to repair it, alternator, battery etc, and it did not fix the problem. When I got it back, and it did it again, I found that if I moved the steering wheel up and down with the lever, it would then start. Yesterday I went out to start my truck in my driveway, and the key will not turn in the ignition. It feels like the ignition came apart or something inside. The steering wheel is not locked. It is ridiculous that I will have to pay to have this vehicle towed in again and pay to repair the ignition, when GM has been having huge problems with ignitions! I have had other problems with this vehicle to include a fire under the dash. My insurance covered it because a fuse melted and did not do it's job, however now my speedometer does not work, and they want me to pay for a new wiring harness which I will not do. I use my gps to track my speed! the rear transfer case went on it, and I spent $1,800 to have a new one installed. There have been other small things, but those are the major problems I have had over the years. I am like every other average person. I had no idea how to get GM to fix them, so I just paid myself! when I was researching how to replace the ignition, I came across your site. I have no idea what I can do about this or how to go about it. I need my truck as soon as possible, so I will probably get stuck paying again! thank you

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #15

Apr 012006

Sierra 1500

  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the vehicle exhibited an abnormal rattling from the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the upper steering column would need to be replaced. The contact stated that the dealer lubricated the steering column but the part was not replaced and the failure persisted. The manufacturer was contacted and stated that the part had been replaced and they could not offer any further assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 26,000.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #14

Jun 202007

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Knocking in the steering shaft assembly began at 20,000 miles. Steering shaft has to be greased by service center every 10K miles to prevent knocking. Speedometer, odometer, and engine temperature gauges stopped working. Speedometer used to register max mph when doing 70mph then stopped working at all.

- Fort Gibson, OK, USA

problem #13

Jun 282010

Sierra 1500

  • 78,000 miles


My husband was driving our 2004 GMC Sierra pickup on highway 101 in the central coast of California. While driving at 65 mph a bolt fell out of the steering column leaving him with absolutely no steering. He crashed into a guardrail which stopped the vehicle. The steering wheel spins around like a roulette wheel and clearly is not attached to any part of the steering column. The responding tow truck driver claimed he has never seen a steering wheel like this - not even on a vehicle that has been wrecked.

- Templeton, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 112005

Sierra 1500

  • 13,620 miles
7-11-2005 replaced intermediate shaft at 13620 miles, 9-26-2007 52271 replaced intermediate shaft, 59639 replaced right inner tie rod and rack-rack gear leaking, 59993 replaced lower bearing steering column, 71159 replaced rack-rack seal rupture, 82910 replaced intermediate shaft-steering shaft-and lower bearing column. There's either something wrong with there parts or they way they build there vehicles. I've owned several GM vehicles and this is the first time I've have multiple problems.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 172006

Sierra 1500

  • 40,000 miles
My 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 makes a load clunking noise when the steering wheel is turned, I had this vehicle in for repair while it was under warranty and it kept returning.

- Madison Heights, MI, USA

problem #10

Apr 152007

Sierra 1500

  • 63 miles


Steering column clunking, speedometer not working, transmission stopped working.everything started going wrong about. 63,000 K. I have 116,000 know. 2004 Z71 crewcab.

- Cambridge, 00, USA

problem #9

Mar 232009

Sierra 1500

  • 67,500 miles
I own a 2004 GMC Sierra sle extended cab shortbox Z-71 pickup which I bought new in June, 2004. I have experienced a "rattle" in the steering in the last year which kept getting worse. Master auto in grand forks replace the steering shaft to correct the problem at a cost to me of $166.11. Since this steering shaft could bind/freeze up, I believe this part should have been "recalled" by GM and replaced free of charge as a factory defect and safety hazard.

- Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #8

May 102008

Sierra 1500

  • 45,233 miles
Noticed I started to get a vibration in the steering wheel, took it to the dealer and they installed an tbs lube kit in the steering shaft. About a year later the vibration is back and worse than before, called the dealer and they told me it would cost me $300 plus labor. This is a known problem with certain year GM trucks, and every day it seems to get worse. I feel my safety might be compromised, if I continue to drive it.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #7

May 282006

Sierra 1500

  • 30,000 miles
My 2004 GMC pickup truck has a knocking noise and clunk in the steering column. It started around 30K miles and has gotten steadily worse over the course of ownership. I did some searching on the internet and it seems GM has know about this problem on numerous models over the course of about 6 years. 00-02-35-003M Jan 07 models: 2002-2006 Cadillac escalade models 1999-2007 Chevrolet Silverado models (classic) 2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe models 2002-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche 1999-2007 GMC Sierra models (classic) 2000-2006 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL models 2003-2006 Hummer H2 condition some customers may comment on a clunk-type noise coming from under the hood that also can be felt in the steering wheel. These conditions may be more noticeable when turning at low speeds on rough road surfaces. Diagnostic tips intermediate shaft clunk -- intermediate shaft clunk is heard and felt in the steering wheel and/or steering column area, typically while driving on rough road surfaces with steering wheel input. Important: I-shaft P/N 19155614 has been designed to replace previous designed dampened and non-dampened I-shafts. The physical difference in the yoke size will accommodate all vehicles listed in this bulletin. Replace the steering column upper intermediate shaft with an improved design shaft that will eliminate the clunk noise using the procedure listed below. GM knows about the problem and it should be a recall item. GM used the same parts on my truck that were being replaced under warranty when my truck sold. They should have upgraded the parts on the new truck because they knew they were failing. GM knew the joints were failing and kept using a failing part for 4 years on new trucks and expect the owners to pay for bad parts.

- Swansea, IL, USA

problem #6

Feb 102008

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 30 miles


Own a 2004 GMC Sierra bought brand new had numerous problems steering gear box went out completely dealer R/R part as a recall / steering problem knocking in wheel took to dealer four times installed grease pack in intermediate shaft last a couple of months problem recurs dealer states recall on shaft but wont R/R part hav problem with D/S door speaker blown twice dealer R/R part N/C D/S seatbelt squeaks R/R part dealer N/C now I have a another serious problem with the engine goes into rest mode while driving at 50 mph U drive up a hill and will only go two to five mph this is very dangerous so I have to find a place to pull over and turn vehicle off ECM resets and then is ok till next morning same thing dealer is still under investigation on problem I currently have 53,000 miles on it transmission is making clunking noise also while shifting from park into gears ? R/S half shaft seal blown out on me four wheel drive/ I am glad I bought ext warr for this and also the water pump went out on me 3,000 miles ago 50,000 for a water pump warr covered this and the half shft seal steering shaft and gear box has been a recall for this year. Also the instrument panel gauges have been a recall I have personally received letter for the instrument panel speed and fuel gauge inoperative correctly GM has a recall on these three items R/R by dealer on a recall so please read and contact your dealer with these common problems that have been recalled steering box intermediate shaft and speed fuel gauge cluster.

- Westminster , CO, USA

problem #5

Nov 212007

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
2004 Sierra 1500 with 31,000 miles it developed a knock noise evertime I drove over a mild bump. Took it to the dealer and was told it was the steering shaft. They replaced it at no charge and took about and hour. Very good customer service with this dealer.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 072007

(reported on)

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
2004 GMC Sierra with worn steering shaft. Consumer states that it should be taken care of by GMC because the vehicle is only 3 years old and only has 50,000 miles on it.

- Ogdensburg, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 012005

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500. While making a left or right turn at 15 mph, the contact heard a noise coming from the steering shaft. The dealer lubricated the steering shaft and the noise ceased. However, the noise has currently returned. The dealer stated that this was a maintenance issue that would have to be corrected on a regular basis. The failure mileage was 18,000 and current mileage was 46,000. Updated 12/12/2007 the consumer also stated the transmission shuttered. Updated 12/12/07.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #2

May 152007

Sierra 1500

  • miles
Whine and clunking sounds in the drivers side when steering, particularly in a left turn. One mechanic said it was grease problem. No word from GMC.

- Winner, SD, USA

problem #1

Mar 092005

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Power steering faded at high speed. This was caused by the steering rotation sensor. Consumer had to put pressure on the steering wheel. When the power steering kicked back in vehicle veered off the highway from too much pressure on the steering wheel. A normal steering rotation senor will fade out power steering at high speeds so you have better feel of the road. As speed decreases the steering should once again become easy when speed decreases. Problem is intermittent, the steering would be hard at low speeds and while you are applying a lot of pressure to make a turn the power steering would suddenly come back on causing the consumer to pull the truck off the road or over the yellow line. Consumer talked to several people who have the same problem with this model truck.

- North Wilkesboro, NC, USA

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