Pickup trucks are some of the most popular vehicles on the planet today. All major manufacturers, including Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and even Ram have a foothold in the truck market. Chevrolet also has several contenders in the pickup truck space, but the Silverado is arguably their most popular model. However, as with all vehicles, there are some Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid as well.
Although the Silverado is regarded as a reliable vehicle, there is a fair share of model years plagued with various issues. As a potential buyer, it is important to have good knowledge about these unreliable models. This will help you to avoid these unreliable years, saving both time and money.
In the same way, there are some model years of the Silverado that are highly reliable as well. In this article, we will take you on a tour of all these models, which will surely help you to make the best purchase decisions.
Before taking a look at the Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid, let’s have a look at the history of this popular pickup truck. The genesis of the Silverado nameplate can be traced all the way back to 1975.
That year, Chevy introduced the Silverado name for the first time as a trim level option that ranked below the existing Scottsdale, Custom Deluxe, and Cheyenne models that were existing at the time.
The Silverado 1500 properly debuted in 1999. So far, there have been four generations of this iconic pickup truck. Now, let’s take a look at each of these generations.
1. First Generation Silverado (1999-2006)
The first generation Chevrolet Silverado 1500 made its public debut in 1999. It replaced the long-running C/K line as Chevy’s flagship pickup truck offering. Larger Silverado 2500 and 3500 models which were aimed at more utilitarian and commercial use cases entered the market for the 2000 model year.
When compared with the outgoing C/K trucks, the first generation Silverado was an improvement in every aspect. It was built on top of a new platform, dubbed the GMT800. The body was strengthened further with this hydroformed frame, which allowed the truck to tow more and carry a higher payload.
The modernized interior of this truck came with several creature comforts as well. These included the likes of additional legroom, bucket seats, a center console as well as a driver information center on the dashboard. Powering the different Silverado 1500 was a series of powerful engines.
Named “Vortec”, these engines came in several configurations. However, the most powerful out of them was a 5.7-liter V8 engine that made 270 horsepower along with 320 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the first generation Silverado was a resounding success for Chevrolet.
2003 Facelift And Special Editions
The Silverado received its first facelift 4 years after making its debut. The front of the vehicle received the most attention, including the headlights and the grille. These changes gave the Silverado a distinguished appearance.
During this generation, Chevrolet introduced some special versions of the Silverado as well. The Silverado Hybrid was for those who were looking for a fuel-efficient way to haul goods around.
In contrast, the Silverado SS was a high-performance version with a powerful engine under the hood. This model was even capable of keeping up with some muscle cars of that era.
2. Second Generation Silverado (2007 – 2013)
The second-generation Silverado hit the market in 2007. Thanks in part to its newer GMT900 platform, this truck was stronger, bigger, and more aerodynamic than the generation which came before it. In fact, this platform was shared with the GMC Sierra as well.
The sales of the previous generation Silverado continued alongside this new generation. However, its name was changed to the “Silverado Classic”.
By this time, the use of pickup trucks as family vehicles had started to gain popularity. As a result, this generation was more family-focused than the ones that came before.
Several body styles were offered with this generation to cater to a variety of use cases. These included a two-door regular cab, a four-door crew cab as well as an extended four-door cab with rear-hinged doors. On a different note, the high-performance SS version was discontinued.
There were a number of engine choices for second-generation Silverado buyers as well. The most efficient version was the hybrid model, which paired an electric motor with a V8 engine for a combined 332 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the 6.0-liter Vortec Max was the most powerful engine on offer. Its 367 horsepower was enough to place most gearheads.
Along with the exterior, the interior of the Silverado got updated as well. There were two different designs, one for the luxurious models and another for the lower trim levels. The cheaper option was more focused on rugged and work-related uses. The heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models were redesigned in 2008, where they received the same set of features that the Silverado 1500 got the year prior.
3. Third Generation Silverado (2014 – 2018)
Comfort, safety, and convenience were the three main factors that were in focus during the construction of the third-generation Silverado. This was mainly due to the growing popularity of using the Silverado as a family vehicle.
For this generation, the Silverado received some unique visual upgrades. The headlights, front grille as well as optional LED taillights gave this Silverado a look that differentiated it from the competition. Additionally, Chevrolet offered a commemorative special edition Silverado in 2018 in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of their pickup trucks.
The third-generation Silverado was the most fuel-efficient pickup truck with a V8 engine in its segment. The main factor behind this was the improved engines and transmissions. However, increased competition from the likes of Ford and Ram made this the shortest-lived Silverado generation ever.
4. Fourth Generation Silverado (2019 – Now)
Although the new fourth-generation Silverado was bigger in dimension, it was almost 400 pounds lighter than the model it replaced. Although the interior remained somewhat similar to the outgoing model, there were some improvements in the form of functional air curtains, improved aerodynamics as well as a new front bumper.
However, there were some controversies around the fourth-generation Silverado. The main talking point behind this model was the use of a four-cylinder engine in a Silverado for the first time in history. Coming in at just 2.7 liters, this small but capable engine made 310 horsepower along with 348 lb-ft of torque.
Not only that, it is the most efficient engine offered with the Silverado as well. The EPA estimates the four-cylinder Silverado to get 20 MPG in the city, and 23 MPG on the highway for a combined rating of 20 MPG.
All these generations of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 have their own set of pros and cons. However, there are some Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid among all these generations. On a positive note, the number of reliable Silverado models years vastly outweighs the unreliable ones. Let’s take a look at some Silverado model years with the best reliability records.
Best Years Chevy Silverado
Generally, the Chevy Silverado is considered by many to be a reliable vehicle. However, there are some models that stand heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to features and reliability. The best years of the Chevy Silverado are,
Best Silverado Years #1 – 2006
2006 was the last model year of the first generation Chevrolet Silverado. However, this year’s Silverado came packed full of features like air conditioning, FM/AM radio, a CD player, cruise control, and power windows. The 2006 Silverado offers a mix of comfort and capability, making it suitable for city streets and off-road trials alike.
Best Silverado Years #2 – 2009
Safety was another factor that was paid great attention to with the 2009 Silverado. This pickup was packed full of safety features, which gave it a five-star rating in both head-on and side-impact tests. The addition of anti-lock brakes (ABS) added to the vehicle’s safety. Additionally, disk brakes on all wheels could be had with a separate safety package for extra peace of mind.
Best Silverado Years #3 – 2010
Tweaks to the engine made the fuel consumption of the 2010 Silverado much better than its predecessors. There were four engine choices, and this pickup truck received 5-star ratings in government crash tests as well. Precise steering and adequate interior space are other factors that made the 2010 model one of the best Silverado years to ever come out.
Best Silverado Years #4 – 2011
In 2011, Chevrolet outfitted the Silverado with their latest OnStar 9.0 system. This allowed the vehicle to have speech recognition as well as improved audio quality. Under the hood, there were four engines to choose from. The most powerful out of them had an impressive 403 horsepower.
A new six-speed automatic transmission replaced the outdated four-speed one that was offered by the previous generation. Additionally, safety features such as front and side airbags helped to improve the overall safety of the vehicle.
Inside, the seats were made spacious and comfortable, aimed at giving the best driving experience possible. Five people could comfortably travel in the 2011 Silverado, which is a testament to its practicality. Overall, 2011 can be taken as one of the best years of the Silverado, because of its efficiency, safety, and practicality.
Best Silverado Years #5 – 2018
Chevrolet offered six different trim levels of the Silverado for the 2018 model year. This varied from bare-bones trucks suited for construction work all the way to luxurious urban cruisers. This variety of models made sure that there was a Silverado for every American.
In the same way, the acceleration of the 2018 Silverado was another area that made it one of the best model years ever. A 0 to 60 time of 6.4 seconds made this truck plenty fast for most drivers. Modern technological features like a 7-inch touchscreen and rearview cameras became standard features, modernizing the experience of owning a pickup truck.
Best Silverado Years #6 – 2020
A new turbo diesel 3-liter engine found its way under the hood of the 2020 Silverado, which made the acceleration smoother while simultaneously decreasing the vehicle’s fuel consumption.
An improved cruise control system as well as an automatic emergency braking system improved the safety of the 2020 Silverado more than its predecessors.
Best Silverado Years #7 – 2022
Unsurprisingly, the best Silverado so far is the newest 2022 model. It is the latest addition to the Silverado family and comes with an updated interior that brings it into the modern era. The interior was one of the most criticized areas of the Silverado for more than a decade, but the 2022 model silenced those critics.
Another innovation that was introduced with the 2022 Silverado was the new Super Cruise technology. This is a semi-automated driving system and comes as standard on most Silverado models. All these improved features make the 2022 Silverado one of the most compelling vehicles on the current pickup truck market.
Now, you know all about the best years of the Chevrolet Silverado ever produced. With that, let us move over to the other end of the spectrum. Here, we will tell you about the Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid.
Chevy Silverado Years To Avoid
Throughout history, there have been some model years of the Silverado that were plagued with various issues. Some of the worst years for the Chevy Silverado include,
Let’s take a closer look at each of these models and find out what makes them the years to avoid.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #1 – 2005
The main complaint from many users about the 2005 Silverado is the paint used on the moldings. Over time, the paint on the moldings is prone to fade, ruining the appearance of the vehicle. Additionally, cracking and peeling of the paint were recorded as well.
The AC compressor is another part known to fail in 2005 Silverado models. When this happens, the AC will end up blowing out hot air, instead of a cool breeze.
Fixing the AC compressor on a 2005 Silverado is an expensive job. Sometimes, the whole climate control system has to be changed to permanently fix this issue.
Uneven tire wear, squeaking brakes as well as a sub-par interior were some other complaints that customers had regarding the 2005 Silverado.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #2 – 2007
In 2007, the Chevrolet Silverado was fitted with a fuel sensor that was prone to failure with time. The main issue with this sensor is that it gives off faulty readings. This can easily make you run out of fuel, leaving you stranded on the side of the road.
Excessive oil consumption is another reason that makes 2007 one of the Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid. The engine would consume heaps of oil at lower milages, resulting in the need for frequent oil changes. Not only that, a bugged throttle position sensor would cause drivers many issues like stalling and jumping RPMs.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #3 – 2008
The reliability of the model that followed the troubled 2007 year was not much better either, as broken and buggy sensors made owning a 2008 Silverado a truly miserable experience. On top of the throttle position and fuel flow sensors, the 4WD sensor was prone to failure as well.
As the 4WD sensor is a part of the vehicle’s drivetrain, its failure made the power delivery difficult. All these faulty sensors had an adverse effect on the batteries too. Batteries on the 2008 Silverado would usually only last for around 30,000 miles. After that, the batteries had to be replaced.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #4 – 2012
2012 was one of the last model years of the Silverado’s second generation. The 2012 Silverado is mostly remembered for the Takata airbag recall, which affected the airbags of the vehicle. This was a serious issue, as it was found that airbags from multiple companies would explode upon deployment, launching metal fragments all over the cabin in the process.
The exterior of the truck was prone to rusting, while many customers also pointed out the cracks along the dashboard in the interior. However, the issues with the 2012 Silverado did not stop there. This model year was also affected by the excessive oil consumption issue that was found with earlier Silverado models.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #5 – 2014
2014 is regarded by many to be the worst model year of the Chevrolet Silverado. Although this was supposed to be the start of a new generation, a myriad of issues made this one of the worst launches in the American automaker’s history.
Issues with the 2014 Silverado was not limited to one system. The steering, transmission, climate control, and electrical systems all had their own issues. Due to a flawed steering mechanism, the vehicle could get uncontrollable at low speeds. As you might have guessed, this is a massive safety hazard.
Odors coming from the air conditioning system as well as the system stopping randomly were common issues. The paint is another area of the 2014 Silverado that received complaints from customers. Overall, all these problems add up to make 2014 one of the Chevy Silverado years to avoid at all costs.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #6 – 2015
Chevy’s attempts at making the 2015 model year more reliable than its predecessor were futile, as the 2015 Silverado was equally unreliable as the previous year. The AC and transmission issues remained, while brake failure became another frequent problem.
This got so severe that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had to be involved to sort out the issue.
Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid #7 – 2017
In 2017, the Silverado was fitted with a transmission design that gave owners constant headaches. The gear shifts were hard, and the transmission would jerk and surge without any reason. Furthermore, these issues would creep up at low milages, often around the 3000-mile mark.
Chevy Silverado Reliability
When talking about Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid, it is important to take a look at the most common reliability problems associated with this pickup truck as well.
1. Faulty Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor
The fuel tank pressure sensor is responsible for measuring the pressure inside the vehicle’s fuel tank. The data from this sensor is used to monitor the fuel level of the vehicle. This sensor is prone to failure on some Silverado models, giving out faulty readings to the owners in the process.
2. Knocking Sounds
No one wants to hear knocking sounds coming from the engine. But, this was the reality for some Silverado owners. Engine knocking due to piston or rod bearing failure is another common reliability issue with this pickup truck.
Although this is an expensive issue to fix, it is important to take your vehicle to a mechanic before the problem develops further. Generally, knocking sounds from the engine appear once the vehicle exceeds 97,000 miles.
3. Transfer Case Issues
Being a four-wheel drive vehicle, the Silverado uses a transfer case to transmit power to all four wheels. This component is connected to the transmission using a splined input shaft. The transfer case is another component that is known to fail on some Silverado models. A faulty transfer case can cause a host of issues, like stalling and loss of power.
Conclusion For Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid
The Chevy Silverado is a pickup truck that is beloved by millions of owners. Most model years of this truck are well built and will serve you reliably for years to come.
However, there are some Chevy Silverado 1500 years to avoid as well. 2005, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 are some of the model years that come under this category. We highly recommend skipping these model years, as they are affected by a number of issues like knocking sounds, air conditioning problems, transfer case malfunction, and burning engine oil.
FAQs On Chevy Silverado 1500 Years To Avoid
What Does RST Stand For Chevy
RST stands for Rally Sport Truck, which is a high-performance trim level offered with the Silverado. The 2021 Silverado RST comes equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that is capable of producing 420 horsepower.
What Does OBS Chevy Mean
OBS refers to the Chevrolet C/K line of trucks that were in production between 1988 and 1998. The letters OBS are an acronym for the word Old Body Style.
Where Are Chevy Trucks Made
Several plants across the United States produce Chevrolet Silverado trucks. They are located in a number of states, including Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The Silao, Mexico plant also produces Chevy trucks.
What Is The Best Year 4.3 Chevy Engine
The 4.3-liter engine is a beloved engine in the Chevrolet community. Most gearheads agree that the best years of this engine were after 1996.
Did GM Stop Making The 5.3
The naturally aspirated 5.3 liter V8 engine is no longer offered with the Chevy Silverado 1500. This change happened with the 2022 model year.