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The Chevrolet Colorado is an excellent midsize pickup truck. Back in 2004, this nameplate replaced the S10. The Colorado went toe-to-toe with the Toyota Tacoma thanks to a huge range of available configurations, powertrains, and options. But no vehicle is without its issues. Luckily for Colorado fans, the mechanics at 1A auto have compiled a list of the most common problems the first generation (2004-2012) of these trucks face.

  • Running out of fuel early due to a malfunctioning gas tank level sensor
  • Windshield washer pump failure keeping cleaner fluid from spraying
  • A broken timing chain preventing the truck from starting

Running out of fuel because of a sensor failure

An orange 2009 Chevrolet Colorado (first-generation) driving towards the camera fro a promo photo, trees visible in the background.
2009 Chevrolet Colorado | General Motors

The most common first-generation Chevrolet Colorado problem can be downright frustrating but not extremely dangerous. The fuel level sensor inside the fuel tank is prone to wearing out earlier than it should. What does this mean for you? Your truck may run out of fuel and stall while your gauge still says the tank is 1/8 or 1/4 full.

After you call AAA to bring you enough gas to get to the next station, you’ll want to have your fuel level gauge replaced. The bad news is that you can’t replace this gauge on a Chevrolet Colorado without emptying and removing the entire gas tank. So it’s a job that’s probably best left to a professional.

Windshield washer pump failure

The gray cloth and plastic interior of a first-generation Chevrolet Colorado.
2009 Chevrolet Colorado | General Motors

This Chevrolet Colorado second problem is both less of a hazard and easier to solve. The Washer fluid pump that sprays fluid on first-generation Colorados’ windshields is also prone to wearing out before it should. And you know, as pickup truck problems go we’ll take it.

Obviously, the first thing you’ll want to check out is your washer fluid reservoir. Then take a look at the rubber lines running to the pump and the nozzle. If everything’s good, you might have to swap that pump. It’s attached to the back of the washer fluid reservoir and thus easy to swap by yourself.

No-start due to a broken timing chain

This 2009 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 pickup truck had some common problems with its windshield fluid pumps, fuel tank, and engines.
2009 Chevrolet Colorado | General Motors

This final issue is actually the least common of the Chevrolet Colorado problems listed. But because it is the most severe problem, 1A Auto listed it among the GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado’s top concerns.

The timing chain connects the bottom of the engine (crankshaft) to the top of the engine (valves). It is responsible for the valves opening and closing at the right moment in the combustion cycle. If your Colorado’s timing chain snaps while you’re driving, it can actually cause the piston to hit a valve and do extensive damage. But your engine will likely just misfire, stall, and refuse to start again. One way to help your timing chain last a long time is to keep up with your oil changes.

Want to know more? You can read about three more issues with the Colorado or watch 1A Auto’s guide to all of the 2004-2012 Chevrolet Colorado problems yourself in the video below: