GM Drops 3.0-Liter Duramax Diesel

A letter sent to GMC dealer operators and sales managers says GM has stopped selling the LMs 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine. An August 27 letter says the “availability of the LM2 diesel engine has changed to zero.” The reason given is due to a supplier shortage. 

What vehicles have the 3.0-liter Duramax diesel

A dark blue 2021 Chevrolet Silverado drives through the desert.
2021 Chevy Silverado | Chevrolet

Dealers are encouraged to offer the gas-powered 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V8s. GM’s 3.0-liter diesel can be found in Chevy Silverados, Tahoes, and Suburbans; as well as the GMC Yukon and Sierra, and Cadillac Escalade. 

No more details were in the letter, which was first discovered by The Fast Lane. Because nothing has officially been released by GM there is a possibility this may not be completely legit. So for now we’ll call it a rumor.

There is also no information on how long this will last. If you look on the GMC, Chevy, or Cadillac websites, the Duramax diesel engine is still listed. But if you’re ordering this option you should still get some verification from the dealer through their channels.

Ford has also dropped its 3.0-liter diesel as well

A red 2021 Ford F-150 driving, the latest Ford F-150 recall includes the truck's seatbelts
2021 Ford F-150 | Ford

Interestingly, Ford is also dropping its 3.0-liter PowerStroke V6 diesel engine. As with the GM decision, there is no elaboration for why Ford is cutting it from its engine options list. The PowerStroke V6 was first available in 2018. If you go to the F150 website it is still listed as being available. 

The 3.0-liter Duramax is being made at the GM Flint Engine Plant in Flint, Michigan. It was originally developed by Opel back when it was part of GM in 2018. Some refer to it as the “baby Duramax.” Opel makes its 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines from this same basic architecture. 

The Duramax is a straight-six configuration rated at 277 hp. It makes 460 lb-ft of torque. Forged steel cranks and rods are featured in the mostly aluminum engine. 

Are there problems with the baby Duramax?

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe driving down the road
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Chevrolet

If there is a downside to the baby Duramax, it is the oil pump belt. First, it is a belt, not a chain. Secondly, it is sitting in an oil bath. Third, it must be changed at 150,000 miles. And the worse part is that to do that changeout, you have to drop the transmission.

That’s because the belt is located at the back of the engine block. So, if the transmission needs to be replaced before 150,000 have the belt replaced too. The cost of the belt and limited service time means you save since the trans needs to be fixed for whatever reason. 

In some ways, it is similar for engines that have timing belts in front. If you need a timing belt changed, the water pump is right there, so replace it. And if your water pump goes bad replace the timing belt too. 

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