Trucks & SUVs

The Most Common GMC Sierra Problems You Should Know About

The GMC Sierra is the fifth-most popular truck in the United States, with more than 230,000 trucks sold in 2019. General Motors introduced the GMC Sierra and its twin, the Chevrolet Silverado, in 1998. Their four generations have appeared every five to seven years: 1999 to 2007, 2007 to 2014, 2014 to 2019, and 2019 to the present. Here’s a look at some of the most common problems the GMC Sierra has had over the years.

RepairPal info

RepairPal.com is one website where owners can submit their complaints and be connected to repair shops. The site has collected 112 different problems about the GMC Sierra. The model years with the most problems reported were 2004 and 2007, with more than 60 complaints each year, followed by 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2010, with more than 40 each year. Of the 112 problems, five different complaints have been reported 90 or more times.

The GMC Sierra’s biggest issues

The biggest issue, reported by 442 people, is that the four-wheel-drive transfer case position sensor or the selector switch may fail. If that happens, the service 4WD message would display. The transfer case control module does store fault codes, which help to figure out exactly what problem caused the message to display. The problem affects trucks from 1999 through 2013 plus 2015 and 2016. The issue appears on average around 147,713 miles. The diagnosis of the problem runs between $88 and $111.

Another 258 people reported the second-biggest issue where heating and air conditioning temperature and air delivery mode door actuators may fail. If one or more delivery mode door actuators fail, the HVAC system may not produce correct temperatures or air delivery. The HVAC system stores fault codes, which help with diagnosis. The issue appears in model years from 1999 through 2015 and appears at around 126,312 miles on average. Diagnosis costs between $88 and $111.

Reported by 160 people, the third-biggest problem is the failure of the fuel level sensor. When this happens, the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank doesn’t properly read the fuel level. Repairing it involves replacing either the sensor or the entire fuel pump module. The issue was most common in model years 1999 through 2014. It appeared on average at around 127,575 miles. Replacing the fuel pump can cost $687 to $926.

Other inconvenient GMC Sierra problems

The 2016 GMC Sierra is on display during the Washington Auto Show at the Washington Convention Center in Washington DC
The GMC Sierra | Kris Connor/Getty Images

In addition, 99 people reported that a clunking sound may come from the upper intermediate steering shaft. Most affected are model years 1999 to 2009, 2012 to 2015, and 2017. The problem develops on average around 81,128 miles, and estimates for diagnosis range between $88 and $111.

90 owners also reported that the speedometer or other gauges in the instrument panel might start to work erratically. To fix this, the instrument cluster has to be sent out to a repair facility. The warranty has been extended to seven years or 70,000 miles to cover issues with some of these units. The issue popped up more in earlier model years, including 1999 to 2005, but it has also been seen in 2007, 2011, 2012, and 2016. The problem appears at around 107,958 miles on average, and estimates for the diagnosis range between $88 and $111.

While the GMC Sierra’s most common problems are annoying, they are not terribly serious. Additionally, they don’t seem to be affecting more recent model years. RepairPal has not had any issues submitted for the Sierra since the 2017 model year.