Trucks & SUVs

Which GMC Sierra Has the Most Problems: 1500, 2500, or 3500?

General Motors’ Sierra 1500 comes in many trims as well as five different engine options to accommodate every driver. If you need the best towing performance, the heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 models can get the job done.

Like most trucks, the GMC Sierra has had its fair share of problems. Some drivers may want to avoid the car with the most complaints to save money on repair costs. Let’s look at each version of the popular pickup truck and see which one has the most problems.

GMC Sierra 3500’s problems

According to CarComplaints, the Sierra 3500 has had the least number of problems out of the three trucks. Out of each model year, the 2015 model year is considered the worst thanks to six reported issues. 

The most common problem in 2015 models was poor visibility. Some drivers reported that their truck’s headlights were very dim, and a few even felt unsafe driving at night. Turning on the foglights did nothing to improve the issue. No recalls were issued by the company regarding the headlights.

The 2004 models also had a few complaints from buyers. Because of the brake line’s vulnerable placement at the top of the car’s frame, some experienced rusted brake lines. This is an issue that should be repaired immediately and often costs around $1,000.

Another issue reported was a faulty driveshaft bearing. A few drivers found that the rubber around the bearing rotted out quickly, possibly due to it being an OEM part from overseas. It costs $3,000 to fix, but thankfully few people experienced this problem.

GMC Sierra 2500’s problems

The 2500 Sierra had more complaints than the 3500, but relatively less compared to its more popular rivals. The 2015 models had the most problems, but these were mostly exterior issues that didn’t affect performance. Like the 3500, the 2500 also suffers from terrible lighting.

Some drivers felt they couldn’t get good visibility with the standard lights, particularly with the projector headlights. The bulbs were still weak even after being switched out multiple times. At least one crash was reported as a direct result of the bad headlights, but no recalls were issued.

For the GMC Sierra 2500, 2011 was also a bad year. Some drivers reported that their truck’s diesel exhaust system was defective, causing it to use more fluid than needed. In most cases, the tank had to be replaced entirely, costing $2,500.

There were also multiple issues reported regarding the 2500’s A/C system in 2011. These included faulty condensers, pump lines, and compressors. Some drivers had to replace the entire unit, which usually costs more than $1,000. In many cases, the A/C system had problems more than once during a period of ownership.

GMC Sierra 1500’s problems

The Sierra 1500 has had the most complaints by far out of the three trucks as well as GM’s entire lineup of vehicles. Over 1,000 different complaints have been made about this pickup. Like the previous two trucks, its headlights don’t give drivers enough visibility at night or during hazardous conditions. This issue is most common in both 2014 and 2015 models.

For the Sierra 1500, 2014 is considered the worst model year. In addition to the bad headlights, drivers also reported problems with the truck’s brakes. In a few instances, the brakes failed while the car was in motion, resulting in seven reported crashes.

Despite its issues, the Sierra 1500 boasts excellent safety ratings and drives smoothly on the road. While many drivers have reported no issues with their 1500 pickups, it’s important to be aware of these problems.