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The Chevy Silverado is one of the most popular pickups on the market today. But, some consumers are reluctant to purchase a used one, since some model years have been plagued with quite a few maintenance issues. Which models are considered the worst when it comes to reliability? Let’s look at the 2004, 2007, and 2009 versions and see what each has had problems with.  

A man inspecting a 2004 Chevy Silverado at an auto show.
2004 Chevy Silverado | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

1. The 2004 Chevy Silverado 

According to, this model year had the most problems of all, but a good portion of the complaints lodged against it was about the vehicle’s electronics. One of the most common issues reported had to do with the speedometer. Owners were unhappy that the speedometer would give off an inaccurate reading. 

In total, 61 people (who reported to CarComplaints) had the problem, and the average mileage that it happened was 64,000 miles. One owner claimed to have gotten a speeding ticket because of it, and even the officer issuing the ticket noticed it read 5 mph despite the truck not moving. 

Other gauges gave owners problems as well. Those include the gas, oil, and battery gauges, which wouldn’t reflect the actual levels. Those who updated their complaints with a resolution said they had the digital instrument panel replaced for $600. 

The steering column noises were another prevalent issue reported. Those who experienced it complained of hearing bumping-type noises coming from this area without any warning. Many owners just lived with it, but some sought answers only to find a steering column bearing was the culprit. Once it was replaced, to the tune of $188, the noise went away. 

2. The 2007 Chevy Silverado

This model year saw an oil consumption problem affecting the 5.3-liter V8 engines. In total, there were about 78 complaints posted on the site with an average mileage of 66,000. Owners reported that they started noticing the truck would eat around a quart of oil every 2,000 miles. Some said it was a quart every 500-1,000 miles, though. 

Some of these people were told it was normal for that many miles (100,000 miles and under), while some were told they needed a new engine. Replacing it cost one driver $4,500, but another owner reported paying only $200 for a new valve cover. In one case, a driver posted that they had other damage due to the oil consumption problem.

Another common issue reported on this mode year were the speakers not working. The issue would happen randomly and affect any of the speakers at any given time. The average mileage for the faulty speaker problem was 68,000 miles.

This was an ongoing issue, with many of the owners plagued by it. Replacing the stereo for $190 didn’t even resolve the problem for some owners. 

Other issues reported for this model were cracks on the dashboard, the battery going dead, and the electrical system dying while the owner was driving the truck. 

3. The 2009 Chevy Silverado

The 2009 Silverado was plagued with the same engine problem that the 2007 version had with the oil consumption deal. With this model, there were 45 complaints posted on the site, and another six were reported to the NHTSA. This time, the average mileage of the trucks experiencing it was around 76,000 miles. 

The symptoms reflected the same as the 2007 model regarding the vehicle using a quart of oil every 500-2,000 miles. Some owners had to replace the pistons and rings, which reportedly cost approximately $4,200 in total. One driver was quoted $9,000 for a new engine with another $2,000 fee for labor to install it. 

A service bulletin published in 2012 confirms the oil consumption problem; however, it states that if the engine has an active fuel management system, the problem is caused by the pressure relief valve from the fuel management system.

To resolve the issue, a technician would need to install a deflector over the valve and make sure the pistons and rings were functioning properly. 

The Chevy Silverado isn’t a bad pickup, but there are a few model years to avoid. This would include the 2004 model for its electrical problems and 2007/2009 for the oil consumption issues. 


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