John, Had the same issue with my 2012 Sierra (the messages showed intermittently over a few weeks before I took it in to the dealer). After an hour or two in the shop, I was informed the problem stemmed from a faulty steering wheel computer component, which had to be replaced to solve the issue. And, of course the way the components are crammed under the hood, I was also informed that the steering wheel would have to be removed to accomplish the task (the engineers who design and build, obviously don't have to repair). Back a week or so later for an all-day event (and a gazillion dollars) and the problem is solved. Hopefully, yours won't be the same. Marv
Chris, No, the large gasket that seals the entire handle against the door is not the one I am talking about (can't take a photo of my truck handle right now as I am not near my truck at the moment). Presumably the handle you are showing is the same as mine in this respect - if you pull open the handle, there is a small (about an inch by an inch) gasket that surrounds the "post" (not sure how to better describe this part but it moves in and out of the hole in the rest of the apparatus when you pull on the handle) at one end (the end that is not hinged) of the handle. The gasket can not be seen unless the handle is pulled away from the rest of the handle apparatus, as when opening the door. Actually, in your second photo of the rear of the apparatus, adjacent to you first finger, it looks like that black squarish thing is the "post" I am talking about. If you turn it over and pull on the handle, this "post" pulls part way out of the hole and encircling the post is the gasket. The gasket is not secured to anything and is only held in place by the post, and it actually moves a bit when pulling the handle. I presume the gasket prevents water from entering the hole and is held in place by pressure when the handle is closed. Marv
Chris, Thanks very much for your response. Just to clarify, though, are you saying that the handle can be taken apart and a new gasket inserted? I was advised by the parts rep that one has to buy the entire handle assembly (with the gasket already in place) because the assembly can't be taken apart. And all the youtube vids I have found only show how to remove the handle from the door and not how to actually take the handle apart. The gasket (as you probably already know) surrounds the "post" (as in a "squared" circle like a donut and the "post" goes through the hole) that moves in and out as the handle is pulled open and released (when opening and closing the door) and there appears to be no obvious way to get the gasket into its place without taking the handle apart. As mentioned, I have no problem taking a run at fabricating a couple gaskets and inserting them myself if I was confident that the handle actually comes apart - without breaking some pins, clips or the like, and could also be put back together. Marv
2012 Sierra, extended cab. It appears the gasket on both outside door handles has deteriorated and fallen out of their respective location. These gaskets apparently prevent water from getting into the handles when the doors are closed and the handles are in their resting position. They are visible when the door handle is pulled open and hang relatively loosely on a "pin" or whatever it is called that moves in and out of the handle structure. They are only about an eighth of an inch thick and an inch by an inch, with a square-isn cutout to fit around the afore-mentioned "pin". Sorry for the long description. I attended the parts dept of the local dealer to see about ordering some replacement gaskets. However, I was told the gaskets are not sold separately and the entire handle structure would have to be purchased. That's $65 each (just to get a couple 5 cent gaskets). And I was also informed that it is not possible to replace just the gasket without completely taking apart the handle, if that is even possible. Is anyone familiar with these gaskets and/or have any experience with their replacement. The gaskets look easy to make (I have the majority of one of them and could easily duplicate it from generic gasket material) and I don't have a problem doing the work myself but am unsure if the handle could be taken apart enough to accomplish the replacement. Thanks, Marv
Have a 2012 Sierra, 6.2L. Over the last three months, intermittent "Service Stabiltrack" and Service Traction Control" messages have been showing on dash, along with messages telling me both systems were off. Set up an appointment and took it into the dealership to get it diagnosed but was turned away because the warnings were not showing at the time I arrived. In the meantime, I had a low beam light burn out so bought two and decided to replace them myself (really, how hard can that be and I did not want to pay the $160 fee for the dealer to do it). This "simple" operation took me over three hours and two skinned knuckles and had to dismantle/remove air cleaner housing, spare battery tray and window washer fluid container. The biggest issue though was trying to get my hand in through the extremely small space to reach the bulbs. Anyway, as the warning lights were now on full time, I took the vehicle in to the dealership at 10:45 this morning. It took them over two hours to diagnose and another three hours to fix. The problem turned out to be a steering wheel turn sensor. Apparently this sensor affects the other two sensors, so they shut down and killed the Traction and Stabiltrack. Cost to me: $7.50 for bridge toll the first visit. $7.50 for bridge toll the second visit. $77.11 for the faulty sensor. and wait for it....... $550.00 for labour to put in the sensor (apparently you have to dismantle the steering column and associated assembly). And just to make me feel better, one of the salesman tried to sell me an $82,000 3500 HD while I was waiting. When I was paying, I asked the service rep if the designers ever gave any thought to making these new vehicles easier to work on, especially for small things like changing bulbs. He just looked at the other employees and they all smiled. Go figure. Marv
Steve and Mark, Thanks for your replies. Not that I would actually change out the gearing, but thought I would check to see if the B-I-L was on the correct track. Still, it does seem a bit of a shame that the truck is just a smidge too weak (at highway speeds - on non-highway roads it can tow a house with no issues) in 6th at 17/1800 rpms and a bit overkill in 5th at 2300. If I could find a compromise gearing that would allow 20/2100 rpms, that would be optimal in my opinion. Thanks again, Marv
Vehicle is 2012 Sierra, 6.2L, 3:73, heavy duty towing package. Rec. trailer is about 4500 lbs loaded. The vehicle tows just fine up to about 55-60 mph and I can tow in OD (17-1800 RPMs), without T/H up to that speed. However, I find when I start to approach 65, if I leave it in OD, it will drop down into 5th at the slightest incline or head wind and the RPMs in 5th will be 2250-2300. Although I don't necessarily mind 5th and those RPMs, the majority of times we travel, we are driving from B.C. to Denver, Co to see the family, so would like to mitigate the 5th/2300 RPMs a bit. My pseudo mechanic brother in law suggests I would be able to somewhat solve this issue by going to 3:55s (I figured I should go the other way to 4:10s but I know very little about these things). So, a couple questions - Do you agree with B-I-L? If so, presumably the overall tow capability would drop somewhat (currently rated for 10,400 lbs.)? And, is there a formula for determining how the tow rating would change, based on changing the Diff gears? It seems there is a bit of a gap between 1800 and 2300 RPMs that is not being utilized to tow my particular load. Any other comments/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
I understand that bulbs are not forever, and they cost about a buck and a half, and don't have a problem with either. My point was that since I had one last only 3-4 years and the other last at least ten, I started noticing that there were a lot of Chev/GMCs driving around with a single light burnt out - way more than a Ford or Ram and was just wondering if there was an issue with Chev/GMC in this respect. It's like you don't notice red 2 door cars until someone says look for a red 2 door car and all of a sudden they're all over the place. Give it a couple weeks and look for one eyed Chev/GMCs and perhaps you'll agree. Marv
I've had a Sierra 1500 for ten years and at about 3-4 years the right driving light bulb went out (no damage, just burnt out). However the left side bulb continued for the rest of the life of the truck. Since the one went out, I started to notice a seemingly unusual high number of other GMC and Chev trucks running with a single light Of course, the more I began to notice this, the more I began to pay attention, however, I have not observed the same with any other truck brand. I have also seen trucks that can't be any more than a couple years old, with one light. Is there a problem with GMC/Chev trucks in this area?
Thanks for the further comments: tmoney82, I actually did run premium gas for at least a couple tanks and did not see a big difference, however, cause I was driving such varied road conditions, I'm not sure it was a true comparison. I can say, though, that my impression of the towing did not waver regardless of the gas I used. Your comment about getting a tune (I presume you're referring to a BB Tune or similar??) peaked my interest. Did you notice an improvement in towing after the tune? And if so, what does a tune actually do in regards to towing? TimmyG and NHTMike, I sort of figured the dust was coming in from somewhere like the tailgate or stake pockets. I just thought it was ironic that I spent a bunch of dollars for a cover that is great for keeping out the rain but dust is now the big issue. I will look into a seal of some sort. 08SierraZ71 and music, The manual actually recommends octane of 87 or higher. See my prior comment about running premium (91) gas. Perhaps I did not run it enough to see any real improvement but I thought I went through at least a couple tanks with it. Perhaps I will have to take out the trailer for another trip and only use high octane to see if there is any real improvement. I actually even contemplated the high altitude of the places I spent most of the trip at (Colorado Plateau and other areas of at least 5000 ft and higher) might of had an effect on the performance but I then figured everyone who lived in these areas would have the same issue all the time.
Thanks for the responses. tmoney82, I actually figured gas may be a contributed so I tried towing during the trip with three grades (87, 89 and 91 I think) and, other than the bill (haven't done a full tally yet but we probably spent about $3000 on gas), didn't really note any significant difference. And although I agree that towing in 5th is not bad (considering I came from towing in 3rd with the last truck), I really thought the 6.2 would have towed 4300 lbs no probs in 6th. iamtron and 2010LTZ4x4, The trailer is quite new and I didn't notice any issues with brakes or bearings (no smell etc) however, that is a possibility I will have to check. The truck runs perfectly without a trailer and is only a few months old so I doubt it is the truck. music, thanks for your comments. Although I did not monitor the gas mileage through the entire trip, the times I did, I got around 10 miles per gallon. Funny enough, I was torn between the 5.3 and 6.2 a couple months ago when I was deciding the best option for towing. I ultimately chose the 6.2 for two main reasons - I had towed three trailers with three prior trucks and each was underpowered, so i wanted to ensure I had more power than not enough and - I shied away from the AFM and related potential issues. Anyway, thanks everyone for their input. If I find an obvious answer to the issue, I'll let you know.
Just finished a month long, 11,000 km trip (BC, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, BC), with the first tow of a travel trailer (4300 lbs fully loaded including passengers) with the new 2012 Sierra ext cab, 6.2L, 3:73, 6 spd, with full tow package and WD hitch. Have pulled the same trailer almost the same route with a 4.8 Sierra. Hit every type of terrain, including flat and straight to extreme up and down hill to everything in between. My thoughts on the experience: Towing - Not as impressed with the tow capability as I thought I was going to be, especially in higher gears. With the former truck, I had to tow in 3rd at no more than 60 mph at about 27-2800 rpms (on flat ground) and it sucked big time going up hills. I was hoping the new truck would tow the same weight in 6th on fairly flat terrain, but found it could just barely do it in 6th with no head wind, but any incline including a minor rise over an interchange or any head or cross wind at all, it would drop into 5th. Kept shifting so often that I finally resigned myself to keeping it in 5th gear (at 22-2300 rpms). In fact, the only time I was able to tow at 60-65 mph in 6th was dead flat Hwy 80 adjacent to Great Salt Lake. In 5th it towed great at 60-65, even with some mild inclines. However, and not knowledgeable about mechanics to understand why, in California and Oregon (along Hwy 97) where speeds were mandated at 55mph for tow vehicles, 5th did not seem to be as strong at that speed, and would sometimes drop into 4th when I felt it should not have. Seems 5th at 55 was a not so favourable combination. Weird. Extreme hills, pulled quite a bit better than the old truck but I did notice a pretty significant rise in tranny temperature, regardless of the ambient temperature. I was hoping for a better tow in 6th, considering the trailer is only 4300 lbs and the truck is rated for 6000 lbs more than that. Perhaps my expectations were just too high, or I don't understand the whole towing thing. Can anyone comment on what, if anything, a BB Tune could do for this?? Drank gas like there was no tomorrow. I could almost watch the gauge move. I expected an increase in gas costs (it is a 6.2L after all) and wouldn't have minded so much if it had towed better that it did. I'm sure the use of lower gear/higher rpms greatly contributed. Cruise control - First time I've had a truck with Cruise. Best option ever! Especially on those long, long, long drives out in the middle of nowhere (Btw, the drive between Salt Lake and Reno along Hwy 80 is one of the least pleasurable drives I have ever taken). Tonneau cover - Put on an Undercover hard tonneau cover just prior to the trip. Excellent cover. No rain intrusion, but funny enough, by the time the trip was over, there was about an inch of red dust inside the bed. Go figure. OGM1 with back-up camera- Also put in the OGM1 and bezel camera just prior to the trip. Excellent items and highly recommended. Drove down to Denver on my own (where wife flew down and joined me for return trip) and camera was indispensable when hooking up to the trailer solo. Used Nav a lot, however, sometimes was way out on some routing, even on roadways that have been around for years. Occasionally, I would enter a destination from the POI databank and it would indicate a completely wrong direction and distance. Would cancel the trip and re-enter the exact same destination and it would then provide correct info. Again, weird. Sorry for the long post but wanted to cover all the high (and low) points.
I wish to thank everyone who contributed to this thread, as each had a part in helping me make my decision. After much thought and a lot of bouncing back and forth between the two choices I was looking at (5.3L or 6.2L), I visited the dealership yesterday and signed the papers on a 2012 Sierra 1500 ext cab, with the 6.2L and maximum trailering package (with 3.73 gears). Although I only wanted a fairly bare bones rig (I usually don't even get power windows), I had to get the SLE package to get the 6.2L engine so it's a bit more blinged-out than I initially envisioned. Once I started though, I figured what the heck and even got bucket seats. I have always bought new off the lot and have never bought a factory order vehicle before, so I was quite surprised when the guy said it would probably arrive in late February some time....holy crap these things take a long time to build!!! The other thing that I discovered was the 6.2L and 5.3L are rated to tow 5000lbs, dead weight hitch, but with the proper weight distributing hitch/bars, the 6.2L can tow 10,700lbs. I did not realize the WD added so much to the equation and just figured it was all to do with the engine. And, not been paying attention to how truck prices have gone up and down over the years but I find it interesting that I paid only $5000 more for this truck than I did for my 4.8L bare bones 1500, eleven years ago. Go figure. Anyway, thanks again. Marv
Thanks to everyone for the additional comments. To answer a few points - Yes, it will only be about 4500 lbs. I don't really load the bed when we travel (portable bbq, couple lawn chairs...). We don't really practice traditional rv'ing where we take a lot of stuff and hang around the site. I do landscape photography so we often head out early and return late. However, I amy be suffering from "tow hard fatigue". I have had three different trailers and three different tow vehicles and due to circumstance, each vehicle has been a bit underpowered, so I have spent a lot of travelling time wishing the vehicle had more power. I may be swinging the pendulum to far the other way I think either engine sounds like it will do what I need it to do and it will likely come down to cost and package. I was hoping for a left-over 2011 but appears that won't happen so it will be a sparse 2012 build (not really interested in all the bling and options on most trucks typically on the lot - told one salesman I wanted a bare bones (air and cruise), fairly cheap truck and when it was all said and done, he showed me an almost $60K set of wheels that had more chrome and every electric add-on known to mankind...go figure). Marv
Had to go out of town for a bit so have not been able to post lately, so here's a bit of an update. I visited a dealer yesterday, looking to see if they had any 2011's still around (to take advantage of the $10,000 incentives they have going on). Unfortunately, at least up here in B.C. Canada, there is literally no choice locally with the 5.3L (without all the bling and options and 20 inch wheels - I am looking for a fairly basic truck). The nearest that comes even close to the package that I want is in Ontario and would add about $1800 to bring in and even then it isn't to my specifics. Unfortunately, there are no 6.2L's either in the 2011 models (actually there are but, again, with way more bling than I need/want Having said all that, I had the guy build on paper a 2012 1500 with the options I do/do not want/need and the 6.2L. It's going to be a bit more money than I wished to spend but I have told the wife to not buy any shoes or purses (she has like 15 purses and I have one wallet - what's up with women and purses anyway??) for the next few months so we should be OK. I have not yet made the final decision between the 5.3 and 6.2. I keep leaning one way then the next. As this truck will be with us for ten or so years, I don't want to regret my decision when it's all said and done. In response to some of the latest posts - Chris - I actually don't load too much in the truck so that is not an issue. Regarding your towing 6300 lbs, in what sort of landscape and at what speeds? As noted in my initial post, I tow through the Rockies (we like to go to Banff at least once per year) and travel to Denver Co, so need uphill strength, but more important, fairly high speeds on long straight stretches. Fajitas21 - Those times you wish for a 6.2, under what conditions (and anyone else with a 5.3 feel free to chime in)? I have less of a problem going uphill and having the engine rev up but, as stated in my initial post, it drives me crazy when I am towing my current set-up with the 4.8L truck and having the thing shifting all the time on fairly flat straight stretches and being unable to keep a 65-70 mph rate. If I was confident the 5.3 would sit in 6th or at least 5th with revs around/under 2000/2200 under these conditions, I would seriously consider that power plant over the 6.2. In reality, I don't tow a big weight so may not need all of the 6.2. APT - I don't know enough about 6spd versus 4 spd. Are the matching lower gears on both exactly the same and the 6spd has added "depth" or is the range the same and the 4spd just divides that range differently than the 6spd? (I'm sure my terms are not mechanically accurate). 11CCSilverado - Similar question as posed to Fajitas21. Under what conditions do you wish you had a 6.2? As your trailer is heavier than mine, I expect your answer would be more telling. Can you tow your set-up at decent highway speeds without sitting in a lower gear and higher rpms, or is your situation related to hill climbs etc? Last questions - I'm trying to wrap my mind around the difference between 5.3 and 6.2 and gearing. Why is the difference between the 5.3 and 6.2 (all other things being equal) in tow capacity so close? My uneducated mind would think that the 6.2 should pull way more weight than the 5.3 (it seems the difference between the 4.8 and 5.3 is way more than between the 5.3 and 6.2, yet the former is only .5L apart while the latter is .9L apart). Is the 3:42 (or 3.73 etc) in the 5.3 the exact same piece of equipment as in the 6.2? Are they being conservative with the 6.2 or generous with the 5.3? Actually, sorry, one more - As the 2011's are virtually non-existent up here, anyone know what they are like in the US, particularly Washington State.? I may consider purchasing down there and importing if availability/price is appealing. Anyway, thanks to all for adding some valuable input and opinions. The quest continues. Marv
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