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2021 Silverado 5.3 Ownership Experience


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Hi everyone! I've been a long time watcher of this forum, but this is my first time posting. We're at the 10 month mark for ownership of our '21 Silverado LT CCSB 5.3 4x4. This is my first Chevy truck, but our family has had Chevy/GMC trucks since 1985 so I have past experience.

 

Unfortunately, the first several months of ownership have been rough. To summarize:

  • Our L84 5.3 fell in the date range for faulty lifters and it started throwing CEL codes at 585 miles. After four service appointments, several hundred miles of them test driving it, and 51 days at the dealer, they replaced lifters on cylinders #6 and #8 and the CEL hasn't come back, but I still have six cylinders worth of original lifters. I now exclusively drive the truck in L7 instead of D to disable DFM and run it on at least 89 octane (93 if I go to Costco for gas) to help nurse it along. They did give us extended component coverage on the engine, at least.
  • The bed was misaligned to the cab, which the dealer body shop fixed, but damaged the plastic deflector in front of the passenger side rear wheel in the process. I had them send me the part and I replaced it myself.
  • One of the rear air vents didn't work due to a chunk of carpet being shoved in it during assembly. After removing the front seats to fix it, the vent now works, but the rear USB ports no longer work after being reassembled. Since the 12v socket next to it still works, I'm not going to have them pull it apart again and just live with it.
  • The serpentine belt became prematurely worn by 6300 miles with rubber dust visible on the front of the engine, accompanied by squeaking on cold starts for the first few minutes. They replaced both belts (A/C and serpentine) and the idler pulley and the squeak is still gone as of today at 10750 miles, but the new belt looks like it's wearing pretty fast, too.

 

Is this normal for GM these days? This is the worst quality vehicle I or anyone I know has owned in the last 30 years. It's a shame because it's a great tow vehicle for our 3,700 lbs. camper trailer and I like the dimensions and layout of the cab and bed (although forward visibility over the ridiculously tall hood is terrible). My parents still have their '03 Chevy Avalanche they bought brand new and that truck never had issues remotely as bad as this Silverado, and it still runs great today despite winter road salt taking its toll on the body. I feel owning this truck outside of the warranty period is financial suicide so I've already been browsing for its replacement, honestly. Am I overreacting?

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30 minutes ago, voided3 said:

Hi everyone! I've been a long time watcher of this forum, but this is my first time posting. We're at the 10 month mark for ownership of our '21 Silverado LT CCSB 5.3 4x4. This is my first Chevy truck, but our family has had Chevy/GMC trucks since 1985 so I have past experience.

 

Unfortunately, the first several months of ownership have been rough. To summarize:

  • Our L84 5.3 fell in the date range for faulty lifters and it started throwing CEL codes at 585 miles. After four service appointments, several hundred miles of them test driving it, and 51 days at the dealer, they replaced lifters on cylinders #6 and #8 and the CEL hasn't come back, but I still have six cylinders worth of original lifters. I now exclusively drive the truck in L7 instead of D to disable DFM and run it on at least 89 octane (93 if I go to Costco for gas) to help nurse it along. They did give us extended component coverage on the engine, at least.
  • The bed was misaligned to the cab, which the dealer body shop fixed, but damaged the plastic deflector in front of the passenger side rear wheel in the process. I had them send me the part and I replaced it myself.
  • One of the rear air vents didn't work due to a chunk of carpet being shoved in it during assembly. After removing the front seats to fix it, the vent now works, but the rear USB ports no longer work after being reassembled. Since the 12v socket next to it still works, I'm not going to have them pull it apart again and just live with it.
  • The serpentine belt became prematurely worn by 6300 miles with rubber dust visible on the front of the engine, accompanied by squeaking on cold starts for the first few minutes. They replaced both belts (A/C and serpentine) and the idler pulley and the squeak is still gone as of today at 10750 miles, but the new belt looks like it's wearing pretty fast, too.

 

Is this normal for GM these days? This is the worst quality vehicle I or anyone I know has owned in the last 30 years. It's a shame because it's a great tow vehicle for our 3,700 lbs. camper trailer and I like the dimensions and layout of the cab and bed (although forward visibility over the ridiculously tall hood is terrible). My parents still have their '03 Chevy Avalanche they bought brand new and that truck never had issues remotely as bad as this Silverado, and it still runs great today despite winter road salt taking its toll on the body. I feel owning this truck outside of the warranty period is financial suicide so I've already been browsing for its replacement, honestly. Am I overreacting?

You’ll probably be 50-50 on that. In retired so I quit buying new. If I had too. I’d probably buy extended warranty and trade then. Now on GM at least I’m staying under 06. And probably my Avalanche.

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Take it back and get the USB fixed. Just do it whenever your car needs a car wash and tell them you want that for free for your time lol

 

I know a couple of people with T1XXs and they don't have any problems. It's just generally car manufacturing these days. Everything is just the cheapest material it can be especially with prices so high

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I thought it one lifter in a bank went, they replaced that whole side?  Other than that, it seems like they have everything else fixed.  I haven't had any issues with my '20 AT4 6.2 (outside of lifter issue window) but I will definitely get an extended warranty if I decide to keep it past the 3/36.

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2 hours ago, voided3 said:

I now exclusively drive the truck in L7 instead of D to disable DFM and run it on at least 89 octane (93 if I go to Costco for gas) to help nurse it along. They did give us extended component coverage on the engine, at least.

That seems stupid, why would you do this? Just drive it as normal and if it breaks it breaks and you're covered under the 5 year/60K mile powertrain warranty. If anything is going to happen I'd rather it happen sooner rather than later when you're out of warranty.

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13 minutes ago, BossTaco2020 said:

That seems stupid, why would you do this? Just drive it as normal and if it breaks it breaks and you're covered under the 5 year/60K mile powertrain warranty. If anything is going to happen I'd rather it happen sooner rather than later when you're out of warranty.

True, though honestly I prefer how it drives in L7, even unloaded. It's significantly smoother between 30-65 MPH and my highway fuel economy average still is around 21 MPG unloaded typically with the engine turning at 1900 RPM at 65 MPH in 7th gear with the 3.23 rear gear. With DFM engaged, it vibrates and shakes very noticeably, and also requires more throttle input to maintain speed. I will admit it's annoying to manually toggle up to L7 every time I put it in gear, though.

 

The higher octane fuel is mostly for knock protection when towing in hot weather with the A/C on as the L84 is a fairly high compression V8 at 11:1.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, cltsig said:

I thought it one lifter in a bank went, they replaced that whole side?

Yeah, they started doing that after they fixed ours... lucky me! We were the first ones at our dealership to have the issue, prior to the updated TSB guidance.

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Other than the lifters failing, these sound like minor issues that aren't a big deal. If you're worried about your belt wearing too fast, you can replace it with another brand to see if that takes care of the issue. Belts aren't expensive. When it comes to the usb port, take it in and have them fix it.

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13 minutes ago, steelerdude15 said:

Other than the lifters failing, these sound like minor issues that aren't a big deal. If you're worried about your belt wearing too fast, you can replace it with another brand to see if that takes care of the issue. Belts aren't expensive. When it comes to the usb port, take it in and have them fix it.

Right, to put it in perspective, the lifters were the main pain point. It all added up to a general fog of depression, distrust, and angst, but that was the main/real issue. I also had five different rental cars over the last 10 months due to how many multi-day service appointments this thing has needed, so that wasn't very fun, either.

 

I'd love to try an upgraded serpentine belt, but there's no traditional belt tensioner on the L84 making it less of a DIY job; it's a stretch fit that requires a special tool you slip onto the crank pulley. I could try to pull some strings with the service manager and have them install an aftermarket belt if it gives me issues again, though, as we're definitely on a first name basis at this point and have each others' cell numbers (haha).

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10 minutes ago, voided3 said:

Right, to put it in perspective, the lifters were the main pain point. It all added up to a general fog of depression, distrust, and angst, but that was the main/real issue. I also had five different rental cars over the last 10 months due to how many multi-day service appointments this thing has needed, so that wasn't very fun, either.

 

I'd love to try an upgraded serpentine belt, but there's no traditional belt tensioner on the L84 making it less of a DIY job; it's a stretch fit that requires a special tool you slip onto the crank pulley. I could try to pull some strings with the service manager and have them install an aftermarket belt if it gives me issues again, though, as we're definitely on a first name basis at this point and have each others' cell numbers (haha).

I love how people minimize these problems. Possibly there really aren’t that many, doesn’t seem that way. I know back in the day when there was 5 of us going in different directions running our equipment. Our trucks were just as important as our equipment. We usually drove at least a half an hour to a job site. If the truck moved it went. We usually had a spare, just in case. I can imagine if we had multiple failures. That would cost thousands. So yea I’d be pretty worried if lifters started failing right after purchasing. Vibrations, clunky transmission, ac going out. It’s still moving. Not moving I’d probably push it through their showroom.

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21 minutes ago, voided3 said:

Right, to put it in perspective, the lifters were the main pain point. It all added up to a general fog of depression, distrust, and angst, but that was the main/real issue. I also had five different rental cars over the last 10 months due to how many multi-day service appointments this thing has needed, so that wasn't very fun, either.

 

I'd love to try an upgraded serpentine belt, but there's no traditional belt tensioner on the L84 making it less of a DIY job; it's a stretch fit that requires a special tool you slip onto the crank pulley. I could try to pull some strings with the service manager and have them install an aftermarket belt if it gives me issues again, though, as we're definitely on a first name basis at this point and have each others' cell numbers (haha).

Well, if you do your own maintenance and plan on keeping the truck for a long time, it wouldn't hurt to buy the tool and have it for when you do need to replace the belt. Also, the service manager might be able to put a different brand of belt on since you know them personally. I'd ask and see what they say.

 

I understand the frustration part in regards to waiting for it to get repaired as I've been in your shoes before with another vehicle. Was some of that due to an employee shortage or because they couldn't get the parts in? If so, I wouldn't put that on the truck.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, KARNUT said:

I love how people minimize these problems. Possibly there really aren’t that many, doesn’t seem that way. I know back in the day when there was 5 of us going in different directions running our equipment. Our trucks were just as important as our equipment. We usually drove at least a half an hour to a job site. If the truck moved it went. We usually had a spare, just in case. I can imagine if we had multiple failures. That would cost thousands. So yea I’d be pretty worried if lifters started failing right after purchasing. Vibrations, clunky transmission, ac going out. It’s still moving. Not moving I’d probably push it through their showroom.

In the grand scheme of things, I wouldn't consider a nonworking vent or bad usb port as major problems. Frustrating and annoying, yes, but nothing major to the point that it would make me consider getting rid of a vehicle. Especially one that still has its warranties.

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On 10/19/2021 at 1:49 PM, voided3 said:

I feel owning this truck outside of the warranty period is financial suicide so I've already been browsing for its replacement, honestly. Am I overreacting?

I feel the same way.  I got an extended warranty, but I think it very unlikely that I will keep the truck beyond the warranty period.  Unless you know a good mechanic that will give you a break, I just think the truck has too many problems.

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I have a 2021 LT 1500 5.3L L84 (w/DFM) and just over 5000KM/3100miles and so far only check light i had seemed to be with leaving USB charging phone when turned off and it has gone away now (took a couple of starts to disappear).

 

Going for my first oil change but spent summer towing with it and so far so good. Fingers crossed....

 

What is the date range the cylinders were affected? My build date is 2020-09-18

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