2018 Chevrolet Colorado Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, Electrical System and Powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

GM boasts that the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado offers the complete balance between “work and play.” Surprisingly, owners tell a completely different story. In fact, many people have spent weeks waiting for repairs to be performed on their trucks as equipment continues to fail. Some of the main concerns are related to noisy powertrains, defective diesel engine sensors and faulty infotainment centers. All of these issues combined create more work and less play.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Air Bags
Seat Belts

Problems with the Transmission

Drivers want a smooth, comfortable ride as they head down the road. The transmission is responsible for providing a well-balanced shifting experience that someone can barely notice occurring. That isn’t what Colorado owners have come to find about their mid-size truck. The actual experience brings vibration and plenty of noise.

One driver posted this on Edmunds, “I purchased 2018 Colorado new at champion Chevrolet Johnson City TN and at 2,000 miles transmission developed a vibration in transmission most of the time.I returned to the dealership for repairs and tech. said he could not find anything wrong and since the check engine light was not on there was nothing wrong with the transmission. I left and it vibrated all the way home. At 5,000 miles it appears to be getting worse, I have an appt. at another dealership this time. Tarr Chevrolet in Jefferson City,TN. Changed the fluid in the transmission and this resolved the problem. I also found a service tech,notice concerning this problem which has been ongoing for a few years but apparently, Champion Chevrolet in Johnson City has no knowledge of this problem or does not care about their customers.”

Interestingly, the dealerships, in this case, don’t know what the problem is considering GM has addressed it directly. In Service Bulletin #PIE0405A, the automaker acknowledges that customers experience a shake or shudder while driving with the 8L90 or 8L45 transmission.
Not only do they recognize the torque converter shudder, but they also released Service Bulletin #PIP3366C which refers to a grinding or ratcheting noise when shifting into Park. All in all, it seems there are plenty of powertrain noises to go around with the Colorado. For someone that doesn’t expect them, these sounds could become quite alarming, or you could just crank up the radio and forget about it.

Problems with the Engine

There are several engine options available on the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado. While it seems to be only minor issues with them all, the most noticeable giving trouble is the diesel option. Most owners choose this lineup for the towing and capability, but they actually receive more than they bargained for.

One Edmunds reviewer said, “Owned the truck less than 24 hours and the DEF sensors tripped. 18 month of ownership, 18 trips to the dealer. When the system is operating properly, this is a great riding /towing package. When the sensors ‘trip,’ you have 100 miles until the power is reduced. Dealer has replaced, re-programmed, nothing works long term.”

GM Service Bulletin #PIP5370C addresses this concern and some others as well. The customer could notice an exhaust fluid quality poor message on the Driver Information Center or see the diesel exhaust fluid warning lamp as well. The automaker’s fix for this situation is to inspect the “diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system and its components.” That’s it. There is no root cause or long-term remedy, so it looks like it’s something drivers have to live with.

When you purchase a diesel truck, you expect a workhorse. Instead, Colorado owners seem to have acquired a lame horse instead.

Problems with the Infotainment System

While some electrical systems of the truck are for valuable system operations, other systems are for creature comforts and amenities. It doesn’t matter which one of these is faulty; it becomes a significant inconvenience to the owner.

One driver on Edmunds has several complaints about comfort and technologies. They said, “Drove one for five days and after those five days, I could hardly walk. The seats are the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in. The infotainment system continually dropped the connections and wasn’t at all dependable.”

Interestingly, they have several Service Bulletins regarding an intermittent blank or flickering Driver Information Center. Both Service Bulletin #18-NA-266 and PIC6333B tell the technicians to check the software for updates. Other than that, there are no known fixes available at this time.

While it’s a good thing that these electrical shortages aren’t related to necessary equipment, no one wants to deal with this inconvenience either. With no fix in sight, it can quickly become annoying and distracting to the driver, which could potentially lead to an accident. You could make the best of the situation and pretend it is a strobe light jamming to your favorite tunes, but we don’t recommend turning your truck into a disco just yet.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Chevrolet pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Donovan M

    Vehicle shut down at about 82,000 miles due to failure of the diesel exhaust system to clear the engine exhaust system filter of carbon buildup (solid carbon blockage according to mechanic after the vehicle was commercially towed to Hi-Country Chevrolet in Aztec, NM) Display screen informed me that the system was cleaning the exhaust filter – keep driving. I drove over 50 miles to Durango according
    to screen instructions – screen did not clear – turned around and drove over 50 miles to Farmington, still no resolution of the problem.. One block from my home, the vehicle totally shut down and would not restart. Vehicle commercially towed to Aztec. Repair coast was a little less than $5,000. When I picked up the repaired vehicle, we headed to Dilkon, AZ. Vehicle drove very well for about 200 miles then another message appeared that the DEF was of low quality (or something to that effect). Handbook provided by GM suggested adding DEF to possibly resolve the problem. Took full bottle of DEF, no effect. We continued to drive under computer threat of graduated shutdown of speed from 65 to 5 MPH. Barely got into Winslow, AZ with enough remaining miles at 55 to go to Dilkon the next day and return to Winslow to stay one more night. Allowable mileage was now down to 12 or 21 miles. We were stranded and couldn’t leave Winslow. Vehicle commercially towed to Hi-Country Chevrolet again, this time for $1,500. Vehicle was electronically inspected and we were provided with a repair estimate of under $3,000 with only warranty being for GM parts needed to repair. At the present time, this 2018 vehicle is sitting in a lot at Hi-Country, Aztec, I will not pay another Dollar to repair a vehicle that I would not trust to get me 15 miles from Aztec to my home. This entire experience has been beyond acceptable since GM basically has “grounded” and taken possession of my vehicle through a GM installed computer system which has sensors throughout and are not proving to be informative, in line with GM handbook directive, or of any use at all to the driver. This could happen at any time with a screen warning that really doesn’t mean much when you are in a vehicle that is hundreds of miles from a GM or Chevrolet Service Center, regardless of weather, lack of available lodging, eating, towing, medical or other services and the two occupants in the vehicle are over 80 years old. In any vehicle, reliability is priority number one and that includes the safety of the occupants. This 2018 Colorado has proven to be a vehicle with superior engine performance but the reliability rates a 0 today. I simply cannot feel safe in a vehicle that has been programmed to give priority to the manufacturer , who under the described conditions above, controls the vehicle, how far it will go under even emergency situations and basically was designed to promote and protect the company responsible for and under the control of a computer system designed to protect the vehicle itself not the occupants of the vehicle which by law does not allow me to remove or alter in any way the computer, exhaust system, sensors, etc. because all of these were probably designed to make it possible to sell this vehicle in areas which have in effect exhaust or smog control laws which require installation of such equipment, which meets State, City or National Regulations whether reliable or totally unreliable after the point of sale. To sum up my feeling about this vehicle, I have had a very bad experience with all of this, and as an owner, operator and son of a father who only owned GM vehicles since 1949 this does not sit well with me.

  • Nancy K

    Just purchased the 2018 Chevy Colorado about 4 days ago. A/C went out on day 2, after we reviewed the cost of the truck after we signed the price was jacked up after fiance and gap insurance to $46,000.00. We want to back out of this deal it’s leaving a bad taste in our mouths. Can we back out? Help please

  • Walter G

    2018 Colorado with transmission problems . Took the truck to Chevrolet dealership while truck was under warranty and they did a transmission flush that corrected the problem . The same problem occurred about a year later at 78000 miles and the truck is out of warranty due to mileage and now they want to replace transmission at my expense. They said it might can be corrected by replacing torque converter only but still an expensive repair

  • Linda

    I have a 2018 Z71 Colorado and it shakes and vibrates. I have taken it to the dealer and have been told change tires. I changed tires. I took it back because it was not the problem. I took it back for a second time and I was told they (my tire guy) needed to look at the tires again because the balancing was not correct. The tire guy looked rotated my tires and balanced them again (told me nothing wrong with balance but showed me his guys would go ahead and rebalance). I am taking it back for a third time before warranty runs out. Stay tuned……..

  • macc m

    thanks for your complaints .i was going to buy a 2018 colorado .but since i read this i wont

  • Claudia C

    I purchase a 2018 Colorado and I took it for a very short trip to the beach this weekend and the whole way over there the truck was shuddering and vibrating. I have called the dealership and I keep getting the run around and cannot even get a decent call back. HELP! I have left numerous messages, I do not have time to deal with these people as I am a fulltime employee and a single mother of three. This truck is my ONLY means of transportation.

  • Daryl R

    2018 Chevy Colorado wt
    I leased this truck and Im lucky I didnt buy it.
    No response from the dealer that I leased it from I would like to return this vehicle as it has problems
    We all know about.
    I work everyday but Sundays and dont have the time for the games they are playing on these Colorados
    I just want them to come get and terminate my lease do to the know problems.

  • Larry W

    Have had truck to two different dealers 5 or six times for vibration getting run around for over a year

  • Dan

    My first truck. Traded it in at 3000 miles. Shuddering, fogging up from the inside in cold weather, and very squeaky brakes. Dealership was kind of helpful but just wanted me to buy an extended warranty. How about you give me a car that runs correctly if I’m spending that kind of money!

  • Doug S

    2018 colorado and the transmission is horrible.
    It shakes and shutters and is the worst truck i have had.
    I believe its a lemon and the dealers are no help.

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