2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, powertrain and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

When it comes to driving a heavy-duty truck, many enthusiasts chose the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 over the competition. After all, Chevy claims that the newest lineup is the “pickup for the long haul,” yet owners have something else to say. This model features many heavy-duty problems, such as a failing engine, defective fuel system and malfunctioning powertrain.


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Problems with the Engine

What makes a heavy-duty pickup capable? A powerful engine is a must-have in this situation. Yet, this model proves that the motor is disappointing, to say the least.

One Edmunds review states, “I would not buy or recommend the Duramax, due to Chevy known injector problem and the dealer’s handling of the problem. The dealer has had the truck for 2 weeks and there is no end in sight. The dealer doesn’t even seem to have the information about this problem that is available on the internet. No loaner. This is a work truck and not working. I will replace this truck as soon as possible. Not reliable. 7000 miles.”

It turns out that this lineup suffered from a lot of engine problems. Even NHTSA Campaign Number 19V328000 discusses a recall that affected more than 300,000 vehicles. It turns out that the engine block heater cord and the terminals might short circuit, which could increase the chances of a fire. No one wants to think about a truck fire during “the long haul,” and they shouldn’t have to. When buying a new truck, it’s expected that it won’t catch on fire and burn to the ground. After all, a truck isn’t very capable once it’s in a pile of ashes.

Problems with the Fuel System

This faulty engine combined with a defective fuel system is a recipe for disaster. The risk of fire with this pickup is higher than many other models.

Just look at this NHTSA complaint. “Mon. Oct. 8th 5pm, My Chevy Silverado 2500HD diesel truck caught fire driving down a city road (approximately 30 mph), with me, my 12yo daughter and her friend in it. The engine died and I lost power steering and brakes. After wrestling the truck to the side of the road, a passerby drove backwards in traffic to alert me that the truck was burning. If not for him, we might not have gotten out in time. Flaming fuel was dripping down from the chassis, driver side, in front of rear wheel, approximately where the fueling receptacle was. The pool of burning fuel on the ground could not be extinguished. A passerby emptied a 15lb fire extinguisher onto the area, and was not able to stop the flaming leaking fuel. By now, it was leaking with the intensity of a small shower head. The entire truck burned to the ground rapidly. The truck was two weeks old, with less than 1,000 miles. It was unmodified. GM, Chevrolet and [dealer] were utterly unconcerned and unmoved by the disaster. They treated the incident as if I had wrongly complained that the floor mats didn’t fit correctly.”

Likely, GM minimized the situation because they are dealing with complaints similar to this across the country. The Silverado 2500HD is a dangerous truck to drive with numerous fuel system issues. Even the manufacturer communications discuss other issues that happen with this system. Service Bulletin #18NA103 talks about a start and stall situation, as well as no starting or the loss of power, just like this person complained started the fire experience. Between this and the potential fire from the electrical short in the engine block heater, it’s clear that the Chevy pickup is not prepared for a long haul, or for a drive down the street, for that matter.

Problems with the Transmission

The other essential system in any heavy-duty truck is the powertrain. With a properly running transmission, towing and hauling couldn’t be any easier.

Yet, customers can’t say enough bad, including this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500. The contact received a text message stating that there was a transmission failure. The contact stated that the vehicle would downshift independently and not exceed 35 mph. Also, the engine RPMs revved at a dangerous level. [Dealer] stated that the part for the repair would be shipped in two days; however, the contact could still drive the vehicle since the failure occurred intermittently. The part that was replaced was a sensor to the transmission to avoid the sudden downshifts. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 2,914.”

What dealer in its right mind would suggest driving a vehicle that is revving beyond where it should and unable to shift? That’s downright idiotic and asking for disaster. Of course, it’s been clear that Chevy doesn’t quite know what it’s doing, so no one can expect much more from the technicians. There seem to be many powertrain concerns, as illustrated with Service Bulletin #16NA019 that points out the trouble with low mileage harsh shifts, flares or slips. Bottom line – it’s not wise to take the Silverado 2500 on long hauls or a drive down the road to drop off the mail. It is best suited to a parked location where it isn’t used.

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 20 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

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