2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Owners of the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 are looking to get a job done. After all, the newest lineup is labeled as giving customers, “towing confidence,” but that’s not entirely accurate. In fact, this heavy-duty Chevy truck has a faulty fuel system, defective engine and poorly-built structure.

 

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
4
Power Train
2
Structure:body
2
Service Brakes
1
Steering
1
Equipment
1
Wheels
1
Unknown Or Other
1
Fuel/propulsion System
1
Electrical System
1

Problems with the Fuel System

These massive pickups must carry fuel correctly or it could be a disaster waiting to happen. That’s exactly what tons of customers are complaining about.

Just read this Cars.com review. “First have had issues with diesel spitting back when filling. Second we have 13000 miles on it. The fuel filter needs replaced and now the brakes are soft. It is strong for power. Not happy the Navigation system was not and option for the work series. The display does not have night and day option. You can turn off the light but if you touch it you are back to the beginning.”

Notice there is a long list of complaints, but it starts with the fuel system. It’s not surprising to see that this defective system sparked a massive recall, including more than 18,000 models. It turns out the front fuel tank can overfill and cause a leak. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V088000 states that the force can actually cause a hole in the system. It’s pretty hard to have confidence while towing after noticing fuel dropping out of the truck.

Problems with the Structure

In addition, it’s clear that GM didn’t put a lot of care into the assembly and materials of this truck. The cheaply-made structure is something comparable to a budget-friendly compact car.

Another Cars.com reviewer expresses disgust by saying, “I had a 2013 Chevy loved it should have NEVER traded it in// Chevy and there CHEAP wax paint on frame … I wash my frames the car wash took the coating off the front frame now Chevy is to see it and the rust on frame and other parts.. They had to change ALL shocks already I spent only 2 months up north with the salt… and it started rusting with only 6000 miles and now I have around 13,500.I think we might have to move south for Chevy not to rust.”

They don’t make them like they once did, which is precisely what this owner found after trading the 2013 model for a newer 2018. Unfortunately, there are many more structure-related concerns beyond the rust. Service Bulletin #17NA258 talks about excessive wind noise coming from the side door glass region of the truck. So, when the pickup isn’t leaking fuel or rusting out, occupants are competing against loud wind noise. That might be fine for a convertible, but not a truck expected to provide “towing confidence.”

Problems with the Engine

If the engine under the hood is powerful and reliable, other aspects might be overlooked, especially when a customer needs maximum towing power. However, that’s not the case with the Chevy 3500HD. In fact, the engine is one of the most complained about parts.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500. The contact received notification of NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V328000 (Engine). The vehicle was taken to [dealer] to be serviced. The contact stated that the dealers did not complete the recall repairs as described in the manufacturer’s remedy. Disconnect instead of being replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not assist. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000 and continues to be ongoing mileage now – 15,000.”

The recall being referenced has to do with a short-circuit among the engine block heater that could increase the risk of fire. Dealers were expected to resolve the situation, but many of them have simply disconnected the engine block heater instead. Sadly, this isn’t an isolated complaint, but something found by owners across the nation. Considering the recall affects more than 300,000 trucks, it’s unclear how many are driving around with a disabled engine block heater at this time. Instead of caring about customer safety, GM is only concerned with the bottom line. Otherwise, the automaker would be getting involved in customer complaints and dealing harshly with these dealerships, but that’s not the case. The only confidence this truck brings is the peace of mind that comes from switching to a truck from the competitor and dumping Chevy entirely.

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryPower Train, Service Brakes, Steering
DateFeb 15, 2022
StateCA
Description
Stabilitrak system truck speeds up when braking,and pulls left or right transmission shift hard when warning lights come on intermittently
CategoryEquipment
DateNov 09, 2021
StateOH
Description
The contact owns a 2018 chevrolet silverado 3500. The contact received a notification for nhtsa campaign number: 21v496000 (equipment) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. Jerry haag motors (1475 n high st, hillsboro, oh 45133) and bush auto place (1850 rombach ave, wilmington, oh 45177) had both been notified about the recall; however, both dealers informed the contact that parts were not yet available. The manufacturer had been notified of the issue. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact had not experienced a failure. Vin tool confirms parts not available.
CategoryWheels
DateApr 08, 2021
StateWA
Description
Wheel cracked
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Unknown Or Other
DateFeb 19, 2021
StateIA
Description
Reductant heater went out. Known problem with these trucks yet no recall so when you are over there emmisions warranty you're out of luck truck had 60k on it and is going to cost me 1600$ between parts and labor to fix it
CategoryEngine
DateDec 17, 2019
StateNM
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 chevrolet silverado 3500. The contact received a recall notice for nhtsa campaign number: 19v328000(engine). After contacting reliable chevrolet (9901 coors blvd, albuquerque, nm) and the manufacturer on multiple occasions, the contact was informed that the parts needed for the recall remedy were not available. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryEngine
DateOct 16, 2019
StateTX
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 chevrolet silverado 1500. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 19v328000 (engine). The vehicle was taken to martin chevrolet buick gmc (420 w southline st, cleveland, tx 77327, (281) 592-2644) to be serviced. The contact stated that the dealer did not complete the recall repairs as described in the manufacturer's remedy. Disconnected instead of being replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and did not assist. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000 and continues to be ongoing milage now - 15,000.*bf*jb
CategoryEngine
DateSep 13, 2019
StateNM
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 chevrolet silverado 3500. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 19v328000 (engine); however, the part to do the recall repair was not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. A dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateJul 26, 2019
StateCA
Description
Tl- the mechanic called on behave of the vehicle owner of a 2018 chevrolet silverado, regarding nhtsa campaign number: 19v088000 (fuel system, gasoline). The vehicle was taken to local dealer champion chevrolet (located at 800 kietzke ln, reno, nv 89502, (775) 786-3111) exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The part was not available for the repair. The vehicle has not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect. Dp
CategoryElectrical System
DateApr 23, 2019
StateTX
Description
When the truck is turned off it sometimes can take anywhere from 2 minutes to over 1 hour to restart. When this issue occurs and the key is turned to start the vehicle all you will hear is a "click" sound coming from what I assume is the starter. While not starting, everything else electrical in the vehicle seems to be working fine. Although this truck was delivered new in december of 2017(build date of 8/17), it was not put on the road and in service(built out as a tow truck) until mid may of 2018. Although this starting issue did not begin with my truck until sometime in february/march 2019, we have another truck that is the exact same model (build date of 2/18) that has been experiencing the same issue for about 7 months now. That second truck was finally taken to the dealer and they could not find a specific problem so they replaced the started. The problem still exists. The driver recently replaced the battery just to try to eliminate the potential cause of this issue but that yielded no positive results either. We are at a loss and this issue is literally costing us money!! In general, this non-starting issue happens a couple times a week.
CategoryStructure:body
DateDec 17, 2018
StateTX
Description
While pulling a 40' gooseneck trailer on the highway at posted speed the ball hitch on the bed of the truck came detached from the truck. Trailer neck slammed into the center of the bed. I have an oem crownline aftermarket flat bed on my truck. Once the trailer was removed the ball hitch fell to the ground. Investigation found little to no weld present.
CategoryStructure:body
DateOct 09, 2018
StateNM
Description
Excessive paint chipping in places that would not receive normal wear and tear such as side of body and tailgate.
CategoryEngine And Engine Cooling:exhaust System:manifold/header/muffler/tail Pipe
DateAug 09, 2018
StateNC
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 chevrolet silverado 3500. While driving approximately 75 mph, the message "continue driving to clean exhaust system" appeared. The message went away, but returned approximately 35 minutes later along with 'you are on reduce power mode" as the vehicle decelerated. The following day, the vehicle was taken to joe bowman chevrolet-cadillac (2455 e, market street, harrisonburg, va 22801) where it was diagnosed that there was excessive soot on the exhaust filter and it needed cleaning. The vehicle was also taken to carter chevrolet inc, (200 w dixon boulevard, shelby, nc 28152) for the same failure several times; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failures and case number: 8-4492254412 was filed. The approximate failure mileage was 23,000.

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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.

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1 COMMENT
  • John

    I have a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500hd, that has had 2 recalls for faulty block heater, I have had it replaced twice, the first time I had it replaced, within a very short period of time a coolant low notification came up, we took it back to the dealer they reset the code and said the coolant was ok, we had the block heater replaced in Wisconsin, took it back to dealer in Wisconsin to have notification check where it was reset,we then proceeded to go back to Iowa where were living at the time, and the notice popped up again, so we took it back to the dealer where we purchased it. They told us the coolant reservoir had a sensor on the bottom of it that was bad, and that sensor could not be replaced we needed to replace the entire reservoir at our/insurances expense, even though the new about it and said it was pretty common, they knew what the problem was and what caused it, apparently when they changed the block heater air was left in the coolant system which caused the sensor in the reservoir to fail, now apparently we are experiencing the same thing with the second block heater recall replacement, i don’t quite know how to handle this, can’t help thinking that in the block heater replacement process that there aren’t instructions as to evacuating all air from the coolant system as this is obviously a common problem, and I would have thought there would have been a service order for this problem. Please email me thoughs or evidence of other owners having had this problem, Thank You

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