2018 GMC Sierra 2500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

In the world of heavy-duty trucks, there aren’t many options. That’s why the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500 continues to gain popularity. The automaker claims that the newest lineup features “powerful performance,” but many owners are struggling to get this pickup to perform at all. From a recall dealing with the engine to a defective powertrain and faulty fuel system, the manufacturer has a lot to answer for.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Power Train:automatic Transmission
Seat Belts

Problems with the Engine

To create a “powerful performance” the truck must be equipped with a potent engine. While this pickup appears to have everything in order by looking at the specs, a quick glance at reviews shows it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Here is one NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2018 GMC Sierra 2500. While driving 30-50 mph up a hill, the vehicle shuddered. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired.”

Furthermore, there was a massive recall affecting more than 300,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V328000 says that the engine block heater might suffer from a terminal short-circuit, which could increase the risk of fire. What’s even more dangerous is that many dealers aren’t fixing the problem, because they don’t have the parts yet. Some are even disconnecting the block heater instead of making the repair. Considering owners pay more to drive the GMC versus the Chevy model, it’s no wonder that consumers are angry. After all, they might as well drive the Silverado.

Problems with the Transmission

The most critical component in a powertrain is the transmission. With all of the towing and hauling that owners need to do with the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500, this component must be in top-notch working order, but it’s not.

Here is one NHTSA review worth reading. “Truck began rolling downhill while the vehicle was in PARK with the keys out of the ignition. I was removing a child seat from the passenger side rear seat at the time. Spouse was able to hurriedly jump into the vehicle and apply the brakes.”

It’s a good thing that there wasn’t a child in the seat at the time or things could have been much worse. The company isn’t trying to hide powertrain issues. In fact, one of the many communications, Service Bulletin #080730026F, states that some vehicles might actually rock or move forward even when in Park. This is most common after sitting in the cold and can also be accompanied by a clunking noise. Apparently, the Sierra 2500 wants to get away, by any means necessary.

Problems with the Fuel System

A look at the fuel system reveals the same level of defects and poor manufacturing practices. Without the right amount of fuel, the truck has no hope of performing the way it should, especially if it is broken down.

That’s precisely the case with this next Edmunds review. “So this is a replacement of a Chevy 3500 I purchased (that was bought back after 18 months). Primary purpose of purchasing is to haul a tiny house (12K lbs) across country 2 x a year between CA and Carolinas. Have made trip 5 times across and broken down 3 x. Ugh. Currently sitting at a friend’s house in CA while truck remains unrepaired in AZ and have been waiting nearly 3 weeks for a replacement part (believe fuel pump) that they can’t locate. Have had to incur hotel expenses as well as cost to tow my tiny house and additional expenses as being stuck out in desert. GM hasn’t been helpful, took over a week to reach the GM rep who I called daily. Very frustrating after paying over $70K and it is the 2nd vehicle.”

It’s inconceivable that a dealer would have to wait for weeks to get a fuel pump for a truck. It’s almost as ridiculous as reading Service Bulletin #18NA137 which discusses the need to rebuild the fuel injectors because of an underhood odor and trouble cranking. Is there any part of this heavy-duty truck that knows how to get the job done? In fact, it might be time for the GMC truck to change its tagline to “powerful underperformance” instead.

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 GMC 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.

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  • Everett L

    Vehicle shows low radiator fluid, but it is completely full. Also check engine block heaters.

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