2019 Chevrolet Colorado Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

There isn’t a large selection of pickups for consumers to choose from when looking for a mid-size truck, which is why the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado is so popular. To further appeal to drivers, Chevy states that “life’s more fun with a truck” in hopes of selling the model to enthusiasts. Sadly, many people that get behind the wheel of this vehicle find that there is no fun involved. It has a defective powertrain and malfunctioning service brakes that lead to massive failures.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2018

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Problems with the Transmission

The powertrain is one of the most important parts of the vehicle and must run as expected, especially when putting out a good amount of money to drive. With the Chevy Colorado, many people find that the powertrain isn’t what they expected it to be.

One Edmunds user wrote, “My vehicle is a 2019 Colorado WT with the V6 3.6L engine and 8 sp transmission. It’s been 29.5 years since I bought my first Chevy Silverado truck and in this time I am completely amazed that Chevy can’t or won’t fix the 8 speed transmission correctly (or ditch it for the 6 speed tranny) as my new 2019 Colorado now sits in the dealer’s service shop with two warranty items that now make my purchase a complete waste of time and money. First off at 1800 miles the tranny refuses to shift from 3rd gear to 4th gear normally. I have to get my foot off of the gas pedal to make the tranny shift into 4th gear and yet I do not tow or pull anything with my Colorado.Next up at 2000 miles the check engine light illuminates and the preliminary findings are the engine is running way too lean…..probably the reason the exhaust pipe smells like alcohol when the engine is running.This was supposed to be my “retirement” gift as I just retired and wanted a good-reliable and dependable mid-sized truck and since I owned a 1990 Chevy Silverado for 23.5 years before it finally got stolen, I wanted to see how much Chevy had improved their products even in a mid-sized truck platform. Now I’m totally unhappy, am paying too much a month for a truck with issues and I’ve ONLY had this vehicle for 2 months. I won’t ever buy another Chevy truck, ever. Chevy won’t even fix their known issues with the 8 sp transmission so now I’m left with a lemon vehicle that CAN’T be trusted much less driven on normal streets thanks to not being able to shift from 3rd gear to 4th gear. That limits me to about 30 mph top speed. GO FIGURE Chevy..!!”

Chevrolet isn’t attempting to hide the issues associated with the powertrain. There are currently more than 20 manufacturer communications illustrating various problems found in the system. Service Bulletin #080730026F talks about how the truck might rock forward or rearward while in Park. On top of that, Service Bulletin #N192217820 demonstrates a shake or shudder feeling felt by occupants, while Service Bulletin #16NA017 documents a ticking noise. The list of problems goes on from there, but this is simply an illustration. If drivers aren’t having one transmission problem, it’s likely that they will have another. Still, we aren’t seeing the fun that this truck promises unless the driver enjoys strange noises and movements while behind the wheel.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Transmission Problems:

AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS OF ABOUT 60-65 MPH THE TRANSMISSION IN MY 2019 COLORADO ZR2 V6 AUTOMATIC (THE TRUCK HAS ONLY 5700 MILES ON IT) HAS A SHUDDER OR SHAKING PROBLEM WHICH SHAKES THE WHOLE TRUCK. IT ALSO CAUSES A LOUD LOW FREQUENCY BOOMING NOISE. WHEN IT STARTED HAPPENING IT WAS ALARMING.

TRANSMISSION JERKS AND JUMPS GOING UP A GRADE, OR WHEN APPLYING POWER DURING ACCELERATION. IT IS LIKE DRIVING ON A RUMBLE STRIP, SHUDDERS AND VIBRATES THE CAB. HAVE APPOINTMENT WITH DEALER NEXT WEEK, VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED NEW AND HAS 3600 MILES.

AFTER REPLACING TRANSMISSION FLUID PER TSB 19417577 TRUCK OCCASIONALLY DOES NOT COME OUT OF GEAR WHEN SLOWING DOWN TO A POINT WHERE ENGINE GOES UNDER 500 RPM WHERE GAS IS APPLIED TO KEEP FROM STALLING. THIS SURGE WHILE BRAKING UNDER 10 MPH THEN REQUIRES HARD PRESS ON BRAKE WHICH DOES SEEM TO DROP TRANSMISSION OUT OF GEAR WITH HARD CLUNK. STOPPED JUST INCHES SHORT AT LIGHT FROM CAR IN FRONT OF ME STOPPED AT LIGHT. DEALER CAN NOT IMMEDIATELY REPRODUCE WITH SHORT TEST DRIVE, AND WILL NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO TROUBLESHOOT. BEEN TOLD TO BRING BACK WHEN IT HAPPENS MORE OFTEN.

EIGHT SPEED TRANSMISSION SHUTTERS AND VIBRATES UNDER NORMAL ACCELERATION. MORE NOTICEABLE ON HILLS OR UNDER LIGHT LOAD. CHEVY DEALERS ANSWER: THEY ALL DO IT!! AFTER EXTENSIVE ONLINE SEARCHER, I FOUND THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR 3 TO 4 YEARS WITH NUMEROUS COMPLAINTS AND DISSATISFIED OWNERS! THEY FAIL TO TELL YOU THIS WHEN YOUR BUYING VEHICLE. CHEVY HAS A TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN # 16NA175 ON PROBLEM, BUT WILL NOT RESOLVE PROBLEM. OF ALL THE VEHICLES I’VE OWNED OVER THE YEARS, I HAVE NEVER HAD A DRIVEABILITY PROBLEM THIS SERIOUS.

Problems with the Brakes

Most people can handle some transmission difficulty, as long as the truck continues to move. One component that can’t be dealt with once it begins to malfunction is the service brakes. Not only does this cause major panic in any driver, but it is something that must be looked at by a mechanic immediately.

We see this illustrated by an NHTSA reviewer who wrote, “The vehicle was going down hill on a very busy highway when we tapped the brakes to slow down and the brakes went to the floor and we skid about 300 yards before being able to get the truck to come to a stop. We kept tapping brakes trying to get them to grab and stop us luckily, the car a head of us turned right at the light so we did not crash into them. Then when it did stop the RPM started revving up and the truck lunged forward then the RPM went down. We were very lucky we did not go through the intersection and wreck.”

Browsing through the manufacturer communications, the first thing that jumps out is Service Bulletin #PIT5479B. While this doesn’t address the above concern, it does show how defective the brakes are. The automaker discusses how it appears that fluid is leaking from the brake caliper piston, but it is in fact grease that wasn’t cleaned up during manufacturing. If life is fun with this truck, it might be better to find something slightly less eventful to drive. Between brakes that stop working and a transmission with a mind of its own, it might serve owners better to find a hobby and keep the truck parked at home.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Brake Problems:

THE BRAKES AND ROTORS IN THE REAR OF THE TRUCK WERE GRINDING AT 21K MILES. BROUGHT IT TO DEALERSHIP AT 23K MILES AND HAD TO REPLACE REAR BRAKE PADS AND ROTORS.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

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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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7 COMMENTS
  • Tina K

    Having transmission shuddering when applying the gas around 40 mph not pulling anything. It comes and goes, doesn’t do it every time. Kind of freaked me out at first. Now, this morning I’m having radio issues, it says Tuner Not Available. Can’t connect Bluetooth either. Bought the 2019 Colorado with 12k miles in March 2022 from a dealership, looks like brand new, with after market tires and a lift. Thought I found a true gem. Maybe this is why the first owner got rid of it, they told me he traded for another truck. Haven’t had it back to the dealer yet to look into these issues.

  • Smitty

    Have a 2019 Chevy Colorado 4×4 and love the truck but has had Transmission shuddering since new. I had the Trans fluid changed at 11000 miles and that took care of the issue but now at 27000 miles shudder in Trans is back even worse than before. Great truck but am so disappointed with the ongoing Trans issues. How many times do you have to have fluid changed to take care of the issue per service dept. recommendation? Corporation knows there is transmission issues with these vehicles so then fix the problem instead of putting a temporary band aid on it!

  • Cheryl N

    Own a 2019 Colorado that was a company buy back, radio issue was all that was listed as actually defective. Transmission issue that previous owner complained about. Has 37,000+ miles on it now. Radio went south again and they finally got the fix on it right for me. Transmission hasn’t been an issue since they changed the type of fluid being used in it. Gets terrific mileage for me and I’ve been known to have a heavy foot, up to 29 mpg on the highway and 16-19 in town. At my last oil change this past week the service manager noted that it had an oil leak and asked me to leave it for repairs, pulling cams etc. to fix it. Never had any oil slick or issues and was shocked that they noticed and more shocked they would mention it and still do warranty repair. Pleased with my dealership in small town America even when going thru a very recent change in ownership. This truck carries my recumbent trike on its back in the camper shell acting as a trike garage. Always have been a Chevy driver/ owner and this will probably be my last vehicle. If it experiences no more major issues I’ll be fine with it and Chevrolet.

  • Jim

    My 2019 Colorado Z71 has 71000 miles on it. It has had zero issues. I have a lead foot and this truck has 308hp. I would argue that it is a high performance truck. However, for the first 6 months or so I drove it much more gently then I do now, as it was my first brand new truck in 15 years. I’m not sure if breaking it in gently had a positive affect on it, but I mash on the gas now and there is not hesitation or stuttering of the tyranny. In fact it’s probably the smoothest vehicle that I’ve ever owned.

  • patrick f

    people need to learn to drive this truck not a high proformance truck drive it like you have a egg between your foot and gas pedal i have 55ooo miles with no problems

  • Deborah F

    2019 Chevy Colorado Z71 – has a problem where it feels like you are going over a rumple strip???

  • 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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