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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question. Please bear in mind that it is asked in all honesty.


First, a bit of a background on my trucks. I bought a 1500 Silverado new in 1978 and ran it until 1998. The '78 had a 350 engine and, except for occasional maintenance, was flawless throughout its 180,000 miles of use. Then, I bought a 1998 chevy Suburban and ran it for four years. It, also, was flawless, but it wasn't a "rig." I sold the Suburban (sob) and bought a new 2500 Avalanche with the 8.1 engine. The Avy was a fabulous rig, but the rear visibility sucked, so I sold it after a year and a half. My present rig is a 2003 Chevy Z-71 EC/SB with the 5.3 engine. I love the Z-71 and it answers every purpose without hesitation.


Basically, my Chevy gassers have been perfect. They needed gas, LOF and occasional fixing; that's it.


In lurking on this forum, it seems that everybody had fuel/filter/power/Injector/hesitation problems. Heck, even my cyber-buddy, Campfire Rick, had his new GMC Duramax fail in flight at 14K miles the other day. Knowing Rick, he had every filter and doo-dad on the Red Bomber.


My question is this, and please bear in mind that I'm a Chevy guy and not a troll: Can a guy just buy a Duramax, service it regularly at the dealer's, watch the places he buys fuel (so that it is clean) and just drive the bloody thing?


Obviously, I've always driven gassers, but the quiet diesel, the Duramax, is interesting. I'm wondering if I can buy one and have as trouble-free service as I've had from my gasoline-powered Chevys.


I guess what I'm asking is am I seeing only problems and whiners, while the happy owners that have no problems are busy enjoying their rigs, rather than posting on the Internet?


It doesn't make sense for Chevrolet sell a diesel for $47,000 that is as much trouble as I'm seeing on this forum. Or does it?


Anyway, my question is a serious one, from a potential buyer. I hope some of you folks will be totally honest with me.


I write for hunting/firearms magazines and the last thing I need is a broken diesel in Jordan, Montana at 30° below. Please help.


Thanks, Steve
 

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When I bought my truck last year, Steve, I knew nothing about all of these diesel issues. I just thought they were more reliable and more efficient haulers. What I am getting from these boards is the knowledge that I hope will keep the long term expense of ownership reasonable. For example, the dealer said nothing to me about running synthetic oil in my truck in my cold climate (Maine). The service department had never had the request before for a diesel. I hate to think how it would sound starting with the original oil and the extra engine wear it would be sustaining. I learned optimal use of block heaters on these forums. I'm learning about secondary fuel filtration and appropriate fuel additives. As dmax lover stated in a post here, these trucks have European designed injectors running dirty American fuel. I hope that by taking a little extra care with my "stock" truck that I will be able to enjoy the benefits of a diesel and avoid the problems. While the learning curve is a little steep for someone who will always have to use the service department for everything (including changing the oil), I am enjoying the process and the truck. It's pretty nippy here in Maine right now and this truck has run beautifully while being a real pleasure to drive. So far, I remain thankful for the rebates that enabled me to buy such a nice vehicle. But in sympathy, I don't believe I would have gone with a diesel if I had read these forums first. I have an 03 CC SB with 9,500 miles.
 

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Muledeer,


You are correct in the assumption that most people on here are looking for fixes to problems, power upgrades or both. This probably accounts to less than 1 percent of the trucks out there with this combination. I myself am driving a stock truck but will be honest and say that I am looking for a power upgrade because of the rig I pull (and a little bit of the hot-rodder in me). I also look to these forums for advise and to see potential problems so that if I feel like it I can spend the money on 'Precautionary' items. Learning how Diesels are is something new to me and I'm just trying to learn more as you seem to be doing so that we're more informed. I'm still undecided about a secondary fuel filter but will be making sure that mine is changed every 10,000 just to be safe. If your going to be in the cold with it you might want to consider some of the recomendations for addtional heating (oil, fuel, etc.). Power wise, i haven't driven a gasser that felt the way this diesel does and I have to say that I love it. In fact, so does my wife and we'd have two if we could afford it!


Hope this helps
 

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muledeer,


Likewise, I have been a GM guy. Last truck was 88 with the 350. put 207K miles one it with few problems. Did have a transmission problem the last couple of years. Purchased a 2003 D/A the end of May with 13K miles on it. Today it reads 25,500 and have loved every mile. Only issue is that it has been at a dealers twice. One each to have the camper mirrors replaces.


Love the way it handles the 5er and am looking forward to many more years of towing enjoyment.
 

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MuleDeer said:
In lurking on this forum, it seems that everybody had fuel/filter/power/Injector/hesitation problems. Heck, even my cyber-buddy, Campfire Rick, had his new GMC Duramax fail in flight at 14K miles the other day. Knowing Rick, he had every filter and doo-dad on the Red Bomber.

I've had none of the problems that you speak of and I'm at about 75,000 Miles. The Nicktane is on because I believe that George M is correct and cleaner is always better over the long haul.
 

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i'll chime in as I do not post much. I have an 03 GMC D/A with 19K, all trouble free. I have added a pre filter as far as preventive measures, but everything else has been for fun. the only thing I experience is a little blue smoke on a cold start, not sweating that as many here hav ethe same thing. I would not hesitate to do it again. As was mentioned before, the amount of folks who have problems here amounts to be a "rounding error" as far as problems go with the majority of trucks on the road.


BUY, DRIVE ENJOY



marc
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Friends,


Thank you. I was afraid that asking my question would bring flaming and criticism. Instead, the replies are open, friendly, honest and helpful. This speaks well of you guys in particular and the forum in general.


Steve
 

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Mule, I've also wondered the same thing. I have an '01 with about 21,000 on it and have had no problems. But I keep wondering if and when it's going to drop dead. I've heard that the 01's are more problematic than the newer ones. Not sure how true that is either. Mine is completely stock and I change all the filters regularly and the fluids. I tow a travel trailer on occasion and it's a dream with the Duramax. I just hope it doesn't die right after the warranty expires. I don't think I can afford to have an injector job done.
 

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Steve I bought a 2004 CC LB on 29 Dec 03 and drove it from Kansas City to Destin FL and then to Alaska. I towed an 8K pound trailer across the frozen tundra of Canada with ease. I have just over 7000 miles and love it - my 4th Chevy truck and first diesel. I put on a Nicktane for the long drive and uncertain fuel sources - helped my piece of mind if nothing else. I treat the inputs on this site as good folks looking out for each other and that is much appreciated!
 

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Muledeer: Talked to parts manager at my dealers today. Happens to be a friend of mine so I believe what he says. I asked him if they have any problems with Duramaxs, injectors mainly. They are not a huge dealer but sell 4 to 7 a month. He told me no problems at all with D/maxs and they have not had 1 injector problem. Told me if I wanted to put pre filter on it surely would not hurt anything. Just maintain truck and drive it.... Thats what I am going to do.
 

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Like on 24 or any other forum the negative posts always outnumber the positive... Just the way the sucks action posts go.
 

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I'm at 19,600 on my 03 now . No problems except a crank case sensor, replaced by dealer and a bent connector on the edge box, my fix. No matter what brand of vehicle you buy there is always a risk that something will break or wearout.there is no more risk in buying the Dmax than any others out there. I have no regrets buying mine and would buy another today. Find a dealer with a good service manager that will be honest with you, sometimes that the hardest part, and go get the truck you want. the way you take care of your vehicles you should be more than please with a new Dmax.


just my opinion


03Dmax 19,600


93Z-71 over 165,000


99 Tahoe 70,000


All going strong
 

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I talked to a service manager at a nearby dealer and asked him what problems he has seen with the Durmax and he said he had just seen a few with injector problems, but that was it! Other than that nothing major or any other service claims that had a repetitive pattern! He said it was I good engine and I believe him. I think extra fuel filtration is a must if you plan to keep the truck for a long time. Diesel fuel is not a s clean as it should be for the fuel systems in these new trucks but they will run without extra filtration, its just a question of longevity. Most of us are willing to pay a little for protection of a very expensive machine. I guess the best answer to your question is "Do you feel lucky"! And let us know if you decide to get a Duramax Steve!
 

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I am very satisfied with my 03 CC SB, have just over 16,500 miles on it in 13 months. While all the talk about the injector failures and price to fix did worry me at first, I feel it is not worth worrying myself into depression over it. Besides I still have almost 4 years left of coverage on them anyway! Why worry now!! I did add a pre filter to keep the fuel system clean as I want to keep this truck for a long time. If and when I have problems with the truck, I will deal with it at that time, but worrying about possible problems and what if's everyday will kill you, not to mention make you second guess your purchase when there is nothing wrong with your truck in the first place. So far my track has been flawless, not one visit to the dealer, except for a free oil change.
I'll worry about problems if and when they happen, I have done all I can do to help preserve the system and the longevity of the truck.


Bob
 

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I am a Tech at a Chevrolet dealer.Since the diesel has come out.I have seen only 3 or 4 with injector issues.Seen 2 with EGR problems and replaced 1 glowplug.There are alot of Duramaxs on the road selling more and more each day across the nation.The engine has a 100,000 mile warranty.I have seen a list on what is covered and it is very long.There is also rumor that the injectors will be covered 100,000 also.Not sure if anybody else has any info on this?I would buy another one in a HEARTBEAT!
 

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Injectors always have been covered for 100,000 miles.
 

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As stated before I have an '01 and it is just freaking perfect. Just now at 35,784. A few weeks back on a Saturday, I spent about 2 hours going all over the truck, looking at everything I had ever read about on the boards, axle seals, belt pully etc etc. make a list of everything I could find and took it to the dealer on Monday (had an appointment) to get everything fixed before the warranty expired.......Picked it up Monday at noon with new isolators on the rear springs, that's all I could find to get fixed under warranty. Not bad, not bad at all.


History since May 2001 when I bought it


1. Went into limp mode once, replaced tranny switch


2. Leaking Delco battery, replaced under warranty


3. Broken washer motor, replaced under warranty (I am convinced they broke it changing the battery).


4. Rear Spring isolators, replaced to correct spring slap noise.


5. I had them replace the '01 airbox with an '02 airbox under a TSB that was out. Upgraded the EMU and Tranny software once.


That's it in about 33 months of service. I tow a 28' car trailer in the summer and it's the greatest tow vehicle out there. Haul about 9K and sometimes I forget it's all back there LOL


It's all stock except for the Nictane and 45 gallon T/F tank. I love the truck and want to do everything I can to take care of it. It is definitely over maintained to the point of being borderline rediculious.


I've changed the rear fluid twice now, changed the TranSynd twice (3 tranny fluid changes counting the original DEX III in 30K), use only DELVAC 1 last 20K, now on my 3rd fuel filter.


So as I leave the comfort of 3/36, I feel well prepared to face the brave new world outside of 3/36 LOL besides I still have 64,000 left on the engine and that's where all the possible issue may be. Have not heard much bout the Allison or anything else lately. Of course I can still go get an extended warranty before it actually hits 36k, but not planning on it.


So go for it and enjoy the truck. If anything happens you are covered and GM is a heck of a lot better today with service techs and training than they were 2 years ago.


Best regards,
 

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While I don't have that many posts on this forum, I have been a 'lurker' for about two months before I bought a used Duramax, '01 CC. It had 49,000 miles on it and was taken care of. I too, just like the original poster had a Chevy Avalanche that I thought my wife thought I would be buried in, but we traded campers, went froma pop up to a 7000 travel trailer. One tow and I knew that I had to have a diesel to hau it with. Like Muledeer, i have seen the posts about the problems that others are having, but in the forums for chevy avalanche and ford f-150 (previous truck before AVA), most posts were about problems and really only accounted for very few of the truck owners, and most were related to higher performance issues and how can you know that others are maintaining their vehicles at our higher standards?


I for one have loved this diesel for the past 5,000 miles I have put on it in the past two months, I pull a mountain each day going to work, and have had slight snowfall twice, ice three times on the mountain and am constanly looking over the truck to check things I have read about on this forum, and to make sure the previous owner took as good a care of it as I expect of myself. I do not regret purchasing this truck. wish I had done it sooner!


Edited by: DevilDog
 

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I have 21K on my 03 & have had the truck in the shop one time (leaking rear axle seal - had casting material still on the sealing surface causing a cut & leak).

I am not worried about the truck & it has been a REAL pleasure to drive. I put a nicktane kit on at 10K miles "just in case", but I really don't expect any problems in the future.

Get your D-Max, Drive it, do the normal maintanence, DO use fuel additives, if nothing else, use additives to lube the pump because the "new" generation of fuels have been refined to take out most of the natural lubricants (sulpher?).

PDS
 

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MuleDeer,


I started with a 3/4 ton chevy in 86". Not one significant problem in 240K. I sold it for a Z71 in 97". Again, not one significant problem in 165K. In fact, the closest I ever came to needing AAA was when I first drove my Z71 and realized I only had one fuel tank. I coasted two miles downhill to a gas station. My 03 D-Max is a different story. It's been loaded on a flatbed three times. Electrical problems the first time and transmission problems on the other two occasions. I've had other warrenty problems as well. The fact is that all of the problems have been corrected and the truck runs well these days. The truck pulls my 7500 lb boat and trailer like it was a toy. That's hard to beat. Passing all the other pickups on steep grades is fun too. Having said all that, if I had to do it over again, I would probably go with the 8.1. The fact is that I don't tow enough to really take advantage of the diesel and the fuel savings are not likely to change my lifestyle. Unfortunately, what other people say about these trucks is true, once you drive one of these for a while, you do get attached to diesel power. I can't see myself going back to gas. I can only try to save you!


JSM
 
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