1996 GMC 1500 Pickup Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 GMC 1500 Pickup as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The windshield wipers may not work intermittently due to a faulty wiper motor control board. Our technicians tell us that lightly taping on the wiper motor when the fault occurs should temporarily get the wipers working again. Some vehicles were recalled for this problem and some were not. You will need to check with your local dealer to find out if a specific vehicle was included.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.

The inside and outside door handles are prone to breaking.

Vehicles equipped whit a 4 speed automatic transmission may develop a harsh 1-2 shift and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light with code P1870 stored. This can be caused by wear of the bore for the TCC isolator and regulator valves in the valve body. This condition does not commonly occur until the transmission reaches normal operating temperature. If the valve body is worn, replacement will be necessary to correct this concern.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

The front or rear differential may develop an abnormal noise due to worn bearings or another internal fault. Our technicians tell us that a complete overhaul of the affected differential is commonly necessary to correct this condition.

The engine may develop a misfire due to worn valve seats. This fault will cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us the misfire may or may not be felt while driving. They further recommend that both cylinder heads be removed and thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary.

One or more fuel injectors may become stuck closed causing an engine misfire  and the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that this problem can be caused by some fuel additives. There are special procedures which may be able to restore the affected injector. If this fails the affected injector must be replaced.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. Our technicians recommend replacing the spark plug wires also at this time.

Extended life coolant may become contaminated and require cooling system service before the recommended 100,000 miles.

The quick-connect fittings for the heater hoses tend to leak engine coolant. This problem commonly occurs because the metal housing has become brittle, which can break and cause leaks.

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) air delivery and/or temperature mode door actuator may fail. This can result in incorrect air delivery or temperature. If this occurs, fault code(s) stored in the HVAC control module should be available to assist with diagnoses.

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. This can result in an engine overheating condition. A leaking water pump will require replacement.

The intake manifold gasket may develop and external engine oil or coolant leak. In some cases, an internal coolant leak may occur causing coolant to mix with the engine oil. Running the engine with a coolant/oil mix may result in engine damage. Replacing the intake manifold gasket should correct this issue.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) front wheel speed sensors are prone to failure. When a sensor fails, the ABS warning light may illuminate and/or the ABS system may activate erratically.