2003 GMC Sierra 1500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 GMC Sierra 1500 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 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) temperature and/or air delivery mode door actuator may fail, resulting in improper temperature or air delivery. If this occurs, fault code(s) should be stored in the HVAC control module which should assist in diagnoses.

The speedometer or other instrument panel gauge may begin to work erratically at times. Our technicians tell us that the instrument cluster must be sent to a repair facility to correct this fault. The warranty has been extended on some of these units to 7 years or 70,000 miles.

Our technicians highly recommend that the transmission is serviced every 30,000 miles to avoid problems and maintain optimal operating order.

It is common for the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank read the fuel level incorrectly. The sensor must be replaced to correct the condition. Our technicians recommend having the complete fuel pump module replaced on high mileage vehicles.

The daytime running lights are prone to burning out. Our technicians tell us that the light sockets may show signs of heat damage but usually are OK. Always be sure to use the correct replacement bulb for the best life expectancy. The new bulb recommendation for 1999-2003 models is #4114K (trade number).

The CD player may fail due to an internal fault with the radio. Our technicians tell us that in most cases, the radio unit will need to be sent to a specialty repair shop to correct this issue.

A poor electrical ground under the battery tray may cause the ABS warning light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that cleaning and properly securing this ground and also the main ABS ground on the frame rail below the drivers door may be necessary.

The steering may develop a clunk type noise from the upper intermediate steering shaft.  Our technicians tell us that you should check with you local GM dealer to find out what the latest repair is for this condition.

The steering wheel position sensor may fail, resulting in the service stability message being displayed.

A clicking noise may be noted from the turn signal flasher after the turn signals are switched off.  This is commonly cause by a faulty turn signal switch which will require replacement.

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

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) pump may stay running after the ignition is turned off causing the battery to go dead. Our technicians tell us that the ABS control module should be replaced to correct this fault.

The muffler heat shield may become loose on the muffler causing a rattle or popping noise. Our technicians tell us there is a kit available from GM to correct this problem.

The battery may leak acid at the battery cable connections. As a result corrosion may form on the battery cable ends. Leaking batteries should be replaced and the cables need to be thoroughly cleaned or replaced if necessary.