GMC Sierra 1500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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

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.

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 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.

The inside door handles are prone to breaking.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate.

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

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart.

The GMC Sierra 1500 is known to have issues with the EVAP system, a part of your emission control system.

The EVAP canister vent valve or valve solenoid wiring may fail causing illumination of the check engine light, setting code P0446, and problems filling the tank with fuel.

To correct the issue, the EVAP canister vent valve, solenoid, and wiring must be inspected. The most common fix is replacement of the wiring connector or replacement of the vent valve assembly.

The GMC Sierra 1500 has a known issue with the air pump check valve which causes illumination of the check engine light. There are no notable symptoms, but the vehicle will not pass state inspection or smog testing. 

When the valve fails, it sticks closed, and the computer sets the code P1416. Replacement of the check valve is the only fix, as the valve is not serviceable. 

This page can provide more information about the air pump check valve. 

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.

The GMC Sierra 1500 uses a throttle position sensor (TPS) which commonly fails and causes:

This issue is related to the throttle position sensor, and can be caused by faulty wiring to the TPS, bad connection at the TPS, or a failed TPS.

To correct this issue, the wiring harness, connector, and throttle position sensor must be inspected, tested, and/or replaced. The most common cause is a faulty TPS.

The headlight switch used on the GMC Sierra 1500 is known to fail through normal operation. Since the headlight switch is also integrated into the interior lights, a malfunctioning switch can cause issues with interior lights as well.

  • Symptoms of a failed headlight switch include:
  • Headlights and taillights failing to turn on or off
  • Interior lights flicker, or fail to turn on or off
  • Gauge cluster lighting off or flickering with headlights on
  • Parking light malfunctions  

This issue is well known with General Motors Trucks and SUVs, and is solved by testing and, if needed, replacing the headlight/dimmer switch. Bad grounding wires at the tail-lights, and dirty/corroded tow package wires can also lead to some of these issues. 

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

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.