2003 Silverado smells, pings


Old 08-02-03, 05:39 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southern Kentucky
Posts: 23
Unhappy 2003 Silverado smells, pings

2003 Chevy Silverado Ext Cab Short Bed
5.3L V8 w/Automatic Trans with 5100 miles on OD. Had it 6 mos.

Engine in this truck has performance issues I have never experienced on a Chevy truck before. This is my 3rd with a gas V8:
1) Rotton egg smell is really bad out the tailpipe. Worse yet it's getting into the cab when vehicle is stopped even with windows up and A/C on.
2) Engine pings (pre-detonation sound) when easy on the throttle such as highway speeds with the cruise on. Thought cheap gas at first but I only use Shell/Mobil. Tried higher grades 89 and 93 and it still makes the noise.
3) Has much less punch off the line than my 2001 Tahoe with the same engine.
4) Gets 14 MPG but my Tahoe with same engine gets around 17 in same driving conditions.
5) Dealership says "no codes set so there's nothing we can do about it."
6) I pulled all TSBs on this vehicle and none were related to my syptoms.
7) Lastly for anyone who has driven a GM 1500HD with the LB7 Duramax diesel in it? It sounds like that but a little quieter.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-02-03, 06:18 PM
msargent's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 469
It sounds like the convertor is stopped up..Or in the process of stopping up..If I had a truck that new, and got that sort of results from the service department, I'd be standing on a manager's chest demanding they fix it...The other thing to keep in mind, IF it is a convertor, continued driving can do a lot more damage than what's already there...Seen 1 blow out the O2 sensors, at roughly $100 a pop, crack exhaust manifolds due to excessive heat..
Old 08-02-03, 09:51 PM
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I am SO sick of reading about dealer service depts. that think diagnosis begins & ends with reading trouble codes!

Return to your dealer. Tell the service advisor or tech to refer to the DIAGNOSIS BY SYMPTOM section of the service manual. Leave the truck, get a loaner on GM's dime & tell the SA not to call you until the truck is fixed.

If you're not satisfied with this GM dealer (and I surely wouldn't be) take it to another dealer. Believe it or not, there ARE many great dealerships staffed by good techs who actually care about fixing your vehicle.
Old 08-02-03, 09:53 PM
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rotten egg smell and poor performance usually = bad cat. converter.

Did the shop road test the vehicle in addition to checking the codes?
Old 08-03-03, 12:22 AM
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unless you brought it to the dealer you bought it from, they are probably brushing you off, some dealers get an attitude like this if you didn't buy it there, which i think is total BS!!!!

msargent, after spending that much money on a new truck---i'd be standing on the service managers chest after i drove into the service department like the terminator into the police station in the first movie, i'll be back!!

to gmt 560: save your receipt of the first attempt at a repair, try it one more time and have the foreman go on the drive with you, explain very calmly how you would like it to be fixed correctly, after no results, read the supplement that should be in your owner's manual about lemon law, walk it into the service managers office and explain how they have one more chance to fix it before it becomes their's permamantly!! believe me, they will be on the phone with detroit that day, getting it fixed.

computers are so highly advanced in cars and trucks today, picture what the home computer has done in the last ten years, now picture that same advancement under your hood. it could be anything from a sensor slightly out of calibration to simply a computer that needs to be reprogrammed, but anything that's wrong needs to be fixed.

you should get your revenge when you get a survey in the mail, they are graded heavily on those

let us know what happens
Old 08-03-03, 05:47 AM
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Thumbs up

I agree with all.

Dealer's problem. Get them to fix it or better yet if they can't figure it out, eat the truck and give you a new one. That's my vote.

Hell with the dealer, I'd be on the phone to HQ in Detroit. I'd tell them the dealer has one more chance. If the problem isn't fixed, my next question to them will be, "Does my new free truck come in this new color for 2004????".

As for the dealer surveys, give them straight zeros on it. You'll be getting a phone call and some action---that's what you want.

I did that to Saturn due to the rotten service (and believe it or not the same problem!). My smell eventually went away, but in 1994 Saturn revised their catalyst composition---the TRUE cause of my problem!
Old 08-03-03, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 2,417
I would pull the hose off the fuel pressure regulator and see if it's leaking.You can't compare the truck to the Tahoe they are 2 different vehicles.Differentials may not be the same gear ratio,weight difference and open versus closed back half of vehicle.The differences could explain the fuel economy,lack of punch of the line.You should also consider that the vehicle is 2 years newer subject to more stringent emission specs,causing in part your somewhat lessened performance.All catalytic convertors give off rotten egg smell when they are exposed to high levels of unburned high sulfur content fuel.This could be due to a rich fuel mixture,misfire(would show on the scan tool) or having your foot in the throttle as going uphill or racing between redlights.If you smell it in the truck the cab vent may be bad or it may be coming in the fresh air vent.A bulletin is out for the noise on some applications.By the way a Duramax is very quiet for a diesel engine,almost like a gas engine except for the diesel odor.
Old 08-03-03, 10:01 AM
darrell McCoy
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Myself, the gas mileage part is sort of SOP on this veh. As stated you cannot compare to a tahoe. I can uderstand your dilema, you have gotten some darn good advice from each and everyone of the posters. True, if it is not the dealer where you bought the truck, some can be a little snobbish, our GM dealer will work on anything any time regardless of where the veh was purchased, they have gotten many awards for people turning in questionere's with good reports. That being said, I would again have a conversation with the dealer/shop. No codes, does not mean everything is AOK. If you have no results, then you should start the ball rolling before you have the truck to long. Get everything in writting and after a few attempts to have the problem corrected, and it is still not right, then start getting nasty about the situation. Understand however, going thru the process of being compensated is not an instant thing. Like the chain of command, you need to follow the steps, dont skip any. again, keep all the paper work you may receive. The majority of shops do not want even one bad rating.
Old 08-23-03, 02:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southern Kentucky
Posts: 23
Update on this truck:

The dealership is still telling me there's nothing they can do about the pinging. I live in Southeastern Michigan and used some connections to get 2 Powertrain Engineers to drive my truck with their computer hooked up to the ALDL connection.

They both noticed the ping but said it was "trace" ping only and nothing to worry about. Their laptop computers noticed something was at 4 degrees (not temperature) sometimes but that the engine's computer was doing its job correcting the condition.

I complained that any audible ping the driver can hear is unacceptable and they disagreed. They said the engine management system is trying to squeeze mileage out of every drop of fuel and thats why it pings sometimes. I guess I expected more from a $35,000 truck. I've never had anything but Chevy in my driveway. Looks like it's time to visit the Ford dealer.
Old 08-23-03, 04:31 PM
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Looks like it's time to bypass the dealer and get on the blower with a lawyer or GM's headquarters for some action.

That's where I would be at this point.
Old 08-06-08, 06:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Southern Kentucky
Posts: 23
Follow up

Wow, amazing to see this information still on here. Follow up on this vehicle. Still in the driveway. 50k miles on it and the ping is gone.

Had a GM factory guy in Flint, MI who was an assembly line repairman tell me about the issues with those engines. The repairman told me to have the oxygen sensors on the exhaust replaced (pre catalytic converter).

Just before it was out of warranty I took it back to the dealer and fought with them until they replaced the oxygen sensors. The ping disappeared after that.

Old 08-06-08, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 579
Sweet!! Next time you have any issues, bring 'er to Saginaw and I'll hook you up .

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