2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, Electrical System, and Exterior lighting issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

This article was written by Brian Jones, trusted ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Expert Automotive Contributor

Chevrolet claims its Silverado is “the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road.” But that’s a lie– especially when it comes to the 2017 Silverado, a pickup brimming with reliability issues. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), the truck’s main problem areas are the powertrain, electrical system, and Exterior lighting.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018    2019

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Problems with the Transmission

The 2017 Silverado was offered with a trio of engine options, along with either a 6-speed or 8-speed automatic transmission. There aren’t many complaints about the base transmission, but owners everywhere are up in arms over the 8-speed. The unit has several issues such as banging into gear, delayed shifts and an illuminated check engine light.

On Edmunds.com, one owner writes, “This truck hesitates when accelerating and it shifts hard in both upshifts and downshifts. I read a bunch of online reviews on various websites and found out this is a common problem. I took it back to the dealer, they looked it over, and told me the same thing–it’s a common problem. They said it would work itself out, but it might take up to 12 or 14,000 miles! I’ve now had it for 9 months and driven it for 13,600 miles. No change. It still hesitates when cold and even lukewarm. Once it gets hot, it doesn’t have this problem unless I really punch it to try to pass some slow poke. If it downshifts to make the pass, it shifts hard and hesitates. This is all very frustrating and really disappoints me. I had a Colorado for 13 years that had no problems of this kind. (It had other problems, but not this one.) This problem makes me want to sell this truck and go with a Ram instead. *This is a Custom double cab with a 5.3, but this website didn’t give that as a trim choice.”

Chevrolet released a technical service bulletin (TSB) regarding the issue. According to the TSB (16-NA-404) , the cure is to reprogram the transmission’s computer, the transmission control module (TCM). Of course, since a TSB isn’t sent out to owners like a recall would be, many Silverado drivers are left in the dark.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Transmission Problems:

WHEN COMING TO A STOP HEARING A CLUNK IN THE DRIVE TRAIN HAD SAME ISSUE WITH 2016 SILVERADO CHEVROLET REPLACED CONTROL MODULE AND CALIBRATED GEARS ON 2016 BUT WHEN I TOLD THEM ABOUT THE SAME ISSUE WITH THE 2017 I WAS TOLD THIS IS NORMAL SO WHY WOULD THEY WASTE TIME AND MONEY TRYING TO REPAIR AN ISSUE IN THEIR WORDS IS NOT AN ISSUE IS BEYOND ME, THIS NEEDS TO BE RECALL ITEM BEFROE MECHANICAL FAILURES RESUT IN INJURIES OR LOSS OF LIVES.

8 SPEED TRANSMISSION SHIFT VERY ROUGH FROM 1-2 AND 2-1 GEARS, FREQUENTLY HESITATES, MAKES CLUNKING SOUND. HAVE TAKEN IT TO GM DEALER AND AM INFORMED THAT YES, THAT’S THE WAY THE 8 SPEEDS ARE. THIS IS A $50K + TRUCK. THIS TRANSMISSION ISSUE CAUSES AND CAN CAUSE HESITATION WHEN NEEDING TO ACCELERATE, THUS CREATING A SAFETY HAZARD.

8 SPEED TRANSMISSION CLUNKS WHEN SHIFTING INTO 2 GEAR AND AT TIMES FEELS LIKE YOU GOT REAR ENDED. WHEN IT DOWN SHIFTS INTO THE LOWER GEARS IT’S ALSO CLUNKS AND IS NOT SMOOTH. THIS IS HAPPENING WHEN GOING AT SLOW SPEEDS AND IS WORSE AFTER A COLD START . THE VEHICLE SHIFTS FINE AT HWY SPEEDS. I HAVE ALREADY BROUGHT IT TO THE DEALERSHIP TWICE AND PROBLEM IS STILL THERE. TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH GM 8 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND THEY ARE HAVING THE SAME ISSUE. 8 SPEED TRANSMISSION NEEDS RECALL. POSSIBLY TORQUE CONVERTER

Problems with the Infotainment System

These days, touchscreen infotainment systems are offered in everything from luxury sedans to stripped-down compacts. Chevy’s take on this modern technology is the MyLink multimedia display. The unit combines entertainment functions, such as radio and music streaming, with connectivity such as GPS and cell phone integration.

While most automakers have ironed out their infotainment system bugs, Chevy is still struggling. Many 2017 Silverado owners complain of problems such as audio systems that cut out and voice commands that go unheard.

“The truck drives fine, nothing to write home about but nothing to complain about. Its the stereo that ruins this truck. It “features” the inability to remember your previous settings. what you were doing when you turned it off. I set it up to Bluetooth with my phone to play music. But when you turn off the vehicle it decides you must have wanted to listen to the radio again. It also decides that you must have wanted to turn the volume down so you can not hear the Bluetooth FM transmitter you installed so it will play music correctly. In short there is no reason why you should have to buy a $15 dollar accessory to make play music off your phone without requiring a 20 second delay to allow human interaction, every time you turn the car off. It is so frustrating it ruins all the driving experience and makes me hate this car,” writes one owner, on Edmunds.com.

There is a TSB (17-NA-025) that promises a cure for the problem. The document instructs dealerships to preprogram the Human Machine Interface Module, an electronic component that sounds like something from a Terminator movie.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Electrical Problems:

BOUGHT 2017 SILVERADO 1500 LTZ NEW. BACKUP CAMERA WILL NOT DIM AT NIGHT, BLINDING, MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO BACK UP, UNABLE TO SEE INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. BEEN THAT WAY SINCE NEW. IT’S A SAFETY FACTOR, RIGHT NOW IT WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT IT AT NIGHT. SALESMAN AT DEALERSHIP SAID THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS. I HAVE THREE OTHER GM VEHICLES, ALL OF THEM HAVE BACKUP CAMERAS THAT DIM WITH THE INSTRUMENT LIGHTING. I WAS TOLD THERE IS A SERVICE BULLETIN OUT THERE, BUT THE DEALER KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT IT..

RADIO DISPLAY CHANGES FROM BRIGHT TO DIM WHENEVER IT WANTS TO. ALSO RADIO CHANGES WITHOUT EVEN TOUCHING THE SCREEN. POWER ADAPTER HAS STARTED NOT POWERING GARMIN AFTER BEING PLUGGED IN DURING TRIP. HAD TO TRY RECONNECTING SEVERAL TIMES. AFTER CONNECTION FIXED GARMIN LOST POWER EVEN AFTER REINSERTING ADAPTER. THESE PROBLEMS HAPPEN ON BOTH CITY, HIGHWAY AND FREEWAY DRIVING. THE LATEST WAS SHOWN TO LOCAL DEALER RIGHT AFTER IT HAPPENED. I’M SURE WHEN THE VEHICLE IS CHECKED UNDER WARRANTY THAT NOTHING WILL BE FOUND. THATS WHY I WANT ANSWERS IF YOU HAVE ANY. MOST RECENTLY IT HAPPENED ON 20 FEB. 18

DRIVERS DOOR COULD NOT BE OPENED FROM INSIDE THE VEHICLE. HANDLE MOVED BUT DOOR MECHANISM WOULD NOT ENGAGE. HAD TO LOWER DRIVERS WINDOW AND USE EXTERIOR DOOR HANDLE TO OPEN THE DOOR. AFTER TURNING VEHICLE OFF AND RESTARTING THE ENGINE THE DRIVERS DOOR INSIDE DOOR HANDLE MECHANISM WORKED AGAIN. I’M CONCERNED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO EXIT THE VEHICLE QUICKLY IN AN EMERGENCY OR IF POWER WAS DISRUPTED TO THE VEHICLE AND WAS UNABLE TO LOWER THE WINDOW. VEHICLE WAS STOPPED IN A SNOW STORM (BLIZZARD) ON A BACK COUNTRY ROAD AT THE TIME OF INCIDENT

Problems with the Backup Camera

What good is a backup camera if you can’t look at it? Many Silverado owners ponder that question, as they’re forced to look away from their ultra-bright backup displays.

On the NHTSA website, one consumer complains, “Backup camera on in dash display is extremely bright at night. There is no way for the driver to adjust the brightness. It is so bright that you can not see anything else and can’t even see the screen because it’s so bright!”

Another laments, “Backup camera too bright for backup at night while still needing to view side mirrors. It would be great to come up with a sliding “on screen” brightness control for immediate control over the backup camera on screen brightness. Way too bright for safety.”

Fortunately, General Motors released a TSB (17-NA-2690) to address the concern. In it, dealers are instructed to reprogram the radio controls to fix the problem. At least now, Silverado owners won’t have to wear sunglasses to look at their backup display.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Lighting Problems.

WHILE UTILIZING THE HIGH BEAM FUNCTION OF THE PROJECTION LIGHTING SHAKE OR RATTLE WHEN TRAVELING OVER BUMPS ON THE ROAD CAUSING A FLICKERING AFFECT OF THE LIGHTS. I HAVE HAD THE ENTIRE HEADLIGHT ASSEMBLY REPLACED AND THE DEFECT IS STILL PRESENT. I HAVE DRIVEN TWO 2017 AND ONE 2018 SILVERADO PICKUPS AND THE DEFECT WAS ALSO PRESENT. THIS DEFECT IS VERY DISTRACTING DURING NIGHTTIME DRIVING AND POSES A SAFETY RISK DURING NORMAL VEHICLE OPERATIONS.

HEADLIGHTS ARE NOT VERY GOOD AT ALL. I HAVE ADJUSTED THEM AND THEN OTHER DRIVERS BRIGHT LIGHT ME. I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING TO BE ABLE TO SEE BETTER AT NIGHT BUT NOTHING HAS WORKED FOR ME.

BACKUP CAMERA TOO BRIGHT FOR BACKIUP AT NIGHT WHILE STILL NEEDING TO VIEW SIDE MIRRORS. IT WOULD BE GREAT TO COME UP WITH A SLIDING “ON SCREEN” BRIGHTNESS CONTROL FOR IMMEDIATE CONTROL OVER THE BACKUP CAMERA ON SCREEN BRIGHTNESS. WAY TOO BRIGHT FOR SAFETY / STILL NEEDING TO VIEW SIDE MIRRORS.

THE LIGHT FOR THE BACKUP CAMERA IS EXTREMELY BRIGHT AND BLINDING AT NIGHT. IT BLOCKS UP YOUR VIEW OF THE CAMERA AND MUST BE COVERED WITH A TOWEL IN ORDER TO SEE WHEN BACKING AT NIGHT. I SPOKE WITH GENERAL MOTORS AND WAS TOLD THAT THERE IS NO FIX. THIS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE WITH BACKING UP AT NIGHT.

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17 COMMENTS
  • Mark G

    Purchased a 2017 Chevy Silverado brand new, replaced front wheel bearing, sensors, went through three batteries ( they can’t understand why at dealership) radiator and now a freaking transmission done everything per manufacturer spec. Started out right after warranty went out!!!

  • Terry H

    Transmission issue !!! in this case mine was a 2014 Silverado LT Ext cab Z71.
    Around 70000 miles it started, was intermittent at first then worse at times. Made a real dominate wineing noise when shifting. My dealer said they can’t do anything until it throws a code. Now at 83000 miles still doing the same, I am very close to my Ext Warrantee expireing. So I decided to trade it in on a 2017 Silverado Ext cab LT Z71 Texas Edition. The first test drive on my trade ( the 2014 ) The dealership put a new tranny in it WOW !!! Then blamed me ! I told them my dealership said there was no problem.

  • Christopher M

    I bought my 2017 Silverado 1500 used in 2017 with 20,099 miles. The truck was an elite build from the same dealership I bought it from. The elite build consisted of Fabtech 6” lift, led headlights and fog lights, 22×12 rims, 35” tires, AMP steps and speedometer calibration. At 70,000 miles my transmission went and bought a new GM transmission ($4,300). After the new transmission was installed I experienced several occasions of the stabilitrack warning coming on and staying on resulting in loss of acceleration and transmission not going out of 2nd gear. Automotive shop that replaced transmission flashed the TCM and got me back on the road. Several more stabilitrack issues occurred and sending me back to the shop. The new transmission had to be replaced after 21,000 miles because the park went out. GM honored the warranty and replaced it at no cost. Now I’ve had several occurrences where after accelerating or braking the lights will flash off and on inside and out of the truck. And three occasions now I’ve come to a complete stop and my truck dies and resets my clock radio and all presets. I’ve been to the shop multiple times to address these issues but no seems to be able to give me any answers or fix the problem. I’m at a point where I’m concerned to drive the truck by myself or with my family in fear of being stranded or loosing power to my steering or brakes.

  • Jeff

    2017 Silverado V6 -6 speed tranny.. Let me explain this issue, remember back when the 4 – 5 speed trannys stick shift were popular. That’s how I can explain my issue. My trans. Acts like your going from 1st, then second, then to 4th gear.. Know what I mean.. Almost like it wants to slip, but it doesnt!! Just a vibration.. Also it does it almost everytime I come to e relight, at about 32-33 mph. Crazy crap..truck has done this since around 15k miles, also it came with 20″ wheels new!!

  • Randy k

    Bought a 2017 silverado with similar transmission issues. No assistance from dealership. Spoke to General Motors and awaiting their response. Not worth $65,000 for a poor performance vehicle.

  • Rich J

    I just endured an issue with that involved the wiring. Wiring running along the frame had corroded and eventually failed causing the truck to die on a busy road. It would not start again and had to be towed the dealership. I was told the corrosion was so bad the wiring failed and this caused issues with the fuel pump. I purchased the vehicle on 1/20/2017 and this occurred on 1/30/2020, 10 days outside my 36 month bumper to bumper warranty. My mileage was less than 33,000 so well within the 36,000 miles. They told me even though the corrosion issue started prior to the expiration of my warranty, it was still not covered as it was outside the 36 months. I had a prior GM vehicle with less than 60,000 miles on it that left me stranded 3 times. I should have learned. I will never buy another GM vehicle. Overpriced junk.

  • ches k

    2017 gmc pickup,the back up
    camera is so bright you can
    not see to backup at night,I cover the
    screen with a towel to be able
    to see,hate it

  • Diana F

    I purchased my Chevy Silverado in April 2017. It has been in the shop enough to legally be deemed a lemon. I just never pursued the course of action. I’ve taken the truck in repeatedly for hard shifting and what feels like I’ve been rear ended, only to be told this is normal in these newer transmissions. “They all behave that way.” The transmission has been reprogrammed three times I believe, and there is never any improvement or remedy. Basically Chevy sucks.

  • Stephen M

    Transmission issues down shifting
    Fuel injection system failure
    Check engine light always on

  • Chris M

    I have had my 2017 Silverado in the shop 3 times now for the same check engine light, which refers to an issue with some emission failure which is then diagnosed back to failed wiring in the wiring harness. I’m now being told that this may not be covered under warranty when I’ve bought the extended, full coverage warranty on my vehicle.

  • John H

    2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 4×4 Z71 Crew Cab – In October 2018 I had the same super bright light associated with the Backup Camera. One dealership said there was no fix.

    Then in early 2019, my engine died completely (felt like a fuel pump issues with no gas feeding the engine). I had it towed to a different dealer. They were able to fix the backup camera issue with a software patch from GM, meaning they KNOW it was a problem. But for the engine dying the dealership said they cannot replicate the problem. So no help at all from GM.

    In late August of 2019, the engine died again and I had it towed to dealership that fixed the camera again. Same thing they said, if they cannot replicate the issue then they cannot help out in any way. I have case number after case number with GM and told them the vehicle is not safe to drive, all on record. They are playing a statistic game of waiting to get caught by the NHTSA or other Govt agency before they will do anything. Plus, the fines are so lackluster that GM does not give an F**k.

    They took their bailout money and screwed us, all while making these engines in Mexico. This was my first and last GM made vehicle.

  • R G

    I was just informed by Chevy service that the sounds I am hearing, which just started and are quite loud, in my front end when in Auto or 4wd, are normal. My question is then, how come they just started, and why are they so loud I can hear them with the radio on?? I find it funny that my warranty is about to run out, and no one is concerned. I had my struts replaced already, and the truck only has 50,000 miles on it. Every time I take it Chevy for service, I am told it is normal, so I take it to a private mechanic, who fixes the problem. It was a private mechanic, who informed me I needed to take it to Chevy before the warranty ran out, as I have a transfer case problem. HE had nothing to gain by doing that…. In my opinion, CHEVY trucks are the worst vehicle on the market, and I will inform anyone who asks of the same. Their service departments are a JOKE!!!! Believe me, this will not end here…

  • Ronald b

    2017 Silverado been to the shop 4 times same problem transmission jerks high Rpms. Cruise goes out no power at times can’t get out of it’s own way afraid to pull out in front of someone even if I have time

  • Charles

    I have a 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 – had to have the transmission replaced at 57500 miles. Chevy put a remanufactured transmission in it. Acted up right after getting it back. Took it back and they said it was a throttle assembly issue and it would cost me $100 for the deductible under the extended warranty I bought. They replaced it. Had the vehicle back and 6 days later it was parked in my driveway running with the drivers door open for 5-6 minutes, as I walked out the door of my house, I see my truck rolling across my yard, as I run to try and stop it by jumping in the drivers door to push the brake with my hand it goes over a hill with an incline of roughly 70 degrees and into a tree as the door slams against my legs. Now I have a smashed $65000 truck that almost crippled me or worse and I can’t wait to see what excuse it is now how my truck takes off across the yard on it’s own ??? Is this what we spend $65000 on a truck for ????

  • Austin K

    Truck shakes abnormally between 50-70 mph. Truck pulls hard to the right while driving. Transmission shifts horribly… makes loud clunk and sometimes will not upshift.. sits at 3k for a while and i have to let off gas pedal for a few seconds to let the tranny shift.. starting from a complete stop and taking off smoothly the rpms will rise normally and right as it shift the truck just loses all power and lugs real bad and slowly builds rpms again and repeats as it shifts upward…back up camera is nothing but an inconvienince during the night.. screen being way to bright and driving through parking lots making any type of turn on hard top at low speeds tires always squeak

  • martin d

    have a 2017 chevy silverado has 3000 miles.from day one it has a shudder at certain speeds .took it back to the dealer they said it was the tires.they have been replaced twice.same prob lem still exists. now they say thats the way the truck is and live with it.when i took it back the day after i brought and had known it wasnt the tires i would have asked for mymoney back.this is what i get for believing in them

  • John T

    I would like to know if you have a fix for the backup camera on my 2017 Silverado. It is so bright at night that I have difficulty backing up without hitting something or someone. Could you please come up with a fix for this problem? Something as simple as a dimmable screen would work. It happens as a result of the backup lights being so bright. Thanks for your help.

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