2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brakes, power steering and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

GMC suggests that owning the 2018 Sierra 1500 makes you a pro, and we couldn’t agree more. You will quickly become a professional of visiting the repair shop as you navigate your way through all the troubles that come with this full-size pickup truck. Some of the major complaints about the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 include powertrain issues, steering failures and problems with the service brakes. Whether you struggle to get the truck to go, steer properly or stop, you shouldn’t experience these troubles when you get behind the wheel, but many people do.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019

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Powertrain

Aside from the engine, it’s vital that your powertrain is operating correctly for you to get down the road. When the components of a powertrain begin to fail, drivers can experience sounds, rough shifting and an unpleasant ride. Owners of the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 find that the powertrain gives continuous problems.

One consumer wrote on Edmunds, “Purchased 2018 GMC Sierra all terrain in July 2018 due to overall styling, handling and I once had complete faith in GM. Approx. A month after purchase the transmission started the hard shifts and I took it in for service and all was well for a couple more months. Had my 10000-mile service completed in December and had the transmission reprogrammed and fluids flushed. All seemed to be functioning satisfactorily. 1/15/2019 I was backing out of a driveway and I lost all gauges, power steering, heated seats, transmission and about every other vital system all while blocking both Lanes of traffic.”

This is a scary situation that no one wants to be in. Unfortunately, it’s not the only complaint like this regarding the GMC truck. The automaker understands that numerous things are going on with this powertrain and even issued Service Bulletin #PIE0405 to address one powertrain concern. This bulletin discusses the torque converter shudder and how it causes the vehicle to shake while driving. There isn’t a fix listed for the problem, but simply an acknowledgment that it does exist.

While it brings some comfort that GMC agrees the problem exists, it would be better if they constructed transmissions without problems. No one wants to shake, rattle and roll down the highway.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Transmission Problems

BRAND NEW 2018 SIERRA 1500 Z71. WHEN DRIVING THE TRUCK FOR THE FIRST TIME AFTER SITTING FOR A NUMBER OF HOURS (6+HRS) THE TRUCK EXPERIENCES A “HARD” 1-2 SHIFT. THIS OCCURS 100% OF THE TIME WHEN I LEAVE FOR WORK IN THE MORNING. SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE THE TRANSMISSION SLIPPED, THIS IS THE HARD SHIFT FEELING. OTHER TIMES THE TRUCK LOSES ACCELERATION, CUTS OUT, FEELS LIKE THE TRUCK HAS RAN OUT OF FUEL. ONLY HAPPENS WHEN THE TRUCK HAS BEEN SITTING FOR A LONG PERIOD.

EXTREMELY HARD SHIFTING ON LOWER GEARS. WHEN SLOWING WHEN IT GOES FROM 2ND TO 1ST IT FEELS LIKE I GOT REAR-ENDED. NOT ALL THE TIME BUT ONCE A DAY AT LEAST. IT ALSO SHUDDERS WHEN SLOWLY ACCELERATING IN TRAFFIC, SOMETIMES THE RPM GOES WAY HIGH AND IT LURCHES FORWARD WHEN IT UPSHIFTS.

AFTER TRUCK HAS SET FOR A WHILE AND START TO TAKE OFF FROM A STAND STILL AND IT GOES TO SHIFT FROM 1ST TO 2ND IT WILL HARD SHIFT AND TRUCK WILL SOMETIMES LURCH FORWARD. WHEN ACCELERATING SLOWLY TRUCK WITH SHUTTER WHEN SHIFTING GEARS, ALMOST LIKE IT CAN’T DECIDE TO SHIFT TO THE NEXT GEAR. ONCE TRUCK IS WARMED UP THIS NO LONGER HAPPENS.

DAILY THE TRANSMISSION HAS A HARD SHIFT FROM 1ST TO 2ND GEAR. POTENTIALLY CAUSING ME TO LOOSE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE. IVE HAD IT IN THE GMC SHOP 3 TIMES AND GMC IS UNABLE TO FIX THE PROBLEM. AFTER THE VEHICLE SITS FOR PERIODS OF 4 HRS OR MORE THE PROBLEM REOCCURS. THIS IS A SERIOUS POLITICAL SAFTEY HAZARD IN THE 8SPEED TRANSMISSION AND NEEDS TO BE RECALLED AND FIXED WITH A NEW TRANSMISSION.

Steering

Every driver relies on the steering system to maneuver their vehicle. With the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500, the steering can quickly become a problem. Drivers face trouble with steering and sometimes even lose the ability to steer at all.

Read what this one driver said on the NHTSA website. “When driving the vehicle, it steers very hard like a lack of power steering than all of a sudden it feels like the power steering kicks in causing an oversteering situation. Feels like you have no control. Have talked to other owners who have the same issue. Pickup has 40 miles on it. It happens every time I drive it.”

During GMC’s Safety Field Investigations, a document was circulated to dealers looking for more information regarding the steering issues. The complaint stems back to the Power Steering Assist. The only guidance that the automaker offers is to replace the electric belt drive rack and pinion steering gear. Our thought is that if you desire to drive a car without power steering, there’s no sense investing in a newer truck; choose something from the 1960s instead.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Power Steering Problems

STEERING PULLS TO LEFT WHEN DRIVING AT ANY SPEED, AND TERRAIN. PULLS ENOUGH TO TURN YOU INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC IF YOU DO NOT CORRECT. TOOK TO DEALERSHIP AND WAS TOLD NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH THE TRUCK. STEERING PROBLEM CONTINUES AND IS DEFINITELY A SAFETY ISSUE

WHEN IN TRAFFIC AT ANY SPEED THE STEERING WHEEL WILL ACTUALLY TURN TO THE LEFT. IT TAKES YOU BUY SURPRISE AND IT’S A STRANGE FEELING. I WAS TOLD BY THE DEALER THEIR IS NO ISSUES. VERY SCARY! IT HAPPENS AT ANYTIME AND WITHOUT WARNING.

I WAS DRIVING 70 MPH DOWN HIGHWAY 75 IN MCKINNEY TX, WHEN MY STEERING COMPLETELY LOCKED UP. LUCKILY I MANAGED TO GET TRUCK STOPPED AND TOWED BACK TO DEALER. THIS COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN A FATALITY ACCIDENT.

Service Brakes

Just as important as going is the ability to stop. When you push the brakes on your vehicle, you expect to stop quickly. That’s the trouble with the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500; it just doesn’t seem to want to stop.

One complaint written on the NHTSA states, “Driving slowly in bumper to bumper traffic. I was stopped with my foot on the brakes, and the truck started moving forward. I thought engine surge, but it was not. I pumped brakes hard and the truck stopped. This has happened 2 times.”

If this was only one complaint, we might not be so alarmed, but that’s not the case. Other drivers have taken to the internet to complain about the exact same situation. Service Bulletin #PIT5361D comes directly from the manufacturer and addresses the concern. It’s focused on figuring out why it takes more effort to depress the brake pedal and get results. Some techs might find fluid in the brake booster vacuum line or the booster itself. To fix this, the technician needs to replace the vacuum pump, master cylinder, brake booster, vacuum pump belt and the vacuum line between the pump and booster.

To review, when you drive a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500, you might experience strange noises and movements. You may also struggle to steer the truck or stop it. This sounds more like a crazy amusement ride versus a reliable, dependable truck to us. Why not just head to the local county fair if you need some thrills?

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Brake Problems

MY 2018 GMC SIERRA SLT’S BREAK PEDAL BECOMES EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO PRESS, AND I CAN HEAR SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS LIKE AIR COMING FROM THE PEDAL. THIS HAPPENS ESPECIALLY AT LOWER SPEEDS.THIS CAUSED ME TO CRASH INTO A CONCRETE WALL AND DAMAGE MY TRUCK. MY TRUCK HAS ONLY 10,000 MILES.

I WAS IN THE BANK ATM DRIVE THROUGH AND THE GUY AHEAD OF ME STARTED TO GO, I BARELY PUSHED THE GAS PEDAL AND HE DECIDED TO STOP. I HIT MY BRAKES AND THE TRUCK WAS HARD TO STOP, ALMOST LIKE THE GAS PEDAL RESPONSE WAS STILL IN THE GO MODE BEFORE IT HAD THE CHANCE TO REACT TO MY INPUT OF TAKING MY FOOT OFF THE GAS TO APPLY THE BRAKES. I CAN DUPLICATE THIS BEHAVIOR ALL THE TIME.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes GM pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666

1 COMMENT
  • Micheal P

    I bought a 2018 GMC Sierra Denali Utimate addition. This is GMCs TOP model costing 70k. As I have had others, The transmission on this truck has been in several times. It bucks, bangs, and hesitates all the time. All known as operating normally per GM.. A bulliton is out now and they said a fluid flush should fix it. Other issue are front strutes found they were leaking, rear end leaking, front leather on seats replaced.. At just a year old the truck is falling apart. Funny thing is I dont tow anything, the truck doesnt have a nick on it and is in a temperature controlled garage.. This is my weekend family mobile, and has now turned into a huge risk in driving my children around. Any help is appreciated

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