This version of the Silverado hadn't changed much since its 1999 introduction, so it didn't compete well with its contemporaries. Highlights included a selectable four-wheel-drive system with a full-time mode and a high payload capacity. But its powertrain wasn't particularly smooth. Handling was ungainly and the ride was stiff. Interior quality was also below par.
Alerts
There are 15 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. ESC and head protection air bags available from 2007; standard from 2010. Side air bags standard from 2010.
Road Test

This version of the Silverado hadn't changed much since its 1999 introduction, so it didn't compete well with its contemporaries. Highlights included a selectable four-wheel-drive system with a full-time mode and a high payload capacity. But its powertrain wasn't particularly smooth. Handling was ungainly and the ride was stiff. Interior quality was also below par. The nonadjustable seatback-mounted shoulder belts were also uncomfortable for some drivers.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.3-liter V6 (195 hp)
  • 4.8-liter V8 (285 hp)
  • 5.3-liter V8 (295 hp)
  • 6-liter V8 (345 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"The air conditioning stopped working, so we had the A/C recharged, which only lasted about a week. The mechanic recharged again with dye to find that the A/C compressor was what was leaking. Replacing the compressor fixed the issue and the A/C was fine after that. The mechanic thought this was most likely just due to age"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4.8-L V8)
Automatic climate control

"Drivers side heat - cool mixer servo motor goes to full hot position intermittently. Servo is the problem yet to be changed"

David P., TN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"the A/C to heat actuators needed replace, they were not responding on demand about 180,000 miles"

Anonymous, GA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"sometimes hot air comes out one side of vents"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"at times air conditioning will go heat and I mean hot,"

Anonymous, TX (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.8-L V8)

"Gate valve in dashboard hangs up when it is hot, blowing hot air instead of cold. Has been changed twice. Works ok for about a year, then starts acting up again. Expensive repair"

Wayne L., PA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Left side works at times,the right side works good"

David C., AL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)

"The air actuator wen out on the dual climate control. The part is difficult to access and was about $600. Living in Texas, this is a critical fix"

Kyle R., TX (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace blower motor and fan resistor. Stopped working on high speed"

Anonymous, WV (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 5.3-L V8)

"After the A/C is on for 15-20 minute, the blower blows HOT air"

Anna R., VA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Lost all fan speeds except for highest setting. Had to replace blower motor resistor"

Anonymous, ME (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"blowing hot when should be cold"

Marvin S., CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"You will be driving down the road with the A/C on and, no matter what speed you are driving or the road conditions, very hot air will start coming out of the vents. Changing the settings on the controls or turning the A/C off does not work. The hot air still comes out. You must pull off the road immediately and turn off the vehicle for a few minutes to allow the system to reset. If you do not, smoke comes out of the dash and the wires melt together. Happened to us 4 times"

Jennifer H., WV (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)
Heater system

"System got stuck in defrost"

Anonymous, WV (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 5.3-L V8)

"The manual heat control arm broke"

Jerry S., SK (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

"leaking fluid. Have to replace periodically"

Anonymous, UT (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.3-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Hood and roof paint faded"

William G., FL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"roof of truck peeling off leaving primer.Estimates of $1000 TO repair.GM should be responsible.Had work vehicles with same problems"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Paint pealing off"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Major frame and rear bumper rust. Brake lines corroded and caused a catastrophic brake failure. Found the fuel line was 'weeping' due to corrosion. Rear bumper has major rust from underneath, chrome plating is falling off"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Once started, the rust in the rocker panels has accelarated dramatically in the last year. I also have a heavy layer of rust under the hood around the latching mechanism, which several body shops say is highly unusual for this truck"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

"fenders on both sides rusted out"

Anonymous, NL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"surface rust around rear wheel wells"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"The back bumper has rusted completely through. The chrome is the only metal left in the middle of the bumper"

Gerald R., MN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Rust on driver's side front fender between wheel and door. Rust on passenger's side fender above rear wheel"

Wayne K., PA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"I realize this truck seems old, but the rust issue started at 35,000 miles. At this point we started seeing rust damage on the quarter panels and the bottom of the bed"

Jennifer H., WV (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"The ABS light comes on intermittently. I have checked with my mechanic and he suspects that it is a wheel speed sensor issue. The sensor is in the front wheel bearing and I plan to have the bearing replaced within the next month"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"Caliper locked up"

Carol P., TX (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"Normal wear"

Anonymous, AL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)
Premature brake wear

"Corrosion of calipers causes the sliding parts of the brake pads to stay engaged with the rotors causing excess heat, wear, and loss of fuel mileage"

Donald V., MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"It's a 13-14 year old vehicle. It needed brake maintenance for the first time mostly due to rust"

Anonymous, VA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace rotors front only"

Michael A., AR (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Normal wear"

Anonymous, AL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"cracked rotor causing total brake failure. Also brake line puncture"

Anonymous, QC (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 5.3-L V8)

"I just replaced my rear rotors again. The brakes on this truck are horrendous as far as rust and wear. The original brake lines rusted and blew out a while back, and the rear brakes were overhauled at that time. GM refuses to admit they had a problem"

Thomas V., PA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)
Squeaking

"Brakes were squeaking"

Anonymous, PA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Unsure Unsure)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"when the hose leaked it made the power steering pump fail"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Routine check up and they found a leak in steering fluid. Fixed it"

Anonymous, IN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Unsure Unsure)

"power steering hose leaked by the power steering cooler which made the pump burn out"

Anonymous, MD (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"replaced due to broken inner tie rod"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Had to replace rack and pinion, and tie rods for the second time. First time was by dealer, under warranty. Vehicle has not been abused. Most miles on freeway, very rarely off paved road"

Gregory A., CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"would not pass inspection"

Bruce M., MO (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 6.0-L V8)

"that's how I found out there was tie rods"

Bruce M., MO (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 6.0-L V8)
Wheel bearings

"Both front hubs had to be replaced"

Marvin L., TN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

"gasket leak at the water pump"

Kenneth G., KY (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

"Constant air leak around rear doors and windows since I've owned the vehicle. Rear door windows and seals have been completely replaced once by dealer. still no fix. Chevy TSB says to bend latching mechanism bracket to obtain better seal..... Really?"

Gregory A., CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"Every year I hear more squeaks and rattles, mostly from the console and dash"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)

"squeaks and rattles coming from under the dash"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"There is a gasket that needs to be replaces. Makes a loud rattling when idle. Costs about $350 to repair"

Kyle R., TX (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Listening to music during highway driving is difficult!"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)

"Constant wind noise in passenger door even after changing hinges"

Anonymous, NL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

"Gauges would stop working while driving everything would read 0 then we would hit the dash and suddenly it would work again"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4.8-L V8)

"Just didn't move. Got repaired. Truck is 13 yrs old"

Kathy M., WA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Unsure Unsure)

"A pressure gauge went out and the entire dash system had to be replaced. It was a special order system and was not cheap to install. It was a dealer install"

Anonymous, MO (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

"Light control switch was defective. Replaced switch"

Ron R., SC (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.3-L V6)

"It seems to have an electrical issue, lights go out prematurely"

Anonymous, MA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Unsure Unsure)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

"The CD will not eject"

Gerald R., MN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)
Radio

"Power button to turn on the radio doesn't work sometimes"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4.8-L V8)

"Became inoperable. Poor reception. Blown speakers"

Anonymous, AL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

"Stopped working"

Anonymous, AL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)
Steering wheel controls

"memory of seats mirrors etc goes blank"

Anonymous, FL (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Mass air flow sensor went bad. Replacement fixed problem"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4.8-L V8)

"One O2 sensor failed, dealership suggested replacing the sensor, sparkplugs, and plug wires. Quite expensive"

John P., KY (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.8-L V8)

"Check Engine light comes on occasionally after driving for some time with Cruise Control on. It has also come on once during a high temperature mountain climb. OBD reader always says problem is with RH knock sensor. Both knock sensors have been replaced and still get same Check Engine"

Anonymous, ON (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"failed"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission overdrive gear failed first by not shifting into overdrive and then it failed to shift into third gear. At this point I had a GM guaranteed rebuilt transmission installed. Work like a new one and has a better guarantee than the truck did new"

David P., TN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 4.8-L V8)

"Required complete transmission rebuild"

Charlie R., DE (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

"Transmission totally went out a year ago and then the rebuild had issue with sensor so that was replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 5.3-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat belts

"Front passenger seat belt locks up and base to be re-buckled to release"

Lisa P., CA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Unsure 4.3-L V6)
Seat controls - movement

"Seat controls work backwards"

Anonymous, TN (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 5.3-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Replaced 4 wheel drive switch module"

Jerry S., SK (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)
4WD/AWD components

"The "auto" portion of my AWD system has ceased to function properly. Now it is either in or out of 4WD and does not regulate automatically as it did before"

Anonymous, WI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"had to have a new one installed because it failed"

Karen B., MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 5.3-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"rear main seal and pan gasket leaked"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS 5.3-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Loose/rattling heat shield

"Heat shield rusted and rattles"

Anonymous, CT (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 4.8-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Radiator

"Radiator failed and had to be replaced"

Gary C., NY (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base Unsure)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Sensor was having problems on the rebuild to it was just replaced"

Anonymous, MI (2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Base 5.3-L V8)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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