1998 Chevrolet Silverado K-1500 Z-71 5.7 350 Ci from North America


A intermittent problem Ive had from day one, was during driving the vechicle, the "SECURITY" light would come on. Then after I would shut the engine down, it wouldnt re-start. The engine would turn over, but no fire. And the "SECURITY" light would flash at me. It normally would take about a half hour of sitting, and try it again, it will start. A professional mechanic friend of mine told me the 98' Full size trucks had that problem, it was a faulty Theft lock sensor, in the colum under the dash. I don't like dash work, so I haven't replaced it yet, nor will I waste the money paying a mechanic to do it. The problem only happens maybe on an average of once a year. No biggie. I do understand technology is a pain in the butt, that's why I don't understand why people swear by it. But that's OBD 2 for you. Id be happy with OBD 1.

Around 83,000 the fuel pump went out. I noticed when I first bought it, used, the fuel pump diddn't sound normal. When it would prime the fuel line after shut down, it would have a weird wine to it. I knew it was a matter of time for it. I replaced it myself with a new GM part costing me about $300.00 and a couple hours labor.

Around 85,000 Miles the ABS system started activating even on dry pavement. Being a Garage Mechanic, I determinated the ABS Sensors in the front went bad, or need cleaning. In almost 60,000 miles I haven't needed brake linings replaced, so I haven't cleaned the ABS sensors to see if that would fix the problem. And I won't tear off the linings, calipers, and rotors just to clean ABS sensors when I can pump my own brakes in a hot stop. I just pulled the ABS fuse in the fuse box under the hood to fix the problem. And I don't have ABS Brakes now. Who cares.

About 90,000 I did a tune up, changed the distributor cap and rotor. The distributor is located in the back of the motor with not much room to remove the back screw between the cap and firewall. When reinstalling the new cap, I ended up overtightened the fastening screw, and cracking the threaded tab in the distributor because GM stupidly used plastic on the ring in the distributor. Why plastic that's dumb. Had to replace the distributor, only a $50.00 part.

About 95,000 miles I had to replace the water pump. I replaced it with a high flow model. Non OE part.

Rear defoggers don't seem to work, not a big deal. Don't care that much to even look to see if it was a blown fuse or not. With a straight vertical rear window, not much snow and ice has a chance to accumulate on the back window. Done even need the thing.

General Comments:

Truck I think overall is a good truck. Not as good as my old 91' S-10 Pick up I had. The only problem I had with that was the rust. I got rid of that with 167,000 and it ran like it was bran new. I'm sure its still on the road today. I could do anything to that thing custom wise and never had to reprogram the ECM. That's why I liked OBD 1. OBD 2 I have to reprogram the PCM every time I do stuff custom, or look at the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light. Word to GM, if its not broke, don't fix it. We don't need a sensor to sense a sensor. That's just more to go wrong. On my K-1500 Silverado, I put a K&N FPIK Cold air intake kit on it, and a Granatelli Mass Airflow sensor in it. With that upgrade it makes the motor sound like an old 600 Pontiac when you open up the throttle. Also upgraded the exhaust system to a dual system. On my model I have 2 2 1/4 pipes going into the muffler, and 2 2 1/2 coming out. Stock was 1, 2 3/4 coming out pass side exit. So with going duals and a Flowmaster Super 40 Series Muffler, the truck cooks. Now I can take Japanese rice burners off the line, what I couldnt do before. I had them in the high end, but never off the line.

Also after those improvements, I have noticed a gain in fuel economy. From 15 city and 18 Hwy to now 16 to 17 city and 22 hwy.

I am also really impressed with the brakes on it. I bought the truck used from CarMax. I was given a listing of all the work they done to it prior to them selling it. They replaced the brake linings on it. I have put on just under 60,000 miles on thoes brakes, and they still on the truck. And all I do twice a year is when I rotate the tires is clean the rotors, linings, and calipers, removing all the brake dust. And lubing the brake slides with graphite (Anti-Sieze) lube.

Overall I think the truck is decent. I don't know how it compares to Asian imports as far as reliability goes. And I will never know. I am an American and I will always buy American. But as far as the American 3 goes I think that it has been the most reliable compaired to the Ford's and Dodge's of its competition. Considering some of my friends/ things I've heard always being intrested in cars that atleast I have my stock motor and trans. And how often small things go wrong as I compaire it to Ford and Dodges V8 models.

I have always since I bought it have done my maintenance on time, using the top of the line synthetic lubricants, yes they cost more, but I plan to have this truck untill it can't go no more. When it was new it was a $30,000 truck. In my opinion it should last over thirty years. $10,000 a year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2006

18th Apr 2007, 21:14

OK, OK, A couple more entries to my above entry...

The truck now has just under 107,000.

Both not major, but while I'm here, I might as-well post a comment to my above original comment.

As per the guys entry below mine on the main page, some my radio bulbs went out just not to long ago. Yea I know how you feel. it is a bit hard to read the buttons at night.

And also not to long ago, the blower motor speed selector switch totally went out on all speeds. Great timing, always as winter starts in February in Chicago when you need heat. But never in summer what you don't need A/C.

No biggie, switch was $26.32, and was fairly easy to install.

16th Jul 2007, 11:03

If you go to howtomendit.com, you'll find a tutorial I wrote on how to remove the Silverado radio and replace all the bulbs in it. It takes about 3 hours, and is a pain in the rear, because you have to take the radio out, take it APART, and solder all new bulbs on to the board, but it can be done.

As for the ABS - bad news. The sensors are integral with the front-wheel-drive hubs, not separate parts. When mine started false-activating under light braking, just as you come to a stop, I had to get both hubs replaced - $600.

Fuel pump - yup, been there. CHANGE THE FUEL FILTER OFTEN. These pumps are very susceptible to failure, especially if the filter starts clogging up. The pump will still work, the truck will still run, but you will notice that the pump gets increasingly noisier (the "whine" you mentioned).

I noticed the whine, knew I needed to change the filter. But I was too late. By the time I did it, the pump was shot.

14th Jan 2015, 15:43

My fuel pump whined for 2 years before I replaced it. I only replaced it because the fuel gauge stopped working and I got tired of using my tripmeter to measure when I needed gas.

1998 Chevrolet Silverado 5.7L V8 Gas from North America


Very nice truck, but too many parts failures, expensive to maintain


Blower motor started making an annoying tick-tick-tick noise on low speed. I replaced it with an original GM part bought from a dealer for about $100. Has worked ever since. That was about 3 years ago.

Some radio button backlight bulbs blew out, so you can't read the buttons at night. I removed the radio myself, took it apart, got down to the circuit board that has small 12v lamps soldered in place. I unsoldered them and replaced them with some 12v grain of wheat lamps I had, but you can find better and more exact replacements at Radio Shack for 50 cents each.

Now for the expensive stuff. Both anti-lock sensors went bad in the front wheels, causing the anti-lock to come on just as you would be pulling to a stop, making the brakes chug-chug-chug a little before stopping. Total cost was $600 to get both wheel hubs with integral sensors replaced.

Water pump leaked over 100,000 miles. Had to be replaced.

Right front wheel brake rotor broke completely off from its center so it was just spinning free in there (so there was no braking action on that wheel). Rotor replacement - about $75.

Tail gate latch and handle have required frequent cleaning and lubrication to keep them working. They "ears" that stick out the sides of the tailgate, which engage in the body to hold the gate closed, get hung up otherwise, and the gate won't latch. I've used lots of carb cleaner to dissolve away all the old dirt and grease, and relubed with grease, white lithium, plain old oil, WD 40, you name it. Nothing seems to do any better. Lately, I've had the best results by just cleaning it off well with Gum Out, and spraying everything down with WD 40 --- no grease, no oil. This seems to keep the latch mechanism cleaner and it works longer before starting to hang up.

Rear right radio speaker quit about a year after I got the truck. Removing them is a nightmare because you have to tear out the inside rear pillar trim (this is an extended cab model). Rather than do that, I used an Xacto knife and steel straight edge, and cut a rectangular panel right out of the interior plastic trim, pulled the speaker out from the front, and mounted a much-improved Alpine 2-way speaker in there. I did the same thing on the other rear side. The stock GM rear speakers are really awful anyway.

After screwing the new speakers in, I simply snapped the cut-out rectangle back in place. This was about 2 years ago. They don't pop out, and they don't rattle. Yes, if you look at them, you can see the cut-out border, but it really hardly shows. I don't think anybody would even notice it if it wasn't pointed out to them.

Just had to have a new fuel pump put in. Total with labor was $600. Pump just quit one morning right in the driveway (didn't hear it spin up for a few seconds when turning the key). Lucky it wasn't in the middle of a long highway trip or a family vacation!

I have a slight intake manifold coolant leak. It dribbles out of one corner near the back. You won't even see it, it's so slight. But over a couple of months, you'll notice the coolant level go down, and you can sometimes smell it. It's been like this for almost 2 years. I have no intention of dumping another $500 into this unless it gets any worse, which it hasn't in all this time.

General Comments:

The truck runs smoothly, has plenty of pick up, and is very good on gas. I get about 19 mpg with an even mix of city/highway driving, which I think is very good for a big V-8 truck. If you are a lead-foot, it's mileage will drop to about 15. But if you drive it "nicely" it will reward you.

It's comfortable, good-looking, and has never broken down on me on the road or left me stranded.

However, as you can see from my repair laundry list, this truck has been EXPENSIVE to maintain. I had a 1989 Silverado before this, and except for a blown head gasket at about 100,000 miles (cost be $700), that truck was trouble free right up to the day I traded it at about 192,000. This 1998 has not been nearly as reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th December, 2006

11th Jan 2007, 04:34

I too have an 1998 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Ext. cab 4x4. I have the same problem with the radio lights and the blower motor totally went bad. As for the major things I had reverse gear go out on me at 49,000 gently driven and well maintained miles and had to have the transmission rebuilt. 1800.00 and 3 yrs later it seems to work fine, but it is always in the back of my mind. At 92,000 miles my intake manifold gasket has just started to leak a little coolant as well from the front drivers side of the motor. Was quoted a price of 600.00. to fix it. Keeping and eye on it not sure what I'm going to do just yet. Gas mileage is just as good and I really enjoy driving this truck, but I am a little disappointed with the General, but I will buy another!