The Duramax Engine
From 2001 to 2011, the Duramax engine has had a similar configuration, and with that, similar issues. According to Lind, there are common issues with the engine becoming starved for fuel. Because there is no factory lift pump to circulate fuel, the injection pump has to suck fuel from the tank and through the filter to run. This doesn’t immediately cause fuel issues, but eventually, with dirty or loose fuel filters, leaking water-in-fuel sensors or bad o-rings in the fuel filter housing, the truck can experience no-start conditions.
Along with general fuel issues, there are several common failure items strewn throughout the truck that must be taken into account. The water pumps become an issue over time, and are generally in need of replacement after 100K miles of use. Having two discretely placed weep holes— which are hard to see and easily overlooked—the pumps are hard to monitor and are even harder to replace when they finally give way. Another thing to keep an eye on is the front wheel hub assembly. Being another one of Lind’s common failure items, they become ever more prone to failing if the stock tires are swapped out for larger ones, or if the truck spends a lot of time off-road. Tie-rod assemblies are proven to be notoriously weak, according to Lind, and will often snap if excessive force is exerted on them, especially during four-wheel drive launch. Lastly, in our general overview of GMC and Chevy systems is the idler and pitman arms. The design of Chevy and GM’s steering linkage allows side-loading of the idler and pitman arms, causing them to wear out and perform poorly.
These are just a few issues that Chevy and GMC platforms may face throughout their lifetime, but Lind commented that there are many great aftermarket parts that rectify these issues and save owners a lot of time and even more money in the future.
Now that the general Duramax system issues have been addressed, we’ll focus on more specific problems that Lind and the Left Coast Diesel crew has become familiar with over the years.