2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4dr Crew Cab LS Rwd SB (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
Bought truck new. Put the majority of miles on the truck between 2004-09; then, as planned, kept it as my 'chore' truck. 4-5k miles per year, max. Always light duty use.
In 2013, at 79k miles the Head cracked - coolant in engine. $4500 repair. Dealer. There is a 'service bulletin' which implies a manufacturing defect, issued in 2006. CasTech Heads (see #06-06-01-019B bulletin). 1250 miles and 8 months later the 'check oil' light came on. The engine was 4-ish quarts low on oil! So I took it back to the dealer (I was working out of the area at the time so very little use). Their response? Can't find anything wrong; we must have forgotten to put the oil in the engine properly after the repair. Seriously? You told me that after a $4500 repair that your mechanic can't put oil in the engine? Bottom line: they didn't know and they weren't going to do anything. So I continued to drive it - very light duty.
20 months later with 84,600 miles: I check the oil (about 3800 miles since the 'top off at the dealer) and: down 3.15 qts! I take it directly back to the dealer. Dealer won't take responsibility AT ALL. I'm supposed to do an every 1000 mile 'oil consumption' test where I take it in for a top-off to see how much oil it has consumed. Not 1 mile over 1000 miles or start again! All this is to get GM to pay. The dealer assumes no liability for its work (and I might add, premium cost for the repair).
Upshot: Be careful of these engines. There is a lot out there about oil consumption on these engines. This one DOES NOT have the 'stop cylinder' technology, but the engines have the same problem over multiple years. Plenty about the head and oil consumption out on the internet.
In terms of the rest of the truck, its been ok, but the interior dash buzzes incessantly at certain RPMs. I noted on several of the trucks that interior fit was awful; fortunately I did not experience this. Paint is generally ok. No problems with the tranny, wheels, steering, AC - but it only has 84k miles. So much for buying a quality vehicle I could drive for 25 years (which was the plan).
2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4dr Extended Cab LS Rwd SB (4.8L 8cyl 4A)
I bought my truck with 6 miles on the odometer in March 2004. It was recalled for the instrument panel. Very good experience there. While it was under warrenty, I had it in for new Cats and O2 sensors, three times, but never again since. The last warrenty items I had replaced were the comfort control switches. I now have 190,000 miles on the truck and, get this....I'm replacing the brake pads for the first time, and the rotors have very little wear. This is by far the best vehicle I've ever owned.
Fix the exhaust, so the cats don't continually burn out.
I bought this truck used. This truck has gone through hell and back. I have never had any major problems with it. Great truck for the northeast and the snow. For a truck it is not bad on gas. I get 16 in the city and up to 23 on the highway.
My truck is a daily driver in the city but also a back road wonder on the weekends. In the winter I use four wheel drive for duck hunting with my sons in the country. It has been from Texas to California and many Colorado trips. It look good in the field, but when it is cleaned up it looks good under the city lights. Safe, dependable and a real pleasure. Maybe the best vehicle I have ever owned, out of maybe 11-12 cars and trucks.
Seats are like sitting in a comfortable lounge chair. The AC gets compliments in 100-110 degree heat. Powerful engine and smooth transmission. Great ride comfort.
I can't think of one change I would make on this make, model and year.