bought brand new in 2004. at 45,000 miles the gauge cluster went, @ 88,000 miles the catalytic converter went, @ 7 years old the cab corners and rocker panels started to bubble despite always washing and hand waxing, along with car washes. At 110k I was using coolant and heard my lifters ticking. With no warranty I pulled the valve covers only to find anti-freeze and my cylinder heads covered in muck!!! The warped cylinder heads that caused the disaster were on millions of gm vehicles between 2002 and 2006. Cadillac's, yukons, sierras, etc, A local mechanic with gm explained that they knew about the problem but continued to use the heads because they had purchased millions of dollars worth of them and knew the buyers would get 100k miles out of them. He explained a recall would have cost millions of dollars so they decided it was pretty much just cheaper to screw the buyer. 3k in parts and labor and the car was down for a week. Needed all new lifters and heads planed. @ 120k rust is through the cab corners and rocker panels. Won't pass inspection in NH, Large holes. Now at 146k It's using coolant again. I tasted the water dripping from the exhaust pipe. Sure enough, anti-freeze. Time to go. Bad luck with 3rd gmc in a row. I'm a bow tie guy with chevelles and other muscle but a ford 250 super duty is looking pretty good. Gas of course where as nothing beats a Dmax.
2004 GMC Sierra 1500 2dr Regular Cab Work Truck Rwd SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M)
bought the truck at 120k miles 4 years ago. today i have 205k on it as my daily driver to work and back (80mile round trip highway) and to the day all ive had to replace was an alternator. towed a boat for 3 years weighing aprox. 3800lbs with easy and stability. this truck is absolutely bullet proof and i would buy it again in a heart beat.
note: i also just bought a 2015 sierra all terrain edition last December and to be honest i like driving my 2004 sierra better! absolutely great all around truck!!!
Bought this truck used at 126k miles drove for a month started loosing coolant took it into my dealership they found out it was the water pump not the heads replaced for free I've had to do shocks ball joints tire rod ends maf sensor left bank exhaust manifold gasket evap control module u joint and axle shaft seals because I'm super picky but understand that I did not buy a brand new truck I bought used this truck pulls like a dream rides great just wish it didn't govern at 98 and had better stopping power I drove an 08 and decided I still liked the 04 better plenty of power and mpg isn't bad 04 sierra sle 5.3 extended cab 4x4 z71 is a keeper for sure out Mudd's my buddies fords and dodges
Just turned 100k. Even though this truck has been meticulously maintained and never abused, it has had the transmission replaced (at 67K), sound system (at 25K), intermediate steering shaft (3 times), HVAC controls (at 75K), front rotors (2 times), instrument panel (at 70K), steering wheel control modules replaced (80K), etc. There is so much slop in the drive train that I would never consider using as a tow vehicle. Good for going to the dump and grocery shopping. Limited slip (rear) is demonstrating signs of impending failure, just a matter of time.
Aftermarket navigation system and Magnaflow exhaust. Auto headlights. The 5.3 is a fantastic engine. 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes work very well when the front rotors are still true.
GM needs to admit the 4L60E transmission is fatally flawed and fund repairs.
At about 53,900 miles, my 2004 5.3L developed a ticking noise.
Turned out to be cracked cylinder heads.
$3800 repair bill.
I had it repaired and traded it for a brand new Tundra with 5.7L engine.
Color - black.
If GM would have stood behind their product, I might have bought another one.