A ticking sound on my Silverado – why won’t Chevrolet help?

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By Christopher Elliott

Ralph Lagergren’s new Silverado makes a ticking noise on the highway. Why won’t Chevrolet fix it?

Question

I purchased a used 2011 Silverado LTZ Z-71 a few months ago. When I drove the vehicle, I began to experience a ticking noise. I thought the windshield seal might be bad, so I replaced it.

It didn’t work. On the highway, at speeds above 55, I’m still experiencing this loud noise.

I did a little research and found out that Chevrolet had issued notices about the reveal moldings on the Silverado. It also applies to the rest of the vehicles in their full-size truck line.

This appears to be a widespread design flaw. I’ve already incurred the expense of replacing a windshield and now I am required to remove the reveal molding to add double-sided tape.

I’m surprised this wasn’t caught in wind tunnel tests. The noise is very significant and has been occurring on millions of vehicles for over seven years. Please advise me as to how to handle this. — Ralph Lagergren, Wichita, Kan.

Answer

Where are the Car Talk guys when you need them? OK, I’m not going to ask you to tell me what the ticking noise sounded like, even though I’m tempted. But the fix isn’t easy.

Perhaps the best way of avoiding this problem would have been to test drive the Silverado before you bought it. Taking it for a spin on a highway might have revealed the design flaw. You could have asked the dealership to address the trouble then, or just bought a different vehicle.

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After you discovered the tick-tick-tick, you should have done some research to figure out if Chevrolet had issued any notices about the Silverado. Instead, you or your mechanic assumed the problem was the windshield.

Now, I have to admit I’m not a car guy (what, you couldn’t tell?). So I’ll level with you – I probably would have done exactly the same thing. I would have replaced the windshield and assumed the problem would be fixed. I now know that would have been the wrong move.

If I’d found out that I needed another trip to the dealership and more repairs – all for a problem that should have been fixed during the design process – I’d be steamed.

Chevrolet gave you a $20 certificate towards the Silverado

You sent a brief, polite email to the manufacturer, asking it to fix the problem. Chevrolet didn’t respond, so I contacted the company on your behalf. In response, it sent you a $20 certificate towards a repair. Not exactly the answer either one of us was hoping for.

Needless to say, your next car will probably not be a Chevrolet Silverado. It is not always easy to know if your car dealership is lying to you. This comprehensive guide aims to help you you navigate any future consumer issues.

Did Chevy do enough for Ralph Lagergren?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in São Paulo.

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