2012 Chevrolet Silverado Problems Include Persistent Airbag Issues, Engine Stall, Excessive Oil Use

2012 Chevrolet Silverado Problems Include Persistent Airbag Issues, Engine Stall, Excessive Oil Use These have their share of problems, but they stand as one of the most reliable used trucks on the road today with just four recalls on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and just over 200 complaints.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado Problems Include Persistent Airbag Issues, Engine Stall, Excessive Oil Use

  • Airbag problems persisted in the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado a decade after its release, with two towing and an open investigation.
  • Diesel Silverados may have fuel pump problems, but the recall seems to have fixed that problem.
  • Excessive use of oil has been reported in a handful of trucks.
  • Some drivers have reported premature rust with the tire looking ready to take off at less than 100,000 miles.
  • Despite mediocre crash test ratings and a few recalls, the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most dependable full-size pickups available today.

Frequent airbag problems last a decade after launch

The 2012 Chevrolet Silverado has only been recalled four times, but the car’s frequent airbag problems are worrying. We saw two airbag recalls in 2021, there is still an open investigation at the time of writing, and there are airbag complaints being registered as late as 2022.

Each of the Silverado recalls concerned airbag pumps that were prone to exploding in a few million General Motors units. The investigation, still ongoing, is looking into a deterioration in the fuel used to inflate the airbags. For now, the goal is to determine if the 2012 Silverado should be included in any such recalls.

Many of the recent complaints about truck airbags relate to a lack of spare parts. More than two million units have been recalled in total, and it’s only been a year since these recalls went into effect, which means there is a huge demand for these parts right now, and supply is limited.

Frequent airbag issues may not be severe enough to qualify as a deal breaker for anyone looking for a used truck. But, when you go to check out a 2012 Silverado, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check the PIN for pending recalls and make sure the issue is addressed. You don’t want a full-size truck sitting in your driveway and waiting for a replacement part.

Diesel pump problem may cause the engine to stop

2012 Chevrolet Silverado - Photo by Chevrolet
2012 Chevrolet Silverado

2012 Chevrolet Silverado Problems Include Persistent Airbag Issues, Engine Stall, Excessive Oil Use

For the 2012 Silverado, it had something to do with the engine stalling due to a failed transmission pump. On about ten thousand GM units, specifically those equipped with 6.6-liter diesels and rear tanks, the pump tasked with transferring fuel from the rear tank to the front tank can fail and send a false reading to the fuel gauge.

There have been a few complaints about the engine and powertrain suggesting that the engine has stalled since then, but in all of these accidents, there is no definitive evidence that this has anything to do with the recall in question. In other words, the recall appears to have completed in this case, leaving few, if any, units exposed for necessary repairs.

If you’re not buying a diesel-powered Silverado, you don’t have to worry about this at all, of course, and if you are, the recall is likely already addressed, given that it was released nearly a decade ago. However, it doesn’t hurt to check the VIN before buying any used car.

Some drivers have reported excessive oil use

In total, there aren’t many engine complaints on file with NHTSA for the 2012 Silverado, but those that are registered are worth mentioning because they may affect the longevity of affected vehicles if left unchecked.

The big problem to look for under the hood is the excessive consumption of engine oil. Most complaints about the engine indicate that the truck is using a lot of oil, possibly as a result of a broken piston ring, but this may not be the case in every individual case.

Besides the obvious cost of drenching the oil every time you get behind the wheel, excessive oil use means engines overheat, added wear, engine stalls, and harsh shifting. Oil for your car is like water for your body, it simply cannot function without it.

The infection rate is pretty low here, but you’ll want to feel the truck outside because of the harsh change and overheating when you take it for a test drive. Chances are slim that the Silverado you’re looking to buy will be affected, but this is an opportunity you might not take, so don’t miss a test drive.

Be on the lookout for early rust

2012 Chevrolet Silverado - Photo by Chevrolet
2012 Chevrolet Silverado

A problem that is not incredibly common, but very expensive: premature rust on the bodywork. In a worst-case scenario, this means that the truck body itself could collapse. In other cases, you are at least looking at a suspension system that may need to be replaced very soon.

2012 Chevrolet Silverado Problems Include Persistent Airbag Issues, Engine Stall, Excessive Oil Use

Some rust is to be expected in a decade-old truck, but you shouldn’t see heavy pieces of rust fall off immediately if the vehicle is in reasonably good condition.

Fortunately, all you have to do to avoid this problem is take a look under the truck and see for yourself what you want. If you don’t want to crawl in there with a flashlight, take a picture with your phone and see what you see.

You probably won’t detect the alarming degree of rust, but this basic check can save you from buying a clunker.

There’s not much to complain about in the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado

There may be a few minor issues you can deal with this truck, but overall, it holds up better than most 2012 vehicles. Your biggest concern here won’t be any inherent defect or common problem, but rather the age of the truck and how it has been used .

If you’re buying a ten-year-old farm truck that you’ve just spent a decade hauling tractors and trailers around, every mile on the odometer counts for two miles in a camper. So the most important thing is test drive, check and make sure you don’t buy a truck better off after retirement.

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