GMC Sierra 2021 - ***BUYER BEWARE*** --> Service Parking Brake = Failed Lifters, Bent/Broken Pushrods, Catastrophic Damage to Engine

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 6 months old / 8000 miles. After my recent issue and customer experience with GMC, I posted the following to Twitter.

#GMC #GMCSierra #Sierra #Silverado #truck Day 37 - GMC Sierra 2021 - BUYER BEWARE → Service Parking Brake = Failed Lifters, Bent/Broken Pushrods, Catastrophic Damage to Engine. Considering purchasing or have recently done so, read this: GMC Sierra - BUYER BEWARE --> Service Parking Brake = Failed Lifters, Bent/Broken Pushrods, Catastrophic Damage to Engine

Link to Blog: GMC Sierra - BUYER BEWARE --> Service Parking Brake = Failed Lifters, Bent/Broken Pushrods, Catastrophic Damage to Engine / click here

Seems like GM stepped up to the plate and got the issue fixed in less than a month. Given the chronic shortages plaguing the industry, that’s not too bad in my book.


You are a perfect example of why I’m glad to be out of the retail vehicle business. You are a fussbudget and a total PITA. " Protection and compensation" for what?? You were without a vehicle for one day, yours was repaired more quickly than estimated, in short, you were very well treated.


I don’t see a problem here . Mechanical break and while it is irritating the it sounds like you were fairly treated . Besides you have a new engine and had a loaner vehicle .


I personally wouldn’t be happy to have a truck with 8k miles needing a new engine either. But…it is what it is. You either have to drive it now or trade it in on something else and take a loss.

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Bad things occasionally happen to vehicles from all makers. It doesn’t appear to be common for yours:
GMC Sierra 1500 Problems |

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I hope your attorney ‘friend’ charged you for their advice.

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I had a similar experience with our 2003 Olds Silhouette. At 56,000 miles, the transmission failed. We took it to the dealer and the service adviser apologized for having to replace the transmission at a cost of $3000. We told him we had a 60/60 extended warranty, and he said no cost, GM will replace it. They did and at no cost, except we didn’t get a loaner for nearly as long as you did. See what a good deal you got?

The way I looked at it was that while the van had about 186,000 miles when we sold it, the transmission only had around 130,000 miles on it.

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I had a somewhat similar experience with a 1990 Ford Aerostat Eddie Bauer that I bought from a trusted used car dealer in 1991. There was a hairline crack in a cylinder head.which allowed coolant into one of the cylinders. The Aerostat was still under warranty at 35,000 miles and in stripping off the head, there was damage to the cylinder wall. Ford replaced the engine under warranty. The used car dealer furnished me with a loaner. I was happy to get a new engine and have a loaner car to drive.
The only downside was that the parking “services” at the university where I was employed charged me $30.for a temporary permit for the loaner even though I paid over $200 a year for a parking permit.
Mechanical things sometimes have defects even when new. That’s why there are warranties. I bought a freezer that was almost new. The compressor had gone out when the freezer was under warranty. The original purchaser was given a new freezer and the appliance store took the defective freezer back and installed a new compressor. I bought the freezer that had the replacement compressor at a very good price. The freezer carried a new freezer warranty. I got 35 years of trouble free service out of that freezer until the compressor finally gave out. If a new vehicle had a defective engine and the original buyer was given a replacement vehicle and the vehicle with the replacement engine was being sold at a good price, I would buy it.

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I was one of the first to benefit from Chrysler’s 50,000 mile warranty in the 60s. At 49945 miles the driveshaft developed a wobble and the local Chrysler dealer replaced both universals and other parts with no questions asked.

The car lasted me 13 years and went 165,000 miles. Rust finally took its toll and made it unsafe.

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I don’t see a huge problem here. Assuming you got the one bad apple in the barrel there is no reason to assume the likely hundreds of thousands of 21 Sierras also suffer the same issue.
Assuming the “bad batch of lifters” has any merit to it Sierras should be dying droves along with any other engines using the same lifters.

Repaired in a month with a new engine considering what is going on in this world? Not a bad time frame. Consider yourself lucky they did not come back to you with a back ordered problem. If those trucks were plagued with problems then that is what you would have likely heard. Back order means weeks, months, or …

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Just a couple of reasons why I don’t put much creedence into CR reports.

  1. CR says in this case they also used data from the prior 2 model years. A lot of vehicles sold and more than enough time for someone to develop problems. And we all know that abusive driving and neglect never comes into play…

  2. In 2013 CR stated that the Camry with the 4 cylinder engine had excellent rated hardware, fit/finish, and absence of wind/water leaks, etc.
    They also stated, same issue, that the same Camry with the 6 cylinder was rated poorly in the hardware, fit/finish, and absence of water/wind leaks, etc.

So either CR is screwed up beyond belief or Toyota saved all of their shoddy materials and assembly techniques for the 6 cylinder models. I don’t buy the latter myself.


I don’t put much faith in CR anymore. Last time I had a subscription it seemed there had been some staffing/management changes.

At any rate, you got a new engine so not sure what more can be expected, Stuff happens and they use parts from multiple sources now. Took 11 months to get a new engine on my snow blower due to heat treatment issues I guess. Just happy to get it back,

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I wonder if a five year old vehicle with a poor repair record for its first three years might be a better bet than a five year old vehicle with a good repair record for its first three years. The vehicle with the poor record would have the problems fixed by the 5th year, while the vehicle with the good repair record its first three years would have parts ready to break by its fifth year if service.


See my dog story. A bad dog remains a bad dog and the sooner it is sent to the farm the better.

Our fleet manager only used to say that at around 100,000 miles (now this was 20 years ago) on the average a car would have a few issues. When they were fixed though it would be good again for another period of time. I think the issue unspoken was that the first 100,000 miles were expected to be relatively trouble free. If he had a bunch of cars that were trouble prone during that period I’m pretty sure he would have culled the herd and sent them to auction. Normally he would get 70K or three years out of them before sending them to auction. Most cars would get 2-3000 miles a month. I think he managed somewhere around 1000 cars, so it was a pretty good sample.

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@Bing I remember reading Consumer Reports back in the early 1950s. Used cars were rated in categories “A”, “B”, and. “C” for repair records. If a repair had been made, the specific vehicle could be considered in a higher category. For example, the 1948 Studebaker, with its planar suspension, had wheel alignment as a trouble spot. If the repair had been made, the Studebaker was considered to be in the next higher category.
I have had a subscription to Consumer Reports since 1965. It seems to me that the products, including vehicles, tend to be the high end models that the more affluent consumers purchase. One example is kitchen sink faucets. We had to replace our kitchen sink faucet. The models CR rated were in the $150 and up price range. I went to Lowes and bought a Delta faucet for around $75. The parts kits for Delta faucets are available many places and are easy to install.
I may have to buy a push lawnmower in the not too distant future. One of my mowers I purchased in 1988 and the other in 1992. I am not sure the repair record of such a mower means a whole lot. I am on the building maintenance committee for the small church I attend. The woman who cleans our church “hot rods” the vacuum cleaner. It is cheaper for us to go to Big Lots and buy a $50-$75 factory reconditioned special and replace it every three or four years than buy some really expensive high rated machine.
Back in 2006, I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that was a “program car”, whatever that means. The Uplander had about 14,000 miles on the odometer and I paid somewhere around $16,000. It had two repairs under warranty: 1) fuel gauge; 2) intermediate steering shaft. My son now has the Uplander and it has gone about 250,000 miles with no major repairs. Consumer Reports indicated a below average repair record for the Uplander, but that hasn’t been our experience. In fact, the repair and maintenance cost on the Uplander was less for the first 100,000 miles than the 2011 Sienna I purchased new and cost almost twice as much. Now I have no idea what GM may have repaired on the Uplander in the first 14,000 miles when it was a “program car”.

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I have to agree with the responses so far. Something that breaks right away and is covered by warranty, and is replaced by quality OEM parts leaves you in a better position than you originally were in if the vehicle hadn’t broken down in the first place. Would you rather wait a few years until it’s no longer under warranty?

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I would surmise the ‘Service Parking Brake’ message is actually a symptom of the lifters failing or a pending failure and thus a failsafe GMC implemented in hopes to minimize damage when/if this occurs.

Uh… What!?