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Old 02-12-2012, 05:52 AM   #1
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GMC/Chevy steering gear box

Just curious if any other GMC/Chevy owners out there (I know, few and far between) have had any trouble with their steering gear boxes? I'm referring to the later models, say 2005 on up. In 4 years/42,000 miles I am now on my FIFTH steering gear box. None of them have totally failed, but it starts to wander, and some of them have gotten "growling noises" in them. To their credit (my dealer, anyway) they have stood behind them all and continued to replace them under warranty, even though that part of the truck is now "technically" out of warranty. And, I now have a "case number" assigned to me/my truck! Gee, I feel honored, I think......

The last gearbox lasted about 100 miles/one month. I hope number 5 does better. I'm also looking for the "made in China" label on it, but thank goodness haven't found any......yet.

So, the saga continues....... However, I am, overall, still VERY happy with the truck, especially the Duramax/Allison combo!
Terry and Patsy
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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I am certainly not a mechanic but just thinking out loud, "If it has gone through 4 maybe the steering box isn't the problem but rather the casualty". Please keep us posted. Jim
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #3
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Former 2001 model GMC, and not one problem with steering box. As mentioned befote, maybe it is the casualty? Cranking up the torsion bars or some other mod may cause early failure?
Just thoughts to ponder. I ran 197,000 miles on mine with original box. Pitman, idler arm and tie rods could be contributing factors.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Sorry about the steering box problem, 85000 mile on mine with no problems. I did have the rattle in the steering wheel linkage, a little grease fixed that. Look over at The Diesel Place .com lot of knowledge over there.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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Have owned numerous GM trucks. Used some under terrible conditions as tow trucks. Don't remember ever having a steering box failure. Drove most of the tow trucks above 500,000. Curious? Welcome home brother! Larry
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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quote:Originally posted by jimcol

I am certainly not a mechanic but just thinking out loud, "If it has gone through 4 maybe the steering box isn't the problem but rather the casualty". Please keep us posted. Jim
My thought exactly! A 'loose' front end can cause additional strain on a steering box, not to mention other items. I wonder if the work has all been done at the same dealer. If so, I'd switch dealers for the next one.

And "NO" I'm not sticking up for Chinese made parts, but they should be able to get one out of five right!
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #7
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when they replace the steering box, did the they flush the fluid system out and if equipped with a steering cooler replace it. if this was not done than the contaminants that caused the problem in the first place are still there. also have the idler arm checked, it some time gives the same indication of a steering gear problem. eldon
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. In answer to the questions, yes I have visited Diesel Place, and found that many others are having the same problem. Also, NO modifications have been done to the truck since new. Original everything, including the tires, wheels, etc. Yes, all work has been done by the same dealer. So far I have no problems with their repair ethics, and the service manager has bent over backwards to try to help me and do what's right. I guess time will tell! One interesting thing I did learn, was that ALL replacement steering boxes are REBUILT units. Apparently, the dealers can NOT get brand new units from the factory, they are all slated for new trucks coming down the line. He said I could try requesting a new unit for my truck, but in thinking about it, it was an assembly line brand new unit that failed the first time!!!
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:03 AM   #9
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Terry, I have exactly the same truck as yours. Only, it is a 2005 model. I have just under 111,000 miles on her and have not had any steering box issues. Recently, have spent most of my maintenance money on axle seals and bearings. Now, as long as I can keep the interior and paint looking good, she may be around another 7 years and 111,000 miles.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:57 AM   #10
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Has the dealer brought a factory rep in to talk to you? If not, I would have him get one here and go over this with you. A lot of times they have deeper contacts to help with ongoing problems.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:45 AM   #11
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Have over 110K on our 05 3500 ccdrw- The only steering related problem we have is the "clunking" sound the steering shaft makes at every seam or bump in the road- GM says it is noy a safety issue although they did do something to the "knuckle" in the steering shaft to quiet it down- It turned out to be a very temporary "fix"- My current mechanic tells me there is an after market fix that works- I will try it when we get back "home"- I have read on another venue that front end parts on the 4x4 models can be problematic- Good luck in solving your problem and keep us DA owners posted- Don
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #12
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I wonder about stuff that is fixed under warranty all the time. In getting you in and out of the service bay as quickly as possible, too often the real problem is overlooked. Worse yet, I've had service personnel say, "we've had quite a few of those". The worse part of this is, it was fixed under warranty today, but what about years from now when that part isn't doing its job? And why doesn't this frequent problem happen all the time if it's so prevalent? What's different about where it works versus where it doesn't work?

Bottom line. Something isn't right. The "root cause" of a problem is always the best but hardest thing to look for and fix, not the resulting parts that are affected and usually only the design engineers can do this because they have more information about how the product was created, than the service tech working on the vehicle. I think in your case or other Chevy/GM vehicles with this problem is that they are looking at the wrong thing. If an aftermarket solution fixes the problem permanently how hard would it be to apply it at the factory? Do these manufacturers not care? Do they really think we like our warranties because we like to use them? Do they really design things to make them fail, like they make that many sales from inconvenienced owners that visit the new car lot while their vehicle is getting repaired? Do they really think they'll make a sale from a broken vehicle versus one that is just getting regular service maintenance?

I just have never understood the mentality of the automotive industry to continue to deliver these products like this. Basic quality management states you always fix the most prevalent problems permanently because these affect the bottom line. It doesn't help to generate revenue if you are only gonna give it back in unnecessary repairs.

My post has so many questions. One answer is that if a problem repeats you need a smarter group of people to figure out the root cause. Do we think that a rebuilt part has less quality than a new one? It's not supposed to, but it's easy to blame the rebuilt part if the root cause is elsewhere.

I keep this mentality when my vehicles go in for warranty work. I have embarassed many a service manager with these questions in leaving the vehicle in the shop to find the real problem. They'll fix the most obvious instead of what caused the failure. It's a terrible balancing act. They talk like warranty work is a favor, but never understand the inconvenience. Not all problems can be limped along to a shop. I've had the failures at home when the vehicle can't get to a shop and have rescued plenty of others whose failures have occurred on the road.

Good luck with your vehicle and continued luck with mine. This is also true with our rigs too. Some Montys do just fine, or we've learned to accept the "nit", and others have been pretty horrific. Fate is very unpredictable. Okay, some of us call this "life".

I hope this isn't construed as political or whining. I'm just trying to remind myself this happens to everybody and how I try and deal with and "resolve" it. Notice I didn't say fix, because sometimes it's not always one fix that resolves it. I think that sometimes multiple discoveries and fixes are needed which is when you can finally call it resolved.

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Old 02-13-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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I agree with you Art. If one out of several hundred trucks has a steering box problem, it's the steering box, but when one truck has to have the box replaced time after time, I suspect other issues at play. That is why I asked if the OP was getting fixed at the same dealer. If I was him, I'd go elsewhere (another dealer if the warranty still applies) and explain the situation to them and see what they say. Too many mechanics today are parts changers instead of true mechanics. A real mechanic would have looked at the whole system, especially after the truck came back a second time.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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DonandJudy, interesting that you have the "clunk" sound too. I've had that for a long time. As you said, they say no problem, and even over on DieselPlace, they mention the same thing. I believe my next step is to take it to a certified alignment place, that does this type of stuff, and have them evaluate it from a totally different point of view. THEN maybe I'll get some answers.

Yes, I will keep everyone posted as to what I find out!
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #15
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2015 Chevy 2500 Duramax hard low speed steering


This might not be the right thread, but I'm looking for people who've had problems with late model HD Duramax trucks where at low speeds (parking lot, campground parking, etc.) there is a loss or severe decrease of power steering boost. If you wait on it a few seconds, boost will return, but sometimes you don't have time to wait! This happens mostly when I've turned the steering to near right or particularly left lock and then try to turn the wheel the opposite direction. On one of the Diesel forums, this shows up as a pretty common problem and it seems that changing the steering box fixed most people up.

I've talked to my Chevy dealer's service manager who talked to his power steering mechanic about it and didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling about their ability to find the problem. Plus the diagnostic part is $112/hr. They even mentioned the brake booster (yes the power steering pump provides part of the boost to the brakes) might be at fault. Think big money.

I'd really like to find someone here who's had this exact problem, had the problem fixed, and would share how exactly it was fixed. I really don't want to go trough a bunch of expensive trial and error with an expensive shop on this problem!

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Old 07-12-2019, 07:39 PM   #16
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Since you have been on the Chevy site that is where I would be looking for what to do with your truck. There is a lot of knowledge in those sites. Use it.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:56 AM   #17
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Own 2007 Duramax. No issues with steering gear box. The clunk sound is a well documented issue with the steering column bearing and can be fixed several ways steering shaft intermediate coupler can be taken apart and greased or replaced and issue is gone. Five bad steering boxes. Naw... someone is not repairing correctly.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:20 PM   #18
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Same issue here - the intermediate steering shaft bushing is too large and allows slop in the shaft. Only cure is to buy one of the after-market shafts and bushing. My dealer "fixed" mine on warranty by stuffing the tube full of grease, but of course that got me past the warranty period. The 2005 has 280,000 kilometers (approximately 175,000 miles). Our Canadian warranty ended at 60,000 km !
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:24 PM   #19
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Electric power steering from 2017, works great.
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:20 PM   #20
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doesn't answer your question but I had a 2006 chevy for a number of years....314K miles and that was one thing i never had problems with.

of course everything else was replaced once or twice.

I did a search and there are a number of sites talking about this/or similar issues. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=chevy+stee...176-7_p&ia=web
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