5 Best And Worst Years For The Duramax

Get my list of the worst years of Duramax to avoid so you can buy a reliable engine

The Duramax engine is one of the most popular diesel engines in the United States and has been around for over two decades.

It’s a strong, reliable engine has powered many trucks, RVs, and other vehicles.

But how have these engines performed over time? There have been some great years and some not-so-great years for Duramax engines.

Let’s take a look at the best and worst years for Duramax:

Worst Years for Duramax:

  1. 2005
  2. 2006
  3. 2011
  4. 2012
  5. 2015

Best Years for Duramax:

  1. 2017
  2. 2018
  3. 2019
  4. 2020
  5. 2023

Moving on with the article, I’ll explain each model in more details and I’ll answer some of the common questions as well so you could decide which model is the right one for you.

What Are The Worst Years For The Duramax?: Which Years To Avoid

Here we are going to talk about the worst years for Duramax engines. Many factors influence what makes a bad year for an engine.

The most important factor is reliability, which is why we’ll be looking at that data today.

1. 2005 Duramax

The 2005 Duramax is one of the worst engines of the entire series.

The thing that makes it fail the most is that it has a head gasket problem, which means that the head gasket fails and causes an excess of oil in the coolant.

This can cause overheating problems, which will lead to more failures.

The water pump also fails on this model, which means that when driving at highway speeds, you might find yourself without coolant or antifreeze due to a faulty water pump.

This can result in the engine stalling, which is pretty dangerous.

2. 2006 Duramax

You might want to think twice if you’re looking to buy a 2006 Duramax engine. The pistons are made from aluminum, so they tend to crack under high pressure.

The Duramax engine exacerbates the problem and uses larger pistons than other engines, so there’s more stress on them.

Moreover, the second common problem is the failure of the glow plugs.

Glow plugs are used to ignite the fuel before it enters the cylinders of an engine. If these fail, you could be in for some serious trouble!

Finally, one thing you’ll want to keep an eye on is transmission leaks on this model.

These leaks can cause problems like reduced power and performance or even complete failure of your transmission system.

3. 2011 Duramax

The 2011 Duramax LML was not popular because of its performance but because of its issues.

One issue with this engine is weak tie rods. Weak tie rods can lead to problems with your steering system, which can cause difficulties when driving your truck.

This issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure no damage occurs to the truck’s steering system.

The ball joints and upper control arms on these engines have also been known to fail prematurely due to increased stress that affects their structural integrity over time.

This can cause alignment or suspension performance problems leading up to failure.

4. 2012 Duramax

The 2012 Duramax engine was a disappointment to many truck owners. The issues it had were similar to the 2011 model, so they are essentially the same.

The CP4 pump is responsible for delivering fuel to all cylinders, which means that if it fails, you’ll have no power from any cylinders.

That’s bad news since your engine will stall while you’re driving–and it will also mean that you have no way of restarting it until you get back to a mechanic’s shop or service station.

There is no dedicated lift pump, so this part does all the hard work.

5. 2015 Duramax

The 2015 Duramax engine was bad because it was still based on the LML platform, which had been used since 2011.

No changes were made to the platform, so all of the issues that plagued those engines persisted in this latest iteration.

The result was an engine that was not only found in expensive trucks but also had troubling reliability problems right out of the gate.

All of the issues were present, such as with the Bosch CP4 pump and the failure of the ball joints due to their inability to handle high stress.

This was a source of disappointment and frustration for thousands of owners.

What Are The Best Years For The Duramax? Which Years To Buy

Now that we are talking about the worst years to buy a Duramax, it is time to move on to the best years.

As you will see below, a few different years stand out as being the best year for buying a Duramax.

If you are looking for the best year to buy a Duramax, these are your options:

1. 2017 Duramax

This was the first year for the engine, so it was bound to have some welcome changes.

Firstly, it has the L5P Borg Warner turbocharger, which gives you more power than the previous model.

You will also enjoy the Denso HP4 pump that replaces the faulty Bosch CP4.2 pump.

The new pump is many times more powerful and has a better flow rate than before. The number of 800 HP is more than enough for most people to be blown away.

Another great thing about this 2017 Duramax engine is that it comes with a new intake and hood scoop, allowing air to enter your engine easily to improve its performance and efficiency.

2. 2018 Duramax

The L5P platform is one of the best truck platforms out there. It’s durable, reliable, and gets the job done without any fuss or muss—and that’s why we love it!

So, it made no sense for GM to change things up a bit for the 2018 Duramax engine model.

You get the same upgrades, such as the faulty free Denso HP4 pump and the Borg Warno turbocharger.

These upgrades are huge and allow the engine to reach new performance levels like never before.

This was reflected in user ratings, where owners praised the performance of the L5P platform.

3. 2019 Duramax

The 2019 Duramax is a 3.0-liter I-6 turbocharged diesel engine with a maximum torque rating of 460lb. ft. It can produce up to 277 HP, which is plenty of power for most people.

It has an excellent efficiency rating of 26 mpg, which is better than any other diesel engine on the market today. The one in the Silverado can even touch 40 mpg, which feels unreal.

The LM2 engine can easily haul up to 9000 pounds of load. The engine provides drivers with a lot of power and acceleration.

It has been designed to be as responsive as possible. Although it can only be found in newer trucks, it is worth it.

4. 2020 Duramax

The 2020 Duramax engine is the same one as the 2019 model. They are both 3.0L I-6 turbocharged diesel engines.

This engine has proven excellent—no changes have been made to it in any of the years it has been in use.

This engine will also be used in the 2021 model year. The superior turbo and the excellent driving capabilities possible to this engine do not need to be altered until new technology is on the horizon.

5. 2023 Duramax 2023 And Onwards

Although the LM2 is an excellent engine, it will bite the dust one day. Its successor has already been confirmed, and living up to its legacy is the job of the new LZ0 engine.

This one will be introduced in 2023. According to reports, it will still feature the same inline design but will have even better fuel efficiency and performance, all while keeping a check on emissions.

You may be wondering why this engine has made its way onto this list, although it has not even been announced yet.

Well, this is the future, and there is no denying that for the past few years, the newer Duramax engines have been great.

So, there is a high probability that the LZ0 will continue with that trend.

How Reliable Is A Duramax?

The Duramax engine is extremely reliable. It’s tried and tested, and it has been in use for more than 20 years.

Since Duramax was introduced in 1997, it has been used in many different applications, from work trucks to heavy-duty dump trucks.

Duramax is one of the most popular engines on the market today because it offers great horsepower for its size but also has a high fuel economy.

It is known to be one of the strongest engines on the road today because of its reliability and performance.

This is why it is used in so many heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and more.

How Long Do Duramax’s Last?

As long as it is maintained, the Duramax engine can be pushed to its absolute limits.

There are people that have driven this beastly engine for more than 500000 miles and are still going.

The key to keeping your engine running strong is proper maintenance.

If you maintain your Duramax properly, you will be able to get the most out of it. Your truck will run smoother and last longer when you take care of it.

Although the engine comes with a mere 100000-mile or five-year warranty, it is almost certain that the engine will outlast this range by a huge margin.

The Duramax has been built to last.

What To Do To Lengthen The Life Of Your Duramax

There’s no denying it: the Duramax is a great engine. But, as with any machine, it requires some upkeep to keeps it running at its peak performance.

Here are three things you can do to make sure your Duramax is performing at its best:

  • Change oil regularly. There is no magic number of miles or time between oil changes—it depends on how much your truck is being driven and what kind of driving conditions it’s in.
  • Your owner’s manual should give you a recommendation for when to change your oil. If you’re not sure when to change it, talk with someone at your local auto parts store about making an appointment for an oil change if necessary.
  • The norm for a Duramax engine is around 5000 to 10000 miles.
  • Get repairs done as soon as possible! If something goes wrong with your Duramax engine, don’t wait—it could lead to more expensive problems down the road if left untreated long enough (and who wants that?).
  • Fixing small problems early on can save you thousands down the road if they progress into something more serious later on.
  • Finally, make sure there are no leaks in your engine—they can cause serious damage over time if left unchecked!
  • If there’s one leaky hose or gasket, chances are there are more problems lurking underneath (like a bad transmission), so don’t be afraid of asking professionals about them.

These are basic but important tips that will help owners ensure that they will be able to use the Duramax engine for as long as possible.

Believe me, that number can be a lot!

Things That Shorten The Lifespan Of Your Duramax

There are things to note which can seriously shorten the lifespan of the Duramax.

Let’s list down some of them:

  • There are many different types of fuel, and all have different properties, but some are better than others for your Duramax.
  • For example, diesel is the most common type of fuel used in trucks, but it also has the highest sulfur content.
  • The sulfur content makes it more acidic and can cause corrosion in your engine. If you want to use diesel, make sure you use a higher-quality diesel that has low sulfur content.
  • If there’s a vibration when you start your truck, it’s not something to ignore! It could be an indicator that something is wrong with your engine.
  • If ignored, these problems can lead to bigger problems later on down the road—or even worse: failure of your truck altogether!
  • So, if you notice a vibration when you start up or hear any grinding noises from under the hood, take it into service immediately before it becomes too late!
  • The oil filter is one of the most important components of the Duramax engine.
  • It is responsible for removing dirt and debris from your engine’s lubricating oil, which helps to keep it clean and prevents damage to other parts of the engine.
  • Not changing it means that you are letting pollutants roam around in the engine. They can cause a lot of harm.

The Duramax is a solid engine, but it cannot take care of itself. That’s on you, and you need to make sure that you can maximize longevity by taking care of its demands.

3 Most Common Duramax Problems You Should Know

1. Issues With The Fuel Lift Pump

The fuel lift pump is a very common problem for Duramax engine owners. This pump is responsible for lifting fuel from the tank to the engine, and if it fails, you will not be able to start your truck.

If you are experiencing this problem or are unsure if your lift pump is working properly, take your truck in for service immediately.

2. Water Pump Problems

The water pump is another crucial component of your Duramax engine that helps circulate coolant throughout the system.

Without this coolant circulation, your engine will overheat quickly and cause damage further down the line if not addressed in a timely manner.

3. Fuel Injector Issues

Fuel injectors are another common issue with Duramax engines that require repair or replacement.

The ball seats are the ones that become faulty on them. This results in a leakage, which can cause a loss of functionality.

If you notice that your truck isn’t running well or idling roughly, have a professional check out these parts first before deciding to replace them yourself.

These problems are pretty serious, but none of these are fixable. The repairs may get expensive, but they must not deter you from buying this solid piece of art.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is Duramax A Good Engine?

The Duramax engine is a great choice for anyone who wants a powerful and reliable engine.

The Duramax engine was introduced in 1997 by General Motors and has been popular ever since.

It’s been used in many different types of vehicles, including full-size pickup trucks and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

Q2: Do Duramax’s Hold Their Value?

It depends on what you mean by “hold their value.”

If you’re asking whether or not a Duramax will hold its monetary value, then the answer is no. After all, it’s an engine—it doesn’t have any value to hold.

But if you’re asking whether or not a Duramax will hold its mechanical value, the answer is yes: they do.

In fact, they’re known for being extremely reliable and durable engines that are built to last.

Q3: How Many Duramax’s Have Been Sold?

It’s tough to nail down an exact number of how many Duramax engines have been sold, but we can provide you with some context.

As of March 2017, 2 million Duramax engines had been fully created. That is a lot of engines for a lot of vehicles.

As the supply depends directly on demand, it can be safely said that demand for Duramax is extremely high.

Q4: Which Duramax Engine Is The Most Reliable?

The LBZ 2007 Duramax engine is considered to be the most reliable engine that GM has ever made.

This engine was made to be tough—it has a lot of extra components that make it less likely to break down.

It’s also extremely powerful and can handle a lot of load without overheating or breaking down.

Q5: Is Duramax Expensive To Maintain?

The short answer is yes. It’s a diesel engine, so it requires more maintenance than a gas-powered engine. But that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to buy one!

You’ll just need to be prepared to spend a little extra on repairs and upkeep. The average cost for maintenance on a Duramax engine is about $600 annually.


In conclusion, we’ve seen that Duramax engines have been a powerful force in the trucking industry for decades.

They’re reliable, efficient, and more than capable of getting you where you need to go. It is great, but it has had its share of problems over the years.

When it comes to talking about the best and worst years for Duramax, if you have the right information, you don’t need to worry about anything.

If you managed to read through this article, then you are already on the safe side.

All you need to do is choose a vehicle with the favorite Duramax engine of your choice and have a driving experience like never before.



Written by Kane Dan

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