Choosing the right truck can be a tough decision, especially when it comes to the engine under the hood.
If you’re a diesel enthusiast or in the market for a reliable and powerful pickup, then you’ve likely heard of the Duramax engine. It’s known for its impressive performance and durability.
However, not all Duramax years are created equal. In this article, we’re going to rev things up as we explore their best and worst years.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Engines to Avoid
The Duramax engine is extremely reliable. It’s tried and tested, and it has been in use for more than 20 years.
However, in the world of diesel engines, not all years are created equal, and the Duramax is no exception. The years you should approach with caution or avoid altogether are the following:
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.
You might want to think twice if you’re looking to buy a 2006 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.
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.
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.
The 2015 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.
Engines to Buy
If you are looking for the best year to buy a Duramax, these are your options:
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.
The L5P platform is one of the best truck platforms out there. It’s durable, reliable, and gets the job done without any fuss – 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 Warner 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.
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.
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.
Durability of These Engines
As long as it is maintained, the Duramax engine can be pushed to its absolute limits.
There are people who 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 100,000-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.
How to Maintain Them?
Here are three things you can do to make sure your engine is performing at its best:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Make sure there are no leaks in your engine
These 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 to ask 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!
3 Most Common Duramax Problems
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 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
When it comes to fuel injectors, 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.
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.
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.
The Bottom Line
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.
All you need to do is choose a vehicle with your favorite engine and have a driving experience like never before.