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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

First post here.

How common do you feel the 3.5L cylinder head issue is. I only ask because my truck is a 2005 and on the verge of the 7 year warranty extension ending. I just hope that the 7 years doesn't expire and then I get the dreaded misfire code. Any rhyme or reason to mileage when this occurs? I have around 75,000 miles on it. The only "problem" I have had with the truck was a low/rough idle code at 50,000 miles, which was corrected by removing and cleaning the throttle body.

Thanks for any information you can provide! Will be putting new front brake pads and rotors on tomorrow, and doing a routine replacement of air and fuel filters, too.
 

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maniac mechanic
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It's basically give or take, you can do a leakdown test if your worried and if they all check out to the factory spec then I wouldn't worry about it showing up.

I had the head issue and mine showed up at 40,000 miles.
 

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Hope that you've read the "how to" on the rotor replacement.....they're not an easy task.


Most trucks will never have the head issue. It's just 'luck of the draw'.


Have fun with your maintenance projects!!
 

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Mine is an early '05, purchased in May '05.
I had the head problem at about 15-18k (don't really remember).
The head was replaced at a tiny dealership in southern New York state in 3 hours, and I have had no problems since..

If I recall correctly the head problem only effected the '04 thru early '05.
I would have to guess that at 75k if the problem hasn't happened yet it probably won't.
 

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I believe i got lucky with mine. I have 117k and i'm still on my original head. I'm an 06 3.5l and the only problem i have is if i idle for a long time i'll get a multiple misfire code but i cant tell it's doing it. The light normally goes off after i shut it off for a while.
 

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I had the issue at ~30k on my '06. Go to a 3rd party mechanic & ask them to do a leak-down test. I don't know what it would cost, but it would much less than if the dealer were to do it.
 

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The dealer replaced the head on my '05. I wasn't having any issues with idle, but since I had the truck in the dealership for other warranty work, and after reading about the problems others were having, I told them to swap the heads anyway.
 

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I was told by the regional service manager that it was a design flaw (not a defect) and that ALL of them will fail eventually. Some will go sooner than others, but they will ALL fail. There is a list of effected vin codes somewhere.

The new heads they dropped in do not have the design flaw that caused the initial failure, provided the work was done in late 2005/early 2006 or later. Some 06's were effected as well.

Also, that 7yr/100k mile warranty isn't from the model year, it's from the manufacture date or in-service date (don't remember which). My 05 was bought in 04...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the information.

I have been finding that while a good number of trucks have had the issue, there are also a lot of trucks that have not had the issue.

I suppose I'll just continue to drive the truck, stay up on my maintenance, and if it ever happens then make a decision on repairing of trading in. What is out of pocket cost on that job?

Thanks everyone!
 

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As an 05 mine is also going to be past the warranty point at the end of the year...if I get the problem after that I'm going to swap a 4.8L V8 in instead.
 

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I have been finding that while a good number of trucks have had the issue, there are also a lot of trucks that have not had the issue.

I suppose I'll just continue to drive the truck, stay up on my maintenance, and if it ever happens then make a decision on repairing of trading in. What is out of pocket cost on that job?
This is very true, a number of trucks have been affected that would normally warrant a recall IMHO but still there are far many more satisfied owners who do not have the issue. (like me YAY!) I'm just glad my 06 has been doing great so far, no warning signs of high gas consumption or any more P0300 codes after I replaced my MAP sensor late last year.

Dunno exactly about out of pocket costs, but I imagine the biggest factor is whether you decide to repair/rebuild your existing engine or find a used one with decent miles on it out of a junkyard and have that put into the truck. Replacing it with a newer, used engine would IMHO be a far easier and probably cheaper option when labor cost is a factor. If you're doing it yourself or having a family member or friend do it for you for no charge on labor, then rebuilding will probably be cheaper. Hope this helps!
 

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maniac mechanic
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Thanks for the information.

I have been finding that while a good number of trucks have had the issue, there are also a lot of trucks that have not had the issue.

I suppose I'll just continue to drive the truck, stay up on my maintenance, and if it ever happens then make a decision on repairing of trading in. What is out of pocket cost on that job?

Thanks everyone!
It depends which route you take. If you buy a reman. cylinder head and do the work yourself you'll be less than $1000, the dealer will probably hit you $1500+/- because the cylinder heads are around $600 plus 8-10hours labor most likely. Or you could grab a junkyard engine with low miles and swap that in yourself for around $1500 tops
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, thanks for all the info.

A customer of mine is a sales manager at a large Chevy/GM dealer. He talked to the service manager for me. Since 2004, they've replaced 3 cylinder heads on Colorados. One had 165,000 miles on it, so the guy just replaced the motor with a junkyard engine. Seems that the odds are in your favor that it won't happen.
 

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Mine is a early 04 which I bought new. I'm a hair under 100k and on the original head and I drive it like I stole it.....as I have from day one!

Fuel filters, spark plugs and dirty throttle bodies will make these 3.5s run like shit everytime

So I change the fuel filter yearly, clean the TB every 6 month and do plugs about every 40k...............I also average 25-28 mpg. SO I must be doing something right!
 
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Hello all,

First post here.

How common do you feel the 3.5L cylinder head issue is. I only ask because my truck is a 2005 and on the verge of the 7 year warranty extension ending. I just hope that the 7 years doesn't expire and then I get the dreaded misfire code. Any rhyme or reason to mileage when this occurs? I have around 75,000 miles on it. The only "problem" I have had with the truck was a low/rough idle code at 50,000 miles, which was corrected by removing and cleaning the throttle body.

Thanks for any information you can provide! Will be putting new front brake pads and rotors on tomorrow, and doing a routine replacement of air and fuel filters, too.


Black05Colorado,

I would be happy to check your warranty date for you. Please PM me you VIN.

Thank you,

Tina
GM Customer Service
 

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I have an 05 3.5L with 239k on the clock now, I was first diagnosed with the code of death at 125K(ish) still running it. The engine is playing up a little now, however considering all the other issues I have had with the truck. It is my first and last GM.
 
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