GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration: Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

The GMC Sierra’s intermittent vibration issue is a perplexing and often elusive problem.

This article delves into the mysterious world of vibrations in the GMC Sierra, exploring the initial signs, common causes, and practical solutions.

Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a concerned owner, this guide aims to shed light on this intermittent yet impactful issue, ensuring a smoother and more reliable driving experience.

GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

First Signs of Intermittent Vibration

When I first encountered intermittent vibration in my GMC Sierra, it was quite subtle. The sensation was mostly felt on the steering wheel, but it seemed to be present throughout the entire vehicle.

It occurred at various speeds, especially at 40mph and above1. The vibrations would appear and disappear, lasting only a few seconds at a time. I also noticed that the pulsations seemed more frequent at specific speeds such as 55, 62, and 72 mph2.

At times, giving the truck a little gas or backing off the gas made the vibrations go away. As it was an intermittent issue, there were days I would not experience it at all3.

This made pinpointing the cause quite challenging as the vibrations did not always occur under the same conditions.

When talking with other Sierra owners, it seemed that some experienced similar issues4. For example, one driver mentioned feeling intermittent vibrations while driving on the highway at speeds between 65-80 mph5.

In some cases, the brake pedal also exhibited pulsation, indicating the issue might extend beyond the steering wheel.

While acknowledging that each case may be unique, it became clear that the early signs of intermittent vibrations in a GMC Sierra mainly include irregular, short-lived vibrations at varying speeds.

Most commonly, these vibrations are felt in the steering wheel but can affect the entire vehicle.

Understanding GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration

I’ve been researching the GMC Sierra and noticed a common issue: intermittent vibration. It seems to occur at certain speeds and can cause discomfort for drivers. Let me share some possible causes and solutions I’ve found.

Some Sierra owners mention their trucks experience vibrations at specific speeds, typically around 55, 62, and 72 mph. One thing they’ve noticed is that the vibration tends to go away when they either give the truck some gas or back off the gas pedal.

During my search, I came across a service bulletin from February 2019 that addresses vibration issues. According to the bulletin, vibrations can be caused by wheel and tire, axle components, or even propeller shafts.

Moreover, I discovered a forum post where some people have suggested checking the brake calipers to make sure they’re sliding freely and inspecting the wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods.

Addressing these common issues could potentially fix the intermittent vibration problem.

In conclusion, GMC Sierra intermittent vibration is an issue that seems to come and go at specific speeds.

The cause could be related to wheels, tires, axles, or propeller shafts. It’s essential to inspect and maintain your GMC Sierra’s components to avoid vibrations and ensure a comfortable driving experience.

GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

Common Causes of Vibrations

It’s not uncommon for GMC Sierra owners to experience intermittent vibrations, but these can usually be traced back to a few common sources. In this section, I will discuss these causes and what can be done to address them.

Torque converter issue

  • Potential fix: Flushing transmission fluid

One cause of intermittent vibrations on a GMC Sierra could be related to the torque converter. This is a component of the transmission that may cause vibrations if not functioning properly.

A simple solution in this case might be to flush the transmission fluid, resolving the issue for many people.

Tire balance and alignment

  • Potential fix: Have tires balanced and alignment checked

Sometimes, the culprit for vibrations is simply tire balance and alignment. If your truck’s vibrations start and stop at certain speeds, it could be a sign that you need to have your tires balanced and front alignment checked.

GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

Aftermarket wheels and vibration

  • Potential fix: Ensure wheels are correctly balanced and installed

Another common cause of vibrations, especially at highway speeds, could be related to aftermarket wheels.

If you’ve installed new wheels on your truck, make sure they are correctly balanced and installed, as this can lead to intermittent vibrations at high speeds.

As you can see, there are several possible causes for intermittent vibrations in a GMC Sierra. By identifying the root of the problem, you can take the necessary steps to resolve the issue and enjoy a smoother ride.

False Alarms vs Genuine Vibrations

Judging the Issue

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if a vibration in my GMC Sierra is a genuine issue or just a false alarm. For example, when driving on rough roads or experiencing strong winds, it’s natural for my truck to have some vibrations.

However, if I notice an intermittent vibration that occurs at certain speeds or rpm ranges, it may indicate a genuine problem1.

To determine whether I’m dealing with a false alarm or genuine issue, I’ll need to assess my truck’s performance and observe the vibrations in various conditions. Below are a few things I’ll consider while making my judgment:

  • Road conditions: If the vibration is only present on rough roads, it might be a false alarm.
  • Speeds: If the vibration occurs at specific speeds (e.g., 55, 62, and 72 mph)1, it could be a genuine issue.
  • RPM ranges: If the vibration happens within particular rpm ranges and under load2, it’s more likely a genuine issue.
  • When accelerating or decelerating: If the vibration disappears when giving my truck more gas or backing off the gas1, it’s a possible sign of a legitimate problem.

By carefully observing and analyzing my GMC Sierra’s performance and conditions during the intermittent vibrations, I can better determine if it’s a false alarm or a genuine issue that needs attention.

Using the information gathered, I can seek professional help for diagnosis and repair if necessary.

Detailed Analysis of Intermittent Vibration

Technical Inspection

Before diving into the drivetrain, I always start by inspecting the truck for any aftermarket equipment installations. For example, non-factory tires, wheels, and/or lift kits can contribute to vibration issues.

I check the brake calipers for proper operation and slide, as well as the wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods, which are essential components for smooth vehicle motion.

Drivetrain Evaluation

After ensuring that external factors are not responsible for the vibration, I turn my attention to the drivetrain.

In some cases, the source of the intermittent vibration can be traced to the torque converter, a component within the transmission. A shuddering torque converter may require a transmission fluid flush to resolve the issue.

Another important aspect to consider is the vibration frequency. I use a vibration analyzer to determine whether the issue frequency is E1.5, E1, or E4.

This information helps me pinpoint the root cause and plan an appropriate course of action for resolving the intermittent vibration.

In conclusion, by conducting a thorough technical inspection and drivetrain evaluation, I am better equipped to address and resolve any intermittent vibration issues in my GMC Sierra.

Handling and Maintenance Tips

Routine Checks

I always emphasize the importance of regular inspection on my GMC Sierra. It helps me identify any subtle vibrations that may indicate possible issues. For example:

  • Tire pressure and balance: Ensuring that the tires are properly inflated and balanced can prevent uneven wear, which can cause vibrations.
  • Brake rotors and pads: Worn or warped rotors and pads can lead to vibrations when applying the brakes.

It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to maintain a smooth ride and prevent further problems.

Professional Assistance

Sometimes, when the intermittent vibration persists despite my routine checks, I turn to professionals. Their expertise can help determine the root cause, such as:

  • Suspension system problems: Faulty shocks, struts, or bushings could be causing the vibrations.
  • Drivetrain issues: Various components like the drive shaft or universal joints might be responsible for the vibrations.

As a GMC Sierra owner, it’s essential to keep an open dialogue with professional technicians and consult them when necessary. This proactive approach aids in addressing vibrations and mitigating potential issues before they worsen.

GMC Sierra Intermittent Vibration Diagnosing and Fixing the Issue

Benefits of Timely Troubleshooting

I’ve found that addressing a GMC Sierra’s intermittent vibration as soon as possible offers numerous advantages. For instance, early detection helps prevent further damage to the vehicle’s components.

This, in turn, translates to reduced repair costs down the line. Many Sierra owners have found solutions to this issue by checking Service Bulletin Document #4526930.

I also found that prompt troubleshooting enables me to maintain optimal vehicle performance.

Ensuring that the Sierra runs smoothly requires attention to every aspect, including addressing issues like intermittent vibration as soon as they arise. By doing so, I can keep my truck running at peak efficiency.

Moreover, I realized that staying on top of these updates significantly improves my vehicle’s safety.

Intermittent vibration can lead to a loss of control while driving, particularly at high speeds. Taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue quickly minimizes any risk.

Lastly, addressing intermittent vibration problems in a timely manner maintains my Sierra’s resale value.

Prospective buyers often seek vehicles with maintenance records and a history of prompt issue resolution, and tackling this issue early demonstrates my diligence in caring for the truck.

Case Studies of Intermittent Vibration

In this section, I’ll share a few examples of GMC Sierra trucks experiencing intermittent vibrations. These case studies were gathered from online forums and highlight the various circumstances in which vibrations might occur.

One GMC Sierra owner reported a vibration that comes and goes at certain speeds, such as 55, 62, and 72 miles per hour. Giving the truck a little gas or backing off the gas seemed to alleviate the issue temporarily. The vibration was described as a growl-like noise.

Another Sierra driver experienced intermittent vibrations at highway speeds between 65 and 80 miles per hour. Moreover, they noticed a pulsation in the brake pedal during these vibrations. Their truck only had 3,200 miles on it with aftermarket 17-inch wheels installed.

A different forum user mentioned checking for common potential causes of vibrations. They suggested inspecting brake calipers, wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

These examples show that intermittent vibrations in GMC Sierra trucks can appears under various conditions:

  • Different speeds
  • varying mileage
  • Vehicle modifications such as aftermarket wheels

Knowing how and when vibrations occur can help lead to an accurate diagnosis and ultimately, a solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes vibrations in GMC Sierra 1500?

There could be several reasons for vibrations in a GMC Sierra 1500. Some common causes include issues with wheel and tire balance, worn-out suspension components, or problems with the drive shaft. In some cases, the vibrations might be due to a known issue with certain model year trucks.

How to fix steering wheel vibration in GMC Sierra?

To fix steering wheel vibration in a GMC Sierra, you should first diagnose the root cause. Start by inspecting the tires for uneven wear or damage and check if the wheels are properly balanced. If needed, replace or realign the affected components. Also, examine the suspension system for any worn-out parts that may require replacement. If the problem persists, consult a professional mechanic or a GMC dealer for assistance.

Are there common vibration issues in the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500?

I cannot confirm any specific vibration issues in the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500. However, it’s possible for any vehicle to develop vibrations over time due to normal wear and tear or isolated manufacturing issues. If you experience any vibrations in your truck, follow the diagnosis and troubleshooting steps mentioned in the previous sections.

What’s causing my 2015 Silverado to have intermittent vibrations?

Intermittent vibrations in a 2015 Silverado could stem from various sources. According to some forum discussions, potential causes might include brake caliper issues, worn wheel bearings, and worn ball joints or tie rods. To pinpoint the cause, you should inspect these components and address any problems that are identified.

How do I resolve the Silverado V4 mode vibrations?

Silverado V4 mode vibrations may occur due to the truck’s active fuel management system. This system automatically switches the engine between V8 and V4 modes for fuel efficiency. One method of addressing these vibrations is to use a device like a Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disabler, which prevents the truck from entering V4 mode. However, be aware that this could negatively impact fuel efficiency.

Is the Chevy Shake related to vibrations in GMC Sierra?

The “Chevy Shake” is a term used to describe a vibration issue reported in some Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. The cause of this issue can be hard to diagnose, and various possible solutions have been discussed by truck owners and mechanics alike. While it’s not guaranteed that the Chevy Shake is the source of your GMC Sierra’s vibrations, it could be a contributing factor in some cases.


Navigating the complexities of the GMC Sierra’s intermittent vibration issue can be challenging, but with the right approach and understanding, it’s a solvable puzzle.

From identifying the first signs to exploring common causes and practical solutions, this article provides a comprehensive guide for tackling this problem.

Regular maintenance, attention to detail, and professional assistance are key to ensuring your GMC Sierra remains a dependable and enjoyable ride.

Remember, addressing these vibrations promptly not only enhances your driving experience but also preserves the longevity and value of your vehicle.


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