Mysterious 'Chevy Shake' Brings Much Frustration, Few Solutions

Chevy Shake 2 II

By Tim Esterdahl

Ron Seewald thought his 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali crew cab was the truck of his dreams. In almost every way, he said, it was an improvement over his nearly identical 2014 trade-in.

Then, his dream turned into a nightmare.

An irritating highway vibration showed up after about 1,000 miles and then grew worse. After a trip to a dealer produced no remedy, Seewald explored online and discovered a community of owners with complaints about vibrating GM pickups and full-size SUVs.

What some call the "Chevy Shake" is a mysterious problem affecting a small percentage of 2014 and newer Chevrolet and GMC half-ton pickup trucks, as well as current-generation Chevy, GMC and Cadillac full-size, truck-based SUVs. Even more problematic than not knowing when or if your truck will develop the shake is that it appears to be difficult to isolate. Owners such as Seewald and clever dealers are trying a variety of remedies — new tires, new U-bolts, different wheel alignments and even reattaching roof bows in certain SUVs. There also is talk that GM's new Magnetic Ride Control shocks could be involved, something dealer techs tell Seewald they can't test.

This whole issue is exasperating for Seewald, who has purchased new GM trucks since 1970. Adding insult to injury, his 2016 pickup with the 6.2-liter V-8 and eight-speed transmission is a replacement for a 2014 model that had its own problems. This replacement transaction ended up costing him about $7,000, with GM matching the price of the vehicles and Seewald covering the taxes and registration.

Now $7,000 in the hole and with a vibrating 2016 Sierra, Seewald is left waiting for GM to figure out the issue and provide a technical service bulletin or (less likely) a recall.

"After some discussion [with the dealer], the tech said he would call GM and see what they want to do," Seewald said. "They did not write a repair order on the vibration so I requested documentation. Two weeks later I'm still waiting ... no call and no repair order."

What Exactly Is the Chevy Shake?

The issue, as detailed on various online forums and in dozens of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seems to revolve around GM's so-called K2XX platform that underpins the latest generation of full-size pickups and SUVs, including the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. Some owners complain about booming sounds in the cabin akin to driving around with the rear windows down. Some also complain about vibration inside the cabin, a sensation some say is amplified when the vehicle enters V-4 mode via the V-8's gas-saving cylinder-deactivation technology.

GM's Attempts to Correct Issue 

GM has issued two service bulletins — one for pickups and one for SUVs — that indicate different potential sources of vibration. The truck bulletin (PI1354C) focuses on tires, prop shafts, re-tightening body mounts and checking driveline angles as well as replacing drive shafts. The truck bulletin also mentions checking the drive shafts for dents. The SUV bulletin (PIT5318B) focuses on the roof with a possible cause being poorly attached roof sheet metal. The fix is to essentially rebond the roof bows.

Some online reports, however, say these fixes have not worked. Other theories focus on U-bolts, adding engine mount shims, checking the exhaust back-pressure valve and replacing the rear axle.

On March 30, 2016, a dealer reported a 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500 with a similar vibration issue (NHTSA No. 10852511), saying the truck "has the Chevy shakes between 38 and 70 miles per hour. [It has a] 5.3L V-8 motor and 8-speed transmission, 3.42:1 rear axle and locking differential. Been selling GMs for 55 years and if this was a demonstrator we would never sell another truck."

And customer frustration is boiling over. An owner of a Yukon XL posted that he turned the vehicle back in to his dealer and got a refund check for his down payment and one additional payment.

He reported, "As I said before, best car ever. But I am not making the headaches up. It was legitimately affecting me. I'm in sales and drive a lot. This is a health concern."

Contacted about the issues, GM provided this statement: "GM is aware of customer concerns regarding a buffeting noise in certain full-size GM trucks. GM does not believe this is a safety issue. Customer satisfaction is our top priority and any customers with a vehicle exhibiting these conditions should visit their GM dealer for vehicle inspection and potential repair under warranty."

Platform to Blame?

This issue reminds us of a Toyota Tacoma low-speed vibration issue that plagued 2005-2015 trucks. Some would shake at lower speeds but not all of them; you literally could drive two trucks on any sales lot and get a different feel or result.

Toyota issued a slew of technical service bulletins to try to address the issue with a variety of repairs, including putting a foam pad on top of the steering wheel behind the cover. Ultimately, none really helped much.

The real fix was the 2016 Tacoma that was redesigned from the ground up. All the brackets and driveline angles were adjusted in ways to eliminate any vibration.

Remembering this makes us think the Chevy Shake may not go away until a new Silverado/Sierra 1500 platform comes out in a year or two. Unfortunately, guys such as Seewald may be stuck trying one potential solution after another.

"I may try to fix it myself," Seewald said, "but then I will have to 'own' the problem, letting GM off the hook." photos by Tim Esterdahl


Chevy Shake 1 II


I hate to admit it but after many years of GM ownership I discovered when I traded one because of problems it should not have had, then all I had done was trade for a new one with its own problems it should not have had. After 40 years of GM ownership I gave it up and switched my loyalty to a competitor. And this truck has been flawless for over 100,000 miles now. Fingers are crossed. Any brand can have a problem vehicle but my GM vehicles seemed to have problems with far higher a percentage than should have been.

Weird, no mention of the rash of issues on the new F-150??

Door alignment, wind noise, tranny issues, etc etc.

Proves this site is sponsored by Ford like always!!

I heard about this problem with the SUV's and they were looking at the large roof as the culprit. This is the first I have heard about the pickup's that have smaller roof area's.

If they have eliminated everything but the new Magnetic Ride Control that can't be tested, that is most likely the source of the problem.

This is another reason not to rush to buy the first redesign.
Let others do the Real World Testing the manufactures can't always cover.

Never had a problem like this with either Ram, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future. As PU mfgrs try new weight-saving tricks to meet EPA fuel-mileage requirements, there is more potential for vibration formerly masked or removed by heavier frames. It certainly means that alignment of all moving components has to be "dead nuts". No "slop" allowed.


Foremost, I'm sorry hear Ron Seewald is having problems with both of his trucks, I feel his pain...

That vibration problems sounds difficult to solve, I hope that GM can address it for affected owners. It will also test there statement "Customer satisfaction is our top priority"

Let's see how this plays out...

@anything but.
Most of the issues with the new f150 have not been widespread or they have been relatively simple fixes. There will always be various manufacturing defects here and there. Problem with the chevy shake is it is widespread and nobody knows how to fix it because nobody knows what is causing it for sure.


Actually the shake is not widespread.

A widespread problem is the ecobusts with carbon issues, tranny issues, and fuel mileage not even close to what Ford "says"

No problems with Fords are ever written about on this website, and the few times they are they are played down. Its so pro Ford its not even funny.

I have a 2015 Sierra 1500 5.3 4x4 11k miles, no issues. Great truck. Also, interesting timing with this article... This problem is not new. Perhaps a jab for the holes in the Ford bed commercial?

I would try a driveshaft balance first at a real driveline shop first. The 07 f150 would shake at 70mph tell they pulled the shaft off to Rebalance it. Cleared right up. At least no problems here with my '14 silverado after 40k miles.

I had the same problem with my 2007 Toyota Tundra that I ordered and waited 106 days for it. Drive line vibration in two wheel drive, feels exactly like the tires are way out of balance. After repeated trips to the dealer, Toyota called it "vehicle characteristics". As I was perusing a legal remedy (18 months) later Toyota called and said they had redesigned the spider gears in the front diff. They now had a TSB to replace the entire front differential. That fixed the vibration, but by then I hated Toyota and the truck.

I now have a 2009 and 2014 f150. Both have had drive shaft problems. The 2009 has been fixed but my 2014 has not. Considering a custom shaft from Machine Service Inc GreenBay WI.

All of these manufactures put this crap out there, it's so dissipointing, you lay 50,60 grand for a gas truck and it has a $300 dollar drive shaft that is junk.

probably running over those big pebbles dropping thru that aluminum bed floor.

I will take a aluminum bed over a vehicle vibration any day of the week!

Yet another GM story on how they build crap and put it out there for the general public and say they believe it's not s safety issue.

Brother in law has that same black truck in top picture, only difference is wheels. He has driven all over BC, Alberta and some northern US states, puts on some miles. He says best truck he ever owned, no problems, totally quiet and smooth.

Note to GM.
Invest in a GoPro. Have your techs learn how to
Use one and sync it to a portable device. Attach it
to various points underneath the vehicles and
start there.
This is how I do it to find clunks or vibrations in
my vehicles.

" has recently learned that in another stroke of genius Ford is offering aerated beds in their trucks to allow weight loss and proper draining of water. This comes on the heels of the recently introduced vinyl floor covering that caused editor MARK WILLIAMS faint in jubilation and shock and awe of Fords genius"
"In other news, GM is evil and should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking they should load a truck from 5 feet high"

I used to check this site 3-5 times a day. Now, I might browse 1 time a month. It has become a total joke and reminds me of MSNBC or CNN. Biased opinion in the guise of "news".

Is anybody else, regardless of brand loyalty ready to see on overhaul of this site ?

this is not complicated. Dealer service departments are not eager to replace wheels or tires under warranty.

Dealer service departments are similarly disinclined to spend time micro balancing drive shafts.

For either of these issues take your car or truck to an independent garage that specializes in balancing. They will identify the problem and make smart recommendations you can take (or leave) to fix it.

Typical GM junk. Maybe one day GM and Chrysler will file for bankruptcy for good and shut down. Then the roads will be safer for all of us.

@Dave, just curious...which brand of skateboard is your favorite?


Who the hell likes skateboards? Punks use skateboards. I'd rather walk!


Who the hell likes skateboards? Punks use skateboards. I'd rather walk!
Posted by: Dave | Jun 25, 2016 3:31:30 PM

So Dave drives a Ford. LOL

What the heck, that's funny!

Maybe that what happen to the Big Block Corvettes at Le Mans they had the "Chevy Shake" against the #1 winning Ford GT's. LOL

@Chevrolet builds a better way to see the USA

All you have to do is Google "Chevy Shake" an you will get several sites coming up with that info. LOL


I have a 2015 silverado, smoothest quietest vehicle I have ever driven. The ride certainly won't match a luxury car but the quietness sure will. I have heard that the problem is limited to units with the 22 inch wheels. Can anyone add if the problem is present with other tire sizes?


It looks like any size rim with either a bowtie or the letters "GMC" seem to have the issue. Likely its a result of poor engineering as reflected by the square wheel wells.


It looks like any size rim with either a bowtie or the letters "GMC" seem to have the issue. Likely its a result of poor engineering as reflected by the square wheel wells.

Posted by: Dave | Jun 25, 2016 7:43:30 PM

Dave, you don't sound like a reliable source of information. I'll wait until someone with "knowledge" responds.

Mark I see you still trying to get hired at ford.


Good luck with that. You're on the wrong site. Check out a Silverado/GM truck forum.

If you haven't heard of the Chevy shake you don't follow the pick-up news very well. I first read about it in a news article on one of the major news networks a couple months ago. Can't remember which but it wasn't even a car site it was like abc or fox news. For those that say this site is biased, I guess every site has a ford bias. Ford must be buying out every car site because I see these same stories elsewhere before I see them here. It is very rare I see something pro ford here that wasn't first posted on some other car site. Mostly they just regurgitate articles here that were already posted elsewhwere. The real truth is simply that ford makes more news than others. If you have a problem with that then you might as well not read about trucks anymore here or elsewhere.

GM puts round wheels in square wheel wells, that alone probably is reason to cause a shake, who knows what they did with the stuff that is not as visible.

GM still sells more full size trucks than Ford, getting desperate there Ford fans. What about F-150 fire's, brakes, trans, poor mpg ect ect ect. Seen a new military grade Ford today with more smoke coming out the tail pipe that a cabin in Alaska, a non issue on this site.

The GM shake is from the V8. That is why it gets worse when it goes into v4 mode. The 5.3 and 6.2 LT motors were pretty much all new and not really proven like the old oil burning LS that were replaced. The GM LT v8's haven't been out long enough to work all the bugs out of them and be reliable.

Any one notice how the 4.3 V6 GM 1500 owners aren't experience a shake but the LT v8's have frequent complaints about vibration??? Get rid of the unproven GM v8's and the problem will be solved on vibration.

@Lou_BC and Tim,

The Chevy Shake cured my back ache. The shake acts like free massaging seats. It is a cure for what ails you.

GM wins and Ford loses again!

i feel so good now that my back is cured. The Chevy Shake makes me want to dance!

Im not a Chevy man by any means, but it does seem odd for this site to post an article such as this. Every manufacturer has its share of gremlins. This article appears to be nothing more then a sleazy response from Ford to combat the commercial GM put out a few weeks ago. There has been numerous post claiming this site is ran by Ford. Articles like these make it hard to deny that.

To everyone complaining about this site,

Is someone making you visit this website? If you don't like the news articles simply stop coming here. Stop complaining and find a site that caters to what you want. That's what is great about America and a free market...freedom.

This article has been written by Tim Esterdahl , tundraheadquarters editor.

so even after beating us taxpayers out of 11 still can't build a decent surprise, tisk, tisk.

@ Scott
The 4.3 is way newer with cylinder deactivateion than the 5.3. And a v6 is naturally unbalanced. I would really rule engine out

Ford has to fire back. poking holes in Fords campaign. No pun intended.

Look is crying now the girly government motors fans about the so call "chebby shake" but at first they where making fun of ford aluminum bed and body and look who is laughing now. And ford hasn't make any type of video about that is the peoples who is complaining about the junk trucks that they buy.


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@ Scott
The 4.3 is way newer with cylinder deactivateion than the 5.3. And a v6 is naturally unbalanced. I would really rule engine out

Posted by: canoepaddler | Jun 25, 2016 11:21:00 PM

The 4.3 was new the same year as the 5.3 and the 6.2...... 2013. The 4.3 doesn't have cylinder deactivation or 8 cylinders like the shakers. The 4.3 doesn't have a shake issue or its not being reported by owners. There is just not enough time under the V8's belt to be proven reliable or not the culprit of the gm shake.

You have convinced me to keep and hold on to my older pickup cause my older truck may be better than a new one.

If I was thinking about buying a new truck and I visited PUTC for information I would be scared away of buying a new truck.

If I wanted to isolate the vibration problem of the new Chevy I would take cardboard and duct tape and cover different parts of the body to restrict the air flow over or inside the body, I say air flow is getting into a trapped area of inside the body causing the vibration and I would look at the windshield sealing too.

Id sale it and the class kicking best in class RAM. The only name in trucks.

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