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What is wrong with the steering on some of the 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500HDs?

A number of owners of the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD complain that the steering is loose or wanders. Chevrolet has issued a Technical Service Bulletin about it, but owners say it doesn't fix the problem.

One of the hottest topics on a Chevrolet Silverado forum right, now concerns problems with steering on some of the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HDs. Some drivers are complaining that the truck steering is so sloppy, they are afraid to drive it.

The complaint was first posted last summer by someone called Queen. “The 2nd week I had it and the power steering box started leaking terribly- as in puddle on the driveway. Took it to different dealer as the 1st on was horrible. They sealed the leak and gave me the truck back until the part (power steering box) comes back in. So I leave the dealer, guess what? The steering is sloppy. About 2-3 inches I can move the wheel left or right before it is responsive. It wanders and constantly has to be corrected. Everyone says "it's impossible" because it's a mechanical system. Until they drive it and they go "oh my I see what you are saying". Meanwhile I have a $60,000 truck I worry about driving to work or towing to go camping this weekend while I wait for a power steering box from GM. VERY frustrating.”

Since that first post, there have been nearly 400 others. Most are other 2016 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD owners who are reporting similar issues.

Thang says “I’m in the same boat! Brand new 2016 2500HD LTZ Z71. Just turned 7500 miles and started getting 2 to 3 inches of slop in the steering. Slack/Lash whatever it’s called.Dealer drove it and said HOLY S%$# this ain’t right!”

General Motors has issued a Technical Service Bulletin for the problem, it is lengthy.

“#PIT5501C: Steering Feels Loose / Excessive Lash / Fluid Leak At Lash Adjuster (Adjust Steering Gear). The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.
Some owners may comment that the steering feels loose, there is excessive play in the steering, and/or a small power steering fluid leak from the steering gear lash adjuster may be noted. These concerns could be caused by an incorrect Pitman Shaft Over-Center Preload Adjustment.”
The TSB wants the service people to ask the owners all sorts of questions about where and how the vehicle was driven. Was it driven offroad? Have they towed anything? Has the truck been lifted or modified in any way? Did the problem occur quickly or slowly get worse?

The TSB recommends that the service people concentrate on the Pittman Arm and lash adjuster stud/nut/cover interface. It sounds as if the nut or stud comes loose and allows too much play in the steering. Gunny posted “I just picked my truck up and this dealer knew about the problems with the play in the
steering wheel. The play is caused by a adjusting screw in the steering box backing out causing the play in the steering wheel.The fix is using a chemical call loctite to keep the screw from backing out.Seems to be back to normal and only time will tell if comes back.”

A Maryland driver says the fix didn’t last very long. “Got it back and within 600 miles it got worse. Had 3-4 inches of play. Took it back and they fixed it. Said they did a long list of items plus recal of sensors. The paperwork states...remove steering box and perform adjustment procedure per bulletin #pit5501c. reset btoe in. relearn steering angle sensor & p/s pressure sensor learn.”

Enthusiasts note that the issue seems to be only on trucks built at in Flint, not in Fort Wayne. No indication as to why.

Apparently the TSB is updated a couple of times “#PIT5501D - Steering Feels Loose / Excessive Lash / Fluid Leak At Lash Adjuster (Replace Pitman Shaft and Adjust over center lash)
Subject: Steering Feels Loose / Excessive Lash / Fluid Leak At Lash Adjuster (Replace Pitman Shaft and Adjust over center lash) Models: 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 2016 GMC Sierra 2500/3500.”

There are so many of these complaints that dealers are now suspicious of people coming in with the TSB. Many dealers are just ordering new steering boxes. “He told me, he would never try PIT5501C or D. . He told me it is a very complicated system and setting it to OEM is difficult and that I would never be happy with the steering if they attempted to follow the PIT5501 C&D. That's why they just ordered a complete new steering gear box to begin with.”

In all, there are 27 pages of complaints about this issue. One person who describes himself as a GM tech tried to help the angry owners but was hounded off the site by hostile posters. They are furious that the service departments don’t seem to know how to fix the problem long term and they don’t feel they are receiving help from GM and Chevrolet.

As of right now, it appears that the 2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HDs are not having similar problems. No word of a recall for the 2016s, although the problems are reportedly widespread.

Mary Conway covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin. Follow Mary on Twitter at @maryconwaymedia.


cal leiben (not verified)    July 27, 2017 - 8:32AM

I too am having sloppy steering issues with my 2016 2500hd duramax ltz with 3300 miles on it ..and my son purchased a 2016 2500 also and has had steering issues and alignment issues with his truck. will be the last chevy I own . BOB JOHNSON CHEVY in Avon N.Y are the worst for solving issues. their service manager sucks at taking care of their customers that have spent thousands at their dealership. they just don't care after you spend over 60 grand for a truck

Brandie (not verified)    August 26, 2018 - 3:31PM

In reply to by cal leiben (not verified)

I to have a 2016 hd my steering box went 3 times under warranty. GM is trying to offer me a extended warranty and Vermont would not allow them to. I then hear they are giving me another kind of warranty I have yet to receive and they actually went as far as closing my case customer satisfaction complete. I then called again open another case and have yet to hear from GM as they stated they would call o center again in another claim. I have had tremendous support from mcmahons chevy, though I'm at a point they are not responding doing to there service tech now. I did this trying to be respectful to the people I have been talking with and I got no where with GM so i guess i may just lemon this trk which is discouraging to do as i love the trk but there not being accountable for there product. There is no longer a peace of mind driving a 50,000 dollar truck. Seems as a kid growing up I recall something that chevy was the heart of Trucks of America how the world changes.

PA (not verified)    December 29, 2018 - 2:11PM

In reply to by cal leiben (not verified)

OK GM, you win.
Just paid usd$2,800 for new gm steering box flush and alignment at 51,000 miles.
GM could not get one of their own boxes for weeks. Did I mention they stalled long enough from when the play began at 30,000 so gm did not engage. This gm box is warranted for 24 months, we will see.
My theory is where is Ralph Nader? Another Corvair cover up.
How can gm screw up SO Badly. Guess during cost cutting measures the metals purchased came from China, but wrongly spec(ed) and bad QC.
Really sad, such a bad deal.

Henry Notaro (not verified)    August 23, 2017 - 8:25AM

2016 2500 High Country I have had this problem since my truck was new. I brought it in at 2500 miles to have my local dealer fix it. They told me nothing was wrong with it. Now at 25000 miles the problem has gotten so bad they will have to fix it. I hope. I have an apointment tomorrow to have it fixed. I will repost the result tomorrow night.

Adam (not verified)    September 26, 2017 - 10:11AM

I am also having this same exact problem. I have 3,900 miles on my 2016 chevy Silverado 2500hd LT. There is no way that this amount of play in the steering is safe. How does chevy escalate this steering problem to a full on recall?

Richard Gillispie (not verified)    September 26, 2017 - 11:24AM

They had to replace the steering box in my 2016 2500 HD LTZ. I had 10,000 miles on it.

Ron (not verified)    December 18, 2018 - 10:21PM

In reply to by Richard Gillispie (not verified)

2016 Duramax steering loose @ 5000mi. Now loose again @ 14,000 after being fixed with locktight. Going in tomorrow for new steering box. Did that work so far for you? Thanks Ron

martin (not verified)    October 2, 2017 - 6:09PM

Here in quebec canada: my 2016 sierra 2500 hd duramax got a steering box change after 2 weeks at 500 kilometers because the original one was leaking. Then at 10 000 km They aligned it for the third time and there is always a loose in the steering wheel and while driving I had to do corrections all the time. Today at 21 000 the truck is at the dealership for the same loose and bad alignment. They told me they will change one of the inner tie-rods to correct that. I will see when I will get the truck tomorrow....

Philippe Girard (not verified)    May 14, 2018 - 7:40PM

In reply to by martin (not verified)

Martin, what your problem solved? Cause I'm not satisfied with my dealer conclusion after many attempt to solve the problem "nothing to do, the loose i'm getting is supposed to be standard..." What!? Went the garage three times for this problem. At first, since second winter my truck has been pulling on the left while braking hard from 40 miles/h. If I keep my steering wheel centered, pulling is enough to change lane. Dealer said it must be my winter tires with studs that cause this.... Then few months later, I start to have two, inches slack in the steering wheel. On highway I have to constantly do corrections from left to right to keep rolling in my lanes. Then the dealer applied the refered correction bulletin. Problem was solve at 80%. I still get an 1/2 inche to 1 inche loose that I'm not happy with. Brought it to the dealer today and they say it is normal... I will have to bring my truck to another dealer now, one that can solve this. I'll be hauling my fifthwheel in two weeks and want it to be going straight. It is a security issue.

Jason Croy (not verified)    October 12, 2017 - 6:29PM

Have a new 2017 2500 Denali, put a 3.5" lift with 35 inch tires. the Wheels 20x10" and are 2 piece and are pretty damn heavy. I have all new control arms and shocks. The issues I am having is when going over a small rise or bump or crack no bigger then 1-2" deep or high, I can hear and feel a clunk in the front end. It will make this noise with no suspension compression or extension. When watching from outside the truck, the wheels will ever so slightly toe out about 1/2 - 1". I have brought it back to the dealer twice and the 4x4 shop twice also. Everything has been re-torque and greased and still get the same issue. Both shops are giving me the "everything is fine" BS Now; all the steering components are still stock and nothing has been done to the linkage as far as compensating for the lift.

Anyone have any idea what could be causing this? or has had similar issues? Or have a fix for this? Any recommendations?

thanks for all your help

Semper Fi

Keith M (not verified)    October 21, 2017 - 9:01PM

2016 2500 LTZ same gearbox issue. Noticed steering getting sloppier and sloppier , just looked at it and leak at box / pitman arm and the top nut backed off nearly 1/2 inch! Have 20,000 miles . Hope I can get an updated unit installed under warranty

Adam Bridgman (not verified)    November 2, 2017 - 4:47PM

2016 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD. Same thing 40,040 miles. My steering has slowly been getting worse and worse. It now has about 4-5 inches of slop in the steering wheel. It is even worse when I drive down the highway. It happened really quickly and out of nowhere. I have an appointment tomorrow at 2:30, but they have already let me know it is NOT under warranty.....this should be a recall. I am seeing hundreds of these posts....

Adam Bridgman (not verified)    November 2, 2017 - 4:53PM

2016 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD. Same thing 40,040 miles. My steering has slowly been getting worse and worse. It now has about 4-5 inches of slop in the steering wheel. It is even worse when I drive down the highway. It happened really quickly and out of nowhere. I have an appointment tomorrow at 2:30, but they have already let me know it is NOT under warranty.....this should be a recall. I am seeing hundreds of these posts....

Dennis nordness (not verified)    January 10, 2018 - 5:54PM

My 2016 2500hd chevrolet has play in steering wheel 2 to 3 inches have too keep steering wheel moving back and forth to stay in my lane have called dealership take it in 1/15 2018 only 18000 miles will post what I learn at dealership

Tom D (not verified)    January 12, 2018 - 6:34AM

2016 3500 Duramax with only 22000mi. this weekend retuning from family visit, I was driving in pretty crappy conditions and thought the play I just started to feel was the road. Yesterday driving home from work I said this is not right 2 -3 inches of play in the wheel is not right. I pull a 14K 5'er and that is not going to work! I did notice some patch on the driveway, but in the snow and rain it was hard to tell for sure, the patch was oily but no color or smell. I have an appointment at my dealer 1/19. I will be bringing in a copy of this report and let you know the outcome.

Andrew M (not verified)    January 16, 2018 - 9:51PM

2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 duromax ltz 85000km Dame sloppy steering after I took to dealer for oil change. Perhaps a class action might get them to do a recall!!

Kenneth (not verified)    January 17, 2018 - 9:54PM

I have had my 3500 hd already fixed once and now less than a thousand miles of driving it started having play in the steering wheel I had 22,000 on the truck the first time and I have 22,600 now and have to have it fixed again. I wish they would just go ahead and put a new steering in . Because Chevy should be fixing this problem it's very unsafe I guess everyone that has this problem is going to have to ban together and start a class action lawsuits.

Mike T (not verified)    January 19, 2018 - 3:08PM

2016 Silverado 2500HD Duramax 13k miles. Steering is loose and it seems to get worse as speed increases. I made an appointment with the dealer for the end of next week. We shall see.

Greg Tucker (not verified)    January 21, 2018 - 2:58PM

Was in Florida heading home to Illinois when I noticed I had a little play in steering wheel. By the time I left Florida 3 hrs later it had a lot at least 3” swing. Called dealer and documented what was my truck was doing and they said I will need to make app. to check it out. Hope we make it home.

Lonnie Brooks (not verified)    January 22, 2018 - 7:21PM

Yep im in same boat my 2016 chevy silverado 2500 hd just starting leaking power steering fluid out of the blue. I don't have an issue with with steering just leaking has 18000 miles on it.

Mike Berblinger (not verified)    March 11, 2022 - 8:33AM

In reply to by Lonnie Brooks (not verified)

I was wondering if you ever got the power steering leak fixed and how?



Patrick Brackett (not verified)    January 30, 2018 - 9:41PM

I have a 2016 Silverado 3500 LTZ that drives very nice until you put a trailer behind it. Then you don't want to let go of the steering wheel - constantly correcting it. Not much fun to drive and downright dangerous on rough/snowy roads.