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Common 2.8 Duramax Problems : Detailed Guide

Common 2.8 Duramax Problems : Detailed Guide

The powerful 2.8-liter Duramax engine that comes integrated with the Chevrolet Colorado 2016 appeals to the owners. With 369 pound-ft. of torque and 181-hp, this engine is capable of delivering an average mileage of 27 mpg.

Even though this diesel engine is relatively small, it perfectly fits cars like Canyon or Colorado. The high degree of reliability that Duramax engines offer makes them a better choice than the traditional ones that are larger and more expensive. Besides, these engines involve a lower maintenance cost.

Although the engine continues to mesmerize auto enthusiasts, it does have some weaknesses. Well, before you settle for the Duramax engine, it makes sense to explore the common glitches that come with it. So, occasional malfunctions in the engine wouldn’t take you by surprise.

2.8 Duramax problems

We have researched the online forums to scan through the negative feedback of the current owners and users. This way, we have compiled some of the common issues that you might encounter with the 2.8-liter Duramax engine.

1. Moderate towing capacity

For a pickup truck, the towing capacity happens to be a major deciding factor when you make the purchase. In case you have something heavier than 8,000 pounds to haul, this engine wouldn’t impress you.

So, the functionalism of trucks with this engine remains limited to commuting, along with light hauling. However, you would love the generous mileage from these trucks. The manufacturers didn’t design this engine to haul large loads.

Evidently, pickup trucks with the Duramax diesel engine would be idle for short commutes.


  1. Common 3.0 Duramax problems

2. Malfunctioning parts

One of the prime concerns with the Duramax engine is the technical malfunctioning of certain parts. For instance, the sensors tend to fail at times, and the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) gets clogged.

You need to get the EGR cleaned to remove the error codes that keep showing up. In case you use the truck for high mileages, it would be necessary to get the diesel particulate filter replaced.

3. Expensive maintenance

The Duramax diesel engine delivers a good performance only when it receives proper maintenance. Now, this might cost you higher than some of the other traditional diesel engines.

When it comes to maintenance, the owners need to use AC Delco parts or OEM. Even though this might pinch your pocket, you would benefit from the enhanced filtration abilities and fluid properties.

Ways to Maintaining your 2.8 Duramax engine

The way you operate your truck and your maintenance habits largely influence the health of the engine. So, you need to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule to prevent potential issues from affecting the engine. This way, you won’t have trouble with the performance of your truck.

Apart from following up with the maintenance schedule at the right time, it’s imperative to choose the right type of engine oil. With the right choice of lubricants and oil, you can prolong its lifeline.

Remember, the Duramax 2.8-liter diesel engine is very selective. Also, you need to ensure the right engine speed to keep the machine in proper operational conditions.

Several factors determine the frequency when you need to get the engine serviced. In case you have just purchased a new truck, make sure to go for complete maintenance at 30K miles.

So, this involves changing the filters, fluids, as well as engine oil. Besides, this is especially important in case you have purchased a used truck. You never know how well the previous owner took care of the vehicle.

General Motors also recommends replacing the fluid in the axles. In case they were submerged under mud or water, you need to transfer the case immediately.

General Motors recommends the necessary maintenance intervals for new trucks. Based on the intensity of your use, you need to follow any one of the two recommended schedules.

In case you don’t tow heavyweight too frequently, you can settle for the normal schedule for maintenance. This applies if you primarily use your truck for commuting, or use it as a personal vehicle.

However, General Motors also recommends a maintenance schedule for trucks under severe operational conditions. This applies to the engines that frequently tow heavy loads and explore off-roads.

Besides, if your truck idles a lot, it should come under this maintenance schedule. Generally, most commercial pickup trucks have to adhere to the second schedule.

You have some recommendations in both the maintenance schedules.

  • The serpentine belt necommon ends at 150K miles.
  • Owners need to flush and drain the cooling system at 150K miles.
  • Depending on the conditions, you need to get the air filters replaced at around 45K miles.
  • The front and rear differential fluids need replacement at 100K miles as per both the maintenance schedules.
  • For the engine timing belt, you need to arrange for a replacement at 150K miles.

How many miles will a 2.8 Duramax last?

Compared to gas engines, diesel engines come with a longer lifeline. In this context, you should note that Duramax happens to be one of the longest-lasting diesel engines in its class.

So, you can expect a long lifeline of 400K to 500K miles from these powerful engines. Besides, the cost of diesel would be more than gas. Any potential owner would be spending more when it comes to the fuel. This justifies why the engines of Duramax would cost you higher than the ordinary gas engines.

What year Duramax has the least problems?

The best years of Duramax engines are the ones between 2011 and 2021. The older engines had some issues, which the manufacturer addressed and fixed the flaws. Eventually, there were some new emission regulations in 2011.

Accordingly, Duramax started designing their engines with better features and capabilities from 2011. Besides, they supported better and safer drives. Such engines also came with better emission systems. Moreover, the deployment of urea injection and diesel exhaust fluids further enhanced the capacities of these engines.

One of the other benefits of the Duramax engines between 2011 and 2021 is the ability of the owners to get the fuel economy tuned. With the after-treatment systems in these engines, owners can boost the fuel efficiency of their trucks.


Now that you are aware of the common problems with Duramax 2.8-liter engines, you can decide whether or not you should go for the purchase. Of course, the perks of this powerful diesel engine largely outweigh its disadvantages.

You simply need to assure proper maintenance to keep the engine in proper functional conditions. This would help you prolong the lifeline of the engine to 500,000 miles or so. No wonder why Duramax continues to dominate the industry with powerful diesel engines.