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Our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z/71 Duramax had a bit of a personality crisis when it first joined our fleet. As some of you may remember, our Colorado had two small issues when it was first delivered: the switch bank on the center console didn’t reliably work, and the driver information center screen on the instrument cluster proudly displayed the GMC logo on startup instead of the correct Chevrolet bowtie.
I already covered the logo switcheroo fix back in update one, so let’s address the wonky switches and the handful of other small issues that our Chevy Colorado has suffered from over the past year.
Every Chevy Colorado comes with five rocker switches on the lower portion of the center stack, each actuated by taping down on them. These switches control, from left-to-right, the exhaust brake/tow/haul mode, traction control, the hazards, the cargo light, and hill decent control.
All five of the switches had about a half-inch of play in them, and worse still, the traction control switch only worked intermittently and only if you pushed down really hard on the extreme left edge of the switch.
Our local Chevy dealer at first thought this would be a quick hour-long fix before a tech realized that they’d have to pull apart the dashboard to replace all five switches. One day and a Chevy Spark-loaner later, and our Colorado was returned to us, finally in the same shape it should’ve been in when it left the factory.
This one was a first—not long into its stay with us, the Colorado’s horn shorted out and stopped working. Associate editor Scott Evans took our Chevy off-roading back in update number two and made quite the bow wave through a water crossing, shorting out the horn in the process. The horn’s mounting position near the grille doesn’t really help things, but it was hardly our Colorado’s fault. Nevertheless, the horn was replaced under warranty and hasn’t given us any issues in the plenty of off-roading the truck has seen since.
I don’t know about you, but creaks and rattles in brand-new cars drive me mad. Around four or five months into our loan, our Colorado’s steering column started to make a squeaky-binding type noise, which was especially noticeable at city speeds in 90-degree turns.
It was pretty hard to figure out where the sound was coming from (for both the Chevy dealer and me). At first we thought it was the airbag cover on the steering wheel rubbing. The airbag cover’s mounting screws were lubed up, but the sound persisted.
Next, the Chevy dealer tried lubing the bolts that mount the steering wheel to the steering shaft. Better, but the sound was still there.
Finally, the dealer noticed a service bulletin calling for the replacement of the lower portion of the steering rack, which would eliminate binding and noises from the steering shaft. The service adviser sent me away in a Chevy Cruze and told me he’d update me tomorrow on the fix, but he mentioned it could take a couple days.
The next afternoon the service advisor called me. I expected an update, but got better news—the Colorado was cured. And indeed it was; the Colorado’s steering rack has been squeak-free since.
Squeaky leaf springs
After a trouble-free third-quarter, the rear leaf springs started to squeak and chirp as they rubbed against each other on bumps. The noises weren’t apparent with the windows up, but they could easily be heard at city speeds with the windows down.
After a quick lube and grease by the dealer, the squeaks were gone.
After nearly 30,000 miles, much of which has been off-road in the hot, dusty SoCal desert, I’d say we’re pretty lucky that the only casualty is some rubber weather stripping, just above the rocker panel on the right-rear passenger door, that’s starting to come off. The dealer resecured the weather stripping the same morning it was greasing the rear leaf springs, and the truck was good as new, once again.
Read more on our 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Diesel: