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2007 Chevrolet Silverado Classic Pickup Truck

My previous vehicle really wasn't everything it should have been. I liked the little truck, but it must have been built on a Friday. Electrical problems of all sorts plagued the S-10 throughout its entire life. I remember someone telling me that Consumer Reports magazine said the interior was cheap and wouldn't last. They were right. Beyond the driver's side door never shutting properly as a result of torn welds, the door cards and seat material proved flimsy. The tin worm had begun to chew on the rear wheel wells and the cab corners, and it didn't help matters that one of my brothers carelessly took a Buick down the driver's side one day.

The end came when driving down the highway one day. I thought I felt a momentary loss of power, just a bit more than a misfire would cause. I wasn't sure at first if the truck faltered, and then a major dip in power came, removing all doubt that something awful was about to happen. After several more dropouts, the engine finally shut off. It wouldn't restart when I dropped the gear selector into neutral and cranked it over. Thankfully, a nearby driveway let me coast safely off the highway. Upon closer examination, it was exactly as I feared: the fuel pump had stopped running. Nothing I could do there, including pounding on the gas tank with a borrowed rubber mallet, got it going again. For the first and only time in its life, the S-10 found itself attached to a tow truck and heading for the same dealership that sold it new.

The dealership didn't want my truckling sitting there for too long, and so some decisions had to be made. Thus began a great deal of agonizing over what to do. New trucks at the time didn't come with all the Do Not Want they have today, but they were still quite expensive. My father, despite telling me I was crazy to trade a Chevrolet for a Dodge, thought I ought to look at Dodge trucks. I did so, even bearing my mother's terrible experience with a Chrysler Grand Voyager minivan. Prices began at around $30K and it didn't take them long to work up from there. I remember a few $80K trucks on that lot. Who buys that sort of thing?

Some time prior to all of this, I test drove a Ford F-150 with the Ecoboost engine. I liked the engine, too bad about everything else. That truck felt a lot like I was driving a cabover vehicle and while I'm told that not all of those trucks are like this, the turn signal "user interface" was completely wrong in two ways. Not only did the signal lever drop back into the resting position after being used, it took turning the steering wheel almost to the extent of its travel in either direction to cancel the signal.

Over in GM land, I wanted to find a decently equipped truck without OnStar. Now you can argue with me about this all you want (just stay out of my inbox, thanks), or call me a raving loony, but it's strongly believed by more than a few people that OnStar staff listened in on and monitored the location of GM vehicles with the system, even when there was no active subscription associated with it I certainly wouldn't doubt any of that. While I'm no raging privacy nut, only myself and The Man Upstairs need to hear me bellowing along with the radio. Back in 2013, that meant taking a Work Truck (W/T) model and adding to it the options one wanted (namely power windows, locks and keyless entry -- the stock AM/FM only radio would have been fine with me). By the time I was thinking of doing something, it was too late to order a truck built to my specification. I was told of exactly one truck in the United States that met my requirements (W/T, V8 engine, extended cab, the aforementioned power items, and OnStar delete).

(People who have disconnected the OnStar hardware in their GM vehicle have said that GM called them to ask why they weren't driving their vehicle, and if everything was alright. I find this far more amusing than I probably should, which is why I note it here. Yes, I could have done that. I didn't want to invest the effort, or have that dorky "shark fin" left around.)

I didn't buy that truck. I don't remember why now. Sometime around that same time, I test drove a 2000 model year Tahoe with four wheel drive. I might have bought that, or even traded for it, only the transmission made a funny whining noise. I didn't believe for a moment that it wouldn't leave me walking as soon as I signed on the line. So, I kept looking. Going back in the story a bit, one had to cross the Chevrolet dealer's lot to reach the Dodge lot. On the way back, a secondhand Silverado caught my eye. Per the window sticker, it put checks in all the right boxes: nicely equipped, LT model, four wheel drive with an actual manual transfer case (!), and no damned OnStar. Sign me up!

Four wheel drive wasn't something I got on my S-10, nor had I really been shopping around with the intention of buying a truck so equipped. I wasn't sure I wanted to pay the price in terms of fuel economy, carting those extra driveline parts around all the time. Yet it was no secret that the S-10 wasn't even vaguely surefooted. I got it stuck a few times on wet grass. Maybe GM's G80 limited slip differential would have helped that. I don't know, since I didn't buy one of those either.

After a test drive, I set the wheels in motion a few nights later, staying late at said dealership and dickering over the price. My stricken S-10, which had been worth about four grand a few months ago, had fallen being worth just two, or a mere 10% of what I gave for it! Then came the matter of price. There was about $2,000 worth of difference between what they wanted and what I felt it was worth. Had I patience enough to wait a few days, I could have likely sweated them down to my price. I don't find it hard to walk away from a deal I don't want to do, only in this case I wasn't convinced that someone else wouldn't snap that truck right up. Despite not being particularly gainfully employed at the time, I found myself approved for financing at a credit union and two days later I was driving. (And yes, there should be no question that I did successfully pay for said truck.)

Parting ways with my old truck was bittersweet, much more so than I expected. I saved the window sticker with the VIN, and sometimes wonder where that truck is today, if it's even still on the road. I guess I'd be surprised if it was. So far I've been too lazy and cheap to look it up. I'll update this page and likely the one for the S-10 if I ever do. It sat at the dealership for nearly two months after I parted ways with it. (Yes, I had gotten it to run again, but the fuel pump was obviously struggling badly.)

Well, That's A Great Story. What About Your "New" Truck?

Back when I bought the S-10, I didn't like the new body style that GM had rolled out for the 2002 Silverado. I wouldn't swear that it's grown on me, only that I wasn't going to quibble when everything else seemed to fall into line. I can live with it.

Naughty Truck, as the 2007 Silverado has come to be known for reasons we'll get into later, is a carryover model, or "Classic" in GM parlance. A short production run of the old body style was done mostly for large car rental agencies. My truck was sold to Enterprise when it was new. I was surprised to learn that Enterprise would actually rent a four wheel drive truck, but apparently they do (or did).

In the equipment and powertrain department, Naughty Truck is driven by the GM "LS" 4.8 liter V8 engine mated with a 4L60E automatic transmission. The owner's manual mentions manual transmisssions as being available, and while I'd never want one, I have to wonder if any of these carryover trucks came with one. The Classic models marked GM's last offering of a manual transmission option in their light duty trucks. Naughty Truck came with power windows, power locks, a heated rear window, manually controlled dual zone air conditioning (seemingly standard by that time), remote keyless entry and a smoker's package. I'd have no use for that last item, were it not for the ability to use the lighter as a power point...or to set fire to random objects, but I didn't say that.

The interior is pretty basic. It's an extended cab, with rear doors that open on each side. There's a cloth 60/40 split bench seat, no center console (thankfully) and a rear seat that will fold down if you say the right incantations and so happen to have a degree in Rocket Science. It's not exactly intuitive.

I had my concerns that the 4.8 liter engine wouldn't be powerful enough. Believe me, those concerns have proven to be absolutely unfounded. The darn thing will freakin' scoot if you ask it. If only GM had offered it with the variable cylinder deactivation feature and the ability to use E85 fuels. Oh well. I don't need either one, and there is certainly something to be said for the reduced complexity.

Though there have been some bumps in the road, I like the truck. I don't regret buying it for an instant. As of this writing, it's amassed around 170,000 miles and I hope for many more. (I bought it with about 94,500 miles on it.) The four wheel drive capability is amazing to have in the winter, and has made the difference between being able to go somewhere and not. So convinced have I become of its utility that I'll definitely have it on future vehicles...if there are any. I have no use whatsoever for what the modern automobile has become, with a laundry list of idiotic electronic nannies conceived to try and counter people's tendency to do everything other than driving when they're behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Same as with the S-10, I changed out the radio. This time, though, I managed to find the elusive factory radio with a tape player. It came from a 2005 truck with the Bose sound system, which my truck hasn't got (and I don't want that either). Although there are model year restrictions on what radios you can install in which vehicles, a radio coming from a Silverado with the Bose system can be reprogrammed to work normally with the more basic speaker systems (such as the UQ3 "performance enhanced" speakers I have).

Some things don't change much. The front door speakers in Naughty Truck didn't play when I bought it (except for the one on the passenger's side that started working just long enough to scare the hell out of me). Factory speakers were the bane of my S-10's existence and the supplied replacements under GM's bumper-to-bumper warranty were no better. I was somewhat surprised to learn that GM sold factory replacement speakers through Amazon, and for a very reasonable price at that. So that's what I bought, and thus far, they've kept on playing well. I had hoped that the dealership's "warranty" on Naughty Truck would run to them paying for some replacement speakers, but they refused on the basis that they hadn't made enough money on the sale. In life, one has to pick their battles, and $30 worth of speakers isn't worth having a hemmorhoid about.

I was surprised to learn that a transfer case having a hand-operated, floor mounted shifter was made available, alongside all of the electrically shifted versions.

The 2007 Silverado Classic seems to have been the last model year with a cruise control on the turn signal stalk as is right and proper.

Adventures

I've only had one so far, and it was completely uneventful. One of my brothers moved to North Carolina, and so it was that I found myself hauling his belongings in a trailer. All the way, even through the foothills of Tennessee, Naughty Truck made the trip in good order. Sixty miles an hour was about as fast as it wanted to go, and with overdrive locked out (which you'll do, if you're smart), it managed a fairly impressive 12-13 miles per US gallon of gasoline.

For now that's about all there is to say. I hope to have a long future with Naughty Truck, because as I've said previously, there is just way too much Do Not Want in any modern vehicle. Naughty Truck has only provisions for a tire pressure monitor symbol, but there's no mention of it in the manual and so I think I'm safe from being harassed by it. Cameras and especially touch screens have NO PLACE in any vehicle.

But wait, there is one more thing!

Problems!

What would any GM vehicle be without troubles? About a year into owning Naughty Truck, the electrical gremlins began to rear their ugly heads. Everything was fine until one day when the instrument panel went absolutely mad and the blower fan stopped running. I feared the worst when the "engine hours" display reset itself to zero. (It seems that this is normal, that the hour counter registers overflow and thus end up starting at zero again.) This also killed power to the transmission shift controls and caused it to run only in second and third gears. Let me say that if you're not expecting this, the experience isn't reassuring in the slightest.

This turned out to be caused by a bad ignition switch, something I broke down and let the dealership diagnose because I wouldn't believe what my own test instruments were telling me. (Well, I did say "the ignition switch is bad!" at the very end, but I still didn't believe what I was being told. I later bought and installed my own replacement switch.)

The heating and cooling blower was, of course, next. It started not to operate on certain speeds and at first, the dealership forgot all about their "warranty", telling me it'd be some godawful amount of money to have them repair the burnt wiring I'd found. Something possessed me to type in a few well selected phrases into a search engine (or maybe I posted to a forum and asked, I've forgotten and it doesn't really matter anyway) and it was then that I found out about a technical service bulletin (TSB) for this very problem. The dealership mechanics were quite surprised when I showed it to them, and said something like, "oh, yes, that means you won't have to pay a dime for that repair".

I'd already had to throw some parts at the MVAC system. The original motor failed shorted and took out the "one shot" fuse on the relay and resistor pack assembly. Before I brought the truck back to have the faulty wiring repaired (which didn't affect the high speed the blower motor was running at when it failed), I put the bad resistor pack back. The motor is a TYC/Genera replacement having a lifetime warranty, and it's held up well over the past couple of years.

In more recent times, the tin worm has begun to chew on the rocker panels and the rear wheel wells. It is a source of continual amazement to me that GM hasn't yet figured out how to make a truck where these things aren't the first body parts to fall off. Neither one looks too bad from a distance yet, although the rocker panels show a lot of degradation when looked at up close.

So far, that's the whole story. I'm happy with the truck, and as I said above, I hope to have it for many more years...

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Copyright 2018-19 by William R. Walsh. Some rights reserved. Your right to reuse this material are governed by the terms of service available from the top level page of this server. Page created: 02/09/2019. Edited on 05/27/2019.