2004 120,000 miles, will surge

Asked by Oct 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM about the 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Work Truck Ext Cab Short Bed 2WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When I first start the truck it runs good but then it will surge, run good then surge again. Thought at first it was the transmission but thats not it.  Not sure if there is some sensor going bad or not. No engine light comes on.  Seems ok once the truck gets warmed out.

9 Answers


While driving or at an idle?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

While driving


Could be a number of things, when was it last tuned up?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Well, I changed plugs and wires at 100,000 along with cleaning out the injectors. It does seem to run rough when I first start up then it settles down. Thanks


How long does it run like this, is it seconds or minutes. Also did you put the iridium plugs in it or the cheap ones. The newer General Motors ignition systems use an HEI ignition system for a cleaner burn. They used to have HEI on the distributor systems in the late 80s also and the reason those were marked HEI and the new ones aren't is because all the new GMs have it. Point is that instead of 30,000 Volts the new ones are 60,000 to 90,000 Volts and standard plugs are lucky to make it 30,000 miles some crap out as quick as 10,000. It may be starting to need decent plugs and the bad ones just aren't creating the spark needed while the engine is cold and in open loop mode. Let me know what plugs were used and we can go from there.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

John, I'll have to get back with on that. I looked at my idemized bill and it doesn't specify. I know the plugs cost me $48.00. I'll have to pop the hood and check but I have the feeling I may have got the cheaper ones. Thanks for all your help.


What is the spark plug part number on that itemized bill? It should start with a 41-*** if it starts with an R then its just a standard copper plug. Also the plugs alone are approximately $7 which for the 4.8 or 5.3 is 8 plugs. So the plugs alone would be $56 + tax. A shop would be closer to $100 for the same plugs. If they aren't AC Delco then its the wrong brand all together.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks, I'll check the numbers tomorrow. Silly question but will the bad plugs make the truck hard to start?


Crappy plugs can make it start hard and run crappy while its colder due to the fact that while its cold #1 the air is denser making it thicker and more difficult to pass a good spark through it and #2 when an engine is cold its in what's called open loop mode where most sensors do very little and the rest do nothing. A predetermined amount of fuel is put into the engine depending on where the throttle position sensor reading is and the mas air flow sensor is not payed any attention. This also why your vehicle sometimes smells like gas when its started on a cold and damp morning.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Silverado 1500

Looking for a Used Silverado 1500 in your area?

CarGurus has 183,613 nationwide Silverado 1500 listings starting at $1,595.


Search Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Questions

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Experts

#1 John Carson
John Carson
Reputation 2,440
#2 Rowefast
Reputation 1,950
#3 tenspeed
Reputation 1,650
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used GMC Sierra 1500
807 Great Deals out of 68,327 listings starting at $1,300
Used Ford F-150
2,131 Great Deals out of 191,043 listings starting at $290
Used Dodge Ram 1500
410 Great Deals out of 10,896 listings starting at $1,000
Used Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
309 Great Deals out of 28,847 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Tundra
470 Great Deals out of 34,463 listings starting at $1,950
Used Toyota Tacoma
571 Great Deals out of 42,604 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
587 Great Deals out of 33,591 listings starting at $1,375
Used Chevrolet Colorado
255 Great Deals out of 28,189 listings starting at $2,000
Used Ford F-250 Super Duty
337 Great Deals out of 43,829 listings starting at $1,450
Used Chevrolet Silverado 2500
9 Great Deals out of 256 listings starting at $3,495
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD
10 Great Deals out of 288 listings starting at $3,995
Used Ford Mustang
723 Great Deals out of 44,327 listings starting at $1,500
Used Nissan Titan
179 Great Deals out of 18,996 listings starting at $3,745

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 For Sale
286 Great Deals out of 125,130 listings starting at $20,549
2016 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 For Sale
153 Great Deals out of 5,758 listings starting at $17,900
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 For Sale
245 Great Deals out of 8,541 listings starting at $12,950
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 For Sale
269 Great Deals out of 10,367 listings starting at $9,798
2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 For Sale
167 Great Deals out of 5,012 listings starting at $7,994

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.