What Are The Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems | Easy Fixes

The Chevrolet Colorado, most popularly known as “Chevy Colorado”, is a midsize pickup truck manufactured by the American automotive corporation General Motors. 

While this powerhouse is blessed with a lot of extraordinary characteristics that differentiate them from its competitors, there are some cylinder issues that might arise if you happen to own a Chevy Colorado. These problems might include sludge in the cylinder engine, spark plug failure, white exhaust smoke, dead throttle, etc. 

Well, all these problems are easily fixable. In this article we have shown some of the easiest and quick solutions of all these problems. Reading till the end may help you find the proper solution for your hevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems.

Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Specs And Overview

A Vortex 3500 3.5L five-cylinder engine is standard on most Chevy Colorado. These five-cylinder engines come from the lineage of Atlas engines, and they offer great sound with a smooth driving experience.

These engines have less internal friction than six-cylinder ones but may create nearly as much power as a six with proper tuning. This means you can get the power of a V-6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder with the 3.5L inline five-cylinder. It can also generate 300 horsepower at 3200 rpm, which is amazing given how small its size is.

Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Years

Chevy Colorado came with 5-cylinder engines till 2012. This was a part of their first generation trucks.

First generation Chevy Colorado engines (2003-2012):

The Chevy Colorado was initially offered with a 2.5-liter Ecotec I4 engine or a 3.6-liter LFX V6 engine. There were three basic trim versions available for Colorado: base, LS, and LT. Starting in 2003, this line of Colorado models was sold till 2012. 

However, they started marking their five-cylinder trucks in 2004, as an extended part of their first-generation engines.

5 Common Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems

If you are somehow facing issues with your Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder engine, it might be a good idea to investigate these five faults to identify the key problem:

Sludge in the engine 

Oil, carbon, and dust all mix together to make a thick sludge inside the engine. If enough sludge is accumulated, it might cause it to stutter and malfunction. 

And when there is a sludge in your 5-cylinder engine, you would hear unusual ticking noise from the tappet. It is a very common issue for this line of trucks. 

Spark plug failure

The reason that you might have a spark plug problem in your Chevy Colorado is poor fuel management. 

Apart from that, the spacing between the spark plug electrodes in the 5-cylinder engine can also be the reason why a spark plug failure occurs. 


If the fuel injectors malfunction, misfires are not an uncommon issue in a Chevy Colorado. 

They can be difficult to pinpoint because sometimes, these symptoms do not appear for several weeks after a malfunctioning injector has been put in. 

Delayed start in cold Weather

This appears to be a problem that affects older Chevy Colorado models more than the newer ones, although it can be resolved simply by replacing the IAC valve.

Failure of the Crankshaft Bolt

In some cases, a failure in the crankshaft bolts has caused severe engine damages. A Chevy Colorado that is either used for towing or driven hard, is more prone to this. 

What Are The Signs Of Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Issues?

A cylinder is a very complex part of a vehicle. If you happen to face problems in your Chevy Colorado 5 cylinder, it can be a little tricky to trace back to the origin of the problem. Here are a few common symptoms that should alert you regarding your 2.8 Duramax problems:

Noise from the turbo

Since low oil can cause the engine valve train components to make ticking sounds, there might be noise coming out from the five-cylinder engine of your Chevy Colorado. 

Illuminated warning lights

Because engine oil sludge can block oil galleries, the pace at which the motor oil circulates is reduced. As a result, the “check engine light” is triggered.

White exhaust smoke

If you happen to see white smoke coming out of your Chevy Colorado exhaust pipes, it is a sign that there is something wrong with your five-cylinder engine.

Dead pedal

As discussed before, a smooth driving experience is one of the key aspects of a Chevy Colorado. If this feature is hampered with literally anything such as waiting for an unusual time to take effect after stepping on the throttles, it is time to check your cylinders.

How To Fix Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems?

So far, you should have gained a sound knowledge of the symptoms and causes of your Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems. Now it’s time to know how you can fix these issues:

Cleaning the engine

The utmost important (and clichéd as well) solution for your 5-cylinder problems can be just a simple clean. Washing out the excess dust and contaminated oil can get your cylinder back to life. 

Before washing, you can use a pressure washer to wear off the dust from the surface of your engine. That will make your cleaning more efficient.

Sometimes, it might just be the engine’s serpentine belt that needs to be replaced to get rid of the noise from your Chevy’s five-cylinder. 

Modifying the spark plug

Without replacing your plugs, you can alter the spacing between their electrodes. While doing so, be sure to seat the coil on your five-cylinder engine properly. 

This will let the engine be more efficient in fuel combustion and fix cylinder problems. 

Replacing the injectors

If you are experiencing misfiring issues with your five-cylinder Colorado, you might need to replace the injectors. Since most Chevy dealers will replace any damaged injectors free of charge, you can ask them to do so. 

Replacing the IAC valve

If your Chevy Colorado model is rather an older one, consider replacing its IAC valve. Years of overutilization might have damaged it enough to harm your 5-engine cylinders.

Tighten the crankshaft Bolt

Consider tightening the crankshaft bolts if your Chevy Colorado is either driven heavily or used for towing. Because vehicles used for the aforementioned purposes can cause cylinder damages.

You may also read- Chevy 6.6 Gas Problems


The above discussions might not be enough to address certain cases with Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Problems. Therefore, we are cordially here to answer some of your most frequently asked questions regarding this issue: 

Is The 5 Cylinder Colorado Reliable?

The answer is a resounding yes. According to Brand Directory, Chevy ranks 13th in the year 2022 out of all the automotive corporations worldwide. This line of automobiles is also manufactured by one of the most reputed corporations in the industry, General Motors. 

Who Made A 5-Cylinder Engine?

In the late 1930s, Lancia of Italy designed a 5-cylinder diesel engine to replace the preceding 2-cylinder diesel and 3-cylinder petrol engines used in its RO truck series. 

Even though arguably, such a type of cylinder was popularized by Ford Motors, Chevrolet Colorado is currently one of the industry leaders for such type of engine. 

Is the Chevy Colorado 5 Cylinder Fast?

Chevy Colorado 5 cylinders are reliably faster. The 2021 Colorado flexes its might with a peak speed of 135 mph. As an engine, it is filled with adaptability. Even at this high speed, drivers can count on a great ride and very smooth handling.

How Many Miles Will an L5P Duramax Last?

The L5P Duramax should easily reach the 350,000-mile mark with good maintenance. Several owners have claimed that it faces no trouble through the 400,000- and 500,000-mile mark. These engines, therefore, have been shown to be quite trustworthy in general. 

Final Words

Some people mistakenly believe that simply because a Chevy Colorado is classified as “mid-size,” it must be underpowered. That couldn’t be more untrue. Moreover, the 5-cylinder engine’s power is very well optimized—thanks to the dual overhead camshaft architecture and variable valve timing with direct fuel injection. 

With this monster of an engine, you not only see the immediate result when you push the pedal, but you also preserve fuel, making Colorado both performance-ready and sustainable.

The best thing about Chevy Colorado is that it can actually serve you for years without any issues, with mileage driven by more than 400,000. Therefore, the 5-cylinder engine is a rare one that actually can last for several years with proper maintenance.

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