2004 Sierra Speedometer Problem

I've had one episode recently of complete shutdown of the speedometer after watching it hiccup around 65 mph. The rest of the instrument cluster was
fine as far as I know. The next morning it worked fine and it's been fine for the past 2 days.
My usual dealer said it would cost at least $300 to replace, but they don't recommend it since I don't have an extended warranty and it's working OK now. Another GMC dealer in town said they feel badly that it has failed and it will fail again. They will replace or repair it for free knowing I have no warranty left. The truck has 51,000 miles 90% of which are highway miles.
Any thoughts on what to do? Sometimes a kind offer is just a kind offer. Sometimes there is a hidden agenda. Sometimes you should just leave well enough alone.
What's going on with the Sierra's speedometer? Is it a known problem?
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It's a well known problem, endemic to the entire full sized '03 to '05 GM SUV and truck line. My '04 Z71 Avalanche did the same thing at 42,000 miles and off warranty. The culprit is the stepper motor in the cluster. The cure is a GM remanufactured cluster with a new improved stepper motor. I complained to the service manager, they called GM's district rep, and the entire repair was covered under their Goodwill program. Was told it would have been about a $450-500 repair with the remanufactured unit. Cluster replacement is 20min. It's $1300+ if I wanted a brand new cluster. Service manager also said he sees about 3-4 of these per month , mostly late '03's and '04's. GM started putting the better stepper motors (presumably switched suppliers) in the cluster sometime in '05. So my advice is to see the service manager, and get them to do call the GM rep.
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Thanks, Augustus. Appreciate your quick reply. It's disappointing that the dealer that has always taken care of me now wants to charge, but that's business. I guess the other dealer is willing to acknowledge it's a known problem.

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You're welcome. I was lucky that my local GM service manager was helpful. It's a small town, and I've bought 4 vehicles there over the last 6 years, but that doesn't always mean a whole lot. When it happened on my truck I started digging, and there's tons of Chevy truck web forums with stories just like your and mine. It should be a recall, not "you bitch, and maybe" situation.
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wrote:

Is this a vehicle with a Allison tranny and a 8.1 or Dmax? If so there is a bulletin on it. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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No, it's a mid-size gasoline V8-3.2 or so. It's been great for dependability until this issue. I'm starting to think I needed to buy that extended warranty!

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wrote:

For what it is worth, you might consider taking it to a speedometer shop. I had some issues with my 2000 K3500 being off about 10 to 15% when new and after a few swaps with new GM supplied units under warranty and attempts at reprogramming ECM they pulled speedo out and sent it to a speedo shop and "fixed" it for good. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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That's a good idea, SnoMan. Glad yours got fixed finally. It may be a while, but if this gets resolved, I'll post back.

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wrote:

Dayton Speedometer fixed mine for dealer and they have been around for a very long time. You might call them up (you can find number on line as I do not want to realy post it) and see what they have to say about speedo problems on that model as they are very knowlegable even if you do not buy anything off them. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Curious that the inventor of GPS with an EE "background" with a second, more illustrious career as a snow shoveler would need to resort to vending out the repair of something as simple as a speedometer...
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Isn't your normal recommendation in a case like this to trade the vehicle off?
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On Sat, 10 Feb 2007 23:03:05 GMT, aarcuda69062

We all hope you do grow up one day but we do get a laugh out of you so keep it up but it might be time to change your bib as it is likley getting pretty messy. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

I'm sure you are well versed in the need for a bib. Given all the crap that comes out of your mouth one can only imagine what goes into it. Well, actually I think I've a real good idea what goes into it.

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snipped-for-privacy@snoblower.com says...

Yeah he should "grow up" because he's so "inmature" and such an "insecure" "child" right?
The never ending delusions posted by Snoblower continue to amaze and amuse me.
Oh and the "grow up" count is up to 10 now.
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So, what you're saying is; as long as a failed part presents just one simple symptom, you feel safe making a repair, but if a single failed part presents multiple symptoms presenting themselves in multiple components, your brain goes into overload and can't process the clues leaving the only solution as "trade it off."
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I think that V8 should have read 5.3L not 3.2. Pretty standard automatic/engine configuration for an SLT extended cab 4x4 with the short bed design. Bought from dealer stock new in Dec. 2003.

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Annmef1 wrote:

This is a common problem with the clusters around those years. The tach on my 04 is starting to click indicating it will fail soon as the clicking is an early sign. Its common enough that people are offering to repair the cluster or sell the replacement stepper motors on ebay now.
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Well, my local dealer decided to replace the speedometer cluster without charge. Now I'm wondering if the tach on the replacement model will go out. I've noticed a bit of "weird" behavior in the replacement tach. Nothing major, but the movement seems a bit more noticeable than on the original. As much as I love this truck, I'm wondering if the new '07 GMC or Toyota Tundra might be a better bet for longevity. These clusters shouldn't be failing in a $34,000 truck, IMO.

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