General Motors made a splash when they released their small block inline 6 3.0-liter Duramax diesel in the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 and 2021 Chevy Tahoe. Prospective buyers should be aware of a major aspect of this engine.
Officially, this engine appears in the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, the 2021 GMC Yukon, and the 2021 Chevy Suburban. While it is absent from both full-size SUV versions offered by GM (more of that in a future story).
It produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 RPMs in the half-ton Silverado and was designed specifically for these vehicles.
A lightweight aluminum block, a low pressure EGR system and variable geometry turbocharging are some of the other innovative technologies built into the engine.
In all seriousness, the inherently balanced inline-6 is at the forefront of new diesel engine technology. A single thing stands out, however.
Could you please tell me what that one thing is? In response to the engine news, people pointed to an oil pump belt residing in oil and in need of a thorough checkup after 150,000 miles. Despite the fact that the belt sits in oil and not a chain or gear drive, the positioning of the belt also raises some concerns. Yet, the most concerning part of the belt is that it has to be dropped in order to be serviced. There was no typo there. At 150,000 miles, the belt needs to be inspected, which requires dropping the transmission. Many people have criticized this.
Since this concern has been raised so often, we reached out to the GM for an engineer interview. It is true that to get to the belt on this engine, the transmission must be removed. This engineer has been with the engine since its creation and explained why the belt was chosen.
The bottom line
In spite of the fact that removing the transmission to inspect the belt is ridiculous and you have to arrange for a mechanic to do the inspection for around $1,000, this is only a one-time inspection.
It’s not our favorite, either. However, in our opinion, the driving experience provided by the diesel outweighs the inconvenience. Moreover, the Silverado 1500 has a fuel economy approaching unheard of 30 MPGs.
GM intends to study this belt more closely and see if they can redesign it or change out the belt for something else. We will inform you if they do. At the moment, just keep your eyes open when you are shopping.
Taking a Duramax beyond 550-rwhp calls for more fuel, and the aftermarket is more than capable of building high-flow injectors with factory-like reliability. There are two of the most prominent manufacturers of common-rail fuel system components for the Duramax, which offer injectors fitted with nozzles EDM-cut for increased flow rates ranging from 30.00% to 500.00% (and more if you have air). Whether you’re looking for 600 horsepower or more, this comprehensive range of injectors is a great choice. With Bosch parts and equipment used to build and test them, you’re getting the best performance injectors on the market.