10 Things Every GMC Sierra Owner Should Know

As a GMC Sierra owner, you know your truck is powerful and versatile. But there's always more to learn about its features and capabilities.

This article covers ten important things about your Sierra that you might not know. From maintenance tips to lesser-known functions, these insights will help you get the most out of your truck and improve your ownership experience.

GMC Sierra 1500

1. Routine Maintenance Schedule

Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is crucial for the longevity of your GMC Sierra.

Regular oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and fluid checks will keep your truck running smoothly and prevent costly repairs. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific intervals and procedures.

A lesser-known tip is to periodically check the cabin air filter, which improves air quality inside the vehicle and enhances the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Cabin Air Filter Replacement, Air filter in the cabin that is dirty after use for a while. Automotive air conditioning, check dust and amiss in car, Car care and maintenance concept.

Additionally, inspecting the undercarriage for rust and damage, especially if you frequently drive on salted roads, can prevent long-term issues.

2. Your Sierra's Towing Capabilities

Your GMC Sierra is built for towing. To make the most of it, engage the Tow/Haul mode, which optimizes transmission and engine performance for heavy loads. This feature adjusts shift points and enhances engine braking for better control.

Trailer camera provisions and Surround Vision Cameras offer multiple camera angles, including a transparent trailer view, to help you maneuver safely. If the system doesn’t calibrate, set the trailer height input to 118 inches to fix the issue.

A white GMC Sierra towing a container filled with greens

The integrated trailer brake controller allows you to adjust the trailer’s brakes from the cab, ensuring smoother and safer stops. The Sierra’s towing capacity is impressive. The 2024 model can tow up to 13,300 lbs.

3. Fuel Efficiency Tips

Maintain proper tire pressure to improve your Sierra's fuel economy; underinflated tires can reduce efficiency. For optimal performance, use the recommended fuel type.

Take advantage of features like the All-Wheel Drive Disconnect, which can improve mileage by only engaging AWD when necessary. The Auto Stop function is another great tool; it turns off the engine at stops to save fuel.

Avoid excessive idling and use highway cruise control to maintain a steady speed. Finally, drive smoothly—avoid aggressive acceleration and braking. These simple tips can help you get the most out of every gallon.

Fuel economy best miles per gallon efficiency speedometer

4. Comfort Features You Might Be Missing

Its advanced features make maximizing your GMC Sierra's comfort and convenience easy. The eight-way power seat adjusters and two-way power lumbar control let you find the perfect seating position for long drives.

Many Sierra models come with the MultiPro Tailgate, which offers six unique functions and positions for easier cargo access. The rear seats in crew cab models often feature a reclining function, providing extra comfort for passengers on long trips.

Some models also offer heated and ventilated front and rear seats, ensuring comfort in any weather. The available power-sliding rear window can also be opened for extra ventilation or to easily access the bed.

5. Master Your Key Fob

Unlock the full potential of your GMC Sierra key fob. Hold the button for four seconds to lock and unlock doors and take advantage of advanced features like remote start.

For models with power-folding mirrors, lock the doors to fold the mirrors automatically. Hold the unlock button briefly to roll down all four windows.

A man pressing the car key fob button to start the car, How To Use Remote Start On GMC Acadia

Activate the panic alarm by holding the red button, and open or close the power tailgate by holding the tailgate icon. Prevent accidental window operation by pressing the lock button twice within five seconds.

To program new key fobs, insert the key into the ignition, hold the “Unlock” button, and follow the sequence. If issues arise, try replacing the battery or reprogramming. These features enhance your Sierra's convenience and security.

6. Utilizing Your Advanced Safety Systems

The GMC Sierra is packed with advanced safety features. The safety alert seat vibrates to warn you of potential hazards. To activate, go to Settings > Vehicle > Collision/Detection Systems.

Automatic emergency braking and forward collision alerts help prevent front-end collisions; these can be toggled in the same menu. Front pedestrian braking detects pedestrians and applies the brakes if needed, which is always on when automatic emergency braking is active.

Rear cross-traffic alert warns you of traffic when backing up and can be turned on in Settings > Vehicle > Collision/Detection Systems. The following distance indicator helps you maintain a safe gap from the car ahead; it can be accessed in the driver display settings.

7. Off-Road Capabilities and Tips

Did you know that your Hill Descent Control can be activated at speeds under 20 mph by pressing the button on your center console? This feature automatically controls your brakes on steep descents, allowing you to focus on steering.

If you have an AT4 or AT4X model, you're sitting on a gold mine of off-road tech. The electronic locking differentials can be engaged via buttons near the driver's left knee - front and rear for AT4X, rear only for AT4. These can dramatically improve traction in challenging conditions.

Many Sierra owners don't realize that the Off-Road Mode does more than change the display. It adjusts throttle progression and transmission shift points for better control in rough terrain. Activate it using the drive mode selector.

Remember, your owner's manual is a treasure trove of information about these features and how to use them effectively.

8. Common Issues, Fixes, & Warranty

As a GMC Sierra owner, it's important to be aware of common issues that may arise and understand your warranty coverage. Look for problems such as air conditioning compressor failures, oil leaks, and electrical issues.

If you notice your AC isn't cooling properly, see oil spots in your driveway, or experience problems with lights or power windows, it's time for an inspection.

Old black oil motor car leak or drip on concrete floor

The 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty covers most defects, while the 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty protects critical components like the engine and transmission.

To maximize these warranties, maintain detailed service records and use authorized GMC service centers for repairs. Pay attention to warning signs like unresponsive key fobs or soft brakes, which might indicate the need for battery replacement or brake pad service.

Stay informed about any recalls for your specific model and year. Understanding your warranty coverage and addressing issues promptly can save you money and keep your Sierra running smoothly.

9. Getting the Most from Your Tech Features

Stay connected with wireless charging, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and the MyChevrolet Mobile App, which makes vehicle management more convenient.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto seamlessly integrate your smartphone, allowing access to apps, navigation, and music directly on the touchscreen.

Customize your home screen icons to quickly access your favorite features by pressing and holding an icon to move it. The built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connects up to seven devices, turning your Sierra into a mobile internet hub.

If equipped, Google Built-In and Amazon Alexa Built-In let you control smart home devices, check the weather, and order items online using voice commands. You can also download a variety of in-vehicle apps directly from the touchscreen.

10. Customization and Upgrades

Personalize your GMC Sierra with aftermarket modifications and OEM accessories. Add Nerf bars or running boards for easier access, and use tonneau covers to protect cargo and improve aerodynamics.

Boost performance with air intake systems and performance chips. Protect your interior with custom-fit seat covers and durable floor mats.

Improve your ride with suspension systems and add bed caps or rails for extra protection and tie-down points. Customize your look with fender flares, trim, and a new billet grille.

GMC Sierra 2500

Embracing Your Sierra's Full Potential

Your GMC Sierra is more than just a pickup—it's a versatile tool designed to enhance your daily life and adventures. By understanding these ten key aspects, you'll be better equipped to harness your truck's full capabilities.

As you continue your journey with your Sierra, keep exploring and learning. It's not just about knowing your vehicle; it's about growing with it and making the most of every mile.

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