Chevy Is Here to Help You Get the Job Done
There was a time when only heavy duty Chevy trucks were equipped with diesel engines, but those days are gone. The 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 debuted the manufacturer’s first diesel engine on a light-duty truck since 1997, and the offering has continued into 2021. And what an engine it is, indeed! The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine is the first turbo-diesel to be offered in the Chevy lineup outside of its heavy-duty trucks, providing the Silverado 1500 LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country model drivers with an option for higher performance with maximum efficiency.
Chevy wanted to include an engine option in their light-duty trucks that would offer customers the benefits of having a diesel engine without having to upgrade to a heavy-duty model to get them. This diesel engine was designed to provide outstanding horsepower, torque, and fuel economy that customers lacked from the original engine lineup.
However, Chevy's diesel engine lineup doesn't end with the Silverado 1500. Chevy also made sure to give heavy-duty truck owners the power they crave by including a 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V8 in their Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD model lines. This diesel engine gives drivers all of the might they expect from a heavy duty truck with outstanding towing, horsepower, and torque capacities.
The 2021 Diesel Lineup - Silverado 1500
The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado lineup is largely influenced by the big strides Chevy made in its introduction of a turbo-diesel engine to the Silverado 1500. With refinements in power, capability, and efficiency across the line, even the 2021 Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD get upgrades. If you are a fan of diesel or want to own a diesel truck for the first time, you need to check out the power of the Chevy model line.
Starting with the light-duty 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. The 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, available for the LT, RST, LTZ, and High Country trims, provides 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a very capable 10-speed automatic transmission, this engine is prepared to handle payloads up to 1,870 pounds and can tow loads up to 9,500 pounds. Drivers can also reap the benefits of the auto start/stop technology.
Chevy's goal with the addition of this engine was to fulfill the need for power that light-duty truck customers had been craving. Chevy certainly achieved its goals with the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine. The Duramax 3.0L turbo-diesel has been carefully engineered for optimal performance and efficiency, while less desirable traits, such as that loud diesel “rumble” and odor, have been reduced.
In addition to its impressive power ratings, Chevy’s engineers were able to optimize the efficiency of the turbo-diesel engine. Drivers of the rear-wheel drive models see 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway, leaving them with a combined 27 miles per gallon. Drivers of four-wheel drive models also get excellent fuel efficiency with 22 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, giving a combined 24 miles per gallon. No matter which drivetrain your Silverado 1500 has, you are going to reap the benefits of the diesel engine.
The secret ingredient in Silverado’s recipe for diesel success is a cast aluminum alloy cylinder block and crankcase extension with a high-strength steel crankshaft and connecting rods. The mix of aluminum and steel components allows the engine to be more lightweight, while added silicon boosts heat resistance and durability. This diesel engine has been carefully crafted to provide the maximum amount of power with long-term durability, all in a relatively lightweight case.
When added to the High Country trim, the Duramax engine adds an outstanding amount of power to an already elite truck. Not only will drivers enjoy a larger cabin, with best in class head and legroom in the front seats, but there is plenty of space and storage in the truck as well. The available storage includes segment-first available rear seatback storage compartments, rear underseat storage, and an available center console with enough room to store your laptop. Not only is the diesel engine giving you more, but the interior is also being amped up for ideal working conditions. So, you can take this powerful diesel light-duty truck to the job site and have the power you want and storage for everything you need.
Also included in this grand mobile workplace are safety features that go above and beyond just the engine power. Drivers have adaptive cruise control to keep you traveling safely and smoothly between destinations. Drivers can also benefit from the forward collision alert with following distance indicator and automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, Intellibeam automatic high beams, and all-season tires.
The 2021 Diesel Lineup- Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD
However, if you find yourself in need of more power, then the 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD or 3500 HD with a diesel engine should be your next investment. The HD stands for “Heavy-Duty,” and these two versions of the Silverado live up to their name. With some of the best towing power out there, there is no reason for you to skip over the diesel engine that is under the hood of these trucks.
The powerhouse of the 2500 HD and 3500 HD is the available Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel V8 engine. Paired to a 10-speed Allison automatic transmission, this engine delivers serious power in the form of 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. For the 2500 HD, that translates into towing capacity up to 18,510 pounds. If that still isn’t enough, the 3500 HD has you covered, providing a maximum towing capability of 36,000 pounds with the diesel engine.
The Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD are also as practical as they are powerful. With leading cargo volume, twelve standard tie-downs, an available 120V outlet built into the bed, and integrated Chevy BedSteps, the Silverado is always willing to lend a hand to the job site. It also features enormous door-mounted mirrors to make hitching and trailering safer and easier, with power adjustment and extending capabilities, and four types of lighting to keep everybody safe after dark.
Safety extends to the many driver assistance features offered in the Silverado HD, as well. While some Heavy Duty trucks rely on size alone as a safety measure, the Silverado HD adds similar driver assistance technology as the Silverado 1500. You will find a forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, following distance indicator, and IntelliBeam automatic headlamps. While that your diesel engine can take you further than ever before, you can rest easy knowing you'll get to your destinations safely.
Summer vs Winter Diesel Fuel
Chevy’s lineup of diesel-powered trucks are extremely powerful and impressively efficient, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require a little attention, especially when the weather turns cold. While diesel engines are an excellent option for truck owners, there are some things you should keep in mind if you own a diesel truck in a climate where you have a winter season. Diesel fuel is different from standard unleaded fuel in that it contains naturally occurring paraffin wax. When temperatures are above freezing, the paraffin wax remains in liquid form. The filter built into your diesel system will remove any impurities, and the liquid paraffin wax flows through your engine as intended. In the summer, it’s completely harmless.
However, as temperatures cool, the wax starts to solidify. First comes what is known as the “cloud point.” The cloud point is so named because this is the temperature at which a transparent solution (diesel fuel) begins to separate into a solid (paraffin wax clumps). This is due to the paraffin wax starting to bind together in crystallizations. At the cloud point, the fuel may still flow through your engine, but you will notice some performance differences, like hesitation to start and hiccups as you drive.
Next is the gel point, or the point at which so much wax has bonded together that the fuel no longer flows through the filter or the engine. Basically, your fuel at this point has turned almost completely solid, and the fuel will have to be brought back up to a warmer remix temperature before the wax will be able to completely liquefy again. While there are other factors that impact your specific vehicle's cloud point and gel point, the general rule is that once temperatures drop below 32F, it’s time to consider winter diesel fuel.
The standard diesel fuel is also known as “summer diesel” because it works well for the warmer months of the year. “Winter diesel” is fuel that has been treated with an additive known as a “cold flow improver.” This additive breaks up larger paraffin wax crystals to ensure the fuel continues to flow through the filter and engine as needed.
Some fuel retailers offer a special “winter diesel” blend, which is generally a combination of #2 diesel (standard diesel) and #1 diesel, which contains kerosene. Kerosene can lower the gel point of the paraffin wax in the #2 diesel, preventing the crystals from forming in the first place. In areas where temperatures drop below -30F, it’s not unheard of to use pure #1 diesel to keep trucks moving. While many fuel stops automatically winterize their diesel once temperatures start to drop below 35F, it’s important to double-check whether this is the case for your local gas stations.
Towing with a Diesel Chevy
Towing with diesel-equipped Chevy trucks has been in focus more than ever over the past few years. People need trucks that are going to tow all of the weight for work and for leisure. Chevy diesel trucks provide drivers with the power to tow whatever they need, wherever they need, within each model's individual towing capabilities.
With the introduction of the Silverado 1500 diesel engine, Chevy is creating an even more powerful workhorse. From the Chevy Silverado 1500 with its 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine to the Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD models, which feature a Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel V8, there is more than enough power to go around. Not only is the ability to move massive loads there, but so is the companion technology to make it easier and safer.
For instance, drivers who select the Max Trailering Package will be treated to a full suite of specifically-designed features to up their trailering game. This includes a 9.76” rear axle, 3.42 axle ratio, revised shock tuning to accommodate heavier loads, increased Gross Combination Weight Rating, and heavy-duty rear springs with increased Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating. Diesel Chevy trucks with the Max Trailering Package are also given an automatic locking rear differential, enhanced cooling radiator, and a trailer brake control.
The 2500 HD and 3500 HD Silverado diesel trucks are also equipped with a diesel engine after-run feature, which helps cool the engine after hard work by keeping the engine fan and coolant flowing if the truck is shut off when the engine is still hot. Digital variable steering assist removes the heavy, sluggish feeling that some trucks can have when pulling heavier loads by providing essential stability at higher speeds and extra maneuverability at lower speeds. The improved response time can mean a world of difference to drivers trying to move larger trailers safely.
Hitch Guidance with Hitch View is another helpful feature, which can be optioned onto the Rear Vision Camera screen. Adding this feature provides dynamic guiding lines to help you guide towards your hitch, while the Hitch View provides a birds-eye view of your hitch to help you nail it the first time. All of this is done through the 15 camera views that surround the Chevy Silverado.
Even parking and braking with a trailer are easier with the Chevy diesel truck features. Park Grade Hold Assist is one of the key features of the electric parking brake, helping hold vehicles in place on inclines or declines greater than 8%. This means no more stomping on the brake during a hill start or expecting a massive slide when trying to navigate up or down a hill from a stopped position.
With all of the more nerve-wracking particulars of towing and trailering taken care of by Chevy’s intuitive engineering, there just comes the choice of vehicle to do the job. The Silverado lineup received a significant boost in towing capacity with the 2021 model releases. The Silverado 1500, when equipped with the 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine and appropriate towing package, is capable of towing a maximum of 9,500 pounds. Stepping up to the HD models, the 2500 can pull 18,510, while the 3500 HD can tow up to 36,000 pounds.
Snow Plowing with a Diesel Chevy
If you live in an area where winter means tons of snow, you are probably going to want to use your diesel truck to plow out your driveway rather than shoveling it yourself. Thankfully, the engineers at Chevrolet are aware of the challenges of cold weather. As a result, they’ve carefully designed the Silverado HD vehicles to accommodate snow plows- both mechanically and in power and design.
The Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD, for example, come equipped with upgraded half-shafts to handle the additional torque of pushing a load of snow. Independent front suspension, in the form of a torsion bar type design, also allows for the Silverado to push as well as it pulls. The front valence and skid plate can also be removed to fit a plow mount, which means no dicey cutting or attempting to shove things into place. There’s no need to drill into the bumper or rig a mounting on the Chevrolet HD trucks.
In fact, Chevrolet offers a Snow Plow Prep Package across the Silverado lineup, from the 1500 model, all the way up to the 6500HD Chassis Cab. This package is intended to make turning a Silverado into a winter weather warrior as simple as possible. This package includes the hardware to add emergency roof lights, a backup alarm, and a high-output alternator. Though this package does not include the actual plow mechanism itself -- that will need to be installed through a professional upfitter -- it will make the installation and operation much smoother in the long run. So, if you want a diesel truck and you live in a winter climate, it's time to get a diesel Chevy Silverado.