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I have been researching the Colorado ZR2 for about a year now and until recently I was planning on getting the 2.8 Duramax. However, I'm starting to get cold feet. It seems like there are a lot of emissions issues with these engines.

My truck will be used for exploring, crawling around on logging roads, and pulling a small popup camper. Since it won't see a ton of highway/commute miles, I'm worried the diesel might not be a good option. From what I have read....many of the people having problems are doing slow trips or idling a lot. It sounds like the regen is an issue if you are not heating it up on the highway frequently.

Am I being crazy? Or is there warrant to my concern? I would love to have the extra torque the 2.8 delivers and I'm not worried about it being slow...crawling is how I roll anyway. I'm just worried about getting stranded in the woods because the emissions system is throwing a fit.
 

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Well, if you delete the emissions, you won’t have to worry about it. I would highly recommend it, if possible. Just depends where you live at. The truck really comes to life and is way more responsive once it’s tuned and deleted.
 

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Unfortunately, deleting the emissions isn't an option in my area. My county requires emissions testing, so I don't think there would be anyway to delete it and not get a felony. Additionally, I'm sure that would void the engine warranty? Not sure I could ever drop $45K on something and forego the warranty.
 

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I have been able to reset "Reduced Power" and "Check Engine by removing negative battery terminal when I was hundreds of miles from the nearest dealer or tow.
My two issues only occur during pulling load in cruse control on grade. 18,000 miles so far and only two alarms. I am in the hopes I never see it again.
 

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I have been able to reset "Reduced Power" and "Check Engine by removing negative battery terminal when I was hundreds of miles from the nearest dealer or tow.
My two issues only occur during pulling load in cruse control on grade. 18,000 miles so far and only two alarms. I am in the hopes I never see it again.
 

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I have been researching the Colorado ZR2 for about a year now and until recently I was planning on getting the 2.8 Duramax. However, I'm starting to get cold feet. It seems like there are a lot of emissions issues with these engines.

My truck will be used for exploring, crawling around on logging roads, and pulling a small popup camper. Since it won't see a ton of highway/commute miles, I'm worried the diesel might not be a good option. From what I have read....many of the people having problems are doing slow trips or idling a lot. It sounds like the regen is an issue if you are not heating it up on the highway frequently.

Am I being crazy? Or is there warrant to my concern? I would love to have the extra torque the 2.8 delivers and I'm not worried about it being slow...crawling is how I roll anyway. I'm just worried about getting stranded in the woods because the emissions system is throwing a fit.


I don’t have any problems at 53,000 mi. But after reading the weird problems other people have, I agree with your observations. If mine ever gives me emissions grief I probably get it deleted. Doing that probably makes truck worthless to a new car dealer for trade in. Dodge Ram and Cummins had a battle over emissions problems. VW Diesel Gate was all about emissions. I would go gas ⛽ and get a supercharger installed so you cold be the fastest in the woods‼
 

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OP - have you considered that such a niche forum as this (ie not the main ColoradoFans forum) is going to attract what is perhaps the less than 1% of 2.8d owners who experience issues? I love my 2016 Z71 2.8d and am baffled by peoples’ issues here (no offense folks - maybe I just lucked out - and I don’t tow). Sure, if it’s been 8-9 months since my last DEF fill up, i’ll top it off before a long road trip. Other than that, I don’t treat it differently than any other vehicle. I certainly don’t monitor regent cycles (or any metric requiring a plug-in tool) or anything else a normal/ignorant person wouldn’t do. The truck seems fine to me. It’s a joy off pavement - feel free to look up my off pavement writeup here.
 

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Modern diesel emissions system are very temperamental, however, besides hard component failures there are factors you can control.

1. Your driving cycle. Diesels do not like short tripping or extended idling. If you regularly do this then consider another vehicle for commuting and save the Duramax Bison for travel or adventure vehicle.

2. Fuel quality. Poor quality diesel burns dirty and creates much more soot and pollutants. Get the best fuel available and/or use an additive that has combustion improving qualities. If you live in a state that does not have its own mandated fuel quality guidelines and follows the federal minimum for ULSD this is very important ! Quality fuel and an additive can reduce soot production by up to 75% in my experience. Less soot means your emissions system doesn't have to work as hard and the intake isn't choked off by excessive dirty EGR flow. Since the fuel burns cleaner you also use less DEF.

I saw a youtube video of two guys who went off roading in a couple Z71s. One colorado was a 3.6 Gas and the other was a 2.8 Duramax. The guy with the Duramax used 1/2 the fuel during the same trip as the guy who drove the 3.6. For an off road adventure vehicle the 2.8 is what you want.
 

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Well...I've had mine for 2 years now and it's been fine for the last 20K miles. I did have the DEF system replaced under the factory warranty. If you do a lot of slow crawling, the diesel would be the way to go. If you do more mud/sand type stuff, a "gasser" would probably be the better. I haven't done any steep dunes or deep sand, so don't have first hand knowledge with my diesel. I would think the gasser would spin the tires faster, so could dig you out of a tight spot better. I do love my fuel economy though! (27 mpg avg.). Good luck with your choice! Mac:D
 

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my 2016 Canyon 4x4 diesel recently turned over 100,000 miles. To date (knock on wood) have never had any issue with the regen/emissions, etc. I consistently get >28 mpg driving 78 most of the time. It has been everything I had hoped it would be and more. It has pulled various trailers/boats with literally no troubles.
 

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I have a 2017 Colorado Z71 Duramax and I have had no problems other than my alternator crapping out. I have 39000 miles on it and it runs flawlessly. I get 25 mpg @ 80 mph. I used to work in the west Texas oil fields and that's where I accumulated the majority of my miles. Currently I work closer to home and I drive about 35 miles one way to work. I have no issues with the emissions system or with regens. This is my second Colorado, my first being a gasoline version. Would I buy one again? Absolutely! I am eyeballing the ZR2s but my wife gets a new car first....
 

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2+ years and 30k miles on mine, and I've had no major issues. My commute is about 10miles / 15 min on the highway. I've done a fair bit of towing with a 5k lbs trailer.

That said, my buddy got one around the same time as me and had the DEF/Keep Driving message popup and had to go to the dealer to reset it. He also had some issues with the suspension. He traded it in and got a V8 Lexus GX, but he told me he really misses his truck for the torque, MPGs, and quiet ride.

I tell most people to get the V6, especially if you're not planning to tow, because you probably won't make up the price difference at the pump for many years, and the emissions certainly does introduce some unreliability. But for me personally, I love my diesel and couldn't imagine driving anything else.
 
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