GMC Sierra Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)

The GMC Sierra made its debut in 1962 and is one of America’s most popular full-size pickup trucks

It’s available in a strong selection of engine choices and a variety of trims which means there’s a Sierra for any job. 

In this article we’ll give you the full breakdown of maintenance, tune-up and running costs of this iconic pickup.

Here is the short answer to are GMC Sierra expensive to maintain:

The GMC Sierra has below-average maintenance costs. It would cost you around $727 to maintain a GMC Sierra every year, which is significantly lower than the average of $936 annually for full-size pickup trucks. A tune-up will cost $400 – $500, including the replacement of spark plugs.

Are GMC Sierras Expensive to Maintain?

The GMC Sierra isn’t the cheapest truck in the segment in terms of ownership costs, however it still falls below the average cost for full-size trucks.

When looking to buy a vehicle it’s important to assess maintenance costs to ensure you’re able to properly look after it.

Failing to stay on top of routine servicing and repairs will lead to poor reliability and shorten the lifespan of your truck.

Below you’ll find a complete price breakdown for some of the most common costs for the GMC Sierra, all data is from RepairPal:

GMC Sierra MaintenanceCost
Average annual repairs and maintenance$727
Tune-up cost$400 – $500
Alternator Replacement$571 – $767 
Oil change$138 – $149
Wiper blade replacement$75 – $89
Air filter replacement$67 – $82
Battery replacement$250 – $300
New brakes$267 – $346
Coolant Change$98 – $123
New tires (set of 4)$458 – $470
New tire (one only)$115 – $118
New spark plugs$253 – $307
Tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance$79 – $100
New transmission$1600 – $4500
Tune-up$408 – $498
Insurance$1480 / year (average)

How Much is a Tune-Up on a GMC Sierra?

This will vary greatly depending on where you take your truck and you’ll likely have to pay more at a GMC dealership than your local mechanic – GMC advises bringing your Sierra in for a tune-up every 7,5000 miles or every 6 months.

You can expect to pay in the region of $400 – $500 for a fairly comprehensive GMC Sierra tune-up that includes, but is not limited to:

  • New spark plugs
  • Checking oil level and changing if necessary
  • Filters changed
  • Coolant flush
  • Cleaning IAC valve (idle air control)
  • Throttle body clean
  • Transmission and differential fluid change

Whilst your truck is under warranty it is advised you get your truck serviced at a registered GMC dealership.

Regular tune-ups are highly recommended because:

  • They can bring more power back to your engine.
  • Helps your engine run efficiently and start smoothly, which equates to lower emissions and better fuel economy.
  • Ensures long-term engine health and performance
  • Prevents problems from arising, reducing the chance of breakdowns

Related: 14 Best & Worst GMC Sierra 1500 Years (With Pictures)

Alternator Replacement Cost?

A new alternator on a GMC Sierra will set you back between $571 – $767 for a replacement which should last around 80,000 to 150,000 miles or 5 – 10 years

Labor costs are around $150 while parts are roughly $550.

While the battery is used for starting your truck when the engines off, the alternator keeps your truck alive when the engine is running.

The alternator powers most electronic components while you’re driving around or idling and is also responsible for charging the battery of your truck while driving.

Oil Change Cost?

An oil change should be performed on the GMC Sierra every 3,000 – 5,000 miles for conventional oil. 

Synthetic oil typically should be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles.

The cost of an oil change should cost in the region of $138 to $149, this includes parts and labor, however does not include taxes and fees. An oil change is one of the most meaningful and vital services for your truck.

At most, oil change intervals should not exceed 10,000 miles, twelve months, or 350 hours of engine run time (whichever comes first)

Wiper Blade Replacement Cost?

This is a relatively simple and quick fix, and you can easily save yourself a few bucks by buying your own wiper blades and installing them yourself, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on this. 

Most GMC Sierras use a 22″ wiper blade on the driver’s side and 20″ on the passenger side, be sure to double-check first.

Wiper blades for the GMC Sierra can be picked up for around $40, and installed by yourself for free. 

However, if you want a professional to fit them for you then you can expect to pay in the region of $75 to $89 for parts and labor with taxes and fees on top.

Air Filter Replacement Cost?

According to RepairPal, air filter replacement cost on a GMC Sierra is between $67 to $82, not including taxes and fees.

The good news is this task, which should be performed annually or whenever the filter is clogged or dirty, is another fairly straightforward DIY.

Simply open the hood, locate and open the air filter’s housing, remove the old one, insert the new one and replace the housing cover. 

This will help both your car and your bank account breathe a little easier, lots of tutorials on YouTube for this one also. 

Battery Replacement Cost?

According to, the cost of a battery replacement for a GMC Sierra should cost between $250 and $300.

Whilst there are no specific mileage recommendations for when a battery needs to be replaced, they do eventually die.

In general, it’s a good idea to replace your battery once every 4-5 years.

  1. Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your truck can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  2. Limit short rides: Short rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  3. Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.

New Brakes Cost?

The average cost to replace your GMC Sierra brake pads, according to RepairPal, is between $267 and $346.

GMC Sierra brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles and necessary brake work isn’t a cost you can afford to neglect.

Brake pads will wear out at different rates depending on factors such as climate and your style of driving.

Pro tip: To prolong the life of your brakes – Keep your speed low in heavy traffic and avoid any sudden braking.

Cost to Change Coolant?

If it’s just a top-up your truck requires then this is a simple task you can perform yourself. 

You can pick up coolant at any gas station for a few bucks and top up to the level required.

If on the other hand, you require a coolant change, which simply involves draining the coolant from the base of the radiator and then replenishing with fresh fluids, this is going to cost you a bit more.

According to RepairPal, the average cost of a GMC Sierra coolant change is between $98 and $123 (excluding taxes and fees).

How Much Does a New Transmission Cost?

The average cost for an aftermarket or rebuilt transmission for a GMC Sierra is anywhere from $1600 – $4500. This range may vary depending on the model year.

Transmissions on the GMC Sierra typically last 10 – 14 years or around 150,000 to 200,000 miles, depending on how well they are maintained and how the truck is driven.

Tire & Wheel Assembly, Rotate & Balance Cost

According to RepairPal, the average cost for a GMC Sierra tire & wheel assembly rotate & balance is between $79 and $100 – this does not include taxes and fees.

Tire rotation ensures each tire gets worn evenly whilst balancing ensures they roll smoothly and there’s no vibration (this also helps improve your fuel economy).

You may also be interested in our article: 11 GMC Sierra Statistics You Should Know

How much Insurance Cost?

According to, the average cost of GMC Sierra insurance is $123 / month or $1480 / year (that is roughly $100 above the national average).

These figures can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as your age, driving record and state requirements etc. 

It’s always best to shop around and get at least 3 quotes, make sure the company you choose is reputable.

GMC Sierra Repair Costs Compared to Similar Trucks

In this section we’ll compare the maintenance costs of the GMC Sierra to some of its biggest rivals, using data from RepairPal.

GMC Sierra Vs Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America and is one of the most iconic pick-ups.

The GMC Sierra is slightly cheaper with an average annual repairs total of $714 Vs the F-150’s $788.

GMC SierraFord F-150 
Reliability rating3.5/5.03.5/5.0 
Repair Pal ranking3rd / 177th / 17 
Visits to a repair shop per year0.20.3 
Probability of a repair being severe15%15% 

Deciding on which vehicle to choose will ultimately come down to whether or not you are a Ford loyalist, however, we can confirm the repair costs are slightly less with the GMC Sierra.

GMC Sierra Vs Nissan Titan

The Nissan Titan first came onto the scene in 2004, hoping to bring an alternative to the mid-size pickup segment.

The clear winner of the repair cost comparison here is the Nissan Titan, with an annual average repair cost of $555, that’s $159 less than the GMC Sierra’s $788.

To put that into perspective the average annual repair cost for all full-size trucks is $936 per year, and as you can see that is almost double what you might expect to pay with the Titan.

GMC SierraGMC Sierra
Reliability rating3.5/5.03.5/5.0
Repair Pal ranking3rd / 172nd / 17
Visits to a repair shop per year0.20.3
Probability of a repair being severe15%13%

You can find out more about Nissan Titan ownership costs here.

GMC Sierra Vs Ram Pick-Up

There has always been a fierce rivalry between the Ram 1500 and GMC Sierra, both perennial favorites with American auto shoppers.

In terms of repair costs, the Ram is the cheaper option of the two with an average annual repair cost of $691 Vs. $714 for the GMC Sierra.

GMC SierraRam 1500
Reliability rating3.5/5.03.5/5.0
Repair Pal ranking3rd / 174th / 17
Visits to a repair shop per year0.20.3
Probability of a repair being severe15%15%

You may also be interested in our article: Ram 1500 Maintenance Costs

How Long is the GMC Sierra’s Manufacturers Warranty?

When you drive your new GMC Sierra off the dealership lot, you’ll be covered by GMC’s Bumper-to-Bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty of 36,000 miles / 3 years basic coverage, whichever comes first. This covers all repairs on your GMC that can be attributed to defects in material and/or workmanship.

This length of protection is actually quite common among car manufacturers however it is on the shorter side of warranties.

The powertrain is covered by a 5 Year / 60,000 mile warranty which covers specific components in your vehicle, such as, but not limited to, the engine and transmission.

You can check your vehicle warranty status, track your service history, view your Owner’s Manual and more at the GMC Owner’s Center, If you cannot find the VIN number, the only real way to check your vehicle’s factory warranty is to call or visit your local dealership.

Whilst your truck is under warranty it is advised you get your truck serviced at a registered GMC dealership. 

Related: GMC Sierra 1500 Beeping? (14 Causes & Solutions)



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...