Baby D-Max Update #1 – Issues, MPGs and Mods

Back in March, we took on the 2016 GMC Canyon 2.8L Duramax here at IDParts as a project vehicle.  So far, we’ve put a healthy 3,000 miles on our 2016 Canyon.  This time frame included the end of winter, with a few surprise snowstorms, spring rains and now the warmer weather as summer approaches.

As winter held on until early April, we were caught in more than a few snowstorms during our normal day-to-day driving.  Since it was nearly spring and the temperatures were mostly above freezing, the snow was the slushy-wet-slippery type. This type of snow is a lot like glue – it sticks to and builds up on drivetrain components.  We kept the truck in 4WD-Auto mode and easily pushed through our commute without any hints of slippage or skidding.

First Issue

However, the slush buildup must have gotten into an ABS sensor or tone ring as all of a sudden, all of the traction/ABS control lights started flashing in a panic. The cluster display showed that the “Stabilitrak” (GM’s marketing term for all of the traction control systems) was malfunctioning. This, unfortunately, also put the truck into limp-home mode.  While we were only a few miles from home, these remaining miles were highly stressful as the truck could barely keep 30 mph.

When we got back to the shop we used our code reader to reset all the error messages in the modules and this situation has not appeared again.

MPGs and Driving

We continue to come away impressed with the truck’s fuel economy, especially on the highway.  We’re averaging 27-28 mpg around town and have seen 31+ on the highway. The transmission’s overdrive is very tall – 75 mpg is under 2,000 rpm – and it is eager to shift into it.  On county roads, doing 55-60 mph is where we see the best results. The 2.8L diesel likes keeping RPMs low.

On that note, we’re enjoying the torque-y 2.8L more and more as time goes on.  Many of us have spent time in the Ram Ecodiesel and the 3.0L Ecodiesel, and this 2.8L could not be more different.  The Ecodiesel really liked holding gears and keeping RPMs up – which makes sense since it was a V6 configuration. However, it was largely missing the low-end grunt that is typically the calling card of a diesel engine.  The 2.8L is the opposite – tons of low-end but very little power as the RPMs climb. We’ve adjusted our driving style to take advantage of the low-end torque and learned to avoid holding gears.

First Mod!

We’ve also completed our first modification on the GMC Canyon  – adding a WeatherTech Alloy Cover Tonneau.  We chose this cover primarily due to its lighter weight compared to other solid folding covers.  Installation was straightforward – align the rails and secure the brackets. The cover locks in place when lowered, and unlocking involves simply pulling on the string on the underside.  You can drive around with the cover folded up as well as it has securing straps at the front. Removing the cover is remarkably easy – fold it up, pull the release and pull it out. It is light enough to be handled by one person.   Read more about it on our WeatherTech AlloyCover Tonneau Cover Review here.

Stay tuned by signing up for the IDParts newsletter for more updates on our GMC Canyon as well as our other project vehicles!

  1. boraz carrera June 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    theres no link for the tonneau review


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