Chevy Silverado V8 to V4 Problems: Causes, Symptoms & Solutions

Chevy Silverado is a popular full-size pickup truck known for its impressive towing capacity and powerful V8 engine. However, as gas prices continue to rise, many Chevy Silverado owners are looking for ways to save on fuel costs.

One of the options is to switch the engine to V4 mode, which shuts off half of the cylinders, reducing fuel consumption. However, this can lead to several problems, as we’ll discuss in this article.

What is V4 mode in Chevy Silverado?

Chevy Silverado V8 engine has a feature called Active Fuel Management (AFM) that allows it to switch between V8 and V4 mode. When driving in V8 mode, all eight cylinders are firing, providing maximum power. However, when cruising at a steady speed, the engine can switch to V4 mode, shutting off four cylinders and reducing fuel consumption.

Causes of V8 to V4 Problems

There are several causes of V8 to V4 problems in Chevy Silverado. Here are the most common ones:

Electronic Issues

AFM system relies on a complex network of sensors and software to operate correctly. If any of these components fail or malfunction, the system can’t switch between V8 and V4 modes as intended, leading to various problems.

Mechanical Problems

Another common cause of V8 to V4 problems is mechanical issues. For example, if the lifters or camshaft are worn out or damaged, the engine can’t switch between V8 and V4 modes correctly, leading to poor performance and fuel economy.

Symptoms of V8 to V4 Problems

Here are the most common symptoms of V8 to V4 problems in Chevy Silverado:

Poor Fuel Economy

One of the main reasons why Chevy Silverado owners switch to V4 mode is to save on gas. However, if the V4 mode doesn’t work correctly, it can actually lead to worse fuel economy, as the engine struggles to run on four cylinders.

Engine Misfires

Another common symptom of V8 to V4 problems is engine misfires. When the engine switches between V8 and V4 mode, it can cause a rough idle or hesitation, which can lead to misfires and even engine damage.

Stalling Engine

In some cases, V8 to V4 problems can cause the engine to stall while driving, which is a severe safety hazard.

Solutions to V8 to V4 Problems

If you’re experiencing V8 to V4 problems in your Chevy Silverado, here are some solutions:

Software Updates

In some cases, V8 to V4 problems can be fixed with a software update. Chevy dealerships can reprogram the AFM system to address any known issues or bugs.

Replace Faulty Components

If the V8 to V4 problems are caused by mechanical issues, such as worn-out lifters or camshaft, the faulty components will need to be replaced. This can be a costly repair, but it’s essential to ensure that the engine is running smoothly and efficiently.

Proper Maintenance

Proper maintenance is crucial to prevent V8 to V4 problems in the first place. Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and tune-ups can keep the engine running smoothly and reduce the risk of mechanical issues.


Q: Can I switch my Chevy Silverado to V4 mode manually? A: No, the AFM system in Chevy Silverado is designed to switch between V8 and V4 modes automatically based on driving conditions.

Q: Can I disable the AFM system in my Chevy Silverado? A: While it’s possible to disable the AFM system with a tuner or software, it’s not recommended, as it can lead to poor fuel economy and engine damage.

Q: How much does it cost to replace the lifters or camshaft in a Chevy Silverado? A: The cost of replacing the lifters or camshaft in a Chevy Silverado can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the mechanic’s labor rates. It can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Q: How often should I change the oil in my Chevy Silverado? A: The recommended oil change interval for Chevy Silverado is every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first.

Q: Can V8 to V4 problems cause permanent engine damage? A: Yes, if the V8 to V4 problems are left unaddressed, they can cause permanent engine damage, leading to costly repairs or even engine replacement.


Chevy Silverado V8 to V4 problems can be frustrating and costly to fix. However, with proper maintenance and timely repairs, you can keep your truck running efficiently and smoothly.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we’ve discussed, it’s essential to have your truck inspected by a qualified mechanic to identify and address the underlying issues.

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