What is the Best Year for Duramax [With Pros and Cons]

Finding the best year for the Duramax diesel engine is not a piece of cake.

From 2001 to the present year, Duramax has added many features to its engine segment.

All Duramax diesel engines are capable of delivering the performance of your expectation.

But some Duramax model years deliver better satisfaction than the previous models.

According to our research, Duramax LBZ and Duramax LML are the best years of Duramax models.

These 2 engines are more reliable than the other years.

What is the Best Year for Duramax?

General Motors made different generations of Duramax diesel truck engines.

One generation can be said to be better than another due to specific features.

The first-generation Duramax was produced from 2001 to 2004 and was a 6.6L V8.

The second-generation Duramax was produced from 2006 to 2007 and was also a 6.6L V8.

The third generation of Duramax was produced from 2007 to 2010.

The next generations are 2011 to 2016 and 2018 to the present.

However, Duramax brought significant changes to their models after 2010. So, 2011–2021 Duramax engines are considered to be the best.

Here is the list of the best model years for different Duramax engines:

  • Duramax L5P [2017-2021]
  • Duramax LML [2011-2016]
  • Duramax LM2 [2019-2021]
  • Duramax XLD28 [2012-2021]
  • Duramax XLD25 [2011-2021]
  • Duramax LGH [2010-2017]
  • Duramax LWN [2014-2021]
  • Duramax LBZ [2006-2007]

Let’s discuss every generation separately-

2001 to 2004 Duramax LB7

Duramax is a diesel engine produced by GM from 2001 to 2004.

The engine was available on both the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.

The engine was a 6.6L V8 that produced up to 300 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque.

The first generation has a problem with injectors that need to be replaced.

Some pros and cons of Duramax LB7


  • Weak turbo
  • Poor quality emission
  • Head gasket problem
  • Water pump is not up to the mark


  • Good fuel economy
  • Solid motor
  • Resolved injector issue

2004-2005 Duramax LLY

Duramax 6.6 LLY at first introduced in 2004.

At first, Duramax LLY has used in Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD pickups.

LLY was also used in GMC Topkicks and Chevy Kodiak models.

GM continued LLY models till 2007; then they started the LBZ model.

Pros and cons of Duramax LLY


  • Overheating
  • Injector harness problem
  • Rust in frame and body
  • Poor quality tie rod ends
  • Poor quality fuel line, which is prone to rust
  • Low towing capacity


  • Improved towing capacity
  • 6-speed Allison trans
  • Improved acceleration
  • Ultra-low emission

2006 to 2007 Duramax LBZ

2006 to 2007 Duramax LBZ

2006-2007 Duramax LBZ is among the best year generations certified by many owners.

First of all, let’s say that all the generations are good, but for some features, 2006-2007 stands out among the competition.

The 2006 to 2007 Duramax was a 6.6L turbo-diesel engine produced by General Motors.

It was available in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500HD and 3500HD trucks.

It replaces the injector problems that were in 2001 and overheating problems that were in the 2004 model.

It is a rider-oriented and very reliable model that GM has ever produced.

Pros and Cons of Duramax LBZ


  • Poor emission system
  • Sticky turbo vanes
  • Water pump failure
  • Rust-prone fuel, brake, and transmission system
  • Low-quality iron cast


  • 6-speed automatic Allison transmission
  • ABS brake
  • Better towing capacity
  • Better quality Rods & blocks
  • Bosch common rail system with CP3
  • Robust block
  • Light-weight
  • Better acceleration

You can also read: LB7 vs LBZ.

2007-2010 Duramax LMM

2007-2010 Duramax was a 6.6L V8 turbo-diesel engine used in full-size heavy-duty (HD) pickup trucks.

It has an excellent interior design, and it is the first version of the Duramax LMM engine with an exhaust after-treatment process that requires fuel for it to function.

Poor fuel economy is a significant concern with this model.

The poor fuel economy is due to the inclusion of a more extensive EGR system to reduce carbon emissions.

Pros and cons of Duramax LMM


  • Poor fuel economy
  • Weak DPF
  • Poor quality fuel filter
  • Poor transmission cooling


  • Tuner option
  • Stylish exterior
  • Stronger block
  • Stronger meatier rods
  • Bigger DPF and EGR
  • Taller bearing caps
  • High-pressure common rail injection

You might also like to read about the difference between LMM and LML.

2011 to 2016 Duramax

2011 to 2016 Duramax model is a heavy-duty diesel engine with a classic body style.

The engine was designed to be used in GM’s line of full-size pickup trucks and SUVs.

From 2011 to 2016, Duramax replaced the older 6.6L V8 engine used in previous models.

The engine is available in both 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive vehicles.

Six-cylinder and eight-cylinder versions are also available.

The six-cylinder version is available in two different displacements, while the eight-cylinder version is available in only one displacement.

The engine is made with cast-iron cylinder liners and aluminum cylinder heads.

2018 to Present Duramax LML

2018 to Present Duramax LML

GM brought some significant changes this year, including an all-new body style.

The improved suspension system, upgraded interior features, technology, and different transmission choice make this model more attractive.

The new model of Duramax diesel engine for 2018 is the LML which has improved from its previous version.

In your vehicle, unless you want a short life expectancy from your vehicle.

Pros and cons of Duramax LML


  • Failure of the injection pump
  • DEF pump and heater failure
  • NOx sensor failure
  • Limited color choices of LML models


  • Better longevity than previous models
  • Better transmission
  • Solved rust issues
  • Less expensive
  • Direct inject system

Which Duramax Years to Avoid?

There are many Duramax diesel engines available on the market that offer good fuel economy, comfort, reliability, and power.

But some Duramax engines are also problematic and you should avoid buying trucks that have the following Duramax engines:

  • 2007-2012 Duramax LMM
  • 2006-2007 Duramax LBZ
  • 2004-2005 Duramax LLY
  • 2001-2004 Duramax LB7

These Duramax model years are problematic and have received a lot of complaints.

Note that the Duramax LBZ (2006-2007) considered to be the best, but many owners complained about rocker panels and cab corners rusting faster.

Therefore, only select the Duramax LBZ (2006–2007) engine if it is in excellent condition. Otherwise, avoid this engine too.

What is the Life Expectancy of a Duramax Diesel Engine?

As reliability also depends on life expectancy, it is a common question, how many miles will a Duramax engine last?

Fortunately, Duramax engines are reliable as well as long-lasting engine.

With proper maintenance and care, a Duramax diesel engine can last around 300,000 to 400,000 miles without any major issues.

Using high-quality oil and fluids and taking good care enhances the engine’s lifespan more than expected.

Final Decision

Carefully read all the pros and cons of Duramax year models before deciding to buy one.

If you ask us, we will suggest Duramax LBZ or LML.

These two model year offers more features than other models.

But the ultimate decision is up to you.

We hope you will choose the right one for you.

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