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GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali Problems

winger25winger25 Posts: 1
Until last week I was the unfortunate owner of a 2001 GMC Yukon Denali. This vehicle was so plagued by problems that it made 9 trips to the dealer for repairs within the first 15 months of ownership. It had been in the shop 6 times since the first of the year! Each visit was for a different problem and twice the vehicle was inoperable and left me stranded. The service I received from the dealership (Sewell GMC in Dallas) was no better. I became so frustrated with the numerous problems that I traded the vehicle last week with only 35K on the odometer. This was the first domestic vehicle I had owned in several years and I must say it will be the last! General Motors is trying to market this vehicle as a luxury SUV but the engineering, quality and dealer experience are still light years from the europeans and even the japanese.

I would strongly recommend anyone considering a Denali, Yukon, Tahoe, Escalade or even Hummer H2 (they are all built on the same platform)look elsewhere for their SUV needs!


  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    winger25, sorry to hear you got a lemon. one in every box.
    I have over 38k on my 2001 and I can say categorically it has been the most trouble free vehicle we've ever owned. I recently had to have the passenger side door lock checked. It was intermittently staying semi-locked. While I was in for an oil change, my dealer looked at it, made an adjustment(no charge) and sent me on my way. Other than that, I've had a belt tensioner adjusted for noise, there were a couple of recall fixes; but no other problems. It has never left me stranded or failed to start, even after sitting for over two weeks.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    I would have to echo orwoody's experience. I also had a 2001 Denali. My only warranty repairs were an adjustment to the rear hatch and a bearing repack on the steering column. I was so impressed with the Denali that with the current incentives, I traded in the 2001 for a 2003. Like orwoody, the 2001 never left me stranded and was an incredible ride (smoother than 5 series BMW and S class MBZ that I looked at prior to deciding on the Denali).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Sounds like a classic case of the dealer not pulling hard enough to straighten the car out and get it squared away for you.

    You know, people built it, so people can fix it. This isn't a Saturn rocket. My friend's dealership doesn't send out unrepaired cars through the door. It stays in the shop until it's right for the customer.


  • My dad has a 2001 Denali and he's had only had it into the shop for recalls. We own a 2000 Tahoe LT but let me tell you the Denali is really a step and worth the money (if you can afford it). He has almost 85,000 miles!! on his Denali and let me tell you that 6.0L does what its suppose to.
  • cornellpinoycornellpinoy Posts: 196
    Would you mind sharing exactly what kinds of problems your Denali had? I own an '02 Denali and I'll admit that it has given me some problems - some I'm still trying to resolve. Thanks!
  • Has anyone ever had this come on? Just had an oil change and tire rotate and while heading home, I got this light. Could it be something they did during the tire rotate? Also, they told me I should have my FT & Rear Diff Flush, Transfer Case Flush and Trans Flush. This is 2001 Denali with 42k miles. Should these need to be done already? Thanks, Doug
  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    Make the dealer Check the Autoride shock sensors. I'm betting they knocked one loose when they rotated the wheels. I had this happen. Light came on shortly after I left the garage and drove right back. They fiddled around for about 5 minutes determined which sensor, reseated it and not a problem since.
    I've got 39k on my 2001. So far my dealer hasn't suggested all those services. I don't see the manual calling for a tranny flush until 50k and it just says to check and fill as needed the diffs... I'd be skeptical of this dealer unless you drive the rig really hard.
  • Went back and they checked it out. Said it was the right front shock sensor. Told me if it came on again I needed a new shock at $450+. I sent an email to the service advisor to see why the flushes were recommended. I will let you know what he comes back with. Thanks for your input.
  • jdtv0316jdtv0316 Posts: 1
    Just bought a 2003 Denali XL after trading in a 2002 Yukon. Since buying the car we have been hearing a cracking and popping noise from the car after shutting of the engine (and also while at idle). The service manager tells us this is "normal for these cars". Has anyone else experienced a problem like this?
  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    I'd be skeptical they didn't damage the sensor when they rotated the tires... funny how it cropped up so shortly after.
    If you had another GM dealer in the area, I'd be tempted to see what they would say.
  • Here is what the service tech told me on the flush: It is recommended to flush the tranny every 30,000; and differentials / t-case every 30-40000. When it comes to maintance for vehicles', GM is our worst enemy, with respects to the owner's manual. GM prints the bare minimum for maint, with hopes your vehicle will wear out and you will need to replace it. As I truck owner who had to replace a front diff. to the tune of $2,000, I personally recommended every 30-40000 on those flushes. I waited until 65,000 by then the damage was done; mainly from the metal particulate that came from the break-in period when it was new. This is my first truck, so I haven't been down this road before. I guess it makes sense.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    I flush everything involved with lubrication (engine oil, transmission fluid, differential fluid, etc.) after the first 3,000 miles. (Do a complete fluid exchange, not just drain and refill. If a filter is involved, replace it as well.) You really do need to get rid of the metal particles that are thrown off during break-in - if not, they will come back to haunt you.
  • Our rear storage area is soaking wet after the rains here in DC. Nothing was left open, and the weatherstripping appears in tact. Would replacing the rubber and silicone to the frame be a wise idea? As a home builder, I am all for silicone for water troubled areas but am leary of doing the same to my vehicle.

    Yes, I checked the rear AC. I have kept the back trim panels out for a month. IMO I think its the rubber gasket. Any suggestions or cautions?
  • I siliconed the rear door weatherstripping, and it worked. I was careful not to allow water to get trapped in the bottom. Less expensive than purchasing a new seal. Only 2.95 for the 100% waterproof tube.
  • This is a problem board and maybe you are here trying to decide about getting the Denali. My 2003 is a sweet ride. This is after driving the Lexua LX 470, Escalade, Seqouia, LandCruiser.
  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    Well, I have a small odor problem. I am hoping one of the readers has a great suggestion for removing the smell of gasoline from carpet.
    My wife borrowed my Denali to run a few errands while I was on a business trip. She had to get some gasoline for the generator. After the can was filled she just set it in the back of the D and drove home. Needless to say, it fell over and a small amount leaked out onto the carpeted area. She cleaned and scrubbed and used the Bissell upholstery cleaning machine on it. When I got back I soaked it with Frebreeze. There is still an odor, thank goodness not too strong, but it's there.
    Any good ideas on what might absorb or cancel the odor. (and no I won't hang the little pine trees all around the inside)
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you are going to have to get the area cleaned up down to the backing, but the Bissell should have done that. spray AtmosKlear to a wet coat and brush it in. that will do it if anything will. findable at, GM parts counters, or Ace Hardware.
  • orwoodyorwoody Posts: 269
    I'll try the AtmosKlear. I would have removed the carpet, but it is tacked down around the 3rd seat hinges and under the side moldings - a major under taking.
  • juice22juice22 Posts: 29
    I have a 2002 Denali that has a problem with the front axel whining. Has anybody with the same problem had GM perform the following fix?

    TSB: 03-04-17-005
    · Replace the front propeller shaft with an internally tuned dampened shaft*

    If so, please respond back and let me know what the results were. This seems to be a “Cover Up” solution. Why would the “front end” gears whine while the “rear end” gears are quite? I can’t seem to figure it out and neither can GM.

    As always, thank you for the feedback.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Here's TSB #03-04-17-001A - (06/09/2003), which addresses the same condition in REAR drive axles. As the TSB states, some noise is inherent in automotive hypoid gearsets.

    Some customers may comment on a slight axle whine heard only at certain speeds, typically between 72-96 km/h (45-60 mph).

    "Inherent" ring and pinion gear whine.

    All gear driven units, such as automotive rear axles, produce some level of noise that cannot be eliminated with conventional adjustments and repairs. "Inherent" axle noise can be described as a slight noise heard only at a certain speed (typically between 72-96 km/h (45-60 mph) on most General Motors® trucks). The presence of this noise is not indicative of a functional concern with the axle assembly. However, some customers may find that this "inherent" axle noise is unacceptable.

    Replace the rear propeller shaft with a tuned torsional damper shaft ONLY after diagnosis concludes that it is an "inherent" rear axle noise and no physical damage or incorrect adjustment exists
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