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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair



  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    Yeah I don't know how your particular system calculates air pressure. There used to be barometric compensator modules in older fuel injection systems that used frequency changes rather than voltage changes but I think they figured out how to calculate air pressure from the MAF nowadays. So if you could figure out how your system senses air pressure that would give you a start on diagnostics.
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    thanks for the heads up. What about the heat issue?
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    Replace the battery! I also got a 99 Tahoe that did the EXACT same thing. It was a shorting out cell in the battery.
  • I just became the owner of an old suburban. I am looking for the best online resources and groups for folks talking about parts, repair and maintenance for this old thing. It is a 1978 C-15 series Fulltime 4WD 1/2 ton Suburban (V8 , 400-4). I am most immediately trying to figure out the exact specs for it -- the body has been stamped with "GMC C15 Sierra", but the VIN indicates that it is a Chevy Suburban. I know its possible for it to be both, but I need to know if I have a Light duty truck or a heavy duty emission truck in order to get the right spark plugs and fuel filter and such. There are some numbers on the crankcase/manifold, but I'm not sure how to use them. Also, I'd like to tow a decent sized trailer for 2,000 miles, and I'm wondering if it will make it. I have the original owner's manual, but it is not clear on the towing capacity, and says a couple of different things. I have many other questions. This rig used to be an ambulance (has a modified hi-top)and it has two alternators, two batteries, a kill switch, and some other strange modifications. Is this the right place to look for help?
  • There is an engine # on a pad in front of the right side (passenger side) cylinder head. Copy this # down and then Google for Chevrolet Engine Numbers, or get a copy of "Chevy by the Numbers" from and find out which engine you have exactly. There are many lists on the Internet for Chevy engine #s that should pinpoint your block.

    Or better yet, go to eBay and pick up a Chilton's Truck Manual for the year 1978
  • momof6momof6 Posts: 2
    For the last month or so our 1999 Chevy Suburban has been having intermittent steering loss on curves and if you hit a groove or any imperfection in the road. We had some friends that had a problem with this same issue a few years ago and when he overcorrected after a curve they had a tragic accident that killed their 10 yr. old daughter. Has anyone else had this problem or know of a solution. The other family told me that Chevy knew of the problem, but it wasn't widespread enough for a recall. Any help would be appreciated. I have found information on the internet about a similar problem with the '99 Tahoe, but not Suburban.
  • There are three of us in my town with identical '99 Suburbans....all having the same problem. Over about 68 mph, there is a vibration. Cannot feel in steering wheel, just in seat and entire vehicle vibrates. Seems to be coming from the rear. There are times when you get to about 75 that for a few seconds, it calms down and runs so smoothly, then 30 seconds later, here it comes again. We all have over 100,000 (mine is 135,000 and others are 105,000 and 112,000. (Mine started at about 130,000.)We have compared notes and have tried all the same repairs. Namely, tires, brake drums and shoes. Front hubs, rotors, calipers, pads. Alignments too many to mention including road force balance. I had my driveline rebalanced and new u-joints (Mine was the guineau pig for that repair). I had the rear axles pulled and saw some bearing wear, so replaced with axle saver bearings. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING has changed the vibration an iota. There have been three dealers involved and they can't find a thing. Among us, we've been to about another 15 shops. Now, if there's three of us with the same vehicle having the problem.........someone out there has the answer because they've been there and done that.
  • has anyone tried putting the car on a lift, then running it until the vibration occurs, then disconnecting the driveshaft and running it to see if the vibration is still there or not?

    (what I'm driving at here is a vibration issue emanating from the engine, flywheel, clutch, motor mounts, gearbox, etc.)
  • I have that same problem. Have you found out what it is? I have a 2000 Suburban.
  • momof6momof6 Posts: 2
    We had the gear box replaced and a serpentine belt. We live in Texas and just made a trip to Iowa, 12 hours up and back and lots of driving while there, and had absolutely no problems.
  • You could have a faulty ground. A high resistance connection heats up the opens up then cools off, reconnects and so on. Check the ground connection for the Fuel Pump Wiring Harness. There is a pigtail wire and ground lug bolted to the top of the rear frame crossmember (just ahead of the fuel tank) Clean the lug and the frame. Just because the pump runs doesn't mean it's getting enough juice to do the job.
  • its a 1993 w/170k miles - 1/2 ton - automastic - 4x4
    on acceleration it backfires at the carb (tbi), new map and egr, anyone have any ideas as to the cause - repair shop gave me a diagnosis of camshaft/valve springs/innition coil/etc, i dont think he is very knowledgeable in his trade, anyway anyone have any ideas???
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If it is backfiring up thru the carb/tbi, then that is an indication that the intake valves (or at least one valve) is open when the spark plug ignites. When the piston compresses the fuel mixture (in what should be a closed chamber), it forces the mixture back up into the intake manifold which then ignites when the plug fires. Now WHY that is occuring, could be caused by a couple things.

    You could have a valve(s) that is sticking open and/or weak spring, or have a valve guide with wear and isn't allowing the valve to seal correctly, or multiple valve problems, etc.

    You could have slop in your timing chain, where the timing is varying all over the place. This would cause the timing between the crankshaft (pistons), and the camshaft (valves and distributor) to be off.

    You could have wear in your distributor, which would effect the timing between the camshaft and the distributor.

    You've got 170K miles on the engine, so any of these problems could be possible.

    Do a compression test on each cylinder, and see what that shows. That will tell you whether you have one cylinder with a problem (one lower than all the others), or across the board normal, or across the board low.
  • While driving at 25 mph my 99 Suburban's (110K miles):
    - RPM gage went to zero
    - Speedometer went to zero
    - Gear Position Indicator (red vertical bar) disappeared
    - SES & Check Gages lights came on
    Accelerator was less responsive at slower speeds. I was able to drive at normal speeds up a steep hill. It lasted about 2 miles. Will it happen again? :confuse:
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    "Will it happen again?" ...... Since you don't know what caused it, and you haven't fixed or changed is reasonable to assume that something will happen again sometime. Don't know when, and you don't know if it will cause the same symptoms.

    With not a whole lot to go on, this could be a basic electrical problem (battery voltage, corrosion, fuse, electrical switch), or could be a problem with the instrument panel. I'd personally be leaning to a basic electrical problem, since if it was an instrument panel problem I don't believe it would also have effected your accelerator.

    If it was me, a start with a free test of the battery and alternator at autoparts chain (Pep Boys, Autozone, etc) to make sure that your main power was able to supply the correct voltage. Make sure the battery connections are clean with no corrosion. I'd then also pull and check with a meter any fuses associated with the instrument panel, or switched power that the keyswitch controls.

    If you find something fix it. If you find nothing, I would then pay particular attention for the next couple months to all electrical items, and make sure everything is working the way it is supposed to and there are no other 'symptoms' or problems that might give you another clue as to the cause of the first gauge problem.
  • Thanks for the advice!

    I failed to mention:

    - Battery & electrical system checked OK.

    - SES & check gages light led to these codes:
    -- P0740 TCC circuit malfunction
    -- 753 Shift Solenoid
    -- 758 Shift Solenoid
    -- 785 Shift Timing Solenoid

    - Transmission checked OK by a transmission shop.

    I'm planning on taking your advice and my Suburban to an electrical shop next week. Thanks! :)
  • sonlxsonlx Posts: 21
    Hello Everyone,
    I'm looking for a replacement air intake filter for my parent's Suburban. I'm not trying to put in anything like a cold air intake, or K&N. I'm just looking for a regular intake filter. Before purchasing a filter, I wanted to see if anyone out there has any recommendations regarding the available brands of air filter being sold in the market. I've heard the air filter for suburban is important and didn't want to purchase a bad product. If anyone has some good information, please let me know.
    Thank You :)
  • We're looking at the '01 and '02 models and would just like to know avg upkeep and maintenance costs. Would also love to hear how y'all like your Suburbans and if they're dependable vehicles. Thanks!
  • I replace the EGR valve when my truck failed inspection. After installation the truck runs rough and stalls. Why? It worked fine before replacing part. any ideas what to do next? thanks, Angela
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Just recently traded in my 97 for a 07, it's been great for us, but it's not a daily driver. We use it mainly for trips (6-10 a year), pulling a couple small trailers when needed (6 x yr), and hauling up to 7 teenagers (couple times a month). You just can't beat it's space, either for people, for cargo, or both. We like the 2nd row bench seat configuration, each kid gets their own row to lay down across when travelling, and when hauling the kids friends it's an extra seats worth of capacity.

    The 07+ design rides significantly better, having moved to coil springs.

    Mechanically it's been quite reasonable, with very good availability of reasonably priced parts if needed. I do any work myself, so I can't comment about dealer charges. The one general weakness is it's transmission, since it is a heavy vehicle. I got 25% of it's original price when I traded it in after 10 years.

    I would think the used market on large SUV's is very soft, given price of gas and all the soccer mom's dumping them. I always thought the MPG reasonable for what we're using it for, and the mileage on the 07+ with it's valve management getting 20+mpg is just fabulous.

    We've had one since the kids were in diapers, and I'll probably always have one for it's all around flexibility which it provides.
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