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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair



  • Ok I've been tracking this one down for a while. I searched through the forms and I can't find anything just like what I'm seeing. So hopefully someone might be able to help.

    I have a 2002 Suburban and a few weeks ago the battery seemed to die. I replaced it with a new one, even though it wasn't that old. Then only a couple weeks after that my wife called me and said it was dead again. I couldn't see how. So after much research I figured it was some parasitic draw on the battery. I hooked up my digital multimeter and traced noticed the drain. It wasn't consistent at all. I would see a little over 3 amp draw then it would settle down to about .6 amp, then back up and so on. After sitting in the car I realized that the radio was cycling ever so often. I could tell because I could hear the CD player run like it was ejecting a CD. This is all with the key out of the ignition and no power on the radio.

    One of the posts I read mentioned something about the SEO1 fuse being for OnStar. Since the OnStar doesn't work anymore I figured that would disable it. Tried it again and still the radio is resetting. BTW if I set the clock on the radio and wait for it to cycle then turn the key on the time on the clock resets to 1:00. I have also seen, on occasion the clock on the radio read ---.

    At this point I figured it was a wiring problem so I took the radio out of the dash and I does look like a mouse was in there. However; I can't seem to find any wires that are compromised. Also if I wiggle them it doesn't change the behavior.

    Anyone have any ideas or suggestions of other things to try? Is it possible that the radio really is the culprit even though when powered on it works fine?

    Thanks in advance,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    Well even .6 amp is too much drain. Have you tried pulling the fuse on the radio and them re-testing with the multi-meter?

    I have heard theories that the Body Control Module could be the culprit, but people's anecdotes were not consistent on this matter.


  • mikel41mikel41 Posts: 2
    It's low fuel pressure. It's only probably 2 to 3 lbs under the minimum pressure, but that's all it takes with the Vortec motor. Idle pressure minimum is 60psi and WOT should be in the low 70's. So either fuel filter (rarely) or fuel pump (most likely) I've had them do this with Wide Open Throttle (WOT) pressure as high as 68.
  • mikel41mikel41 Posts: 2
    I replied to the other post, check it out there. You can test if it's a cat blockage by removing the 2 o2 sensors (1 on each side) that are in front of the converters. It'll be noisy but if it's low fuel pressure, it'll behave exactly the same. (the fact that's they're disconnected won't affect the issue if it's fuel pressure) Generally a clogged converter will run very hot. as well.
  • I have a 1996 Chevy Suburban K2500 7.4L 454 4X4 with 217000 miles. Originally, driving the truck to about 40 mph would appear to slip into neutral, while the speedometer kept climbing. Stepping on the gas made the speedo go faster, but the truck did not. Once you slowed down to about 20mph, it would make a very disturbing sound like it was slamming back into gear, and you could accelerate again. At first, you could engage 4WD and it would drive up to 70mph without slipping at all. It has deteriorated to a point that driving in 4WD does the same thing now. I didn't think it was the transmission, because it drove fine in 4WD for a long time, so I suspected the transfer case. I have inspected the transfer case, and the chain and gears seem to be in good condition. I was told it could be the TCCM or the transfer case mode fork or pads. The pads are a little worn and chipped, but is that sufficient wear to cause it to act like this? What is the function of the TCCM in this process? Where is the TCCM located? I was told in the door panel, and under the steering column, but haven't really located it yet.
    What further steps can I take to troubleshoot this effectively?
  • The Service Ride Control Warning light comes on when car is started.
    How do I get rid of it?
    This wheel was in trunk for an extended period with spare on the ground.
    When tire was replaced and wheel put back in place - the warning light would not go off.
  • There are 66~ TSB's for this vehicle, some are very minor, others not so much.

    Here's just a couple;

    Bulletin No: 08-07-30-016

    Bulletin No: 4133


    Bulletin No: 060604042
    Summary Description:

    Bulletin No: 3893

    Summary Description:

    Bulletin No: 50730017
    Summary Description:

    Print out the ones your vehicle is showing symptoms, take it to the Best GM dealer nearby, take some Apples, Donuts or Eye-Candy for bribery purposes.
    Sugar gets more results than bitchin.

  • dbat124dbat124 Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    **DECEMBER 29th 2011** I had the same problem (2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 - Hit a bump, door chime dings, door locks cycle, ABS and brake light comes on, "Service Brake System" warning, and a few seconds of flashing CEL) and I fixed it. In my case I confirmed the location of the problem by wiggle testing with the car running, in drive, and with someone in the vehicle with their foot on the brake - when I wiggled the offending wire there was an additional warning about something like "Low Engine Power" and the vehicle stalled.
    Here the issue/fix: If you remove the plastic cover on the motor (5/16" bolt) what appears to be a main harness that comes from the box just behind the battery crosses over the top of the engine. There are a few looms that branch off at the rear of the motor one of which contains a single wire (black w/ white stripe) that goes to ground on the rear of the motor just to the passenger side of center. The wire was corroded and heat damaged (dry, brittle) and easily broke off when I tugged on it (Only one strand of wire still still connected). The wire connects to the motor with a 13mm bolt vertically about four inches below the rear of the intake runners (I used a 1/4" drive 13mm deep socket with a three inch extension) It is a little awkward but still fairly easy to reach. I have no idea what system this wire is part of but when it was disconnected the car wouldn't start and then it didn't seem to recognize that the key was off and out of the ignition (The radio stayed on even after the door was opened and the CEL stayed lit), once I grounded the wire everything turned off. The wire was pretty much exact length so after I cut off the brittle part I had to add a length of wire so it was long enough to reach back to the bolt, I then crimped on a new ring connector, bolted it back on and the problem was solved.
    I hope this helps.
  • drvettedrvette Posts: 99
    edited December 2011
    Fantastic that you found the issue, this could have taken a Tech expert years.

    One point I'd like to make, crimping wires on low-voltage connections is risky.

    A more permanent solution is to solder them. Wal-Mart has a Ronson Butane Lighter for three bucks, Lowes' has some small spools of acid-free silver solder.

    Also, FYI a small break in the insulation on lo-volt wires can set up corrosion which is Not visible.
    This is especially problematic on engine sensor wires where the voltage is often 5vdc or so.

    On a Roadmaster SW, the ATS in the breather showed bad, a New unit still gave a code, checking the weather-tite connections indicated good conn, hmm..

    A close look at the wire and an indention was there, someone had closed the wire between the breather lid [TBI Engine] looking at the indention and a small slit appeared, I opened up the insulation and it the wire was GREEN with corrosion.

    30+yrs at Southern Co reminded me of a statement,
    "electricity travels on the outside of the wire, not the inside"

    The wire was not broken, the green stuff kept the 5v signal from traveling.
    Cut it out, heat shrink up the wire, a dot of silver solder and it ran perfect, WITH the original ATS !

    I'm SO happy someone used their head to find the issue, your method of wriggling the wires while in Drive with an assistant is a new one for me, and I've done this for over 5 decades..

    Learning Still
    Rusty Wrench
  • drvettedrvette Posts: 99
    edited December 2011
    "the left front wheel bearing is so bad it looks like the wheel is ready to fall off"

    The following is for 2wd Only.

    If yours is 4wd, another procedure is required.
    The ball joint check for 4wd is not known by me.

    The only way you'd know if the wheel brg is bad is to either Hear it or Jack it up and grab the top and bottom of the wheel to check for play.

    If the wheel is sitting at an angle, then most likely your ball joint is worn out.
    GM has a wear indicator built in ball joints, the grease fitting.

    Clean the area around the grease fitting on the ball joints, wire brush them etc. Note the Hex on the fitting where it's screwed in.

    If the bottom of the Hex on the grease fitting is flush with the ball joint, then the service life has been reached.

    DUHRusty Wrench
    aka DrVette
  • drvettedrvette Posts: 99
    edited December 2011
    Please put your Make, Model, year, AT or MT and 2wd/4wd when asking questions.

    Your mech may be correct, many sensors, solenoids in the trans, , electrical wire connector problems, faulty ECM/PCM etc can all cause shifting issues.
    also, [in 87-95 the TV Cable adjustment or TV may have debris]

    However, it IS possible that the DRAC is sending erratic signals to your ECM/PCM .

    GM issued a TSB for bad DRAC units, TSB Bulletin No.: 448301

    Since I have NO idea what year you have, here's a generic usage of a DRAC

    For several years, GM used a Digital Ratio Adapter Controller (DRAC), otherwise known as a speed buffer.

    The buffer could fail in such a way that the signal to the instrument cluster was fine,
    yet the signal into the computer was either erratic or nonexistent.
    This would cause either no upshift or erratic shifting complaints.
    And since the instrument cluster was providing a good vehicle speed signal, the buffer was often overlooked as being the cause of the problem.
    Rusty Wrench
  • plex4rplex4r Posts: 2
    Suburban 2001 LT,
    5.3 Ltr engine
    164,000 miles
    My Suburban has a major oil leak but I cannot see where it is leaking from. With the car in park, if I idle for about 5 minutes it starts to leak like a faucet turned on just above a drip.
    Probably related to this issue is the fact that the car has been loosing a large amount of coolant over the last few years. I usually only drive the car 2000 miles a year. Over a two week period I could have to put in 1/2 gallon of water, but sometimes it would be 2 months before I would need this much. It seems like in summer it would burn less. I did not see a leak anywhere or out of the weep hole. The coolant has likely been leaking into the engine oil, because the color quickly because a rust like color even soon after I change the oil. Also there would be some amount of gunk that would drain with the oil.
    I have looked all around under the hood but it cannot be seen from there. Underneath the vehicle the oil is dripping closer to the middle of the vehicle, coming from right above the transmission pan. It is not transmission fluid and I have had several people verify the color matches the oil color on the dipstick, and not the transmission fluid color. It is coming from above the transmission and dripping right across the transmission cable and around that side of the transmission pan, but I cannot see above there.
    Before I take it to a mechanic I would like to have a rough idea of what both of these problems could be: First the coolant leak, and secondly the oil leak. The first problem probably caused the second, and I’m sure I did not help matters by continuing to drive it for so long while the coolant leak was happening.
    Can someone please reply with what the cause of these issues may be and any rough estimate on what it would cost to fix it?
  • Hello everyone
    I'm on here to try and find some info on the new suburbans. I know the 2007 through 2010 suburbans are notorious to having many problems with the engine and electrical components along with oil consumption and door locks etc... I want to know if the newer suburbans 2010 and newer have any of these problems? So if you have anything please reply.

    Thank you!
  • ron152ron152 Posts: 6
    I have a 2007 Suburban and my main problem has been with the brakes. The front calipers were too tight for the brake pads to slide so they wouldn't fully release when you take your foot off the brake pedal. This causes premature brake and rotor replacement due to the brakes constantly dragging and over heating. The rear brakes only wear on the inside where it's difficult to see while the outer pads remain like new. I think it's outrageous to have to replace the front brakes AND rotors at 16,000 miles and the rear brakes AND rotors at 30,000 miles, but that's just me. It should be more like front pads at 35,000 miles, front rotors at 100,000 miles and rear pads at 100,000 miles, rear rotors at 200,000 miles. I've been around a long time and have owned a lot of GM cars and trucks. My experience tells me that GM doesn't give a damn about fixing problems until maybe the next generation or until they discontinue that model altogether for lack of sales. Corvair? Monza? Chevette?

    My brother-in-law has a 2008 Avalanche and he replaces the front brakes AND rotors two or three times a year. I got 16,000 miles out of the original front brakes and rotors. I then ground out the space a few thousands of an inch on the calipers to give the pads a little more room to slide. I now have 47,000 miles on it and the brakes and rotors are still good. And my gas mileage increased by about two miles per gallon. I tried to tell GM about their design problem, but they just look at me like I'm nuts. Why should they fix the problem while the dealers can make tons of money repairing brakes?
  • THANK YOU dbat124! I had the EXACT same problem right down to it breaking off in my hand. The only difference being, instead adding wire & putting it back where it was, I crimped a ring on the end, put a wire brush on my drill, took the paint off a spot in the engine compartment & put a self tapping screw right into the metal grounding it out right there. Who knows how much time, money & aggrivation you saved me. It got progressively worse until it suddenly got really bad, I read your post & had it fixed & done in 20 minutes. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
  • My 99 Suburban started acting like I was on 'ice' this morning, had the pit-man arm replaced earlier this year. Most un-safe feeling even at low speeds, most notice-able if there is a bump in the road surface. Was searching to find what could be wrong and came across your posting. Plan on taking in to the dealer in the morning!
  • This vehicle at just over 50K developed a terrible clunk up front, generally well after a slight turn. Almost like what you get with a limited slip rear end jerks that has the wrong oil in it on a turn, only much more positive a jerk. Can be repeated intermittently or rapidly more rapid than the axle rpm. Sounds almost like a big hammer hitting something, all at under 25 mph. Have not dared to go faster. Showed up suddenly after sitting in garage, about a block down the street. Can go a few blocks, no problem, but comes back unexpectedly. No indicator light change.

    When first shown up it appeared like I just drove over a big and solid something and it dragged underneath the engine a few feet. Nothing there.

    30 miles before this it was on a 2000 mile Interstate trip (daughter driving). Nothing noticed then.

    I suspect a very bad hub bearing, due to where it comes from, but could be from the front differential. Or a U-joint, but I have never experienced a bad U joint this bad a jerk. Will go to shop shortly, if I can get that far.

    Goes into each setting of FWD in and out no trouble.

    Is there a limited slip type differential? Inspection underneath shows nothing unusual
  • OG again: On the question, well not a good one, since when not engaged for 4 x4 operation, the limteid slip, if there, would not be involved.

    Instead, I also now wonder if the jerks come due to the 4H tying to engage, with that shifting piston acting up. Also, wold the switches be in the picture?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    I wonder if in fact you still ARE in 4WD---sure sounds like it.


  • Hello! I have a 2006 Suburban and all of a sudden it appears to get stuck at 25-30 MPH and just constantly revs. It sounds like I am just flooring it. However, it does not accelerate. Then if I continue pressing the accelerator, it will eventually jump and speed up again. What could the issue be?
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