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Suburban Tahoe Vibration Problems



  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    I have been reading these blogs about the Tahoe Vibration. Unbelievable that it is still occurring. I purchased my new Tahoe Feb 13, 2010. I drove it to Virginia the following week end and it felt like I was drive a dump truck. When I returned the following week I took it back to the dealership for the salesmen to tell me that's the way it drives. Because it's on a truck suspension. Well I knew that wasn't right so I made an appointment for the service department to look at it. They force balanced the tires and drove it and sign it off. When I pick it up that afternoon I knew it was still vibrating. Actually it was worst. I emailed all of the management at the dealership and got their attention. Within 30 minutes I got a phone call. I took it back to them (they've had it 8 days now) and they said it was the drive shaft. Guess what? It wasn't!!! Now they are saying it the ring gear in the differential. And maybe it is. But it seems to me they are still guessing. I'm not sure how the differential can cause such a vibration with the SUV driving in a straight line. But if anyone has any insight to why the ring gear can cause this problem please reply with the answer. I really want to know. Thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited March 2010
    Have the done the obvious, like test swap the whole set of 4 wheel/tires off a vehicle that you know rides smooth, to totally rule out your wheels as the problem?

    Or put your wheels on another vehicle that initially drives smooth, see if the problem moves with the swap or not.
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    Yes, they replace the tires/wheel with another new Tahoe but had the same problem.

    I got a call Saturday (27th) that it was ready to be picked up and problem was fixed. They replaces the Ring gear in the differential. They drove it and said it was fixed. I picked it up and drove maybe a mile and knew it wasn't fixed. I took it back to them Sunday. They called again today to say the ring gear is out of round again. OMG-- I can't take too much more of this crazy stuff.
  • I can't beleive no one is looking at the Rack & Pinon steering as a potential problem. I have a county vehicle in my shop. Vibrates when slowing at highway speeds, not brakes, not tires-wheels. Looks like a design flaw to me. This vehicle is too heavy for the Rack & pinon design. The bushing are too soft, and over time, it allows for side to side movement of the entire rack & pinon unit. I can see after about 30K miles how it would start to vibrate just like a bad tire, even when not braking. Problem is with the bushing design, even with a new one, the same thing would happen after same miles. Design Flaw in my opinion. Rack & Pinon is for cars-not trucks.
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    They were actually saying there is a problem with the rack and pinon as part of the problem. But they don't know if it's actually causing the ring gear to get out of round. Which in turn causing the vibration. They are waiting on GM to tell them what to do next. Everything is on hold until then. But I've already filled out the Lemon Law paper work, when I go in to talk to the Sales Manager tomorrow and don't get the answers I'm looking for then I will go to the post office. But I don't think I want another Tahoe if it's going to have the same problem. Do all of them have rack and pinion steering? I would assume so.
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    I only have 3000 miles on my Tahoe...
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    edited April 2010
    Interesting to see similar "shakes" in other new Tahoes, Suburbans, etc. like my new Avalanche.

    Bought a new '09 Avalanche (last to be built for the model year, 10/09) on the last day of February '10. Almost 2 months now, 2700 miles (first 700 from the dealer in Georgia delivering it to me). 2wd Z71 model with the "off road" bits, 265/65/18 Bridgestone Dueler A/T RH-s tires, 6-spd trans and 3.08 rear axle.

    Has shuddering/vibrating quiver where the seat shakes, steering wheel vibrates and floor quivers cruising and accelerating. Random at times in how bad, once in a while will just go smooth. Cross truck shudder & quiver, cruising and accelerating, especially when warm/hot out.

    Did it from new, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Drove a new leftover '09 4wd 1LT with the factory 20's and 3.42 rear before, it was dead smooth. No vibration, just smooth and solid. Drove a '10 2wd Z71 with the 3.42 before signing for mine, since mine was coming from so far away & I had never actually driven a Z71, and it was softer than the 1LT with a bit of flat spotted tire shake for a couple miles, then smooth. Just a little luggier feeling than the 1LT & 20's, because of the A/T 18" tires, as expected.

    Mine does this:
    -"Quivering" feeling driving even at really low speeds, feel it in the seat and wheel
    -Vibration through the seat and wheel continue up to speed, worst generally from 35-55 and can get a little less if faster
    -When warm out, sunny, etc. and the tire pressures bump up, it shakes worst...oddly, on night trips, it's turned smooth or smoother for no real reason, cooler roads aside
    -Any kind of texture to the road makes for a constant quiver throughout the truck, still there on perfectly smooth roads but not as much; driving through my development at 25'ish, it quivers
    -Warm/hot days when shaking, it'll studder to the side and wobble over bumps...maybe just the A/T tires, but more pronounced at times
    -Some days, not cold but not hot, and raining/wet it'll be smooth...or at least smoother than otherwise
    -On the days that the vibration in general is really noticeable, shakes badly when accelerating from a stop too
    -Shuddering is V4/V8 mode regardless, and the truck idles and revs like butter--not even a vibe at idle. Just had the ECM/TCM custom tuned (performance, better shifting, etc.), and no change in the shaking whatsoever

    What's been done:
    1) Dealer tech drove, felt vibration, road forced all tires & said they were out of balance; said it still had a vibration afterwards but to drive it since it was still new, and see "sometimes those tires get like that if they sit a while"; for the most part, it was the same or worse after they balanced them.
    2) Not believing the dealer, I took it to an actual Bridgestone dealer locally who was glad to help. Knew every possibility. Day I drove it to them in the rain and 50 degree temps, it didn't vibrate a bit and was SMOOTH. Of course. They road forced all the wheel/tire combos too, and said they were actually some of the best assemblies they'd seen and were true & in balance. Said it could either be something with the truck or maybe just the feel of A/T tires on a luxury SUV.
    3) Back to the dealer last week, but of course the truck got SMOOTH the same day, for no reason. Couldn't even make it shake. Explained this, but what it also does most often when warmed up & they noted it. End of day, got a call a tech had driven it 25 miles "but didn't feel anything'. Of course. Still felt smooth when I picked it up, like in the morning, but after about 5 miles of errands & heading home in on a warm, sunny afternoon, the shakes were back, not the worst but still there. The next morning, same roads, same temps, it vibrated like crazy first like a switch had been flipped, steering wheel shaking, seat shaking, the bad cross truck shudder on perfectly smooth roads turned back on. Sad to stop in next time I'm out, it's shaking, and they're open. Trying...

    It's weird because it always shudders, but some days can go from barely to really bad. Usually just always the constant light to aggravating quiver & shudder that comes through the seat, wheel and floor. Our '02 Z66 and '04 Suburban before never had a single vibration issue at any speed from day one, and I didn't notice anything in either of the other 2 new Av's I drove, or any other GMT-900 Yukon's, etc. I drove before.

    The fact that it's worst when hot and the tire pressures bump makes me think tires, as does the smoother rain drives. But 2 road force jobs, including one from a very helpful Bridgestone dealer, and it still shakes slow, accelerating, or cruising.

    1) Tires/wheels. Still likely. But on/off/sorta random-ness? Still possible. These Bridgestone Dueler A/T RH-S tires in this size are on an eon bazillion of these trucks, but I have yet to find any reported number of issues. 1 or 2 here or there, complaining of them throwing rocks all over, but not vibration issues.
    2) Drivetrain? Runs like butter, still, doesn't hesitate, doesn't even give off any vibes at idle. If the driveshaft were out of balance, a U-joint, etc. with issues, I wouldn't think there'd be the random shakes, doesn't shake, sorta shakes, smooth as silk, my hands are going to fall off shakes...weird. I know the 6L80E from my G8 GT well, not a normal trans issue. Truck is now tuned, ECM and TCM, and not a single change in the shaking.
    3) Smoother at night after sitting sometimes? Again, weird...

    I'm about to just pay for new tires and go from there. Hoping for a good shaky soon with time to stop in at the dealer & give an impromptu ride, but we'll see.
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    Well after a whole new rear end and 2.5 weeks still vibrate between 45-55 mph. Just called the East Coast Rep for Chevrolet and they want me to bring it back to the dealer for them to ride with me. New tire will not help. I just talk with a Bridgestone tire dealer yesterday and said that it has been done before and it's not the tires. He was very helpful and drove it himself. I'm at my wits end, can't believe a vehicle of the price would have such problems. Chevrolet doesn't not know what causes it. But I'm with you the vibration frequency (amount of) depends on the time of day. Mornings going to work is the worst case. Thanks for your input beach15.
  • cat125cat125 Posts: 36
    been there - took me more than two months and over 10K miles to fix my problem - at the end of the day and after going to arbritration which I lost vs. GM all it took was changing deaerships - took the truck to a dealer much further away and it payed off - suggest you try the same - some dealers dont have the mechanics that can work these issues - youcan always call and find out - Grand Prize Auto in Miami - the problem has vanished ..... happy again - think it had to do with the drive shaft after alll - good luck
  • cat125cat125 Posts: 36
    have them check the rack and pinon - just remembered that in my truck it had to be replaced a month after the vibration problem was fixed - not sure how the vibration ws fixed and the problem went way but then trouble with rack and pinon happen so you might as well have them take a look at that - read a blog in this group that talks about the rack and pinon being the cause and it does make sense
  • abushaheenabushaheen Posts: 1
    I did not face this problem in my Tahoe 2008, but i faced it in Tahoe 2009,, anyway, after six times checking it in Garage, they eventually confessed that the problem of this vibration is from Drive Shaft, they fix it and it is very good now.
  • richbikerichbike Posts: 8
    Hi Abushaheen,

    Do you know exactly what was done to the Drive Shaft to fix the vibration problem? I'd like to explain the exact needed fix to my dealer.

  • wackwack Posts: 2
    My 2010 Tahoe has this problem.

    I notice a shimmy/shake in the engine/drivetrain coming out of first and second gears.

    Also, a intense vibration hits every once in a while, usually when dropping down into cruising speed, underneath the passenger glove box, and works itself out in 8-10 seconds. This happened even the day I drove it off the lot.

    Very annoying for a $60k vehicle with only 3500 miles on it now.

    I dropped it off at the dealer today with a list of problems, brakes squealing, iPod popping through USB, shimmy/shake, intense vibration, engine sputter at idle sometimes.

    Geez, I wish they would give me my 2007 I just turned in back to me, it never had a problem, well...actually a few wiring and electrical problems.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Hello Wack,
    I am from GM Customer Service. Can you please keep me informed on how it goes with the dealership? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Paid for new tires, sold the stock Bridgestone A/T's on Craigslist and went to a TireRack perfectly rated local shop we had used before, to have everything swapped.

    New set of Michelin LTX M/S2 tires, perfect road force balance this time using the correct weights unlike what the dealer had done and scraped the wheels the first time, and was off. Lost the some extra A/T tire squish & wiggle, felt crisper on the road, and cut road noise. Gas mileage even seemed to perk up.

    Problem? Immediately clear, after a little of driving, that the truck still had had the shame vibration and shuddering, exactly as before. Not a tire issue, as I hoped not to see but pretty much proved...makes sense, given how it has always felt drivetrain/powertrain related.

    In the last week, now, for whatever reason, it's shaking so badly, and quivers so hard, it's just bizarre to drive. Feels like an old, ragged truck with 200k that's been abused. Never been off the highway or driven hard. At the same time, it's also started shifting bizarrely, especially with downshifts that send the tach dancing and other shivers through the truck as you decelerate/downshift. Feels like it's stumbling, in varied degrees.

    And...maybe my imagination, maybe not...something is up with the steering. All of a sudden too, seems to have loosened up on center and the other day turning it in a parking lot, seemed to be loose, then bind up, then back to loose again. Not enough to even mention this one, but enough that I've been wondering.

    The shakes are worse. It was shaking and shuddering so badly today driving to work and back on the same new, smooth 2 lane roads, almost felt like it had a bad miss and something wrong with the trans. Oh joy. 3500 miles.

    Going to another dealer locally on Thursday. Never been there for service before, but I hope 1) it continues to act up just as badly and 2) they can figure something out, beyond "everything looks tight and normal underneath..." Now, how to properly explain it to them...

    Transmission, driveshaft, and so on. Joyous. Again. Reminds me of the days when I had to drive around with a datalogger in my '09 Malibu to help show off the shuddering transmission. That was nothing in comparison to what this truck does.
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    Can someone tell me how to get the District Managers name and address for Florida. He came to Panama City, Florida yesterday and drove my Tahoe. Only to tell me that he didn't notice the vibration. His butt must of been numb...

    I didn't get his business card and can't remember his name.

  • solosolo Posts: 48
    edited May 2010
    Just checking this forum to see if the topic of 2011 Tahoe was being discussed. Maybe a redesign of that stupid third row seat having to be removed- and a little Storage.
    But all I here about are the endless complaints (on this and other web sites) about vibrations and the inept dealerships that these poor guys have to go thru. Its no wonder this company had to be bailed out.
    I am sure glad I visited Edmunds. And thank you to all the Tahoe owners who have opened up about their lemons. It used to be that GM could not build small cars (Vega, Cavalier,Chevette, Nova Corvair,) I could go on. But they Could build the big V8's.
    In the 70's and 80's I drove big impala wagons. Then in the 90's Tahoes. But to hear these current problems (Gm can't seem to make a wheel round) and then be ignored by the company is too much.
    I can't give Government Motors any more of my money
  • meachamdmeachamd Posts: 13
    Sure wished I had check this website before buying my new Tahoe. After all the work and having the vehicle in the dealership less than 2 weeks ago, they now say there is nothing wrong with the Tahoe. Seven tries to fix it and 26 days in the shop and now it's fine. I have the same vibration since day one but now it's normal. I will never buy and I will go out of my way to tell people not to buy a Chevrolet, GM, Cadillac, etc. Anything by GM is off limits. That is why they are in a hole, no customer satisfaction "May the Best Car Win", what crap!!!
  • cat125cat125 Posts: 36
    its not the tires - not the tires - do not waste more time money and effort - check drive shaft and other components
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Hello Meachamd,
    I am from GM Customer Service. I apologize that you had a less than optimal experience. Did the dealership find the fix to your vehicle or is the concern still present? Thank you,
    Mariah GM Customer Service
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