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High Mileage Suburbans

HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE HAVE A SUBURBAN WITH MORE THAN 120,000 MILES AND WITH WHAT KIND A MECHANICAL PROBLEMS.?
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Comments

  • 120,000? Man it's just getting broken in. With regular maintenance you should be able to see more than double that. My '96 Tahoe has 161,000. Runs strong, shifts great and doesn't use a drop of oil between changes. No problems yet.
  • THANKS FOR THE ADVISED AND YES I'AM GOING TO KEEP THE REGULAR MAINTANCE, AFTER HAVING SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH AN 2000 F-150 I WANT TO TRY THE CHEVY'S. WILL SEE WHAT'S UP :) ">
  • aeroplane said: 120,000? Man it's just getting broken in. With regular maintenance you should be able to see more than double that
    ____________________________________________________________________
    That may have been true with the older Suburban/Tahoe but I don't think the new generation model year 2000 and up are as well built. Take a look at all the problems that are listed on this forum. Transmissions failing at 50K miles or less, water pumps and fuel pumps, instrument clusters, AC, you name it they just aren't lasting like they used to. I had a '92 Suburban that I drove for 14 years then bought a new '06. The '06 rides and drives a bit better but I can feel that the engine and tranny are just not as solid as the '92. I think we will come to find out at any of the newer models lasting up to 150K without major repairs will be the exceptions.
  • kruzenkruzen Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Suburban with 349,000 miles. I bought it new with 4 miles on it. Aside from routine maintenance the mechanical problems I encounter the most are fuel pumps(4 of them) and steering idler arms(4 of them). I was stranded once when my tensioner pulley spun off at 116,000 miles- a maintenance item that should be replaced at 30,000 miles. I thought I would have replaced a starter or alternator by this point.
  • 666mike666mike Posts: 8
    WOW THAT'S A THUMBS UP FOR ME I HOPE MY SUBURBAN LAST THAT LONG.

    THANKS FOR THE COMMENT. :shades:
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    kruzen said: Aside from routine maintenance the mechanical problems I encounter the most are fuel pumps(4 of them) and steering idler arms(4 of them). I was stranded once when my tensioner pulley spun off at 116,000 miles- a maintenance item that should be replaced at 30,000 miles
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Twenty five years ago replacing a fuel pump at almost any mileage was unheard of. Likewise steering idler arms. Granted, you do have 349K miles on your vehicle but that means you are averaging a new fuel pump every 85K miles and that to me is BS. And the cost to replace these pumps is HUGE. They are not making these Suburbans like they used to. But then again most buyers keep the vehicle for 5 years at the most and then buy a new one. It is the folks who buy and keep the vehicles who are paying for the GM policy of replacing fuel pumps, idler arms, transmissions, etc. Buy 'em, drive 'em, throw 'em away.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Twenty five years ago replacing a fuel pump at almost any mileage was unheard of.

    Twenty five years ago, how many cars lasted 85,000 miles? :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,560
    My '82 (non-Suburban) did! Low miles though (114k over 17 years).

    I remember when a good friend back in the late 80's went from Anchorage, where I was living at the time, to LA and picked up an older California Suburban with about 130,000 miles on it and drove it home. Then he dumped $10,000 in in practically rebuilding the thing. He was on old car collector anyway and knew what he was getting into. We all thought he was crazy, but he said the Suburbans were built like tanks and most of the miles on this one were easy freeway miles.

    You know the rest of the story - he was still driving it in '03 when I last saw him. I'll try to get an update.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    Tidester said: Twenty five years ago, how many cars lasted 85,000 miles
    ____________________________________________________________________
    You are kidding, right? My second car was a '51 Mercury that went over 100,000 miles for me and was stilling running strong when I sold it. I have owned many cars and trucks that were in the 150K range before I sold them. NEVER replaced a fuel pump or front end parts on any of them. I did replace a few water pumps around 100K miles, some U-joints and a few AC compressors....but certainly not transmissions, rear end parts, fuel pumps or major engine components.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    You are kidding, right?

    It was a rhetorical question underscoring the fact that modern cars do last longer than their predecessors. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    Modern cars do last longer, at least the frames and sheet metal. Call me old-fashioned but I just can't seem to accept the fact that many on this forum are spending thousands of dollars replacing fuel pumps and transmissions at very low mileages. However, I do like the 7,500 mile oil changes and 100K mile tune-ups. And there is no doubt that tire life has been extended by many miles although the tires are not made by the auto manufacturers. GM could fix the tranny problems by going back to the TH-350 and TH-400 models. Those transmissions were pretty much bullet-proof under normal useage. And you would think GM could come up with a fuel pump that wouldn't cost upwards of $1,000 to replace in the Suburban/Tahoe.
  • ramjet2ramjet2 Posts: 6
    My 2002 1/2 ton 4x4 Suburban LT now has 159,000 on it and we bought it new Dec '01. It's been the lowest maintenance and highest reliability vehicle we've ever owned and that's covered the gamut from other GM products to Jags, BMW's, Subaru's, Honda's, just about "you name it." I've replaced the 4 shocks at 100k, the idler arm at about 140k and had the front diff gone thru. Oh, and I did the spark plugs at 100k, which required a pair of special pliers.
    I use Mobil 1 synthetic and have changed the oil every 12k-15k miles, and I send in a sample to Blackstone Labs for analysis and the report looks good every time, so I'll stay on this schedule. Our driving is probably an ordinary mix of city and highway, and it stays inside out of the rainy NW weather at nite.
    I expect now to spend probably an average of about $500-1,000/yr on maintenance outside of routine stuff. This beats the cost of a new one all to heck and so we're driving almost free considering that the rig is mostly depreciated out at this point. I'll wait for the hybrid in a couple of years, and hopefully they'll make it a plug-in, and fix the abomination of those middle tumbling seats that make the cargo bay so short that it won't haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood or sheetrock.
    We also bought an '86 Sub (diesel) new and drove it for 256k miles but it needed an engine transplant at 160k, sadly. Based on the higher maintenance in many areas on the '86, I feel strongly that the '02 machine is of far better quality and it's certainly a pleasant vehicle for any kind of driving.

    'er y' go.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    And you would think GM could come up with a fuel pump that wouldn't cost upwards of $1,000 to replace in the Suburban/Tahoe.

    Agreed!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    ramjet2 said: We also bought an '86 Sub (diesel) new and drove it for 256k miles but it needed an engine transplant at 160k, sadly
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Unlike the Europeans, Detroit never learned how to build a good passenger car/SUV diesel. At 160K miles European diesels are just starting to get broken in.
  • 666mike666mike Posts: 8
    AHH? WELL MY 2001 SUBURBAN 4X4 AS WELL HAS 89,000 MILES AND THE ONLY REPAIRS I HAVE DONE IS THE AC COMPRESOR THATS IT AND ITS BEEN A NICE TO DRIVE SUV AND THANKS TO THIS FORUMS IM BENN ABLE TO GET A COUPLE OF POINTER SO THANKS FOR THE COMMENT.

    HAPPY MOTORING :shades:
  • steve890steve890 Posts: 1
    1993 4x4 K1500. 315,000 miles and still going. 3 A/C compressors, countless alternators, 3 radiators, 1 transmission at 280,000.

    No oil leaks or burning oil.

    Change oil every 3,000.
    Change trans fluid before and after tow season.

    Family driver

    K&N air filter
    Thorley headers
    3" exhaust
    Jet performance chip
    trans cooler.
  • valley64valley64 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 burban, it has 133500 miles on it. I had my transmission pump replaced recently. I would like to know why my service engine light stays on. The technician got it to go off fat 24 hours, back on again, I notice that in the am. it idles some and the service engine soon light blinks. I usually let it run for a while and take off, then it stops blinking but stays on.
  • 666mike666mike Posts: 8
    Hi valley64, well the service engine problem its maybe that you need to reset the light, drivers manual indicate step by step on how to do it, if that dont fixed the problem its maybe a electrical problem.

    Happy Motoring, hope the Bur ban's give us thousand's of more miles.
    :shades:
  • Figured I'd renew this thread.

    As for me...
    I have a 2003 92k mile 5.3L gas LT Burb 4x4, no catastrophic issues so far - but the vehicle has been far from trouble free.

    The issues have been: Fuel pump at 40k and again at 82k (both resulting in the vehicle having to be towed-in); speedo panel replacement (on GM's dime) at 67k; leaky CV boot replaced at 78k and that's pretty much it other than routine maintenance. Oil changes have been on more frequent intervals than the GM Oil Life System (OLS) call for, although I am considering going now to a synth and running the oil much longer miles.

    Looking ahead to 100k, I'm figuring on doing the plugs and maybe converting to Mobil1. But not sure about that.

    The Chevy dealer (who I see at church) is bugging me to death for buy one of his leftover 2009's. Deals are pretty agressive, but still close to $42k for a moderately-equipped LT. It's about $10k off the window sticker.

    So, I am weighing my options - go forward for another 100k, no warranty taking my chances? Or, trade it for a new 2009 with less equipment and a payment for 5 more years. The 2003 still drives great and is kept inside at work and home, so it still "seems" pretty new.

    I'd really love see this thread grow with a lot more information. In the new economy, surely lots of us are considering running our older vehicles longer.

    How about the rest of you? What's your high mileage experience. Better to keep a Burb to 200K? Better to unload it at 100k for a new one?

    Any other thoughts about going long miles in the 2000-2006 5.3L Burb?

    Brad
  • Well Brad,

    All depends, mine is all ready 100 thousand miles on it is a 2001 4x4 LT auto ride, this one has all the godyes in it, and something similar to this is like you said, here in south California is over 45 grands so never mind I will keep mine until the wheels fall of, so far has been a very nice and comfortable SUV on and off road is very good, I normally go off road maybe 2 or 3 times a month pulling a 16 ft utility trailer with maybe 5,000 lbs on it and I can go up hill down hill go up on a normal step hill (not a extreme incline or step) but a pretty decent one and I haven't got any problem yet only one A/C condenser that's it, and my hopes are 200 to 250 thousand miles out of the 5.3 liter engine, the oil I used to put in it was mobil one but since 88,000 miles I made the change to Ams oil which has been really good if you know your vehicle you feel the difference (mine is all around stock, only the tires are mud terrain) so well see how this conversation go's on.

    GOOD LUCK ON THAT BURBAN..........
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    So, I am weighing my options - go forward for another 100k, no warranty taking my chances? Or, trade it for a new 2009 with less equipment and a payment for 5 more years.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    Dollar wise this is a no-brainer....keep your current vehicle. 5 years of car payments will cover a lot of repairs on your 2003...and chances are those repairs will be far less than the car payments as you run up another 100k miles...and at that time you will have a vehicle that is still worth some money so you can trade it in or sell it and start over. Remember, it is the depreciation that is the biggest cost factor of owning a vehicle, not repairs.
  • Good points Rockman and thanks much for the reply. Think that's what I've decided to do (99%) sure. I did demo a 2009 for a weekend and it's really nice - but so cotton-picking expensive - especially given the new economy. Honestly, I've never kept a vechicle past 100k (other than one time and that was German-made Diesel car 15 year ago - different animal, trouble free until about 200k)

    Thanks again.
    B
  • I bought my 99' burban 4 yrs ago with bout 88k on her. I now spun her to 200000 with mostly mainteance repairs, brakes,oil ect. The biggest job was my intake manifold gasket job, had coolant running into my crankcase. The mechanic that pdid the job had to do it twice, because the kid that worked on it didn't use enough sealant across the top of the block. needless to say he didn't make much money on that job, as it was warrentied work. Anyway i'm all for the high mileage, its just a number. Maintenance costs definitely outway the monthly payment, for me anyway. 95 percent of the work i do myself so that helps out also. Can't trust to many guys to work on your cars anymore. Good luck!
  • I have a 99 burb with 202000 mile. Bought it with 88000 on her and have done regular maintenance on it. The biggest problem were the intake manifold gaskets, and just last week the distributor burnt out. My ABS malfunctions but i leave the module unplugged, at inspection i plug it back in and noone knows the difference. The truck has its quirks with the service engine light, but nothing i cant work around. Looking to get my next 50000 miles on it now.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Certainly got more than your money's worth out of it....
  • I have a '99 Suburban with 132k on it. I'm trying to change the spark plugs. Is there any special tool or technique to remove them? The wires seem to be quite difficult to remove.
  • I have a 2001 4x4 Tahoe LS with over 185,000 on her. She has been all over the US and into Canada, sometimes pulling a boat, sometimes pulling a camper, sometimes just loaded with kids and ball equipment and on the daily commute and back and forth to out of town schools and athletic events and vacations. She is the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. We're having some gas gauge issues these days, but other than that, just like her predecessors a 1991 Suburban (stolen with nearly 200,000 miles) and the 1985 Suburban (traded with only 105,000) she starts every time and takes good care of her family. Can you tell we love the Taheezie?
  • No special tool just a 5/8 plug socket and ratchet maybe an extention. The wires are hard to pull off because they have not been off probably since they were new. Grab the boot of the wire and give it a twist first to free it up frome the porcelin on the plug.
  • ikie1ikie1 Posts: 2
    I need help! I have a 1993 suburban with 387.000 plus miles. I need to know what the timing is. The under hood sticker that has that information is gone. If someone would look at theirs I would appreciate it. Thanks.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    387K miles........I think it is 'time' to get a new one.

    I don't have any manuals for that vehicle, but you are due a hearty congrats for getting that kind of mileage!
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