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Chevrolet Avalanche Problems & Solutions



  • ropdropd Posts: 6
    My Av Z-71 is only about one week old and I love it. Only problem is I didn't read the fine print. After looking at 3 different units I was told by the salesman all three were the same except for color and side step and roof rack combinations. I then picked the one that had what I wanted. Yesterday, after realizing my mileage did not seem quite in line with what I had been reading in these chats, I checked the sticker and discovered the rear end was a 4.10 not the 3.73 that was on the first unit I test drove and the gearing I wanted. Can anybody tell me what increase I might get by dropping back to the 3.73 and how much the changeover might cost at Chevy? I'm also going to contact the dealer and do a little complaining but probably to no avail. After all, it was right there on the window for me to read.
  • Teriabel
    I have scheduled to leave my AV at the dealership next Tuesday after work, so they will experience the white smoke when they start it up in the morning. I reminded the service rep about the mechanical switch or relay noise too. I will keep you updated.

    The 4.10s will make your RPMs higher at highway speeds, it will allow for more torque when towing up hills and the lower gear ratio will alow for a more controlled drive of tough terrain. The 4.10 will also be good if you decide to put bigger tires on your AV. I use to have a jeep with a 4.56:1 ratio and a 4:1 transfer case. With the stock tranny, I was at roughly 90:1 ratio. I'm not a rocket scientist but I think the engine revolves 90 times for every one complete turn of the wheel. Your gas mileage will suffer a bit. I hope this helps..
    Black AV Z-71
  • ropdropd Posts: 6

    Thanks for the input. My boat and trailer weigh in at around 6,000 lbs. so I'm not so concerned with that end. My old Suburban had a 3.73 axle with the 454 engine and had no problem. My main concern is the mileage. I don't tow the boat that often but the truck is used every day to and from work. I'm just trying to decide if the fuel savings would justify re-doing the gears.
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    have to buy a lot of gas over a lot of years to offset the cost of the change. I'd be surprised if it made more than a couple mpg difference. But have nothing factual to base it on.
  • Sine I got my Avalance two things have been bothering me.

    One...after washing the vehicle I constantly have water drips from the mirrors. Even after having it sit for 5-6 hours, the drips still came down. If you drive the vehicle after washing...the drips make an awful streak down the sides of the doors. Has anyone come across a way of getting rid of the excess water after washing? I know its petty...but I have the indigo blue and it shows everything.

    Two...I know that after I own the vehicle longer than a week this will change...but I keep looking for my temperature and compass in that useless compartment above the rearview mirror...for some reason that black hole is where my eyes wander to...I have the sunroof so the upper console may be different for non-sunroof owners. I would appreciate any and all comments!
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    so I have the same water streak problem. I grumble and live with it. I can think of two things neither of which I've tried. Blow the water out with an air gun. Wrap a "baggie" around the mirrors before you wash the vehicle and then wash them separately without a lot of water. Another thing that's always bugged the crap out of me is how for two days after you you've washed it or it rains when you put the window down it comes back up streaked with water. Never had that problem on the old body style.
  • I have the same problem with the dripping water. I have the indigo blue also. I use a shammy cloth to get some of the water out under the mirrors. If you have a water softener, remember to bypass it because the salt spots when they dry really shows on the indigo blue.

    I also thought that black hole was the temp and compass until I put my finger in it and said oh, that's what that is. Before that I was pushing on the homelink buttons trying to get the temp to come up. Duh.

    I also have installed the mud flapps and running boards which seem to keep some road dirt and dust off the sides now.

  • timfarntimfarn Posts: 289
    Did you see my post (31) on the hood closing? What does it take to close yours? I'm trying to figure out if mine needs adjusted from other owners' experience.

    I had the streaks on my Indigo, handwash with very little water worked, covering per txyank may be best.
  • Go over to the forum. They have a "Show Car & Detailing" group with lots of good discussion about washing and detailing.
    One thing everyone there seem to make use of is "Leaf Blowers" for drying. Most of these guys have Black or other dark colored vehicles that water spots "wreak havoc" with. The other tip with water spots is "vinegar" to remove the mineral deposits.

    Hope this helps
    Brad in SoCal
  • Mine is the same way, you need to really slam it to get it closed. I also had a small dent in the hood. I think you are right that this stiffer closure requirement may have lead to this. I made them remove the dent, and anytime I go in for service I check before I leave for any new ones.

  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    There's probably a lot more peole with leaf blowers than with compressed air tanks.
  • Wow...the leaf blower is a great idea. If it doesn't rain tomorrow I will try it out and let you all know how it worked for me.
  • I too have to give mine a good push down to close it. Don't have to SLAM it, but takes more than a drop from 10" to close. My right door also takes a little extra effort to close per my wife. Maybe all the rubber gaskets?

    Are any of you experiencing a slight rough idle after vehicle warmed up? I have tried mine both with and without AC on, still idles just a touch rough. I am going to get it in next week to have dealer check it out as soon as I get my other car back from shop.

    One other thing, very early on in the AV posts, people were talking of a "Clunk" when turning to left with their Rados. I have experienced this twice in my AV, both at a dead stop, turning left at a stop sign/light. Anyone else?

    I was told from sales department, get your AV lined up and tires balanced by service BEFORE 7500 miles. Up to that limit, service will take care of it, after, it is your baby. FYI
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    to do an alignment on my '96. Unless it's changed, the mileage limit that they go by is a Dealer thing. I heard 3 different limits from 3 diff. Dealers. Longest was 11K miles. As I recall 7,000 was the shortest.
  • ropdropd Posts: 6
    I haven't had any problems with the hood. I just give it a gentle tug from the complete open position and it latches tight. I've never even had to touch the top of the hood itself. Kinda gives the same dull thud as the doors. This may seem simplistic but I noticed some adjustable bumpers on either side of the radiator. Has anybody tried adjusting these. I'm not going to mess with mine (knock on wood)

  • showme1showme1 Posts: 38
    Hey all. Just a word to the wiser, use care to haul items such that they do not rub the rain gutters on the sides of the bed. I moved some items today, one of which rubbed the gutter and broke it. I keep a couple of short 2x4 blocks in the side pockets for just such occasions to block the item out away from the gutter by putting the 2x4 on the bed floor, thus holding the tall item out away from the side of the bed. Guess I miscalculated today. Roger.
  • I have knocked mine off more than once with large loads, but they always just pop back in. I found the platic they are made out of very pliable and most of the time it just bends (returns to shape when the load is off). Thanks for the tip, guess I need to be more careful.

  • While giving my "1800 on the odometer" Av a bath the other day, I was about to clean the rear window and to my horror there is a 1 inch space (crack)on the piece of plastic which frames the glass. I doubt I have had that window out twice. Haven't got hold of the Dealer yet. It would appear that the frame was too tight and maybe the heat popped it. Anyone else have any problems like this?
  • I was cleaning the inside of my AV when I noticed a crack on the trim around the rear inside glass near the release handle on the passenger side!
    I am afraid for the dealer to remove or replace the panel as it might not ever fit the same. I will wait and see if it becomes a bulletin or just leave it as is.
  • Thanks for the reply INVESTED. Same type of crack but on the drivers side. Naturally dealer had not seen one on the Av, but said it looked like ones on the sliding rear windows on trucks. He ordered me a new one and left the impression it would be covered by warranty. With two in the same place I'll bet there will be more. I will keep you posted. Mine does not look like it will leak till a new one arrives.
  • dex1dex1 Posts: 3
    Make that three. I just picked up my Avalanche this afternoon and when I got it home, there was a crack in the molding around the glass on the drivers side. Looks to me like it was incorrectly sized, heated up and cracked. I'm taking it back tomorrow.
  • cuss1cuss1 Posts: 17
    Will pick up an AV this Friday. From the GM literature, there appears to be a MOLDED and perhaps a REGULAR - flexible mudflap. I'll have the running boards and would like you opinion on which flap works best. I have used factory molded flaps on other vehicles and found they hold up great.

    PS - getting a little concerned about purchasing the AV versus leasing now that I have read some of these postings. Any comments on overall quality and you general experience welcomed!
  • I bought a Z71 Avalanche about a month ago, and I can easily say it is the best vehicle I have ever had. The dealer opted to install mudflaps for free and asked if I wanted the molded splash guards instead for $65. I got the splash guards because they matched the molding however, I regret this now. I went off road a few weeks ago and every rock and tree I drove over would catch on the splash guards and rip out a few of the screws. If you don't plan on doing off road I would recommend them.

    I would reccomend purchasing because of the low interest rates available.
  • hurst3hurst3 Posts: 3
    I just took my Av into the dealer to check out why I'm only getting 13 miles per gallon on the street and the highway. They stated that the computer did not see anything wrong. I also had a load humming noise when I had my foot lightly on the accelerator pedal. They found that they need to order a Throttle Body! It only has 4000 miles. They stated that it is too new to be able to give me a reason for the poor gas milage. Does anyone think that it could be the Throttle Body that is causing the poor gas milage!!!!!!

    Thanks Bill
  • Hey Bill,
    I though that I had a problem as well with the gas mileage, I was having problems getting anything over 13MPG (Z71 Av). I thought that I was driving a good mix of highway and city (about 50/50). What I found is that most, if not all, my trips never exceeded 15 miles. This past week I took the Av on a long 500+ mile trip, all highway at 75 miles per hour average. The mileage was over 18.5mpg running with a full passenger load and cargo. My guess is that getting a 6000lb truck moving takes more gas that expected, but once rolling seems to do ok.

  • Anyone else finding their new Avalanche to be an oil burning piece of crap? Mine used 9 quarts of oil on a recent 4000 mile trip. I actually had to stop more often to add oil than for gas!

    GM's response so far has been embarrassing. First they made me leave it at the dealership for an entire day so the mechanic could "check out" the PCV valve. They would not let him order the "special" new valve for it until after this. On my second visit they installed the new valve which was just an empty PCV housing (no valve) with a smaller orifice.

    After this, it started visibly burning oil. Before it just used it but didn't smoke. Now it throws a huge cloud of blue smoke when you start it. GM's response this time is to pull the heads off and install new valves (maybe just do the valves on one side). Basically, they are just guessing as to the cause but they don't seem to mind wasting my time and experimenting on my vehicle while they do so.
  • Green22 - I haven't had the issue myself, but I do know someone else who was burning oil with smoke at startup. The dealer had to replace the lifters to fix it. The truck runs clean now. Hope that helps. Snuffy '92
  • I bought my Avalanche almost a week ago, and there just isn't enough time in the day to drive that thing. It is so fun. I got the 1500 Z71 with the offroad package and fully loaded. I also put in a custom flip down tv and vcr(wanted dvd but this was on clearence) and a playstation. I find the leater seets very comfortable. I haven't had any problems with the hood or anything else so far. Knock on wood.
  • Took the AV in for its first dealership visit. They will align and balance tires if you have in excess of 500 miles but less than 7,500 miles under warrenty. Mine is getting both as we speak. Also, if yours goes into the shop for any reason, ask them to update the computer for the engine as there have been at least (6) upgrades since I purchased mine in July. They think I'll get a little better MPG with the updates and smooth the idle up a little.

  • Per the dealer Friday, there have been no updates yet but they are comming out with one to address cold start-up on the engine. My AV was 1" too low on the left front suspension and camber was out some on the front end. I had noticed it would bottem over a severe bump on left front while driving and also the suspension bumper has been "hit" a few times. They did say that more than a few came in with the left side low on ride height. FYI

    I had an ealier post about a "clunk" from the left front when turning sharply to the left. They found it as one of the cross members needed to be tightened and lubed. Mine is a 2wdr and apparently, all AVs are built on a 4X4 frame with 4x4 cross members. The 2wdr has an extra cross member and that was where they found the "clunk". All is well.

    Both front doors were also adjusted to address a little wind noise. This too had been an issue on other AVs they had come back to the shop. Still a GREAT ride!

This discussion has been closed.