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Chevrolet Avalanche Problems & Solutions



  • brucecr_msbrucecr_ms Posts: 47
    So, the water in INSIDE the cab? If so, first make sure the midgate is completely closed and the crossbar (top of midgate) is evenly closed. If so, then the gasket is leaking. The problem is known but not too common (mine had it). It's replaced free under warrantee.

    You can buy the hard covers and latching rails (need them too if you’re converting from a softwcover) at any dealer. I’ve also seen them on online auctions sites from time-to-time (normal cautions apply hear). Be prepared, they aren’t cheap.

    Enjoy your AV!
  • dssnuffydssnuffy Posts: 39

    DId you get your Av fixed and what was done? You're right that it is not a new problem. It seems to only happen to older trucks. Any one out there get a new one that burns oil?

    I've seen three fixes for the smoking avalanche. In most cases, replacing the PCV fixes the problem. If that doesn't work, replacing the lifters DOES fix the problem. I know of engine replacements that worked, but they worked because replacing the engine replaces those two parts. I don't want a dealer tearing out my engine for an oil consumption problem. I would rather burn oil.
  • b2cmub2cmu Posts: 3
    I purchased my 2002 Avalanche in September. The paint on the hood has begun to bubble, blister, and come off in a number of places. Any other AV owners experienced this problm My avalanche rattels at highway speeds under the drivers side dash. Ihave had it to the dealer three times with no fix yet.
  • No it's not fixed yet.....haven't had the chance to bring it in. Mine AVE used oil and smoked at start from right after about the first 100 miles. The distance i drove it home from where i bought it.......

    I still really like the vehicle Hope they fix it !
    I would be really disappointed to have to go thru a lawsuit to get it right. It's really a fine machine......but CHEVY ......let's get this stuff out with fewer problems like this.
  • Our Av, too, has little or no air flow on the driver's side and this past winter I wore my snow boots to keep my feet warm. The dealer said it is working according to specs. Any ideas
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    Sierra also has less than adequate air flow on Driver's side. I wonder if it has anything to do with the floor console vs bench seat and no console.
  • imaniguanaimaniguana Posts: 19
    I've also had my Av in to the dealer for inadequate driver side warm air flow. According to him, this is a characteristic of Suburbans and Avs. He said there is a fresh air vent located in the area that recirculates air. He claims the heater is unable to overcome the cold draft from this. If true, you'd think GM would have addressed this in the Suburbans.
  • b2cmub2cmu Posts: 3
    I brought my AV to the dealer for defective paint on the hood. I noticed in the dealers inventory all AV's had the paint problem on their hoods. The dealer is repainting the AV under warranty. The AV was also blowing blue smoke. T he dealer replaced the lifters and PCV valve based upon a technical bulletin GM has put out.
  • skiddingskidding Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 AV 1500 4x4 which was built in Dec. 2001. I have noticed in moderate to heavy breaking the rear wheels are sliding which I believe will be dangerous on slick roads. I bought the vehicle in May, 2002 and have not had the occasion to go through winter with it yet.
    Dealer service told me it was normal. They test drove a new AV off their lot and said it made the same skidding noise, so no problem. I assert the ABS should prevent this situation if it is working properly.

    Has anyone else noticed the rear wheels skidding on heavy or moderate breaking?
  • chrisgtpchrisgtp Posts: 3
    I'm in the market for a new av. Anyone know where I can get a list of the changes for '03????I want to know if it worth the wait or I should grab one now.
  • ygmnygmn Posts: 179
    There are other sites out there devoted to the AVY...Try searching for Avalanche Clubs on google or such...Most are located in North America....And they have info on the new 03 stuff I bet.
  • brucecr_msbrucecr_ms Posts: 47
    Here's the changes that have been documented in some form or another:

    What's New For 2003

    A whole lot of changes are coming for the 2003 Avalanche. The entire Chevrolet truck line up is getting a major interior facelift. The Silverado will get an Avalanche front clip and the Avalanche gets an exterior make over with darker cladding (pictured to the right). Here is what's new and what's gone in 2003.

    1500 Series - What's Gone

    Front passenger side airbags (now part of an option package)

    HD Trailering Equipment includes Class III trailering hitch platform and 7-pin wiring connector/housing (now optional)

    Deep tinted midgate glass (now part of an option package)

    Indigo Blue paint

    Forest Green paint

    Medium gray lower cladding, front bumper and rear bumper covers (color change)

    1500 Series - What's Been Added Standard

    Dark charcoal body-side cladding (medium gray deleted)

    Body color power folding heated power mirrors

    Driver information center with trip computer and message center

    Manual dual-zone climate control

    Dark Green Metallic is a new color for 2003

    Dark Gray Metallic is a new color for 2003 and matches the cladding

    Arrival Blue Metallic is a new color for 2003

    All new interior for 2003

    1500 Series - What's Been Changed

    Optional Z-66 package now adds deep tinted midgate glass

    Optional Z-71 package now adds deep tinted midgate glass

    Optional North Face Edition package now adds deep tinted midgate glass and engine block heater

    Optional front high-back reclining heated bucket seats now adds power adjustable pedals, rear seat audio controls and will be available with cloth or full leather

    Optional front high-back reclining bucket seats now adds power adjustable pedals, rear seat audio controls and will be available with cloth, sport leather or full leather

    Optional Driver's Convenience Package gets a face lift with auto dual-zone climate control, HomeLink universal garage door opener, power adjustable pedals, steering wheel mounted radio controls, power mirrors with integrated turn signals, ground illumination, and curb tilt - OnStar has been deleted and is now part of the Personal Security Package

    1500 Series - New Options and Packages

    AM/FM Stereo with 6-disc compact disc changer and Bose 8 speaker sound system

    Personal Security Package with front side-impact air bags, OnStar Safe & Sound service, and steering wheel mounted radio controls

    XM Satellite Digital Sound System

    HD Trailering Equipment package with Class III trailering hitch platform and 7-pin wiring connector/housing

    Rear Seat Entertainment System with DVD player, remote control, wireless headphones for rear passengers, auxiliary A/V jacks (not available in combination with power sunroof)

    Chrome tubular assist steps (4-WD only)

    2500 Series

    Although the North Face, Z-66 and Z-71 packages are not available on the 2500 series, all other option changes carry over the beefier Avalanche.

    Other Information

    The engine and transmission lineup remains the same in 2003. Horsepower and torque numbers also remain the same. The automatic transfer case is suppose to be improved and will offer slightly better gas mileage over the 2002 model. No information is available on interior colors but the headliner is now listed as being "slate" instead of "neutral" in color. There is a strong rumor that the North Face Edition interior will no longer be green with orange trim, but this is not confirmed. New pricing is not available at this time.

    Ordering A 2003 Avalanche

    Chevrolet dealers are accepting orders for 2003 Avalanches at this time although dealers do not have pricing available. Lead time is running eight to ten weeks with first delivery estimated on August 5, 2003.
  • b2cmub2cmu Posts: 3
    My 2002 AV was blowing blue smoke upon start up. I brought it into the dealer who advised there was a GM technical bulletin out advising them to take the engine cover off and view the lifters as the engine was started. If oil poured out the lifters needed to be replaced. If not a newly designed PCV valve had to be installed. I was advised that a new PCV valve was installed as the lifters appeared to be fine. When I picked up the vehicle within a few miles white smoke began to billow out of the exhaust and the engine rattled. I called the dealer who towed the vehicle in. I was advised after a week that the newly desiged PVC valve was the problem and when the old one was reinstalled no white smoke came out, however the blue smoke still was emitting upon start up. I was also advised that the Valve seals had been severly damaged and needed to be replace. I have advised the dealer in Fredericksbug, Va that I want the vehicle operating as designed (no blue smoke)or a new vehicle or engine. My AV is 6 months old with 12,000 miles
  • rudy331rudy331 Posts: 27
    My husband has a 2002 1500 Z71 which is almost a year old now. Just recently, we have had problems with the sunroof closing. This seems to only happen if the sunroof is fully opened. It tries to close but seems to be hung up. He has eventually gotten it closed by reaching up and grabbing it--once it reaches halfway it closes with no problem. Anybody else had a similar problem???
  • YES it's Fixed .......I think !!!! The cure for the smoking problem was determined to be the PCV valve and was replaced, the dealer has requested an appointment to check the consumption while it's in for the seat mechanism replacement for the creaking seat........ As far as i can tell the smoking is gone, oil consumption is down and it should be ok........BUT......I still hear a spark knock when i crank it up in the morning probably due to fouled plugs while the smoking was going on, i'm asking for a spark plug replacement and one more check on the valve guide seal and valve replacement bulletin to see if it was done properly. Some postings i have read say the bulletin says replace valves and seals and the pcv valve. as far as i know the only thing done to mine was the pcv valve was changed.

    thanks for all the postings it really helps to deal with service advisors who claim they never heard of such problems with av's in there experience. HUH !!! Don't believe it !! There are to damn many of these av's blowing smoke to not have heard of it. And it's amazing after showing these people the copies of the postings that all of a sudden my av is fixed....He he he !!
  • Hello,

    Read many post on the avalanche leaking even before I bought one. I now own one anyway. I have discovered something about the midgate that MAY be a solution to fixing many of the leaks encountered on the avalanche. When I first got the truck I checked for any wetness of signs of any leaks and found none. I drove the truck for a few weeks before actually converting it due to busy scedule. Before I converted it I inspected everything....every joint the midgate made with the surrounding seals, the window etc. Everything was nice and tight, and the window and the midgate bar had no play at all. I took the truck to the drive in and while there converted it so that we could hear the radio better out the back. I converted it back in the dark and all SEEMED to go well. The next day however I inspected the midgate and all the seals. There were small gaps around the edge of the window/midgate bar on the out side....I though "well shucks...looks like water could get in there!" I proceeded to check all the things I checked the day prior. I opened it back up and then closed it up again. Guess what, still had gaps. I looked closely at the gaps, and the 2 at the back window would leak water into the cab if water were to hit them. I followed the trail and the water would seep into the back down the "sides of the midgate" and wet the carpet and floor. Now I thought this odd....why were they sealed fine from the factory but after I converted it, there were gaps that were potential leaks? I figured it must be something I was doing wrong. Well guess what, it was.

    My inspection prior to opening the midgate had tight seals and the midgate bar and midgate had no play, nice and tight as I mentioned. After my twilight conversion and even several other conversions while inspecting and following leak trails, I discoverd this. When I closed the midgate, and put the back window back in, I noticed the back window now had some play in it, it was not tight. I'll bet it would even rattle while driving. I also noticed that the midgate bar also had some play in it. It was tight before. I assumed that maybe the latches came out of adjustment and this left the midgate and back window "loose". Well being the optimist I am, I figured that it could not have just "popped out" of adjustment so I took the old fassioned approach....I opened the midgate, then I slammed it shut harder than I had been doing in previous closings. Guess what? The midgate bar no longer had any play, same with the window...tighter than...well you was tight! The gaps on the outside at the bottom of the rear window were gone....and it passed the water test.

    So folks, before having the dealer replace seals or adjusting anything(which since they do not have experience doing it much can make your problem worst) check the seals and the midgate bar and midgate for "play" and check for gaps around the seals on the outside of the back window, then slam that darn midgate a good one (don't slam it into next week, but don't be a wuss about it either) and then re-check. The midgate bar and midgate should not move when you tug on it. This may indeed fix you leak problem.

    Hope this helps.

  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    (from a potential new Av owner - I'm looking). On Sunday I was nosing around and found an Av with the tailgate unlocked. It also takes a pretty healthy slam to close them. I hope that's because they seal tightly.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    The owners manual states that you have to give it avery firm closing effort as there is a big seal. If you use google and do a search for Avalanche you can find a club that has a ton of information on it including a owners manual for download.
  • grat1grat1 Posts: 4
    I am interested in purchasing an 03 avalanche.Has anyone actually used the 2wd version with traction control in snow,mud,ect.Unfortunately for 03 you can only get stabilitract on 2wd not offered on 4wd.I live on long island and need to now if traction control and stabilitrack will be ok for the winters here.
  • belljobelljo Posts: 15
    HELP! I've used my 4-wheel drive option twice, once in the parking lot at the dealer and again today...some 40K miles later. Works great as long as you drive in a straight line, try turning and it's like applying the brakes...this happens only to 4-Hi and 4-Lo , works great in Auto and 2-hi. Fluids are fine...any suggestions??
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    That is the reason you ARE NOT to use the four wheel drive on dry hard surfaces. It is made for snow, dirt trails and any other surface that allows for slippage. What you are getting is axle windup or the front end is binding. In 2 you are only using the rear wheels and auto there is a 40 front/60 rear drive which prevents the front end from binding. I run mine in 4 X 4 about once a month to keep it all lubed but only in a straight line or wait until there is a big rain storm which gives a little slippage.
  • belljobelljo Posts: 15

    Thanks for responding.....all is well.
  • After one year of no leaks, I discovered that my carpet was sopping wet from the left rear to the left front in my 2002 Avalanche. This followed a long, slow, three-day rain. Took it to the local dealer. After two weeks, they replaced the carpet, scratched the exterior paint, scratched the exterior vinyl, scratched the interior door trim vinyl and tore small holes in the vinyl of the left rear passenger door. First time it rained, the carpet was wet again. Took it back, and it sat in their parking lot for a week before I just went and got it. As I was leaving, they said all Avalanches leak, even the new ones on the lot and there was nothing they could do.
         Like Mark, I fiddled around with the bar, the window, and the lift gate. I parked it downhill and had my wife spray the back window with a garden hose. Sure enough, in came the water on the passenger side of the rear window and dribbled down onto the carpet. No leaks, however, around the lift gate. Since I've never removed the rear window in the year I've owned it, I got out the clear silicone caulk and caulked the rear window tight like an aquarium. No more leaks and I can still lower the lift gate for carrying sheets of plywood.
       So, take it to the dealer if you dare, and if all else fails, before the carpet rots, and the floor rusts through, seal that window shut.
         Oh yeah, I also had the tailgate fall open on the road giving me a few more gray hairs. The posters are right, you've really got to slam that tailgate a good one applying pressure on one side or the other.
         One thing I haven't seen posted yet is about the air conditioning. Both me and a friend had our air conditioning stop working in our 2002's after about a year because of a leaking valve. If your air conditioning seems like it's not as good as it used to be, have it checked before it stops altogether.
  • GSBGSB Posts: 3
    Bought my 02 AV in August 02 (4WD 3.73 rear). Best mileage to date is 16.6 mpg all highway (70-75 mph)for 300 miles. Most driving is mixed city/highway and averages 12.0 to 13.0 mpg which is way below the 15 mpg I expected for this type of driving. EPA rating is 13/17.

    I have towed a 4000 lb trailer and got about 12.5 mpg which I consider reasonable. However, the last three tanks of gas I have averaged about 10 mpg which I consider lousy. These tanks included a mix of city/highway with occasional auto 4WD selected (10-20% of driving time). Recent outside temps 25F to 35F.

    I'm looking for reasons for the low mileage. My AV is running smooth. No misses noted with good all around driveability. Could the front hubs be locked? What about an emissions controls system problem? Cold temps? Any ideas why my mileage is so lousy?
  • ygmnygmn Posts: 179
    LEAD foot come to mind.....Driving habits greatly effect gas mileage.....I would think an check engine light would come on if something wrong with engine fuel system......

    Check around for other forums...lots of people have posted about this problem...they have CHEVY ... trucks .... AVALANCHE ..... specifically .... FAN CLUB ... most are located in NORTH AMERICA ....

    WINK WINK......
  • ardanielsardaniels Posts: 16
    I have an '02 with 31K miles Z71 package. My wife is the main driver but the flexibility of this truck has been very desirable. Over the last weekend on a 1000+ mile run to N Calif and back in on & off rain we had water leak into the cab. Because of the rake of the truck it flowed into the driver section the worst. We had several other reasons to take it to the dealer for warranty issues ( replace front seat where material had begun to separate, noisy driver side power window and cracked seal on midgate window) and what they told us was that debris had accumulated in the natural drain between the midgate and the pick up bed. It was not draining fast enough so the reservoir ( that's what they called it ) filled up and overflowed into the cab. Sure enough with the rain we have had this winter the neighbors blooming pine tree had left enough debris to pile up under the serrated grate that covers the joint.

    Will have to wet vac and dry out the cab but there is no way to get down into the slot and technician at the dealership had no clue as the gas tank blocks access from the bottom.

    Wet weather climates beware. At least I can count on several months of sunshine to dry out the interior. I would caution every owner to inspect under the grate for debris
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    What did you expect when you bought this vehicle?

    Here are some of the reasons for your mileage:

    Huge vehicle size, high curb weight, huge engine, extra weight of the 4WD components, low rear end gear ratio, automatic transmission, and shoebox aerodynamics. Normal laws of pysics at work.

    If you want good fuel economy get a VW Jetta Wagon with a manual transmission and turbodiesel engine. It gets about 44 MPG in town and 50 MPG on the highway. You may not keep up with the Joneses with this car but you get good fuel economy (for a lot less money I might add).

    If your hubs were locked all the time, this would certainly have a big negative impact on fuel economy. I would also try different brands of fuel. I have found that not all gasoline formulations work the same in all engines. Some of my vehicles run the best and get best mileage on Chevron gas, for example.

    I am surprised that more people who must have a huge vehicle for whatever reason, are not looking at Silverado 1500 HD crew cab pickup as a practical alternative to Avalanche. It is cheaper, has four real doors and has even more heavy duty powertrain than Avalanche (6.0 liter engine and heavy duty 4 speed transmission with the tow package). It also has better quality cloth seats than Avalanche. I could not believe the lousy quality of the Avalanche seat cloth. At $ 38K, this vehicle's seats looked like those of an entry level Hyunday car. And I believe fuel economy of the 1500 HD truck is comparable to that of Avalanche (lousy either way).
  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    I didn't even like the long wheelbase of my x-cab, certainly didn't want to go longer. A 1500 2wd Avalanche DOES get better gas mileage than 2wd 1500HD. The Av rides soooo much better than a std. pickup. Personally I like the cloth in the Av better than the velcro seats in the Pickup. But it doesn't look quite as plush.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Does this model come standard with an 8.1 liter V8 big block engine as standard? What kind of fuel economy does this model get? Yes, I know, they do not have to show it on the sticker. But I can imagine that it might be in single digits for a 4X4 model.
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