Chevrolet Avalanche Care and Maintenance

stockmutstockmut Member Posts: 21
I just bought a 4WD Avalanche and am planning on buying an extended warranty since it is a new model and was wondering if anyone else had purchased one and how much it cost.



  • braddugganbradduggan Member Posts: 3
    The dealer I got mine from tried to sell me a 7 year 75,000 mile warranty that was about $100 a month, since the drive train is the same as the suburban and I have had good luck with past GM trucks and Suburbans I thought the money would be better spent else ware.
  • aeric1aeric1 Member Posts: 5
    I have already put a black rubber mark on one of the hard cover pieces, and am wondering if anyone knows what would be the best cleaner for this?
  • markiiimarkiii Member Posts: 21
    I paid for the 7yr., 75000mi coverage. Cost me about $1300 with some hagglin', I had paid $900 for 5yrs, 75K on my Jeep Grand and it paid off. Hestitated because of the proven components but went for it anyway because of the past experience and what seemed like a reasonable increase in cost given the timeframe and value of the vehicle...time will tell as always.

    My cover had a bird**** stain that must have been from the transport from Mexico. Didn't notice it until I got home. They had tried to remove it but failed. It's still very noticable if you're tall enough to see the top deck. I plan on having them try again when I take it in for the first time. I believe Ryan mentioned "303 protectant" on the main site..not sure if that's GM or what. I'll check into it. Bummer about the biff up.
  • investedinvested Member Posts: 36
    Has anyone waxed their new AV yet? I was wondering if you get wax on the cladding if it is difficult to remove. I have a 96 GMC Sierra and when you get any wax on the door or tailgate handles it is very difficult to get off and always leaves a white residue on the handles, the cladding seems to have the same type of texture as my handles.
  • markiiimarkiii Member Posts: 21
    My dealer told me when I picked up my AV.. "DO NOT GET WAX ON THE CLADDING, IT WON'T COME OFF". I've haven't hand washed any of my vehicles for years, always get decent protection from frequent carwashes.
    Anybody know more about 303 protectant?
  • mlm4mlm4 Member Posts: 401
    I don't (yet) own an Avalanche (not ready to give up my '99 2-Door Tahoe), but I've seen them at auto shows and recently a few on the road and now my supermarket has one on display (not sure why - there doesn't appear to be any promotion - need to ask the manager) - and I'm intrigued. I'm warming up to the styling and I really like the feature content. I like the body cladding because it is much more durable than a painted surface.
    I realize that it is too soon to know for sure, but one of my concerns is maintenance of all that body cladding and plastic trim. I'm afraid it will fade over time (especially in the Florida sunshine). If I go out into the parking lot I can find late-model Cherokees and CR-Vs and the like with once black plastic parts that are now approaching a very light grey. Thoughts?
  • investedinvested Member Posts: 36
    I too share your concerns about the cladding over time. I love the aggressive look that it gives the AV though and the protection against door dings in parking lots and rock chips ect. It just doesn't seem to look as tough without it. I was comparing it to the Cadillac Escalade EXT which Edmunds just did a write up about on their home page and the AV's front end and with the cladding definitely looks better.

    I did call Chevy about it and they said that the cladding is included in the 3 yr. warranty. I guess that is a decent amount of time to test it. Someone on the board recommended 303 protectant and I did find their website and go to it. It does seem to be something that will protect the cladding from the elements. I ordered a sample package of all of their products for $5.00 to cover the shipping I am waiting for it to arrive. That seems to be the only alternative - to find a good product for it. I did notice quite a few brand new trucks and SUV's on the road by various car makers and they all seem to have some body cladding on them. I guess that is the way it is going. As far as looks go I really think people are just unsure of the unfamiliar. They are all coming around though as you can see, even most people I talked to who didn't like the looks at first now say it is growing on them. Some people can't handle too much change at once, but after everyone sees all that it is capable of they are speechless and agree that it is a very cool concept. To me to have the best of both worlds (truck & SUV) and an awesome ride is worth it.
  • markiiimarkiii Member Posts: 21
    Can anybody explain why they feel Armor All is so bad?
    I had great luck with it on my Jeep Grand plastic, it always brought it back to like new. Sure, it would fade off with washing, but it never did damage I could notice over 7+yrs. I get more snow than sun so maybe the fading didn't show up? I checked on the 303 (thanks for the website info) but I'd never heard of it before and don't know why to switch.

  • frankfx1frankfx1 Member Posts: 14
    To drone on about the cladding some more.... this gray plastic body panel treatment is
    not new. The Jeep uses it on the lower body panels and it seems to stand up to the
    years, but the AV has plastic on the top side roll bar and also on the bed covers. I
    wonder if it will stand up to the sun and the snow? It would be really depressing to
    have a faded truck after a couple of years. I also wonder about rattling panels after
    the years go by. I would hope that Chevy has that under control. Since the AV is so
    new, I think many folks are on the fence over this issue (cladding).

    On another subject, judging from the # of AV's I see on road here in SF bay area
    sales are a little sluggish (I have seen 3 over the last few weeks). I wonder how
    sales are really going? Any chevy marketing folks on-line:)

  • fpmikefpmike Member Posts: 21
    There is a bit of information regarding the material and longevity of the cladding on the Avalanche Pickup discussion group. See message #539. Scroll throug the history of that discussion for lots of insights and opinions.
  • jtberry45jtberry45 Member Posts: 1
    Ive read many post concerning the body cladding. I too am concerned. Not only on whether or not the sun will hurt it or even if wax will stain it but what about the finish beneath the cladding?

    Do you just not worry about it ? Hmm,, anyway here is an interesting link from the folks that made that cladding stuff.
  • timfarntimfarn Member Posts: 289
    Unsure as to who made the cladding, but these folks did the hard covers and storage units.
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    Its just a plastic. Wash it. Dry it. Protect it. Repeat as required.

    Whats the big deal?

    Think of it as less paint to wax.

    I just washed mine. Less time to wash the Avalanche than my Tahoe.
  • spike1966spike1966 Member Posts: 6
    Yes its just plastic. Its what makes the look of the vehilce. If you wanted color coded bumpers etc...then you should have waited for the Cadillac Escalade EXT...and about 10K more!
  • robbins_robbins_ Member Posts: 37
    Ok all, I have a Z71 Av and want to know what everyone is running for tire pressure. The door panel indicates 30psi, but what are you running? Someone over at was asking and I was wondering myself. Please indicate the type of Av (Z71, Z66, STD 4WD or STD 2WD) in your response. BTW I am currently running 30PSI on a Z71.

  • showme1showme1 Member Posts: 38
    Bear, I know,I know, the Manual and door says 30PSI but no self respecting guy can read/follow the manual!! I am running 35 PSI cold as I have always found 35 or 36 PSI to get the flattest wear on the tire with a tread depth gauge. I asked this question in one of the other post some time ago and was shamed into conformity to read the book. I also pump up the rear tires to 40 PSI when pulling a trailer with hitch weight for cooler tire run temp and better stability.

    My AV is a 2wd Z-66. Lower tire pressure yeilds better ride, shorter tire life. Higher pressure stiffens the ride, but lenthens tire life.


    PS. I called a couple of Goodforayear Dealers and they said to use what was in the book or on the door.
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    I used a polymer wax system called Zainos. you can also try Klasse products they are similar.

    They do not leave any haze on the plastic and hell you can coat the plastic cladding with it too for added protection. I didn't.

    I used a plastic/tire dressing by Zainos for the cladding. The 303 is a good product but I prefer a bit more shine. The Zainos gives a nice new satin finish.
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    Try a plastic cleaner first and let it sit. If that does not work try Eiffen Fabrik Hi Intensity Cleaner. again let them both sit. If that does not work try rubbing alcohol.

    Always go from least harmful to most harmful to lessen any chance of damage.

    When clean. Then I would wash whole truck and than protect panels/plastic with a UV plastic/vinyl/tire dressing like 303 or Zainos or other. DO not use any product with Silicone in it since it is bad for plastics and attracts dirt.

    I hope this helped. For more cleaning tips search
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    If you want to talk about Zaino, take a look at this discussion in Maintenance & Repair!

    Owner's Clubs

  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Check out the new Maintenance Guide! Link is provided in the Additional Resource Box.

    Owner's Clubs
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    The Avalanche isn't listed in the Maintenance guide yet. Do you know when it will be?
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    Sorry about the car care tips but the question was asked and I did post about other brands. I meant no harm but, I meant to inform on how I clean so others can decide for themselves.

    Detailing the Avalanche is different then most vehicles due to the plastic and midgate. I was just trying to inform a fellow owner of what I do and the minimum problems I have.

    Now back to the greatest vehicle ever!
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    I've asked and am waiting for a reply. Hope to hear soon!

    Re: car care tips - No problem! :-) I just thought someone might be interested in reading all the vast Zaino knowledge here in the Town Hall.

    Owner's Clubs
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Not really a precise answer, but it's the only one I've got.

    "2002 model year vehicles are being added as the scheduled maintenance information becomes available. The Avalanche will be added in the near future."

    Owner's Clubs
  • cuss1cuss1 Member 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!
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    I installed the molded mud flaps, the window vents, and the bug deflector. I like the look very much. I bought it from the GMPARTS and it is all available as a kit really cheap.

    I have had no problems and I love it.
  • investedinvested Member Posts: 36
    Same here. I have the molded mud flaps and they look great and blend in perfectly with the cladding.

    I also love my AV and have had no problems with it and I have had mine since July.
  • avalanchemikeavalanchemike Member Posts: 1
    It sounds like a few people have used 303 on the cladding and have found it to work well. My only question is, where can I find the stuff? I went to Pep Boys, Auto Zone, K.-mart, and several other stores. Nobody carries the stuff.
    Does anyone know of a common store the carries 303? It should be located with the other protectants, right?
    Are there any other products that anyone has actually tried on the cladding and like?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    I've asked another member, Mr. Detailer, your question. Hopefully, he will drop by soon with some helpful info.

    Owner's Clubs
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179 They sell it online and at a few distributors but not many. West Marine carries it as well I think.

    I suggest buying it from their website. It is expensive and there are other UV protectants out there.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    mrdetailer "Subaru Crew - Cleaning Interior & Exterior Surfaces" Nov 2, 2001 10:48am

    Here is more info for 303, courtesy of mrdetailer.

    Owner's Clubs
  • fastz28fastz28 Member Posts: 19
    Anybody have pictures of AV with mudflaps, bug deflector, and window vents?

  • darkeyedarkeye Member Posts: 36
    Yes, check the pictures forum and follow the links.
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    Does anyone have any problems yet?

    I have NONE after 4.5k miles.

    If interested I have my original luggage rack in the bed unopened. I have not had it installed by the dealer yet. Not sure if I want it installed either. Anyone interested speak up.
  • tabberkltabberkl Member Posts: 1
    What is the proper procedure for re-seting the "Change Engine Oil" message in the message center. The procedure in the owners manual does not appear to work.

  • JvodkaJvodka Member Posts: 5
    Turn key forward, do not start engine.
    press pedal (accelerator) 6 times as fast as you can. turn key to off, and your done.
    When you start your engine light SHOULD be gone.
  • txyank1txyank1 Member Posts: 1,010
    the manual states 3 times in 5 seconds, which has always worked for me. Maybe it should say "at least 3 times".
  • cuss1cuss1 Member Posts: 17
    I followed the instructions in the manual (3 times) - worked fine - just give the indicator a few seconds to flash once you've floored the accelerator 3 times.
  • cuss1cuss1 Member Posts: 17
    Have you noticed now that we have salty spray on winter roads that the engine compartment gets really dirty? Other vehicles I own(ed) have a gasket at the front lip of the hood to seal the salt spray from entering the engine compartment. I suppose I could fabricate a similar gasket. Why did Chevy cut yet another corner?

    Would the GM Bug Shield cover the hood / grill gap and block all of that spray from entering the engine compartment?
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    I have not noticed any salt under my hood but I live in a snowless state.

    I do notice some dead bugs once in a while but they wash off easily enough.
  • timfarntimfarn Member Posts: 289
    I've got the deflector and it doesn't stop the mess under the hood. The insulation on the underside of the hood was soaked after the last snow.
  • frulefrule Member Posts: 82
    I have a 5.3l Avy and recently changed the oil for the first time(to Mobil 1).It took 7 quarts for oil/filter!My pressure gauge typically reads 60 psi when underway.So,is the dipstick correct?Six quarts didn't even show on the stick on perfectly level ground.Any opinions?........Thanks!
  • timfarntimfarn Member Posts: 289
    takes mine about 3/4 through the add mark. I just put in the 6 and go. 60# at 2,000 RPM and just under 50# at idle.
  • metalgearmetalgear Member Posts: 8
    Does anybody know if chevy uses a special break-in oil? This was the case with my VW VR6 GTI. VW said to go the full 5000 miles for the first oil change. I'm from the old school of building motors and getting that oil out ASAP along with any build residue,metal shavings etc.,also any opinions on how many miles before switching to synthetic oil?
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    I do not think they use a special oil as I have not read anything about it in the manual.

    I changed mine at 3k.
  • whitevette01whitevette01 Member Posts: 79
    Read through some of the post. I may have missed
    it but didn't see any discussion on washing the

    Just washed the truck for first time since took
    delivery in Oct. A light mist fell this morning
    so was not a heavy coating of road film.

    With a sponge and car wash it was hard to
    clean. Is this 303 item people are talking
    about a wash or wax. Is the cladding designed to be cleaned with a stiff brush. The would give
    reason for smooth cladding.
  • ygmnygmn Member Posts: 179
    303 is a protectant.

    I use wash soap and a wash brush like some use on their paint for the cladding and have had no problems cleaning.
  • slayer69slayer69 Member Posts: 18
  • johnnycat8johnnycat8 Member Posts: 12
    its located on the drivers valve cover in the rear if your having the oil smoke problem ask your chevy parts department for the restricted pvc valve they may have to ask the service department for the part number tell them their is a service bulliten out on this problem it works i have two avalanches and have had to do this to both..
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