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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
This discussion is for finding answers to your Suburban issues.

Steve, Host


  • suburknocksuburknock Member Posts: 8
    My knocking 8.1 2006 Suburban with 000,750 miles was being denied as a problem UNTIL I PROVED it was only 1 cylinder knocking at 1st start of day. One dealer who did not hear it said it sounded "normal" when "they started it in the A.M. Later in the day (4:30) P.M. when I went down and started it with the guy after per him it had not been started since early in that A.M. the service guy did hear the knock. He said that also is normal even though he did NOT hear it in the morning. SO no knock is normal and knocking is normal. All I could do was to look at him in disgust!
    The second dealer (place of purchase)heard the knock and would only check to see if there was a "bulletin". When there was not any bulletins they said too this was "normal". In frustration I disconnect 1 plug at a time and isolated the knock to ONLY 1 cylinder. It was the 3rd one back from the front on the passenger side. I described it in about 2 or 3 TYPED sentences and took it back to where I purchased it for the second time. Low and behold it did exactly what I said and when I said it would. After 30 seconds the knock started for about 30 more seconds. The "TECH" assistance people at GM I am told think possibly it is a wrist pin. I think they are going to put in a pressed pin. It's been at the dealer since last Monday May 15, 2006. They really did not want to inconvience me as this was going to take a while. I told them please KEEP IT/FIX IT I have another car. They are sticking to there story though in that if this does not cure knock it probably could be piston slapping due to design and they will "NOT" fix that and well you have 36,000 miles of guaranty. GM wonders why people buy japanese vehicles??????????
  • zekedzeked Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Chevy Sub, and when it is started the small speaker over the drivers head (OnStar?,Cell phone?) make a terrible growling noise. I am certain that it is this speaker, as I can put my hand on the cover and change the frequency/tone. It goes away in ablut 6 blocks.

    Anyone ever experience this? Probable cause?

  • aliasswamperaliasswamper Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Suburban less than a month old with 888 miles on it. It has from the beginning had a clunking, popping noise coming from under the front of the vehicle. It is getting worse. The dealer has kept the car for the past week. They said a Service Bulletin advised them to put washers in the front cross member. They did. Still clunking. Anybody have any experience with this problem? I asked them to remove the washers since they didn't help and therefore must not be needed. Clunking occurs only when stopping shifts the weight to the front of the vehicle. I feel that it is unsafe. I appreciate any suggestions.
  • aliasswamperaliasswamper Member Posts: 2
    I have read about problems with intermediate steering shafts in some other posts. Can somebody give me some details on this shaft. Where is it located? Exactly what is it? Is there more than one part to the steering shaft on 2006 Suburbans? Does the shaft have grease fitting or any other means to lubricate it? I have owned and worked on a bunch of cars but I have never came across a reference to an intermediate steering shaft. If there is a malfunction with the shaft, is it dangerous to drive the vehicle? Could it be causing the clunking noise on my new Suburban with only 888 miles on it. My dealer cannot seem to find the problem. I have described and given some details on it in a previous post. I welcome any thoughts and opinions on it. Thanks = = = Gary
  • st_erikkst_erikk Member Posts: 2
    I've looked at everything almost, and cannot seem to figure out why my 1983 Suburban Scottsdale won't start unless the Glow Plugs are cool. What would the solution be?
  • st_erikkst_erikk Member Posts: 2
    Let me be a bit more descriptive. After it starts the first time, once it's shut down, it won't start up again until the Glow light comes on, and then off again. Which takes more than an hour sometimes.
  • mavs1mavs1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Suburban that will not crank the first time. Sometimes I have to crank it 3 times before it starts. This happens more often when I am at or below a quarter tank of gas. I have been told that my fuel pump is going out. I do not want to spend over $200 for a fuel pump until I find out if this is what the problem is. How about a fuel pressure regulator? Could this cause the cranking problem?

  • wsp310wsp310 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Suburban Z71 with 5.3 and 58K miles. I started noticing a loud metallic rattle/knocking that was coming from under the vehicle between the engine and trans. Loud at start-up then quieting down as car warmed up. Great oil pressure (60#) and does not sound like a rod knocking or the piston slap I've heard about. I stopped at a friends shop and he thought it was the catylic converter on the Y-pipe. He said something about the inside failing and coming loose then rattling around till it heats up. Sounds like it's a $600.00 part before the additional 4 Oxy-sensers. Has anyone heard of this before? No ECM lights on dash and lost of power.

  • wsp310wsp310 Member Posts: 2
    Sorry about that. The truck has lots of power, not lost power. I want to take a 4000 mile round trip and would hate to be stuck somewhere with out of state plates and grumpy family if you know what I mean.

  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    My 2 cents FWIW.
    I'd lean to this being a probl with the fuel pump. I have heard of several people with fuel pump probs that show up when feul is low, but prob tends to be very intermittent regardless of fuel level.
    One question is do you hear the fuel pump come on every time you turn the key to on? I know the fuel pumps on Suburbans tend to by louder than most, so it should be easy for you to hear.
    Other possibilities are the main relay for the fuel pump, and the fuel pressure regulator. Unfortunately these probs can be very difficult to diagnose, especially if it an electrical short in the main relay, or elsewhere.
    I know personally, I just finally fixed my son's Accord that had a bad main relay. Unfortunately, I put a new fuel pump in first, as well as a pressure regulator.
  • edwin10edwin10 Member Posts: 32
    It sounds to me more like a heat shield that is loose,
    until it expands with the heat.

    If you have had no loss of power, then most likely not
    an internal issue with the converter.
  • edwin10edwin10 Member Posts: 32
    The unit above your head is a small fan motor, for the
    a/c. It is a temperature sensor.

    Most likely the sleve bearings are dirty/going bad.

    You could open it up and put a drop of very fine oil
    on it, or replace motor. It is very small.
  • suburknocksuburknock Member Posts: 8
    June 02, 2006-- After two dealers said knocking normal they replaced piston in engine. They admitted the "wristpin" was or had to much clearance. I am told in 2002 GM went to full floating wristpins. I drove it about 125 miles around the LA freeways to break in the new pin and piston. Time will tell. Sure hope this cures the knock. :) I will keep this board up to date.
  • lee42leelee42lee Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 Chevy Suburban 2500 LT 4X4 and the front air is cold but the rear isn't. I am aware of the problems some have with the air mix door so I removed the plastic and checked and the actuator and the door and working fine. What should the next thing to look for be? Thanks for any help.

  • hotrod763hotrod763 Member Posts: 1
    Have you found a solution to your problem? I had the compressor replaced and now the rear air is not cooling. The front cools fine. Any suggestions?
  • chevymomchevymom Member Posts: 1
    First the buckle housings broke off of the center row bucket-seat seatbelt buckles, then one of the passenger seatbelt buckles broke and had to be replaced. Now, one month later, the driver's seat belt buckle has broken! I am having to drive without a seatbelt. This is a seriously unacceptable problem. Would it do me any good to complain to Chevy? Or is it just me?
  • markncatmarkncat Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 2500 chevy suburban, that is doing the same thing, however the past 2 x I have took it in they siad they could not find anything wrong. I have heard about the fuel pump, however it's possible it could be the ignitor or coil. I will find out sometime this week if that is the case.
  • sck98_98sck98_98 Member Posts: 1
    I have a '99' Chevy Sub 2wd 5.7 Wont start when it rains or real high humidity. New fuel pump/fuel filter/dist. cap/plugs and wires; no help. 104000 miles HELP
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Check the "No Start" Problems discussion too.

    Stweve, Host
  • bearvicbearvic Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 Diesel Suburban that has been acting this way for quite some time as well. I already have a new fuel pump. Did you find out anything more? Finally couldn't get it started again tonight and had to be towed home.
  • suburknocksuburknock Member Posts: 8
    :( I understand there is a "BLACK BOX" device that in case of an accident could be used against the driver. DATA on speed, revs, force, skidding, etc. is stored and GM can retrieve this info from the box whether an owner agrees or not. Said another way, others involved in an accident could supboena info/DATA from GM. I believe the GPS may be part of the equipment which facilitates the gathering of this info/DATA. Anyone with further knowledge regarding this please let us on this board know. Is there a way to "OPT" out.????? :confuse: Thanks
  • alinamarsalinamars Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 with the Z71 package and 54,000 miles on it. We use it to tow an 18 foot boat maybe 10 times a year (in the summer, of course) with one trip over the Siskiyous in Oregon. Last month the front axle began to leak. Took it to a reputable shop who referred us to a transmission shop (not the dealer). They find that a washer has broken loose inside the right housing, the bearings are damaged on that side and the left axle seal is also leaking. Bottom line: $2000 in repairs. They claim it is because we drove it in Auto 4WD on hard pavement (only when towing the boat). Owners manual says this should be fine. Any input on what course of action we might have with GM or are we just S.O.L.? I am the primary driver of this vehicle and it has never been used in 4HI or 4LO. Husband & I have argued in the past about what mode to tow in; he says Auto4WD, I always tow with just 2HI. Any input?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    There's no one black box device that I know of (yet anyway). But information can be gleaned from various systems in newer cars - ABS systems, throttle by wire, etc.

    Maybe I can interest you in a 1970 DeVille convertible?

    Steve, Host
  • awf_axisawf_axis Member Posts: 136
    I've had a Suburban, and 2 Denali's since 1996. The one consistent problem I've had is the front trans-axles developing problems (leaks mostly) every 20-30k.

    I've towed a boat all those summers, and it didn't make a difference (in the Subby) whether in 2HI or 4WD.

    The Denali's being AWD, developed the same problems, even with a different design front end.

    After having to pay for the Subby 3 times, I promised myself to always get an extended warranty on future GM SUV's, and its paid off many times over.

    I've spent $2500 a pop on the axle repairs (dealer), so your figure is pretty good...

    As for towing in Full Time 4WD, it is not necessary. You would only need the traction if pulling out of a boat launch with slippery conditions. Otherwise, it only wastes gas. If you are towing off-road or in snow, I feel for you.

  • fleishmannfleishmann Member Posts: 1
    2001 Suburban. The headlights come on whenever the car is running. The day-time lights do not come on because of the headlights and running lights comming on. (The headlight switch is in the "Auto" position. Could it be a bad headlight switch?, Could it be a bad, or covered photo sensor? Possibly a relay? Thanks for any suggestions.
  • mrbproofmrbproof Member Posts: 2
    I have a 03 4x4 3/4 ton suburban with 4:10 posi diff. I would think this set up would be ideal to tow my 4000lb boat in any situation. Since day one, this truck runs hot when I tow or drive to Las Vegas, or Arizona in the summer. Any solutions or suggestions. I hav'nt spoken to a tech about this, I only remember the problem once or twice a year when I run my boat up to the lakes. Recently I installed some 33" tires, and a cat back exhaust with a K & N filter, now its running hot to the local lakes. I'm pretty upset about it and hope theres a remedy. Any info would be much appreciated.

  • overloadedjc88overloadedjc88 Member Posts: 4
    My 1995 rattled something fierce until I replaced the cat. convertor. 150 dollar fix.
  • overloadedjc88overloadedjc88 Member Posts: 4
    :confuse: Help, my 95 Suburban trys to stall like it doesn't want gas while normally driving . I have noticed that when I actuate the throttle by hand that the engine runs fine untill EGR valve starts to move, open or close, runs fine anywhere in between. I have unhooked the vacuum hose at the bottom of throttle body that runs through some black box and then to the EGR valve. Runs great except for the loud hissing noise. Also noticed that it is trying to do the same since the weather is hot. This all started in the dead of winter. Is the EGR valve messed up even though it is moving? How fast should it move? It seems to move fine.
  • markanagmarkanag Member Posts: 5
    I have an 01 Sub. The front tires are wearing on the inside. Do I need an alignment or are my shocks worn out?
  • kirkjkirkj Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1997 Sub and have recently noticed that long trips (200-300 miles) and hot weather eventually create a situation where the tranny jumps from 1st top 2nd gear instead of shifting smoothly. It really slams into gear so hard that it feels like it could be doing major damage. Letting the car sit for 30 minutes eases the problem. Tranny flush didn't help. It doesn't do this under normal conditions. Anyone else seen this problem or have any idea of where problem may lie?

  • awill110awill110 Member Posts: 1
    I have been reading all over the net about the promblems that 90's suburbans have. I am the lucky owner of one of these great vehicles. I have been struggling with replacing pads and/or rotors every year or so. I do a lot of towing (a ski boat) and the burb seems to stop a little better with the extra weight. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it is my mind messing with me or I am just a much more cautious driver with the trailer.

    Anyway, I am looking for an effective way to fix this fun problem and I don't want to spend a ton. I am thinking about a rear disc brake conversion and getting better calipers for the front. Do any of you have experience with this and what did you do? Any other suggestions?

    Thank you very much for your input.
  • awf_axisawf_axis Member Posts: 136
    I had a 96 Suburban way back when (1500), and loved it. But, as you know, the brakes are undersized and like stepping on a cow-pie (someone elses quote).

    There are brake conversion kits, that allow you to put on larger diameter front discs. I don't believe you can just put on rear discs, because the master cylinder output is proportional to its disc/drum design. You'd have to change it too with some aftermarket thing.

    Towing my Mastercraft PS205, and subsequent X-Star, I'd go through brakes every 5k in the summers. Living in Tahoe is torture due to the mountain climbs. They front rotors would warp, and the rear drums get hot-spots that drove me crazy. The solution of course was to turn them, and when too thin, replace them. It was still cheaper than spending several grand on aftermarket brakes, considering I only keep these trucks a few years.

    In any event, your talking thousands.... Is it worth it?

    I've since bought an '07 GM, and the brakes are like night and day, compared to the '96 and '01 and '05 I had.
  • curious_gearscurious_gears Member Posts: 60
    I think you need to have your rear end looked at. We had a '94 Ford Brono that was doing the same thing, except in all gears. We took it in to the Ford dealership and they said that it was a transmission problem, and that problem ended up destroying all the gears in the rear end, a VERY expensive fix. So i wouldnt suggest driving in at all hot weather, because there WILL BE MAJOR DAMAGE
  • jeffh7jeffh7 Member Posts: 3
    Did they use the right compressor? There are two different ones, one with rear air and one without.
  • jeffh7jeffh7 Member Posts: 3
    Had this problem with my Silverado, found the sensor had been hit by something and broke. I'd try there first.
  • manmountainmanmountain Member Posts: 44
    I have a 99 Tahoe and the voltmeter is Canadian. It normally fluctuates between 15 and 13 whatever. Today, with the temp at 42 centigrade and A/C on max, the voltmeter has been hovering around the 9 level and doesn't move very much even on the highway. Car runs fine and starts. Battery doesn't sound weak. Any thoughts?
  • finsubufinsubu Member Posts: 1
    I have had a bit of problems with my -95 diesel sub. It started to jerk when under heavy pull or when accelerating. Otherwise no problems. We have changed new fuel pumps and pump control unit, even new turbo was installed. After a while the problem comes back. When I open the walve on the top of the gasfilter a bit of air comes off and then it works ok, for a while that is. There seems not to be any visible leaks in the gas system, any ideas how to solve this (costly) problem?
  • bigfredlabbigfredlab Member Posts: 1
    My 1999 Chevy Suburban 1500 (109000mi) has a problem with the dashboard lights (they don't work). The guages work fine but there are no lights for the gauges, radio, AC, etc. The headlight switch will turn on and off the external parking/tail lights. I have checked all of the Fuses in the panel.

    What could be causing this problem? :confuse:
  • qanutqanut Member Posts: 7
    Own a '95 K2500 7.4L with 126K miles. Making a 1500 mile trip in mid Aug. Should I replace the fuel pump or take a chance? Bought it new and mostly used towing the camper and long trips. On average would fill the tank at half. My local mechanic quoted me about $600. Figure I might be able to tackle it for less than half. But what am I in for? :confuse:
  • rockman59rockman59 Member Posts: 250
    Own a '95 K2500 7.4L with 126K miles. Making a 1500 mile trip in mid Aug. Should I replace the fuel pump or take a chance?
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I had a '92 Suburban with over 130K miles and never replaced the fuel pump. However if you should decide to replace the pump $600 is way to much. Try this sight: http://www.auto-parts-wholesale.com/
    They have a pump for your vehicle selling for just over $100. Can't be that much of a job to replace it.
  • ivydriverivydriver Member Posts: 1
    We had the same problem with our 97 Burb. Although we took it to over 4 dealers and transmission places no one could figure it out. It became very expensive...our transmission went while on vacation 4 states away and then after fixing that they finally (after 7 months) realized the hard shifting was the shift solenoid. If there is a grinding it is the shift sensor on the transfer case - we ended up replacing all.
  • chevytech429chevytech429 Member Posts: 4
    well...that noise you hear is coming from and aspirator, its actualy not a speaker. it is a small fan that pulls air across a tiny sensor and it works in conjunction with the HVAC system...it is an easy fix. you can only get the aspirator at the dealership... repair should only take 10 or 15 minutes.
  • chevytech429chevytech429 Member Posts: 4
    hi Gary, my name is Gary as well...i am a Technician @ a Chevy dealership. and the noise you're describing sounds like a slip yoke problem and there is a bulletin for that...it is Document ID# 1580377....just give that to your dealership of choice and that should be a very good starting point for a correct repaire for your vehicle. i have fixed quite a few silverado's and suburbans with that bulliten.
  • tom_harttom_hart Member Posts: 2
    Looking to buy a Suburban with a tailgate instead of barn doors or hatch back. Can anyone please tell me what year & model the tail gate was available on? Thanks...
  • bbyc454bbyc454 Member Posts: 4
    If you have been changing the fuel filter regularly you should not have to replace the pump. BUT, if the pump does go out, it's a major project to replace. You have to drop the gas tank because the pump is inside it. How do I know? It happened to me on my 1999 K2500 120 miles from home. Had to have a dealer fix it. $750!!!! I'd change the filter as a minimum before your trip. Easy to do.
    Good luck.
  • bbyc454bbyc454 Member Posts: 4
    1999 and earlier
  • bbyc454bbyc454 Member Posts: 4
    Do you tow in Drive or 3? You need to be towing in 3 not Drive.
  • bbyc454bbyc454 Member Posts: 4
    You need an alignment.
  • gottaquestiongottaquestion Member Posts: 1
    I have a couple of 1999 Suburban's with a #6 cylinder misfire. Changed fuel injectors, plugs. Any ideas
  • tom_harttom_hart Member Posts: 2
    Thank you!
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