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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair



  • tgeptgep Posts: 1
    Today I found my battery completely dead on my 03 burb. I charged battery and all seemed well. I later changed the oil and noticed the wheels were not locked with the key removed. Now I am wondering if I have an Ignition/keylock problem. I tried tapping, etc to get the wheel to lock with no luck. Anyone had this? Thanks.
  • catamcatam Posts: 331
    Has anyone out there had to replace the knock sensor on the 5.3L.
    I talked with a guy I know who stated it is under the intake manifold.
    I am happy to do this job myself, but I am just wondering if anyone out ther has personal experience with removing the intakes on the 5.3, and any helpful hints before I start the job.
  • kjc67kjc67 Posts: 1
    The odometer just turned over to 40k and the oil pressure gauge will move just above 40 on start up and then drops to zero as I drive ( and it pretty much stays at 0 as I drive). The oil is full and very recently changed. Would the gauge still work at start up if the sensor is faulty? Or, is there something else to consider?
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    The odometer just turned over to 40k and the oil pressure gauge will move just above 40 on start up and then drops to zero
    You probably have a faulty sending unit or perhaps a loose wire or something like that. If you had zero oil presssure in reality.....your motor would be toast if the pump wasn't working....or your main bearings could be totally worn out resulting in a very low pressure reading..and that is not likely with just 40K miles on the engine.
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    Have a similar problem with my 03 Suburban.
    Occasionally acts like fuel starvation and may stall at highway speeds(often under heavy load)(no relation to fuel in tank). May not start if tank is less than 1/2 full and car has sat for 8 or more hours. Will then start if fuel is added.
    After dying on road it has so far started after 10-15 minutes and dozens of times of engaging starter. During these episodes it will often sputter. When it finally starts it then acts fine with no problems for a while.
    Have replaced restricted fuel filter. Another mechanic said that banging on the fuel tank will allow it to start. Gauge changes reading somewhat at low levels.
    I believe that problem (or an unrelated problem) is in fuel tank that causes gauge level change. Cold starting problem is definitely related to low fuel level. Maybe the pump in tank is sucking air or clogged with debris? Am having the tank pulled to check it.
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    also concerning 276 thread. After reading other forums, I'm wondering whether my problem is caused by part of the fuel tank pump/fuel level assembly. Unfortunately I've never seen it so I'm guessing here. If it is sticking then I would think that would give it the wrong reading. Backing up could cause fuel to slosh and mechanism to stick out of fuel. If it wasn't in fuel then the fuel in it might slowly leak back out and then pump would have problem trying to pump air. Pump might usually work well enough if it sucks some air while running. Alternate/additional cause might be that if owner usually has tank over 1/2 full mechanism might have corrosion/deposits that make it stick when tank is less than half full. Fitting inside tank also might let fuel slowly leak out of pump. Until my problem is fixed I will carry a mat to lie on and bang on the bottom of fuel tank when it won't start. Does anyone know what assembly looks like?
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    1 more post. My fuel pump makes a noise that you can hear when it's having problems but not when it's working okay. The motor must be working so either the pump section is not pumping some how or it has air in it. I've been running the tank low to fix it and it's okay if I start it every 4 hours. It does crank for another second or 3 though more than usual. Another thought is that if the filter is partially clogged the fuel will be moving slower and cooling the pump less.
  • msfostermsfoster Posts: 8
    I have 1999 GMC Suburban with less than 50,000 miles (low miles are why I bought it and the mileage checks out). A couple of weeks after purchasing it I noticed the dome and door courtesy lights flickering when I hit a bump. Along with relay noise (clicking to be expected the relays turn on the lights) behind the headlight switch in the dash. When returning to the Suburban from a shopping trip I noticed the dome lights were on. I know they were off when I went in since I have small kids who turn on the map lights and have learned in previously owned mini-vans that he who doesn't check the dome lights has dead car. :) All of this is resolved by pushing in the domelight override switch (odd switch but I'm seeing why they put it there). Problem is the dome lights are out when I get in and that's a pain (unless I open the doors with the remote which isn't reliable in operation so I don't use it).

    In previous vehicles diagnosing a problem like this wasn't hard but since the dome lights stay on an extended period of time after the door switches are pushed in, the old ways of diagnosing dome light problems just don't work. So how do I figure out what's wrong? In reading a diagnostic tree for a newer GM car it appears I may need a scan tool, is this true?

    I've read in other places on the web about this dome light problem but no one has bothered to post the solution or how to diagnose the problem. And apparently no one has mentioned it here I don't find it in my searches.

    I really like the Suburban it hauls all the people my 96 Chrysler T&C did with more shoulder room for all. Plus fabulous cargo room and a great power improvement. Amazingly enough the fuel economy in town is the same!!! For a v-6 the T&C sucked as far a mpg. Plus I get 4 wheel drive that the T&C didn't have. :D Now to solve the dome light problem so I can go back to enjoying my new for me rig.

    And a question were there any trim packages where the middle or rear bench recline?

    1999 GMC Suburban
  • I have a 2002 Z71 Suburban and the front differential axel seals were leaking and the cost isnt as bad as most would think the job can be done in under 4 hours, the only problem is you have to buy the seals from the dealer, due to no other parts stores carry them.
  • msfostermsfoster Posts: 8
    A shake in a very small range of speed can be caused by an out of balance tire. Are there weights on both sides of the wheel? It's just about impossible to balance a tire with only weights on the inside. Some people don't like the weights on the outside of aluminum rims so I'm mentioning it. Find someone who is really good at balancing tires and is willing to take the time to do it right.
    Barring that does the vibration occur anywhere at the speeds you mentioned or an a specific stretch of road? If it's only on a certain stretch of road it could be the pavement. I've had vibrations occur on small stretches of road that go away once the pavement changes.
    Does it occur if you turn on the AWD? My 99 wanders slightly around 65 to 70 and turning on the AWD eliminates the wander. It might do the same for the vibration. If it makes it worse it might be an out of balance axle shaft. If that's the case is the problem bad enough to justify the repair cost?
    1999 GMC Suburban
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    Hitting bottom of tank has allowed me to start vehicle. Parts dept. suggested cleaner they sell for cleaning fuel level sensor contacts. GM built lag into fuel gauge so it would buffer temporary sensor changes with sloshing and hills. I believe that the computer is shutting off the pump because a dirty fuel sensor gives an empty tank reading and the gauge may show only "less" fuel because it's buffered. Banging on the tank must move the sensor to a clean spot. The "oxidation/dirt might be caused by water in the fuel which might add to the problems". My problems were most serious after I put fuel from my boat's fuel tank into the suburban. Doubt that it's bad wiring cause I always hear pump noise for a few seconds.
  • I just found out today my front axle seals are also leaking. The dealership quoted me $360 for parts and labor. What did they quote you? Is this a repair that's possible for a DIY? I can't entirely afford $360 right now.
  • Take a look at your security system, I know it sounds crazy, but that's what mine is doing. Below are some words from someone else's post and mine is doing the same thing. As long as that security light is flashing, mine won't start. After a while when the security light stops flashing, it starts just fine. I really thought it was a fuel problem because it acted like it was going to start, sputtered and like it wasn't getting enough fuel. Changed everything to do with the fuel system (Fuel pump, Fuel filter, etc.), same problem and then I noticed that every time I had this problem starting the security light was blinking. I haven't work on the security system yet, but I'll let you know when I do or if you get your fixed, you can let me know. Hope this helps and points you in the right direction. Good Luck!!

    we have a 1999 chevy suburban with the security system in it. the other day after starting the suburban the security light in the dash stayed on for about 5 min and everything was fine. now sometimes when i go to start it it turns over and tries to start but the security light is flashing and it won't start. let it set for about 5 - 10 min and it will start fine. is there any one that knows of how to check the system and see what is wrong with it? thanks for any help.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    My 2005 Yukon XL is due for the 25K service, which includes:

    "Exhaust System Inspection
    Inspect exhaust system for loose or damaged components.

    Fuel System Inspection
    Inspect fuel system for damage or leaks."

    I haven't seen any posts that either of these systems are prone to defects. This isn't even really a "Service", i.e., repair or replacement of parts - it's just a visual inspection, right? I tend to obey the manual, better safe than sorry, but I don't necessarily want to pay a lot for this. I guess I'll just call the dealership when my next oil change is due and get a quote.
  • ksmockksmock Posts: 2
    I also have a 97 sub with a 7.4 liter and it sounds like i have the same problem. Have you had this fixed yet? And if you did what was the problem? Any help would be greatly apreciated. :)
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    ahightower said: I haven't seen any posts that either of these systems are prone to defects. This isn't even really a "Service", i.e., repair or replacement of parts - it's just a visual inspection, right?
    Correct, a visual inspection. Should take a qualified mechanic about 60 seconds.
  • seabyrdseabyrd Posts: 32
    I am trying to locate the AIT Module "Air Intake Module" on the 2007 Z71 Suburban. I have not been able to locate it.
    Can anyone please help me?
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    hi again, im back with my 1988 suburban. she aint doin too well right now. lately it has been running extremely rough, and i have very little power. if i floor it it shudders. when idling, it runs very choppy and cuts out. when i accelerate it gets choppier and shudders more. sometimes when i start it it runs smooth, but then after a while fades into running like crap. it's a progressive thing, its getting worse and worse. ive had it quit running before. anyone suggest a step i can take and what to start with? problematic vehicle i own.
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    A car needs fuel, air, and a spark to burn them at the proper time. Make sure the sparks okay, then the timing and the fuel volume and pressure. I presume you've checked the filter. It's possible that dirt is being sucked onto the surface of the fuel screen in the tank and it drops off when the fuel pump stops. You could pipe the gas line to a gas can and see if it falters after a while. It could be you have a lot of water in the tank. Could be a loose fitting on the pump intake side causes it to suck air or an electrical fitting has a poor connection that handicaps the ignition or the fuel pump.
  • 70ss454_man70ss454_man Posts: 107
    thanks! are you speaking of the air filter, or the fuel filter? the air filter is new. i should also mention that it is a throttle body fuel injected engine. when the head gasket blew, most in the engine was replaced, wires, plugs, and such, but not the distributor. the next step i was planning on , for ease and price, is the fuel filters or possibly replacing the fuel pump. good place to go? or should i look more deeply such as the injectors or something of the sort.
  • talltreetalltree Posts: 2
    I just purchased an 01 Suburban and the daytime running lights (right beside the parking lights) were burnt out. I've replaced the bulbs with no luck, I've switched the relay and fuse in the box under the hood with others in the box with no luck also. I thought these lights were supposed to come on during the day with the engine running.

    Any ideas why these aren't working?


    P.s. I didn't get this in the right area.
  • nikkianikkia Posts: 2
    Have a '96 1500 4x4 suburban. Check engine light came on, and was told it needed O2 sensors. Cleared code and continued to drive. Drove fine. One day while leaving for lunch just started running rough. Losing power and idling rough. Took to shop and was told it needed replacing all 4 O2 sensors, replace PCV valve which was missing causing smoke, new plugs and wires, and adjust timing. Replaced everything they said except for timing and it is now running 50% better, but not back to normal. Took to another shop, and was told that there was a misfire on cylinders 3&4, new plugs were just put in 3 days ago. Only drove to shop and already fouled out. Also told leaking oil from lower intake valve and manifold appears warped, they put smoke in it and it is coming out of the front and the back. 1. Does fixing these things sound like my truck will run right? 2. To fix the oil leak is that gaskets? 3. Can injectors be cleaned, or do I need to replace them? 4. Can I only replace 2 or do I have to replace all? 5. How do you fix a slightly warped manifold?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Have exact same vehicle, with about 90K miles. It would be unusual for all the O2 sensors to fail at the same time. Each side of the engine has it's own catalytic converter, and there is a sensor before and after each converter. Do you know what the first error code was? If it was an O2 failure code, it would point specifically to one of the four (bank 0 or bank 1, first or second sensor on that bank.

    I also recently just changed plugs, wires, distributor cap, and rotor....just as normal maintenance.

    When they took your old plugs out, did they look okay, or were some fouled? If the originals were fouled #3/#4, then you probably have a more serious problem as they suggest, possibly a blown head gasket between 3/4. Not sure how they would indicate a warped manifold....unless they have taken your engine apart to check. If your old plugs were okay, and now you have 2 plugs fouling I would suspect a problem with their plug/wire change.....or with the old distributor cap and rotor, since you didn't indicate they changed that. Did you replace the plugs and wires with factory Delco?

    How is it that the PCV valve was missing?
  • nikkianikkia Posts: 2
    Replaced dis cap & rotor prev with plugs right before problems started. After problems started check plugs and they were burnt and was told to replace them so we did and the wires. We were told that the engine was of timing from when new dist was put on, but not badly off timing. When we put on this last round of plugs we didn't replace cap&rotar again. They checked plugs and said that 2 of them were fouled and didn't replace with factory, used some from Auto Zone. Code read that only 2 of O2 sensors were bad, but was advised to change all so we did.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Did you gap the plugs at 60 thousand when you put them in? and are you sure that the brand plug you put in are technically equivalent to Chevy spec's for the plug? How many miles were on the first set of replacement plugs, before you found them burnt?
  • spence57spence57 Posts: 26
    Haven't noticed the security system. Is that just a light? Have noticed that occasionly the tranny trailer mode light will turn on by itself.

    Tried the "sulfer remover"liquid from the dealer but I still have the "won't start on much less than 1/2 tank if it's set for over 8 hour" problem. One good bang on the tank starts it though. It hasn't died in transit for a couple months.
  • jswintjswint Posts: 1
    I am trying to see if the sparkplugs are bad on my truck. When the truck is on idile and my foot is on the brake, it acts like it is going to die but doesnt. It is idiling very low. If that is the problem, How hard is it to change them myself ? Is there any special tool that I need ? I really dont know too much about cars, but would like to save some money by doing it myself if I can.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Seems early for plug changes, they're good for 100K miles. Do you have that many miles already?

    Just changed mine on a 97 Sub, you'll need a 3/8" socket set with a plug socket (it's a deep socket the correct size for the plug, with a rubber insert to protect the plug), and a couple different extensions and a swivel are helpful. You should put anti-seize on the new plug threads. You'll need a plug gapper to check/adjust the gap on the plugs before' you put them in. The owners manual gives you the gap, my 96 gap is 60 thousandths of an inch.

    I personally would recommend Manufacturer plugs as called out in the manual, you can get at autoparts store (as opposed to other name brand equivalents).

    Your low idle could have nothing to do with the plugs though, so I'd personally only swap the plugs if you were up there in miles, or you were getting computer error codes suggesting cylinder mis-firings.
  • mocaramocara Posts: 2
    On some cars the daytime running lights don't work when the gear shift in park
  • sound4himsound4him Posts: 6
    Hi, I am new to this. I just read all the posts to see if I can get help. Here is my problem. I have an '03' Surburban with 65,000 miles on it. I have an intermitten problem when I hit a bump it seems like my vehicle shuts off and turns on momentarily. The check engine light goes on and off, ABS light comes on and off, brake warning light goes on and off, service brake system flashes across my odometer and chimeing like I just started the vehicle. I also lose power for a second. Sometimes the ABS light and brake warning light stays on. My brakes work fine and the brake warning light goes out when I shut off and restart the vehicle, then after running awhile the ABS clears. At least till I hit another bump. Any thoughts where to start? It seems to be a loose electrical connection. Also no OBD codes.
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