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Chevy Suburban Maintenance and Repair



  • You could have a faulty ground. A high resistance connection heats up the opens up then cools off, reconnects and so on. Check the ground connection for the Fuel Pump Wiring Harness. There is a pigtail wire and ground lug bolted to the top of the rear frame crossmember (just ahead of the fuel tank) Clean the lug and the frame. Just because the pump runs doesn't mean it's getting enough juice to do the job.
  • its a 1993 w/170k miles - 1/2 ton - automastic - 4x4
    on acceleration it backfires at the carb (tbi), new map and egr, anyone have any ideas as to the cause - repair shop gave me a diagnosis of camshaft/valve springs/innition coil/etc, i dont think he is very knowledgeable in his trade, anyway anyone have any ideas???
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If it is backfiring up thru the carb/tbi, then that is an indication that the intake valves (or at least one valve) is open when the spark plug ignites. When the piston compresses the fuel mixture (in what should be a closed chamber), it forces the mixture back up into the intake manifold which then ignites when the plug fires. Now WHY that is occuring, could be caused by a couple things.

    You could have a valve(s) that is sticking open and/or weak spring, or have a valve guide with wear and isn't allowing the valve to seal correctly, or multiple valve problems, etc.

    You could have slop in your timing chain, where the timing is varying all over the place. This would cause the timing between the crankshaft (pistons), and the camshaft (valves and distributor) to be off.

    You could have wear in your distributor, which would effect the timing between the camshaft and the distributor.

    You've got 170K miles on the engine, so any of these problems could be possible.

    Do a compression test on each cylinder, and see what that shows. That will tell you whether you have one cylinder with a problem (one lower than all the others), or across the board normal, or across the board low.
  • While driving at 25 mph my 99 Suburban's (110K miles):
    - RPM gage went to zero
    - Speedometer went to zero
    - Gear Position Indicator (red vertical bar) disappeared
    - SES & Check Gages lights came on
    Accelerator was less responsive at slower speeds. I was able to drive at normal speeds up a steep hill. It lasted about 2 miles. Will it happen again? :confuse:
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    "Will it happen again?" ...... Since you don't know what caused it, and you haven't fixed or changed is reasonable to assume that something will happen again sometime. Don't know when, and you don't know if it will cause the same symptoms.

    With not a whole lot to go on, this could be a basic electrical problem (battery voltage, corrosion, fuse, electrical switch), or could be a problem with the instrument panel. I'd personally be leaning to a basic electrical problem, since if it was an instrument panel problem I don't believe it would also have effected your accelerator.

    If it was me, a start with a free test of the battery and alternator at autoparts chain (Pep Boys, Autozone, etc) to make sure that your main power was able to supply the correct voltage. Make sure the battery connections are clean with no corrosion. I'd then also pull and check with a meter any fuses associated with the instrument panel, or switched power that the keyswitch controls.

    If you find something fix it. If you find nothing, I would then pay particular attention for the next couple months to all electrical items, and make sure everything is working the way it is supposed to and there are no other 'symptoms' or problems that might give you another clue as to the cause of the first gauge problem.
  • Thanks for the advice!

    I failed to mention:

    - Battery & electrical system checked OK.

    - SES & check gages light led to these codes:
    -- P0740 TCC circuit malfunction
    -- 753 Shift Solenoid
    -- 758 Shift Solenoid
    -- 785 Shift Timing Solenoid

    - Transmission checked OK by a transmission shop.

    I'm planning on taking your advice and my Suburban to an electrical shop next week. Thanks! :)
  • sonlxsonlx Posts: 21
    Hello Everyone,
    I'm looking for a replacement air intake filter for my parent's Suburban. I'm not trying to put in anything like a cold air intake, or K&N. I'm just looking for a regular intake filter. Before purchasing a filter, I wanted to see if anyone out there has any recommendations regarding the available brands of air filter being sold in the market. I've heard the air filter for suburban is important and didn't want to purchase a bad product. If anyone has some good information, please let me know.
    Thank You :)
  • We're looking at the '01 and '02 models and would just like to know avg upkeep and maintenance costs. Would also love to hear how y'all like your Suburbans and if they're dependable vehicles. Thanks!
  • I replace the EGR valve when my truck failed inspection. After installation the truck runs rough and stalls. Why? It worked fine before replacing part. any ideas what to do next? thanks, Angela
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Just recently traded in my 97 for a 07, it's been great for us, but it's not a daily driver. We use it mainly for trips (6-10 a year), pulling a couple small trailers when needed (6 x yr), and hauling up to 7 teenagers (couple times a month). You just can't beat it's space, either for people, for cargo, or both. We like the 2nd row bench seat configuration, each kid gets their own row to lay down across when travelling, and when hauling the kids friends it's an extra seats worth of capacity.

    The 07+ design rides significantly better, having moved to coil springs.

    Mechanically it's been quite reasonable, with very good availability of reasonably priced parts if needed. I do any work myself, so I can't comment about dealer charges. The one general weakness is it's transmission, since it is a heavy vehicle. I got 25% of it's original price when I traded it in after 10 years.

    I would think the used market on large SUV's is very soft, given price of gas and all the soccer mom's dumping them. I always thought the MPG reasonable for what we're using it for, and the mileage on the 07+ with it's valve management getting 20+mpg is just fabulous.

    We've had one since the kids were in diapers, and I'll probably always have one for it's all around flexibility which it provides.
  • Vehicle resists starting when fuel level is 1/4 or lower and the vehicle sits overnight or longer. The engine turns over but behaves like there's no gas (no prime). Adding fuel to the tank eliminates the problem. Fuel pressure reads fine; the pressure regulator was replaced but no improvement. Has anyone else encountered and solved this problem? (Replacing the fuel pump is expensive and I want that to be the last resort.) Thanks.
  • dee23dee23 Posts: 4
    WHat did you do? Did you get rid of car, or did dealer/GM eventually fix it??
  • dee23dee23 Posts: 4
    did you ever resolve this?
  • It's a 94 Chevy suburban 1/2 ton. Ok, so I've replaced the brake light and stop light fuse, I took it in to get an oil change and told the guy to check the brake lights. He paid little attention to me, replaced the bulbs, and then didn't bother to test them to see if they worked. So my brake lights are STILL not coming on.

    I've been told to check the stop light switch which is "Down by the brake peddle" I *think* I found it, but if I have, what do I do with it? I don't think I have found it, but I don't know what it's supposed to look like. Is it an actual on/off switch or just a thing to plug the wires into?

    All three lights are out (the right, left and the one above the door). I do have tail lights, blinkers and back-up lights. So what's the deal, and how do I fix it?
  • We have a 2006 Suburban and more and more frequently the computer will display "System Stability Disabled". There's nothihng I know of that we did to turn this off, I can't find information in the owners manual, and I can't find a similiar issue on-line. I called the local dealer and they were unable to answer my questions and of course it wouldn't display when I took it over.

    Any insight?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    This will need to be a dealer fixed item. There are a couple of yaw sensors which determine whether the vehicle is beginning to spin, which will then command braking of particular wheels to occur. Obviously the best thing to do would be to get the vehicle to the dealer while the vehicle has the failure, which might be hard to do.

    I think if it was me, I'd begin documenting exactly when it occurs (date, time, mileage) and take a video or photo. If you get enough of these intermittent failures, the dealership will have to replace something to try and narrow down where the problem is.
  • OK, so now here's what I've done/had done to try to solve this problem, and the lights STILL are not on.

    Replaced fuses
    Replaced Bulbs
    Replaced the Stop Light Switch

    BEFORE I had the Stop Light Switch replaced they did come on once, but when I tried again they wouldn't turn on, so could it be a loose connection somewhere?

    Any ideas? I have to drive it about 5 hours in Thanksgiving traffic, I'd REALLY love to have working brake lights for the drive.
  • First of all this is my first Big Block Chevy, the guy I got it from did a bunch of work but has conveniently lost the receipts.
    What I have a 1994 7.4 454 V8 K2500 Suburban, Jeggs bottom end, edlebrock multi-port injection, edlebrock aluminum heads, shorty headers, MSD blaster coil, thats basically all I know.

    My problem:
    first: The oil pressure is low, just above the red lines, but never goes any lower (at idle) driving around town it's about 1 notch under 40, and cold it's just under 60.
    second: driving around town it runs great... no step hills, If I get on the highway and start going up a hill it starts ticking on the drivers side, if I give it more throttle it sounds almost like a knock, but no more power.

    is the oil pressure normal?
    whats that tick?

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Lack of oil pressure could be due to worn camshaft bearings.
  • the guy I purchased it from said it had 15,000 miles, I run mobil 1 extended life 10/30,
    also it sounds like its coming from the drivers side not really the center, but I could be wrong... wouldnt be the first time :)
  • A ticking sound when accelerating is often caused by an exhaust leak, and sometimes occurs only when the engine is under a load. Check the gasket seal between the exhaust mainfold and the head, and on the round gasket between the exhaust mainfold and the exhaust pipe.

    Also, big blocks especially had a habit of of breaking the exhaust bolts that keep the manifold on the head. Those bolts get red hot and if they aren't made of the right steel alloy they get brittle and break. Chevy used some bad ones for a while.

    I'm not convinced your power problem and the ticking sound are related.


  • This happened to my '06 Tahoe last night. When it happened the electrical system went haywire also. All of the warning lights lit up on the dash, the radio and interior lights died and the front driver and passenger windows would not work. Was this also a problem for you? When I looked it up in the owners manuel under StabiliTrak System it said "this message should appear only if you have gone through heavy acceleration or braking during the first two miles after starting your vehicle." It then said to turn off the engine and turn it back on to reset (we did this and it didn't help) and if not the case take it in for service. Funny thing was when I got home I set the emergency brake after I parked and everything started working again?!?
  • We haven't seen anything with the electrical system or problems with lights or performance. Now I'm a bit more concerned. We just see the message on the OBC.

  • Sorry I didn't notice your post earlier, Crandall. I encountered the same condition with my 2002 Suburban . . . a very common problem on Chevrolet trucks at 80-90,000 miles.

    The fuel gauge on your vehicle is integrated with the fuel pump, and is worn to the point of being defective. In essense, it is giving you a false reading at 1/4 tank, and the tank is close to empty. As you mentioned, adding a couple of gallons of fuel cures the problem temporarily.

    A replacement pump from a dealer will be about $490, and around $350 aftermarket. I located the correct pump on eBay for $279 and had it installed for $200. A far cry from a dealer quote of $900. Check for a new AC Delco pump [factory]. 90% of all Suburbans are flex-fuel, which means the more expensive pump, part #MU1379. If your truck is a 'Z' code it is flex-fuel.

    Since the pump is still operable, I recommend you keep the pump in your vehicle for those cross-country jaunts . . . you'll never find a flex-fuel pump in the middle of America when you need one! Incidentally, since the fuel pump is located in the tank, the only thing that cools the pump is the fuel. Keeping at least 1/4 tank of fuel in the tank at all times is the best way to extend the life of the pump . . . and you know you always have a little reserve for an emergency. I've tried to convey that message to others in the household to no avail!

    Good luck!

  • Regarding #1 if on your 03 Suburban. The problem is a wiper motor regulator, an electrical panel that is part of the motor housing. Same thing happened to me last year. Fortunately it was raining all day. replacement part cost about $106 from the dealer.
  • Yes, my 2003 has been doing this for over 2 years. It does this when the fuel gauge reads slightly less than half full. It also acts the same way sometimes when it is using a lot of fuel, driving fast, uphill, and/or with a boat behind even with a full tank. Often it will not stall but will only sputter. The temporary fix always works.

    Shut off the engine if it was running and then bang on the bottom of the tank with your fist. If you don't shut if off, it banging won't fix it. For this reason I think that the fuel screen in the tank is becoming clogged and stopping the fuel flow lets the debris fall off. Mine may have started when I used fuel that had been in my boat tank. I've used lots of dry gas and sulfur cleaner and replaced filters to try to fix it.

    Those who have replaced pumps probably had their tanks emptied and that would clear out debris. I'm just going to live with it. I haven't been able to get a hose into the tank to suck it out. It's not a bad idea to keep your tank 1/2 full anyhow. If I drove hills and fast highways and heavy loads a lot I'd probably dump the tank.
    I've posted before on this condition.

    Tell us what you do.
  • bcxlbcxl Posts: 2
    Did you ever find an answer to the cold air on the passenger side problem. This is my problem and seems to be rather common? I don't have an answer...I need an answer.
  • Anyone ever heard of a turbo 400 trans (88 burb) that makes an odd high pitched grinding noise when shifting from 1-2 intermittently? The power delivery is still normal, but it grinds between shifts sometimes and I cant figure it out. Been doing this for the past 5,000 miles or so. Tranny fluid level is fine. It doesn't seem to be linked to any conditions, just once in a while I'll go a few miles with it grinding then it suddenly stops then returns some time later. :confuse:
  • If you haven't; make sure it's the tranny. Mine has a belt noise that's caused by the
    air conditioning pump load. Might be a loose tensioner or bad pump.
  • I've already replaced the pump and other parts of the air conditioning system because it was starting to seize. The noise comes from inside the tranny housing because it sounds like im sitting on top of the noise. I'm just wondering what causes it, being the fact that it's not acting any different.
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