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Chevy Suburban and Tahoe AC and Heater Problems

tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
edited June 2015 in Chevrolet
Got problems with air conditioning or climate control systems? Discuss them here!

tidester, host

See also: Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips


  • bugguybugguy Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Z71 w/ 43000 miles. I just noticed a noice from the compressor when I accelerate. After taking it to a local shop, the told me it was the compressor, and gave me a bulletin number from TSB ( is that right?). They suggested I call my local dealer and ask them, because a number of models, according to this bulletin, have been affected.
    When I spoke w/ the service department at the dealership, they basically told me "too bad", the compressor is coming apart, and there is no help from GM.
    Has anyone else had this problem? And if so, what was your fix.
  • We just recently purchase a used 03 Tahoe LS with the duel climate controls (not automatic). Right now the fan only works on 5. So its all or nothing. I took everything apart to check that the switch was working correctly.

    I'm guessing that there is a relay or module that actually controls the speeds of the fan.

    Anyone have any idea what and where this is?
  • ainslbainslb Posts: 11
    2001 Suburban makes a clicking noise under the dash at a rate of one per second when the a/c is on after a short period of time. When I stop the a/c the clicking goes away. Turn the a/c back on and the clicking starts again after a short period of time. A/C works fine.
  • I just had this fixed in my 2003, it was the modulator door, they switch from defront to vents or hot to cold etc. I had the same clicking but now its gone.
  • They told you right. Had the same problem. They replaced the compressor as well as some other parts and that fixed it. Very expensive. Tried to get GM to help but they would not. Please email them and bug them. Maybe if enough people complain they will help us. My dealership gave me lifetime warranty on the compressor and dryer. I figured it could happen again down the road.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    As there are a lot of posts about the Tahoe / Suburban A/C compressor problems I decided to lube mine.

    I have occasionally had the loud noise from under the hood at engine start-up especially when my Tahoe has been sitting for a few days. From the posts I have learned that this noise comes from the belt tensioner banging around as the compressor tries to lock-up.

    To prevent any lock-up for lack of lubrication I decided to add one can of compressor lubrication oil in my Tahoe's A/C system.

    When I added the oil I immediately noticed remarkably big noise reduction when the engine was idling. REALLY BIG difference.

    I also noticed that the engine runs smoother and guess what, it looks like the gas mileage went up by almost a mile per gallon.

  • First post here, thanks in advance. I have to issues I need to solve:
    1-Cabin Air Filter- Where is it located? I bought a filter and want to change it.
    2-My overhead/rear heat/AC controls no longer work. Should I first check fuses?
    3-My factory radio from the get go always makes this wierd noise that comes and goes. Even had it replaced w/ a new on under warranty, but still happens. Kind of sounds like an electronic interference or something. Of course it never occurs at the dealer. I'm almost ready to just put a aftermarket one in...
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    3-My factory radio...

    Is the sound you hear a high pitch 'whistling' sound that slightly changes pitch with change in engine speed?

    If it is you could have an intake manifold gasket leak. That makes the same kind of sound as sometimes radio does when the alternator interferes with it.

    If your problem is electrical, not the intake air leak you might want to work with your alternator, not the radio to fix it.

    Amazing if the dealer replaced your radio on warranty and did not go check the alternator?

  • It isn't a really a whistling sound. More like a electronic whinning/ transitor sound from behind the dash. Not to be confused with a RPM based interference. It comes and goes even when the radio isn't even on. It's clearly a electronic sound. Not a vacuum leak from the motor, etc.
  • arriearrie Posts: 312
    "It comes and goes even when the radio isn't even on".

    Why replace the radio when you have this sound when radio is not even on?

    Perhaps my 'whistling' was a bad reference for the type of sound. Transistor sound is a good reference to what I mean by the type of sound it can make when intake manifold gasket does not hold against the vacuum.

    Just for the heck of it have your intake manifold fastening bolts checked for proper torque (or do this easy task yourself). That at least rules it out as a possible source for the noise. And don't be surprised if it even fixes the problem.

  • Thanks, I will give it a try. I guess I WANT a new radio and I can disguise the purchase. He,he....A good excuse to use my torque wrench. I'll let you kow if it works.
  • I also had the whirring sound in my factory Radio/CD player. Sounds like the CD is spinning, when it is not. It came and went for months at a time and has stopped on its own. I assumed it was something out of alignment from hitting bumps and some later bumps re-aligned it. Self fixing stereo, I say.

    Found this thread because my overhead controls work, but the dash controls don't provide heat... only cool. I know it's the "gate" or "valve" that mixes air, I just need to locate the fix.
  • ge_ccoge_cco Posts: 6
    I have a 2001 Suburban with auto climate control. It started acting differently at the end of summer . . . everything still works the same as normal, except that when the cabin temperature gets to where it should be, the system doesn't back off enough. The computer still controls the fan speed, directs the air to different vents, and blows hot or cold air as required. Now in winter, it eventually gets too hot in the car, but it's still blowing hot air. I turn the temperature control down to minimum and adjust the fan speed manually to the lowest setting, but the air temperature is too hot and the car keeps getting warmer. Same in summer - it would keep blowing cold air, and with the temperature control set to 82 and the fan on minimum, it still got colder in the car.
    The thing is it's different from how it used to work, where it would control to the temperature that was set.
    The dealer simply said that I need a new computer. But to me it seems like a sensor problem, because the computer is still doing everything that it normally does, except backing off when it reaches temperature. It's as if it can no longer sense the cabin temperature correctly.
    Has anyone had any problem like this, and if so did you figure out how to fix it? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • I have a 2001 Tahoe which also had fan problems. The fan only worked on settings 3 through 5. I replaced the blower resistor (about $30.00 from Chevrolet Parts). It is located on the heater shroud under the dash in front of the passenger seat. It was a simple fix that took only about 30 minutes. I needed a 5.5 MM and a 7 MM socket wrench.
    San Antonio
    Go USAF!
  • I have a 2001 Tahoe and when I turn the temperature selector knob to full hot that's what I get, even when I turn the temperature selector knob back to full cold -- it still blows full hot. If I turn the motor off and let it sit for about a minute, then start it again, the air will blow cold at the cold setting. But if I nudge the temperature selector to a warmer setting, I get full hot again. Any ideas?
  • Does anyone know where the cabin temperature sensor is for the computerized climate control systems? There's a little perforated disk above the driver's seat in the hood liner, and sometimes I hear a noise from it - like something rotating and buzzing. I wonder if there is a sensor in there with a small fan to suck in air. If you know, please let me know - my problem seems to be that the computer doesn't realize when the temperature in the cabin has reached setpoint and a sensor problem would explain that. The dealer wants megabucks just to diagnose this, and I have no faith whatsoever that they will figure out what's actually wrong.
  • Others have said that the disk is exactly what you're guessing it is- a temperature sensor with a tiny fan that sucks in air to sample. I don't know how you'd diagnose the sensor(s) yourself though.
  • I'll answer my own question since no one else did. By the way, if you want to visit a FANTASTIC Tahoe forum site where I found the solution to my Tahoe's problem, visit: They have many more topics and ANSWERS!!! The problem was a flapper valve actuator. AC Delco part number 15-72506. Cost about $46.00 from a local parts house. I ordered online for $41.00 (shipping included) from
  • Mick, need some help, I am handy with a wrench, but wary of tearing my dash apart. Is the flapper valve somewhat accessable? Any tips would be appreciated. thanks
  • Mick
    I'm glad that you solved your problem. Thanks for the website references too - they're really great.

    It looks like I have also solved my problem. It turns out that the perforated disk in the head-liner above the driver's seat covers a device called an "aspirator", which is a small fan that sucks air out of the cabin over a thermister to measure the air temperature inside the vehicle. The thermister leads had bent and it was touching on the fan preventing it from spinning. Once I bent it back into place, the system worked normally. Not sure how it got bent in the first place!!
  • Does anyone know where I can buy the original Panasonic roof mount dvd for my 2003 Suburban. I have checked ebay.
  • I've got a problem with the same fan rattling when it is below 40 degrees. Once the vehicle warms up, the rattling goes away.

    How did you "get" to this area in the head-liner? I haven't found any good way to investigate the rattling.

    Could this termister/sensor be causing the rear compartment temperature actuator from working? The rear HVAR is stuck on cold, no matter if I change the temperature settings on the front upper console or rear console. I tried replacing the actuator, but that didn't fix it.

  • It wasn't easy, and I'm not sure that I found the best way to do it. My manual (non-GM) simply said that if you have the computerized climate control system, it's too complex so take it to the dealer. Helpful!
    I used a screwdriver to pry off the perforated disk in the headliner. It has four legs that clip into the cover on the "aspirator" assembly. They have actually used adhesive to hold the cable in place so that the assembly doesn't move very far when you do this.
    To get in there, I pulled the rubber door seal away from the frame, and the cover on the B pillar also pulled out - it's held on by several clips. THen I was able to get my hands up between the roof and the headliner, but there wasn't much room to see what I was doing or to manipulate things around.
    It turned out that the cover on the aspirator had become detached and when I got that back on and reattached the perforated disk, the system worked normally.
    If you had to replace the assembly, then you'd have to figure out how to disconnect the electrical connector - wouldn't be easy due to the difficulty of getting your hands in there and it wasn't obvious to me where the clip was that held the connector in place.
    Hope this helps, and if you find an easier way, please let me know in case I have to go in there again.
  • Thanks for the update. I haven't had any time to further investigate. I found another one of these behind the rear seat and can't imagine how to get to that one.

    I'm wondering now if the second one has something to do with my rear HVAC problem.

    Thanks again,
  • Hi Chris
    Interesting!!! My rear system works OK, so it makes sense that it has a separate sensor somewhere. I had never gone looking for it. Where exactly is it behind the seat?
    My front system is still flaky - sometimes OK and sometimes it just keeps heating, so I think I'll actually have to bite the bullet and buy a new one of those "aspirators". It was $54 at the dealer and about $32 on-line but I think that getting the cable disconnected could be the biggest challenge because there's really not much space to get your fingers in there. Please let me know how you get on.
  • This one is centered in the ceiling, directly above the back of the rear seats (second row seats, not third). Being centered and like 3 feet from the tailgate, I'm gonna find it difficult to get that one out. Not even sure how the dealer would either.

    I may breakdown and go get it looked at. Just haven't had the time nor the money.

    If you hear something pertaining to this, please write.

  • My 2004 Suburban HVAC blower motor has stopped blowing. I took it out and tested the leads (resistor lead with battery, ground and input as well as the two wire output to the motor) with the system on (control command for fan at full blast) and there was no input voltage. Ground and battery work just fine. The heater core gets hot, but the fan isn't passing any air past it. Any help is appreciated.
  • well, took it to a repair shop, and the thermistor (little box in line with the wiring that tells what voltage to send to the motor via temperature based resistance) was bad...replaced it and everything works now. wish i had known, could have saved a hundred bucks in "labor"!
  • I have a 99 suburban that yesterday the hi speed on my fan went out I still have the low midlow and midhigh, do you think that its the blower resistor and if so how can I check
  • flyboy_25flyboy_25 Posts: 2
    I havea a 03 tahoe lt. I disconnected my battery to place in another car. after putting it back in my tahoe died several times unless i kept the rpms high. at the same time my climate control was spuratically going floor vent to window vents to the dash vents. after cycling itself it is now stuck on window vents. i can adjust temp. and speed and my rear climate control is fine. several days later i noticed half my lights on my steering wheel for radio and stuff are out. bout an hour later my i was going down the interstate and i noticed my speedometer was showing 45 but new i was doing at least 75. as i would let off my pedal to slow down my needle on speedometer would go down but not back up as my speed increased. then it slowly stopped working all together within 5 mins or so. well 2 hours later i had to pull over but left my truck running, got back in and my speedometer was working just fine. for the year that ive had the tahoe now, ive always had that clicking/hissing sound coming from the drivers dash area and it is at a one second interval. sometimes louder than others but consistent but ive not heard it every since these other problems occurred. overall, the only problem i had was the clicking untill i disconnected my battery then i got more than i wanted. does anyone have any good news on how to fix the problems.-randy
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