Chevrolet Avalanche Engine Problems

KCRamKCRam Member Posts: 3,516
The new place to discuss your Av engine woes!


  • hbdhbd Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 avalance. while driving down the highway or road, with a full tank of gas the engine die for no reason. I have to pull over to the side of the road and crank it back up. It starts without a problem.
  • hbdhbd Member Posts: 2
    With a full tank of gas the engine will die for no reason.
  • jerrywimerjerrywimer Member Posts: 588
    Dirty fuel filter? Fuel pump failing? Those would be the two things I'd check first. Since your Av is a 2003, the fuel filter should be inline in the fuel lines along the frame rail somewhere, relatively easy to get to and replace. Newer models have incorporated the filter into the pump itself (both of which are submerged in the fuel tank, and MUCH harder to get to from all reports).

    Good luck, and I hope it's as simple as needing the filter changed.
  • mrjwalkrmrjwalkr Member Posts: 2
    Just bought a used 2004 Chevy Avalanche. Love the truck. Nevertheless, a few weeks later i get this chirping noise from the engine. Belts, pulleys, tensioners... Gotta parade to participate in so i run it over to Sears who replaced the AC tensioner. 30 mins later the noise returned. They said they "missed" diagnosed and the noise was coming from the alternator. Probably the bearings. I replaced the alternator myself. 30 mins of riding later, the noise returned. Sorta a chirping, squealing, belt/pulley noise. Not seeing any ill effects but pretty annoying. Any ideas?
  • mrjwalkrmrjwalkr Member Posts: 2
  • andromadorandromador Member Posts: 2
    I have have a 03 AV and I hear a noise when I first crank it up. Sounds like a few lifters are not primed up. It only last two seconds and quits. It does it cold or hot, I was wandering if this is the piston slap that I read about in a earlier message? Also can the marbling noise in the intermediate steering shaft be fixed by taking it apart and greasing the universal joint, or do I need to replace it?
  • johnpaultenjohnpaulten Member Posts: 4
    :sick: a/c blower motor will not stop with ingnition off,Is there
    a relay? 2003 AV.
  • upstechupstech Member Posts: 1
    While driving down the street the truck lost power.When I tried to crank it backup it start when I turned the key :sick:
  • heath2002heath2002 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 avalanache 2500 8.1 that just dies going down the road. I see others with the same problem what was done to fix it.
  • sparky75sparky75 Member Posts: 2
    I had a 2001 silverado Z71 on a lease, I had this vhichle 61 mo. on a 60 mo. lease. I loved this truck, but at 9,200 mi I got a ticking noise in the engine, well over and over I went to the dealership, and Finally they admitted this was the "piston slap" that GM was getting a bad rap over. I did not know where to turn because the dealership was saying ther is NOTHING we can do to fix it. I got a tip from an attorney friend of mine, and he said go to the BBB and file a complaint. Well I took his advice and sure enough! Chevrolet called me 2 days later. The lady flat out asked me what I wanted them to do, basically name it. I told her I was a huge fan of Chevrolet and liked my truck, just back up what your dealership is saying "it is not a problem to worry with." She said no problem, we will extend warranty FULL WARRANTY up to 115,000 mi or 72 mo. Well I was ok with that.. So now my lease on that vehicle was fullfilled and I bought a New 2007 Chevy Avalanche. I purchased this Oct. 2006. I now have 10,200 mi and Guess what!!! It started ticking! I just picked it up from the dealer 3 hr ago and they said "WE CAN"T FIX IT"!!!! If you have piston slap I would file W/ You will get results!!! Looks like I will be doing it again too... :cry::cry::cry:
  • sparky75sparky75 Member Posts: 2
    :confuse: :confuse: :confuse: Does anyone else have a cold start ticking noise from the 5.3L AV engine, and if so what is your dealer or mechanic saying about it? I need help.... My dealer says it is because Chevrolet has hydralic lifters, and when the oil is cold they tend to ping?? All replys WELCOME.........
  • rocky07rocky07 Member Posts: 9
    sparky75 and andromador......I have a cold engine ticking but it's not piston slap. Before you you are convinced by a dealer that it is piston slap, go to and listen to the audio sample. Piston slap can occur in one or more of the cylinders depending on your vehicle. My '07 does NOT sound like that. And, if you have an '07, it is very likely that you do NOT have piston slap since GM changed the method for matching pistons to cylinders (by size & tolerances) for the '07 model year. Incidently, the link I referred to will give you a description and reason behind piston slap. Dealers often use piston slap as an excuse since the problem is widely known.

    The tap I have, sparky75, is related to the hydraulic lifters however not as the dealer explained to you. My tap is NOT at every cold engine start. It is only on cold starts after one of the valves for 1, 4, 6 or 7 cylinders (they are the 4 cylinders that shut down in the V4 mode) while one the high-point of the cam. Then, during the cool down period, the hydraulic pressure bleeds off. Then, when started cold, there is valve lash for over 1 minute (sometimes for 2 minutes) until the hydraulic pressure is sufficient to build up the lifter. The resulting tap is the rocker arm slamming on the valve top as a single, metal-to-metal tapping sound.

    I still have no resolution with my dealer, but hadn't thought of the BBB as an avenue. Might try that one.
  • sp7128sp7128 Member Posts: 2
    what was your problem/ 8.1 started this last night and I noticed some play in the serpentine belt tensioner,,,but I know gm is famous for alternator noise....85k miles
  • alanm311alanm311 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2004 Avalanch, 87K , sqeaking, :o( I have changed my tensoiner and belt, last week, the next day the sqeeking is back. . same issues you guys are having, have you fiqured this one out. please advise


  • rick109rick109 Member Posts: 1
    Not sure if this helps any, but did you check the lower belt and tensioner? I just changed the belts (yes, the hidden one on the bottom and behind the serpentine belt) on my 04'-5.3 and had a problem with the bottom tensioner. I didn't find it until I went to replace the serpentine.

    Hope it helps,

  • waldo560waldo560 Member Posts: 2
    I have an 02' 2500 that does the same thing. Engine dies going down the road, pull over wait 10 seconds engine restarts. Will also crank and crank sometimes when starting and will not start. Wait 10 seconds and it will fire right up. Can anyone help me with this. Have taken it to repair shop and they cannot figure it out.
  • hicks2281hicks2281 Member Posts: 2
    Just left the dealership and they are telling me it is a bad lift spring or the cam shaft going bad that the engine would need to be replaced. Said they can put a used engine in it with 62,000 for the same price as to tear down and replace cam and lifters. Anybody else with similar problems? Also just had the oil changed and now the taping noise has stoped.
  • hicks2281hicks2281 Member Posts: 2
    I have 130,000 and it is happening as you discribed. The dealership say's it is not the pulley or belt it is intenal.
    Anybody else with same problem?
  • thadloochthadlooch Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem its been happening for awhile with me i found out that its the ECM fuse it keeps blowing.But with mine my truck doesnt start unless i replace the fuse. From what i been told is that the fuel pump might be going but also been told that it might be the distributor going as well. it actually just shut off me on yesterday but for now i jus keep extra fuses in my truck with me for the time being.
  • boggsy1boggsy1 Member Posts: 2
    My truck has been running "rough", loss of power, sputtering. Check engine light is on intermitten. I had Auto Zone read the code and it was a mass airflow sensor. I bought a new sensor and it seemed fine, the engine light went out. Today (one day later) my truck wont start. I thought I may have gotten a bad sensor so I got another one. I will try it tomorrow. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem. Thanks!
  • chris_4325chris_4325 Member Posts: 3
    I'm looking for a new car/truck/SUV and here is my dilemma: I like Avalanche’s look, but Tundra’s reliability. Currently I have 1999 Ford F-150, and never had any problems with it. I bought it brand new and now it has 140K miles on it. Once a while I need a pick-up truck, and I’d like to enjoy the nice look of it. The bed in a new F-150’s appears much bigger to what I’m used to and I don’t like it. I like the appearance of Chevy Avalanche, but I’ve read that people are having some problems with it. On the other hand Tundra would be more reliable, but it is rather a typical pick-up truck. I might also add that my teenage sons dream of Avalanche. Can you advise me please which car to choose from, or give me some thoughts to start with?
  • farthurfarthur Member Posts: 1
    Yep similar problem 2003 avalanche but dealer took down engine Bad news liffter out cam shaft out also Hmm 68000 miles never hot rodded I am 69 years over this stage oil changed before recomended used best amsoil on the market am told not worth fixing motor probably better to put in new crate engine would be more cost effective as new waranty 7 years 100000 milesI am going through GM motors to see if I can get some help on this problem but told do not hold my breath. Well have serious thoughts about GM and waranty. See what happens with GM customer satisfaction responce in the mean time on rental. Oh crate engine about $4500 and $1800 t0 take out install new motor with putting tin on new engine can"t trade off junker price only screwed Any answers??????????????
  • daddydoggydaddydoggy Member Posts: 1
    ive got a 06' avalanche i bought used couple years ago and it was runnin good until
    today when the engine light on the dash came on. its got about 57,000 on it. and i cked the antifreeze level was low? umm. i leveled it off. also noticed the volt meter in the dash was showin alittle high 14.8 ? might be allright i guess. also the gas cap was loose so i retightened it. my wife drives it........everything seems allright.
    all the fluid levels, battery connections. no weird engine noises.
    any ideas????????? :confuse:
  • Deane45Deane45 Member Posts: 3
    I have an 2003 Avalanche and replaced the motor at 53,000 miles. Talk about sick. Screw GM and American made if all I get is a POS that I had to pay over $7,000 to repair. It had been a good driving vehicle but I don't think I will buy another. Currently, the electronic display is stuck on whether I should select english, french, or espanol. In the name of technology I can't see how many miles I have without dropping more serious cash. I think I need to stop before I get on a ranting ti-raid.
  • cedenscedens Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a used 2007 Avalanche from a non GM dealer with about 29,000 miles at purchase it now has 35,000 miles 1,000 hours on it. The dealer I purchased from serviced the vehicle with oil change. Time for my first oil change the lifters started to make loud noise similar to a diesel at idle and check engine light came on then started to misfire on number six cylinder. I drove it to dealer for service and oil change and dealer stated error codes P0521 and P0300. During the oil change the dealer stated that engine sludge was the problem. Recommended pulling the oil pan replacing the oil pump all not covered by the warranty “due to lack of maintenance” and possible replaces lifters or total engine replacement. I gave the OK to pulling the oil pan and replacing the oil pump but wanted to see the pan before cleaning. I looked in the oil pan no sludge present pan was clean but some carbon flakes less than one fourth the size of coffee grounds in the sump. I also noticed some larger flakes in the oil pickup screen. I told the dealer to flush the engine two times and change the oil then try to see what happens. Lifters are a little quitter now but check engine light is on and still misfires on one cylinder. Any help would be appreciated.
  • tstotsto Member Posts: 1
    Does anybody know where the camshaft sensor is located on a 04' avalanche 5.3L? :confuse:
  • doboy90doboy90 Member Posts: 2
    My 2003 Avalache was idling in a parking lot and quit running which it never has before. Trying to restart it, it will turn over but not start. The check engine diagram is now on in the instrument panel which also has never done before?? Any suggestions?? I checked the fuses and disconnected the battery, still didnt work? After continuous attempts you can also smell gas so I am assuming its not a fuel issue. Help please!!!
  • doboy90doboy90 Member Posts: 2
  • drdave2kdrdave2k Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Avalanche with 150k miles on it and have had only one mechanical problem with it and that is the front wheel bearing went bad. I love my truck and probably will never buy anything else. In fact due to the snow and ice I let my wife use it several times this winter and now she wants one so we are doing some shopping. Definitely would recommend the Avalanche.
  • drdave2kdrdave2k Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2010
    My 02 did the same thing right after an oil change, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a $2.50 bottle of STP oil treatment and it runs like a champ again.
  • ewingshooterewingshooter Member Posts: 1
    I realize this is an older post but thought I would let you in on a current experience that I am having with my 09 Avalanche...I love the truck but have had the oil pump changed at 75K miles via the dealer warranty and had the same chirping sound...turned out to be the cam shaft and lifters...again replacedat 98K miles by the dealer warranty. I have owned the truck since 8-5-09 when I purchased the truck with 5 miles on it...I have driven over 93,000 miles in the 2.5 years that I have owned the truck..lots of highway miles...I have used Royal Purple 5W-30 oil as recommended every 7K miles... I just pray nothing else goes wrong....its still not paid for but the service warranty is about to expire...

    I have always driven a GM product...I own 5 other Chevy trucks with 5.7 litre motors but have never had these types of engine problems. I love the gas AV is a 4x4 and has never left the highway...and I get 21.5 on the highway and 18-19 in the town driving...If the engine proves reliable I would like to own another Av as my dealer states that GM will discontinue it in 2013.
  • bigdogsx3bigdogsx3 Member Posts: 1
    I am an auto mechanic with 32 yrs exp. I got my 07 avalanche with 30 thsnd miles on it, and have changed oil every 3 th with synt. oil. I service ALL my vehicles with top notch parts, no 2nd brand crap... The engine threw codes for #6 injector, i replaced, no difference, Took off head and #6 rocker arm didnt move. Took to GM and even tho they SEE the engine is clean, wont repair. 1 month outta warranty, just turned 60 000 miles, THEY know there is a problem, becasue there was also another 07 in for the exact same thing the same time as mine. I am going to fight GM for them to fix this. THIS is the reason i will NEVER buy GM again My Nissan pathfinder 225 thousands miles on it and you cant even hear it run.... has anyone gotten it fixed on GMs tab?? this is ridiculous. You pay 50 tho for a truck it shouls last more then 60 thous miles. And my truck doesnt pull anything, Godforbid i have to haul my horses somewhere, then what..... any help from anyone whose had this same issue. i am sure i am not the only one.
  • silver28silver28 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a new 2010 Avalanche that came with a 6.2 "cadillac engine"..I only have about 7000 klms on it..It sat for a few days and when I started it up a lot of blue smoke came out,,oil would be my guess,,has any one else had this problem??
  • otis4411otis4411 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2012
    I have a 06 avalanche with the 5.3L It started that chirping a couple of weeks ago. Has 94K miles and I alway's changed the oil regularly. 5k miles. I'm going to look around and see what may be a better oil to use. I have been using castrol 5w 30. I'm going to buy a used engine from a friends salvage company and maybe rebuild my old engine myself. I'm going to have the heads done to boost horsepower and do a camshaft upgrade maybe from summitt. I can easily add 100hp by doing that. Seems a hydraulic roller lifter has messed up knocking a lobe off the cam. I had a lot of fine metal in my oil pan. So I know how you feel. It sucks.
  • altrestle1altrestle1 Member Posts: 1
    Just had to rebuild my 07. Did you get anywhere with GM?
  • badbrad74badbrad74 Member Posts: 1
    My Chevrolet Avalanche did same thing on 10/2/12. I was driving down the road and the motor started knocking like a jack hammer was inside of it. All the lights came on which were engine light,traction control, stability control and something else which i cant remember. The truck lost all power and i thought it blew up. My Avalanche is a 2007 LTZ fully loaded with a 6.0 motor. Called Gm and they were very helpful. Took to local chevrolet dealership and diagnosed with # 4 cylinder misfired and lifters were broke or locked up and cam was damaged. They are replacing all lifters and new cam in it. Had to show records oil changes but GM gave me no questions after that. Pick it monday. Goodluck and hope they paid for yours also.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Member Posts: 1,964
    Good morning badbrad74,

    We're glad to hear that your dealership is taking such great care of you! Keep us updated on how everything is looking when you pick your Avalanche up on Monday.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • billwhite62billwhite62 Member Posts: 3
    02 avalanche very hard to start on the first start. acts as if no fuel...starts rough and after pressing hard in the gas, will finally lever out and run smooth. I'm guessing a bad cold start sensor, but what do I know. any ideas?
  • jpinelajpinela Member Posts: 6
    I got the same problem and my is only 57,700 miles. I bought it new.
    the dealer will pay half wich is close to 1,100.
  • jpinelajpinela Member Posts: 6
    I would like to get as many people with the same problem
    and try to get a recall on this issue. and for those who had
    paid get their money back. my Avalanche has only 57,700 miles. I bought it new.
    the dealer will pay half wich is close to 1,100. the noise is getting worse.
  • kokopelli_aradkokopelli_arad Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2013
    I have 07 LTZ Avalanche. for awhile I complain in a local dealer that my lifters doing allot of noise especially when I start the car in the morning. on top of it the engine loosing oil and not leaking. I had to ad 1.5 quarts after 2k miles of oil change. every single time the dealer would of come and say that they didn't find any problem with the car. I've change a dealer and got the same answers.....I've decided to record on the phone when I start the car in the morning and went to a third dealer near my work and eventually at last yesterday the guy called and said that they suspect the camshaft is no good and they need to get an approval from the warranty on Monday. my avalanche has 93k. since 5 years has expired I've extended the warranty with Zurich Auto Warranty. it's really irritating me that the chevy dealers out there not really has the qualify man power to find such a problem before it's developing to the worse.
  • kokopelli_aradkokopelli_arad Member Posts: 2
    I have 07 LTZ Avalanche. for awhile I complain in a local dealer that my lifters doing allot of noise especially when I start the car in the morning. on top of it the engine loosing oil and not leaking. I had to ad 1.5 quarts after 2k miles of oil change. every single time the dealer would of come and say that they didn't find any problem with the car. I've change a dealer and got the same answers.....I've decided to record on the phone when I start the car in the morning and went to a third dealer near my work and eventually at last yesterday the guy called and said that they suspect the camshaft is no good and they need to get an approval from the warranty on Monday. my avalanche has 93k. since 5 years has expired I've extended the warranty with Zurich Auto Warranty. it's really irritating me that the chevy dealers out there not really has the qualify man power to find such a problem before it's developing to the worse.
  • jpinelajpinela Member Posts: 6
    That's great that you have warranty. I didn't buy it.hopefully you'll get it fix for free.
  • jpinelajpinela Member Posts: 6
    Im so disappointed with my truck and specially with GM. That I'll never again will buy their cars.
    I think that I will fix it and sell it.
  • wheel61wheel61 Member Posts: 2
    I purchased an 2008 LTZ new, after about 60,000 miles i started to have engine noise, low oil pressure indicator was lighting up, took into my Chevy dealer, told me lifter had colapsed, after further inspection , cam shaft was worn, lifters worn, and a host of other problems, they basically rebuilt the motor ( under warranty ) after repairing it was still ticking, unknown to me at the time they added oil thickener to quiet it down. Now my warranty has exspired 1 year later, oil pressure light came on again, now they tell me my motor is done ! After talking to many people including service guys, they are having problems with sludging in the oil pan, and r now saying the oil change monitor on all these vehicles is not working and the oil should be changed every 3500 miles.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Let us know if there's anything we can check into for you. We can be reached via email at [email protected] (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation so far).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • gtrottier109gtrottier109 Member Posts: 5
    hi there,

    First post here...glad to see I am not the only one who has problems with the Av engine... I got mine in today for an engine noise.... 2009 Z71 with 41200 km.... Dealer just called me... he needs to open it up to see what's going on... Asks me to get all my invoices for oil changes as GM will ask him cause it's under warranty. Who keeps oil changes invoices ???? My OnStar is activated and tracks when the oil changes were done...

    I am hoping they will cover it even I do not have all the oil changes invoices.... and on top of that, it's always been with Synthetic... I have ALWAYS bought GM my 5th car/truck... not sure anymore...
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    Keep us posted, gtrottier109. I am guessing that you're outside of the United States as you're using kilometers as your unit of measure. If you need information for how to contact Customer Service in your region, let me know your country and I will get that to you.
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • gtrottier109gtrottier109 Member Posts: 5
    You guessed right Sarah... I'm in the Ottawa-Gatineau region in Canada
  • wheel61wheel61 Member Posts: 2
    I can tell you this, depending on your onstar does not save you, they want to see that you are using a GM approved oil filter, as well as oil. and that the oil changes were done at the correct times. I have also learned from the service techs and other GM personel that they are having engine issues with their onboard oil change indicators, I am told that I should not wait till my indicator say 10% or less but to change my oil every 5000 - 6000 km. After my first engine problems started they opened up the engine, the Cam was worn, lifters collapsed and they said there was so much sludge in the oil pan. I said i had always serviced my vehicle at the GM dealer regularly. They said they knew that and it is a problem . They will fix your engine for now, but it will not fix the problem. Mine needed a new engine, after basically being rebuilt. 10,000 miles later they wouldnt repair it anymore. ( just after warranty ran out )

    Good luck !
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