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GMC Yukon XL and Yukon XL Denali



  • How ironic!! I recently bought an 06 Yukon XL in October. Recently I noticed a grinding noise and they told me the same thing. I took it to a brake shop to get a second opinion and they said it is a suspension problem. In the process of checking on this lead..
  • thanks for all the info . . . mine is an '01 Yukon XL, but I'm having what may be a similar problem - speaker static. The static comes over the speaker, right when the vehicle is started and slowly (5-10 miles later) dissipates. It happens whether the radio is powered on or off. I recently took the vehicle in for a recall, some kind of fuel circuit assembly thing (I can't recall), but I do remember something in the recall information about a ground wire. I'm thinking when the dealer performed the recall, they didn't do the ground 'right', and in the few weeks after, it's worked loose, and that's what's leading to the static. The dealer told me it could be a blown speaker . . . but with static coming over it whether it's on or off . . . ? That doesn't sound right to me. Any advice on where I start looking for that loose ground . . . ? Thank you very much.
  • my '01 XL is coming up on 80K miles, and I haven't had any tranny service / work done. I need to check out the OM about when this should be done, but I'm thinking you did the 'right' thing and it failed anyway . . . yes?
    By the way, the guy at the Express Lube says they offer two types of tranny service, one drains and the other, they put some kind of vacuum on it to really 'drain it right', or something like that . . . doesn't sound right to me, does it . . . ?
  • thanks to all who have posted on this problem (headliner / speaker(?) static / buzzing), and for directing me to the Tahoe board, where I found a similar problem . . . if this is in fact not speaker / radio / ground related, but rather an aspirator and / or fan related to the ACC, do I just pop off that little speaker-looking 'thing', and replace whatever's underneath, or . . . ? I've seen some mention of doing what may need doing by first removing the headliner, but that seems like more than I want to get in to . . . any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    You can squeeze an inch out just by adjusting the torsion bars which suspend your front end. You probably have enough slack to raise it a half inch or so in the adjustment bolts (support the front end with jackstands then tighten the bolts). Otherwise you need to remove the bars and rotate them to the next position, then retighten the adjustment bolts. Of course the more you raise them the more you will affect your handling. It's built in for fine adjustments, mainly leveling side-to-side, but it works for this too. You can then adjust your autoride height sensor to level the vehicle in the rear. Of course it's nothing like installing a 4-6" Fabtech system, but this is one of the few vehicles which can be lifted slightly without purchasing any new parts. You'll want to get a front-end alignment after messing with the suspension.
  • Thanks Chris. I'll hold off for now, however, if I do lift it, I'll probably want to go with 3 or 4 inches. I don't think one inch would be worth it. I get the impression that installing a lift kit on the Deanli isn't very popular, due to the complexities involved with the AutoRide suspension.

  • I spent some time today getting to know my new XL Denali, specifically taking out the jack equipment, lowering the spare, making sure I could get it all the way out, finding the locations for jacking up the front and back, etc. It certainly isn't easy or clean work, but not terribly difficult either (although I didn't actually remove a wheel and replace it with the spare).

    One thing I noticed is that the crank bar assembly used to lower the spare tire doesn't quite clear the bumper while making the revolutions. If you're real careful, you can tug on it just as it's coming around to the bumper for each crank, however, it's best to use a towel or something soft on the end of the iron, so it won't damage the paint on the bumper. If they had just extended the length another inch, that would have taken care of the issue.

    I'm wondering if anyone has put together a custom spare rig that would allow a true full size (i.e. 17" or 20" setup) to be stored underneath the vehicle. I asked my dealer service advisor once, and he asked a tech, who said they had done it before. But now that I've spent some time underneath, I don't see how they could, unless they removed the spare winch and did some kind of welding of another cross-bar in order to properly center the location for the larger spare.

    Has anyone heard of anything like that?

    I ask because I've had true full size spares in the past, and they come in real handly. They can make a real difference, especially if you get a flat while on vacation, and you're in an area where there isn't an abundance of locations to get the tire repaired (e.g. up in the mountains enjoying the snow). It can really rob an entire day sometimes, and it's not good to drive on a wheel/tire that's a different size like that, particularly in winter weather conditions.

    Please let me know if any of you have heard of a way of mounting a true full size spare (in my case, 17").


  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I don't know about a full size spare, but what size is the spare on a Yukon XL? I would have to crawl underneath to check. I can't imagine it's a "donut" spare like on cars.

    I do know the owner's manual says that after you change the flat tire, you can store it where the spare came from. I also have 17" wheels.

    My guess is that the spare is close enough in size that you can drive on it safely for a long distance at any speed. Equipping a vehicle this big with a small spare would be too dangerous. It is probably the same circumfrence as the regular tires.
  • Thanks for your feedback.

    The supplied spare is 16". Specifically, it's a P245/75R16, Goodyear Wrangler ST, with rating of 109S. The OE tires on the Yukon XL Denali are P265/70R17 Wrangler HP, with rating of 113S.

    I think it's fine to drive on a spare that's slightly smaller and with a different rating for up to a day, as long as the roads are nice and dry, and the vehicle isn't heavily loaded or pulling anything, particularly if the spare goes on the rear.

    However, if the spare goes on the front, or we're up in the snow where the road conditions aren't so nice, then I think it could affect handling negatively quite a bit.

    By the way, I crawled way under to check the clearance of the tire all the way around with a measuring tape, and it looks like there's another 1.9", which should handle a full size wheel/tire combo after all. It didn't look like it had that much clearance when I glanced at it earlier, but the tape confirms it.

    I suppose the only issue is when mounting the flat wheel/tire, it would be good to have some sort of wheel cover that could be put in place, to prevent road debris/hazards from damaging the aluminum wheel (particularly if I upgrade to some really nice rims).

    They just need to make the jack handle extensions a little longer, so the jack handle won't slam into the bumper when cranking!


  • The 16" spare is the same "height" as the 17", so it is considered a full-size spare. Put it along side one of your wheels and you'll see. However, I came across a steel 17" wheel/tire from a Silverado and have put that underneath my Denali as my spare. Fits perfectly. I have used the tool kits on my Denali and Silverardo and an Escalade and had no problem clearing the rear bumper when cranking down the spare.
  • heppshepps Posts: 3
    I've got an 03 Denali with 58000 miles. at the 50k checkup flushed the tranny. Now, we have slipping in 3rd and 4th. Dealer says its a seal and could be whole transmission.

    Seems like this is a recurring issue with all Denali's. Also have bad bearing in front differential.

    Cost on tranny = $1200 to $2600.
    Cost on differential = $700 to $1000.

    I can't believe this happens on a $50k+ vehicle with only 58k miles on it. It really sucks.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Not that you'd want/need to go to such a size, but I read that it's possible to fit even an 18" tire/wheel in the spare tire compartment. Supposedly not just any 18", but it's possible. I sure hope so because I have a Baer Alumasport brake kit on my DXL which can't take anything smaller than 18".
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Just though I would share a positive product experience with y'all.

    I applied Lexol cleaner and conditioner to the light tan leather in my 2005 Yukon XL today. I have been reading the car care forums and some other websites, and this was recommended by a lot of people. I like it very much. Until now, I have only used Maguiar's quick wipes, and while they do remove a lot of dirt quickly, they tend to leave a slick residue even after drying. Not terribly greasy, but not ideal. In my opinion, the Lexol cleaner is not highly potent. The seats were not all that dirty to begin with, but I had to rub for quite a while to remove a few scuff marks. However, in combination with the conditioner, I am very pleased. The seats are left feeling very soft and supple, and not at all slick or greasy. Some other members in the car care forums have suggested that the Lexol conditioner may darken or discolor very light leather, in fact the back of the bottle says so too. So I tried just a spot on the back seat to be safe. No discoloration at all, as far as I can tell.

    The seats have started to develop "character lines" or "stretch marks" after 6 months and 8,000 miles. Not cracks or creases, but the type of "breaking in" you see on a leather jacket. I was hoping they would stay taught and smooth for life, but I have read elsewhere that this type of breaking in is normal. Not a problem, I guess, as long as the Lexol keeps them soft. I may still use the Maguair's now and then for intermediate cleanings, you could see the dirt being picked up on the wipe. But I will continue to do the Lexol conditioner every couple of months.

    My next project, maybe this weekend if it still feels like June outside, will be to wax it again and apply Rainex to the glass and get new wipers.

    Happy motoring to you all!
  • neo6neo6 Posts: 24
    Does anyone have any experience in the ride of a Yukon XL 2WD vs. an AWD Denali XL. I am considering trading my '03 Yukon XL for one of the last 2006 Denali XLs. Know I will give up a little in mpg but want to make sure the ride is still smooth and not too stiff due to the all wheel drive.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I haven't been in one, but the Autoride air suspension is standard, so it ought to be pretty good. Just drive one and see for yourself.

    And, I would get one of the last '05s instead of an '06. The current incentive is $8,000 off of '05s and $5500 off of '06s. The only difference as far as I know is that for 2006 they combined the XM radio and OnStar into a single antenna instead of two separate ones. Totally worth saving and extra $2500, IMHO!

    I am very happy with my 2005 Yukon XL SLT, and not real crazy about the 2007 makeover. I would be all over one of the remaining 2005 Denalis if I had the means. Good luck, and let us know what you decide.
  • Are there any Denali owners out there willing enough to share what there are getting in MPG. Here is my issue, my wife wants a Honda Odyssey. She won't even think of a Denali due to conception of poor mpg. The Odyssey in real world use, and depicted by owners here at the Insideline have indicated they are getting anywhere from 15-20mpg. If thats the case, and the Denali is getting the same, its a no brainer to go with the Denali. However I need this information on paper so I can prove to here beyone a resonable doubt that the Denali is a better way to go. I thank you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's a Honda Odyssey Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers discussion but there's not one for the Denali.

    Unless there's interest in starting one, please toss out your city/highway mpg in here.

    Steve, Host
  • neo6neo6 Posts: 24
    I don't have a Denali but a regular 5.7 Yukon XL. I have a K&N high performance air filter and run synthetic Mobil One. My wife drives mostly around town but either way trips or local - the average I get is about 15.5 period, no matter how I drive. Given the Denali is AWD, I would subtract about 1.0 - 1.5 MPG just to be safe. The Odyssey is a great van (I had one in 2000) but the Yukons are just more comfy inside and feel more truck like. I also like the fact that in the event of a collision, the Yukon will almost always turn out better than the other car. The vans just don't have enough nose and sheet metal between you and the other car. The good news is that the Yukons all run on regular gas vs. 93.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    I've gotten anywhere between 16-17 mpg out of a tank of gas in my '04 DXL--this while travelling around 70 mph; one time I even managed to average 19.1 mpg over a 60+ mile stretch while traveling 65 mph--maybe a fluke/error but that's what the DIC reported. I might have been able to squeeze out another tenth or two mpg if I were rolling on the stock wheels/tires instead of the 20-lb heavier 22" shoes.

    The Odyssey may very well get better fuel economy than the Denali--if even only by a slim margin--but obviously one wouldn't even consider a Denali unless power was a big factor. I mean, who would tell themselves, "I would consider getting a Denali even if it didn't have that 6-liter engine in it..."? Sounds like you definitely are attracted to the additional power the Denali makes over the Odyssey, fuel economy be darned. IMHO if you plan to do mostly highway driving, can control the urge to romp on the gas pedal for the most part, and don't plan to do a lot of long-distance heavy towing, the Denali should be good enough for you. OTOH--if there will be quite a city driving mixed in, then the Denali isn't it for you since I can definitely tell you that real-world city fuel economy sucks big time...rarely can I get 14 mpg (based on 90% surface-street driving) out of my DXL; low-13's are more the norm for me.
  • Thanks for the information!! I've determined that the DXL is the way to go. I want an 04' or 05' due to the fact that the 06' doesnt' have a "instant mpg" just a avg mpg. I was very dissapointed when I drove a new 06' and could get an instant reading. The DXL is just a logical choice for me. Thanks again.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    You won't regret getting a DXL, reliability be darned (that being subjective, of course...depending on whether you really absolutely believe that foreign models/makes are more reliable than domestics)!

    One bit of warning though--IIRC I believe it was (late?) '05 model-year that GM took away the instant fuel economy from their fullsize trucks/SUVs; not only that, they took away the "Personal" and "Business" trip meters (not that big of a loss since I believe they now just display "A" and "B")...and the worse thing of all (as far as convenience is concerned)--the Driver 1/Driver 2 memorized seat/mirror/radio settings recall feature via keyfob remote was also taken away for '05-' can still set/recall memory settings, but ONLY via the recall buttons on the door panel.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I can't remember if I posted this before, but I had an idea last year to get some foam pipe insulation and stick it to the bottom of my garage door. That keeps the tailgate from getting scratched when you open it inside the garage. Thought maybe somebody else could benefit from that.

    I can open the rear glass without hitting anything, even with the garage door closed, but the tailgate is too tall.

    Have a good weekend, everyone. It might snow in Dallas today, I think I'll go find an empty parking lot and play with Stabilitrak and ABS.
  • nogmcnogmc Posts: 1
    No way does a Denali get 15 to 19 mpg, no one makes a 5.7 liter engine with that fuel economy in the real world. You cannot use the cars computer to determine your mpg, you have to do it the old fashioned way. Run through a tank of gas fill it up and divde the miles driven by the # of gallons just entered. I have a Yukon XL and have never gotten more than 13 mpg city or over the road. On top of everything else these cars have terrible service records, run through brakes and tires and are not safer than a Honda Oddysey. In fact these larger trucks are less safe because people feel they have more protection and drive more hazardously. Obviously only thinking about their safety and not the guy they just ran into. Good luck.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Well I learned the value of OnStar, without even using it. I had my first flat tire. Not a blow out, just a slow leak due to a big nail.

    Man, what a hassle to change the tire. I'm sure it will be easier and faster the next time, but the first run through was a challenge. That little jack sure moves slowly doesn't it? Like twenty turns to move it one inch. And at first, the spare tire didn't want to come all the way down, there is some sort of "catch". The manual said to try cranking it back up again until you hear two clicks. If that doesn't work, you have to balance the jack on the tire blocks and raise it up to release some lock or something. Luckily, it came down on its own eventually. Then once it was down, it took me a while to figure out how to turn that bracket just right so it would fit through the wheel.

    I've learned my lesson - practice changing the tire on a new car in your free time so it's not a hassle and a completely new experience when you're in a real hurry. I really have been meaning to, but it's been a busy 7 months... :blush:

    So I am definitely going to renew OnStar when it comes due. I hate to think of my wife trying to change a tire on her own. Much more laborious and time consuming than doing a donut on a regular car. She watched me do it and understands how it works, but it takes a long time. I hate to think of her working on the side of a busy road for so long, or in a parking lot attracting the attention of strange men. And truck tires are heavy (surprise surprise)! It was hard even for me to lift the spare into place, and then to get the flat up inside the back. If she's alone, I'd rather she just call for roadside assistance. Heck, I'd call OnStar myself if it was raining. I hate to look like a wimp, but that job takes a long time. You're going to get soaked, and you absolutely have to get down on the ground to place the jack and get the spare out.

    Overall, I am impressed with the new vehicle. This is my first large SUV. The storage system for the spare is a neat design. It's a full size spare, and you can store the flat in the same place after changing. It has a lock that prevents other people from stealing the spare tire. And the TPMS is great. I had the kids loaded up and was ready to drive off when it warned me that I was low, down to 17 psi. I'm glad this is becoming a standard feature on new vehicles.
  • I've got a 2004 Yukon XL Denali and am having to have the transmission relpaced at 43k. Dropped the car off at the dealership and within 5 min. got a call stating the problem and that they had contacted GM and GM would cover the repair less a $500 deductible. I don't even have an extended warrantiy. Talked to a fellow at the dealership 2 mo. ago who had a '04 Envoy who had has his tranny replaced at 15k and was having problems again at 30k.
    Sounds like GM knows there is a problem but doesn't want to announce a full scale recall.
  • gapjs40gapjs40 Posts: 6
    Since you were the only person to reply to the former message let me try this on you. Have you had any problem with stalling when slowing down. We know it's electrical but don't know if it is the ignition switch or what. WE also had to replace the fuel pump.

    Thanks for the reply.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Man you got me worried--I own an '04 DXL too...on the "bright" side, I do have an extended warranty. But still...the fact that you have the same model and year as mine; I'm at 35k miles right now, and the thing that concerns me is that according to the tranny temp gauge, it doesn't take too long for my tranny to go past 150. After around 30 minutes or so of steady driving, it's in the 170 range...and that's even with an ambient temp in the 50's, and no towing or other heavy load.

    Just curious--what kind of tranny temps do you get in your truck? I know it'll vary somewhat depending on outside temp, so if you could provide tranny temps at different outside temps (no tow, little or no cargo load)...I'd appreciate it! I ask because everywhere else I've read/asked, other folks say that their tranny temps hardly reach 150 even on a decently-warm summer day.

  • I have not had this problem, but it sounds like one the the symptoms of a bad 'crankshaft position sensor'.
  • racermdracermd Posts: 3
    I've got an '04 DXL and drive somewhat conservatively with an occasional thrill launch. That gets me roughly 14 MPG combined city/highway (about a 50/50 mix). However, your average MPG will vary greatly depending on what your city/highway mix will be. The Denali doesn't do so well around town as you might guess. It's a heavy vehicle that needs lots of power to get moving. Once it's moving and at-speed (such as a long highway ride), there's not much else that needs to keep it going.

    I ran a round-trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans and got an average of just over 20 MPG! Even my "old" '01 Silverado couldn't get that.

    The trick is to keep your speed from being excessive but also keeping it steady.

    Also, keep in mind how much you're going to enjoy and spend on the vehicle in the long-run. There are much more imortant factors than simple fuel economy, even if your priorities might be tilted in that direction.
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