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GMC Yukon XL and Yukon XL Denali



  • Does my '05 Yukon XL have a built in controller for trailer brakes? I recently rented a tandem axle trailer with a 7 pin wiring harness and was informed by the rental place that my Yukon controlled the trailer brakes. Is this true? Why are there aftermarket brake controllers if this is true? What does the "trailer brake" wire in the 7 pin harness do if it is not controlling the trailer brakes?

    I routinely tow a 3000 lb. boat/trailer with surge brakes and it seems to work fine. Is there a reason to do anything differently?
  • Knocking sounds: try amsoil high performance synthetic lubrication. The oil had a drain life of 35K miles.
    Grinding: probably front wheel bearings.
    Stalling: likely a failing fuel pump.
    Squeal: likely A/C compressor.
  • Here's a list of recalls for the 2000 GMC Yukon XL: d/17581

    Others can be referenced from the same site.
  • I would be very surprised if electric trailer brakes were standard on this vehicle. Historically, GM would supply a cable that allowed you to connect to your favorite controller. The controller then receives a signal from your brake light switch that tells it you are slowing down. The controller determines ( various methods employed ) how much voltage to supply to the trailer brakes and puts that voltage out on pin 7. Without the controller, there is no voltage on pin 7. I have never tried surge brakes. My electric controller allows you to adjust how much braking is applied to the trailer. I would guess that surge brakes do not allow this to be done from the cockpit.
  • peegee12peegee12 Posts: 4
    Turned on the windshield wipers on my 03 Yukon XL and they wouldn't turn off -- had to pull the fuse. When I took it to the dealer for service, they "couldn't replicate" the problem. It's happened twice since then -- I pull the fuse to stop the wipers, and when I replace it several hours later, the wipers work OK. Anyone have similar problems/know of a fix? I've also had to replace the speedometer unit cluster (over $300!), and have had trouble with the AWD system lights going crazy. Maybe it was a bad Monday morning in Janesville when they put my dashboard together??
  • Thanks for the clarification on this. If anyone from GM is listening - I am sure a built in brake controller would be a popular option for those who plan to do much towing.
  • I recently installed a magnaflow cat back system on my denali. The system looks good and sounds great at the curb. But at highway speed the interior DRONE is more than I can handle! Between 1800rpm and 2200 rpm the inside of the cab sounds like a jet on take off. I pulled the system off and I'm looking for a new exhaust. I'm considering the Corsa Touring. Has anyone tried this system? And if someone wants a used Magnaflow just let me know!!!
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Does the Magnaflow catback come in different muffler sizes? I ask because--and I can speak just for the muffler-only setups--how much interior drone is somewhat affected by how large (or small) the muffler is. I know of a few folks who run the larger Magnaflow muffler (5x11x22) on their Denali/DXL w/ very little to no drone at cruising speeds (except when you romp on the gas pedal, of course!).
  • To all who want to know how GM takes care of its customers I suggest you read my post. I am a 2003 Yukon XL owner, owned a '97 GMC Suburban prior. Be forewarned to anyone who puts miles on the '03 and forward Yukons and Chevy equals. There is NOTHING Professional Grade about these vehicles!!!
    I currently have 116,000 miles on a '03 Yukon XL that was bought in 12/02. I ALWAYS buy the GMPP Extended Warranty to cover my butt for the standard problems that may occur. This truck is a POOR excuse for a well built vehicle. The vehicle is WELL maintained by GM dealers on the East Coast. I have NO issues with my main dealer as they have bent over backwards to keep me a customer. If I were a dealer I would be embarrassed to represent such a product. To date my vehicle has had to have both Front Hubs replaced. One under extended warranty at 75K miles the other out of my pocket at 98K miles. I have 4 friends with a total of 7 Yukon’s including mine. On these vehicles 5 hubs have had to be replaced. Sounds like an issue to me. If the truck was used in city driving or off road I would understand but for an ON THE ROAD truck this is not an acceptable quality level for a $48,000. truck.
    Also note two of my friends are having issues with their transmissions as mentioned in other postings. If you are looking into buying a USED YUKON make sure you know the signs of transmissions that are in the process of breaking down as this is NOT an inexpensive repair on the 4x4’s.
    The truck currently has EXTREME rust on poorly plated or painted components both INSIDE the truck and UNDER the hood. 50% of the mounting bolts, brake lines, mounting brackets, brackets inside the truck that are components to the seats. This case has caused me to have to replace the Idler pulley on the AC due to being RUSTED solid to a point the IDLER wheel froze. This is an under the hood component.
    My last issue was the straw that broke the camel back. I have had a rotational noise that was reported to the dealer at appox 68K miles. The dealer in multiple visits replaced the Rotors, rear brakes, emergency brake (that has NEVER been used) at a cost of $600. Seemed like the issue was gone. Go back home to a warmer climate and the noise is back. One month later take the car back and it is diagnosed as the front hub as discussed above. Once again seems like problem solved. Wrong noise still there. Take it into the dealer again and say it is defiantly coming from the passenger rear wheel area. Dealer finds it is the Backing Plate to the brakes. The part is rusted thru and rubbing on the housing part of the Emergency Brake. I flipped. I can understand a part that is worn due to rotational wear BUT a part that DOES NOT MOVE and its only function is to keep material away from the housing to RUST thru is BS. This truck is just over 3 years old. My European Vehicles NEVER had this issue. I guess they can afford a little extra plating and paint on the vehicle instead of putting $4000. in retirement and health benefits for employees. The part is less that $20. but the WHOLE rear end has to be pulled to be replaced. $400. to replace both sides. I also had to replace for the 2nd time the Rear Brake pads AND Emergency Brake Pads. If you search on this post you will note other people complaining about this issue with the emergency brake shoes. Overall the WHOLE rear end of this truck is a poor 1960 design that has never been updated. In GM's mind at least they put real brakes on this truck unlike the older Yukons and Suburban’s that had CAR Rotors and Drums.
    I asked my dealer to speak to the regional service advisor and I have NEVER met a more complete description of a Talking Head, Rubber Stamp that this individual was in my life. He had NO interest in hearing about the problems with my Yukon due to the fact it had over 100K miles. I guess his take is "What do you expect?" I should be happy I got 100K miles on it and why don't you look at a NEW UGLY '07. What I expect is a maintained vehicle to last. TO NOT have planned obselessance built in. He said if they put an extra $1.00 in every part of this truck that it would be too expensive. Once again other manufacturers have figured out how to do it but Americas Big 3 are all lip service.
    The cheap plastic look that they feel is quality on the inside of this truck is a joke. NO European or Japanese manufacturer would allow witness lines from the tools to show on any plastic parts that are visible to a passenger. They are all over this vehicle. Take a look at the bottom of the plastic pillar covers for the front windshield right below the afterthought tweeters. No reading lights in the 3rd row, have to turn on all the lights if someone all the way back wants to do anything with light. And YES that high pitched chirp in COLD weather above the drivers left ear that is a sensor for ambient temperature. Cheap bearing and a weak design. Again the Europeans have used this technique for years and in the 80's had the same problem. They fixed it, now GM puts it in a car and still does not know what Benchmarking is to other manufacturers. BTW this is the same noise you will hear from the Blower Motor for the Climate Control fan that pushes the air thru the Yukon as it starts to go. Just a little louder and a slightly lower pitch.
    I have many other complaints that I will be taking up with GM directly if I can get to the person above the area guy. He would not give me any information on how to contact his manager or supervisor. He said write a letter to Detroit. I called the GM Customer Advisor Number and am still waiting for a return call.
    Unfortunately this will probably be my last GM product. I read an article in Fortune magazine and a questioned was asked if GM needed to be bailed out by the Government like Chrysler did would the government help? GW’s answer was “GM-Drop Dead. I now feel the same.
    If you want a true review of a GMC Yukon read the Forbes article. Pretty accurate non bias!
    Feel free to e-mail on this post I will respond. I am VERY UPSET with GM and will tell anyone untainted opinions of the issues I have had.
    To anyone who still buys one, I wish you better luck.
  • brucemacbrucemac Posts: 1
    hi there. my wife and i recently purchased a new 06 denali xl and have been really liking it so far. we didn't purchase the extended warranty and after reading some of these posts i'm a little concerned!

    at any rate to my question:

    sometimes when i start my car cold, i hear a "chunk" coming from the engine compartment. sometimes it is louder than others and it does not always happen. usually when it does occur it is after the car has been sitting overnight or for a while. the best way i can describe it is a "chunk" sound. could this be the starter? i'm hesitant to take it in because it doesn't do it all the time, but at the same time, i'm a little concerned it could be something serious. any ideas?

    to clarify, this happens about one to two seconds after the car starts, but before i go to shift. i don't have any shifting problems or anything like that.
  • My Yukon is a 2004 XL with 265x70 Bridestones with 17" wheels. While the spare may be full size it is a 16" Firestone. So much for roatation & getting use out of the spare! Did I get ripped off? What size spare was supposed to come with this?
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    No, you did not get ripped off, that's how they all are. It is a smaller wheel, but with a taller sidewall, so it has about the same circumference. It's "full size" but not "matching".

    I suppose it would be nice to have an exact match so you could rotate them all through. But then we'd have to pay more for a matching wheel as well.
  • schitwoodschitwood Posts: 1
    peegee12, I've had the same problem with my 2003 Yukon wipers except mine started when I pressed the wash button where they are suppose to come on for 4-5 wipes, but then they would not turn off even though I did not actually have the wipers in the "on" position. Had to pull the fuse like you did. Took it to the dealer on 5/12/06 and they said that it would cost $179.00 to replace the wiper module. Sounds like this is a recurring problem & I don't understand why it's not on the recall list.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I read about something on one of the GM SUV posts and decided to try it out. Thought I would throw in my two cents now. I recently got the Prince Lionheart mat that goes underneath a child's car seat to protect the upholstery. It is apparently only available at Babies R Us. I saw several other brands but they either covered only the bottom and not the back, or they were made of thin fleece material. This one is fairly thin, but it's very dense on the bottom cushion so the gouges I was getting in my leather seat are no longer a problem. The bottom is also non-slip like that shelf liner stuff. I'm happy with it for $20. I thought about getting two more, as we have a total of three kids in car seats. But, the other two ride in the third row, which is made of vinyl and not real leather. I've noticed that third row is much tougher, less susceptible to damage, and easier to clean. But I did want something good to save the middle row seat, and this is a great product.
  • peegee12peegee12 Posts: 4
    Schitwood, that's the same story I got -- the module in the wiper motor goes bad, and the entire motor has to be replaced. This appears to be one of many problems (e.g., speedometer cluster, 4wd activation lights, daylight running lights) that GMC prefers to let the customer take care of after the warranty period, rather than recalling and fixing during assembly. If anybody from GMC is reading this, you have a lot of very dissatisfied customers out here! Doesn't seem like the kind of customer service attitude a failing corporation should be taking ... I've been a loyal GM customer since my first car (a new '62 Corvair), but this Yukon XL is probably my last. Poor quality, and an indifferent dealer network, are driving me away.
  • I'd be happy with another 265x70-17 tire with a steel wheel. At least I could get some value out of the spare tire.
  • :) You're talking about saving 500-600 $/yr in fuel savings at today gasoline prices for the Honda vs. the Denali. The Denali is a $45,000 vehicle after discount & you're worried about $500? Buy the vehicle that you want and don't sweat the $500. By the way, buy major brand gasoline don't try to save $1.00/wk by buying the cheap crap. I make it, I know.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    " has about the same circumference."

    "About" is the operating word here; I dunno what size spare comes w/ the YXL, but on my DXL w/ OEM 265-70-17 tires, the OEM spare is--believe it or not--a 245-75-16...which is clearly smaller in circumference than the stock wheel. Dunno how well this would work out on an AWD vehicle if you had a flat, but that's the size of the OEM spare tire on my rig.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    It's close enough to be safe until you can get the original repaired or replaced. I really don't see what the big deal is. Most passenger cars come with "donut" spares, and this is far better.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    I dunno where you got the impression that I was concerned about fuel costs in general, let alone worry about a $500 difference in fuel savings... :confuse:
  • neo6neo6 Posts: 24
    I have a 06 Denali XL with less than 2K miles. About two weeks after I took delivery, it started a high pitch hum that occurs either stationary or moving. The volume of the sound increases with more RPM. It is not from the audio as it happens with either A/C or radio shut off. Took it back to the dealer and of course - "technician cannot duplicate the problem". Any ideas? Amazing how the customer service level at GM goes to zero after you walk off the floor with a $55K vehicle..
  • clawson3clawson3 Posts: 1
    My boss got the 07 Denali with the tow package. But there is no hitch? How can you get the tow package without the receiver hitch? I told him it was probably hidden under that bubble plate/fascia, but he swears it is not there! Who is right? Is it under the fascia?
  • vernelmayvernelmay Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 yukon xl as do my two kids. All of our yukons have a very high pitched hum just like yours. No one can hear it when I take it in. It is nerve racking. has anyone found out what it is?
  • yukeyuke Posts: 3
    Actually there is a 1 inch difference in the circumference. Not a biggie. Me, if I had a rear flat I would put the spare on the front, front to the rear flat. Just so as not to cause any rear end damage.(2WD, I'm speaking of)

    I will agree, a 50K $$$ vehicle should never be having the problems we experience. Should be just oil changes for the first 50,000 miles. No skimping in the areas of motor, tranny, brakes, rotors, tires, tie rods, shocks, A/C, hoses, radiator, steering shaft, light assemblies, bulbs, exhaust, heater cores. Just put an extra grand into better components.

    Here's a tire size calculator:

    link title
  • awf_axisawf_axis Posts: 136
    If you look under the "bubble" fascia, there are two little knobs that when turned 45 degrees, will release the fascia.

    The hitch assembly is quite ugly, so when not towing, I put the cover back on.
  • spencer11spencer11 Posts: 2
    I have an 02 Denali XL That came with power heated mirrors I want to put the mirrors with the led arrow in the mirror?? I asked the dealer they said you can't install them on this Denali because it does not have the computer to control the lights?? Does anyone know if this is right or not? I can buy the mirrors used on ebey for around $60.00? But dealer does not want to instal them?? I have not bought the mirrors yet ! Please let me know!
  • rfongrfong Posts: 1
    I have an 2002 GMC yukon xl sle with the standard compass/temperature readouts on the rear view mirror. the other day I was driving and instead of the temperature on the mirror, a "OC"came up. the compass reading is ok. and it has not gone away. I have searched other forums on GM vehicles, and seemingly it occurs on others but i was not able to find the solution. is it the sensor and if it is where in the heck is it. Please i need an answer..
  • tireguytireguy Posts: 200
    After reading that you have a 245 under there I had to go out in my garage with a lighter (can't find a flashlight) and check my spare to make sure I hadn't misread mine when I first looked at it. That's not right; you should not have a 245 for a spare. My 04 YXL came with 265/70R17 polished alloys and also has a 16" steel spare, but it's wrapped with a 265/75R16, which is the same diameter as my running wheels. If it's a reasonably new vehicle, I'd try to get the dealer to correct the mistake, because it is a mistake. The vehicle will drive differently with a significantly smaller tire mixed in.
    But of course it's not completely unsafe. I drove around for years with 31x10.50R15 tires on my Wrangler with the original 225/75R15 spare still mounted. Had I ever had to use it, I couldn't use 4wd unless on sand or some other very soft terrain. AWD isn't so touchy because there is a differential in the transfer case. One thing to remember is that if you have different size tires on either axle (since they're both drive axles, all the time) the front and rear differentials, which are designed to only work in turns, will now be constantly working to allow the smaller tire to spin faster. Might be a problem over an extended period.
    I'm about a week away from replacing the 265 Duelers with some 285/70R17 BFG All-Terrain T/As--can anyone tell me if they'll definitely fit? If I do, I won't be upgrading the spare to match. ;)
  • naligirlnaligirl Posts: 9
    I am very sorry that you have had a bad, and unsatisfactorally resolved situation with your vehicle. I have to say though, to be fair, in my case GM was FANTASTIC! I owned two Yukons prior to my current 03 Denali. My Denali has had so many different problems I can't even begin to list them. The GM Service Rep reviewed my files and immediately agreed to do a buy back. It was a chance meeting that got me with GM. I had not gone directly to them, I was attempting to work through the Dealer who only wanted to sell me a new one. I told them that was ridiculous. At any rate, GM stood up right away to do the best thing for me and has made it as pleasant as possible. I have been waiting months since the agreement to get the 07 Denali built and delivered, due to the camera/nav supply issues, but it is finally on the way to the lot. Obviously, I couldn't be more pleased with GM and the commitment they have shown me. I sincerely hope you too get to the right person who can make things right for you.
  • tdohtdoh Posts: 298
    Okay, I double-checked my OEM spare and verified that it is indeed a 245 tire; however, I dunno if it would be worth my while to have the dealer correct this apparent mistake because:

    1) My vehicle is over 2 years old;
    2) Unless I can find another '04 Denali/XL Denali owner that I can ask to see if his/her spare is a 265, I can see the dealer arguing that my DXL is supposed to come w/ a 245 spare;
    3) Even if the dealer gives me the correct-sized spare, it won't do me much good anyways since I'm running a Baer Alumasport big-brake kit, which requires at least an 18" wheel.

    I can only assume that that 265 tire on your ride came like that straight from the factory--i.e., said spare tire size wasn't mounted onto the spare wheel sometime between when you bought your truck and now.
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