High Mileage Suburbans
HOW MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE HAVE A SUBURBAN WITH MORE THAN 120,000 MILES AND WITH WHAT KIND A MECHANICAL PROBLEMS.?
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That may have been true with the older Suburban/Tahoe but I don't think the new generation model year 2000 and up are as well built. Take a look at all the problems that are listed on this forum. Transmissions failing at 50K miles or less, water pumps and fuel pumps, instrument clusters, AC, you name it they just aren't lasting like they used to. I had a '92 Suburban that I drove for 14 years then bought a new '06. The '06 rides and drives a bit better but I can feel that the engine and tranny are just not as solid as the '92. I think we will come to find out at any of the newer models lasting up to 150K without major repairs will be the exceptions.
THANKS FOR THE COMMENT. :shades:
Twenty five years ago replacing a fuel pump at almost any mileage was unheard of. Likewise steering idler arms. Granted, you do have 349K miles on your vehicle but that means you are averaging a new fuel pump every 85K miles and that to me is BS. And the cost to replace these pumps is HUGE. They are not making these Suburbans like they used to. But then again most buyers keep the vehicle for 5 years at the most and then buy a new one. It is the folks who buy and keep the vehicles who are paying for the GM policy of replacing fuel pumps, idler arms, transmissions, etc. Buy 'em, drive 'em, throw 'em away.
Twenty five years ago, how many cars lasted 85,000 miles?
SUVs and Smart Shopper
I remember when a good friend back in the late 80's went from Anchorage, where I was living at the time, to LA and picked up an older California Suburban with about 130,000 miles on it and drove it home. Then he dumped $10,000 in in practically rebuilding the thing. He was on old car collector anyway and knew what he was getting into. We all thought he was crazy, but he said the Suburbans were built like tanks and most of the miles on this one were easy freeway miles.
You know the rest of the story - he was still driving it in '03 when I last saw him. I'll try to get an update.
You are kidding, right? My second car was a '51 Mercury that went over 100,000 miles for me and was stilling running strong when I sold it. I have owned many cars and trucks that were in the 150K range before I sold them. NEVER replaced a fuel pump or front end parts on any of them. I did replace a few water pumps around 100K miles, some U-joints and a few AC compressors....but certainly not transmissions, rear end parts, fuel pumps or major engine components.
It was a rhetorical question underscoring the fact that modern cars do last longer than their predecessors.
SUVs and Smart Shopper
I use Mobil 1 synthetic and have changed the oil every 12k-15k miles, and I send in a sample to Blackstone Labs for analysis and the report looks good every time, so I'll stay on this schedule. Our driving is probably an ordinary mix of city and highway, and it stays inside out of the rainy NW weather at nite.
I expect now to spend probably an average of about $500-1,000/yr on maintenance outside of routine stuff. This beats the cost of a new one all to heck and so we're driving almost free considering that the rig is mostly depreciated out at this point. I'll wait for the hybrid in a couple of years, and hopefully they'll make it a plug-in, and fix the abomination of those middle tumbling seats that make the cargo bay so short that it won't haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood or sheetrock.
We also bought an '86 Sub (diesel) new and drove it for 256k miles but it needed an engine transplant at 160k, sadly. Based on the higher maintenance in many areas on the '86, I feel strongly that the '02 machine is of far better quality and it's certainly a pleasant vehicle for any kind of driving.
'er y' go.
SUVs and Smart Shopper
Unlike the Europeans, Detroit never learned how to build a good passenger car/SUV diesel. At 160K miles European diesels are just starting to get broken in.
HAPPY MOTORING :shades:
No oil leaks or burning oil.
Change oil every 3,000.
Change trans fluid before and after tow season.
K&N air filter
Jet performance chip
Happy Motoring, hope the Bur ban's give us thousand's of more miles.
As for me...
I have a 2003 92k mile 5.3L gas LT Burb 4x4, no catastrophic issues so far - but the vehicle has been far from trouble free.
The issues have been: Fuel pump at 40k and again at 82k (both resulting in the vehicle having to be towed-in); speedo panel replacement (on GM's dime) at 67k; leaky CV boot replaced at 78k and that's pretty much it other than routine maintenance. Oil changes have been on more frequent intervals than the GM Oil Life System (OLS) call for, although I am considering going now to a synth and running the oil much longer miles.
Looking ahead to 100k, I'm figuring on doing the plugs and maybe converting to Mobil1. But not sure about that.
The Chevy dealer (who I see at church) is bugging me to death for buy one of his leftover 2009's. Deals are pretty agressive, but still close to $42k for a moderately-equipped LT. It's about $10k off the window sticker.
So, I am weighing my options - go forward for another 100k, no warranty taking my chances? Or, trade it for a new 2009 with less equipment and a payment for 5 more years. The 2003 still drives great and is kept inside at work and home, so it still "seems" pretty new.
I'd really love see this thread grow with a lot more information. In the new economy, surely lots of us are considering running our older vehicles longer.
How about the rest of you? What's your high mileage experience. Better to keep a Burb to 200K? Better to unload it at 100k for a new one?
Any other thoughts about going long miles in the 2000-2006 5.3L Burb?
All depends, mine is all ready 100 thousand miles on it is a 2001 4x4 LT auto ride, this one has all the godyes in it, and something similar to this is like you said, here in south California is over 45 grands so never mind I will keep mine until the wheels fall of, so far has been a very nice and comfortable SUV on and off road is very good, I normally go off road maybe 2 or 3 times a month pulling a 16 ft utility trailer with maybe 5,000 lbs on it and I can go up hill down hill go up on a normal step hill (not a extreme incline or step) but a pretty decent one and I haven't got any problem yet only one A/C condenser that's it, and my hopes are 200 to 250 thousand miles out of the 5.3 liter engine, the oil I used to put in it was mobil one but since 88,000 miles I made the change to Ams oil which has been really good if you know your vehicle you feel the difference (mine is all around stock, only the tires are mud terrain) so well see how this conversation go's on.
GOOD LUCK ON THAT BURBAN..........
Dollar wise this is a no-brainer....keep your current vehicle. 5 years of car payments will cover a lot of repairs on your 2003...and chances are those repairs will be far less than the car payments as you run up another 100k miles...and at that time you will have a vehicle that is still worth some money so you can trade it in or sell it and start over. Remember, it is the depreciation that is the biggest cost factor of owning a vehicle, not repairs.
I don't have any manuals for that vehicle, but you are due a hearty congrats for getting that kind of mileage!
My 2003 just passed 98k and I am seeing lots of signs of aging, nothing that will ground it - just little things (well one big thing - the front differential is spitting up metal shavings and we are changing the gear oil every 2k to see if it stabilizes - if not, that's about $2k).
Wife wanted a knew suburban, so we went shopping the other day. There are some decent deals out there for low mileage used suburbans, but would still mean payments for us. Prefer to fix the one we have and drive it as long as possible.
I've enjoyed reading this thread and hope that it picks up as well.
I last posted this here in 2008: "My 2002 1/2 ton 4x4 Suburban LT now has 159,000 on it and we bought it new Dec '01."
Now our Suburban, named "Hammerwhang" has 260,000 on it and it's still running perfectly and continues to be our lowest maintenance vehicle out of 40 that we've owned and also the most reliable.
Since my 2008 post, I've continued to change the oil about every 13,000 miles, optimizing the runtime of the Mobil 1 EP synthetic oil by having Blackstone perform their excellent spectroanalysis after each oil run and it continues to run very clean. This service has been key to saving money on filters & oil (even though synthetic oil is expensive) and it's also given peace of mind about the internal status of the 5.3 engine.
Routine maintenance aside (which I mostly do myself in my home shop), in the last 6 years I've replaced the control arm & idler arm, the alternator and one window lift motor ($50 new on eBay, took 45 minutes). That's it. However, this month I'm going to replace all the moving parts in the front end for its first-ever rebuild: Hubs with ABS sensors, CV shafts, axle seals, tie rod ends, all 4 ball joints, and bump stops. I'm having this work done rather than do it myself because it's just a little outside of my expertise and I have a guy who's done hundreds of these and runs his own small shop @$50/hr. I will also replace the 4 shocks on the Autoride suspension for the 2nd time. This will all cost about $3,000 but when you consider that the entirety of repair bills only come up to $4k in the last 6 years/101k that's only 4 cents/mile which is cheaper than any other car we've owned. In fact, even if I include regular maintenance items it only totes up to 6 cents/mile.
As always, we keep the truck inside, drive it ~15k/year nowadays, mixed city & highway. Several times per year we fill the cargo area up in a way that no other regular vehicle can match and we occasionally tow our 5,000 # travel trailer. The Sub's been around all 4 corners of this great country several times, it's moved our kids and businesses, handled countless errands short and long, taken my wife & I on memorable trips in fabulous comfort and has never let us down save for the minorly inconvenient alternator failure at 255k miles.
I hate that GM wrecked the cargo area design on the '07 series Suburban, which in my opinion removed much of the "U" from this amazing icon of an SUV, and the '15's are no better and perhaps worse (yes I've driven one and loved everything else about it but I refuse to spend $75k on an ill-designed-cargo-space S_V).
We fully intend to drive our '02 Sub to the end of it's useful life, or ours, whichever comes first. I will fix whatever it needs and run it forever and then will it to our kids because it's the last of the Great American SUV's. They just don't make them this way anymore. If I lost it somehow, I'd look for the best same-series '06 and buy it immediately.
Yeah i know,I don't remember this problem years back. I guess fuel injection needs a better pump. I would consider going crazy on filters. Aftermarket fuel and transmission filters could save big money. A bypass filter for the engine and a filter for the power steering also. Leave the stock air filter box on and the paper filter. Change the brake fluid and go over wires and connectors.Think about how much a new vehicle costs. Add in that Suburbans really haven't changed much over the years. I write this after much research and the thinking about what year Sub. to buy. I think of them as a big four wheel drive station wagon for the family,That can tow good.
My family is looking into buying a 2007 Suburban with 148k miles on it. We like it, but are worried it may not last as long as we think it will. How long do usual Suburbans last, both mileage-wise and year-wise?
High miles is high miles, be they "city" or "highway"--all those parts have been going round and round a long time.
Statistically (like with people), there is a limit to longevity. With a gas engine car, the life expectancy is around 175K to 225K. As with people, one that has been well taken care of has a better chance of making the far end of that spectrum, or even exceed it; a neglected one might be all washed up even before life expectancy is reached.
The best advice I can offer is:
1. Ask to see any service records
2. Get a CARFAX report
3. Take the vehicle in for a pre-purchase inspection
4. Make your offer on the price based on proper deductions for high mileage.
Suburbans can run a long, long time. Could it run to 248K? Sure. Some people here have achieved that. But that's probably not the norm--at least not something you could count on.
Old friend of mine rebuilt his Suburban back in the 90s and spent almost $10,000 doing so. We all thought he was crazy. He went on to drive that one for another decade before replacing it with a newer, high mileage one he found in LA.
I convinced my wife that our last minivan could go to 200,000 miles. It did, but the last 8 months was expensive and painful.
All in all, I'd rather go with a crate engine with a warranty as you did than a shop rebuild.
I'm shopping for a used Suburban (or Yukon XL). I was reading some reviews and it said the years around 2000-2005 have been good ones for this vehicle. Other than liking the ride and space it offers, i am no expert on these vehicles. I don't mind high miles but not terribly high like way over 200k. I like doing my own car work whenever possible so I would like the normal wear items to be doable for DIY such as oil change, brake work (pads and rotors), tune ups (spark plugs), shocks. I've been spoiled with my Honda Accords that are practically trouble-free.
Since I have not owned an older vehicle like I plan to get I am a bit apprehensive thinking that I will be spending more time fixing something than enjoying the vehicle. Many GM vehicles seem to have idler arm and steering linkage issues. Does this mean that once they are fixed that they will not recur? I've also read engines and transmissions being replaced. I had a coworker who had to replace the instrument cluster in his suburban.
These issues are all foreign to me bc of having Hondas and Toyotas that are trouble free. Although for a while, I kept 3 1980s Mercedes 300D diesels. They all required some TLC but those were 20-30 year old vehicles. But never any engine or transmission problems.
Whatever you can share about these vehicles I would appreciate. And what you whould be checking if you were looking at one. Thanks
Keep 'em Rollin.