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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.
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