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Chevy Suburban/Tahoe Rough Idle and Stalling



  • Christina, I am sending you my service request number through e-mail. Unfortunately, the fuel tank pressure sensor replaced last week DID NOT HELP whatsoever with this problem, and I am having my Suburban towed the 4th time to the dealership.

    I want this engine issue elevated immediately to a district specialist who supposedly can investigate further into this case and perhaps change something more important, like the engine, to fix this.

    Seriously, what good is a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty if you are unable to fix the problem? I am going to count exactly how many times it takes for GM/Chevy to solve this problem.
  • mcc1202mcc1202 Posts: 1
    Hi cowboyd,

    Did you ever figure out what this was. I have a 2004 Suburban and it dies on road trips but does fine around town. My mechanic says they can't find anything wrong. I haven't taken it to the dealer yet.

  • Let me start by saying that I love my Suburban and the dealership has been wonderful but I have now hit my limit on the number of repairs we've encountered with engine issues. Since we purchased the car, we've had in the dealer service repair for over 30 days. We don't fall under the state lemon law because the majority of our issues happened after 24k.

    At 1k - we had to have the steering gear replace. 5 days out of service.

    At 27K in Nov, but within 2 years of purchase, our stabilatrac and traction control warning lights went on - engine power reduce. All the AFM lifters on the cylnders had to be repaired. #10-06-01-007B: Active Fuel Management (AFM) Engine. 14 days in shop for repair.

    Then at 29k in Feb, engine light goes on - no engine power when running so had to get towed. Throttle body assembly had to replaced - 13 days out for repair.

    Today, 31k in May, check engine light goes on AGAIN after a two hour drive. Third time in 5 months. Engine is losing power - taking it into the dealership on Monday.

    I no longer have the confidence to take this car on two hour "long trips" vs. driving around the city with my three kids. I'll report back on the nature of the current issue.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize for the problem you are experiencing with your vehicle. By chance, have you been in contact with GM Customer Assistance?

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • How do I contact them and what can they do for me?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    The number for GM Customer Assistance is 1-800-222-1020. Hours: Mon to Sat, 8am to 9pm ET; Closed Sunday. Customer assistance will work with you and the dealership to get the issues resolved.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • 514329514329 Posts: 60
    is this a stalling issue on all suburban or 2009 models??? i am looking to get the 2011 LT or LTZ and looking forward to it but with this problem, i'll probably look somewhere else. this is gonna be my first american car. my wife is against it and i use to have 04, 08 armada and 2011 honda pilot and never had a engine stalling problem.
  • geneygeney Posts: 2
    edited July 2011
    I called GM Customer Service about my Suburban 2500 problems and after 3 days of being helpful today I received a call from the "specialist" who told me that the only thing they were going to do was keep trying to fix the problems I am having. After all it is 24 days old with 500 miles and has spent more days in the repair shop than in my driveway. What's an oil leak, a front end that can't be aligned and oh yes the incredible vibration going down the highway. Hey GM, take a little pride, show some appreciation for our tax dollars that kept you in business. Have a bit of pride and stand behind your product. The world would be a better place without GM.

    Gene Y
    FL USA
  • pattijpattij Posts: 1
    I have had the same problem. Reduced engine light came on reduced power to 20 mph. Had it towed to my mechanic he replaced the throttle board. it seemed to fix the problem for about 8 months and it did it again. I was told by my mechanic and chevy dealer it has to be in that mode to diagnose it. Has happened 4 more times in the last 3 months always on a saturday or sunday. It seems everyone has this problem and nobody can diagnose it. Chevy won't own up to it getting rid of it and won't buy another one. Also had whole instrument cluster go out and chevy wouldn't replace it although they had a recall on it said I had to many miles on it. I can't have an unreliable vehicle. Have you found the answer to the engine power resolved yet?
  • I have a 2004 Suburban Z71 that has recently started to die while I am driving down the highway. Once the engine has failed it will not re-start immediately, it will however restart after 5-10 minutes of repeated attempts and then run normal for a period of time. The check engine light does not come on. When attempting to restart - the engine fires, and may run rough for a few seconds but then it dies again. As an attempt to repair, I have replaced, plugs, wires, fuel filter, air filter. Dealer does not know what is occurring and of course has not been able to replicate the problem. Would greatly appreciate and responses
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    Sounds pretty much like what I posted a couple of days ago... Fuel Pump failure. Here is an idea: Obtain a can of starting fluid and carry it with you, also whatever tools are required to remove the rubber hose from the manifold snout at the throttle butterfly, if your setup is like my 2001 version.

    The next time it dies and won't fire, disconnect the hose and squirt a short burst of the fluid into the intake. If it fires right up for as long as the starting vapor lasts, the problem is fuel pressure related. As I mentioned, swapping out a fuel pump on one of these trucks is a really tough job.
  • Yes, based on readings the dealer was able take of the fuel pump, and a discussion with GM, we have replaced the fuel pump (almost $800!) but appears to be functioning properly now. Nedd to drive for several more trips to regain my confidence that it is resolved. Thanks for the response
  • I don't know if you're stalling issue is the same as mine but here's what mine was doing and what the dealership did to fix it. I hope this helps out a lot of people and possibly saves lives since this issue almost caused 2 accidents for me!

    Engine would randomly stall on deceleration like when coming to a stop or entering a turn during extreme high outdoor temperatures and the engine being under a heavy load with A/C on high, brakes applied, power steering be used in a turn, etc. Here in TX we're experiencing 100+ degree days so people living in cooler temperatures may not experience this problem as often as I did.

    Please take it to the dealership and provide them this Service Bulletin #09-06-04-035A. All it is is a computer update to reprogram the ECM.

    Good luck!
  • Can you tell me what year your suburban is
  • did you find the solution to your sub rough idleing issues? I have a 93 with the same thing
  • Adding on to my original post as the saga continues - 2008 Chevrolet Suburban with 40k miles. We don't fall under the state lemon law because the majority of our issues happened after 24k. Lee Johnson Cheverolet has been very responsive but the issues continue to happen and now I'm worried about overall damage to the engine.

    1k - we had to have the steering gear replace. 5 days out of service.

    27K in Nov 2010, but within 2 years of purchase, our stabilatrac and traction control warning lights went on - engine power reduce. All the AFM lifters on the cylnders had to be repaired. #10-06-01-007B: Active Fuel Management (AFM) Engine.

    29k in Feb, engine light goes on - no engine power when running so had to get towed. Throttle body assembly had to replaced

    31k in May, check engine light goes on AGAIN after a two hour drive. Third time in 5 months. Engine is losing power. Replaced fuel pump, gasket and seal.

    32k June - oil leaking - oil filter seal had contamination and has to be replaced.

    36k August - blue smoke and ticking - oil consumption test performed and failed. Engine cleaned and lifters/seals replaced - again.

    40k November - leaking oil again. Two other suburbans in dealship with the same issues. Contacted GM customer service to open a case. I've had enough.

    I no longer have the confidence to take this car on two hour "long trips" vs. driving around the city with my three kids. I'll report back on the nature of the current issue.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    If you don't get any help from the dealer or GM, ask around. Apparently lemon law isn't an exclusive remedy in most states and you may be able to bring a warranty claim. Your local consumer protection agency or AG's office (or a lemon lawyer) would know for sure.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Thank you for your post. Have you spoke with GM Customer Assistance? If not I would recommend doing so. Please feel free to email me your information and experience. I look forward to hearing from you.
    GM Customer Service
  • I have an 03 Suburban and have been experiencing what sounds like the exact same problem. Driving down the highway and it suddenly dies as if the fuel was cut off. When trying to restart it sputters a few times, and then after waiting a few minutes it will finally restart and run normally. Sometimes for months, sometimes hours, and sometimes minutes. I replaced the fuel pump relay and it seemed to have solved the problem for six months. Then yesterday, on a long trip, it started doing it again. Died 4 times in an hour. Finally, I stopped an bought another fuel pump relay. However, it still dies about an hour later. But, this time I simply got out, switched the fuel pump relay for the one I had switched out, and it restarted on the first try. Just had it checked out by a mechanic who didn't think it was the fuel pump and didn't want to do an $800 job if it wasn't the problem. So, now I am supposed to head home on a 1000 mile trip and have no idea what is going on. Did the new fuel pump solve the problem? Did you try the advice of the poster who mentioned service bulletin #09-06-04-035A? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    Believe me, I am the first guy to not want any mechanic to just start swapping parts that might not be necessary. Look back on this thread to my post #140 for advice on how you might be able to determine if the fuel pump is the culprit for your intermittent and terribly perplexing problem.

    Unfortunately that method of checking for the fuel pump as the issue requires that the vehicle first experiences the problem. Did the mechanic offer a way of monitoring the fuel pressure, to see whether it is sufficient on a consistent basis, or whether it has occasional dips to lower than the required/specified psi?

    Since I installed the pump on my '01 Suburban, it has run reliably for 9 months, including a 2600 mile trip during the summer. Just installed new tires and front brakes, I am ready for winter. Best of luck with your problem.
  • eca1eca1 Posts: 1
    I have had an almost identical situation with my 2008 Suburban. It has stalled out on at least four occassions after the Stabilitrack and other warning lights come on while the vehicle loses power. On three of the instances, the dealer has replaced the throttle body under my warranty. After the most recent incident in Jan 2012 I did contact GM customer assistance. I was offered 2,000 off of a new vehicle. When I explained that I do not want a new vehicle & really just need mine fixed, GM told me that it will likely involve involvement with a GM field engineer. I requested the same, and the rquest was denied. I've been told that this is something that I will have to work out with my local dealer. I have been placed in a situation where the issue continues to go completely unresolved, and I am essentially in an unsafe vehicle. I've been renting cars for extended trips and am considering long term rentals while I try to resolve the situation.

    The entire situation is extremely disappointing - this is my third GM vehicle (second suburban) and, while I would never had thought hat it would be my last, I really must consider other manufacturers. GM's complete disregard for an unsafe product up until this point is both surprising and unfortunate.
  • Wow. I can't believe so many of us have the same issues. The worst part is that we are putting ourselves and our passengers in a potentially dangerous situation while driving an unreliable vehicle. My 2007 Suburban has been in the dealer for multiple problems. It breaks so I bring it in for service. They try and fix it and it breaks again. Now I basically never want it back. It's a cycle that we are all in. But how will they ever fix the multiple problems that keep happening as a result of an obvious massive manufacturing problem? Their are 143 service bulletins on this vehicle. You can't possibly rebuild the car and keep it running without a complete engine overhaul. Right now my dealer has my vehicle and is "trying to work something out" to compensate me in some way for the unreliability. You can extend the warranty, have GM pay for the repairs, and fix it all you want. Bottomline...I don't feel safe with my horses in tow and my kids in the car. I no longer want to drive this vehicle to the store or take it on vacation. This was my first American purchase and I will never do it again. Sadly, now that gas prices are rising, we are all stuck with these gas guzzlers that are not safe.
  • I own a 2008 Cadillac Escalade and had the same problem. The first time it happened, I could not start the engine after stopping for gas. I was able to finally get it started by tapping on the bottom of the gas tank where the fuel pump is. I immediately went to the dealer who tried to claim my battery was bad, and that they could find no problem. It probably had a bad cell from attempting to start the car for 30 minutes.

    The car then stalled after exiting the highway the same day. I got it started by tapping on the bottom of the gas tank again. I then replaced the battery to be on the safe side since I was on a road trip. No more problems occurred for a few days. I was on another trip and stalled exiting the highway and was able to get it started by tapping on the gas tank.

    Fortunately, a dealer in Orlando diagnosed the problem as the fuel pump. The funny thing is they thought I was paying for it and quoted me $950 for the repair. I then informed them that the fuel pump is part the of the drive train, and that the car was under warranty still. The service manager studdered and said he was have to check on that. After 30 minutes, he called and agreed to replaced it under warranty.

    My Escalade has been driving fine so far with no stalls. I do feel that they would not have found the fuel pump bad if I had mentioned powertrain warranty from the beginning.

    I have also had 3 lock actuators replaced and my forth one has now failed, as well as one of the previously replaced ones! The dealer refused to fix these under warranty since I had 58k miles, even though was a warranty replacement!

    Bottom line, I think GM has some serious quality control issues on their electrical parts and refuses to fix problems that are affecting numerous customers.
  • Good afternoon soochman,

    We're sorry that your experiences with us have not been what they could have been. If there's anything you would like for us to look into, please email us at with the following details: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the names of the involved dealership.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I experienced problems very similar to those mentioned in these threads. It got to the point where I couldn't get around the block without it stalling two or three times. It had begun by stalling out when driving down the highway usually when coming into city traffic. It put my wife in several very unsafe conditions in Atlanta and Charlotte. I did all the troubleshooting for fuel pump problems and was on the verge of replacing it. I kept on doing Google searches for this problem and finally found one very obscure post that pinpointed the problem exactly. It was that this problem can be caused by a dirty Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor. The great news is it is very inexpensive to try this and a very easy task to perform. There is special cleaner just for it. From reading, just better to pay a couple of extra bucks for it as other cleaners can cause damage and or gunk up the sensor even more. I think it was $8. Any parts store will have it. The sensor itself is at the front of the main air intake. It only requires loosening a hose clamp type fitting and pulling away the air intake. Carefully remove and spray the sensors. They are VERY thin wires.

    Doing this has completely solved my stalling out problem! I hope this helps someone else to keep from spending a fortune on shop repairs.
  • Looks like i'm not the only one here with a stalling issue.... I have brought my Suburban into Carmax once and the Chevy dealer twice now. My car has stalled 6 or 7 times so far. Either dealer can't find any codes so therefore nothing can be done. I must say everyone has been very nice. However MAMA BEAR is no longer happy. I have 5 kids and pretty much drive around ALL DAY! I don't feel safe in my big ole Suburban. I was told to get a new battery so my hubby went out the next day and had one put in for me. The car has since stalled 2 more times. I live in So. Cal so yes, the weather has been hot and I do run the A/C.... I'm bringing my Suburban back in on Monday the 8th. I don't know anything about anything when it comes to fixing my car. Can I please get some advice on what to say or do???
    Today when it stalled i was slowing down to stop at a stop sign. Last time I was on the street going about 45mph...
    Thank you in advance for any help or advice!!!
  • Hello there 5kidsnorest,

    We're sorry to hear that you've had to make so many trips in to your dealership for this same concern. If you would like for us to check into this with your dealership, please email us at (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealer).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I have a 1991 GMC Suburban. I took a drive to make sure that my Truck was running good for the Winter. I had been driving since 9 am running errands. About 50 miles. I stopped to pay a Bill cam out to leave. Engine Stalled. Cranked more than Normal. But started. Went about a Mile down Road. Was stopping for a Traffic light. Foot off Gas on Brake. Engine Idle speed went up to the Point it was difficult to Stop. Engine Stalled. Tried to restart. Would not. I called AAA for a Tow. It started belching Black Smoke. Got Suburban off main drag to a Side Street. Stalled again. It had raw fuel Dumping into throttle body. Towed to GM Dealer. They said they purged Gas lines & it ran fine. Spark Plugs were Fouled & need replaced. Went to pick up Suburban at Dealer. Tried to start. Would not start. Installed New Spark Plugs & Spark control Module in Distributor . Would not start. Dumping Gas into TBI. I rebuilt the TBI & installed New Injectors. Tried to start again. Still dumping raw fuel into TBI. What is the problem? Clogged Gas Lines? Over Pressure from Fuel Pump? Fuel filter? ECM Malfunction? No Trouble Codes. I had a Similar Problem 10 years ago. I bought Oxygenated Gasoline with 10 % ethanol in Cleveland Ohio BP Station. Found that the Gasoline was de solving the Gas Lines Gaskets & "O" Rings. Rebuilt TBI. Replaced Gas Tank & Fuel Pump. Help me decide what to do Next.
  • Problem resolved. The New Gas is de solving the Lines in the Fuel system. Destroyed Engine. When I removed Gas Filter. It was Full of De solved Rubber etc. Engine is Now Rattling & not running.
  • alanrsalanrs Posts: 25
    Oh man, I feel your pain. The politicians who have pushed for alcohol mixed as an ingredient in our gasoline failed to research the problems it could cause. Vehicles with fuel systems designed and constructed of materials for gasoline use only can be severely damaged using the "modern" stuff that is now pretty much the only option. There are still said to be a few outlets in many areas which offer non-alcohol gasolines. Do an internet search of Pure Gas (I hope I posted that correctly).

    I wish I could offer advice on how to get your truck running reliably again economically. Good luck!
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