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  1. #1

    Default Looking at 1999 GMC Suburban K2500...questions

    Hey everyone,

    Awesome forum you have here. Very informative. I spent all night reading up on suburbans!

    I used to have a 97 Chevy Tahoe 1500 and my dad has had a 1999 Chevy Suburban 1500 for years now. I know I like the quality and feel of the vehicel so I decided to purchase a suburban for some light winter use and for general screwing around.

    I found a dealership selling a '99 GMC Suburban K2500 with a 454 for an impressive $4700!! It looked to be in pretty decent shape and there wasn't really that much wear on the interior. It has 160,000 miles and there is no service history available for it.

    However, when he started the engine I could immediatly smell the exhaust (at the front of the car) and there was a "Service Engine Soon" light on the dash. I test drove it myself for about 20 miles....gunning the engine, in 4 wheel hi/lo, 2 wheel, every combination I could think of. It drove pretty well. The brakes felt spongey but i know this is a much bigger car than my current daily driver (caddy CTS-V).

    Is that SEL on this type of car a big problem? Can it become a big problem? I'm still interested but the combination of that high mileage and the SEL/exhaust smell has me nervous.

    Any suggestions? I was considering taking it a mechanic, anything I should instruct them to be looking for?

  2. #2
    dwill3015's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Yacolt, Washington
    Blog Entries


    Welcome to the site!
    That sounds like a really great price for the condition it is in so hopefully it is something minor like an o2 sensor is bad. Since it is for sale a a dealership, would they provide the courtesy to read the code and find out why the light is on? If not, test drive it to a mechanic or most major parts stores will read codes for free.

    Keep us posted!
    Last edited by dwill3015; 11-26-2008 at 02:58 PM.
    Washington State
    2006 Silverado 2500HD LT3 4X4 CC SB Duramax LBZ
    Tuff Country 6" lift, 35" Toyo M/T's on 20" Ultra Peacemaker wheels, Quadzilla Stealth2 programmer, Diamond Eye 5" cat-back exhaust, factory Special order color Yellow.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States


    if its a good dealership they will scan it for you free of charge. I bet it has to do with the carbon canister. no service record huh?? get a carfax and run the VIN, intake manifold gaskets are notorious on older 350, 454 vortec motors, check u-joints as well
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual

  4. #4


    thanks guys

    I asked the sales rep to look into the code and give me a report. Carfax came back clean.

    However, when I say "dealership" I really meant "used car sales lot". I just wanted to point out that it wasn't a person to person sale.

    I'm cautious...but optimistic that this ride could be mine in the future.

    Any other concerns I have should have a mechanic look into if I decide to go that route?

  5. #5


    Hope you have deep pockets to put gas in that thing. They average 10mpg and 4500 is to much. 3500 is a good price.

  6. #6


    what size tanks do they have, 44 gallon?

  7. #7


    36 gal believe

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States


    on those years i believe they had 26 or 44 my 99 has a 44 and thats a 1/2 ton so i would be pretty sure its 44
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual

  9. #9



    feel free to ask away!

    2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4 (the Yellow Jacket)
    4inch suspension 3inch body
    Straight 6 (383 Stroker within a year)
    36inch SuperSwamper TSL.
    Detroit Loccers
    Daily Driver Weekend Wheeler
    much more...

    2004 Sierra crew cab, 2wd, 5.3 V8
    2inch Daystar Leveling kit
    single dumped Flowmaster 40 sieries exaust(removed)
    Mb Blitz Chrome wheels
    Leer Bed Cover(for sale)
    50k miles

  10. #10


    anyone care to speculate on the "exhaust" smell at the engine the instant the car was turned on?

    the smell definitely was coming from the engine, and not the exhaust (which, is of course like 15 feet from where I was standing).

    Does that indicate to anyone a certain problem (maybe even one that pertains to the SEL). The engine seemed to run fine and I revved it up and listened carefully....didn't seem to be doing anything abnormal for the 20 or so minutes I played around with it.

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