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  1. #1

    Default reliability with the generations

    It appears the 1981-1991 Suburbans are pretty reliable. I have a friend that used to have a 1989, and now owns a 1997 or 1998. He's had multiple problems costing thousands of dollars to repair.

    I thought perhaps he just had bad luck. Today I searched on MSN, and lots of people have reported just terrible luck. Transmissions, electrical bits, fuel pumps, electronic door locks etc. While on the other hand, looking at older reviews, mostly people just complain about gas mileage.

    What's your experience, I'd like to hear it.

    The 2000-2006 trucks have hardly any complaints, but I figure that is because they are so new.

  2. #2
    Jr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wesley Chapel, Fl
    Posts
    140

    Default

    no complaints with my 89'

  3. #3
    Legend
    TrailLeadr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Coventry, Rhode Island
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    3,103

    Default

    Can't say that I have any complaints.

    I'd say things like the fuel pump would be relative to the fact that the typical burb owner never had problems with running their rig's fuel tank on the low side, since a refuel can be expensive. The pumps require the constant wetting to keep them cool, and if the tanks are usually run low, the pump is more likely to fail. Maybe a design flaw, but not really a problem provided owners keep their tank levels higher.

    When you say older reviews how old are we talking? Carbed engines with non-electric transmissions?
    Patrick
    Rhode Island


  4. #4

    Default

    I like to buy the last generation of a truck, so it has the bugs worked out, so I was looking at 99 Burbs.

    Check out this link.

    http://autos.msn.com/research/userre...x?modelid=3086

    http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/sub...merreview.html

    Just a little scrolling and you see some people with some serious problems. A lot of them mirror the issues my friend has had with his 97.

    "Purchased three years ago at 70,000 from individual with all receipts, maintained exclusively by Chevy dealer. ALL scheduled maintenance is faithfully done, and we keep it looking clean & new. BUT, since reaching 90,000 miles, something breaks about every week. In last two years, we have replaced the transmission, all 8 fuel injectors, head gasket, radiator, water pump, alternator, fuel pump, and A/C compressor. Pass-side rear window doesn't work. Power locks quit working last week. A truly sad example of poor quality & reliability throughout. It's comfortable & great for interior capacity & towing, but we've bought the car twice due to the repair expense. Definitely don't recommend "


    "I purchased vehicle in 2001 with 50,000 miles. I have replaced the following: Brakes twice, water pump, alternator, windshield wiper motor, u-joints in drive shaft, driver side interior door handle, rear end(differential), one fuel injector in throttle body,fuel pump and front shocks. The car still has the following problems: Rear doors leak, ghost in the dash cuts ac on/off at will, check engine light comes on when climbing long steep grades, engine spark knocks, steering is erratic, leaking anti-freeze (probably intake gasket) steering wheel vibration above 60 mph. I have driven and owned Chevrolet or GM products all my life , this will be the last one ever."

  5. #5

    Default

    With the sheer volume of Suburbans that were sold, you're always going to have a certain percentage of lemons. All vehicles have them. I know a guy with a Toyota who's engine tore itself apart after 60k of light-duty use.

    Steve
    10 Chevy Traverse LT AWD
    02 Chevy Trailblazer LS (110K+ miles - loaded except for 4WD - WRECKED!)
    99 Chevy Cavalier LS (105K+ miles - commuter car)
    78 Chevy Suburban Silverado (454, 3/4 ton)
    62 GMC 3/4 ton Pickup (350 police interceptor)

    Remember: Search Before Posting | Fill out Your Profile & Signature
    * I've been saying for years that I was going to change my username, and I finally did.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    With the sheer volume of Suburbans that were sold, you're always going to have a certain percentage of lemons. All vehicles have them. I know a guy with a Toyota who's engine tore itself apart after 60k of light-duty use.
    You have to look far and between to find those though.

    For example, I searched for reviews on my 91 Suburban year. The only major complaint seemed to be gas mileage. My '91 has 159k on it and I've only replaced minor stuff on it so far. Mostly wear items (seats both broke), updated the A/C to r134a, new shocks.

    My friend says, when the term comes up, "They don't make them like they used to", it really applies to Suburbans.

    I'd like the power and gas mileage of the newer burbs, but these reviews frighten me a bit. Maybe I should skip to the 2000-2005 trucks if I buy a new one.

  7. #7
    Master Mechanic
    GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    kansas
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    743

    Default

    my 89 Suburban has over 189k, engine and trans run flawlessly, I have put well over 1000 miles, and so far has used about 9 ounces of oil. only work I had to do, was replace the alternator,and the power steering gear.
    Jeff

    1968 Chrysler Imperial Crown 4 door ht ~ resto project
    1984 Buick Le Sabre 4 door sedan~daily driver






    BUY ONLY GENUINE ACME PRODUCTS



  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffs89Suburban View Post
    my 89 Suburban has over 189k, engine and trans run flawlessly, I have put well over 1000 miles, and so far has used about 9 ounces of oil. only work I had to do, was replace the alternator,and the power steering gear.
    I've had a wonderful experience with my 91. My Burb doesn't burn any oil at all. I have 159k on the odometer.

    It's the 92 -99 years that seem to have some spotty reliability issues.

  9. #9

    Default

    It all depends on a lot of things.

    Day of the week it was built, never buy a car, or truck built on a Monday or a Friday or during a labor dispute.

    Never buy the first new year model, or new engine, or trany.

    Think about this the next time you go out to your truck and its -20 degrees Fahrenheit and you turn the key. It has been sitting there for you all night it those temps and now you want it to go from -20 to +200 in less than 5 minutes.

    We really don’t give them as much credit as they disserve, lets see you sleep outside all night in those temps and wake up all at once and ready to go.

    I don’t know about you but as I have gotten older,

    Parts wake up slower than others.

    I look at it this way,

    I pay cash for our trucks, anything after that I just consider a payment. So if after a year or 2 of owning the truck if I have to put in a $1,500 part in it’s still cheaper than buying a new one.

    Technology is great, when it Works,
    And one Big Pain in the Ass When it Doesn’t.
    Detroit Iron Rules, All the Rest are Just Toys.
    94 GMC Burban, 5.7L (350), 4X4, Auto
    86 GMC Burban, 350, 2 WD, Auto
    79 GMC pickup plow truck, 400, Full time 4X4, Auto
    86 Pontiac Fiero SE, 2.8L, Auto, only mid engine American car
    See a Pattern yet?

    15 year GM assembly line worker.

  10. #10

    Default

    Where was it built, Canada, USA, Mexico.

    Just so we know when you have problems with it where it was built a lot of people don’t take that into account when they say they have had problems. It does make a difference.

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