1999 Suburban - I need and opinion (or two)

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by grond, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. grond

    grond New Member

    I am looking at buying a 1999 Suburban for $6000. 1 owner and 92,000 mile on it. Here are the specs:

    Options Installed
    • Air Conditioning
    • Alloy Wheels
    • Anti-Lock Brakes
    • Cruise Control
    • Driver Air Bag
    • Leather Seats
    • Passenger Air Bag
    • Power Door Locks
    • Power Mirrors
    • Power Seats
    • Power Steering
    • Power Windows
    • Rear Window Defroster
    • Tilt Wheel
    • Tinted Glass


    I have yet to drive it, but as I currently own (and HATE) a 2002 Ford Expedition, I am looking to upgrade to the Suburban. Too much $$$? They are asking $6,999 but I believe that I can get it down to $6k.

    Let me know what you think with this limited amount of info. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  2. oldmanstruck

    oldmanstruck Rockstar 100 Posts

    you need to test drive it and see how it runs. I don't think you can price a car by picture.
    The picture shows a typical suburban. If I were you, I will try to find out more history of the car. It's seem to have under avg mileage for a 99, what's the reason? check the 4x4 feature and tranny. If it has leather, check for the condition. Most of them have pretty bad crack for that year model.
  3. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Don't judge by interior, some just take care of there's better then others. I have a 99 bought it with 67k on the clock and now have 157k all 5.7 vortecs will need a intake gasket replaced ($400)mine was done at 89k and no problems since, so see if that was done or not. The instrument panels had issues too. The gauges will become faulty as the stepper motors will go out, to replace a instrument panel from GM with the correct displayed mileage is roughly $300. I will be installing a second gauge cluster on mine in a couple weeks. Other then that its normal wear and tear. Just take in consideration as to where you live. Road salt?? Rust or corroded clear coat on the rims. These are good trucks and can run along time with normal maintenance, they can take a beating too. Make sure the air works, if you have to replace parts on that it adds up quickly as there is a secondary unit in the back of the truck.
  4. Jamm3r

    Jamm3r Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    What Jason said.

    You can spend a fortune on air conditioning repairs on these. The compressors from this era all leak eventually and the lines fail if exposed to salt, so be prepared for that.

    These have the 4L60e transmission which hold up OK as long as they haven't had a hard life (towing, plowing snow, mountains) but they cost around $3000 P&L to fix when the fail.

    The other common problems are fairly inexpensive to fix. In addition to what Jason has listed, you can expect to replace the headlight and turn signal housings since they cloud up, and the usual wear items for any vehicle of this age -- brakes, water pump, alternator, belts, hoses, ignition parts, etc.

    Price depends where you are and where the truck has been driven. They changed to the new body style for 2001 so you are looking at one of the last years for that body.
  5. grond

    grond New Member

    Thanks for all the input! I live in Michigan, but the vehicle is from Texas, so there isn't any rust. The leather interior is a little rough, but isn't that why seat covers were invented? :)

    I was looking to use this vehicle to tow a smallish camper, is the tranny known for failure under load?

    I will make sure to test the air out, but it's kinda cold here right now...so testing hte air may be a little tricky.
  6. Jamm3r

    Jamm3r Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Depends on size. I checked a couple of sources and the official towing capacity is around 6,500 pounds, possibly depending on axle ratio. My advice would be to seek out a 2500 burb with a 7.4 liter engine if you're towing 6,000 pounds or more on a regular basis especially if you will have a full load of people and stuff while doing it. They are harder to find but are more suited to the job.

    I will make sure to test the air out, but it's kinda cold here right now...so testing hte air may be a little tricky.[/QUOTE]

    - - - Updated - - -

    Try to get the dealer to park it in a heated garage for an hour or two so you can test the air, or take it to a mechanic you trust and have them hook up the gauges.
  7. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I have never had a problem with the tranny. I have hauled plenty of cars with mine and I am not easy on my vehicles either. My brothers truck has almost 200k on his(2001 Silverado), my parents old suburban(I know the current owners) has 250k and I believe our old 98 s10 blazer has the same tranny and that has 200k on it, so between 4 family trucks we have 900k+ and not one issue!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    The one you are looking at will have a tow rating depending on gears 3.42 5k lbs or for 3.73 6k lbs.
    if you go to a 2500 it would be from 7k to 10k depending on engine and gear ratio. Just remember the 2500 is gonna be a much harsher ride when unloaded, and will REQUIRE specific load tires to handle the tow rating.
    The heaviest car I towed was a 2 door 95 Grand Prix GTP that was about 3300 lbs and a proper car hauling trailer that was 2100 lbs, I barely new it was there,may mpg did not drop on the hwy and the truck barely squatted.
  8. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    I'm in MI, and my truck came from AZ or NV. I agree with the others - don't judge by appearance. Drive it, have a mech. look at it, do a VIN search. I have heard that some folks have found leaks in the ceiling from the luggage rack, so check for a musty smell. That does have real low miles, but some people buy them just to move a boat back and forth to the lake. Look for signs of accidents or frame damage.

    My truck is a 350 3/4t, and our camper is around 7k, and we just pulled it to AZ and back. It struggled in the mountains, but flat stuff was ok. I've done the intake, fuel filter, fuel pump x2, and am dealing with the gauges right now. The brakes are an issue, but a different system than yours. No trouble, yet, with the a/c's.

    Without checking, the price doesn't sound bad, but make your counter offer lower and work back to your comfortable price. It's still a big truck, gas is still expensive in Michigan, and it's "old". They want to get rid of it, and they didn't pay what they're asking for it.

    Good luck,
  9. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    As long as you maintain the 4L60e it will last a long time. This era of trucks is very tough and was build when GM was at the top of their game. The 5.7L is a tough engine and will last a very long time. The A/C was always a problem in the late 90's trucks because it was a completely new system that wasn't yet perfected, but the replacement parts tend to fix any issues.

    Always check under the truck for rust because looks are deceiving. When I was looking for my truck one of the Tahoes we looked at had a flawless exterior but the frame was totally rusted and the front suspension was destroyed. My truck which looks beat up on the out side has an under carriage that is in almost perfect condition, only could be better if all the paint was still there.

    92,000 is really low that's less than 10,000 miles a year. I suspect the truck drove mainly city miles which is hard on a drive train. Ask the owner what conditions it was driven in and if it was highway or city driving. Also ask why they are selling it, it may gain insight on if it has problems or not. Also ask if any parts have been replaced i.e. the A/C compressor, gaskets, anything.

    Popular Mechanics has a great check list for buying a used car, it is a downloadable pdf on the side: http://www.popularmechanics.com/car...used-car-without-getting-burned?click=main_sr
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  10. Kady

    Kady Epic Member 5+ Years GMTC Chick 100 Posts

    Unless you give it to me, it'll only last a few months that way. ;)

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