2009 Suburban help

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Allen D, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Allen D

    Allen D New Member

    Greetings all, new member here and I could use some help with my '09 Burban... I'll try to be as descript as possible and not too long winded but....

    I bought the '09 Suburban in January with 40,000 miles and it rode like a dream, notice I said rode not rides :( We moved to TN from IL and I've been traveling back and forth a lot and have just under 60K on the '09 and now my ride is, well, crap..

    It all began with a problem with the throttle body a week after we bought it. While it was in the shop for that, under certified warranty, I mentioned I felt a slight jiggle in the steering after hitting a bump and they said there was a bulletin on the '09 to replace the steering mechanism. They replaced the rack & pinion and scepter shaft(?), after that the truck steering felt loose and less responsive along with a slight shimmy....

    It went back in for another alignment and was told all was good and I needed new brakes to eliminate the shimmy, so I replaced the pads and rotors all around. No help. Brought it back in and then was told I needed new tires and that would fix it, not so much. My shocks aren't leaking or excessively bouncing and seem to set right down after a bump and feel solid. It's also had the alignment set and checked and rechecked and all shows good and within specs.

    Took it to another dealership and had them look at it. They told me the tires needed re-balancing and to check the tire runout so back to Firestone, where I had just purchased a set of Dueler tires and had them checked and re-balanced (simulating road conditions) and all was good according to them.

    So here are the symptoms my truck has, hopefully you all can give me some direction to get this cured before I throw a stick of dynamite in it and walk away.

    Whether accelerating or cruising at speeds of 40+ I can feel and see the steering wheel actually bouncing up and down as well as shimmying from side to side. I can also feel what can be best described as a wheel dribbling like a basketball, even on the smoothest of roads. On anything more than a slight sweeping curve it feels like the shaking increases and feels like a constant mechanical chatter in the steering wheel. Going down the road I can feel the shake and shimmy in the steering, in the pedals and in the seat. I can actually watch the other headrests shaking like I'm off-roading. The ride is absolutely horrendous so much so that I prefer my wife's equinox or even my dang lawnmower to drive instead of a beautiful Suburban.

    On a road that my wife's Equinox and my motorcycle run smoothly down, I feel like the road is covered in moderate aggrigate in my Suburban. Wheel shaking, not violently but still shaking, and it feels like a tire is slapping up and down. After hitting a bigger bump it sometimes feels like the wheels are going to fall off...

    When I brake, hard or soft, the truck stops smoothly without surges or shimmying so I don't think it's the brakes and rotors.

    If a shock was broken or worn wouldn't the truck bounce like crazy over bumps if that's what's causing the tire slapping feel?

    Any help in a direction I can steer the dealer because this is ridiculous and they seem to think, the old farm truck like, ride is normal and acceptable but just a few months back it rode smooth as glass and very, very nice.

    Thanks in advance, otherwise I have a 2009 Suburban LT for sale ;)
  2. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the club, Allen. If it has about 60,000 miles on the factory shocks I would start there. Most factory shocks are good for about 25,000 miles. I myself like Bilsteins shocks. Theres alot of people on this site with the Bilsteins and they are happy with them.
  3. adampaul1964

    adampaul1964 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    X2 on shock life, most people neglect the fact that shocks are only good for 30,000 at best.
  4. silveradotrailblazer

    silveradotrailblazer Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    You may not have a broken shock, but just worn out shocks.:grrrrrr:
  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    If I'm reading this right, all the problems started directly after the shop applying the TSB fix for the steering shaft. They may have loosened up the bolts holding the steering column to the dash in the process of pulling the shaft out and forgot to tighten the bolts back up. I imagine that could cause the steering to be a tad loose and cause your shimmy. Regardless, if it was after that fix was applied, it's most likely something related to the work the tech did. You might want to go through with a ratchet, torque wrench, and haynes or chilton manual and double-check torques on everything.
  6. Allen D

    Allen D New Member

    Thanks for the welcome all..

    I did suspect the shocks but they do still feel solid but I've been thinking about replacing them as well..

    I do think a lot, maybe not all but a lot, of the issue is directly related to the work on the truck. I did take it back and questioned them and was told all is good. I took it to another dealership and explained the issue(s) and they looked up the service history and checked (they said) every item the other shop worked on and everything is tight and within spec buty jeesh, this is a really overpriced piece of junk right now.

    Back to the shocks, they feel firm and seem to control the ride fairly well and sit right down after a bump, as they should, but should be replaced I agreed. However, will that create a shimmy AND bounce in the steering wheel along with feeling a tire "dribbling" like a basketball? What's really weird is the severity of the bad ride comes and goes almost as if every once in a while everything lines up and it rides moderately decent but still nothing like it did a few months back. I know I've put a big number of miles on it since January but, IMO, 60K is still relatively low mileage and my truck shouldn't be worn out yet...

    Now after all that, it seems shocks are the unanimous suggestion but is that all I should check?

  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I dont know how many miles you have on the new tires but take a close look at them across the surface and see if they dont have any odd wear patterns, bad shocks will make the tires wear weird real quick and you can end up with some of the symptoms you've described.
  8. GM Customer Service

    GM Customer Service Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Do you have a case regarding your concern? I would be happy to look into this further for you. Please feel free to contact me privately with your contact information, VIN, current mileage, and dealer name. Thank you in advance.

    Tricia, GM Customer Service.
  9. stevenje98

    stevenje98 New Member

    Sound like a A Bad Steering Box causing all the problems. Note: the box is not the shaft, the shaft connects to box. Cost $600 to $800 for this truck. The only way to check correctly it is pull it. If under warranty get it replaced ASAP before your get into an accident. bad steering boxes cause the problems your having, it shakes the truck when it's bad, vibrations at all speeds more server at higher speeds.

    Shocks Maybe.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011

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