Burbs coming back..should I trust her?

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by jerseyfred, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. jerseyfred

    jerseyfred New Member

    As some of you may recall....I bought my first Suburban in November 2006...turned out to be a lemon Suburban. Here's the posts:



    "When I got this Burb it was pretty sick. I should have known by the low price. I've always driven Caprice wagons and have never had any problem despite age, high mileage and abuse. I should have checked it out more carefully. It looked good and ran well and a cursory check of the undercarriage (I did not know what I was looking for) showed only surface rust on the frame. I was very excited about the purchase since I really always wanted a Suburban, especially that body style.
    To make a long story short, it turned out ALL the body mounts were gone due to rust and the body was only sitting on the frame without being secured. A few days after that, the radiator began leaking, then I discovered metal chunks embedded in the tires, and then it failed inspection. I was so depressed.
    I was ready to walk away from Suburbans forever and made arrangements to buy another Caprice wagon (gave my LT1 Caprice wagon to my wife after her Dodge Caravan died). Then I ran into a friend whose neighbor owns a body shop. Four days later, for the price of labor only, they lifted the body of the frame, attached/welded in new body mounts and supports, 4 new tires, a clean inspection sticker and a new radiator."

    Well on December 6, 2006...I thought for sure it was the end of the Burb:

    "Driving home from work today, I saw the oil pressure drop to zero. Shortly after I hear a metallic "POP" and then claterring frieght train noises coming from the engine. Check Engine Light On. Clattering and zero oil pressure all the way home.

    I think that's it for me...there is a warranty on the engine...hopefully it will be honored and then after the repair I'm putting it up for sale. This thing has brought me nothing but trouble, heartache, and money down the drain.

    Anyway, thanks so much for making me feel welcome and for all your support. I guess it's just not the time for me to have a Suburban right now :("

    Sadly the saga continued:

    Mechanic told me oil pressure dropped because there was NO oil in it! I asked him how that could be but he said he didn't know since it wasn't burning it or leaking it. Filled it with oil and seems to run great now.

    Then during a test drive...the rear end failed :( Followed by the rear brake lines.

    Finally..after a month the warranty company covered about 50% of the repairs.

    It should be coming back today...I was going to sell it but am now having second thoughts. Would be nice to have a truck. Still, not sure if I can trust it.
  2. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I can totally understand your frustration, and concern. But in this case, you've invested a lot into it. I'm not saying it's not possible for anything else to go, but the only concerns I would have at this point are the condition of the engine, and the tranny. The more you replace parts, the more the truck is becoming an investment, not a money pit. Already you can sell it for more than you bought it for. Maybe not thousands more, but it's in better shape than when you got it. I'd call that an investment. Buy low sell high.
    When taken care of properly suburban's go on and on. It's sad that you got it in such rough shape. But look at it this way. You've always wanted one, obviously the person before you didn't deserve one. You can make a difference in this suburban's life. (I sound like one of those save the children Christian fund commercials....lol)
    You have to decide if it's right to keep it. But my feeling has always been the more parts you replace the closer you bring the vehicle back to trouble free.

    You could always buy something newer that again you may know nothing about. At this point the surprises you can get from the 'burban are limited to a few, this much you know for sure (for example:eek:bviously the body mounts shouldn't be an issue again, or the rear brake lines).
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I can understand your frustration as well on this. We need vehicles to do different things, but most of all we need them to be reliable and not leave us stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    There really are only so many things that can go wrong from here on out. Looks like a lot of the majors are taken care of. Was there any work done on the engine? Maybe they replaced something and forgot to fill it back up with oil?
  4. Robbiev

    Robbiev Member

    Jerseyfred, I went thru a similar situation with my old 99 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4. I sunk alot of money into it but ended up keeping it for another year. It never had any other problems and was really a great truck. I traded it in for my current vehicle, a 02 GMC Yukon. The Yukon is by far the best vehicle i have ever owned. Besides a couple of problems that I had fixed it has been a gem. Good luck with you Burben but don't rush to get rid of it because it has had problems because you really can't guarantee the next won't have problems also. By the way, are you called Jersey fred because you live in NJ? If so, what part? I am from Sussex county and work in Morris county.
    1 person likes this.
  5. jerseyfred

    jerseyfred New Member

    Well, I drove it home yesterday...it ran beautifully! In fact, before going in there was a rattle from the rear...I thought,,it may have been just old body squeeks and rattles, or the barn doors..but now it is silent back there (rear end fix). Also the ride was harder before and I just attributed it to the fact that it was a truck since I never owned one before. Now, it rides almost as smoothly as my Buick Roadmaster. I took it on a 30 mile test drive....no issues so far.

    The oil thing still worries me....the only work done on the engine was when I first bought it..I took it to a cheap oil change place...but even if it was underfilled...would the oil pressure just suddenly drop like it did? Well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed...so far oil pressure is normal and no smoking, leaking or burning oil so far...we'll see.

    Monday..will be the big test 65 miles each way to work on Route 78 in NJ from Hunterdon County (farm country) to Hudson County (just outside midtown Manhattan, New York City).

    I hope it stays together...I would really like to keep it...driving it again made me remeber why I bought it in the first place!

    Thanks for your support guys!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  6. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    :biggrin::biggrin:Good luck!!:biggrin::biggrin:
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah, we're pulling for you. Engines are mechanicals wonders, they run great but need you to take care of them.
  8. jerseyfred

    jerseyfred New Member

    My Suburban hates me!

    Well, today was the big day to see if she was ready to join the fleet. Sadly, she tried to kill me three times today. Lost all power brake assist, temperature gauge spikes to red...lost all oil pressure AGAIN...all oil gone AGAIN! Back at mechanics AGAIN!!!
    Time to call it quits?
  9. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Ok this is why I tell everyone to take there perspective purchase to a mechanic they trust for a complete inspection of all running parts.

    Now for someone like me, or Traileadr, or others here who knows how to do the mechanical work a good buy can be just that.

    I got to ask though, How much did you pay for it?

    I don’t remember if you said.

    I look at vehicles differently.

    My 86 Fiero SE V6

    I paid $200 for and it needed a whole new front end, hood, drivers side fender, radiator, both headlights and motors, rear brake caliper was locked.

    Now I fixed all that, I had a parts car that needed a motor and was looking for a motor when I found the 86 SE.

    Sorry to hear about all the problems you have had with this one and if you do get rid of it and then try again with another have it checked out by a mechanic you can trust, not the dealer you are buying it from.
  10. GM_Guy

    GM_Guy Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    sure sorry to hear of your problems.
    hope you can get things figured out
    a suburban is a fun vehicle to drive, I love Mine

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