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Old 12-03-2008, 05:19 PM
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KJS
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Default Suburbans

I have been eyeing some higher mileage suburbans that people are really trying to get rid of at a very attractive price. I am curious how many miles you suburban owners get? I am currently looking at a 1999 and a 2002. However, they both have about 120,000 miles on them. Does anyone have experience putting over 200k on a suburban without breaking the bank with repair costs?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

A suburban is just a Chevy pickup with a different body. 120,000 miles is just getting broken in. 1999 may have the 5.7 vortec engine, which has occasional problems with the fuel injection or distributor.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

billinstuart - 12/3/2008 8:34 PM

A suburban is just a Chevy pickup with a different body. 120,000 miles is just getting broken in. 1999 may have the 5.7 vortec engine, which has occasional problems with the fuel injection or distributor.
Do you have one? If so what have your repair costs been after 100k?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:37 PM
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Default RE: Suburbans

KJS - 12/3/2008 5:19 PM
over 200k on a suburban

I would think that's a tall order for a gas engine in any car.- esp a chevy. There has to be some better deals on late model trucks even with the recent drop in gas prices
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: Suburbans

787337 - 12/3/2008 8:37 PM

KJS - 12/3/2008 5:19 PM
over 200k on a suburban

I would think that's a tall order for a gas engine in any car.- esp a chevy. There has to be some better deals on late model trucks even with the recent drop in gas prices
That is why I ask the question. I have owned a few Japanese vehicles and getting to 200k without major repair costs is definitly not a tall order for them. I guess I am thinking there is renewed hope in a Chevy or Ford. I am just curious of owners actual experiences.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

I have a 2001 GMC Savana cargo van with 175,000 miles. Motor runs like new (I've used Mobil 1 religiously) and I'm hoping to see another 100,000 - my mechanic has a Chevy pickup with over 300,000 on it. The door hinges are starting to crap out, but that's all.

I think the key for you would be how the previous owners maintained the vehicles.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

My friend gets a hand me down Suburban every couple of years from his grandparents. He gets no where near 200k but runs in to all sorts of problems- mostly electrical.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:46 PM
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I have gone through three with nearly 200k miles (hard construction / off road miles) and have had no trouble at all. The second one had a head gasket problem about 130k and the dealer wanted to replace the block (WTF???) our shop put a new head gasket and it ran another 50 - 70 k until i got a new one.

One had a window motor on the passenger side go out, but nothing major. All were 4wd / all wheel drive

My wife actually drove one of the older ones for about a year after I got the latest one. I felt totally safe with her and the kids even on long trips by themselves.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

meatdog - 12/3/2008 8:42 PM

I have a 2001 GMC Savana cargo van with 175,000 miles. Motor runs like new (I've used Mobil 1 religiously) and I'm hoping to see another 100,000 - my mechanic has a Chevy pickup with over 300,000 on it. The door hinges are starting to crap out, but that's all.

I think the key for you would be how the previous owners maintained the vehicles.
What have been the repairs? Fuel pump? Alternator? Distributer? Ball joints?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

I have 197,000 on my 2001 suburban headed to key west next week so she will have over 200,000 upon returning. It's all about preventative maintenence. Replaced tranny 2 times once at 40K and just recently at 170k. First time was a bad casting on a gear recent was actually worn out. Did have to have the engine cleaned with hocus pocus cleaners as it had major coke build up at around 140k but thats about it. I hoping for at least another 100k
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

Trayder - 12/3/2008 8:48 PM

I have 197,000 on my 2001 suburban headed to key west next week so she will have over 200,000 upon returning. It's all about preventative maintenence. Replaced tranny 2 times once at 40K and just recently at 170k. First time was a bad casting on a gear recent was actually worn out. Did have to have the engine cleaned with hocus pocus cleaners as it had major coke build up at around 140k but thats about it. I hoping for at least another 100k
Are you on the original alternator, o2 sensors, and EGR?
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

KJS - 12/3/2008 8:55 PM

Trayder - 12/3/2008 8:48 PM

I have 197,000 on my 2001 suburban headed to key west next week so she will have over 200,000 upon returning. It's all about preventative maintenence. Replaced tranny 2 times once at 40K and just recently at 170k. First time was a bad casting on a gear recent was actually worn out. Did have to have the engine cleaned with hocus pocus cleaners as it had major coke build up at around 140k but thats about it. I hoping for at least another 100k
Are you on the original alternator, o2 sensors, and EGR?


No, all have been replaced at least once along with fuel pump water pump and more
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:14 PM
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Default RE: Suburbans

I have a 95 I think and it has around 250k on it.
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:23 PM
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Default RE: Suburbans

tommyr904 - 12/3/2008 9:14 PM

I have a 95 I think and it has around 250k on it.
Okay Tommy the magical question.....what have been your repairs????
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Suburbans

Trayder - 12/3/2008 9:12 PM

KJS - 12/3/2008 8:55 PM

Trayder - 12/3/2008 8:48 PM

I have 197,000 on my 2001 suburban headed to key west next week so she will have over 200,000 upon returning. It's all about preventative maintenence. Replaced tranny 2 times once at 40K and just recently at 170k. First time was a bad casting on a gear recent was actually worn out. Did have to have the engine cleaned with hocus pocus cleaners as it had major coke build up at around 140k but thats about it. I hoping for at least another 100k
Are you on the original alternator, o2 sensors, and EGR?


No, all have been replaced at least once along with fuel pump water pump and more
Thanks I suspected that.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Suburbans

Still have the original fuel pump (I believe it's referred to as a fuel "module" now), although I may be proactive and replace that soon before it fails. Everything else is still original. I expect I'll be in for at least $1500 in repairs in the next few months, as that fuel pump/module is a significant job, and the door hinges will need to be replaced. I know I've been lucky, but there's not a lot of stuff on the cargo van to fail. I bought it new in January 2001 for about $20K. GM arranged for free tool bins, professionally installed (also free). This is a solid drive train, and a comfortable ride as well. I'd love to have a Suburban, but the wife likes her Volvo wagon, and I know enough to keep my nose out of that.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:46 AM
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Default RE: Suburbans

I had a 96, still wish I had it too, and when I sold it there were 160k on it and the only thing other than routine maint was a fuel pump. Never used a drop of oil
and was still as tight feeling as when I first purchased it. When I purchased it there were 85K on it.

Probably 1/3 of the miles were towing my 21' Sea Pro which included a 750 mile each way trip to Islamorada and back.


Just my opinion best vehicle out there, still thinking of selling my 04 Dodge Hemi and picking up another Suburban.

Gas mileage was about the same in my suburban as it is in my Hemi, 13 mpg around town and 17-18 on hwy. Towing both would get around 10 mpg
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: Suburbans

I've had a '73 and '85, gas and diesel respectively, both used extensively for towing, both went well over 200k miles before the rust took over. The engines never failed.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Suburbans

KJS - Most of the parts for these are nominal as compared to some of the foreign stuff because there are so many out on the road. I think your greatest risk is the tranny ($2k-$2.5k). It seems like they're a crap shoot. Either they go at 100k or they go forever. I think knowledge of prior servicing and how the vehicle was used is key. For that reason, I prefer to buy trucks from individuals because you usually have a better chance at getting the skinny on what's been done or not done.

FWIW - the stock brake system on 99 Chevy/GMC trucks is a problem from what I've been told. You've got to replace the pads and rotors fairly frequently.
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Suburbans

I have an '85 GMC pu that got 157,000 on the original 350 before the valve train went out. Rather than an upper rebuild I just replaced the entire engine with a new factory unit. It cost $1900 because I went with the forged crank. You can get a new 350 with a cast crank, 3 year factory warranty, for around 1500. Pretty cheap replacement units, wouldn't consider a rebuild at these prices. I now have 237,000 and running strong including 2 trips from Tucson AZ to central FL towing an 18' Crestliner.

I bought this truck new (3/4 ton HD, 4wd) and still my only vehicle in 24 years. Total costs for everything excluding fuel and insurance comes out to just under $22,000 including upgrades. Sounds like a lot of repair costs but average it over 24 years and it comes out to $914 per year. Important caveat: I live in AZ so rust is not a factor.
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