2003 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 GMC Yukon XL 1500 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The headlight switch used on the GMC Yukon XL 1500 is known to fail through normal operation. Since the headlight switch is also integrated into the interior lights, a malfunctioning switch can cause issues with interior lights as well.

  • Symptoms of a failed headlight switch include:
  • Headlights and taillights failing to turn on or off
  • Interior lights flicker, or fail to turn on or off
  • Gauge cluster lighting off or flickering with headlights on
  • Parking light malfunctions  

This issue is well known with General Motors Trucks and SUVs, and is solved by testing and, if needed, replacing the headlight/dimmer switch. Bad grounding wires at the tail-lights, and dirty/corroded tow package wires can also lead to some of these issues. 

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.

The sunroof may stop working for various different reasons. Our technicians tell us it is often better to replace the complete sunroof assembly than to try and repair the old one.

The steering wheel position sensor may fail, resulting in the service stability message being displayed.

A rattling noise may develop from the AC belt tensioner. This can be caused by an internal fault with the AC compressor, AC performance may also be diminished when this occurs. Our technicians tell us that replacing the ac compressor will commonly correct this concern.

 

The daytime running lights are prone to burning out. Our technicians tell us that the light sockets may show signs of heat damage but usually are OK. Always be sure to use the correct replacement bulb for the best life expectancy. The new bulb recommendation for 2000-2003 models is #4114K (trade number).

It is common for the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank read the fuel level incorrectly. The sensor must be replaced to correct the condition. Our technicians recommend having the complete fuel pump module replaced on high mileage vehicles.

Illumination of the Check Engine Light can be caused by a loose or worn gas cap.

The spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. Our technicians recommend replacing the spark plug wires also at this time.

The speedometer or other instrument panel gauge may begin to work erratically at times. Our technicians tell us that the instrument cluster must be sent to a repair facility to correct this fault. The warranty has been extended on some of these units to 7 years or 70,000 miles.

A dirty throttle body may cause a lower than normal idle and possible stalling condition. Performing a throttle body service will commonly correct this concern.

The muffler heat shield may become loose on the muffler causing a rattle or popping noise. Our technicians tell us there is a kit available from GM to correct this problem.

A poor electrical ground under the battery tray may cause the ABS warning light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that cleaning and properly securing this ground and also the main ABS ground on the frame rail below the drivers door may be necessary.

The battery may leak acid at the battery cable connections. As a result corrosion may form on the battery cable ends. Leaking batteries should be replaced and the cables need to be thoroughly cleaned or replaced if necessary.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) pump may stay running after the ignition is turned off causing the battery to go dead. Our technicians tell us that the ABS control module should be replaced to correct this fault.