GMC Savana 1500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the GMC Savana 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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19
Known Problems

The 2008-2014 GMC Savana 1500 uses a throttle position sensor (TPS) which commonly fails and causes:

This issue is related to the throttle position sensor, and can be caused by faulty wiring to the TPS, bad connection at the TPS, or a failed TPS.

To correct this issue, the wiring harness, connector, and throttle position sensor must be inspected, tested, and/or replaced. The most common cause is a faulty TPS.

The headlight switch used on the GMC Savana 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 fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart. Our technicians recommend replacing the fuel filter every 30,000 miles to help prevent undue strain on the fuel pump.

The alternator may fail causing the battery to go dead. The charge light on the dash may or may not illuminate. The alternator may also develop an abnormal noise. A failed alternator will require replacement.

The fuel pump may fail causing the engine to stall and not restart.

Vehicles equipped whit a 4 speed automatic transmission may develop a harsh 1-2 shift and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light with code P1870 stored. This can be caused by wear of the bore for the TCC isolator and regulator valves in the valve body. This condition does not commonly occur until the transmission reaches normal operating temperature. If the valve body is worn, replacement will be necessary to correct this concern.

A Loose or worn gas cap may cause Check Engine Light to illuminate.

The engine may develop a misfire due to worn valve seats. This fault will cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us the misfire may or may not be felt while driving. They further recommend that both cylinder heads be removed and thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary.

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

The tail light wiring harness in the cargo area is not protected very well. As a result it may become damaged due to normal wear a tear. This damage can causing some or all of the rear lights to stop working.

One or both secondary air injection check valves may become restricted causing poor air flow resulting in illumination of the Check Engine Light. It is often recommend to replace both check valves even if a fault code is set for only one bank of cylinders. Replacing only one valve may result in a return trip to the repair shop.

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.

Our technicians recommend flushing the brake fluid every 60,000 miles.  Brake fluid that is dirty may cause problems in the brake system.

One or more fuel injectors may become stuck closed causing an engine misfire  and the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Our technicians tell us that this problem can be caused by some fuel additives. There are special procedures which may be able to restore the affected injector. If this fails the affected injector must be replaced.

Extended life coolant may become contaminated and require cooling system service before the recommended 100,000 miles.