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Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Chevrolet Suburban 1500 based on complaints from 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 steering may develop a clunk type noise from the upper intermediate steering shaft.  Our technicians tell us that you should check with you local GM dealer to find out what the latest repair is for this condition.

A dirty throttle body may cause a lower than normal idle and an engine stalling condition can develop. Performing a throttle body service will generally correct this concern.

The 2004-2013 Suburban 1500 has known issues with the EVAP system, a part of your emission control system.

The EVAP canister vent valve or valve solenoid wiring may fail causing illumination of the check engine light, setting code P0446, and problems filling the tank with fuel.

To correct the issue, the EVAP canister vent valve, solenoid, and wiring must be inspected. The most common fix is replacement of the wiring connector or replacement of the vent valve assembly.

The 1998-2001 Suburban 1500 has a known issue with the air pump check valve which causes illumination of the check engine light. There are no notable symptoms, but the vehicle will not pass state inspection or smog testing. 

When the valve fails, it sticks closed, and the computer sets the code P1416. Replacement of the check valve is the only fix, as the valve is not serviceable. 

This page can provide more information about the air pump check valve. 

The 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.

The throttle position sensor (TPS) on the Chevrolet Suburban 1500 is known for failure which 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 Chevrolet Suburban 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. 

Our technicians highly recommend that the transmission is serviced every 30,000 miles to avoid problems and maintain optimal operating order.

An engine vacuum leak may develop from the throttle body gasket causing a higher than normal idle speed. Failed gaskets should be replaced.

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.

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 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).

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.

A clicking noise may be noted from the turn signal flasher after the turn signals are switched off.  This is commonly cause by a faulty turn signal switch which will require replacement.

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.