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2004 GMC Yukon XL Denali Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 GMC Yukon XL Denali 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.

One or more heater & AC (HVAC) temperature and/or air delivery mode door actuator may fail, resulting in improper temperature or air delivery. If this occurs, fault code(s) should be stored in the HVAC control module which should assist in diagnoses.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 2001-2003 models is #4114K (trade number).

The rear window defogger may stop working due to a wire terminal broken off of the rear glass. Our technicians tell us that terminal can be reattached using a special glue or silver solder.

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

The 2004-2007 Yukon XL Denali is known to have 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 headlight switch used on the GMC Yukon XL Denali 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. 

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

Units with 4 wheel disk brakes may develop at situation where the park brake does not hold as it should. Our technicians tell us this can be caused by worn park brake shoes located inside the drum section of the rear brake disks. The worn shoes should be replaced and properly adjusted to correct this issue.

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

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.