1999 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.7L Vortec V8 from North America

Summary:

A real workhorse

Faults:

5 fuel pumps since 2002.

Brake lights failed numerous times.

Transmission issues.

Driver's seat leather on the base of the seat is wearing very badly.

Brakes always feel underpowered and spongy.

General Comments:

You're probably reading some of the aforementioned faults and probably thinking, what a POS!

As much as I would love to slag this truck off, I simply cannot. It has been without doubt the most loyal and hardworking vehicle I’ve ever owned! Sure, it's had its problems, but it has never once left me completely stranded. My Suburban is my breadline, it's how I'm able to run my business every single day. Even with 307,000 miles on the original engine, it still cranks to life every time and thinks nothing of making routine trips from Orlando to Miami every week. It burns no oil and runs like clockwork.

During my years of ownership, I’ve noticed that several problems re-occur and keep coming back, for example FUEL PUMPS. My Suburban has had 5 in 10 years. Funny thing is, it doesn't seem to matter if you buy a Delco or a cheap 3rd part brand; they all seem to last about the same amount of time. They also always go out when you have a full tank (44 gallons!). I've done the job so many times, I think nothing of it.

Driver's door handles also seem to be a common weak point on these trucks. Easy enough to replace and not really a major thing.

The brake lights have failed me on numerous occasions; turned out to be a wire rubbing on the steering shaft, eventually shorting to ground.

Fuel gauge dances around does what it wants until it gets to approximately 1/4 of a tank, and then works fine down to empty. It has done this since I’ve had the truck, and despite the sender being part of the fuel pump, replacement never seems to correct it. Doesn't really bother me.

I've never felt that the brakes on this truck were up to the job. Sure, they do work and stop the truck, however it can be scary at times though, especially when pulling a trailer. I've always had routine inspections and insist on factory components.

The transmission has literally LOST gears on some occasions. The last episode it lost 1st and Overdrive. After some research, I found out the shift solenoids were bad. I replaced them myself and restored the tranny to perfect working order.

Despite these issues, she's still running. I could trade it for something newer, but why! Despite the mileage, it still drives like a Cadillac. It really owes me nothing. The seats are unbelievably comfortable, the stock sound system still sounds amazing, the dual zone air conditioning works like a champ. You can carry nine people and still have room for luggage, or lose the 3rd row and fold down the second and have acres of space.

I've driven newer Suburbans. Don't get me wrong, they are very nice vehicles. But my older 99 feels like it has substance, like it's more heavy duty. The doors and sheet metal definitely feel more durable than newer builds.

I have really tried to be honest with this review. I'm not saying they are the best vehicle ever or that there aren’t better alternatives. Maybe I've just been lucky with mine!

I will be utterly saddened when this truck comes to the end of its life. Let’s hope it goes another 300,000 :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2013

1999 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 7.4 from North America

Summary:

Sophistication of a 7000 lb wheelbarrow

Faults:

Batteries (dual Optimas) dead in a couple of days recently. Dome override switch heard clicking wildly when first entering vehicle. Depressing dome override switch stops clicking immediately. Is this simply a relay failure (short)?

General Comments:

Mileage as expected. 12+ mpg with a good tail wind.

Pathetic brakes. Always have been. Stainless brake lines helped a bit.

Switched out all front steering components recently. New everything including urethane control arm bushings. Much tighter now. Drives like a Kenworth, not a car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th October, 2010

15th Jan 2013, 11:41

These things weigh about 2.5 tonnes... you can't really expect it to drive like a car.