2003 Chevrolet Suburban Z71 5.3L from North America


No gripes/complaints



Speedo needle sticking.

Power steering pump.


Speed sensor cleaning.

Encoder motor for 4WD.

Rear rotors, pads, lines.

Wheel hubs.

General Comments:

I bought the vehicle at 105,xxx back in Dec '12 upon my return from deploying; a "gift" to myself as well as needing the room for the way my wife packs when we go places.

In addition to the low miles, the truck was really clean, with the exception of a few surface rust bubbles on the front bumper. I sanded/painted it, and now it's back to new. The interior looks as if it came off the showroom floor.

Commuting from Watertown, NY to Buffalo on the weekends is the reason why I racked up 30k plus miles in under a year, and she hasn't skipped a beat. Once I purchased her, I gave her a full tune up/tranny service, flushed all fluids and installed a Dynomax cat-back with drop in K&N filter. I think I actually squeeze 16 city/18 highway with the add ons, along with driving her with "respect". It pulls whatever I want it to with no issues either.

I'm not upset with the money I invested for the repairs, because it hadn't really been exercised the way it was made to be. I'm expecting my water/fuel pumps to go out next, after which I believe all "original" parts would have been replaced. Cruising at 70-75, she runs smooth as silk! I believe I had the repairs that I did, because of the lack of exercise over the years. I shove PLENTY of highway down her throat now, and all I hear is "ahhhhh"...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2013

2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 4x4 5.3L Flex fuel Z from North America


Usual modern single-use car


One cylinder suffered warped valves and low compression. Another one is a little low on compression, and misfires at idle after warm-up. Basically above idle, it runs on 7 consistently, and on all 8 above 2800. Still noticeably weaker at max power than new. Perhaps this failure is due to different formulation for corrosion-resistant valves. This engine has been run on clean unleaded gasoline.

Accessory belt's tensioner and idler pulleys wore out; to be expected at this mileage. A/C tensioner too. Fairly easy to replace.

Alternator replaced. 2nd alternator got a faulty idiot-light circuit. Voltmeter reads normal.

Front brake rotor warped. Standard problem on Suburbans.

Middle row smaller seatback no longer folds. It has some funky cable release that doesn't work.

Windshield cracked all over.

General Comments:

Comfy interior. Lots of space for passengers or home improvement supplies.

Ride is reasonable. 4runner 90-94 base model 4x4 is softer.

Service is doable at home.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th October, 2013

16th Oct 2013, 09:42

Maybe the mileage has something to do with the problems...

17th Oct 2013, 06:26

Should have said multi use, not single use. You can carry, tow with it, take it on trips, off road etc.

31st Jul 2014, 05:17

Very interesting. I bought mine (identical vehicle) 8 years ago and love it. Had a 2000 LT, and I believe our lives were saved, in part by the sturdiness of the Suburban, as were rear-ended by a guy doing 65 mph, not paying attention, as we stopped quickly on a freeway traffic slowdown. We drove away, with a bent frame mind you, but his Pathfinder was a write-off. Later bought my 2003 Z71 and I have the very same issues; noisy power steering pump, speedometer needle sticks, and the like. A bit hard on fuel, yeah, but it's gotta be one of the best, toughest, and most comfortable vehicles on the road!

2003 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3 Flex Fuel from North America


Expensive, but reliable, roomy and safe


Shortly after I purchased the vehicle, I noticed a tapping in the steering wheel when making both right and left turns. As more miles were accumulated on the vehicle, the tapping sensation got worse. I took it to the dealership and they fixed the problems. 18,000 miles later the problems were back. Luckily, I had purchased the extended warranty and the car was covered.

At the 38,000 mile mark, an ugly sound started coming form the vehicle's underbelly. From the time I pressed the gas pedal at a standstill until I got up to 15-20 miles per hour; there was a loud vibration. I took the truck back to the dealership and they determined it was a corroded muffler. Apparently, the metal inside the muffler broke off and was vibrating inside and the muffler had to be replaced. The downside is that no muffler shop in the area could get his or her hands on a muffler, because the patent wasn't out on it yet. The dealership wanted $765.00, but luckily, a local guy had a take-off from a 2004 suburban that he put in my vehicle for $150. That too is now is beginning to make the same rattling sound and here we go again. Hopefully the patent is out, and Midas or Car-X can do the job.

The gas mileage is more noticeable now with gas prices being higher than when I purchased it. The gas mileage really goes down when the 4x4 is engaged... even in the "auto 4wd" mode.

General Comments:

The Suburban, with the steering fixed, drives a dream. The 5.3 gets up and goes on the highway and pulls whatever I need to pull. I do my share of off-road driving when I'm pheasant hunting in MN, and this Suburban will go through it all. It has room for eight people, and is both a hunter's dream and a basketball mom's dream. It can transport 8 people and haul lots of gear. I've never once not felt safe in this ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2006

8th Oct 2006, 18:24

I just bought this same suburban. I am hearing a rattle in the steering. What was the problem in your steering? Thanks in advance.

15th Dec 2008, 14:37

It's your steering intermediate shaft. There is a TSB on it. It's normal on these trucks, fix it if you want, it's not dangerous.

2003 Chevrolet Suburban Z71 5.3 gasoline from North America


A great bargain


Nothing has ever gone wrong.

General Comments:

This is one nice truck.

I got every option available. Its got heated seats, DVD player, you name it.

The seats are very comfortable especially with the heated seats, 8 way seat posistions, and lumbar support.

The truck has a memory for two drivers. On the door there are two buttons, one for the first driver, and one for the second driver. You can set it for your preferences (seat position, mirrors, radio station). This is a real convenient option if you share the truck.

The Bose sound system is average.

The 5.3L engine has enough power to spin the wheels easily.

When the truck has every option available the price is $59000CDN. To some people this may think it is very expensive, but to me I think it's a great bargain.

The suspension is well above average.

In general this is a great luxury SUV.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2004

2003 Chevrolet Suburban LT autoride 327 from North America


A big comfortable cruiser elite


A grinding noise periodically when the wheel is turned.

You get a sunroof or the entertainment system. Cannot order both. If Ford can do this why can't Chevy?

Would like to see television channel capability with the entertainment system.

Would like to see a keyless entry system like the Ford SUV's.

Would like to see full time all wheel drive capability.

General Comments:

Very smooth ride. I Like the 31 gallon fuel tank.

Entertainment system works flawlessly with the DVD.

Some colors including blue, grey, are not available with color matched body side molding offering only black plastic which looks awful.

The onboard computer is accurate for gas mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2003