I bought this truck after it had been sitting in the previous owner's driveway for years. He replaced the alternator at 85,000.
Problems to date:
Replaced front pinion seal (probably due to it sitting in a snow pile in a driveway so long). Cost $125.00.
Plastic hood release handle broke, $28.00.
Outside drivers door handle - $25.00.
Inside center storage compartment handle broke - not yet estimated cost to fix.
Rear license plate bulb - again, sat too long in the snow bank.
Needs new aluminum rims - showing white pitting and salt like build up - looks bad.
Replaced fuel filter at 87,000. The car still has 87,000 on it.
My brother's a mechanic at a Chevy dealer. He recommends the following:
Dump the orange/reddish stock radiator antifreeze as it eats the intake gasket - replace with green antifreeze - stay away from the emissions /environmental saving junk fluid - go basic green. This could be the reason for all you poor souls having to do expensive repairs - gasket related.
Change your fuel filter every 30k like the manual says - it's easy - I did it myself with some basic wrenches. This will put less stress on your fuel pump - which runs on electric.
I run midgrade fuel, and never let my gas tank go below 1/4 full; it's easier on the pump to deliver the fuel.
Dump your transmission fluid every every 50k like the manual says.
I love my Tahoe!
I have a friend who has 279,000; only major problem, he had to replace a water pump so far. You know why? In chapter 7 page six of the 1999 Tahoe manual. it says "be sure to follow the complete scheduled maintenance on the following pages". He follows his maintenance schedule in the owners manual perfectly - there's a reason they spent the money to print it and put it in the book. You can't expect not to have things break, and yeah some of you got a lemon. But keep on top of the service to your Tahoe, and it should perform great!
The plastic handles that break are cheap to replace. They are a petroleum based product and are especially sensitive to extreme weather conditions - I leave my windows cracked in the heat to prevent too much interior heat; park in a garage if possible.
Wash your vehicle - all that dirt gets in the mechanics.