I also have a 1999 Tahoe. I bought this truck with 108,000 miles from a guy in Alabama. When I first bought it, she ran like a sewing machine... for about 3000 miles. After that, all hell broke loose. Where can I start: Leaking head gasket, spark plugs@$7.25x8) constantly fouling out, fuel pump, leaking heater core, leaking heater control valve, frozen brake calipers, failed brake booster, failed master cylinder, steam from the tailpipe like a freight train, engine missing like crazy... I can go on and on at least another $2,500 worth. Found the truck for $3000 and less than three months paid 4500 in repairs. I'm sick and furious. Anybody wanna buy it? $1000 to the first person. The truck is now fixed but I don't want any parts of a 1999 Tahoe!!!
Bought my '99 in June 2003 with 74000 miles.. Had the leak at the front of the manifold and killed it with stop leak. Fuel pump died at 89000, replaced for $905.00 (includes towing). Pump was replaced again recently, $781.00 (includes towing). 167.000 miles.
The Chevy dealer who did the work also found the leak in the transfer case where the stretched chain had been slapping against it. They put on some JB Weld in order to help me get back to Boulder, CO from Chamberlain, SD. He said he could get a used one, $1500, part only if memory serves.
I found the patch and saw that it had separated at the bottom. Removed it, Solvent washed w/brush, wire brushed, washed, sanded and final wash with acetone. Cleaned about a two inch diameter worth. Gobbed in a bunch of Permatex Hi-Temp red gasket maker RTV. Gave it the full 24 hour cure. 4 days and holding. The hole was bigger than one sixteenth, smaller than one eighth. Will look into the cost of replacing the chain.
The guy at NAPA Auto parts told me that a transfer case is not a normal maintenance item, and that the problem was likely the result of it being "hammered" or left in 4 wheel too long.
Being a push button system with no shifting, it's very easy for someone to run the truck as an ad hoc all wheel drive.
Had the windshield replaced due to damage from a piece of plywood caused by high wind. Was told by tire shop that it needed the factory stamps replaced to facilitate a complete front end alignment. Caster, I think. A right tie rod, idler arm and possibly a ball joint were done also. Was told recently that the pittman arm and idler arm were starting to move. The idler arm is under warranty. Will revisit the issue at next tire replacement.
Driver side inside door handle broke, twice. If they have to use plastic can't it be made thicker? Engine runs good and strong, knock on cheap plastic. Right rear signal/brake light went out on two different occasions. Found that the grease put in at the factory gets hard and impedes current flow. Cleaned it out and the light works just fine.
Radio lights work okay. Numbers on channel change buttons fading from excessive channel changing. Is there any good, solid programming on broadcast radio? I use the recommended double platinum plugs to keep replacement to a minimum as some are hard to get to. Do oil changes and brakes myself. New drum on left rear and shoes both sides. New ceramic pads on front. They're quiet. Cheap Autozone discs on previous pads replacement, not so good. Put originals back on.
That goo that a previous poster mentioned coming out of the electrochromic side view mirror, standard on LT; I have an LS, came out of the rear view mirror on mine. The shop who works on my car occasionally, made a call on that: $500.00. I called a Chevy dealer in Denver: $375.00. I bought a rear view mirror w/day, night flipper at a local hardware for $20.00. The electronic guts that hold the compass and temperature portion were still good for the respective functions and was retained and mounted above the mirror.
All in all, it's comfortable and a nice ride on long trips. Good for carrying biggish things and the rare tow. A small amount of 4 wheel in winter. You can force them to go fast, but they're really geared for high speed loafing. If only that car had more gears...
Re the 1999 Tahoe with the leaking transfer case. Even though my silicone repair held up famously, I put the vehicle in the shop on July 22nd, 2009 for transfer case replacement. One used component and 1288 dollars later, knock on magnesium case casting... Air conditioning works as good as ever with no known service work having been done, so far.
I bought my '99 Tahoe in 2005. Loved it for the first 2000 miles, have hated it ever since. It had 78000 miles on it when I bought it, it now has 122000. I'm currently working on fixing the intake manifold gasket, but have already put in the following: two transmissions, three fuel pumps, two water pumps, 16 spark plugs, heater core, transmission cooler, battery, set of tires and brakes. Was a die hard Chevy guy when I bought it, not anymore.
When you replace the same items that many times in such a short period you probably didn't solve the real issue. If they were that defective you should have dumped it a long time ago.
We bought our 99 Tahoe 2 door new. We call her Sybil, after the woman with 18 personalities.
We've had a good chunk of the "niggles" commonly mentioned: alternator, thermostat housing corrosion, injector failure, rear seat belt failure, interior lights wouldn't go off (cleaning the contacts on the rear doors fixed that), power window failure (only above 100 degrees), and the intermittent power steering psychosis.
We've also had complete, total, absolute brake failure!, courtesy of an improper ABS valve body replacement.
Brakes: if you don't keep the rear drums real tight, it messes with the whole system and braking will be poor. Tighten them yourself, the factory spec is too loose! The original front discs warped, poor design, and I changed out a leaking rear cylinder. Front pads last about 30k.
She's leaked coolant for 5 years now, but I haven't really confirmed the source. Likely radiator cap and intake gasket.
The AC is starting to leak at the compressor, needs refrigerant every other year. To date not a major leak.
Kingman arm went.
Went to Goodrich TA KO's, much improved handling, and better off road.
Exhaust sometimes leaks at one of the joints just behind the motor.
The clear coat is scratched from busting through mesquite, and the insides of the wheel wells get shiny from suspension articulation off road. 105K on her.
Fabric interior looks new.
We keep her because we can't find anything that is as off road capable and will also tow the boats. Engine and driveline OK so far, change the transmission fluid every 20k. Not a low maintenance vehicle, but wonderful off road. Be ready to turn a wrench, and have alternate wheels. Through it all, we like our Sybil.