Which Chevrolet Suburban Years To Avoid? (Explained)

Suburban widely known as Chevy or Chevrolet Suburban, is a full-size SUV series solely owned and built by The Chevrolet Motor division of General Motors. In 1935, Chevrolet introduced the first Suburban model in public, and since then, it has been a trusted name in the SUV industry.

Unfortunately, the Chevy Suburban series is not entirely faultless, and some released models like the 2007 and 2004 models are pretty problematic due to several engine, A/C, brakes, and interior concerns.

Read the following article to learn more about these Suburban SUVs and wisely decide whether you should purchase one of them or not.

Chevrolet Suburban Years to Avoid: (With Reasons)

Since 1935, Chevrolet has been continuously modifying the initial style, design, and structural configuration of the Suburban series to ensure better built-in features, performance, and drivability in every new generation of Suburban models.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer failed to keep the same quality in all Suburban series released models.

As a result, some models came up with distinct issues like excess oil consumption, A/C failure, trouble with brakes and steering control, and transmission failure which potentially causes several other related problems.

Thus, if you are looking for a used Suburban model, avoid the following released years:

  • 1999 Suburban
  • 2003 Suburban
  • 2004 Suburban
  • 2005 Suburban
  • 2007 Suburban
  • 2008 Suburban
  • 2015 Suburban

All these mentioned years Suburban SUV models made Suburban rank in 21st position on the CarComplaints.com website’s Least Reliable Chevrolet Models category due to 1,142 received complaints and 18.34 score on the PainRank™ scoring system.

These Suburban years models feature notable engine, interior, electrical, and Transmission problems, which also caused the users to deal with expensive repairing services.

1999 Suburban Problems:

It is one of the earliest Suburban models with which consumers experienced several engine-related issues such as the engine turning over yet failing to start, stalling when idling, misfiring, or leakage in the coolant.

Even issues like faulty door handles tend to fall off, burnt dashboard lights, transmission failure, and heated seats won’t work are also highlighted against this year’s model.

2003 Suburban Problems:

Several engine-related problems continued with this year’s models too. Consumers also mentioned encountering several interior accessories and steering problems in 2003 models.

According to Carcomplaints.com, other mostly highlighted issues were the transmission system and fuel pump failure. Reports also claim that excess corrosion in the brake lines causes fluid to leak out and leads to encounter brake failure.

2004 Suburban Problems:

This year’s released models had to deal with lots of criticism due to several electrical-related issues like the speedometer malfunctioning or not working properly, heated seats not working, defective power seats, or dead batteries.

2004 Suburban users also mentioned issues such as the vehicle tends to knock with any wheel turn, the air conditioner only blowing hot air on the passenger side, or the A/C blower not working at all.

2005 Suburban Problems:

According to consumers’ complaints provided on the Carcomplaint.com website, they have experienced issues such as transmission failure, instrumental cluster malfunctioning, excess hard shift, or speedometer malfunctioning.

Even problems like difficulty in rear door latch release, the air conditioner only blowing warm or hot air, and fan blower motor squeal or complete failure are also mentioned by 2005 model users.

2007 Suburban Problems:

This year’s models are considered the worst due to the significant engine, interior, electrical, and transmission troubleshooting issues that almost all users have encountered.

The most commonly highlighted issues are knocking at engine start-up, unusual excess engine noise, vehicle engine abruptly shutting down, and excessive oil consumption, which ultimately leads to complete engine failure.

2008 Suburban Problems:

Consumers encountered several engine-related problems such as excess oil consumption, sudden oil pressure loss, the check engine light keeps illuminating, engine erratically shaking or running rough.

Besides that, some minor electrical, exterior, and interior accessories defects or errors were also mentioned by several 2008 model users.

2015 Suburban Problems:

This year’s models have major complaints against their A/C, brakes, interior, body, suspension, and transmission system.

According to Carcomplaints consumer reports, the Air Conditioning system of these models was the biggest offender as it tends to stop working or the compressor clutch fails.

Consumers also claimed that the brakes sometimes give a real hard time engaging or completely stop working. Even interior panels between the vehicle windows tend to come off, and some users noticed that the water leaked into the cabin.

Worst Years of Chevrolet Suburban:

Let’s learn more about the three worst Suburban years that one should avoid-

The 2004 Suburban Models

This year’s Suburban models got 624 complaints reported, including Seven Recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to Pretty bad severity ratings.
The most highlighted symptoms of the 2004 Suburban models are knocking with any turn of the wheel (average fixing cost $200), the speedometer stopped working (average fixing cost $400), and the air conditioning blowing hot air (average fixing cost $700).

The 2007 Suburban Models

A total sum of 926 complaints was reported, including Four Recalls issued by NHTSA due to Very bad severity ratings.
Excess oil consumption (typically fixing cost $410), transmission failure (typically fixing cost $2,930), and engine failure (typically fixing cost $5,800) were the 2007 Suburban’s most highlighted issues.

The 2015 Suburban Models

This particular year’s Suburban vehicles got 600 complaints, including Ten Recalls issued by NHTSA due to Awfully bad severity ratings.
Most 2015 Suburban consumers highlighted symptoms such asA/C failure (average repairing cost $1,100), brakes not working (average repairing cost $1,000), and transmission failure (average repairing cost $4,300).

Most Common Problems of Chevrolet Suburban:

Let’s discover the most common Suburban problems that makes some of its released models worth avoiding-

1. Engine Failure

Minor engine problems are commonly occurring in almost all Suburban SUVs, but issues get noticeable and especially severe in 2007 and 2008 Suburban users.

Carcomplaint.com claims that thousands of Chevrolet Suburban owners had to fill up their vehicle engines with a new quart of oil after each 500 to 1000 miles of operation.

Reports even claim that most major engine problem occurs when the vehicle reaches around 76,000 miles, and the minimum servicing cost stays around $4,100.

The same report also claims that oil consumption is out of control in 2007 models, which feature the aluminum block engines with Active Fuel Management or AFM.

Mainly this issue has been occurring due to an uncovered AFM valve on those models, and people can get the problem fixed under warranty.

But unfortunately, this fix does not work for all 2007 models either, and in some cases, General Motors even recommended consumers replace the entire engine with a new one.

2. Brakes Failure

According to Carcomplaints.com and NHTSA both reports, several brakes issues have been identified in Suburban’s 2003, 2004, and 2015 released models.

Reports claim that most of those particular year’s suburban users encountered issues such as brakes not working properly or the excess brake lines corrosion causing the fluid to leak, rusted brakes, brakes prematurely wearing off, traction controlling system malfunction, or faulty Abs.

Even the Carproper.com website’s report states that some Suburban model brakes are difficult to hold or control and prone to failure, which is an alarming concern since brakes failure can eventually lead to encounter crashes if not fixed on time.

The same Carproper.com report also claims that problematic power brakes can make handling the steering hard and if somehow the vehicle tires failed to respond accurately, this can potentially lead to a severe accident.

3. A/C Malfunctioning

A/C malfunctioning or complete failure issues are commonly noticed on Suburban 2004, 2005, and 2015 released models.

According to Carcomplaints.com, consumers complained of encountering symptoms such as A/C compressor clutch failure, the air conditioner blowing hot air on the side (particularly the passenger side), A/C only blowing hot air, failed fan blower motor, or A/C erratically stopping working.

But one of the most common problems regarding some Suburban models is the A/C to only blow warm or hot air due to the A/C condenser leaking issue, and the main reason behind this commotion is frozen water vapor.

Which Chevrolet Suburban Years are Safe to Buy?

According to the CHEVROLET SUBURBAN MODEL YEAR COMPARISON graphical representation, these are the Suburban SUV models which have been tried and tested by many users.

  • 2000 Suburban
  • 2006 Suburban
  • 2020 Suburban

The 2000 Suburban is the perfect Texas-size wagon, which can turn into home-on-wheels for any long cross-country trip with its comfortable eight-seated internal space. Also, features a way better ride, handling, and braking configuration than its previous truck-like prototype.

2006 Suburban comes with the additional electronic stability control feature turns it into a more attractive option for long-running SUVs and minivan alternative-seeking consumers.

The 2020 Suburban is a big old-fashioned truck-based SUV with ample cargo space and hefty towing capacity. It is mainly ideal for large families living beyond the suburbs.

Which Year’s Suburban Have Most Engine-related Problems?

Suburban’s 2007 released models have the most engine-related issues based on the Carcomplaints website, and 226 complaints were only reported against this year’s released vehicle’s engine.

Which Years Suburban Models Have Most Interior Defects & Problems?

According to the Carcomplaints.com website reports, Suburban’s 2007 models’ have the most interior-related issues and 47 complaints were reported against 2007 Suburban vehicle’s interior accessories.


Although I have addressed several issues and flaws in today’s article, which have been identified by numerous Suburban users still, no other crossover or SUV series can beat the combination of talents Suburban models have. That’s why Suburban won the title of being the longest-used automobile model.

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