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9 Common Chevrolet Tahoe Failures: Problems And Disadvantages

One of the true full-size SUVs, millions of Chevrolet Tahoes have roamed the world’s roads since 1991. The Tahoe is built on a truck chassis and has body-on-frame construction, making it tough. However, here we will talk about the most common Chevrolet Tahoe failures that have been reported by some owners.

Although Tahoe adds a wide range of available trim levels, four-wheel drive, and various engine sizes, and can compete against any SUV on the market, it’s not a perfect vehicle.

Common failures of the Chevrolet Tahoe

The Tahoe is one of the most reliable SUVs you can own. However, it can also have problems that affect it and we list them here so that you are prepared if they do occur.

1. Fault codes

When the transfer case encoder motor position sensor or selector switch fails, it will cause a fault code. Failure of any of these parts can cause a four wheel drive service code to appear. Knowing for sure that four-wheel drive is engaged or disengaged is essential.

four wheel drive warning light

An automotive technician can diagnose the problem with the trouble code or codes that appear on your vehicle. Then, using a computer, they can determine what the exact code means and repair the problem with the transfer case.

However, replacing the encoder motor or selector switch is not a cheap task. Also, it takes time which means you will be without your car for at least a day.

This repair ranges from $500 to $600 when performed by a trained technician. It affected all models from 1995 to 2012.

2. Cracks at the top of the instrument panel

Although they are ugly, a cracked instrument panel does not affect the performance of a vehicle. However, it may decrease its resale value. As a result, an entire cracked dashboard industry has sprung up, manufacturing covers to fit every car.

The problem with a dashboard that doesn’t fix itself is that the soft backing quickly disintegrates once exposed to the sun. The padding sits under the outer shell and is there to protect you in the event of an accident.

The loss of foam is not only ugly, but it can be a safety problem and can be especially so in case of accidents. Padded instrument panels are designed to properly protect you.

A dashboard without foam loses that ability and can be problematic. However, General Motors has not issued a recall for cracked dashboards. Instead they have offered hefty refunds for the instrument panel replacement.

So if you have a GM product with a cracked dashboard, check with your local dealer before shelling out the money for a repair.

3. Air conditioning and heating problems

Air supply, mode door actuators can fail in heating and air conditioning systems. Any vehicle’s heating and air conditioning system uses doors to direct hot and cold air to where it’s needed.

They are made to open and close to control and mix hot and cold air to give you perfectly blended air at a preset temperature.

The actuator is the switch that opens and closes these doors, and if one fails, the entire system may not function properly.

Indicators of faulty air conditioning actuators:

  • Knocking noise from air conditioning vents
  • The hot air that should be cold
  • The cold air that should be warm
  • Inconsistent airflow from the vents
  • Clicking noises from vents
  • The temperature does not stay set

This issue is found on Tahoes built between 1995 and 2017. GM has had recalls on specific models due to this issue.

So again, if you think your Tahoe has this problem, check with your local dealer to see what recall repairs have been done on your vehicle.

4. ABS front wheel speed sensors may fail

The anti-lock braking system (ABS), as well as the front wheel speed sensors, can fail. In addition, the failure may activate the ABS warning light in the instrument cluster. And what is more dangerous, the ABS can behave erratically without any prior indication.

This problem was found on Tahoes from 1995 to 2012. There have been General Motors recalls to correct the problem with the Tahoe’s ABS. Therefore, check with your local dealership to see if the repairs have been done.

They keep records of everything Chevrolet has fixed and can tell you if your vehicle has other problems that need to be looked at.

How can I tell if my ABS has a problem?

Your car’s anti-lock system prevents the brakes from locking up in a sudden stop situation or on slippery surfaces. If the ABS is not working properly, the brakes can lock up, even on dry pavement.

If it happens on a wet road, you could lose control of your car.

Have your vehicle serviced immediately if the brakes feel different, make clicking noises, or the ABS light on the dash comes on. Brakes are critical safety equipment in the car, and any problems should be taken care of.

5. Erratic speedometer and instrument panel gauges

Unlike the ABS recall for the Tahoe, the instrument panel malfunction is not a GM recall item. Although it has been determined that speedometers become erratic and other gauges fail, any expense to repair this problem is the responsibility of the vehicle owner.

In addition, there is other pertinent information in your Tahoe’s instrument cluster. A faulty instrument cluster can give false information, or none at all, which can lead to speeding tickets or even a speeding ticket.

Plus, guessing your gas mileage can be stressful, and running out of gas even more so.

The problem with the instrument cluster on the Tahoe was common between 2001 and 2008. If you have a Tahoe from this era or are considering buying one, replacing the instrument cluster will cost between $750 and $900 (depending on which country you are in). .

6. Power door locks may stop working

The actuators that control your SUV’s power door locks can be slow to operate or not at all. This problem occurred on models built between 1995 and 2015 and occurs around the 100,000 mile (160 thousand km) mark.

Sometimes an actuator will give you a signal that it is getting weak, other times it will simply stop working. The average cost to replace a door lock actuator is around $300 (US).

7. Door handles can break

A broken door handle isn’t just a nuisance; it can be a security issue if you need to get in or out of your vehicle in a hurry. Although your car will continue to function safely, the replacement of a defective handle must be done as soon as possible for your safety and that of your passengers.

8. Fuel sensor failure

This problem was sometimes found on Tahoes built between 1995 and 2009 and is caused by a faulty fuel sensor gauge in the gas tank. The cost of the part is not too high, but the repair will cost close to $400 (depending on your country).

This fault tends to show up around the 150,000 mile (242,000 km) mark and is an issue to be aware of if you haven’t encountered this issue yet.

9. Gas Cap Causes Check Engine Light

Your car’s fuel system is under pressure, and a fuel cap that no longer fits properly can cause your check engine light to come on.

This problem has been seen on Tahoes from 1996 through 2013. Although it’s a simple fix that can cost less than $30, diagnosing the problem can cost a little over $100.

The gas cap problem on Tahoes tends to occur after 116,000 miles (187,000 km), however, it has happened on vehicles with less than 20,000 miles (32,000 km).

As with every part on your vehicle, you never know which part was made on the wrong day.

The good and the bad of the Chevrolet Tahoe

After you have read the list of common Chevrolet Tahoe faults, you should also read the good things. The Tahoe receives an above-average rating for a full-size SUV.

Also, average annual repair costs are around $750 (depending on where you are), which is impressive for a vehicle of this size and a huge plus.

  • Ten-speed automatic transmission
  • Four-wheel drive available on all models
  • Spacious third row seat
  • it is spacious
  • It has enough power to pull a load and carry up to nine passengers.
  • It is available in various trim levels.
  • It is available with various engine options
  • Newer models are available with diesel engines
  • large cargo space
  • Drives like a truck
  • The interior is outdated
  • Fuel consumption could be better
  • The gear knob on the newer models is in an odd place
  • It’s a bit difficult to park, but multiple cameras on newer models can fix that problem.

What do the opinions say about the Chevrolet Tahoe?

Reviews and comments on the Chevy Tahoe are relatively good. They stand out among them:

“The huge cabin is strangely quiet for such a large vehicle. The controls are very easy to use, except for the complicated gear selector.”

“It has a distinctive exterior design and a spacious cabin well suited for transporting families and cargo.”

“The redesigned Tahoe has vast improvements in ride comfort, technology and convenience features.”

Final thoughts

Today’s market is a seller’s game. Many used SUVs, trucks and other vehicles are priced above market value. So whether you’re buying or selling a car, do your research.

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