The Chevy Tahoe has been on the road since the early '90s, built to haul large loads and stand the test of time. Despite its popularity, the Chevy Tahoe does come with certain problems you should be aware of if you're in the market for a new vehicle.

How Reliable Is the Chevy Tahoe?

The Chevy Tahoe is one of the most reliable full-size SUVs you can buy. This tough and rugged vehicle is based on the Chevy Silverado truck, utilizing a standard body-on-frame construction. It has a powerful V-8 engine and an impressive independent four-wheel suspension to maintain a comfortable ride.

Plus, with ample space and three rows of seats, it's no wonder why it was rated as Kelley Blue Book's (KBB) Best Family Car of the Year in 2021. Similarly, J.D. Power rated older 2013 and 2014 Tahoe models as a 5 out of 5, while 2016 through 2019 models received a 4.5 out of 5. What stands out about the Chevy Tahoe is its durability. Many owners and professionals say these vehicles can last up to 300,000 miles, provided they are properly maintained.

What Problems Do Chevy Tahoes Have?

While it's known as a dependable workhorse, the Chevy Tahoe doesn't come without issues. Check out some of the most common problems Chevy Tahoe owners experience.

Failed ABS Systems

Countless owners have reported malfunctions with their anti-lock braking system (ABS) throwing ABS warning lights or locking with no warning. This system stops brakes from seizing in a hard stop situation or slippery conditions, so it can be quite dangerous when they begin to lock unexpectedly.

General Motors (GM) has issued recalls for 1999 to 2002 and 2005 Chevy Tahoe models for various reasons. In their largest ABS recall, they found that more than 800,000 vehicles had corrosion within their anti-lock braking systems, rendering their sensors useless. Similarly, their recall of their 2005 model was due to a missing push-rod retainer.

Cracked Dashboards

Cracks are prevalent on models made from 2007 to 2013, which are created with a one-piece dashboard design. With a lack of relief points, overtightened bolts and constant exposure to sunlight, there is more stress on the plastic material, leading to extreme deterioration.

A cracked dashboard does not directly impact the Tahoe's performance. However, it does impact the vehicle's visual appeal and overall value, which could affect the money you receive if you ever decide to sell your Tahoe. Many owners also claim that this issue influences the car's safety, decreasing the effectiveness of the padding beneath.

Faulty Instrument Panel Gauges

Many older production years of the Chevy Tahoe, mostly between 2001 and 2008, are prone to experiencing instrument gauge malfunctions and failures. Owners report meters like speedometers, tachometers, odometers and fuel gauges malfunctioning, providing them with inaccurate readings. Speedometers are known to flutter unpredictably, reading speeds much higher or lower than reality. In some situations, various lights will turn on without any problems supporting them.

Regarding the speedometer, these problems are known to occur due to failing or dirty wheel speed sensors. However, other cluster instruments can have faulty, damaged or loose wiring or a malfunctioning computer system. These problems can be quite annoying to deal with and could lead to speeding tickets or being stranded on the roadside. To solve this, owners will likely have to replace their Chevy Tahoe instrument panel.

Chevy Shake

Like many other Chevy vehicles manufactured between 2014 and 2016, Chevy Tahoes are susceptible to the well-known "Chevy Shake." As drivers reach speeds over 35 miles per hour, their vehicle begins to lose steering capabilities and vibrate with so much force that their mirrors and belongings within the console shake and rattle uncontrollably. The problem also creates loud and harsh wind noises, as if driving down the highway with the windows down.

Many believe these Chevy Tahoe issues are caused by faulty GM 8L90 or 8L45 eight-speed automatic transmissions. When changing gears, these transmissions jerk aggressively to where some drivers think they've been hit by another car or lose control of their vehicle.

Some professional mechanics believe this can also occur when the engine switches into V-4 mode, deactivating cylinders due to its active fuel management. Regardless of the cause, these problems can lead to premature transmission failure, which can be quite expensive.

Unstable Airbag Inflators

General Motors was forced to recall close to 6 million vehicles produced from 2007 to 2014 due to faulty airbags. When deployed, these airbags had the potential to explode and spray metal shrapnel throughout the cabin, resulting in serious consequences. These airbags have been the cause over 20 deaths and 400 injuries in the United States.

If you own this vehicle, you must contact a Chevy dealer to replace the airbags immediately. If you're looking to purchase a Chevy Tahoe, ensure its airbags have already been replaced.

Defective Engine Lifters

V-8 engines manufactured by General Motors have a record of faulty lifters, which could cause a total engine failure. These Chevy Tahoe engine problems have been popping up in their 2014-2023 motors in the form of defective active fuel management lifters, dynamic management lifters and valve train systems.

Each internal valve in the engine is equipped with a lifter, which opens and closes them. Chevy Tahoes have issues with their lifters getting stuck or locked in place within newer models equipped with 5.3L L84 V-8 and 6.2L L87 V-8 EcoTec3 engines. An improperly functioning lifter triggers the check engine light and causes:

  • Ticking and banging noises
  • Misfires
  • Sputtering
  • Loss of power
  • Total engine failure
  • Hesitation while driving

A class action lawsuit has been filed against General Motors, although no recalls have been filed yet. Tahoe owners usually replace the damaged lifter, affected cylinder head and associated components to remedy the situation.

Dirty Throttle Body

Without proper maintenance, most vehicles will get dirty, and their performance will suffer. However, a typical area that requires more attention than others on the Chevy Tahoe is the throttle body. This component regularly collects carbon, but over time, this carbon deposit builds up and impacts airflow into the engine.

Buildup within the Chevy Tahoe engine can become a problem when the motor can't get the air it needs, causing it to idle low, run rough and stall. Drivers can protect their vehicles by using a carburetor cleaner to give the engine a good scrubbing from time to time.

Solve Your Chevy Tahoe Problems With Parts From StockWise Auto

If you've purchased a Chevy Tahoe and are experiencing any of the above issues, StockWise Auto is ready to help. We stock an assortment of Chevy auto parts and equipment from leading brands like ACDelco and Spectra Premium.

Explore our catalog and purchase the Chevrolet Tahoe components you need to get your car back to its best. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us online to learn more about how StockWise Auto can help.