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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,940 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Suburban engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jun 142012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


Various incidents of vehicle dying while driving on highway when temperatures are high. Does not do it when cold. Has failed to start also. After waiting 10-20 minutes engine may start and continue without problem to destination. Have changed sensor without improvement of problem. Local garage has not been able to locate solution as it is impossible to get it into service when problem occurs. Many problems getting off the road when incident occurs. Have had 4-5 occurrences and becoming more frequent.

- Mineral Wells , TX, USA

problem #20

May 102012

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving between 30-60 mph. A charging light also illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The contact coasted to a stop and was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the crank shaft position sensor was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 85,000..updated 06/18/12 the consumer stated when the engine stopped, there was no power steering and only one power assisted brake application, which almost resulted in an accident. Updated 06/22/12 updated 06/26/12 the consumer referenced recall # 07V521000 regarding the crankshaft position sensor. Updated 06/27/12

- Ramsey, NJ, USA

problem #19

Apr 182012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
After so long ignoring the smell in my cab, I decided to get it checked out at benny's exhaust in bristol, tn, and found that exhaust manifold head bolts broke off on both sides of engine. 1st bolt initially then second bolt next to it broke as well. No work has been done to motor or aftermarket parts added that would affect this part and create failure. Exhaust gas enters the underhood area sometime can be smelled inside passenger cab area. The exhaust makes a black plume up side of motor on both sides. This vehicle can not be registered in any state that has emissions testing, because it will not pass. I am forced to register it to non-testing states. Why isn't there a recall on this matter. It appears that this affects all years. What is wrong with GM, why won't they take care of this matter. After someone spends several tens of thousands on a vehicle, why isn't safety the standard GM should measure itself up too. Engineers, are you making sure planned obsolescence is built into all your vehicles. I won't buy GM no more after owning GM all my life.

- Fargo, ND, USA

problem #18

Feb 102012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • miles


Exhaust manifold bolts breaking leaving studs in the heads, heating up engine compartments, releases carbon monoxide, affects O2 sensor and catalytic converter. Will not pass emissions in some states. GM not standing behind this 1999-2008 issue. It is a safety issue and is expensive to fix. GM mechanics denying any such issues. Please check- in to this. Our whole fleet and our personal trucks affected by this.

- West Lebanon, IN, USA

problem #17

Nov 172011

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Left-side engine manifold bolts broke off, causing exhaust gas to escape into the engine compartment on the opposite side of the firewall from the driver. The escaping exhaust causes a 'ticking' noise, which is what brought this to the attention of the owner (me). The vehicle is well-maintained and is never used in harsh or demanding conditions. Primary use is transporting family in urban area. There has been no prior service work that required manifold to be removed. The manifold bolts are defective. This is a serious safety and epa issue due to exhaust gases being released in the engine compartment, and the possibility of the heat from the exhaust negatively affecting sensors and other vital engine components.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #16

Apr 282011

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the engine stalled, followed by the battery warning light illumination. The failure occurred eight more times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to locate a problem. In addition, the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for a diagnostic testing which detected a trouble code with the crank position sensor. The vehicle was repaired. There was a recall related to the defect under NHTSA campaign id number 07V521000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact notified the dealer concerning the recall. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 09/21/11 the consumer stated after waiting 15-30 seconds, the engine would start immediately and run smoothly. Updated 10/26/11

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #15

Jan 012011


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban K2500. While driving at any speed, the contact stated that the vehicle would stall and sporadically fail to start. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 07V521000 (engine and engine cooling) for the 2001 model Suburban. The dealer advised the contact that his vehicle was not included in the recall because the recall was not for his model year vehicle. The contact did not inform the manufacturer of the failure nor was the vehicle repaired. The current mileage was 71,000 and the failure mileage was 68,000.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 082010


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall without warning when driving various speeds. The failure recurred over a span of several months until the check engine light illuminated and remained illuminated. The contact stated that he was able to restart the vehicle after each failure. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 121,988.

- Sagus, CA, USA

problem #13

Jul 142010


  • 163,000 miles
A loud rattling noise was coming from under the hood and the had no A/C. after looking under hood, found the belt had split in two. I replaced the A/C belt on a 2002 Chevy Suburban and after doing this, noticed the belt tensioner was rattling a great deal so replaced it. When I received the belt tensioner from the parts store, enclosed was a warning/alert message to refer to GM tbs # 03-01-38-019A after reviewing this information, I don't understand why the customer should have to pay to replace the A/C compressor when they know it is a default on 17 vehicles from the years 2002 to 2004. I feel this should be Chevy and GM's responsibility as I now will need to pay well over $1000 to fix something that was a known problem, yet nothing was done about it. I feel this is a danger to any driver if this is not fix because had the belt broke while I had been driving down the highway and also taken out the serpentine belt while driving, it could cause a significant accident for my vehicle to stop working in the middle of the highway.

- Eleva, WI, USA

problem #12

Apr 072010


  • 127,000 miles
While traveling on busy street, our 2002 Chevrolet Suburban suddenly was without power. Pressing on accelerator did nothing and vehicle completely stalled when brake was applied. This left us attempting to navigate from busy street with our three kids in the car with no power steering or brakes! we were 140 miles from home and when we attempted to drive back home, this problem occurred again. This time on busy four lane road with lots of traffic. The vehicle stalled out again leaving us on side of busy road at on ramp location. This was not first time that this has occurred. We have had 5 other incidences with this vehicle. GM is no help. They act like they have never had any reports of such problems, yet many can be found online. We had our vehicle towed to an independent repair center since the GM dealership repair shop was more interested in telling us that they couldn't fix it on that day but they did have a rental car service on lot. I hope that soon attention will be given to this obvious defect in this vehicle before someone is killed. But then again that is what it took for attention to be given to Toyota problems. Please take action for this matter before lives are lost!!!!

- Four Oaks, NC, USA

problem #11

Nov 192009


  • 120,000 miles


2002 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 loses acceleration power on highway. Vehicle does not respond to acceleration attempts. Once brake is applied vehicle completely stalls and has no power steering or brakes. This has occurred in highway driving at 70 mph in heavy traffic areas. There is no consistency in occurrences. Happened August 2007, and Dec. 2007, Sept. 2009 and November 2009. Check engine light does not come on. Can not be diagnosed on computer. GM mechanics can not figure out problem unless it happens to them. GM refers us to dealership for diagnosing and repairs under these conditions. Don't have the money to put in repairs that may or may not correct problem. Have found many complaints on internet detailing this problem but GM denies any knowledge of this problem. Noticed that 2001 Chevy Suburban have had a recall of crankshaft position sensor and that symptoms are similar to my vehicle. This problem poses a tremendous life and death safety concern for me and my family especially when we are traveling in high traffic areas or in mountain areas.

- Four Oaks, NC, USA

problem #10

Nov 072009


  • 41,000 miles
2002 Chevy Suburban 2500. 42,000 miles. Engine stalls with no warning. Sometimes while stopped at light or when driving. After waiting a few minutes car starts after reading other posts had crank sensor replaced today very stressing and dangerous. -- no power steering or power brakes.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 152009


  • 20,000 miles
My 2002 K2500 Suburban engine dies abruptly while driving, with no warning (neither sputtering nor messages on the dash). After pulling over to the shoulder and waiting between a few seconds and a few minutes, the engine will start. This happens at random times at any speed. Needless to say, this is an extreme safety hazard, as all power to steering and brakes is lost when the engine dies. These random stalls have been increasing in frequency over the last couple years. My car only has 36,000 miles - mostly highway driving. Apparently lots of people have experienced this potentially deadly condition. Is GM just going to wait for people to get killed before they issue a recall on this?

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #8

Sep 222008


  • 70,444 miles
I recently purchased a 2002 Chevrolet 2500 Suburban with an 8.1L engine. After only a week it would suddenly stall at different highway speeds. It did this 3 times in one week. I then discovered the problem was the crankshaft positioning sensor, which has been recalled on 2001 models. Why has this part not been recalled on the 2002 model it has the exact same defective sensor from the factory as the 2001 had. This failure creates a very dangerous situation in an SUV of such size. When the engine stalls there is no power brakes or power steering, and hopefully you have enough momentum to get out of the way of traffic.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

May 222008

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. While driving approximately 40 mph, the check coolant warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The illumination continued until coolant was added to the tank. The contact observed a gradual cooling loss over a period of time, but there was no evidence of a leak. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that there was a crack in the cylinder head, and coolant was leaking in the oil chambers. The mechanic stated that the cylinder head needed to be replaced. The failure and current mileages were 96,000. Updated 07/16/08. Updated 07/16/08

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 072007

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. While driving, the vehicle stalled. A red warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel prior to the failure. Occasionally, the vehicle loses power steering and braking ability. The vehicle has been to numerous dealers, but no one could duplicate the failure. The manufacturer would not assist. The failure mileage was 92,000. Updated 6/9/08

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 182008


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. While driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle sporadically stalled without warning. The dealer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 07V521000 (engine and engine cooling), although the failures were identical. He is in the process of having the vehicle repaired. The failure mileage was 81,000.

- Magna, UT, USA

problem #4

Jun 162007

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
I drive a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban. Frequently, while I was driving and with no warning the vehicle just shuts off. When the vehicle shut off, it did not have power brakes or power steering. After stopping and turning the key off for a couple of minutes I could start up the vehicle and continue driving. This situation first started last fall. I took the vehicle to a local garage which could find any problem. The vehicle continued to experience these unpredictable shut offs, and I took vehicle to the Chevrolet dealer for diagnosis and repair. The dealer could not duplicate the problem. The truck continued to shut off on the highway and in the city at highway and city speeds, while slowing down and while accelerating. This was a dangerous situation as it hds shut off while towing a trailer. The shut offs did not correlate with weather, time of day, useage, temperature, or speed. Losetpower steering and brakes which impacted the ability to control the vehicle.

- Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #3

May 302007

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I drive a 2002 Chevy Suburban. Frequently, while I am driving and with no warning, the vehicle just shuts off. When the vehicle shuts off, I do not have power brakes or power steering. After a few minutes, I can typically start up the vehicle and continue driving. This situation first started last October. I took the vehicle to a local garage after the third incident because the Chevy dealer was booked. The garage could find no problem. The vehicle continued to experience these unpredictable shut offs and I took it in to the Chevy dealer for diagnosis and repair. The dealer kept the truck for nearly a month and could not duplicate the problem. The truck continued to shut off, on the highway and in the city. I took it to a different dealer and explained the problem and shared the results of the diagnostics. The second dealer also could find nothing wrong with the truck. A third dealer had the benefit of taking the vehicle after it had shut off twice within a 24 hour period--both at highway speeds. The third dealer could find no specific codes on the computer diagnostics that could explain the problem and gave me back my vehicle. This truck continues to shut off while I am driving. This is a dangerous situation as it has shut off while I am towing a trailer, and while I am traveling onto exits. The shut offs do not correlate with weather, time of day, usage, temperature, or speed. The latest incident occurred on 30 may as I approached a city intersection. The truck is parked, for now.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

Dec 302006

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
On multiple occasions my 2002 Chevrolet Suburban stalled while driving on the freeway. After several minutes the truck would restart. The Chevy dealer said there was nothing they could do since they would not be able to duplicate the condition. It does not trigger a check engine signal. It usually happens after long periods of freeway driving with no warning. This is not a low fuel issue. I suspect it is a crank position sensor failing after researching the issue on the internet.

- Acworth, GA, USA

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