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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,594 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.

2003 Chevrolet Avalanche engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jul 202013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 101,300 miles


Engine light and reduce engine power and start loosing speed. After turned off for a few minutes work fine. This year in an hour ride have to stop at least 20 times. Computer codes stated need to change throttle body. Last week I change it and again the same problem.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #20

May 112006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Key ignition switch is loose and car will shut off while operating, key can be pulled out of ignition while running. If vehicle shuts off while operating then you loose control of brakes, steering, and electrical systems. GM is denying there is a problem. My vehicle is proof that the problem exists and the Chevy Avalanche 2003 has a problem.

- Grandview , MO, USA

problem #19

Mar 312010


  • 93,000 miles
I believe the same problem with the GM key/ignition switch is more common then what is being reported. The Avalanche 2003 has had the same loose ignition switch for years. Our key system has to be jiggled and forced to the start position 80 percent of the time. The ignition switch will also move the off position while the vehicle is moving and the key will fall out.

- Grandview , MO, USA

problem #18

Sep 262012


  • 114,916 miles


The vehicle was stopped at a 2-way stop. Upon turning right, my foot went from the brake to the gas pedal and got hooked on a piece of metal extending from the arm of the accelerator. This caused my foot to be trapped below the brake pedal but attached to the gas pedal. The vehicle spun back and forth while trying to get my foot off the accelerator. I hit a truck coming from the opposite direction from which I was turning pinning it to the guard rail. Although both trucks had stopped, the tires on my truck were still spinning because my foot was still hooked on the accelerator and wedge below the brake pedal. Only after I turned the key off could I put the truck in park. In order to get out of my truck I had to unlace my shoe and pull my foot out, then pry it off the side of the accelerator, leaving a hole in the side of my shoe.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #17

Jul 012009


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 65 mph, the speedometer seemed to be defective. The speedometer failed periodically which caused the cruise control to fail. The vehicle had not been inspected but the dealer, when called, stated that the contact would be responsible for any repair expenses. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 130,000. The current mileage was approximately 155,000.

- Gibsonville, NC, USA

problem #16

Feb 132010


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact was driving 25 miles per hour when a crash occurred. The contact was unable to stop the vehicle when it accelerated and crashed into a telephone pole. The vehicle was towed to the dealership who advised him they would not touch the vehicle until General Motors advised them to do so. The insurance company stated that there was a manufacturers defect; however, they didn't provide what part of the vehicle was defective. The current and failure miles were 117,000.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #15

Feb 202008


  • 106,000 miles


Last year in my 2003 Avalanche I was cruising on an interstate highway and I noticed my speedometer start to move backwards until it read about 25 mph, however, I wasn't slowing down. It was very concerning to me, so I first pulled over to look under the hood, but I found nothing. Currently the speedo does not operate at all, but I went through a few months where it would start to work partially after about an hour of driving. This is unacceptable that so many people are experiencing the exact same problem. Obviously this part was supplied by GM in large numbers of faulty parts, and regardless of mileage I believe I should be compensated to fix the speedo. I had no maintenance control over the life of the electronics, and it's not like if I had changed the oil more regularly I wouldn't have had this problem. Chevy's are too good of trucks to have this kind of problem on so many of their trucks. I'm seriously considering moving back to a Ford truck because I owned a '95 Bronco that had 248K miles and never had an electronic problem.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #14

Dec 012007

Avalanche 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,520 miles
Speedometer malfunction. The problem affects the speedometer giving erratic readings. Regardless of the speed, the speedometer reads 80 -120 mph. Or doesn't register at all. When the vehicle is in park or completely stopped the speedometer reads 60 mph. I have to turn the truck on and off several times until it goes down to 0.

- Hurlock , MD, USA

problem #13

May 112007


  • miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche that was purchased new in January 2003. It currently has 110,000 miles on it, but since about 40,000 miles the speedometer has been acting up. It is real jerky when moving and sticks on speeds. Currently, it is parked and on 100. You never know when it will work correctly - sometimes it does.

- Red Lion, PA, USA

problem #12

Jan 012007

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2003 Avalanche and out of the blue one day the tachometer started shooting up to 6000 rpms, and then the speedometer started ticking instead of moving smoothly, and now it stays at 0 once I am driving for 5 - 10 minutes. (1) not sure what lead to it.. it just started happening out of the blue (2) I can not tell how fast I am going (3) nothing has been done I have spoken with 3 people in my office and looked at forums and many people are having this issue and nothing is being done by GM I will never purchase another Chevy if this isnt resolved and I am only 25.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 012006

Avalanche 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


- the contact called regarding the 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that the speedometer was faulty. He was traveling at 70 mph and without accelerating the vehicle the speedometer went to 120 mph. The contact stated that when he turned the vehicle off the speedometer remained at 40 mph. The contact took the vehicle to a Chevrolet dealer, and the vehicle was diagnosed as needing a new speedometer cluster. The failure mileage was 40000 and the current mileage was 45000.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #10

Nov 242006

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Started to notice a twitch in the speedometer reading about a month ago. Progressively became worse to the point that it reads faster and faster and does not go back down to zero. Now it is presently stuck past 140 mph.

- Churchton, MD, USA

problem #9

Jun 302006


  • miles
I have been having erroneous speedometer problems with my vehicle for about 2 years now. The speedometer has a mind of its own. It will be working fine, and then go erroneous. It will get stuck at 60 mph or higher. Sometimes it is even 120! this seems to occur more when it is raining. I have found that if I remove the negative terminal from the battery and reset the computer, it begins working again. I never know how fast I am going which can be very dangerous.

- Red Lion, PA, USA

problem #8

Feb 092006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Multiple failures of speedometer. Sometimes sticks, reports incorrect speed, or jumps about. Periodically works fine. No rhyme or reason to problem. Dealer - moritz Chevrolet fort worth says instrument cluster will have to be replaced ($500), that they have seen multiple failures, and that the item is not covered as a manufacturer defect.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #7

Jan 312006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,101 miles
: the contact states the speedometer reflects an inaccurate reading intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer who determined the speedometer cluster needed to be replaced.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #6

Feb 172004


  • miles
Pick a problem. Pin from transmission gears were too short from the manufacturer, causing the transmission to not shift properly. This repair was done at 8000 miles. 4 quarts. Low on oil within month of changing. No leaks and no explanation from the dealer as to where the oil went. A/C functioned improperly after truck surged at traffic light. Still no explanation. Remote entry works when it wants to. Interior lights pulse when truck idiling. Heater motor functions according to speed of vehicle, slow when braking and speeds up when accelerating. Drivers power window stopped functioning and started working the evening before taking it to the dealership for repair. Popping noise from exhaust just after starting and shutting off. From inside the vehicle while running I continuously hear cooling fluids flowing. Sometimes the horn does not function while the vehicle is turned off. Braking has always been a problem from day one. Always feels as there isn't enough brake pressure to stop in a normal distance. Along with the remote entry not working the personal presets for driver 1 most of the time do not operate with the remote entry. I have to select driver 1 from the interior to engage settings. Bed plastics are fading. Buttons for radio on the steering wheel and radio are flaking.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #5

Jul 082005

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact had two problems with vehicle. The first problem affected the speedometer giving false readings. Regardless of the speed, the speedometer reads 120 mph. When the vehicle is in park or completely stopped the speedometer reads 60 mph. The second problem involved the windshield wipers. They wipe in different directions. One wiper goes left and the other goes right. When this happens the windshield wipers hit each other in the middle of the windshield. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but repairs have not been made.

- Cross Hill, SC, USA

problem #4

Dec 022005

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact had two problems with vehicle. The first one affected the speedometer giving false readings. Regardless of the speed, the speedometer reads 120 mph. When the vehicle is in park, or completely stopped, the speedometer reads 90 mph. The second problem deals the windshield wipers not turning off intermittently. When this happens she pulls the fuse to get the windshield wipers to turn off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but repairs have not been made.

- Cross Hill, SC, USA

problem #3

Nov 302005

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,084 miles
Speedometer needle sticks and only lowers the needle 5 mph for each time the engine is turned off and then on again. I have contacted the dealership and have not taken this in yet. I will be taking this in next week. The dealer said when I called that they have seen this before and they would need to look at to verify that it is the same problem they are having with the Avalanche and the Silverado pickups.

- Gordonsville, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 252005

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,560 miles
Speedometer needle sticks and only lowers the needle 5 mph for each time the engine is turned off and then on again. Dealer has seen several in the past 2 months. Needle moves with a jumping motion and does not move smoothly as it did before. Dealer quoted a cost of $500-$600 to replace electronic speedometer. This is not a usual item that is expected to be replaced in vehicles. As several have been identified by one dealer (reliable Chevrolet) in the past 2 months, not only with the Avalanche, but other Silverado model trucks, requesting research on manufacturer defect for recall.

- Wylie, TX, USA

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