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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,868 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.

1999 Chevrolet Suburban electrical problems

electrical problem

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1999 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 102015


  • 105,000 miles


The vehicle in question is a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The gas gauge read erratically and incorrectly for a number of months. Then the engine died immediately after I parked the vehicle one day and failed to restart. I determined that the fuel pump fuse had blown. A new fuse lasted 30 seconds before blowing in its turn. On removing the gas gauge sender/fuel pump assembly from the gasoline tank, I noticed that two of the wires were fused together. Separating the wires took some effort and revealed that the insulation on both wires had completely abraded where they contacted each other such that the bare wires inside touched each other and shorted out the circuit. The insulation on one of the wires had overheated and partially melted off the wire for a short distance (1/2 inch) from the point of contact. Replacement of the entire fuel pump/gas gauge sender solved the problem. Since the entire unit is located inside the gasoline tank of the vehicle, I am concerned that this short might have caused a spark that would ignite the gasoline in the gasoline tank. In the purple wire photo, one can see how the point of contact with the grey wire abraded the insulation down to the bare wire inside. In the grey wire photo, one can see both a comparable abrasion down to the bare wire and also partial melting of the wire insulation, to the point that additional bare wire showed. The metal wires do not appear to have melted or fused; only the insulation did that. But the insulation melting and Fusion, as well as the two safety fuses that blew, argue that the abrasion of the insulation continued until the wires inside came into contact with each other. The entire unit is spring loaded such that it is in contact with both the top and the bottom of the gasoline tank. Since the tank flexes slightly in normal use, the wires flex as well, rubbing each other always

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #19

Apr 302015


  • 179,000 miles
After I put 55$ worth of gas in the truck it would not start. I waited about 5-10 minutes and it finally started.however, as I was driving, not even 5 miles from the gas station, the vehicle shut off at 45 mph. I pulled over and kept trying to start the truck. It was cranking but would not start. After about 5-10 minutes truck did start right back up.then, not even another 5 miles the truck shut off again. This time I waited 20 minutes and the truck started right back up.I left it parked for about 5 wks then had the camshaftsensor replaced as well as the fuel pump and the fuel filter replaced, only this time the service engine light was in once these 3 parts were replaced. Service engine light was never on before these issues.ive had it scanned and it read 5 different codes, including the cam shaft sensor, speed sensors on both left and right side along with 2 more that weren't given to me. Drove it a short distance (7 miles)& it shut of again 55 mph on a busy street.had the codes cleared and drove it short distances in the last 3 days and today when I pulled up to a redlight it began acting as if it were gonna shut off.I came back home and parked it and dont plan on driving anywhere else until someone can give me an exact answer to the problem and I have it fixed!! I was told by 2 mechanics that they couldnt find an issue!!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #18

Nov 152012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact was driving approximately 10 mph when the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact exited the vehicle and noticed that debris from the vehicle was on the ground. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic advised that the starter and the fly wheel would have to be replaced because the motor housing exhibited cracks that the starter bolts mounted into. The failure recurred and the vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 127,000. Updated 02/12/13

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #17

Mar 182009


  • 107,000 miles


The contact owns a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start whenever the anti-theft security system failed. The dealer replaced the pass lock module, but the failure continued. The contact stated that whenever the security light illuminated, the vehicle would not start for approximately three hours. The failure occurred intermittently. The failure mileage was 107,000 and the current mileage was 126,000. The VIN was not available.

- Carvell, WA, USA

problem #16

Oct 152008


  • 90,000 miles
GM side terminal batteries have design flaw that allows battery acid to leak out of the terminals when stresses from heavy cables cause seal to fail. Battery acid leaks on vehicle components below and has been known to ruin brake lines and other important safety components. In addition, the battery acid is harmful to the environment. I have personally had these batteries fail several times in my 99 Chevy. Suburban K2500 diesel. See the link following for more reports of same problem by others: top terminal batteries do not have this problem as the terminal to case seal is above the liquid level of the batteries. GM is the only manufacturer that I know of that uses the side terminal batteries.

- New Harbor, ME, USA

problem #15

May 102007


  • 165,000 miles
Passlock failure. Chevy Suburban fails to start leaves driver stranded. Passive security system (passlock) blocks fuel so vehicle will not start. Problem is intermittent and not detectable by mechanics. Chevy dealer service departments say they have never heard of problem. There is however thousands of complaints on internet.

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #14

Nov 172005


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact noticed that her windshield wipers would turn on and off automatically after she manually activated the wipers. The wipers would stop moving, but she could hear the windshield motor still running. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer. A friend of the contact, who is also a mechanic, stated that the circuit board was the cause of the failure. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign id number 03V159000 (visibility:windshield wiper/washer) because of the model year. The current mileage was 215,638 and failure mileage was approximately 140,000.

- Reedsburg, WI, USA

problem #13

Sep 102005

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,700 miles
I was unloading items and pushed the hazard light button on the steering column. That's when the entire electrical system of the vehicle went haywire. The engine began making a loud clicking sound, the gauges went out of control, the stereo read out began flipping through numbers and since this incident the driving lights that should come on when vehicle is started they flicker and at times go out. The entire situation has occurred now four times since 09/10/05. I just bought the vehicle 07/01/05 and from what the records show on the vehicle I am the second owner. This incident has occurred twice while driving in traffic to where the entire vehicle including the engine shuts down. So far I have avoided a serious collision from the defects of your vehicle; however, this could be the result of a very serious injury accident or even a fatal accident. I see where you have had a number of complaints regarding this same defect and Chevrolet has done absolutely nothing to correct the situation. It is time for Chevrolet to take action on this defect instead of telling the customers to take the vehicle to a dealership to have it diagnosed. The gas gauge has been effected and no longer shows accurate amount of gas in the vehicle. I am kindly asking Chevrolet to make good on their manufacturing of their vehicles and to please put the safety and lives of your customers first and foremost before the concern of what it will cost your company to correct this default.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #12

Jan 192004

Suburban 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
We bought the used vehicle Jan.04 from dealer, day we picked it up battery dead next morning, not known at time was because dome lights were flicking on off in the middle of the night. First electrical problem was when driving at night as soon as turn on headlights, all interior lights would blow, no dash lights, no tail lights etc. We paid over 200 to have that fixed(shortage in park light behind grill replaced) still having numerous problems with interior dome light flickering on and off whenever to the point we have to take out the fuse when parked so they don't come on and drain battery. Dealers service dept. Can't find problem, taken in numerous times and pay for labor to find nothing.. ABS brakes are kicking in when you try to stop at the stop sign, numerous times I have almost rear ended someone due to not being able to stop. I can not believe with so many people having problems with electrical and ABS brakes, that Chevy does not do a recall.. I am very disappointed with Chevrolet and will never buy another Chevy again if this is there quality.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #11

Jan 132005

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,114 miles
Failure of door locks to lock or unlock (completely random). In the case of an emergency, can trap person inside.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 082004

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles


Repeated failure of diesel fuel injection system has caused damage to starter and 7 of 8 glow plugs.

- Wentzville, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 092003

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
1999 Chevy Suburban transmission problems before 50,000 miles. Starter problems before 60,000 miles. Both had to be replaced. Battery corroded. Truck constantly having to be jump started. Wiring system power locks giving out when over heated.

- Rowland Heights, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 072003

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have experienced an electrical problem since the first day of purchase. It started with the headlight flickering. Unlike the others that have had similar experience, I have had the battery replaced 3 times, 2 alternaters, cd player replaced, ac on/off switch replaced, time delay module for the interior lights replaced, car alarm disconnected, and now currently in the shop again for the same problem. Usually works fine for about 3-6 months the I have noticed the flickering (at night), and the alt meter drops at idle to about 12 volts. This has gone into the extended warranty now and very soon the warranty will expire. I was told by the warranty company that after it expires, they do not cover pre-existing problems. They are now conducting a test and changing some connectors on the alternater, and it is possible that the extended warranty will not cover the cost. Flickering at night is one thing with other cars. Resolving a problem on a 40K car is another. Please help

- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 152002

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This complaint is for the electrical system for my vehicle. My vehicle is equipped with power door locks and 4 of the 5 door locks failed to operate automatically over a 3 week time span. The part that failed is called an actuator, which moves the door locks up and down. My total bill was $900 and each part costs $100. The local parts dealers and auto dealers have said there is a design flaw in the original equipment and the new actuators are being sold as fast as they arrive. I have spoken with GM recently and so far no service bulletins have been filed. I believe there is an inherent safety risk with this type of problem and I would like to see one posted. Please research this and I thank you for your time.

- Greendale, WI, USA

problem #6

Mar 282003

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
Problems with the electrical system. The fuel gauge is incorrect. This started in Nov 2002. Now the car shuts off while driving. The head lights don't come on or shut down while driving. All the dash board gauges start all start moving back and forth. While all this is going on a high pitched "ac" static noise can be heard from the wiring.

- Covington, GA, USA

problem #5

Mar 042001


  • 29,550 miles
Toyota of orange did not stand by their guarantee of "lemon" used cars. I purchased a used vehicle from them and continuously have had problems with the car. Not only did they not fix the problems, but they would not take the car back. I am now past the eligable time limit for 'lemon law' benefits and am stuck with a defective car that I cannot even sell for the 'kelly blue book price', because it does not run properly.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 201999


  • miles
The battery, electric system, starter, alternator, lights have all been a tech. Problem. We lease the car until last year when we purchased it. When the car died the first 36 mths the dealer replaced the same items that I have had to replace after 36K. We have put 3 batteries from sears in the car already. The dealership took out the alarm and did not tell us. We have paid and towed the car to the point when even the dealership manager is telling us he is short of tech. Staff. The problem starts with the lights (I.e. blinker does work or headlight does not turn on) within 30 days the battery is dead and the dealer does not know why but charges use to replace the cables to the battery. I have called the manufacter, and they say get the alarm put back and try another dealership. Has anyone had this happen. No one has died due to this ongoing issue. But, I have 4 young children, and to not have the car start in parking lots of malls and die while we are driving is very upsetting.we have used up all my towing on aaa.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 082001

(reported on)

Suburban 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer has several problems with vehicle: Front end pulls to the right and left while driving, there are front end alignment problems, it has been aligned, however still pulls to the right and left. Engine is burning antifreeze, when checked shortly after vehicle was serviced the oil was down 2 quarts, vapor recovery tank was empty, antifreeze/water level in antifreeze in radiator was down 1 quart, head gaskets leaking antifreeze into the combustion chamber and burning the antifreeze, check engine light illuminated, coolant level in radiator dropped once the engine was started, there was a minute amount of exhaust gases coming out of the filler neck of the radiator and the water level slowly dropped in the radiator. Vehicle pulls drastically to the left while braking, dealer has replaced brake pads and rear shoes and has refaced rotors and drums, pulling still exists, dealer also replaced the proportioning valve. Transmission makes a ticking noise. A specialist looked at vehicle and observed that when the engine was started, it charges at 15.1 volts direct current which is overhcarging the batter, even after vehicle ran for 15 minutes, the vehicle was still charging at $14.71 volts, the battery has failed 4 times, it has leaked and corroded, check gauges light came on and all gauges went crazy. Vehicle idles high, dealer replaced idler air control valve. Driver side mirror will not turn side to side, dealer replaced faulty mirror switch.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 252000

Suburban 4WD

  • miles
We have had repeated problems with this vehicle..paint defects, electrical component failures, transfer case failure, etc.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #1

Jan 102000

(reported on)


  • miles
On three occasions, consumer took vehicle to dealership due to headlights flickering intermittently while driving. On one occasion they found a bracket that was broken and replaced the driver's side headlamp assembly, but the problem still exist. However, occasionally the dashlights, domelight, and stereo display experience failure which may be the result of a electrical problem.

- Placerville, CA, USA

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