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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
200,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. apply steel seal (1 reports)
2003 Chevrolet Suburban engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 012011

Suburban Z71 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles


I am a victim of GM's defective Castech cylinder heads. Technical service bulletin, but no recall. Problem blamed on Dexcool coolant, when the real problem is the heads themselves. Class action suit closed in no help there.

My coolant level dropped continuously, with no sign of a leak on the ground. I had to change my oil every month because it would sludge up, due to coolant mixing in with the oil. I also got a white puff of smoke out of my exhaust pipe at cold start (coolant burning off). I had begun purchasing head gaskets, and was about to spend thousands on replacement heads, bolts, etc., as well as labor costs. Then I stumbled upon a product called Steel Seal.

The steel seal cost $109, so I figured it was worth a try, especially if it worked and saved me $$$. The company claims that one application fixes faulty head gaskets AND cracked cylinder heads permanently. On the website,, they also list numerous repair shops around the country where you can call and ask their opinion of it.

Steel Seal was easy to use, only involved draining out my old coolant and filling the radiator with the steel seal (32 oz for 8 cyl engine) and water. You then run the engine for an hour at 1000rpms. Then drain out and fill with regular coolant (they said do not use dexcool). Since I've done this, I have not seen the white smoke coming out of my exhaust, my coolant level has not gone down, and my engine runs quieter also. Please try this fix before you spend thousands on replacement cylinder heads, gaskets, bolts, etc etc!

- , Waldorf, MD, USA

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