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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,504 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 Suburban engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 192011


  • miles


"reduced engine power" light comes on and truck slows to less than 10 mph and the power steering stop working. This has happened six times in the last year. 1st incident I took it to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong with it. Diagnostics performed and nothing came back wrong. I think the wiring to the throttle is possibly to blame. If I hit a bump in the road or cross railroad tracks, the reduced engine power can come on. I have a hunch after researching online & finding that several other people have the same problem, that leads me to believe that Chevy knows about it & is doing nothing about it. "typical"!! I am very displeased, especially because I love my Suburban. I suggest an investigation & recall of this problem.I ask that Chevy takes responsibility for poor quality & repairs the problem pronto! oh, and the power seating fuse caught fire and exploded the little fuse in the fuse box, now the seats won't work & neither does the passenger side windows. The wiring done on this truck is cheap! the parts are cheap! not a happy customer!

- New Boston, OH, USA

problem #6

Aug 042008


  • miles
I have 2003 Suburban 1500, that keeps getting a error message "reduce engine power". the vehicle will all of sudden while driving, reduce speed and I can't accelerate above 25-30mph. I will have to pull over and turn car off for 10-15 seconds before it resets, however it will continue to happen over and over again! it is very scary and dangerous when I have my kids or my wife drive it because you never know when the car will have this happen. Strangely, when we drive on the highway we can use the "cruise control" feature when we reach 25mph and use the cruise control to accelerate that way with minimal occurrences. I have taken the car to "2 Chevy dealers and 3 mechanics" neither can tell us what's wrong! this is frustrating because we only have on car, and we know this a "safety hazard" and extremely dangerous and somebody has to look into this! I only hope someone who reads these complaints has the power to help me and everyone with this problem.

- Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 022010

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
My Suburban goes to reduced power unexpectedly and the engine will stall causing a loss of power steering and control of the vehicle. My Suburban has been taken in to the dealer I purchased the vehicle from on five occasions and the dealer is unable to fix the problem.. the most recent time was 9/1/2011. It went to reduced power 10 miles after leaving dealership and stalled as I pulled out into traffic from a restaurant. A number of cars had to brake excessively and swerve around me until I could angle my Suburban off the road without power steering. The truck weighs 6700 lbs and I needed all my strength to turn the wheel enough to get off the road. I am fearful about driving my Suburban and the high probability of injury to myself or others.

- Ludington, MI, USA

problem #4

May 252011


  • 151,525 miles


Suburban loses power and engine dies while driving. No warnings before shut off and no codes after shut off. After waiting 5-10 minutes, vehicle cranks and runs again. Randomly, it may shut off again in 1-2 miles or run for days without the problem. This is very disturbing when one is on the interstate running 70 mph and your engine shuts off. You lose power steering and brakes as you try to make it to the emergency lane. Someone is going to get killed!!! the battery died after several attempts to restart yesterday. The dealer cannot identify why the engine shuts off, so no repairs have been made.

- Pinson, AL, USA

problem #3

Jan 012011


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact stated that she started the vehicle so that it could warm up and within a few minutes it was on fire. The police and fire department were called and a report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who advised her that the fire started in the lower resistor connector and the blower motor. The vehicle was deemed as destroyed. The manufacturer was contacted and an investigator inspected the vehicle but denied her claim. The failure mileage was approximately 132,000.

- Groton, VT, USA

problem #2

Dec 012009


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. After having the oil changed at an independent repair shop, the contact began to smell a burning oil odor coming from the engine. The contact began to notice the vehicle was consuming oil excessively and would replace the oil approximately two to three times a week. Approximately 1 year later, upon starting the vehicle, the contact began to hear a knocking noise coming from the engine before it stalled. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where the motor was being replaced. The failure mileage was 140,000 and the current mileage was 150,000.

- Millbrook, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 052007


  • miles
On three different occasions our 2003 Chevy surburban has stopped in the middle of traffic for no apparent reason. We have taken it to the car dealership and they have charged us to put it on the computer machine and cannot find anything wrong with it, which leads me to believe that there is some kind of default with the vehicle. The last time we were making a 150 mile trip from our home to another city, and it stopped 5 times. We would have to pull off the highway and let it come to a complete stop, and then it would start back. Needless to say I was very frightened and this is really dangerous. I would appreciate you all investigating this to see if there is a problem with the vehicle, since nothing shows up when they test it. At the present time I refuse to drive or ride in it for fear it will stop in the middle of traffic again, and we may not be able to pull over and someone is going to be seriously hurt. Once before when we first purchased it, they found out at the dealership that there was pin holes in the heads on the motor, which it was taken in because it was smoking. This vehicle was purchased brand new.

- Mcalester, OK, USA

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