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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,626 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #18

Feb 082016


  • miles


It's make a weird sound when turning the ABS indicator light is on ther dash stationary I came outside to start up the vehicle is noticed a liquid leaking from underneath

- Dorchester Center, MA, USA

problem #17

Oct 112012

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 145,442 miles
10/11/2 brakes failed plus parking brake failed and parking brake shoe assembly was not found upon dealer inspection. Replaced disc brakes and had parking brake shoe installed. 11/09/12 check engine light revealed ignition problem. New ignition wire set installed. 01/29/13 dash cluster failed, had no horn, no headlights, no interior lights, no speed control, no steering wheel lights for control buttons, no speedometer reading, no radio. Replaced dash cluster. 05/05/14 check engine light and stranded when vehicle would not start. Misfire messages on dealer equipment reading. 06/16/14 stranded again, vehicle would not start. Replaced ignition switch. 07/15/14 stranded again, vehicle would not start. Replaced starter relay. 02/16/15 driver heated seat coming on/off while driving on its own. 4 wd engaged on its own while driving and made driving uncontrolled. AWD engaged on its own while driving on dry smooth road. Stranded, would not start. Vehicle at dealer again today for this list of problems.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #16

Feb 042002

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 10 miles
Looking for a consumer recall report. No incident occurred. Attempted to register with data base.

- Walpole, MA, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Feb 252006


  • miles
This is the second time this has happened to this vehicle, a 2003 Chevy Suburban. I fixed it the first time in 2006 and now it has happened again. A loud clunking noise around the steering wheel shaft. The dealer said it was not a recall item but one that they have had numerous complaints about. I guess because no one has died from it, Chevy thinks that shabby workmanship and defects are okay to pass on to consumers. This is an annoying clunking and one that could mask a real problem if you can't hear it. When is someone going to do something about it?

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #13

May 012008


  • miles
Intermediate steering shaft needs replacing again. This will be the 4th time that it has to be replaced. 24,451mi, 26,094mi, and 65,655mi. You start to hear a clunking noise when turning or slight movement of steering wheel. Has more play then usual as well. GM should be forced to replace these as they know it is a known problem.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 142005


  • 18,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. In June of 2003, while driving approximately 15 mph into the driveway, the contact heard a thumping noise in the steering column. Since the first incident three years ago, the vehicle continued to make a thumping noise and vibrate whenever making a left or right turn. The vehicle was driven to the dealer and the mechanic stated that there were no recalls or defects relating to this failure. Several mechanics inspected the vehicle and stated that the intermediate shaft was defective and caused the failure. The manufacturer has not been notified. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 62,000 and failure mileage was 18,000.

- Hillsborough, NC, USA

problem #11

Oct 182008


  • 92,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevy Suburban that has a clunking noise in the steering. While turning at speed or simply correcting as driving. I have noticed many other complaints on the site about it but it appears GM is not paying for a recall on this issue. Has anything been done on GM's behalf to pay for these repairs or am I stuck fixing this? the vehicle has also become very loose when driving.

- Pewamo, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 122008

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,300 miles
This is the second time I have had to bring my 2003 Chevrolet Suburban in to replace the noisy look steering column. The first time it was repacked. The second time was this week. This time they replaced the parts inside the steering column.

- Westlake, LA, USA

problem #9

Jan 142006

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
1.speedometer faied S daily. It will read 90 mph when I have just began accelerating. Other times it will read 10 mph when I am driving with traffic on the freeway. Problem has not been corrected, dealership advised it was not covered under a recall although they have received numerous complaints. 2. second row middle seat belt failed to retract. Second middle seatbelt fastener got stuck and unable to unfasten seat belt without force. Has not been corrected. 3. paint on radio controls & dashboard is peeling off - paint was originally grey and now some areas are black and other clear with the bright light shining through when the radio is in use. 4. brakes squeek excessively, replaced brakes & pads noise ceased for a month and then began again. 5. rear access door rattles constantly 6. rear access door plastic molding on inside of door cracked 7. front passenger seat belt plastic cover cracked and broke off 8. left rear passenger door light casing cracked and fell off 9. steering makes an abnormal noise when turning.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #8

Aug 042006

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


Vehicle spontaneously lost all steering. Steering wheel simply rolled around on the steering column while in motion.

- Walkerville, MI, USA

problem #7

Feb 092005

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The steering shaft needed to be replaced because the ability to maintain control of the vehicle was difficult. The manufacturer was contacted by consumer and was aware of the problem. Shaft was replaced.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #6

Jan 032005


  • miles
Re defective steering column for a 2003 Chevy Suburban, reply attn esther clark. The consumer took the vehicle to have it inspected and he was informed the intermediate shaft was defective. The consumer was then told the part was on national backorder and it took over several months for the part to arrive.

- Raeford, NC, USA

problem #5

Dec 012004

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban that has a steering /clunking noise in the intermediate steering shaft. I have called many dealers and they said it is a known problem and the parts are on order, I checked other customer complaint sites and many people have been waiting for the parts for over 6 months. My dealer told me he has a list of people that have been waiting for over 4 months. Has anything been done about this problem or is GM disregarding the defect in the parts. When will my Suburban be fixed, if at all ?

- Redmond, OR, USA

problem #4

Jun 202003

Suburban 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16 miles
The consumer is experiencing problems with the steering wheel. When driving, the vehicle will jerk to the right. Owner has contacted the dealer and was told that the parts needed to repair the defect are on back order. Provide further details.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152004

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,500 miles
Complaint received via E-mail. I visited the local Chevrolet dealership service department. The previous day I had taken my 2003 Suburban purchased new from the local dealer to an independent repair service shop to find out what was wrong with my truck. I was advised I had a lot of slack and vibration at both ends of my steering column. I had loud popping noise coming from this area while driving. When the wheels turned they did not turn smoothly, but roughly, and jumped in the turning process as though it stopped and started continuously. The repair shop had sincere concerns that this problem could be very dangerous, and since the vehicle was still under full bumper to bumper warranty, they recommended that I take it back to the local dealer. The service dealership knew exactly what was wrong, and stated that it was a very common problem with this type of vehicle. Mechanic had to order the repair parts, which would take 3 to 4 weeks. Nevertheless, I waited for the dealership to call me when the parts came in. After over a month I called title back, and he again said it could be 3 or 4 weeks before they come in, and they would call me. As of the date of this letter I never been notified that these parts were received. Apparently, they could not get the parts needed to do the warranty repairs. The consumer stated that the wheels jump when the vehicle is turning.

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #2

Sep 122003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Numerous problems, replaced steering shaft, inner tie rods, front shock absorbers, idler arm and relay rod, power steering pump and gear assembly. The consumer stated that the steering wheel leads itself and essentially locks into a hard right or left turn and rarely automatically releases from the turn by itself. Continued problems with the front end alignment. The four tires were cupped.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #1

Nov 182004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
I have a 2003 Suburban that makes a clunking noise when steering. The steering also feels loose. I took it to the dealer for a brake inspection while under warranty. I also told them about this clunking noise. They said it always happens and that they would tighten it up. This however is not on my invoice only the brake inspection. Brakes came back fine(although they still squeak) and they said that they tightened the steering problem up. Car was still under warranty. Now I have 41,000 miles on it and we are going to L.a. for thanksgiving. I took it to the shop of my choice for once again a brake inspection and this clunking noise in the steering. Upon arrival to the shop the owner has an 02 Silverado and said he had the same problem which was corrected by Chevy. Apparently they are replacing the steering shaft now. Before they were removing it and lubing it and then putting it back. When my mechanic asked if they would cover it they said no because the warranty was expired even though I brought it in before for this but I have no documentation to support this. My mechanic asked to get the part but unfortunately it is on national back order. Sounds like Chevy is going through quite a bit of these, this should be recalled in my opinion. I know another person with a Silverado hd and his clunks also. I'm not sure when the part will be available and don't know if it is dangerous to be driving. I have had no injuries or crashes from this yet. Please help if possible. Thank you.

- Salida, CA, USA

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