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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,190 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.

2008 Chevrolet Suburban engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #18

Sep 012010


  • 41,000 miles


Engine mounts repeatedly fail and have been replaced 4 times, now it occurs 1 per year. The engine twists and clunks around inside the engine compartment.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #17

Oct 012015


  • 97,000 miles
Engine lifters started tapping then stuck then were mushroomed by cam shaft. Had to replace engine. Cost $7,300. Told a very common problem on this vehicle.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 202016


  • 199,000 miles
Apparently there was a technical bulletin issued for this truck. The special warranty was for 120,000 or year 2018. In 2015 I disputed the engine failure and also the oil consumption and the#7 cylinder. My truck was at 170,000 miles and GM refused to pay for the repair. On August 20, 2016, my truck was having the same problems. I returned it back to the same dealer and they said it was the same problem again, this repair was performed less than a year. I called GM again and they refused to make the dealership warranty the repair from last year. GM knows that this engine is faulty and refuse to recall this 5.3 engine. Now I have to pay for a new engine

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #15

Jul 152016


  • 145,000 miles


I was driving my vehicle several days after having a routine oil change and the vehicle started to slow down. I took my car in to be checked out and was told that I need a new engine, the truck has a loss of power due to the stabilizing trak issue. After reading all the complaints online this seems to be a problem which needs to be addressed by Chevy.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #14

May 012009


  • 14,000 miles
Excessive oil consumption of the 5.3L engine. It 'burns' a quart of oil between 1100 and1500 miles. The tsb issued on the engine fixed nothing. Chevy said they won't do any more which is indicative of the corporate culture at Chevy. This has been an ongoing problem.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #13

Jan 072014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban. While the vehicle was in park or drive, all four doors failed to unlock and the key fob failed to unlock the door. In addition, while driving 50 mph, the check engine, stability track disengage, and traction control lights illuminated. The vehicle decelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the oil spilled and caused the spark plugs to fail. The spark plugs were replaced numerous times. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Hamden, NY, USA

problem #12

Jan 222016


  • 135,000 miles


2008 Suburban 135K. Vehicle has been running well, all routine maintenance was done. Without any warning the vehicle was 3 quarts low on oil. Dealer checked engine told new engine needed. I was told a common problem further investigation I noted far to many similar complaints. This seems to be a defect in engine design. It should not require deaths before this issue is investigated. Like so many others repair cost is an unexpected burden. GM response the vehicle high mileage and age are a factor. This problem has affected vehicles with a rang of miles. GM should recall the 5.3L engine and repair the defect. The first issue with vehicle I was driving on highway the warning light came on. Please take the time to look into this issue. GM has indicated 2 quarts of oil being burned in 3000 miles is normal. Please take the time to look into the matter. GM shouldn't be the only bail out. No prior warning was given, no warning lights or low oil indication, no leaks.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #11

Apr 172015


  • 42,693 miles
This engine is burning 2-3 quarts of oil in between oil changes (car has less than 50,000 miles on it). This is the only car I have had in 30 years that burns this much oil. I am constantly adding new oil to this engine and still having to change the oil regularly in order to stay in compliance with the manufacturer's warranty despite refilling half of the oil with new oil between changes.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #10

Feb 142015

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
My 2008 Chevy Suburban with 94,000 miles stalled while in traffic traveling at about 20 mph without warning. I luckily was able to coast it to the side of the road and after letting it sit for a short time it did restart again but only to stall again after the car ran for another 5 minutes again traveling at about 20 mph. I had it towed to my dealership and have been told that my crankshaft position sensor has failed. While my VIN and year is not covered, there is an active recall on this condition (GM recall no. 06083.). this is a very dangerous issue to have especially when traveling with small children in the car. The recall should be extended to other years who experience this issue for the safety of families.

- Wilmington, MA, USA

problem #9

Sep 122011


  • 82,000 miles
This vehicle has always used an excessive amount of oil. Must add at least one quart between each 3500 mile oil changes. No leaks have been detected and nothing seems to make a difference.

- South Hill, VA, USA

problem #8

May 012014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles


2008 Chevrolet Suburban. Consumer writes in regards to the disappointment in the manufacturer due to numerous vehicle repairs. The consumer stated the vehicle would run rough, the check engine light illuminated, the service stabilitrak and traction control lights illuminated when some of the cylinders shut down, the lifters were not properly lubricated, causing them to fail. The engine consumed large amounts of oil. There were noises coming from the oil pan and transmission area, 3 of the 4 door locks actuators were replaced, the rear liftgate broke for the 4th time, the right retractable mirror was inoperable, the cruise control worked about 505 of the time, which was probably tied the throttle positioning sensor going bad as well. Also, the vehicle had significant electrical problem, where certain lights would illuminate on the dashboard, there was an audible clicking noise, that sounded like a relay firing very quickly.

- Warwick, NY, USA

problem #7

Jan 302014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
My 2008 Suburban started burning a tremendous amount of oil. Seems like I was continuously adding oil. Raised the issue with the dealer, who indicated it was a common problem but probably not worth the expense of fixing if I could keep checking the oil. This advice was also based on the fact that all my maintenance has been performed at this dealer, so they know the vehicle well. The last week in January was very busy and saw me driving about 100 miles a day. On Thursday, about 30 miles from home, the check engine and traction control lights starting blinking, the car lost power, and the engine began running rough. This was on a very busy highway (U.S. route 50 near annapolis) during rush hour. This created a dangerous situation. I was eventually able to get the car home. When I brought it to the dealer, they said the oil was dry (I had checked it the previous weekend), a lifter had broken, and a piston head was scored. The cost of work to fix would exceed the cost of a new engine. I now have a new engine, the cost of which was not in my budget. This experience reflects what has been have reported frequently on automobile related web sites.. given that this is a design flaw, Chevrolet should be covering at least part of this fix.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #6

Nov 182013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 118,250 miles
Last year 2012, the Suburban was blowing smoke out tailpipe, less than 100K miles, so dealership installed new valve cover with proper grommit for PCV under warranty. Sept. 2013 115K miles, engine bucking, dash lights all on, running on 7 cylinders, Chevy dealership states #1 spark plug "came out". and that oil pressure sensor was bad, but still pressure, so not urgent....Nov 19, 2013 - truck now making 'back fire' noises and pressure sensor moving back and forth across 40....afraid will break down again. Also, have peeling chrome on inside door handles like prior complaint, that is cutting hands/fingers!

- Fairfield, PA, USA

problem #5

Oct 032013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 47,480 miles
Air bag light, door locks, traction control, radio, and many other electrical components flicker on and off. Engine vibrates and then dies. Will not start back up until some period of time goes by. Always diff and happens in all temps and driving conditions. When in garage all night will not start in the am. Very intermittent. We have been stranded with kids 5 times and have only owned this vehicle for 4 months.

- Crawfordsville, IN, USA

problem #4

May 042013


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact started the ignition and a tapping sound emitted from the engine. The failure recurred as the vehicle was being driven. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the cam shaft lifters would need to be replaced. The vehicle was schedueld for repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000.

- Opelika, AL, USA

problem #3

Jan 312013

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
I purchased a 2008 Chevy Suburban ltz on September 24, 2011. Shortly thereafter I began to notice that the oil pressure gauge seems to behave erratically, I later learned the car burned oil. I took the car to the dealership in January of 2013 complaining of oil stains on my driveway and that I had placed two quarts of oil in my car within one week. The dealership explained to me this was a common problem and that I would have to have about $4,000-$5,000 of repairs done to rebuild my engine. They also explained that this was a warranty item and that GM would cover it. I was informed by the dealership that GM told them that I had to go through an "oil consumption test" which I did, they performed an oil change on January 31, 2013. I brought the vehicle in for service on February 19, 2013 and the dealer notes that it has burned.75 (3/4) of a quart of oil. When I asked if GM would fix the problem, they said no, that another test was needed. I've never purchased or owned a car where burning oil is acceptable. I brief google search of "Suburban oil consumption issues" results in approximately 2.8 million results and there are several pages discussing this apparent common problem. I called GM on February 19, 2013 and was only able to speak with [xxx] and a supervisor in the philippines who assigned me a case number I believe this is a large problem and want a recall and fix. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #2

Jul 192012

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
2008 Chevrolet Suburban 5.3L afm oil consumption --> extremely frustrated with GM service given me the runaround regarding a poor engine design which leads to bad rings and high oil consumption. Bad rings can be verified by doing a compression check on the cylinder, as opposed to checking how much oil is being used per mileage. Excessive usage is define 0.5 quarts per 500 miles. Last three oil changes, I have use 6 quarts in 3000 miles. My vehicle is under warranty, and they are trying to delay the problem until it is out of warranty. There is numerous complaints of this online. They should replace the pistons and rings and afm lifters and add the new oil baffle.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #1

Mar 052012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Suburban. The contact stated that the vehicle was operating with reduced power and the check engine light was illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where they replaced the engine seals, catalytic converter and the throttle body. The failure was not corrected and persisted. The dealer then advised the contact that the engine would need to be replaced. The engine was not replaced. The current mileage was 147,000 and the failure mileage was not available.

- Oxon Hill, MD, USA

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