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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,419 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 Tahoe steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Dec 012015


  • 170,678 miles


Steering goes out when braking and making a right turn or when trying to maneuver into a parking place, to hard to turn the wheel with no steering power very dangerous. In traffic. No one seems to know why or how to fix the problem.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #28

Feb 042014


  • 105,000 miles
When I turn there is a popping noise that can also be felt in the steering wheel also when I am driving and feel a bump. The fuel will at times show a full tank then all of a sudden go to 1/4 tank it changes all the time and is not accurate, I cannot depend on it because I never really know how much fuel it actually has. The driver seat heater got extremely hot and we will not use because are scared it might burn thru the seat since it already left a small burn mark. The problem with the steering wheel on this particular vehicle also did the same on another Chevrolet we had and have researched online and it seems is a big issue with Chevrolet vehicles.

- Corsicana, TX, USA

problem #27

Sep 222014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 166,514 miles
Yesterday was driving home from work and came to a round about, slowed down and vehicle died (alternator gauge went below 14, oil pressure dropped below 40, and battery light came on). I lost all steering and brake pedal was stiff. Now vehicle continuously idles rough and will stall out if not on the throttle, idles 500 and lower. I have replaced mass air flow sensor, air filter, plugs, wires, O2 sensors, fuel filter, evap canister, alternator, and had throttle body cleaned. See there are many complaints filed of the same issues and wondering if anyone at GM has found a solution. Also have noticed GM has recalled the intake gasket but I have not received anything on this recall.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #26

Jun 032013


  • 63,000 miles


My 2003 Tahoe Z71 has always made popping noises when turning and you are able to feel it in the steering wheel also. I have researched online and it is very apparent that this is experienced by almost everyone. Today I was backing into the driveway with a trailer of mulch attached and when I cut the wheel, the steering was lost. There is fluid in the power steering reservoir and there was no leaks or fluid anywhere. I looked underneath the Tahoe and there does not appear to be any broken sway-bars or steering shaft. I am not sure if it is the pump which would be strange in the manner that it gave out but reading all of the issues others have had, I can't believe that GM is not fixing the situation. Someone is going to cause a serious accident trying to turn and it is going to give out like mine (& everyone else's) did and cause a head on collision. I called GM & although there are 9 tsb #'s associated with this issue, there is still no recall or help on the resolution of the problem. I think it is time to sell the Tahoe that I bought brand new btw and move on to a new Ford truck as they seem to have really good trucks now. It is sad because I have loved my Tahoe Z71 and never thought I would get rid of it. The steering has never been right on this Tahoe since day 1 and GM knows it but buries their head in the sand about it rather than do the right thing and fix the issue. Mine still looks brand new but the popping noises when turning has always irritated me & now that it gave out, I am done with it. I am thankful that mine occurred when it did and not when I was traveling down the road with 6 yards of mulch in a dump trailer and making a turn that could have killed me and someone else coming the other way. Fix your known issue GM, before someone innocent dies because of your negligence!!!

- Waxhaw, NC, USA

problem #25

Jul 112012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 106,500 miles
While making a right hand turn down a hill out of a parking lot I heard a noise that sounded like something broke on my vehicle. Went home about 6 blocks away looked to see if anything was wrong. I only looked at the front end; didn't see anything. A few days later while pulling up to my driveway in a different vehicle I noticed something hanging under the rear end of my Tahoe. Proceeded to check it out and found that my sway bar is completely broke where it's mounted on a bracket. I researched this and have found that this is a common issue with my make, year.

- Midwest City, OK, USA

problem #24

Nov 092009


  • 42,000 miles
Popping noise from under hood, mainly when turning left (has now started when turning right). Almost sounds like the wheels are going to fall off. It can also be felt in the steering wheel. Feels very unstable, like front-end could fall apart at any minute. GM is aware of this problem and has been since 2001 (NHTSA item #10009991, #10010873, #10000950, #10004991, #1004239, #10005172, #10004723, and finally their "fix" #10025148). However, they act as though they have never heard of this problem. I have researched this online (, yahoo...just search for I-shaft assembly) and this is a wide-spread problem on numerous GM/Chevy/Cadillac vehicles and GM should be forced to remedy this situation. This situation is as-much, if not worse than the electrical system/dashboard panel problems, that GM has recalled. Please, help the masses who have been sold this defect. Before someone is seriously hurt.

- Moore, OK, USA

problem #23

Jan 012007


  • 65,000 miles


There a noticable shaking when it coming to a stop and sometimes it will turn off. It also turns off when making a right / left turn and sometimes even when truck is running. There a click noise then turning. Also window's will get stuck and will not go up completely and now the left side windows are completely dead (do not go up or down).

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 242009


  • 148,000 miles
Jan 24, 09 vehicle was traveling N on co 145, preparing to turn left onto co 184. Driver heard a "pop" in the steering column. When she began the turn, the steering wheel would not turn. She then performed an emergency stop and came to rest near a guardrail in an oncoming traffic lane. She backed the vehicle out of the opposing lane and turned the steering wheel to the right. The steering wheel then released and she was able to turn onto 184 and exit the roadway. The steering wheel anti-theft lock no longer operates, and it appears that this device has failed. It also appears that pieces from this device became lodged in rotating parts of the steering system.

- Lewis, CO, USA

problem #21

Jan 012004


  • 200,000 miles
Had knocking in front end fixed at dealer. One year later returned. Something in the steering when backing out of driveway. Told it was not unsafe to drive. With all the complaints, I am surprised GM is doing nothing about this.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #20

May 052008

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
There is a weak feeling and a knocking in the steering box or steering column in the vehicle. It feels unstable like the car's front end could fall apart at any minute.

- Monrovia , CA, USA

problem #19

Dec 272006

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


Continuing problem with the steering shaft of my 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. Steering shaft and front end "popping" and looseness continue even after replacement. Dealerships know about this problem and have been instructed by GM service to no longer replace the steering shaft as this "fix" is not working. They are currently unsure how to fix the problem. In the mean time owners have a vehicle that drives as if it is going to fall apart in the front end. The Tahoe handles badly over rough road and cornering making it difficult to steer at times especially at hi-way speed.

- Redmond, OR, USA

problem #18

Dec 012006

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
The steering locks up when I turn left in my 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. If this had happened during an evasive maneuver the results could have been catastrophic. I haven't had it fixed yet, but I don't believe it was the result of damage done by me.

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #17

Oct 022006

(reported on)


  • miles
2003 Tahoe power steering failed while making a left turn. The input shaft from the pulley had come off.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #16

Sep 172006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
I have replaced the I-shaft 2 times on my 2003 Tahoe. GM is not offering any type of replacement or help in fixing this issue

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #15

Apr 012006

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,104 miles
: the contact stated there was a rattling noise in the steering column while driving at 50 mph. The vehicle was towed to a service dealer, where they determined the steering had locked. The vehicle has not yet been returned to the contact. Updated on 05/16/2006-

- Aguas Buenas, PR, USA

problem #14

Mar 162006

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 25mph a clunking noise came from the steering shaft. Afterwards, the steering wheel and accelerator pedal vibrated. The vibration and noise occurred while driving straight or coasting, not while making turns. The problem occurred in January 2005 the first time. The dealership replaced the steering wheel shaft, which remedy the problem until now. The vehicle has not been inspected for the current vibration.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #13

Nov 012005


  • miles
Consumer 2003 Chevy Tahoe had a problem in the steering that caused an accident.

- Granger, TX, USA

problem #12

Nov 112004

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
GM is aware of a steering and suspension problem but will not fix the problem there are already multiple complaints and it will probably take a fatality to recall these issues.

- Granger, TX, USA

problem #11

Jan 032005


  • miles
2003 Tahoe developed a noise in the steering.** answer required***. the consumer was told be Chevrolet there is currently no fix for the problem.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #10

Nov 202004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Purchased vehicle in 04 with less than 20,000 miles. Within a few weeks, heard popping noise from front end and could feel a vibration when driving. Tokk vehicle in for repairs, added lubricant to front end and noise/vibration stopped for a few months. Repeated the lubricant proces two more times. Now replacing tie rods.

- Glenpool, OK, USA

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