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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
103,517 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.

2004 Chevrolet Tahoe engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Mar 262019


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that ten minutes after the vehicle was parked, it caught fire. The fire department was called and extinguished the fire. The contact was unsure as to where the fire originated. A fire report was filed. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to a tow facility. It was unknown yet if the vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The dealer and manufacturer were not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #24

Apr 182017


  • 160,000 miles
The rear main deal went bad in almost all of the trucks and SUVS with a 4.8L or 5.3L engine in them where the pour oil everywhere and this could be considered an epa violation and a fire hazard it needs to be recalled asap so we can save lives and save the environment

- Laurens, SC, USA

problem #23

Jul 062016


  • 158,498 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving approximately 35 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The contact managed to pull over and stop the vehicle. The vehicle was able to restart on the second attempt. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 158,498.

- Tyrone, GA, USA

problem #22

May 142013

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving 40 mph, the warning light illuminated a "low power mode" message. The contact stated that steam was emitting from under the hood. The contact pulled over to the side of the road and lifted the hood for the vehicle to cool off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact stated that the cylinder head cracked around the oil drain holes. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000. Updated 09/29/16 updated 06/15/18

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #21

Feb 262016


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that the vehicle used excessive anti freeze. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle had a defective castech head that leaked coolant. The technician also diagnosed that the castech heads needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 88,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Edison, GA, USA

problem #20

Feb 092016


  • 125,000 miles
The exhaust manifold bolts that thread into the cylinder heads holding the cast iron exhaust manifolds in place onto the heads break off under normal road conditions. The bolts break off and were causing an exhaust leak. My vehicle's exhaust was coming inside the vehicle making occupants ill. The steel manifold bolts are undersized for the application, and being used on iron manifolds mating to aluminum cylinder heads. I have to pay the $1000+ repair cost to fix an apparent manufacturing failure that should be recalled. No only do the broken bolts cause exhaust leaks and noise, but puts the vehicle in this condition as a possible fire risk.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 162015


  • 60,000 miles


When you press on the gas pedal under normal conditions, the stabilitrack sensors kicks in for no reason and slow down the vehicle nearly causing an accident. I had this repaired once but after a few months continued to do it again. Seems like a safety issue to me. It happens moreoften in the cold

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #18

May 012015


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that the vehicle was using too much antifreeze. The dealer diagnosed that the cast tech heads needed to be replaced because they leaked antifreeze. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 102,000.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #17

Jul 192015


  • 140,800 miles
Exhaust manifold bolts broken off at rear of engine on both sides.

- Cold Spring , NY, USA

problem #16

Mar 052015


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and caused all the instrument panel lights to illuminate. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not provided. The failure mileage was 126,000.

- Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 042015


  • 92,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the engine warning light illuminated. The contact discovered that the engine overheated because the coolant reservoir was empty. The contact dispensed coolant into the reservoir. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who informed that the engine block and the cylinder head were improperly designed and contributed to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 92,000. The VIN was not available.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 122013


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving at approximately 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle failed to restart and was towed to the contact's residence where an independent mechanic diagnosed that the fuel injectors and spark plugs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- Balchs Springs, TX, USA

problem #13

Nov 042014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
I got an engine light about beginning of November code was P0430, definition is "catalyst system efficiency bank 2", this could be caused by high engine oil or coolant usage. Knowing this I check my Tahoe for coolant leaks, no visible leaks at all, I take the cover off the cylinder head and I find a lot of sludge, now I know where the antifreeze is going. My Tahoe is still running but with the engine light on and with a misfire due to the porous cylinder head, don't know how much more is going to last and can't really stop the Tahoe because it's a daily driver.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #12

Aug 222013


  • 88,000 miles
Vehicle begins to idle rough, noticed Tahoe consumes coolant at an abnormal rate, approximately 1gal/month!! our local Chevy dealer coded for flex fuel sensor replacement $1400! no change in condition of vehicle. Idle is now very very low! my wife picks up our kids, Tahoe would stop running while making a turn at an intersection!!! no power = no power steering!! she barely avoids an accident!! she along with the kids will not ride in the (family car) the Tahoe until it is fixed. Don't trust our local Chevy dealership, due to lack of integrity!! we were proud and loyal Chevy owners, we also own a 91 GMC Sierra 1500 5.7L with 232000 mi. And a 98 Chevy 1500 V-6 113590 mi pick-up, both still running very strong with absolutely no issues! researched this issue, defective castech heads, GM is aware of this problem, tsb 06-06-01-019B, very disappointed to state the least of how GM is handling this situation. Complained to GM corporate, they stated they will not be able to assist and that we would have to take it to our local dealership where integrity runs very thin!! I am a proud msgt in the usaf, and full time firefighter, if we cant trust "the heartbeat of America, " who the hell can we trust!! this problem has cost put our family in the hole for $3800 now and it looks like if we move forward to fix ourselves we will be in excess of $5800 for the heads to be serviced or $8600 for new motor swap!!! GM needs to take responsibility recall this and get this issue squared away and maybe salvage what is left of a loyal GM supporter.

- Waianae, HI, USA

problem #11

Sep 212014


  • 117,000 miles
Vehicle registered "reduced engine power" while I was on the highway, I was able to get to the shoulder, online research showed numerous incidents involving the throttle body sensor and the wires crimping, there was something about the wiring harness being covered by GM but it does not appear on a recall list.

- Lafayette Hill, PA, USA

problem #10

Dec 162013


  • 75,000 miles
The engine cylinder heads for the 5.3L GM motors built by castech leak coolant into the engine causing engine overheat and internal engine failures. GM has issued a technical bulletin #060601019B to address the issue and diagnose the issue. GM will not offer customers any financial help in the replacement of the defective parts. This issue effects the safety of the vehicle and the safety of the persons in and around the vehicle. The fouled engine oil causes the lifters to fail, the oil pressure to drop and the engine to lock up due to lack of lubrication by the fouled oil and the driver has no way of knowing this is happening as there is no external indicators.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #9

Dec 242013


  • 108,000 miles
Drove vehicle out of town on christmas holiday trip. After being parked overnight starting vehicle next am big cloud of white gray smoke upon start. Coolant low. Refilled coolant and drove home. Now vehicle constantly leaks coolant with no apparent leak under vehicle or in engine compartment. Oil sludges between oil changes. White smoke after a 30 min drive every time. GM has bulletin out for bad heads installed and the part number and symptoms matched cracked heads on my vehicle. Dealer aware and sees often not only in this vehicle but all 5.3 engines from a certain time span. Dealer states will only fix at cost of consumer even though bulletin is known. This could cause an overheat situation or engine failure at a bad time or worse. Why are they not made to stand behind this when problem is known? a quick search on google will overwhelm a computer with so many accounts of this problem.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #8

Feb 282014


  • 138,071 miles
I was driving down the road when my 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe caught on fire burning to the ground. The report from the fire department says that the fire started due to failure of equipment or a heat source and that there were no human factors contributing to the fire.while looking on the internet I have found at least one other person that has encountered the same problem with her 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe.

- Moultrie , GA, USA

problem #7

Jan 312014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The Tahoe has known faulty castech cylinders which cause coolant to leak with no explanation. Over the winter I have had unexplained coolant/antifreeze issue with no found leaks (coolant would be bone dry after a couple weeks of filling it). I was told the issue is probably caused by the faulty porous cylinder heads made by castech installed in GM's from 2001 - 2006. This Tahoe has a total of 80,000 miles now and experiencing issues due to known faulty parts installed by GM. Chevrolet has to be aware of the danger they are putting their customers in by not having a recall of a faulty part located in the engine. How there has not been a recall I do not understand. How Chevrolet expect the customer to pay 3-4K to replace their faulty head is ludicrous.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #6

Dec 012011

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 122,562 miles
GM used defective engine cylinder heads for millions of 4.8/5.3 liter V8 engines from 2001-2006. The cylinder heads crack causing coolant to flow into the oil and cause excessive sludge to form and cause engine failure. GM knows about the problem and issued tsb to it's service departments:1 information on gradual coolant loss over time with no evidence of leak found #06-06-01-019B - (06/12/2007). These defective cylinder heads can cause overheating and complete engine failure.

- Keller, TX, USA

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