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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
96,350 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. replace engine or rings/pistons (6 reports)
2009 Chevrolet Tahoe engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments

problem #18

Apr 172019

Tahoe LX 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,400 miles


Experiencing the same problem with my engine that i have read about, My engine failed at 104k because the number 6 piston had no compression. the only solution is to purchase a new engine for 5000. This issue made my Tahoe worth under 5k and therefore a 12k loss.

I have been a Chevrolet man all my life and have never felt the disappointment with an American icon like now. Make America great must not be in their core mission statement.

This problem is and has been known by the manufacture since day one. All i ask is that you stand by your customers that have paid for what we believed was a Chevy caliber quality product.

Please let me know if anyone starts a class action law suit. I want to join in, i do not want to profit from this problem but am very tired of this issue taking up a large portion of my thoughts.


- Patrick M., Columbia, US

problem #17

Mar 212013

Tahoe LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I LOVE my 2009 Tahoe! BUT, it has the oil consumption problem. I have to replace 1 quart of oil between every oil change. I've gotten estimates for repairs (one from my mechanic, one from dealership) that are beyond what I want to spend. It's a real inconvenience and, obviously, one that many others have to deal with. How is it that there is no recall from Chevy???? It seems there are a lot of complaints about this issue so they have to know about it! I plan to drive it into the ground at this point. It's been an issue for several years and I deal with it, but, it's ridiculous!

- kmmoll, Lexington, US

problem #16

Jul 042017

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 153,000 miles

Loss of power; like plugs get oil fouled. Check engine light comes on & off the next day. Have to always check oil & add one. GMC losing a fan.

- amazyjwr, Jacksonville, US

problem #15

May 232017

Tahoe 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


What a load of crap! This is most disturbing. I have a 2009 Tahoe. My wife and I really enjoy this car, but it has cost us quite a bit of money for that enjoyment. In addition to the host of somewhat affordable repairs that we have made to this car, not to mention the routine maintenance, I just received the news that the pistons and rings will need to be replaced, due to oil leaking by. The engine light came on for the first time, and the car was sluggish at stops. We took it to the dealership right away, as my wife is about to drive it to International Falls, Minnesota. What I got hung up on was the statement made by the service manager; "this is a known problem, and not specific to MY car". We contacted a couple other mechanics in the area, and they said the same thing; "our techs are very familiar with this problem. If this repair cost $2,000.00 or less, I might let it go, but this is going to cost me $4,000.00. I called GM, and spoke with a lackey at the call center. After being placed on hold a few times, she told me that SHE was not aware of this issue, and had not had any "recent" complaints about this. She apologized repeatedly that there was nothing that GM could do to help out at this time. She would not admit that GM didn't know anything about this, though. 2007-2012, and GM has changed the piston design, but they are not aware of it. Bullshit! I asked to speak to someone above her. This was on Friday May, 26. Because it is a holiday weekend, she said, there are no managers available today. Memorial Day is on Monday. Why are there no managers, not a single manager, available three days prior to that. What kind of company are they running over there? What kind of a company did the tax payers of this country bail out? $166.3billion in revenue in 2016, and a customer can just sit in the lurch until they decide to come back to work. I'm expecting a call from a manager on Tuesday 29th. I'm pretty sure the manager will deny any knowledge of this issue, but I'm not going to stop persuing this.

- Tony M., Cincinnati, US

problem #14

Dec 272016

Tahoe LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

Every time you fill up with fuel, you have to fill up with oil. No signs of leaking, just simple 5.3L oil drinking engine. Love the vehicle but I know several people with the same issue. GM should have a recall!

- mweaver987, Piney Flats, TN, US

problem #13

May 072016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I am very disappointed in this problem, I love the Tahoe and all the features. Please GM fix this problem!

- emilyclayton, Smyrna, SC, US

problem #12

Dec 102009

Tahoe LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,050 miles


This sub has used excessive oil since the very first oil change and it has gotten worse as the years have gone by

It now has 94000 miles and is at least 2 QStack low every 3000miles.

Even the guys who change the oil are worried about it.

Is there a fix?

- Robert F., Poplar Bluff, MO, US

problem #11

Jul 252015

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

My Chevy Tahoe got close to 100,000 miles and started burning through oil. Now it has to be checked a couple times a week and oil needs to be added often enough to make it a big problem.

- Jill P., Barre, MA, US

problem #10

Oct 252013

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

This has been an excellent vehicle until I made a trip to the mountains and realized some unusual smoking when getting on the gas. Started checking oil and noticed it was 2 quarts low. Ever since then I have added 2- 3 quarts between oil changes and we change oil regularly at Chevy dealership. Just noticed yesterday that spots were getting on the rear window. My wife drives this vehicle most of the time. I decided to check internet to see if there were other problems. Sure enough it is a known problem. I never mentioned it to dealership since it ran good and was out of warranty. I have always been a Ford man and have been very disappointed with this excessive oil consumption.

- tahoe2009, Dothan, AL, US

problem #9

Oct 112015

Tahoe LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,788 miles

I purchased a 2009 chevy Tahoe from steve moore Chevrolet. it was used with 109559 miles and it ran great unitl the dash stated that it was 0% percent oil life remaining at 112,000. it was bone dry so I changed the oil and checked it daily since then. also whats even worst vehicle didn't come with any warranty looks like im s.o.l

- Ray H., Charlotte, NC, US

problem #8

Oct 112015

Tahoe LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,788 miles


ok back again with this 2009 chevy Tahoe now with 115788 miles and bone dry again, and has added two quarts of oil at 113788 and after a oil change at 112,000 miles. im pissed off I think im stuck with this junk. gm and chevy should do some thing about this it should be a recall on this issue

- Ray H., Charlotte, NC, US

problem #7

May 012015

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I am not buying a Chevy vehicle ever again!!! Unfortunately the power train warranty 100K/5yr ran out a year ago. I can't believe there is not a recall on the engine. I'm off to buy a new car not made by Chevy.....

- cjehunt, Elkhorn, NE, US

problem #6

Aug 042014

Tahoe LTZ 5.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,800 miles

My 2009 Chevy Tahoe started consuming a lot of oil at about 68,000 miles. It uses about 2 + quarts every 2000 miles. Chevy said that's normal...really ? Well when you don't want to take responsibility for your design mistakes then we just call it normal and it goes away and we don't have to fix it..... Chevy says there is nothing wrong with that... Everyone has told me that a value and or ring job is in my future to the tune of $4500 bucks.

My dilemma is that I have 4 payments left so just in time for the extended warranty to run out and no more payments come big repair bills ! My dad spent 30 years working for GM and this is the last GM product I will every own. This vehicle is a hunk of crap. So far I have replaced both side window mirror motors, door handles, torque converter, backup sensor, and transfer case. BTW just because the SUV has 4WD Auto doesn't mean you are supposed to use it or if you do use it sparingly because it burns up the transfer case.. NEVER AGAIN good luck if you own one of these $55,000 pieces of crap !

- Sandra W., Martinez, CA, US

problem #5

Feb 022015

Tahoe LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,456 miles

Halfway between 5k mile synthetic oil changes, the entire engine basically ran out of oil and partially seized before I could even shut the engine off.

I am currently exploring options for a class action lawsuit regarding this seemingly perfectly timed total engine failure right after the warranties expire.

- Travis B., La Quinta, CA, US

problem #4

Sep 242014

Tahoe LS 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,000 miles

I have not owned this car but for a few months and already have a pretty bad problem. I usually keep a check on oil levels every other week and have recently found this Tahoe lost 2 quarts of oil in just 2 weeks!!! Any ideas?

- Joseph R., Union Grove, AL, US

problem #3

Sep 202014

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,887 miles

On going issue ,5.3l engine has Excessive oil consumption 3/4 to 1 quart every 800-1000 miles , seems to be getting worse , There are NO signs of leakage , average 1/2 a quart to a tank of fuel . also feels slugish and seems to miss at times but no check engine light .

- bowtiebug, Whitesboro, TX, US

problem #2

Dec 042013

Tahoe LTZ 5.3L V8 Flexfuel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,460 miles

I purchased a Certified Previously Owned 2009 Tahoe LTZ inMarch of 2012. I've owned this vehicle for exactly 1 year and 9 months. In this time, I have had problems with the MAF sensor (had it cleaned and then the throttle body replaced under warranty), engine stalls and lurching (after 3-4 visits it was fixed with an ECM flash from the dealer under warranty), cracked heater hose connector (paid $700 out of pocket to have both lines and cheap plastic quick-connect connectors replaced, not covered under warranty), leaking rear axle seal (covered under warranty), and now finally some sort of catastrophic failure that has lead to the engine being replaced (of course 5K outside of the warranty and $6800 my cost).

This last incident began with a puff of white smoke during a cold start. No warnings on the dash, and oil pressure was normal (20 at idle, 40 at highway speeds). Two days later I hear a slight ticking noise from the front left side while driving. Assumed it was a rock in the tire tread, as the sound was not present when stopped at a light and the rhythm seemed to parallel the speed.

Another two days later, while on the highway, the sound becomes noticeably louder. I checked the instrument panel, oil pressure was normal and no warning lights. I decided to pull off on the next exit to check the tire and as I do the sound changes from a ticking to more of a sound similar to an exhaust leak. The oil pressure drops to around 10 and the oil lamp warning comes on for about 2 seconds. I pull off the exit and shut down the engine. Checked the oil dipstick and it's bone dry. I look under the truck and there are no signs of any leaks. There was no blue smoke or any other colored smoke, aside from the one puff mentioned earlier. Where the heck did all my oil go? I've never had any noticeable oil consumption previous to this, so what the heck happened?

So I call a buddy to bring me some oil, 3 quarts to be exact. Pour it in, and still no reading on the dipstick, however the oil pressure is back to normal. Boggled at this point. So I limp it home and take it to the dealer the next morning. They checked the dipstick, told me it's not showing any oil and determined that I need a new engine. Really boggled at this point. I ask then "What is wrong with the engine?", to which they respond "Well, it doesn't have any oil." Okay.... I ask "What caused it?". Their response is "We don't know."

So, I continue to ask is it related to the TSB regarding the Active Fuel Management and oil consumption problems. Their response is that it could be, but the fact of the matter is that it was run without any oil, so it probably wouldn't be covered under the warranty or the TSB. Okay, just dumbfounded now. So, you are going to tell me that I have to cough up $6800 to replace the engine that may or may not need to be replaced (but probably does) due to oil consumption caused for an unknown reason and it's all on me because I drove it without oil even though there was not indication that the condition existed?

I'll be fair, if I was a gear head and drove with a stethoscope to the dash all the time or checked the oil levels every 500 miles I might have caught the problem in time to save the engine. However, this should not be expected of the normal everyday consumer. The problems with the design of this engine and its AFM technology seems to be the leading cause of premature engine failures according to my research across numerous forums. I fail to see how the consumer is expected to foot the cost for a problem that has existed since the introduction of this engine in 2007.

I have reached out to Chevrolet's Customer Service to see if there are other options available to me, as I consider it unacceptable that I should have to replace an engine every 100K. It's only been a day, but no word back yet. I was told that they would contact the dealership and the dealer's customer service would be my point of contact on this issue from here out. Yay.

Ah... the kicker? I was assured by the dealership that the new engine would not have the AFM design flaws that possibly lead to this incident.... "Chevy Tough" luck I guess.

- Mark H., Round Hill, VA, US

problem #1

Sep 162011

Tahoe LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I have had it in the dealer twice and they are going by GM rule book. Yes there is a problem. I have never owned a vehicle that has used a qt of qil every 2000 miles but I do now and it will be GONE before they ever do anything about it. GM has some nice advertisements but this is not worth my time or money in the economy!

- Frank L., Cataula, GA, US

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