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1999 chevy tahoe - where do I start - numerous issues

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  • 1999 chevy tahoe - where do I start - numerous issues

    this is a STOCK 1999 chevy tahoe I got 5.7 vortec, auto trans, power everything ....

    its got alot of issues, prolly why I only paid $500 for it, so here we go

    check engine light stays solid AND flashes - wtf ?! both ?!?!

    abs light is on

    brake reservoir is full - connections or sensors to look for ?

    ive got a bad vibration in the steering wheel, i was going to take the wheels and tires off and put them on my 91 fullsize and see if thats the problem....... someone told me once if you feel the vibration at the wheel its in the front, if you feel it in the seat its in the rear .... any truth to that ? im thinking u-joints in the driveshaft

    fan blows at all speeds but a/c switch wont illuminate

    trying to shift from park to a other gear its wont come out of park, its like the shifter is locked, but it seems to have alot of play in it

    all gauges work cept fuel gauge, fuel pump has been replaced cause it makes ALOT of noise with the key in the on position

    thats all i have found so far
    Charles W - BS Photographer at large

  • #2
    If it doesn't want to come out of park, I'd look into the safety switch attached to the brake pedal that is supposed to prevent gear changes without the brake pedal pushed.

    Does the gas gauge read empty or full all the time? Does it move around?

    Does AC work even without light on? blows cold?

    Is the vibration in the steering wheel all the time? If so, make sure wheels havent thrown a weight? If only during braking, rotors are warped.

    I'd invest in a code reader for this truck. Will help with a ton of issues. It will pay for itself the second time you use it.
    BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

    Resident Instigator



    • #3
      That sounds in damn good shape for $500.

      Find some known good tires and wheels that will fit and try them to eliminate that as a problem.

      Do brakes work OK? Squirrel doesnt have abs on any of his vehicles and he gets along fine. As Scott said you need a code reader to find problem. Some auto parts stores will read your codes for free so they can sell parts to fix it.


      • #4
        Each time I had ABS lite on its been a charging issue. ABS seems to need the highest voltage of all engine control systems, so when the charge is a little weak, the lite will come on. Learned this at pep boys, I went in and paid 69.00 for an ABS check, a lady went in for a 29.00 alternator check, both of us needed alternators. If not, check any and all connectors at wheel sensors or mud issues.

        Mud issues might be unbalancing the driveshaft too, but front end vibration would be easy with unbalanced front tires. If it keeps happening its in the cv joints or idler arm.

        I agree with the safety switch for the shifting, but you can always check linkage if it isnt the problem.

        check the connector on the fuel pump for a loose sending wire for the fuel level. I know there was a recall on a 2001 chevy full size van because the connectors were bad, which is why new fuel pumps come with new connectors to splice in. Might just be a bad splice if its new, or broken wire.

        Alot of the issues sounds like it was stuck in the mud or went off a highway into a ditch? any evidence of any of that? when I got my 03, which was a municipal van from MN, we dug gravel out of the spare tire area (spare was nowhere to be found) under the rear bumper, filling all openings in cross members, every time we go under that truck we find more gravel.

        Good luck, sounds like you can put a few thousand in that truck and still have gotten a deal, hope you dont have to though.
        Last edited by anotheridiot; June 24, 2012, 07:42 AM.


        • #5
          Change your coolant temp sensor.My brothers 96 and a friends 99 both needed them and it made all kinds of stupid problems. Its a cheap part too and good insurance.


          • #6
            im going to put it up in the air, pull all the wheels and tires and have the balance checked on them, think im gunna replace the ujoints on the driveshaft at that time too, check all the brakes, rear end, front suspension and bring home my multimeter and check the alternator and fuel pump.

            oh and I need to change the door pins and bushings in the drivers door and need new door handles for the front doors, LMC Trucks is going to love me even more

            I already have planned out to swap the front bumpers on my 91 chevy truck, the tahoe has the trim and tow hooks and my 91 has a smooth chrome bumper and new solid air dam
            Charles W - BS Photographer at large


            • #7
              Definitely need a code reader, or access to a good one. Some of the cheaper ones won't read abs codes. Solid and flashing means multiple codes. Swap the tires front to back and see if the vibration follows. Check the carrier bearing too if it has one. It will have abs sensors at each front wheel, not sure if a 99 has one in each rear wheel or just uses the VSS in the transfer case for the rears.


              • #8
                Car Quest and Napa carry the door handles and hinge pin kits.... cheaper than LMC too.
                Whiskey for my men ... and beer for their horses!


                • #9
                  I have a 97-1500, idk if the door handles are the same on your truck, BUT there are at least 2 types available at parts stores and one will fit fine but the other type (difference is in the lock rod location or something not seen after installation) WILL NOT fit. Drove me nuts until I put the two side by side and compared.

                  Just offering info on obstacle I ran into...hope your experience is better than mine...i.e. not learning the hard way.



                  • #10
                    Read your tread on your tires... Thin in a spot would mean a bulge.. Slipped belt.. Out of round...
                    When the local tire chain had my tires on the spin balancer.. I could easily see it was out of round.. They said bent rim..bullshit! Found 2 that were round and changed them myself..lo and behold. No more bouncy shake vibes! More and more, tires are failing for some reason..
                    You can also run your hand on the tread and feel for bulges or out of roundnesses


                    • #11
                      Flashing check engine light generally indicates a running condition that could damage the emission control system which is usually a misfire.

                      I'll echo the folks above saying you need access to a code reader - autozone and others will read codes free but may not have the best reader to get the most information.

                      ABS issues - I'd start with wheel speed sensors - another thing you can detect with the right code reader.
                      There's always something new to learn.


                      • #12
                        alternator putting out 14.27-14.32 volts

                        battery at 12.43 volts

                        both those seem to be good
                        Charles W - BS Photographer at large


                        • #13
                          Pull all the engine / chassis / computer grounds, grind or sand the connections and the point where they ground, put them back.

                          WD40 everything that looks like an electronic connection? Down there everything rusts to hell and nothing likes losing a ground. That'd be where I'd start.
                          Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.