My wife fell in love with the Chevy Suburban so we ended up purchasing a loaded 2007 Suburban LT with 27K miles on it. We absolutely loved the styling and size of the truck, but we soon realized there was a big issue just over 40K miles. The truck died on my wife when a spark plug had completely fouled up on the #7 cylinder. Being a car guy who worked on engines all his life, I was complete floored on why one spark plug would fail at half-life! 300 dollars later (spark plugs not covered under the warranty I had purchased) I choked it up to a defective spark plug.
After a few weeks I realized that there was something much more wrong with this truck when it started losing a quart of oil every 1,200 miles. The service guy said these engines do burn a little oil so this is normal. I was not happy with the answer but I just knew that I had to keep a close eye on the oil level from now on, and address it if the light came on, which I did. Then the spark Plugs began to foul on cylinders 1,7 and 4 on a regular basis. I would carry spare plugs in the truck and swap them out at least every 12K . The oil burning and plugs where still not covered under my extended warranty I purchased.
After doing some research I found tons of information on the internet with many other folks having the same exact issues. My neighbor’s 2009 Sierra is also having the same issues at 47K. After trying all the TSB updates I had no luck resolving the issues. On January 1st 2014 with 95K the engine finally met its maker when the engine light came on along with the engine making a serious tapping sound (happy New year to me) . It seems that one of the lifter on the #4 cylinder decided to fail and the truck is stuck in limp mode and barely drivable. I now have a truck that was well over 40 thousand dollars new that is worthless at fewer than 100K miles. My wife is now driving her Sport Trac with 230K miles on it back and forth to work over an hour each way ( with the original engine and trans by the way)
I’m now in the process of spending over 5K to have a new engine put in the truck to hopefully rid me of all the issues I have had. I extremely disappointed in GM, 95K out of a well maintained v8 engine is in embarrassment. I have run LT1 engines well into the 200K range without any serious failures. It is obvious that GM knows they have issues with this 5.3 AFM engine, but I feel they don’t care enough about their customers to at least admit it and absorb some of the finical burden there putting on hard working American people.
Monetary Loss: $6000.