FAQs—GMC R1500 Suburban
The other day, my stress-free driving with my GMC R1500 Suburban ended when the speedometer started to act out. Sometimes, it's not just the speedometer; the entire instrument panel will also work erratically. What should I do?
All electronic instrumentation in cars needs proper voltage and grounding. An instrument cluster typically requires a minimum operating voltage of 10 volts. When you notice that your electronic instrument panel started acting strange like displaying broken characters or no display at all, the first things you should look at are the fuse, ignition voltage at the cluster harness, and the continuity of the cluster ground. If you found a blown fuse, don't just replace it. First, look for the reason why you have blown fuse. You could have a wiring harness that's shorted, and this will just go through all the new fuses that you install. The easiest check for your instrument panel is to go directly to the sending unit or sensor and ground it.
I've had this GMC R1500 Suburban for almost a decade now without a problem. But, last week, it just stopped working. I turned the key and nothing; the vehicle won't start. I inferred that the battery has died, so I trickle charged it for 2 hours. Car started but immediately idled and eventually died after 45 minutes. I can hear a low groan in the engine but no lights and the gauge is not charging. Do I need a new battery?
If the battery is dead even if the car has been sitting in the garage for a day or more, and there is no light; this is an indication that there is a problem with the wiring or the battery itself. You could have a battery that has shorted internally. Check your battery by disconnecting the negative cable and bridging the gap with multimeter to look at the amps reading. You should not be getting much in the way of a reading if there are no components running while the car is off. If the opposite is happening to your reading, then something is discharging the battery—it could be a car device that has failed or a wiring fault. You should also look for a parasitic drain in your car. Common sources of this include a courtesy lamp, which does not turn off after closing the door, trunk, or glove box.
My 1997 GMC R1500 Suburban comes with a V8 engine, and I was quite happy with its performance until it started to run rough when in park and idle mode. The service engine light also keeps blinking. I decided to change the spark plugs thinking it might be the cause of the problem and noticed that one of them had oil in it. Any idea what the problem is?
A common cause of a rough idling is loose or broken vacuum hose; and this one is fairly easy to fix. Check if the hose is loose or has visible signs of abrasion or breaking. Sometimes, clogged filters can also cause the vehicle to run rough. It's hard to tell though when a filter is clogged, so it's better to just have it cleaned or replaced regularly—probably at every tune up. Bad spark plugs can also cause your engine to run rough. That bit of oil in the plug can be caused by a leaking valve cover gasket or a weakened or loose O-ring. The best solution is to replace the spark plugs to avoid any fire hazard caused by the leaking oil.