There’s a Big Issue with GM’s SUVs and No One Seems to Have a Solution

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There’s a Big Issue with GM’s SUVs and No One Seems to Have a Solution

Many owners of General Motors’ 2015 and 2016 full-size SUVs are not particularly happy with their purchase. 

Online forums and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) complaints database are flooded with posts alleging that GM’s full-size SUVs, including the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade, all exhibit the same off-putting traits: unexplainable wind buffeting and vibration. Many of the complaints allege that these problems also affect the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

AutoGuide.com was first made aware of the issue when Daryl Watkins, the owner of a 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali, alerted us by e-mail. “I am the new owner of a 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali,” Watkins said. “Imagine the sound/feel when a window is cracked riding down the road except it occurring when all windows are up and at all speeds above 35mph.”

Along with the buffeting, a vibration can be felt inside the cabin. According to many of those affected, the sensation gets worse when the vehicle switches into V4 mode, as these engines are equipped with cylinder deactivation.

And it’s not just an annoying sound – the defect seems to be causing some health issues.

“Pressure, sound and sensation at low to mid range speeds. Creating headache, dizziness and strain,” reads one complaint on the NHTSA database ( NHTSA ID Number: 10701714).

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, Front 3/4

More complaints can be found online, including on forums, though there are some posts from owners who have have a GM SUV and have no buffeting or vibration. AutoGuide.com‘s editors have put plenty of miles in numerous examples of these big GM trucks, from the Cadillac Escalade to the Chevy Tahoe, and have never experienced anything like what Watkins described.

Still, the overwhelming outcry on the Internet over the problem is too big to ignore.

The (Supposed) Fix

GM issued a preliminary information bulletin (PIT) over the issue. Poorly attached roof sheet metal is the main issue that GM looked to fix and instructions for doing so are located in PIT5318B. To perform the fix, technicians have to remove the vehicle’s headliner and inspect the roof bows for proper bonding with the roof sheet metal. If there is an issue, the bonding must be completely redone, which means new panel control vibration material is packed into the roof of all SUVs that have received this fix.

The problem with this PIT, as many customers have learned, is there is no guarantee it is going to help. The PIT reads:

In some cases, correcting the roof bows may not eliminate the body pressure booming issue due to the fact that the roof is being excited by some other input(s). These other areas will need to be addressed if the body pressure booming is still present at the completion of this PI.

Those other areas include tire issues, exhaust back pressure valve issue and rear axle issues.

Frustrated Customers

With no clear fix for this problem, customer frustration is building, especially since the response from dealers has been varied.

“Vehicle has a vibration when going between 60 – 70 miles per hour on the highway,” reads a NHTSA complaint about a 2015 GMC Yukon (NHTSA ID Number: 10787343). “Took vehicle to dealer, they said the issue was caused by recall that GMC was trying to fix. Currently no part is available to fix [the] vehicle. Instructed to just keep driving vehicle with the vibration until a part is issued.”

GMC-YUkon

This sentiment is echoed around a few forums, where customers have been told that there is no fix, or that their vehicle is operating normally.

When customers bring their SUVs into their dealer, the repair process seems to be almost always be the same. It starts with road force balancing, because out-of-balance wheels are the most common cause of vibration at speed. Many dealerships have also replaced wheels and tires, but for customers like Daryl Watkins, new wheels did not help.

New drive shafts, replaced exhaust systems, new shocks and even entire rear axle assemblies have all been put into different SUVs across the U.S., and still the majority of owners complain that they were of no help.

“Vehicle has a terrible vibration,” reads another NHTSA complaint about the 2015 GMC Yukon (NHTSA ID Number: 10681579). “Has been to dealer seven times for a total of four weeks. A GM engineer has looked at it twice. They have replaced ring/pinion, driveshaft, axle. Tried it with four sets of tires/wheels. Last idea was to replace shocks, struts, sway bars with hand built parts, cut brackets off car and welded new brackets on.”

All of this did nothing to help the vibration, according to the customer, who claims that a GM engineer told him that the problem is a large one.

“A larger issue was relayed by engineer to service manager at dealership. Issue is with all 2015 Tahoe, Yukon, Escalades. In an effort to prevent rollovers, the frame and body mounts [are] too stiff. There are 40 engineers working on [the] issues, [but] they have no solution across the board. According to [the] engineer, GM is keeping on eye on how many units they have to buy back or trade for. If the number is low enough, they will not make any changes to design.”

Cadillac Escalade ESV

In some cases, GM dealerships have approved the use of Dynamat, a special sound damping foam, in the roof, which is installed when performing the PIT. “My dealer reattached all roof bows and added Dynamat which fixed it for a few months,” wrote one customer in a private Facebook group. “After inspecting the roof it appears mid bows are no longer attached to the roof. When the roof is secured the truck is just plain awesome. When it is not, it booms and buffets.”

ALSO SEE: Mysterious, Unfixable ‘Chevy Shake’ Affecting Pickup Trucks Too

The Facebook group, created to connect owners struggling with these problems, is full of new-car buying horror stories. “Today is 34 consecutive days in the shop (5 weeks tomorrow). They have now replaced my rear end and called to tell us there is still a vibration,” said one owner.

The NHTSA database also shows a host of similar complaints on brand new GM pickup trucks. “The contact owns a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado equipped with Goodyear Wrangler SRA tires,” reads a NHTSA complaint (NHTSA ID Number: 10807437). “While driving between 65-75 mph, the vehicle started to vibrate. The tires were replaced, but the failure recurred. The approximate vehicle and tire failure mileage was 3,400.” There are also massive forum threads covering the issue with the pickup trucks.

Watkins’ 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali has had the driveshaft balanced and the tires and wheels switched out two different times, and yet the problems persist, especially the buffeting.

How are Dealers and GM Responding

In one case we found, GM repurchased two SUVs from the same customer after performing the PIT and after multiple other fixes did nothing to help the buffeting.

We reached out the GM to find out what the brand had to say about the problem. “This was an issue that was fixed in production at the end of the 2015 model year. In addition, there is a service bulletin for repair for the field,” said Michelle Malcho with GM communication.

Watkins, who owns a 2016 GMC Yukon that exhibits both vibrations and buffeting, would not agree that the issue was fixed. AutoGuide responded to General Motors, asking what exactly the fix for the SUVs was, but as of publication time, we have had no answer.

Out of four months of ownership, Watkins says that his Yukon has been in the dealerships for a total of 87 days, while he has been relegated to rental cars and dealer loaners for that time. Like many other frustrated customers, he just wants what he was promised: a full-size SUV that’s both comfortable and reliable.

Discuss this story at our GM Truck Forum

  • craigcole

    Huh? How is this an issue in 2015? I wonder if the bodies of these vehicles are sealed too well.

  • http://www.xautoworld.com X Auto

    ???????

  • Knarfpower

    There is no sealing issue. All vehicles have to be sealed tightly to reject whistling and other wind noises. When the large flat roof is not attached to the roof bows it flexes in response to anything from road irregularities to wind to other vibrations. It can literally boom like a drum or buffet creating low frequency pressure changes in the cabin. There also might be some booming/resonance from the rear quarter panels.

    There could very well be other issues that may or may not show up as badly depending on how well the roof sheet metal is fastened down.

    In 2015 manufactures are struggling to meet ever stringent fuel economy regulations. My Suburban gets 21 MPG at 75 MPH which is outstanding for a large SUV. My highway MPG best is over 27 MPG and I don’t drive slowly. However, it would appear the weight cutting measures might be taking a toll as the truck has thinner sheet metal than past generations making all the more important the sheet metal is bonded to the bracing.

    In my case the dealer reattached the roof sheet metal, added the dynamat, and cured the vehicle. Without this issue my truck is a solid 10 out of 10. I really like it. However, it appears the fix is not holding. I guess I take some small comfort in that I am finding everything from Subarus, to Toyota’s to $100+ Teslas having similar issues. Also, many if not most large GM SUV’s do not have this issue so clearly they can be built without it. I have to take mine back in and see what happens next.

  • shovenose

    You know what, I think you for are on to something. I own a 2007 Chevrolet Colorado and a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban. I’m not thrilled with the Colorado (it’s alright) but I absolutely love my Suburban. It rides and feels very solid and has almost 200,000 miles on it with the original engine and transmission across seven owners who did not know how to maintain it judging by its interior and exterior appearance. It does not burn any oil, has never had the heads off, and is probably on the original intake gasket (which leaks a tiny bit of oil out the front of the engine, but I’m not going to complain about that).

    Compare that to my aunt’s 02 Corolla that started burning massive amounts of oil under 200K miles, and mom’s 95 Accord that has had a head gasket, two water pumps (expensive, since you need to replace the timing belt at the same time), and it’s got about 150K on it.

    The biggest problem with the old Suburban is definitely that it’s not very good on gas. My average MPG ranges from 9-12MPG (mostly city in traffic, very little highway) and the fact that the newer ones get double that and then some is impressive.

    But you are 100% right on that the manufacturers have to find ways to increase fuel economy as fast and cheap as possible, and just like Ford is doing with the new F-150 with an aluminum body (that won’t last 20 years like my Suburban or even an old F-150) they are decreasing the durability as they increase the MPG. Technology like direct injection, six- or eight-speed transmissions, aluminum engine blocks, aluminum body panels, can only get so far before the laws of physics kick in and you realize the darn thing weights several tons and has the aerodynamics of a brick.

    I don’t think that GM is trying to blow off all of the owners of these new full-size trucks and SUVs. While I do think that they could handle it a little better, these customers are GMs bread and butter. After all, most of them are long time GM owners who keep buying them because of consistently long-lasting trucks/SUVs. If I could afford it I’d buy a new Silverado/Sierra/Tahoe/Yukon/Suburban in a heartbeat – I wouldn’t consider anything else. This is simply based upon my experience with multiple older Chevys and GMCs.

    Auto makers make very little money if any on an economy sedan. They make big bucks on SUVs and trucks. But the prices keep going up and the longevity keeps going down due to the “CAFE requirements” basically they need to hack up the design and cheap out on quality to make it meet government fuel econmoy requirements.

    I don’t think there is a singe full-size truck or SUV owner out there that would mind sacrificing 1-2MPG to know they are getting a vehicle that will last 200,000 miles and 20 years. But what sucks is that we don’t have this choice anymore.

    Sorry for the long rant.

  • Knarfpower

    I had a 2003 Tahoe that like your Suburban was rock solid in terms of reliability and ride quality. It was a big reason why we went back and bought a new Suburban which is my wife’s main vehicle. I trust this will get worked out and as an owner can appreciate how frustrating it can be. I have read that other major brands are having similar issues so this is likely one of those things all the major volume brands are grappling with.

    I will say that the new ‘burban’s interior is just awesome. If GM can lick this NVH issue they one hell of a truck. It tows like a champ, it’s quick, great on gas, I personally like the stiff ride of my Z71 off road package… they just need to fix this issue to be “there”.

  • shovenose

    That’s the thing – articles such as this one would make it sound like every unit has the problem when in reality it’s probably a small percentage. I am glad you are enjoying your 2015 and may it last 20 years and 200K :)

  • Knarfpower

    Unfortunately I will be heading back to the dealer for the roof bow issue in the next day or two. So while I love the truck, this issue does need to be fixed for good. The pressure on ears is very hard to take for any length of time. I can’t say enough good things about my dealer though, they have really put some effort into this.

    So far the dealer and GM have worked to fix the issue and stood by the product so I cannot complain there. I hope they continue to do so. I figure if you are like me and have a bit of car-ADD (tend to own lots of cars) you are going to run into a problem child eventually. It’s how the dealer and manufacturer handle it that matters most to me.

  • Del Cee

    When the roof bows were attached did it feel right?Did the roof bows correct the issue while they were cnnected

  • Knarfpower

    In my case the combination of attached roof bows and Dynamat did the trick. There was a hint of boominess over very rough pavement and in V4 mode at very low speeds but nothing intrusive. The radio and a low volume drowned it out.

  • AJ Jones

    I’m not so sure about that…I’ve been in about 5 between burbs and yukons both 2015 and 2016 and they all have the problem to some degree. Many others on other forums have stated that they drove up to 10 and they all had the issue. Some have it much worse than others. It’s a big issue and more are plagued with the problem than we think. With that said, many folks may not notice the issue like some.

    I have a 2015 and planned up trading in on a late model 15 or 16 until i drove a few as they both had the issue. I’m waiting on a fix or will trade in on another brand and take a major loss. The family and myself can only withstand the pressure issues for so long. headaches and ears popping are the norm when traveling for more than 20min and speeds above 40mph!

  • danwat1234

    the aluminum bodied F150s may prove having endurance. Repairs to body damage is more expensive but I don’t see how longevity is decreased. You could be right though.
    By 2020 I think we’ll see the return of hybrid, plugin hybrid and more electric trucks and SUVs with Atkinson cycle or lean burn engines, which’ll bring MPGe up to a new level.

  • Chris Barry

    I have a 2015 Suburban LTZ. The problems I have are as follows. DVD screen rattles, when it rains it sounds like a bubbling noise coming from the sunroof , the right mirror taked 7.5 min. to remove condensation when it takes the right mirror 2 min. (dealed said “its withing factory specs.” Transmission shifts very hard 1st to 2nd and doesn’t up shift at all as you start out of a turn. Also when you go to pass, it sometimes will not downshift. A BAD vibration 40-45 and above 64 mph. Dealer replaced both rear tires, all four (4) shocks and reprogramed the ride control. Not fixed. Roaring sound from to red end of the vehicle. Left rear window assembly had to be replace due delamination. Now the right rear window doing the same thing Rides like a TANK. Was told “it has a sport suspension and was supposed to ride like that.” It’s a family vehicle. After paying close to $80,000.00 for this vehicle, you would think you would not have all these problems. GM and the Dealer is NO help. There story is “it’s within factory specs.” Had a 2001 Tahoe with 280,000 miles with no problems. Just needed a bigger vehicle to take all the grandkids at one time with comfort. Should have bought something from Japan. I WOULD NOT recommend anyone buying from GM or GMC. maybe the above story will get them off there asses to help all of us that have these vehicles, but I’m not holding my breath. Good luck to the rest of the owners. Hope you get your vehicles fixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    AND YOU ARE A BULLSHIT!

  • TexRob

    You must work for GM. If not you need to get off their nuts..

  • Jason Hicks

    I had a 2014 silverado with all kinds of issues as well.. buffeting, vibrations above 65, unbearable at 75+ turnpike speeds. Rear window regulator recall, rattles in dash and under steering wheel, back lights not working due to “missing resistors” which if you go back and look at GMtruck forum I came up with a fix for. GM said it was a production change, even though every brochure showed the lights as being there. Replaced my dash trim next to the windshield because it was warped, recall for exhaust (prior i was getting 22mph+ hwy, after couldn’t manage 18) operating as designed… recall for 4×4, a couple other recalls that I cant remember, at one point my truck with only a few thousand miles on it was in the shop for 30 days. They replaced the rear end at around 9k if I recall, and the tech showed me what it looked like. Looked like it came out of a over worked million mile farm truck (just completely shot) I had a clunk on hard acceleration..again operating as designed.. I had a signifcant black ploom of smoke on cold start ups (sub 32 deg) operating as designed… horrible radio reception, really poor connectivity with phones..the My Link interface was horrible (there was an update for that too) did little to help… I couldn’t do it anymore and I’m die hard Chevy fan… I traded it in… IveI’ve lost a lot of respect for GM on this one.. not to mention I lost about $7K of my hard earned money… but what does GM care right???

  • suezz

    It is Senior management. They think they can manage a company with spreadsheets. There is no time to actually test products just ship them and be done just like what the spreadsheet says. Its the harvard business school model. They have a bonus to make cause I guess they have add a room on their one million square foot mansion.
    The management is the same as my company since former senior managers went to GM.
    They are under this fantasy they make a great product because the spreadsheet says they do.
    Here is a thought how about taking a hundred or so random cars made off the line and drive them to hell and back and see what happens. You should be doing this pretty often to see the actual products your are giving your customers. I guess that is too expensive and the spreadsheet guys heads would explode.

    This greedy society and wanting to keep making millions year after year when you should be able to live the rest of your life off of one year’s bonus is our doom. Enjoy your own movie theatre in your house when all your customers are dead from your products you produced when you were getting your big bonuses year in year out.

  • seigell

    It sounds that amongst other things, GM needs to take this Model (back?) to the Wind Tunnel. Between the Nosepiece Aerodynamics improvements of the past few years, the New Fascia, and the Long (and thinner) Roof Panels (and side panels too), they have probably tripped into some Standing Wave Turbulence issues along the Roofline. These are the same issues that were So Bad for certain Aircraft Designs that Airplanes were Torn Apart in the Skies. So Bad that Aerospace Engineers had to actually design different forms of Leading Edges and even Vortex Generators. Perhaps the GM Roofline is going to need to be a little “Less Clean” in order to accommodate the inclusion of Larger / Thinner / Lighter Roof Panels.

  • Brian

    Funny, but I thought the same thing. If it is an airflow, or frankly even a vibration issues, changing the corrugations can have a huge impact.

    My 2015i GMC Yukon XL, unfortunately, couldn’t be fixed. Issue reared its head with 200 miles on the car. Dealer has had it for 20 days and done the roof fix, the rear differential fix, the driveshaft fix, the exhaust removal and reinstallation fix, the tire and wheel fix, and a “cabin resettling procedure”. Nothing fixed the issue. Conveniently enough, the GM field rep that covers my area stopped by the dealer to take it for a spin and immediately felt the pressure sensation from the buffetting. Hopefully this will help other people with this issue since another GM employee has experienced it first-hand.

    With any luck my buy back will be completed shortly, and the new one will be one of the good ones…

  • steveinglendale

    Exactly my feelings, too. Seems obvious there’s some variable standing wave aerodynamic issue on the body panels. Rolling down partially a window and getting buffeting is “normal” as that is never now a design consideration with current HVAC systems in place. On my old 2000 Durango no body panels are flat panels – this strengthens and stiffens each panel. There are ribs even set into the roof. Yes, it has a terrible cd, and uses way too much gas (14 avg. mpg.). And not nearly the room and comfort of the larger GM’s. Reliable, extremely, 217K and never a drivetrain or accessory issue. I really would like to update, but the horror stories ($80k for grief?) certainly are a deterrent.

  • AndyM586

    Interesting point. While my early build 2015 XL (May 2015 delivery) has not had any excess vibration or buffetting, I have always found it weird that at higher speeds, say over 65 mph, I am unable to close the moon roof. Must be one heck of a slip stream coming over the whindshield.

  • J_in_TX

    Now I know why I’ve only owned one GM product (’68 Chevelle SS 396) in my life. My 2012 Ram 2500 4×4 is smooth at 65-75 mph.

  • seigell

    I drive a 2009 RAM 1500 Big Horn 4×4 Crew Cab. And can commiserate with the GMC Owners. The 1500 has Non-Adjustable Door Latches all-around – and after a few years both Back Doors can be pushed-in about 1/4th inch with just hand-pressure. At 65-75mph, the slipstream around the Cab sometimes gets those Doors to Vibrating. And Lord Help You if you Open just a Single Window – the “Inside a Big Bass Drum” feeling. Dropping the opposite Back Window an Inch or two solves my Issue – but then “You’re Letting All the A/C Out!!”

  • J_in_TX

    I think we’ve all had those experiences. I had a 2007 3500 Megacab dually. It would get what appeared to be fuel or oil down the side and the tailgate whenever I pulled a trailer. That was the only time it did it. Never did figure out what caused it.

  • Lennie Pike

    Now I know where the idiots from the Weekly World News ended up. Autoguide hired them.

    Trash writing from a trash site. You guys should be embarrassed. Clickbait isn’t beneath you, it drives you.

  • Brian

    You can feel free to stop by and drive my car and experience it for yourself, pal.

    Those of us that are dealing with this BS know the score, which you obviously don’t.

  • Chris Barry

    I’ll pay the air fare for you to come and drive my 2015 Suburban. Until YOU OWN one of these vehicles,then you can crawl back under the rock you came from and keep you MOUTH SHUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AJ Jones

    Ha… What is your point? Take a spin in my 15 Yukon and you’ll understand. Someone needs to wake GM up or this may be the death of the solid long-term popularity of GMs large SUVs.

  • Alex

    This is why I drive a Japanese car.

  • Knarfpower

    The foreign automakers don’t have an answer to the Suburban though.

  • Alex

    The answer is the Prius.

  • Knarfpower

    Congratulations l, that is the most absurd response I have read in years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    BUT THE REAL ANSWER IS THE 2017 VOLT!

  • Ji Dosha

    The Toyota Sequoia is a pretty large 8 passenger SUV. It needs a refresh though.

  • Knarfpower

    I would agree on the refresh as well. I would put the Sequoia on par with a Tahoe as far as form and function. We had a Tahoe but prefer the ‘burban.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richardjoash Richard Joash Tan

    AND YOU ARE A BULLSHIT!

  • http://www.xautoworld.com X Auto

    10th Gen Civic, rest is bullshit !!! 😛

  • Ang Dhud

    All us brands are bullshit. The only good thing with america is their women. Blscks not influded though. Lol!

  • KT

    I currently have a 2001 Yukon with 286,000 miles on it and it’s still doing its job. Same engine and transmission. The previous 1989 K-Blazer I owned until 2001 went 235,000 miles on the same engine. And there was yet another used K-Blazer that I drove from 1981 until I bought the 1989. These is no reason for me to buy another brand, and I was looking forward to grabbing a new Yukon/Tahoe. However, I won’t until these issues are tackled on a corporate level.

  • Jeff

    Finally, someone in the auto industry is addressing this. There are tens of thousands of consumers with this issue and GM isn’t doing anything to help them. do an internet search of Silverado VIbration. There are hundreds of forums and thousands of pages of frustrated owners. It’s a flat out joke that GM is claiming a JD Power award for initial Quality. GM already purchased one truck back from me, as long as I purchased another. I had to drive 6 to find one that didn’t shake. Within 40 miles of leaving the dealership, the vibration is back with force. wwww.dontbuyasilverado.com

  • Wayne

    Anybody just try to replace the u joints on the drive shaft?

  • Woodysworld

    I have a 2007 Yukon XL Denali. Never had this problem, just reaching 60K miles. Wife’s Lexus and Avalon have this issue if you try to have the window down over 40 mph. It’s like being inside a drum. Sorry to hear some GM users have an issue.

  • AJ Jones

    this is regarding the new 2015 models. We once had the previous design and it was SOLID.

  • Knarfpower

    Window down that is totally normal. These issues are with the windows up.

  • Woodysworld

    I don’t have the problem either way with the Denali, just with the Lexus and Avalon.

  • Don Lynn

    I have to believe that GM would have seen this problem during their final product testing phase but decided it just wasn’t a big deal. Unless when they went to production they changed some metal thicknesses or attach points compared to their test vehicles.

    The cutback from 8>4 cyl running was a huge problem for GM caddies back in the late 70’s. The engine could be hunting between 8 > 4 cyl that could cause vibrations.

  • gregge

    The V8-6-4 was a 1981 only option. When it worked it was great. Operated smoothly and silently. When it quit working it was time to say buh-bye and either sell the thing or convert it over to a normal valve setup.

  • Robert

    The DOD system that shuts down 8 to 4 cyl adds some drone, but it isn’t nearly powerful enough to shake the cab of a vehicle.

  • Sam3000

    DOD/AFM works flawlessly. You have to really pay attention to notice the switchover and most of that is from the tonal change. The problem with the 70s version was the computers were not powerful enough to control it, and the 6cyl mode itself was hard to control. This is why they went 8-4 directly without the 6cyl mode, it’s easier to knock out every other cylinder than to try and run with 2 missing. It goes out of balance. That is not to say that 4cyl mode doesn’t have its problems, but the solution to that is for the computer to occasionally switch back to 8cyl mode every so many miles.

  • Ross MacDonald

    I have a 2014 Silverado with 9 repair attempts. They told me nothing was wrong with my vehicle for 6-8 months then finally changed the driveshaft and some other stuff. But according to them the whole time it had been operating as designed. No one at GM or the dealership will work with me. I’ve had to pay out of my own pocket to retain an attorney to sue them.

  • mk

    I’ve got a 2015i Yukon Denali that buffets at 40mph and more so at 70mph. It is incredibly annoying. It also exhibits a “boom” sound when driving slowly over bumps/gravel roads. It sounds like flicking a 12″ speaker woofer with your finger. I believe that the buffeting is repeated boom sounds caused by something vibrating from the rear of the vehicle.

    Luckily, I’ve got a great dealer that is actively trying to resolve it. The 2015 Suburban I was given as a rental also buffets at the same speeds. I knew I was taking a risk buying the first year of a new model but never would have imagined that 18+ months would pass without a fix. I just hope that it’s defective part(s) and not a design/engineering flaw.

    The Yukon has otherwise exceeded my expectations. It’s got a great blend of technology, comfort and capability. I frequently achieve 21mpg too. Unfortunately, the buffeting/booming is a show stopper for me, especially on long road trips with the whole brood.

    @Stephen: Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly research this issue and summarize it so well. Autoguide.com just gained a reader.

  • Stephen Elmer

    Thank you. It’s too often these issues go unnoticed by the media. Just trying to shed some light.

  • Grand Problems WK2

    We came across this vibration issue looking for replacement for our absolutely lemon of a Jeep (new model Grand Cherokee). We’ve had so many issues with our Jeep and zero help from multiple dealers and FCA. Honestly we were looking to GM but not anymore. Read these issues with GM, know the nightmare we have had with our Jeep. Unbelievable, especially for what should be their premiere vehicles, how terrible the support is.

  • HotDogZanzibar

    Toyota.

  • Saldog

    I have a 2014 GMC Sierra SLT Z71 that the first headache was the headlights fogging over in the lower interior of the lens. I mailed certified letters to GM’s customer service department and received a reply to call their customer service department. Long story short, GM said the headlight fogging is normal, I requested they provide me documentation stating that, GM’s response was that is “proprietary information” and they could not do that. Fortunately, the dealer where I purchased my truck replaced the headlights. I’ve had two tires replaced to attempt to solve my vibration problem, which did help. I still have a vibration until I drive about 7-10 miles when cold out than it will smooth out. When warm outside not much of a problem. GM says they won’t replace any tires if the vibration smooths out within 20 miles of driving. GM also advises that since my toe adjustment (alignment) is just within specifications they will not cover the cost of an alignment even though I have obvious tire feathering occurring.

    General Motors has an excuse for all these issues, proprietary information for headlight fogging, tire vibration when cold weather have to drive at least 20 miles and have high vibration continue, obvious abnormal tire wear “feathering” and toe specifications is just on the edge of being out from the factory specifications when alignment checked.

    Vehicles are complex and expensive, they will have their problems. The deal breaker can be will a company stand behind their product and support their customers. General Motors unfortunately drops the ball on this one, poor quality control, and lack of customer support make for a bad combination.

    My suggestion, purchase your vehicle from another manufacturer. I own two General Motors vehicles, if I could do it all over again I would not purchase a GM product.

  • roundthings

    Reminds me of the Cruze antifreeze issue that was never completely eradicated.
    It’s fine if a car is recalled, the issue is fixed and it never happens again.
    It’s unacceptable to have the same issue crop up on next year’s model, then for 3 years afterwards.
    GM has serious quality control issues and Mary Barra isn’t up to the task of fixing the company.
    She should be replaced immediately

  • Demssuck

    I think the cylinder shut down is causing a thump from the nonfiring cylinders that is going thru the stiff body mounts. It is virtually unrepairable.

  • Robert

    The cylinder shutdown (displacement on demand) is highly unlikely to be the culprit. You would have damaged lifters if what you describe was actually happening. Not to mention that system has been proven for the better part of 10 years in their 6.0 and 6.2’s.

  • ArthurTahoeFan

    If anyone has a ’15 Tahoe LTZ or Z71 that has this “issue” and you are fed up with it, I will gladly purchase the “defective” vehicle from you at 40% MSRP 😉

  • http://about.me/PaulMEdwards Paul M Edwards

    No need to add insult to injury.

  • jghorton1

    What an asshole…

  • gregge

    Someone with the vibration should stick a high speed video camera on a rear corner of the roof so it can be seen how the roof vibrates at various speeds.

  • Carla Bowles

    I feel for the occupants with this problem. Years ago I purchased a 2008 F350. Because I had to get used to the height of the vehicle, I made a flag on my Antenna. I simply used Blues painters tape as flag for height awareness. Over time I began to hear an obnoxious humming at Hwy speeds. It vibrated me to my bones. I was going crazy. I replaced wipers 2X because I suspected them, but no relief. Then one day, I was going over a curved overpass and the Humming started. I happened to see the Antenna furiously being whipped by the wind like “the rubber pencil trick between your fingers”. The Blue Painters Tape Flag! I pulled over as soon as I could and ripped that tape off. Problem solved. I am not familiar with GM but I thought I’d share this crazy story because the article indicates there’s still a lot of unknowns. That Blue Painters Tape flag almost sent me to an insane asylum and it was obvious. Watch for the little things, who knows?

  • Sam3000

    Chevy trucks have a similar problem. Put a hood deflector on and you start hearing a crackling noise over 40MPH. The fix is to glue the rubber strips down the side of the windshield with clear silicone. These strips are not glued down and the change in the wind over the hood catches them, and pops them against the windshield. It’ll drive you nuts just like that painter’s flag will.

  • ValleyCounty

    The “vibration” at highway speed has been a GM problem on the Silverado for over 6 years now. They have been doing the same so called fixes that are described here and the problem still exist. Since 2013, they have been telling owners of Silverado’s, that the “vibration” is normal and refusing any more fixes. I am glad this is now biting GM in the ass and hopefully those with 2009 and later Silverado will now get some justice.
    This info is readily available on the Silverado forum website.

  • rusty shackleford

    I cant understand why these drivers dont lemon law it thru the BBB…thats what they are there for

  • jerryhammons

    I wouldn’t be caught dead driving a Japanese vehicle. But I also gave up on GM years ago. Ford is the answer. I have a 2013 Ford Expedition that has not only been trouble free, but is nice and smooth. I recommend anyone who is having problems with their GM junk check one out. I also have a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis with 277,000 miles on it that runs like new. Remember, Ford is the only American automaker that didn’t have to be bailed out.

  • Ascender

    Actually, Ford took almost $5.9billion in unusual federal loans for “retooling costs” and sold nearly $16billion in consumer debt to the government as part of a bailout program under which GMC only sold $13B. Ford may not have taken TARP funds, but they DID get bailed out. And unlike GM and Fiat-Chrysler, who both paid off their obligations early, Ford still owes several billion on those “retooling” loans, and may default.

  • Tekoa Cooper

    Yeah they sold the blue oval to the banks before they failed.

    The decision by Moody’s to raise the credit rating means that Ford can now take back control of assets — including the Blue Oval logo and trademarks like Mustang and F-150 — that Ford (F, Fortune 500) put up as collateral in 2006 when it used virtually all its North American assets to open a $23.5 billion line of credit.

  • Sam3000

    Ford, eh? Wait till you drop something heavy in the bed, and it doesn’t stop till it hits the ground. Chevy will soon have an ad showing them dropping landscaping bricks into a truck bed, the Chevy has light dents and the Ford has big rips in the bed floor.

  • Bhahbh

    Talk to the dealer/warranty rep about using 3M Marine Adhesive #5200. If they apply that and the roof bows still separate from the roof, boat owners will want to know how. I’ve never seen anything tear that stuff apart.

  • http://www.presstitutes.org/ Mike Conrad

    It’s GM. What were you expecting?

  • SAMMIE DOUAN

    My wife & I just purchased a 2015 Tahoe ( because of an accident that totaled our 06 Grand Marquis ) & we are experiencing a pulsing/buffeting sensation when driving at speeds starting about 35 mph & and continuing to increase as the speed moves up. It feels like a pulsing in your ears, not a sound or a vibration. I have checked the vehicle all over for loose or movable plastic parts, I found none. What I did find was that the roof of this Tahoe is made of the thinnest metal that you could possibly imagine, ( drink cans are probably thicker ) so thin over the front seating area that with the very minimum pressure applied by your fore finger will cause the roof to flex unbelievably. If you could find a way to mount a camera on the roof or put it in a wind tunnel & watch, the results would probably scare you, I think the wind blowing across the roof is setting up harmonics that cause the pulsing feeling. The only possible fix/band aid that I see is adding a lot of factory formed roof braces from the inside or a factory formed metal stiffener from the inside in the shape of the roof.

  • Jaser Abu Odeh

    I reside in KSA and I have purchased a Suburban 2016 LTZ and I wish I did not. I have driven Ford expedition 2007 EL and a Cadillac ESV 2010 and never had a problem. 2016 Suburban is the worst choice I have ever made.
    1. Air gusting on both front sides;
    2. Poor rear window visibility as the 3rd row seat are higher than the ones in the previous models; If DVD screens are down then good luck with the rear view mirror;
    3. Tailgate window is becoming noisy and water leaks in when I wash the car!
    4. Rear wiper is poorly designed with about 8″ of rear glass is left out of the wiper scope;
    5. Dashboard vault is not well aligned and sides gaps are different in size;
    6. Every single small pump in any road is reflected in a drivers seat and back. Poor suspension;
    7. Rear side doors when opened from a close position seems to rest down for about 2 cm; actually you see the doors literally go lower as if the door swivel is not aligned;
    8. Fuel consumption is not as advertised! 11.6 mpg about <20 liters/100 kilometer in city
    9. Jumpy vehicle on any sort of street pumps and unstable;
    10. Fixed side steps! Who needs them!
    11. Seat are not comfortable
    12. Driver Seat vibration warnings! Where is the audible warnings?!
    13. Navigation in countries that do not support Siri is a joke. A user cannot edit an address if saved. I have researched the net for a solution with no luck;
    14. Floor mats are small and are not suitable;
    15. If a users folds the middle seats; the main floor mat/carpet is left loose; carpet edges are not fixed; typically looks like an unfinished job!
    16. etc.
    I have submitted my evaluation to Chevrolet with no feedback at all. They did not even bother calling or investigating the vehicle.
    I have put so far 4000 km (yes that is four thousands kilometer only) on the 2016 Suburban and I am definitely not happy at all and I consider the deal a waste of money.

    I strongly and sadly believe that Chevrolet have sold the American Vehicles Pride and bought the Chinese Vehicles Pride!

    Regards and thank you for the topic,
    Jaser

  • Junior Jones

    My new 2016 Silverado Crew Cab LT Texas Edition is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. Purrs like a kitten on the road and extremely comfortable. This is our second Silverado. We had a 2005 before this one and it was also a very good vehicle.

  • Jaser Abu Odeh

    Lost my GPS signal today with X mark on the GPS icon on the top right side of the screen. What a joke!
    I have been trying calling the dealer for more than four times since the morning with no answer. The Suburban time is done and I am no longer interested in keeping such a junk.

  • Robert

    Let’s be clear to everyone in here talking crap on GM- all other manufacturers are guilty of this same bs. Whether or not it affected you is another story.

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