By on November 17, 2010

TTAC Commentator Azure Ape writes:

I’ve got an odd one compared to the normal repair/fix stories. I’m a twenty-something in the Midwest with his first real job and a mountain of graduate student debt who is currently driving a 2002 Chevy Tahoe LT 4WD. I’ve been borrowing it from my parents because I couldn’t afford my own car and they just gifted it to me as my own. It currently has 72,000 miles and has been in the family since 24,000; I’ve been driving it since about 52,000. I recently had leaking front axle seals and a lower ball joint boot replaced. I change the oil when the oil life indicator says so and otherwise maintain it well.

I’ve read that the transmission on these is prone to failure. Should I have the transmission fluid changed before the recommended 100,000 miles? How often thereafter? Anything else I should keep my eye on/do preemptively? Oh yeah, my current commute is 120 miles round trip every day (when I’m not able to carpool or it’s my turn to drive). I’d like something more fuel efficient but it’s hard to argue with a free car, even if it is one that swills gas.

Sajeev Answers:

Damn right you aren’t arguing about a free Chevy Tahoe. Keep the beast until your debt disappears.  Then again, this is (arguably) the best vehicle in its class; people love the Tahoe for a million valid reasons.  You might find yourself keeping it long after the memories of college fade away, as this will be a fine second vehicle for your future.

Here’s what you do, check the transmission fluid’s condition. Odds are there will be tons of black stuff mixed in with pink fluid with a slightly sooty smell.  At this mileage, I would have no problems flushing the fluid and changing the filter. Note that I said to do both a filter change and flush the tranny using the proper flushing machine. The filter change is needed for obvious reasons; the flushing ensures that every drop of bad fluid in the torque converter is flushed out.  This is also important in vehicles without a drain plug on their torque converter.

Plus this is a GM product: durability and performance transmission upgrades are very easy to find. And just to prove my point, a quick search of Google found the Tahoe’s “reaction shell” is a fail point.  Another quick Googling of that component found a hot rodding solution that looks a beast of an upgrade, so to speak. At $56 for the replacement, a transmission rebuild (with a shift kit too) looks mighty enticing.  Hell, I’d start doing neutral drops right now to speed up the process!

Long story short, change the fluid/filter and start snooping around for a reputable transmission shop, preferably one that knows a thing or two about building GM autoboxes for drag racing.  Then you’ll be set, when the inevitable(?) happens.

Send your queries to [email protected]. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

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38 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Beast of a Reaction Shell...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Good advice there.  And yes no one should argue with a free vehicle that actually rides and drives like GM gave a sh*% when it came to engineering these suckers.  If the rest of their lineup was this well built my coworkers wouldn’t make a face every time they’re handed the keys to the 2007 4cyl AWD Equinox that is in our part of the motor pool.  One owns an Accord and the other owns an Edge, every time they step in the Chevy I hear one of them mumble under their breath “cheap.”
     
    That doesn’t happen if they get to drive the directors similar vintage Tahoe or even the old jellybean shaped Taurus that has 80,000 miles on it that we’re sometimes given.  (The one who owns a Honda Accord and an old early 90s Camry even aspires to own a Suburban or Tahoe someday.) At least the Taurus’ doors shut with a solid thunk. Until just a few weeks ago there was an early 90s 2-door full size Blazer that was still being driven daily in the school district’s stable. That’s longevity over some nasty roads once you leave town in our little corner of NM.

  • avatar
    radimus

    If the fluid looks like what Sajeev described, or has a brown-ish color and burnt smell to it, have it flushed.  However, unless this Tahoe has been regularly run hard or towing and hauling at near its limits chances are the fluid will still look fine.  If it does, I’d just forget about it until the 100k mark and flush it then.  The way these things are built, just driving them around like you would any other transportation appliance doesn’t really stress them out at all.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    The 4L60E transmission in the 2002 Tahoe is a reliable unit that is very easy to service, and very easy to replace in a total failure.  Parts are cheap, rebuilt trannys are dirt cheap.
     
    Axle seals are a problem on the GMT800 platform vehicle, my Avalanche had one fail at 68K miles.  With that said, it was only extended service plan repair I ever made on the Avalanche when I had it.
     
    The Tahoe is a very solid and well built SUV, all things considered.  You sure can’t beat the price and you’ve been given very sage life advice.  Pay off that debt before getting into debt with a new car, or risk buying a lemon and drowning in far worse used car repairs than what you face today. You’re driving it under the most optimal of conditions, long highway drives with no cargo and not hauling a trailer. Remember, this was built to pull 6,000 odd pounds with five full grown Americans with their cargo in the cab. For what you’re doing, serious over built comes to mind.
     
    Axle seals are about $35 each (parts – and I’m over simplifying) front/rear (fronts are cheaper).  Labor to replace is about two hours per wheel (yikes).
     
    To answer the question on the tranny fluid, I wouldn’t let it go 100K miles, and I’ve never had a vehicle I’ve owned go that long without a change over.  That fluid is almost nine years old and I’m willing to bet rather crispy at this point.  Sure, a tranny flush might cost $90 to $150 but the cost of a tranny replacement is…

    If the fluid is clean, pinkish, and doesn’t smell burned, you could keep going, your discretion, but I’m going to guess it’s cooked given its age.
     
    One other thing, the Dexcool coolant is rated at 5 years or 150K miles in the ’02 Tahoe.  No way on earth would I go 150K miles or even 100K miles.  Always go by its ability to prevent freeze (target of -20 unless you live in a severe, cold climate) and how dirty it appears.  Again, a mechanic you trust goes a long way, and it is a very easy DIY.  Always dispose of anti-freeze properly.  Never drain on the ground, never pour down a drain or down the sink.  Some auto parts store will let you borrow a drain tank and then you can return the tank filled with your old fluid for proper disposal.
     
    As far as the oil life monitor system. My 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche, based on the GMT800 platform, was the first vehicle I decided to follow the monitor on. I’ve followed it on every other vehicle I’ve owned since with no issues. You may want to consider a synthetic blend or full synthetic as extra insurance, but good old fashioned dino oil has gotten so much better refined in the last 15 to 20 years that it is more than adequate.

    For MPG, if you drive a GMT800 platform vehicle like it has an egg under the gas pedal, especially on the freeway, and employ some light hypermiling techniques, you can push 18 to 20 MPG on the highway. My Avalanche was rated at 13/17 MPG based on the old, very optimistic standards. I went through an unemployed broke phase while owning it and got my MPG to 15/19 by driving it gently.

    Good luck!

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Everything said above is 100% true.
       
      That being said, I would do the Corvette servo mod.  It will cost about $20 bucks but the transmission will shift much better.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      I’m going to assume these $56 and $20 transmission upgrades don’t include labor. So, if want to have both done you’ll want to budget $76 for parts and what, about $1200 for labor?

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    As a graduate student I assume you can create a financial model using ownership costs, gas prices, purchase price of a used economy car, etc, to determine the best course of action.

    I sold a 1991 Honda Civic to someone driving a Ford Explorer commuting less than you do and she saved the entire cost of the car in fuel savings in 6 months.  So she essentially got a free car.

    Sell the SUV for 15k, buy a used economy car for 10k, and pocket $200 per month in gas savings.  Tires and brake pads are cheaper too!

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      If you want to save money – daily driving round trip of 120 miles per day means with its abysmal fuel economy of 13-15mpg you’ll be gassing up to the tune of $60 once a week – and if gas goes up as it will then get used to weekly $80+ fuel gas bills.  Don’t wait til then to sell it as trying to selling a guzzler when gas is high is comical and you’ll get idiots paying $10k for a refurbished Geo Metro!  Honestly, with the driving you have to do, sell it while it is still in good condition, has lower miles and is worth something.  Buy a small used mid 30mpg fuel efficient car (not a hybrid as you’ll have bigger maintenance costs and battery replacements down the road) for cheap and have a mechanic go over it (or roll up your sleeves and find internet DIY articles on how to work on your own car).  As noted above you’ll save so much money on gas in one month (60-70% better mpg) you can make higher payments on the loans or have money to eat actual food instead of ramen.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      jaje,

      Where are you getting 35 to 40 gallons of gas for $60? Here in San Diego, it would be about $120 now. Even at the $2.66 a gallon low average in more intelligently governed states it would be about $100 a week. I think he should sell it today, if possible. It will be quite a while before fuel prices stop trending up again, and these things will be sale proof again soon enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Tree Trunk

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Variant

      IMO this is the only acceptable answer.  Is it a great vehicle? Sure.  Is it the best vehicle for this situation?  Absolutely not.
      I can understand not wanting to ‘flip’ a vehicle that was gifted to you, but hopefully you can explain the situation to your parents and work something out that leads to a more economical ride for your commute.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      Tires might be cheaper, but I assure you brakes are not.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      It has a 35 – 40 gallon tank!  My 1/2 ton Silverado w/ 5.3 v8 has a 26 gallon tank and costs about $60 to fill up at $2.60 / gallon where I live (KS).
       
      I think the point has been made, a 120 mile round trip in a huge gas guzzler is not the smartest investment and selling it and buying a used fuel efficient car to replace it will net savings in the thousands on just fuel consumption alone (not to mention cheaper insurance as the GMT trucklets are some of the most stolen vehicles on the market).

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Move closer to your job.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    It’s a good vehicle and will last a long time.  And it was free.  Hard to recommend getting rid of it!
     
    But…  http://www.fueleconomy.gov says that it is going to use around 8 gallons of gas a day on your commute.  That really adds up.  If you wanted to sell your Tahoe, you’ll probably get at least $10,000 for it, maybe $12,000 now that winter is heading our way.  That goes a long way towards a straight-up swap for a newer, more fuel efficient vehicle.  A 4-year old Impala might work, and it would save you $10 a day if not more.  A newer Taurus would also work.
     
    As long as you apply the savings towards the student loans I would investigate this option.  If you are just going to spend the saved money you shouldn’t even bother.
     
    I’m intentionally not mentioning things like Civics and Corollas.  You would save a ton on gas but your commute is too long for a tiny car.  You need a midsize or larger or you’ll be too fatigued.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Oh for heaven’s sake, I can go 300 miles solo in a Mini Cooper and love every minute of it.  Corollas and Civics aren’t the buzz bombs they were two decades ago, they can easily handle a hundred miles.  Course, they’re not all that tiny any more either.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Russycle,

      No doubt. You’d think he’d notice that cars like the Civic are the size and weight of midsize cars of the past while being twice as refined. I’ve done 2,800 miles in two and a half days in my 2007 without becomming ‘too fatigued.’

  • avatar
    tparkit

    +1 on keeping the truck… low up-front cost – and keeping an older car – nearly always trumps better fuel economy (especially since you can car pool part of the time), despite the spate of recent commercials trying to BS North Americans into buying a new, fuel-efficient vehicle. That said, it’s worth running the numbers as djoelt1 and Chicago Dude suggest above.

    “Anything else I should keep my eye on/do preemptively?”

    Yes – fix your 120-mile commute if you can. I’ve commuted before, and swore I would never do it again. I was leaving home early and staying at the office late to minimize traffic. Despite this, I was arriving at work tired, an effect which eventually began to continue throughout the day. It’s a lousy way to live, and will interfere in ways great and small with everything else you do.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @tparkit: +1 on your comments. @Azure, your folks gave you a pretty good vehicle, and I think you’re doing the right thing by carpooling (to keep miles off and save fuel). Even though this thing is big and it takes a lot of fuel, by keeping it in good condition and using it only when necessary, you will maximize the gift you were given. One caveat about possibly changing vehicles, this is a family vehicle, you know how it was/is taken care of; you can never be sure when looking at used vehicles (and even new ones!). I’m a better the devil you know kind of guy.
       
      Everything that tparkit says about the long commute is true, I know, I’ve been there. Even if you got your fuel for free, the 2+ hours a day you spend commuting is the real precious commodity. If it doesn’t hurt your career, try and find something closer to the home base. It will pay off in your health in the long term.

    • 0 avatar
      jaje

      This only makes logical sense if he moves closer to work and has a much shorter commute (move closer to work or get job closer to home).  But a gas guzzler for a 120 mile daily work commute will spend hundreds of his hard earned money on gas.  Getting a used fuel efficient car to replace it will be the best choice and he will save the most under his current long commute circumstance.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Your parents did not, in fact, give you a a Tahoe.
     
    They actually gave you 10-15 thousand dollars, or whatever a truck like that sells for nowadays.  The fact that it came in the form of a Tahoe is immaterial, as the Tahoe can easily be converted into cash.
     
    Think of it this way – if they gave you 10-15 grand cash instead, would you use it to buy an eight year old Tahoe?  If you keep the truck, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

    This vehicle is not “free”. Choosing to keep it is costing you $10K or more in real cash.
     
    You’re commuting long-distance, so no matter what you’re driving it won’t be much fun, and you’ll put stupid miles on the car very quickly.
     
    I recommend you convert the Tahoe into cash and buy a $4k or so used sedan; preferably one with no major reliability problems or at least ones that can be addressed easily and cheaply.  Some of the Hammer Time articles here are full of recommendations for reliable low-cost general purpose rides.
     
    That leaves you with $6-10k or so in cash.  Put 1-2 thousand of that aside for emergency repairs or maintenance, and use the rest (plus your fuel savings) to start gnawing away at that student debt.
     
    This approach gets you a reliable and comfy ride, money in the bank for emergencies, reduced losses from fuel consumption and depreciation, and should allow you to land a solid punch to the debt monster.  This is a way better choice than keeping the Tahoe you don’t seem to want all that much to begin with.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      And then they could buy a lemon and be mired in endless repair bills or an unreliable hunk of transportation.  $4K isn’t going to buy you much of a used sedan and if we go P-A-N-T-H-E-R the MPG improvement is only incremental.

      Depreciation isn’t a huge issue on a 9 year old Tahoe with 4WD. The 4WD is a plus that helps it retain value, it also has very low miles – GMT800 platform vehicles frequently last 200K to 300K miles with minimal repairs along the way. Way more risk in buying the devil you don’t know versus the devil you do know.

    • 0 avatar
      akitadog

      I was looking at what Oldsmobile Intrigues go for nowadays (my very first car that I paid for), and you can find one with 80-100K miles for $4 – $6K, this with the 3.5L V6 Shortstar. Mine was very durable for the 95K miles I owned it, and my sister has put another 70K miles on it since I sold it to her. The power-train still runs strong, though some interior trim pieces are coming off/getting loose. It’s an amazing highway car that’s comfortable, powerful, and good on fuel economy on the highway. I’d recommend it if you could find a clean example with a good service record.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    It may guzzle slightly less gas if you convert it to a Tahoe Superleggera. Take out the seats if you don’t need ’em. Ditch the spare, running boards, roof rack, carpet, sound-deadening, and cosmetic trim. Less weight means more fuel efficiency.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I would disagree with Sajeev on the flush. Drop the pan, change the filter, install a drain plug on the existing pan (if none exists) and then do multiple drain and fills with the proper fluid. The drain plug ensures that you don’t have to drop the pan for a long time. Do this now, and every 50K, and you should have a strong trans for a long time. I have seen too many people have trans problems right after a flush, as all of the crap hiding in the nooks and crannies is forced into parts of the tranny that can’t tolerate dirt. BTW, having a large vehicle is not a bad thing on a long commute. You have physics on your side when some bonehead decides to run that stop sign in front of you.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      +1 on installing a drain plug on the pan (I have done it on several of my own vehicles), but here’s a MUCH EASIER way to go:

      Buy a Mityvac Fluid Evacuator from an online tool place, around $50-60 IIRC.  Then do topside fluid changes via the tranny dipstick tube.  If you let the vehicle sit for awhile after it has last been run, the torque converter will partially drain back into the pan and you’ll probably be able to get 6-8 quarts out at a time.  Do this 2-3 times until your fluid is clear pink, and then on some periodic basis afterwards.  I like to pick up Chevron-brand Dextron ATF at Costco by the case for replentishment.

      So what about the transmission filter, you ask?  Well, it’s essentially a screen to keep big chunks of debris out of your pump and that’s it.  If it ever plugs up, you’ve got much bigger problems inside the tranny than changing the fluid and filter will ever fix.  Fram and the auto service places make $$$$$ convincing you that you NEED to change this filter, but you really don’t.

      I installed a drain plug on the pan of my 1988 Electra (440-T4 aka 4T60 trans) when it had about 70K miles on it, and did drain/fills about every 30K miles therafter.  At about 215K miles, still on the same tranny, I decided that I better check the filter so I dropped the pan.  It was clean as could be inside, with only the usual light clutch wear deposits on the bottom of the pan (normal).  I could have gone much longer, but sold the car with 221K miles on it and it’s probably still running just fine.

      On my newer American cars, I use the Mityvac and don’t even mess with the pan or filter.  It’s a lot easier on my back as well!

  • avatar
    Matt

    It’s hard to argue with a free car. It’s easy to argue with a issue-addled Tahoe, a monster of a bygone era.
    If your daily commute involves shoveling seven passengers through an Artic landscape, keep the Tahoe. Just make sure to bring extra gas (and jerky).
    If you’re driving 120 miles daily and are saddled with debt? It’s time to convert the Tahoe to cash. I would get the transmission fixed, clean the floormats, and sell the truck to the nearest global-warming denier. I would take my newfound riches and get a cheap car for about $4,000 and throw the rest at debt. The faster you wipe that clean, the sooner you can breathe easy. And have the financial freedom to get the car you really want.
    Nothing in life is free. Just sell the brutus now before it’s resell value is nill.

  • avatar
    carve

    I agree with Matt- sell it and get an inexpensive car with good mpg.  My ’98 Accord 5-spd, for example, runs as good as new with 180k miles, and seldom get less than 30mpg.  I did a road trip last summer, going 75-80 with the AC blasting, and got 33.5 mpg!  You can find one for $4k easy.

    Alternatively, if you want a nicer car, or if you run the numbers and find the mpg savings bigger than the debt reduction savings, you may want to consider a VW TDI.  A TDI Jetta will pull down 50 mpg on the highway pretty easily.  I normally don’t recommend VW, but it’s a sweet engine for racking up long miles, and a comfy place to sit for long commutes.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    To the several commenters that have said to sell the Tahoe:
    The original poster’s comments on the actual ownership of the Tahoe sound a lot like the fullsize GMC van that my dad “gave” to me when I was in my last year of university.  In my case, it was MY van but the ownership was still in my dad’s name.  Sounds like his situation.  Selling the Tahoe may not be as straightforward as you assume, ie: He can consider the Tahoe his to drive (and maintain!) but his parents may not agree with selling it if he decided he didn’t want it any more.
     
    +1 to the comments that the problem isn’t the vehicle you’re driving, it’s the distance you have to commute, so move if possible.

    • 0 avatar
      tuckerdawg

      +1 on moving closer if possible. I have a ten minute commute and it is so nice. The benefits you get in terms of quality of life and money saved on commuting in general is really worth considering. Also if you are going to keep the Tahoe I would consider getting a transmission fluid analysis done at a lab. They can tell you a lot about the condition of your transmission and what parts may fail based on the metal deposits within the fluid. I’ve had pretty good experience with Blackstone Labs and it only costs somewhere between $20-30.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Wow, I thought my 90 mile commute sucked!!  The Tahoe is a fine vehicle, but used in this manner it is just too costly to run.  The real cheap way to go without compromising safety and usability?  Buy a low mileage Gen 4 Taurus.  They can be had for a handful of thousands, are reliable, readily available, cheap to insure and safe.  If you like to a hoon a bit, modifications are easy and cheap as well.  You can save plenty on fuel costs.  Keep the speeds around 70 and high twentys are yours.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Drove a 2005 “fleet” model Taurus 116 miles round trip on school district business.  60% freeway driving (80mph cruise control set) 40% rural highway (cruise set at 60mph) combo of the 3.0V6 and 4speed auto netted 31mpg.  Seriously.  Now I know the one I drove was very well maintained by the motor pool but still.  That’s awesome for a 4-door sedan that doesn’t feel like a penalty box.

  • avatar
    Jseis

    I drive an 03 Expedition with 144K highway miles. Regular dealer maintenance including transmission fluid change. The first change was at 90k (a bit long), even though the fluid looked good the mechanic suggest a replacement only as opposed to a total flush.  Their observation was that regular flush and change every 50K made sure that all particulates were removed but once beyond 70K it was probably better to not mobilize particulates that had settled in the tranny nooks and crannies. Given that an automatic tranny is one finely tuned hydraulic pump, I tend to agree. I’ll change it again before 150K rolls around. I also run 10 ply tires pumped to 55 psi. Average 18-19 on “modern” gas. Before ethanol entered the picture I’d get 20+ mpg at 58-60. Regular maintenance is the key and when annual repair (not maintenance) costs creep up beyond say $500, probably time to sell. I fully expect that it’ll easily hit 200K+ miles. Now if I was towing my boat all over hell and gone, that’s a different story. Hypermiling a big heavy SUV is tough, they’ll never be commuter cars. They are built to haul and tow. If it’s showing signs of age and repairs keep coming on, that’s the sign to find a replacement rig that serves your true needs, commuting.
     
     

  • avatar
    namstrap

    Just bought a 1993 Suzuki Swift because of a death in the automotive family. It’s got about 130,000 km on it, and the price was $500. After another five hundred (tires, brakes, tuneup) it looks ready to serve me for many years. I bought a timing belt for about fifteen bucks that I haven’t got around to installing yet, and I’m looking around for an old radio for it. Previous owner ripped it out along with speakers and wiring.
    I sometimes wish I had bought this thing new, because I really love driving it. Yes, it’s raw, noisy, and has manual steering, but I really enjoy it.
    I guess for me, that’s what it’s all about. Did I mention it sips fuel?

  • avatar
    vvk

    Wow, lot’s of good comments. I think the voice of reason is to sell this monster while gas is relatively affordable and buy a reliable car that meets your needs.
     

  • avatar
    TR4

    Perhaps Mr. Ape is enduring the long commute so that he can live rent free with the parents?  In which case he will be avoiding $5-10K per year in rent which is a probably more than any gas savings obtained by switching to an economy car.  Of course if he can trade in his parent’s generous gift for a 30mpg vehicle without causing hard feelings he will be an additional $3-4K per year ahead.

  • avatar
    Orangutan

    I really appreciate all the useful comments! Here’s some more information to add some clarity to the situation: Mike66 is right about the conditions of accepting the vehicle. If I take it, I have to keep it; I can’t just flip it for money or use as a trade-in. I wish I could move closer to my job but that’s not possible for a variety of reasons. I’ve been trying to find a job around where I live but the Great Recession has made it even harder. The only reason I have this commute is because I couldn’t find any other job in the nine-ish months I was looking before I finally took this one. Gotta pay the bills somehow. Here’s another piece of the puzzle: we have three large dogs and have to fit them in a vehicle often. A couple to several times a year we have to make long journeys to see family, and we have to take the dogs with us. My girlfriend has a CR-V that just cracked 100k miles and is running strong, so we can use it, but having a second car that could fit them would give us more flexibility. I’ve looked at a variety of used wagons and hatchbacks (I hate crossovers) and I’ve been trying to find a cheap Mazda6 wagon. I’ve also been eying Lancer Sportback Ralliarts. 

    If I keep the Tahoe it’s basically free but costs a lot in fuel.
    If I don’t keep the Tahoe I can buy a cheap-ish vehicle that uses less fuel than the Tahoe but will cost me upfront to purchase.
     
    Thanks again in advance.

  • avatar
    phewop118

    Keep the Tahoe. Great truck.  DO NO FLUSH the transmission. In fact, GM advises against doing so, as it can cause transmission damage, especially since the fluid (and wear particles) have been in there so long. Do several pan drops and refills in a short amount of time. Maybe use an additive inbetween those short change intervals.
    Can’t beat the highway ride or the comfortable commute in these trucks. Make sure you keep a clean air filter. You may want to invest in a freer flowing exhaust – will improve mpg a little.  But, if you’re easy on it, you can get 20+mpg.  My Yukon XL can get 22mpg highway when I baby it (and stay the speed limit).
    If you properly maintain this truck, it will easily last another 200k miles.

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