NOTE: This vehicle has now been SOLD! 
But I'm leaving this page here so you can see what you missed!

 
SubExt0200.JPG (46351 bytes) WHY ARE WE ALMOST

GIVING AWAY

THIS GORGEOUS CHEVROLET SUBURBAN?

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Two reasons: (1) We just don't need it any more; and (2) We need the money to pay off our new vehicle. This Suburban has been our "Family Vehicle" for over a decade, and it's served us well. We would like to see someone get this who needs a reliable vehicle at a very reasonable price, someone who cares about the safety of their family. 

By the way, to get a larger view of any of the small pictures we have through this writeup, just click on the picture and you'll see the full-size photo. 

WHAT YOU GET

But what will you get when you buy this well-maintained rhinoceros of a truck, this "Texas Cadillac"? Let me tell you that by telling you why I bought it in the first place, back in 1993, and why I've kept it so very long.

SAFETY. Face it. A Chevrolet Suburban is a big vehicle.SubExt1200.JPG (40163 bytes) It's based on a pickup truck body, and the thing weighs over six thousand pounds. There's a LOT of steel around you and your loved ones whenever you're in it. 

That's the kind of protection and peace of mind you just won't get with a smaller car or truck. 

One of the "oopses" this Suburban suffered was when it was parked on a city street. No one was in it, fortunately. A young man was driving down the street and swerved to miss some dogs. He smashed into the back of the Suburban with his 2003 Toyota Tercel. His poor little Toyota was totaled, but he only did about $1200 worth of damage to the Suburban. Fortunately, the young man was not hurt, and he had insurance, which paid for the repair. But imagine yourself in this vehicle if someone ran a stop sign. I pray that never happens to you, but it happens to someone just about every day. Would you rather have your loved ones in this Suburban if that happens, or in what you're driving now?

Finally, the size of this vehicle makes it much more visible than a smaller one. People will see you coming. There's very small chance you'll be overlooked, as you would if you were in a smaller car, or heaven forbid, on a motorcycle. When other drivers can see you, they can avoid you.

Each of my two children has had this vehicle as "their own" vehicle at school for more than a year at different times, and I never worried about them when they had it. 

COMFORT. You might think, "Comfort? Wait a minute. This thing is a truck!" And so it is. But with almost a quarter million miles riding in this thing, I can attest it's a very comfortable ride.

Sub0800DoorsOpen.JPG (38865 bytes)The seating position is much more upright than in a car, which gives you lots of room to move your legs around on a long trip. If you've taken long trips in a car, then you know how restless you get after just a couple of hours, needing to move around yet not being able to because of the seating position. This is not a problem with the Suburban. I've been able to spend fifteen hours riding in this vehicle (an emergency trip from Jackson, MS to Fort Lauderdale, FL, stopping only for gas and meals), and arrive without being totally beat, like I would have in a car.

This is a great long-distance family traveling vehicle. If you travel at all, you'll love traveling in this Suburban.

The seats are a nice grey velour, so they don't get hot in the sun, or iced up in the winter. They don't show most dirt, and they've been treated with Scotchguard®  so you can easily get out spilled food or drink stains, if you need to.

STYLE. This is a good-looking vehicle. Just look at the photos. 'Nuff said.    

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RELIABILITY. Whenever anyone looks at a car this old, the first thing that ought to be in their minds is "How reliable is it?" It does you no good at all to save money buying a car if you're going to have to turn around and spend lots more money to get it running and keep it that way. 

More importantly, you don't want to be stranded.

The worst feeling in the world is to be far away from home, in a hurry to get to a critical appointment, and your car won't start. You've got to have a reliable vehicle, one that starts the first time, every time, one that will get you where you're going without you having to worry about it. 

I can't guarantee you that any vehicle this old will be totally reliable, and will always start when you need it. But I'll tell you this: I wouldn't hesitate to drive it across country tomorrow, or to let any of my family do so. 

ROOM. I can't tell you how many rooms full of furniture and other necessities this thing has moved back and forth from college or different houses. Six months ago, I pulled a U-Haul® and filled the interior of the truck with an entire houseful of furniture and lifetime possessions. There was room to spare. Oh, yes, and power to spare also. 

On long trips, you can carry everything you need for a family of four (or more?), including suitcases, pillows, food supplies, boom boxes, sports equipment, even the family dog, and still have enough room so the kids don't get in each others' way. 

The back seaters even have their own private Air Conditioner controls!

WHAT SHAPE IS IT IN?

When people ask this question, they are usually asking either "What's the mechanical condition of this vehicle?" which really is a way of trying to figure out how soon you're going to have to spend money to fix it, or they are asking "What is the cosmetic condition?" which means how good does it look, or how badly is it beat up.

I'll answer both of those here.   

MECHANICALLY, it's in fine shape. 

Essentially, whenever anything went wrong, I would fix it. Yes, it's cost a lot of money to do this over the more than a decade I've had the vehicle, but it's been worth it to keep the thing running well. 

Every time a repair is needed, I look at the estimate or the bill and I wince. Then I tell myself, "It sure is cheaper than a new car payment." And that's the truth. Far cheaper. 

One of the great things about this vehicle is that it's common enough that there are plenty of knowledgeable people around who can fix it, and there are plenty of parts. Everyone's got 'em. 

I mean face it. This car has over 245,000 miles on it, parts wear out. It's nice not to have to wait for them to order a part from Atlanta or Dallas or Tokyo.

When you buy this car (do we call it a car or a truck? Actually, I think it's both), you shouldn't have to fix anything for quite a while. The reason I say this is that I really didn't expect to be selling it this soon, so over the summer (2003) I put a lot into worn-out-parts repairs and replacements. I replaced the radiator, the water pump, the heater core, and the power steering pump. I was really expecting to keep this car at least another couple of years.

Here are some other things that you shouldn't have to worry about -- because I fixed them: 

In about May of 2002, I had the U-joints replaced. The repair shop got some bum parts at first, and they wound up replacing the entire drive shaft, but it's been running very smoothly since then.

The air conditioner, both front and rear, works great! I spent four months in Fort Lauderdale (south Florida) last year, right in the heat of summer, and was never uncomfortable because of the heat. The A/C will cool you right off. Near as I can remember, I replaced some of the main parts of it -- compressor and condenser around 1998 or 1999. It's been working fine since then.

The entire drive train and suspension, as much as I can tell, and as much as my regular mechanic can tell, is in fine shape. 

The muffler was new in 2002, and has a Meineke lifetime warranty. I don't know if it's transferable, but we can find out.

The tires were new in December of 2002, and still have a lot of tread left. The spare tire is almost new, and it's a full size spare! No rolling donut for this baby! 

Not only that, but there's also another tire that was just too good to throw away when I had the set of four replaced. So I'll throw in that SIXTH tire -- still a good one -- when you buy this car. No extra charge.

The car has a lifetime brake job and lifetime alignment from Firestone. I'm not sure whether those are transferable, but it should help you understand how well we have taken care of this car. 

COSMETICALLY, Well, let's just say when I had money available that I could spend on the car, I spent it on mechanical things. I believed -- and still do -- that it is more important to keep the thing running reliably than to get tiny dents removed or paint dings fixed.

About the worst thing cosmetically (to me) are the stone dings in the windshield. There's one within an inch of where I want to look when I drive. Sometimes it bothers me, but mostly I don't notice it. 

All the stone dings have been treated by one of those windshield repair specialists with their epoxy magic stuff, except the ones that are too small. I've been thinking about getting the windshield replaced, but it's just not that bad. 

There are several paint scrapes and parking-lot-door-dings, and the paint is flaking off the roof rack, and in many places the plastic coating is coming off some of the trim. Yes, it's an old car, and it does show its age. 

But overall, look at the pictures -- it is a good-looking vehicle. 

COME ON! WHY ARE YOU REALLY SELLING IT?

In 2001, my wife got a job with Nissan motor company. Needless to say, we are now replacing all our vehicles with Nissans. We just got a great deal on a one year old Nissan Murano (a dynamite vehicle!), and now we have too many cars. Since the Murano is an SUV, we need to get rid of our existing SUV. Therefore, sadly, the Suburban must go.

SO WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT? 

I'll tell you here all the things I would want someone to tell me if I were buying the vehicle. These are in no particular order except for how I think of them. I will be as complete as I can, but I can't promise something won't slip my mind.

First, the heater core still makes noise. When you accelerate, it sounds like water is sloshing inside the dashboard. I'm on the third heater core in less than a year, and this one is covered by a Firestone warranty. It's not leaking, but the noise it makes really shouldn't be there. 

The cruise control works, but it's not perfect. When you push the button to set your cruise speed, if you hear a little click from under the dashboard, then the speed will maintain just fine. Sometimes it takes three to five button pushes to get it to "take," but most times you can set it on the first try. The resume/accelerate feature doesn't work at all. 

The carpet on the front passenger floor is badly stained, from when the heater core leaked earlier this year. Fortunately, most of it is covered by a rubber floor mat, but it's still stained. 

There are rock dings in the windshield, and a number of small dents and some paint scrapes on the exterior. I haven't seen any rust.

The windshield and windows are very lightly coated with hard-water evaporation residue. When a bright light shines on it, like a setting sun, you can see that the glass isn't perfectly clear, but has a very thin whitish stain on it. Most times, this isn't noticeable. I haven't seen any old car without this sort of staining, unless it's been garaged its whole life.

The plastic coating on some of the simulated chrome trim is yellowed and peeling. 

There are rust stains on the carpet when you remove the far back seat, and there are some stains on the upholstery I just haven't been able to get out. For the most part, the upholstery looks pretty good. (See the pictures.)

The return spring in the inside driver's door handle is weak, and doesn't always return the handle to the fully-stowed position.

The fuel gauge is not calibrated properly. When you fill up the tank, it goes waaayy above full. By the time it gets down to "full," you've probably used a third of the tank. I usually fill the tank when it indicates half full, and have not had a problem.

As you can see, most if not all of these are minor, just normal wear and tear on a twelve-year-old car. 

You should also note that not a single thing listed here is mechanical. As far as I know, this vehicle is in great mechanical shape. I'll reiterate, I would get in this car tomorrow and drive it to Miami with no hesitation.

WHY DO YOU SAY YOU'RE "GIVING IT AWAY"?

I say I'm "Almost Giving Away" this gorgeous Suburban because of the amount of repairs I've put into it in the last couple of years. I haven't calculated them all yet, but I'm certain they exceed $2,500. If you deduct $2,500 from the asking price of $3,400, you've got an outstanding-condition Chevrolet Suburban for less than a thousand bucks. 

And that, bubba, is just about giving it away. Don't you agree?

OKAY. I'M CONVINCED. HOW CAN I BUY THIS GREAT CAR?

I'm glad you asked. Just give me a call at 601-605-2786. We'll meet somewhere and you can take it for a test drive. 

Look up the value of this vehicle on the Kelly Blue Book website (www.kbb.com) and you'll see that this is a great-value vehicle, especially for its excellent mechanical condition.

I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and that it serves you as well as it has me.

 

 


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