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.
Face it. A Chevrolet Suburban is a big vehicle.
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
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
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.
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
This is a good-looking vehicle. Just look at the photos. 'Nuff
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
And that, bubba, is just about
giving it away. Don't you agree?
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
I truly hope you enjoy it as much
as I have, and that it serves you as well as it has me.