Don’t think you can beat the models from 2000 to 2006 , great engines and mechanical parts, however if you can’t put up with the irritation of all the little things, or can fix them yourself, may want to leave it alone. Plus side is room,room and more room. comfort, and classy. Power to spare, if you are looking for mileage better look elsewhere. If I had to grad it for my use it would be a B+...
I bought this vehicle for family use witch is awesome i have 3 kids oldest is 6yrs. It has the common problems blown air rear shocks witch is not a cheap. Bad tire sensor. Transmission wiring problem and water pump.as a mechanic not a big deal for a family trying to get by could cost about $4000 to get to reliable vacation cruiser make sure its n great shape before you buy witch price should be close to $11k
The Denali XL is everything you need to get your family up to the Cabin, tow your toys, and more. This vehicle is hands down the best vehicle I have ever owned. It is smooth, powerful, comfortable, and has AWD for towing my Ice-House, Boat, Snowmobiles, and ATV's. The Denali has the Vortec 6.0 but this is essentially the same engine as the 5.3. My Vortec 6.0 has 232,948 miles and does not burn oil between changes. I have had to perform repairs on this vehicle which I will list but most of them were only after 200,000 and well worth the investment. These vehicles will easily go 400,000 with routine maintenance.
Maintenance & Tips:
**TIP 1** Buy a blue tooth OBD2 adapter online for $20 and then get the Torque App for your iPhone/Android to monitor/trouble-shoot data and reset error codes.
**TIP 2** Change the fluids on this truck regularly. It will pay off in the long run. These trucks will last FOREVER. You can do both the front differential, rear differential, and transfer case very easily/cheap. The same goes for the transmission but that takes about 17 quarts and isn't exactly cheap to do a total flush but it is much cheaper than a whole new transmission. **TIP 3** Search Online for videos for trouble-shooting and repair. I guarantee you will find out how to do many of these repairs yourself/cheap.
1. Transmission may go around 200,000 miles = $3,700 to repair.
2. Rear Air Suspension will go around the same time = $800 to $2,700/Dealer to repair. You do not have to put the Air Suspension rear back in/Kit Replacement. I however Love the air suspension for towing, etc.
3. Passenger Side leak into Heater Blower Motor. This shorts out the Fan. Easy fix, take off the wipers and the plastic grate between the windshield and the hood. There is an oval metal plate with cracked brittle caulk. Reseal this or put another bigger metal plate over this with caulk. TIP: Pull out the wet metal heat sink heater fan control module and dry it out. It will come back to life. No need to spend money on this.
4. DON"T spray off this engine at the Self-Serve Car Wash. Water on the top side will drain down and short out the anti-knock sensors on the top of the intake and you will start throwing codes. I had to replace both (2) anti-knock sensors and the wire harness.
5. The intake gasket will need to be replaced at some point if it has not been already. It will throw lean bank 1 or 2 codes when it is time to replace. I think the original was green and the replacement is orange and a better design. Easy fix, just take your time to do it right.
6. If you start to get a random misfire code when it is hot/towing that only happens when you stop it is the front O2 Sensor. Easy fix. Get on the ground and do it yourself. They sell a cheap tool to remove/replace these.
7. Low Oil Pressure when first started cold. Some of these engines will lose oil pressure when first started COLD. Then as the engine warms the oil pressure will come up to normal. That is your clue. A rubber ring in the oil pickup tube has become brittle and cracked. When it warms up it expands and your oil pressure comes back to normal. FIX: Bring this to a shop with some good old boys who are not afraid of a little work. The front differential can be dropped with two people and a hoist in about 20 minutes/intact. This will grant access to drop the oil pan which has to be removed to get to the oil pump pickup tube so that the rubber o-ring can be replaced. $350 - $550 to repair. Don't take it to the dealership for this one. They will want 1K to fix this and it isn't that hard to do.
FINAL TIP: Don't be afraid to work on this vehicle. I have performed every repair on this besides the o-ring replacement and the transmission. Working on this has saved me thousands of dollars and prevented me from having to fork out another 50k for a new vehicle. Don't believe for one second that a new GMC truck with the 6.2 is the answer. People are buying these and having oil burning issues from the factory. Not to mention transmission issues, etc. Newer isn't always better. I for one will be driving my 2005 GMC Denali XL for many years to come.