How To Repair
  2014 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ 8-cylinder 5.3L

© 2010-2018 Brian Mork


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Introduction

This web page contains a narrative log and pictorial essay to maintain a 2014 Chevy Tahoe with the 5.3L engine.  It got to where our newest car was 15 years old, so we needed to phase in newer vehicles.  Turns out we found one that was a high-end rental in California and then a single owner in the south midwest.  Body looks great.  Just a few nits on the interior. I hope it lasts a long tine.

See my other pages about the 1989 Dodge B250 Ram Van with 5.2L engine with 154,000 miles, or the
230,000 mile 1994 Suburu Legacy with 2.2L, 154,000 mile 2003 VW Jetta wagon 1.9L diesel, and 220,000 Toyota Camry.  I always appreciate your link back to this page so Google thinks what I say is important!

At the bottom, I also have some simple graphs aggregating lots of data on costs.   Before you start work on a car project that may take several weeks, consider canceling insurance or doing "storage" insurance. My insurer used to provide a "storage" option that provides only comprehensive coverage and drops the cost of a newer vehicle from $52.50/mo down to $5.00/mo.  More recently, they've changed the definition of "storage" to mean "state mandated minimum insurance," and for the Dodge van in this article that change drops cost from from $27.17/mo to $6.70/mo. Or, if you can handle the risk, you could remove ALL coverage including comprensive and save a boatload of money.

Purchase

Underbody Protection
Console Glass Holder

Testimonies


Purchase

Some simple thoughts:

1) It shouldn't take 5 hours to sell a car.  We waiting hours for various levels of someone needing to process paperwork somewhere else in another building.

2) They were working some issues the sale was contingent on.  I insisted they keep the car until those are fixed, not just have me come back at a later time to make an appointment to get it fixed.  So.. I wouldn't sign the delivery documents unless the work was done or the contract said "pending these corrections..."  'cause otherwise, if I didn't close the sale, the contract said they could keep 10 or 20% of the cost of the vehicle.  The used car manager called me in his office and began to lecture me about how we had agreed on the price and the car had to sell today.  I never would have imagined a sales manager calling a customer in their office like a principles office at High School to give the purchaser a lecture. What a joke.  I pointed out that the contract needed to match what we verbally agreed to.  We penned in the changes.  No biggie.  He was way too wrapped up tight.

3) Make a checklist and negotiate before agreeing to buy. Only when we took delivery did I realize there was only one key/fob set.  One!  Getting a new one immediately put us behind another $150.

September 2018 - Underbody Protection

The first problem I worked on ...

September 2018 - Console Glasses Holder

The first problem I worked on ...


Click on any picture to see a close-up view.


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October 2018 - Keys

We received one key fob and two physical keys.  We wanted more but the dealer price goes from $120 upward for each.  Instead, I purchased two key/fob pairs for $24 on the internet and figured out how to get them activated for the car.

Did you know Batteries + Bulbs re-programs car fob remotes?  IMHO, they should advertise that service more. Working with auto locksmiths felt like dealing with ambulance chasing lawyers. And they charged PER fob with a $30 fee just to show up with no quote given until they show up. I was starting to get depressed.

Then I stumbled across B+B.  I called to confirm they could do my car.  Staff was easy going, with simple answers and straightforward pricing.  They had lent their fancy $5000 programming device to another store so I stopped by the next week.  When I visited the store, Nathan peacefully hooked up to the car and a laptop computer and added two fobs to the car. I noticed it said 4 total fobs were authorized, so I figured the previous owners lost one or had kept one.  I asked if he could delete the missing fob.  Done.  It took about 15 minutes start to finish.  Price was much lower than other "car specialty" shops. 

They also had a fancy key cutting machine to do the physical keys, but only the store manager Kevin knew how to run it and he was prepping for an important corporate inspection.  They said to come back in a few days and they'd do the physical keys.  Afer a week I stopped by and Kevin tried to cut the keys.  Turns out the machine was acting up, so he wanted a day to figure it out.  He said the keys would be no additional cost because of all the trouble and multiple trips I had to make.

By the time I got off work, he was gone, Nathan had been trained, and had already cut keys for several customers.  Nathan did it no problem and didn't charge me.  But we weren't done yet.

I tried starting the car with one of the cut keys and it didn't work because the RF tag in the was foreign to the car.  Then I remembered to train the car.  Turn the car on with the old key, then put in the new key and turn on the car, and wait for the yellow security light on the dashboard to go out.  Repeat with the other new key.  Worked great.  Except I had already tripped the "theft protection" by trying the key first without training.

To fix the dashboard light and the message "service anti-theft", I had to disconnect the negative battery wire for about 1/2 hour and reconnect it.  Then the bad message was gone and all the physical keys worked. Plus the two remotes worked.


Financial Finale:

After the the costs incurred above, I began to wonder what the vehicles actually cost me and if it's worth my time to fix them.

1) I work on cars because I want to understand them and see preventative issues and manage the ownership of the vehicle rather than letting it manage me by breaking unexpectedly. This management process probably saves money.

2) The big dollar issue, however, is depreciation cost.  You can stop depreciation cost by being comfortable with older vehicles and being willing to handle the repair costs.  This would happen even if you preventively did nothing.  To replace the capability of this older van with a 2-year old model would cost about $30,000.  Figure if you keep a vehicle for 10 years, that's $125 month in depreciation.

Click on the little graph here to download a pdf document.

vehicle-cost-comparison


Additional Resources:



© 2010-2018 Brian Mork. Please contact me using the copyright link prior to commercial use, or reproducing for distribution in a commercial context.