2014 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ 8-cylinder 5.3L
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
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
page so Google
thinks what I say is important!
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
$6.70/mo. Or, if you can handle the risk, you could remove ALL coverage
including comprensive and save a boatload of money.
Console Glass Holder
Additional Key Fobs
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.
The biggest issue was that one of the rear seats no longer latched into
the floor of the cargo area. 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. 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
I paid the dealer
to take the car to an after-market company to do a good interior
detailing, treat the paint with a protector, and underbody and
inner-body protect the car. The underbody company couldn't figure
out how to take the spare tire off the car, so they sprayed the tire
instead of the body above the tire. Uh.. no.. I took
the tire off and sent the car back to them to have it done right.
They still neglected to get some of the body crossmember under and in
front of the engine. Instead of a third trip, I painted with
Rustoleum rust primer and black over coat. Looks good.
September 2018 - Console Glasses
I noticed the
latch on one of the storage compartments was broken. I didn't
notice this when buying the car because another light lens was broken
and was sitting in the console until a replacement was found. I
should have checked EVERY latch and compartment.
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
because the RF tag in the new key was foreign to the car. Then I
remembered to train the car. Turn the car on with the old key,
remove it and quickly 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.
March 2019 - Brake Controller
I purchased a
Tekonsha P3 electronic brake controller for pulling a larger
trailer. So far seems fine if not a bit over fancy. Some of
the Tahoes just a bit newer than my 2014 model have a modular plug
under the dash by the driver's left foot. Pull the black plastic
cover and there's a ready made plug if you buy the adapter.
However, in the 2014 model year, the wires are bundled and tucked up
under the dash on the driver's left side.
I pulled down the bundle and soldered them to the connector that came
with the controller. White wires connect (ground). Blue wires
connect (power to the trailer brakes). Red wire (+) from the
truck goes to the black wire on the controller. Light blue wire
and white stripe from the truck (brake signal) goes to red wire on the
Turns out there are two other wiring adjustments that need to be made,
too. The fuse box has a 8mm and 6mm stud along the front edge
that are both powered with battery power, through fuses. One is
designed to power the controller, and one is designed to feed hot
battery to the trailer for interior lights, charging circuits, or what
not. Along the passenger side of the fuse box, there is a bundled
red wire that gives constant power to the trailer out the 7-pin trailer
connector. Connect it to the driver side 6mm stud. Along
the driver side of the fuze box, just above the wheel well, there is a
bundled red wire that goes to the controller pigtail under the dash.
Connect it to the passenger side 8mm stud.
Mounting it to the under-dash was a bit more problematic than I
expected. There were no nice wide level stable areas. I
ended up mounting it to the plastic trim of the dash. If a
service shop every has to remove it, I'm sure they will damage the
mounting because the metal bracket is small and the screws are really
tight access. This is when I realized a DIS-advantage of the
fancy new accelerometer proportional controllers: they have to be
firmly and stabley mounted in a horizontal and non-crooked
location. If you're on a trip and the control comes unmounted
because you bang it with your knee or what-not, you are out of
commission. It won't work unless mounted properly.
In comparison, and "old fashioned" timed controller just slowly
increases brake power after you step on the brakes. By adjusting
how hard you step on the brake pedal and how often you intermittently
release and repress the brake, you can do a pretty good job of choosing
how you want to brake. And if a "time based" controller falls off
and lays on the floor, or is mounted any way you want, it still works
fine. If you have a fancy inertial sensing brake controller and one of
the little (fragile) plastic mount arms break, you are stuck without a
brake controller. If I had thought about this more, I probably
spent 1/2 has much money for more durable and robust utility.
That said, the fancy lights and displays of the Tekonsha P3 are
great. I like that it shows voltage and current of the battery,
auto brakes, and trailer brake wire.
on any picture to see a
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
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
2010-2018 Brian Mork. Please
contact me using the copyright link prior to commercial use, or
distribution in a commercial context.