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The huge Suburban might not be politically correct, but it has been the vehicle of choice for families who won't fit in a minivan or another SUV, or for those who need heavy-duty towing or offroading capabilities. It can seat nine (though more commonly seven or eight) with plenty of room for luggage. A comfortable ride, quiet interior, and a well-mannered V8 engine are among the key attributes.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Chevrolet Suburban has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
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05
06
07*
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15*
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Chevrolet Suburban owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“Have had all the calipers prematurely freeze up and had to be replaced”

Daniel U., OH (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 5.3-L V8)

“Front calipers also needed replacement with brake pads and rotors”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Premature brake wear

“rear brakes needed replaced at 15000 due to issues with front brakes”

Daniel U., OH (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 5.3-L V8)

“Front and rear brake pads and rotors replaced at 59,000 miles”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Antilock system (ABS)

“Master cylinder failed”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Regular brake failure

“Master cylinder failed”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“Everything made of plastic warped, cracked and in some cases just fell off. Exterior door moldings warped and peeled off the body. Dash cracked at all four corners of the passenger side air bag, driver side door cracked in the center of the door handle making it very difficult to use without pinching my hand, end caps on the arm rest fall off. This is a pervasive problem, I found hundreds of people on YouTube and in online forums complaining about the same problem since 2007”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 6.0-L V8)

“Front dash cracked. Chevrolet refuses to warranty, claims the issue is cosmetic. Many owners have this issue. Causes constant rattling”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 6.0-L V8)
Rust

“Body shop has twice addressed front bumper pushing into quarter panels, resulting in pressure that causes rust. He took off the front plastic apron and brackets holding it to relieve pressure on the quarter panels. says it is horrible design flaw”

Anonymous, NH (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“A chip on the rear brake light in the middle of the top. It was fixed to my satisfaction”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

“Started with can't see dash. Spread to everything electrical. Door locks lock and unlock while driving. Radio goes off and on. Repairs estate at 745 dollars. Went up to over 2000. Still not fixed. Got rid of it”

Robert M., LA (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Headlights

“DLRL burned out on one side. I replace both myself but was amazed at the time and labor it took to do the job. It used to be so simple”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Interior lights

“Cant See Radio or millage all dash lights DIM like it was midnight. not covered by dealer. when sun is bright you cant see anything on dash”

Robert M., LA (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)
Wiper motor or washer

“In cold weather washers freeze and do not wash in spite of using recommended fluids”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

“After over 100K miles the ball joints needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Power steering leaks

“hose to steering box leak - needed new seal -done under warranty (35,000 miles)”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)
Shocks or struts

“Had to replace both front Struts”

Mark L., IL (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 5.3-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

“a door handle broke. It was plastic”

Thomas K., TX (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 6.0-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“Stopped working after 12 months”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ 6.0-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“door lock was the problem”

Anonymous, NC (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 6.0-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Locks go up and down, all gauges go off and on, motor cuts out, and the battery goes dead. Car is at the dealer now... again. overall, I would never buy another Chevy again”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT 5.3-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“baackup sensor”

George L., OR (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LS 5.3-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“oil leak from failure of gasket around oil plug”

Anonymous, ME (2012 Chevrolet Suburban LT Unsure)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2012 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:IGNITION
Dec 30 2014
If stuck in the "Start" position, the ignition may suddenly snap back into the "Accessory" position, causing a loss of engine, steering, and braking power, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash. If the vehicle is in a crash, the air bags may not deploy, increasing the risk of occupant injury.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT, Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado HD, Silverado LD, Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Sierra LD, Sierra HD, Yukon, and Yukon XL vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the ignition lock actuator may bind, making turning the key difficult or causing the ignition to get stuck in the "Start" position.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the ignition lock housing, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on February 12, 2015. Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-458-8006 (Cadillac), 1-800-222-1020 (Chevrolet), or 1-800-462-8782 (GMC). GM's number for this recall is 14696 for the original equipment, and 14912 for the service replacement parts.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V827000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 84192
STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT PITMAN
Mar 22 2012
IF THIS CONDITION OCCURS, A LOSS OF STEERING COULD RESULT, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
GENERAL MOTORS (GM) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 CHEVROLET EXPRESS AND SUBURBAN VEHICLES, AND GMC SAVANA AND YUKON XL HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES. THE STEERING GEAR PITMAN SHAFT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN ADEQUATELY HARDENED AND COULD FRACTURE.
What should you do:
GM WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE STEERING GEAR AND, IF NECESSARY, REPLACE THE STEERING GEAR PITMAN SHAFT. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON APRIL 4, 2012.
For more information:
GM¿S SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGN NUMBER IS 12055. CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V112000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 6159
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