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Author Topic: Advice on Purchasing 2006 LT 4x4  (Read 1377 times)
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Griff79
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« on: 10/06/17 02:34 pm »

Greetings,

It's time to get a new to me truck, my Toyota was totaled in an accident. I have always really liked the AV and I think that my new purchase should be a great used one.

After reading many many threads and across the internet I think the 2003 to 2006 model works for me. They are a good combination of mileage and price. Here is a bit of what I know, maintenance and care of ownership trumps mileage. So here are a few that I have found that seem to be what I'm looking for. Each one has it's pluses and minuses.

May I have your opinions and comments on what to look out for {I am compiling a list for used AV purchasers}. If none of these are a good idea I can keep searching. I want to finalize my purchase by Thanksgiving at the latest. I want to buy the right vehicle, not just go out and get something that I regret. If by chance you have or know of a guy that has a great rig for sale please feel free to pm me.

Thanks so much, I really enjoy the knowledge and friendliness here.

Griff

2006 LT 135K good history

 https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=463802473&zip=77008&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D77008%26startYear%3D1981%26sortBy%3DderivedpriceDESC%26maxPrice%3D14000%26incremental%3Dall%26firstRecord%3D0%26endYear%3D2018%26modelCodeList%3DAVALNCH%26makeCodeList%3DCHEV%26searchRadius%3D50&startYear=1981&numRecords=25&maxPrice=14000&firstRecord=0&endYear=2018&modelCodeList=AVALNCH&makeCodeList=CHEV&searchRadius=50&makeCode1=CHEV&modelCode1=AVALNCH

2004 Z71 low mileage, no leather, worried about it being from PA, is it rusty?

https://york.craigslist.org/cto/d/low-mileage-2004-chevy/6306947515.html

2003 Z71 low mileage, need picture and more info, worried about it being from ND, is it rusty?

https://grandforks.craigslist.org/cto/d/2003-chevy-avalanche-4x4/6306505210.html.

I'm continuing to look as we talk about what is best to do.
Thanks again,


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« Reply #1 on: 10/06/17 03:16 pm »

Personally I would get one with lower milage, even thou they older look like both in good shape.  Test drive them, make sure everything works.  I purchased a 2006 with 143,000 miles and 4.1 gears and rust free for $3000 Canadian.....but it's a bit of fix it up-er.  Traction control was kicking in when it shouldn't, it's a easy fix, need u joint......easy fix and transmission 1-2 shift was a little long....might be trouble but we will see, I'm working on it.  And idler arm, might need to be replaced, haven't dealt with it yet......and lol and radio was stuck on all the time, power button doesn't seem to work. Whatever you get just go through it and look for and allow for some expenses.  Like the 4.1 gears vs 3.73 on my truck and it just needed love and over all nice truck.
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« Reply #2 on: 10/06/17 03:48 pm »

Low miles is good. But it might be time for a few of the obvious things to go, ie; transmission, 4WD servo, steering, wheel bearings, etc. So no matter what your looking at, check things out. If your not sure how to check things out, pay a mechanic to do it. Could be some of your best money spent.

Features would be something I'd be looking at closely. The 4.10 G80 rear is better for towing, especially in not so great conditions. I really liked the cloth interior for a couple reasons, warmer in the winter (especially with heat added), cooler in the summer, plus it seats 1 more person if needed.

All those you listed look great. If their being sold by a private owner, ask about maintenance records. Maybe some of this has already been done.
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« Reply #3 on: 10/07/17 04:52 am »

Look in southern states and California...

Frame rust, brake line rust, rust period can be a big issue that is a Pain to repair as well... ya never really fix it all you just give up and say I am stopping my repairs here...

do not be afraid of 2002... I think the best year as I also think the least issues since it was based on the proven burb they built for years up to that point.

2003 they changed electronic computers and other things... then each year they DE-content each year so you get less and less ...

my best advice is take your time and look at as many as you can....
Stick to your budget and good luck
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Griff79
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« Reply #4 on: 10/07/17 05:25 pm »

 Thanks for taking the time to respond  Thumbs up! yes no matter what I purchase I'm going pay a mechanic to go through it. I understand and see some things but it would be much better to have an expert do it .

 I am worried about rust especially from Pennsylvania North Dakota and Houston.

 It's interesting that you comment on 2002 been the best year because of the least number of things to go wrong I just found a 2002 with 100,000 miles on it for $8800 not far from my house here is the link to it

https://www.kbb.com/cars-for-sale/459147247/?totalresults=12&index=6&vehicleid=3566&selectionhistory=137005%7ctrue%7c6449866%7ctrue&searchtype=used&atcmake=chevrolet&atcmodel=avalanche&zipcode=&intent=buy-used&year=2002-2004&distance=75

 And continuing to look and shop the right truck will come along at the right price.

 This truck will be a secondary driver. I'm gonna use it during the Colorado winter, sometimes during nice weather to take camping, to go up shooting, I don't have anything to tow, use for  when I need to do some chores.

Will use it for some commuting with all the people pouring into Colorado the drivers here have gone completely nuts and with the constantly changing weather and conditions you have to watch what you do. I drive fast and like driving but coming home from work today which was a Saturday there were six accidents and one huge wreck on the highway.
« Last Edit: 10/07/17 05:32 pm by Griff79 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: 10/07/17 06:28 pm »

Thanks for taking the time to respond  Thumbs up! yes no matter what I purchase I'm going pay a mechanic to go through it. I understand and see some things but it would be much better to have an expert do it .

 I am worried about rust especially from Pennsylvania North Dakota and Houston.

 It's interesting that you comment on 2002 been the best year because of the least number of things to go wrong I just found a 2002 with 100,000 miles on it for $8800 not far from my house here is the link to it

https://www.kbb.com/cars-for-sale/459147247/?totalresults=12&index=6&vehicleid=3566&selectionhistory=137005%7ctrue%7c6449866%7ctrue&searchtype=used&atcmake=chevrolet&atcmodel=avalanche&zipcode=&intent=buy-used&year=2002-2004&distance=75

 And continuing to look and shop the right truck will come along at the right price.

 This truck will be a secondary driver. I'm gonna use it during the Colorado winter, sometimes during nice weather to take camping, to go up shooting, I don't have anything to tow, use for  when I need to do some chores.

Will use it for some commuting with all the people pouring into Colorado the drivers here have gone completely nuts and with the constantly changing weather and conditions you have to watch what you do. I drive fast and like driving but coming home from work today which was a Saturday there were six accidents and one huge wreck on the highway.
A one owner 2500 for that price.  Man, I would be all over that if I had the funds.  Note that the gas mileage will be worse than the 1500 since it has an 8.1 big block.
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« Reply #6 on: 10/09/17 02:32 pm »

I bought a 2006 128K same options as the one you posted in January for $10.9K from a dealer here in MN.  It was originally from Florida so rust free.  I also have a 2005 with over 200K on it, MN truck so has quite a bit rust.  I prefer working on the rust free as you can actually get bolts off easier so I say go for the rust free trucks! However the 2005 is pretty much bullet proof so far and rides as good if not better than the 2006.
The 2005 has the 3.73 gears and pulls 20-21 on the highway consistently, the 2006 has 4.10 gears and will do 17.5 on it's best day.
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« Reply #7 on: 10/09/17 02:57 pm »

I wonder how all the flooding down south will affect the concept of getting a "rust free southern vehicle" ? I guess time will tell if flooded vehicle is better than a road salt vehicle......
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« Reply #8 on: 10/09/17 10:19 pm »

Thanks for the updates, where would the build code be to know what set of gears a truck has?
Griff
« Last Edit: 10/10/17 05:51 am by Griff79 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: 10/10/17 06:20 am »

Thanks for the updates, where would the build code be to know what set of gears a truck has?
Griff

You could get the RPO codes from inside the Glove Box, or try a VIN decoder and plug in the truck's VIN to check.

GT4: 3.73
GT5: 4.10
GU6: 3.42
G80: Rear Locking differential

Here is a link to a generic VIN decoder site, I plugged in the VIN of my old 2002 and it popped up with the correct info, so it's worth a shot!

https://chevroletforum.com/forum/vindecoder.php




Also, my $0.02 about purchasing a used AV.

If it came from anywhere north of Tennessee/Virginia (depending on what part) it is most likely a little rusty. Even if meticulously taken care of, these trucks have certain spots that harbor road salt and promote rust. The brake lines and fuel lines are also very prone to rust as well, especially over top of the tank and the frame rails where the salt and brine sit and eat away at the lines. The cladding also holds debris and hides rust that you may not be able to see otherwise. Our 02 had not a spec of rust on the body for the last few years we owned it, but under the cladding was rotten in some spots and the rocker panels were gone. The brake lines also got to the point of failure a few separate times.

This was a truck that spent the first 6 years in PA and the last 6 years we had it in WV. The rust was super minimal surface rust and a couple bubbles on the rockers when we bought it, but it bloomed into full on rocker rot and eventually rust bubbles on all 4 fenders before we traded it.

If you want to have more certainty that a truck does not have hidden rust or rot, seek out trucks in the southern states, or trucks that have spent very little time up north via the history. Look in the nooks and crannies very well. Look at the hitch (a rust hitch usually means a rusty body). Visually inspect the undercarriage and look at the painted surfaces that peek around the edges of the cladding to see if there is surface rust.

Clean AV's are out there, but they are hard to find without paying a premium price. I looked and looked for a few years for an 02-06 that was in great shape with decent miles for a good price and found a few that were close, but never one that was what I was looking for.

The very best of luck to you! If you find the right AV, you will love it! Trust me! I always HATED them until we bought our 02, and it didn't take me long to absolutely fall in love.

Also: in terms of comfort, style, and build quality, the 02 was SUPERIOR to our 2013..
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« Reply #10 on: 10/10/17 07:22 am »

I went from Indiana (rust central) to a small dealer in Greeneville, South Carolina for my 2004 Z71 last January (found on Cars.com/etc).  Had both Autocheck and Carfax say the vehicle was a one-owner and was licensed in West-central Georgia all it's life.  So no salt or ocean climate likely.  139K and dealer was honest and said SES light was on with an Evap Purge code - they had tried to fix with a new purge solenoid but that didn't do the trick.  Owner of the dealership said he bought the vehicle at an auction a while back and had been using it himself to pull his boat around.  Told him I wasn't scared of an evap purge code as long as other things weren't being set.

Found a bunch of other Avalanches to look at in the same area if it didn't work out and bought a one-way ticket to Atlanta on a Saturday.  Rented a car, and drove to Greeneville SC.  Brought along Car Gauge Pro on my cell phone and a Bluetooth OBD2 adapter to check things out.  Looked at the code history on the vehicle, drove it, turned off the SES light and then cut a deal for 10K (I know I paid plenty but it was the one that I wanted).  The salesman, his wife, and I caravanned the rental car, the Avalanche, and his personal car to the Greeneville airport and turned in the rental.  I drove away with the Avalanche and they went home.  Stayed overnight in Greeneville and then drove it back to Indiana the next day.

Purge code and having to trickle in gas at the pump was due to a plugged evap canister.  Other than that, two power window motors, and an oil pressure sending unit (reading high all the time) it seems to be a great truck.  I get 19mpg straight on highway and 16 ave combined everyday and I am very happy with the truck.

So it all turned out OK for me.  Any number of things could have happened to turn things into a nightmare.  Your experience may vary.
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« Reply #11 on: 10/10/17 11:39 am »

I wonder how all the flooding down south will affect the concept of getting a "rust free southern vehicle" ? I guess time will tell if flooded vehicle is better than a road salt vehicle......
Probably about the same as in years past. 2 hurricanes aren't anything new. 2 in a year is exceptional. But flooded cars have come from Katrina, the last couple times the Guadalupe flooded, Andrew, etc.
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« Reply #12 on: 10/10/17 09:37 pm »

Slick side and 4x4,
Thank you for the advice, it is exactally what I have been thinking.

I am not worried about flying somewhere and picking up a car and driving it home. I have done it 3 times, got my Jag in CA, picked up my Toyota Tundra in Iowa, and found my Envoy in Texas. They all worked out great. I have paid an independent shop to pick up the car and go through it before I flew to pick them up. The cost was $100-$200.

I agree about the rust it is a big concern. The other is history. The truck should have consistent service records

Guys tell me something, how many miles is too many? Under 150k? Now I know the answer is it depends. It's very much a ratio of miles to price to condition but not knowing these trucks well I thought you might give me some opinions on when things start to go south. I know the tranny can be a problem.

My GMC had the same motor and it ran perfect until my brother wrecked it at 175k. I take really good care of my cars though.

Thanks a lot for the information and opinions.  Cheers!
Griff
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« Reply #13 on: 10/11/17 07:25 am »

I wouldn't worry about mileage as much as a few other things as there are people on here with over 400,000 miles on their truck.  I look for:

  • How many owners has it had.  A single owner rig is worth more to me than one that's been flipped a bunch.  If it has had multiple owners, I am less concerned if it flipped a few times in its early life but its current owner is a long term owner (i.e. five years or more).  If it was owned by one owner for most of its early life but is now flipping every year or two, I would be concerned of some underlying problem.
  • Look at the Carfax to get the ownership trend and any obvious reported issues, BUT don't put too much stock in it if it reports no issues.  Not all issues are reported to Carfax.  Ask me how I know.   
  • Does the owner have maintenance records that demonstrate it has been well taken care of
  • Crawl underneath and check out the obvious such as brake lines, fuel lines etc.  Also look to see if they just painted things such as the frame and trailer hitch to "make it look nice".  There may be a lot of hidden issues underneath that nice, fresh black paint.
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« Reply #14 on: 10/11/17 08:13 am »

I have heard that desert area vehicles - although no rust - can be troublesome because sandblasted undercarriage will quickly rust after bringing to a wet, salty environment.  Also, very high temps tend to bake the interiors out prematurely.  Why I decided on looking in the Southeast where there is little if any snow - but not in coastal areas or places that get a lot of flooding.

But you're in Colorado, right?  Should be tons of non-rusty Avalanches in Denver.  I almost went there.  Used to live in the Denver and then the Longmont area.  Even a small city in the high desert of New Mexico would be a decent place to find one.  It's not like it is Death Valley there.

Just watch out for people trying to pass their problems to someone else without penalty (hiding problems).  Three years ago I bought a 2001 Blazer LT 4x4 with 65K miles on it.  Beautiful vehicle in dark red metallic.  It had the terminal for the SES light removed from the instrument cluster connector and was taped.  After fixing that I found the SES light was on all the time with a misfire code - but it didn't miss.  The misfire code was false, and was due to excessive bearing clearances which were due to coolant leaking into the oil from a bad lower intake gasket.  Intake gasket had been replaced, but damage had been done.  Ended up putting a complete new GM engine in it before all was done.  A year later the trans stripped the sunshell and I had to have that rebuilt (I don't do transmissions) - also had the 4x4 encoder motor short out and that ended up taking the TCCM with it that year.  So now I have about 10K in a vehicle that is only worth maybe $5000 at most.  

Moral is to not fall in love with vehicles and assume that low miles means no issues.  I should have checked out that Blazer much more thoroughly than I did and I learned an expensive lesson.  We have about 30K miles on it now, and it's a great vehicle - but it doesn't take many repairs to put you upside down financially in a vehicle (especially a 4WD).  I am hoping to drive my money out of the vehicle before it starts rusting out here in Indiana.  
« Last Edit: 10/11/17 12:43 pm by 2004Slickside » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: 10/11/17 09:06 am »

    .......... Also look to see if they just painted things such as the frame and trailer hitch to "make it look nice".  There may be a lot of hidden issues underneath that nice, fresh black paint.[/li]
    [/list]

    And here all these years I've been sanding rust out & keeping things painted so the rust didn't spread. I thought I was just taking care of my truck, not preparing to scam someone in a sale.     banghead
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    Bill
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    Mods: Heated cloth seats, Pioneer stereo, 2 Kicker subwoofers, MB Quart speakers, tinted front windows, removed Z71 decals, Flowmaster 50, All4On, Amber DRLs, CAI, Maglite, wrapped steering wheel, Indoor/outdoor carpeted the bed & midgate.
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    « Reply #16 on: 10/11/17 09:40 am »

    Yes here in Colorado there are many 4x4 for sale, Many in good shape but we pay a huge premium for trucks in general.

    It must be the thought we need it to go in the mountains. Plus it's a cool image to bomb around in a 4x4 here in CO.

    Anyway, still shopping trying to take my time but it's hard to not pull the trigger.
    Griff
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    « Reply #17 on: 10/11/17 12:24 pm »

    Yes here in Colorado there are many 4x4 for sale, Many in good shape but we pay a huge premium for trucks in general.

    It must be the thought we need it to go in the mountains. Plus it's a cool image to bomb around in a 4x4 here in CO.

    Anyway, still shopping trying to take my time but it's hard to not pull the trigger.
    Griff
    Well good luck in your quest!  Obviously my advice is to stay away from anything with misfire or transmission or 4x4 codes.  You can check code history even after codes are cleared, if your scanner supports that function.  Car Gauge Pro is a good one for 2005 and earlier (possibly 2006 but unknown which OBD2 protocol 2006 used - it was transition year).  It will even give you BCM and other system codes if you do a full scan.  

    Here in Indiana trucks are also a premium, and they don't seem to give any discount for rust.  Very few mid-2000's trucks not rusted through here.  Many with gaping holes.  They have to be really bad before they start getting cheap.  Anything with a pickup bed seems to go for a premium.  Old sport utilities not so much.  Avalanches seem to be in the pickup category.

    Which reminds me that I need to get mine rustproofed before Thanksgiving.  At least to try to slow it down and make it last at least 5 more years (hopefully more).
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    « Reply #18 on: 10/12/17 02:19 pm »


    And here all these years I've been sanding rust out & keeping things painted so the rust didn't spread. I thought I was just taking care of my truck, not preparing to scam someone in a sale.     banghead
    That could be very well true.  I suspect your brake lines and such look pretty good too.  In my case, a less than scrupulous used car dealer (violated one of my own rules by buying from a used car dealer) hit the frame and trailer hitch with a blast of black paint which has since come off to reveal the covered up rust.  Had I dug in a bit further and round the woefully rotted brake lines - or if the Chevy dealer I PAID for a pre-purchase inspection identified the rotted lines, I would likely have moved on from this one. 
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    « Reply #19 on: 10/12/17 07:45 pm »

    That could be very well true.  I suspect your brake lines and such look pretty good too.  In my case, a less than scrupulous used car dealer (violated one of my own rules by buying from a used car dealer) hit the frame and trailer hitch with a blast of black paint which has since come off to reveal the covered up rust.  Had I dug in a bit further and round the woefully rotted brake lines - or if the Chevy dealer I PAID for a pre-purchase inspection identified the rotted lines, I would likely have moved on from this one. 

    Now that is just wrong, what is the matter with people!
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