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Author Topic: Which Avalanche to get... Lower Mileage 2004 or Very High Mileage 2011  (Read 369 times)

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Rich25

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  • I love the Chevy Avalanche

I have been looking to buy an Avalanche and I am now down to two choices both are 4x4.

First one is a 2004 LT with 124,000 miles on it all clean, test drove and seem it runs great, the asking price $7,500. Vehicles lived on northern Nevada all the time.

Second one is 2011 LTZ with 196,000 miles on it, the asking price is $12,000. I have not actually seen this vehicle yet but the dealer has been sending me photos and informations about this vehicle. It has all the bells and whistles, black on black, leathers, bluetooth, rearview camera, photo shows the car is in great shape but I'm worried about the very high mileage. Vehicle lived in northern California all the time.

Any notions on any of the two will be greatly appreciated.
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EXT4ME

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  • ... I saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac ...

I like the 2004 models and I have never owned a second generation Avalanche.

My 2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT now has 230K miles and is in the best shape it has been in the past 100K miles.

That is mostly because this is the best truck I have ever owned in my 40+ years of driving and I am committed toward keeping the broken stuff fixed and the worn out stuff replaced.

My brother owns a 2004 Z71 Avalanche and it is a damn fine truck, as well.

Not all of them are going to be this good.

But if you willing, anything is possible.

I can't comment on the 2011, but I'm sure it can be a great truck, as well.

Best of luck and welcome to the club.

 :thumbsup:
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2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT, White Diamond, New Shale front seat leather from The Seat Shop. WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit. Powerflow Pro-Fit Splash Guards. Arnott/Bilstein front shocks and rear air shocks with Arnott air compressor kit. Refinish Restorer. SeaFoam. Goodyear (Now Continental) Gatorback belts. Goodyear Assurance CS TripleTred All-Seasons.

Vaeagleav

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First welcome to the website!

As in most older threads when someone asks which AV to buy the stock answer is to closely examine the maintenance history of each AV so that you know how it was treated over it's previous ownership. Things like CarFax can help but may not show the whole picture since they only have records that were reported by a participating repair shop etc. If it was wrecked or flooded out and was repaired by the owner or a small shop it may not have gotten reported. Sometime finding out how many previous owners can say a lot, the more owners could mean people getting rid of a lemon.
Mileage can be hard miles or easy ones and if you look around on this site you can see that 124,000 - 196,000 miles can be OK if taken care of by the owner since we have owners on here with over 300,000 miles.
Where you are looking at the years time does take it's toll and any vehicle that is 15 years old is bound to have some rust and decay. You didn't say if the 2004 has lower cladding or not but could have hidden rust underneath the lower cladding. Should check underneath for rusted brake and fuel lines as well as around wheel wells.
The 2011 is also 8 years old and again could have rust and other things to check out. The one advantage is it will be easier to find parts and support for a much newer vehicle over the 2004.
You should check sites like www.kbb.com and www.edmunds.com to see how the prices compare to the market in your area.

Good luck in your search.
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2008 Z71 Silver Birch 
2004 Z71 Silver Birch before that.

Rich25

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Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the inputs. The 2004 does not have the lower cladding and I checked the wheel wells and it looks like they just have installed new covers and most of the underneath were just newly cleaned and painted. I wasn't able to check the brake and fuel lines though.
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ygmn

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Look hard for rust....everywhere...
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BainMan

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Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the inputs. The 2004 does not have the lower cladding and I checked the wheel wells and it looks like they just have installed new covers and most of the underneath were just newly cleaned and painted. I wasn't able to check the brake and fuel lines though.
Why did they clean and paint underneath? Are they covering something up?
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2010 LTZ, bone stock 5.3

Rich25

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Why did they clean and paint underneath? Are they covering something up?

That's what I'm worried about, a big question there. I asked them about this and the dealer said the previous owner really took good care of this car. Well I can see that it was in good shape, but still a big question for me.

I'm trying to post an image but it seems do not work, so here are some link:
https://postimg.cc/jnSZwkLB
https://postimg.cc/75k0zNMY
https://postimg.cc/z3zdc30p
https://postimg.cc/BP2tZdz5
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 10:26:28 AM by Rich25 »
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frito

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It can be a tough call. Some people, I know there are members on this forum, are super zealous about taking care of their vehicle and regularly inspect and treat the under body.  Then there are others who will slap a coat of whatever on it to cover up rust for a quick sell.  If it's the former, it would definitely be a truck worth having.  If it's the latter, then...

You mentioned the dealer stated the previous owner took really good care of the truck.  It would be worth asking how the dealer acquired the vehicle.  Was it a trade in that helps him know the history or did he buy it auction as most used car lots do.  If he got it at auction, how would he know how the previous owner took care of it?  Just saying...  I've bought two used vehicles, both from used car lots and both times I looked back and realized it was a bad decision.  Thankfully, I bought an incredible extended warranty through my credit union that covered most of the litany of repairs I had to make to my Avy (one of the two vehicles) in its first couple years.

As another mentioned, crawl underneath and check out the brake lines, fuel lines, etc. as well as the door jams etc.  Those can be some better indicators.
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grnxnam

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Low miles or not, the 04 is still 15 years old. Its going to have old truck issues.
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marzahld

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Also the ride will be a bit different.  The '04 has front and rear shocks... the '11 LTZ has the autoride system.   Its a preference issue, but offroad suspension may be better if you need to handle some dirt roads--likewise LTZ may be better for highway trips.     With the age of both of those vehicles I would be listening for any signs of lifter noises when its running as well as take note of the oil pressure at IDLE and when driving.   If it seems to be dropping below 18-20 at idle I would be concerned as below 10 will set off the alarm and lead you to an ultimate engine replacement path...
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2013 Avalanche LT Z71 Black
Past: 2003 Avalanche Z71  Arrival Blue

2004Slickside

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That's what I'm worried about, a big question there. I asked them about this and the dealer said the previous owner really took good care of this car. Well I can see that it was in good shape, but still a big question for me.

I'm trying to post an image but it seems do not work, so here are some link:
https://postimg.cc/jnSZwkLB
https://postimg.cc/75k0zNMY
https://postimg.cc/z3zdc30p
https://postimg.cc/BP2tZdz5
I have a 2004 without cladding and it has black plastic moldings several inches wide around each wheel and a step bar on each side.  Wasn't that 4x4 sticker design for the 2500 Avy?  Mine says Z71.  I didn't think these were optional on a non-cladded 4WD 1500 Avalanche in 2004.  Looks to me like that vehicle has been dolled up and completely repainted.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 08:08:38 AM by 2004Slickside »
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frito

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I have a 2004 without cladding and it has black plastic moldings several inches wide around each wheel and a step bar on each side.  Wasn't that 4x4 sticker design for the 2500 Avy?  Mine says Z71.  I didn't think these were all options on a 4WD 1500 Avalanche in 2004.  Looks to me like it has been dolled up and completely repainted.
The Z71 package includes the off-road package (shocks, skid plates, etc.) while the 4x4 can exist on a 1500 without the off-road goodies.
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Bumblebee - '03 Z71, FTDRL, All On High, Sail Panel LEDs, Bumper Cup Holders.  Decisions, Decisions...

2004Slickside

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The Z71 package includes the off-road package (shocks, skid plates, etc.) while the 4x4 can exist on a 1500 without the off-road goodies.
OK then.  I stand corrected.
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Rich25

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Also the ride will be a bit different.  The '04 has front and rear shocks... the '11 LTZ has the autoride system.   Its a preference issue, but offroad suspension may be better if you need to handle some dirt roads--likewise LTZ may be better for highway trips.     With the age of both of those vehicles I would be listening for any signs of lifter noises when its running as well as take note of the oil pressure at IDLE and when driving.   If it seems to be dropping below 18-20 at idle I would be concerned as below 10 will set off the alarm and lead you to an ultimate engine replacement path...

Thank you for pointing the oil pressure out. This is a helpful tip because it seems the oil pressure was below 18 when I did test drive. It looks like I'll pass on the 2004. I really wanted the 2004 due to the fact that I plan to take the vehicle on dirt roads. Are the 2006 models have front and rear shocks too?
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marzahld

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AFAIK you will have shocks unless you have autoride which I think did not exist until "LTZ only" models of Avy's starting in '07.   Again, nothing wrong with autoride, its merely a preference issue.  My wifes Tahoe has autoride and it works great and has had zero issues.
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2013 Avalanche LT Z71 Black
Past: 2003 Avalanche Z71  Arrival Blue
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