In today’s post, we go over the top 5 Chevy Avalanche problems and failures that we have seen in the second-generation model year 2007 through 2013. We’ll also go over the most common symptoms and tips that you can use to solve these problems yourself.
The second-generation Chevrolet Avalanche is a special truck in many ways. For starters, General Motors offered a Z71 package that beefed up its off-road capabilities. Buyers got a specially-tuned suspension that could take on both road surfaces and rough terrains. Aluminum skid plates and a special automatic locking rear differential made the truck all the more capable.
Top 5 2nd Gen Chevy Avalanche Issues (2007 to 2013)
1. Throttle Body Failure
Symptoms of Throttle Body Failure
- Check engine light with a P2135 trouble code
- Engine reduced power mode light
Causes of Throttle Body Failure
The throttle body is a part of the air intake system that allows more or less air to flow into the engine. In the second-generation Chevrolet Avalanche, it’s located at the top of the engine just beneath the top plastic cover.
It comes with an electronic motor with sensors attached to it. The motor controls the throttle valve based on the signals sent to the electronic control unit (ECU). Over time, the sensors fail.
How to Fix Throttle Body Failure
Most people try to solve the problem by cleaning the throttle body. However, this will not work in this case. The problem lies with the sensor. You’ll need to replace the throttle body. Remember to check your wiring and connector as well since those two tend to also be possible culprits behind the problem.
2. EVAP System Problems
Symptoms of EVAP System Problems
- Check engine light
- Rough idles
- Difficulty starting the truck
Causes of EVAP System Problems on the 2007 to 2013 Chevy Avalanche
The EVAP system is a system in your truck that keeps fuel vapors contained and prevents them from getting released into the atmosphere. Like most GM vehicles, the 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche also has EVAP problems.
How to Fix EVAP System Problems
When fixing the problem, you always want to start with the gas cap. Check to see if it’s loose or cracked.
It’s also important to check the EVAP purge valve and the vent valve. The EVAP purge valve is located right behind the alternator in the second-generation Chevy Avalanche, while the vent valve is found above the spare tire. Those are the three common areas that you’ll need to check when you have a problem with your EVAP system.
3. Active Fuel Management (AFM) Lifter Problems
Symptoms of AFM Lifter Problems
- Check engine light
- Engine misfires
- Engine that runs rough
Causes of AFM Lifter Problems on the 2nd Gen 2007 to 2013 Chevy Avalanche
The Active Fuel Management (AFM) lifters are a trademarked technology from General Motors. They shut half of the engine cylinders when the truck is going down a road or when it’s under light-load conditions to improve gas mileage and reduce fuel consumption. This is achieved by collapsing the lifters.
Sometimes, those lifters get stuck and fail to return to their original position. Since they are part of the internal engine components, the valves also stay closed.
How to Fix AFM Lifter Problems
Most AFM lifter problems are caused by oil pressure and control problems. The system comprises a Valve Lifter Oil Manifold (VLOM) that sends pressurized oil to the lifters when it’s time to close the cylinders. It then shuts off the oil supply when it’s time to open them. When fixing the problem, it may not be enough to just replace the AFM lifters. You’ll need to check the VLOM for proper operation.
4. Door Handles Breaking
Symptoms of Broken Door Handles
- Door handles break over time
Causes of Broken Door Handles
All four doors on the 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche have door handles both on the inside and the outside. With time, they tend to break near the pivot area due to constant pulling on the wrong side. The part that fastens the door handle to the lock mechanism is made of weak plastic.
If there’s physical damage, the handle can break and cause further damage to the door lock actuator and lock switch. The inside door handles also experience the same problem.
How to Fix Broken Door Handles
You’ll need to remove the door panel to gain access and replace the door handles. Remember to replace anything that may not be working properly.
5. Fading Plastic Trim
Symptoms of Fading Plastic Trim
- Plastic trim fades over time
Causes of Fading Plastic Trim
Just like the previous model, the second-generation Chevrolet Avalanche comes with a plastic trim that eventually fades. The cladding develops cosmetic issues and gets chalky and discolored. It can experience streaking under different conditions. This is caused by exposure to sunlight and heat.
How to Fix Fading Plastic Trim
The 2007-2013 Chevrolet Avalanche doesn’t have as much plastic cladding as its predecessor. One of the ways you can solve the fading is by using a heat gun. The heat brings the plastic oils to the surface and restores the plastic to its original condition. The fix is temporary, and you will only have a few heat cycles before there are no more oils left in the plastic.
You can also opt for a plastic trim restorer which lasts for about 12 months. One thing to note about this is that some products can take as long as three days to dry up. Another solution is to use creamy peanut butter. It adheres to the plastic and the oil left behind—leaving a clean, glossy, and natural shine.
2nd Generation Chevy Avalanche Model Years
- 2007 Chevy Avalanche
- 2008 Chevy Avalanche
- 2009 Chevy Avalanche
- 2010 Chevy Avalanche
- 2011 Chevy Avalanche
- 2012 Chevy Avalanche
- 2013 Chevy Avalanche
- P2135 code: Mechanic advice to diagnose & fix
- Gas Cap Throwing a Check Engine Light? [Diagnose & Fix]
- Top Problems on the 2002-2006 Chevy Avalanche