Question about 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe

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04 chevy tahoe

When i tried accelerating going up a hill it felt like it was going to stall so i pulled over and it quit. i turned the key off thinking it might be my fuel pump but it started up again. it would run about 40 -50 kms before doing it again. when i got home i changed fuel filter and thought it was better but it started doing it again. someone hooked up something to diagnose problem and the code came back o2 heater sensor. whats that is it major how do i fix it. if you can help i would greatly appreciate it as i am a mechanically uninclined girl with no clue. email is thanks!!!!

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  • ThirstyTahoe Dec 22, 2008

    I have the same problem with my 2 wheel drive 95 Tahoe with a 5.7 liter engine. It sometimes tries to stall going uphill, especially if under a load (pulling my boat). I do not get a check engine light. The fuel filter has been changed a few times. Is this a fuel injector problem? It's obviously starved for fuel, but I'm not sure what the issue is. Can someone help?

  • scotth456 Mar 15, 2009

    i have a 99 chevy tahoe 5.7 V-8 2 door. i replaced the fuel pum and it worked great. then about 2 months after the tahoe wouldnt start. i had good spark but no fuel. i crawled under the truck and moved the wires on top of my fuel tank that connect to the pump then it started. does the wiring get loose and if it does can you get new ends to resplice them in?



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My answer:

Not sure which Tahoe model you have or if it's a 2WD or 4WD model?? Also which engine it has??

Rarely does a USA made car/SUV Fuel Filter go bad or get excessively dirty unless you are buying gas from a 3rd word country which doesn't have very good regulations!

Your gas tank Fuel Pump also has a pre-filter built into the pump itself just in case FOD particles should enter the tank somehow (ie: sabotaged by someone for instance).

Changing the fuel filter would have been my last choice (option) as your engine would be doing the same symptoms all the time even on a flat road surface taking off from a stop.

Reason I say this is because you "definitely" had a CHECK ENGINE light come on at one (some) point prior to this "hill" scenario (you just may not have noticed it, or else put it in the back of your mind like most people do money wise).

You also had a hard code entered into your PCM (Powertrain Control Module) or your SUV's cmptr.

Depending on if it was an intermittent O2 sensor problem or a totally defective O2 sensor the CHECK ENGINE light may have come ON and then gone OUT at different times. I wasn't driving the SUV so I wouldn't know.

Usually - as a rule - any O2 sensor will go out gradually depending on how well you keep your car/SUV tuned up, or what blend or grade of gas you burn, or if you put a 12oz bottle of fuel injector cleaner in your gas tank every 1000 miles religiously, AND that is why your owner's manual suggests replacing them at a certain mileage interval worse case. Eventually they will/could wear out and miss-perform as noted by poor gas mileage, hesitations, rough idle, etc. Usually somewhere around 60 to 75,000 miles on average or there abouts.

Your 2004 Tahoe shows that it takes 4 sensors total for either the 4.8L or 5.3L V-8 engines depending on which model you have. It appears you only have 2 Catalytic Converters that Y into 1 exhaust with 1 final muffler on your Tahoe there.

It's showing the sensors before & after each Converter - 1 before and 1 after the Catalytic Converters. Some cars and SUVS have 1 - 2 - 3 or even 4 Catalytic Converters & related O2 sensors - just depends on the engine and design.

Depending on which O2 sensor is supposedly bad on your Tahoe (as from the EXACT 4 digit CHECK ENGINE trouble code) it should only hopefully be 1 of 2 on just one side of the SUV. Unless you are getting multiple codes - then both sides might have a bad sensor(s) as well?? If you had dual exhausts usually you can smell which side is the trouble maker, as it will no doubt be running a bit RICH and the smell will be a dead giveaway! One a single exhaust system it's impossible to do and that is why you have the CHECK ENGINE code fault to narrow it down.

Replacement parts cost will vary from car to car and SUV alike. Yours (as I checked around) will range somewhere between $40 to $80 on average AND depending on which one is bad - with a high of $120 worse case quoted at one parts store local to me. Just depends on where you go to buy just the part(s).

Shop cost to replace just one O2 sensor could range from $100-150 usually. If any higher - I'd shop around as that is excessive. I changed both of mine in less then an hour from underneath my XPLR, and while laying on a carpeted mat on my driveway. If you know what you are doing and the car/SUV is on a lift then it's even quicker!! A half hour tops in the latter case.

Both of my Bosch O2 sensors cost me less then $50 (~ $25 each) from Kragen Auto I believe it was. Pepboys & Autozone as well are (were) all pretty much priced fairly close, maybe a tad higher, but will match the lowest price if that is your auto parts store of choice.

Unfortunately some O2 sensors only come with like a 90-day parts warranty against any mfr defects - and that's it. Same thing if you have them replaced at any dealer or repair shop as well - unless maybe your hubby or b/f changes them out for you and saves you some money. Then you might get a lifetime warranty from the/a auto parts store like that at Pepboys for instance. It just varies from state to state and so forth. Sensors in general are all pretty much like that today, no matter which ones they are.

So if I were you I'd call around for the lowest price & lifetime warranty if doing the R&R work yourself, as the top branded O2 sensors - Bosch or Walker - are all equal in quality and performance! I prefer the Bosch brand myself - German QUALITY made is why!

I changed both of mine out at the same time (my SUV only has 2) at ~110,000 miles on my 93 Ford XPLR because I was going on a 5,000+ mile cross-country trip in 2002 and didn't want to take any chances with anything going out.

I also did an outside of the vehicle performance check (test) on both of them after taking them out and putting in the new ones, and they both checked out just fine and well within factory specs, but I just wanted to be on the safe side anyway. My XPLR got 22 mpg btw on the road averaging 75mph there and back - SO - so much for that bogus theory about 55mph being the best driving speed to get the best fuel economy!! It's all HYPE just to get people to slow down and have less accidents is all it is!!

One more bit of info for you there -

I highly recommend what you really need to do - like I did - is purchase a $40 OBDII Code reader with the newest generation CAN protocol (Control area Network). This Code Reader is very easy to use, very well made, and the User's Manual is very easy to follow and understand, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use it and fix your own SUV/car Sensor problems!!

I've been doing it for over 10 years now, and have saved tons (bundles) of money on otherwise gouged Sensor R&R repairs! Think about it? I save people on average about $100 each time I read and troubleshoot their DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) codes, fix or replace their sensor related problem(s), and then clear the PCM for them. Most shady shops will just read the DTC code(s), and then clear the code(s) without fixing anything at all. Unfortunately they are just out to make a quick buck as it were!!

I bought my Code Reader from Harbor Freight Tools (HFT part # 94169) at one of their local store outlets, but if you don't have a HFT store locally to you there then you can go online and purchase it there as well. IT REALLY WORKS GREAT!!! Then you can read and catch the bugger DTC code(s) that keeps eluding everyone (if it indeed is an intermittent code). You also save a ton of money on just the "code reading" part as well - as most places like to charge whatever they can get away with - sometimes as high as $120 I was once told. That is such a RIP-OFF in my books!!!

Anyway - this should answer all your ??'s about your O2 sensors. If you have any more ??'s just ask me here in follow-up and I'll be more then happy to answer them for you!

Please post me a reply as to the found problem there, and the resolve to it by following my recommendations above. Also please rate my troubleshooting fix as well.

Keep me posted and I'll follow up as well.

Best regards,


1 - Highly degreed in Electronics first of all.

2 - Worked for 2 SEARS AUTOMOTIVE STORES, one on the East Coast and the other one still being the largest SEARS AUTO in CHICAGO at 6-corners. I specialized in troubleshooting all auto electrical problems - including battery testing and charging system testing and repair. Graduate of DeVry in Chicago also!

3 - Troubleshooted, repaired, and replaced many engine related sensors, water pumps, thermostats, fans, TS units, and radiators on all types of vehicles, and makes and models. I hate those stupid internal water pumps on many of the those ridiculous Honda's and similar autos, as that is the lamest & dumbest design I've ever seen! Stay away from buying one of these headaches!! Timing belts (non-metal type) are just as bad!

Posted on Sep 04, 2008

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When your computer says O2 sensor, doesn't necessarily mean it's the sensor. the sensor will tell the computer if something is not right about what's exiting the engine. might be too much oxygen or too much fuel. computer will adjust the fuel ratio to compensate for the issue...usually take away fuel or add fuel for whatever the case is. If your longterm fuel ratio stays off for too long, the engine light will turn on. meaning you need to check the engine and why it's causing the oxygen sensor to sense something. all the o2 sensor does is sense oxygen. that's it! relays it back to computer and the computer decides wether it's on par with spec or not. if not...engine light.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009

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This is the oxygen sensor and I recommend that a tech check this out, it may or may not be the sensor, it could also be connections, wiring and such. Believe it or not most of the techs are reliable and honest, and usually they will save you money in the long run.

Posted on Sep 04, 2008

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