GMC Yukon Years To Avoid (Maybe All Of Them?)

If you are considering buying a GMC Yukon, you need to be aware of this SUV’s worst years so that you know which models to avoid. 

GMC Yukon Years To Avoid 1 GMC Yukon Years To Avoid (Maybe All Of Them?)

Table of Contents

What’s the worst model year for the GMC Yukon?

The GMC Yukon years to avoid are 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2015. Common issues with these model years are faulty air conditioning, excessive oil consumption, vibrations from the transmission, cracked dashboards, inaccurate tailgate, and “No start” anti-theft warning errors.

After extensively researching GMC automotive forums, I have been able to gather enough information to determine which Yukon model years you need to avoid. My research has indicated that GMC experienced the bulk of its performance and reliability issues with the Yukon between 1999 to 2009.

The GMC Yukon Years You Should Avoid

GMC has built a very solid reputation within the auto industry, and they are usually regarded for manufacturing quality vehicles. However, the GMC Yukon is an SUV that has been met with some backlash from many drivers and received a ton of complaints. 

The Yukon was first introduced back in 1992, and car critics initially praised it for being a top-of-the-line SUV, but over the years, I have found that this vehicle’s performance and reliability have diminished with certain models. 

I looked into the problems that drivers ran into with their vehicles and found that the bulk of the issues was generally connected to specific years of the GMC Yukon. To ensure that you are buying a quality used vehicle, I recommend avoiding GMC Yukons from the following years. 

1999 GMC Yukon

The 1999 GMC Yukon experienced a number of issues, with the most significant being the front wheel ABS sensors failing. Many drivers also reported that noise started to develop in the front/rear differential, which was caused by worn-out bearings.

2001 GMC Yukon

Drivers who bought a 2001 GMC Yukon have complained about external engine oil and coolant leaks from their intake manifold gasket. Another common problem with the 2001 model is the infamous “No Start” due to the anti-theft system of the vehicle failing.

While cosmetic issues are usually not the first priority to assess, it’s also worth mentioning that many Yukons from this year also get cracked upper dashboards over time. 

2003 GMC Yukon

The 2003 Yukon did better than some of the previous years, but a lot of drivers had issues with the speedometer and instrument panel gauge malfunctioning, which results in unpredictable speed readings.

The “No Start” anti-theft system error was also a problem with the 2003 Yukon, as well as the power lock door actuators failing. However, one of the biggest issues with the Yukon this year was that some vehicle owners reported that their Yukon would stall out or die while they were driving. 

2004 GMC Yukon

Much like the 1999 GMC Yukon, the 2004 model had a lot of issues with the front wheel ABS sensor failing

Cosmetic issues such as the front dashboard getting cracked over time were also a common trend with this model, as well as faulty speedometers that would malfunction after several years. 

The “No Start” anti-theft system error, rusted brake lines, and engine cooling system issues were all faults of the 2004 Yukon.

GMC Yukon Years To Avoid 1 1 GMC Yukon Years To Avoid (Maybe All Of Them?)

2005 GMC Yukon

The 2005 GMC Yukon was particularly known for having problems with its air conditioning lines. Many drivers also reported that their brakes would begin to squeak and make noise well before their prime.

Lastly, vibrations caused by the transmission and cracked drive shafts were also consistent issues with a lot of the 2005 GMC Yukons.

2007 GMC Yukon

The biggest issue with the 2007 GMC Yukon was that vehicles from this year consumed an excessive amount of oil. This was something that generally developed between 40,000 – 60,000 miles, but some drivers noticed that the issue started even sooner.

The 2007 Yukon was also known for air conditioning and heating issues, poor steering and handling, malfunctioning accessories, and in some extreme cases, complete engine failure. Much like with many of the previous models, the 2007 Yukon’s dashboard would also crack over time. 

2008 GMC Yukon

While I found that the 2008 GMC Yukon did not have as many serious problems as some of the other years that I touched on, this model did experience safety issues with its airbags. Some tests and incidents have occured with the 2008 model that resulted in the airbags failing to deploy.

In addition, some drivers also reported that they had mechanical issues with the drivetrain and that electronic door locks malfunctioned. 

2009 GMC Yukon

Safety issues are my biggest concern with the 2009 GMC Yukon. While these are not very common, some drivers experienced their vehicle’s engine turning off abruptly while driving.

Much like the 2008 model, the 2009 Yukon also had a number of cases with the airbags failing to deploy.

2015 GMC Yukon

Many drivers who bought the 2015 GMC Yukon have complained that their vehicle’s air conditioning system became faulty after 65,000 miles

Transmission issues were also apparent with the 2015 model but this was not as common as the AC malfunction. The main symptom of the transmission issue was that the vehicle would start to vibrate and feel shaky when driving.

Common Issues With the GMC Yukon

I’ve found that many of the issues that the GMC Yukon is known for tend to be consistent with models from other problematic years. Given that these faults are so common across the board, I highly recommend that you evaluate all GMC Yukons for the following issues.

  • Faulty air conditioning
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Vibrations from transmission
  • Cracked dashboards
  • Inaccurate tailgate
  • ABS sensor malfunctions
  • “No start” anti-theft warning error 

While you are much more likely to encounter these issues with specific models, don’t rule out the possibility of any GMC Yukon having these problems. 

The Best GMC Yukon Years

The GM GMC Yukon has undeniably had some bad years and smart car owners who want a reliable vehicle should avoid them when shopping. With that said, that by no means implies that the Yukon is a bad full size SUV. 

If you like the specs and performance capabilities that the GMC Yukon offers, you should watch out for vehicles from the following years.

  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

While GMC Yukons from these years have a very solid reputation, I always recommend that you conduct a thorough inspection and test drive when buying a used Yukon.

Key Takeaways

  • The GMC Yukon years to avoid are 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2015.
  • The most common issues with the GMC Yukon are faulty air conditioning, excessive oil consumption, vibrations from the transmission, cracked dashboards, ABS sensor malfunctions, inaccurate tailgate, and “No start” anti-theft warning errors.
  • The best GMC Yukon years are 1998, 2000, 2006, 20012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019.