Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade Hybrid

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
Does anyone have any experience with these trucks. Considering getting one, a 2010 to 2012 model. The only complaints I have ever heard about them is that fuel mileage is lower in colder weather, and higher in warmer weather. And that the battery pack needs replacement/refurbished every 150k miles.

Found a Escalade, and Yukon local to me, for a decent price, and a couple Tahoes further out.

I know its a 2 mode CVT transmission, a 6.0 engine, GU4 3.08 rear axle, and usually they were either fully loaded (escalade/yukon), or completely stripped of all options (mostly tahoes). Not much middle ground.

I would think these DONT have the AFM/DOD, but cant find anything confirming that?
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
6.0 would not have AFM iirc. A friend had one. Liked it quite a lot. No real issues outside normal ones of vehicles of the Era. Cracked dash, electronics etc.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I looked into this once and you would be basically at the mercy of the dealer to fix anything with the hybrid system. It needs the dealer's specific hybrid diagnostic system for it even just to replace the battery packs. And they stopped making them so that tells you something.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Also, the hybrid-specific parts are more costly, because they were specialized / lower-volume. Things like the power steering reservoir on the GMT800 (Silverado 1500) hybrids, for example (they probably used the BAS (alternator stop/start)). You can see the difference on those in the service manual. Take a look on Rock (as an example), and compare similar parts between the regular and hybrid trucks.

And as Moose said (and you're aware), the transmission is a unicorn. Finding someone to do major service on it... might be tough, outside of the dealer. And I didn't know it was a CVT. That alone would scare me away. I had a (non-GM) car with a CVT once, and would not want to repeat the experience (yes, different tech than the 2-mode GM trans).

Think about why those got a 6.0L, even though they were 1500 / half-ton... they had a LOT of extra weight to manage. Given the MPG penalty of the 6.0L over the (normal) 5.3L, you know GM would have used the smaller engine, if it were 'enough' (or else, they put it in to help 'sell' the hybrid, since you could only get that engine in a HD-rated truck or SUV (or a Caddy). One or the other, I'm sure.

I don't know whether they had AFM, but if they did... it would probably be calibrated more aggressively than the same system in a non-hybrid.

As one who earlier had three (!) non-GM hybrids in the family (two for me, one for the wife), I can attest to the mileage / weather issue you brought up (although, to an extent, that's true for any ICE-equipped vehicle, either with gas *or* diesel. They're just not as thermally-efficient in (really) cold temps (and fuel is reformulated to burn more readily in winter temps -- which hurts FE, vs. in the summer months. It's just not as apparent, because 'summer blend' has more ethanol (and fewer of some other compounds), masking what would normally be improved FE, vs. winter blend).

And, yeah... once it comes time to replace the traction battery... it's gonna be expensive, to the point where all of the fuel savings you accumulated are lost on the pack replacement. There's one brand that doesn't suffer as much from this... Toyota, with their HSD, which have packs designed to go up to 200K mi., and often go about 50K longer, before dying. Even then, it largely depends on your driving habits (which will likely need to change), in order to come out ahead, money-wise. Which leaves the 'environmental' factor -- and some will posit that the extra outputs necessary to make the car, add more pollution than the car will negate, during its lifecycle.

Hybrids were a nice bridge technology... which I bought into, for awhile... and I actually also liked GM's strategy with the Volt (where the engine was there only to replenish the electric propulsion drive). But 'full' electric is where things are going, and quicker than I'd have thought, too.

BTW, as an aside... GM and Honda entered into an agreement a couple of weeks ago to produce BEVs together (I think four new ones, two for each of them). Honda styling with GM underpinnings (GM's battery tech is really strong, I hear... must be, IMO, if Honda decided to throw in with them on this, although the two companies already had an established relationship, and get along well together). To be built in GM plants, IIRC (no NUMMI joint-venture plants, like GM / 'Yota did a couple of decades ago)


TL; DR: If you want a GM full-size truck / SUV, no worries -- IMHO, they do those vehicles very well, compared to their competition -- but I'd steer away from their full-size hybrids of that era, if you're risk-averse.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Like he said :smile:
Even the engine block is different. There is no starter in the traditional sense but a flywheel mounted motor/alternator.
 
OP
TollKeeper

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
Not sure if you guys knew... The Hybrid system in the GM Full Size Hybrid vehicles are made by Toyota (under the name Primearth), including the battery pack. The cells in the battery pack came directly from the Prius. The Prius has 28 cells, and the GM trucks have 40. Failure rates have been awkward for the battery packs. If you find a higher mileage truck, usually the battery is still good, and original. But the lower mile trucks are to be cautioned, and to have money set aside for battery replacement, or to have it replaced as a condition of purchase.

From what I can tell, there is no starter at all, or even a starter hole, or starter mounting bosses. There is a motor/generator inside the 2ML70 4 speed transmission that not only is used to start the engine, but can drive the truck in a fully electric, or electric assist mode. The failure rate of the transmission has been incredibly low, at less than 0.1%. This has been attributed to the transmission not having a torque converter, and generating a lot less heat. I think the number might be skewed, as the resale value on these trucks has been horrid, so if the tranny did go out, the owner might just say screw it, and junk it.

There is a AFM/DOD system on the Hybrid trucks, as well as the mentioned Start/Stop technology. Apparently, it spends most of its time in 4 cylinder mode, unless its during hard pulls (going up hill or pulling a trailer, or during cold starts to get the system up to operating temp).

You are correct, the battery pack had an exclusive patent on it (expired 3 years ago), and was only available from the dealer, for 3600 bucks, or more. Now they are available on the aftermarket from Cardone (thats scary), and other hybrid battery pack specialist. They can be had for 1250, and up, depending on warranty.

I do see these trucks consistently up into the 200-250k miles, still running and driving. But man, I would hate to have been the original owners, the ROI had to have been horrid, but thats pretty typical for most of GM/Big3.
 
Last edited:
OP
TollKeeper

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
I have seen 5 of these trucks well into the 700k miles. They were used a railroad crew transportation, and the trucks basically never got shut off. I actually drove one when it was still in the 400k range. It was still on the original tranny and engine. It was a company truck, so I never knew how much money was dumped into the battery or other components.

They quit making these because of the bankruptcy that also broke up the Toyota/GM marriage.

The railroad crews hated them. The front seats, and middle seats were good. But if you were a lowly brakemen, you were sent into the 3rd row, which were not really suited to big burly railroad guys.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
But was mileage that much better compared to a regular gasser?
 
OP
TollKeeper

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
The ones that we were driving in St Louis for the railroad were 2wd, and averaged 23.7 mpg. It seemed the higher the speed, the higher the fuel mileage. I think 16? maybe 18? was the stated highway mileage for the gasser.

For them it made sense, 100k+ miles a year, at a 6-8 MPG over normal. The math worked. Basically every 4-5th tank was free. They were driving 400-1500 miles a day.

On the Hybrid forums, the 2008-2009 models got normal, non-hybrid fuel mileage, due to some firmware issue. It could be updated, and would correct it to get the window sticker fuel mileage, which was 1mpg less than the 2010-2012 models.

Spent a majority of the night last night getting info on these (in case you couldnt tell LOL)..

As you know, I had been wanting a 9-7x or Rainier. But with another little on the way, the GMT360 I dont think is going to cut it for my families road trips. Baby seats, dogs, luggage, food. The XUV was pefect for this with one kid... dogs and kid in the back seat, stuff in the trunk, trailer for toys. Now that I am looking at 2 kids.. I need more trunk for the pups, and gear, that still can pull the trailer/toys.

Edit: I was really hoping to find a Tahoe/Yukon Hybrid that had second row captains chairs. But this was not an option on the Hybrid, as the battery pack sat underneath the second row. The seat was the batteries protection barrier. I am just finding out that the Escalades and Yukon Denalis were not offered with the G80, but could be ordered with them. All the ones I have found so far did not have the G80 except one, with 273k miles.
 
Last edited:

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
I've never had an escalade with a G80. They all were the AWD system that used the ABS for switching power side to side. I know it could be had however. They always did well enough without it I never really thought about it.

Does the hybrid use that setup?
 
OP
TollKeeper

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
I think it comes down to spec..

For Hybrids..
I have seen 1 Yukon AWD model with the G80, and the rest were open rear ends
I have seen quite a few Yukon 4x4 with the G80, about 50/50 inbetween open rears and G80
I have seen 0 Escalade AWD with G80, all were open rear ends
I have seen 1 Escalade 4x4 with a open rear
Tahoes have been about a 50/50 mix of 2wd and 4x4. Of the 4x4, its been another mixed bag of G80 and open rears, and no AWD's that I have found.
 
Last edited:

vipergg

Well-Known Member
My next door neighbor had the Tahoe version and that thing was in the shop in constantly . He had it for 2 years and then he had enough and traded it for Toyota Sequoia .
 
OP
TollKeeper

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
So I went and test drove a 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid, just to get an idea of what it drove like, and an idea of things to expect. It looked pretty good, Pearl white, leather, heated seats, Navigation, rear entertainment system, pretty well loaded up. I ask him if I can take it on a test drive, and I hand the salesman my license....

So I made it about a mile down the road on the test drive, and the "Oil Pressure" light came on with some dinging, and a message on the info center that said stop engine. This test drive is not going as planned... I pulled over, turned on the hazards, and shut it down.

I call the dealer up, let him know whats going on, and he says he will be there in a few minutes. He comes down the road in some car, and asks me if it will still start, and drive. I tell him I think it will, he asks me to drive it back to the dealer, to which I respond, hell no, its not my car, I aint going to be responsible for blowing it up. He agrees with me, and tells me to drive his car back..

So I hop in the car.. And this is when I realize its a Tesla Model Y Dual Motor. This one to be more specific...


First one I have ever sat in, let alone drive. I know these cars can be fast, but was also under the impression that the high HP mode had to be turned on (not the Ludacris mode). I was figuring something akin to a more peppy Prius or something..

THESE CARS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.

By the time I figured out how to put it into gear, the salesman was quite a ways down the road. So I nailed it to catch up to him. It scared the shit out of me so much, my brain couldnt comprehend that I needed to take my foot off the "go-fast" pedal. By the time my brain caught up to what was going on, I had maybe gone 1/8 mile, and I was going well into the 100mph range. It pushed me back in the seat so much that my back popped, and it still freaking hurts 2 hours later!

So as far as the Tesla goes, would I buy one... Only if I had a good lawyer on retainer. I have driven some high horsepower cars before, Huracan, 458 Italia, 911 Turbo, 911 GT3, SLS, 675LT.. That Tesla, in my opinion, would put them all to shame! That power would be more addicting than I think I could drive without putting my foot on the floor every day, every stop light, every thing I did.

So the dealer is going to call me, after they get the Yukon thru their shop. No chance of me buying it. I dont know how long that engine has been being driven with oil pressure issues.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I'll betcha it's the same issue with the sender, or the filter under it for DOD although it's not unheard of a pickup or pump bypass issue.
 

littleblazer

Gold Supporter
My cousin had the p100d with the Ludacris speed... I will agree. Need a good lawyer lol. I actually got sick from how hard it launches.
 

TGstring

Member
a good friend of mine has a hybrid escalade and it has been, literally, 100% mechanically reliable. Has gotten as low as 8.9L/100km calculated, a few times, which when you come to think of it, is extraordinary in what hast to be a 6000lb kleenex box! The only issues he's faced is the power hatch causing him grief, along with the powered running boards, and the air shock compressor. Everything else has been rock solid. Currently has around 250,000 kms.
 

Online statistics

Members online
2
Guests online
237
Total visitors
239

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
21,447
Messages
612,193
Members
15,380
Latest member
Shaatt

Secure Browsing

Top Bottom