Is my 2004 GMC Yukon Denali worth repairing?

Need help deciding if I should have my 2004 GMC Yukon Denali repaired or if I should attempt to replace it. Backstory/details: has aprox 201k mi. Replaced transmission 2-3 years ago. Recently replaced water pump. Have had regular maintenance and recently had some hoses replaced as well as brakes and rear shocks.

Now oil pump has gone out. Shop wants $2300 ish to replace. I do not have the skills or tools to replace myself.

How would one decide if its better to repair and risk another high dollar repair in the near future OR sell for whatever I can get for it and attempt to replace.

A similarly aged vehicle with less miles but without the other repairs already done lists for 10k-22k

I paid 4.5k for this vehicle in 2018.

This Forum and others get this question all the time . There is not an answer that fits all the time.

Such as: 1. 2300.00 will not get you a decent used vehicle 2. that is about 4 patments on a new vehicle 3. Something else could break the day after you fix this problem 3. Another shop might be cheaper but you will have to pay the current shop for their time and towing charges .

All I can say is that is a decision that has to be made by you and anyone else in the home that lets both of you sleep at night .

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First off, it likely is not you oil pump. These engines commonly fail the O rings on an oil system part nicknamed the barbell. If you have 4wd, it is a lot of work to get to the part. Thst is the $2300.

Second, you answered your own question. If you sell a broken truck, you’ll get much less than $2300 less than the truck is worth. Then you’ll have to pay 10 to 22K for another. AND you got a great deal on this in 2018.

Fix it, do a little shopping for a newer truck and then decide if you want to trade.


Oil pump has gone out? Highly unlikely. More likely, the engine is worn out. Still, if the vehicle is in good physical condition, no rust/body damage then it makes sense to fix it, and keep driving it. Have you looked at what new(er) vehicles cost these days? A repair of a few thousand dollars is peanuts compared to that!

these trucks and engines are beastly. As @Mustangman said, this is very likely the oring for oil pickup tube/oil pump. Cheap part, but hard to get at- and while you are in there- it’s a good idea to do the other front seals (there is a cam seal behind the timing chain gear- don’t forget it!) and maybe even the timing chain (and do the oil pump while it is apart, as well.).

having said all that, if this is worth repairing is dependent on in what shape the rest of the truck is in, and what shape the engine is in.
If it is rough, full of rust, or other body damage, and nothing else works- then it isn’t as much worth fixing as if everything else is fantastic. This is a decision you must make.

if it were mine (and in Dec of 2021- this was my trucks issue,) I’d repair it. But my truck is in very good shape and I know its history.

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THAT is worth a LOT in the used car world. The devil you know vs the one you don’t!


Definitely get a 2nd opinion on the repairs. Oil pumps don’t usually go bad, but it’s not unheard of.

Sounds like you’ve already replaced the other “high dollar” stuff, like the transmission.

I will ask more questions to the shop directly, my info was filtered through my partner who took it in for me. He asked if I want to fix it or if I want him to help me get something else but not likely enough budget to get a mich newer vehicle. The body and interior do have damage BUT my kids dad lives on a very poor Indian reservation where we go every summer and a really good running awd vehicle that doesnt look TOO good is actually in my favor. I still have semi feral small kids and I dont really want to be stressed out about them trashing the interior of my dream vehicle AND their cousins are completely feral and will definitely trash anything nice in the 10 days we spend there…So my concern is if I fix this that other things will fail next…part of me thinks its better to just replace parts as they fail instead of a car payment and higher insurance costs but part of me is worried I would fix it and then lose the whole thing if the heads go or?? I haven’t replaced the timing chain but some basic searching I did says those should last the life of the engine on these vehicles…super helpful to hear what others think

Yes! Prices are insane right now. Aome are speculating that vehicles will just become more and more difficult to get so look for something newer now? But I have already replaced a bunch of parts on this and I dont think there is a budget for anything much newer.

If the body is in decent condition, and there are no other major issues, then you should repair or replace the engine. Even a major repair such as this is far less money than the down payment on a new(er) vehicle, and you can avoid an expensive monthly payment which lasts for years.

Two big factors I consider when determining whether it’s worth making a major repair to a vehicle is, how old the vehicle is, and what badge the vehicle wears.

Some I wouldn’t waste my time or money.


How do I determine “badge”
Status? Its a 2004. I am finding a few similarly aged vehicles under 10k with 60-80k less miles but of course likely not already having the repairs I have done to mine. Someone told me these engines can go to close to 300k but not how or where to verify that.

The “badge” of your vehicle is GM. Some like them, others don’t.
I am in the latter category.

And I consider just about any GM vehicle worthwhile to repair. So for the original poster to try to use that information based on what appears in an online forum probably isn’t helpful.

What I consider more important is asking “Do you like the car and does it do what you need it to do?”


That’s a good purchase price. I’d say you’ve got your money’s worth, and now it’s time to move on. Ask the mechanic’s shop if they want to buy it. They could fix it in their spare time and hopefully sell it repaired, and still make a little profit. They might also be able to recommend something newer for you to consider as a replacement vehicle. I’m thinking a Toyota Sequoia or 4Runner circa 2010-2015 model would be a good choice for you.

Consumer Reports Used Car Report is something you should look at as well. Your local public library probably has it.