Did you know?Chevy Avalanche was launched in 2001 as a 2002 model on the GMT800 platform.
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My Avalanch has 84,000 miles, and I purchased it this last July. Don't know about the last time it had a tuneup. I have never cleaned the MAF Sensor, but I will give it a try tomorrow.
It may not be the wires since you said it runs fine after a few miles.
The motor starts right up, but then the motor will go to 3 to 4 thousand rpms, then it starts to sputter like the motor is going to die, and it drops down under 1 thousand rpms. then it shoots back up to 3 to 4 thousand rpms and then it sputters. This goes on for about 5 minutes, and then it stops. ... Does anyone have any ideas of what could be wrong? ... or cracked manifold gaskets?