Trucks & SUVs

2006 Was the Worst Hummer H3 Model Year by Far

Hummers were one of those vehicles that came through the auto world like a hurricane. It was featured in movies like Be Cool, was driven by celebrities, and was one of the most popular vehicles of its day. Then the Hummer was discontinued in 2010. 

Now that General Motors has decided to resurrect the Hummer, some drivers may be having fond memories of the legend. Others may be contemplating buying a used one. If you’re in the market for a used Hummer, Car Complaints reports that the 2006 H3 was the worst model year the Hummer had. 

The history behind the Hummer legend

Like the Wrangler, Hummer had its roots in the military. So how did it become a civilian vehicle? According to Business Insider, Arnold Schwarzenegger saw a Humvee and decided he wanted one.

Since the American government doesn’t exactly sell military vehicles to civilians, even if they are celebrities, AM General was forced to tell him no. But that didn’t stop AM General from designing a civilian version for Schwarzenegger. Seeing a real money-making opportunity, AM General began to mass-produce a civilian Humvee that they named the Hummer.

Things went well for Hummer in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t meant to be. Gas prices were probably the biggest pitfall for the massive vehicle. Many Hummers got only 9-14 mpg on average. When gas prices began to rise in 2008, many drivers were forced to give up their beloved Hummer, and many more sat on the car lot.

Eco-friendly activist also played a role in Hummer’s downfall, pointing out that it was harsh on the environment. In 2010, General Motors choose to retire the Hummer.

Engine problems

The biggest problem facing the 2006 Hummer H3 was the engine. It was plagued with issues. Owners reported that it ran roughly, had leaky valves, cylinder heads failed, had low compression, and the engine failed. 

To say that owners were extremely frustrated is an understatement. One owner stated, “I am so irritated I can’t even begin to form intelligible sentences.” Another owner said, “My Hummer has been in the shop 3 times, for the same problem. I am so ready to blow this car up.”

The biggest engine problem cost about $3,100 to repair and typically began to show up about 84,300 miles. Owners reported replacing the head gasket and the leaking valves in the engine helped fix the problem.

Electrical problems

The second biggest problem facing the 2006 Hummer H3 was electrical problems. The Passlock, which was designed to prevent thieves from using a false key to start the Hummer, would come on randomly. This, in turn, prevented the Hummer from starting for at least 10 minutes. 

It’s easy to imagine how frustrating this was for many drivers. The very thing meant to protect owners from having their Hummer stolen was the issue that prevented them from being able to drive it. 

One driver reported that they tried buying a part from Amazon, but it didn’t work. After that, they took it to a GM dealership where the ignition switch was replaced. This seemed to repair the problem. The Passlock light began to turn on about 66,300 miles, and cost about $500 to fix.

Body/paint problems

It’s no secret that water can be harmful to a car. It’s especially bad when it’s in the interior. Some owners who purchased the 2006 H3 had some real horror stories of water totally flooding their Hummer. One owner reported that the problem was so bad that their H3 began to smell so bad they became physically ill.

Each owner who complained reported that the problem was never solved. The dealers were never able to identify where the leak was coming from. The average mileage when this nightmare began was 120,750 miles.