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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Transmission Problems



  • Sarah at GM Customer Service...

    I truly appreciate you stepping up and taking initiative in taking care of the transmission issues that these GM Clients are having. I'd be lying to you if I told you that I didn't have one in my '02 Silverado... b/c I did. I was lucky enough to have a GM Regional close enough for me to grab to assess my truck's illness, and have it taken care of.

    I still have the same truck, but I've blown through more than a few transmissions b/c of racing. Matter of fact I bought a GM 364ci crate motor, and wouldn't have had it any other way.

    Regards... Lady3bGlover aka GM Junkie
  • Good morning Lady3bGlover,

    Thank you for your kind post! We do all that we can in these situations; unfortunately it isn't always a perfect resolution for everybody. It's great that you're enjoying your truck and we hope you enjoy many more happy miles!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • ceb66ceb66 Posts: 70
    edited October 2012
    Ask your salesman if the 5.3 liter six speed clunks growls lags bangs lunges when stopping...

    Drive it at 45 mph on level ground and determine if the AFM growls in and out of 5th and 6th. Drive at that speed for a few miles and see if there is an occasional bang as the computer picks up the slack in the driveline.

    Then, check the top of GM truck forums like this one. The transmission issues on these new trucks is in the top discussions on more than one.

    Ask your salesman if they've had complaints!
  • chuck1919chuck1919 Posts: 176
    edited October 2012
    They sell 40000 units a month ceb-yours slams bangs whatever. BUY ANOTHER TRUCK AND MOVE ON. You have the same 12 people posting the same comment. How many times have you posted the above comment? HOW MANY?
  • Ms. Sarah..

    What I don't understand is why the problems with the 6spd trans? I did have some nominal problems with my trans on '04, and it was taken care of. From reading a good number of the posts, the trans pump seems to be the issue. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    If I may be so bold and make a suggestion, because of the smoothness of the GM transmission's shift, why not tune the shift points a little later in the RPM's. and let the customer get the full advantage of the 5.3's power?

    And for those who don't know, the 4.8, 5.3, and 6.0 liter engines are all the same block, just different bore. So there are more than a few parts that are interchangeable.

    I'm on my 2nd engine, and there are more happy miles on the way!!
  • ceb66ceb66 Posts: 70
    edited October 2012
    Sierra Silverado Escalade Yukon buyers, make sure you thoroughly test drive these trucks before purchase. The 6 speed 5.3 liter AFM drivetrain/powertrain clunk and slam like crazy on my 2011. The 2012s and 2013s have the same tranny motor combo. GM knows about it but won't correct it on earlier models. Not saying the new ones do it. Just saying drive and ask!

    Hopefully this gives a potential buyer a "heads up."
  • The very simple answer is fuel mileage, that is why we have to deal with a lot of the problems.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    edited October 2012
    The 2012s and 2013s have the same tranny motor combo. GM knows about it but won't correct it on earlier models. Not saying the new ones do it. Just saying drive and ask!

    Hopefully this gives a potential buyer a "heads up."


    Your not saying they don't either. You don't know if there have been any ECM or transmission control updates on the 2012s.

    BTW CEB-If in fact there are still a few issues-I am sure the Chevy salesman will tell you "Oh Yea, we got these things lined up in the service entrance"!LOL!

    And you can't tell any issues from a short test drive.
  • my silverado 5.3 /4 speed auto Z71 same odd shifting problems 70,000 miles.setup to tow never towed dont live in the hills and i take exilent care of my truck. 3 and 4 gear out dealer dont now why .$45000.00 GM says sorry you need a GM certafied rebuild.Was thinking about a new truck not GM i also purchase a few trucks for my company they.I talked to GM they dont care not sure why ? maby they sell to many trucks and dont whant our busness
  • 2010 silverado 1500 with 43,000 miles. The tire monitor system sensors are already messing up. This is probably the 10th problem I've had since I bought my truck new. Not worth the $50,000 I paid for it. Spends more time in the shop than on the road.
  • When you said your tire monitoring is messing up, what have you done to assure yourself you're not driving on a flat?

    The battery in the transmitter could be going out. 43k mi on a vehicle you should still be covered under warranty, unless you're the second owner.

    Go old school, get a tire gauge and check it. Do the tires look low? Do you hear a leak?

    IMO I'd have those sensors torn the hell out, and get nitrogen in at the next rotation.

    As far as the transmission, have you flushed when recommended, or did you pass it up?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Replacement sensors can be bought cheaper than from the dealer. He would have to go to the dealer to recalibrate. Also, the thing with taking the sensors out is the light on the dash will always be on. There is not an easy way (if possible at all) to turn it off.
  • I have worked on cars my whole life, so I have a pretty good idea of when something is messed up. This many problems should not be happening this early. And I do have nitrogen in my tires. I also do not have a flat. The sensors are messing up. They aren't covered under warranty, however, because they are only covered under the bumper to bumper warranty
  • Ever since GM went to fly-by-wire for their throttle control, and went to 6 speed transmissions, there have been nothing but problems. Of course we all saw the original advertisements that said they did it because "you will get better throttle response". What a joke. The only reason they did it was so they could manage peak torque in the drivetrain, and have a shot at having the transmissions and other under-engineered drivetrain components make it the 5 year 100k powertrain warranty. The end result is an absolutely [non-permissible content removed] driving experience. Unless you are going to drive it like a grandpa, forget it. The horrible programming in these ECU's and TCU's has resulted in very sluggish downshifting, transmissions slamming into gear and lurching when downshifting from 2-1, and missing shifts altogether. I called the dealer once, and they said it was normal. I asked if it was normal for me to hold 1/4 throttle and 4k RPM's doing 15mph in 1st gear, and them for it to slam into 3rd. This is over the course of 2 city blocks, with no load on the truck. I told the service manager I would bring the truck in once parts were blowing out the bottom of it, otherwise, I knew I would just get the same run around as I did on my 2008 3/4 ton gasser, which shifted like crap ALL the time. GM engineers should be fired for putting this crap on the road. BTW, my current truck is a 2011 Sierra 1500 5.3.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    I knew I would just get the same run around as I did on my 2008 3/4 ton gasser, which shifted like crap ALL the time.

    And you bought a 2011 hoping it would be better? That's what's called brand loyalty?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,055
    Good afternoon lm69000miles,

    We're sorry to hear that you are having troubles with your Silverado. It looks as though you may already have started a Service Request with us, but if you haven't and if you wanted for us to get one going for you please contact us at with more information (including your name and contact information, a summary of the situation, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • ceb66ceb66 Posts: 70
    New GM 5.3 liter 6 speed truck buyer; make sure you test drive these trucks extensively at 45 mph on level ground. Not just a normal test drive. Make sure you take it out for a while.

    -Place the display on Active Fuel Management (AFM) mode (display shows movement from 4 to 8 cylinders) and determine if the truck growls, lags and may even occasionally bang when switching from 4 to 8.

    -Check for slop/slash in the rear end as you slow to turn a corner. Especially to the right for some reason! As you step on the gas, see if the truck lags, then "catches" and lurches.

    -Ask the salesman if there are any internal GM service bulletins regarding the 6 speed transmission with AFM.

    I you're going to do alot of driving like I do (in town and out of town) between 40 and 50 mph, make sure you test drive these trucks at that speed.

    My 2011, like other 2010's and 2011's, is incredibly annoying to drive. Worst part, GM knows it.


  • At first, the 2011 didn't seem like it had all the horrible tendencies of the 2008, but it does, and worse. I got a screaming deal on the 2011, including $3k in buyback assistance, and about $9800 in other incentives (off dealer invoice, not sticker price). As of today, with 10k miles on my truck, I can trade it in for what I paid for it. I am just waiting for GM to address the problems. From a stop, the truck shifts fine when going 0-60. All of the problems are at 45mph and slower. Downshifts take max throttle input, which I can live with. The worst of it is getting on and off the throttle in slower traffic. The tranny seems like it is fighting itself, loading up, slamming in and out of gears, and always wants to push me into the vehicle in front of me when slowing down. I don't know if it is a software or mechanical issue, but it is dangerous in my book. I will not have this truck past the 3 year 36k warranty. Some of the shifts are so bad, I wonder if a u joint is going to snap. Then try driving it cold (ambient temp 32F). Everything is magnified 10x.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I don't know if it is a software or mechanical issue, but it is dangerous in my book.

    The torque converter spends as much time as possible "locked" when it's in gear. That's what you are feeling. The brakes work when applied.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    GM truck buyer, please know "ceb66" has a personal vendetta against GM and doesn't like some of the normal operating parameters of his truck. For example, if you put the truck in manual mode gear 5 around time, it doesn't display those characteristics at all. Besides, who wants any vehicle shifting in to 6th gear around town. Unlike some manufacturers, GM actually gives you away to avoid this. Also, check check out cebs66 hundreds of other posts where he says the same thing over and over and over again. He thinks if the post count under this topic reaches some miracle milestone GM will buy back his truck.
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