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Chevrolet Avalanche Transmission Problems



  • Hi Christina Yes i have called GM and yes the dealer is involved he as talked to someone at Technical Assistance what do you do at GM ? do you think you cud help ? i will give the dealer another week if i don't get any help i will email you all the info thanks Dean
  • mcogsmcogs Posts: 4
    Well, it finally happened. :mad: While driving I just lost fourth and third gears. I too have fell victim to this ever so popular problem. This all started with a slight clunk while shifting into drive and accelerating out of a turn. The dealer told me that this is "normal" backlash within the driveline. Then the vibration started. First around 20-30 mph and 55-70 mph. My first thought was the rear axle. I replaced the fluid, but then noticed the rear u-joint looked loose. I figured I'd change it this long weekend. But now have bigger issues. Yes, luckily it is under warranty so I will be dropping it off at the dealer tomorrow.

    How could GM let this happen to a transmission which is used by so many vehicles. :lemon: And their response is to increase the warranty? I love the GM vehicles and already swore many, many years ago to never buy a Ford again. After reading all these posts I cannot believe that this is even happening to newer vehicles, especially at lower mileage.

    What response has everyone been getting from the dealer? Overhaul? Replace? Is there an upgrade to the six-speed as part of the warranty?

    This is nonsense. $50,000 and it won't even make it to 100k???
  • mikeandgaylemikeandgayle Posts: 7
    edited November 2011
    I agree - this is total nonsense. When my trans went with only 74,000 (non-trailer, no heavy work) miles, all GM could say was sorry - you're not under warranty. There are clearly issues with the Avalance transmission, and as you note, we all paid significant money for these trucks and expect them to last at least to 100,000 miles. After 30 years of being a loyal GM customer, and spending about $250,000 on GM vehicles in that time, I've now swore off spending any more money on GM products!

    Everone here with premature transmission failures should file complaints with the National Transportation Safety Board. Since GM doesn't want to admit there's a problem, maybe NTSB can give it a look!
  • mcogsmcogs Posts: 4
    Here is an update... I looked online and found plenty of information on this transmissions. It is used in all light duty trucks and plenty of other rear wheel drive vehicles in GM's lineup. But it does seem that when it is in the 'lanche, it fails more often. Can it be something with the weight? Maybe it is just how often people report it. Maybe it is something to do with the cooling. Either way, it failed. I believe it is the forward sprag.

    I brought it to the dealer and they said it should be under the Powertrain warranty. I thought that if the vehicle is repaired under warranty, and if it takes more than 24 hours, GM will provide a loaner. Service guy says no loaner for you since it is not a repair under the regular warranty. Really???

    My vehicle is in for repairs because of a GM problem and I have to get and pay for a rental? I'm going to give corporate a call on Monday.
  • For all of us that have suffered premature transmission failures on our Avalanche, here is the link where you can report your issue to NTSB for investigation into a possible recall. My experience was that GM didn't care a bit about my transmission failure, and I'm sure that's the experience for most of you.

    Only if enough of us file reports, will we catch the attention of the regulators and perhaps compel GM to 'care' about this problem.
  • mcogsmcogs Posts: 4
    The final update here... GM fixed the truck. The policy about loaners with GM is they only provide them under the normal/extended warranty. Not the powertrain (bummer). But the good news is that the dealer did replace the tranny with a refurbished one, torque converter, the u-joints, radiator, and front diff/axle seals. All under the 5/100,000 powertrain warranty. There was so much damage: bands, clutches, pump, shafts, housings, converter, plugged cooler. The cost to rebuild exceeded the cost to replace.

    I am happy with the service I received from the dealer, but I am not happy that this happened in the first place.

    Plus, I do believe that this tranny should not be placed into trucks. It is the same model they use on many of the GM sedans. The 'Lanche is double the weight of those cars, and made to carry and tow even more weight. I do not believe a solution is: Not to tow or haul anything. That is what a truck is for, and that is what I bought a truck for.

    I don't think that a recall will be activated. It seems the problems are too widespread. Plus it is difficult to narrow the problems down to a specific part. I would like to see a separate tranny designed for trucks (didn't Toyota do this?)
  • I have an 07 Chevy avalanche was driving it yesterday when the transmission went out, it has 98800 miles on it so I tought I was lucky that the powertrain should cover it went to the dealership and when they check the vin it happens that the 5 yrs were up on Dec 1, so by about 26 days I'm screwed I had done all the maintenance never overloaded it just seems that for being such an expensive truck it should last longer, I also have a suburban has 200000 miles and no problems, after reading some of the posts here it seems that this transmissions have a defect, I called gm but they said that the warranty had expired I told them that they should still honor it since I'm still under the mileage, so I'm here to let my frustration out. :mad:
  • GM Tech Assistance just wasted my time when I contacted them. They had me send them all info related to the required trans. repair, vehicle purchase, vehicle use...and studied it for 2 weeks just to say, "sorry, you're out of warranty, we can't help". Well no kidding! The problem is GM knows there are problems with the Avalanche transmissions, and they continue to say sorry to us (previously) loyal GM owners. Sorry doesn't cut it...we need real action, GM. Talk is cheap, and won't keep us as GM buyers in the future!
  • Yep just happened to me 2005 Avalanche, 94K and lost drive, overdrive ans 3rd, She's in the sho now..... Thank god for Aamaco because Chevy blows.......
  • I am afraid I just involved myself with this tranny nightmare. I just purchased a 2007 LTZ with 85,000 miles. Thinking I covered all the basics with purchasing a used vehicle. There wasnt even a scratch on the interior wall of the towing hitch. Car Fax checked out and showed the privios owner bought it new and had all scheduled maintaince completed. HOWEVER, after only two weeks of use I noticed a quote "slight clunk while shifting into drive and accelerating out of a turn" as mentioned in the previous post. Does anyone have any sugestions that may help prevent total trans replacement.....?
  • jbw85jbw85 Posts: 1
    Merry Christmas, I stopped at an intersection, started to drive away when I heard a bang and my D & 3 is gone. Everything else works as it should. Took it into a shop & a clutch spring had broke. Was told that the new part is improved so this shouldn't happen again. Warranty, HUH! Why won't GM fix the problem if they know it has a design flaw? Guess I should have stuck to the Ford.
  • On Sunday January 8th, my wife and I were heading back home from church and just as we pulled out of the lot we heard a clunking noise. A quarter mile down the road the "Transmission Hot" display came on the the dash. We were able to make it home going at a slower rate of speed and eventually the light went out. I called GM Customer Service when I got home to notify them what had happened. They didn't have any suggestions, but just asked if I was towing something at the time and other questions to which the answer was no. I decided to take my Avalanche to the dealer the next morning to have it checked out. Later that day, on the 9th, the service manager advised me that they were able to determine that 2nd and 4th were out. I asked him if it could be repaired and he said they would have to tear into it to find out. I asked how much that was going to be and he said around $580.00. What choice did I have, so I let them tear into it starting on the 10th. Didn't hear anything on the 10th or 11th but on the afternoon of the 12th, the service manager advised that the transmission was "pretty well cooked" and that I would need to replace it with a remanufactured transmission for around $3200.00. He said the remanufactured one would come with a 3yr/100,000 mile warranty. I told him I would get back with him. In the evening I called back GM Customer Service and had to leave a message for them to call me back. Based on everything I've read on this message board, it appears that this transmission has a well known history of failing and I don't believe a 2005 Avalanche with only 88,000 miles on should have failed. I've use my vehicle for mostly going to and from work and on long trips. I don't drive like some teenagers either. Hopefully, GM will accept responsibility for their failed defective equipment and provide me with a remanufactured transmission. It appears the transmission was designed to go out past the 5yr mark, which of course is out of warranty. If I understand correctly from reading the posts here, this transmission is really not a "truck" transmission but is also used in some of GM's other sedans which weigh a lot less and are not used for the same types of things a truck is meant for. It's no wonder it failed. :mad:
  • I contacted GM a few times, spoke to a couple of customer service specialists at headquarters, and while they were all so sorry about my premature transmission failure, they were more sorry that I was out of warranty...and out of luck. They won't live up to their mistake and would rather lose good customers like us. B/t/w, I just had brake lines at the master cylinder blow out for no good reason. My Ava is falling apart at 80,000 miles...way to go, GM!
  • Were you assigned a Service Request number when you called? If you were to email this to us, we can look into this to make sure that things were thorough.
    GM Customer Service
  • I called GM Customer Service when I got home to notify them what had happened. I talked with a lady named Francis. She didn't have any suggestions, but just asked if I was towing something at the time and other questions to which the answer was no.

    I decided to take my Avalanche to the Chevrolet dealer from whom I had purchased my vehicle the next morning to have it checked out. Later that day, on the 9th, the Bob Howard Service Manager, Richard Underhill advised me that they were able to determine that 2nd and 4th were out. I asked him if it could be repaired and he said they would have to tear into it to find out. I asked how much that was going to cost to tear into it and he said around $580.00. Given little choice to determine the severity of the problem, I let them tear into it starting on the 10th. I didn't hear anything on the 10th or 11th, but on the afternoon of the 12th, Richard Underhill advised me that the transmission was "pretty well cooked" and that I would need to replace it with a remanufactured transmission for a cost of around $3200.00. He said the remanufactured (not new) one would come with a 3yr/100,000 mile warranty. I told him I would get back with him. In the evening I called back GM Customer Service and had to leave a message for Francis to call me back. On the 13th of January, 2012 in the afternoon I decided to call GM Customer Service again since I hadn’t heard back from Francis. The lady I talked with made notes of what I told her with regard to what Richard Underhill had advised me after tearing into the transmission and said that Francis would get back in touch with me within 24 hours.

    Based on everything I've read while doing research on the internet about this issue, it appears that this transmission has a well known history of failure, not only in the Avalanche, but other GM vehicles as well. I don't believe a 2005 Avalanche with only 88,000 miles on it should have a transmission that fails. I've use my vehicle for mostly going to and from work and on long trips. I don't drive like some teenagers either. Everything I have read about the transmission problems on Avalanches seems to happen to models 2004 and newer. Regardless of warranty coverage, a transmission should not fail with only 88000 miles on any vehicle. I even asked the Service Manager at Bob Howard, Richard Underhill about this and he agreed with me that it should not have failed with that low of mileage.

    GM states that they are “committed to delivering vehicles with flawless quality and reliability”. There are clearly issues with the Avalanche transmission, and I paid significant money for this truck and expect it to last at least 100,000 miles plus. I love driving it and I love everything about my truck, especially the sporty look, comfort, the handling, and the spaciousness. There’s one thing I was not expecting with my Avalanche – a transmission with known engineering flaws. Yet that’s what I’ve been seeing all over the Internet – comments, complaints and reviews not just for the 2002 year – but for many years from 2000 through 2011. This is the third Avalanche I’ve purchased (2002 Z66, 2003 Z71, 2005 Z71), and I tell people this is the best thing since sliced bread. I have loved this vehicle but will not do business with a company that refuses to stand behind their product or long time loyal customers.

    But I have been left with such a feeling of disappointment. I have always made it my priority to deal only with companies that take pride in designing a good and safe product. I am hoping that GM can do something to help my me and my family to continue to believe in the quality of GM products. Will GM help me to make my truck drivable again? General Motors states that they are passionate about designing, building and selling the world’s best vehicles, and this vision is the hallmark of their customer-driven culture. I can only hope and pray that GM will consider doing the right thing for this loyal customer.
  • Well, after spending some two and a half weeks going back and forth from Francis, whom I could hardly understand, and talking with the service person at Bob Howard Chevrolet, I finally was made an offer whereby I paid half of the cost of transmission replacement. I felt it was best to take that offer, since one, I had been without my Avalanche now for 2 1/2 weeks, and two, I was beginning to think Francis at GM Customer Service was my second wife as we had more unproductive conversations than I care to think about and I had had enough of that. I'm not really sure who the offer of paying half came from, the Service Manager at the dealership Forrest Reining, or GM Corp. In any case, I agreed to pay half which my total came to $1420.93. I still feel that I shouldn't have had to pay anything, but technically I was out of warranty, that is past the 5 year mark, but under the 100,000 miles.

    The replacement transmission supposedly comes with a 3yr, 100,000 mile warranty. Will I keep this Avalanche past either one of those marks? Probably not, because I feel that the replacement transmission is just as bad as the original and will go out after the 3yr mark but under the 100,000 miles. Hopefully, I can trade the Avalanche I love for some other vehicle whose company will do the right thing (ya think).

    If you wondered why I waited so long on at least getting some result from GM Cust Serv, it's because I went out the same day I took the Avalanche to the dealership to get fixed and bought a brand new 2012 Jeep Wrangler Sahara. Unfortunately, GM knows that most people cannot and will not wait to get some result from them, so the customer gives up and just goes ahead and pays for it themselves. A lot of people can't afford to have their vehicle tied up at the dealership for weeks waiting to find out if GM is going to stand by their product/s. Yes, I still need a truck, so I'll keep the Avalanche until it's time to get rid of it before the warranty runs out.

    All I can say to others out there is Good Luck! You'll need that, and a WHOLE lot of patience as well! Oh, and don't forget, some of your own money.

    My Service Request: 71-1026833584
    My National Highway Safety Administration/ODI Safety Complaint Number: 10443635 :lemon:
  • While it's surprising that they offered anything, just be aware that they're not losing any money on that deal, either. I had my trans. rebuilt by my local mechanic for $1700, so their 'offer' just brings the price down to reality. However, it's a bit better then the offer I received for $1000 coupon on the purchase of a new vehicle! I agree, we paid top dollar for these trucks expecting to pass 100,000 miles w/o major failures. Oh well :(
  • Hi folks,

    Unfortunately, I think I might be joining the broken Chevy Avalanche transmission club, a most unfortunate club to belong. My tranny went out at 57,000 miles on my 2005. It was the old sprag gear failure, a well known issue. Seeing how I didn't want to have them replace an old crappy tranny with a new crappy tranny, I had it rebuilt elsewhere seeing as how even new ones didn't solve the problem.

    Now I wonder if I might get some satisfaction. My extended warranty ran out last April due to time being up. After your experience, do you have any hints as how to go about getting at least some of my money back? What number do you call? Did you find anyone worth mentioning.

    I am outraged that this failure occurs regularly and GM is not stepping up. They replaced my instument panel so I hope they will stip up here. If I don't get some kind help with this, I know GM is not in the running for my next two cars that I will buy.
  • the midgate glass on my Bermuda Blue 06 LT avalanche is cracked. only the abs plastic is cracked but it is cracked in the lower left corner and it lets water in the cab behind the rear seat. the chevrolet dealer in clovis ca told me that its a common problem and they sell a lot of them. right in the middle of my talking to G.M. my avalanche was stolen. after the insurance paid me for my avalanche. The city of Palmdale Ca. Called me and told me that had found my truck. the insurance told me that i would have to bid on the truck @ witch I did and got the truck Back for about $5700.00 the insurance paid me $24,000.00 for my truck. I had allready bought a new 2011 avalanche L.T.Z. loaded in the steel green met. went out the outher day to wash my 2011 ava while cleaning the windows found my rear window is cracked the dealer replaced it. mand i told the service writer that if it crackes again i will be back and i will be inppspecting that rear window every time i wash the avalanche. and i suggest every avalanche and Cad EXT owner to look at the back window. the price of that window is $726.00 list cost is $545.00 so look at yours befor warranty runs out
  • palmer12palmer12 Posts: 7
    I have experienced the same problems with my 07 Avanlanche also.
  • eddie98eddie98 Posts: 1
    i have a 2005 avalanch and i am going threw the same thing driving down the road everything is fine then get a trany hot mess. and it started slipping so i pulled over fluid was fine gave it time to cool off and went about a mile it came back on and started slipping agean i got on a back road were i could go slow and everything was fine then so i called gm and they said they aint heard about it happing to anyone befor and they would get back to me but from looking here it is clear that they have heard of it befor min only has 60.000 miles on it and if they tell me theres nohing they will do then this will be the last gm i ever own and i have had them all my life but this just aint right
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I apologize that you're experiencing these concerns with your transmission. Our Customer Assistance Center agents on the phone operate independently of the forum, and so it is very likely that unless the agent was perusing Edmunds on his or her own time that they would not be entirely familiar. All of our interactions are handled on a case-by-case basis at our level, as well.

    Were you planning on getting this looked into? I hope everything goes well! If you decide to work with a dealership on this please keep us posted on the progress there, and if we can be of assistance please get in touch via email ([email protected]).

    GM Customer Service
  • From 2010 and newer, the Avalanches have a 6 speed tranny, vs the older 4 speed tranny. Has anyone experienced a problem with this newer transmission?
  • 69z2869z28 Posts: 9
    Oh yeah. Look at my forum post #56. Bought my Avalanche new in March 2010 & lost the torque converter while cruising at highway speed in October 2010 with less than 13K on the truck. Some other problems at the outset too, but they are noted in Post #56. Doesn't help build much faith in the future performance of the vehicle, but it has held up better since Oct 2010. There's about 41K on it now.
  • bohmbjbohmbj Posts: 1
    My transmission just went on my 2002 Z71. Had to drive back home from my family's easter party on back roads because of this. Yes driving home on Easter and my tranny goes out! A one hour drive turned into a 4 hour drive. How fun!
  • 69z2869z28 Posts: 9
    I understand the misery! When mine failed, we were on a trip we had been planning for nearly a year. The trip was blown and there's no way GM will ever compensate for that, regardless the terms of the warranty.
  • toneandtoneand Posts: 1
    just had it happen to me today. 2007 with a little over 57,100 miles. Lost D, 3, and R. Was able to limp to the dealership with 2 and 1 but slipping bad. This sucks, cause I've never towed anything or put any stress on this truck. Just waiting to hear how much they want to fix it. I'm sure I'll have to get someone else when I hear their wild price.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning toneand,

    Hopefully this will be resolved for you soon! Please keep us updated, and if you should like to get in touch with customer service you can send an email to [email protected] (include your name/Edmunds username, phone, address, last 8 of your VIN and approximate mileage, and the name of your involved dealership, as well as a description of the issue at hand).

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • hex98hex98 Posts: 1
    Hey whats up Eddie98 just had the same problem start today on my 2007 Avalanche. I was planning on getting the transmission serviced just kept putting it off (my luck). So now its time to call around for price check on repairs. I was wondering the price range and the repair time you experienced cuz I have the same issues no revers and gears keep slipping. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  • mcogsmcogs Posts: 4
    Eddie98, being a 2007 and 57k it should be covered under the powertrain. Mine was and the damage was so severe they replaced the whole trans, converter, and radiator (trans cooler was plugged). I was upset that it happened and I had to pay for a rental car, but it was fixed in 3 days with a rebuilt one. I even got them to replace ujoints, and seals the front axle.

    Go to the dealer. They will do right by you. Don't blame the dealer for the engineers errors.

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