Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Chevrolet Avalanche Transmission Problems



  • 69z2869z28 Posts: 9
    You mention water in the transmission. One of the things discovered when my transmission failed (2010 Av @12,000 miles) was that the junction where the transmission dipstick tube joins the transmission housing was really loose. It's located at a hard-to-reach area that I think would be susceptible to water entry, possibly due to convection & condensation cycles.

    I also suspect the filler tube had been inadvertently loosened by the dealership where I bought the truck. They had to go into the engine to replace lifters only one week after I bought it new due to a screwup at engine plant assembly. The transmission failed 7 months later.

    To date, three warranty repairs and at present, the XM radio is starting to act flaky and the security system has inexplicably locked my wife out twice. Don't know yet what's going on there. Shouldn't I expect better in a $50,000 truck??

    So, I fully understand what you're saying about purchasing a future brand after so many years and money spent with GM.
  • mcresmcres Posts: 1
    After I sent this letter to GM's Dan Akerson to tell him about the engineering design defects in Avalance transmissions, I was told that GM has no records of transmission problems with its Avalanche truck. I had to pay for the installation of a new transmission that was manufactured with upgrades to remove design flaws in the factory transmission. Thank goodness I did not pay for a brand new Avalanche because GM continues to put out vehicles with design flaws. Most likely, I will be looking at other non-GM models.

    I have made up my mind that I will never buy another GM vehicle unless:
    1) it is used,
    2) I do extensive Internet research beforehand, and
    3) I purchase an extended power train warranty.

    May 31, 2011

    Mr. Daniel F. Akerson
    Chairman and CEO
    General Motors Corporation
    300 Renaissance Center
    P.O. Box 300
    Detroit, Michigan 48265-3000

    Dear Mr. Akerson:

    I come from a very long line of Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac car owners. When I bought my 2002 Chevy Avalanche (my 8th GM car since I started to drive in 1975), I was very excited to own my first pick-up truck! I love driving it and I love everything about my truck, especially the sporty look, the handling, and the spaciousness.

    There’s one thing I was not expecting with my Avalanche – a transmission with known engineering flaws. 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. That’s what my mechanic confirmed as he installed the new transmission that came with upgrades for known defects in the Avalanche’s transmission. Now I am out of pocket $3,271.32 and much wiser.

    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. Imagine my shock when I heard a bang and I couldn’t drive my truck out of the middle of a busy intersection! This experience has left me wondering: Should I perform an extensive search on the Internet before I ever think of buying another GM car? Should I never consider buying any GM car without an extended warranty? I am hoping that GM won’t continue to send out more Avalanches with flawed transmissions. I am hoping that you can do something to help my family and me to continue to believe in the quality of GM products. Will GM help me with my expenditure to make my truck drivable again? I can only hope that you will consider doing the right thing for a loyal customer.

  • Updates; My Ava now at 102k and running good. Went back into the dealer around 100k since oil was getting low again, even after just 10 months ago dealer techs machined head, etc (see post 77) According to the dealer 1qt is acceptable within 3k. Anyways in Aug 2010 a new apifany in GM was to install a shield in the oil pan to keep oil from getting into the cylinders in eco mode, why this wasnt done the last time it was worked on is beyond me. Anyways as well they have to let a solution soak in the cylinders for 3hrs to clean carbon. All in all power was back and oil staying on the mark (as well not getting as dirty as before.)
    In regards to tranny I have had zero problems, looking to have it fully flushed by dealer ($160) I was told if it does go that the 2011 Ava tranny would work a lil more pricy but its now a 6spd auto from what the tech says so smoother shifts. For those that have the 2007 and you get the clunk its the yoke. which has 2 fixes the quick is to pull it, clean it and grease it up. the other is the dealer made a new (2008+) nickel plated yoke to cure the problem.
    Other than that, I just had the upper ball joints replaced by dealer ($$$) since they are a one piece with the control arm as well the drivers side lower ball joint w/ control arm and another alignment (total was only $664 so not too bad and I got a huge discount) One of these pieces from local parts runs around $180, dealer $246.
    Funny thing I just had Vianor do new tires ($950) 2,400 miles ago and they didn't notice the balls being worn (Vianor is a major tire shop) I went back in per warranty to have the tires checked for even wear and they said they were wearing on the insides which they didn't before on my winter set so just weird is all I will say, but they did off to fix it for $742.
    All in all the Avalanche is a durable truck, versatile, and I love it. Yes the fuel milage on hwy maybe only 15-17 best but you cant have it all unless you go Hybrid and that isn't much better for the Tahoe in fuel economy and you loose what you save in price tag.
  • I seem to have the same problem you had today. Is there a electronic problem that is easily repaired or is the tranny gone. Thank in advance for any info you can provide.
  • warvetwarvet Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    I have a 2007 Avalanche, drove fine this morning. Stop at street then took off. The Transmission, it was if I had put it in Neutral, would not go, dropped it in 3 still would not go. Put it in low 2 and then in 1 and it would drive also in R it will drive. It has 78000 miles on it. The warranty went out 23 days ago. What could it be??
  • My 04 had the same problem a couple of weeks ago - unfortunately, it required a $1700 rebuild since gears were damaged (I checked the parts and saw that there was considerable wear in the sun shell and gears). Interestingly, the mechanic that did the work took the time to check why it failed at only 73,000 miles...turns out that my friendly Goodwrench Mechanic had installed the incorrect/mismatched valve body gaskets, leading to overheating and eventual failure. I've seen so many similar trans issues w/the Ava, I suggest that we all file complaints with NTSB ( so they can investigate why there are so many Ava issues.
  • Hi i hope someone can help i have a 2011 Avalanche and when i accelerate slowly my truck lugs until it get to about 1500 rpm its like its starting in 6th gear anyone else have that trouble
    the dealer says they are looking into it but its been two months now and I'm getting frustrated

    any help please thanks Dean
  • curtisliscombcurtisliscomb Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    I recently had the retaining clip on the bottom return transmission line i lost all my fluid so I replaced the clip and the filter and fluid but now it slips in 3rd and drive . and i cant figure out its slipping any helpful ideas? its a 2003 four wheel drive avalanche
  • appoappo Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 avalanche that runs great, except it vibrates when shifting about 50 mph.
    I noticed the rpms are steady but the speedometer will fluctuate up and down about 3 mph
    untill it completes the shift. Doesn't happen if I accelerate hard. Is my 4th gear going out ??
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. Has your dealer involved Technical Assistance? Have you spoke with GM Customer Assistance. Please feel free to email me directly. Please include your VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and complete contact information. I look forward to hearing from you.
    GM Customer Service
  • 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.....?
Sign In or Register to comment.