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Grinding noise when driving Chevy Tahoe

andrew1968andrew1968 Member Posts: 2
edited July 2015 in Chevrolet
I have an 04 tahoe with 52,000 on it. it has full time 4wd that cannot be turned off. my question is when i am driving and barely pushing on the gas i hear a grinding noise. it sounds like a brake pad needs replaced but its not that I checked all four corners. when i let off and coast it goes away. from what I can tell it is comming from the left front. it is not a constant grind but almost like half of a tire revolution grinds and the other half is fine. also please tell me how to fix the steering shft chatter. thank you

See Also

Symptoms of a Worn Wheel Hub Bearing


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    beach15beach15 Member Posts: 1,305
    Could be a number of driveline things, but a bigger question--why do you think your 4wd can't be turned off? There wasn't a single '00-06 Tahoe equipped like that, as all 4wd models got 2Hi, 4Hi, 4Lo as choices to run in via push button. So it's a bit odd why you said that.

    Regardless, it could be a bearing, maybe, though I'm not sure why it might come and go with gas/coasting.

    As for the steering shaft, the latest procedure from GM is to disconnect the lower end and stroke it in and out to distribute the grease inside--compared to manually lubing them, or replacing them. It's another temporary fix, but that's the latest directions from GM to dealers. Here's more on it:
    Subject: Clunking Noise Under Hood and Can Be Felt in Steering Wheel and/or Steering Column (Exercise/Stroke Intermediate Steering Shaft Assembly) #00-02-35-003L - (11/29/2006)

    Models: 2002-2006 Cadillac Escalade Models

    1999-2007 Chevrolet Silverado Models (Classic)

    2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe Models

    2002-2006 Chevrolet Avalanche

    1999-2007 GMC Sierra Models (Classic)

    2000-2006 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL Models

    2003-2006 HUMMER H2

    Attention: This Service Bulletin DOES NOT include Mid-Size Utilities such as Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer Models, GMC Envoy Models or Oldsmobile Bravada. Refer to Service Bulletin 02-02-35-006A or newer for Mid-Size Utilities.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

    This bulletin is being revised to change the service procedure. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-02-35-003K (Section 02 -- Steering).

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -

    Some customers may comment on a clunk-type noise coming from under the hood that also can be felt in the steering wheel. These conditions may be more noticeable when turning at low speeds on rough road surfaces.

    Diagnostic Tips
    Use the information below to help diagnose the source of the noise.

    • Frame Snap and/or Popping Type Noise -- A frame snap or popping type noise can be duplicated on rough or smooth road surfaces with steering wheel input to the left or the right. This type of noise can be HEARD and is typically louder with the windows rolled down. For additional information, refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 03-08-61-002F or newer -- Snap/Popping Type Noise Coming from Front of Vehicle (Remove Front Crossmember, Change Fastener Orientation)

    • Intermediate Shaft Clunk -- Intermediate shaft clunk is heard and FELT in the steering wheel and/or steering column area, typically while driving on rough road surfaces with steering wheel input.


    Fully Exercise/Stroke I-Shaft 5-6 times
    DO NOT REPLACE the following intermediate shaft P/N's:

    P/N 88965505

    P/N 89060582

    P/N 19149105

    DO NOT LUBRICATE the Intermediate Shaft (P/N 26098419)

    Engineering has determined that fully exercising/stroking the I-Shaft will provide similar results as lubricating.

    Disconnect the I-Shaft underhood.
    Fully exercise/stroke the I-shaft a minimum of 5-6 times.
    Reconnect the I-shaft.
    Warranty Information
    For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:

    Labor Operation
    Labor Time

    I-Shaft Exercise/Stroke
    0.2 hr

    GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.
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    andrew1968andrew1968 Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for the repair advice on the steering noise. Also with all do respect my tahoe's 4wd cannot be turned off it is all-wheel drive with sabilitrack. there is no option on the instument panel to turn it off. it only has all-wheel drive,4lo,or Stabilitrack. if i could get it turned off i would have a lot more fun in all this snow we just got.thank you
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    greengumbygreengumby Member Posts: 1
    I have to agree with andrew1968 I also own the 04 tahoe LT ...the fraking stupid thing will only do all-wheel drive,4lo,or Stabilitrack . ALso andrew1968 you can actually turn off the stabilitrack according to the manual u do this to transfer more power from the engine to be able to get out of a stuck in the snow situation :) ..you press it and on ur dash it will say disabled :) ... hehehehehe.....
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    rs1807rs1807 Member Posts: 8
    I'm looking at a 2004 Tahoe with the same AWD system as in Andrew1968's. I'm looking for some information about it. Is it a different transfer case design like the Denali's, but with buttons for 4low?

    I also noticed the slight vibration when turning or taking off at low speeds but then it seems to go away.
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    rs1807rs1807 Member Posts: 8
    "Transfer case, electronic Autotrac, includes push-button
    1 - Requires 4WD models. - Not available with (JL4)
    StabiliTrak, vehicle stability enhancement system. (NP8)

    Transfer case, open differential, 2-speed
    1 - Included and only available with (JL4) StabiliTrak,
    vehicle stability enhancement system. (NR4)"

    It looks like you had to have AWD for stabilitrak to work. You also couldn't have a locking rear diff with stabilitrak.
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    rs1807rs1807 Member Posts: 8

    A second version of a 4WD transfer case is a full-time 4WD transfer case. This style of transfer case has an open center differential to allow for different speeds between the front and rear axles and operates similar to an AWD system. This transfer case can be locked to operate like a Part-Time 4WD transfer case (no difference between front and rear prop-shaft speeds) and/or uses a traction control system to assist in low traction situations. These transfer cases also have a selectable low range. An example of this type of 4WD is the H2. RPO code is NR4.
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    johnny4016johnny4016 Member Posts: 112
    I own a 04 Tahoe Z71. It has the push buttons on the left side of the steering wheel for AWD, 2 Wh, 4Hi, and 4Lo.

    What yours has might be different than mine.

    Most AWD vehicles mean that it is in 2 wheel drive when driving on normal dry pavement, when it feels a slippage it shifts the transfer case into AWD.

    On my 2004 Tahoe I can shift from 2Hi to 4Hi while moving. But I have to be stopped and in nuetral to shift into 4Lo.

    I hope that this helped?
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    jmulfordjmulford Member Posts: 1

    What was the solution? I have an 04 full time AWD and aloso experieice a grinding noise when under power, which also disappears when letting off the gas.

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    bohicket1bohicket1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 05 Tahoe Z71 w/ 70k miles. I just found out that the transfer case needs to be replaced. Is this Common or are their any recalls? I was told it will cost me $2100
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    alphacharlie1alphacharlie1 Member Posts: 1
    I have 48,000 on my '04 Suburban, today while driving it just all of a sudden made grinding/fluttering sound and then fell out of gear. The engine revs fine and there is no fluid leaking anywhere. I worked it through all the gears but it would not move forward. I had to have it towed. Any opinions on what might be the cause of this?
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    kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    Replace the broken part in the transmission, most likely.
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    raywi1raywi1 Member Posts: 4
    I have a 04 burb and noticed a similar noise last night. I pulled the wheel feeling it was a defective break pad. I checked the pad it was ok but I noticed a lot of play with the rotor. I suspect a bad bearing. I am going to have it checked this week.
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    dave205dave205 Member Posts: 4
    i have a 2003 tahoe z71. 1st transmission failed at 6500 miles, 2nd gm rebuilt failed at 98,000 miles, purchased a new gm transmission with 3 yr 100,000 warrantiee(3rd transmission), that one failed at 5400 miles, 4th transmission just failed at 7,000 miles. is there any fix better than the new gm transmissions.
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    arriearrie Member Posts: 312
    After replacing transmission as many times as you have it does not sound like it really is a transmission problem.

    It could be that when they bolt it on you have axial forces between transmission input shaft and torque converter, which then cause bearings fail in transmission, or something similar.

    Car shops just keep replacing the transmission but the root cause probably is with bad fit / tolerance between the transmission and engine block / torque converter.

    Also need to make sure the drive shaft from transmission to rear differential is not axially loaded.

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    dave205dave205 Member Posts: 4
    I actually had the tahoe at the dealer for two days and they can't replicate the problem(transmissions was slipping so much that I was not driveable when I dropped it off). they even dropped the pan to look for metal and wear(which is how they found my 2nd failed transmission---at my request). the 1st and 3rd transmissions just completely failed with no warning signs--both within 5 mins of driving after start up. one of the techs even drove it personally for two days. I have it back and it seems to be running fine---for now. I wonder if it is a computer issue--the service 4wd did come on for a few minutes when it was running really badly. I will let the dealer know on monday what you had suggested(thanks)
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    b3donb3don Member Posts: 1
    I have the exact same problem and have been quoted $2100 as well. My repair shop told me they have done 3 transfer case replacements on Tahoe's. This MUST be a common problem and I would like Chevrolet to help pick up the tab. My Tahoe is a z71 with 80K miles. Please let me know what you have found or what your resolution was! Thank you.
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    mcfattymcfatty Member Posts: 3
    Hello, I had the exact problem with my 2005 suburban. Luckily I had a really good mechanic at the dealership. We went for a test drive and I could easily reproduce the noise. (Grinding sound that went away when you let off the gas, then it would come back even if you lightly acclerate). It was the front diff bearings. When he had it on the lift he noticed that the front wheels were not turning. Turns out my transfer case was burnt also. WOW! Only 35,000 miles!

    Ok! Now my transmission shifts wierd. It doesnt down shift when you are driving in parking lots at slow speeds. Its like your driving a stick and you dont shift out of first gear. Then when you are slowing down from higher speed like pulling into a parking lot or driveway it shifts into the first gear. I have taken it in twice and they say nothing is wrong with it. Transmission has slipped occasionally as well.
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    mcfattymcfatty Member Posts: 3
    I really think my transmission has problems. Feels uncomfortable to drive at low speeds. When you take off from a stop and dont go over about 15mph its like its stuck in first gear. Feels like you are driving a stickshift. (You know when you have it in first gear and you let off and then accelerate.) Then when you are slowing down (like pulling into a driveway or something it suddenly shifts into first gear and the RPMS rev the engine. It seems the transmission should downshift when driving very slow? I took it to the dealer twice and they say there is nothing wrong with it. CAN ANYONE HELP ME!!!!!!

    Transmission does slip occasionally. They cant figure that out either!

    Many many problems with this vehicle too many to list.
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    kevhennkevhenn Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out what the noise is? I have the same problem in my 2005 Tahoe. it is NOT the Wheel Bearing and the "grinding" is coming from the front differential. please help !!!
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    mcfattymcfatty Member Posts: 3

    I dont know if you read my other post but the grinding noise turned out to be the front differential bearings. Also when the burb was on the lift the mechanic noticed the all wheel drive wasn't working too. So my transfer case was burnt. Just so you know it took a good mechanic to figure it out. I took it to another dealership and they told me it was my tires. Good thing I am not an idiot. Hopefully you can get it figured out. Good luck!
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