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GMC Yukon, Yukon XL Transmission Problems



  • hey, I have a 05 yukon that is doing the same thing. did you find out what the problem was?
  • When is gm going to get off there butts and get better eletronics in there suv,ford is kicking there [non-permissible content removed] all over with the new edge.
  • tsmctsmc Posts: 1
    edited February 2011
    I have a 2003 Yukon XL-w/ 90k miles (never a problem before now). Transmission began bucking and would not shift up past third gear on a recent trip from TX to GA. :sick: Stranded in MS, took car to GMC dealership only to hear that the transmission needed to be replaced. $3K!!! :cry: (but warrantied for 100k mi) Car has shifted into gears a little rough since new tranny. Now 5 weeks later, same problem as before (bucking and will not shift up past third gear). :mad: Taking car to dealership in GA this morning. Feeling taken advantage of by dealership service dept. Any advice welcomed.
    Will post follow up on this issue... to be continued. :confuse:
  • marka09marka09 Posts: 20
    I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe with 74K miles and I just had to replace the transmission due to a catastrophic metal failure in the transmission. On the Tahoe forum several others a have had low mileage failures. My truck has only towed an open trailer with 20 bails of pinestraw and I have used 4WD a few times because of the little amount of snow we get here in GA. I wonder if something is being covered up and no recall is being issued.
  • jb416jb416 Posts: 1
    just bought a 2003 yukon denali xl from a local dealer(dealer has no I in its name)
    made it 150 miles trans pump broke
    trans shop rebuilt (all new parts and torque converter) ?
    made it 700 miles
    both times was driving about 50-55 mph let off gas for a moment and tried to resume speed
    no loud sounds or anywarning just no going
    anyone have any ideas?
  • mgarcia4mgarcia4 Posts: 1
    i had the same issue wouldnt shift out of 3rd gear going from TX to MS what did you do to fix your problem
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. Have you spoke with a dealer? If not, I would definitely recommend doing so. Please keep me updated on your situation. Have a great weekend!
    GM Customer Service
  • kellerjoekellerjoe Posts: 1
    I also have a 2005 GMC Yukon XL 4X4, I currently have just over 60K miles! Very low miles, ALWAYS maintained.
    Just started slipping while driving, finally went into a like neutral position in all gears, pulled over, put in park, killed engine, waited a couple of minutes, restarted and drove and shifted perfect, then started failing again within 5 minutes.
    This is obviously a VERY common problem...I feel that GM should be held liable to some extent, otherwise the power of the internet will hurt our American made manufacturer.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    I apologize for your frustrations. Have you spoke with a dealer or Customer Assistance? I look forward to your response. Have a great weekend!
    GM Customer Service
  • tkrobinsontkrobinson Posts: 2
    edited July 2011
    I have a 2003 Yukon Denali that I bought at the end of 2003 and the transmission went out before I put 300 miles on the vehicle. It would not pull in 3rd or drive. GMC did replace the transmission under warranty after having to push the issue up the chain of management within GM (GM wanted to let their mechanic tear the trans apart to see what went wrong). This new transmission has slipped most of the 150k miles that I have driven it. I started using Lucas in the transmission to help with the slipping back around 70k miles. Yesterday driving from MS to AL it started slipping again, stopped at gas station and check fluid level, a little low so I topped it off with some Dextron III (no Lucas). Back on the Interstate and not 5 miles later speed started dropping from 65 down to around 55 while rpms went to 4k. The car would pull in 1st and 2nd but not after shifting into 3rd (same thing it was doing when it was new). I had to rent a truck and car hauler to get the vehicle back to MS.

    I think I'll just buy a Nissan......have a 93 Nissan 300ZX with 200k miles with absolutely no problems at all with it......ever!!!
  • 05yukon05yukon Posts: 9
    My 2005 Yukon that I bought new had about 100k on it when it would not shift into 3rd. (would just slip) Had it torn down and saw that the 3-4 clutches were destroyed. $2300.00 later and it is back on the road. Repair shop would not confirm nor deny that this is an issue with gm transmissions but does say it happens a lot.
  • put2slpput2slp Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 denali xl. Does the transfer case have a filter in it?
  • mark278mark278 Posts: 4
    my 03 yukon denali started shifting wrong and slipping at around 70000 miles i had filter and fluid changed and it didn't help so i would just let off gas for a sec and then it would go. around 150000 miles i decided to try lucus trans fix, i pumped 2 qt trans fluid out and replaced it with lucas and it really helped but didn't fix it. not long ago i got a new throttle body put on it when it had 270000 miles on it and from that day on it shifts like it did when it was new and has now for 10000 miles. I don't know how the throttle body could make a difference in how the transmission shifts but it does or did for mine anyway.
  • currera502currera502 Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    Hello there I have a Yukon XL with 129,000 miles with the 5.3 liter engine and I think the 4l60E transmission. Here s the problem When I put the car in drive or reverse the engine will kill, like it has a manual tranny. It will buck like you have let the clutch out to quick when driving a manual transmission. What I have to do to get it going is to put in drive and give it a lot of gas and put it in neutral and then give it more gas and then put it back in drive then it will go. But then it will not shift all all. The transmission does not slip at all. Did any one have this problem before and help would be appreciated. Thanks Mike.
  • This has been a bad month for my wife's Yukon XL! The transmission is starting to slip. It did this at about 30,000 miles and the dealer "fixed it". They rebuilt it but a recent check of service bulletins show that it should have been replaced. This check of service bulletins also show that there was one issued for the instrument cluster because they started to have problems between 70,000 and 80,000 miles. Our's has been having this problem for a while now and if we had been notified we could have gotten it repaired but we are now past the mileage. The local dealer is trying to be helpful but because everything is past the warranty there isn't much they can do. Do you have any suggestions or know of someone higher up that can help. I feel strongly that if the transmission had been replaced and if we would have been alerted to the instrument cluster problem we wouldn't be having these problems now. Ford has been diligent to keep us updated on our 2001 F-150 but GM has really dropped the ball on the Yukons.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I apologize for the problems you are experiencing with your vehicle. Could you please email me your VIN and current mileage? I would like to look further into your situation.

    You can get my email by clicking on gmcustsvc.

    Thank you,
    Caron, GM Customer Service
  • mrjohnbmrjohnb Posts: 9
    I am experianing the same issue as others. I have looked in the forum but have seen not posed awnsers. Please help.

    Yesterday I was comming back from the lake pulling a small boat with the family. we stopped to drop one member off and when I went to turn agound it was like I was in neutral. I cycled thru the gears. and nothinging. I turned off the truck for 5 min came back to move it off the road and wallah it word again. I was 20 miles from home so I decied this was a one off.

    I proceed home and right after I got off the freeway it started slipping again. and doing something else I have read in other forums. chuging batch and forth like when you put a manual into to low of a gear. all in all I had to turn off wait 5 min turn back on 3 times just to get home.

    I never saw any trans too hot message in the message center and yes I was looking for that As I read the entire manual when I got the truck.

    I bought this truck used. it had it's transmission replaced already at 68,000 miles. ( so I figured I was in the clear ) it now has 129,000 miles on it.

    I have only put 500 miles on it pulling a small boat to the lake it is a 3 vehicle for family outings
    GM customer service please contact me if you see this.
    and or if someone has had this issue please do let me know what this fix was.

    I cannot afford a new transmission let alone the $1200 tear down inspection fee. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is a simple fix of GM might help out.

  • mrjohnbmrjohnb Posts: 9
    ok me again.
    I want to provide more info if someone is reading this. I was able to do a little troubleshooting the next day.

    First I checked the transfluid cold and hot. cold it read like it was overfilled. I drove it around the block a few times. it drove just fine. all the gears shifted just fine. brought it back and checked it hot. it was a wee bit over full on the hole in the dip stick. so I set to drive it again to see if I could reproduce the issue.

    well I got about 2 blocks and the issue stared happening again.
    like it popped out of gear no, nothing in any gear. so i pulled over and did the usual turn off the key and start up and drove for about 30 seconds and it happened again. so I did the turn off. this time I started the car but did not drive off. I waited and about 30-45 seconds after ( did not have a watch to time) I heard a little clink , lite the sound of a solenoid disengauging something. I put in drive and nothing. I replaced the issue 3 times.

    I turn on the car and I hear some soft of mechanical sound and then when I put in drive reverse or any gear manually nothing works.

    I then turned off the ignition again turned on and stared off and drove just fine for about 30 seconds. so to me the transmission doesn't seem to be the culprit. possibly a PCM issue or maybe the tranny is hosed and this is a fail safe precaution.

    if anyone could chime in I would greatly appreciated it.

  • Well John, having gone thru this already... I can say it's not ur clutches. This may lay in the electrical parts, perhaps even the shift solenoids. Do you have an engine light on in the instrument cluster? Is the truck 4x4? U can talk directly to me at
  • casey_ailenecasey_ailene Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    We bought ours used and now it has about 145,000 miles on it. Transfer case went, rebuilt transmission and now it wont shift past second gear. We are obviously missing something?!?! But can't seem to figure it out. It has all wheel drive, my huband says that makes a difference on what kind of help we get...Please if anyone has any insight, feel free to email me directly if need be...
  • I got a 2002 yukon slt with a 4L60E tranny that had to be replaced around 85k miles. Im the 2nd owner and purchased when it had 67k miles. Previous owner stated they never used 4WD. Prior to tranny being replaced all functions of 4wd worked. But, when I used the 4wd (both 4high and 4low) the "service 4WD" light came on. After $4000 replacement of tranny, the tranny shop says the shift indicator switch was broken, but could still I decided to wait to replace $120 part if all was missing was the illumination of "neutral" on dash panel to a later time. They informed me the 4WD was functioning correctly. Ever since that tranny replacement I have not been able to engage into 4Low. At times the "4WD" service light appears, when I engage 4H. Does anyone now how or if the shift indicator could be what is causing the 4L not to engage? I'm thinking my 4L is not engaging because the computer does not know its in neutral and not engaing the transfer out with any suggestions.... :confuse: thanks for reading my post
  • I too am having the same issues. Unfortunately, I am currently 1000 miles from my home town on a family vacation. My wife and four children(14,11,4,&3) stopped for lunch in a small town called FairPlay, CO.

    We loaded back up started back out on the road and lost of transmission function in forward and reverse. Turned our 2005 Yukon SLE off and waited for a few minutes and transmission started working again. We never had any signs of transmission problems and had our vehicle checked out before leaving home.

    We are now in a hotel trying to come up with a plan to get us back home safety. It appears this vacation is shot and will end up dropping our vacation cash just to get home.

    If we rent a van wand a car hauler it will cost us over $1,000 just to make it back to East Texas. My only other option, is leave my wife and kids behind at our planned vacation location which is another 200 miles away and fly back home to get my truck to drag this Yukon back home on a hauler.

    I had a 1999 GMC 4X4 extended cab that had a similar problem, however it would at least run in low and reversed worked. Either way, I am in a pinch with no way out unless I open up my bank account. Good Luck to you and hope things work out. Tomorrow is another day in almost paradise for us.
  • That is horrible. for what it's worth I made it 20 miles home then the tranny comlpete stopped working. Transmission guy said he had never heard of the trun off the truck and back on and working. I needed a complete rebuild $2650.00. I am convinced the 4l60-e tranny is decent put the OEM internals they use suck. The 4l60-e is the same transmission I have in my s-10.

    So anyone reading this thread. when you get this thing rebuild I would stonly advise against the oem parts as it apparant they suck. I told my trans guy I would be towing and I wanted it to be bullet proof. he put in a hardened sunshell. a 5 gear planetary ( vs 4 gear stock) upgraded spauges. better clutch pack and a shift kit. Also if you are towning I recommend looking at an upgraded tranny cooler. that is my next upgrade.

    I am doing everything I can moving forward from having the trans explode 1000 mi with on vacation. As I bought this vehicle to vacation with.

    Sorry to hear about your problem bro. I hope you and your family make it home alright.

  • I have a 2003 denali and i have had nothing but electrical issues all along . The radio gets very hot , all the gages turn off and on when they want , the driver seat warmer doesnt work any longer ,and the over head interior light doesnt work . Those are only the electrical problems. My dash board looks disgusting because all of the radio and heat knobs have all peeled . I am very disappointed with the quality of this vehicle . I had a 1993 suburban and had no issues at all .almost wish i didnt trade it in .
  • Folks,

    Installed a new GM trans and Engine into my 2002 XL Denali over the weekend and when hooking everything back up was confused about the vent line routing. There are 2 long vent tubes that go on the back of the transmission and it looks like one just ends to the open air. Is this correct or is there a place this is supposed to hook in and I am missing it?
    There is a barbed vent connector on top of the Transfer case (hooked the shorter of the 2 vent tubes which showed signs of a bulge in it from having a barbed connector in it previously), but the second, longer tube looks like it is held by a clamp over top of the rear output seal on the transfer case and just vents to the open air. On the front of the vent lines, there is a bracket that attaches to the back of the engine block. Seems strange to me that these would be high up and have plugs/diffusors in them yet have an open end on a lower plane at the back of the trans/transfer case.

    Any help would be appreciated!


  • Just for clarification, there is a 3rd 1/4" vent line that goes on top of the transmission that is part of this grouping of vent lines and this has been connected. The 2 tubes I am talking about are about 3/4" od and run from the back of the block by the intake manifold and run down the back of the trans/transfer case, but I only see the one barbed vent connector on top of the transfer case.

    Thanks again in advance,

  • wlauriewlaurie Posts: 2
    edited October 2011
    Driving at speed and the transmission suddenly started slipping while in OD - engine RPMs started racing, pulled to the side and dropped speed. 1st and 2nd gear are fine, but the tranny won't shift into 3rd. Pulled off at the next exit, found a quick lube station, the tranny fluid (which had about 25 K miles on it) was scorched. Had the fluid replaced, no improvement. The truck has been babied since new and now has 140 K miles. Any advice? I'm 150 miles from home and weighing my options, which don't seem too good.

  • From ur description sounds like ur 3,4th clutches r wasted. I too had this same thing happen to me. It was $2300 to rebuild. I also babied my Yukon from the time I bought it. New. Mine went out at 100k.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    Glad you’re safe! This post is a few days behind your original post – have you found a solution? Can we assist? If Customer Assistance can help you work with your dealer towards resolving this, please email Christina with your name, contact information, VIN, and dealer name.

    GM Customer Service
  • Upate:
    Took the truck to an independent mechanic who specializes in transmissions and performance shop work. Upon disassembly, he found the 3 / 4 drum was burnt up. According to him, everything else in the tranny looked "pristine" - no dirt, sludge, or signs of wear or abuse. The clutch drum just wore out. He also told me that he sees this a lot with these transmissions. He replaced the drum, put in a performance 3 / 4 band (to increase surface area when the band engages the drum), replaced all the springs, bearings, bushings, seals, and the torque convertor. He also drilled out the valve bodies for 1st and 2nd to give the tranny a little quicker response out of the hole. The truck is as good as - if not better than - new. Total repairs were 2 grand.
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