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GMC Yukon, Yukon XL Transmission Problems



  • Two days ago while driving several hundred miles from my home, my well cared for ‘02 Yukon succumbed to transmission failure with just 80k miles on her. While driving normally as usual, I noticed severe engine rpm increasing/transmission slippage while ascending a hill. After several stoppages were made to place the vehicle in park, then reverse, it was of no help. I eventually learned that reverse and 2nd gear were the only two gears left functioning.
    As I am a very conscientious driver and prefer to drive my vehicles quite gently in hopes of prolonging their longevity. Apparently though according to what I have learned through researching the subject, their appears to be a history of failures regarding the 4L60E transmission. Following the conversations with the albeit few repair shops that I was able to contact whilst out of town, each one of the reputable repair shops seemed to know exactly what was wrong with my Yukon tranny. They all stated that I was going to need a transmission replacement. The estimates given were in the $1,000 to $3,500. OMG! Why would this happen to a vehicle with just 80k mile on it I kept repeating…
    So, after spending hundreds of dollars to have it towed back to my hometown, I am now faced with the dilemma regarding the estimated costs to repair it. Like most working people in this country, I can’t work without a vehicle. What I have since learned about the ‘well known failure’ occurrence of this transmission from researching the TSB’s and documented cases, it has been an ongoing problem for quite some time. I desperately need the customer service reps at GMC to step up to the plate and help me out in assisting in this immediate repair.
  • It's a tough situation. I spent an entire morning on the phone with GMC, and in the end, I decided I had no choice but to pay the $3K and have it replaced. My mechanic also is aware of the problems with this transmission, and said that the problem has been solved in the new replacement transmission. Our family also has one car, so we had to pay for a rental car, as well. I will never buy a GMC again both because of the defective transmission and the way they treated us over the phone. They won't admit it's a defect, just that it's out of warranty and not covered. Funny that when you call, you also get the sense that they are prepared for this exact call about this exact transmission, and have a script for an out of warranty speech.
  • I know exactly what your going through. My 2004 Yukon only made it a little over 50k before my transmission failed. I to spent a lot of wasted time with GMC. At the end no help what so ever. I believe their using cheap plastic parts is the reason for the failed transmissions. I wish someone would file a class action law suit for this problem, then maybe someone from GMC will offer to help. Son sorry for what your going through now with the cost of living so high and now this unexpected expense..
  • Hi there. I have had nothing but problems with every GM tranny in a V8 vehicle I have owned, specifically the 4L60E. After replacing 3 (2 re-built by local transmission place; 1 at 120,000 and the other 2 with less than 20,000 miles on the re-built), I investigated further and found MONSTER TRANSMISSION in Florida. My local Tranny repair guy quoted yet another $1600 for a "re-built" with a 6 month warranty. Monster Trans custom built me a replacement BRAND NEW with free shipping (to a business, in this case my mechanics garage;) with a 3 year unlimited miles warranty. The trans was built with Corvette servos, clutches, etc. and HEAVY DUTY internals to handle 600HP and and at least 600 LB-FT of torque!! They built it to suit my needs of mild towing and not wanting to ever deal with it again. They send a case of FULLY SYNTHETIC FLUID ($170), deep dish extra capacity pan with fins for additional cooling. There customer service is phenomenal and the installed product is UNREAL!! nice firm shifts that hit like a shotgun. they built it within a few days and had it shipped super quick! ALL FOR $1700.00!!!!!!! Plus my mechanic removed old and re-installed THE MONSTER for under $300! HOPEFULLY THIS POSTS FOR ALL TO READ PASS THE WORD MONSTER TRANSMISSION.COM!!!!!!! They also do trannys for just about everything and test everyone in an actual vehicle before they ship it! -Joel S.
  • Took it car to Dealership they said that the annoying bump when you stop from the transmission and jolt you get when excelarating is something they cannot fix. It is just the way they are built. WOW. It looks as if they do not want to fix or they are avoiding a nasty recall. This car is dangerous to drive with transmission winding up and winding down. Kerplunk!!!!
    Asked them to do repurchase or a warranty extension, but I just wanted it fixed....
  • Mark my words their's going to be a recall or a class action suit brought against GMC regarding the transmissions, because their using cheap parts!! GMC is getting richer and were getting poorer because were constantly putting money into this junk their producing!! Shame on you GMC!!!
  • My 2006 Yukon XL's transmission just went out also. It began slipping, got worse on hills, and then wouldn't go into reverse. With only 57,000 miles on it. We had swore off GM for a long time but decided to give them another try. Bad move. Nothing but bad experiences with all the GM's we have ever had. Another $2400 repair. Like others have posted, I refuse take this to the GM dealer where they will put the same inferior parts back in.
  • All of you giving all of your information to these "customer service reps"... how do you know that these people are valid and not just stealing information from you?? Thanks.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    edited March 2012
    Good morning truckguy66,

    You are wise to be cautious with sharing information over the internet. In addition to asking the moderator(s) on Edmunds about our legitimacy, the email addresses we ask forum members to send information to have either "" or "" as domain names. If you are still hesitant with this, you can always get in touch with GMC Customer Assistance at 800-462-8782.

    GM Customer Service
  • thanks! that is comforting. I guess Im not use to a well-regulated forum..lih.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Smart to be concerned, at least on 99% of the net. :-)
  • I just need opinions & some feedback. I have a 2007 Yukon SLT and last week Mar 8th I took my Yukon in to have the Tranny serviced and this Thurs on the freeway my tranny went. I have 75000 miles on it and I feel that it was something they did but of course they wont fix it. I understand I am out of warranty I just think they should step up and fix it because I just had it in for the tranny service they have been bugging me to do. Please give me feedback and possibly some advice of how I should handle it. Thank you
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I'm sorry to read about your transmission, postmamicki. It sounds as though you have taken your vehicle back to the dealership after the transmission failure? If you would like for us to follow up on this with your dealership, please send us an email to either of the addresses in my profile (include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and approximate mileage, and the name of your dealership. My coworker Christina, who answers inbound emails from the Forum, will advise you further.

    GM Customer Service
  • I own a 1998 GMC Yukon SLT 4WD w/ AT, 132,973.9 mi. Suddenly engine raced at stop light & I now have zero reverse. Push button 4x4 on dash shows 2WD light solid but 4WD Lo flash & return to 2WD solid. Engine RPM stays around 1K
    for OD, 3D, 2D & L but R function causes zero RPM from idle but accelerator causes neutral type response. NO REVERSE GEAR ENGAGING! I hear a click sound only when I push 4WL & light sequence does as stated. Could this be shift selector solenoid on transmission or simple stupid. At 14 yrs & counting,
    $ 3.5k is not an option. I'm in CC, MA.

    Thanks for your interest.
  • cjsly172cjsly172 Posts: 3
    My 07 Yukon has the same problem. I took my Yukon to the dealer for the scheduled transmission flush. A few months later I started experiencing the transmission jolt when you accelerate and bump when you come to a complete stop. The issue occurs off and on and only when the car is accelerating from a stop or right as the car sits back when coming to a stop. It may also be my imagination, but it seems like the transmission is also dogging in first/second gear when accelerating. I only have 60,000 miles on my truck (and probably 55,000 when the issue started).
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    Have you had your service department check into the transmission jolt you described? I know you're still in the powertrain warranty by mileage - if you wanted to have us get the exact date of expiration please get us the last 8 digits of your VIN and we'll be sure to send that information your way.

    GM Customer Service
  • papergpaperg Posts: 1
    I suspected my problem was not unique. I was noticing our Yukon was downshifting from 4th to 3rd gear repeatedly when at cruising speed, this was intermittent for several months. Took the Yukon to our trusted mechanic hoping it was something with a sensor. They eliminated anything electrical, took the trans pan down and found metal shavings in the pan and changed fluid, filter and gasket. They said I will need a new/rebuilt transmission soon. Mileage was 79K, under 80k.
    Called GMC, they were nice and offered to schedule me for dealer appt, where I will pay another minimum charge to have them analyze it and no doubt tell me I need a new transmission at my expense.
    I have GM case number: 71-1075492466, VIN#: 1GKEC16Z25J133597. Overall we have loved the Yukon, bought it from Carmax and it's been pretty good except for this large issue. A transmission in a vehicle of this magnitude should last longer than this. We don't tow, don't have 4WD, it's been treated very well. I wish GMC would offer something to correct this when it happens other than shuttling you in to a dealer. I have been treated well - but think I will go elsewhere for my transmission service where I can rely on the new/rebuilt one.
  • My 2005 Yukon XL with 125,000 miles has started chattering between 3rd and 4th gear and overdrive. If I run it in "tow mode" it seems better. Does anyone have any experience with these transmisssions and what life from them I can expect? Whats the fix for this? Are there any recalls?
  • dennisd23dennisd23 Posts: 3
    Dear denalidriver,
    Best of luck! GMC has abandoned you after they took your hard earned ca$h!
    Your GMC transmission is toast like the rest of ours. Inferior product for an extremely high priced vehicle. I'm sure Sarah at GMC Customer Care will refer you to an authorized GMC Dealer who will charge you $$$$$ per hour to open your tran$mission, invoice you, and offer you an inferior plastic geared replacement scheduled to fail in the not distant future. Pay up!! That's the GM way now! Customer loyalty to their coffer$ is their motto today. Sad but true. Read the other 111 posts to this site to get the sad but true fact$ about your GMC tran$mi$$ion.
    No longer a loyal GMC owner nor customer as of April 9, 2012!!!!
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    If we can check for any open recalls, please send the last 8 digits of your VIN to our email at

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • tomcat02tomcat02 Posts: 5
    "Class Action Lawsuit...?" I'm in!! After posting my 4L60E :lemon: tranny failure early this year, I've been notified repeatedly to any new posting. The complaint list is growing longer and longer every week. If anyone receiving this post knows how to formally get a "factory recall" process started, count me in. Or perhaps this forum would be so lucky to have an attorney amongst us that would rally all of us dissatisfied GM customers, I'm sure their would be an instantaneous long list of people ready to sign on! Anybody out there willing to rally all of us.... ?
  • I have a 2011 yukon. Tonight i had multiple issues. First I was going up hill and the ignition was on, but engine just shut down. It started right back up and all gauges looked ok ( water temp, oil, battery, etc). Then I scrolled through data center on dash and realized the transmission temp was 230 degrees and rising. I shut it off immediately. Once cooled down I restarted and anytime a starlet from stop or rpms went above 1500 the temp stared rising again. In the midst if this it did not seem to shift right again going up hills. I am hoping to get it towed tomorrow but any thoughts?
  • Btw the engine light came on during the adventure I described in my post and has stayed on since
  • derwood4derwood4 Posts: 1
    I am only in the early stages of my investigation, but I’m finding evidence that suggests serious transmission issues with Yukon/Sierra/Tahoe/Silverado. I own a 1999 Yukon, and had my first transmission fail at 92K. I spent an arm and a leg having a brand new replacement transmission installed by a GM dealer, thinking I would never have to worry about it again, and it came with a 3 year/100K warranty. Well, after just 73K miles, but unfortunately after 5 years, that transmission has failed. I spoke to their customer service and had a terrible experience with the local District Manager, and the end result was that they would not help me at all. I rolled the dice and gave the okay to install yet another transmission while working with GM customer service, and since they decided not to help, I spent even more this time for yet another new transmission. I was able to get my case escalated to their Executive Assistance program, and while much more pleasant to deal with, the end result was the same, that I’m too far out of warranty (on time, I was way under on mileage). I think it is absurd that they would contact me a second time and not offer any assistance with my transmission expense. They had the nerve to offer money off a future purchase, as if I would ever consider another of their products after this experience. Following that, I started digging, and have found numerous stories like yours. Also very interesting, I’ve found a pattern with on odd quirk people have reported with these transmissions. Many people describe an issue where you punch the vehicle at low speeds (roughly 25 mph) and the RMPs climb while the vehicle does not properly accelerate. Not only did I experience this with trans #2, it happened the other day will trying to merge onto a freeway with my brand new trans that I just spend a small fortune on. The freeway I was merging onto has a very short on-ramp, and the next thing I know, I had an 18-wheeler bearing down on my. This goes beyond quality, I was seriously concerned, and still am, about my safety. It took me all of about 10 minutes online to discover many others that have experienced similar issues. I wonder if there have been injuries resulting from this apparent flaw, and I intend to continue investigating and exploring options.
  • dennisd23dennisd23 Posts: 3
    edited June 2012
    Dear derwood4,

    I believe that we as current or former GMC vehicles owners should attempt to organize our experiences and seek out a law firm that specializes in successful Class Action law suits. I have come to believe that GMC is "stone walling" this design flaw and knowingly continues to offer OEM rebuilt transmissions that continue to fail. We as GMC buyers are entitled to a quality product given the nature of the vehicle acquistion costs. It seems that we could buy a Hyundai SUV and replace it receiving a more reliable and cost effective reliable purchase. It continues to be a very sad "day" when a US based company continues to offer an inferior product whose cost and repair/maintenance are disproportionent to its operational service life. When you acquire a top-of-the-line SUV, you certainly are entitled to a better return on your commitment.
    I stand ready to pursue satisfaction from GMC even though I am now and will continue to be a former GMC customer.
    Dennis D.
  • acctgrdacctgrd Posts: 4
    I don't know how to use forums to post a message directly to you. I have an 2004 Yukon Denali with transmission issues, and my 2003 Sierra Denali is acting similar. Dealer told me $3300 for Yukon, haven taken Sierra yet.
  • cjsly172cjsly172 Posts: 3
    Hi all,

    I had my transmission serviced (fluid flush) last June on my 2007 5.3L GMC Yukon. At the time it had approximately 55k miles and today has 64k miles. A few months later I started to experience very random transmission issues that have recently become more persistent. The first issue is the transmission seems to hammer when the car rocks back when coming to a normal stop (It doesn't always do it when you come to a very slow stop). Once it has hammered after the stop, it will do it again within a second or so after accelerating.

    Now it seems to be occasionally shifting hard between first and second and/or second and third gear. I have stepped on the gas a few times to experience either a hard shift or an initial dogging of speed until I get in an upper gear.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you do to resolve this?
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    To get in touch with us, you can send an email to Please include further details, including your name, contact information, VIN numbers, and the name of your dealership.

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • My Denali is havin trouble getting out of first gear. This problem is accompanied with a loud disticnt screeching noise. Is anyone else having this problem.? I'm up for a class action
  • I have a 2008 Denali XL that has been the best ROAD CAR that I have had. I have run 100000 miles in 4 years between Oregon and California. However GMC planned obsolescence has kicked in as it neared the 100000 mile mark. Gauges started behaving mysteriously, going off, coming on, temp - drive indicator off brake light on when it is not set?? Ball joints went out, front end repairs. Door actuators needed replacing. Now tranny or differential from 35 MPH up makes a whine and is getting worse. The hard part in all these problems is knowing when to cut your losses when a similar replacement vehicle is in the range of 60K. I guess if you replace everything for 30K you make out. Cars are a losing proposition.
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