Buick Rainier Transmission Problems & Cost

The Buick Rainier is a midsize SUV that GM’s luxury division introduced for the 2004 model year. It was intended to capitalize on the great sport-utility-vehicle craze, but economics wound up working in Buick’s favor, because their more fuel efficient Buick Enclave was launched the same year that gas prices started to skyrocket (2008). Nevertheless, the Rainier was an excellent family vehicle value, offering both 6-cyl and V8 power. Both engines were paired with the 4L60E transmission, which was actually pretty reliable. However, Buick Rainier transmission problems do happen. So let’s see what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Buick Rainier Transmission Models

Buick Rainier: 4L60E Transmission

Buick Rainier Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

Replacement 4L60E Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission
4L60E / 4L65E2100

What are the DTC codes related to Buick Rainier transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0706Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0719Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit Low
P0724 Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit High
P0740Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction
P0748Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0751Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off
P0753Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0756Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off
P0757Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On
P0758Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P0785Shift/Timing Solenoid
P0894Transmission Component Slipping
P1860TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical
P1870Transmission Component Slipping: GM Transmission

Buick Rainier Transmission Recalls

None Found

Buick Rainier Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 08-07-30-027 – No movements when transmission is shifted into Drive or third – 4L60E Transmission – 4L65E Transmission – 4L70E Transmission
1982-2005 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks: 2006-2007 Buick Rainier – 2006 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV & Escalade EXT – 2006 Chevrolet SSR – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Avalanche – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Colorado – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Express – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Silverado Classic – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Silverado – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Suburban – 2006-2008 Chevrolet Tahoe – 2006-2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer – 2006 GMC Yukon Denali – 2006 GMC Yukon Denali XL – 2006-2008 GMC Canyon – 2006-2008 GMC Envoy – 2006-2008 GMC Savana – 2006-2008 GMC Sierra Classic – 2006-2008 GMC Sierra – 2006-2008 GMC Yukon – 2006-2008 GMC Yukon XL – 2006 Pontiac GTO – 2006-2007 HUMMER H2 – 2006-2008 HUMMER H3 – 2006-2008 Saab 9-7X – with the 4L60, 4L60E, 4L65E or 4L70E Automatic Transmission (RPOs MD8, M30, M32, M33 or M70)
Problem – It is possible to experience no movement when the transmission is shifted into Drive or the 3rd gear position. It is possible to experience normal operation when the transmission shifted into second, first or reverse.
Solution – Replace the forward sprag assembly

TSB PIP4051C – Harsh Shifting
Problem – Unusually harsh gear changes, combined with a P0717 DTC for an input shaft speed sensor error, are often caused by damage to the ISS sensor wiring.
Solution – If wire damage is found (usually to the white wire), the wiring and sensor will have to be replaced. The pump cover should also be examined for sharp points/edges that could damage the wiring. If any are found, they should be smoothed with a file.

Common Problems with the Buick Rainier Transmission

Intermittent harsh shifting – Buick Rainier 4L60E
Problem – A common Buick Rainier transmission problem is an intermittent hard 1-2 shift, often accompanied by engine bogging. This condition can be caused by the torque convertor clutch applying during the shift.
Solution – To remedy the problem, the wiring harness needs to be inspected from the transmission case connector to the rear of the engine on the driver side. It’s possible that the wires for the TCC solenoid and pressure control solenoid have become frayed on a body seam. If this is the case, the wiring will need to be repaired, and the harness repositioned.

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

Yes, you can still drive with Buick Rainier transmission problems. However they could cost you more money in the long-run, because of the damage that occurred while you were still driving it.

How often does a Buick Rainier transmission need to be replaced?

These are actually pretty reliable trucks, and the Buick Rainier 4T60 transmission tends to be equally hearty. On average, we’ve found these transmissions to last between 130,000-180,000 miles. However, a properly built remanufactured transmission can last even longer than that.

How are Buick Rainier transmission issues diagnosed?

To figure out what’s wrong with a Buick Rainier 4T60E, a technician will need to connect an OBDII code reader to the truck and pull the diagnostic trouble codes. Then a visual inspection will need to be performed to verify the problem.

How is a Buick Rainier transmission replaced?

To replace a Buick Rainier transmission, the truck will have to be raised in the air so all the transmission parts can be unbolted. Once this is complete, the 4T60 transmission can be removed and replaced. However, the ECU will need to be reprogrammed / reflashed to accept the new transmission using the latest GM subscription.

Recommendations for Buick Rainier transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit truck VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Buick Rainier transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Buick Rainier Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Buick Rainier Transmission

To get back on the road faster, you could simply buy a used 4L60E transmission from a local junkyard. They’re relatively inexpensive, and often come with a 30-90 day warranty. But the problem is, you have no way to verify the actual condition of the internal components. And that warranty may not cover labor charges, if you have to replace the first used transmission.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Buick Rainier Transmission

The next best idea would be to get a rebuilt 4L60E transmission. In this scenario, a mechanic will take your existing transmission, and replace a bunch of the common wear parts. However, the Buick Rainier transmission parts that most technicians use, are OE spec. Which means the factory design flaws will still be present. Plus, that 1-2 year warranty may only be honored at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Buick Rainier Transmission

To get the most reliable solution to your Buick Rainier transmission problems, you may want to consider buying a remanufactured 4L60E transmission from a reputable supplier. These typically get upgraded to correct the factory design flaws, and the warranty is usually better too.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Buick Rainier Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Mark Boydstun
2 months ago

Just purchased 2015 Buick Rainier will not move forward or in reverse in any gear the fluid are full

6 months ago

I put it in drive or reverse, it won’t move

Neal Thomas III
7 months ago

Trouble code P0756 can only get up to 40 mph.Drives harsh

7 months ago

Doesn’t want to shift locks flip while driving gear shifter flips while driving sometimes cranks but won’t start feels like no power sometimes

Jimmy Speakman
8 months ago

Feels like the it’s not shifting into gear and truck acts really sluggish and have to push the gas pedal almost to the floor to get it to go anywhere

11 months ago

Quiet shifting in all gears at first it shifted in reverse an drive an then just quiet

1 year ago

I lost all gears was driving down the road and it went out all at once

1 year ago

The battery died due to extremely cold temperatures. The transmission froze also and the key cannot be removed.

Terry Harris
2 years ago

2004 Buick Rainier has been operating fine no transmission problems. Now shifter slides back and forth does not go into any gear.

Michael D
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Harris

Did you ever get it fixed? What was it? I’m dealing with the same problem

1 year ago
Reply to  Terry Harris

I’ve got the same issue.
Did you figure out this problem?

3 years ago

My 04 Rainer won’t start in 1st gear only 3rd gear but will move if you manually put in ist gear .could this be a wiring or sensor issue ?

1 year ago
Reply to  Carol

Did you ever find the problem? I have exact same issue and can’t figure out the solution.. please share

Mark Boydstun
2 months ago
Reply to  Heather

No reply yet

4 years ago

My front blowers aren’t working 04 rainier cxl 204,000 miles

4 years ago

My front blowers aren’t blowing any air period it seems as if i’m stuck on defrost blowing air from top and bottom vents only

2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I had the same problem ,to fix it just change the blower motor wiring harness gm made a mistake with the factory harness it cost about $80 plug and play

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