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.
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:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission||Autozone||Advance Auto Parts||Dealer Retail|
|4L60E / 4L65E||1671||1699||1799||2133|
What are the DTC codes related to Buick Rainier transmission problems?
|P0706||Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0711||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0712||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input|
|P0713||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input|
|P0719||Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit Low|
|P0724||Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit High|
|P0740||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction|
|P0748||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0751||Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0753||Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0756||Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0757||Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On|
|P0758||Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical|
|P0894||Transmission Component Slipping|
|P1860||TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical|
|P1870||Transmission Component Slipping: GM Transmission|
Buick Rainier Transmission Recalls
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
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
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.
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!