Chevy Express 1500 Transmission Problems & Cost

In the 1970s, the Chevy Van was the top transportation choice for a ‘freewheeling’ generation. Fur covered beds, shag covered walls, and crazy paint jobs were the hallmark of any custom Chevrolet Van. However, what most people forget is; it was the scores of plain-Jane work models that were quietly getting stuff done all over the country. These vans were designed to help people deliver goods and services to a growing country. In 1995, the Chevy Van got a complete redesign and the half ton model was renamed the Chevrolet Express 1500. This venerable box-on-wheels enjoyed a considerable share of the work van market until it was discontinued in 2014. A number of different engines were available throughout its life, but the most common Chevy Express 1500 transmission was the 4L60E. With proper maintenance, this can be very reliable gearbox. But Chevy Express transmission problems do still happen. So let’s find out 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?

Chevy Express 1500 Transmission Models

Chevy Express 1500 Van: 4L60E Transmission
Chevy Express 1500 Van: 8L90 Transmission

Chevy Express Van 1500 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 TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail
4L60E / 4L65E1671169917992133

What are the DTC codes related to Chevy Express 1500 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

Chevy Express 1500 Transmission Recalls

None Found

Chevy Express 1500 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 01-07-30-002C – Transmission stuck in third gear with inoperable instrument cluster and multiple DTC’s – 4L60E Transmission & 4L65 Transmission
1999 – 2003 Cadillac Escalade – 2002 – 2003 Cadillac Escalade EXT – 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet Silverado – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet Suburban – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet Blazer – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet Express – 1997 – 2003 Chevrolet S10 – 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche – 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer – 2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT – 1997 – 2003 GMC Sierra – 1997 – 1999 GMC Suburban – 1999 – 2003 GMC Yukon XL – 1997 – 2003 GMC Yukon – 1997 – 2001 GMC Jimmy – 1997 – 2003 GMC Savanna – 1997 – 2003 GMC Sonoma – 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy – 2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL – 1997 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
Problem – Vehicles equipped with the 4L60E and 4L65E transmission may become stuck in third gear, the instrument cluster may not function, and the following DTC’s may be set: P0740, P0753, P0758, P0785 and P1860.
Solution – The most likely cause of this transmission problem is a blown fuse or an open on circuit 1020 between the fuse panel and the transmission. If no battery voltage is found at the fuse, the ignition switch will need to be replaced

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 00-07-30-022D – No reverse, second or fourth gears – 4L60E Transmission & 4L65E Transmission
1993 – 2005 GM passenger cars and light duty trucks
Problem – Drivers may experience the loss of reverse, second and fourth gears. First and third gears will seem to function normally
Solution – The reaction sun gear may fail inside of the sun shell. It will need to be replaced with a stronger heat-treated 4L60E / 4L65 sun gear.

TSB 01-04-17-004B – Clunk, bump or squawk when vehicle comes to a stop, or when it is accelerating from a complete stop – 4WD/AWD vehicles with a one-piece propeller/drive shaft only
1999-2004 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT, Escalade ESV – 1996-1999 Chevrolet 1500 Series Extended Cab Short Box Pickup (Old Style) – 1996-1999 Chevrolet 1500 Series Regular Cab Pickup and Utility Models (Old Style) – 1999-2002 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab Short Box (New Style) – 1999-2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Series Regular Cab (New Style) – 2000-2004 Chevrolet 1500 Series Avalanche, Suburban and Tahoe – 2001-2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 Series Regular Cab with Long Bed or Extended Cab (New Style) – 2001-2004 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 series crew cab, short box (New style) – 1996-1999 GMC 1500 series extended cab short box (Old style) – 1996-1999 GMC 1500 series regular cab pickup and utility models (Old Style) – 1999-2002 GMC Sierra extended cab short box (New style) – 1999-2004 GMC 1500 series Yukon, Yukon XL – 2000-2004 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 series regular cab with long bed or extended cab (New style) – 2001-2004 GMC Sierra 2500 Series Crew Cab, Short Box (New Style) – 2003-2005 HUMMER H2
Problem – In vehicles equipped with 4WD or AWD, drivers may experience a clunk, bump or squawk noise when they come to a stop, or when accelerating from a complete stop. This may occur during the 2-3 upshift or 3-2 downshift.
Solution – Replace the rear driveshaft slip yoke with a more robust nickel plated slip yoke.

TSB 06-07-30-007A – Harsh 1-2 shift with P0894 DTC – 4L60E Transmission | 4L65 Transmission | 4L70E Transmission
2006 Cadillac Escalade Models – 2006 Chevrolet Light Duty Trucks – 2006 Chevrolet Express Vans – 2006 GMC Light Duty Trucks – 2006 GMC Savana Vans – 2006 Pontiac GTO – 2006 HUMMER H2, H3 – 2006 Saab 9-7X – with 4L60-E / 4L65-E / 4L70-E (RPOs M30, M32, M70) Automatic Transmission
Problem – Drivers may experience an unusually harsh 1-2 shift with a P0894 DTC
Solution – Replace the TCC enable solenoid and/or wiring harness

TSB 08-07-30-008B – Diagnostic information for P0894 and P1870 DTC – 4L60E Transmission | 4L65 Transmission | 4L70E Transmission
2003-2007 GM Passenger Cars and Light Duty Trucks – 2003-2007 HUMMER H2 – 2006-2007 HUMMER H3 – 2005-2007 Saab 9-7X – with 4L60-E, 4L65-E or 4L70-E Automatic Transmission (RPOs M30, M32 or M70)
Problem – This relates to drivers who experience unusually harsh 1-2 shifts, along with a P0804 and/or a P1870 DTC.
Solution – It is possible that a leaking TCC solenoid, a torque converter clutch valve or damaged turbine shaft O-ring seal could cause these two diagnostic trouble codes. However, it could also be caused by a failed torque converter

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.

PIP5071 – Squawking noise on the 2-3 shift
Problem – An unusual squawking or groaning noise may be heard on the upshift from 2nd to 3rd gear.
Solution – The 3-4 friction and steel plates, clutch plate, apply plate, and selective backing plates will have to be replaced.

PIP5437B – Harsh shifts – 8L45 Transmission | 8L90 Transmission
2016 – 2017 Cadillac ATS – 2016 – 2017 Cadillac CT5 – 2016 – 2017 Cadillac CT6 – 2015 – 2017 Cadillac Escalade – 2016 – 2017 Chevrolet Camaro – 2017 Chevrolet Colorado – 2015 – 2017 Chevrolet Corvette – 2017 Chevrolet Express – 2015 – 2017 Chevrolet Silverado – 2017 GMC Canyon – 2017 GMC Savana – 2015 – 2017 GMC Sierra – 2015 – 2017 GMC Yukon Denali
Problem – One of the more common 8L90 transmission problems is excessively hard or abrupt gear changes.
Solution – The TCM may need to be recalibrated with the latest control software. It could also be caused by one or more of the clutch fill times not being learned by the TCM. In which case, the Service Fast Learn (SFL) procedure will have to be performed. Should the problems persist, the valve body will need to be replaced.

Common Chevy Express 1500 Transmission Problems

Intermittent harsh shifting – Chevy Express 4L60E
Problem – A common 4L60E 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?

Obviously, it’s not really a good idea to continue driving with Chevy Express 1500 transmission problems. If you do, the problems could get a lot worse, and that could cost you a lot more money. So doing yourself a favor, and go see a mechanic at the first signs of 4L60E transmission problems.

How often does a Chevy Express 1500 transmission need to be replaced?

Maintenance is the key to keeping any mechanical device operating for a long time. In an ideal scenario, the average Chevy Express 1500 4L60E transmission can last between 130,000-180,000 miles. However, that is a stock transmission with all of the factory design flaws. A quality remanufactured transmission that has all of the necessary upgrades to improve the longevity, can often go for a lot more miles than the factory transmission.

How are Chevy Express 1500 transmission issues diagnosed?

Thanks to the on-board diagnostic system (OBDII), most Chevy Express 1500 transmission problems can be initially diagnosed with a scan tool. Once the technician reads the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), they can inspect the transmission itself to verify the source of the problem.

How is a Chevy Express 1500 transmission replaced?

Thanks to the way it is made, a Chevy Express 1500 4L60E can be replaced by simply unbolting the gearbox from the engine, driveshaft, and frame. Once the old transmission is removed, the new one can be installed in the reverse order. However, the ECU/TCU may have to be reprogrammed in order to accept the new transmission.

Recommendations for Chevy Express 1500 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 Chevy Express 1500 transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Chevy Express 1500 Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Chevy Express 1500 Transmission

if you are serious about saving money, you might be tempted to simply buy a used 4L60E transmission from a local junkyard. They’re cheap, easy to find, and most of them will come with some sort of replacement warranty. But you won’t really know the condition of the internal components until you start to drive it. Which means that some of the same problems that you’re having now, could eventually return. Plus, that warranty probably doesn’t cover labor charges.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Chevy Express 1500 Transmission

A rebuilt 4L60E transmission might seem like a better choice. However, it won’t be if the mechanic uses an OE master rebuild kit, which will return it to its stock form. They may also miss defects like a hairline crack in a gearset, or a valve bore that is out of spec. These oversights can eventually lead to more transmission problems, and the warranty they give you might only be honored by shop that built the transmission. So if you have problems and you’re not near that shop, you could be paying for those repairs out of pocket.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Chevy Express 1500 Transmission

To get the most life from your van, you may want to look at getting a remanufactured 4L60E transmission from a reputable builder. There are often made to a higher standard, because each component should be individually inspected and tested before final assembly. Many of them will also be modified to correct factory design flaws. And if you can get a nationwide warranty, you will be better protected from repair bills if you travel.

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 Chevy Express 1500 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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Chris ATCHLEY
1 month ago

It grinds sometimes when I go tobput it in park

Jason Luce Sr
2 months ago

My 2004 Chevy Express 1500 4.3 is experiencing no pickup out of 1st and 2nd gear, ot sometimes will have pickup, but either hard shifts out of them same gears, or I have to let off the gas for it to go in gear. ……do u think its time for me to buy a new or used transmission? Doesn’t seem like its fixable the way it is right?

richard jarnagin
3 months ago

Will not shift out of 2nd gear

Cheryl Moreno
3 months ago

2000 Chevy Express Van 1500 (V8 5.7L) installed used transmission 2 years ago and I now have a transmission fluid leak. How do I trace and/or diagnose source of leak.

tony
5 months ago

Transmission doesn’t want to shift into overdrive and seams to take longer at times to shift into third gear

Austin
6 months ago

Shifts from 1st to 3rd, will not shift to third until revved to 3000 rpm then let off slightly and it shifts smoothly into 3rd . if given to much throttle it acts like it goes into neutral. Reverse is fine.

rick
9 months ago

put in drive and it feels like its stuck inbetween gears. dont want to move freely

Manny
1 year ago

I had the shift solenoid a&b and torque converter error codes replaced solenoids same problems checked fuses checked wiring finally change transmission. Same issues!! Unplugged tcm removed it from van checked all connections didn’t find anything out of the ordinary put it back in everything is working now ..?? Bad connection???

Julian Taylor
1 year ago

2000 chevy express wont shift into over drive other wise shifts fine

Joe
1 year ago

2014 Chevy express hard shifting into Third gear and no fifth gear engagement

Ted.
2 years ago

Transmission it’s not shifting when I’m driving 40 mph I can go on front and Revers no problem ? The car has only 65,000 miles

Lily
2 years ago

Hi, it’s a 2000 Chevy Express 1500, 165K, code P1870

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