Chevy Express 3500 Transmission Problems & Cost

When it comes to a vehicle that can get stuff done, the Chevy express 3500 is hard to beat. It’s got the strength to handle nearly any upfitter body or situation. And it got the reliability of a Chevrolet. However, Chevrolet express 3500 transmission problems do still happen. So let’s find out how you can save your moneymaker and budget at the same time.

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 3500 Transmission Models

Chevy Express 3500 Van: 4L80E Transmission (Early Models)
Chevy Express 3500 Van: 6L90 Transmission (Late Models)

Chevy Express 3500 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 4L80E Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission

Replacement 6L90 Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission
6L80 / 6L902559

What are the DTC codes related to Chevy Express 3500 transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0715Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit
P0716Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance 
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0718Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0720Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0721Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0723Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0741Torque Converter Clutch Circuit
P0742Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
P0751Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off
P0752Shift Solenoid 'A' Stuck On
P0756Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off
P0757Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On
P0776Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off
P0777Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Stuck On
P0796Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Performance or Stuck off
P0965Pressure Control Solenoid “B” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P0966Pressure Control Solenoid “B” Control Circuit Low
P0967Pressure Control Solenoid “B” Control Circuit High
P2715Pressure Control Solenoid ‘D’ Stuck On
P2723Pressure Control Solenoid ‘E’ Stuck Off

Chevy Express 3500 Transmission Recalls

None Found

Chevy Express 3500 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 08-07-30-001 – Chevrolet Express 3500 4L80E
Problem – Harsh or delayed shifts, slipping, no forward/reverse gears. Possible DTCs: P0741, P0742, P0751, P0752, P0756, P0757, P0894.
Solution – Rebuild or replace the valve body.

TSB 08-07-30-015 – Chevrolet Express 3500 4L80E
Problem – Harsh shifts, delayed 2-3 shifts, 2-3 shift flare, no 3rd gear, slips in 3rd gear or reverse. Possible DTC 0757.
Solution – If none of the issues described in Bulletin 08-07-30-001 are present (debris in #11 checkball, leak in oil circuit, damage to the direct clutch), then replace the 2-3 shift solenoid due to a possible sticking pintle.

TSB PI488C – No forward or reverse and/or slipping – 6L80 Transmission | 6L90 Transmission
2010 – 2014 Cadillac CTS-V – 2010 – 2014 Cadillac Escalade (all models) – 2010 – 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Camaro – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Corvette – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Express – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Silverado – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Suburban – 2010 – 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe – 2011 – 2014 Chevrolet Caprice PPV – 2014 Chevrolet SS – 2010 – 2014 GMC Savanna – 2010 – 2014 GMC Sierra – 2010 – 2014 GMC Yukon – 2010 – 2014 GMC Yukon XL – 2010 – 2014 GMC Yukon Denali

Problem – Trucks equipped with the 6-speed 6L80 or 6L90 transmission may experience no forward or reverse engagement, or slipping between the gears.

Solution – This problem could be caused by a cracked or split transmission filter. If this is the case, the transmission pump should be disassembled and inspected for possible damage. Inspect for any of the following conditions: – scored pump rotor or pump vanes – scored pump cover or pump rotor pocket – cracked pump slide.

The transmission should also be evaluated for any possible distress to the clutches. GM’s testing and analysis found that split or damaged filters may be caused by a damaged transmission pump. This can send a high pressure fluid spike down the filter neck on a cold start, resulting in the filter body cracking or the filter seam splitting. The filter is not defective and this is not a filter quality issue. Important: Do not replace the filter without inspecting the pump. Failure to inspect the pump and clutches could lead to a repeat of this condition.

Common Problems with the Chevy Express 3500 Transmission

Solenoid DTC’s – Chevrolet Express 3500 6L90 
Problem – A number of diagnostic trouble codes, including P0776, P0796, P2714 and P2723, can be caused by a pressure leak at the end of the clutch regulating valve.
Solution – The bore plug will have to be replaced with updated versions, or modified to accept an O-ring kit.

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, if your van will still crank up and run, you should be able to drive it. But keep in mind, most Chevy express 3500 transmission problems can start out small, and work their way into a much bigger (and more expensive) issue if you keep driving it. So do yourself a favor, and have your van’s transmission seen about immediately.

How often does a Chevy Express 3500 transmission need to be replaced?

Adhering to factory maintenance procedures, is the number one way that you can keep a vehicle on the road. However, driving style and factory design flaws still play a part in the mileage that you actually get out of a transmission. Over the years, we’ve noticed the following average lifespan of Chevy express 3500 transmissions:
4L80E – 120,000-180,000 miles
6L90 – 130,000-200,000 miles

How are Chevy Express 3500 transmission issues diagnosed?

Although it’s a fairly simple machine, Chevy express 3500 transmission problems do still require a fair amount of mechanical knowledge to solve gearbox issues. However, later models can benefit from the OBDII on board diagnostics system.

How is a Chevy Express 3500 transmission replaced?

Because of the simple body on frame construction of a Chevrolet express 3500, replacing the transmission is as simple as unbolting the original from the engine, frame, and driveshaft, then installing the new one in the reverse order. However, the ECU/TCM may need to be reprogrammed in order to accept the new transmission.

Recommendations for Chevy Express 3500 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 3500 transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Chevy Express 3500 Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Chevy Express 3500 Transmission

The Chevy express 3500 isn’t a vehicle that you drive for pleasure. You got to make money with it, so saving money is very important. Buying a used 4L80E / used 6L90 transmission will certainly seem budget friendly. But when you consider that you don’t know how long it will actually last, you may actually have another expensive repair to make sooner than you think. Plus those junkyard warranties don’t usually cover labor charges for repairs.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Chevy Express 3500 Transmission

Buying a rebuilt Chevy Express 3500 transmission might seem like a much better choice, but this may also get expensive. You see, when rebuilding an existing transmission, most mechanics will use an OE master rebuild kit that returns the transmission back to its stock form. So many of the common Chevrolet Express transmission problems will return. And, the warranty they give you may only be honored at the shop that built it.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Chevy Express 3500 Transmission

In order to completely eradicate any known problems, most remanufactured transmissions are completely blown apart and each piece is inspected and tested to make sure that it’s within specification. Then necessary modifications are made to correct the known issues, and the high-end transmission reman companies will then dyno test the finished product to make sure that it performs with no issue. For the money, a remanufactured Chevrolet Express transmission is hard to beat, considering it can significantly reduce your downtime.

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 3500 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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23 days ago

I LOVE this truck,my mighty mighty one ton,I’ve owned 14 trucks this is my first one ton,by far the best riding truck I’ve had

23 days ago

Bad leak towards the front

1 year ago

2020 Express 3500
Came out of a store started truck put it in reverse truck backed up fine went to put it into drive gear shift wont go past neutral

Last edited 1 year ago by Shaun
Peter Alison
1 year ago

04 express 3500
When trans warms up it shifts hard, if it is shut off the trans shifts normal then it starts to shift hard, now it has developed a leak in pump area behind inspection cover

Lee Fletcher
1 year ago

08 express 3500LT 6.0 gas drives fine for 30 miles at 75 mph then downshifts causing rpm’s to go up to 3400 and then after driving 20 miles at 55 to 60 mph message center says transmission hot idal engine. DTC codes p0700 p0894

Guy Mitchell
1 year ago

I had no problems until I changed the speed sensor and then my problem began with slipping and hard shifting. Next it was hard shifting from first to second with a hard change into second. Now it goes in reverse fine but won’t engage I any forward gear at all . I tried each one separately??? I have. 1999 GMC Savannah wit a 5.7

Dee Ross
1 year ago

slips or lags when put in gear

Akiva Freilich
1 year ago

slips in 5ht and 6th gear and looose pick up and sounds like its spinning.Its only 21000 miles on it!

Eric Robinson
2 years ago

The van is staying in gears longer and engaging harder. 89,000 miles. 2015 3500 6.0

2 years ago

My transmission stalls when it’s downshifting

Lonny Neely
2 years ago

Pump gave out gears 456 out
The dealer service said it may have been from idling too long
Said the police vehicles they service have too much stress from idling

2 years ago

I have a 2015 3500 Express with 6.0 gas. Lost my first transmission at 143,000. Torque converter failure. I had no signs of problems before it slipped once turning onto an entrance ramp. By the bottom of the ramp, 6th gear was gone. Shifted manually to 5th and it lasted 30 seconds. Shifted manually to 4th…

The new transmission lasted 111,000 miles (254,000 total miles on van) before that transmission bit the dust. Another torque converter failure. Coming into a town and coming to a stop light I noticed odd slipping during downshifts. Two stop lights later it just spun like it was in neutral in any forward or reverse gear.
2 years ago

2000 cargo express 5.7 engine cranks and starts but loud clunking noise at starter/flywheel, sometimes kicks back. New starter and cables. I’m really puzzled. Trouble codes p0730

Ricky Fohr
2 years ago

I have a 2003 Chevrolet 3500 Express Van 6-liter Gas Engine. Started having problems with it shifting hard into a higher gear and into overdrive. It seems like it stays in 2nd gear and does not shift any higher. At times, for a short period of time, it seems to work fine, but most of the times it is not shifting properly.

Bill Sawatsky
3 years ago

I have had a problem with the shift indicator the speedometer the cruise control failure to shift to a higher gear, the ABS and park brake lights and periodically the check engine light coming on. I have had a new sensor installed about 3 years ago, maybe 25,000 miles and now doing the same thing. Is this a chronic problem for these vehicles. 4 speed automatic with 6 litre gas engine

2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Sawatsky

What sensor did you change. Did you ever find the problem? We are having the same issue and cant figure out what to do. Thanks

4 years ago

I have a 2016 Chevy Express 3500 that makes a loud rumbling/grinding sound when I reach 65 mph. I bought the van brand new. It had this since I bought it, but it is getting increasingly louder. I have taken it to Chevy multiple times. They have kept it for days and weeks at a time. They hear the sound but are unable to figure out what is wrong. Any ideas?

2 years ago
Reply to  MRD

Maybe its tires. I have had the same issues.

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