GMC Savana 1500 Transmission Problems & Cost | 4L60E

The GMC Savana 1500 was equipped with the 4L60E transmission. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common GMC Savana 1500 transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure 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?

GMC Savana 1500 Transmission Models

GMC Savana 1500: 4L60E Transmission
GMC Savana 1500: 8L90 Transmission

GMC Savana 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 GMC Savana 1500 Transmission Prices:

TransmissionStreet Smart TransmissionAutozoneAdvance Auto PartsDealer Retail
4L60E / 4L65E1671169917992133

What are the DTC codes related to GMC Savana 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

GMC Savana 1500 Transmission Recalls

None Found

GMC Savana 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 Problems with the GMC Savana 1500 Transmission

Intermittent harsh shifting – GMC Savana 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?

If your GMC Savana 1500 can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a GMC Savana 1500 transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a GMC Savana 1500 transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the GMC Savana 1500 transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are GMC Savana 1500 transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your GMC Savana 1500 transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a GMC Savana 1500 transmission replaced?

In order to replace your GMC Savana 1500 transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed. Once it is in place, for the 6L80, the vehicle PCM will have to be reprogrammed / reflashed to accept the new transmission using the latest GM subscription.

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

How to Solve GMC Savana 1500 Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used GMC Savana 1500 Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt GMC Savana 1500 Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured GMC Savana 1500 Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

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 GMC Savana 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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GLEN ST PIERRE
6 months ago

I have had my GMC Savannah 1500 8 cy since 2005, it is a 2006 model. Two months after buying it, I noticed that sometimes when I started the vehicle in the morning, the engine rpms were high and when i drove away, it seemed to be in first gear. In about a block the transmission would get into 3rd gear and run great. I took it to the dealer and they said, we could not get it to do it, sorry!!
For the past 15 years this still does it, maybe one out of 5 starts, but quickly gets right within a block or so. NO SLIPPAGE OF MY TRANSMISSION HAS EVER TAKEN PLACE.

In 2013 the engine warning light came on. I had Firestone to the engine check and the code was Torque Converter, but not any of codes above—was P2761??

In all the years I have never had any slippage, EXCEPT when I start the car. I have gone, year after year to the Smoky Mountains and have driven in 2nd gear for up to 20 miles at a time going down the mountain-year after year. Due to Covid did not do this in 2020, but will be doing this in 2 months. I have confidence in my transmission to make it again.

What are your thoughts?

Michael Terrell
11 months ago

I was driving my 1997 gmc savana 1500 5.7L going around 20 miles a hour and it just stopped like it jumped into neutral and wont move in any gear

Jonathan
1 year ago

I have a brushing noise in 1st 4th and 5th. 2nd and 3rd no noise. Shifts fine. Fluid is fine not burnt no metal shavings.

David Nelson
2 years ago

Only 2nd gear working, then nothing.

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