Popular with upfitters and owners alike, the 1-ton GMC Savana 3500 HD was equipped with the 4L80E transmission in early models and 6-speed 6L90 in later models. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common GMC Savana 3500 HD transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.
GMC Savana 3500 HD Transmission Models
GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD Transmission Prices:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission||Autozone||Advance Auto Parts||Dealer Retail|
|6L80 / 6L90||2247||2520||2539||2930|
What are the DTC codes related to GMC Savana 3500 HD transmission problems?
|P0711||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0712||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input|
|P0713||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input|
|P0714||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715|
|P0715||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0716||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Range/PerformanceÂ|
|P0717||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0718||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent|
|P0720||Output Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0721||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0723||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent|
|P0741||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit|
|P0742||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On|
|P0751||Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0752||Shift Solenoid 'A' Stuck On|
|P0756||Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0757||Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On|
|P0776||Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0777||Pressure Control Solenoid 'B' Stuck On|
|P0796||Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Performance or Stuck off|
|P0965||Pressure Control Solenoid B Control Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0966||Pressure Control Solenoid B Control Circuit Low|
|P0967||Pressure Control Solenoid B Control Circuit High|
|P2715||Pressure Control Solenoid D Stuck On|
|P2723||Pressure Control Solenoid E Stuck Off|
GMC Savana 3500 HD Transmission Recalls
GMC Savana 3500 HD Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)
TSB 08-07-30-001 – 4L80E Transmission
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 – 4L80E Transmission
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 08-07-30-016 – Slipping, refusal to shift, overheating – 4L80E Transmission
Problem – Slipping between the gears, overheating, refusal to shift out of a gear, and/or DTC P0894 or P0218, may be because by friction material debonding from the torque convertor clutch (TCC).
Solution – If the friction material has circulated throughout the transmission, the entire transmission may need to be replaced. It is possible to remove the material from the internal components (like transmission cooler lines and the valve body), but it depends on the extent of the damage.
TSB PI488C – No forward or reverse and/or slipping – 6L80 Transmission | 6L90 Transmission
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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 GMC Savana 3500 HD Transmission
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?
If your GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD 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 3500 HD transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD transmission replaced?
In order to replace your GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD 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 3500 HD transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.
How to Solve GMC Savana 3500 HD Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used GMC Savana 3500 HD 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 3500 HD 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 3500 HD 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.
What Problem Does Your GMC Savana 3500 HD 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!