One of the oldest nameplates in the auto industry, the GMC Suburban was equipped with a number of gearboxes, including the 700R4 transmission, the 4L60E transmission in 1993+ models (usually in the GMC Suburban K1500), 4L80E (typically in Suburban K2500 models), and the 6-speed 6L80 / 6L90 or 8-speed 8L90 transmission in newer models. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common GMC Suburban transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.
GMC Suburban Transmission Models
GMC Suburban: 4L60E Transmission (K1500 Late Model)
GMC Suburban: 4L80E Transmission (K2500 Models)
GMC Suburban: 700R4 Transmission (Early Models)
GMC Suburban: 6L80 / 6L90 Transmission (Later Models)
GMC Suburban: 8L90 Transmission (Later Models)
GMC Suburban 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 Suburban Transmission Prices:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission|
|4L60E / 4L65E||2100|
What are the DTC codes related to GMC Suburban 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|
|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|
|P0719||Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit Low|
|P0720||Output Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0721||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0722||Output Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0723||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent|
|P0724||Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit High|
|P0740||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction|
|P0741||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit|
|P0742||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On|
|P0746||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0747||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Stuck On|
|P0748||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0751||Shift Solenoid 'A' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0752||Shift Solenoid 'A' Stuck On|
|P0753||Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0756||Shift Solenoid 'B' Performance or Stuck Off|
|P0757||Shift Solenoid 'B' Stuck On|
|P0758||Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical|
|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|
|P0797||Pressure Control Solenoid 'C' Stuck On|
|P0826||Up and Down Shift Switch Circuit|
|P0851||Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit Low|
|P0894||Transmission Component Slipping|
|P0960||Pressure Control Solenoid A Control Circuit/Open|
|P0962||Pressure Control Solenoid A Control Circuit Low|
|P0963||Pressure Control Solenoid A Control Circuit High|
|P0964||Pressure Control Solenoid B Control Circuit/Open|
|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|
|P0970||Pressure Control Solenoid C Control Circuit Low|
|P1860||TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical|
|P1870||Transmission Component Slipping: GM Transmission|
|P2715||Pressure Control Solenoid D Stuck On|
|P2723||Pressure Control Solenoid E Stuck Off|
GMC Suburban Transmission Recalls
Recall 14V152000 – Transmission cooler line leak – 6L80 Transmission
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Light Duty Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab
2015 Chevrolet Suburban
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab 2015 Chevrolet Yukon
2015 Chevrolet Yukon XL
In March 2014, General Motors recalled certain 2014 Chevrolet Silverado Light Duty Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab 1500 series and model year 2015 Suburban and Tahoe; GMC model year 2014 Sierra Regular Cab, Double Cab, and Crew Cab 1500 Series and model year 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles equipped with a 6L80 6-Speed Automatic Transmission. The recalled trucks may have a transmission oil cooler line that is not securely seated in the fitting.
If the line is not securely seated and transmission oil leaks from the fitting, the oil could contact a hot surface and cause a vehicle fire.
Dealers were instructed to inspect the transmission oil cooler line connection and repair the vehicles, as needed, free of charge. Owners may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236 (refer to recall 14V152000).
GMC Suburban Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)
TSB PIP4051C – Harsh Shifting – GMC Suburban 4L60E
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.
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 01-07-30-023B – Harsh 1-2 upshift with P1870 DTC – 4L60E Transmission RPO M30
1996 Buick Roadmaster – 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood – 1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade – 1996-2000 Chevrolet Camaro – 1996-2000 Corvette – 1996-2000 Pontiac Firebird – 1996-2000 Chevrolet and GMC Light Duty Truck Models – 1996-2000 Oldsmobile Bravada
Problem – Drivers may experience an unusually harsh 1-2 shift because the ECU has commanded maximum line pressure in order to compensate for excessive wear in the bore that contains the TCC isolator and regulator valves inside of the valve body.
Solution – Replace the 4L60E valve body with revised TCC regulator and isolator valves.
PIP5071 – Squawking noise on the 2-3 shift – GMC Suburban 4L60E
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.
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 08-07-30-001 – GMC Suburban 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 – GMC Suburban 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.
TSB 09-07-30-004J – Slips in Reverse or Third, Delayed Reverse or Drive Engagement, DTC P0776, P2715, P2723, Harsh 2-3 Shifts – 6L80 Transmission | 6L90 Transmission
2006-2009 Cadillac STS-V – 2006-2009 Cadillac XLR – 2006-2009 Cadillac XLR-V – 2007-2008 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT – 2006-2009 Chevrolet Corvette – 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado – 2008 Chevrolet Suburban – 2007-2008 GMC Sierra – 2007-2008 GMC Sierra Denali – 2007-2008 GMC Yukon Denali – 2007-2008 GMC Yukon XL Denali – 2008 GMC Yukon XL – 2008-2009 HUMMER H2 – 2008-2009 Pontiac G8
Problem – Vehicles equipped with the 6L80 or 6L90 transmission may slip when Reverse is selected or have no/delayed reverse engagement, harsh shifts from 2-3 / 4-5 or slips while in fifth, and slipping acceleration when passing. Possible DTCs include P0776, P2715 or P2723.
Solution – This transmission problem may be caused by a cracked 1-2-3-4 / 3-5-R clutch housing.
TSB 16-NA-014 – Delayed engagement after sitting with the engine off
Problem – Drivers may experience a pronounced delay in forward or reverse gear engagement after shifting from Park. This condition typically occurs when the vehicle has been sitting for several hours with the engine off (like overnight).
Solution – In order to correct this common 8L90 transmission problem, a new stator shaft support assembly will have to be installed.
PIP5437A – Harsh shifts
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.
TSB – 16-NA-404 – Erratic shifting behavior
Problem – Drivers may experience harsh shifts, delayed shifts, unexpected downshift, stuck in a gear and/or hesitation to shift. The following DTC codes may also be set: P0747, P0777, P0797, P2715, P2724.
Solution – These problems may be caused by a programming error in the TCM, which will require a software update.
Common Problems with the GMC Suburban Transmission
Intermittent harsh shifting – GMC Suburban 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.
Solenoid DTC’s – GMC Suburban 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
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 Suburban 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 Suburban transmission need to be replaced?
The overall lifespan of a GMC Suburban 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 Suburban 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 Suburban transmission issues diagnosed?
It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your GMC Suburban 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 Suburban transmission replaced?
In order to replace your GMC Suburban 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 Suburban 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 Suburban transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.
How to Solve GMC Suburban Transmission Problems
Solution A: Buy a Used GMC Suburban 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 Suburban 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 Suburban 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 Suburban 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!