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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,544 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Chevrolet Avalanche transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 182007

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,565 miles


Since purchasing this truck on 02/01/2007, there have been multiple problems with the transmission, engine, and electrical system that have not gotten resolved, however they do seem to get worse. The worst of these problems has occurred while driving on the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania turnpike. While attempting to pass another vehicle in the left lane the engine "shut off". I was doing approx. 60-65 mph when this occurred during the am rush hour. After losing engine power I somehow made it safely to the right hand shoulder and let the truck "coast" to a stop. The power steering was not working, nor were the power brakes. After finally stopping, the truck did restart and I slowly continued on my way to work. The truck was taken to a dealership, and for almost (2) weeks the truck sat there while they tried to figure this out. After getting the truck back, the same problem occurred, and it went back to the same dealership. Since then it has been ok, except I have lost dashboard lights, radio lights, and also the cruise control indicator light, they claim other problems, however these issues were never a problem before they worked on the truck. Now I have air-bag lights flash at me while driving, and the transmission is slipping, this was the first problem with the truck that I reported on 03/14/2007 to the dealership that I purchased this truck from. I have already paid over $1500 I repair costs, only to have them tell me it will cost approx. Another $800-$1000 to correct the air-bag, and transmission issues. These should be covered by my warranty, except the dealership insists I pay for the repairs. I have paid enough, and I am at my wit's end with this truck, and the dealership. I feel that I can no longer "safely" drive my family around in this truck, and I still have many years of payments left. ( I have never been late on a payment) please help me, I feel as though I have been sold a "money pit".

- Zionsville, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 172004


  • miles
Pick a problem. Pin from transmission gears were too short from the manufacturer, causing the transmission to not shift properly. This repair was done at 8000 miles. 4 quarts. Low on oil within month of changing. No leaks and no explanation from the dealer as to where the oil went. A/C functioned improperly after truck surged at traffic light. Still no explanation. Remote entry works when it wants to. Interior lights pulse when truck idiling. Heater motor functions according to speed of vehicle, slow when braking and speeds up when accelerating. Drivers power window stopped functioning and started working the evening before taking it to the dealership for repair. Popping noise from exhaust just after starting and shutting off. From inside the vehicle while running I continuously hear cooling fluids flowing. Sometimes the horn does not function while the vehicle is turned off. Braking has always been a problem from day one. Always feels as there isn't enough brake pressure to stop in a normal distance. Along with the remote entry not working the personal presets for driver 1 most of the time do not operate with the remote entry. I have to select driver 1 from the interior to engage settings. Bed plastics are fading. Buttons for radio on the steering wheel and radio are flaking.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #4

Sep 092004

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche with harsh and suden unexpected down shifts. Dealer has attemped repair several times without repairing the problem. When slowing in traffic or for a turn the transmission will downshift hard and clunk and bang as if something is going to break. This in my opinion is a safety hazard on slippery roads while making a turn as it could cause a spinout. Last call from dealer the service manager read to me a tsb from Chevrolet saying this was a normal condition and not to attempt a repair. Not acceptable. I have been an auto tech for 38 years. I feel the transmission is shifting into 1st gear instead of 2nd when speed drops just below 20mph. This just may be a shift program problem, but what damage is being done to transmission over long term?

- Saukville, WI, USA

problem #3

Nov 162004

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,700 miles


Transmission started making growling and whining noise while attemping to shift into 4th gear, then started slipping in 4th gear.shifting was also stiff or harsher than was normal for the vehicle prior to this. I took to dealer and was dismissed as their computer did not record any trouble codes. 1 week later, and only 65 miles travel distance, both 2nd and 4th gears completely failed, causing a complete overhaul and rebuild of transmission. Vehicle had only 14, 700 miles on it when problem surfaced. Dealership told me no known problems associated with this model vehicle.

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 152004

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The truck continued to shake when depressing the gas pedal. Turns out the transmission was messed up. The dealer found lots of metal in the pan. Rebuit the broken parts @ 15,000 miles not a new one just rebuilt.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Dec 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles
On December 12, 2003 vehicle stalled in the middle of an intersection, resulting in a crash that could have been fatal. Consumer stated, this vehicle had been seven to eight times at dealer with engine and transmission problems. Dealer could not duplicate or correct the problem.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

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