Print this page Notes: It didn't take long for the cladding to fade, discolor, and in some cases crack. Cladding is the protective plastic piece that runs along the outside of vehicles, and exposure to both heat and UV rays give the Avalanche's cladding a chalky, faded appearance.

Owners have said the problem is especially bad on the panels near the cargo bed. Eventually, GM agreed to a one-time treatment of ArmorDillo, a protective treatment similar to what you find in any auto shop. Unfortunately, that would only help for 6 months (on average).

Eventually, GM offered another coating solution for owners within the 3 year / 36,000 mile original warranty under TSB:04-08-111-001C.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
50,950 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. we are having to pay for a brand new transmission (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. dealer replaced with a reconditioned transmission (2 reports)
  4. change tork converter (1 reports)
  5. dealer reprogrammed the transmission (1 reports)
  6. flush transmission (1 reports)
2005 Chevrolet Avalanche transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments

problem #15

Jan 012009

Avalanche V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles


The check engine light went on at 31,000 when my transmission would clunk, bang, etc. when exiting the freeway and taking off at a stop and go signal light intersection. If I pulled over and turned the Avalanche off for few minutes and restarted, the clunk would not reappear unless I again drove on the freeway and exited. I took my 2005 Avalanche to Rudolph Chevrolet in El Paso Texas. I was told that a valve in the transmission was bad and that since the GM warranty was only good up to 30,000 miles it would cost approximately $260 to attempt to solve the problem with no guarantee. I paid and the problem returned within two days.

I took it back and was told I needed a new transmission for thousands of dollars. I decided instead to flush the transmission and add only Royal Purple Transmission fluid. The problem persisted but now with 91,000 miles on the Avalanche's original transmission, it clunks but continues to be used throughout the U.S. I also have placed large "Don't Buy GM" magnetic signs on my truck. I was asked by a Ford owner at an intersection in New York why do I still have the truck if I don't like it and I replied it is paid for and not worth much because of the reappearing check engine lights and the very common problem with the stepper motors on all of the gauges going out.

I have been driving Chevrolets since 1971 and when this Avalanche dies, it will be the last GM I own.

- Bruce N., El Paso, TX, US

problem #14

May 152012

Avalanche Z71

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Dealer would like to change the transmission now that it is off warranty.

- mnk, South Burlington, VT, US

problem #13

Aug 132008

Avalanche LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

I searched for the best possible large truck that would extend our family, my coaching and hauling gear, continued side construction work and the Avalanche was the clear winner by far. the Avalanche has all the makings of one of the best vehicles to have been conceived at GM. However, their ability to build a basic transmission is woefully disappointing. I had the truck no more than a year and a half with 56K on it when the transmission began to slam into gear after a long drive. the idiot light came on and I took it to eh dealer. Replacement is their only solution at $4000. Rather than not allow my mortgage, kids college and other bills to be paid I searched the internet. come to find out there is a solenoid that measures transmission fluid density and the sensor casing was poorly place on the vehicle and poorly secured from transmission leaks. Long story short the solenoid is the problem and should cost $150. but no one wants to pull it due to the damage this causes the transmission.

I decided to run the vehicle with the problem and 100,000 miles later it's still shifting hard after a 60 minute drive but runs. Now that the damn thing is paid for and I'm not shelling out $600.00 a month I may get it replaced. A shame too since this in my opinion the best style vehicle to come out of GM and they know about the issue and chose not to fix which is why the Avalanche will be a thing of the past.

- Bruce C., Sunderland, MD, US

problem #12

Apr 082012

Avalanche LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,500 miles


Only 46,500 miles on a truck that has been babied. All synthetic fluids, perfectly maintained. Transmission now slips sometimes after idling at a stop sign or waiting to turn; nothing and then suddenly slams into first. Wonder what this is going to be. Have also replaced both front air bag sensors, both front ABS sensors, oil pressure sending unit, gauge cluster and heater control head. Pretty much done with GM.

- Mark M., Rockford, IL, US

problem #11

Jun 012008

Avalanche Z71 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

The transmission would slip in and out intermittently. We had the transmission flushed and reconditioned. it didn't solve the problem. We found out the ignition switch up where the key goes it wasn't making a good connection. We replaced it and haven’t had a single problem since (30,000 miles later.

- Jake M., Jackson, MI, US

problem #10

Sep 212010

Avalanche 1500 LT 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,010 miles

we were heading to sea world in san antonio to go meet my uncle and we started losing tranny fluid and we had it towed. they told us that it was the transmission went out. then after we got it fixed i was headed to work about a month later and it started leaking transmission fluid and it had a hole in the tranny pan. and then last night it wouldn't go into drive or third. i drove home in 2nd gear and at about 40 mph. if it keeps up i think i'm going to ford or dodge.

- Steven R., Poteet, TX, US

problem #9

Sep 282007

Avalanche LS 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles


the first time i started having problems with my transmission was a year and a half after i bought it .it would start slipping then would only go in reverse towed it the dealer ,it was still under warranty i got it back it ran good but at 16000 miles it started again in 2009 i didnt wait i took it back they fixed again under warranty now at 36000 miles no warranty i have no drive no 3rd. only 1st 2nd says sorry no longer under warranty but since your a long time chevy customer we will give you a free estimate haha. its the last chevy i own

- John G., Wilmington, CA, US

problem #8

Jul 222009

Avalanche LS 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

around April 09 my tork converter started shuttering, took it to several gm and Chevy dealers it was still in warranty. they said they felt something but it wasn't coming up on computer. told me to keep driving it maybe the engine light would come on. I took it to three different trans specialist they told me the torque converter was shuttering, i took it back to the Chevy dealer, he assured me that was not the problem. i finally had the torque converter change at my expense, $880. i brought them the bill, they asked me to meet them half way and i did because it fix the problem until the trans went completely out about a1000miles after it was fixed, was out of warranty,I fixed it and asked the dealer to meet me halfway and they said they couldn't do that. im out $3000 when they knew it was having problems when it was still under warranty. it only has 64000 miles on it and now the engine has a tapping noise and i change the oil every 3000miles and i still owe $16000 on it. ive always been a Chevy man but im about to change, Chevy has gone to sh*t. just want to be treated fairly. thanks for nothn CHEVY.

- Stephen B., Franklin, LA, US

problem #7

Dec 072009

Avalanche LT 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Transmission began SLAMMING into gear after warming up. Diagnostic stated replace TCC - replaced by LDG Automotive in Owings, No help - they want to replace transmission for $4K.

Here is my issue - searched this problem on-line and there are many many complaints with same problem - systemic problem that is a system flaw where transmission fluid leaks into the TCC causing misinformation to the computer. Now when my Avalanche warms up it over shifts SLAMMING due to the problem.

This should be a replacement by Chevrolet.

- Bruce C., Sunderland, MD, US

problem #6

Jul 242009

Avalanche LS 5.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

I purchased a 2005 Chevy Avalanche new in Aug 2005. The truck has been babied since I've owned it with regular maintenance done on time. With around 50,000 miles on it I started feeling a thunk when putting it into gear and it would surge when sitting at a stop light sometimes like some one had hit me from the rear but no one would be behind me. Took it to the dealer where it was purchased and the technician said that the truck was fine they found nothing wrong during the test drive. The next thing that started to happen around 53,000 was the truck would vibrate like it was falling apart between the speeds of 40-60 mph. I took it to the dealer again and was told that it was the torque converter which would cost about $1,600 to repair. I also was told that this was not covered under warranty or any recalls have been made on this. I find this to be very ironic having a truck with less than 60,000 miles needing a new torque converter. I called GM and was offered no help. I have owned GM's from cars to trucks since I have been driving but this is the last Chevy I will ever own.

- ewalker, Portsmouth, VA, US

problem #5

Jan 012006

Avalanche 1500 4.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,500 miles


I bought the 2005 avalanche new from tom jumper Chevrolet in Atlanta in July. Around January '06 i noticed the transmission started sticking when at a stand still. i give it gas and it jerks into gear. i probably had 15,000 miles on it when this 1st started. i thought it was going through it's breaking in phase not it's breaking down phase. Now just last week the check engine light came on and i had it hooked up to diagnostics and the told me that three components in the transmission were out. I called the Chevy dealerships and told them i found recalls on the internet and they told me they don't go by those. I say don't bail those sorry sobs out. I only have 29,000 miles on it because i don't drive it much. And it's probably been driven in the rain 4 times since i've had it.

- peedoff, Chattanooga, TN, US

problem #4

Sep 282008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

Bought this vehicle brand new in 12/2004. First, the a/c went out in 9/05; under warranty; a/c fixed. Second, the transmission broke down in 10/05; under warranty; dealer rebuilt transmission; under warranty; Third, engine light came on in 12/06; faulty wiring and other problems with engine; under extended warranty (by a few hundred miles); fourth and final draw, was 9/28/08, the transmission went out again. This time, no warranty. It is the exact same problem they repair in 10/15. Contacted GM. Got the runaround for 3 days. Was told today that they would not assist us in any way, shape or form. We are having to pay for a new transmission out of our own pockets. Unbelievable that we have a 3 1/2 year old truck and are having to fork over $$$$$ for a new tranny. DO NOT BUY ANY GM VEHICLES. Their customer service is worthless.

- Carl C., Houston, TX, US

problem #3

Feb 182008

Avalanche 1500 5.3L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

This is my 4th and probably last Chevrolet Product. Bought this new and had only minor problems until my tranny started shuddered when it tried to go into overdrive during normal acceleration. Felt like going over rumble strips. Had 49K Miles but thought I was covered under extended warranty. Yea Right! The technician tore down tranny and said it was damaged due to water intrusion. Had 2 separate adjusters look at it and they said the same thing. They also found a TSB that Chevy doesn't tell owners about that states to the technician that if the complaint is about shuddering while driving at these speeds, it is water in the tranny. It even gives them a 30 minute fix for the problem. This covers all 2004-2006 GM Trucks. I had my bank get involved, my warranty company involved, even called Chevy. Everyone pointed the finger to the manufacturer, who told me to pack sand. They said contamination is not covered under the warranty even though they know a problem exists. The TSB is 05-07-30-017B.

- Tim W., Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #2

Jan 302007

(reported on)

Avalanche 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

Only had my truck 9 months and it started acting up. Would vibrate when I got up to 55 mph on highway. It started slipping at intersections. I would give gas and it would not move then would all of a sudden jerk and take off. Took it to the dealership closest to home (not where I bought it) and left it for a week for repairs. They thought it was just misalignment. They aligned the front end. Picked up still same problem and had been left in open lot unlocked for who knows how long and it was burglarized. Fought to get that resolved and to get the truck fixed.

Left it again for a week and was given a rental vehicle. They then said the transmission was bad that something had leaked and water got in it. They said they put a whole BRAND NEW transmission in it and that my warranty on my transmission would start over since it was new. Found out later I have no new warranty on transmission and that they put in a reconditioned transmission not a NEW one as they told me.

- gssam, Grand Prairie, TX, US

problem #1

Jan 302007

(reported on)

Avalanche 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Now the 2nd time I have had problems with transmission since I purchased this vehicle brand new in June of 2005. Transmission slipping again. Not going from a stop when given gas then all of a sudden taking off or jerking. Took to dealership where I bought this time and was given rental. My warranty had expired however I had a extended warranty. They had to reprogram transmission. Many other items worked on and repaired while there also and will complain about those also... Thinking now I have bought a LEMON and will pursue.

- gssam, Grand Prairie, TX, US

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