Have the "Transmission problem(s)" been solved? - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Have the "Transmission problem(s)" been solved?

For those of you with firsthand knowledge about this vehicle and transmission, do you know if GM has isolated the problem(s) and corrected them?

I'm thinking about buying a new 2019 Canyon. I've been studying all of the information I can about the whole 6L50 transmissions and I don't get the feeling that GM has solved the problem(s) at all. If they haven't...I'm certainly not going to buy a Canyon!

I decided to contact GM by "chatting" with someone through the GM website. When I asked if this issue has been resolved, through redesign, etc., etc., they said, "I'm happy to see your interest in the Canyon! The issues have been worked out and I would enjoy assisting you with your search today! To get started, may I please have your ZIP code?" I said, "Can you give me proof (i.e., documentation, website URL, etc.) that this problem(s) has been corrected?", they said THEY can't, but any local dealer CAN (yeah...I'll bet).

I contacted the service department of my local dealer and they said that...1.) Nothing about the transmission has been changed for the 2019 models 2.) People are dramatizing the "problems" because the transmission shifts differently than perhaps they've experienced with other vehicles 3.) They (this specific dealership) don't see any transmission replacements which is an indication that there really aren't that many "true" problems with the transmission...etc., etc.

Thank you for your feedback.

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post #2 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:19 PM
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welcome to the site Ed.


In short

TSB with #19-NA-355, which applies to 2017-2019 8 speeds. the new TSB is a flush & refill with the newest formulation of the Mobil 1 fluid, which only became available in late Jan 2019. And GM will only pay the dealers to do the new flush, if a test report shows the truck is actually shuddering (not just because you might want it).


for more info there are numerous threads on this, just type in what you are looking for on the box right above Hot Deals

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post #3 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:24 PM
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Here is my take on things as I have been following this. Note I am not one who has had the Shudder issue as of yet.

GM started off with tuning adjustments to address the problem. They then went to a flush with a new fluid. That was followed with a Converter change. In each case GM never really said what was causing the issue.

Today we are back to a flush with a new flush machine and a new fluid. They claim the past fluids were hydroscopic and was absorbing moisture. To this point some have had this done with good results. Is it the final fix well time will tell.

As for how many have the issue. Well I guessed around 25% but that may be a high estimate. Most of us do not have the Shudder issue.

there have been other issues like the hard shift 1-2 when cold. That is unrelated.

I did have an issue where the converter drained back over night and would slip in the morning till it refilled with fluid. That was a rare issue they had a TSB on and they replaced the transmission and it has been resolved. I only know of two cases that were confirmed here.

Note too if you are looking to by read on the 8L50 for gas the 6L50 is the six speed on the diesel.

There has been a problem on this transmission and it has surfaced in a number of vehicles. But the true number of problems is fairly low. The web tends to attract problems like moths to a flame so here you may see more of them in one place than anywhere because these people are looking for an answer like yourself.

At this point I am not worried. The drive train warranty is covering the issue so it have more time than most. If it does surface and it is that bad I will just upgrade to a newer truck and hope by then the 10 speed will be out with its own unique issues.

Right now I am more optimistic at this point as GM has finally stated a cause. I hope they have finally isolated the issue. With the several fluid from Mobil One I believe they have been working with Mobil to resolve this.

Vehicles are ever more complex and often the answers to the issues for the MFGs do not come easy. If all of the transmissions had the issue it may have been easier to find a answer but with only some failing what is the difference?

Right now I am just watching the threads with the people who have had the latest oil flush and see how their results are. If it works we should know over the next few months if not then will see what they try next.

GM for the most part will not speak as if there is any legal action taken they do not want that info out there. That is why when they stated a problem with moisture caught me. This could be a good sign if they state on record a actual problem found.

All I can say is I bet there has been some sleepless nights for some in Warren looking for an answer.
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post #4 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 02:34 PM
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I'm am old guy and sometimes drive like an old guy but every now and then I put the tranny in drive and just floor it and see how fast the truck gets to before it shifts into the 8th gear. After that it seems to run and shift better for a while. Will just say it does not hit 8th gear until the truck is north of 80. Maybe it heats the fluid up enough to get the moisture out...
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post #5 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hyperv6 View Post
..."They claim the past fluids were hydroscopic and was absorbing moisture."...

Thank you!


I don't quite understand the connection between the past fluids that were hydroscopic and absorbing moisture (I guess transmission fluids are not supposed to absorb moisture?) and the new Mobil 1 "repair"? Mobil 1 doesn't absorb moisture? If so, what happens to any moisture that's present? GM thinks it was moisture being absorbed in the stock fluid that was the root cause of the myriad of problems/complaints?



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post #6 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by EdFlecko View Post
Thank you!


I don't quite understand the connection between the past fluids that were hydroscopic and absorbing moisture (I guess transmission fluids are not supposed to absorb moisture?) and the new Mobil 1 "repair"? Mobil 1 doesn't absorb moisture? If so, what happens to any moisture that's present? GM thinks it was moisture being absorbed in the stock fluid that was the root cause of the myriad of problems/complaints?
Ed

First . . welcome Ed !
I have a 2017 Colorado with this transmission. So far after 2 years and 14,000 miles, just some hard 1st to 2nd gear shifts when it is really cold. . . single digit cold. No shudder that I have noticed.

This transmission "shudder" issue has been a subject of much mystery and it's causes riddled with conjecture from owners, GM technical bulletins and automotive articles.
I'm not really even sure that I buy the "moisture" in the fluid ploy. Maybe.

But why wasn't the original (Dexron?) fluid a problem in previous transmissions?
I think what also is not being said here is that this transmission and/or TCC is sensitive or the design is at fault. There are articles that mention the 8L45/8L90 design is not the same as the 10 speed GM/Ford developed transmissions that seem to have no such issues.

The 8L45 was said to make use of "variable force solenoid technology", whatever that may entail as well as some other less than stellar design implementation. According to articles, the 8L45 and even the "new" fluid has been is use since 2014 in other GM vehicles with these "shudder " issues according to some. It is therefore questionable whether merely changing to another fluid *again* will result in a long term fix.
One quote from an alleged engineer also noted that owner of trucks with this 8L45 who let the engine warm up a bit and drive moderately during warm up seem to not develop the "shudder" issue. At least, not as quickly as others. So that may be part of this? Who knows.
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post #7 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by EdFlecko View Post
Thank you!


I don't quite understand the connection between the past fluids that were hydroscopic and absorbing moisture (I guess transmission fluids are not supposed to absorb moisture?) and the new Mobil 1 "repair"? Mobil 1 doesn't absorb moisture? If so, what happens to any moisture that's present? GM thinks it was moisture being absorbed in the stock fluid that was the root cause of the myriad of problems/complaints?





Ed
Well it depends on the transmission and the fluid used. Some will absorbe and some will not. Some will do it at different temps.

To a certain degree it should but It also depends on the chemicals and additives used in the ATF. They often contain additives to protect against corrosion, and contain detergents and dispersants. Water can bind at the molecular level with these chemicals and additives and also form suspensions.

It used to be GM had three transmissions that used the same fluids, worked mechanically and hydraulically and were all built of the same materials.

Today they are not all the same, they have added electronics now to not only add a smoother shift but to preserve lighter parts at the shift points to let the transmissions to survive.

They are just a different beast all the way around. This new function and materials demands different fluids.

The long and short of it is the more complex the transmission the more efficient it can be made but it also adds more possible issues you could have.

The reason I learned of they hyroscopic on tranny fluids is that it first was an issue with gun enthusiast as they like to use it for rust prevention. Today they just can not use just any fluid as they all are not the same as some will absorb some will not and they have to test them. They want the fluids that do not absorb. I had not considered it a problem here till GM brought it up. It is plausible as we have so many fluids anymore and transmissions with more needs than Dextron ever needed.

Fluids in cars today are getting more and more specific and I expect it to get even more specific. The automakers are asking much more of fluids than just to lube and cool.

This is one reason we have Dexos rating now as the automakers can be more specific of the make up to suit their needs vs just getting what the oil company offered.

GM has a strong relationship with Mobil and that may be why they are involved.

Is it fixed? I hope and only time will tell.

My question is if this new fluid is a fix will it change the fluid service times?
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post #8 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:13 PM
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I am willing to bet that if moisture really is the issue... then it is likely caused by too cool of transmission temps. During the Summer after driving for 30mins on 90degF days @ 55 to 60mph hwy speeds. My temp is usually only around 115F

During the Winter my temps will usually be mid 80s to mid 90s.

Oil needs to heat up in order for water to evaporate. I do have a towing package (and Z71 with 4x4)… so extra cooling mechanisms are in place.

I now have about 21,000mi on my 18' Colorado Z71 without a single shudder issue(Bought new 21 Mar last year). I suspect my saving grace is that (even though I live in an extremely rainy area on the east coast) I commute about an hour and 15mins each way every day. Driving through town on both ends and slow hwy cruising for vast distances in the middle.

At some point in the near future... I am willing to bet that someone will come out with an overbuilt tq converter for these transmissions. If mine ever goes bad I will just pop one in and keep going. My truck is paid for and so awesome. I want to still be driving it 20 to 30 years from now with 500k miles on it if I can.
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post #9 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:22 PM
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In a nutshell.....

No.....

Some folks have total success with all the program updates. Others have success with a new Torque converter. Others have success with the Trans flush. Some might have success with all of those.

However - if you've been exposed to all the threads about this topic, you'll see..... there are folks out there who've gone thru everything and still haven't gotten things resolved.

So...it varies truck-to-truck and person-to-person.

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post #10 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:42 PM
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In a nutshell.....

No.....

Some folks have total success with all the program updates. Others have success with a new Torque converter. Others have success with the Trans flush. Some might have success with all of those.

However - if you've been exposed to all the threads about this topic, you'll see..... there are folks out there who've gone thru everything and still haven't gotten things resolved.

So...it varies truck-to-truck and person-to-person.

Agree with that. . ..

Ambiguous at best and a lot of hearsay, technical speculation and rhetoric.
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post #11 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 05:44 PM
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Also realize that if you ordered a truck instead of buying one off the lot, any and all TSBs or recalls are not an issue as they 'fix' things on the fly during the assembly line process. Thats not saying you may not have an issue later on, but what Im saying is whatever that new fluid is, its going to be put in the assembly line now that the 'solution' has been identified.

Soon after I ordered my 2016, I was very well aware of the faulty oil return lines that were letting loose under the hood, and that there was a new style of oil line for the recall. In panic mode I made sure my dealer had the new line before my truck was delivered, but was pleasantly surprised my truck already came with the new style. I was fully prepared to buy a spare oil line just in case but that wasnt needed.



So your concerns about having to go back to have the current TSB installed wouldnt be necessary as long as your truck was made after the TSB came out.



Come back and let us know what you decided on.

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post #12 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 06:05 PM
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The real wild card here is the variables.

We all do not drive the same. We do not drive in the same conditions or distance. We also do not live in the same environments.

I remember the service bulletin on the GM cars in the early 90’s that had brake issues. But they studied it and found only those in the north had the issues. It was due acid rain and it affected the brake
Pins freezing the rear calipers. New pins in the cars in the northern states and it was resolved.

In this case it is just much more complex than just pins so it just makes finding a answer more difficult.

The best thing we can do here is stop bitching like a cranky old man on the sea and share info in hopes to fine a common thread with those who really have an issue. Even if we do not solve this it could contribute to a resolution.
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post #13 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 07:21 PM
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GM for the most part will not speak as if there is any legal action taken they do not want that info out there. That is why when they stated a problem with moisture caught me. This could be a good sign if they state on record a actual problem found.

All I can say is I bet there has been some sleepless nights for some in Warren looking for an answer.

Well there is legal action taken. As you probably already know, several states started a class action against GM on Dec 31, 2018. Normally, these class actions aren't all that beneficial. However in this case, I believe GM is in a bit of a bind. Mainly because the 8 speed had issues with the Corvette, Caddilac CTS, and camaro before they dropped it into the twins. As it was still having problems in those, they went ahead and used it in the truck anyways. And there is plenty of internal TSB's and other documentation to prove that. That is the basis for the suit in a nutshell. Now for somebody like yourself that clearly is not concerned and will just trade the truck after the warranty is expired it really does not matter. But in many cases, this could really hit consumers hard with issues after the warranty is expired. Your 25 percent failure rate is high. But I've heard from uppers at GM near production that the number is closer to 20 percent. But that is just for the ones that fail early on. As we know, this also can surface with higher mileage so your number may be dead on. So lets take the 20 percent failure rate. In manufacturing that is a catastrophic number. Toyota/Honda for example demand components from suppliers that work at sig sima levels or 1 in a million. Especially Honda. So a 20 percent number is something I can't get my head around. You must be a real GM guy for sure. For something this serious, and to continue on for 3 model years (5 if you add in the Corvette/Cadillac etc..) that is just inexcusable. And to use it in the truck when you already know its having problems? I can't apologize or have any sympathy for GM. And in the end, I don't think the new/modern active learning transmissions benefits for a few more MPG's is worth given up rugged reliability and having a transmission with normal shift points/behavior. In the case of the 8 speed it does work better then the Tacoma when it works. The tacos active learning 6 speed is a hot mess as far as shift points. The whole issues with these modern trucks are seriously pushing some consumers to the old school designs. Which incidentally are also now rated the highest for durability. That is the Frontier and Tundra. These trucks will honestly run forever. Both built like tanks and have not been updated in years. All steel, heavy duty transmissions. I like my Nissan pro 4X I just bought. I get 17 city and 20 hwy. I can live with that and the VQ40 24 valve is an honest motor. Lots of torque. Its made to last. The history of the 8 speed is more then hilarious at this point. For a oem to go through that much to get a transmission reliable is unheard of. We had reliable transmissions in the sixties. But your attitude that it's no biggie issue and just trade for something else is not shared by all. I can assure you that.
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post #14 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 07:41 PM
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Can't argue with the above.
I am personally disappointed and was surprised to know the issue may have started back in 2014 on some GM cars.

Lot's of info on the web always and sage advice or opinion.
It is good to know people are informed and on top of this and other issues. Difficult to sort out misinformation and smooth talk.

In the meantime, wise to ignore long winded rhetoric, weasel words, and claimed insights from some sources. Some with a wishful boy scout dreamy idea that this will all just be resolved for sure might be selling something .

GM is at least moving forward and many of us do not have any serious issues with our trucks. As I mentioned earlier, 2 years and not a trip into the dealer for any repairs or correction.
Here's a link to this same issue and discussion on the gmtrucks forum along with the new TSB - - https://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/top...hudder-update/
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post #15 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:03 PM
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Well there is legal action taken. As you probably already know, several states started a class action against GM on Dec 31, 2018. Normally, these class actions aren't all that beneficial. However in this case, I believe GM is in a bit of a bind. Mainly because the 8 speed had issues with the Corvette, Caddilac CTS, and camaro before they dropped it into the twins. As it was still having problems in those, they went ahead and used it in the truck anyways. And there is plenty of internal TSB's and other documentation to prove that. That is the basis for the suit in a nutshell. Now for somebody like yourself that clearly is not concerned and will just trade the truck after the warranty is expired it really does not matter. But in many cases, this could really hit consumers hard with issues after the warranty is expired. Your 25 percent failure rate is high. But I've heard from uppers at GM near production that the number is closer to 20 percent. But that is just for the ones that fail early on. As we know, this also can surface with higher mileage so your number may be dead on. So lets take the 20 percent failure rate. In manufacturing that is a catastrophic number. Toyota/Honda for example demand components from suppliers that work at sig sima levels or 1 in a million. Especially Honda. So a 20 percent number is something I can't get my head around. You must be a real GM guy for sure. For something this serious, and to continue on for 3 model years (5 if you add in the Corvette/Cadillac etc..) that is just inexcusable. And to use it in the truck when you already know its having problems? I can't apologize or have any sympathy for GM. And in the end, I don't think the new/modern active learning transmissions benefits for a few more MPG's is worth given up rugged reliability and having a transmission with normal shift points/behavior. In the case of the 8 speed it does work better then the Tacoma when it works. The tacos active learning 6 speed is a hot mess as far as shift points. The whole issues with these modern trucks are seriously pushing some consumers to the old school designs. Which incidentally are also now rated the highest for durability. That is the Frontier and Tundra. These trucks will honestly run forever. Both built like tanks and have not been updated in years. All steel, heavy duty transmissions. I like my Nissan pro 4X I just bought. I get 17 city and 20 hwy. I can live with that and the VQ40 24 valve is an honest motor. Lots of torque. Its made to last. The history of the 8 speed is more then hilarious at this point. For a oem to go through that much to get a transmission reliable is unheard of. We had reliable transmissions in the sixties. But your attitude that it's no biggie issue and just trade for something else is not shared by all. I can assure you that.
I was trying to be fair at 25% as I feel it is much lower once you toss out the phantom claims of people not sure what the shudder is.

As for problem I can show you issues from nearly all MFGs that have major issues with their vehicles. My father had a Toyota owner he car pooled with that he was forever dropping off at the dealer to pick up his problemed car.

Yes these transmissions are a pain but there is little alturnative as they are needed for the MPG vehicles lack. To gain more they could take away power but then folks would complain about that.

The Frontier should be bullet proof as they have been building the same truck for how long? That is why the Taco has reliability too as it has changed so little over the years.

The reality is all cars have good and bad. Here

My one buddy paid for most of his plane with repairs on a Honda and Hyundai cars.

As for the lawsuit nothing will come of it but richer lawyers. They started many of the cases just as opportunist looking just for a settlement. All the companies have a number of cases pending at any given moment.

And please do not judge me as you don’t even know me.

My opininion is not oh well FYI. I am just not that emotional over things I have little control over, just what can you really do if there is no fix? Getting pissed off is just going to give you an ulcer. Acting like a fool will not get you anywhere.

The way I see it is just to keep informed, learn and act if and when it is needed.

My exit strategy is just my plan. If you are not able to do the same I am sorry but we all have to use what options we have and that is mine. Even if you have to go to a used vehicle if your truck is that bad you should still have enough trade value to help.

I get it you are pissed. I am not as pissed for one I have not had the issue yet. Two I just deal with things like this with less emotion.

I has a different transmission issue early in. I could have gotten pissed and wore myself out with calls to GM and beat on the dealer. But I chose to learn what the issue was. Showed the dealer the TSB. They fixed it and all is fine so far.

Now if they had not fixed it I would be persistent in escalating it politely till I wear them down before me. Polite persistence is just how I try to do things.

You also have a buy back option it you want out that bad. There are several options you can take. Take a look at what others have done.

It is wise to work smarter than harder. Is it not? I know it is not always easy to do as I have not always done so myself. But I just had to learn the hard way as most others.

Note I deal in quality assurance so I often see the other side of issues and failed parts and failed service. No I do not work for GM. I see the mistakes made on both sides and just try to learn not to repeat where I see others fail.
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post #16 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:33 PM
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The main problem with any class action suit is, the people it effects get nothing and the lawyers get new vacation homes.

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post #17 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:44 PM
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My 2016 z71 is in the shop right now getting a new torque converter. They are supposed to be putting a new trans oil in also that will cure the problem. Hope to get mine back Friday. Then hooking a 6k pound tt and heading to the mountains. Let's pray it stays together...
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post #18 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:54 PM
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My 2016 z71 is in the shop right now getting a new torque converter. They are supposed to be putting a new trans oil in also that will cure the problem. Hope to get mine back Friday. Then hooking a 6k pound tt and heading to the mountains. Let's pray it stays together...

Well it will be a good test.

Let us know how it goes.
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post #19 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 08:57 PM
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Knowing how many have complained about GM Automatic transmissions, the likelihood that I would even consider buying one, I would get the dice out, pick a number, roll the dice, if I hit that number, buy, if I missed that number, something is telling me not to buy. That’s either a 1 out of 6 chance or 1 out of 12 chance if you are rolling with 2 dice. In other words very small likelihood that I would buy, given the problems they have had going on 5 years now. Just my opinion.
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post #20 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mscott View Post
My 2016 z71 is in the shop right now getting a new torque converter. They are supposed to be putting a new trans oil in also that will cure the problem. Hope to get mine back Friday. Then hooking a 6k pound tt and heading to the mountains. Let's pray it stays together...
Well, Im wishing you luck but not sure why they are doing the flush or torque converter change....the 16s had a totally different problem with the trans than the 17,18,19s did. The 15-16s were 6 speeds and was corrected by module flashing. It was the 8 speeds that had the torque convertor / fluid issues.

2005 5 cyl, Black on Black, 4 door
2016 ZR-71, Black, Long Box, 4 door
Toughsox is offline  
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