If you want answers regarding the Silverado 6 speed transmission problems then you are in the right place. We will delve into this issue and help you get a better appreciation of these problems and how to handle them when they do arise.
The Chevy Silverado is one of the most recognisable and popular trucks on the American market and has been such for a considerable time and with good reason. By and large, it is a decent truck and often has been reliable when you measure it along its lifespan.
However, even the best vehicles on the market are not perfect and at some point will have issues. In the case of the Silverado, one of these problem areas is the transmission. The transmission that has received a good amount of these complaints is the 6 speed on the Silverado 1500.
For example, the 2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 has had as many as 62 reported transmission problems. This is by no means a small issue. The problems will range from rough shifts, random down shifts and other issues. These problems occurred within a very short space of time well under 60,000 miles.
At this point, the vehicle is relatively new and around 6 years if you drive an average of 10,000 miles per year. If out of warranty, you may have to pay up to $4,000 to $6,000 to replace the transmission.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Transmission Problems
When you buy a new vehicle, the last thing you want is to start having problems with your transmission. Unfortunately, this has been the case with the Silverado as we have already mentioned earlier. Beginning in 2005, the Silverado got the 6 speed transmission.
The more pronounced problems with the transmission, however, did not start showing up until the 2012 to 2019. In this model, these were the most commonly reported issues:
- Jerky shifting of gears
- Erratic down and up shifting
- Overall transmission slippage
These problems often appear quite early on in the life of the Silverado at less than 60,000 miles and sometimes as early as 29,000 miles according to some owners.
When you take into account that some of these trucks will be out of warranty, the burden falls on the owner to replace the transmission. The $4,000 to $6,000 it costs to rebuild the transmission has to come out of their pockets.
Similar problems in the 6 speed transmission were also experienced in the 8 speed leading to a class action lawsuit being filed against GM.
In 2021, there was noise on the internet regarding starting one for the 6 speed transmission. Since this transmission problem was not common in older Silverados, the indication is that it may be due to GM using cheaper components in newer transmissions.
Causes of Silverado 6 Speed Transmission Problems
There are several possible reasons that lead to transmission failure and we will now look at them here. The first possible cause is the TCM (Transmission Control Module) failure.
Simply put, the module is responsible for sending electronic signals to the Silverado’s transmission based on the input from sensors. The TCM then down or up shifts depending on the input from the accelerator pedal, bakes as well as the tow or haul load that the Silverado has and then engages the correct gear.
At times the signals to and from the TCM may be inconsistent due to sensor and other failures leading to inconsistent gear shifts. The second and most probable cause is a faulty torque converter.
These were introduced in later models of the Silverado to control torque levels making sure that it is administered as efficiently as possible. Torque converter failure has been recorded as the number 1 reason for transmission failure in the 6 speed.
When it deteriorates, it affects the transmission leading to slippage. This ultimately causes the transmission to fail if left unchecked. You will notice some subtle signs at the beginning of this failure so if you experience and irregular gear shifting or issues with your transmission, you need to have it looked at to avoid a more expensive situation further down the road.
Make sure to take care of this issue before it gets out of hand. Since the transmission issues started showing up in 2012 onwards, the suspicion is that GM started using inferior materials on their components leading to this problem. Within the 10 year stretch that GM transmissions have been littered with problems, not much has changed unfortunately.
Is transmission Worth Replacing?
As already stated earlier on, it’s quite expensive to replace your transmission. In fact, next to replacing the engine, it has to be the most expensive thing to replace on the Silverado.
Repairing a transmission will work out cheaper than replacing it. It does carry a lot more risk though as another component might give in after replacing the faulty one. This is mainly due to the fact that a faulty component in the transmission tends to put a lot more pressure on the rest of the transmission.
If caught early, this problem can be avoided and you can pretty much replace a component with another and not see any adverse future effects.
If you choose to replace the full transmission on your Silverado, you will pay at least half of what you pay at a dealership if you go with an independent shop. Just make sure to go with someone trustworthy that will not overcharge you and will do a proper job.
How long do Chevy Truck Transmissions Last?
If you have a transmission that is functioning as it should, you can expect to get anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles from it if you do not drive it too hard. Anything under this threshold is most likely under performance of these transmissions.
Conclusion on 2018 chevy silverado 6 speed transmission problems
It would seem that transmission problems are an issue with Chevy Silverados made from 2012 onwards whether it’s a 6 or 8 speed transmissions. If you are on the market for a used Silverado, take it for a spin at different speeds and pay attention to any improper shifting. The initial signs will be very subtle but they get worse with time. Make sure to get one that is not showing signs of transmission issues and you’ll be good.
Thomas is a retired Chevy Auto Technician, Father to two incredible daughters. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help you solve and find reliable information on Chevrolet vehicles.