Chevy 6 Speed Automatic Transmission Problems [6 Common]

The Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission (6L80 automatic transmission) has several exciting features, such as the well-known clutch-to-clutch function with a wide gear ratio for efficiency and optimal performance.

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GM’s Saturn Outlook with 6-speed automatic transmission.

However, the Chevy six-speed automatic transmission has its own unique set of problems. In this article, I’ve highlighted some issues plaguing the Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission, the signs to note of, and how to go about the problems.

If that sounds like what you’re looking for, let’s head right into it!

Chevy 6-Speed Automatic Transmission Problems

1. Overheating Transmission

When an automatic transmission overheats, it clearly indicates that it operates at a temperature far above its regular working temperature. The most common sign that your Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission is overheating is the slow or sluggish response you get while accelerating and not obtaining the desired drive.

Moreover, a malfunction sign will also appear on your vehicle’s dashboard, indicating that your automatic transmission is overheating and needs to be checked.

So, check the transmission oil and verify its standard level. If your Chevy 6-speed’s transmission oil is too low, fill it up to the specified level using the appropriate transmission oil. But if the oil is too dirty, drain off the transmission oil and refill it with fresh oil.

Then take your vehicle for a spin to see if the malfunction sign indicating transmission overheating will appear again on the dashboard. If it doesn’t, it means the problem has been solved. But if it does, you may need the assistance of a trusted auto mechanic to check for other related problems.

2. Slipping Gears

The Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission gear system is designed to prevent slippage. However, experiencing slippage while driving is a sign that something is wrong with the mechanical components of this transmission.

You will audibly hear the slipping gear while driving. Another sure sign of gear slippage is the display of an error code on your dashboard. But that is only if you make use of a diagnostic tool. Again, this is a transmission problem that needs to be checked immediately to avoid damage to other components.

Check the solenoids of the two gears to see whether or not they are worn out and require replacement. If the solenoids are worn out or broken, get them replaced immediately. It is rare for complete mechanical failure to occur with the Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission. But this could happen if you allow this problem to linger.

3. Reverse Gear Engagement Problems

The reverse gear is as crucial as the other gears in a vehicle. But what if you experience reverse gear engagement problems? If your reverse gear is no longer engaging as it should, it could mean that your Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission is not functioning as it should.

Check the shifting solenoids and repair them if found defective. A reputable mechanic needs to check the transmission’s reverse gear or mechanical component to repair the engagement failure issue.

4. Failure to Engage Gears

Gears that engage help put vehicles in motion. However, when your vehicle fails to engage gears or the gear is not engaging at all, your Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission could be the culprit.

Get your vehicle to a professional auto mechanic shop for a proper diagnosis. The mechanical part of the specific gear within the transmission will need to be checked. The auto mechanic will also need to check the shifting solenoids and repair them if they are defective.

5. Slow or Harsh Shifting

A smooth shift at low throttle input is guaranteed when your Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission is in excellent condition. However, if you notice that the 6L80 transmission shifts gears harshly or shifting gears is somewhat slow, something has gone wrong with your automatic transmission.

There are two primary ways to fix this automatic transmission issue. The first is to replace the transmission pressure sensor. But if there’s no change, check for any oil leak within the servo assembly of this specific gear.

6. Shuddering and Shaking

Automatic transmissions ensure a smooth drive, which is why many prefer them over their manual counterparts. But if your vehicle suddenly shudders and shakes, especially when accelerating, your Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission could be the problem. Automatic transmissions are not meant to shudder when accelerated or loaded.

You can fix this problem by taking your vehicle to a trusted service center or mechanic as soon as possible. However, it could mean that the weights controlling the pulleys within the automatic transmission are worn out. Only an experienced mechanic would be able to detect and fix this problem.

Can You Drive with a Bad 6 Speed Automatic Transmission?

The short answer is no; you cannot drive with a faulty 6-speed automatic transmission. However, if you have a bad Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission, it will only be a matter of time before your vehicle won’t be able to move anywhere.

Driving with a bad automatic transmission will cause your engine to overheat and get damaged. Fixing a damaged engine and automatic transmission will cost you a lot more time, money, and energy than fixing only a faulty automatic transmission.

Stop driving your vehicle if you have a bad transmission. Instead, get that vehicle to the nearest auto mechanic for a proper check and repairs.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Chevy Silverado 6 Speed Automatic Transmission?

According to RepairPal, the average cost of replacing a Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission ranges from $5,092 to $5,291. In addition, the labor costs range from $761 to $960, while components are priced at $4,331.

The price ranges do not include fees and taxes. They also don’t factor in your unique location and specific vehicle model. You should also bear in mind that related repairs may also be required.

Which Chevy Model Years Have the Highest Automatic Transmission Problems?

The Chevy Silverado year models with the highest automatic transmission issues are the 2012 to 2013 Chevy Silverado.

How Long Do Chevy 6-Speed Automatic Transmissions Last?

Mileage and time generally vary from one vehicle driver to the other, including how the drivers use or abuse their automatic transmissions.

But if your Chevy 6 speed automatic transmission is fully functional, you should expect to last anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles on average. This will literally cover up to 7 years of the average use of your vehicle.

You may also like to read about Toyota CVT transmission problems.

Closing Thoughts

The Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission is one of the most trusted today. However, it is also prone to problems that can ultimately damage the automatic transmission and engine if left unattended. Replacing a defective automatic transmission with a brand-new one will cost you a lot of money and time.

Fortunately, a Chevy 6-speed automatic transmission does not go bad without giving warning signs. As highlighted in this article, taking note of these signs will save you time and money.