04 Avalanche will not shift into gear


Asked by Jeff May 26, 2016 at 01:54 PM about the 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Not sure what's going on... My fiancé has an 04
Avalanche (5.3, V8, 4x4). She said that she was
driving down the road, stopped at a light, and
when the light turned green, it wouldn't move.
She turned the truck off, and when she started it
back up, she was only able to drive about 5' and
then it would stop moving (it would coast, but it
was no longer in gear).

She kept doing this until she got it into a parking
lot so she could get it towed.

She claims that while she was in the parking lot,
she could continue doing this, but it would
either go into drive or reverse, without the
option of switching gears back and forth, and
no matter which gear she was in, it would only
go about 5' before it started coasting again.

That all happened yesterday... Today it doesn't
want to go into gear at all. The fluids are good
(clean and at the right levels), all the fuses
check out good, it doesn't go into any of the 4-
wheeled gears, and all it does is rev up the
engine when she gives out gas.

The service engine light was on so we rented an
ODB tool, and all the codes were for the evap
(because she lost her gas cap... Ugh). I put the
gas cap (off of my 01 Grand Prix GT (with a
blown engine)) on her truck, and erased the
codes. We're now not getting any codes to
come through to see if it'll tell us anything

A friend of mine told me that it could be a
transmission solenoid, and the ODB tool would
tell us which one it is, but we're not getting any
new codes... Ugh!

If anyone could give us some advice, that would
be awesome! I'm a VERY "shade tree"
mechanic, but I don't mind dropping the pan to
change a solenoid if I need to.

I'll wait for your questions and advice... Thank
you VERY MUCH in advance!!! :)


17 Answers


Being somewhat familiar with cars and trucks in general I might have a solution for you. or at least a place to start. Put the truck up on some jack stands and have a look at the linkage under the trans to see if some debris has gotten hung up on anything first. Second have someone shift the gear selector to see if there is free movement. And the transmission has a safety mechanism to prevent shifting in to gear without putting your foot on the brake first. And last. Just checking, Is the parking brake on?? Oh. And check to see if any of the brakes are locking up. These newer vehicles have so many things that can go wrong. With safety features its not funny. It also could be stuck in what they call "Limp" Mode. That happens when something is dangerously close to catastrophic failure. Good luck.

13 people found this helpful.

The generic type scan "tool" you tried will not indicate a Transmission module solenoid code! This is not a "limp mode" issue ..Find a facility with a OEM scan too even the OLD (GM tech 2) scan tool will work, scan for codes. NO need to guess. Regards

3 people found this helpful.

Had the truck towed to a transmission shop that does free transmission analysis. Hopefully they will give me a solution that I feel comfortable enough to repair myself. If not, then they get to do it... I'll keep everyone posted for future reference... Thank you for the replies! :)

8 people found this helpful.

The transmission shop said that a clogged filter could cause the problem. Had it towed back to the house today. Have the new filter and 12 QTS of tranny fluid (only need 11.2 QTS) in hand... I'll be trying the new filter to see if it works... Again, I'll keep you posted. :)

6 people found this helpful.

It will be difficult to remove the entire 11.2 qts. without the proper machine, remember the torque converter holds a few quarts. I'm interested in your vehicle because I don't see this as the the cause! I want to be wrong! let us know if this corrects the trans issue.

2 people found this helpful.

Well, it seems that the new transmission filter fixed the problem (for now anyway)... Although the tranny pan was a little difficult to get down because of the bracket that holds the linkage cable, I came up with a "plan" (that involved removing the linkage cable from the bracket and using a clamp to get the bracket out of the way). It worked! That was the most difficult part. Ugh Hopefully there won't be any issues in the future, but I'll keep everyone posted, and thanks again to everyone who responded! :)

10 people found this helpful.

I had the same issue. Mine turned out to be the transmission harness

4 people found this helpful.

It happened to mine 02 Avalanche in my case it was the shifting cable he broke looked up on YouTube videos and replaced it myself

6 people found this helpful.

can anyone help? my 2002 chevy avalanche will go into all gears but not engage

3 people found this helpful.

Cthompson93...Im having the same issue minus it going (engaging) reverse, 2 & 1....when in drive or 3rd gear the rpm’s just rev....any inquiries are appreciated!!!

9 people found this helpful.

When starting, cold, in the AM, my Avalance will move in 1st gear for a few feet. Then it seems to go into neutral and the engine will race. Then, with a bump, it goes into the proper gear. Only happens in the early AM, but runs fine the rest of the day. Any suggestions? Art Gray

4 people found this helpful.

Devonport21 did u solve ur problem? Mine does the same thing!!

1 people found this helpful.

Transmisstion failed and had to ne replaced. Surprising with only 120M, when my other vehicle has over 300M on an Allison transmission. So much for GM quality control and manufacturing!,

1 people found this helpful.

I was driving down 30 and my truck just shifted like it was in neutral I put in 4wd and pulled over a lil farther then wouldn't move anymore fluids are good I don't understand??????


Davenport21 & pdee77.... Did you happen to find out what was wrong? My truck is having the same issue 1st and 2nd gear engage and reverse but when getting on the highway and trying to go into 3rd it just revs and wont engage. Please help... I just spent so much money on putting a new rear end and breaks on it.

4 people found this helpful.

I have a 2013 black diamond and yesterday when I was driving it just shut down. I pulled over to get it in a secure spot and it wouldn't move in reverse, put it in drive same thing. I turned the truck off and put it in drive it went to not going. Someone please help. Is this major or minor.

3 people found this helpful.

I've been having the same issues with it seeming to slip out of gear while driving. I had the codes read. One was p0332 and the other was p0455. P0332 was for the knock sensor. Changed those out. Horrible mess under the intake. Cleaned it up nice and replaced the sensors. It didn't help the issue. I was told that the second code was for the EVAP and that i need to replace my purge valve solenoid and canister. Can anyone tell me if this will take care of the issue? Thanks!

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