2004 Cadillac Escalade Esv Transmission Problems

  • V8
  • AWD
  • 57,000 MILES
I am experiencing transmission problems. The GM Authorized dealer stated that my Mass Air Flow and K&N filter caused transmission damage. They recommend that I remove it and replace the "original". And the repair proce as of right now is $3,700.00 for a rebuilt tranny!!!!!! After speaking to two "Certified" Master Mechanics that own GM Trucks thay have told me that in NO way can the Mass Air damage the tranny. Also that GM has a TSB on the 3rd & 4th gear issue which is what I am experiencing. The truck has good tourqe and no slipping. When it gets to 2nd gear it refuses to shift to 3rd or 4th. The RPM's raise but the tranny does not shift. Does anyone have any ideas?


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Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 AT 8:55 PM

1 Reply

I doubt your mass air flow sensor caused a trans to fail, the oiled air filter can cause problems that begin at the mass air flow sensor. There is also a GM bulletin on that. The simple fact of the matter, on why they may be recommending a replacement is this. Say a technician goes in and repairs the trans at 57k, and you have an unrelated trans concern after the customary 12 mo/12k mile warranty on repairs, you will be expected to foot the bill again. A replacement trans usually carries 3yr/36k warranty, and you would be covered. At a minimum, you are probably going to be faced with approx 1300 in labor alone, to have your unit disassembled, assessed, and repaired. There is no sure-shot way to accurately estimate the cost without a teardown, and you are faced with the technicians point-of-view on what all it is going to take to repair it. Is the dealer saying it was the MAF and filter, just to avoid a warranty claim, is it a certified vehicle that has a warranty? Often times even a service contract will want the original torn down for their evaluations as well. Here is those bulletins:

#PIP3136M: Slip Condition In 2nd 3rd Or 4th - Damaged 2-4 Band Or 3-4 Clutch - keywords 4L60E 4L65E 4L70E automatic bind body busy chatter forth second shift shudder third valve - (Sep 29, 2008)

Subject: Slip Condition in 2nd, 3rd or 4th - Damaged 2-4 Band or 3-4 Clutch

Models: 2004-2007 Buick Rainier

2003-2006 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT

2003-2009 Chevrolet Avalanche, Express, Suburban, Tahoe, Trailblazer

2003-2004 Chevrolet S-10

2007-2009 Silverado

2003-2007 Silverado Classic

2003-2005 Chevrolet Astro, Blazer, Corvette

2004-2009 Chevrolet Colorado

2003-2009 GMC Canyon, Envoy, Savana

2003-2007 GMC Sierra Classic

2007-2009 GMC Sierra

2003-2006 GMC Sierra Denali

2003-2009 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, Yukon XL Denali

2003-2004 GMC Sonoma

2003-2005 GMC Jimmy, Safari

2003-2007 Hummer H2

2006-2009 Hummer H3

2003-2004 Oldsmobile Bravada

2004-2006 Pontiac GTO

2005-2009 Saab 97x

Equipped with 4L60E, 4L65E or 4L70E (RPO - M30, M32 or M70) Transmission

This PI was superseded to update model years. Please discard PIP3136L.

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

The 4L60E/4L65E/4L70E automatic transmission may experience a condition of slipping, late or missed shifts in 2nd 3rd and 4th. An internal transmission disassembly may reveal a 2-4 band and or a 3-4 clutch being distressed.

Based on engineering transmission quality review sessions the following items should be inspected and or replaced as required. These items were found to be the cause of the distress to the 2-4 band and 3-4 clutch.

First check transmission fluid level. This transmission is very sensitive to low oil level.

Also check:
Low Line pressure (perform a PCS test as defined in SI)
1-2 accumulator piston (56) cracked or broken
2-4 Servo Piston Seals (18, 19, 21, 26) for being cut or damaged
2-4 Servo Apply Pin (13) for being nicked/scored /binding in the pin bore, damaged clutches will frequently cause the pin to have a rough finish where it passes through the case, this is a result of the clutch debris not usually the cause of the distressed clutches or band
2-4 Servo Piston Bore for being scored or mismachined
2-4 Band Anchor Pin (41) missing (low mileage)
Servo Feed Oil Passage blocked with sediment
Forward Clutch Apply Piston (630) Seals for being cut or damaged
Forward Clutch Apply Piston (630) for being cracked
Turbine shaft oil seal rings (619) for cut or damaged.
Turbine shaft check valve retainer and ball assembly (617) is in place in the end of the turbine shaft and has not come out and gone inside the torque converter, if the retainer or ball is missing from the turbine shaft the torque converter must be replaced
Turbine shaft apply fluid passage sealing balls are in place, these are pressed into the turbine shaft end inside the input housing
3-4 Clutch Apply Piston (623) Seals for being cut or damaged
3-4 Clutch Apply Piston (623) for being cracked
3-4 Clutch and Forward Clutch oil feed passage blocked or restricted (should flow check the housing, and the passages should be inspected for proper location)
3-4 Clutch check ball (620) for leaking
3-4 Clutch air bleed orifice cup plug (698) is in place
Overrun Clutch Seal (632) damaged
#7 Checkball (located in the case) for not being seated or leaking
4-3 Sequence Valve (383) undersized
Boost Valve (219) stuck causing low line pressure
Input Sun Gear to Input Carrier Thrust Bearing (700) damaged came apart
Selective Washer (616) extra washer installed
Oil Pump Body (200) cracked/damaged
Inspect the Forward Sprag for proper operation per eSI document #215197.
Also inspect to see if the rear stator shaft bushing (241) may be worn on one side or damaged. The turbine shaft (621) may also be damaged in the stator bushing journal area.

This condition may be caused by the stator shaft (214) being non-concentric with the pump cover (215). If this condition is encountered the pump cover should be replaced along with any residual damage.

If none of the above items are found to be the root cause for the failure the Input Housing, Forward Clutch Piston and 3-4 Clutch Piston should be replaced and resealed as well as resealing the 2-4 Servo.

If clutch debris is found, it is also very important to inspect the pressure control (PC) solenoid valve fluid screens. Clean or replace the PC solenoid as necessary. It is also important to flush and flow check the transmission oil cooler using J45096. Refer to SI "Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler Flushing and Flow Test" for the procedure.

Full sized trucks and utilities should have the shift cable properly adjusted and/or replaced if the cable is not holding proper adjustment.

In the event the transmission as a repeat 2-4 Band or 3-4 Clutch Failure the transmission may require replacement due to a possible transmission case concern.
I stand corrected, it does specify trans damage can occur. It is kind of nit-picky though, depends on your relationship with the dealer.

#04-07-30-013B: Info - Automatic Transmission Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On as a Result of the Use of an Excessively/Over-Oiled Aftermarket, Reusable Air Filter - (Feb 1, 2007)

Subject: Automatic Transmission Shift, Engine Driveability Concerns or Service Engine Soon (SES) Light On as a Result of the Use of an Excessively/Over-Oiled Aftermarket, Reusable Air Filter

Models: 2007 and Prior GM Cars and Light Duty Trucks

2007 and Prior Saturn Models

2003-2007 HUMMER H2

2006-2007 HUMMER H3

2005-2007 Saab 9-7X

This bulletin is being revised to add models and model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 04-07-30-013A (Section 07 -- Transmission/Transaxle).


First, Inspect the vehicle for a reusable aftermarket excessively/over- oiled air filter
DO NOT repair MAF sensors under warranty if concerns result from the use of an excessively/over-oiled aftermarket, reusable air filter.

The use of an excessively/over-oiled aftermarket, reusable air filter may result in:

" Service Engine Soon (SES) light on

" Transmission shift concerns, slipping and damaged clutch(es) or band(s)

" Engine driveability concerns, poor acceleration from a stop, limited engine RPM range

The oil that is used on these air filter elements may be transferred onto the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor causing contamination of the sensor. As a result, the Grams per Second (GPS) signal from the MAF may be low and any or all of the concerns listed above may occur.

When servicing a vehicle with any of these concerns, be sure to check for the presence of an aftermarket reusable, excessively/over- oiled air filter. The MAF, GPS reading should be compared to a like vehicle with an OEM air box and filter under the same driving conditions to verify the concern.

The use of an aftermarket reusable air filter DOES NOT void the vehicle's warranty.

If an aftermarket reusable air filter is used, technicians should inspect the MAF sensor element and the air induction hose for contamination of oil prior to making warranty repairs.

Transmission or engine driveability concerns (related to the MAF sensor being contaminated with oil) that are the result of the use of an aftermarket reusable, excessively/over-oiled air filter are not considered to be warrantable repair items.
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Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 AT 11:05 PM

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