- Learn about common Cadillac Escalade transmission problems
- Everything you need to know when shopping for a Cadillac Escalade transmission for sale
- How and when to buy a remanufactured Cadillac Escalade transmission
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Cadillac Escalade Transmission Problems & Solutions
As the 20th century drew to a close, the age of luxury SUVs was just beginning. Scores of newly minted dot-com millionaires needed a way to flex their financial muscle, and automakers were happy to oblige. Lincoln gave eager customers their fullsize Navigator in 1998, and Cadillac followed suit with their own fullsize Escalade for the 1999 model year. The first generation Cadillac Escalade was really just a dressed up GMC Yukon Denali, but the second-gen Escalade released for 2002, featured a more sophisticated suspension, bodywork, and a long list of advanced luxury features. Buyers were absolutely smitten with Cadillac’s big SUV, so they launched the all-new 3rd generation GMT900 Escalade for 2007. To match all of the brazen bling-ie-ness, the new version got a detuned 6.2L Corvette engine that sounded appropriately angry, along with a new 6-speed 6L80 transmission to improve uhm, gas mileage. This new 4-wheeled status symbol managed to survive the financial meltdown of 2008, and was eventually replaced by the new GMT K2XL Cadillac Escalade in 2015. But no matter which version you have, transmission issues can still pose a major financial threat. So let’s look at some of the most common Cadillac Escalade transmission problems, and try to find the most cost effective solutions.
Common Problems with the 1999-2000 Cadillac Escalade 4L60E Transmission
Total Loss of 3rd and/or 4th Gear
Due to a factory design flaw, the 4L60E 3-4 clutch pack wasn’t able to handle the torque from the Escalade 5.7L V8. As a result, one (or more) of the 6 clutch discs may fracture, which will prevent the transmission from shifting into 3rd and/or 4th gear. In order to correct this problem, Street Smart Transmission installs a 7-disc High-Energy 3-4 clutch pack on every remanufactured Cadillac Escalade 4L60E and 4L65E transmission. The additional clutch disc strengthens the clutch pack for a longer service life. And the more robust High Energy friction material provides more positive gear engagement.
Common 2002-2007 Cadillac Escalade 4L65E Transmission Problems
Harsh or Delayed Shift between 1st-2nd Gears
A common Cadillac Escalade transmission problem occurs on the 1-2 shift. This unusually hard or delayed gear change is typically caused by a broken plastic 1-2 accumulator piston, which is meant to act as sort of a shock absorber between shifts. To keep this from happening to you, every SST remanufactured Cadillac Escalade 4L65E transmission and reman Escalade 4L60 transmission are fitted with much stronger aluminum 1-2 accumulator pistons.
Common Problems with the Cadillac Escalade 6L80 Transmission
Abnormal Shifting, Failure to Engage Drive and/or Overheating
The 6-speed Cadillac Escalade 6L80 transmission relies on highly pressurized hydraulic fluid/ATF to change gears. This fluid pressure is maintained and controlled by a series of tiny springs and valves inside the valve body. Unfortunately, many of these vital components are made out of plastic and cheaper metals that can fail due to the pressure and extreme heat. If just one of these pressure regulator system parts fail, you can experience slipping, erratic shifting, overheating, and even the complete loss of forward gears. To correct this design flaw, each SST remanufactured Cadillac Escalade 6L80 transmission receives a complete PR system upgrade, with more durable aluminum components, updated servos, and a recalibrated valve body.
How to Solve Cadillac Escalade Transmission Problems
Solution 1: Buy a Used Cadillac Escalade 4L60E / 4L65E / 6L80 Transmission
Most people think that buying a used Cadillac Escalade transmission is the cheapest way to get back on the road. But that isn’t always the case. You see, that used 4L60E transmission, used 4L60E transmission, or a used 6L80 transmission may have the same design flaws that caused your existing transmission to fail. So you could experience even more transmission problems after that 30-90 day warranty expires.
Solution 2: Buy a Rebuilt Cadillac Escalade 4L60E / 4L65E / 6L80 Transmission
A safer solution would be a rebuilt Cadillac Escalade transmission. These are typically built by a mechanic, using an OE transmission rebuild kit. However, those stock parts will eventually lead to the same problems. And they might overlook a hairline crack in a clutch assembly, or heat related warping in the valve body. All of this can lead to expensive transmission problems down the road. Plus, that 1-2 year warranty might only be honored by a few shops in a specific region. And that won’t do you any good if you’re on a road trip.
Solution 3: Buy a Remanufactured Cadillac Escalade 4L60E / 4L65E / 6L80 Transmission
If you want to solve your transmission problems once and for all, then you should consider a remanufactured Cadillac Escalade transmission from Street Smart Transmission. Unlike a rebuilt transmission, these are built in a state of the art factory, where they have to pass multiple quality inspections. Once all of the upgrades are installed, each remanufactured 4L60E / remanufactured 4L65E / remanufactured 6L80 transmission is dyno tested to not only ensure proper function, but to break-in all of the new parts as well. This means you’ll have a perfectly tuned transmission right out of the box, with no need to return to the mechanic for adjustments. Each SST remanufactured transmission is also backed by a Nationwide 3-year/Unlimited Mile Warranty, which covers parts and labor for repairs that are performed at any licensed repair shop in the country.
So if you plan to keep your big Caddy for a long time, invest in a transmission that’s better than new. To learn more about ordering a remanufactured Cadillac Escalade transmission from Street Smart Transmission, call 1-866-812-7560. Or you can click here to check on the price and availability of a remanufactured Cadillac Escalade transmission.