What to do with '04 Envoy when transmission fails?


'04 Envoy XL 2WD SLT with I6 engine, 195000 miles. Mostly hwy miles. We are original owner.
Strong engine, excellent paint and interior, garage kept. I did all the service, including tranny flush and filter change every 60K.

Tranny started acting just a tiny bit strange the last few days. It's been 15K miles and over a year since my last tranny flush.

Then tranny failed on hwy. In cruise control, it shifted down to 3rd on a slight rise, then over-revved and slipped completely when it shifted back up to OD.

10 miles later, 3rd gear failed exactly the same way: downshifted to 2nd in some climbing curves, 3rd gear slipped completely when it shifted back up.

I drove the remining 35 miles home in 2nd. Reverse did not work when I got home, but it did work the next morning.

Tranny fluid level is correct for cold on dipstick, but plenty dark.

It's a nice-looking, good running vehicle. Sitting in my driveway.

What do I do with it?

It's 15 years old, 195K miles, max blue book = $3800 if everything works. The tags just expired, and the insurance renews at the end of the month.

Cost of tags + insurance renewal + tranny shop = $2850 to drive it again.

I live in a small town, only 1 local tranny shop. It's a big shop, well-equipped, well-known, well-liked. He doesn't want me to bring him just the tranny. Said he wants to do the whole job because of decades of past issues with people doing the removal and reinstall themselves. He quoted $2500. He said he is just like every other tranny shop in America: he has done a ton of 4L60's. :smile:

I can drop it myself and cart it 3 hours to a rebuilder in Boise, but I'm not excited about doing the removal and reinstall myself. I don't have a lift, only jackstands. I do have a tranny jack and tools. I've only done old Ford manuals, never a modern auto like the 4L60.

What else can I do with this car? What are my options?

Does it have any meaningful salvage value if I drive it to a salvage yard?

Are there any parts that people are desperate to find? Maybe I could part out a few pieces and sell the shell to a scrap yard?

Looking for ideas...



I know what I would do.....without question at those miles it would get another trans..

That's a good price for a total R&R. There are many ways to beef that transmission up and I would talk to him about that before he works on it.

If mine ever comes out I would probably look into an Edge torque converter.

If everything else checks out and you keep synthetic oil changed in there regularly there's a lot of life left in that vehicle. Far cheaper than purchasing another body on frame 4 wheel drive platform.


I would also replace the transmission cooler lines while the transmission is out. it's a real P ITA to get to the fittings on the trans when in the vehicle.

Get all 4 pieces from the dealer, or get the AC part#'s and try Rock Auto or GM Parts Direct.


Thread Starter
Thanks for the feedback and ideas gmcman.

This is my first experience having a perfectly good car just sitting in my driveway because it's dead. I'll take a few days and study on it.



Active Member
I also had an 04 Envoy that I bought at 36k Miles. It was an XL and I was still making payments on it. . Trans went at 86K on our way to family Thanksgiving dinner. Had it towed the next day and and a remanufactured trans put in. 3yr 36k warranty. A week later I got it back and drove it till almost 250k miles on it. Like you i kept it up and clean. I would still be driving it if i didn't wrap it around a pole in a snow storm

I say put a new trans in it.

smt 59

You are at a point that I did not want to be in, I made the hard decision to sell mine before the big stuff started going. I think that you have to fix it, if you don’t you will get nothing for it but if you do then you can make the decision to drive it or sell it to the right buyer. Good luck in which ever way you go.
Keep in mind it is an 04...just saying.

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