2001 Chevy Silverado, 4wd

We are trying to decide what to do about our Silverado. It recently broke down and had to be towed to the dealership. The service department at the dealership said that the transfer case is ruined. They also said that the transmission’s fluid is black. We are still making payments on the truck and are trying to figure out our best options. Service said the transfer case could be fixed for $1400; the Service Manager said a rebuilt transmission would could $3000.
The manager also suggested to get the transfer case fixed and don’t mess with the transmission. Let the next owner worry about it. Any suggestions on how best to handle this in an inexpensive way?

Is the transmission functioning normally? If so I would go with fixing the transfer case and at least get the transmission fluid and filter changed. Since the fluid is black it might wise to go with a flush.

This is assuming the truck is otherwise in good shape.

I’m assuming the dealer is installing a used transfer case from the junkyard. If so that’s the cheapest way to go.

The transmission fluid is black. Have them pull the pan and inspect the debris in the pan for any metal debris. If there’s metal debris just change the filter reinstall the pan and fill the transmission with fluid. Metal debris means the transmission isn’t long for this world.

If no metal debris is found in the pan, follow up the filter replacement/pan installation with a transmission fluid exchange service to get rid of the rest of the black/burnt transmission fluid.


Good advice above. Another alternative for the transfer case, to save money you may be able to simply eliminate it. Change it to a 2WD truck in other words. I’m sure this is easier said than done, more likely to be possible if this truck was sold in 4WD and 2WD versions. If you don’t care about 4WD, it is worth asking about anyway.

Thanks My 2 Cents, Tester, and George! I appreciate you guys getting back to me!

Removing the t-case is easy on a Chevy. Any garage can do it. A used t-case might be $200-300 at a yard. Even less if you find someone parting out a truck on Craigslist. The dealer is $$$. I talked to a seller with a 05 trailblazer that had a new trans/t-case installed for $5k at dealer and he was selling it for $4k. Bummer. Sometimes people pay more to fix a car than it worth.