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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I just got a 2017 Escalade ESV a few weeks ago with 58000 miles on it and have been really thrilled with it. My kids love all the extra room this car provides. Overall I am pretty happy with the car except for this clunking or shudder I hear sometimes at low speeds. It's almost as if the car gets stuck or confused and hesitates before it wants to go. I know that there are many threads about the transmission issues in this car but I'm not sure if my case is exactly the same as the others.

My Escalade is equipped with 4WD and if I set the transfer case to 2 HIGH, the car works perfectly. I would say the way it behaves in 2 HIGH is the way it should behave at all times; smooth and quiet. If I set it to AUTO, then it clunks and shudders (sometimes loudly) taking off from low speeds occasionally; at best a minor to moderate annoyance. At cruising speeds around town and on the highway there aren't any issues on AUTO from what I can tell. I should mention that I have been driving the car in AUTO like 99% of the time but thinking of switching to 2 HIGH until I get it checked out.

If I set it to 4 HIGH the car is downright horrible. It clunks, shudders and sometimes the rear wheels get stuck and hesitate. Eventually it will go but you gotta give it some extra gas. It's a little scary to be honest. I only tried it in 4 HIGH a couple of times. I have not tried the 4 LOW setting yet and I'm fearful I may break something.

I have around 12000 miles left on the powertrain warranty. Would these issues be covered? Could software and a fluid flush really fix these issues? I got an appointment with my dealer on 7/20 but just wanted to get some feedback about the different behaviors the car exhibits in the various 4WD settings.
 

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2016 ESV Platinum
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Do not drive in 4 High (or Low) on dry pavement. The front hubs are locked and will bind on turns. Not good.

It should be OK in AUTO but there is really no need to use it unless driving in snow. It shouldn't do what you are experiencing. I always use 2 High except in the snow and then I use AUTO. 4 High is for deep snow. Maybe have the dealer check out the clunk and shudder.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, got the appointment for tomorrow at 8 am so let’s see how it goes. It is a lot better in 2 HIGH tbh.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Escalade is in for service at Sheehan Cadillac! The service advisor seemed to know what I was talking about so 🤞
 

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Escalade is in for service at Sheehan Cadillac! The service advisor seemed to know what I was talking about so 🤞
Please keep us in the loop. I have the same exact issues with my 2015 right now and looking for a good dealership to get it serviced.
 

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Escalade ESV
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Do not use 4H on pavement or you can break drive shafts. It is for soft road materials only. The shudder you feel in 4auto is likely the clutch cycling during hard acceleration to prevent rear tire spin, and is normal. In auto the front wheels cycle engagement several times per second when rear wheels start to slip. The shudder is only felt when you accelerate hard and the rear wheels are slipping. Now, shuddering in other modes is a transmission problem and is NOT normal.

Normal driving should be done in 2H, until it rains or you need more traction, then switch to 4auto. 4H is dirt, ice, snow, mud only, as there is no compensation between front and rear turn circle, so major stresses are built in the drive train when you turn on pavement. The locking you felt is the entire drive line binding against itself...not good.

Clunking is not normal, but my 2015 has done it occasionally since it was brand new. It’s the reason the A8 tranny didn’t stay in production very long, and is pretty much the nature of the beast. They have changed our tranny under warranty, but it did not change the clunking. I managed to talk them into a 100k extended warranty for the tranny...but I have just learned to live with the occasional clunk. If they clear the program it helps for a couple hundred miles, but then it comes back.
 

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2016 Escalade ESV, 2017 GMC Sierra 6.2
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You should be driving in 2wd 99.9% of the time and only use Auto on slippery road/off road conditions.
Officially speaking, driving in Auto is ok but once you understand what’s going on in the drivetrain when in Auto, you realize that you are just burning more fuel and wearing out parts unnecessarily and with zero benefits.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You should be driving in 2wd 99.9% of the time and only use Auto on slippery road/off road conditions.
Officially speaking, driving in Auto is ok but once you understand what’s going on in the drivetrain when in Auto, you realize that you are just burning more fuel and wearing out parts unnecessarily and with zero benefits.


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Thanks, I will drive on 2H from now on unless there’s rain on the highway or something. I’m almost confident I will never need 4H or 4L around urban south Florida. Never had a car with an actual transfer case so unfamiliar.
 

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If you find yourself on a beach or sandy back road 4H or 4L would work great...otherwise 4 auto will do everything you need on the wet street and 2H on dry streets. You likely don’t care, but the transfer case even has a neutral position you can use to tow your car with the wheels down and not damage the transmission...like towing behind an RV.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you find yourself on a beach or sandy back road 4H or 4L would work great...otherwise 4 auto will do everything you need on the wet street and 2H on dry streets. You likely don’t care, but the transfer case even has a neutral position you can use to tow your car with the wheels down and not damage the transmission...like towing behind an RV.
Haha, if I ever find myself in that situation I’ll definitely put the 4H/4L to the test but other than that I am now scarred for life and the knob will not go past AUTO. I don’t have the car back yet but the dealer called me today saying they are doing a triple flush on the transmission and that should sort out any clunking or shuddering? How permanent is this fix? A quick google of the procedure says this fixes any issues for good.
 

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Haha, if I ever find myself in that situation I’ll definitely put the 4H/4L to the test but other than that I am now scarred for life and the knob will not go past AUTO. I don’t have the car back yet but the dealer called me today saying they are doing a triple flush on the transmission and that should sort out any clunking or shuddering? How permanent is this fix? A quick google of the procedure says this fixes any issues for good.
The triple flush helps. The new programming they provide helps. But neither are a panacea for the 8 speed. We had all this completed over a year ago and there were improvements. What I've noticed- it's better, but you still get a sloppy shift in the 3-4? shift in the mid-upper 30 MPH range with the first few accelerations before the vehicle is warmed up. This happens no matter the outside temperature. Smoother or sportier driving does nothing to help that. Once the truck is significantly warmed up, you rarely have that shifting shudder.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got the car back today. The shuddering and clunking is gone and it feels smoother overall. They added new programming and did the triple flush. Hoping it lasts.
 

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I came from a 08 all wheel drive to the 16 4wd and there is a difference. When I first got it, seriously thought there was something wrong as I kept it in Auto most of the time. The clunking, shuddering, i was like wtf. Now I keep it in 2H and only use the auto for heavy rain or snow, or off roading.
 

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Got the car back from service today. It feels like a totally different car altogether. Shifts are smooth and consistent. No more hard shifts or delays and no shuddering. Really happy how it turned out. They found a wiring harness needed to be replaced as well because the sensor was reading erratically for the temp and did the triple flush with new fluid. Falling back in love with the escalade!
 

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Hi all,

I just got a 2017 Escalade ESV a few weeks ago with 58000 miles on it and have been really thrilled with it. My kids love all the extra room this car provides. Overall I am pretty happy with the car except for this clunking or shudder I hear sometimes at low speeds. It's almost as if the car gets stuck or confused and hesitates before it wants to go. I know that there are many threads about the transmission issues in this car but I'm not sure if my case is exactly the same as the others.

My Escalade is equipped with 4WD and if I set the transfer case to 2 HIGH, the car works perfectly. I would say the way it behaves in 2 HIGH is the way it should behave at all times; smooth and quiet. If I set it to AUTO, then it clunks and shudders (sometimes loudly) taking off from low speeds occasionally; at best a minor to moderate annoyance. At cruising speeds around town and on the highway there aren't any issues on AUTO from what I can tell. I should mention that I have been driving the car in AUTO like 99% of the time but thinking of switching to 2 HIGH until I get it checked out.

If I set it to 4 HIGH the car is downright horrible. It clunks, shudders and sometimes the rear wheels get stuck and hesitate. Eventually it will go but you gotta give it some extra gas. It's a little scary to be honest. I only tried it in 4 HIGH a couple of times. I have not tried the 4 LOW setting yet and I'm fearful I may break something.

I have around 12000 miles left on the powertrain warranty. Would these issues be covered? Could software and a fluid flush really fix these issues? I got an appointment with my dealer on 7/20 but just wanted to get some feedback about the different behaviors the car exhibits in the various 4WD settings.
Easy fix ;)

This is GM FCK UP.... They used wrong TR fluid for some 2016-2017 models. I had 2017 Camaro SS which share same engine and tranny with Escalade and Corvette.
All it has to be done is trany flush with Mibile one TR fluid and problem solved...
It should be free under warranty. Im gonna let them flush trany on my 2016 Platinum just for insurance ;)
 

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2016 Escalade ESV, 2017 GMC Sierra 6.2
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They didn’t use the wrong fluid. One of the fluid additives didn’t hold up, so they redesigned the fluid.
 
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