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Chevrolet Avalanche Owner's FAQ Controls

If a buy a new Chevrolet Avalanche does it have a break-in period?

Even though the Chevrolet Avalanche has an automatic transmission, can I select which gear I start in?

Why do the shift points seem longer when it is cold outside?  Is there something wrong with my Avalanche?

What is the Tow/Haul mode on my transmission?

I parked my Avalanche and no matter how hard I pull on the shift lever it won't move.  What's wrong?

The Message Center is displaying TRANS FLUID HOT.  What is, "trans fluid," and what do I do?

The Message Center is displaying TRANS HOT...IDLE ENGINE.  What is a, "trans," why is it hot, and what should I do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Break In

To answer your question in one word, yes.  To extend the life of your Chevrolet Avalanche it is recommended you do the following during the first 200 miles:

  • Don't make any hard or panic stops unless you must avoid a collision.

And during the first 500 miles:

  • Don't tow a trailer under any circumstances.

  • Don't drive in excess of 55 MPH.

  • Don't drive at a constant speed.  Vary your speed up and down.  In city driving that doesn't require a lot of idling (crawling traffic) is best.

  • Don't make a full throttle start or apply full throttle (put the gas pedal to the floor).

Finally, during the first 500 miles you pull a trailer:

  • Don't drive in excess of 50 MPH.

  • Don't make a full throttle start or apply full throttle (put the gas pedal to the floor).

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-27 and 4-59. [Back Up]

 

Transmission - Manual Shift

If you want to select a different gear to start in other than first you can with your Chevrolet Avalanche.  If you shift to Second Gear (as indicated on the Shift Position Indicator located on the instrument cluster) your Avalanche will start in second gear.  This is especially useful in slippery conditions like snow, ice, mud, or on a boat ramp.

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-34. [Back Up]

 

Transmission - Cold Weather Performance

When the temperature is below freezing all of your fluids are thicker and don't flow as easily.  Your transmission will shift differently until your engine has warmed up.  If you notice longer shift points when it is cold outside your Avalanche is operating normally.

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-34. [Back Up]

 

Transmission - Tow/Haul Mode

The Tow/Haul Model Selector Button is located on the end of the Column Shifter.  When the button is pressed, "Tow/Haul," is indicated on the Instrument Cluster toward the upper right hand corner.  If you press the button again, the indicator disappears and the mode is turned off.

Tow/Haul mode changes the shift points on your transmission, improves throttle response and assures smooth shifting even under load.  It is best used when traveling on rolling terrain, in stop and go traffic, or at low speeds where there is maximum demand on your transmission and engine.  Using Tow/Haul mode during normal driving is unnecessary and reduces your fuel efficiency.

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-35 and 4-60. [Back Up]

 

Transmission - Torque Lock

Sometimes when you park on a steep hill your Transmission can get, "Torque Locked."

Torque Lock is when there is so much weight and pressure on the parking mechanism, it is impossible to put the Column Shifter into gear.  To prevent Torque Lock make sure to set your parking brake along with putting your Avalanche's Transmission in Park.

In the event that your Avalanche is stuck in Torque Lock, you will have to get another vehicle to push you from behind slightly to release the pressure (of course good luck finding someone who can push your torque locked 6,000 pound Avalanche uphill!)

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-43. [Back Up]

 

Message Center - TRANS FLUID HOT

When TRANS FLUID HOT appears on your Message Center it indicates that your transmission fluid is reaching a critical temperature.  This may happen because you're a towing a trailer, it is extremely hot outside, hauling a heavy load, your transmission fluid is low or high, or your radiator is blocked by debris.

When the TRANS FLUID HOT message is displayed your transmission may enter a protection mode.  The shift points may change and your Avalanche may drive differently.  When the indicator light comes on you should pull over to the side of the road and idle your engine until the message disappears.

It is not recommended to continue driving with the TRANS FLUID HOT message displayed because there is a chance you can cause damage to your vehicle that won't be covered by your warranty.  If the message displays frequently you may need to change your transmission fluid.  If you have additional concerns you should contact the closest Chevrolet dealer. 

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-117. [Back Up]

 

Message Center - TRANS HOT... IDLE ENGINE

When TRANS HOT... IDLE ENGINE appears on your Message Center it indicates that your transmission has overheated and you are in danger of damaging your Avalanche.  This may happen because you're a towing a trailer, it is extremely hot outside, hauling a heavy load, your transmission fluid is low or high, or your radiator is blocked by debris.

When the indicator light comes on you should pull over to the side of the road immediately, put your Transmission into Park using the Column Shifter, and idle your engine for 15 minutes.  While it is idling check to make sure that debris is not blocking your grille.  Never reach into the engine bay when it is running!  Failure to do so can result in serious permanent injury.  Only remove external debris.  If the message does not go away after 15 minutes contact the closest Chevrolet dealer or Chevrolet Road Side Assistance.  Driving while the TRANS HOT... IDLE ENGINE message is displayed can cause severe damage to your Avalanche that will not be covered under warranty.

If the message disappears or is replaced with the TRANS FLUID HOT message you can continue driving.  You should contact your Chevrolet Avalanche dealer any time the TRANS HOT... IDLE ENGINE message to see if you need to replace your transmission fluid.

You can find more information in your Owner's Manual on page 2-117. [Back Up]