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-   -   Transfer Case Failure (https://www.terrainforum.net/showthread.php?t=28481)

afterhoursfab 09-12-2019 06:25 PM

Transfer Case Failure
3 Attachment(s)
2013 3.6L AWD SLT-2 66k miles. Wife said she went to turn in a parking lot and the truck started making all kinds of noises underneath. One turn and I knew it was the transfer case.. 😕 Opened it up hoping to rebuild it and its toast. The outer bearing on the 2nd shaft exploded and the metal went into every gear. Luckily the transfer case and transaxle do not share fluids so the tranny was spared. Used cases are 1/4 the price of a reman unit but I don't think it's worth taking the chance considering the low miles on this one. I'll call around tmrw and see what I can dig up but this should not have happened.

afterhoursfab 09-12-2019 06:26 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Couple more pics if you like carnage..

tic 09-13-2019 12:32 AM

Ouch.. Never let your wife drive your car :)

Colt Hero 09-13-2019 10:02 AM

So what are the price points for fixing something like this - used, junk yard parts, versus new? And you’re going to do the work yourself (I presume), but what would an independent shop charge (never mind the dealer)...?

I’ve never owned an AWD or 4WD vehicle (for winter driving) - even when living 12 “driving years” up in (southern) New England. When I’m home visiting family I see tons of AWD vehicles on the road these days - more than I ever remember seeing years ago. Makes me wonder if this is yet another one of those cases where the manufacturer has essentially created artificial demand by increasing production and then convincing buyers - through marketing and salesmanship - that they really need AWD, when they don’t.

A failure like the OP has experienced here is probably pretty rare, but prospective AWD buyers take note: do you really *need* AWD? Unless you live in Canada, one of the northernmost U.S. snowbelt states, or otherwise “out in the boonies” where roads get plowed when your town “gets around to it”, the answer is probably “no”. So keep it simple, drive a FWD vehicle, put the up-front ($1500?) savings into your pocket, enjoy the “extra” 1-2 MPGs along the way, and sleep tight knowing you’ve got one less transmission-related failure point to worry about.

larrywal 09-13-2019 10:51 AM

I dont need it in Canada either but it is shoved down our throats by manufacturers ..you want a decent vehicle option wise the only way you can get one is with awd as I learned with the Terrain.
We are an easy target for over paying for vehicles because it never gets above freezing here lol

rednox301 09-13-2019 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by afterhoursfab (Post 294971)
Couple more pics if you like carnage..

Bummer, at least you didn't have to waste a lot of time diagnosing the problem.
Those 301 horses were hard on the transfer case.
Haven't seen you on the forum in a while, always liked your posts.

rbarrios 09-13-2019 11:54 AM

Appears the OP is handy with tools... based on his screen name... and has the tools and know how to do the work himself in his garage.
Yeah- should not have happened.

tewatson 09-13-2019 05:08 PM

Dayum. Looks like every single piece is worked, even the case.


ThreeNox 09-15-2019 07:04 PM

You are correct AfterHoursFab
It should not have happened ..... transfer cases should not fail at 66k miles!

Last January, A Chevy mechanic said (about these AWD Equinox's) ==>>>. "AWD Transfer case tend to go (fail) between 50k and 100k miles...."

Like with other issues on these cars,
Such as blown rear main seal in the winter,
Or oil consumption,
gm would probably say "its normal" for transfer cases to fail.

What can we do as owners?

As a preventative measure,
I immediately changed the AWD transfer case oil in my traverse (was at 70k miles) and my 2013 Equinox (was at 30k miles)
And going forward, I will change the oil in transfer cases every 25 to 30k in all my cars.
I try to keep cold tire pressures between 35 and 37 psi.
And rotate tires and align tires at every oil change...

Will it ^ help prevent transfer case failures?
Will it make the transfer case last at least 150k plus miles?
Who knows?

regnox1113 09-15-2019 09:01 PM

I’ve had to replace the rear output shaft seal on the transfer case twice. Each one lasted around 20k miles. Both were under warranty (had an extended one). They wouldn’t replace the transfer case. We’ll see if the seal goes again. Not sure if it’s any kind of indicator on the durability of this particular transfer case. 54k on the Nox now.

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