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Discussion Starter #1
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.. 馃槙 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Couple more pics if you like carnage..
 

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

I鈥檝e never owned an AWD or 4WD vehicle (for winter driving) - even when living 12 鈥渄riving years鈥 up in (southern) New England. When I鈥檓 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鈥檛.

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 鈥渙ut in the boonies鈥 where roads get plowed when your town 鈥済ets around to it鈥, the answer is probably 鈥渘o鈥. So keep it simple, drive a FWD vehicle, put the up-front ($1500?) savings into your pocket, enjoy the 鈥渆xtra鈥 1-2 MPGs along the way, and sleep tight knowing you鈥檝e got one less transmission-related failure point to worry about.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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

Tom
 

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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.
Also,
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?
 

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I鈥檝e 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鈥檛 replace the transfer case. We鈥檒l see if the seal goes again. Not sure if it鈥檚 any kind of indicator on the durability of this particular transfer case. 54k on the Nox now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So what are the price points for fixing something like this - used, junk yard parts, versus new? And you鈥檙e going to do the work yourself (I presume), but what would an independent shop charge (never mind the dealer)...?
The dealer wanted $950 for a new one but it is not available due to the current strike. Aftermarket rebuild was $750 with the same 3 year warranty and a weeks wait so I went with that. Labor guide says 4.8hrs so an independent shop around here would charge around $500, dealer probably $6-700.

We live in NJ so AWD isn't a necessity but great to have in the winter. And my wife works on the other side of a small mountain so shes up and down a steep grade every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
Ya I believe it's similar to other problematic awd trucks with a lot of power like the Trailblazer SS and Silverado SS and it just can't handle the power. Why else would the bearing explode?

I don't get on here much, just too busy. I enjoy writing how-tos tho and I've been an admin on S10Forum for at least 15 years. Back in the day it was very busy, now its dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I鈥檝e 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鈥檛 replace the transfer case. We鈥檒l see if the seal goes again. Not sure if it鈥檚 any kind of indicator on the durability of this particular transfer case. 54k on the Nox now.
Strange, maybe the rear bearing is a little sloppy? Mine was dry as a bone at the seals..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is the new transfer case. Also required is synthetic 75W90 gear oil, new sealing o-ring 19132943, and Dexron VI transmission fluid equal to however much came out previously. I opted to completely drain the trans and then it sat for 2 weeks and the converter drained further so I needed 6 quarts total. If you don't want to change the fluid then you can drain about 1 qt out and it should be low enough that you don't take a bath when the t-case is removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here are all the parts that were removed to access the transfer case for my V6. Not a terrible job but depending on mileage, age, and region you may have problems with the exhaust coming apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Tech tip: if you look closely you can see I made a couple alignment dowels out of 12mm x 75mm bolts with the heads cut off. This will help align the transfer case and keep the o-ring from getting pinched or cut and causing a fluid leak.

In the 2nd pic you can see one of the exhaust studs is shorter than the other. I had to heat these nuts with a torch to get them off and then the one snapped the stud when it was halfway off. Luckily there are just enough threads left for the nut to hold.

Also 2 of the tiny 5mm x 15mm bolts that hold the heat shield on the transfer case broke off inside the aluminum so I had to replace those with a dab of antiseize for good measure.
 

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Hello kind sirs...I have a question. My 2013 Equinox needs a new transfer case and everyone I tell that to says it shouldn't need one at 53K miles. The dealer wants $3,000 to fix it and I'm disabled on a fixed income and barely have $3 to spare. Is this a normal mileage for them to fail or should I fight with GM about it? I bought it used and of course, my warranty expired in December of 18. I still owe about 12k on it...I know I know...there was nothing I could do at the time, I needed a car so please don't judge :)

Any advice would be much appreciated!
Debbie
 

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Too early to happen, but stuff happens. It is worth complaining to GM, but they may only cut some slack, it will still cost a ton. You can try an independent shop, and it will be cheaper.
 

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Thank you so much!! The 'too early to happen' seems to be a running answer from all around. The dealer actually put in paperwork to get some help from GM...it was declined. But they gave me the contact info for me to complain about it myself. Which I intend to do.

Thanks again for your reply...have a great day!
Debbie
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Anything failing under 100k is too soon in my opinion. Yours went out at 56k, mine at 70k. Get recommendations from friends for an independant shop, it should be far cheaper than the dealership. Tip: don't tell the shop what the dealership wanted to charge you! Still expect to spend at least $2000 tho 馃槙
 
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