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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question
GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 15133
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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Occasionally get heavy vibration when pulling 6' x 12'

Customer Question

Occasionally get heavy vibration when pulling 6' x 12' enclosed trailer. Not sure of weight. Vibration may continue for 10 miles or so and stop by itself. After it stops, can drive 70 mph without issue. Most of the time no vibration at all. Usually use 3rd gear with or without trailer mode activated. Not sure of cause or why it is so intermittent. Want to fix before it fails.
JA: How many miles are on the car? Have you noticed any fluid leaks lately?
Customer: About 35,000 miles. No leaks and transmission fluid is clean. The shop said can change fluid and filter but thinks that is not a cause since it is clean and doesn't smell bad.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: No. Will take to a shop.
JA: OK! The Chevy Mechanic will help you with the diagnostics so you are sure to get this fixed right. Is there anything else important you think the Chevy Mechanic should know about your Chevy?
Customer: No.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Chevy Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 4 months ago.

Does it only do it when you are hauling? Do you do anything else different when hauling? Does the trailer have trailer brakes?

What year and model do you have, and engine size?

It's possible that it may be a drivetrain component that is binding, but eventually works loose enough to not vibrate- like a universal joint on your prop shaft

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Does it only when hauling but sometimes doesn't happen at all. On 300 mile trip, no issue until returning home. Had vibration for about 10 miles or so if drove over 35 mph. Then it stopped and didn't do it again all the way home. Drove 70 mph without vibration. don't do anything different when pulling the trailer. Trailer does not have brakes.Had rear universal joint replaced 3 weeks ago. New front tires 2 weeks ago but have had balance checked twice to rule that out. If there was another problem with the drivetrain, the mechanic should have found it. Mechanic found no problems with anything but thought it might be transmission "hunting" between overdrive and other gears while towing.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
2011 Chevy Express G1500 LS van with 5.3 liter engine, auto transmission.
Expert:  gomi_otaku replied 4 months ago.

I've been thinking this over numerous times, assessing whether it could be transmission, driveline, or engine. Did you have any other work done right before this started happening? Did it happen before you got new tires?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No other work done recently. Had new brakes and front rotors last summer but have pulled the trailer several times since then without issue. No issues driving without the trailer either.