Front/Rear Differential May Develop Noise Due to Worn Bearings on Chevrolet Tahoe

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The front or rear differential may develop an abnormal noise due to worn bearings or another internal fault. Our technicians tell us that a complete overhaul of the affected differential is commonly necessary to correct this condition.

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 151,635 (15,000–292,000)
Drive Trains affected: 2WD, 4WD
14 model years affected: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, more1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010
82 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 20 of 38 comments
I've been hearing a noise coming from the back of the truck by the left rear wheel. I have checked the brakes and the wheel but the wheel does not seem to be bent. Is it the rear differential
I have a noise that sounds like a snapping metal to metal in my passenger rear wheel i haven't fixed it cause i Dont know where to start.
I have thrashing noise in the front when driving its coming from the left front. do you have an idea what it could be?
Low groan at 65 MPH, goes away when gas is released and when shifted out of Drive. No vibration or other problems.
Is it in my tranfer case or the front or rear axle, to me it seems the four wheel drive chain has to much slack in it is there an adjustment? I notice it more when I come to a quick stop after realseing the brake pedal I get a loud thumping sound as if one thing caught up to another.
Rotational type noise, front driver's side. Heard on deceleration w/o applying brakes. Mechanic said it's problem Chevy has had with chipped pinion due to oversized lock adjusters... Vehicle only has 82k miles and used 4wd less than 3k miles.
If your experiencing a loud clunking sound when stepping on the gas from a dead stop or when just rolling and stepping on the gas It's not the front or rear differential, it's the rear out put shaft of the 4 wheel drive. I have had this same problem on my 1999 Tahoe and on my 2002 Blazer. Replace the transfer case and the noise is GONE!! If it's a rumbling sound at the rear wheel it could jut be a bad axle bearing.
Rear end howl above 35. goes away when you let off the gas .Definitely is the rear differential. 8.6 locking differential. Only 85,000 miles.
Grinding sound when rear right wheel spun. Truck seems to ride very rough as if on very bumpy road. Taking to mechanic for proper diagnosis.
Rear end started making a growling sound; also a noise started coming from front wheels when press on gas; Chevy Service center said is transfer case & front differential & that problem developed from car being driven in Auto 4WD - has worn out bearings, ring & pinion. EXPENSIVE fix.
the bearings in the front diff have gone bad. Repair is either replace all bearings and seals or replace front diff
Initial driving of vehicle producies a grindin/popping noise that eventually dissipates. We used our 4 wheel drive when stuck in mud and immediately after that we has this noise. PLease advise for future knowledge for repair. Thank you.
Entire rear differential axel dismounted. Not able to find new parts to repair the vehicle. I'm being told the parts are discontinued. I'll never buy a Chevrolet anything again.