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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems



  • Every time I start to love my 2003 TB again, something goes wrong with it. I also had a bad transmission. It went out on me at about 10,000 miles. Right from the beginning it had an electrical problem too. The turn signals would get stuck instead of flashing and the dome lights would go on and off randomly. And at about 20,000 miles it left me stranded in a dark parking lot late at night in the rain. That time it needed a new ignition switch. Around that time a water pump also broke and apparently caused a lot of damage so several parts had to be replaced. (I am not a mechanic so I may not use the right language.) The "Check Engine" light goes on frequenty which is unnerving. In fact, it is on right now. Almost every time that happens though, it ends up being a "loose gas cap" and the dealer charges me $200 just to tell me that. What a gimmick! Who knows if that is the problem this time; I checked the gas cap but the light is still on. Now I am stuck going to the dealer because they either need to reset the "check engine" light or something else is wrong again. Cha-ching for them once again!

    The service manager told me that the problems with my TB are "just a fluke" and most people have had good experiences with theirs. I am seeing here that this is not quite true.

    I only have another year of payments left so I hesitate to sell it. But it pains me to pay close to $400 a month for a car that I constantly have to pour money into to fix. One thing is for sure though; I will NEVER buy an American car again, especially a GM car.
  • I am so sad to see all the transmission problems with the Trailblazers as last night around midnight on a dark stretch of road on my way home from work this happened to me, being a female not a good thing. Took it to the dealer today lets guess? Sun Shield , no 1st and reverse. Bought it used a little over a year ago, did get extended warranty worked 3 miles from home till 2 months ago so the miles were low yet. I got lucky this time. Hope all goes well with those of you still fighting this.
    PSmith :P
  • i have a 2002 trailblazer my shifter does not shift out of park unless i push the release button underneath the shift boot. i spoke to my GREAT dealsrship and they told me that is the shifter control selonoid or the shifter control lock relay is bad does anyone know where they are and if they are easy to change...

  • So, I thought I would be done when I had the infamous sun shield distaster at 37k. Now my transmissions makes this whirring noise, like a loud fan, and shifts REALLY rough and relucantly. Also feels like a LOT of power is being put into whatever is making it whir since the acceleration is totally hosed. Take it up to 50 mph, when it hits that gear the whirring stops and the transmission works fine at all speeds until it sits still for a while.
    For not the issue is sporadic but has been becoming more and more frequent. Of course everytime I get it to a transmission guy it stops doing it and they have no clue what it causing it. Does ANYONE where have any clue what would make it do that? I would like to get it fixed before the whole thing explodes again.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Hmmmmm... Are you sure it's the transmission? This sounds somewhat like a failing fan clutch to me.
  • Not sure at all. At this point it is my best guess. So I am willing to entertain just about any reasonable suggestion. I
  • So here is my thought with the fan clutch....when the noise comes up, it is pulling a good deal of the power from the accleration. Along with the noise, the transmissions' ability to upshift is horrid. You really have to coax it into every gear, until you hit the gear at approx 50 mph.
    Would the clutch fan on a TB impact the function of the Transmission like that?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    I don't believe so. It would just be noisy I think. The noise does make some people believe that the engine RPM's are way up though since they're not paying attention to the tach. The fan on the TB is very large and moves a lot of air at low speeds, mostly to improve engine efficiency and fuel mileage, but it needs to be carefully controlled, hence the viscous clutch that has been somewhat problematic.
  • What year is your trailblazer? I have a 04 with major problems. Almost causing two accidents one in which my two year old child was in the car with me. My tb only has 45,000 miles but it started having problems at 26,000 miles. Also how do I get on the disatsfied customer list? Thanks!
  • Mine is a 2002. Wow, what happened? Thank God you and your child wasn't hurt! I don't know how you get on that list but I'd like to get on it too! I'm still not able to drive mine, I've been looking around tryin to find a reliable person to work on it, but for sure it's going to cost an arm an a leg. I wish it were just a sensor or something simple but I don't believe that it is. My husband thinks it will cost around 2500.00 to have it fixed! Errrrrrr, not good but I love the trailblazer and I haven't even driven it that much! Can you update me on what is wrong with yours? I haven't been on here since I posted the first time. I'm new to this site and I'm learning alot of all the problems that people are having with there trailblazers? We bought it used ofcourse, but it's in mint condition, well except for the problem with the transmission but mine won't go out of first gear, and it roars up too! I'm pretty upset about it cause I can't travel to see my grandbabies'!
  • I have a 2002 also, my husband says that it's the tranny. It won't go out of first gear, roars really load and I had to creep home when this happened. What are planetary gears. We have all highway miles on ours too. It's in mint condition but this. I really need some advice here. I know it's probably cost some money to have it fixed but you know the labor is the worst expense so is there anything I can do that can help me maybe get around the diagnostic exspense? Help me please...Thanks! :sick:
  • If you want to get a run down on the gears take a look at the site HowStuffWorks and look up automatic trransmission. I gives a great summary for normal folks, which is what I used when i was told by my dealerhsip that the sun gear had all its teeth sheared off at 35,000 miles.
    They tried everything they could to get out of paying their portion of the bill too. Played on the whole towing thing, I had the sales manager I bough ti from come in and tell their services guy how he used the built in towing package as a sales point and had docs to show my trailed WELL below the towing specs.
    When it went, i was driving along and at about 50 mph when it went to shift into the next gear, there was a bang and it felt like I hit something. Then most gears were gone (including reverse). Then It did a lot of whining, accelerated like crap, would not shift at all, I had to manually shift it. I drove it home, then to the dealership (about 5 miles total). I If this is what happened to you, it will not be cheap to fix. I like the TB model but I can say, I will not be buying any more Chevy's. The suport Chevy has given me (or lack thereof), and the obvious lack of quality in their vehicles as evident on this board has turned me off from them and they are all I have EVER owned.
  • Where do I start- at 27,700 miles my vehicle stalled out when I was pulling out onto a major hwy here on the east on of South Carolina (accident #1). A/C nor heat have never worked. 30,755 again the engine became sluggish and the engine light came on again. Less than two hundred miles lost steering while driving! 41,205 the speedomoter began to go backwards- start at 110 miles per hour. The last straw was at 44,000 miles once again the vehicle stalled and lost power while I was turning off the same hwy causing the car coming straight had to swerve to keep from hitting me on the side where my two year old was seating in his car seat. In tears I called my husband to come and drive the car home. The next day I was told I need a new transmission. I have been with out a vehicle since Aug. 30th. GM has left me on choice but to contact my lawer. Hope you get to see your grandkids soon!
  • I have a question for someone, my TB is a 2002 used it has about 103,000 miles on it so we are really lucky, but today when I was backing out of my driveway and I put it in drive to go forward and heard a clunk! and it wouldn't go anywhere, forward or reverse. After awhile I could pull it back in the driveway (where I left it) and was wondering I know its the transmission (at least I think) I even seen a little red fluid in the road where I had stopped. Anyone know what it is? We also bought ours used it had 46,000 on it when we purchased it in 04' and we still have 1 1/2 year to pay on it, we also have a problem woth the map lights (they don't work) I asked the gm dealer and they said it woudl cost $80 to just look at it. $$$$$$$$$$$$ that is all that GM is about. The past few months we have had something going on with it, we just thought it needed a new fuel filter cause when you get around 45mpd it was like it was starving for gas, but I realize now DUHHHH! that it was probably the transmission. If anyone has any suggestion it would be greatly appreciated. Is it possible to take they to congress for a recall? ;o) :mad:
  • Sounds like transmission to me. My problems started at 26,000 miles. If it was me I would look on the driver side door and see were your TB was made and the date. Then search the internet for problems at that plant during that same time. Then I would check the number on the transmission to see if anyone else has had problems with that same one. Let me know if I can help in any other way. Between my husband and I we've had 8 chevy's in the past 13 years and this is the first to ever give us a problem. I've request GM take the vehicle back and I would buy another chevy that was in Aug. My two year old roded in this car everyday and on the 30th of Aug. an oncoming car almost hit us when my car lost power turning. Good Luck!
  • A good thing to invest in for your TB, if you are going to keep it is a Haynes manual. For smaller stuff like maplights, O2 sensors, and stuff you can fix with tools you usually find in any home, it can save you some serious cash and allow you to fix stuff yourself. At least one of the auto part stores out there also will check your diagnostic codes (when the service engine soon light comes on) for free. The dealership here charges $70 just to check the code.
    All that being said, it certainly sound like your transmission. I feel for you. It is sickening. Mine has already been fixed and feels like it is going again. I will never understand GMs approach to these fixes. This is their golden opp to nake customers for life. What they have done instead is turn lifelong GM customers to other manufacturers. I have a Dodge Minivan, and their service is awesome. I will be likely replacing my TB with a Toyota in a year or so.
    Find yourself a good transmission shop (not one with a commercial, they always cost too much), and have it looked at. It will NOT be a cheap fix. I just refuse to go to a dealership anymore. Costs way to much and they generally will do nothing to help you out.
  • Yep, we took the TB in and it is the tranny, I guess the anti-trans (coolant) line (?) rusted away and the trans itself burned up inside. Cost is going to be between $1100 to $1300, (for a soft rebuild) It is the L460E Trans. it is a lighter one the guy said. I guess we are kinda lucky, I mean we have over 100,000 miles on it and it really endanger us like it did some of you guys, but I thought these cars now a days were made to last, NO? I want to Thank you for your help. This is really helpful, and I will keep in contact with this site. Thanks again. Happy New Year ;)
  • hi all. im new here.

    well i have a 2004 tb LT not the extended, meduim red

    never had any transmission problems(knock on wood)

    i had the transmission services and flushed(with new filter, gaskets) every 15,000 miles for about $125

    i have towed my neon up and down hills for over 500 miles, i have had the fluid checked periodically, and never any problems and i have 65,000 miles now

    i bought this tb from a dealership that isnt gm certified but dealership certified

    i did not choose to buy an extended warranty (i thought it was bs) since they go bankrupt anyway

    the only problem i had was the speedo and had the ipc relaced at 34,000 since i only had the remaining fact warrany

    also....i have the same name on chevyforum and discuss the same trailblazer topics
  • I am curious, can you check your manufacture date and location? My grandfather bought his 1 month after mine and he has had awesome luck with it. He is at 120,000 and never had anything serious except the climate computer. He has even crashed his like 3 times so you wouldn't be surprised if he started having issues. I have friends how have had the TB with the same problem as me too. So I am wondering if it is a specific plant or something weird.
    One thing you probably want to do though...unless they fixed it with the 04, you will want to go out and buy about half a dozen brake light bulbs and keep them in your vehicle. I replace the left one every 2-3 months. Everyone i know with a 02 has the same problem. I have even had the entire fixture replaced under warranty 3 times.
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