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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems



  • dluckendlucken Posts: 3
    I just had to rebuild the front differential on my 2004 Trailblazer at a cost of $2,098! Miller Chev said the cause was different brands of tires between the front and back (not different size). I had to replace the rear tires recently and bought the same tires as originally installed. I then had to replace the front tires shortly after that but couldn’t buy the same tires because they had been discontinued. I had a mixed set of tires on the vehicle that were very new. A few months later some terrible noise was heard when I shifted in A4WD. The road conditions were slippery – snowy. It seems to me that if the 4WD system on the Trailblazer is so sensitive to different tires GM should say so. People (like me) could avoid the possibility of that kind of problem.

    Also, Miller Chev has a sign prominently posted above their service area that says they are not satisfied unless the customer is satisfied. I'm certainly not satisfied. While my complaint has more to do with Chevrolet than them, they could do more to get GM to be truthful about the tire requirements for the Trailblazer. There isn't anything in my Trailblazer manual to suggest the potential problem.

    How about other 4WD vehicles?
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    In my opinion they fed you a load of crap. What was the actual problem with the differential? I mean, did they give you any idea what actually failed in it?
  • dluckendlucken Posts: 3
    The repair bill states: Found side bearings pitted excessive, causing noise pinion bearing starting to pit. replaced side bearings and pinion bearing and resealed case. Total part bill: $542.

    I tend to agree with you. Probably the easiest excuse to deflect my irrititation. I will follow up with the BBB but am not too hopeful.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Did they mention anything about water being in the differential? Or the lubricant was low?
  • mstarr13mstarr13 Posts: 15
    First, I would call the dealer rep at GM. They are flat out lying to you. I went through my owners manual (I have an 02) no where in there does it say anything about the tire issue and making sure they all are the same brand. Since every other car I have ever owned worked fine a reasonable person would assume this one would too. The dealer rep can jump on the dealership for their dishonesty. If neither can help you, go to the BBB and file a formal complaint with your state attorney general's office against GM AND the dealership. Also, shoot some emails out to your local news stations, you might get lucky and get one of them to take up your cause for a story. When both the BBB and the AG call them, they will give you want you want just to shut you up.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    Here's what the Tire Rack says about mixing tires.

    Subaru doesn't recommend mixing tires on their AWD systems, because of the powertrain. They put that info in the owner's manual I think.
  • m1lkmanm1lkman Posts: 1
    Not all car manufacturers put it in their service manuals as subaru does, but the general rule on 4WD vehicles, especially AWD vehicles is to replace ALL four tires at the same time using the same brand of tire. Even with new tires, sizes vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, even if the size on the tires say they are the same, there can be a quarter inch or more in diameter difference which will cause havoc with your drive train. Same thing when buying two tires now and the other two 5000 miles later. the diameter of the tires needs to be the same for the drive train to operate correctly. This is also necessary for your ABS and Stabilitrac systems to work safely. Each wheel on the vehicle has a sensor which tells the vehicle how fast they are rotating. The vehicles computer needs to "see" that all four wheels are rotating at the same time for the two aforementioned systems to work properly and safley. Hope this info helps.
  • dluckendlucken Posts: 3
    Thanks for responding. There wasn't any mention of water or low oil but in discussions the service mgr said low oil was a possibility.
  • powella1powella1 Posts: 5
    How did you confirm they know of this? I am having the same problem - my 04 has completely shut down on me while driving twice and then twice has just dropped out of gear while driving. When towed in they tell me they can't find any problem - can't get it to repeat it and give it back to me. Its fine for a few months and then it happens again. I have a feeling they know exactly what it is but are told by GM that unless they can actually observe the problem - not to do anything about it. I would love to find out how often this is happening and confronting them with that information.
  • robiedrobied Posts: 4
    Hi..I am new to this forun but looking for help. I tried to back out of a parking space last night only to find I had no reverse. I was able to drive over the parking lot blocks to get out. I checked fluid (it was low) - replaced it and started to drive again. No reverse still....Now it is taking a long time to shift gears. This is an automatic transmission on a 4 wheel drive trailblazer with approx 91000 miles. Never had any problems or warnings before. Does anyone know what is up with this? Mechanic is unavailable this weekend. :cry:
  • powella1powella1 Posts: 5
    The same think happened to me recently. I didn't have the option to drive over the blocks - so had it towed to the dealer. When the dealer called me they asked me what was wrong as they could not find anything the matter with it. They kept it for two days - drove it alot - no repeat. This is same pattern I have had with this transmission. A guy in service told me that the transmission was starting to go bad on it, that this kind of thing could happen intermittently then be fine for several months only to repeat. If you let the car sit for a while, move the transmission through the gears slowly a few times - it will eventually just go away on its own.
  • shawnee1shawnee1 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Trailblazer with 91,000 miles. I just replaced the transmission. I travel dirt roads and cross a creek every work day. I was told the water had done the damage. Anyway, I had the transmission and the catalytic converter replaced. Now, however, it shifts from first to second very hard and one second later shifts again. I have taken it back to AAMCO twice and they tell me there isn't a problem. They reprogram it and the hard shifting seems to get worse before it gets a little better. Freeway driving is fine, but when I drive around town with frequent stops the shifting gets worse. Does anyone know what the problem can be. Reprogramming doesn't help and now my check engine light comes on about a week after it has been reprogrammed...something about an 02 sensor???? What is my next step? Buy a new car??????
  • robiedrobied Posts: 4
    I replaced my CO2 sensor about 90,000 miles. At 91,000 miles, the transmission failed. I have the actual part that is the sun gear? or sun shield. Not sure what it is called. But it is a manufacturing defect that GM is evidently aware of but hasn't issued a recall on.
  • I just started to have the same problem with my 03. Did you replace all 4 tires and have it work?
  • mstarr13mstarr13 Posts: 15
    Yes they are VERY aware of it. I went to a dealership recently just looking at what they had, I had an interesting chat with the sales guy in which he actually talked to the newer TBs and used a newer transmission design as a sales point, cause those old one's "were always breaking". Makes you wonder what they will say about the ones being sold now in 5 years.

    You know they wonder why they are having trouble and losing customers to Toyota and the others...
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    "he actually talked to the newer TBs and used a newer transmission design as a sales point" Hmmmm......Is there any one out there aware of a new trans in these models? If so it's news to me. Of course I would take whatever the salesman says with a grain of salt.
  • I've read many of your reviews online of which I've had the same problem: the sun shell on the TrailBlazer. Most of you on here have the same problem and symptoms of the broken down sunshell. While we all would like to think the sunshell is defective and a recall should be in place, we have to remember the hundreds of thousands of units on the market that are perfectly fine. We are speaking to one another in a closed forum all with the same problem, but in reality we are a fraction of one percent of the TrailBlazer's on the market that have the problem. With that being said, I recently picked my TrailBlazer (which has 79,000 miles) up from my local Chevy dealership after receiving goodwill assistance. The goodwill assistance has nothing to do with calling the GM service center. They are the "go between" you and the dealership to make it look like they are the party helping you when in reality goodwill assistance is determined strictly by your dealership. If you receive assistance (as an example, 50% split on the repair cost), it is coming from the dealer. If you do not receive assistance, the denial is coming strictly from the dealer. The Chevy dealerships receive X amount of dollars each year to provide "goodwill assistance", but they approve whether or not they are going to help. Calling a GM 800 number is no assistance. I called GM and the service rep at my dealership flat out told me it is no use. If you want goodwill assistance you have to ask the dealership for it. I was able to get a new sunshell for $660, which would normally run $1,400 to $1,800. They treated me well. The TrailBlazer runs better than ever. Good luck to all.
  • lbrandy40lbrandy40 Posts: 2
    Hi, just came across this website looking for other people that had a problem with this. I was going to get my hair done yesterday and went around a corner and heard a strange noise, then I noticed my trailblazer shifting weird. Then pulled into a parking spot and went to straighten up and bamm, no reverse. Can anyone tell me what I should do? Do I take it to a dealer or to a transmission shop? I am just dumb founded here that there has been this many problems and GM hasn't done anything about it. I only have a little over 60,000 miles on the darn thing! I want to shoot it! Happy 4th of July!
  • powella1powella1 Posts: 5
    The likely problem is that if you have it towed to dealer, they won't be able to find the problem. this is an intermittent, unpredictable issue and if they can't actually observe the problem - they will either give it back to you untouched for they will find something to fix - but it won't be the transmission. This will increase with frequency over time. Either have the transmission replaced - even though it appears to be ok or try to sell it - I usually have a couple of months between problems.

    I have no idea what the guy above is talking about regarding a sun shell....
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,986
    Usually a sun shell refers to the gear housing, as in a shell for the sun or planetary gears in a transmission.
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