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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems



  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    The GM 4L60E trans is known for valve body and other problems. The Service Engine light will come on if it senses slipping in the transmission. Usually when this happens the ECM will turn up the hydraulic pressure in the trans to try to limit the slipping resulting in fairly hard shifts.

    I have a 2000 Suburban with 50k. I had to have the trans rebuilt at 46k due to excessive slipping.

    Get your truck in to a good trans shop ASAP. The longer you wait the more damage you are doing. If you can get buy with just a valve body rebuild/replacement it won't be to expensive. I ended up dropping about $1800 for a rebuild with updated components.
    I just love GM quality, it keeps a lot of people employed :lemon:
  • ivette16ivette16 Posts: 1
    I purchased a new Chevy Blazer 2002. That was my worst mistake, after one year of purchase, my transmission went out, replaced batteries, and A/C malfunction. 12/2004 a horrible noise started, the rear end needed replaing.

    This month, April 2005 the starter went out, the car shut down, my car had to be towed. After inspection the car was in need of a new starter and baterry, and now two weeks later my transmission went out, yes for the second time.

    I'm still making car, insurance, and major repair payments.
  • Hi All:
    Last night I was driving my 91 chevy sill 350 auto 4x4 when, while accelerating it would not shift into 3rd gear at aprox 40 m.p.h. It would come out of second but it would rev really high and not shift at all. I let it sit but would not shift could only drive about 30 mph and keep in in 2nd otherwise I would have to stop on side of road and start over keeping it in 2nd. This is huge problem for me because I am only sixteen and it would be hard handle the expense of rebuilding or even buying a new tranny any ideas of what could be done and how much to repair. not sure what style of tranny either.
    Please Help :confuse:
    Thanks A lot,
    worried chevy fan
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    When you say " it would not shift into 3rd gear at aprox 40 m.p.h." do you mean you pushed the stick all the way forward and it wouldn't engage or do you mean you couldn't push it all the way forward?

    tidester, host

    P.S. You should be posting this question in the Chevy Silverado: Problems & Solutions forum.
  • vettech93vettech93 Posts: 1
    Hey guys, I guess I find comfort in knowing my 3 year old SUV, with 36,400 miles on it is not the only one with tranny issues! Our TB was not able to go into reverse, and the tach was reading over 5,000 RPM before it would shift. The dealership told us it needs a new spindle?! Any idea as to what that is?! Oh yeah and get this...the dealership sold us an extended warrenty, but it is not a GM warrenty instead it is an aftermarket deal so we may be paying for the transmission repairs out of pocket even WITH the extended plan!!!
  • Hello everybody! After reading about all of the problems people on this forum have had, I asked "Mr. Goodwrench" if he had heard anything about it. He said that yes, he had, but that Chevy corrected the problem in 2003. I am thinking of purchasing a new Trailblazer, and was wanting to know if what he said was true. So basically, I want to know if you've had tranny problems with 04 or newer Trailblazer models. Thanks guys!
  • joeyacrowjoeyacrow Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 chevy tracker 4wd, my daughter was changing from 2wd to 4wd and the shifter now is not moving in any direction, it is in 2wd and I can not shift to either 4wd lo or hi, any suggestions, Thanks
  • skmaherskmaher Posts: 3
    I own a 2002 TB w/82,000 mi. My transmission just went out. I do realize it has a lot of miles, but I have owned several Chevy/GM vehicles all had 150k - 200k miles when I got rid of them and none ever had transmission problems.

    Actually, I have spent money on this vehicle ever since I bought it. My gear shift assembly fell apart 10mo. after I got it. I had to replace my head lights and tail lights, the circuit board that controls them (before the recall came out), I had fuel injection problems ($300), my batter literally split down the side after 2 yrs., I replaced the #4 coil due to misfiring. I just replaced the water pump. The only thing warranty paid for was the gear shift, headlights, tail lights.....I was told warranty did not cover the rest - not even my extended warranty (which I just found out was not a GM warranty).

    I talked with GM Customer Assistance and got no help. I have now filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I have a letter that is being sent to Mr. Richard Wagoner, CEO of General Motors Corp. Depending on what the BBB complaint brings about, I may be airing my complaint about this hunk of junk on my local TV station which airs a segment on the news called 7On Your Side. I have also retained an attorney incase I need to file a law suit. I was told that everyone that has had problems (covered by warranty or not) needs to get together and file a Class Action Suit against GM regarding the transmission problems.

    Let me know what you did about your problems and how it turned out. Thanks!
  • gmfangmfan Posts: 188
    Hopefully someone on the posts can get back to you with their experience. I have a 02 TB with 67K miles and the tranny works fine, but I have been noticing the vehicle seems to be working a little harder and differently while climbing some hills. When you drive the same route home in the evenings you get pretty used to when the tranny is going to downshift etc. Did you have any symptoms or did it go all of a sudden? The owners manual states we do not need to service the transmission on the TB until 100K miles. I was thinking I would do my brakes and tranny service at 75K.

    I realize this is a tranny discussion, but would you mind telling at what mileage did the water pump go out?
  • skmaherskmaher Posts: 3
    The water pump went out at 79k miles. I had no signs until it happened. I heard a funny noise, then it was like I put the truck in neutral and was reving the engine. I parked right then and it sat for 5 days until I had it towed to the dealership.

    I hope others speak up and tell me about their experiences.

    Thanks for your input.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,521
    Was coolant leaking out on the ground?
  • cdiddycdiddy Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 Trailblazer LT. At 43,000 miles, my wife was driving some clients around (she's a realtor) when the transmissions started making a very loud whining/spinning sound and the car would not go anymore. Reverse had completely gone out. We had to have the car towed 22 miles. I then went to talk to the service manager at a local dealer and told him about the symptoms... he immediately said "Yep... that's the Sun Gear going out... happens all of the time in those things!" The lady right in front of me had the same issue at 20,000 miles, and then again at 38,000 miles!! Well, the dealership said it would be about $3,200 to replace the transmission. I asked if they could just fix the "Sun Gear" but they said that if they did that, without replacing the rest of the tranny, they could not warranty the work. You see, they'll do only the Sun Gear if you are still under warranty, hoping that your car will limp along until the warranty expires. But, since I had gone last the 36,000 miles, they wouldn't just fix that part. They said that the tranny alone was about $2,100 and that the labor was an 8.75 hours "book charge" (that's what they always charge, regardless of how long it takes). So, I know a friend in automotive repair and he said he could order the tranny using his business account. That was a good thing, because he got it for me for just over $1,400 (see how much they mark it up?). He did the work for $370, because it took him UNDER 6 hours (and he doesn't have all of the fancy schmancy equipment that they have, like a CAR lift for one!). So, my total here was about $1,800, saved about $1,400. So then I went back down to the dealership to sort of "complain"... after reading this forum it seems very apparent that this is a known issue with the 4L60-E Chevy transmission in 2002, but they do nothing about it. He suggested that I call "customer care" to see if I can get some "goodwill reimbursement". I tried that, and guess why they wouldn't reimburse me any money? You guessed it... this is because I didn't go to the overpriced dealership to have the work done. Even if I had, they said the best that might have happened would have been 25% return. At least my new tranny has a 3 year warranty. I don't think I'll keep the car that long due to these ridiculous events. This was/is a KNOWN and CHRONIC issue, and yet it's up to us, the consumer, to eat the cost. I'm going back to Toyota. This was my first, and last GM purchase.
  • holmes2holmes2 Posts: 1
    I had slipping problems on my 2003 Envoy XL. It started at about 12000 miles, but took a couple of return trips and dragging the transmission guy out at about 18,000 for a drive before it got addressed.

    Under load, uphill 2nd to 3rd gear slips badly, sometimes all the way to 6000 RPM. There was never any warning lights or diagnostic messages on the test box that was plugged in during the demo.

    The fix involved some valve/s rebuilt, which did make it totally fine......for a while!

    At about 34,000 miles, the exact thing started all over again, after two trips back to the dealer who was "unable to reproduce the fault" I started to feel totally uneasy with the warranty getting close to the end. As I had loads of other issues during it's short two year life, I dumped it into the used market. (But not without getting a $3,500 loyalty certificate from the local GM rep.

    So note, if you have problems, complain big time, offer a letter from your attorney.
  • bpurvisbpurvis Posts: 1
    Just had the transmission replaced on my 03 Trail Blazer Ext. No warnings just went out on trip out of town. Of course my mileage is just over the warranty limit (40,770). I drove it in 2nd gear (1st and 2nd only gears that worked) to the nearest Chevy dealership. The service manager was not at all surprised and said up front that he could probably get GM to cover parts. I had to cover the labor of about $750. Can't believe there hasn't been a recall on these transmissions yet.
  • thecrusersthecrusers Posts: 4
    Check your upper coolant line. Our transmission was doing the same thing . We took it to the dealer and the told us transmission is shot. They put the coolant line next to the cataylic converter and all the fluid leaked out with no warning causing to transmission to lock up.
  • thecrusersthecrusers Posts: 4
    Let me know how he was able to get gm to cover the parts. Gm refused to pay for mine.
  • skmaherskmaher Posts: 3
    Not at first. I heard a noise under the hood. So, when I pulled into my carport, I raised the hood and started checking things. I found that the fan was very loose and oil was leaking from behind the fan. After it sat in my carport a little while, I looked under it, and oil and water/coolant both had leaked out. My husband took it that following Monday to a mechanic (not the dealer cause he is FED UP with GM) and they told us it was the water pump.
  • imadad2imadad2 Posts: 79
    I own a 2004 LS EXT. No problems at all. I only have 10K on my SUV, so it makes me wonder what will happen in three or four years. I also read that the tranny issues were resolved after the 2003 model year. We will see. Make sure you drive the Trailblazer you are wanting to buy in high speeds. Wind noise may not suite your tastes. A lot of people complain about it here.
  • mcc4020mcc4020 Posts: 1
    "The water pump went out at 79k miles. I had no signs until it happened. I heard a funny noise, then it was like I put the truck in neutral and was reving the engine." In all the years that I worked at a parts store and worked on poeple's cars, I have never even heard of a bad water pump causing the car to do this. When water pumps go bad, they leak coolant all over the ground, or the bearings will go bad and they will leak coolant, squeal bad, then sieze up.

    As far as the other transmission problems, if you get things repaired when problems are first noticed, you generally don't need the whole transmission to be replaced. On the newer electronically controlled transmissions, the shifting is controlled via solenoids, which have generated numerous TSBs and changes over time. Also, what makes most of the transmissions go is lack of fluid pressure holding the clutches engaged. The solenoids and other parts of the valve body are responsible for this.

    My own problems revolve around an S-10 that has a bad launch shudder and a shudder at times in other gears. I have found out from a TSB that a bad ground could be the problem, and from buying a transmission book, found out that there are literally 100 changes that GM has made to the same transmission in 6 or 7 years. I have also found out that most of these problems are cause by lack of fluid pressure.

    If you get a transmission fixed or replaced, make sure that they are updating it with the latest fixes and that they have checked all applicable TSBs from GM. Also, as was my experience just yesterday, there are only a handful of service people who will take the time to help you and speak to you. The rest think you are dumb and don't want to waste their time. (I have several letters going to dealership GMs)
  • I own a 2002 Envoy 4x2, automatic trans w/ 44K miles.
    Need some expert advice. I was driving this weekend and had some issues.
    On one occasion, I stepped on the gas to accelerate but only the RPM went high-there was no acceleration. I then tried again, and it began to accelerate. But from that moment on, I notice the vehicle is having problems shifting from 1st to 2nd and the biggest problem…I have no reverse.
    I checked some forums and noticed that other people have some similar problems, but I didn’t see any solutions. I tried adding 1 quart of transmission fluid since it was a bit low, but that didn’t work.
    I noticed some people had parts replaced...can you tell me the parts, costs and if there were warranties?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
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