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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy

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  • I just rolled over 100k this week and I'm ready for the next 100k. The only issues have been a/c pressure cut out at 15k (warranty), taillights (warranty), headlight sockets melted both sides (my cost $40), swaybar links replaced @ 55k with Moog's (my cost $150), normal maintenance and oil changes at 5k givent he type of driving and the fact that these engines hold 7 quarts of oil. I'm very satisfied with the vehicle and feel like it may be the last of it's kind given the trend toward unibody and lighter weight vehicles for fuel economy. She is a tough old relable rig always ready for whatever utility I need + winter weather in Michigan. I have also had a Delphi Skyfi in it so there is never a lack of something good on the jukebox which also make the ride enjoyable. Any other good stories out there?
  • This is lengthy but hopefully worth the time. It’s time to force a recall since GM isn’t going to step up to the plate. My last GM purchase has been made, however I want reimbursed and ensure the safety of other Trailblazer owners!!!!!

    Summary:
    -2002 Trailblazer LT 2WD
    -Transmission failure at 78,000 miles
    -Near accident with two children in car ages 2 and 7
    -Major repair cost
    -Significant safety problem
    -Multiple listings of identical failures (sun shell/ reaction gear) planetary system.
    -Reportedly known defective and (under designed) part. This will be the NHTSA’s responsibility to investigate and sort out.
    -Some reports of “silent recall” however never acknowledged with my conversations
    -No warning of oncoming failure
    -Owners manual doesn’t recommend any transmission service until 100,000 miles
    -Never towed anything
    -Wife driven/ garage kept
    -Significant engineering accomplishments in transmissions have been made in the past decade with materials and lubricants. There is absolutely no reason a tranny should fall apart on an automible towing or not under 100,000 miles especially if your following the manufacturers maintenance recommendations.

    Read on if you have time.

    On 10/26/06 while traveling with my two children( 2 and 7) the transmission failed in my 2002 (TB)Trailblazer LT. I was merging into 40~45 mph traffic from a side road, there was more than adequate time to enter traffic and accelerate to traffic speed before oncoming traffic would approach. Entering the intersection I heard and felt a heavy clunk in the rear of the TB and immediately following a horrendous screech and whine (transmission failing). I immediately checked the rear-view mirror since I was now in quickly approaching traffic with no power. The engines RPM’s raced and I let off the gas and then slowly re-applied the gas and the transmission caught (worked), however I could only get the SUV up to about 20mph fearing engine problems because the tranny wouldn’t shift gears and engines RPM’s were racing. At the same time I yelled at the kids to hold on because it looked like the approaching car wasn’t slowing down. ( I assume they saw me enter traffic and presumed I would be at traffic speed by the time they approached). For the second time I heard a horrendous screeching this time the tires of the car behind me. I’m certain that car would have hit us had they not managed to swerve slightly to the right rear of my TB. I managed to slowly drive the TB to the closest Chevrolet dealership, fortunately only a couple of minutes away, and getting the finger from every pissed off Black Friday shopper in the city. Left the TB with dealership and tried to deal with two children and transportation arrangements.

    The service department called me back with preliminary diagnosis (blown transmission) metal shavings in the transmission oil and no reverse. They would not do a complete break-down because they were aware of similar problems plus the additional cost of a full breakdown analysis. The sun-shell “grenades” per the technicians words. I told them to go ahead and replace the transmission since I could not afford to be without a vehicle (which ended up costing me an arm a leg and another leg, plus 7 days ) even after GM paid 30%. I didn’t have the money to cover this but the worse of the two evils was to be without a vehicle.

    After doing extensive research on the subject it is easy to find that there is definitely a faulty part and a significant safety issue here. Google this for instance: “2002 trailblazer transmission problems +sun gear”. The only thing preventing a full re-call in my thoughts (being an engineer myself) is the huge cost to the manufacturer to recall and replace/repair this problem and most importantly there has not been an injury to date (at least not reported). I am certain Chevrolet/GM is fully aware of the problem based on my research and they are sitting on the problem until they are forced to make a recall, I pray that it is not at the expense of someones life. To see over 81 complaints actually registered with the NHTSA within a narrow search criteria go to:
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/complaintsearch.cfm
    use the vehicle search +
    Year : 2002
    Make : CHEVROLET
    Model : TRAILBLAZER
    Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

    Some of these complaints do not match my problem but there are TOO MANY that have exactly the same phenomena as I have described (think of how many people just don’t pursue this problem).

    Read on if you want to know about my Customer Service conversations.

    Customer Service experience:
    Talked to Customer service manager and took general information details etc…, Immediately transferred me to Specialist (maybe because I mentioned silent recall). Specialist went over details I gave to first person and was very apologetic, however never admitted or denied to the silent recall. Scheduled a follow up phone discussion for two days later after she had time to review the material. Received phone message that specialist would not be able to keep appointment because of promotion however she had advanced the issue to the next level district manager to see if they “couldn’t get this covered” (still have the recorded message). Got a call on 10/29/06 TB was fixed, asked if they heard anything from Cust. Serv. (no). Told them I would have to wait until I heard from them before I proceeded. Called back several times with no return phone call on 10/29/06 because TB was ready. Tried again on 10/30/06 and finally got specialist around noon that day. Specialist said they had reviewed the material and decided to cover 30% of the charges, to which I questioned the obvious known defect and unquestionable safety issue and said this should be 100% covered. This transmission was only at 75% of the mileage before they recommend the first service. The specialist just sat there and listened and never gave any answer just that they had made there decision. At that point I suggested they contact the dealership and ensure the paper work was handled, I needed the car today. Of course I called the dealership before I left work for the day to confirm the paper work was handled and it was not. Immediately called back specialist (this, 4 hours after our initial conversation) and she said she had just talked to them and everything was okay. Demanded she have the District manager call me since he was involved with the decision, to which she said she would put in the request. Called back dealership to confirm and they said still waiting on final decision, so I had to wait until 10/31/06. Talked to dealership on 10/31/06 and still hadn’t finalized with cust. Serv. At this point I’m livid and demand an immediate answer. Dealership calls back shortly and says car is ready and with appropriate paperwork. Got my car and left , never received a call from district manager.

    Make your complaint known to the NHTSA.
  • gmfangmfan Posts: 188
    Yep. I remember you hardhawk. I was under the name, Gmfan, if you remember. I think you gave me advice a while back when my battery terminal was leaking acid on my 02 TB. You had suggested I call customer service and ask for reimbursement and GM agreed to cover the repair cost. Thanks again,
  • Hello just wondering what year your bravada is and what you found the clunking to be. Thanks Eric
  • Totally Agree. My 02 TB just passed 72,000 miles on it and the transmission just failed. I just got the news from the shop. New Trany - $2,500.00. Thanks GM! No wonder they don't want a recall. It would cost them too much $s. Below are the Technical Service Bulletins I found on the 2002 TB (transmission only).
    POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
    TSB #040730035 -- RELEASE OF REAR TRANSMISSION MOUNT SEPARATE FROM EXHAUST MOUNT. *TT (NHTSA ID #10011217, AUGUST 01 2004)
    TSB #00702 -- SLIP CONDITION IN 2ND, 3RD OR 4TH DAMAGED 2-4 BAND 3-4 CLUTCH ON THE 4L60E/4L65E AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. *TT *MJ (NHTSA ID #10005476, JANUARY 01 2004)
    TSB #040730002 -- RATTLE TYPE NOISE COMING FROM UNDER THE VEHICLE. *TT (NHTSA ID #10011130, JANUARY 01 2004)
    TSB #11202003 -- RATTLE NOISE UNDERNEATH THE VEHICLE OR AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID LEAK. *EH (NHTSA ID #10013261, NOVEMBER 20 2003)
    TSB #030730056 -- 4L60-E AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION OIL PUMP FIRST AND SECOND DESIGN IDENTIFICATION. *TT (NHTSA ID #10005566, NOVEMBER 01 2003)
    TSB #020421008A -- SHUDDER, ROCKING MOTION, BINDING, FEELS LIKE VEHICLE IS TUCK IN 4WD WHEN TURNING AT LOW SPEEDS. *TT (NHTSA ID #10001101, FEBRUARY 01 2003)
    TSB #010730038 -- SOME CUSTOMERS MAY COMMENT THAT THE SERVICE ENGINE SOON LAMP IS ILLUMINATED, NO 3RD AND 4TH GEAR, THE TRANSMISSION DOES NOT SHIFT CORRECTLY, THE TRANSMISSION FEELS LIKE IT SHIFTS TO NEUTRAL OR A LOSS OF DRIVE OCCURS. *TT (NHTSA ID #628934, DECEMBER 01 2001)
    TSB #010730043 -- SUBJECT REGARDING DIAGNOSTIC TIPS FOR SLIPPING OR MISSING SECOND, THIRD AND/OR FOURTH GEAR. *TT (NHTSA ID #628815, DECEMBER 01 2001)
    TSB #181001 -- SOME VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT AN INTERMITTENT 1-2 SHIFT SHUTTER OR POSSIBLE 1-2 HARSH SHIFT CONDITION. *TT (NHTSA ID #628011, OCTOBER 18 2001)
    TSB #161001 -- SOME ALL-WHEEL DRIVE OR FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT A BUMP OR SURGE THAT CAN OCCUR WHILE THE TRANSMISSION IS STILL IN FIRST GEAR. *TT (NHTSA ID #628000, OCTOBER 16 2001)
    TSB #10501 -- THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO A POSSIBLE DELAYED ENGAGEMENT OF THE TRANSMISSION THAT MAY OCCUR AFTER THE VEHICLE SITS FOR TWO TO THREE WEEKS. *T (NHTSA ID #619777, MAY 10 2001)
    TSB #3516 -- VIBRATION FELT AND HEARD AT LOW RPM DURING PARKING LOT MANEUVERS. *TT (NHTSA ID #10017393, no date provided)
  • Hi Eric. 2002 chevy trailblazer LTZ. I removed the stabilizer bar end links and they were very loose, ie. I could easily move the joints with my hand. I ordered 2 sets (4 total)from rockauto. They were available in either OEM Delco or Moog. I opted for the Moog's and they were slightly cheaper as well. I don't recall the exact cost but it was far, FAR cheaper than buying them from the $tealers parts department. I put them on and just like new the front end tightened up and no more clunking sounds.

    Now here's a free tip. If your having a problem with clunking sounds while running over bumps in the road try this. Remove all your end links and drive your vehicle. Don't worry about them being off while driving just don't drive that way for a week. If you no longer hear or feel the clunking then the end links were your problem, replace them. You will need an 18mm open end wrench and an allen wrench (size fails my memory at this time). Good Luck
  • ugltrkugltrk Posts: 16
    2002 Envoy, need advice/comments on which brand you are running, and service,and/or problems.245/65/17 not concerned with snow,ice, or 4wheeling. Dry/wet highway only.Anyone running Toyo?

    Thanks...
  • REPLACING THE AIR FILTER ON MY 2003 OLDS BRAVADA HAS PRESENTED A CHALLENGE........I REMOVED THE 2 VISABLE SCREWS AND STILL CANT GET THE AIR FILTER CONTANIER FAR ENOUGH OPEN TO REMOVE AND REPLACE THE DIRTY FILTER!!!!!!!!!SUGGESTIONS PLEASE :confuse:
  • Has anyone attempted to change the axle ring and pinion on any of their TB/Bravada's? I currently have a 02 Bravada with the 3:42 and am hauling a 3,800 lb trailer in Utah. it seems to do OK on the flats but once I hit the hills it's all over but the crying. Not to mention what it is doing to my fuel mileage. I took a trip to Las Vegas last April and managed to squeeze 10mpg going down and about 12mpg coming back. Problem is I used to tow a Palomino folding wall camper at 2,800 lbs and got 16 - 17 mpg and barely knew I was pulling a trailer. I read up on the new 07's and the write up for towing with the 4:10 axle; rockets up hills like it was on steriods. I really don't want to trade in my vehicle since it only has 38,000 miles on it but I can't afford to spend $2.30 a gallon to get where I want to go either. Right now I am averaging about 20+mpg hwy at 75mph.
  • Look for a 3rd screw.. On my 2002 Envoy I believe there is one on each side and one in front under what appears to be an AC line, but definitely 3 screws there.
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    Does anyone know if Onstar devices installed before 2007 are analog or digital? If they are analog, has anyone heard from their dealers or manufacturers as to what will become of the devices after 2007 when the cellular industry will be allowed to abandon the analog towers in favor of the digital towers? This is probably the best place to ask this question since most all readers and posters here have On Star.
    Perhaps HOST can post the question throught Edmunds.com forums.

    Thanks
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,420
    Straightline says analog. "If your vehicle is a 2006 or later model, this will not be a problem."

    There's also a Gee, thanks, GM! - Onstar analog to go silent discussion with a few posts in it.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • n7donn7don Posts: 188
    There's info on Onstar's site. Click on the "Digital Transition" link:

    http://www.onstar.com/us_english/jsp/explore/onstar_basics/helpful_info.jsp?info- - - -view=tech_equip#hardware
  • quarquequarque Posts: 41
    My Rainier came with Michelins and I like them a lot. After 20k miles there is no evidence of wear and and they are very quiet on coarse pavement. Handling is OK. Traction is pretty good in snow. Last time I had Michelins was on a Toyota back in the 80's - got 70k miles out of them.
  • Does anyone know the location of the fuel filter and fuel pump on a 2000 GMC 3500 savana duel wheel box truck.
    and if you need to remove the gas tank.
    Thanks
  • deanodeano Posts: 11
    I installed a set of Moog stabilizer links on the front of my '02 about 40K miles ago, and guess what? The right front is clunking and a quick grab with my hand confirmed that it's loose.

    It didn't last any longer than my stock ones did :-(

    Deano
  • I am wondering where to find the little rubber insert that goes into the smaller cup holder in my 2003 Envoy....it came off with a cup I was throwing away and I didn't realize what had happened until the trash had already been picked up...........I know not a huge technical issue but I want my Envoy complete :). I looked at the accessories on the gmc site but they didn't show it..tried ebay but they didn't seem to have a listing for a "cup holder thingy"... :)
    Thanks guys,
    Bobbie
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    Try:
    http://www.gm-auto-parts.com/
    This is just one on-line retailer, there's many others. You need to search the online catalogs for the part you need, which can be frustrating.
    Of course you can always go to the dealer parts department.
  • I ran into the same problem with my Envoy '03 and thankfully found this advice on how to replace the blower resistors (Thanks malibu99!). Just to add to it though, I removed first the lower plastic cover on the passenger side (two screws, metric either it was a 6 or 7mm hex I think) and then the glove box as well to gain a bit more space (three more screws, same type). When I got to the actual resistor, found that it used an imperial size screw (forget the size but smaller than the first few) to hold in place (2 screws to remove). You'll need to have handy a set of both small metric and imperial type sockets to remove all for this job.

    The part was pretty easy to spot as it mounted in the plastic ducting facing upward, has about a one inch connection going to it, and a separate set of wires (actually two wires) that go to the connection at the blower motor itself, about 8 inches away or so.

    Couldn't really see how to fix the part itself. Mine was pretty fried, and any attempt to fix probably would have been temporary anyways.

    Definitely an easy job to replace by the DIY, and relatively cheap to replace at $30. Old part number in the '03 Envoy is 15415788. It's been replaced though as apparently the resistor has been a problem for several. Newer part I got is a little more compact and apparently (time will tell) a better design. AC Delco part #15-80860 in case anyone is looking for a replacement. After I pop it in tonite, I'll be all ready for winter in Canada!
  • ugltrkugltrk Posts: 16
    Go to a dealer, I went to a dealer for one for a Chevy van, they were so cheap, I bought 2.

    Bill
  • I will just call my dealer and have them order it.... I had tried to do an online search but as I said not knowing exactly what to call it sort of makes searching difficult.... anyway as always thanks for your input......
    Bobbie
  • I've got 43K miles on our 2005 V8 AWD Rainier and we will need to replace the tires soon. It has the factory Michelins on it.

    We live between Rochester and Buffalo NY so dealing with snow usually is an issue (although for some strange reason not much last year and almost none this year).

    I'm no expert but I like how the Michelins have performed so far.

    Just wondered if there are some better choices out there?

    I'm interested in exploring going up to one size larger tire.

    Any ramifications other than the speedometer being off a little?

    New to SUV's and tire issues so advice is appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • ross1962ross1962 Posts: 229
    Don't do that unless you also go down one size in profile. Say, from 65 to 60. Otherwise your car will not handle well. This will keep the outside diameter of the tire about the same.
  • glubashglubash Posts: 19
    I can tell you that on my 2003 Envoy (V8), changing the air filter is a huge pain in the butt. First, remove the stabilizer bar that crosses the top of the filter housing. One of the bolts is standard, the other is metric (on the same bar, way to go GM!). There are four screws that hold the cover down. I recommend having a magnetic screwdriver because if you drop the front one, it will be gone and buried in there somewhere. Once you pull all of the screws out, remove the various hoses clamped to the cover and push the other ones out of the way. You should then be able to remove the cover without too much additional cursing. Putting the new filter in isn't too hard but when re-assembling the entire deal it is very difficult to assure that the filter is properly seated and in place when you are wedging that huge cover back into its tiny space. This took me over an hour the first time (and the second) and I have vowed never to do it again.

    Side Note #1: It takes about 30 seconds to change the air filter in my wife's Toyota. Unlatch, flip cover up, pull filter, drop in new, flip cover down, latch, done.

    Side Note #2: My Envoy is currently sitting in the driveway with a dead battery and the key stuck in the ignition.

    Side Note #3: I have owned GM vehicles all of my life and this one is my last. Ever.

    Good Luck.
  • rainersrainers Posts: 50
    I would suggest staying with the Michelin Cross-Terrains
    I have a 2003 TB and switched to them about 15k (1-1/2 years ago). LOVE THEM..... Much better in the winter and the rain here in MN. They are so quiet compared to others I had on my TB and Explorer. They are even better the Michelin LTXs
  • glubashglubash Posts: 19
    I've had problems with my 2003 Envoy (V8) running the battery down overnight the last couple of days. I measured the load with everything off and discovered it to be approx. 2A. I opened up the fuse box and pulled fuses one-by-one until I found the culprit. It is Fuse #35 with the following description - "J-Case Fuse - Blower - 40A". Does anyone have a more detailed description for this fuse? Is this the climate control blower? My next step is to start it up and see what doesn't work but I'm a little leery about doing that as I am not very familiar with this sort of thing.

    Any help or further descriptions are appreciated.

    Thanks.
  • glubashglubash Posts: 19
    I've had problems with my 2003 Envoy (V8) running the battery down overnight the last couple of days. I measured the load with everything off and discovered it to be approx. 2A. I opened up the fuse box and pulled fuses one-by-one until I found the culprit. It is Fuse #35 with the following description - "J-Case Fuse - Blower - 40A". Does anyone have a more detailed description for this fuse? Is this the climate control blower? My next step is to start it up and see what doesn't work but I'm a little leery about doing that as I am not very familiar with this sort of thing.

    Any help or further descriptions are appreciated.

    Thanks.


    After diving into this thing a bit more, Fuse #35 is definitely the HVAC blower motor. I've found that when I insert the fuse, the blower starts and runs at a low speed with everything off. I've seen a number of posts about blower motor resistor pack problems, could this be one of those? Or, is it more likely a stuck relay?

    All help appreciated!

    Thanks.
  • It's not the Blower Motor Resistor. I would go with a stuck relay. Why don't you put the fuse back in and remove the Blower Motor Relay (shown as Air Conditioning #44) and replace it with one of the other relays. I believe many of the relays are interchangeable--you'll be able to tell comparing size and plug compatibility. That should answer the question one way or another.

    C.B.

    P.S. Let us know how it turns out.
  • Well, glubash, did you find the problem?

    C.B.
  • I have a 2002 Bravada, which came with the same Michelin Cross Country tires. They performed very well on dry pavement and in the rain. Snow performance in Hudson Valley, NY was mediocre. They are supposed to be 65000 mile tires, and mine were just about gone at 49K.

    There are very few 255/60x17 tires out there, and I was afraid I would have to stay with the Michelins. I finally tried a set of 245/65x17 Cooper Discovery (Outside diameter is almost identical between these two sizes.) They have 25K on them, and have a lot of life left. Dry and rain performance matches the Michelins, and snow performance is much better. Also, I got the Coopers for about 2/3 of the price of the Michelins.

    You absolutely have to retain the same outside diameter - if you change tire size, all of the car's instrumentation is messed up. It's not just the speedo - the antilock brakes and a lot of other things use the wheel sensors. Modern cars don't give you any freedom here.
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