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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy



  • I'm supposed to get my new Envoy next week and as part of the paperwork they gave me a little blurb that says you cannot use chains on this vehicle. I even had to sign to indicate I had received a copy. Anybody know what's the story on this? I probably will never go anywhere that I would want to use chains, but up in the sierras you are required to carry them even with 4wd.
  • bobbyclobber: The use of "special oil" is new to me; no such stipulations were made by my dealer. The Envoy manual recommends 5W-30 and SAE approved. I changed my oil at 1000 miles and used
    Mobil 1 synthetic 5W-30 and a Fram Extra Guard filter; I've been using Mobil 1 for at least 10 years and have never had a problem; using a Fram filter is up for debate but I've never had a problem with them either. Some of GM product line like Vettes come with Mobil 1 Synthetic in them already. By the way; the oil change was easy once you get the routine down. I don't know at what point the "change oil prompt" kicks in and typically change oil at 5000 miles. I hope it kicks in before 0%
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    The 2002 Explorer is the highest rated vehicle in its class according to the Governments crash test as well as a Best Pick in the 40 mph Insurance Institute test.

    With the side curtain air bags, two-stage air bag system, and leading crash test results the Explorer seems like a good vehicle to examine more closely.

  • Sorry to hear about the accident. In an earlier post I wrote about the doors flapping when driving over a washboard road. I don't know if this is related, but the dealer said that they fixed this by pushing the door hinge pins in. Please don't jump to conclusions, but has anyone else had this problem and can a few of you look at the door pins to see if they are "loose" or have backed out? The sheet metal in most cars is just that...sheet metal. The frame is what provides the streght in a vehicle and is mostly designed with crumble zone for forward impacts. Has anyone else seen a crashed triplet other then the insurance ones?

    Again sorry for your loss.
  • Are the I6 engines really all aluminum, dealer didn't know? Concerned about longevity without some cast iron. Am very serious about buying and need to decide by 1/2/02 when zero financing runs out, although Edmunds lists 1/15/02 as the end??? Read a lot about the problems on this board,would you folks buy again if you had to do over again? Thanks and have a great new year!
  • trout48-

    The engines are aluminum but have cast cylinder sleeves. Not an uncommon thing.

    I have heard of at least two people with sleeves that have "slipped" and required total engine replacement.

    It seem to remember a post here that talked of a "ticking" sound before the engine failed and the diagnosis was a loose cylinder sleeve. I may wade through the posts and try to find it.

    I have the ticking in cold weather at idle, too, that some have talked about.

    I guess we'll all find out sooner or later if it's something to worry about.
  • I knew when buying a first year new style envoy, there would be problems. So far they may sound like alot, but it is nothing compared to the new style Trans Am I bought in 1982. The problems with the Envoy to me have been minor, with maybe the exception of when they took them away from us in the beginning, and I was alittle upset when my battery went dead on Christmas Eve morning.

    Back when I got my Trans Am there was no way to really know what other people were experiencing.
    I had tranmission problems, rear end problems, but the main problem was that the new fuel injection system would fill the air cleaner with gas, the fumes would come in side and make you sick, the tank would build up pressure and sound like fog horn blowing, and if you remove the gas cap with more than a half a tank of gas, the gas would spray out like a garden hose on full blast. The back two spark plugs would foul out about every 4000 miles. The front end was aligned several times, but the tire would still show major wear on the outside edges. I sold the car with 24,000 miles on it. I told the new owner about the problems and told him to transfer the extended warranty, but he didn't. He called me back about 2 months later and told me the engine blew up.

    So the problems so far with my new Envoy seem trivial compared to what I've been though before.
    I would buy the Envoy again. The only thing that I would want different, is a larger gas tank. I'm use to having a 28 gallon tank, and this 18 seems small to me.

    By having this board available, we can all help each other with problems and solutions. We don't have to take what the service technicians tell us, we can questions each other to get problems resolved faster than in the past.

  • So far I have had a few minor bugs but I expected a few since the model being all new.The I6 makes smooth power and not many SUVs can touch you at Highway speeds if you don't let them.The ride is so much nicer than I ever expected it to be and lets face it who would buy this vehicle for serious off-roading?The 4wd works very well but I would not subject ot to a logging road or mud bog.The best thing for me has been all the looks and comments from people who chose otherwise ;)
  • I am more convinced now than when I bought my TB LTZ that I would buy again. Considering there have been nearly 260,000 units built this year for a brand new body and a brand new engine I'm definitely satisfied with the overall quality and performance that I get to enjoy on a daily basis.

    I'm looking forward to 3 years down the road when I upgrade to the TB EXT.

    02 TB LTZ
  • jw4gmjw4gm Posts: 27

    My SLE with towing pkg (410 rear end and air suspension) now has 7k miles and is what I tell all who will listen "the perfect vehicle" for me. I would definitely buy it again. I traded in a '99 Bravada, which was not a very good truck, so it's like going from darkness to light. It's given me no problems, consistently averages 18-19 mpg, drives and rides like a dream, and hauls everything I need to haul. I haven't taken a long trip in it yet, but I know it will be a positive experience.

    Take the plunge and enjoy it. Happy New Year.
  • I now have 3600 miles on my 2WD Envoy SLT with towing package and 4.10 axle, and no problems yet (knock on simulated wood). I'm very pleased with the power, ride, and comfort. No wandering mirrors, no chipping tailgate paint, no pinging, no rattles or squeeks, no Onstar problems, no Bose problems, no squeeling rearview mirror, and I'm getting 16-17 mpg for mostly city driving. Minor complaints include the small gas tank, a few areas where the fit could be better, some "ozoned" exterior rubber trim around the windows, and the driver's seat moved back all by itself one time after getting gas.

    The headlights could be better, but I replaced them with PIAA Super Platinum bulbs so I have no problems seeing at night now.

    So far, I've been very impressed with this GM product.
  • cwhawkcwhawk Posts: 38
    Please review message # 3112 and report if you have had these problems and have attempted to have corrections. Also, what other problems have TB/Envoy owners had?
  • jmw4jmw4 Posts: 67
    At 11,000 miles my gas mileage around town dropped to about 12 mpg. It had been a solid 15/20 as stated on the window sticker. I also noticed the shift patterns seemed to be delayed vs. what they had been. The dealer has diagnosed a problem and the main control module will be replaced. The vehicle after the initial recall had been great for 11,000 miles until this latest problem. Hope this isn't the start of more trouble characterized by one of the 1st vehicles sold in a new model year.
  • Just got two problems fixed. Here is what was on the service bill:

    All gauges were pegging to the right: GM Bulletin 797026. Reprogrammed cluster (93)

    Front right squeal: Was to thighten the front false "wing".

    I've done so far 1000 miles this weekend and everything is fine. So if you have this/those problem(s) maybe you'll be happy to know that!

  • baitisjbaitisj Posts: 24
    Hey there:

    I noticed that stipulation about chains, too, when buying my Envoy. I suggest that you look into tire cables. They are probably a suitable traction enhancement device. Most small cars cannot do chains either, so they end up with tire cables.

    Please let us know if you find out that tire cables will work.

  • hmaximohmaximo Posts: 22
    Just got back from driving my Envoy in some heavy snow and all I can say is WOW!I had a 1999 Blazer ZR-2 with locking rear and 31x10.5 tires and it was ok in snow.The Envoy has the off-road package with BF Goodrich tires and I also got the locking rear.I really had to nail the gas in 2wd to lose traction and did not lose any in awd or 4hi.The power comes on smooth and feels really tight.The tread pattern of the BFG's over the standard Michelins makes all the difference after riding in my friends TB sliding around in light snow.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Hey John339 - why would someone who has decided on a triplet take a serious look at the Explorer when the NHTSA hasn't even finished testing the vehicle? If you look at the Progressive Insurance site where they did 40 mph offset crash tests with both vehicles you'll see the Trailblazer looks to fair much better. What's amazing is the total lack of logic in some of the testing. If you go to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's website ( and pull up (in two different windows) the test photos/ratings for both the Explorer and Trailblazer their ratings don't make any sense. Example:

    The Explorer shows - on the first photo - the roof buckeling and the floor apparently dropping out from underneath and they give it a "good" rating

    The Trailblazer shows - on the first photo - no roof buckeling, no floor dropping and a front tire that ends up much farther forward than the Explorer and they only give it an "average".

    The Explorer and the Trailblazer - on the second photo - shows the occupant looking very similar yet the Explorer gets a "good" and the Trailblazer gets an "average".

    In the worst form of bias:

    The Explorer shows - on the third picture - the head "contacted the roof rail, window frame, and B-pillar during rebound" yet it gets a "good" rating.

    The Trailblazer shows - on the third picture - the head contacting the "B-pillar and window frame" yet it only gets an "average".

    There is clearly some bias going on. I'm not sure why.
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    to: agent eleven
    The clicking sound that preceeded the engine failure happened shortly before the engine died. It happened fast and left no doubt there was a serious problem. The service engine soon and reduced power indicators both came on and the engine stopped running. It's been about 3k miles since the engine replacement and all is ok with the new engine. GM offered me an extended warranty shortly after the engine was replaced. I don't know if it was because of the problem or if everyone was offered the same. Either way, I took the offer. $1500 to extend the warranty for 5 years or 70k miles was a no brainer considering what I've read on this board. The potential costs of repairing some of these problems after the warranty expires makes it worth the cost. I must have been lucky with my TB LTZ otherwise, no problems with squeals, gauges, door glass leaks, or vibrations. I just wish it had a BIGGER GAS TANK.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    I looked at the comparisons and I also saw the videos on TV. I too am puzzled by the conclusions. My visual observation was that the Trailblazer fared better. Regardless, there doesn't seem to be much significant difference to make this a criteria for selecting a vehicle between the two. Maybe they are trying a wee bit too hard to restore the Explorer's credibility after its tire fiasco.
  • hiker1hiker1 Posts: 9
    I purchased a set of Super Z LT cables for my 4wd TB. I did a dry run install in my driveway, but haven't had to put them on during my ski trips yet. They are heavier duty but easier to put on than cheap cables. Cost was about $80. Check out their website. They also have info on clearances.

  • okay1okay1 Posts: 10
    Last week my Westin chrome step bars finally came in (after waiting 2 months), and are now installed on my TB. I must admit that the quality of the chromed stainless steel, and the look, are even better than I could have hoped for. They came a perfect fit with no drilling necessary. At first glance they look more like side exhausts than step bars with their straight cut backs.
    Anyone looking for after market step bars should consider the "Platinum Series" Westin bars for a look that is sure to stand out!!!
  • osu98osu98 Posts: 6
    okay1: Is there an internet site where I can check out the step bars you installed?

    Everyone: I purchased my TB without the running boards. I now regret that decision and want to put them on. I called the dealer and he said they were $640. installed (he didn't quote me an "uninstalled" price). Does this price sound fair to you? Does anyone know of an aftermarket version of running boards for the TB?
  • bobmnbobmn Posts: 28
    go to to order the trailblazer factory running boards. I did and they came in in 6 days. Perfect fit and they bolt right up. P/N: 12497885. $209.30 plus $37.67 shipping and handling for a total of $246.97.
  • What would be the biggest size tire and mags (without any body lift) that would fit on a Trailblazer? I have a LT but i'm planning to do some mods next summer...

  • bobmnbobmn Posts: 28
    has anyone else experienced problems with the front seat belts. In my TB they don't recoil much without help and they tend to hang down and get caught in the door.
  • okay1okay1 Posts: 10
    Westin's web site is
    Sorry they dont have many good pictures for the Trailblazer istallation yet, but trust me, they look much better than the standard GM vinyl steps.
    I paid about 400 dollars including installation from my local custom shop in NJ.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Today is our first significant snowfall here in Atlanta. While there isn't much sticking to the roads my AWD Bravada handled beautifully. What really impressed me though is the thoughtful aerodynamic styling. At any speed above 35 miles per hour the the snow just goes right over the windshield without even hitting it.

    Great job GM!!!!!
  • Forums such as these are the fruit of the digital age. I love the knowledge and information which I have obtained from this forum. The dealer was so surprised!

    A few questions I would like to get answered before I ink the deal...[The dealer didn't have any answers.] I am going for the 4x4, Enhanced Pkg, Pewter with Dk Pewter Int., along with Sunroof..

    I live in NYC, the Envoy will be subject to stop and go traffic on a daily basis and long highway trips on the weekends. What axle ratio is best? I do not plan on towing anything. I have hear so much hype, I have gotten confused. I just want confirmation that the 3.73 ratio would suffice. This vehilce will be my first new car purchase, I am currently driving a Honda Accord 2.2 L V4.. I does the trick for me on the acceration end but I need the add'l space for my 6 yr old daughter and her "Barbie 4x4"..

    Second has anyone tinkering will the OE radio setup.. If so does it have any available pre-amp outputs? Or am I just better off with aftermarket equipment.

    And finally, has anyone changed the suspension via aftermarket dropped springs? If so, what kind and do you get any ground scraping?

    Thanks to everyone who has posted to this forum, I love when I know more than a "professional" car dealer...

    Happy New Year Folks...

  • My SLT seems to be chipping paint a bit to often and easily. I drove my 97 Grand Cherokee and my wife's Grand Prix on the same NJ highways for years and no chips. I've had the Envoy since early September and there are several chips on the hood and front fenders already. Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing anything similar? By the way the paint color is the Summit White.
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