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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy



  • My dealer said there aren't any North Face editions in the lot yet. He said they expect them very early '03, but you know how that goes. He didn't tell me the features or the price. I've seen the North Face Avalanche, are there going to be the same added features for the North Face Envoy and Trailblazer? Just curious - Snuffy
  • All,
    My Envoy XL SLT is the most satisfying ride I have owned. Now that Wisconsin winter has set in my commute from Kenosha to Milwaukee (37 miles one way) is much more pleasant and safe. I've used all trans-axle settings except 4LO and they all engage/disengage seamlessly and are as quiet as 2 wheel drive. Heated seats are turned on at the beginning of each trip and automatic climate control works wonderfully. Windows never been steamed-up either. I usually have the Bose cranked just past mid-way. Can anyone stand it any louder? Never had any distortion or rattled anything loose either. I also enjoy the headlight washers. Salt on roads here is already so thick that you can taste it in the air, nice experience right northerner's! At night you can really tell what a great job the headlight washers perform. Try it, you'll like it. Mileage is slightly better than sticker 15 city/20 highway. I am convinced that on a substantial length highway trip I can achieve at least 20 mpg. Some posts mentioned fuel being spilled on fill-ups. I had some of that but my experience is that when I fill-up at Mobil stations (just got Speed Pass it's great) the nozzle seems to have better shut-off control. Not all Mobil's have Speed Pass and I suspect their nozzle design may be more advanced. No-name gas stations may pump similar/same gas but look at the nozzle design, they are 10 years old.
  • Hardhawk. Funny you should mention the electronically controlled air suspension. In the earlier stages of ownership, I had a problem with alignment. The vehicle constantly pulled hard to the passengers side. The servicing center performed three alignments, none of which fixed the problem. I got to thinking it may be related to the ECAS. Sure enough, it was. The vehicle was out of level side to side by almost 2 inches.

    The system was developed by WABCO. Check out I actually found a web site with illustrations on how to adjust the height. Unfortunately, I cannot find that URL, but you should gain enough information from the above URL to get you started. Couple of pointers to keep in mind:

    1. Do not take the rear tires off, as you can reach in behind them and loosen the bolts to make the adjustment.

    2. Once you adjust the height, let the ECAS cycle 3 times, which allows it to settle in.

    Have fun with it!

  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    Just for comparison, saw "87 regular" the other day on the west side of Fort Worth for $1.13.9, the highest here (in Dallas) seen recently is $1.39.9.

    Ficuss, how does that gasohol stuff work up there? Tried it for a few tankfulls several years ago, wound up with a gas tank with mud and water in it that totally clogged up the fuel filter. Had to pull the tank flush the system and replace the filter. Then a couple of months later had to replace the fuel pump. Not good. I personally do not look forward to the day ethanol-diluted gas comes back to Texas, but the farm bill that was passed will probably cause that to happen. Poiltics winning out over "good science".

    "North Face Edition": sheesh... what would be more suitable would be a JCPenney, Target or WalMart edition! Ridiculous!
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    tblazed: The gasohol we get up here works just fine. When it was first introduced, we were told to expect no changes. So far there has been only one change. Before gasohol, we used to add alcohol (Heet) to a tankful of gas to prevent winter fuel line freeze up. Thanks to gasohol, I haven't had to buy Heet. At about $1.30 per 12 oz. Heet wasn't cheap. I am still amazed though, that I see stores and gas stations displaying Heet. And I am more amazed that people buy it. Don't they realize that a 20 gal fillup of gasohol contains 2 gallons of ethanol (Heet). As fas as the water and mud in your tank is concerned, I don't think it had anything to do with gasohol. If anything, the alcohol would have mixed with the water and it would have passed harmlessly through your engine, and our farmers are very careful not to ship you any our valuable Illinois mud with the ethanol.

  • My envoy never sees better than 14 mpg. My commute is fairly high speed without constant stop and go but not highway. With careful driving and some highway I hit almost 16. Not much improvement. Probably the midwest formulated gas.

    I like my 5/01 Envoy a lot but I have had 8 service calls on it (6000 miles). One call was my fault but the replacement mirror had the $%%@% wandering mirror problem. Sigh. If my dealer wasn't as good to work with and convenient (I always have a loaner car ready) I would be very annoyed.

    I still like my Envoy and only regret not buying the Bose upgrade.

  • jhohnjhohn Posts: 1
    I have 16K on my Trail Blazer. In September my wife got ill from mold. It was traced to the ventlation system which I understand, from the mechanic, is a problem with some GM vehicles. Well. it just occurred again. This time the dealer use a different spray to disinfect the system. My wife refuses to drive it now, can anybody educate me about this problem or a solution to it?
  • ross1962ross1962 Posts: 229
    I've heard the mold problem can occur when running the A/C on recirc too much.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087

    Snow, High gas prices etc... This stuff cracks me up. I am so glad I am no longer a chicagoian. I was outside today doing christmas shopping in a short sleeve shirt. Might hit 70 here tomorrow. I'm still a die hard bears and sox fan.

    (back on topic)
    Oh by the way I am considering an envoy XL. It is between that and an expedition. The engine and ride is really smooth in the XL but the handling leaves a lot to be desired. Any XL or EXT owners out there and how have your rides faired?
  • How does the ride differ in the XL or EXT if you go with the air suspension vs. the standard suspension? Is the air suspension really only necessary if you will be doing a lot of towing or towing heavy loads?
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    I thought "Heet" was methanol or isopropyl alcohol. I know a cup or two of isopropyl in a tank of gas will cause water to suspend in gasoline and pass through the system. I remember seeing a good demo of that on the PBS show MotorWeek a couple of years ago. I wasn't blaming the mud and water on the source (farmers) but on ethanols affinity for water and that it did not seem to mix and suspend water in the gas like isopropyl did. I presume the ethanol they use to mix with gas is anhydrous (no water in it). I also figure they have come up with additives to make the gasohol work better. California is switching from MTBE to ethanol so we'll see how that goes. Anyway I am glad to hear it works OK since we will probably see it here someday after they finish phasing out MTBE as the EPA-mandated oxygenate we have been using here for 6 years or so.
  • Some asked if air suspension is for towing or heavy loads. No, not necessarily, but it is preferable under those conditions unless you want your headlights aiming up at the sky. I've got air suspension on my wife's '98 Transport and on my Envoy XL. It will always level your vehicle no matter how many you carry or whatever the tow/load. ECAS is the way to go. As part of the package you get a built in air-compressor which is very handy for filling lawn tractor tires, or if you're not near a gas station and have to add air for whatever reason.
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    If you haven't done it yet or in a while I just went to the GM Vehicle Calibration Info site and compared to last time I checked mine a few months ago, found there have been 3 OS software updates including two updates that are a topic of discussion here frequently, so run your VIN and see if anything applies to your Triplet.


    12579241 calibration to correct cold start idle surge and hesitation

    12579255 new calibration to improve feel of 1-2 upshift
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    clpurnell: It might get to 70dg. here too. Who knows? We know one thing for certain, if you don't like todays weather, wait till tomorow, it'l change. We've had many 70 dg. days in December. The weather isn't the only draw up here either. I beleive we have a better dealer network and the mechanics are top notch. I have had an engine replaced on my TB LTZ. I inspected the engine compartment before and after the engine swap. I could not find any hint that it was changed, other than the problem was no longer there. By the way, where are you going to get your favorite pizza now?

  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I know I would kill for a slice of Giordano's or Edwardo's right now. This stuff in Texas ain't Pizza lol. You may be right on mechanics up there. but they have real deals on trucks down here. a fully loaded envoy xl will run you only about 32-33k here plus they have a huge selection, except for 4wd models but hey they get snow like once every 5 years here in houston.
  • I have a 2002 Envoy SLT. does anyone else have a problem where at high speeds the front window makes noise. I have been driving the last few weeks on the highway with strong winds doing in excess of 80 MPH and i noticed a noice like someone was pushing in the window and it was making a noise like a squeaking door/ cracking glass. I also have the mirror problem again with everyday a new direction to see :-). other then that i love the truck i just added the dual exhaust from borla the truck kept up with a mustang last night. To say he was a little ticked off would be nice but i wasn't :-). So the following info i need your help on, mirrors, if there is a TSB and did anyone have the window problem, and does anyone know if one can add VSC to this truck.

    Thank You
  • I have had an unpleasant window cracked open like noise. It was back in May of this year while driving west through Wyoming and Idaho. There was a hellacious cross wind while I was driving through these states so I had two days of driving at twelve hours road time per day to become acquainted with this particular quirk.

        At least in my case the cross winds have to be severe for the noise to occur and I say this because I haven't experienced it since. My speed was whatever the prevailing speed limit posted was :') so 70'ish and the cross wind was bad enough that to go straight I had to hold the steering wheel to the left like the truck was out of alignment. Needless to say my arms and shoulders were killing me by the time the high winds were done with me.

        Any way back to the noise, in my case the noise wasn't coming from the window, it was emanating from the door frame. While investigating where the noise was coming from, I pressed my fingers to the door frame at the top where the door meets the seal above the window, and my fingers got pinched. With further probing it felt like the door was being pulled open slightly with every little gust of wind. Insert picture of gremlin holding onto the door handle with both hands and trying to pry open the door with it's feet.

        The gap was never more than a few millimeters, and it oscillated like a flag fluttering in high winds. It only occurred on the drivers door, and like I said I haven't experienced it since. So maybe it's the same noise, maybe not. Next time it happens to you, push your fingers against the door frame where it meets the seal and see if you have the same experience.

  • lurker01lurker01 Posts: 103
    I picked up a set of the molded splash guards from the dealer this weekend but have not installed them yet. They wanted $80 to install, so I figured I would try it myself first. I have an 02 Envoy SLT with running boards. I am sure someone on here has done this themselves. I am wondering if you have some tips on how to do it. Can I install them without taking off the wheels? What tools will I need? How long should it take?

    BTW: for those of you who gave suggestions on my bad rear washer, it turned out to be a bad switch. Also, I was having a weird problem with the rear wiper occilating between 'parked' and 'ready to wipe' after running for awhile. Turned out the read door module was on the fritz.


  • I have an 02 Envoy and installed the splash guards without taking the wheels off. The front wheels can be turned to access the area that needs drilling. The plastic is soft and easy to drill into. Unfortunately, the rear wheels do not turn, so I used a sharp nail held by pliers at a right angle to bore a hole. Installing all 4 splash guards took less than an hour to do. HTH.
  • boat10boat10 Posts: 59
    in answer to your questions.
    1. stretch of highway doing between 50-55 mph in the rain...DIC showing 25.7. This was on a 200 mile round trip. Used 8.1 gallons!

    2. I use straight 87 octane SHELL gas..that's the only gas I use

    3. In Tennessee I pay around 129.9 per gallon.. at this price for about the last couple of weeks

    4. Back roads, very clear to run 55/60mph other than watching out for DEER!!!
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    If you live up north in the freeze zone and you have rain sensing wipers on your triplet, remember to turn them to the off position when you turn off the ignition. If you don't, when you start the car with ice or snow on the windshield, the wiper motor will grind itself to a premature failure. GM could have the wipers turn off automatically like the rear window defroster when the car is turned off, thus avoiding the situation. But I guess that would have required forward thinking.

  • Well my Bravada is gone.
    I turned it in tonight.
    The whole buypack paperwork process took 15 minutes.
    I signed a bunch of stuff, turned my keys and registration over and got my check.
    The funny thing is, the dealer said in 23 years they've never processed a buyback (note: I did not buy the bravada from this dealer. Mine was their first AND they were sent paperwork for a second bravada buyback later this week!)

    To everyone with problem triplets, good luck in getting them fixed to your satisfaction, and to everyone with problem free or minimum problems, knock on wood and hope that the vehicle lasts you as long as you plan. They're great vehicles, and I will miss mine.
  • 5/02 build SLT 1sk pkt running well 8,000 miles on it been a great truck> have a question about calibrations i went to the site and with my vin # it came up with 5 updates how important is it to get this done if ur not having trouble? also has anyone put a remote start in the envoy i had it done just yesterday but now i have to carry another key fob i was told they couldn't use the original. i put a viper in the cost was $280
  • For those of you that remember, my 4WD crapped out on me right before my Thanksgiving trip to Montana.

    I brought it to the dealer the day we left with that TSB in hand the morning before we luck. They tried the TSB, didn't work. They found the transfer case control module was bad, busted their asses to get a new one the same day, put it in, programmed it (twice), still no luck and time had run out. I do commend the dealer for trying so hard. I just showed up with no appointment and they tried their best but there was not enough time.

    So, we got to take our trip with a 2WD. It sucked. If I didn't need a 4WD I would have bought a 2WD! Damn near $40K for a brand new 4WD vehicle so we wouldn't have to worry about these things...our '51 Willey's Jeep hasn't ever had the 4WD go out.... We lucked out weather-wise for the most part (it could have been worse) but it still sucked.

    I couldn't hunt in the thing because there was a fair amount of snow on the ground. I drove it offroad some and while it does have very good traction compared to many 2WD vehicles I've used in the past, it simply couldn't get where I was going. After being spoiled in the "YuppyMobile" let me tell you, stuffing three guys and their rifles in the cab of a 20 year old diesel pickup that barely runs, most of the stuff doesn't work, is loud as a freight train, rides like somebody welded the shocks solid, heater doesn't work, It really sucks.

    On the way back, the first 200 miles or so were glare ice on the roads. People were sliding off the road left and right in front of us. There were 5 serious accidents in front of us within the first 100 miles. Going up a steep hill on glare ice, fighting to keep the rear end behind the front end all because the 4WD on you brand new damn truck doesn't work really, REALLY, SUCKED!

    For the first time, I really feel like this thing has failed me. All the other problems we've had (wandering mirrors, license plate gasket--on my second one now--rear hatch seal, rear hatch strap, etc, etc, yada, yada yada) have pretty much been annoyances. But this was a major failure.

    My dad always distrusted any 4WD where there wasn't an actual physical connection between his dirty, pissed off hand and the gears of the transfer case. After owning a '98 Jimmy with a "push button system" for a few years, that thing was flawless. Never any type of problem with the 4WD. I learned to trust the "electronic" systems.

    Well, they have taken a serious step backward in the reliability department with these new rigs. This is the 3rd time my 4WD has acted up on this thing in 1 year. That is not a good sign. At least the first two times the 4WD still worked (even if it was stuck in 4WD when it shouldn't be). This time it didn't simply "act up." It failed. Done. Dead. Caput. And I needed it.

    In the past, for something like this to happen a few large METAL parts would need to BREAK. Not so now. A "Module" gets "confused." An "encoder motor" decides not to "encode." There is nothing a shadetree mechanic (or even most small town shops) can do to fix that. They can weld broken metal parts (as could I) but they can't pull "modules" out of their posteriors.

    The more I think about it the more infuriated it makes me. But what the hell can I do? Lemon law the thing? We've had it long enough and haven't documented anything I think would actually qualify. Besides, we really love it 99% of the time. Talk about a love-hate relationship. It's the most wonderfull vehicle we have ever owned. But it sucks and can't be trusted.

    Anyway, it was back at the dealer today and the found the encoder motor was bad. They'll put a new one in tomorrow. It'll probably work after that. But how will I ever know it will work when I really need it?

    Sorry for the rant. I feel better now.

    In case you're wondering, we did OK despite having to "rough it."

  • johntrjohntr Posts: 71
    Sorry about your troubles, good to see you were successful in the end. Where is your location for your hunts? I just joined a hunting club and our area is in the Pocono Mtns (PA) - I had my TB with the 4WD, it was useful! I can't imagine what you had to limit yourself too.

    BTW, I think your best trophy is Gina! ;-)

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    Maybe next time you can take the vehicle you trust (the 1951 Willys).

    Big bummer!
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    That is one fine looking Z28! Corvette motor???

  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    "...5 updates how important is it to get this done if ur not having trouble?"

    Therein lies the question.. typical of doing any operating system update to a computer, will having the updates done fix problems and make things better, or cause differences that might not necessarily be better or improved? Only thing there I saw that interested me was the 12579255 "improve feel of 1-2 upshift". Wonder what they mean by that.
  • 9t9wu89t9wu8 Posts: 36
    I was in this forum relatively early on, and have been watching with interest again since the end of summer.

    Our Envoy, full load SLT, 4.10's is now 19 months old and has 16,000 miles on it. We're averaging 14.4 MPG, (based on actually fuel used, not the hugely optimistic DIC). Highway mileage is around 19 with an occasional high in the 21-22 range when winds are favourable, and city gets us about 12 mpg, mostly winter driving as dry roads = stay in the garage, I'm taking the Camaro (o:

    It goes in for LOF and a second attempt to get the dealer to correct the:
    * wandering mirrors
    * clunk from the left rear when crossing irregular/diagonal bumps
    * loose and squeeking center console
    * rear 12 volt outlet chewing up the seat
    * loose valve on the auxilary air pump
    * Updated calibration
    * check on the rear license housing paint wear.

    Cosmetically, I've removed the roof rack, all badging, and the body side mouldings. I'd love to lower it a couple of inches too, but so far have not been able to source a kit for the air suspension )o:

    Performance wise it's good. The gears give it a lively feel, and it tows the Camaro on a trailer very well.

    We're generally satisfied with the vehicle, but the overall experience, considering price, what the vehicle could have been if GM paid a little more attention to detail and dealer apathy to problems leaves us neutral to negative on the overall experience.
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