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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy



  • Here's the TSB for the seal... I'm getting mine replaced this friday:

    NHTSA Number: 628130
    Bulletin Number: 141101
    Bulletin Date: NOV 2001

    I'm in a little dilemna with my 02 Trailblazer LS. I bought it last July (11/01 build date) and I have 11,000 miles on it. It seems like the car is in the shop for something almost every 2 weeks. I've had warped brakes rotors, I think every warning light on my dash has been on at a certain point in time, it used to shift into 4hi on it's own at highway speeds, the 4wd knob stopped working, the dash stopped working (I'm on my 3rd new instrument cluster now), now my parking brake, ABS brake, AND service 4wd lights are on, and I have to high pitched squeal from the front axle seal. Not to mention the thing sounds like a 10 year old clunker before the engine warms up.
    Anyway, I'm not trying to complain.. I'm just getting frustrated. I've had all these problems and I only have 11,000 miles. I'm not sure it's worth holding on to. My question to all of you is, should I just eat the loses and trade it in for something else, or should I hold on to it, buy an extended warranty for $1,500, and hope all the problems are fixed and it'll be trouble free from now on. My father had a 97 thunderbird and had nothing but problems till around 30,000 miles... After 30K, NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM and it have 130K mile on it now.
    Any thoughts and or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • zapcatzapcat Posts: 64
    At least you have that great little glovebox light and the one under the hood that the 2003's don't! :)
  • That's a really tough decision that in the end only you can make (no I'm not some touchy-feely counselor!). I would say that if you can stand the aggravation and/or the service trips aren't too inconvenient, you can hold for a while longer while it's still under warranty and see if things improve. The depreciation hit on a nearly new vehicle (as I'm sure you're aware) is tremendous.
  • dplachtadplachta Posts: 109
    Another option, depending on your state lemon law, is to see a lawyer and try to have GM buy it back.
  • dplachtadplachta Posts: 109
    Any advice?

    I'm looking for a minivan alternative that can tow our pop-up camper easily. It must be big enough for the wife, 3 kids, and dog.

    With my GM Credit Card rebate (3500), the present 3000 GM rebate, and an anticipated 3,000 off sticker I project getting $9500 off. That brings a base model TBEXT down to $22500. That might be so much that I can take a chance on the vehicle quality.

    Anyhow, I'm uncertain on 2 things. First, practically all the TB's and Envoys in my area are 4WD. Why? That seems like a very high $2500 expense that would be used rarely in Ohio, where we live. Also, I want a sunroof but understand it only comes with On-Star, which I don't want. Should I buy an after market sunroof? Yet I'm not comfortable with one of these companies cutting into my new roof!
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    aldan93: that issue has been around for a long time. No one has posted a fix for it. It is common to many cars besides tripletts. Pay close attention to the conditions when this happens. You will be able to predict when it will happen. IMO this is a vibration or resonance which will defy finding a cure.
    dplachta: What part of Ohio do you live in where you wouldn't benefit from 4wd. I grew up in eastern Ohio and I wish I had 4wd then.

  • I paid $1400 for 5yr/75k GMPP with 0 deductable for my TBLZ EXT 4WD two weeks ago. Now I see it's little to high from reading the posts here. Also I would like to get the 7yr/100k GM Major guard. Can anyone recommend a good web site that sells at a discount? Thanks!
  • I don't think any of us "wanted" OnStar but I've learned to love it, you probably will too.
  • lurker01lurker01 Posts: 103
    No updates yet on the gas tank, but with an 03 model, I would assume the bigger one would fit. My question was would it fit in an 02 and if so, how much $$. I hate going to the gas station ever 4 days. For me, the average fillup is about 15.5 gal. I usually start thinking about filling up just below 1/4 tank, since I can burn nearly that much in one round trip commute.
  • 41564156 Posts: 31
    Anyone know if this vibration is unique to the 4 wd, or do 2wds also have the problem?
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    I was actually looking forward to using OnStar when I first purchased my Envoy. I have since learned that it is one of the most useless features I've ever had. It's only positive aspect is the airbag deployment notification. Not enough to justify the $200/year cost (IMO). The analog phone is 80's technology at its finest. You'd never guess Motorola designed it.
  • Has anyone used the "Ding King" process on small parking lot dings yet???
  • "The analog phone is 80's technology at its finest."

    I'm not sure what you would like instead.

    If by 80's technology you mean strong signal then I agree. What more could a cell phone have to offer? Maybe I'm missing something.

    I agree the rest of OnStar is extremely useless!!!
  • Condoriole, I recently installed Thule ski racks on my '03 Envoy. I used the Thule clamps that allow you to mount directly on the factory cross bars instead of buying the Thule bar kit. They DO tilt forward and Thule confirmed that it was supposed to be that way for this vehicle given the way it was mounted. Even if you did not buy Thule, my guess is that it is the same for most/all brands.
  • In response to your questions:

    1. I would never go with an aftermarket sunroof. Why let a third party cut a hole in your brand new vehicle, when the factory will do it for you, and you know that the vehicle was intended to have the sunroof from the beginning. I have had friends with horror stories about aftermarket sunroofs - leaks, rust, wind noise etc.

    2. As for OnStar, if you don't want it, then either don't renew it once the free period is up, or just don't initiate it to begin with. I find it helpful for remote diagnostics when a warning light comes on - it sure eliminates the "can not reproduce the error" problem, when you have the computer readout from OnStar.

    3. As for 4WD - I live in Northwestern PA, and we have had our snowiest winter in the last 5 years this winter. Sure, you can get the XL to go in the snow in 2WD, but, it is nice to be able to move into A4WD or 4HI for that extra confidence when you find yourself on an icy hill or an unplowed road. After just 1/2 of a winter with the Envoy, I know I couldn't live without 4WD. You may only use it a dozen times or so in the winter, but it gives me piece of mind knowing my wife has it if and when she needs it. One less thing to worry about....

    Sorry for the long post, just my two cents.
  • a co-worker of mine used it on his car with pretty mixed results.

    i, on the other hand took my TB to a PDR (paintless dent repair) place to have a ding taken out of my right-rear quarter.

    He took out the taillight assy and went in from there. Rolled it right out. Cost me $25 and was so quick that he didn't even bother to shut the motor off while he did it. I would've gladly paid $100 for the work he performed.

    i would very strongly recommmend that you make a few phone calls to some PDR places and take your vehicle in for them to look at.

    Good luck.
  • Thank you. I too bought Thule racks. They have been great but it did seem strange that they were tilted forward.

    I didn't want to change anything because I don't have any whistling or wind noise and I'de like to keep it that way.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers to a Snowy February!
  • 2002slt2002slt Posts: 228
    By 80's technology, I mean analog not digital (CDMA/TDMA).

    You're right about analog's power capability, though. The 3 watt booster is only available for analog sources, so if you're in a rural area it's still beneficial. Doesn't the cost get to you a little? $200 a year plus the cost of your minutes.
  • The price does not sit well with me but I think at some point it has to come down. It's simply not worth what they are asking so if they want people to stay on board they're going to have to do something.
  • Anyhow, I'm uncertain on 2 things. First, practically all the TB's and Envoys in my area are 4WD. Why?

    LOL they must have sent all of the 4WD XL's up there because here in Dallas they all seemed to be 2WD when I was shopping.

    With my GM Credit Card rebate (3500), the present 3000 GM rebate, and an anticipated 3,000 off sticker I project getting $9500 off.

    If you can get $9500 off that is a fantastic deal, IMO. I got about $6500 off plus 0% financing. Also, is OnStar required with a sunroof? I thought it was just standard with the SLT package.
  • Also I would like to get the 7yr/100k GM Major guard. Can anyone recommend a good web site that sells at a discount? Thanks!

    Forget about the 7yr/100k Major Guard plan, it's insanely priced. The GM EMPLOYEE price on this one is $2745 ($100 ded.) for a 2WD Envoy/TB. And actually, the price you paid is pretty good for zero deductible and 4WD (class 4).
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Onstar needs to make themselves more competitive with other digital/cellular dealers by offering monthly rollout plans that include minutes and make the people sign up to a yearly contract at the onset. Obviously they will have to cut prices to be competitive this way, but if they can maintain a larger subscriber base it will offset the lower prices.

    For the price, I would definitely recommend the ding king. I've used mine on multiple vehicles now and had pretty much success. It's great at pulling dents that are at least the size of a quarter and don't have very sharp edges. If the dent has a sharp edge, it won't totally come out, but it's appeareance will be reduced. I had two small dings in the rear passenger door on my Bravada that it totally pulled out, a ding on my motorcycle tank (where a shovel fell and hit it) that it totally pulled out, and a bunch of smaller hail damage dings in the wife's minivan that it pulled. Some hints if you do get it... Don't use it in hot weather (anything above 70 degrees) or the glue won't stick as well. Prep the surface well before application, or the residue is hard to get off. Use a LOT of glue, and let it settle for a minimum of 5 mins. Lastly, set the bridge up so that the stand-offs are just outside the radius of the dent. If any glue is left on the surface of the car, just use some of the prep fluid, and it will peel right off.
  • Your lengthy description of how to best use your Ding King and when to not use it and special instructions and caveats, etc, etc. make me glad that I paid someone $25 to take my ding out while a drank a cup of his coffee.

    I suppose if you had 3 dozen little dimples you needed to take out, it might be preferable to buy a $30 ding king, but for the errant door ding, $20-$30 is *well* worth the trip to the professional PDR guy who does this for a living.

    My $.02
  • Hi All-

    I have an interesting problem I hope that someone out there can help me with. I just bought a 2003 Envoy that was a dealer trade, they had to drive 300 miles to go get it for me. I was told when I took delivery that those miles did not matter and that in essence, the 300 miles would be "added in" to my basic 36,000 mile warranty, making my warranty good for 36,300 miles. Well that would be fine only my paperwork just came in the mail and it has 50 miles instead of 300 miles on it. (WARNING TO NEW BUYERS - do not let them talk you into signing paperwork before you see the vehicle!) The reason that happened is because the finance paperwork guy randomly put 50 miles on all the paperwork that I signed the day before they went to get the car. I noted to him that there would be at least 300 miles on it since they had to go get it. He said not to worry that it would be fixed but of course it never was.

    So today I called to ask them to fix my paperwork and I get told that it does not matter if the new car had 0 miles or 5000 miles on it when I took delivery, that my GM warranty is 36,000 no matter what! This is in direct opposition to what I was told when buying the vehicle.

    Does anyone have any experience in this area and can anyone tell me what legally I am entitled to for my warranty?

  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Couldn't agree more about the Ding King vs. PDR. I've never used PDR, but I've had numerous people tell me how pleased they were with it. Most of the people I talked to paid more than $25 (around $50 per dent), but it's still a heck of a lot less than a body shop and well worth it if you only have 1 or 2 dings. I went with the ding king simply because the hail damage was already on the van, and I wasn't about to drop a bundle to fix it. The 2 dings in the Bravada just sent me over the top, so I figured I'd try it. I practiced enough on the van first, and I actually got pretty good at it before I ever even attempted the Bravada, which came out flawlessly. Although I didn't get everything out of the van, it looks 100x better than it did before, and for $30 it couldn't be beat! The motorcycle ding came after I already had the thing, so that was just an added bonus. The only thing I'd be leary about with PDR is I've heard sometimes they have to drill holes to gain access and then cork them. If that were the case, I might also try the Ding King first.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I like having the OnStar but don't think it's worth the renewal. I had an '02 Bravada (build date 4/01) and I did renew the second year but quickly cancelled when I realized AAA was much cheaper. Here were my biggest gripes about OnStar:

    -For my use, the cell phone feature was useless. I use my phone mainly outside the vehicle and when I am in the vehicle, I like to have my privacy.

    -The diagnostic system through OnStar is ridiculous. Not once in the nearly two years I had the Bravada were they able to diagnose problems. I got the same response every time "The sytem is reading normal". This happened even when I was receiving messages on the DIC. Worse yet, when the vehicle went dead in my garage (twice) they told me I had to have the engine RUNNING to diagnose the problem. I had plenty of "juice" but they were useless.

    -Lastly, when I was sideswiped by a garbage truck on the expressway they were not only useless, they cost me my deductible. I used them to "contact the police" (hit and run) and they told me "don't follow they truck, we'll make sure the police know which way he is headed and send someone out to you also". Three hours, and nearly 1.5 "onstar connected" hours, later, I learned that no one had called the police.

    The only thing I think it's useful for is tracking if stolen and I just figured I'll call and subscribe if that happened.

    Also, I got rid of the Bravada and got an '03 Tahoe and they now put the onstar antenna on the roof (small stubby) and there is no way to remove it. Of course I also now have another year of "free" OnStar.

    Regarding the steering wheel buttons/disk changer: They fixed this on the Tahoe also. I have the same Bose 6 disk changer in the Tahoe although now there is one button that cycles through the cds and then a two way rocker button that cycles through the songs. Way to go GM!
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    I've never heard of car dealers adding mileage to a warranty based on a dealer transfer. What I would worry about, and something you might be able to fight is the fact that someone else drove the car that far! I know there is a limit on mileage that a car can still be sold as "new", maybe someone more versed than I knows more of the specifics. If it was sold to you as new, even though the mileage was put on as a condition of the sale, you still didn't sign the contract until after the mileage was put on. It may be a loophole for you to investigate. My real worry though would be damage caused by improper driving during break-in. As I'm sure you know, the car isn't supposed to undergo high rpm's or constant speed during the break-in period. The guys they have do these transfers are the same guys they have wash cars, etc. You think they followed the break-in instructions?
  • Dealers do have the ability to add mileage to the warranty. I took delivery of an Oldsmobile in 1999 where he had put about 250 miles on the vehicle to pick it up from another dealer. He acted like it was an everyday thing. Hillfla, you got ripped.
  • Yes - I did wonder about the miles being but on but was reassured by the dealer that the newer engines do not need a break-in like they used to. And of course they introduced me to the driver and told me that he is their only driver and has been doing it for years and was trained on how to do it. In the end I did not see too much to worry about regarding that part of it.

    And lets be honest here, the car you buy off the lot, any miles that are already on it from test drives might be "tough love" miles anyways. What I mean by that is that don't most folks who go for a test drive stomp on the gas hard a couple times to feel the acceleration and also stomp on the brakes to test them as well. Just a thought! :-)

    I am still waiting to hear back from GMC regarding my issue. I'll keep everyone posted.
  • Strictly my opinion: FOLD!

    For the first year I was a happy Envoy owner. I was expecting to hang on to this truck for 7-8 years. Then a random stalling problem developed last year which the dealer has been unable to fix the past 6 times. I am now pursuing a lemon law buyback.

    Overall I still think the triplets are great for their power, comfort, and convenience. I could put up with the minor quality issues in order to buy American. BUT when a vehicle begins to compromise my family's safety, especially a problem that can't be fixed, it's time to part ways.

    I truly thought GM had a winner here. It seems like the 2003's are less problematic, so some of you may get lucky and not have any problems for a long time. I hope so.
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