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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems

I have a 2002 Trailblazer 4WD. I'm having a problem with the transmission starting off in the wrong gear. This problem is very intermittent, and occurs usually on a cold start. When I start the car it revs extremely loud and fast, and even if I allow the car to warm up for over one minute, the revving goes on higher than normal. Then, when I put the vehicle in drive, it bogs down in a higher gear than first, and I can't get any power. I usually have to stop, put the car in park, and then back in drive once or twice to get first gear to engage. Also, when passing or accelerating on the freeway, I am losing power. When I first bought the vehicle it had lots of pep, now it is pretty much a dog. I've had it at the dealer four times, and they changed the transmission fluid pressure valve once. The service manager told us that this is a problem that GM is aware of, even though they will deny it, and they are trying to determine if the problem is one that they should recall or not. Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, did you get it resolved? I am so frustrated I'm ready to call a lawyer and envoke the lemon law. I feel like the dealers and GM want me to believe this problem is all in my head, so I'll just go away. Overall, I really like my Trailblazer, but I feel this problem is a real safety hazard. HELP......


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You might ask about the problem in 02 Trailblazer AWD problem and Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Oldsmobile Bravada.

    tidester, host
  • ficussficuss Posts: 541
    Are you sure the car revs loud and fast? Many have posted that the cooling fan starts when the car is started. This loud noise can be confused with high rpm's, but the engine is not racing fast. It usually takes about a minute or two for the fan to shut off and then everything is normal. One or two have posted that when the fan is on, the power is reduced but this may be a different problem. Look at the tachometer the next time this happens to determine if the engine is indeed racing. If it is at approx. 800 to 1000 rpm, this is normal. If you start to drive off while this is happening, it will FEEL like you are in a higher gear than first gear, but you are not. Let the dealer mechanic know this.

    Good luck let us know what happens.

  • mlwillmlwill Posts: 1
    What jnshell describes is exactly what is happening on my '03 Trailblazer. Took it in this a.m. and service just called to say they can't find anything wrong! It has only happened 4 or 5 times in 13000 miles (6 months). But it could be a safety hazard. Hope someone out there has the answer. At least I know I'm not imagining things!
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    I have had this happen on my silverado truck. It has 35K miles and is 3 yrs old. It happens every few thousand miles. I will come to a stop like at a light it will turn green i will hit the gas its like the truck is in neutral it will rev up (rpms go up) then kick into gear. I have even squealed the wheels once in a dunkin donuts lot. Now when i feel it kick in i let off the gas and reapply and its fine. When you feel it lock up let off the gas as fast as possible then hit the gas again it should be ok. It isnt a major problem but there is a fix. I will look for the exact part and reply once i find it

  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    check this out 831&hl=transmission&s=40190f4c60df10059f6ed10318168ce0

    Its the valve body that needs to be replaced

    Hope this helps you out
  • sonya9012sonya9012 Posts: 3
    The problem that I am having with my transmission is that when I get up to 50mph, the transmission stalls out, not changing to the next gear. The first time I took it back to the dealer, I was told that my transmission needed to be reset. About a month later, I had the same problem again. This time, was told that they did not know what was the causing my transmission to do this and that when they hooked it up the computer, no codes were displayed. But they said that the valve body cover needed replacing. So, they repaired it. A couple of days later, I returned it again for the same problem,(5/20/03) this time I contacted GM. This time the dealer tried to make me feel like the problem was in my head. As a result, the service manager and I went for a test drive, with the manager driving, experienced the problem for herself, what I was talking about. For the past week, my representative from GM has been in direct contact with the dealer. As of 5/22/03, they still have not determined the cause. Around 2:30p EST, my service advisor at the dealer informed my that my car was ready and that they rebuilt my transmission. My question is how long does it take to do a complete over haul on a transmission? Should I trade the car in? I only have 39,325 miles. Also, the first time I took it back, I had about 34,000 miles.
    As of 5/23/03, the dealer has not been responsive to GM.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    how long did it take them to rebuild the trans??? It should only take a few days usually (max)
  • mmaillemmaille Posts: 1
    Hi I just wanted to say I too have been having problems with my car not down shifting correctly. I took it to the dealer and they had it for 15 days and I was told there was a clog in the transmission line. Well I am returning the blazer to the dealer again tonight for the same problem. They changed everything the first time including the value cover and then when that did not help they came up with the clogged line. The blazer does not do it all the time, it does do it when it is cold and also when it has been on the road for a long period of time. I am also having problems with A/C not working all the time, it will run for a long time and then if you stop and shut the car off, when you start it back up, the A/C no longer works. This too they have no cure for it.
  • kmdlkmdl Posts: 1
    I have been having the same problems with my 2002 Trailblazer since around 20,000 miles. I was also told by the dealer that there was nothing wrong with it. Last week (at 33,000 miles) my transmission went out leaving my daughter and I stranded on the side of the road. We were only going about 30 miles per hour when it happened and my rear tires just locked up and truck started skidding. I am so thankful that I was going at a slow speed, otherwise I could have had a serious accident. The dealer changed a part in the transmission called a Sun Gear. It runs fine now, but I am not convinced that nothing else will go wrong with it because it has been in the shop four other times and one being the rear end.
    I hope this info. helps!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Reopened for updates.


    Steve, Host
  • ken45ken45 Posts: 1
    The transmission went out on my 02 Trailblazer last night for the second time. The initial failure occurred 1 year ago almost to the day, the vehicle was 18 months old and had 32,000 miles. In drive it suddenly started slipping and making a loud whine. It would not shift, but sometimes would "catch" enough to move forward. I had no reverse at all, but park seemed to function normally. The dealer said the sun gear broke and he rebuilt the transmission and replaced the gear. Last night the exact same problem occured again. I got my vehicle back on 12/22/03 and it broke down with the same exact symptom on 12/31/04, now has 54,000 miles on it.


    I was wondering if this is a generic weakness in this model? I had originally purchased the vehicle with hopes of buying a travel trailer, and using it for a tow vehicle, but have not done that yet. With the repeat transmission failures, I am skeptical about towing with it. Anyone have any experience with this? Any idea why the transmission keeps failing?
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Hello ken45,


    If I can find it in one of my desk drawers at the office, I will post the information a GM tech sent me regarding the most common causes of these transmissions failing. When my '02 TB's tranny failed on me about 3 three years ago, the tech that rebuilt mine faxed me a list of components that he had to replace. This fax also contained a list of GM vehicles that used the exact same transmission and it stated that they were experiencing failures in all of the models shown on the list. Unless I am mistaken, the transmission is the 4L60E. It had worked well in the past for GM in many of their other vehicles, but they started having problems with them in 2002. Not sure what changed about the part machining or assembly processes, but something did.


    Mine just downshifted really, really hard at about 50 m.p.h. while traveling uphill on a trip to the mountains with my then fiancee. Then it would never shift into 3rd gear again after that. Ruined our trip--and we had to drive home the following morning in a Cavalier rental car. It shifted pretty smoothly for a while after it was rebuilt, then it started slipping again to some degree. Scared me enough to trade it in on something else. I was just always suspect of the SUV after that. Most likely I could have gotten over the tranny issues, but in my particular case there were too many other issues with the SUV that I had experienced. The transmission failure was just the final blow to me.


    Ron M.
  • Not sure if anyone will see this or not, but what kind of symptoms were there before this happened? How do I know if my TB isn't shifting properly? Right now I am experiencing a bad vibrating. It started yesterday Jan 19th 2005.

    It happens when I am I put it in drive and when I am in park or just stopped at a stop sign. My front end will vibrate severly with a hmmm also.

    It vibrates so much the steering wheel is vibrating. I get the feeling that the interior is affected by this more than the exterior because when I try to hear it from the outside I can't.

    My trailblazer is a 2002 EXT LT.

    Thanks for any help!


  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    Hi Corrina,


    What you have described sounds more indicative of bad engine mounts. When you have bad steering wheel vibration while sitting at a stoplight, for example, you could very well have engine/motor mounts that are fatigued. There are also transmission mounts and rear differential mounts. Based on what you have described in your post, most likely you aren't having transmission problems. However, I could be wrong about this.


    Ron M.
  • Ron M.


    Thanks. I think you might be right. I have been

    saying that it sure sounds like something came loose and it causing the vibrating. I had a

    different trailblazer before this current one. It was a 02' also but just a LT. In that one a transmission mount did fall of. This vibrating is simular to that but located in a different area. We live in a pretty rurual area down a lengthy dirt road. Re had flooding Mon. and Tue.

    and I decided to have a little fun. I am starting to think perhaps I knocked something loose.

    Thanks for the idea. I'll suggest that to my service guy.


  • Well it is refreshing somewhat to hear all these problems with the transmission everyone is having and on the other hand it is also a bit frightening. I bought a 2004 trailblazer with 33,000 miles on it in Oct of 2004. I have had it to the dealer for a engine light problem, leaking in the vehicle under the driver side console. Recently however my transmission blew out as I was driving Sunday. It won't shift into fourth gear ( at around 50 miles an hour). I took it to the dealer with 42,000 miles on it and they said that my transmission blew becuase the radiator was leaking and leaked into the transmission so I need to replace both items at about 3,500.00. I was sold a Ford ESP plan (BaseCare Plan) which covers the transmission but not the radiator. So Ford told me with will not cover either or them becuase the Radiator is what made the transmission go. Does any of this make sense to anyone else.


    PLEASE HELP with any advice.
  • shirley4shirley4 Posts: 1
    I am so sorry to be hearing all of this transmission problems everyone is having, I just got a 2005 trailblazer LS, now you all have me scared!!!!! But about your warranty, isn't it the 3yrs 36,000 mile warranty? And you bought the extended. Should I be getting the extended warranty? I don't get why they don't honor your extended? Call a lawyer! That is bull----! 42,000 miles is not alot considering they should last at least to a 100,000 miles. Did I just make the biggest mistake of my life? I have saved and saved alot of money to get a new vehicle to get a bass boat to pull around, and now I am finding out that I might now be able to do that with this particular vehicle. Call a lawyer, and see what they say. Otherwise it will cost you around 3,000.00 Its not fair!! Goodluck
  • lyle2131lyle2131 Posts: 1
    hi guys, today had my 03 envoy tranny "lock up?" on hiway at 110 kph, no steering, power or brakes for a few secs. tehn came back. Read these posts and worried I have a 2 year old lemon with only 33000 kms! Suggestions anyone?? Thnks
  • kctahoekctahoe Posts: 3
    I've had a transmission problem that hasn't specifically been described above. About every 20 starts or so, my 2003 Tahoe will only drive in 3rd. I have to slam on the gas to get it to go anywhere and the RPMs stay around 2500 when on the highway b/c it won't go to 4th. Also, every time this problem occurs, my service engine (emissions) light comes on almost immediately after I accellerate in 3rd gear. After a few starts the problem goes away and the light turns off. The vehicle only has 45K miles on it. Does anyone have a clue on this issue? Thanks.
  • dshepherd3dshepherd3 Posts: 194
    The trans is going into limp mode, this needs to be scanned for history codes, many performance issues in the pcm system can cause this, I would suggest your dealer look at this, some emissions components involved in this system may still be under warranty.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    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: 10,059
    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.
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