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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems



  • allenesallenes Posts: 2
    I have a 03 TB 4WD I have noticed recently that it is not changing gears properly. The service engine light came on and the problem appeared a few more times. Then the light went off and the problem went away. I took it to the dealer and they hooked it up to the "machine" and all they could find wrong was my o2 sensor. This has nothing to do with the transmission.(this is what they said) They told me that they were not worried about it. I told them I was about to drive the car on a trip 1,000 miles one way. No problems they said. I went online and found this forum and saw all the problems. GEEZ. I called and questioned the dealership and he acted very surprised by this. Says he hasnt seen a "problem" with the transmission. Hes replaced one or two but he has also with other cars. Hasnt seen what he would call a problem. Cant fix anything cause he has no proof there is something wrong.
    What do I do just wait around until the thing blows?? Guess Im glad I renewed my onstar in case Im stranded in some strange place.
  • gmfangmfan Posts: 188
    Don't worry. The O2 sensor on my 02 TB went bad a year ago and it is not related to the transmission. Now, if you continue to drive the vehicle with a bad sensor, then engine could start mixing fuel and air differently, and a rough engine can wreck havoc on an electronic transmission. The dealer acknowledged it is a rare for a sensor to go bad. I always buy Chevron with Techron so I do not think it was a case of bad gas. My extended warranty would not cover the sensor, so I was out of pocket $150 and I have had no problems since.

    How many miles are on your vehicle? The owner's manual recommends changing the tranny fluid at 100,000 miles, but I had mine done at 67,000 miles a few months ago. If you have more than 50,000 miles on yours, I would suggest going ahead and getting the fluid serviced. The reason I went ahead and did was I too was getting ready to take a long round trip drive and some of the posts on this forum were concerning. HOWEVER...most people who post on this forum are going to post problems since people are seeking advise etc, including myself. The dealer can flush your tranny fluid for $150 and it is good preventative maintenance. I did not take mine to the dealer and I decided to have my fluid drained the old fashioned way by a reputable local transmission shop for $79. Next time I will probably have it flushed.
  • allenesallenes Posts: 2
    I have 43,000 miles on the TB.
    Im not to worried about the O2 sensor. I got them to replace it. My extended warrenty paid for everything but $100 deductible. (total cost $206) I was pretty amazed they paid for any of it.
    I think this waiting until 100,000 for things might not be a good idea for this vehicle.
    Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll get the tranny fluid changed before I head on my trip. If I choose to not take the TB I'll still get it changed maybe at 50,000. Im not to far away from that. So you think its just as good to use a local transmission place to do that?
    The guys at the dealer looked at me like I was a nut cause I wanted an answer to my problem that didnt exsist.
  • gmfangmfan Posts: 188
    I think a local transmission service is fine if they come highly recommended by other people or if you know the franchise owner which happened to be my case. The fluid is Dexron III or a equivalent. I did have to take it back because they overfilled it about two pints, but they sucked it out with a pump and no harm was done. If you drop the pan and have the filter changed, only 60% of the fluid is actually removed, but they can see what is going on by looking at the pan. If a lot of shavings are present, then a potential problem is around the corner. They told me my fluid was a little brownish, but that everything looked great. If you have the dealer flush it, it removes something like 90% of the fluid, but it could move small shavings around and get in a part that wants nothing of it. I have done both before in the past on different vehicles, and I am more comfortable with dropping the pan. When they flush it, they insert a small line into your transmission cooling line and I have had problems when they connect it back and it is not the same and I end up with a small leak. Of course, you could get a leak around the pan gasket if they do it wrong as well. The best would be if your model has a drain plug. If mine did, I would service it myself ever 25,000 miles since tranny fluid is so cheap. Some of the triplets have a drain plug, while other do may be lucky. The next time I will probably have it flushed. I always wonder, if the dealership does the flush, is it really better for my vehicle or easier on them?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    This post always stuck with me:

    "The filter change with a few quarts of new fluid doesn't seem to shock a high mileage tranny like the flush does"

    amigo_john, "Isuzu Trooper" #8070, 30 Jun 2003 10:46 am

    Steve, Host
  • mami06mami06 Posts: 1
    keep fighting them, Gm and their dealers needs to get their act together. i've had an 04 trailblazer where the trans and steering went within the first two years and now i have an 04 and it stalls at any given time. I'd suggest you call GM headquarters 1-866-952-4368 and compain
  • Our transmission just failed on our 02 TBlazer because of the sun shell spline. While I could get into all the details hear, I urge everyone who has had problems to file a complaint with the NHTSA at If they receive enough complaints, they can issue a recall which would reimburse people for their cost in the matter.

    Also, I work in the service department of a GM dealer and the repair instructions state that the material used in the sun shell of the 02 TBlazer (as well as the GMC Envoy and Olds Bravada) was not able to withstand the heat in the transmission causing it to strip. From 2003 on, GM built the transmissions with a "more heat resistant material" which reduces the likelihood of this happening.
  • Since you work for a GM service department, is there any way that you can help us determine just how big this problem is? I'm considering running an ad in the paper for people to call me if they have had similar problems. Think that would get anyone's attention?
  • gmfangmfan Posts: 188
    How many miles were on your 02 TB when the tranny failed?
  • I have 30k on mine and so far so good. After reading these posts I am going to have my Trans serviced at 50K
  • I have a 2002 GMC Savana and had the trannie go at 36,000K. GM towed it to the dealership and they replaced the 'lower reverse piston seals'. Great until this week when I was 600K from home on holidays and it went again. No reverse and whining in all other gears. It has 62,000K (2,000 over warranty). Phoned dealer and they agreed to repair it under 'goodwill warranty'. A new 'sun gear shell' and three days out of my week off, and they present me with a $550. bill for towing. I owned a 1984 GMC Vandura and replaced the trannie after 17 years and 190,000K. I wish I had it back!!!
  • I have a 2002 Trail Blazer and just spent $800. so that my Air Conditioning would work someplace other then though the defrost vent.

    I went to back up in my drive way (back up mind you) and after about three feet or so the tranny went into nutral, no reverse! I should consider myself lucky because it will move forword.

    67,000 miles on it BUT HEY! I changed my transfluid with an evaquator system between 12 and 20 thousand miles and the filter twice in the last three years on top of that.

    Had I have known I was going to buy a car that the trans would go out in 67,000 miles I would have bought a Expolore, everyone knows they have a sick trans.

    If Chevy would like they can contact me and I will build a better transmission for them. It should take me all of about fifteen minutes to do it.
  • Ya know I was just thinking back a few years about the Mercedes I owned. It was a Turbo Diesel and when I sold it to my friend it had 300,000 miles on it. He had the car for another 50,000 miles and he sold it for what he paid me for it.

    That Trans never even made a hickup and that motor put out some torq.

    No wonder GM has to give emplyee discounts in an economy with 5% un-employment. :P
  • sdoversdover Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 Suburban with about 44,000 miles. I have had numerous repairs (e-brake, seat belt, pinion and side bearings, rear differentials, u-joints) each at about 3,000 miles apart. Now the transmission has to be rebuilt because the torque converter went out. The GM shop has done this but they still cannot eliminate the whining noise. It has been in the shop for 11 days so far and they do not see an end. The mechanic said that he was not sure what was wrong. Nothing was broke. He has taken it apart now three times! He is almost as frustrated as I am. Scary! I have called GM customer assistance and was told that they couldn't do anything for me and said that basically %$#@ happens! This is not good enough for me. I have written letters to GM, all of the board members, including the CEO, and a few other senior level executives. I will join your class action!
  • 2 days ago I noticed 1st to 2nd was slamming into gear. Got home and checked the trans fluid, it was fine. Went to back out of garage, no reverse. Thought I would do a little research since 86,000 miles is a little early for the transmission to go out. Now I feel sick. I haven't got the official estimate yet ( they won't know until they get it torn apart) but the service manager said he suspected the sun shell gear. Yeah, I bet he does after reading all of these complaints.
    I'm going to file a complaint to any place that will listen including the NHTSA. I'm also going to drop a stackful of complaints from all these websites on the service managers desk. He'll do for a start.
  • lane5lane5 Posts: 1
    I, too, have a 2002 Suburban with about 56k miles. Just picked it up from the dealership yesterday having U joints replaced, passenger side window motor assembly replaced and Intermediate Steering Shaft replaced. This morning my transmission went out in the middle of the road. Had to have it towed back to the dealership and tranny has to be replaced. Where can I sign-up? Uggghhhh! :sick: :sick:
  • The transmission on my 2002 Envoy XLT went out this morning on my way to work. I barely missed having an accident while passing a semi and injuring myself and others. The Envoy has 69,000 miles on it and the transmission should have lasted much longer. After exploring your Web site ( I found that other owners of Envoys and Trailblazers also experienced transmission failure. An immediate recall should be issued. Cost for replacing the transmission is $1,500. We were so thrilled with the Envoy and brag about it all the time. We were considering buying a new one next year but we won't if we do not get reimbursed for this transmission repair.
    i have submitted a complaint to the NHTSA and GMC. I encourage everyone to do the same.
  • Yes, i too had the same promblem with the same 02 and the exact same mileage. I complained about the tranny not driving properly when it had 15000 miles but of course the dealership said its fine. Now after 43000 miles the tranny went, it would not shift and i lost reverse. I called chevy customer care to complain and they didnt do a thing they wanted me to go to a chevy dealer to have a diagnostic performed to determine if they would cover the transmission being that i complained about it before.They wanted me to pay over $400 for a diagnostic and would not reinburse me or gurantee that the would pay for the repairs. So i had it done on my own cause the dealership is overpriced and i didnt want to give them another cent. like you this is my last gm vechile
  • I bought a 05 TB-EXT last June, I no sooner got 5 miles down the road (8 mile total on OD) when I started to feel something funny, I was pushing on the gas, but it was loosing speed. I had it towed to back to the dealership where I was assured that it was a tranny line that was not properly secured at the factory.
    Now 3 months later, (5000 total on OD) my kids and I were driving down the freeway yesterday at 65 mph when the RPM'S shot up to 4500-5000, and it was loosing speed. I pulled over on the shoulder and checked the fluid level, it was fine. I started to get back on to the freeway, 1st and 2nd engaged just fine, but as soon as I got up to around 35mph the rpm shot up again and it would not shift to third. I had to use the on star for the second time in 3 months to have it towed. I was told under the GM warranty that they will provide a tow up to 20miles, anything over and above that was my responsibility, so now it's at a GM dealership 50 miles away from my home. I'm still waiting for a phone call from the dealership as to what they say the problem is.

    When I asked about a rental I was told that they would give me the phone number to some local rental agent's, but I would have to pay for it and apply for reimbursement. 3rd times a charm...It will be my last Chevy
  • According to our service director, its a problem that happens much too often. They greatly encourage people to get a transmission inspection at 35000 miles (before the warranty expires) so they can tell if they need to perform the major work under warranty. Its disheartening to know that GM wont recognize this and correct a mistake.
  • 1996 Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon with factory tow package. The car is used as advertised, as designed.

    1st transmission dies at the 5000mile mark.

    2nd transmission lasts from 5000mile mark to the 85,000mile mark

    3rd transmission lasts from 85,000mile mark to the 142,000mile mark.

    4th transmission to be installed Friday 9-9-05, with 142,000mile on the odometer.

    Transmission in question? The 4L60E of course. I'm the second owner, bought the car when it had 119,000miles on it.

    I can't believe GM would allow this transmission with all of it's problems persist for so long.

  • Wow! I thought I was the only one. I am possibly replacing my trans on my Chevy Conversion van for the 4th time in 5 years. I have had the valve body replaced 3 times. Any suggestions?
    Mad Momma
  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    It's a good thing that you caught that they put too much transmission fluid. That is an act that AAMCO typically does so that your seals can blow becuase of too much pressure- then they say you need to overhaul your transmission for about $2500... Anyone on this forum, if you go to AAMCO transmission, be extremely extremely careful, they are in the business to make money- a friend took her car in becuase she felt the car was slipping gears- they asked her to leave the car over night, she refused, she wanted an esitmate then are there, so the two of them went for a test drive, where the car slipped gears- they wrote up an estimate for $2300.... After researching found out they ask you leave the car overnight becuase they tear down the tranny to find what was wrong, and then give you your estimate, if you refuse, you'll pay about $200 for teardown fees and then I guarentee you'll have problems within the next 1000 miles...

    Anyhow, she took it to her honda dealer for an estimate, they came back saying it was a second gear solenoid, $85 for the parts.....

    Just make sure you get a second opinior or second estimate.
  • 51,000 miles. The dealership has been working with GM to see if they will reimburse me for the cost to replace the sun shell spline. However, after 2 1/2 months, he's gotten nowhere. He's now trying to see "what they can offer me" and assured me it wouldn't take that long.
    I filed a complaint with the NHTSA and they haven't responded yet either. I also contacted a class action law firm in Atlanta but they wouldn't take the case. I don't understand why no one is willing to do anything about this.
  • When I go from park to drive I have to wait for the trans to engage. If I step on the gas right after putting it in drive their is a terrible clunk. Took it to the chevy dealer they said it was because of the aluminum drive shaft. I think I've been shafted
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    How much time are you talking about? Several seconds?
  • It takes about 2 seconds. Then there is no noise. I, not talking about going from park to drive and slamming on the gas either.
  • I guess I am in the club too. My 2002 4WD Envoys reverse went out at 31,000 miles and 3 months out of warranty without any warning. When I called the dealer and explained what happened they were very quick to offer to "work with me". I should have known something was up then. After dropping it off I got the call that the sunshell gear was bad, probably from someone who had it stuck and was using forward and reverse to "rock" it out. Since I bought the car used it seemed possible. They said the repair cost was $2300 but out of goodwill they would fix it for $500 plus fluids, for a total of around $600. I was happy until I did a bit of research and found that this is a pretty common problem. Seems there is some sort of defect that GM does not want to own up too. Maybe if we all keep yelling loud enough someone will get the message.
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