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Chevy TrailBlazer Transmission Problems



  • There should be one on that truck.Look just below your front bumper in the air dam below it there should be a cooler right there. It is kind of hard to see because its painted black and is about a foot long and 6 inches tall.
  • I'm seeing this problem a lot posted here-- happened to me yesterday. Big clunk and then a whirrrrrr, and no reverse. Had to have it towed to the local dealer. I am taking the advise in the above posts and called GM (am on hold at the moment.) The quote to replace the broken 'shell' at my dealer is $1500. If post 188 was accurate, it is sure worth sitting on hold for a while!
  • yea i thought that was it...someone told me that was for the a/c....thanks!
  • nope...just a selector switch that turns...isn't that what all the 4wd TB's have?
  • 05 TB I6 Pulled a fully loaded Trailer 2000 problems it pulled just fine:)
  • I had same exact problem(loud clunk and then a screeching sound so horrible) however i was driving about 45mph with my 5 year old son in the truck. I pulled over into a parking lot to look under the hood for a belt or something that had broken (mind you im a single mother so i was all alone with my son) didnt see i go to back out of the parking spot to find i have NO REVERSE. so I have to push my truck backwards alone and drive home where i find out i have to get 1st gear to get up to 3000rpms then tap the gas or take foot completely off to get it to shift into 2nd and if any of you have driven in New Jersey you know taking your foot off the gas is a death sentence. I bought the truck 4 monts ago yesterday with 36,525 miles on it and just turned 41000 miles...i called GM headquarters and they had me take it to the dealer where i purchased it for a full diagnosis even though my mechanic told me it was the reverse sun gear......diagnosis from chevy is broken reaction shell (reverse sun gear) i did not pay for the diagnosis as i told them i would not. they got me a rental car that they are paying for since i cant even food shop, that would require backing up out of a parking spot. i am currently waiting for GM to call me and tell me if they are paying for this repair. if anyone out there is curious how many trailblazers this has happened to just type in google "chevy trailblazer transmission problems" and see how much pops up. they know this part is defective i was told they know. dont pay for your repair. fight for them to pay. call headquarters!!!!!!!
  • 2003 Chevy Trailblazer with 34100 miles service engines light comes on, i take it to the dealer who fixes it and recommend I have the transmission and another regular maintenance completed that cost me over 400.00 dollars. Two weeks later I have to take it back because the speedometer went past 115 miles while sitting still, a week later the transmission starts stalling while going forward and the engine fan is running constantly even on start up. Checked the fluid I had none in the transmission. Yet it was suppose to have been filled when maintenance was done. Took it back to the dealer it is no longer under warranty and JUST UNDER A HUNDRED MILES LATER my 2003 Chevy trailblazer which is 3 years old. There is a problem with the transmission in the Chevy trailblazer and I am not the only one experiencing this. Something needs to be done. Help
  • don't pay was told the same thing yesterday mine is 2003 with less than 35000 miles, transmission was serviced and it stalled when i took it to the dealer i was told the fan wwent out but why was the fluid missing from the transmission after 4 weeks.??? Gmac has a problem we all have to stick together on this one. Follow the link to report it
  • Warning for everyone who owns a trailblazer... My family and I have purchased 7 of these vehicles and have ALL had major issues. If it drives well now, trade it in. We have gone through GM assistance as i have read many others have and they are Zero (0) help. I lost my transmission recently and they decided to string me along for a month telling me i was eligible for a 50/50 only to have two AVM (area vehicle managers) change their mind and leave me with the full bill ($3200) and a $1200 rental to boot. After a month they decided this because despite all the documented issues it had, It still made it close to 90,000 miles. They said the average life of a GM tranny is 100,000 miles so I was the low end of an average lifespan. They did offer a loyalty certificate for $2000 toward a new vehicle though. I told him what to do with that. This all happened after the transmission flush. My service record was perfect, never towed with it, etc. It was towed 5 times due to issues with the tranny since the day I bought it. I even provided GM Assistance with 7 vin numbers of chevy pickups and this trailblazer that i have owned since 1999 and they still didn't care. My fathers two trailblazers are 1 year old and they both live at the dealer getting fixed. My brother won a lemon law suit on his. They have made a family of loyal GM (Chevy) owners trade in these P.O.S. and buy other non-GM lines. I am now anti-GM (as you can tell)and I hope you all get out before they have a chance to do this to you.
  • Although I'm an Envoy owner, I'm posting this here because the TB has the same transmission

    At 68,000 miles my 02 Envoy transmission failed as a result of faulty sunshell gear. Failure occured as I was merging into traffic..could have been very bad, but luckily there was a median so I could pull over. My local dealer diagnosed the problem over the phone...tells you how aware they are of the issue. Next day they called with an estimate of $1100.00. I called GM assistance (1-800-790-5600) and they've offered 50%. I have to pay the whole bill and then have to go through the hassle of sending in paperwork (original repair order, proof of payment, & proof of ownership) which I thought was bogus because I was going to a GM dealer to have repairs made...but since this multi-million dollar company doesn't have an online claims center I have no choice.

    In the event GM issues a recall I'd get reimbused the remaining amount. The only way we'll see a recall is if everyone reports their issue to the National Highway Transportaion & Safety administration.
  • I had the same issue with my 02 Trailblazer, except I called GM and they offered me no assistance because I bought it used... Mine only has 56,000 miles on it. I am now stuck with a $1,350 bill to pay because of GM's faulty part - the dreaded sunshell. I asked if they have considered a recall on this part and they claim that they are unaware of any problems with it...
    Any ideas on what I can do now??
  • I just wanted to let everyone here know that YES in fact Chevy does admit to the problem with the reaction gear/sun shell/reverse sun gear, whatever the mechanics want to call it. i posted here in beginning of october(#197) let me tell you the outcome. I did explain that my dealership gave me a free rental car and i was waiting to hear back from GM about covering the cost of fixing the transmission....well the dealership called me back before GM did and they had my trailblazer fixed already at NO charge. i informed dealership that i hadnt heard back from GM yet and he said neither did he but he knew they would pay the repair cost so he went ahead and fixed it.......i had my truck back the day after i brought it in for the diagnosis. I then heard back from GM...they had called dealership before they called me and found out the truck was fixed so she (specialist at GM) said to me ok good luck.......i said hold on a minute....i want a warranty......dealership gave me 12/12,000 with the new transmission and I want better, told her i had read posts on this website and someone got a 7/100,000 and thats what i want.......she asked me to give her a week to work on it and i said fine...she called me exactly one week later and offered me a 6/72,000 warranty on the transmission for free so i took it. the bill for the transmission was about 1300.00..i believe the part itself was 200 maybe....the rest was labor...they tried to give me a receipt with no prices on it since they covered it but i got them to give me a copy of the one they were sending to GM headquarters but i dont have it with me as i am at work and cant give you the exact numbers.......i do know i was quoted 2200 from AAMCO before i got GM to pay for it. i did as much research as i could because i didnt have the money to fix it.
    Everyone needs to call GM and just fight for it........ask for a specialist........dont deal with the first person who answers the phone and know what you are talking about when you call them. let them know you did your research and this is a defective part, tell them you went on the internet and couldnt believe how many people had the same exact problem you did.....its called a silent recall!!!!when they tell you to take it to a GM dealer for a diagnosis tell them fine but that they are paying for it.....if you bought your truck at a "family" dealership you may have better luck than others.....i do believe that was why i got mine fixed for free and by the next day. good luck to everyone i hope this is of some help to you all.
  • Greetings,

    I have not had a major tranny failure (yet?) but I have been following this thread and I need someone to let me know if they have ever experienced this BEFORE their own failure.

    When it's cold and I drive away from the house, something causes my 02 TB to kind of BOG DOWN. I feels like I'm not shifting from 1st to 2nd and there is a kind of WHOOSHING sound like a fan is running at high RPM.

    I just drive slow out of my suburban neighborhood and by the time I get to the major roads something has warmed up and I'm off to the races.

    Tips or ideas on this would be great.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    That sounds like the viscous fan clutch. In cold weather it takes a little while for the fluid to warm up, causing the fan to run at a faster than normal speed. If that's the only time it happens it probably isn't a problem. If it starts to do it all the time the clutch may need replacement.
  • I have had an 03 chevy trailblazer that has been nothing but trouble. The engine light is constantly going on and off, I have had the entire fuse box replaced, and I have had the speedometer go up to 120 m.p.h. when I am only doing 45. (had the instrument panel replaced at my cost: $460) This vehicle has stalled on me 12 times in the past 2 months despite the dealer saying they had fixed it. ($1200+ out of my pocket and 2 trips to the shop). They test drove it for 20 miles after my second visit to the dealer and then returned it to me "all fixed". The vehicle died on me again one week later in a very busy intersection. The dealer reset the computer on the vehicle, returned it to me once again, and it stalled 5 days later making a left hand turn onto a 4 lane road. Be very careful if you have an 03. There is a very high probablility of transmission trouble and no, the chevy dealer is not always admitting to knowing of these troubles, even though they are VERY well aware of them!!! The 03's are mostly faulty and the stalling of the engine makes it an extremely dangerous vehicle. Even the tow truck driver admitted to me that he "tows more trailblazers than any other vehicle." Watch for your "service engine soon" light to come on, or your gages to be off...these are warning signs. I traded my 03 in this morning for a Nissan Pathfinder. Best move I ever made!!
  • I just bought a 2003 Trailblazer and the service engine light came on. Well it sounds like it has a turbo or something when you first start out but once you get going faster then it sounds okay. I hooked it up to get the code on it and it said the fan is running at a high speed. We are going to replace the fan clutch in a couple of days so I will post back to let you know if this is the real problem. It only has 52,000 miles on it.
  • I own a 2006 chevy trailblazer with 8600 miles on it and I believe my transmission is going bad already. I was parked at a Walmart store and I had my transmission in park and the moter running and all of sudden I felt like someone had hit my chevy on the rear bumper. it was a slight tab And I turned to look back to see who had hit my blazer but there was nobody behind. I think it was the transmission. This has occur about 5 times since Jan, also it seems that the shift in gears from first to second is a little rough. I wonder if anybody's trailblazer has done this???
  • I left a message on here a couple of days ago. I was hearing a really bad whining sound in my 03 Trail Blazer and the service engine light came on. The whining would go away as long as I was driving 55 to 60 mph. The code was fan running at higher speed. I changed the electric clutch fan and it is running like a new one. The clutch costs about $200.00, if you get it at the right place. Call around because it could cost up to $500.00 at some places. Also in the owners manual it talks about the clutch fan sounding like the tranny going out. It may be something to look into. ;)
  • saimsaim Posts: 1
    My biggest mistake of life.
    Three months ago i bought brand new TB06, just after completing 5000KM service, last week when i tried to start TB it refused to crank at all, there were lights in dash board but engine refused to start i called Road side assistance and they took TB to maintenance dealer since then (almost six days now) i have not recieved the TB. i am realy stuck, every time i called dealer they just reply that they are trying to locate the fault as they suspect that there is some short circuit...
    Anyone had similar experience?
  • HI,
  • wags2wags2 Posts: 7
    If i remember right it should be your.Transfer Case Endoder Motor. Get them to diagnose to be sure,them check out these two E-bay auctions Item number: 220052440673 and Item number: 270060824717 here is a good start!!!
  • Ok I've been reading through most of these posts and it doesn't look good. I am regretting buying this 02 Trailblazer now. I've had it for 2 years now and it has 47,000 miles....purchased it with 35,000 miles so obviously i dont do a whole lot of driving with it so to have these kind of issues that quick is not a good sign. Here's a list of my issues:
    1) About 4 months ago it started making clunking sounds when in A4WD and it felt like the wheels were slipping.
    2) Clunks real bad when shifting down from 2nd to 1st at a stop in A4WD. Can only drive it in 2HI now just for fear of something breaking although 2HI is starting to feel sloppy.
    3) After about 45 minutes of driving, come to stop and start to go again and hear a creek for a few seconds
    4) Yesterday, started it up and 2HI light was constantly blinking and it would blink in any other gear i put it but would not actually change over.

    Now I bought this GM CERTIFIED and thought that would be the best way to go on something used. I guess I was wrong. Warranty is up, I have a newborn on the way and do not want to get stranded with this vehicle. I cannot afford $3k in repairs and owe more than the vehicle is worth. I really do not want to get stranded on the side of the road with my newborn when the transmission goes.

    I guess this is just a little rant if anyone has any input?

  • wags2wags2 Posts: 7
    Your issues are the same reason GM CERTIFIED don't mean crap when they don't back it up.The only reason i bought the TB is for the 3rd row seat and didn't want to spend 30k on a B9 Tribeca.Maybe GM should merge with Ford and they can bask in there quality issues and we will just buy from Subaru Honda and Toyota and they can analize the product and the reasons why the quality is so much better.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    Your flashing selector switch lights could just be a bad switch. I leave my selector in 2HI unless there is snow or something and then I use A4WD. Mine is a 2002 Envoy that I have owned for 5 and a half years. It has has some minor issues but overall has been a reliable vehicle. Never had anything that left it stranded. I did have the selector switch replaced when it flashed weird like yours. The biggest story I have seen is the sunshell part in the transmission. When it goes it goes. But,knock on wood, I have yet to have this issue arise in almost 60,000 miles of driving, some of which involves towing a 5000# boat and trailer. Don't get too wigged out just yet. Our Envoy is my wife's primary car and I have no worry about her and the kids being in it at all. The clunking could be a number of things, none of which would involve the transmission. Could be a CV joint or could be nothing at all. I know sometimes in 4WD mine will clunk if I turn sharply or one wheel is slipping on snow or ice. The ABS system makes clunking noises when activated, as does my limited slip rear axle, usually during slippery conditions. I think you will find that the vast majority of triplet owners have had pretty reliable vehicles. The ones that are bad however, have been really bad! Hope this helps.
  • I bought my trail blazer BRAND NEW 2004. I am a sales rep and i needed a reliable car for work. I parted with my car of 13 years (a toyota)for a Trail blazer and it has been nothing but HEADACHES.
    Within several months the cruise control broke, then the radio went silent after getting that fixed it went back in b/c the gages were shooting up and down even when i was in park. This is not suppose to happen to new cars.
    As if these problems were not enough the car just started to turn off. This problem started first only when i had the air conditioning on, then the heat now everything could be off and the car still cuts off. At first the car would warn me to cut engine, now - no warning. I brought it to the dealer to get fixed like always - "wow we never had this problem before, let us fix it". then poof a couple of days later i get the car and like clock work days go by my service engine light goes on (never to turn off) and the problem still exists. Now that i am past warranty i refuse to pay for something they can not or will not fix. This is were it gets interesting one day (of many) while i was at the dealership, one of the sales managers whispered to me "get rid of it trade it now, trust me". So i am going in this weekend to do just that.
    Oh did i mention the brakes started to squeek two days into owning it and they have ever since - they said all semi metallic brakes do that and there is nothing we can do about it.
    So sad b/c I really do love my TB too bad it's crap.
  • Well I ended up calling the customer service # i found on here. They opened up a case file but would not own up to any "silent" recall for the transmission or anything. The best they could do was tell me to call my local dealer and schedule a full diagnostic which i have to pay for of course. I forgot to mention one other problem: Mirrors go crazy whenever i start the truck, but that is the least of my problems. With so many people having problems with these vehicles, isnt there some kind of class action possible?

  • hey i was the one that posted the "silent" recall....they will own up to need to call c/s back and have them schedule the diagnostic check for you and tell them you arent paying for can tell them you took it to your mechanic and he said its the sunshield....thats what i did and she told me i had to have them (GM) check it so i said fine make the appt but im not paying for it...and then when i called the dealership to confirm the appt i told them i wasnt paying for the diagnostic check that GM said they would pay for it. i really do believe it depends on where you bought your truck, if its a family dealership. i do believe i got lucky on that one.....oh and i cried. if it wasnt for the dealership standing behind me with GM i might still be waiting to hear from GM about whether they would pay to fix it or not. i also get the constant squeeking of the personal mechanic has checked the brakes twice and there is nothing wrong with them.
  • I just took my 05 in for a similar problem, (kept shifting from 2HI into AWD, instead of 4LO). The problem was in the computer module. I'm not sure how much it was to replace the part due to the vehicle being under warranty, but it was a pretty quick fix, less than an hour...
  • This is lengthy but worth the time. It’s time to force a recall since GM isn’t going to step up to the plate. My last GM purchase has been made, however I want reimbursed and ensure the safety of other Trailblazer owners!!!!!

    -2002 Trailblazer LT 2WD
    -Transmission failure at 78,000 miles
    -Near accident with two children in car ages 2 and 7
    -Major repair cost
    -Significant safety problem
    -Multiple listings of identical failures (sun shell/ reaction gear) planetary system.
    -Reportedly known defective and (under designed) part. This will be the NHTSA’s responsibility to investigate and sort out.
    -Some reports of “silent recall” however never acknowledged with my conversations
    -No warning of oncoming failure
    -Owners manual doesn’t recommend any transmission service until 100,000 miles
    -Never towed anything
    -Wife driven/ garage kept
    -Significant engineering accomplishments in transmissions have been made in the past decade with materials and lubricants. There is absolutely no reason a tranny should fall apart on an automobile towing or not under 100,000 miles especially if your following the manufacturers maintenance recommendations

    Read on if you have time.

    On 10/26/06 while traveling with my two children( 2 and 7) the transmission failed in my 2002 (TB)Trailblazer LT. I was merging into 40~45 mph traffic from a side road, there was more than adequate time to enter traffic and accelerate to traffic speed before oncoming traffic would approach. Entering the intersection I heard and felt a heavy clunk in the rear of the TB and immediately following a horrendous screech and whine (transmission failing). I immediately checked the rear-view mirror since I was now in quickly approaching traffic with no power. The engines RPM’s raced and I let off the gas and then slowly re-applied the gas and the transmission caught (worked), however I could only get the SUV up to about 20mph fearing engine problems because the tranny wouldn’t shift gears and engines RPM’s were racing. At the same time I yelled at the kids to hold on because it looked like the approaching car wasn’t slowing down. ( I assume they saw me enter traffic and presumed I would be at traffic speed by the time they approached). For the second time I heard a horrendous screeching this time the tires of the car behind me. I’m certain that car would have hit us had they not managed to swerve slightly to the right rear of my TB. I managed to slowly drive the TB to the closest Chevrolet dealership, fortunately only a couple of minutes away, and getting the finger from every pissed off Black Friday shopper in the city. Left the TB with dealership and tried to deal with two children and transportation arrangements.

    The service department called me back with preliminary diagnosis (blown transmission) metal shavings in the transmission oil and no reverse. They would not do a complete break-down because they were aware of similar problems plus the additional cost of a full breakdown analysis. The sun-shell “grenades” per the technicians words. I told them to go ahead and replace the transmission since I could not afford to be without a vehicle (which ended up costing me an arm a leg and another leg, plus 7 days ) even after GM paid 30%. I didn’t have the money to cover this but the worse of the two evils was to be without a vehicle.

    After doing extensive research on the subject it is easy to find that there is definitely a faulty part and a significant safety issue here. Google this for instance: “2002 trailblazer transmission problems +sun gear”. The only thing preventing a full re-call in my thoughts (being an engineer myself) is the huge cost to the manufacturer to recall and replace/repair this problem and most importantly there has not been an injury to date (at least not reported). I am certain Chevrolet/GM is fully aware of the problem based on my research and they are sitting on the problem until they are forced to make a recall, I pray that it is not at the expense of someones life. To see over 81 complaints actually registered with the NHTSA within a narrow search criteria go to:
    use the vehicle search +
    Year : 2002
    Make : CHEVROLET

    Some of these complaints do not match my problem but there are TOO MANY that have exactly the same phenomena as I have described (think of how many people just don’t pursue this problem).

    Read on if you want to know about my Customer Service conversations.

    Customer Service experience:
    Talked to a Customer service manager and took general information details etc…, Immediately transferred me to Specialist (maybe because I mentioned silent recall). Specialist went over details I gave to first person and was very apologetic, however never admitted or denied to the silent recall. Scheduled a follow up phone discussion for two days later after she had time to review the material. Received a phone message that the specialist would not be able to keep appointment because of promotion however she had advanced the issue to the next level district manager to see if they “couldn’t get this covered” (still have the recorded message). Got a call on 10/29/06 TB was fixed, asked if they heard anything from GM Cust. Serv. (no). Told them I would have to wait until I heard from them before I proceeded. Called back several times with no return phone call on 10/29/06 because TB was ready. Tried again on 10/30/06 and finally got specialist around noon that day. Specialist said they had reviewed the material and decided to cover 30% of the charges, to which I questioned the obvious known defect and unquestionable safety issue, along with requesting 100% coverage. This transmission was only at 75% of the mileage before they recommend the first service. The specialist just sat there and listened and never gave any answer just that they had made there decision. At that point I suggested they contact the dealership and ensure the paper work was handled, I needed the car today. Of course I called the dealership before I left work for the day to confirm the paper work was handled and it was not. Immediately called back specialist (this, 4 hours after our initial conversation) and she said she had just talked to them and everything was okay. Demanded she have the District manager call me since he was involved with the decision, to which she said she would put in the request. Called back dealership to confirm and they said still waiting on final decision, so I had to wait until 10/31/06. Talked to dealership on 10/31/06 and still hadn’t finalized with cust. Serv. At this point I’m livid and demand an immediate answer. Dealership calls back shortly and says car is ready and with appropriate paperwork. Got my car and left , never received a call from district manager.

    Make your complaint known to the NHTSA, and then
  • I agree. I had the same grinding noise coming from my left front wheel when hard turning right. Then, there was a noise coming from the front left in normal driving.

    Changed the front wheel hub assembly this morning. Actually, quite easy. Do I love american cars and trucks for this. I am not a mechanic and it took me about 2 hours. If you are going to change this yourself, make sure you shop around for your parts. I went 2 parts places and one quoted me 307 + tax. This is in Canadian dollars. The other one wanted 1200 for the same part. I did not dare going to the dealer to find out how much would have been this job.
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