Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Trailblazer emerged from an "upscale trim line" of the Blazer, but there's nothing upscale about its transmission problems or its wonky, unpredictable headlights.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
105,505 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Mar 232010


  • 81,099 miles



- Washington, DC, USA

problem #43

Oct 012015


  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While operating the vehicle, all the exterior lights randomly shut on and off. While driving at various speeds, the transmission would suddenly switch to first gear and caused the speed to suddenly reduce. The vehicle would not operate in reverse. After shutting the vehicle off and restarting the engine, the vehicle would operate normally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the cause of the failures. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 171,000.

- Opa Locka, FL, USA

problem #42

Dec 042015


  • 112,000 miles
The cooling lines from the transmission of the 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer exit the transmission next to the catalytic converter. A portion of the lines are covered with a protective and loose fitting cover which appears to be aluminum almost like a tin foil. This covering creates an area where moisture collects causing the lines to rust. Eventually the lines start to leak transmission fluid. When the vehicle is in motion the fluid is blown onto the catalytic converter and could start a fire under the vehicle exposing the vehicle occupants to extreme danger. At first I thought the leak was oil from the engine, but upon checking closer, I found the transmission lines leaking. The placement of the transmission cooling lines are very close to the converter and if excessive fluid is splattered on the converter, a fire could result. The vehicle was stationary when the leak was noticed. However, the fluid was found after being on the highway at 70mph splattered on the undercarriage and surrounding area of the vehicle. Speaking with aamco mechanics who replaced the lines, they felt it is a real fire hazard. This seems to be a design defect. What brought my attention to this is the fact I had a 1995 jimmy and had noticed a similar leak when it was 8 years old. I had given the truck to my son. After he had driven it on an interstate, another driver yelled at him that his car was on fire. The entire underside was on fire. Fortunately he was able to exit the vehicle and get his family out before the entire truck was engulfed in flames. The fire marshal at the time thought a line of some type had burst. I suspect it was the transmission line similar to the Trailblazer transmission line.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #41

Nov 022010


  • 205,338 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While driving at 45 mph, the vehicle violently jerked while shifting gears. The vehicle only shifted to first gear and failed to go into third and fourth gear. In addition, there was an increase in engine rpms while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 205,338.

- Bangor, ME, USA

problem #40

Aug 142015


  • 175,500 miles
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer with 175,500 miles has leaking transmission cooler line on passenger side of vehicle near air filter box and windshield washer fluid reservoir. Of the two lines in this area, one is heavily corroded while the other appears fine. Only noticed after transmission had leaked >3 quarts of atf and was shifting rough.

- New Brighton, MN, USA

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problem #39

Mar 272015


  • 160,000 miles
Driving on highway transmission blew, leaked 10 out of 12 quarts of transmission fluid... very common in 2002 Trailblazers I feel Chevy should have recalled the 2002 transmissions due to how many complaints people have had.

- West Warwick, RI, USA

problem #38

Mar 302015

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Transmission cooling lines that run next to the catalytic converter/exhaust pipe are prone to 'rust-through' due to the insulation wrap that has been added because of being so close to the high heat source. This insulation traps moisture and salt in northern areas and causes the lines to corrode and leak transmission fluid. I feel this is a potential fire hazard as the fluid can drip directly onto the exhaust components. Fortunately I could smell this after I pulled into my garage otherwise I would not have know of the leak. Depending on when the leak actually takes place and the rate of leakage this could also result in transmission failure if the driver is unaware that the vehicle is losing fluid, ie: Extended highway driving. From my understanding this corrosion and resultant leakage is very common and should be listed as a safety recall. Thank you

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

problem #37

Feb 072015

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
I started the Trailblazer and shifted it into reverse to back out of the parking stall and I heard a loud pop sound and when I tried to give the vehicle gas it didn't do anything but rev the motor. It won't move in reverse gear. The vehicle in front of me moved and I was able to shift into drive gear and it would move but it wouldn't shift from first gear.

- Eau Claire , WI, USA

problem #36

Nov 032014

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles
The reactive sunshell failed, causing the loss of 2nd gear, 4th gear and reverse. Upon researching, found that the part is known to be defective from the factory, and fails regularly, with the only repair option is to replace the whole transmission at a cost of over $2,000.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #35

Aug 292014


  • 193,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled and was unable to switch gears. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The technician stated that the transmission shifter cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 193,000.

- Loxley, AL, USA

problem #34

Jul 012013

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles


When I start my vehicle, the ABS and brakes lights go on, security light, and radio shuts off, or is on with no sound, the 4 wheel drive light flashes back and fourth between 4 wheel and 2 wheel drive, engine shuts off, while driving, then turns back on, this is the same problem all the recalled GM cars are having why is the 2002 Trailblazer not part of the recall?

- Cedar Rapids , IA, USA

problem #33

Aug 052013

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 122,924 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that transmission fluid was leaking onto the catalytic converter from the transmission line. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The technician stated the transmission cooler lines would have to be replaced due to corrosion on the insulated heat shield. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 122,924.

- Alpena, MI, USA

problem #32

Jul 022008


  • 142,000 miles
The first major problem I had with this Trailblazer I was driving down the road at 65 mph when for some reason the 4WD decided to shift into 4 low on its own. Well, this ripped out the cv joint half shaft on one side, destroyed the transfer case internals and broke off the axle housing from the aluminum oil pan on the engine. Ok, I got that fixed, added a new selector switch, then a few thousand miles later the transmission goes out while I'm on the interstate. It was completely destroyed inside. The transmission shop had to find a new core because mine looked like a bomb had went off inside it. So, I'm thinking it could have been caused by the first problem, maybe a delayed reaction" ok, we get a rebuilt transmission in it and just out of warranty it goes out again. No towing mind you, just easy highway miles with a mind on trying to get the best fuel mileage possible by driving like there was an egg between my foot and the accelerator pedal. So, I go to another transmission shop this time. Maybe the first guy didn't do a good job I'm thinking. So the 2nd transmission guy tells me that's not uncommon for the 4L60E to go out like that, they're garbage. So he puts me in a new tranny. Well, sure enough 6 months later it lost 3rd and 4th gears. The local shop is not to blame, these transmissions are junk. Many have flaws in them and GM knows it. So what are they going to do" unless I receive a recall notice on the transmission, the Trailblazer will keep its place in the backyard. Until the junk man comes around.

- Horse Cave, KY, USA

problem #31

Jul 112013

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 98,911 miles
The indicated vehicle is my wife's. we bought it brand new on 09/26/2001. She has never towed anything and has city and highway miles. We have had numerous problems: Instrument cluster, rear tailgate strap, right rear brake light, (3) solenoids, spare tire dropdown and deteriorated transmission lines. I have repaired all of the previous out of pocket (except for the strap and the spare tire dropdown). Now, my wife was on the way to the bicycle store in her truck, with the bicycle on the back. She was making a turn onto the main road when she heard grinding and squealing, and the speed dropped drastically. Luckily, it was around 10am when there is not much traffic on the road. Reading numerous posts on this website, it is the same problem everyone has had, the transmission sun shell, and no reverse. With 98911 miles, I was about to spend the weekend changing the fluid in the transmission to keep it to spec. Now, I'm looking at a very expensive bill of which I cannot afford. $30 is easier than $1200. And, I'm a manufacturing engineer, so I check fluids regularly, even though the oil change stations check them. Seeing that there are problems with these components, I think that General Motors should produce a recall. I'm very disappointed that with all of the complaints, nothing has been done to remedy the situation. We will be calling the dealer that we bought the vehicle from first thing Monday morning.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #30

Mar 282013


  • 162,417 miles
We just left the house to take the kids to get so food and we made it like fifty yards from the house and the tranny made a popping sound and so we stopped and tried to go and it wont move either way so I pull it back to the house and I start it up and the tranny is whining and I put it in reverse nothing happens so I put it in drive and it goes forward but wont shift.

- Westport, IN, USA

problem #29

Dec 162012

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 100,100 miles
I started my Trailblazer and let it warm for a few minutes. The truck idle was louder then normal but did not knock or miss. I put the truck into drive and pulled out of my driveway. As I was driving down the street I noticed the rpms shoot up and the truck slow, I pulled over and put it into park, the truck idled loudly. I put the truck into drive again and the RPM would rise with little power to the wheels. I nursed it up to highway speed and at higher speeds around 60 the problem seems to not be there. The truck continues to do this in the lower gears and at lower speeds. I notice the oil pressure goes up when this happens and I worry of doing more damage. I have already had a wiper module replaced that was recalled but never replaced before the vehicle was sold to me.

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #28

Aug 072012

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 74,888 miles
I own a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer that has a defective transmission. The transmission has been completely replaced twice at approximately 24,000 miles and 45,000 miles. I learned recently on August 7, 2012, at just under 75,000 miles, that the transmission hoses were leaking fluid and that the transmission would need to be completely replaced again. I think General Motors released a defective sports utility vehicle if the transmission needs to be replace approximately every 25,000 miles and these automobiles should be recalled as it could cause a safety hazard if the transmission stops working when someone is driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #27

May 212012


  • 186,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the transmission would not shift into third and fourth gears. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who filed a report and offered no further assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 186,000.

- Buncombe, IL, USA

problem #26

May 192012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the four wheel drive warning light illuminated on the instrument panel as the four wheel drive failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the transfer case control module needed to be replaced. The contact spoke with the manufacturer in reference to NHTSA recall campaign id number: 01V334000 (power train: Transfer case: 4-wheel drive), but was told that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unavailable and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #25

May 162012


  • miles
Tsb #pit-4722 -- GMC: Fluid leak from transmission oil cooler lines due to corrosion. All 2000-2006 light duty trucks equipped with the light duty automatic transmission. (NHTSA id #10026804, October 01 2008)

- Frankfort, OH, USA

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