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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,453 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #143

Sep 302009


  • 166,000 miles


2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer ls transmission cooler lines rusted through causing transmission to burn up 3rd and 4th gears of automatic transmission. It appears that by reading the other two submissions that General Motors has a problem and to where they located the cooler lines to cause rust through. I did have some brake work that I believe caused the rusted cooler lines to be jarred enough for the lines to be sped up to the rupture point.

- Charlestown, NH, USA

problem #142

Sep 282009


  • 79,880 miles
Transmission cooler lines rusted through.

- Ashford, WV, USA

problem #141

May 012009


  • 113,000 miles
Bought a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer from a used car dealership in 04/09 and noticed a small puddle of fluid on the driveway. I did some quick searching and found that due to the location of the oil filter some oil could puddle up on the "skid plate" under the truck which can drip for a few days after so I thought nothing of it. Luckily I checked the transmission fluid after my wife mentioned the truck was shifting funny. It was 2 qts low and after further investigation I noticed the transmission cooling lines are severely corroded and leaking. I did some searching and noticed a tsb for the issue - pit-4722. Chevy should issue a notice to the users of these vehicles and offer to replace. I don't know about all the other vehicles but the transmissions cooling line is leaking right next to the Trailblazers exhaust and I'm guessing that is not a very safe situation.

- Horicon, WI, USA

problem #140

Jul 262009


  • 62,000 miles


We were driving our 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer to the local mall and upon speeding up to 35 mph and changing to faster lane, transmission gave way and vehicle immediately decelerated while traffic behind us was approaching. A bit of a scary moment, but there was no accident. There was no warning that this was about to happen, and I had my wife and three-year-old in the vehicle. The transmission was completely wrecked on a vehicle that is well maintained and only has about 62,000 miles on it. After reading on the internet this seems to be a well documented problem, but I also believe a safety issue, and GM has never recalled these transmissions to address this issue.

- Gallup, NM, USA

problem #139

Jun 262009


  • 85,000 miles
2002 Trailblazer transmission cooling line leak from corrosion.

- Vandalia, OH, USA

problem #138

May 012009


  • 105,000 miles
My 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer ls developed a leak in the transmission cooling line where the line was covered with a foil covered fabric protector, which while I'm sure it provided heat protection, sure did do a good job at retaining salt water during the winter. Realizing that transmission fluid is combustible and the catalytic converter, which is located in close proximity gets pretty hot, this could have resulted in a serious fire.

- Zion, IL, USA

problem #137

Jun 222009


  • 142,002 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While attempting to place the vehicle into reverse, it failed to move and a whining noise was coming from the engine. Through online research, the contact found NHTSA campaign id number 01V283000 regarding the transfer case, but the VIN was not included in the recall. The contact feels that this is a safety issue because the vehicle cannot operate in reverse. The current and failure mileages were 142,002.

- Marion, SC, USA

problem #136

May 132009


  • 92,000 miles
92,0000 miles, we do no towing. I've had vehicles that get 150,000 miles with no transmission problems. Driving vehicle when all of a sudden it shifted into second gear, I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. Put vehicle in park and shut engine. Looked under hood & saw no obvious problems. Restarted vehicle and drove 3/10 M. and repeated same mannerism of shifting into 2nd gear. Had vehicle towed and shop told us we need a new transmission.

- Rutland Town, VT, USA

problem #135

Mar 162009


  • 62,000 miles
2002 Chevy Trailblazer - we had the transmission in our 2002 Trailblazer replaced in Sept of 2006 because the sun gear failed and ruined the transmission. This truck has not towed anything. Now 35000 miles later, the same problem. This is the second transmission that had to go into this SUV with the towing package. We don't tow anything and yet the transmission fails from highway driven miles. This is obviously some type of defect after researching the internet, I have found many people having the same problem. I am tired of wasting hard earned money to pay for a manufactures faulty parts. They even have a service bulletin stating a potential problem with the part and don't do anything about it. I am tired of paying $2200 + to correct their problems. When the transmission failed again a few days ago, my wife was nearly run into by the car behind her. I am seriously considering legal action.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #134

Nov 092008


  • 58,420 miles
I was driving about 20mph after a turn and I heard a loud clunk then followed a loud winding noise. I could not go more than 25mph so I slowly made it to my home. Once I was in park I tried to go in reverse and found that I had lost it. I also lost 2nd and 4th. I got an estimate of $1485 so I had to park it until I could save the money up in these hard times. I took it in to my local transmission place and they told me this was a common problem with 02 GM transmissions. If this is so common and I'm reading all these complaints why do I not see any recall.... someone can get seriously hurt especially when there are no warning signs. I would hope to get some sort of monetary compensation for what I had to pay out, especially with GM knowing this is a common problem. This really concerns me with GM, they need to be on the ball for their consumers safety.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #133

Oct 202008


  • 134,000 miles


I had 37000 miles on my SUV when my sunshield went out luckily it was still under warranty. Then at 75,000, it went out again, I had to pay for half the cost. Now at 134,000 miles my transmission has gone out. I have been round and round with the GM people. They do not want to do anything. I have had it rebuilt twice and it keeps going out. I keep telling the dealership that there is something causes the transmission to keep going out but they don't want to listen and want to put a brand new one in. I think GM should have to pay for everything I have spend so far and also I will not ever by a GM vehicle again. I will buy foreign. I am still out of commission.

- Abbeville, AL, USA

problem #132

Jan 212009


  • 67,853 miles
1. backing out of a parking space. Heard a loud pop. 2. reverse no longer works, cant back out of parking spaces. Will not shift into 2nd or 4th gear. Transmission needs to be replaced. 3. transmission must be rebuilt or new transmission installed. Costs between 1500 and 3000 dollars. Car only has 67,000 miles on it and the transmission should not fail this quickly.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #131

Jan 142009


  • 113,000 miles
I have 2002 Chevy Trailblazer that transmission failed at 113,000 miles. Rebuilt at a cost of $2,000 by dealer. Also transfer case electronic modulator went out and replaced @ $800 by same dealer. Also replaced the fan clutch at same dealer for $800. Within 1 week I have spent $3,600. I have owned 6 new GM products and have never replaced this much expensive equipment. I know the transmission is a major issue and felt GM or the dealer should help on the repair. Dealer refused and would not request GM's help. The other items I am sure are related or replaced at a very high rate. Evidence of these repairs are all over the internet. My Trailblazer is driven by my wife to work and they are all road miles. I did not expect to pay for all costs but they could have worked with me. I paid $25,000 for this vehicle and expected a lot more. GM does not deserve a bail out. They need a good ass kicking for the dumb asses that tried to support them all these years by buying their product. If there is help from all the bail out money they get include my $3,600. I would not expect a free repair but with the number of complaints there are they should be made to repair or reimburse on some kind of scale.

- Mount Washington, KY, USA

problem #130

Apr 202008


  • 97,650 miles
I was driving down the road and my Chevy 2002 Trailblazer would not drive right and it started making a loud screeching noise and then I pulled over and I could not go in reverse. I then figures I lost the transmission. No warning. Thank god I was traveling slow at the time. I have had several major defects with this vehicle. Chevy must have a recall on this problem. Last week I had to put in a new fuel filter, a couple months ago it was front hub bearing. I had to get a new starter, brakes and rotors every year, clutch fan. No wonder Chevy is having problems they sell junk. Please help us people whom can't afford another new vehicle.

- Natrona Heights, PA, USA

problem #129

Dec 192008


  • 111,000 miles
On 11/14/07 I purchased a "02 Trailblazer from salisbury Chevrolet, in scotia, NY. On December 21, 2007 I had the transfer switch replaced because the 4WD would randomly switch from 2wd to 4lo or AWD. I never had to use the 4WD last winter, snow falls weren't that bad. Went to switch it on this year on 12/19 and come to find out that my 4WD was not functioning. Took it the dealer and it will cost me $600 to repair. The "service 4WD" light never came on.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #128

Nov 212008


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While driving 55 mph, the engine revved and would not change gears. The contact arrived home and turned off the vehicle. When he restarted the vehicle, it would only drive forward and not in reverse. The vehicle was towed to the transmission repair shop and they opened the transmission. They discovered scraps of metal where the gear shift was shredded. The mechanic stated that the sun shell was the cause of the failure and a new transmission was needed. The failure occurred without warning. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Buffalo, MN, USA

problem #127

Nov 262008


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer with 80,000 miles on it. To make a long story short I have had the transmission serviced per the manufactures recommendations. My dealership has record of this. We have had no problems with the vehicle transmission up until 26 Nov 2008. Without warning the transmission made a loud bang and I lost overdrive. I also lost reverse gear after getting the vehicle to a parking lot. The transmission shop (aamco) is charging me $2095 to rebuild it. This includes a new torque converter. This is ridiculous for a vehicle with only 80,000 miles on it. GM should be ashamed as it seems there is a long list of folks with the same problem as me. I would like some monetary compensation to help repair this. Thought you guys might like to know.

- Enon, OH, USA

problem #126

Nov 262008


  • 70,000 miles
Was pulling into work parking lot when a heard a quick bang followed by screeching noise. I tried parking but could not go into reverse. Forward gears appear to work fine but reverse is completely gone. My 2002 Trailblazer has under 70,000 miles on it and has always been maintained in excellent condition. After reading some of the complaints online, I suspect that once I take it for repair I will be told it is the sun shell and corresponding gears. I'm glad I wasn't in a dangerous position when the tranny went out but I completely agree that the sun shell issue in these Trailblazers is a huge safety issue and it's sickening that as of today a recall to correct the issue is not out there! I suppose it takes a few tragedies for someone to do something about it but I'm hoping that's not the case this time.

- Burbank, IL, USA

problem #125

Oct 152008


  • 60,000 miles
As I was driving up a hill in Ohio, my car tried to downshift and made a grinding sound and I temporarily lost control of the vehicle causing me to swerve off of the road. I immediately took my foot off the gas and when I regained control, the car no longer shifted correctly. Apparently my sunshell broke which I guess is a common problem with cars that have this sunshell in them. It ended up costing $2500 to fix my vehicle because GM uses inferior car parts. This is a safety hazard and a recall should be initiated.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #124

Mar 142008


  • 70,000 miles
The transmission in my 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer began to kick or surge in 2nd gear which created a bang in the rear end. I had vehicle inspected by a GM dealer and they told me the could determine where the problem was coming from. They suggested that I should keep driving the vehicle. About 2 weeks after the inspection, the transmission in my 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer failed with 70,000 miles when I was pulling out of a parking lot. Vehicle left me an 2 passengers stranded and I had to pay to tow the vehicle. The same GM dealership tore down the transmission and determined the cause was a failed sungear in the transmission. GM did not stand behind any of the repair even though they admitted to me over the phone that there is a problem with the transmission (model# 4L60E). I was not able to afford the $3,200 factory rebuild that the GM dealer offered to sell me, which GM said was already at a discount. All I could afford a the time was to replace the transmission with a used transmission with 40,000 miles on it. Now I have about 8,000 miles on the vehicle since the replacement and the same issue is happening again. I understand I took the chance with the used transmission. The fact that GM admits that there is a problem directly to a consumer and they don't stand behind the problem shows poor company ethics. GM admits the problem but willingly allows the faulty vehicles out on the road risking the lives of loved ones and children.

- Campbellsport, WI, USA

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