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 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Jun 182008


  • 48,313 miles


Transmission went bad with no warning. Was unable to pass cars and loss of power.

- N Andover, MA, USA

problem #122

Oct 022008


  • 104,000 miles
Driving along and hear a thump, RPM's rev up. Transmission not shifting properly. Then, when I try to put the car in reverse, there is no reverse! this is the second time this has happened on this vehicle. I've read that this happened to numerous people, and it has something to do with the sunshell part of the transmission. Chevy needs to recall this as it is an ongoing problem.

- Pineville, KY, USA

problem #121

Sep 032008


  • 76,094 miles
Failure of transmission on 9-3-08. Near collision with oncoming car because of loss of power as I turned left and tried to accelerate across the center line. The car would no longer move forward or in reverse. The car was towed to a transmission shop. They told me that it was the failure of the sun shell, a $39 dollar part. The entire ordeal cost me over $3600 and climbing. The failure of the sun shell sheared off the cheap gears and the fragments filtered through my transmission causing more damage. My car had 76,094 miles on it at the time. The owners manual states that service for the transmission is not due until 100,000 miles. I thought I was buying a dependable car. This, I consider a major safety issue. If I was in traffic on the freeway and the transmission failed I would have been in serious trouble. I can only imagine what would have happened if was in the path of a semi truck. In the name of safety and the consumers pocket books who fund this engineering gaff, I think this issue should evoke serious consideration by the NHTSA to enforce a recall of the sun shell transmission part in all GM cars.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #120

Sep 052008


  • 39,544 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. When the contact shifted into reverse, he noticed that the RPM's would rise; however, the vehicle would not move. He also noticed that the transmission would not shift from first to second gear unless the contact released the pressure off of the throttle. The vehicle was taken to a transmission shop and it was discovered that the sun shield needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 39,544.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #119

Aug 292008


  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While attempting to accelerate from a stop, the vehicle would not move and the RPM's increased. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and has not yet been diagnosed by the dealer. She did not notice any differences beforehand. The current and failure mileages were 154,000.

- Hulbert, OK, USA

problem #118

Aug 202008


  • 141,660 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While attempting to shift the gear into reverse, the contact heard a loud noise. She continued to drive the vehicle and, once at her destination, unsuccessfully attempted to shift into reverse again. The following morning, she attempted to drive the vehicle again and it made very loud noises under the hood. In addition, the gear would still not shift into reverse. The contact discovered that she was experiencing the same failures mentioned in NHTSA campaign id number 01V334000 (power train:transfer case (4-wheel drive)). The manufacturer informed her that her VIN was not included in the recall; therefore, she would be responsible for the repair costs. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 141,660 and current mileage was 141,694.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #117

Aug 012008


  • 73,045 miles


There were no signs or symptoms of the transmission sunshell breaking. I never towed anything, no off road driving, no hard shifting, nothing. I just woke up went out to go to the store started my Trailblazer and no reverse gear just a whinning noise.

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #116

Mar 012004

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I bought a new 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer in January 2002. When I reached 50,000 miles in 2004, reverse and 4th gear suddenly stopped working. I had the transmission rebuilt and sun gear replaced at aamco of charlottesville. Now I took, at 99,000 miles, it in for a fluid change and was told the fluid looked bad and they were concerned I might have more transmission problems. Transmission rebuilt should not be needed every 50,000miles. I do mostly highway miles, and very rarely tow anything.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #115

Jan 142008

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
I purchased a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer from younger Toyota in hagerstown, md on May 12, 2007. Approximately a week and a half afterwards, I contacted the salesman that sold us the vehicle, phil young, complaining that the transmission was making a noise and the vehicle wasn't shifting correctly. He told me to bring it in to the service department. My husband (not car savvy) said that the noise was coming from the underside of the Trailblazer and felt it might be the brakes causing the noise and jerking. I stuck to my guns that it was the transmission and wanted it repaired while it still had the 30 day warranty. Younger denied it was the transmission and noted my husband's theory of the brakes, but nothing about my complaint concerning the transmission. The Trailblazer was taken back 2 or 3 more times to the service department, we demanded they fix it. The Trailblazer sat in their lot for three weeks because we would test drive it and bring it right back stating that the problem was still there. On or around January 14, 2008 the Trailblazer broke down in charlestown, wv. We took it by creamers automotive, they asked what the symptoms were and the mechanic drove around the block with me, instantly stated that it was the sunshell in the transmission and that they had someone in earlier that week with the same problem. They had purchased their vehicle at younger automotive as well and they denied the transmission problems and wouldn't note it on their paperwork as well. In my research of this problem, I found it to be very widespread, there are hundreds of complaints on one website alone. The sunshell is a faulty part that should be recalled by GM. Someone is going to be hurt or even killed if this isn't taken care of immediately. GM is fully aware of this problem, there have been hundreds, maybe even thousands of complaints on this particular vehicle and should take ownership of a product they produce and sell.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #114

Feb 062008

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • miles
Transmission problems. Locked two back wheels for seconds and back to normal. Big scare on the road. After that no reverse was possible. Ended up in shop. Closed to $2500 in repairs.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #113

Nov 112003

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While driving approximately 50 mph, the contact heard a loud screeching noise underneath the vehicle. The check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer rebuilt the transmission and the sun shield. One year later, the failure recurred and the dealer made the same repair. The failure recurred for the third time a year later and the dealer stated that it was an internal transmission failure. The contact filed a formal complaint with the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 45,000 updated 3/5/08 the consumer stated second failure mileage was 77,000 and the third was 167,000 miles. The consumer further stated the dealer rebuilt the transmission and sunshield 1st and 2nd time but refused the third time. The consumer stated the dealer replaced the 4 wheel drive switch because it kept blinking. Updated 03/05/08

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #112

Nov 282007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
My 2002 Chevy Trailblazer has had multiple drive train/transmission failures. It currently has 99000 miles on it and has been in for transmission complaints/work on 5 separate occasions. The last occasion being Nov. 28, 2007 at which time the car would roll backward while in park. Upon removing the transmission pan metal shavings were found. Currently this vehicle is at the dealership awaiting service/ call back from General Motors corporation customer care as to whether they will cover failure due to the warranty of 5 year was up 8/31/07, with some transmission parts warranted from repair at 90,000 miles. However, the Chevy service garage cannot guarantee that it is the previously repaired parts failure, therefore cannot guarantee coverage under warranty. I have 2 small children that are with me daily in this vehicle, I have had to have it towed due to transmission failure twice and now the vehicle rolls out of park. These aforementioned facts make me fear for the safety of myself and my family in this vehicle.

- Bellville, OH, USA

problem #111

Jan 122004

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,478 miles
2002 Chevy Trailblazer total transmission failure at 25,478 miles. Sun shell stripped in transmission causing near fatal accident in intersection in ft.myers, fl.causing loss of control of vehicle, 01/12/04. Need complete recall of this transmission. Sun shell defective not holding up stripping, metal to thin 1/16 and stripping out causing loss of control of vehicle and causing transmission to fail. Also clutch fan failure at same time, 01/12/04. Many reports of 2002 Trailblazer transmission failure at many dealerships. Time for GM to take care of this issue before someone gets hurt or killed because of this well known problem GM has with their transmission failure due to a defective sun shell. Alfred J. attard

- Brownstown Twp., MI, USA

problem #110

Nov 262007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,673 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact heard a loud noise underneath the vehicle. Upon arriving home, he discovered that he could not shift into reverse. Chevrolet has not been notified. The current and failure mileages were 53,673. Updated 12/12/07

- Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #109

Nov 022007

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
I was driving down the road (fortunately in a 25 mph zone) when the transmission made a loud clunk then whine, after which the engine revved and I lost any ability to change gears. After stopping the car, I found only the reverse was not working - the other gears will shift over 3000 RPM. I have been told it is a faulty sunshell gear in the transmission.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #108

Oct 292007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,545 miles
I had several instances of the engine revving up before the vehicle would shift. These were usually when the engine was cold so I assumed that was the problem. However 5 days ago the transmission went out. The engine revved really loud, the tach number went way up, suddenly the vehicle clunked & jerked into gear it then made a whining noise & when I got home (drove it real slow & not far from home) there was no reverse. Chevrolet says there is not a problem with these transmissions & they have not received very many complaints on this problem. My transmission repair shop told me this is the third one in 3 weeks with the exact same problem. Chevrolet is refusing to do anything about this. There are numerous web sites full of postings of people with the same problem.

- Timberville, VA, USA

problem #107

Sep 112007

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,053 miles
I purchased a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer the transmission went out at 15053 miles with previous owner 2-3 shift solenoid in transmission replaced. The transmission went out with me at 33431 miles, still under factory warranty. Dealership found shell stripped out reaction carrier teeth broke replaced all clutches replaced 2/4 band. At 83029 miles transmission went out with me again. Vehicle is now out of warranty. Dealership found reaction sun gear stripped inside reaction sun shell. Replaced sun gear and shell & O/H transmission. I called GM customer service and asked them to replace the entire transmission because I felt something was causing these parts to keep going bad and this is the 3rd time. I felt there could be one part that came from the factory in this transmission as a defect. GM agreed to pay parts if I paid labor to replace parts not replace complete transmission. This cost me $840. Now it is 119000 miles and transmission gone again. I called GM to explain to them that this is the 4th time and I requested a new transmission and a refund of my $840 from last time because for some reason this transmission has a pattern of going out at approximately every 30 to 40000 miles. GM would not assist me with any assistance. The diagnostic this time shows would not shift out of 1st but to determine what parts were bad it would have to be broken down. I was hoping GM would assist me in this matter but I seem to get no where. I hope you can help!

- Yatesville, GA, USA

problem #106

Oct 122007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles
My wife heard a clunk when driving. She asked me to drive the vehicle the next day and the transmission failed.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #105

Oct 042007

Trailblazer 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Transmission has failed at 55,000 miles, not driving car but was about to run errands. Have had to replace power steering block, alternator, starter, tail lights, instrument panel, radio and electric on a car that is just over 5 years old. The instrument panel, power steering block and transmission are all not under warranty.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #104

Sep 192007

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,600 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While driving 45 mph, the contact heard a loud pop coming from the engine compartment. He stopped and turned off the vehicle. The vehicle was unable to be restarted. There were no warning indicator lights present. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that a new transmission was needed. The current and failure mileages were 53,600.

- Miami Lakes , FL, USA

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