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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Dec 112005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,716 miles


My 2002 Trailblazer with 32,716 miles on it, started to make a thud noise when slowing down and increasing speed on 12/09/05. I called chapman Chevrolet in tempe, AZ and made an appointment for 12/12/05 to have it looked at. On 12/11/05 while out christmas shopping my TB started to whine while in motion, then lost reverse. The service center called the afternoon of 12/12/05 to let me know that the sun shell gear had gone out in the transmission, and that the following day someone associated with the extended warrenty program would come out to verify the repairs, which all the repairs were covered, for which I only had to pay the $100 deductable. However, if I had not had the extended warrenty the repairs would have cost appx. $2700. Yes, my TB was past the 3year date of purchase, however I wouldn't excpect for a transmission to have problems or go out under 100,000 miles, unless the vehicle is being used commercially. I'm very disappointed with the quality of my TB, and plan to get rid of it before my extended warrenty runs out, my next vehicle will not be a GM product.

- Lake Havasu, AZ, USA

problem #62

Dec 162005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
1) no special events. Normal operation, backed out of parking place, heard metal noise, now tranny has no reverse, and won't shift out of 1st gear. Vehicle was left there at that point for tow. 2) vehicle is now being towed and serviced by aamco transmission. After reading numerous online discussion boards, it's very apparent to me that GM knows there is a problem with the 4L65E transmissions failing, but refuse to do anything about it, in the form of a recall. My wife was driving, since this is her vehicle, but I'm thankful that hers failed in a parking lot. I read some discussions that should definitely be a true safety hazard. As in, when some of these transmissions fail, the wheels lock up, which makes you skid. This could be very dangerous, especially for those of us that live in snow country!

- Georgia, VT, USA

problem #61

Dec 012002

Trailblazer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,846 miles
2002 Chevy Trailblazer, at 37K miles the transmission went out. Dealer repaired under warranty. At 60K miles, the exact same part on transmission went out again. GM agreed to split repair at 50/50. The transmission went out while driving. I was stranded over 100 miles away from home. Now at 90K miles on the vehicle, the exact same part has gone out again. I was driving home from work when the transmission would not shift out of first gear. It was a hazard to myself traveling on a state highway with a speed limit of 55 and the car would not move past 30 mph. It will not go in reverse. GM has said they will not do anything other than a 10% assistance to repair. I have read a number of other Trailblazer owner's complaints who have experienced the same issue. It seems to be a design default on the vehicle and GM does not want to look at it.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #60

Nov 272005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,968 miles


The contact heard a loud clinging noise in transmission. She could then only get the vehicle to go in first gear. The vehicle was then towed to a certified dealer. The dealer confirmed that the vehicle would need a new transmission. The manufacturer was contacted. They offered no free remedy. Updated 1/11/2006 -

- Hampton Falls, NH, USA

problem #59

Nov 212005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
My 4WD gave in and broke the front axle and seized the front diff. This happened in April and was repaired by GM. GM payed 40% of the cost to repair. The truck had 68000 miles on it at the time. The truck now has 72000 miles on it and the trasmittion needs to be replaced. I guess the sunshell is at fault, but regardless, pretty much the whole trucks drive train has needed to be replaced before 75000 miles. This shouldn't be the case and makes me wonder if this vehicle is a lemon.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #58

Oct 202005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles
2002 Chevy Trailblazer has sudden loss of power on highway. Slows from 65 to 30 with no response to throttle. No check eng light on. All gauges correct. Wait for 10 min on roadside with vehicle running try it again and it's ok - back up to 65 with no problem. Happens maybe every 2-3 weeks intermittantly. Could be very dangerous on nys thuway!. had dealer and 2 other mechs check it and they found nothing wrong. Fluid was good and level correct. No codes stored. Had flush and new filter - same thing.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #57

Nov 042005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,125 miles


Driving to work, engine seemed to rev up and didn't shift correctly. After going to work (interstate drive @20 mi). My return home, check engine light came on. Went to have fluid changed the next day and was told, "tranny's fried", had to take it to transmission shop for rebuild, still waiting to pick up.

- North Ft. Myers, FL, USA

problem #56

Oct 092005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
(1) no events leading up to failure (2) transmission failed at 44,000 miles, first time; failed at 99,000 miles, second time (3) had transmission rebuilt, first time; not repaired yet, second time.

- Malaga, OH, USA

problem #55

Feb 162004

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
Feb. 04 46,000 miles repaired transmission, 2nd gear and reverse broken, was told by a GM transmission repairman that this is very common problem, sometimes it takes just one fix, some Trailblazers have required many repairs (also problem on Envoy), being a straight 6, the transmission cannot handle the torque causing the gears in the transmission to break; vehicle cut off on me at a red light for unknown reason; dash gauges and radio would not come on when car started, drove for a few miles, cut car off, restarted and all came back on;radio facing becomes extremely hot to touch at times and flickers on and off; obnoxious squeak in the front end of car, taken to mechanics with no reason why; ticking noise while running; other than the transmission, no action has been taken due to reading the filed complaints of others with no real successful results or answers from dealers. I hate this car!!

- Campobello, SC, USA

problem #54

Oct 082005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,100 miles
2002 Trailblazer with 37,100 miles on it, when the transmission when out. No reverse or 2nd or 4th gear.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #53

Sep 012005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles


This complaint is for a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer with 44000 miles. My wife pulled out to pass a slow moving car and when she pulled along side the car she was passing, the motor just reved up and made a screeming loud sort of noise. There was a car coming ahead of her and the line of cars behind her had taken up the empty spot she had just pulled out to pass from, not to mention she was scared by the loud noise coming from the car. She almost hit the on-coming car head on. My wife and two children were in the car that almost cost them their lives. After researching the problem and talking to the dealership that is repairing the problem, it seems many people are having this transmission problem. My dealership's service manager said this shoud not happen again because the new parts are hardened steel, and the gear that was put in at the factory was not. I feel that this is a widespread problem and someone is not going to be as lucky as my family ended up being. I assume that the company is not recalling this transmission part because of the cost of replaceing this defective part. I feel that the saftey of my family and any other family is well worth the cost of replacing this defective part.

- Wisconsin Rapids , WI, USA

problem #52

Aug 112005

Trailblazer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
I own a 2002 Trailblazer and bought it new in May 2002 and purchased the extended warranty 5 years or 50,000 miles. The other morning on my way to work my car would not shift to the next gear automatically. This happened with no warning. It did this the whole way to work. I was concerned at that point that there was a problem with the transmission. When I came out of work to leave for the day I needed to get into reverse to get out of my parking space and my vehicle would not shift into reverse. At that point I knew there was a real problem. I checked my transmission fluid and it appeared to have been a little low so I added some fluid and that did not make difference. At this time the person who was parked in front of me left so I was able to get into drive and I drove carefully home. When I called the dealer and asked if my vehicle was still under warranty they checked and it was not. I have 58,000 miles on my car and my warranty was for 5 years or 50,000 miles. So at this point I had no other choice then to take it to the dealer or another shop to have it looked at. I chose to take it to aamco transmissions since my family has used them previously for other transmission problems. The mechanic there told me that they would do diagnostic tests, a test drive and then check to make sure all connections are good. Within a couple of hours he called me to let me know that my problem with my transmission was definitely internal and they would have to rebuild it. He told me that I had no 1 2 3 shift and no reverse. Once they had taken it apart he called me to give me the damage. The cost of the rebuild with several parts needing replaced this is costing me $2500. These are the parts that needed to be replaced, torque converter, drive shaft, transfer case fluid, steel plates, drive shell, update pumps, reactor shaft, thrust washer and epc solenoid.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #51

Aug 162005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,480 miles
Car starting making a whinnying noise. I then turned around and took to car to the dealership for repair, approximately 10 miles. Their investigation found it was the transmission, only 84,500 miles). At this point, I will have to authorize them to make the repairs, approximately $2500. After reading several message boards, it appears that this is a common problem that GM addressed on the 2003 model. Apparently, part of the transmission on the 2002 could not stand the heat. GM needs to fix this problem and issue a recall, and behind their product).

- Belmont, NC, USA

problem #50

Jul 202005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,665 miles
Vehicle was not shifting properly transmission failure ( sun shell spleen the works). Had an inspection and had to have new sun shell spleen, reconditioning of transmission. $ $3000 to fix, I see many complaints on the 2002 Trailblazer. This should be looked into, I called the manufacturer to tell them about the failure and they E-mailed me and thank me for the E-mail. My vehicle only had 49,665 mileage. I should have saved the parts they were in very bad shape. This failure was without any notice.

- Hillsboro, OR, USA

problem #49

May 092005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,567 miles
I had a problem with the engine slipping on my 2002 Chevy Trailblazer. I took it to the dealer and they said it was the 4 wheel drive button and replaced it. I am now having another problem with the transmission. When I start it up the brake light and ABS light stays on. When I put it into gear the engine keeps winding up and will not shift. I then have to pull over and turn the vehicle off then start it back up. This problem occurs on a daily basis.

- Chantilly, VA, USA

problem #48

Jul 292005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,674 miles
We own a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer 4WD with 57,000 miles. On the date of the incident, a clunk was heard from the transmission and the transmission would not shift properly and there was no reverse gear. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer. After inspection and road test, it was determined that the "sun shell spleen" had stripped and the sun gear and sun shell drum had to be replaced along with a reconditioning of the transmission. This repair came to the tune of 2022 dollars. Our service manager was able to have the factory cove half of the repair as a "goodwill gesture." I am also an employee at the dealer and had access to repair information provided by Chevrolet. Apparently, the material the original sun shell was made of was not able to withstand prolonged high temperatures that are found in the trans. For the 2003 model year and later, General Motors made the sun shell out of a "more heat resistant material" which will "hopefully" prevent the problem from recurring. In my opinion, this is equivalent to General Motors admitting that the original trans in our vehicle was of substandard quality right from the manufacturer. This problem has eroded away any confidence we have in GM and do not feel safe driving this vehicle for fear of the problem recurring in a much more dangerous situation that could lead to a loss of control and possible a major accident.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #47

Jul 132005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,200 miles
2002 Chevy Trailblazer ls 2wd 4.2L has 79,200 miles on it driving in town, parked in a parking spot to drop wife off. Put truck in reverse to back out of parking spot. Hear a loud "pop" and now I have no reverse, no overdrive. Car goes to 6000 RPM before shifting intot he next gear. Take truck to dealer, cost is 1800 to fix the transmission, I call GM customer assistance, tell me there is nothing they can do for me. Sun shell gear is one of the parts that need to be replaced

- Port St Lucie Florida, FL, USA

problem #46

Jul 172005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
My wife was driving her 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer when the transmission catastrophically failed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, and the diagnosis was "sun shell spline failure" in the transmission

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #45

Feb 122002

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21 miles
When accelerating the SUV seems to stall and needs a while to pick up and this causes many noises to come out of the engine. This has happened since I bought the truck in 2002. Took the truck in many times and the dealership said its normal, but my sister purchased a 2005 Trailblazer and when driving that the transmission is and sound excellent, unlike mine that souds like a semi taking off.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #44

Jul 162005


  • 56,000 miles
My Trailblazer has 56,000 miles and the transmission has went out with no sign that it was going out not even a warning light inside the truck or a noise when driving or starting the vehicle.

- Lexington, MS, USA

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