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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,457 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild the transmission (31 reports)
  2. not sure (10 reports)
  3. replace transmission (4 reports)
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Jun 202008

Trailblazer LS Inline 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


I returned home from Iraq in June 08. My trailblazer was driven 2 or 3 times (by my wife) while I was gone. On the second day I drove it, it just revved and went almost nowhere. I brought it to a local transmission shop and was told that a small piece of metal had broken loose and basically destroyed the tranny. I basically had no choice but to have it fixed and pay the bill. This is a vehicle that bought new and had minor problems since day 1. Some of those problems resurfaced after the warranty ran out and are still plaguing me today.

- , Montgomery, NY, USA

problem #23

Apr 272009

Trailblazer LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,200 miles

Feel like I am pissing in the wind, but I guess you can never have too much support....... driving to work yesterday when the car made an awful boom and lurched forward. I actually looked in the rear view mirror because it sounded and felt like I had dropped the engine! Realized I had no forward gears as I coasted into a parking lot, but was able to reverse into a spot. As we were researching the possible problems, we stumbled across this website and realize we are not alone in the problem! It's in a transmission shop now and I will update when we hear news.

BS to GM! Car was well-maintained, had no previous problems, etc. Interesting that one thread mentioned a recall in 2003.... I have had this car from day 1 and have never had a transmission recall. At one time the rear differential went out (while I was still under warranty) and they said it was a fluke....

Update from Apr 30, 2009: Ok, so we have found out that an angry little shard of metal flew off the torque converter and created a whirlwind off destruction on every piece it could touch. "Not unusual, but not common" was the comment..... Definitely need a new tc, along with shell, plates, separators, everything! Original quote was $2500 for the rebuild and installation, but we talked him down to $1650. Should take 2-3 days and there better not be any more problems!

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #22

Mar 152009

Trailblazer LS 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles

Well I hope I have caught this issue before it is too late. My wife's transmission has begun to rev real high before it shifts. There is an extremely loud whistle/whining noise when I accelerate. We were on our way to NYC and about 1 hour into the trip it got really bad. I decided to pull off at a gas station to assess the problem. I was about to check the transmission fluid, pulled out the dipstick and fluid poured out all over. So we decided to leave it (hoping it would get stolen) and finish the trip with a rental. When we came back through it was still there. Now I don't know what to do.

Any suggestions?

- , Chardon, OH, USA

problem #21

Mar 062009

Trailblazer LT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


The Trailblazer is my wife's car and she has always babied it. We really haven't had any problems up to now. When I realized that the transmission had to be replaced I did some research online and found out that this was a typical issue with many other Trailblazer owners. Maybe this is why the feds had to bail out GM. I think we should demand a bailout of our own instead of CEO's getting rich with no responsibilities to their costumers. Isn't it wonderful the GM won't take responsibility for selling a bad product, but is more than happy to take our tax dollars. I think that a class action suit should be filed against GM.

- , Birdsboro, PA, USA

problem #20

Feb 132009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

I wish I would have known about the transmission problems associated with the Trailblazer, for it would have stayed on the car lot. Similar to the many other complaints I have read, my transmission failed without warning. As I was driving up a hill, I felt like the Little Engine for my truck could barely make it. As I took a chance on the freeway a roaring noise suddenly occurred and the truck seem to drag. I have been told I will need to replace the entire transmission. However, based on what I have read I am concerned replacing may not be the best option. Whose to say the replaced transmission will not do the same! As in the words of Charlie Brown "Argh!"

- , Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #19

Feb 232009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Same issue as everyone else. Happened while accelerating. Heard a loud sound followed by a whining noise. Had towed to a shop and they quoted $950-$1050 to replace the sun shell with a sturdier piece. They haven't looked inside to see if there is further damage.

I did call GM to see if they had anything to offer. Unless you're a "loyal dealership customer" they are not interested in helping you out.

- , Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #18

Nov 292008

Trailblazer LT 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


What can I say that has not already been said here. I was very lucky in some respects. I live near Toronto, drove down to Columbus Ohio on Nov 28th. When I reached Columbus, I shut the truck off. When I started her up again, she would rev high on all gears before shifting. I had to take my foot off the gas at high revs to get her to shift. Got worse as the day wore on. 600 miles form home I decided to go for it. She made it home. The next day drove to work, got to the coffee shop pulled in and put her in reverse to back up... you guessed it, no reverse now. Drove it to a reliable shop, he knew the problem and gave me a fire fighter price og $2500 cdn to rebuild the tranny. (Normal price around here at the dealer is 4k - 5k.

Anyway, really pissed off about this. Bought the truck new, looked after her and with no warning, the tranny just began to die. I will follow up with GM Canada, but I will not hold my breath.

Just quickly, the brakes go regularly on these trucks and I have replaced both front hubs in the last year and the heater switch went 1 day out of warranty.... Can you say money pit...

Otherwise, great running truck, I think?

GM just lost a customer and when my Avalanche lease is up next year, guess what, bye bye GM products.

- , Acton, Ontario, Canada

problem #17

Nov 102008

Trailblazer LS 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 miles

I drove my 2002 Trailblazer from Chicago IL to Springfield Mo the last week of October 2008. Thank goodness the transmission didn't die then through some of the back roads of Missouri while checking out various fishing lakes. Anyways, tried to back out of my parking place at work November 7, 2008 and had no reverse. I managed to get it to the dealer on Monday November 10, 2008. Over the weekend, checked the internet and found this website. I knew I was in for big trouble once the dealer checked it out based on the complaints I read. Sure enough, I was quoted $4,800 to put in a new transmission. I told the dealer it was a defect, and they had very little to say. Based on the complaints I have read, there must be hundreds or even thousands of these vehicles that have had transmission problems. I took my Trailblazer to a reliable repair shop and they put in a re-built transmission for $2600. Is it a surprise that the company is failing.

No one wants to buy their un-reliable vehicles

- , Bellwood, IL, USA

problem #16

Oct 032008

Trailblazer 4.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

Well, I am sure I am just another in the long list of complaints. I was driving with my family to Walmart Friday night and BAM!!! Without warning car lurches like you just shoved it into neutral while accelerating! Started this real awful whine and could barely get it back home. You guessed it. No reverse, no 3rd or 4th gear. Could barely get it to shift into second gear. Tops was 25-30 mph the couple miles to limp it back to the house garage. I haven't had a chance yet to get it to a shop, but it is clear the sun gears are gone and the sun shell is broken. I am ticked off to have researched this and to have seen how big a problem this has been and for GM to deny this issue!!!!!

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #15

Aug 302008

Trailblazer LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

It was Labor day weekend I was going to work to work overtime. I was in a bad neighborhood stopped at a light when I pushed the gas pedal to do I went about 10 feet and then all of a sudden... I don't know the truck starting making a whining noise and had no power. I had to pull over in the nearest parking lot. Oh did I mention it was only 7:30 A.M So therefore I could not get a hold of anyone to come and help me. We called around and got all these crazy prices. Finally we called a transmission specialist to do a diagnostics test. He said there was some kind of metal contamination it was over for the transmission. Here it is Thursday night and my truck won't be done until Friday morning. I kept my truck well maintained I have every receipt to show for oil changes, flushes. I have not had any problems with it until now. When you pay money like this for a vehicle you're not going to ride it hard and tear it up.

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #14

Jul 052008

Trailblazer LT 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


My husband is going through the same BS with GM right now. They are telling him that our transmission problem is from wear and tear and that they do not have many complaints about this problem with their '02 trailblazer transmissions. Mine went without any warning. I drove to work just fine and when I was leaving later I had no reverse. My service engine light was now on and my ABS light.We had it towed to the Chevy dealer and first they told us that it would cost $99 to do a diagnostic test on the engine and another $99 for the ABS check. They called the next day and said that they would have to drain and fill the transmission fluid and run new lines..this brought the bill to 800 dollars. We told them to fix it. The next day they call and tell us that that wasn't the problem and now they will have to get into the transmission. GM is telling us that since we bought it as a used vehicle they have no idea about the vehicles history and can not help us. They are totally denying any knowledge of the defected transmissions. From reading other posts on other sites as well as this one obviously there is something wrong with them. We kept this vehicle well maintained since we bought 31/2 yrs. ago. If anyone has this problem let me know we should all get together and fight this!!

- , Rome, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 242008

Trailblazer EXT LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Well it seems as though I am among many of you who have also had this problem. No first gear or overdrive in my transmission, and it went out with no warning. This vehicle is not abused, it's well GM's excuse of wear and tear is a bunch of garbage. After four days in the shop I finally was able to pick my SUV up, now I have more problems. So it's going on a trip to the dealer. Won't idle, stalls at stoplights, some type of manifold sensor going bad. Add this to my list of things to be pissed off about. I spent every last dime I had to have the transmission rebuilt. This is my only vehicle so this whole ordeal is a huge inconvenience. There's a toll-free number for someone named Kyle at GM posted by another complainant....has anyone else tried to call this person to complain??? The more I read about transmissions in these SUV's, the madder I am getting. I want my money back from GM.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #12

Sep 012004

Trailblazer LS 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,830 miles

Could not put truck into reverse! I am sure i will have more transmission problems because it always acts funny the first time I drive it out of my driveway each day. It takes forever to shift out of first, but anyways I will deal with it when it happens, because it will. All they did was the cheapest thing possible at the time, replace seals, gaskets, reaction sun shell and shaft. It was under warranty at that time.

- , Evansville, IN, USA

problem #11

Feb 132008

Trailblazer 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,632 miles

transmission just went out. no warning signs or anything. left work, and heard an awful noise from under the hood. turned around and got back to work, had no reverse. this was my first gm product, and all my life i kept on hearing how wonderful and reliable gm products were. that is nothing but a crock of crap. from the moment i bought it, it was recall after recall. 6 to be in fact. had to take my truck to the shop 4 times to get these repaired. windshield wiper motor or something like that went out of course when it was raining cats and dogs outside. 219.00 to repaint this!!!! i WILL NEVER BUY A GM AGAIN. I WOULD RATHER BUY A RICE BURNER AND DRIVE IT AROUND. ALL MY FAMILY MEMBERS ARE UAW MEMBERS AND THEY WILL PROBABLY SHUN ME FROM THE FAMILY, BUT AT LEAST I WILL HAVE SOMETHING SAFE TO DRIVE.

- , Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #10

Nov 172006

Trailblazer LTZ

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,000 miles

I have had nothing but horrible luck with my trailblazer and the transmission. It has had the same issue three times. Finally the last time, after not getting any help from General Motors I took it to a transmission place and had them put in a new transmission. My car sat at the dealer for 7 months while I tried to get anyone at General Motors to step up and take care of this horrible issue. After many telephone calls, letters to the every executive they were still unwilling to help. The only reason I have kept the car is because I now have a 5 year, 50,000 mile warranty on the new transmission. A little piece of mind. I think that GM knows there is an issue and are unwilling to do anything about it. If there is ever anyone who files a suit, gets something done, definitely contact me. I have lots of documentation on the entire frustrations of dealing with this transmission failure. Three times is ridiculous!!!!

- , Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #9

Aug 212006

Trailblazer LS V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I am very unhappy with this vehicle. Even our Chevy salesman told us that the '02 models were riddled with issues but that they fixed them in the newer ones. Lucky me.

I started noticing a problem on day in the morning with the auto shifting. It had a hard time changing gears. Then a few hours later it got stuck in second gear and sounded very odd. We took it in and sure enough the transmission was out and had ot be replaced. Chevy would not pay for the replacement and said it was due ware and tear. I do casual driving so this made no sense.

- , N Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 192007

Trailblazer 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,683 miles

located a transmission repair shop who will rebuild the unit for $1900.00 with a 3yr, 50,000 mile warranty. They will be replacing not only the defective parts involved. Also a new torq converter, with a updated shift kit for this unit.

Still no word from GM about my issue. Contacted the Better Business Bureau. Good luck to others.

- , Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #7

Nov 262007

Trailblazer 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

Nov 26,2007. the morning of this failure. i noticed the trans. had a slight delay in the drive gear after backing up. And again noticed it at the first stop sign. Then driving at 40mph i heard a ugly noise from under the SUV. Arrived back home, and heard a scraping noise from the trans. Proceeded to back up and no reverse. Forward gears O.K.

Read other complaints after the fact. And will also contact, GM and NHTSA on this matter. Thanks for your info and hope we can get this resolved.

- , Eau Claire, WI, USA

problem #6

Nov 132007

Trailblazer LT 4.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I bought my 2002 Trailblazer used 6 months ago. I got in my vehicle to leave and it seemed to be running high. When I put it into reverse I heard a lot whining noise and then a boom. Needless to say it would not move. I put my vehicle into park and it continued to run high and whine. I have all the drive gears except for reverse. My vehicle never gave me any warning signs or problems before this. I contacted GM company and they said to have a diagnostic test done and if it is because of a defect then they will pay for the cost of repair but said that this is the first complaint of a transmission problem. Now I will have to have it towed to a dealership and have it repair.

- , Ville Platte, LA, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #5

Nov 022007

(reported on)

Trailblazer LS 4.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,500 miles

The transmission went out on my vehicle 3000 miles after the extended warranty expired (bought it used). My transmission repair shop guy tells me this is the third one in 3 weeks they have worked on for the same problem. I went online(typed in 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer Transmission Problems & found quite a few websites. They were all full of complaints & stories from people whose transmissions had died. I called the Chevrolet Consumer Helpline. They told me that they were not aware that there was a problem with these transmissions & basically since it was out of warranty too bad. I asked her for the number for the NHTSA (they do the recalls). Unbelievably she gives it to me (1-888-327-4236). I called them, they asked a lot of questions & told me there had been a recall on these vehicles on Feb 25, 2003 coNcerning the transmissions. She suggested I call GM Corporate & talk to them. They informed me my vehicle had been serviced for that problem but they could not give me the date it was done since I was not the owner at that time. The guy at GM Corporate I talked to was Kyle . His direct number is 1-866-790-5600 ext 31503. He asked a lot of questions including where the vehicle was now & why I did not have it towed to the dealership. I told him that was because I know the dealership would not replace the transmission only replace the sun gear part & that it would happen again & I didn't want to have to have it done repeatedly. He said he would call my guy & check into how many complaints they had on this problem. Then he would call me back to let me know what they could do. He called back as I was leaving the transmission repair place & told me they wouldn't be able to help with the cost because they did nt consider it to be a defective part or problem on their part. He also said that they have had very few complaints on this.


Maybe if he gets enough complaints they will do something.

Meanwhile keep your receipts from your repairs. If & when they recall them, they have to reimburse you.

- , Timberville, VA, USA

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