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: Carrying the not-so-proud traditions of its 2002 predecessor, the 2003 has a handful of instrument panel malfunctions that can leave you guessing your speed, engine temperature or how much gas is left in the tank.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,774 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.

2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #116

Dec 012011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


The problem that I have with my truck is an electric problem involving the light relays, which I ad to replace several times due to them being damaged, leaving me without lights. My main concern is that I drive at night often and I am in danger when I have the lights on and off. I did research on several forums where same-vehicle-owners have experienced the same issues.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #115

Feb 262013


  • 142,500 miles
Bought used from a dealer. Had for 2 days when had first prob that was fixed got back after a week. Ran great. Drove for 1 day and ran good, stopped at a stop sign and went to pull onto main highway and wouldn't move forward. Backed up fine but no forward. I finally got it to crawl forward. After a lil while it kicked back in and ran fine til I stopped again. Finally I made it home and parked it. After they finally came and towed it and "fixed" it I had it and drove it for 1 day and had same problem. After it sat for a while it did go again. Pulled into driveway and parked it. Still waiting for it to be towed and "fixed" again and hopefully right this time. I have researched this problem and found it happens a lot. Sounds like it might be the fan clutch or sun shell spline. Not sure yet though. Called mechanic that dealer had fix it and they only changed a valve in tranny they thought was bad. Said they have about 3 more of them to check before they replace whole tranny. I hope more people research these vehicles and don't buy them.

- Bath, NY, USA

problem #114

Feb 262013

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
This is just the most recent of electrical problems I have had with the 2003 Trailblazer lt. Since the vehicle reached about 47000 miles I have had repetitive electrical problem: Ac went out, radio went out, replace alternators three times batteries 4, refusal to start, some power vampire sucking out the power, and now I am driving along and the entire instrument cluster stops working. I get to the grocery store and shop then come out and it is working again. Then the next day, none of the gauges are working from the time I started it. I called Chevy at 1-800-222-1020 and was informed there is no recall, but I see this is a common problem according to on-line complaints. [xxx], at Chevrolet said they can't do anything until it is seen by a dealer. I have evaluation appointment set for 3/4/2013. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #113

Jan 312012

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles


After putting the drivers window down at a fast food drive thru it would not go back up. This was in January, very cold in Michigan. Dealer said moisture must have gotten into switch and the whole module had to be replaced. I asked if that means the doors can't be opened when it was raining, he said yes they can but for some reason GM has a lot of drivers door window switches going bad on the Trailblazers. The cost to have it replaced was $430 which we paid seeing how only the dealer can program the new switch. It's now one year later and the same switch has gone bad again, I called the dealer but were over the 12,000 mile warranty. It will cost another $430 to replace again.

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #112

Jul 012011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 113,500 miles
Tachometer quit working first, then speedometer. This is an obvious safety concern. Dealership previously indicated it will cost about $1,000 to fix. There are a lot of complaints but there is no bulletin or recall on this so GM refuses to do anything. A speedometer should no go out on a car, no matter how many miles and if it is not an isolated instance, there needs to be a recall. Why is there a recall on other GM models but not the Trailblazer?

- Fergus Falls, MN, USA

problem #111

Aug 012010


  • 150,000 miles
The gauge cluster on my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer stopped working over two years ago. From the readout upon my dashboard gauges, I have no idea at what speed I'm driving, how much fuel is in my tank, what is the electrical supply from my battery, or the engine's oil pressure. The tachometer does not register prm's. thankfully I use a tomtom gps to gauge my speed, and the odometer does function, so I know to stop for a fuel refill every 250-300 miles traveled. This will usually place me at between 1/4 tank and empty.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #110

May 232012

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


Speedometer does not give true speed sometimes and sometimes it will be right, sometimes speedometer will be at 50 mph when the vehicle is not moving. Turning. Switch off and on. Speedometer needle will go back to zero. Techometer dose not work sometimes. Have cheked on line complaints about this problem there are alot of complaints with the same problem. There should be a recall on all these vehicles.

- Mt. Airy, NC, USA

problem #109

Oct 132011


  • miles
Cpsc#I11A0455A. 2003, 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Consumer stated he has electrical problems with burned connections at headlights and blower motor resistors. The consumer stated one of the 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazers head light connectors burned, the other 2003 and 2005, the connector for the ac blower resistor burned.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #108

Jun 012011


  • miles
Was previously contacted by an "[xxx]" from Washington, DC to retrieve the power window module that had caught fire. I was going to turn the part over to NHTSA. I am in DC at the us postal service hq on mon/wed/th. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Haymarket, VA, USA

problem #107

Dec 302011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 151,883 miles
I had gone to a friends house with my boyfriend and our 10month old daughter the car was working great on 12-31-11 at around 5pm we parked the vehicle. On our way home at about 10:45pm we got on the road car drove fine we jumped on the fwy it was foggy and really hard to see we were on the 54 fwy in san diego approaching the 805 South there is a high on ramp we were going about 55 to 60 and all of a sudden I pushed on gas and lost all power to vehicle it sounded like I was in neutral and because it was up hill and curved very difficult to see us with just hazard lights on. I was praying thinking someone was going to take us out. Every car would swerving around us and honking we finally pulled over to the side of the fwy off of the ramp and turned off car turned it back on and it gave us enough power to get to the street exit. Once there again did the same and at that point we parked and left car on the side of the road after calling a friend to pick us up since we didn't want our baby out on the street that late and on new years. I have also had several other problems ac only works on 5 back passenger panel makes clicking noise when on and back ac works when it wants to. Also RPM gauge doesn't function, car alarm is very faint when place on. I have 3 other children and 1 car and now don't know what to do since we depend on the car. We have had small problems with this car and about 5 to 6 months ago my car engine started knocking and had to be replaced however ac already wasn't working and neither was the RPM gauge. When we replaced the engine the car ran great had a lot of power and everything. This was the worst experience of my life and I thought we were going to die.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #106

May 312011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • miles


I am the original owner of a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer. When I first purchased the vehicle in the month of October/2002, I didn't experience any problems until maybe the fourth year, going on its 5th; right before the warranty was about to expire. The first problem I encountered with the vehicle was the transmission. It didn't want to change gears properly. Because of the 5 year warranty, the dealership was able to fix that problem, at that time. Today, I continue to experience transmission problems: With a loud noise, a struggle in horse power and a vibration when I am at a complete stop. I have spent so much money on other electrical parts as well. I have purchased over ten light bulbs for rear brake lights that continue to malfunction. I recently replaced a relay because the head lights would constantly go out after the vehicle was turned on. I replaced the fan clutch and water pump because they both went out. I also replaced a battery and two starters. For the past few months, my vehicle smells like fuel everytime I turn it on. I am asking that your department look into all of these claims. It appears that almost everyone that owes a 2003 Trailblazer has been experiencing the same issues, but yet; no one is doing enough to protect all those consumers who have been grateful to this country in purchasing american made vehicles. A sincere thanks.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #105

Dec 022011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I have bought many Chevy vehicles but with all the problems im having with this truck im not sure I will purchase another. Last year my transmission was giving me problems and there was a recall on it and my truck was not covered under the recall also same was with the tail lights. This year I am having problems with my wipers during rain storm I went to turn them on and nothing. I couldnt see so I had to pull over until the rain had let up(2hrs later). I am just speechless when it comes to these "recalls". it seems that myself nor anyone I know ever falls on these lists, you would think with all the money we are paying to purchase these vehicles that someone would want to make sure they keeep our business.

- Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #104

Nov 072011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • miles
Panel cluster failed with red blaring emergency light stays on and causes vehicle lights to stay on. Also causes vehicle not to shift properly. All dashboard component indicator fails which hazardous to safety of individual.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #103

Feb 012010


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the entire instrument panel was inoperable and he was unable to determine how fast or slow he was traveling or how many miles were on the vehicle. The dealer did not offer any assistance since there was no recall. The manufacturer had not been notified nor was the vehicle diagnosed or repaired. The current mileage was 122,000. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #102

Oct 152011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 126,604 miles
After exiting a freeway at 70 mph, came up on a redlight and 45 mph zone. Stopped at the redlight and the noticed the speedometer was still registering 70 mph. The gauge moves but won't set to 0 mph when stopped. Remains at or around 70 mph when parked or stopped.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #101

Oct 122011

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,542 miles
Speedometer stopped working. After vehicle was turned off it started working again. Researched internet and I found the this is a known problem with this vehicle. After talking to someone about it and they have a 2003 Tahoe they have the same problem. If chevorlet is aware of this problem something should be done about it. We spend alot of money on vehicles and this should not happen. I don't feel this is a wear and tear issue.

- Mt Airy, MD, USA

problem #100

Oct 282010


  • 144,000 miles
The speedometer in my 2003 Trailblazer rarely reads correctly. I am not able to tell how fast or slow I am going. This is the only gauge that is not functioning properly, the other gauges work fine. I feel this is a safely issue and should somehow be covered by a recall because so many people have issues stated across the internet with this same problem.

- Mt.Sterling, KY, USA

problem #99

Oct 012007


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the instrument cluster was defective, causing all the gauges to read inaccurately. The dealer diagnosed that the vehicle would need a new instrument cluster. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 113,000.

- Loris, SC, USA

problem #98

Jul 152011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My 2003 Chevy Trailblazer does not start. There is no specific time, place, or event that leads to the vehicle not starting every couple of weeks the vehicle just doesn┐T start. I will let the truck sit for an hour or so then attempt to start it, then it does start. I have taken it to the dealer and they couldn┐T duplicate the issue I was having. I did some research online and others have suggested it could be the battery, temperature sensor, ignition switch, or starter. I have replaced all but the starter but the problem persists. I have been told that the starter is good so I am at a loss as to why the problem keeps occurring.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #97

Jun 062011


  • 89,000 miles
When starting the vehicle, it periodically will not start, lose all power, key gets stuck in the ignition without ability to return ignition to off position. There is a sound (like a high voltage sound coming from a transformer) and eventually resets itself, until 2 days ago. It would not reset itself, resulting in it being towed to a repair center. They indicated it was the alternator and battery and after changing both, the service engine soon light came back on and the high voltage sound has returned. There are times the rear wiper will turn on without my touching anything and times where the RPM gage will get stuck.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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