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 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #76

Jul 022010


  • 70,000 miles


In July 2010 my Trailblazers clutch fan and thermostat went out. I was able to diagnose the problem by the number of complaints filed on this model that were on the internet. Then in October my tachometer started acting up, it broke November 24, 2010. The speedometer broke on December 3, 2010. I have found many complaints on the clutch fan going out and the cluster going out on the internet. Someone at work had a problem with their Envoy and it was the thermostat and their clutch fan going out. All at fairly low mileage. I am very disappointed in GM for not wanting to repair these issues so the consumer bears the costs of repair which is about 500 for the clutch fan and thermostat and 400 for the cluster.

- Lockport, KY, USA

problem #75

Oct 282010


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph the speedometer displayed that he was traveling 100 mph. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Harrisburgh, PA, USA

problem #74

Nov 012010

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
2003 Chevy Trailblazer 2wd, ltz - instrument panel is failing. Began with the speedometer, which does not accurately reflect the correct speed 100% of the time. Now, the oil gauge is not working properly and the fuel gauge is off as well. I checked with Chevrolet directly (800 222 1020) and was told that there is not a recall for this issue. However, for the same years, the Silverado, Avalanche were recalled! if it's an issue across Chevy trucks, then the Trailblazer should be recalled as well.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #73

Oct 292010

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 84,200 miles


Speedometer on my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer does not calibrate to zero when starting vehicle. This is causing erroneous speedometer display when operating the vehicle causing serious safety issues. I have read several other complaints of the exact issue. A recall should be issued to correct the problem while the number of deaths reported for this issue is still 0. does someone need to die before the problem is addressed?

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #72

Oct 262010


  • 82,000 miles
TL * the contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the instrument cluster malfunctioned while driving 25 mph. The speedometer would not read accurate speeds traveled and the fuele lvel indicator would not read accurate fuel levels. The contact stated that there were numerous complaints found online regarding the instrument cluster failure and stated that the manufacturer should issue a recall. The contact stated the failure was a major safety issue. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- New Carlisle, OH, USA

problem #71

Sep 062010


  • 102,000 miles
My tachometer went out on my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer on 9-6-10. I have around 100,000 miles on the vehicle, but this is not the first of many complaints on this vehicle.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #70

Jun 272010


  • 75,000 miles


Speedometer and fuel gauge quit working.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #69

Sep 062009


  • 80,000 miles
Driving along and speedometer showed almost 100mph. After turning off the engine the speed read about 30mph. Call the Chevrolet dealer and they stated this is a very common problem with GM, and well known with the Trailblazers. They stated that it was the cluster panel and GM was repairing almost all the vehicles but the Trailblazer. My daughter drives the Trailblazer to college and this happens all the time which is a danger not knowing what speed you are going. The dealer said GM is refusing to pay for the repairs due to so many Trailblazers with this problem and it would cost up to $1500 to repair. I've made several calls to GM this past year and just get a runaround.

- Millstadt, IL, USA

problem #68

Nov 132009


  • 79,600 miles
My 2003 Chevy Trailblazer seems to have a cluster motor problem. It started late last year, the speedometer was erratic, fails, starts working again. The fuel gauge has stopped working altogether. I brought the car to a dealership to have it diagnosed and they said they was nothing wrong with the cluster. I understand that the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche and others have been recalled on this, why not the Trailblazer...same engine, different model. This is a safety issue and needs to be addressed. Chevy will not do anything about it and they know that there is a problem, they just refuse to admit it. Why should consumers have to pay for the $800-$900 repair when obviously its faulty?

- Chelsea, ME, USA

problem #67

Sep 072009


  • 60,000 miles
My 2003 Chevy Trailblazer's speedometer does not work. Thought I was going 65mph on the highway and other cars were zipping past me turned out I was only going 51 mph. I pulled over and stopped and the speedometer was just stuck on 51. I looked on-line to see if anybody had, similar problems and to my surprise there were 100's if not 1000's of complaints for the same problems. Contacted Chevy and they said it was not a "safety hazard", how can not knowing your exact speed all the time not be a safety hazard"?? granted there were no incidents but eventually something will happen, not to mention the fact that not knowing your speed could cause you to get pulled over by the police. It will cost consumers between 400-600 dollars to fix, when it is a manufactures defect, to whom we the taxpayers just bailed out. Chevy should rectify this problem as they have with the same problem for other models. They know the problem but since there are so many complaints they do not want to cover the costs. What happens if you think you are going 55 mph and actually going 70" could be alot of problems.

- Northlake, IL, USA

problem #66

May 182010

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • miles


The speedometer on my 2003 Trailblazer ls is malfunctioning. It won't go down past 30 mph - thus when I'm going 45 mph, it reads 75 mph. First time was in 2009, and then yesterday (5/18/2010) it started doing the same thing again. The first time the shop I took it to was able to repair it, but today they told me I need a new cluster. Went online and found I am not the only person to have this happen to me, and that there are many people with the same issue.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #65

Jan 012010

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Speedometer and oil pressure gauge not working. Was told by my mechanic that I need a new control panel cluster.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #64

Mar 012010


  • 52,000 miles
The speedometer gives false readings sometimes displaying over 120 mph when sitting still. The gauge is usually off by 10 or more miles per hour. Also, the tach gauge is off as well. Similar failures on other Chevrolet models have been subject to recall.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #63

Feb 242010


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the entire insturment panel malfunctioned. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the failure and was informed that there were no recalls and he would have to pay all repair expenses. The failure mileage was approximately 133,000.

- Fellsmere, FL, USA

problem #62

Mar 012010


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the instrument cluster was not functioning properly; the speedometer did not register the correct speed. At times when the vehicle was shut off, the speedometer would indicate that the vehicle was moving 70 mph, or register a speed of 120 mph when the vehicle was moving 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where it was repaired. The VIN was not available. The contact also called the manufacturer who referred him to NHTSA. The current and failure mileage was approximately 65,000.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #61

Dec 262009

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Last Dec I was driving and my tachometer began reading higher than expected. When I turned off the vehicle to refuel, the tachometer continued to read ~3000 RPM. My vehicle had approx. 38K miles on it at the time. I researched this symptom and found this is a common problem that was addressed by a recall on other GM vehicles using the same instrument clusters. One solution is to remove a fuse and then turn on the ignition switch. This resets the cluster. However, this is temporary and the problem soon returns. According to numerous internet forums, it is only a matter of time until more critical instruments (speedometer, fuel gauge, etc.) exhibit the same erratic symptoms.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #60

Jan 252008


  • 68,000 miles
My 2003 Chevy Trailblazers speedometer doesn't work anymore. The lights on the dash and tail lights on the drivers side won't work anymore. GM says they don't have enough complaints to do anything about the problem. There are recalls on other models around the same year with the same problem but no recall on the Trailblazer yet.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #59

Mar 012003


  • 150,000 miles
Speedometer on my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer not working. Tachometer not working. Speed not being measured right. I ran off the road turning on a curve because I was going too fast and was not aware of the incorrect speed.

- Palacios, TX, USA

problem #58

Feb 222010


  • 100,000 miles
Lights dim during acceleration. Rumor has it that the car is doing diagnostic tests with extra loads, or the secondary air pump is kicking on.

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #57

Jun 132009

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Fuel gauge unreliable/erratic. Fuse gauge will read past full occasionally after filling the tank. After some amount of fuel is consumed the gauge will slowly begin reading within range and eventually as the tank empties it will typically, but not always, begin to read what I assume is a correct amount. It is hit/miss at each ignition turn whether the gauge will read what appears to be correct fuel level. When the issue is occurring, the gauge does not do the "zero" reset calibration. I have been advised this could be the stepper motor in the gauge cluster (known manufacturer defect that GM refuses to acknowledge for this model vehicle) or the sending unit. This condition is a safety concern because when it does happen, I never know how much fuel I have remaining and I or whoever is driving the vehicle could be left stranded along a desolate highway with no fuel.

- Austin, TX, USA

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