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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,429 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Aug 082012

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet trail Blazer. The contact was driving 45 mph when he noticed that the vehicle would not accelerate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis who stated that they needed to replace the fan clutch. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure and the current mileage was 84,000. Updated 9/25/12

- Denver , CO, USA

problem #37

May 212009


  • miles
My 2003 Trailblazer has gone to the shop now several times. The service engine light comes on and has a problems shifting into gear. I have taken my vehicle back to the dealership and it drives fine for a little while now I have the problem again.

- Duluth, GA, USA

problem #36

Jan 092011


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph the vehicle came to a stop. The engine remained on, but the vehicle would not move. The contact tried moving the vehicle in reverse as well with and it failed to accelerate in either direction. The vehicle was towed to a transmission repair facility and the mechanic stated that the problem came from a bearing in the transfer case that was too small and it had began to wear down. The failure caused the transfer case to become stuck in the neutral position. The mechanic stated that this was a common problem with the vehicle. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage and current mileage was 38,000.

- Sterling, AK, USA

problem #35

Sep 042010


  • 80,000 miles


I am filing a complaint.and will continue to file complaints until all of the consumers issues have been addressed. I understand that GM is not willing to hold theirselfs liable for these issues, but people spend pretty pennies out of pocket to purchase vehicles from these manufacturers to spend more money to pay for repairs after just a short while of owning these. I have researched issues I am having with my vehicle, and I am having all the above listed issues, and do not wish to spend large amounts of money to pay for these cost considering I am still paying for this vehicle. I just spoke with a representive about these complaints, and have set up an appoinment to pay a dealership for diagnostics, but am hoping that I can get closure on these issues without paying big expenses. I hope everyone else will follow suit and keep inputting your complaints until they are resolved. My vehicle issues are the fan clutch needs replaced, my gas tank has been replaced already, just replaced my serpintine belt this morning, my exterior lights (brake/turn signal) have been replaced 3 times over two months, and engine light keeps coming on, something doesnt seem right underneath this vehicle either. I just feel like I am paying for a peice of junk on top of paying to keep the vehicle running. Oh yea this vehicle has had to have thousands of dollars of body work done as well thanks to mother nature. I just hope they will be responsible enough to take on this responsibilty of theirs, not ours.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #34

Jan 212011


  • 98,000 miles
No problems with my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer previously. Went out to start it and it wouldn't go in reverse. Needed new transmission at a cost of $4,000 dollars. My understanding is that this is a common problem with Trailblazers but it has not been addressed.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #33

Oct 282009


  • 96,000 miles
Transmission went out on 2003 Chevy Trailblazer lt. No warning lights came on to indicate that there was a problem with the vehicle. Have to replace transmission.

- Fallon, NV, USA

problem #32

Nov 142003

Trailblazer 4WD

  • 48,000 miles


Purchased a new 2003 Chevy Trailblazer and 3 days later delivery the check 4WD light came on for service.we were in Maine at the time and had it looked at by a Chevy dealer there & they assumed it was an electrical malfunctionwith a code so all they did was reset the computer (or S we were told) a few days later the transmission downshifted hard. The dealer recommended that we drive it awhile. It did the same noise on & off for a few months & they still couldn't find anything wrong. Much later on after my frustration with the dealership. I started to get a loud clunking sound in the front end noticeably on the right side of the vehicle. Dealer said it was the plastic cowling in the front that was rattling. After taking it to an independent repair shop they discovered that the transmission end bearing out of the front axel is N/G & it needs to be rebuilt. This is not acceptable, especially after all the complaints of this transmission on the GM trucks. Why has there not been a recall on this is beyond me.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #31

Mar 052009


  • 69,700 miles
Heard a popping sound near the center front of the SUV. Thereafter noticed some grinding going on when the SUV was accelerating. Took it a dealer to have look at the brakes. Turned out to be the front axle assembly broke and got metal filings in the differential causing the transmission to slip. Repair cost thirty-three hundred dollars. Replaced the differential and front axle assembly.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #30

Apr 062009


  • 74,622 miles
On 04-06-2009 at 10:30 am I was driving South on md rt. 4. the transmission then slipped out of gear while decelerating. Followed by a loud grinding noise, my RPM's raced and then slammed into gear almost causing a serious accident.

- Chesapeake Beach, MD, USA

problem #29

Dec 012008


  • 99,000 miles
I bought a used 2003 Chevy Trailblazer 2 months ago, now I' having over $1500 worth of transmission work done to it! after coming downhill on a busy highway, as I started up, a noise came from under my feet. I lost power and every time I gave it gas, that noise returned. Almost ran over by the heavy traffic speeding down the hill, was finally able to pull onto the dangerous shoulder. Shop said shell broke apart and went into trans. Shop said he has made a good living on these transmissions!!!...and replaces them with a much better, thicker, stronger "spline" in them. Who has to get killed before they switch over to these better aftermarket pieces?

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #28

Oct 162008


  • 80,000 miles


2003 Trailblazer that's been making a tapping noise for months when I turn it off but told there was no problem. Told sometime exhaust system makes this innocent noise. Now started the Trailblazer and it sounds like a jet taking off then engine light came on. Told by dealer that clutch fan broken and need to reprogram the computer at a cost of $900. After researching this issue, found hundreds of owners with the identical problem. Requesting a recall!!!

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #27

Jul 022007

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Transmission failure at 68,000 miles on two wheel drive vehicle. Stranded wife and kids on interstate in Michigan. Thank you to the Michigan state police for helping! very dissatisfied with the whole GM brand. Second SUV owned and similar problems with both. This will be the last....

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #26

Oct 012007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,500 miles
Transmission will not shift into 3rd gear and has high rpms (3500-4000).

- Richton Park, IL, USA

problem #25

Aug 022006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
Transmission leak discovered. Excessive wear to U-joint. Both problems repaired in 8/2006. Now I have rattling noise when shifting from 2wd to AWD. Rattles when placed in AWD.

- Springville,Ny, NY, USA

problem #24

Jan 272007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,800 miles
I started to do a 3 point turn and when I went to put my vehicle in reverse, there was a loud clunk and I no longer had reverse and would make an awful sound when I tried. I could drive it forward, but it wouldn't shift out of low gear, driving the rpms way up. Had to have it towed. Took it to a GM dealership and they gave me the choice of a rebuild or replacing the transmission. I chose to replace because it would have a longer warranty. The warranty on this was 36000 miles... it had 42800. Currently conversing with GM to try and get them to cover some of the expense.

- Maryville, MO, USA

problem #23

Dec 092005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,578 miles
Second time to dealer with transmission problems, had to be rebuilt, only 26,578 mi on it, never towed anything. Brought back 3rd time 1/3/07 now out of warranty, transmission fried needing replacement. Local aamco very familiar with Trailblazer transmission problems claims the sun gear reaction shell is junk and not powerful enough for reverse. Chevy continues to use this part. Transmission problems reported all over the internet.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #22

Nov 182006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission failure. I own a 2003 Trailblazer and have had numerous problems with it. They have replaced 4 fan clutches, 3 computers, transmission just had its 2nd overhaul and numerous other little items. This vehicle only has 66,400 miles on it and I bought it brand new.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #21

Nov 012006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
2003 Chevy Trailblazer transmission failure at 52000 miles.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #20

Sep 192006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,125 miles
2003 Chevy Trailblazer with 34100 miles service engines light comes on, I take it to the dealer who fixes it and recommend I have the transmission and another regular maintenance completed that cost me over $400 dollars. Two weeks later I have to take it back becasue the speedometer went past 115 miles while sitting still, a week later the transmission starts stalling while going forward and the engine fan is running constantly even on start up. Checked the fluid I had none in the transmission. Yet it was suppose to have been filled when maintenance was done. Took it back to the dealer it is no longer under warranty and just under a hundred miles later my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer which is 3 years old. There is a problem with the transmission in the Chevy Trailblazer and I am not the only one experiencing this. Something needs to be done. Help.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #19

Sep 092006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
Well maintained 2003 Trailblazer transmission had to be replaced due to 80,000 mileage. Therefore, a defective design must have lead to this occurrence. We paid over $3,000 for a GM rebuilt transmission with a 3 year and 100,000 mile warranty. Thus with this type of warranty, the manufacturer must have been aware the initial product was defective.

- Denton, TX, USA

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