Print this page 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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

Nov 262006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,632 miles


Summary: -2002 Trailblazer lt 2wd -transmission failure at 78,000 miles -near accident with two children in car ages 2 and 7 -major repair cost -significant safety problem -multiple listings of identical failures (sun shell/ reaction gear) planetary system. -reportedly known defective and (under designed) part. This will be the NHTSA's responsibility to investigate and sort out. -some reports of a "silent recall" however never acknowledged with my conversations -no warning of oncoming failure -owners manual doesn't recommend any transmission service until 100,000 miles -never towed anything -wife driven/ garage kept -significant engineering accomplishments in transmissions have been made in the past decade with materials and lubricants. There is absolutely no reason a tranny should fall apart on an automobile towing or not under 100,000 miles especially if your following the manufacturers maintenance recommendations. -GM covered 30% after lengthy time. -technician described failure as: "when we see these problems its almost always what we call the sun-shell grenades" now, since you limit your description to 2000 characters which doesn't allow a complete description I will leave you with the summary and give you the location of the full report which I hope you take the time to review because of the safety problem. thanks for your consideration.

- None, TN, USA

problem #82

Dec 032006

Trailblazer 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
2002 Trailblazer lt has 69 thousand miles now, auto trans came out sun gear was told it cost 3 thousand to fix made a fuss cost 1 thousand but the real bad thing going on is it will go into 4WD by its self and has been doing this off and on, , I don't drive it anymore until I can figure what the dealer is gonna do with it or GM, while going down the rd it will do this and a loud noise will follow could lose control, ,also when backing it seems to be in a bind sometimes, ,this auto isn't safe to be on the rd..

- Lancaster , OH, USA

problem #81

Nov 292006


  • miles
I was driving my car home when the car would no longer accelerate. All it would do is make a loud whining noise when the gas pedal was pushed. With less than 70,000 miles on the car and regular maintenance, there should not be an issue with the transmission. I nearly had a wreck just trying to get off the exit ramp and to the nearest auto shop.

- Dyersburg, TN, USA

problem #80

Nov 082006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


Planetary gear in transmission - no signs of failure until I lost second gear, forth gear and reverse. I do not pull or tow anything and the car only has 56000 miles. The more I read about this gear the more I am disappointed.

- Dickinson, ND, USA

problem #79

Nov 072006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
2002 Trailblazer with approx. 34,000 miles; purchased new. As I was driving. There was a loud, violent clunk from under the car. I was able to coast around a corner and into the right lane of another street. After waiting for over an hour for a tow truck, I was forced to drive the car (slowly) about 1/4 mile into a large parking lot. The entire time I was driving, there was a loud whining noise. When I tried to back up the car, there was no reverse gear. The tow truck driver took me and the car to a Chevrolet dealer. The service person called me a short time later to say the sun shield was broken, and repairs would be a minimum of $1800, possibly more if additional problems were found once the transmission was pulled. Even though there are only 34,000 miles on the car, he advised that it was 1-1/2 years past the time portion of the warranty. My car is still at the dealership until I can do more research into the apparently widespread problem with this car.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #78

Oct 262006

Trailblazer 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
Transmission went out at 56,000 miles. Dealer diagnosed problem as a faulty sunshell, which from what I am reading, is a problem on many GM vehicles. I called GM customer assistance since I can not afford the $1,300 bill for this problem, and they say they will not offer me any assistance since I purchased the vehicle used. Regardless, the faulty part is an issue GM needs to address!!!

- Rensselaer, IN, USA

problem #77

Oct 032006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2002 Chevy Trailblazer with perfect service history, has constant transmission issues and now has a blown transmission and GM had offered to pay for half, ok'd with my local dealer and later changed their mind after three weeks of trying to get it to be fixed. Because they have strung me along I now have a $3000 bill to fix it and a $1200 rental bill because they told me to hold off getting it fixed because they could help me.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #76

Jul 092006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
No warning, our transmission went out at 45,000 miles on our 2002 Chevrolet trailblaizer. Only have second gear. It will be towed to the dealer, doesn't sound like GM will cover anything as it is out of warranty.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #75

May 222005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
1. we have always had problems with our 2002 Trailblazer. At times, mostly when cold, the gas pedal would be unresponsive. We continually took it to the dealer who told us there was nothing wrong. In December of 2003 we could not get the vehicle to go into 4WD, took it to the dealer and they changed the transfer case control module. 2. in may of 2005 with approx. 80000 miles on our TB, the transmission failed. It would not shift beyond second gear. At the time we were driving somewhat slowly so it didn't create a dangerous circumstance. 3. we took it to the GM dealer who rebuilt the transmission for approx. $2200. Ever since the transmission was rebuilt, it has shifted hard in 1st and 2nd gear.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #74

May 302006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission does not shift smoothly and the vehicles seems to "skip" when driving, had checked and was told the transmission needs servicing. Also, several times the car has jumped from 2wd to 4WD on its own, while being driven. Thankfully only when going approximately 10 - 15 mph. Now the service 4WD light is on. Fuel filter needs replacing. Oxygen sensor needs replacing. This car is a 2002 with 71,000 miles.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #73

Jun 012005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


My 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer blew its transmission at 47,000 miles. The car started making a clunking sound in the rear end when accelerating out of turns. Eventually it quit going in reverse. The dealer says the transmission needs to be replaced at a minimum cost of $2700. It has only been used for city and highway driving-- no heavy towing. It is apparent from all the similar problems I have found posted on the internet that this is an inherent defect in the car and should be a recall.

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #72

Nov 012005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Engine fan noisy... runs too fast/high. A couple mechanics have said fan clutch is the problem and needs to be replaced. Transmission doesn't seem to shift smoothly... and seems to be related to this engine fan speed.

- Smiths Grove, KY, USA

problem #71

Mar 112006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,073 miles
I am writing in a complaint on my Trailblazer transmission. My fiance decided to go shopping in St. Louis about 200 miles from home on her return home she was about 10 miles from home and she feels this instant jerk that made her go off the side of the road and then the vehicle had a constant humming noise. After she got control of vehicle and came to a stop. She had no gears or reverse. I am complaining because if she would have been in St. Louis she probably would have hit someone or killed someone when the transmission went out if she would have been in the high traffic area. I am writing this letter because I have wrote GM headquarters and the said they can't do anything about it. Well the vehicle isn't very old and our friends had the same thing happen to them but the went on vacation to Florida when theirs happened the only difference theirs was under recall is what the dealer told our friends. So they got there transmission changed for free and I have had to pay for a new transmission. GM headquarters told me for me to get my money back that you would have to recall the transmission on my certain model before I would get my money refunded to me. Please look into this matter. I know other people are having the same trouble. Thanks.

- Desoto, IL, USA

problem #70

Oct 032004

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
I brought this car on August 14, 2004. At 2 months the vehicle stop working. I call the dealership and told them what was happening. They told me that it was a battery problem and the insurance I had got with them did not cover it. So then I decided to purchase a insurance that would cover that. They charged me one thousand dollars. Later they called me to tell me that I did not qualified for the insurance. They didn't return me the one thousand dollars I had gave them. Since the beginning the sales person lied to me. He told me that the vehicle was 2003 but it is really a 2002. The transmission to my vehicle does not work. I want to cancel the purchase of this car.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #69

May 072005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
I brought this SUV from the dealership and I started having problems with it a month after I brought it. The car air conditioner stop working and the transmission was making a horrible sound. I took the car to the dealer to get fixed three times. All the times I took the car it came back the same way that I took at first. I also took it to a different dealer to get fixed and they also didn't fixed it. I want to cancel this SUV purchase. Mainly because even before T brought the SUV the salesperson at the dealer added $5,000 to my income so I could qualify to get the SUV, but that was completely a lie. Right now I'm having many problems at work; that's the main reason I want to cancel the purchase of this SUV, which is just giving me many problems.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #68

Feb 032006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,405 miles
I have about 36K miles on my 2002 Chevrolet trail Blazer lt 2wd. I am now experiencing problems when I step on the gas, the TB does not move, just the RPM's increase, then the TB jolts into gear. Same problem when shifting into reverse.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #67

Jan 232006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Transmission failed - dealer said probably due to the sun shell. When given the option to rebuild or replace I took replacement due to cost and warranty. Cost me $3,000 for replacement.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #66

Jan 042006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,628 miles
2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer - at 60,000 miles the transmission failed, I.e. no reverse, and only first and second gear. Dealer diagnosed as a broken reaction shell. They replace the reaction shell and overhauled the transmission. At 69,000 miles had exactly the same symptoms. Dealer diagnosed as broken reaction internal gear caused by owner rocking car to get unstuck. Therefore the warranty from the first failure was no good. G.M. told owner that they would replace trans as a courtesy if owner paid $500 deductible.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #65

Dec 082005

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles
I have a 2002 Trailblazer. The transmission was reprogrammed twice in 2002. Last month the transmission failed as I exited the off ramp of a highway. The vehicle was towed to the closest Chevrolet dealership. They called me a day later and said the sun shield had fallen apart and there were fragments of the transmission all over the place. This vehicle is out of warranty as it has 77,000 miles on it. The dealership said it cost 3,000 to fix the transmission and is willing to submit 1,500 for reimbursement to GM. This stinks as a transmission should last a lot longer than this and it certainly does not make anyone want to go buy a car from Chevrolet.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #64

Dec 192005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
The transmission on my 2002 Chevy Trailblazer has failed with only 43,000 miles. The cost of replacement is $3,200. We purchased the vehicle used in February of 2005 from a very reputable dealership in the harrisburg pa area. It is very disappointing that you take special care of your vehicle then it has this major problem. After doing some research on the internet I see I am not the only one with this problem it seems to happen quite often on low mileage Trailblazer.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

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