Print this page 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:
79,771 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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Apr 122009


  • 57,000 miles


Speedometer is going past 120 mph while driving and when sitting still it reads around 60 mph. I have no money to fix it at this time.

- Amory, MS, USA

problem #37

Jan 012008


  • 38,000 miles
The cluster in my 2003 Trailblazer is not working. A recall was issued for the 2004 Tahoe with the same problem but not the Trailblazer.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #36

Oct 272008


  • miles
My 2003 Trailblazer ltz needs a speedometer cluster. This first started happening at approx. 59,000 miles. I now have 61,000 miles on my car, and GM refuses to have the repairs made to my car. It is a known problem on other Chevy models, but GM claims there are not enough problems with the Trailblazers to "fix" this problem. My estimate is $390 + tax after paying $106 for them to analyze the problem and tell me it is broken (which I knew because the speedometer reading 92 mph with the engine shut off in the dealership garage). I've contacted GM several times and the dealership, with no luck in getting this corrected. I've contacted the BBB also. This is a known problem, I've researched this, 100's of people have this same quality issue and it is a safety issue. As a loyal GM driver I want them to stand behind their products and fix known problems like this one.

- Beloit, WI, USA

problem #35

Dec 292008


  • 70,000 miles


Speedometer stuck on 60 then after shut off did right. Did that several different times. Now points to N or D and then starts going counter clockwise. Don't have $500 to replace it. GM customer service acknowledged there is special bulletin on this but my VIN nor mileage 71,000 mi did not fall within this bulletin. Turned it over to "district manager" and he said same thing and said called my dealership and they couldn't help on this matter. There are numerous reports on internet of people having same problem with 2003 Trailblazer. Is safety hazard due to people like me who don't have the money (on retirement S.S.) and trying to guess at speed they are going. RPM on tach also fluctuates. I feel that to have the whole instrument panel replaced is a known defect on the makers part.

- Mt. Vernon, IN, USA

problem #34

Nov 092008


  • 110,000 miles
My tach started to not work in the cold of 07-08, then my oil pressure gauge started to peg out. Now my speedometer is reading outrageous amounts when I am parked, or driving. It has not worked for months now. No replacement as of yet.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #33

Oct 202008


  • 75,000 miles
Originally, it began with the fuel gauge. Every so often it would read incorrectly, both low and high. As it happened a little more often, I began asking around to find out if others I would meet had experienced the same type of defect, I found this to be a more common problem. As time passed I simply ignored the problem until after towing a few canoes up to a lake and the tachometer started reading very high, despite the motor idling normally. Eventually, the tach went back to normal, but shortly after acted up again. All the while the fuel gauge is still not working properly, getting to the point where the needle is completely inverted. Then the voltmeter began to climb, getting to the point where the needle is registering off the scale. So now the fuel gauge and the voltmeter are completely and obviously registering outside of their set parameters, but the tach is often suspect as well.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #32

Jan 012008


  • 75,000 miles


The speedometer malfunctions on an intermittent basis. Sometimes it drops to zero. Other times jumps to a speed that far exceeds the vehicle's speed. It is not just the cable. Was told the entire instrument panel would need to be replaced costing hundreds. Do not know our speed 50% of the time. Going on for over a year. Began at 75,000 miles. Began in January of 2008.

- Holly Hill, SC, USA

problem #31

Jan 162008


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that the speedometer was failing. While driving 50 mph, the speedometer displayed 120 mph. When the vehicle came to a complete stop, the speedometer displayed 60 mph. The GM dealer stated that a diagnostic was needed to determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Collierville, TN, USA

problem #30

Nov 152008


  • 77,500 miles
Gauges on instrument panel are not working properly. First one was speedometer then oil pressure gage and tachometer. I am sure more will follow. Also electric seat no longer moves forward or backward.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #29

Dec 012008


  • 42,000 miles
Chevrolet Trailblazer - instrument panel cluster failure. Tachometer inoperative and erratic with only 42K miles on vehicle. Understand that this is also a symptom for the remaining gauges in the cluster. GM has special service bulletin that addresses this issue for all other truck products except Envoy and Trailblazer.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #28

Aug 012008


  • 70,000 miles


Instrument panel failure. 3 of 6 gauges do not work was told around $600 to fix. One of numerous issues with 2003 Trailblazer including tail light issue, head light and 4 wheel drive problems. Has aprox 76,000 miles now.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #27

Nov 262008


  • 73,000 miles
Speedometer failed during holiday trip. Had cruise on when approach an intersection made turn when I checked speed it said 90 slowed down was almost rearended after that I realized what happened so I drove with flow of day got on line did some research found out GM has this problem on several types of vehicles some recalled some of now I disconnected battery for 15min.reconnected it and its working again. To replace the instrument panel is a 300 -700 dollar repair.doesn't seem fair because they should last the life of the vehicle. If a young driver or elderly driver were to have this problem on an interstate highway could cause a chain reaction accident countless injuries / deaths and property damage. GM knows of the problem why aren't they forced to fix it. Goes back to the 2001 model year to present.the internet has probably thousands with this same issue. And couldn't access gms complaint site.

- Connersville, IN, USA

problem #26

Jul 102008


  • 78,000 miles
3 months ago I started having problems with my speedometer. I would be sitting still and it would be reading 50 mph. This would occur often. I took the vehicle to the garage and they replaced the speed sensor and this did not correct the problem and I was informed that I would have to take the vehicle to GM dealer because this was something they could not fix since it involved the cluster guage. Now this guage is resting any where between 100 and 120 mph. This is a big safety issue and GM needs to address the problem. I have been doing alot of research and see that I am not aone in this problem wih the speedometer.

- Coshocton, OH, USA

problem #25

Aug 182008


  • 79,544 miles
While using the cruise control of my 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, the speedometer begins to read erratically. Sometimes, it is obviously wrong, but it also slowly creeps to a different speed without noticing it. Also the cruise control seems to follow with the speedometer whether or not it is reading correctly.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #24

Jun 022008


  • 53,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer and I've replaced alternator but the lights still seem to dim and flicker. This is a safety issue and must be looked at by the makers and the dealer. I recommend a recall or replacement of faulty equipment. As I look on forums this seems to be a common problem with this particular vehicle.

- Barrigada, GU, USA

problem #23

May 012007


  • 25,000 miles
2003 Chevy Trailblazer. Fuel gauge was very erratic then quit. Contacted dealer said they have had problems but no recall. Chevy has recalled 2003 trucks for same problem. The Trailblazer has the same gauge cluster, but they will not fix the problem for Trailblazer owners.

- Groesbeck, TX, USA

problem #22

Oct 092007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,999 miles
2003 Chevy Trailblazer randomly stalling, very dangerous, losses brakes and power steering when it stalls. Seems like a very common problem, many online complaints and conversation.

- Bayside , NY, USA

problem #21

May 012007

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,781 miles
No warning. While driving down the road, the car just shuts down. The first time we had it towed to aaa automark, they replaced the battery but did not find anything else wrong. It has happened 3 times since. We have been able to coast off of the road without incidence so far, but this is dangerous. I went to the website below, several people have experienced and described the same conditions. I do not drive the car on the highway at this time.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #20

Mar 232007

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact complained about a speedometer failure. While idling the speedometer read 90 mph. The dealer stated that the instrument cluster was damaged. When the temperature was below 30 degrees the steering column froze and activated the horn. The horn will not deactivate unless the fuse wasremoved. Additionally, when applying the brake pedal the vehicle began to decelerate, but the pedal dropped all the way down to the floor. The contact must release and depress the brake pedal again in order to stop the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failures. The current mileage is 75,000, and failure mileage was 70,000.

- Broad Brook, CT, USA

problem #19

Dec 242005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The 4 wheel drive switch spends most of it's time in default so you don't know what drive you are in. Going over mountain passes every day this is a safety issue. I've been told not to use the auto 4 wheel drive-so why have it? it's been in the shop twice and they say everything is working right-bull. I feel this is very unsafe. I even had it once where it just went to neutral and I had nothing. Come on GM fix this it's real bad.

- Cle Elum, WA, USA

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