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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,034 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments

problem #19

Aug 082012


  • miles


The speedometer has stopped working and I have seen this on a lot of Chevy but the Trailblazer is not on the recall list. It should be!

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 052015

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 154,781 miles
The problem happens when coming to a stop the engine will surge or jump as much as 2000 RPM's and you really have to be on the brake to hold it. Go to neutral let it rev then it will come back to normal. The last time was on a snow packed intersection with two other vehicles in opposite directions. The bad thing is you don't know when it's going to do it. Had it to several garages and nobody can duplicate it and it shows no codes.

- Oil City, PA, USA

problem #17

Oct 052012

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Automatic drive shift linkage disconnected due to failure of what appears to be a small plastic rivet that held the linkage components together. Transmission could not be shifted out of drive, not even to neutral. Could only stop car by coming to a complete stop with the brakes, turning off the ignition key, and then applying the emergency brake. Called dealer and then tow truck. When the tower arrived, he looked at the make/model of the vehicle and as I described what had happened he said he knew what the problem was because he had picked up 6 of the same vehicle in the last 2-3 months for the same problem. When he checked, he was correct, the linkage had become disconnected due to a broken plastic rivet.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #16

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 #15

May 012009


  • miles
The instrument cluster (gauges) on my vehicle are going out 1 by 1. it started with the RPM's a couple of years ago. I had it looked at by a Chevy dealer and was told that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle and that the gauge was just out. It could be repaired but it wasn't necessary if it isn't causing any problems. Shortly after another went out it was the oil. At this point only 2 are still working and I know they will go out as well and, those two are the speedometer and the fuel. I do know of other Chevy Trailblazer owners that their speedometer has went out and that is a huge safety issue. Chevy has done a recall on other SUV's for this same problem but, will not do a recall on the Trailblazer. I would just like for this information to be noted so that eventually Chevy will take responsibility for this issue.

- Portsmouth , VA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Jan 152011

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 17,313 miles


1-15-11 my 2003 Trailblazer speedometer stuck on 20mph. After a short drive, shut the car off, once started it was stuck just below 10 mph. The temperature outside today is 30 degrees. I am the original owner. I am the original owner.

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #12

Jan 012011

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I purchased a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer one year ago with 63K miles. At 85K miles, the speedometer quit working. Most often, the vehicle defect occurs when the vehicle is in cruise control mode. However, once cruise control is turned off, the defect persists. Even when the car is completely turned off, with the key removed from the ignition, then restarted, the defect persists. There are two types of situations when this problem occurs: 1) the speedometer registers a speed, but it is roughly 15mph less than the vehicles actual speed. This, of course, is quite dangerous if the owner of the vehicle does not know about the defect, for example, if it is happening for the first time. It can be costly to the pocketbook, driving record, and potentially deadly. 2) the car is driving, but the speedometer registers 0mph. When I first noticed the problem, I was driving on a highway. I have a gps feature that allows me to detect speed (thankfully) and accelerated to 80pmh for a brief period of time, but the speedometer still registered 0mph. After doing some research on the internet, I realized this was an extremely common problem, not just with Chevy Trailblazers, but with a whole host of other GM vehicles. Additionally, those making reports claimed they had sought other outlets of repair, many of them costly, all of them to no avail. Each customer complained that GM was in no way helpful and had no intention of recalling vehicles, despite the fact that this is a common and dangerous defect. Upon further research, I discovered there was a small settlement concerning the issue, thus suggesting that GM acknowledges responsibility for the defect. However, the settlement only covers a small number of vehicles, and to date, no recall has been issued for this problem. I have personally contacted Chevrolet and am awaiting a reply. Additionally, I plan to take my vehicle into the dealership, but as I am in the military, I must wait until my schedule allows.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #11

Nov 092007


  • miles
The speedometer in my 2003 Trailblazer started becoming very inaccurate and would not properly show how fast I was going. It would either stick on a number or randomly max out at 120+ mph, even when just parked. Took it to the dealer today and the cost to fix is a shade under $500. The problem is the cluster, which is a very common problem apparently.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #10

Nov 042006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,650 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer. It has just over 60,000 miles. The speedometer stopped working correctly a few days ago. The speedometer reads between 85-120 mph no matter how fast I am driving. I have been told by my local Chevy dealer that it will cost around $400 to have the speedometer repaired. I believe Chevrolet should be responsible for the replacement/repair costs since this is a safety issue that numerous other Chevy truck/SUV owners have also experienced. They should have recalled the speedometers on their SUVS/trucks a long time ago.

- Gillette, WY, USA

problem #9

Nov 162006

Trailblazer 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,200 miles


2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer lt (mileage: 52,200)- speedometer failure vehicle taken to dealer. Told by dealer this is common failure. My vehicle is out of warranty (3yr/36,000 miles) [subsequent years warranties: 5yr/100,000 mile] cost to repair $560.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #8

Sep 012006

Trailblazer 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
: the contact stated the speedometer became inoperable, and needed to be replaced. The service dealer determined the vehicle had to be shipped out of state to have the speedometer replaced.

- Kings Beach, CA, USA

problem #7

Feb 072006

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
2003 Trailblazer - reduced engine power light present when started. Would accelerate to 15mph. Rattle or grinding noise when braking or driving over bumps. Drove to beaty Chevrolet knoxville tn tues, 2/7/06. Replaced throttle assembly & advised noise was from misaligned hood. Trailblazer picked up on fri, 2/10/06. Paid $200. Ext warranty ded. Gas empty stopped to fill up. While driving noticed fuel gauge past full mark, appeared to be pointing straight down. Noticed tachometer registered 6500 rpms. Called beaty Chevrolet. Service department closed. Next day fuel gauge appears correct. After a week refueled and noticed fuel gauge was incorrect again. Noticed strong gas odor when vehicle is started & vehicle smoking. Called to schedule repairs on 2/28/06. Was unable to make appointment rescheduled for tues 3/9/06. Beaty informed that it must be guage sensor and not related to previous repair work so another $200. Deductible would be due. They were unable to detect fuel odor nor smoking. I disagreed with the $200 charge due to vehicle being defective when I picked it up from the service department on the first visit. Beaty chev. Said they did not look at the tachometer nor fuel gauge when they service vehicles so they would not have known about the problem. Lol.. I called GM warranty and they would not waive the $200 and said the dealership would be responsible. I contacted the dealership again and they thought GM would waived because of the numerous problems with the guage sensors. However they would not admit that they did not check the vehicle when it was being repaired the first visit. I have read numerous complaints regarding reduced power throttle assembly, guage malfunctions, and grinding noise when braking and feel that GM should recall and reimburse the consumer for the repairs they have paid. Vehicle is still making grinding noise and now seems to lunge forward when brake is released. I need help and any advice you have to offer.

- Maynardville, TN, USA

problem #6

Sep 032005

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,400 miles
The contact stated odometer was intermittently inaccurate. The dealer and manufacturer have not been contacted. No repairs have been made.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #5

Sep 142004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
The vehicle shuts down while the vehicle is being driven. Vehicle has been serviced and duplicated twice. Computer chip was replaced twice, the harness replaced twice, and throttle body was replaced twice. Currently, vehicle is at the dealer....

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 102004


  • 3,296 miles
While driving any speed speedometer would read the wrong mileage. Consumer would not know what speed they would be going. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #3

Dec 202004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving, the consumer noticed that the speedometer was inoperative. The consumer could not tell how fast she was driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The cause has not been determined at this time.

- Gladstone, MO, USA

problem #2

Jan 232004


  • 8,000 miles
The throttle sensor malfunction. As a result the vehicle became inoperative. Please provide additional information.

- West Henrietta, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 072004


  • 19,000 miles
When disengaging the 4-wheel drive vehicle jumped forward hitting a parked vehicle.

- Maywood, NJ, USA

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