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Print this page Notes: The 2002-2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer is known for many things, but perhaps it is most famous for its faulty fuel gauge.

This gauge flip-flops more than a politician during election season. Some report that the gauge says "empty" after a fill-up, while others report the gauge says "full" when they're running on fumes. Either way, there's one thing everyone seems to agree on: the darn thing is just wrong.

Following hundreds of complaints and a few accidents allegedly caused by the malfunction, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the issue in May 2011. Unfortunately for frustrated owners, no recall has been announced.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,143 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.

2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer Owner Comments (Page 13 of 22)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #189

Mar 302011


  • 56,114 miles


March 30, 2011, I spent $80 on fuel to fill my Trailblazer with gas. I started driving and the gas gauge never moved, and was still showing empty with the low fuel warning chiming. When I was almost home the fuel gauge finally started moving but never went past a half tank. I inspected the vehicle to see if there were any signs of a fuel leak and nothing looked out of the ordinary. When I had to leave again to run errands the fuel gauge would move, however, it would go back down to empty when I was stopped or put the car in park. I have also had issues with rear tail light panel wires frying and having to replace those when there were no apparent causes (moisture, etc.). lights dimming while I roll up a window or push other buttons in the car (radio, climate control) and lights in certain areas of the car just blowing out. Fuses are fine, alternator and battery are fine. Why is this vehicle having so many problems at 56,000 miles? I understand that these are not life threatening issues, but what is next. Why do I have to constantly monitor my mileage just to make sure I don't stall or run out of gas when I am driving. Are we the customers supposed to shell out $$$ to have repairs done continually on defective equipment and components. I don't think so. GMC needs to drastically improve the quality and durability of their products, and step up to the plate and take care of the customers they do have. Word of mouth is way more effective than millions of dollars in advertising.

- Holly, MI, USA

problem #188

Nov 102010

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 71,226 miles
2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer lt, gas gauge sensor in fuel tank not working properly.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #187

Mar 012011


  • 115,000 miles
The fuel gauge fails to function. It indicates a fuel level of between empty to 1/4 tank regardless of the actual fuel level.

- Mansfield Center, CT, USA

problem #186

Mar 222011


  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer XLT. The contact stated while driving 35 mph, there was a burning or smoke odor and the vehicle stalled. In addition, the fuel level gauge failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the fuel level sensor and the air auxiliary valve was defective and would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. There were no related recalls to the failure. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #185

Aug 122008

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
The events leading up to failure I had just put gas in my car and my gas gauge would go down gas light would come on then it would go back indicating I had gas. Then I would notice that my light was on knowing I had gas so the gas gauge kept going back and forth. I would put gas in my car but not being able to keep up with my gas because my gas gauge was not working correctly I ran out of gas while driving down the street, which is very scary and dangerous in the middle of traffic. This started about 2 and a half yrs ago and I went to find out what was the problem and the mechanic told me I had to replace the entire unit and it would cost about $550 to fix I didn't have that considering im still paying on the car I tried to monitor my gas but I keep running out. I would fill my car up and I would put gas in my car every day or two to be on the safe side, and that does not work either. The last episode I had was I put gas in my car on Sunday which would at least take me to Monday but I was on the highway and my car just cut off and I had to coast to safety. This is a problem I run out of gas too often I went online to see about parts for the gas gauge to be fixed only to discover that this has been a problem with so many other Chevy Trailblazers and other GM cars. I noticed this had been going on for years and GM has not done anything about it. This is a defect and they should have recalled the Trailblazer. This is 1 of the major problems I have had with this car and I've had so many other problems that I've noticed other people were having also when I looked online. This problem of course started after my extended warranty was up. This has been so annoying to have your gas gauge stop working after you have brought a car brand new and is still paying on it. After my car was only a little 3yrs old that is ridiculous. How could GM get away with making cars and selling them when they are just lemons!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #184

Feb 012010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer. The contact stated that one year ago the speedometer failed which made it impossible for her to determine the speed she was driving. The fuel gauge was also displaying the incorrect reading, and the fuel light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic test for the fuel failure which indicated that the fuel sending sensor was defective. The local mechanic did not perform a diagnostic test for the speedometer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer filed report 71-930473192. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 110,000.

- Kings Park , NY, USA

problem #183

Jan 142011

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 69,982 miles


As I was driving down a narrow and busy country road (because of a detour), my fuel indicator, which read 3/4 full, immediately hit empty and my car stalled out because it was out of gas. Although up until that second the fuel indicator read 3/4 full, I was actually out of gas. I was nearly rear-ended, had no shoulder to escape to and if the people behind me had been following any closer there would have been a several car pile up. As it stood, this incident put many in danger and it was simply a miracle that it didn't cause an accident. After aaa brought me gas, I was able to drive to a gas station and even though I filled the tank, the indicator still read empty. The dealership told me that they'd heard of this many times before but would have to charge me almost $900 parts and labor to fix the issue, as it wasn't covered under any warranty and there was no recall. A few internet searches later and I find I'm one of thousands of people having this issue. Please feel free to use my portion of the tax dollars I paid into the car manufacturer bail-out to issue a recall on this part so they can fix the problem, like any responsible manufacturer should. If it's Toyota having a problem, we are worse then a dog with a bone; if it's an american manufacture, do we have to wait for someone to die over the issue before action is taken? sincerely and disappointedly yours...

- Donws, IL, USA

problem #182

Mar 032011


  • 80,000 miles
[xxx] of kodiak, Alaska petitioned the Agency in a letter dated November 12, 2011. The petitioner requests that NHTSA open an investigation into the performance/reliability of the fuel level sensor installed in model year 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer vehicles. The petitioner alleges that the fuel tank level sensor is defective and could result in a subject vehicle running out of fuel, stall, and being rear ended by another vehicle. ODI will evaluate the petition for a grant or deny decision. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Kodiak, AK, USA

problem #181

Mar 072011


  • 105,687 miles
After stopping to fill up the gas tank on my vehicle, the fuel gauge registered that my car had no fuel. I filled the tank entirely, to the cost of $64, and when I started the car, the "low fuel" warning appeared. I tried to turning the car off and then on again, but the fuel system still registered that the gas tank was empty. I then tried to reset the internal computer by disconnecting the battery terminal. This also proved ineffective. After driving approximately 15 miles or so, the gas gauge fluctuated between an "empty" reading and a "1/2 tank" reading. Upon stopping finally about 4 miles later (total of approximately 20 miles driven after filling the tank to "full") the fuel gauge went back to an "empty" reading, and has since remained there. I now have no way of knowing how much fuel is in my gas tank aside from tracking my mileage on my trip odometer, and "estimating" as to how much gas has been used, taking into account driving conditions, driving tendencies, highway versus city travel, etc. All factors considered, it is virtually impossible to track how much gas is in my car at all times, which poses a safety risk to myself, any of my passengers, and other drivers.

- Prairie Village, KS, USA

problem #180

Jan 192011


  • 64,534 miles
I was at the gas station filling my tank and the check engine light flashed on and then the low fuel warning message came on in the message center along with the low fuel indicator by the fuel gauge. I turned the truck off and on and the warning message and low fuel light stayed on. After driving for a while, it eventually goes off, but the fuel gauge does not register more than a 1/4 of a tank even when filled up and the warning message comes on along with the low fuel indicator as soon as I start the truck after filling the tank and when the truck is idling, the low fuel message and light come on. Another issue with the truck is that the lighting system dims while driving and when I bought this issue up at the dealership, they said it was a known issue with the truck, but did nothing to correct the problem.

- Dover, NJ, USA

problem #179

Dec 222010

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


I just purchased a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer for my youngest daughter and safety was the reason for an SUV. Two months after my purchase the gas gage no longer works, almost always on E and some times jumps around. I cant afford to take chances with her life with an accident or run out of gas in the wrong place. I asked a dealer and they told me they fix this problem on every trail Blazer. They also told me I have to replace the fuel pump as well and this should be a recall issue. The total bill is around $700 for something that shouldn't happen on every Trailblazer, don't you agree" I have done my homework and I see this happens to everyone's Trailblazer and could make us all look @ other autos in the future. Im very happy with Chevy cars, trucks and SUV's lets keep our relationship a positive one ok" $700 will not brake my wallet just my trust.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #178

Feb 222011


  • 40,000 miles
2005 Chevy Trailblazer fuel sensor. Does not read correctly, and after fill up, the gauge goes to empty.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #177

Feb 022011


  • 89,000 miles
Gas does not register when I fill up the tank. Still reads "empty". I have noticed on several websites that this is a very common problem and should be a recall. I travel w/small children in the vehicle and it is very dangerous to not know what exactly the fuel level is. I use the trip meter to hold me over, but it can be very hard to determine the amounts while using the trip meter for other recordings. I have had an estimate, but it is over $800 to have fixed and with this economy, that is just impossible to swing for such a common issue.

- Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #176

Dec 172009


  • 64,900 miles
My speedometer dropped to zero as I was crossing railroad tracks, and my cd player stopped accepting cd's during that same time period for no apparent reason. The gauge later stuck at first 20 - 15 mph, and then to 10 mph when the SUV is stopped. After about 2 months, it corrected itself. The gas gauge then went out. It would register the tank as empty no matter if it was filled. This began 2/2010. I, a disabled driver, have run out of gas on a deserted road 12:15 a.M. in the winter due to having to calculate miles driven with the tachometer to determine approximate gas consumption. Unfortunately, that calculation doesn't account for engine idling in traffic jams. I sat in the middle of the road in my cold SUV praying no one came around the curve and slammed into me since I ran out of gas in the middle of a dark rural road. I was terrified in this situation and rarely drive at night if I can help it because of the manufacturer's known defect and negligence. I have paid over $500 to repair these manufactures defects, only to have them malfunction again within 1 week of repair. I was told by the mechanic that he would not attempt to fix it a second time. Once again, my speedometer is no longer registering the correct speed, and I have been pulled over by a police officer for speeding. I showed the officer my speedometer, and to my surprise he let me off with a warning and told me that he has pulled over other Trailblazer drivers for speeding who in turn had the same or similar issues with their speedometers. I have had interior lights malfunction, and driver side head light malfunctions where the light keeps going out. The headlight was checked by a mechanic and was not deemed loose or blown.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #175

Feb 202011

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Fuel pump/ fuel level sensor 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. Show inaccurate fuel level at all times.

- Fort Dodge, IA, USA

problem #174

Dec 102010

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Fuel gauge sensor not reading correct amount of fuel and changing readings while driving. Creates the possibility of vehicles running out of fuel while driving creating a hazard on the highway. This appears to be a national problem with the 2005 - Chevrolet Trailblazer.

- Pembroke, MA, USA

problem #173

Feb 152011


  • 99,920 miles
Gas gauge malfunctioning, engine light keeps coming on and off. In looking at different web-sites, this is common for this vehicle. I purchased the vehicle on 06/20/2010 and have had several things go wrong in the (8) months that I have owned it.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #172

Jul 012009


  • 42,000 miles
[xxx] of Chicago, il, petitioned the Agency in a letter dated November 27, 2009. The petitioner requests that NHTSA open an investigation into the performance/reliability of the fuel level sensor installed in model year 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer vehicles. The petitioner alleges that the fuel tank level sensor is defective and could result in a subject vehicle running out of fuel, stall, and being rear ended by another vehicle. ODI will evaluate the petition for a grant or deny decision. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #171

Jan 202011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer. While fueling the vehicle, the contact stated that the fuel gauge suddenly dropped to empty and the fuel light illuminated. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 43,000.

- Archbald, PA, USA

problem #170

Feb 122011

Trailblazer 4WD 6-cyl

  • 60,112 miles
Just filled my tank on my Chevy Trailblazer with fuel and fuel gauge still registered empty and fuel light come on.

- Millersville, PA, USA

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