Jumping on board the "trailblazer" bandwagon! BOOOO I-6


I won’t be subtle about the matter, My wife bought a 2002 trailblazer LTZ and we’ve had alot of trouble out of it! with 118,000 miles it’s been to the dealership more than a dozen times, to my own personal mechanic at least a dozen times and I’ve done some of the repairs myself (fan clutch, fan belt, battery,etc.) this was obviously a mistake by GM. my question would have to be, why isn’t GM recalling these motors, and is there anything I can do? send a letter to the BBB? write to GM?

we’ve replaced various sensors, $600 water pump, fan clutch, belts, hoses, idler/tensioner, we’ve had numereous “upgrades” performed by the dealership, and no resolution, the service engine light still comes on daily, the truck runs poorly, has a constant ticking that my mechanic thinks is a combination of an exhaust manifold leak and piston slap. I’m almost certain the manifold is cracked and now the GM dealership tells me that they don’t hear anything abnormal. I can hear it from 30 feet and they can’t hear it with their head under the hood? these motors are junk and if you look on this site: carsurvey.org you’ll find a ton of people who agree with me. all these TB owners are having the same problems as me??? what do I do? I started driving when I was 10 and our family has always owned GM products(I have 5 right now), this will definately make me consider buying a Toyota next.


why are you going to a dealer? specially if you have a good independent mechanic.

May be time to junk this thing. You can’t blame GM, you don’t know what the previous owner did to it.


My sister-in-law is on her 2nd TrailBlazer and has had no problems.
Am I reading this right? Your wife bought the vehicle new and now has that many miles on it or are you saying she purchased it used? If she purchased a near 7 year old vehicle with 100k + miles on it then obviously the previous owner neglected it till the end. Imagine that.

Sorry, batteries, belts, hoses, belt tensioners, water pumps, etc. come with the territory.
It’s also possible that many of these sensors, etc. that you mention may not have needed replacement and you’re the victim of some bad guesswork on what the problem actually is.

Drop by a local AutoZone, Advance Auto, Checkers, etc. and have them scan the vehicle for you. Post any results back here for further discussion. These places will perform this service for free.
(And don’t blame a manifold just yet for the ticking. Considering the CEL is on, the engine is running poorly, etc., then maybe that ticking is a spark jumping due to a misfiring spark plug.)


Sorry, I should have supplied a little more information, we bought the truck 3years agofrom an auction thru a dealer/friend. @70,000mi.,the truck has a clean carfax with no record of issues or accidents. it started giving us problems right away, CEL would come on so we took it to the local dealership, they charged us $75 to run diagnostics and determined a bad O2 sensor. I think it was $140 to replace, within a month the CEL was on again and stayed on. we took it back and they wanted another $75 for the diagnostic and told us that the computer needed to be upgraded, recall by GM but still $75 to find out, three days before the CEL was on again after the upgrade. this time they didn’t charge us for a diagnostic but they couldn’t tell us why the CEL was on, they reset the light and blew us off. we were frustrated and took it to my mechanic, he had a whole list of recalls/upgrades they should have performed on the truck and said we needed to take it back to them for them to perform free of charge, he couldn’t do it for free because he wasn’t a GM dealership. another $75 and 3 more visits to the dealership finally made the CEL go off. that lasted about 3 months before the engine started running poorly and sounding like a jet engine taking off, we took it back to GM and they said the fan clutch was going out and charged another $75??? they wanted $625 to replace it and told us it would be in the shop for 4 days. No way! for a fan clutch??? I downloaded the install instructions and bought one with a lifetime warranty for $130, replaced it myself in about 2 hours. another 2 weeks, maybe 3 before the front hub bearing in the waterpump went out,GM wanted $750 to fix that, my mechanic replaced it for $375. CEL came on occasionally maybe once a week after the waterpump was replaced and my mechanic run the diagnostic for $50, this time was a cam positioning sensor failure, truck was running very poor! I don’t remember how much that bill was but it wasn’t no time before the engine started this ticking, at first it only ticked until it was warmed up, about 10 minutes, now it’s constant and sounds exactly like a manifold leak, sometime during all these trips to the garage, the tensioner bearing went out and the belt shredded causing damage to the hoses. that was another $300 to fix. as far as the belts and battery and hoses, thats all expected anytime you own a vehicle. Whats not expected is having to put an $18,000 truck in the shop over 20 times in the first 2 years of buying it, it’s been a non stop headache and the CEL is still on, I can’t sell it because it’s not worth what I owe on it, the engine still runs poorly and I can’t afford to keep fixing it. I’m not just whining about my truck, I’ve researched the trailblazer issues and theres thousands of people on the internet right now with the exact same problems and dissapointment as me. thanks for the information and I’ll get to autozone first thing tomorrow


Well it sounds like the prior owner dumped it because of problems and that is why it ended up at auction. My guess is it lead a rough life before you got it. Even if the records did not come up with anything does not mean it has not been mistreated or even wrecked before you got it.


I agree with Mr. Meehan (except on the spelling of the word “led”) that this truck likely led a rough life prior to your purchase. Carfax does not reveal nearly enough to really assure anyone that a car is truly in good condition. And, auctions typically do not get the best used cars.

If you feel like writing a letter, save the ink necessary to send one to the BBB. If you want to know why that would be a waste of time, post back and I will give you some reality on the BBB.

But, to return to the subject of your truck, it sounds like, unfortunately, you bought one that was poorly maintained, and that will definitely take a toll on any vehicle. It may be worthwhile to get rid of it, but only you can assess whether to continue to put money into it or to buy another vehicle. Next time, try to buy only a vehicle that comes with complete maintenance records, and then have it inspected prior to purchase by your own trusted mechanic.

Sorry for some potentially bad news!

P.S. Try to put some paragraph breaks in your posts, because they are very difficult to read in their present state, and when a post is difficult to read, many people will just pass it by, rather than reading and responding.


Sorry but I don’t agree. I have a 06 Trailblazer with 50,000 miles and love it. It has never been in for a warranty repair, just oil changes and tire rotations. I believe transman(regular poster and transmission expert) has posted here that he has one and hasn’t had any problems with his.


I own an '04. Before I bought it new, I looked around on the internet, especially BBSes like this one, to see what kind of common problems people were experiencing with them. One of the best sites is http://forums.trailvoy.com/index.php for specific information on your truck. By early 2002, people were already logging complaints about that year and in no small number. Needless to say, that did not install any confidence. But the number of people unhappy with the TrailVoy platform were greatly diminished by the very next year as GM had corrected the majority of problems by then.

The 2002 had a number of known issues; fan clutch, PCM programming upgrades, A.I.R valve, cylinder sleeve problems and piston slap. There was a problem with the turn signal control module and some issues with intermittant tail lights. Many owners had those problems corrected on GM’s dime. By 2003, they had corrected all but the A.I.R. valve problems. The Atlas I6 is a proven engine and with the exception of that cylinder sleeve problem, has been shown to be very reliable since they fixed it. I have had to replace my A.I.R valve and have the recall on the turn control module performed (10 minute job). Other than that, it has been a solid performer.

You could have bought a top of the line scanner for <1/3 of what you’ve paid out in diagnostic fees. Having changed out the clutch fan, it seems like you can do at least some of the work yourself. My advice is to get a scanner, it will pay for itself in only two uses based on what you’ve been charged. There are a number of minor issues that can trip the CEL (loose gas cap for one) and it’s worth it to know what’s being flagged before you run off to the mechanic. Personally, I think $75 “diagnostic” is a ripoff since most of your problems would have been directly indicated by the stored code in the ECM and that’s 2 minutes to retrieve.

The shredded belt job also seemed excessive to me. Consider the cost of those parts and the relative ease of replacement. Hoses damaged? Hmmmm. Would have to see that myself.


thanks for the information, at least now I know that GM is taking the neccesary action to fix these problem areas among the new trailblazer, Now I have a bad case of the “I shoulduv’s”

VDCdriver, I’ve been informed about the BBB by a friend of mine who is a member, it’s a racket, but thanks and I’ll try and improve on my typing format.

twinturbo, more good info and a little bit of Da Ja Vu, I was telling my wife on the way to church this morning that with the money we wasted on the diagnostic scans we could have bought a code scanner! I thought she was going to hit me when I told her how much the scanner cost. needless to say, I’ll be getting one soon!

So after going back to some of the review sites I’ve visited, I’m noticing that %90 of the complaints are from the 2002 year models, just happens to be the one we bought, neglected and probably abused. Now I’m in a predicament because I’m not able to sell the vehicle to an individual with a clear conscience and any dealer who would take it as a trade in will already know that the 2002 model had issues???

sorry willey, I should have limited my statement to “the 2002 trailblazer bandwagon”