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Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy XL, Isuzu Ascender, Oldsmobile Bravada, SUV
#17994 of 18329 02 TB Transmission failed "SUN SHELL"
Dec 10, 2006 (9:54 am)
This is lengthy but hopefully worth the time. It’s time to force a recall since GM isn’t going to step up to the plate. My last GM purchase has been made, however I want reimbursed and ensure the safety of other Trailblazer owners!!!!!
-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 “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 automible towing or not under 100,000 miles especially if your following the manufacturers maintenance recommendations.
Read on if you have time.
On 10/26/06 while traveling with my two children( 2 and 7) the transmission failed in my 2002 (TB)Trailblazer LT. I was merging into 40~45 mph traffic from a side road, there was more than adequate time to enter traffic and accelerate to traffic speed before oncoming traffic would approach. Entering the intersection I heard and felt a heavy clunk in the rear of the TB and immediately following a horrendous screech and whine (transmission failing). I immediately checked the rear-view mirror since I was now in quickly approaching traffic with no power. The engines RPM’s raced and I let off the gas and then slowly re-applied the gas and the transmission caught (worked), however I could only get the SUV up to about 20mph fearing engine problems because the tranny wouldn’t shift gears and engines RPM’s were racing. At the same time I yelled at the kids to hold on because it looked like the approaching car wasn’t slowing down. ( I assume they saw me enter traffic and presumed I would be at traffic speed by the time they approached). For the second time I heard a horrendous screeching this time the tires of the car behind me. I’m certain that car would have hit us had they not managed to swerve slightly to the right rear of my TB. I managed to slowly drive the TB to the closest Chevrolet dealership, fortunately only a couple of minutes away, and getting the finger from every pissed off Black Friday shopper in the city. Left the TB with dealership and tried to deal with two children and transportation arrangements.
The service department called me back with preliminary diagnosis (blown transmission) metal shavings in the transmission oil and no reverse. They would not do a complete break-down because they were aware of similar problems plus the additional cost of a full breakdown analysis. The sun-shell “grenades” per the technicians words. I told them to go ahead and replace the transmission since I could not afford to be without a vehicle (which ended up costing me an arm a leg and another leg, plus 7 days ) even after GM paid 30%. I didn’t have the money to cover this but the worse of the two evils was to be without a vehicle.
After doing extensive research on the subject it is easy to find that there is definitely a faulty part and a significant safety issue here. Google this for instance: “2002 trailblazer transmission problems +sun gear”. The only thing preventing a full re-call in my thoughts (being an engineer myself) is the huge cost to the manufacturer to recall and replace/repair this problem and most importantly there has not been an injury to date (at least not reported). I am certain Chevrolet/GM is fully aware of the problem based on my research and they are sitting on the problem until they are forced to make a recall, I pray that it is not at the expense of someones life. To see over 81 complaints actually registered with the NHTSA within a narrow search criteria go to:
use the vehicle search +
Year : 2002
Make : CHEVROLET
Model : TRAILBLAZER
Component: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Some of these complaints do not match my problem but there are TOO MANY that have exactly the same phenomena as I have described (think of how many people just don’t pursue this problem).
Read on if you want to know about my Customer Service conversations.
Customer Service experience:
Talked to Customer service manager and took general information details etc…, Immediately transferred me to Specialist (maybe because I mentioned silent recall). Specialist went over details I gave to first person and was very apologetic, however never admitted or denied to the silent recall. Scheduled a follow up phone discussion for two days later after she had time to review the material. Received phone message that specialist would not be able to keep appointment because of promotion however she had advanced the issue to the next level district manager to see if they “couldn’t get this covered” (still have the recorded message). Got a call on 10/29/06 TB was fixed, asked if they heard anything from Cust. Serv. (no). Told them I would have to wait until I heard from them before I proceeded. Called back several times with no return phone call on 10/29/06 because TB was ready. Tried again on 10/30/06 and finally got specialist around noon that day. Specialist said they had reviewed the material and decided to cover 30% of the charges, to which I questioned the obvious known defect and unquestionable safety issue and said this should be 100% covered. This transmission was only at 75% of the mileage before they recommend the first service. The specialist just sat there and listened and never gave any answer just that they had made there decision. At that point I suggested they contact the dealership and ensure the paper work was handled, I needed the car today. Of course I called the dealership before I left work for the day to confirm the paper work was handled and it was not. Immediately called back specialist (this, 4 hours after our initial conversation) and she said she had just talked to them and everything was okay. Demanded she have the District manager call me since he was involved with the decision, to which she said she would put in the request. Called back dealership to confirm and they said still waiting on final decision, so I had to wait until 10/31/06. Talked to dealership on 10/31/06 and still hadn’t finalized with cust. Serv. At this point I’m livid and demand an immediate answer. Dealership calls back shortly and says car is ready and with appropriate paperwork. Got my car and left , never received a call from district manager.
Make your complaint known to the NHTSA.
#17995 of 18329 Re: Loving my TB [hardhawk]
Dec 11, 2006 (9:53 am)
Yep. I remember you hardhawk. I was under the name, Gmfan, if you remember. I think you gave me advice a while back when my battery terminal was leaking acid on my 02 TB. You had suggested I call customer service and ask for reimbursement and GM agreed to cover the repair cost. Thanks again,
#17996 of 18329 Re: Bar end Links and Clunking [bobed2121]
Dec 12, 2006 (7:47 pm)
Hello just wondering what year your bravada is and what you found the clunking to be. Thanks Eric
#17997 of 18329 Re: 02 TB Transmission failed "SUN SHELL" [tnblazer]
Dec 13, 2006 (2:46 pm)
Totally Agree. My 02 TB just passed 72,000 miles on it and the transmission just failed. I just got the news from the shop. New Trany - $2,500.00. Thanks GM! No wonder they don't want a recall. It would cost them too much $s. Below are the Technical Service Bulletins I found on the 2002 TB (transmission only).
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
TSB #040730035 -- RELEASE OF REAR TRANSMISSION MOUNT SEPARATE FROM EXHAUST MOUNT. *TT (NHTSA ID #10011217, AUGUST 01 2004)
TSB #00702 -- SLIP CONDITION IN 2ND, 3RD OR 4TH DAMAGED 2-4 BAND 3-4 CLUTCH ON THE 4L60E/4L65E AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. *TT *MJ (NHTSA ID #10005476, JANUARY 01 2004)
TSB #040730002 -- RATTLE TYPE NOISE COMING FROM UNDER THE VEHICLE. *TT (NHTSA ID #10011130, JANUARY 01 2004)
TSB #11202003 -- RATTLE NOISE UNDERNEATH THE VEHICLE OR AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID LEAK. *EH (NHTSA ID #10013261, NOVEMBER 20 2003)
TSB #030730056 -- 4L60-E AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION OIL PUMP FIRST AND SECOND DESIGN IDENTIFICATION. *TT (NHTSA ID #10005566, NOVEMBER 01 2003)
TSB #020421008A -- SHUDDER, ROCKING MOTION, BINDING, FEELS LIKE VEHICLE IS TUCK IN 4WD WHEN TURNING AT LOW SPEEDS. *TT (NHTSA ID #10001101, FEBRUARY 01 2003)
TSB #010730038 -- SOME CUSTOMERS MAY COMMENT THAT THE SERVICE ENGINE SOON LAMP IS ILLUMINATED, NO 3RD AND 4TH GEAR, THE TRANSMISSION DOES NOT SHIFT CORRECTLY, THE TRANSMISSION FEELS LIKE IT SHIFTS TO NEUTRAL OR A LOSS OF DRIVE OCCURS. *TT (NHTSA ID #628934, DECEMBER 01 2001)
TSB #010730043 -- SUBJECT REGARDING DIAGNOSTIC TIPS FOR SLIPPING OR MISSING SECOND, THIRD AND/OR FOURTH GEAR. *TT (NHTSA ID #628815, DECEMBER 01 2001)
TSB #181001 -- SOME VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT AN INTERMITTENT 1-2 SHIFT SHUTTER OR POSSIBLE 1-2 HARSH SHIFT CONDITION. *TT (NHTSA ID #628011, OCTOBER 18 2001)
TSB #161001 -- SOME ALL-WHEEL DRIVE OR FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES MAY EXHIBIT A BUMP OR SURGE THAT CAN OCCUR WHILE THE TRANSMISSION IS STILL IN FIRST GEAR. *TT (NHTSA ID #628000, OCTOBER 16 2001)
TSB #10501 -- THIS MESSAGE APPLIES TO A POSSIBLE DELAYED ENGAGEMENT OF THE TRANSMISSION THAT MAY OCCUR AFTER THE VEHICLE SITS FOR TWO TO THREE WEEKS. *T (NHTSA ID #619777, MAY 10 2001)
TSB #3516 -- VIBRATION FELT AND HEARD AT LOW RPM DURING PARKING LOT MANEUVERS. *TT (NHTSA ID #10017393, no date provided)
#17998 of 18329 Re: Bar end Links and Clunking [ericpjones]
Dec 13, 2006 (3:23 pm)
Hi Eric. 2002 chevy trailblazer LTZ. I removed the stabilizer bar end links and they were very loose, ie. I could easily move the joints with my hand. I ordered 2 sets (4 total)from rockauto. They were available in either OEM Delco or Moog. I opted for the Moog's and they were slightly cheaper as well. I don't recall the exact cost but it was far, FAR cheaper than buying them from the $tealers parts department. I put them on and just like new the front end tightened up and no more clunking sounds.
Now here's a free tip. If your having a problem with clunking sounds while running over bumps in the road try this. Remove all your end links and drive your vehicle. Don't worry about them being off while driving just don't drive that way for a week. If you no longer hear or feel the clunking then the end links were your problem, replace them. You will need an 18mm open end wrench and an allen wrench (size fails my memory at this time). Good Luck
Dec 28, 2006 (11:19 am)
2002 Envoy, need advice/comments on which brand you are running, and service,and/or problems.245/65/17 not concerned with snow,ice, or 4wheeling. Dry/wet highway only.Anyone running Toyo?
#18000 of 18329 REPLACING AIR FILTER ON 03 BRAVADA
Jan 01, 2007 (7:40 pm)
REPLACING THE AIR FILTER ON MY 2003 OLDS BRAVADA HAS PRESENTED A CHALLENGE........I REMOVED THE 2 VISABLE SCREWS AND STILL CANT GET THE AIR FILTER CONTANIER FAR ENOUGH OPEN TO REMOVE AND REPLACE THE DIRTY FILTER!!!!!!!!!SUGGESTIONS PLEASE
#18001 of 18329 Swapping Axle's
Jan 01, 2007 (9:58 pm)
Has anyone attempted to change the axle ring and pinion on any of their TB/Bravada's? I currently have a 02 Bravada with the 3:42 and am hauling a 3,800 lb trailer in Utah. it seems to do OK on the flats but once I hit the hills it's all over but the crying. Not to mention what it is doing to my fuel mileage. I took a trip to Las Vegas last April and managed to squeeze 10mpg going down and about 12mpg coming back. Problem is I used to tow a Palomino folding wall camper at 2,800 lbs and got 16 - 17 mpg and barely knew I was pulling a trailer. I read up on the new 07's and the write up for towing with the 4:10 axle; rockets up hills like it was on steriods. I really don't want to trade in my vehicle since it only has 38,000 miles on it but I can't afford to spend $2.30 a gallon to get where I want to go either. Right now I am averaging about 20+mpg hwy at 75mph.
#18002 of 18329 Re: REPLACING AIR FILTER ON 03 BRAVADA [kamc2oo2]
Jan 02, 2007 (10:11 am)
Look for a 3rd screw.. On my 2002 Envoy I believe there is one on each side and one in front under what appears to be an AC line, but definitely 3 screws there.
#18003 of 18329 A question about OnStar
Jan 02, 2007 (6:14 pm)
Does anyone know if Onstar devices installed before 2007 are analog or digital? If they are analog, has anyone heard from their dealers or manufacturers as to what will become of the devices after 2007 when the cellular industry will be allowed to abandon the analog towers in favor of the digital towers? This is probably the best place to ask this question since most all readers and posters here have On Star.
Perhaps HOST can post the question throught Edmunds.com forums.