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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #1
Note: I made a similar post about this topic a couple months earlier. The same truck problems exist, only now I feel like a decision has to be made sooner than later.
http://forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php?t=84371

TB Quick Stats:
-'02
-2WD
-113k miles

So half a year's gone by and I still haven't made any progress mainly because procrastination took over and money's been tight. I have been changing the oil (which seems like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound).

I have also noticed a new type of fluid pooling on the ground which I ultimately concluded as transmission fluid.

Fortunately, I managed to bring it to a more trustworthy mechanic the past month to asses the damage. In the end here's what he found:

-Leaking transmission cooling line(s) (replace)
-Leaking valve cover gasket (replace)
-Leaking AC condenser (replace)

Eventually, all these components would have to be replaced, accompanied by whatever detailing/cleaning that needs to be done. If I only factored in the first 2 repairs, the job would go for around a $1000 (far less than the other guy). Of course, he made it a point in saying that those two repairs would simply allow them to see much more clearly the status of my engine and transmission (which I'm most concerned about). Right now, I think letting the truck just sit around isn't buying me time at all, just making matters worse.

Which leads me to the $64,000 question:

Should I fix it, sell it/trade it in?
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
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104 Posts
Your mileage is not that high. I think you could get all the repairs done for $1000 which would be alot less than replacing the truck
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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I had to make the same decision earlier this year. 02 149k bad transmission, bad wheel bearings, bad o2 sensors.

I need to be able to tow the boat so having a truck of some sort is a must. I paid the money (about 3500.00 total) and love not having the 350.00 a month truck payment. The body on mine is mint, interior is in a B+ condition.

I could have afforded the payment, as I had paid off my car and sold it, and paid off my wifes car, saving me more than 500.00 a month in payments. But there is a certain freedom to owning both of our cars. Plus, I save the high insurance bill, don't have to worry about parking it where some idiot will lower the value of my vehicle, etc etc.

The transmission lines can be done by a back yard mechanic, and I'm sure that people here could help with valve cover gasket replacement. If you don't feel able to do it yourself maybe a co-worker or friend will help if you buy the food or beer or both. :m2:
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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All the repair's are pretty straight forward.. less the A/C condessor getting recharged.. i have replaced my tranny line's within the last 2 month's .. both lines will run you about $68 but you have to get them from the dealership since they are specific to them. it took me about 2 1/2 hours to complete. the valve cover gasket is really an easy fix. anybody with moderate mechanical ability should be able to do it with in an hour. now the A/C condessor is a pretty straight forward job but you will need to get a shop to recharge it after your done. should not cost more than $40 to do this. if you use the search engine on this site you should find all the info on how to do all of these repairs your self and save about $700. and like the previous post said you could always ask a friend for help.. most of the time they are willing to do this for alittle beer witch is still cheaper than the shop bill. good luck and let us know what you decide to do.:undecided
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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You can get the transmission lines from Rockauto as well, they aren't dealer specific. That's where I got mine from.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #6
Fixing it myself always crossed my mind. Sounds like the repairs are pretty straightforward, and it'll sure as hell save me a boat load of money.

I guess my remaining concern is evaluating the condition of the engine/transmission. I'm not sure how much damage's already been caused (if any) by letting the truck's fluids leak out. I probably drove a good 200 miles over the span of 2 weeks while that was happening. This was late January this year. Ever since then it's just been sitting in the driveway.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Fixing it myself always crossed my mind. Sounds like the repairs are pretty straightforward, and it'll sure as hell save me a boat load of money.

I guess my remaining concern is evaluating the condition of the engine/transmission. I'm not sure how much damage's already been caused (if any) by letting the truck's fluids leak out. I probably drove a good 200 miles over the span of 2 weeks while that was happening. This was late January this year. Ever since then it's just been sitting in the driveway.
did at any point while driving did you run more than 2 quart's low on tranny fluid? if not if the transmission was fine before the leak then you should be fine. while your under there replacing lines that's the perfect time to change trans fluid and filter.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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did at any point while driving did you run more than 2 quart's low on tranny fluid? if not if the transmission was fine before the leak then you should be fine. while your under there replacing lines that's the perfect time to change trans fluid and filter.
I agree, if you did not run out of any oil and you didn't mention any signs of any tranny slipage. Dang for $200.00 to $300.00 a case of beer fire up the grill, invite a few buddys over you could have the job done plus washed and waxed in a good afternoons work.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Sounds as if you want to keep the truck and you want us to talk you into doing so. You came to the right place. Where else are you going to find a bigger group of Trailvoy supporters? We need one more piece of info to at least pretend we are being objective: If you do part with the TB what were you considering getting to replace it?
Some people say "If the repairs on you current vehicle cost less than the payments on a new one, keep the current one." $1000 is about two or three monthly payments.


I guess my remaining concern is evaluating the condition of the engine/transmission.
The tranny in our trucks is a BIG concern. Estimated professional rebuild cost $2500+. Mine ('02 4WD) failed at less than 40K miles. Has yours ever been repaired/ rebuilt/ replaced?


This was late January this year. Ever since then it's just been sitting in the driveway.
Why do you still have the Trailblazer? Has the size of your family changed? Do you now walk to work? Do your other vehicles suit your current needs much better than a TB?
If you ditch the TB and do not replace it 1) no insurance 2) no maintiance 3) no repairs 4) no state inspections 5) what ever you drive now most likely gets better mileage 6) one more parking space in your driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right now, I honestly feel like taking the lazy way and simply getting rid of it as is-- have it be someone else's problem.

My motive in buying the Trailblazer was to comfortably accommodate a family of 4, with two of the members being pretty tall. I also enjoy sitting higher up on the road compared to my '96 Corsica (which is ironically in better condition with 170k miles than my TB). Basically it's the family/vacation car. Three years later, conditions haven't changed much except that we have an additional driver and only two out of three cars that work.

I guess this would have been all avoided if I had only done my research before buying it from the stealership, but it was my first time buying used, so I guess I learned my lesson there.
Honestly, I love the Trailblazer model, but I just can't believe what a f*** up this one turned out to be.

I'll try the DIY method this weekend and see what I can do. If that fails I'll probably start researching newer TB's or equivalents.

Thanks for the input guys.

The saga continues....:woohoo:
 

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That's the thing with these trucks. Either they're bullet proof without any problems except for a burnt out bulb or they're total POS' with everything except the bulbs going. I believe in the "built on a Friday or Monday" thing for the build of these trucks where auto workers were either tired on the Friday or hung over on the Monday. Mine was started on a Friday and finished on a Monday it's that bad! :bonk:

:eek:fftopic: Yeah, I had an '89 Corsica a long time ago with the 2.8L. It actually wasn't that bad of a car and hauled pretty good. Rust eventually killed it though, not the mechanics.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If you do part with the TB what were you considering getting to replace it?
If I ever get to that point, I wouldn't mind getting a newer Trailblazer and giving it a second shot, only this time I'd obviously be more critical of that truck's condition and give it a little more TLC.

That's the thing with these trucks. Either they're bullet proof without any problems except for a burnt out bulb or they're total POS' with everything except the bulbs going.
See, that's the notion I had when buying it--that it'd be built like a rock and any maintenance it'd need in the future would be pretty straightforward/cheap, provided I take care of it. That was the case for about the first year until winter hit and repairs started piling up, but I'm going on a tangent again so I'll leave it at that.:x
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, took a look at her this weekend and attached pics of what I found.

First one's an overhead shot looking down on the cooler line.

The second one's a shot from under the truck (line is behind hose, note oil filter to left):

I believe that sucker's my problem. The leaking's pretty bad at this point considering every ounce of ATF I pour in, practically an ounce drips out.

Gonna shop around tonight and find the replacement line.

Also, I changed the oil and noticed a creamy residue sitting in the oil cap. That a sign of a bad head gasket?
 

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Ah the typical rusty trans lines. Lovely.

Clean off the oil cap and check it later. I wouldn't sweat it, it happens often on many vehicles, particularly if you do short drives and it has gotten cooler. You'll get some condensation on the cap and some oil mist will mix with it. If the oil itself is fine, then no worries.
 

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That's the thing with these trucks. Either they're bullet proof without any problems except for a burnt out bulb or they're total POS' with everything except the bulbs going.
I am more inclined to believe that those of us living in the north with lots of sand, salt and potholes results in much more maintenance than those of you in the south. Just look at that rust!

The OP should look for a low mileage/garaged or one from a southern state if deciding to get another one.
 

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I am more inclined to believe that those of us living in the north with lots of sand, salt and potholes results in much more maintenance than those of you in the south. Just look at that rust!

The OP should look for a low mileage/garaged or one from a southern state if deciding to get another one.
Yes and no. Some things can't be attributed to the environment that the truck runs in, like leaking AC evaporators and heater cores, mysterious and hard to solve PCM error codes, flaky ignition switches and others not exposed to the elements. There's only so much you can blame on rust and poor maintenance. But in this case, yes, rust does get the blame. But vehicles built nowadays are supposed to be protected to some extent from rust, at least more than those built before the 90's. I remember fixing rusted fuel and tranny lines as well as replacing rusted gas tanks. Which is why I'm surprised we're still talking about this on cars built in the 21st century.
 
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