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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, newbie member here. Looks like a very informative, hands-on forum here. Anyway, I'm planning to buy a 2003 Envoy eventually, and was looking forward to hearing what the major problem spots are, to watch out for. I've heard some info about flaky electrical systems, but what would be some issues to be aware of, in the 2003 model? I figure since it's the second year of the model which was new in 2002, some of the kinks were ironed out.

I've been doing lots of research on various new & used car review sites, and did a bit of searching here too. I'm looking for more of a summary of the big, common issues, rather than reading through each person's individual & specific problems.

If it helps, I'm ideally looking for a RWD standard-length model with the inline 6, not the XL or V8 options.

I love the appearance of the Envoy. I've been mostly a "Dodge guy" *gasp!* most of my life (I'm 41 now) but I think I've tempered that by owning a 1986 Grand National (still have it). I still have my first car too, a 1970 Charger. This will be only my second GM vehicle. I tend to research things exhaustively, but even moreso now, as I'll be buying something used with most likely 100K+ km on the odometer.

Looking forward to your advice. Cheers!

~Marc
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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interesting screen name you have....
Not many people are aware of that living fossil.

Anyways...
items that come to mind are....
fan clutch
thermostat around the 75K-100K range.
Water pump
Dirty throttle body

there may be other problems. but these seem to be the recurring ones we see often.
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt
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1st of all, WELCOME fellow Canadian!!! :tiphat

2nd, as rbarrios stated, I'll add, Air Suspension. Many have had to switch out the bags for shocks. My Envoy sits really low when left parked for a couple of days, compressor still responds [knock on wood :worried:] and returns to normal height when I start the truck.

Good Luck, you'll enjoy the truck!
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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218 Posts
I believe some 2003's (especially earlier ones) still had the weak sunshells in the transmission, so I would watch out for that. Honestly though, since you don't have your eye on a particular one yet, I would go for the newest one possible. Prices across the board are really low, and in general things just kept getting better for Trailvoys as the years went on. And, I guess I'll take ssmedt's job for a minute and implore you to check out the "other" 360's, especially the Bravada and the Rainier! I'm not sure if ya'll got those across the border, but if you did they're definitely worth checking out.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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I've bought my 03 envoy new and have 55,000 on it and the only problem i've had is with my front window seal leaking down my a-post then shorting out my left side speakers/chime..pain in the ass. But I LOVE my envoy!
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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One can almost construct a list of parts to buy before you even get your new truck home:
- idler pulley
- ignition switch
- throttle body cleaner
- dialectric grease for the battery cables
- new battery if the old one is four or more years old and tests marginal or fail on a load test
- new shocks. (Some of us would recommend good aftermarket shocks on a brand NEW vehicle, too!)

There are a few more but these are the ones that are almost guaranteed.

Mind you, there is nothing about these trucks that cannot be fixed if reasonably well maintained, especially when you have this forum to help diagnose problems. Unlike a few Chrysler products some of us have owned, nobody will ever need to sell a Trailblazer/Envoy in frustration because they couldn't solve a problem.

They are actually very well put together, especially when you think of the complexity of the modern SUV.
 

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Western Canada Chapter
2003
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Hi everyone, newbie member here. Looks like a very informative, hands-on forum here. Anyway, I'm planning to buy a 2003 Envoy eventually, and was looking forward to hearing what the major problem spots are, to watch out for. I've heard some info about flaky electrical systems, but what would be some issues to be aware of, in the 2003 model? I figure since it's the second year of the model which was new in 2002, some of the kinks were ironed out.

I've been doing lots of research on various new & used car review sites, and did a bit of searching here too. I'm looking for more of a summary of the big, common issues, rather than reading through each person's individual & specific problems.

If it helps, I'm ideally looking for a RWD standard-length model with the inline 6, not the XL or V8 options.

I love the appearance of the Envoy. I've been mostly a "Dodge guy" *gasp!* most of my life (I'm 41 now) but I think I've tempered that by owning a 1986 Grand National (still have it). I still have my first car too, a 1970 Charger. This will be only my second GM vehicle. I tend to research things exhaustively, but even moreso now, as I'll be buying something used with most likely 100K+ km on the odometer.

Looking forward to your advice. Cheers!

~Marc
As I was looking outside tonight while sitting here at work I was wondering why you would not want the 4WD instead of only RWD. It snowed here in the land of winter golf last night :crazy:. Alberta is the reason Americans think Canadians still live in igloos :dielaugh: In any case the truck should be equipped with the G80 option (locking differential) The G80 code will be listed inside the glove box in that mass of codes on the door. The other codes to look for are NNK which means it has the larger tank as it was an option on the SWB models.

If you don't tow then the standard rear axle should be fine out in the flatlands however if you are planning to tow the other code to look for is GT4 or GT5. They are the 3.73 and 4.10 gear ratios.

The key to these trucks is maintenance. If they have good records of oil and driveline fluid changes then the chances are that everything is fine. It should run and idle smooth like butter. You should have to look at the tach to see it it is running.

Check your axle seals front and rear. Fronts (4WD) are easy to see but Look on the rear wheels or hubs on the inside from underneath to see if there are leaks.

If one of the fan speeds does not work on your heater/AC unit is is a good bargaining chip as it is only a $40 fix to do yourself in 15 minutes. However if the air does not go to the correct vents when you change the controls then you have a different issue and it gets more involved. Some guys have fixed that themselves. So to make this shorter .... check all the electrical stuff and make sure all the 4WD stuff works and it must be quiet.
 

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"Alberta is the reason Americans think Canadians still live in igloos"

Hey now.........I thought Alberta was known for WEM(West Edmonton Mall) having one of the largest malls in Canada...........
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the great information thus far! I'll probably print this out once I'm ready to do the actual car-shopping, it'll really come in handy. :) As far as the minor swipe at Chrysler, well...my 1998 Dakota has been trouble-free since I purchased it new in late '98, except for a serpentine belt replacement and just recently, the left front wheel hub & bearing assembly needed to be done. That was a rather pricy $300 job due to the part being a single piece hub & bearing. And, the first car I bought was my 1970 Charger, which served me well for almost a decade before I moved to another province for about 5 years and it was garaged. I suspect it'll still be driving around long after even my future Envoy sees the grave. ;)

It's not about brand, really, every brand has their lemons, and owners who aren't dedicated to good maintenance. :)

I've heard personal experiences about the Envoy/Trailblazer being a fairly reliable vehicle, and non-personal experiences about it having issues with electrical. What are your experiences with the electrical systems?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As I've been doing more price-checking, I'm noticing that there are almost *no* RWD models for sale. This seems to have been a very uncommon option, with everyone going 4WD. I've read that most of the powertrain issues in this vehicle are only noticed on the 4WD models. I remember I had to special-order my Dakota Sport if I wanted the 5.2L V8 and only RWD. I like the greater simplicity and reduced cost of repairs with a non-4WD vehicle. Were the RWD models that rare in 02/03?

I'll keep my eye open for the VIN code for 3.73 gears, I'm not interested in the 3.43's.

Lastly, I've read that handling was a sore spot for these vehicles. What are some things you people have done to improve the handling--as in aftermarket shocks for example? The reviews state that the air-assisted suspension option handles better but is the subject of lots of service problems too.
 
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