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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #1
Damn I love this '03 ext of mine.... and fellas, I need some help once again!!!

Ok, for about the past 3 weeks when its cold out in the AM I feel rough idle when stopped at lights or stopsigns.... when driving I dont hear or feel it at all.

past week has been warm out (around 70 or so) and it hasnt been a real problem in the AM, but on my way downtown for a meeting I was doing about 50 on interstate and tried to accelerate up to 60 / 70 and it just wouldnt 'kick' like normal... it stayed just below 60 and when I tried to accelerate it just sort of hesitated and surged a bit.... I mean youcould feel it / hear it trying, just wouldnt kick in -- if you know what I mean.

... after that non stop, everywhere, idling in driveway, driving around block, etc. I feel and hear the hesitation and rough idle and check engine light came on when I was driving it around the block yesterday to try to diagnose.

no real bad sounds coming fromengine, worst is just the hesitation / rough idle....

Question: Im thinking its related to fuel delivery (i.e. injectors / fuel filter???). (( if so, do these sound like common symptoms and what are cost ranges I might be looking at ))

...it starts up fine, so does that mean its not related to spark plugs?

would a failing water pump or other belt driven component produce things like this? (stab in the dark, admittedly)

it has 62k+ on it and hasnt given me any real problems other than the few things I've posted here about... nothing major. So Im hoping this isnt murphys law kicking in.... cant really afford all that crap right about now!

I've stopped driving it alltogether and it just hesitates / sputters when I do try to drive it.... I swear, based on the very limited knowledge I have, that it seems like something is prohibiting the delivery of fuel... but hell, I know a lot more about programming and computers than I do auto repair!

Thanks!
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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103 Posts
I would do a full tune up (i.e. spark plugs, fuel filter, spark plug wires, clean the MAF and throttle body, check the air filter/replace the air filter) then run some seafoam to clean the fuel system.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You said the CEL came on, what was the code?
havent taken it yet to get code.... I hear autozone can check codes now -- its a lot closer (i.e. 1.2 miles or so) ... maybe I'll drive there this evening to see what its registering.

how much are the tools to read these codes myself? I'd love to have one handy. Hopefully with the auto bailout one will come free with every vehicle Detroit sells!
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would do a full tune up (i.e. spark plugs, fuel filter, spark plug wires, clean the MAF and throttle body, check the air filter/replace the air filter) then run some seafoam to clean the fuel system.

Hey, whats the MAF?
 

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2009 chevy
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I am going out on a limb here, and predict that it's the coil on plug #4.
Very common tb problem. Water leaks past the hood seal and drips onto coil #4, eventually grounding the coil and burning the boot and/or the coil.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I am going out on a limb here, and predict that it's the coil on plug #4.
Very common tb problem. Water leaks past the hood seal and drips onto coil #4, eventually grounding the coil and burning the boot and/or the coil.

Thanks -- if this IS the case, would driving it do damage?
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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2,667 Posts
Thanks - major costs to have something like this repaired? Have any idea?
For the parts - it looks like about 80 bucks for the coil. You might be able to get it cheaper if you check around. This price I got from Partsamerica.com. It is a pretty easy fix.
Remove the plastic cover (2 bolts) on top of the engine and a couple of hose clamps. Undo electrical connector from old coil, remove one 10mm (I think) bolt, remove old coil and replace.
http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/nie/dr1707-1.jpg
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #12
For the parts - it looks like about 80 bucks for the coil. You might be able to get it cheaper if you check around. This price I got from Partsamerica.com. It is a pretty easy fix. Undo electrical connector from old coil, remove one 10mm (I think) bolt, remove old coil and replace.
http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/nie/dr1707-1.jpg


Sounds like I better just take it in to the local firestone to have them take care of it instead of dragging my tools out of the garage and rollin' up my sleeves!

Thanks for the advice / feedback though.

I can't wait to get it back on the road.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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I hope I'm wrong, but my money is on the fuel pump. Reason is my old one did the same thing, except no light. Went to kick it on the interstate and NOTHING. Sputtered and shut down. I could restart it and it idled fine, but when I tried to give it fuel, same thing. After "we think it's the ignition switch", and a couple of other "we thinks", they put a gauge on the pump and drove around. About a $700 fix, but mine was under warranty at the time.
 

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2009 chevy
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Sounds like I better just take it in to the local firestone to have them take care of it instead of dragging my tools out of the garage and rollin' up my sleeves!

Thanks for the advice / feedback though.

I can't wait to get it back on the road.
tamaker, make sure they check the code before you pay for parts. You should have a code that points to a plug/coil misfire, or, a random misfire code

I hope I'm wrong, but my money is on the fuel pump. Reason is my old one did the same thing, except no light. Went to kick it on the interstate and NOTHING. Sputtered and shut down. I could restart it and it idled fine, but when I tried to give it fuel, same thing. After "we think it's the ignition switch", and a couple of other "we thinks", they put a gauge on the pump and drove around. About a $700 fix, but mine was under warranty at the time.
Your right, nothing cheap about replacing a fuel pump.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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havent taken it yet to get code.... I hear autozone can check codes now -- its a lot closer (i.e. 1.2 miles or so) ... maybe I'll drive there this evening to see what its registering.

how much are the tools to read these codes myself? I'd love to have one handy. Hopefully with the auto bailout one will come free with every vehicle Detroit sells!
OBDII readers can be had for $40 to $70 (or more). I picked up this one at Harbor Freight on sale a while back. I paid $29.99.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #16
Well - just thought I'd update you all on the saga.... after lounging over the Christmas break, I woke up this AM and decided to make the 1.5 mile drive to the Firestone Auto Care spot where I usually take out TBs for routine service....

It ran really really rough, check engine light flashed a few times and it cut off on me at one light... God I hope I didnt hose anything by driving it.

It has 62k miles on it, and Im sitting here trying to decide how much Im willing to put into it (its never given me any real problems).

If its not too much to repair I might even go ahead and splurge some additional $ on trying to see what they can do about the overall 'ride' -- suspension stuff I guess... its a little rough and a bit creaky / squeaky... when I first got it (it had about 25k miles then) it rode like it was riding on air!

As soon as I hear back regarding the problem /costs I'll update you guys - thanks for your help and advice!
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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i hope its nothing expensive. some simple things can be made expensive by the repair shops.
easiest thing would have been to buy a cheap code reader read the code and then post here so we could point you in the right direction......
let us know what they tell you....
mayb be as simple as a throttle body cleaning and a new coil.....
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #18
I am going out on a limb here, and predict that it's the coil on plug #4.
Very common tb problem. Water leaks past the hood seal and drips onto coil #4, eventually grounding the coil and burning the boot and/or the coil.

It turned out to be build up on #4.... cost quote was right around 600 to repair and get tuneup, etc. -- but I added serpentine belt replacement and oil change....

Its a good chunk of change, but it'll be back on the road today.
 

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2002 olds bravada
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build up of water? ask them what it was built up with. If it was water, make sure they are/were aware of the TSB on the moisture leak and ask if they actually did put a seal on the coil.

and $600 for a new coil and tune-up sounds pricey, considering parts would barely cost you $200..
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter #20
build up of water? ask them what it was built up with. If it was water, make sure they are/were aware of the TSB on the moisture leak and ask if they actually did put a seal on the coil.

and $600 for a new coil and tune-up sounds pricey, considering parts would barely cost you $200..

Misfire caused by build up of carbon on Ignition coil # 4. heres what bill shows:
1.)engine diagnostic svc - $99.99 --just to tell me what the freak was wrong, but being programmer and dealing with diagnosing computers and networks I charge for that sort of thing too!

2.) tune up - $218.64

3.) Engine Sensor / remove & replace ignition coil - $213.26

4.) Fuel System Service / Cleaning (injectors, etc.) - $89.99

5.) Serp. Belt replaced - $78.89 (noticed it was cracking just decided to take care of it now rather than later)

6.) oil change - $38


total came to 787.61


Hurt to count out that cash, but what'dya gonna do?

Question: It drives with a lot more 'pep' / responsiveness and sounds good.... as it got colder today (was about 67 degrees when I picked it up but just got home from movies and its about 40 to 45 outside or approaching that at least ) I noticed an occassional squeal from the belt - 1st time was when I turned the heat on and accelerated out of my driveway.... then once or twice more from the first few accelerations from stops -- only a second or two each time, so its not a persistent squeal.

same when I was leaving movies at about 12:30 am.... same squeal when leaving my parking space and last time was when I accelerated out of the lot... on the 1 or 2 mile trip home, it was quiet.

new belts do this while they are breaking in, right? or it it a sign of some issue?

since its not doing it once the engine warms up and its run a bit, Im guessing its not an issue with the typical slipping belt, but rather a cold, new, non-broken-in belt.
 
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