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Chevy Trailblazer problems

2020-2024 Chevy Trailblazer Problems

| by Michelle Yang, Esq.

Originally available from 2001 to 2008, Chevy revived the Trailblazer as a subcompact crossover SUV in 2020. The new Trailblazer is an improvement over the previous version and is one of the best-selling vehicles in its class.

The new Trailblazer offers a modern, sleek exterior, spacious cabin, and fuel-efficient powertrain. It’s also one of the most affordable subcompact SUVs. 

Unfortunately, despite its upgrade and popularity, Trailblazer owners reported various issues with the crossover. Below you’ll find a list of the most common Chevy Trailblazer problems reported by owners:

  • Missing Front Seat Attachment Bolts
  • Equipment Failure
  • Road Noise
  • Body Shakes
  • Safety Recalls
  • Sluggish Engine
  • Failure of Electric Brake Boost
  • Speed Control Issues
  • Stiff Ride
  • Transmission Performance
  • Electrical Problems
  • Climate Control

The purpose of this article is to provide further clarity into each of these issues for current and potential owners.

If you leased or purchased a defective Chevy Trailblazer in California it is very likely that you are entitled to compensation.  Contact Cali Lemon Lawyers for a free case evaluation.

2023 Chevy Trailblazer Pros and Cons

Overall, the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a good option for those looking for a stylish and spacious subcompact SUV. It has a lot to offer in terms of features and amenities, and it is also expected to be reliable. However, its acceleration and ride quality are not the best in class, and some rivals offer more standard features.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons:


  • Spacious interior: The Trailblazer has a spacious interior with plenty of legroom and cargo space. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats can comfortably seat two adults. The cargo area is also spacious, with 25.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 64.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
  • Stylish exterior design: The Trailblazer has a stylish exterior design that is sure to turn heads. The front end is dominated by a large grille and swept-back headlights, and the rear end features a sloping roofline and LED taillights.
  • Wide range of standard features: The Trailblazer comes standard with a long list of features, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rearview camera, and a six-speaker audio system. Higher trim levels add features such as a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a Bose sound system, and a panoramic sunroof.
  • Available all-wheel drive: The Trailblazer is available with all-wheel drive, which makes it a good choice for those who live in areas with snow or rain.
  • Good fuel economy: The Trailblazer gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. This is better than the fuel economy of some of its rivals.
  • Estimated to last 150,000-200,000 miles: The Trailblazer is expected to be a reliable vehicle. J.D. Power gave the Trailblazer a reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars.


  • Sluggish acceleration: The Trailblazer is powered by a 1.3L turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower. This engine is not very powerful, and the Trailblazer can feel sluggish when accelerating.
  • Harsh ride: The Trailblazer has a harsh ride, especially over rough roads. This can be uncomfortable for passengers.
  • Some rivals offer more standard features: Some of the Trailblazer’s rivals, such as the Mazda CX-30 and the Hyundai Kona, offer more standard features.
  • Fully loaded models can be expensive: The Trailblazer can get expensive when you add all the available features.

Common Problems Found in 2020 – 2023 Chevy Trailblazers

No car is perfect, but the redesigned Chevy Trailblazer is an excellent choice for an SUV in its price range. While a great vehicle, the following problems have been identified.

1. Missing Front Seat Attachment Bolts

missing front seat attachment bolts

Do your front seats feel loose in your Trailblazer? During manufacturing, some Trailblazers had an error that resulted in front seats missing rear attachment bolts. The error could be on the left, right, or both front seats. 

Even if the seats feel secure, they may still be missing bolts. A loose seat increases the risk of injury to the driver and passengers.

While the scope of the error is uncertain, Chevy issued a recall in 2020 to remedy the problem free of charge. If you are on the recall list, you should have this repair completed immediately to avoid future issues. 

2. Equipment Failure

While reading through recalls for the Trailblazer, you’ll see the model has several recalls related to equipment failure

Luckily, all these issues can be fixed for free by Chevrolet.

  • The emergency jack can fracture if not placed correctly.
  • The certification label on the 17-inch sports tires showed the wrong size and tire pressure.
  • The driver-side door may leak and cause corrosion in the window switch module.
  • Some installed headlights did not meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.

3. Road Noise

road noise

Trailblazer owners complain that there is excessive road noise from their vehicles. Most noise-related issues pertain to the tires and suspension on the Trailblazer.

The Trailblazer is known to shake at higher speeds. This increases the road noise you’ll experience while driving. So if you enjoy a serene and quiet ride, you won’t find it in a Chevy Trailblazer. 

Unfortunately, since the Trailblazer is an economy SUV, most models do not offer noise-canceling technologies. The top-of-the-line trim ACTIV model does offer noise canceling, but reviewers complain that noise is still apparent even on smooth rides. 

Chevy does offer an excellent eight-speaker Bose sound system to combat the noise. Drivers can also wirelessly connect their Apple or Android devices to listen to their favorite playlists. Still, this only makes the interior louder. 

4. Body Shakes

A shaky car is a dangerous car. Drivers claimed their Trailblazer shakes uncontrollably at highway speeds. This can cause drivers to feel unsafe while operating their new cars. 

Many body shaking complaints are due to misaligned wheels, tire damage, or bent rims. But, other owners had issues with the engine shaking while idle. 

All types of body shakes can cause damage to the vehicle or cause an accident. If your Trailblazer shakes, you should bring it in for a checkup.

5. Safety Recalls

safety recalls

Since 2020, there have been sixteen safety recalls for Chevy and GMC SUVs. From braking systems to missing parts, you’ll have to spend some time at the dealer having these issues repaired on your Chevy Trailblazer. Not all trim types or vehicles were subject to every recall. 

Some of the more important safety recalls are below. 

  • Front lower control arm fractures.
  • Electronic brake boost system sensor replacement.
  • Missing rear attachment bolts on the front seats cause the seat to move. 
  • Improper calibration of the transfer case control module can cause a crash.
  • The airbag can fracture along weld points during deployment and not inflate. 
  • Missing welds in the rear floor can degrade.

6. Sluggish Engine

Don’t plan on winning a road race with the standard trim Chevy Trailblazer. The LS front-wheel drive Trailblazer features an ECOTEC 1.2L Turbo base engine. Even with the turbo, owners feel the engine is weak and has difficulty reaching 60 MPH. 

The vehicle also struggles to pass other vehicles at highway speeds. This can make it difficult to get out of the way of oncoming traffic or avoid dangerous situations at high speeds. 

You can upgrade to a 1.3L turbo with 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque if you want more power. 

7. Failure of Electric Brake Boost

failure of electric brake boost

Issues with the braking system can be life-threatening. One of the biggest recalls for the 2020 Trailblazer involved the electronic brake boost of the vehicle. 

Contamination of the sensor connection causes an interruption of communication. This results in the sensor not activating the brake boost. Drivers need to apply extra brake pedal force during braking, and this can result in a crash. 

If you own a 2020 Trailblazer, you should schedule a repair for the electronic brake boost as soon as possible. 

8. Speed Control Issues

Drivers that use speed control want a smooth and relaxing experience. Imagine if your vehicle accelerated to 100 MPH on its own while using speed control. Reports like this are common for Chevy Trailblazers with speed control issues. 

The problem commonly occurred when drivers activated speed control at speeds above 40 MPH. Not every Trailblazer will experience this issue, but every owner needs to consider the speed control issue. This is a dangerous problem that can quickly cause a crash. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the issue due to the numerous complaints. Unfortunately, there is no recall for this issue as of 2022. 

9. Stiff Ride

stiff ride

The Chevy Trailblazer won’t win any rewards for a smooth or comfortable ride. Vehicle Owner reported a stiff ride on and off-road. You can expect to feel every bump while riding on smooth highways or dirt roads.

The stiffness of the suspension leads to a bumpy ride that can cause fatigue in the driver and passengers. Unfortunately, Trailblazer does not offer an upgraded suspension at any trim level. 

While the Trailblazer is a crossover SUV, most owners won’t enjoy long off-road adventures in the vehicle. So if you need a vehicle that can conquer rugged and uneven terrain, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

10. Transmission Performance

The CVT transmission is responsive at low speeds but struggles when reaching highway speeds. Don’t expect to break any ¼ mile records in any Trailblazer. 

The optional 9-speed automatic transmission improves performance but has issues. Many drivers complained that the 9-speed is slow to shift. They also complained the 9-speed is not the smoothest transmission resulting in hiccups during shifts.

Even with the sluggish shifting, the 9-speed coupled with the turbocharged 1.3L engine offers the best combination of power and performance available for the Trailblazer.

11. Electrical Problems

Owners reported a variety of minor and major electrical problems with their Trailblazer. 

  • The window wiper electrical connections can corrode and need replacement.
  • Poorly illuminated dashboards, speedometers, and gauges make them hard to read. 
  • Power door and window switches may malfunction.
  • Forward collision assistance and automatic braking feature malfunctions can cause accidents.
  • A faulty speedometer shows incorrect speed while driving. 

12. Climate Control

The climate control system is often a major problem for Trailblazer owners. Drivers reported electrical issues, blower control module malfunctions, and AC fans not operating. 

While none of these issues are life-threatening, they make driving in extreme heat or cold uncomfortable. 

Chevy Trailblazer Reviews

Here are some real Chevrolet Trailblazer reviews that you might find helpful:

  • “The Trailblazer is a stylish and spacious subcompact SUV that’s a good value for the money. It’s not the quickest or most refined SUV on the market, but it’s a good choice for those who are looking for a practical and affordable vehicle.” – Edmunds
  • “The Trailblazer is a good choice for those who are looking for a stylish and fuel-efficient SUV. It’s not the most exciting vehicle to drive, but it’s comfortable and easy to maneuver.” – Car and Driver
  • “The Trailblazer is a good option for those who are looking for a subcompact SUV with a lot of cargo space. It’s also available with all-wheel drive, which makes it a good choice for those who live in areas with snow or rain.” – U.S. News & World Report
  • “The Trailblazer is a good value for the money. It’s not the most luxurious SUV on the market, but it’s well-equipped and reliable.” – Kelley Blue Book
  • “The Trailblazer is a good choice for those who are looking for a stylish and practical SUV. It’s not the best in class in any one area, but it’s a good all-around vehicle.” – MotorTrend

If you’re considering buying a 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer, be sure to read as many reviews as possible to get a well-rounded view of the vehicle. You should also consider the needs of your family when selecting a vehicle. For example, if you have young children, you might want to focus on reviews that mention the Trailblazer’s safety features or its spacious backseat.

Chevy Trailblazer Reliability

Are Chevy Trailblazers reliable? The Chevrolet Trailblazer is generally considered to be a reliable vehicle. It has a predicted reliability score of 85 out of 100 from J.D. Power, which is considered to be great. This means that the Trailblazer is expected to have few problems over its lifespan.

According to Edmunds, the redesigned Trailblazer is an exceedingly competent and reliable vehicle. While it won’t outperform the best vehicles, the Trailblazer is one of the better compact crossover SUVs on the market and comes at an affordable price. 

The Trailblazer gives owners a roomy vehicle with good gas mileage and great style. If you can deal with the slow performance and stiff ride, the Trailblazer is a reliable option for the price.

However, there have been some reports of problems with the Trailblazer’s engine, transmission, and electrical system. These problems are relatively rare, but they can be costly to repair.

Chevy Trailblazer FAQs

Still have questions? We have answers. Below are some of the most common questions Trailblazer owners ask. 

What are common problems with 2021 Chevy Trailblazers?

Issues that present serious safety concerns for the Trailblazer include speed control issues, missing front seat bolts, and failure of the electronic brake boost. All these issues can cause a crash. You should consult your dealer as soon as possible for repairs if you have these issues. 

Other minor problems owners experience include noisy and stiff rides, poor off-road abilities, faulty window switches, and sluggish performance.

Do Trailblazers have transmission problems?

There are no major transmission problems with Trailblazer. The CVT transmission performs adequately at slow speeds but struggles to accelerate at highway speeds. 

The optional nine-speed automatic transmission is known to vary in performance. This means you may experience sluggish gear shifting, poor performance, or reduced efficiency. Still, the nine-speed transmission is the best option to improve the Trailblazer’s performance.

Final Thoughts

The Chevy Trailblazer blazed onto the crossover SUV scene as an inexpensive alternative in 2020. It gained popularity due to its styling and cost. The Trailblazer is a well-designed SUV and is a great option for families or drivers who need utility space.

But like any vehicle, the Chevy Trailblazer does have its shortcomings. It won’t outperform the leaders in its class. It also doesn’t have the smoothest ride. 

Do you own a 2020 – 2023 Trailblazer? How has your time with the vehicle been so far? Does your Chevy qualify for the lemon law? We’d love to hear about your experience with your Chevy Trailblazer. 

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