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Chevy Trailblazer problems

2020-2023 Chevy Trailblazer Problems

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.

2020 – 2023 Chevy Trailblazer Problems

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 FAQs

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

Is the Chevy Trailblazer a reliable vehicle?

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.

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.

Is Chevy Trailblazer a Good Buy?

Chevy won many customers thanks to the redesign of the Trailblazer in 2020. The new vehicle features a great look and is cheaper than many competitors in its class. 

While it won’t break any performance records, the Trailblazer is a good buy if you are looking for a stylish and efficient daily driver for small families. 

Most professional car reviews agree that the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a good buy.

  • 8.0/10 Edmunds Rating
  • 7.5/10 Car and Driver Rating
  • 8.0/10 Motortrend Rating

Chevy Trailblazer Problems, 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. 

From recalls to safety issues, we’ve covered the most common Chevy Trailblazer problems above. Of course, like any vehicle, the Chevy Trailblazer is not perfect. But, most owners agree the Trailblazer is a great option in its price range. 

Do you own a 2021 – 2023 Trailblazer? How has your time with the vehicle been so far? Does your Chevy qualify for lemon law? We’d love to hear about your experience with your Chevy Trailblazer. 

Comments (2)
  • I purchased a 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer in September of 2022 from Central Chevrolet in Massachusetts. To date I have had nothing but things happen. Right now it’s in the shop since Tuesday with a blown tire,check engine light, noises when I turn off car for a minute, and brakes making noise.
    I have had the tires filled w/ air 3 times.
    I feel like it’s a lemon and has 5k miles and I don’t want it back!

  • I haven’t had any issues with my trailblazer, just the rough/stiff ride and sluggish gear change and speed acceleration. But for the price I’d say it’s really good. I absolutely hate the stiff ride though. But I think you can change out the suspensions. Not to sure. I don’t know much about cars. That sucks for you Dina because I haven’t had to send my trailblazer to the shop yet and I’ve had it since June 2022. If anybody knows anyways to improve the ride quality of the 2022 Chevrolet trailblazer please let me know. My email is robbiena2000@gmail.com.

    Thank You,
    Robbie

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