17th Aug 2010, 19:12

I just purchased a two owner 2003 SLE Envoy with 108000 kms on it.

The repair history is 1 transmission (under warranty), 1 clutch fan, and both outside tie-rod ends.

Gas mileage is just bearable, but ooh what a ride.

Paid $7400.00, and although red book is around $4000.00, I still feel like I got a deal.

Now... you really need to know your buttons and gauges before setting out, as there are many, and they're quite distracting to fiddle with while navigating in traffic.

Week 1 is now under my belt without catastrophe, and I just about have the seat adjusted to my liking.

Wish me luck.

18th Aug 2010, 11:21

To 19:12:

Good luck. We just hit 90,000 miles on our 2003 Envoy, and it has not even had to have the brake pads replaced yet. I'm a mechanic and went over every inch of the car two months ago to check suspension, hoses, exhaust, etc., and I found everything as new as the day we drove it off the dealer's lot. It runs, drives, looks and feels just as it did the day we bought it over 7 years ago. Not a single problem.

18th Aug 2010, 12:43

"Paid $7400.00, and although red book is around $4000.00, I still feel like I got a deal."

Wow, can I call you the next time I am selling something? A near 100% markup over book value is a good deal to you?

1st Sep 2010, 10:26

I bought my 2003 Envoy new, and thought it was the best auto I've ever owned until it hit 60,000 last week. It sounds like an airplane when I start it up, and then goes away after driving about a mile.

I took it to the dealer, and was told (after paying $45 diagnostic fee) that it is the fan clutch and will cost me $700 to replace. After reading all the comments left on this site, I get the impression it's a common repair. Why isn't this on the recall list yet? Apparently this is a well know problem for the Chevy Trailblazer also. They put a low quality part in an area that will be labor intensive to replace, and dropped the cost of replacement onto the owner.

This is the first time I needed to take my Envoy in for a repair, and I'm hoping this will not be the start of a whole bunch of repairs that show up at higher mileage.

1st Sep 2010, 16:19

Yeah, good luck with that. I put $1400 into my Trailblazer, and then one month later it needed almost $2K more in repairs, so I traded it in for Toyota. Never again will I own a GM product. I only had 90K miles, but the problems started at around 55K miles. The airplane noise is one of a couple of different problems. Listen closely as to where it is coming from. Ours was under the truck and had nothing to do with the fan clutch. It was some kind of air pump on the transmission.

We also had the very popular stalling issue. It idled so poorly it was almost impossible to back up to my boat trailer without it surging and hitting the trailer. It would die off and then surge up over and over again. You couldn't hold it steady on a hill with the accelerator. It was ridiculous. I traded it with a shot front differential and a bad wheel bearing. The differential compromised the transmission as it was overheated due to pushing against the differential, so I am sure the tranny was soon to fail as well as you could smell burnt fluid every time you drove the truck. That would have pushed that $2K in repairs up over $6K real quick!

Another problem area with these trucks is the front suspension steering components. We had the tie rods fail at 30K miles on our first TB. This one needed the left outer at about 75K and the rest were well worn. My uncle had an '03 Envoy and had the same thing happen while he was in the 30K mile range.

Just type "trailblazer issues" into Google and you'll get a whole list of problems that are very common. There's a few people on this site claiming 150K miles or more with no issues. I just can't see it, based on the way we drove ours and how poorly it held up. 85% of the miles were easy highway miles.

1st Sep 2010, 21:36

You got taken. They DID NOT need to DIAGNOSE a bad fan clutch. Charging you $45 for the OBVIOUS is just taking more of your money. These units can be bought for under $200 at auto parts stores, and they are so easy to put on that my wife could do it. Also, we own one of these vehicles, and at nearly 100,000 it has not required a single repair of ANY kind.

2nd Sep 2010, 13:08

Any dealer will charge you to diagnose. And what dealer ISN'T out to get your money?? $700 is pretty much in line, though, with the charge I have seen for that replacement. Also, we had the same airplane sound, but it was underneath the truck, and not the fan clutch. There are multiple possibilities for these trucks when they start to break. Trust me, I have been through most of them. It would be foolish NOT to get these trucks diagnosed when they break, so they fix the right faulty part, instead of guessing what it could be.

Plus, just because someone doesn't want to be a backyard mechanic, like most GM fans seem to be, doesn't mean they got taken. Car repairs are expensive, and labor rates are at least $100 per hour at most dealers. Sorry you feel you should spend $30K plus on a vehicle and then have to work on it in your back yard. I am sticking with imports now, so I don't have to.

Before you reply, let me tell you in my 25 years of driving, I have never seen the inside of an import service center, nor have I sat in an import dealer waiting room. My Trailblazer?? Well that was a different story. I was on a first name basis with the service manager there. Being there every other week kind of warrants that though doesn't it? I also thoroughly researched every failed part as they occurred, and they were on the money for every part that failed and the prices for them. Yes, I paid for hourly charges, but read the above again about that... never again will I own GM!!

And I believe you that you've had no problems at nearly 100K miles. However, why does that have anything to do with anyone else's experience? Are you saying we are making stuff up here? There are surely a few vehicles that will make it farther than others. I can probably find you 10 Toyota owners and 10 Honda owners that have had no repairs before 100K miles too... myself included. This still has no bearing on your personal experience with imports, so what is the point?

2nd Sep 2010, 21:43

This really has little to do with anyone's personal experience. Toyota is currently ranked far below Ford and GM in build quality by all major ratings agencies. The latest sales figures (released today) indicate that Toyota sales fell by a whopping 34.1% in August in spite of huge incentives. GM and Ford both outsold Toyota last month. Most people seem to be of the opinion that the day of reliable imports is over.