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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 General Tech Q&A > Off-Road

Off-Road For suspension, wheel, and tire questions DIRECTLY related to Off-Roading.

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  #1  
Old 07-11-2011, 10:50 PM
ornative73 ornative73 is offline
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2004 Buick Rainier
Black 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: portland or
Posts: 5
All wheel drive problems, Rainier

I saved up enough for a down payment on a decent car. Was looking for something with 4 or all wheel drive. Had my heart set on a Buick Rainier cause of the options. After about 4 months of looking on Craigslist and test driving, I ended up buy my Rainier up at XXXXX Auto Center up on Seattle. Great looking vehicle, had some miles on it, but that made the price right. The drive and power felt brand new. Everything to my knowledge worked on the vehicle. And it had the all wheel drive I was looking for.
With a sale price of 8900 I put down 3500. That made the payments a affordable for me.

The contract on the loan was dated 6/30/11. On July 10th 2011. I went fishing at my favorite beach. It is a sandy beach on the Columbia river. I thought it would be perfect to see how the all wheel drive would work. I eased into the sand slowly and the back wheels started spinning, I was waiting for the fronts to start turning but they never did. Instead there was a light on the dash that kicked in. 4 wheels and a wrench. I check to see if it might be a fuse, but everything checked out ok. Looks like I was a sucker at a auto dealership. I thought it was full time all wheel drive until I got the Buick home and read the manual. It states that it is a rear wheel drive vehicle until it detects the back wheels slipping then engages the fronts. Put a call into customer service today and didnt get a call back. If I had known the all wheel drive didnt work I would have had them fix it before I bought it. Not sure what my options are. I do know with my income I cant afford to fix this if its major. I am hoping it is something small that I can afford.

Looking for opinion on how to approach dealership or fix the problem.

Thanks Shawn
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2011, 12:06 AM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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2004 GMC Envoy SLT "Roadiemobile"
Extreme Offroad Pewter 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 26,181
A competent pre-purchase inspection by an experience GMT360 platform mechanic isn't free, but should have found this little detail.

The transfer case fluid change interval is a surprisingly short 50K miles. If the previous owner neglected it, the TC may be dry or damaged. If your selling dealer gives you the "time for complaints is over" runaround, you might pay a lawyer $100 to send them a stern letter. Or give them a really bad review on Yelp.

But that may not fix your problem. You need to start with draining the TC fluid and see how much drains out. Much less than its 2 quart capacity, and it's time to worry about internal damage.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2011, 12:12 AM
ornative73 ornative73 is offline
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2004 Buick Rainier
Black 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: portland or
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thanks Roadie,
Hopefully I will get to talk to someone tomorrow and will keep you guys posted. Appreciate the input.

Shawn
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2011, 06:31 PM
ornative73 ornative73 is offline
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2004 Buick Rainier
Black 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: portland or
Posts: 5
I got a hold of there customer service today and they asked me to take it to the nearest buick dealer and get it on the computer to see what is wrong. So I took it down and just got a phone call saying that its the computer sensor that is wrong. They said it could still be mechanical but they need to fix that first then they will test it. They put a call into the dealer whom I bought the vehicle from and the guy wasnt in. So not sure who will pay the bill yet. But I will find out soon. Just hoping things go ok with this, I cant afford it right now. Will keep you posted.
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2011, 06:46 PM
ScarabEpic22 ScarabEpic22 is offline
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Sorry to hear this, I dont know much about the Rainier AWD system except that it shares most of its parts with the regular 4WD system and is always engaged. Know more about how the TBSS AWD setup works, its different than the Rainier's.

BTW there's a meet in Portland on August 13th if you can make it!
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2011, 03:00 PM
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JamesDowning JamesDowning is offline
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2005 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
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The computer sensor is wrong? There are only a few in the TC system, and we can rule out that the speed sensors because it recognized that it did not send power to the front wheels (evidenced by the error light).

If the fluids are okay, the best guess is the encoder motor. It's possible the lockout circuit is locked on, or the motor itself is dead or locked up.
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2011, 03:24 PM
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bromanjr bromanjr is offline
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2004 GMC Envoy SLT XUV
Indigo Blue Metallic 5.3L V8 2WD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesDowning View Post
The computer sensor is wrong? There are only a few in the TC system, and we can rule out that the speed sensors because it recognized that it did not send power to the front wheels (evidenced by the error light).

If the fluids are okay, the best guess is the encoder motor. It's possible the lockout circuit is locked on, or the motor itself is dead or locked up.
The A4WD system on the Bravada/Raniers dos not have a brake solenoid (what you call a lockout, same thing). The Bravada/Ranier encoder is only 5-wire compared to the Trailblazer/Envoy with 7-wires.

I agree that since the service light came on, only suspects are the Encoder and the TC internal clutch.

Check/change the TC fluid.
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2011, 09:07 PM
ornative73 ornative73 is offline
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2004 Buick Rainier
Black 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: portland or
Posts: 5
Here is a update, today they replaced Tranfercase control module. Still have the same problem. I have a small hill climb at my parents house fronts didnt not spin after the rears sat in place and spun. Light came on, I called the dealer and I am suppose to bring it back friday.
So far Labor $225.00,
Parts 12590220 (module) 303.03

Here is the notes on the invoice after todays work.

Wrench figure shows all wheel drive system image when engaged.
Verified- Scanned- Found 14 DTC's in transfer case control module- some of the DTC's are relating to a mode switch that this vehicle doesn't even have. TCCM also had DTC C0550 which is an internal fault- checked power and grounds to the module - good -module needs replaced- removed and replaced the transfer case control module an performed programming and setup procedures- rechecked- light/dtc does not reset at this time.


So after a test, got another appointment Friday at 8am
So far this isnt out of my pocket. Just hope they fix it. I want all wheel drive.

Shawn
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2011, 02:09 AM
ornative73 ornative73 is offline
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2004 Buick Rainier
Black 5.3L V8 AWD
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: portland or
Posts: 5
Well all fixed, turns out it was the encoder motor. Thank you Pierre Ford up in Lake City (Seattle) for fixing this problem. Now I need to change the transfer case fluid soon, already picked up the fluid at the dealer. Just need to pick up some sort of pump at the auto parts store.
Thank you guys for your input. Love the site.
Shawn
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