Front end noise - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 12-20-2011, 02:49 PM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 40
Front end noise

Hi folks. I have been reading here on similar issues but not sure if I landed on any answers. Just the other night my 2003 Trailblazer EXT started making a vibration in the steering wheel and I feel it in the floor boards. I can hear a "groaning" type sound in association with the vibrations. The best way to describe it is as if you were driving on flat/low tires or grooved pavement. In addition to this "new" issue, previously have had issues with the 4AWD switch not lighting up, or a low red light and when engaged, the front tires would 'shutter" when making turns. (by the way I only use the 4AWD in snow). Does anyone know if these 2 things are related? my guess is yes and I am not ready to hear the bad news. Some mechanics say its a blown front end Differential. Does my description sound like that?
Anyway I need to know a rough cost for this/these repairs if anyone can guess it.
Thanks all for your help. I really love my truck and I want to keep it.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:11 PM
GusMan GusMan is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
Majestic Red Metallic 5.3L V8 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 284
When first reading your description, I was thinking it may be a wheel bearing, which is not uncommon for what you are describing.

However, if you -know- that it is not in 4wd, then you should not get the stuttering when you turn as you describe. Are you sure that you are not stuck in 4wd mode and its not indicating it properly?
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2011, 07:12 PM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 40
Hi GusMan. The studdering only occures when it is in all wheel drive mode. When its in the norm 2 wheel drive, its fine. I drive it in 2 wheel all the time and there is no stuttering. Its only in all 4 for inclement weather. I do see however some what looks like wetness (oil?) on the drivers side boot near the trans. I believe thats wher the problem is reading some posts.
Hope my answer helps. Thanks for the reply and if you have any ferther info, please let me know.
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2011, 11:16 PM
TrailblazrI6 TrailblazrI6 is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Summit White 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: E. Greenwich, RI
Posts: 438
You need to inspect the half shafts coming out of the front axle right away. Try to move them up and down - there should be no play.

The bearings on the passengers side are only lubed with grease packed in the housing from the factory. This grease dries up and grind grind goes your bearing. By the time you notice it, your half shaft will have an inch of play and will sound like a rumble strip when it starts slopping around while you are driving. It needs to be fixed right away as it will eat away at the housing $$$$$
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:39 AM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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OMG. That's what I suspected and have heard. If I were to add some lube into this area, could I buy more time to get it up to my mechanic? or what would the worst case scenario be?
Sorry for the stupid questions but my mechanics live not too close to me and I don't prefer to go to the dearer.
Any idea what something like this will cost?
Thanks
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:14 AM
TrailblazrI6 TrailblazrI6 is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Budd1470 View Post
OMG. That's what I suspected and have heard. If I were to add some lube into this area, could I buy more time to get it up to my mechanic? or what would the worst case scenario be?
Sorry for the stupid questions but my mechanics live not too close to me and I don't prefer to go to the dearer.
Any idea what something like this will cost?
Thanks
No amount of lube is going to matter once it starts flopping around, unfortunately. Too little, too late.

Well, if you catch it soon enough it wont cost as much as it would have had you let it go. Some members end up replacing the bearing, seal, housing, half shaft. That combo will run at least $400 alone in parts.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2011, 11:59 AM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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Posts: 40
ok and thanks for the info. I am having it towed to my mechanic as to not do anymore damage. I will post a follow-up as to its diagnosis and outcome.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2011, 10:13 AM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 40
Diff leak?

ok folks. After moving my Trailblazer back 5 feet (for parking reasons) I noticed oil on the pavement So I took my iPhone underneath and shot these photos. From my other conversations with folks on here, it looks like the front diff has a major leak causing the issues I am having. I never had that leak before and I assume its not uncommon on these vehicles. Can anyone say out there if you experienced the same issue and what was/is the repair on this? My mechanic says that yes it is the diff after sending these same photos to him as well.
Thanks all
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2012, 03:14 PM
Budd1470 Budd1470 is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
Graystone Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 40
PROBLEM FIXED but now another one

Hello all. Good news for me, what I thought was a front diff gone bad was actually the front wheel bearings. I went with the better ones as apposed to the cheap ones. And what I thought was diff fluid on the ground under the front end was actually power steering fluid. It seems there was a small corroded hole in one of the lines up by the frame rail. My mechanic not only changed ALL the diff lube (both front and rear) but changed the transfer case fluid as well, replaced BOTH front wheel bearing/hub assembly's and cut out the bad section of line and did a great patch of the power steering lines. Changed a headlight, charged my battery, washed the entire under carriage and engine compartment, and painted the new lines and all for 1K. I think that was a great price for all he did. Now I am in need of a new power steering pump (I think) Here are my symptoms... a noise, and vibration at a dead stop when turning the wheel left or right, and that high pitched whining sound is still there. I have had that noise for quiet some time (years).This whining sound increases and decreases in pitch depending on engine RPM. Can anyone tell me if that sounds like the pump going bad (or is bad) and should I get a new one, or used/rebuilt and how much.
Thanks all.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2012, 02:20 PM
Leinhit Leinhit is offline
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2002 GMC Envoy SLT
Imperial Blue Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 69
You can try some power steering additive to see if that reduces the noise, mechanic should have noticed that after servicing for 1k.

Try some additive, cheap way to narrow it down.. I'm not sure if Lucas makes it for power steering, but I like them for Trans...
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