Transmission Problems

Reader Question

Thanks in advance for your help.  My 18 yr.old has my hand me down 2002 Trailblazer, about 158K miles.

I’ve had the trans. rebuilt twice, the last time was about 2 years ago at a cost of about $1,300.  For the past couple of weeks it has had a hard time going in reverse…high reving with it slowly backing up.  Now it won’t move backwards at all.  Fluid levels seam ok…what would be possible causes and are any of them relatively inexpensive?

One more question:  Every since the last rebuild, the 4 wheel drive doesn’t work…any connection?

Thanks Again…Rob


Hey there Rob

Humm, this really sounds to me like an internal wear problem inside the transmission. $1,300 for a 4X4 COMPLETE overhaul sounds really cheap to me…I wonder what they really did???  I would expect $1800 minimum for this job.

reverse gear is usually the first gear to show signs of excessive internal wear….slow to reverse or no reverse at all. So what you are telling me gets me to believe this transmission will have to come out and be inspected, but I highly suspect you are going to need an overhaul.

Did you get the same shop to do both repairs?  Why do I have this feeling they did not do a complete overhaul.

Yes, the 4X4 issue is probably related to the faulty original repair, although there are sensors and a switch that control the 4×4 option so there could be other problems that might be electrical in nature not really worn out parts like the reverse issue.

The only thing I can really suggest to you is get another transmission shop to take a test drive with you to experience the problem. They will probably want to remove the transmission pan for inspection and to give you a quote….which is probably your only real option.

get back to me once they have done this and I can see if there are any other options for you, the only other one I can think of at this point is a used transmission from a junk yard, although you take a big risk in buying someone elses worn out transmission.

I have been able to buy a few very low mileage transmissions and engines from junk yards from vehicles with very low mileage that have been totaled.


Austin Davis
Posted in: Transmissions

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."
  • Teddy Ross

    No reverse on my 2004 vw jetta 1.8t