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Chevrolet Repair/2003 Trailblazer - Worth repairs?

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Question
QUESTION: I have a 2003 Trailblazer with 210k miles, I love this vehicle.  My muffler seems to rusting away from the main pipe, I have temporarily supported it with clothes hanger wire, it does rattle a bit, it's been like this for a year.  Starting the last few days the RPM will jump up 500 or so when I am driving 50-60MPH, is this muffler related or transmission?  I have noticed with backing to the road and shifting to drive it jerks and has even shut the vehicle off before.  There is also an oil leak developing.  Should I cut my losses and buy a new vehicle?

ANSWER: HI JASON,,I GET ASKED THIS QUESTION A LOT. IT IS A TOUGH QUESTION..AS FAR AS YOUR MUFFLER CAUSING WHAT YOU SAID ABOVE. NO THIS WILL NOT CAUSE THIS PROBLEM AT ALL. THIS PROBLEM THAT YOU TALK ABOUT DOES SOUND LIKE A TRANSMISSION PROBLEM. LIKE IT IS STARTING TO SLIP,, THIS WOULD CAUSE THE RPMS TO JUMP AND THEN COME BACK DOWN AGAIN...BUT BEFORE YOU THROW IT TO THE WOLFS. YOU SAY THAT THERE IS A OIL LEAK...WELL IF THE OIL LEAK IS FROM TRANSMISSION OIL,THIS WILL CAUSE THE TRANS TO SLIP IF IT IS LOW ON FLUID. SO I WOULD WARM THIS ENGINE UP TO OPERATING TEMP AND AND MAKE SURE IT IS ON LEVEL GROUND AND CK THE TRANS OIL..IF THIS IS LOW YOU MIGHT OF FOUND YOUR PROBLEM..IF SO TOP IT UP WITH TRANS OIL AND CK THIS WHILE IT IS RUNNING..DO NOT OVER FILL IT IF IT IS LOW..THIS WILL CAUSE JUST AS MUCH PROBLEMS IF IT IS UNDER FILLED..THEN TAKE THIS TO A SHOP AND GET THIS LEAK REPAIRED...BUT IF THE TRANS  OIL IS FULL,THEN YOU MAY HAVE A BAD TRANSMISSION COMING ON. IF SO MAYBE YOU ARE CORRECT TO SELL IT. A REBUILT TRANS WILL COST YOU ABOUT $2500.00..I KNOW, NOT CHEAP...GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND I HOPE THIS GOES WELL FOR YOU,,,TOM....

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the fast follow up.  At my last oil change the guy mentioned my transmission fluid was a darker color than normal but at the correct level and recommended a flush, those places make there money from additional services so I usually decline.  I will check the level and hope that its a tad low.  Thanks again for the help!

Answer
HI JASON, IF THE OIL LEVEL IS FULL BUT DARK BROWN AND SMELLS BURNED..DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON FLUSHING AND NEW FILTER. THIS WILL ONLY MAKE IT SLIP MORE. THE OLD OIL ACTS AS CLUTCHES. LOTS OF GRIT IN THAT OIL. SO IF YOU FLUSH THIS OLD OIL AND PUT FRESH OIL BACK INTO IT, MORE THEN LIKELY IT WILL SLIP WORSE THEN IT DOES NOW....SORRY FOR THE BAD NEWS. ALSO WOULD YOU RATE MY ANSWER ALL EXPERTS LOOKS AT THIS FOR MY RATING..THANKS AGAIN,,,TOM...

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS BEFORE ASKING ANY QUESTIONS. IF THIS CHEVY SECTION IS MAXED OUT.YOU CAN REACH ME IN THE OLDS/BUICK SECTION. Will answer questions from 6:00am to 10:00pm all days [EST][[[ NO DIESEL OR PAINT QUESTIONS]]] will answer all 1965 to present QUESTIONS ON ALL GM'S on mechanics of these cars. Keep in mind i am not there in person i am going on what you are telling me !! PLEASE IF ASKING A QUESTION GIVE ME AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER. SUCH AS YEAR,MAKE,MODEL,ENGINE SIZE. THIS WILL HELP ME HELP YOU. I will not be able to answer all questions because of some situations that i would really need to be there and see things for myself,such as electrical issues. In many cases i would need wiring diagrams. I can also give you an estimate on what the cost would be at our repair shop as an idea to help you. Keep in mind that my answer is ONLY MY ADVICE,ck with your mechanic as well.. >> THANK YOU, TOM..

Experience

I have been a ASE certified master mechanic for over 30 years and certified IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES,[engine repair,engine performance,auto trans,manual trans,clutches,steering and suspension,brakes,electrical systems,heating and air/cond. I am also a state CERTIFIED inspector for over 30 years. I do computer work [pcm]fault codes,pcm flashing,state inspection monitor readiness,repairs on exhaust,fuel service,[injection and carburetor,] charging system problems, running issues,alignments,frame problems,tire balance,struts and of course standard and anti-lock brakes.

Organizations
nys state auto repair industry and ase group.

Publications
N/A

Education/Credentials
high school,4 years of tech school,and many many hours of auto training with many gm classes and aftermarket training classes..

Awards and Honors
ASE MASTER TECH CERTIFIED IN ALL 8 CATEGORIES.NYS INSP LICENSE AND A/C CERTIFIED

Past/Present Clients
MANY CUSTOMERS IN OUR BUSY SHOP.

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