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Trailblazer Won’t Start – Let’s Find Out Why Your Car Cranks But Doesn’t Start! 

Trailblazer Won’t Start – Let’s Find Out Why Your Car Cranks But Doesn’t Start! 

Despite being a popular and wide-selling vehicle, there are manuresports of pwners staing their Trailblazer won’t start. Car owners need to know why their car cranks but won’t start, the main reasons behind this issue, the cause of the security lights on the dashboard, issues with the ignition switch, and the trailblazer intermittent starting problem. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


The Chevrolet Trailblazer, also known as the Trailblazer, is a mid-size SUV produced and manufactured by Chevrolet, a specific division of General Motors. First used in the 2001 model in the United States, this nameplate is now associated with the newer version produced from 2011 until the present. Despite being a popular and wide-selling vehicle, there are manuresports of pwners staing their Trailblazer won’t start.

TrailBlazer Background Information

First Generation (2002-2009)

The first generation of the Trailblazer is based on the GMT360 truck platform, with the Buick RAinier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender, Oldsmobile Bravada, Chevrolet colorado, and the Saab 9-7X all being similar vehicles on the market. 


This car featured an independent front suspension and a five-link rear suspension, complete with either a 4-speed 4L60E automatic or 4-speed 4L70E automatic transmission. The engine options for this vehicle were either the 4.2-liter LL8 I6 gasoline engine, 5.3-liter LM4 V8 engine, 5.3-liter LH6 V8 engine, or the 6.0-liter LS2 V8 engine.


The first generation of the Trailblazer had some reports of owners stating their Trailblazer wont start. Despite this complaint, the car had various trim levels that ranked highly in terms of popularity. 

  • The LS was the base level of the TRailblazer, including various standard equipment like aluminum alloy wheels, four wheel disc brakes, 4.2-liter six-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, and power accessories.
  • The LT was the mid level of the Trailblazer, including a power front driver’s seat, security system, leather steering wheel, power seats, infotainment systems, and a universal garage door opener.
  • The LTZ was the highest trim level of the TrailBLazer, adding increased luxury and performance to the already-equipped LT mid-level trim option.
  • The SS trim level was the performance option that aimed to fix some of the performance issues with owners stating the TRailblazer won’t start. This package was based on the LS or LT trim, complete with a unique interior trim, leather wrapped steering wheel, front bucket seats, and a 6.0-liter V8 engine for additional power. 

Second Generation 2012-2020

The second generation of the Trailblazer was produced from the 2012 model year until the 2020 model year. The second generation comes with three engine options, with two being diesels – one of the diesel engines features the Duramax 2.5-liter choice which produces 147-178 horsepower, and an optional Duramax 2.80liter engine that produces 178-197 horsepower. The gasoline engine option is a 3.6-liter V6 option that produces 239 horsepower and produces 270 pounds-per-foot of torque, 

Trailblazer Cranks But Won’t Start

Engine cranking refers to your engine turning over and over without being able to power the car. The “crank” terminology comes from the “crankshaft”, which is the component of the vehicle that moves the pistons in your car. The crankshaft works together with the piston to power the vehicle, turning the engine through its cycle and sending the necessary spark to the cylinder to start the internal combustion and power the engine. If you find your Trailblazer won’t start, this is due to the crankshaft not working properly. 


When you notice your Trailblazer won’t start, you need to determine what part, or parts, are at fault for this detrimental problem. If the starter won't crank the engine, then the problem most likely lies within the electrical system. A jumpstart would solve this problem of a bad battery, but there are also reasons as to why your Tralblazer won’t start. 

Reasons Why Your Trailblazer Won’t Start

  • Faulty Crankshaft Position Sensor

This is possibly the most common cause of why yoiur Trailblazer won’t start. If the crankshaft position sensor isn’t working properly, it can cause the car’s internal computer – the engine control unit – to not function correctly. The engine’s computer is in charge of the crankshaft position sensor, so if it detects a problem, the check engine light will come on.

  • Tachometer Damage– A sign that the crankshaft position sensor is faulty is a damaged tachometer. The computer needs information about the engine speed from the sensor to relay information to the tachometer then. If the sensor isn’t working, the tachometer can cause the Trailblazer won’t start condition.
  • Fuel Efficiency Decline – In addition, your fuel economy will not be as good as it normally is, and your fuel efficiency will plummet. Your gas mileage will be much lower than normal, signaling that you have a faulty crankshaft position sensor that causes your TRailblazer wont start issue.
  • Engine Cranking – Furthermore, if you notice your engine cranks but your Trailblazer won’t start, this can be due to an issue with the ignition sparks. The computer won’t be able to give the engine any spark, causing the engine to crank but the Trailblazer won’t start. 
  • Running Rough – Lastly, the engine could run very rough or stall during driving. A faulty sensor can cause an engine misfire, the engine to stall completely, or the engine to crank, but the Traillbazer won’t start. 
  • Damaged Fuel System

The fuel pump supplies the engine with the correct amount of fuel for it to run properly. If the fuel pump is not working correctly, the engine won’t be able to run, and it will shut off. If the fuel pump, fuel injector, or fuel filter are damaged, this can mean your TRailblazer won’t start. 


Unfortunately for this fuel issue, there is no way around a broken or faulty fuel pump – you need to repair or replace the fuel pump. You also should check the fuel filter, as that could be the main problem. The fuel filter’s job is to clean the fuel going into the engine. If the filter is clogged, the fuel going into the engine will be impeded. 


The last thing that could be faulty with the fuel system is the fuel supply line. This is how gas gets to the engine from the fuel tank supply. If the supply lines are broken or clogged, then there is no way for the gas to get to the engine. If the gas cannot get to the engine, this means the Trailblazer won’t start. 

  • Empty Fuel Tank 

This is a common occurrence that most people have experienced – you get distracted and forget to keep an eye on your fuel gauge. If you run out of fuel while driving, your engine can crank but your car will not start.


However, it might not be completely your fault. Another reason your car could run out of gas is if your fuel gauge isn’t working properly. Regardless of why you ran out of gas, you should still get your car checked by a mechanic to diagnose the correct problem and figure out why your Trailazer won’t start.

  • Damaged Alternator

The alternator supplies your vehicle with a constant stream of electricity. If your car shuts off while driving, it is likely that your alternator has gone bad. A broken alternator will cut the power to your car, signaling this information to you by a flashing dashboard light or the engine suddenly shutting off. 


If you pay attention to your car, you can notice an alternator going bad over time. Your car will begin receiving an intermittent amount of power, meaning your Trailblazer won’t start continuously. 

  • Broken Engine Control Unit

The ECU is your car’s computer in charge of the various systems and functions, ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly. This engine control module controls actuators on the internal combustion engine to ensure the engine is running at an optimal level.


If there is an issue with your car’s ECU, you can lose power in your car. Typically, you will notice the check engine light on your dash. After this light goes on, you should go to a mechanic immediately. 


If you decide not to take your car to a mechanic once the light goes on, your car can accumulate more problems, meaning your tailblazer won’t start. Plus, you can’t fix an ECU yourself to save some money. Your only option is to take it to a professional mechanic to avoid your car shutting off while driving. 

  • Faulty Ignition Timing

The car’s ignition system supplies power to the engine for it to run efficiently. If your ignition system is faulty, your engine will abruptly shut off. The first thing you should do to remedy the problem is to put your car keys in the ignition again and try turning them – if this doesn’t start the engine, then you have ignition failure. If you experience ignition failure, your Trailblazer won’t start.

Trailblazer Ignition Switch Test

The ignition switch, also known as the starter switch or the start switch, controls the car – in all senses of the word. It controls your car’s main electrical systems, including the accessories, like the power windows, radio, headlights, interior cabin lights, and the air conditioning.


In modern cars with internal combustion engines, the ignition switch provides the required power to the starter solenoid and the starter system’s other components, like the engine control unit and the ignition coil. The ignition switch works with the other engine components to start the engine at the proper time, ensuring you don’t experience the issue of ‘my Trailblazer wont start.’ 


To perform the Trailblazer ignition test to see why your Railblazer won’t start, you need to notice any of the following faulty ignition switch symptoms:

  • Stalling – One of the most obvious signs of a faulty ignition switch is the car stalls while driving. Your engine stalling is a severe issue that needs fixing as soon as possible to prevent any further damage and performance hindrances. There are certain instances where you can perform the Trailblazer ignition test to see why your Trailblazer wont start and your engine stalls.
  • Accessories – Another sign of a faulty broken ignition switch is having trouble turning on your vehicle’s accessories, like power windows, radio, headlights, dashboard lights, blinkers, etc. When you put the key in the ignition lock cylinder and turn the key, the switch should do its job and power on the vehicle's accessories, like the interior lights. 
  • Key Won’t Turn – The key not turning is a very noticeable symptom of a faulty ignition switch. The first thing you need to do to start your car besides sitting in the driver’s seat turns the ignition lock cylinder key. However, if the faulty ignition switch shows damage inside, it will sometimes prevent the key from moving at all – thereby pmeaning your TRailblazer won’t start. 

Trailblazer Won’t Start – Security Lights

If your TRailblazer won't start and you notice the dashboard lights come on, you need to find out why this occurs in your vehicle. 


When noticing your check engine light, there are many issues that could turn on this warning on your dashboard. Although you might have figured out the problem and fixed the issue, the light could STILL be – but why? 

  • The main answer is that after you clear the car’s internal computer, the engine control unit, you will need to continue driving for around 50-100 miles to determine the answer to how long does it take for the check engine light to come back on after reset.

Trailblazer Intermittent Starting Problem

You may find that your Trailblazer wont start due to issues with the car starting, starting and stalling, and the dashboard lights indicating further issues that can cause the intermittent turning on and off.

  • Dashboard Lihgts – If your Trailblazer won’t start, the dashboard lights might go dark when you place your key in the second position. If the lights go out when the key is moved, there is a problem with the wiring or a faulty ignition switch. Ensure you bring your vehicle to a mechanic or qualified electrician to determine the root cause of the flickering dashboard lights.
  • Car Start and Stalls – Another symptom that you have a faulty ignition switch is that your car will suddenly start – but then just as suddenly turn off and stall. Suppose the ignition switch is not working while it is resting in the “on” position. In that case this can lead to the vehicle starting and stalling erratically. The “on” position is meant to turn on the fuel and ignition systems – however, if this is not working, the Trailblazer won’t start.
  • Car won’t start – The ignition coil can gain battery power to spark the spark plugs and ignite the fuel in the combustion chamber. If the spark plugs do not fire at the right time and light the mixture, the engine will misfire. If the ignition coil does not draw enough power, this means your Trailblazer won’t start. 

The Bottom Line

Drivers need to figure out why their Trailblazer won’t start to keep their car running healthy and at a high-performance level for a long period of time!