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2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2021 Chevy Trailblazer. Electric door locks and theft-deterrent door lock knobs, like most all cars today.

I was in a situation recently that I lost all battery power while in the car. I came to a stop, the &[email protected]$!&^%^& Auto-Stop engaged and everything shut down. No lights, no horn, no dash, no run, no nuttin'. How to get out? The door locks are electric driven. No electric power! I actually began to panic a bit. I was pushing this and that then pulling on this and then that. I pulled on the mechanical door latch handle, of course, and nothing. I tried several other things and then tried the door latch handle again and voila! door opened. Ahhhhh. But why did it open? Don't care right now.

I then opened the hood, wiggled the negative battery cable and power was re-established. Started it up and away I went.

When I got home I looked at the negative cable clamp and it was a little loose, so I tried to tighten it, but the bolt was already as tight as I dared, but the clamp was still a bit loose on the post. I loosened the clamp a lot, opened it up and placed a small length of 14 ga solid copper wire between the post and clamp. Tightened it up and much, much snugger.

It was still bugging me about being trapped. I started a chat with tech services with Chevrolet. I explained the problem over and over again. He finally understood that I was simply asking "How do I escape a car that I am locked inside of, but without ANY power, I cannot unlock the doors?" He went away for about 5 minutes and came back with nothing. He had no knowledge of how to unlock a door from the inside without power.

He then pivoted to solving the power loss and wrote up an order for a battery replacement. It's Sunday now, so tomorrow I'll have to contact a dealer to get that done.

It was still bugging me. How did the door magically open in my panic? I spent some time searching the interweb and didn't find much, but I did see a term of a "double-pull" door latch. Huh? Looked some more and finally went to the car to try it. Closed the door, locked the door. Pulled on the door release handle: nothing. Pulled on the door release handle again and the door opened. DAM!

Page 19. 2021 Trailblazer Owner's Manual. Center column.
To lock/unlock the doors from the inside
*Press the lock/unlock button
*Push down on the door lock knob to lock a door
*Pull the door handle once to unlock it
Pull the door handle again to unlatch it.

I've read this manual so many times but apparently glazed over the mundane locking and unlocking of doors.

Bottom line:
BE AWARE OF THE HANDLE PULL ONCE TO UNLOCK AND AGAIN TO UNLATCH IT. It might save your life.
 

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I never really thought of that as unusual, though I often drop my SO/friends off somewhere and they try getting out before I can even put the thing in park and theyve all figured out the double pull.

I've only driven GM products for the past 15ish years, so idk if this is different from how other manufacturers do it, but it's been universal across GM products when they started introducing the auto locking doors when you shift out of park.
 

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2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
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Good to know and thanks for sharing. Let us know what the dealership says about the loose neg clamp for the battery. As far as GM batteries go, they suck! I've had so many GM batteries replaced in the past 20 years it's ridiculous and I can see they still aren't very good.
 

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2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
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621 Posts
The manual has so much in it, I have read it twice and prob could pick more up out of it in another 2 or 3 reads.
 

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2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
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So it is saying that if you are in the truck and it is locked and ALL power goes away pulling on the door handle inside twice will unlock it?
 

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2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
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So it is saying that if you are in the truck and it is locked and ALL power goes away pulling on the door handle inside twice will unlock it?
Yes.
 

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2021 TB Zues Bronze Activ
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good to know.
 

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2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
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good to know.
Yeah I read the manual and don't remember seeing that info, but now we all know there's no reason to bash out the windows if we get stuck inside with the power off, lol.
 

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2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS AWD
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE:

As directed from my 1 hour chat over the weekend with Chevrolet Support, I went to a dealership today. They looked up the claim number that I was given and the service advisor said it gave them no directives or history of the call. Oh good. After an hour 1) they never answered my question about how to get out of the car and 2) the claim they supposedly generated as guidance for a service call led NOWHERE. Thank you, you've been a huge help.

The service advisor took the car and 3 hours later came back to say I needed a new battery. OK, that's what the worthless chat guy said, too. However, she said, it will not be covered by warranty. What? Why? Well, sir it's because there is aftermarket equipment installed and the damage may have been caused by that installation. There is evidence of manipulation on the negative battery post.

OK, so let me read this back...The owner manual says that to dinghy tow you need to disconnect the battery. To make that easier, safer and less prone to damage I installed a battery disconnect switch. Since a Chevy dealer did not or would not install it, the warranty is null and void? Well gee, thanks again. How much will a battery cost me? She said upwards of $400. No, put it back together.

But sir, the post is really loose and the battery could fail. Sorry, not true. The clamp to post is real loose but the post internal to the battery is not. The dingleberry mechanic took out my shadetree fix for tightening the clamp to post and wanted me to pony up for a new battery. OK, we're done.

Message: Do not install anything non-GM or have any work done by a non-GM stealership or the warranty is hostage ammunition for them to deny and gouge you.

I have returned to the shadetree fix and the clamp is tight on the post. All is good. A new, latching solenoid battery disconnect is on the near horizon.
 

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2021Trailblazer RS AWD Scarlet Red Metallic
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RandyB, I'll be honest everything they told you is BS! If the battery failed they are required to give you a new one especially while you're still covered by the 3 year 36k miles warranty. Adding a disconnect switch so you can turn battery power on/off for towing does NOT void your warranty. The only time and they can deny a warranty claim is if they are able to prove the part caused the damage which in this case wouldn't be possible. It's just a disconnect switch. The Magnussen Moss Act was created a long time ago to prevent problems like this with warranty claims. I've had batteries fail in new vehicles before and never had any problems getting them replaced even with high output stereo systems, aftermarket alternators and ignition components installed. I'm not sure if this is the only GM dealership near you, but I'd reconsider taking your Trailblazer back there for any work if that's how they want to treat you. It's not even my Trailblazer and they've made me mad, lol.
 

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2021 Trailblazer Active AWD
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BE AWARE OF THE HANDLE PULL ONCE TO UNLOCK AND AGAIN TO UNLATCH IT. It might save your life.
Thanks for point that out, I wouldn't have known either!
 
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