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Chevy Blazer GMC Jimmy Maintenance and Repair



  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    for the ball joints. I had one fail and it also tore up the wheel as you folks my remember from previous posts in this thread. I had them replace at the local carX long before I found out about this problem. I contacted GM and was told my truck was made at a different factory with different ball joints. The fact my wheel collapsed into the wheel well didn't matter. Then I get a letter #G01049 stating that the coverage had been expanded and to send original documents to an address for consideration. I sent copies with this explanation:
    Dear GM,

    I am enclosing these documents in reference to GM Campaign Bulletin 01048 and letter G01049. I own a ?97 GMC Jimmy SLT that had the upper right ball joint fail suddenly at less than 60k miles and in it?s sixth year on the road. This destroyed the cast wheel as well, when an upper joint mounting bolt gouged a groove in the inside of the wheel and the tire went flat.
    Not knowing at the time that this was common to the vehicle and having been disappointed in the past with my local GMC dealer, I had the truck towed to a local CarX dealership. I had all four ball joints replaced since the other upper had play and as long as it was up on the rack I might as well get it over with. I obtained a salvage yard replacement wheel for $50 (the tire was found to be ok and reused) and cleaned it up. I did not have the alignment done at CarX because they didn?t have that service available and I couldn?t afford it then anyway.
    I found out about Bulletin 01048 from a friend and called GM who had me bring it to my local dealer- Lemay Pontiac/GMC, Kenosha, WI (262) 694-1500. They told me that my Jimmy was built at a different plant with ball joints from a different supplier than referenced by the Campaign, and didn?t qualify. While being very polite they said in effect, ?What do you want from us? You come in here with aftermarket (Moog brand) parts on your car installed by someone else and expect money?? GM said the same thing, reference #05642894. Armed with this knowledge that I was on my own, I had the alignment done at Tires Plus later on. I also had the idler and pittman arm done at that time (Moog, again). At least the tie rod ends were still good.

    Folks, I am not trying to make a dime off of General Motors.
    This vehicle has been a money pit like nothing I have ever owned in 30 years of driving. I put over $3000 dollars into it in the last year or so. Even though the transmission was removed and rebuilt by the dealer under warranty at 28k miles, it failed last February to the tune of $1400 when the shaft for the reverse planetary gears snapped off of the ?basket?. (I never towed anything heavier than an 800lb jet ski and have never had another vehicle need tranny repairs.) I?ve replaced 2 of the 4 oxygen sensors at my own cost. I replaced the serpentine tensioner. This is in addition to normal preventative maintenance like shocks, spark plug harness, and the serpentine itself. The ?Service Engine Soon? light comes on more than the dome light! (It?s on again now.) Even now there are things I?ve given up on because of the cost to repair them (Dealer says no open Campaigns, but I?ve found plenty of other occurrences on SUV site.) The gas gauge stops working below ½ tank. The wipers don?t always come on unless you use the ?mist? paddle as you hit a bump.

    I am hoping GM will see their way clear to reimburse me for at least the cost of the upper ball joints, wheel alignment and the replacement rim.

    I am enclosing copies, as I need the originals for warranty purposes. I can send them later if it is the only thing preventing a reimbursement, but I have paid dearly for those receipts and at least I know I have a warranty with those merchants while I wait like a beggar in front of GM. I have also enclosed a copy of the letter I sent to my local dealer asking to be taken off their mailing list after receiving a card inviting me in for scheduled 60K service. I do not have an axe to grind with them and they have always been politely businesslike, but they have also been rather useless to me in my first GM ownership experience. Thank you for any consideration.
    (end of letter)

    I got a call from them today and the rep explained that they can't even make a determination IF I am eligable for a dime without the original work orders, proof of registration to me at the time, and proof of payment. I don't have a problem prooving I own it and did at the time. I sure don't have the credit card receipt after all these months, and they don't need the originals until they are ready to cut a check. I do have a picture of the car sitting outside CarX with the wheel collapsed , and since I'm still driving it now I think we can assume the front end didn't fix itself for free. All I wanted was to have the joints themselves covered, a lousy $50 for the $400+ wheel and $49.99 for the alignment. I asked her to please throw my file out, they win. That's all they want anyway, to make a enough people walk away rather than jump through all the hoops. Even knowing that, it isn't worth it to go through any more grief over this piece of junk vehicle with only 63k miles on it. They can go to hell if they think I will ever buy another GM product.
    Glenn Woods
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110

    I sure don't have the credit card receipt after all these months...

    I am sure that your credit card company would be happy to provide you with a copy of the receipt. All it takes is a quick phone call.

  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    I've just had enough. I will not let this piece of poop vehicle make me jump through their hoops any more. They don't need originals to tell me if I'm even going to get anything, considering I was already turned down once. And that was after I had already brought it to my dealer at GM's request to verify that the joints had been replaced. 1½ hrs. later I had their report and that was sent in to GM again this time. I mean, it's bad enough all the time and money I've lost having this thing in the shop time and again without having to sit there after a repair too, only to be shot down. The words on the originals are identical to the copies so they could just read the damn stuff and make a decision, then let me know "Send the originals to get $_____, thanks and sorry." It's not the money, really. I wasn't kidding about the $3000 spent on repairs in the last 14 months, whatever they would've sent me wouldn't have made a dent in the past bills and I would've just spent it on the wipers or gas gauge anyway. I just needed a place to vent. This also gives me a chance to mention to others out there not to get their hopes up and a good look at GM and their way of saying "Hey, we screwed-up building your truck, but you screwed up by buying and keeping it."
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    It's tough enough plunking down big bucks and then to have insult added to injury by stonewalling on what you are due is a bit much!

    Too bad for them you've had the final word!

  • I need to find out of the 1997 Blazer 2 or 4wd came with an optional sized tire. I know that the stock tire was P205/75-15 Uniroyal Tiger Paw. This is a nice passenger car tire as it went 55K on my 98 S-10. What I am looking for is confirmation via a sales brochure or other printed material for this model indicating the other sizes available. Did anyone purchase the 97 Blazer with P225/75-15's from the factory?

    I appreciate all of your assistance.
  • Your situation is considerably worse than my experience with my old 95 Blazer. Finally got rid of it a while back. What a money pit!
  • indrgbindrgb Posts: 115
    I have a brochure for a 97 Jimmy. It shows two tire sizes, 205/75R15 and 235/70R15. The suspension pkg determines the tire size. My 96 came with 235/70R15 Michelin's that would puncture if I ran over a marble (well almost). I replaced them with Uniroyal Laredos and no problems since.
  • revkerrevker Posts: 33
    thanks for you inputs. unfortunately, i still can't get the rotors off. like zr2rando said, i think it's the parking brake shoe that's holding it there. funny thing is, i've got 2 98 s-10's, it's the same situation for both trucks. for sure it is for both rear rotors on my ls and the driver side rear on my lt. i haven't tried taking off the passenger side yet but i'm almost sure it's the same deal. mechanic's coming tomorrow, we'll see what he says.

    zr2rando, when you said the whole rotor assembly, what did you mean by that? just the one piece - brake rotor, or including the parking brake assembly too, the whole hub assembly?

  • I have a '95 Jimmy, 4dr, 4WD, SLE.

    Just crossed over 74,000 miles, the truck
    still looks clean and sounds like the day
    I bought.

    If all I did was road driving I probably
    would have traded it in some time ago. But
    I take it off road for serious duty (hunting
    and camping) every so often and I fall in
    love with my truck all over again. I all too
    often get the truck into spots that I have no
    business putting it into, I am impressed that
    it has pulled itself out of my messes each
    and every time.

    Since I last posted (about two years ago)
    I have had to replace the driver side window
    motor, had the vent controller box replaced,
    and put on a new set of brake pads. I also
    kept up with the usual maintenance and had
    the wiper motor recall and ABS controller
    recall taken care of - no problems before
    or after that work.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    sorry to say that, but they replaced the rotor/minidrum, and all the parking brake componants..they had all clearly been overheated.
    the minidrum had been grooved and would have been severely turned as well,,
    really a crappy design!
    If that is your problem, and it sounds like it is, I would insist that Chev pay for it due to a design problem,,,,they don't even work right when they are working right!
    Good luck, let us know what happens
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I am glad I was here to witness your biennial appearance! Why don't you drop by a little more often!

  • My dad's 1999 Blazer driver's seat fell all the way back into the rear seat. After the dealer pulled it out and looked at it, they stated the frame of the seat had broken in half. The frame cannot be repaired and a new one has to be ordered. Has anyone experience this type of problem? Do anyone know an alternative place to order or buy the seat frame instead of the dealer? We have tried the salvage yards here in Kansas City, but they do not appear to have enough vehicles for the correct type of seat frames we need for motorized/heated seats.
  • Get the GM P/N from the dealer and check out

    It's a dealer (Flow Chevrolet) who discounts through the Internet on GM parts.

    Good luck.

  • My 99 Chevy Blazer has a 4 button 4x4 to 2x4 shifter on the dash. When I tried to go to 4x4 the button light just blinked but never stayed solid to change to 4x4. I went to the dealer and he said the transfer case control module was bad and it would cost about $445. to repair.
    I got a second opinion at another shop and they found a unplugged small cable leading into the front transaxle...he pushed the cable back in and now it shifts fine into 4x4 and back to 2x4. My module and switch are good just the cable was pulled out..and the dealer was not correct in his diagnosis.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Sounds like your first dealer either didn't even do basic check or was trying to scam you. Glad you went to the second shop.
    It's good to hear a low/no cost repair happens sometimes huh?
    see y'all
  • I have been thinking of trading in My Acura 1.6el
    (Model only available here in Canada) on a 2001 Blazer.
    After reading some of the town hall messages am not too sure now.
    Does anyone have anything good to say about this vehicle?
  • If you are accustomed to Acura reliability, I doubt that the Blazer and Chevy's apathetic service experience will be a welcome change for you. Just one man's opinion ,but YMMV.
  • As a reader of this site, I, too, sometimes wonder if anyone has a good word for the Blazer. I purchased a new 2000 Blazer 16 months ago. I have been pleased with it and have had no mechanical problems. One must approach the automobile with the understanding that there is no perfect vehicle. Since I'm retired and hold ASE certifications in brake systems and electrical systems, I have examined my Blazer from stem to stern. Likewise, I purchased the service manual (a 3 volume set) to acquaint myself with the specific engineering of the Blazer. The 4.3 liter V-6 is a traditional Chevy cast iron small block. It is a proven workhorse. Mechanically, it's a 90 degree "350" chopped to six cylinders. It's cast iron heads, roller lifters, roller rockers, and roller timing chain are designed for long wear. It's computer control is entirely contemporary with all the expected sensors and actuators. While its suspension is traditional by today's standards, it is not an indictment of its worthiness. Although you don't have variable cam timing, I have yet to find another engine in its class that hits you with 250 ft. lbs. of torque at 2800 RPM. That's pretty good punch. Typically, the V-6 engine is not well balanced. However, Chevy has splayed the crankshaft on the 4.3 liter to provide even spark firing and has incorporated an internal balance shaft to counter crankshaft vibration. The result, in my opinion, is a smooth running V-6. Nonetheless, without proper maintenance, any auto will prove to be a poor performer in the long run. The Blazer is no different. My suggestions - flush the brake fluid annually. The valves in the ABS system don't tolerate corrosion. Fresh brake fluid is the easiest and cheapest way to assure water absorption by the brake fluid is not creating problems. Change the oil and oil filter religiously. Oil is not only a lubricant but also plays a critical role in dissipation of combustion heat. Oil doesn't work well when its holding contaminants in suspension. Lubricate all steering linkage and ball joints regularly. The Blazer still has grease fittings. Check tire pressure often and rotate the tires every 5,000 miles. Finally, drain and replace the coolant every two years. I'm not a believer in keeping the extended coolant in the system for 5 years.
  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    When it is running, it is a very comfortable little truck with better manners in snow than the 4 Toyota 4x4s I had before I got the Jimmy. I wouldn't buy another Jimmy like it however. I agree in principle with what cliffwilson says about maintaining a vehicle (I'm a journeyman mechanic) but that won't overcome poor design and customer service. My truck was meticulously maintained. The joints were properly lubed, as were my Toyotas. What maintenance would anyone suggest to us owners with the intermittant windshield wipers and gas guages? The spline shaft breakage in the trannys? The o2 sensors failing early from water infiltration? The oil cooler lines failing 2-3 times on the same vehicle? The serpentine belt tensioners singing like crickets at 30k miles? As vehicles go, this is a poor bet for a used purchase. Based on GM's attitude and having the same problems model year after model year I couldn't imagine trying another.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    But when I bought mine new (95 4x4) there was a significant price difference in that vehicle and the comparable import,,,Nissan/Toyota...
    The cost difference was worth having the extra repairs that may come up, and most repairs on the Chevy are still cheaper (especially part price and probably quality is reflected by that price sometimes too)...
    Maintenance is needed on all vehicles and makes a huge difference over a long lifetime of a vehicle.
    Many people have had problems on them, but don't think the more expensive vehicles are problem free either..
    probably works out over the long run, pay less up front for the new vehicle, pay for more repairs over the years, eventually probably evens out..
    Drive whatever vehicles you are interested in and compare the direct competitors, but for used vehicles---you always take a chance on somebody's problem that they are possibly unloading because of something they KNOW about,,,maybe overheated or ran on low oil for a while..something that may show up later.
    Good luck.
    I have had a few repairs on mine, including a new engine at 107k (dealer said engine looked like brand new, obviously well maintained, but still spun a cam bearing and got metal in the system..
    With the new engine now, it is just like new, I still like the vehicle ...I just ate up that difference in initial cost though...I'm not selling it anytime soon
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