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Chevy Blazer GMC Jimmy Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have a '93 Blazer 4x4 with the 4.3L vortec engine, bought used in 1997 with 77k miles. I have been pretty happy with it and now have 113k on it, but there have been some repairs needed. Most recently while visiting Northern Virginia it began to run rough and seemed like it was going to stall, then the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. Facing a 7 hour drive home, I took it to a local shop to get checked out.
    After a $70 diagnostic, they told me I needed a new EGR valve. Ok, but they charged me $362 for the part alone! The total repair came to over $600. Does this seem right? I went to an Advance Auto here at home (Rochester, NY) and was qutoed a price of $43 for a new EGR valve, and after looking at a manual, it seems a repair I could have done myself. I am thinking I was taken advantage of because I was from out of town and needed the repair to drive home.
    Also, I was recently told I need oil cooler lines repaired: $200 to repair the seals; $300 if they need to replace the lines. This seems high to me as well. Anybody have info on these repair prices?
    Thanks!
  • Your first question depends on which type of EGR you have. I'm not familiar with that one first hand, but there are two types of valves used on some of the Blazer in the early 90's. One is the regular cheaper one and the other is much more expensive (retail is around what you were quoted). Supposedly it's a much better valve whereas the other has more of a tendency to crap out more frequently. So, don't beat up on yourself too much unless you've verified that the parts store quoted you the right one. If they charged you $300 for the regular one, yes, you got taken, and on the labor, too. The more expensive one is also more labor-intensive to change out. As for the cooler lines (and should usually be the case with expensive repairs), you should get a second opinion. Some places will do a good repair for less and still get the basic repair accomplished without trying to "restore" an old truck.
  • Looking at a Pewter 98 LS 4 Door with 40,000 miles on it. Dealer price $18,000. What is a good price to hit him with? What problems should I look for? Do I gain anything appreciable other than cosmetics by going to a '99? This one has the 5 spoke wheels with worn 235/70R15 tires. What are the biggest tires I can put on these? Can I get 255/75R15? How about 30X9.50 or 31X10.50 tires? Do I need a lift kit to mount these? Are lift kits available? I plan on doing some exploring this winter and summer, and want some good clearance. Also, anyone have experience with aftermarket header/exhaust/chip for power/mileage improvements? Thanks in advance.
  • Just recently bought a 2000 Blazer LS "program" car with 14,000 miles. The dealer had 5 and this was the best. I like the vehicle so far, but I don't like the "feel" of the rear suspension. It has the standard suspension and it feels like the rear end would like to skip a bit on rough surfaces, although I don't think it really has. I don't really do any off road driving other than some dirt roads when I go fishing. Any advice on a good replacement shock that would tighten up the feel on the rear end? The front seems pretty solid. Any problem, given the mileage, on replacing the rear shocks without doing anything to the front suspension?
  • I recently bought a 2000 LS (same color as yours) with 14,050 miles for $20,900. Vehicle is like new (as it should be). If you go to large Chevy Dealers they will likely have some 2000 "program" vehicles (come out of rental or loaner fleet) for really good prices compared to new, 200l vehicles. Usually discounted $8 - $10,000 from original sticker price. I've seen some 2000 program Blazers as low as $17,900.
  • My 1996 Blazer has just recently started giving me problems with the fad engaging. after 4 trips to the dealer service department they finally got it repaired. My blazer only has 18,000 miles on it and recently have had more problems. air conditioning went out, alternator just went out, have replaced front brake pads 3 times.
    HOWEVER!, I contacted Chevrolet customer service
    and because of the low miles on this vehicle, they have agreed to take care of these problems for me.
  • jlaszlojlaszlo Posts: 30
    Just bought a 2001 2dr Blazer. So far, so good. The incentives on them right now are too good to pass up.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Make sure you take all that money you saved and invest it for out-of-warranty repairs.

    Also, the reason why they are so cheap is because the whole product line is being wiped out and redesigned. The resale on models prior to 2002 will go down dramatically.

    I too almost bit at all the incentives, I'm not that desparate.
  • Just wondering if anyone has had this problem before... On my '98 Blazer, when the turn signals shut off, the relay behind the glove box door still clicks. When I hit the brake, it stops clicking then will start up when I let off. Note: the turn signal lamps flash as they are suppose to (only "on" when the lever is in the up or down position), but in the neutral location, the stupid relay keeps intermittently clicking after they are turned off. I'm thinking it is in the switch in the steering column ($170 + labor ouch), thanks for any help. Any help would be greatly appreciated, feel free to e-mail me directly mcpherson@alumni.union.edu
  • I have recently purchased a 2000 Chevy Blazer ZR2. For some reason on cold mornings,35 degrees or below it won't start. All the lights on the dash come on the battery is good but when you turn the key to the start position nothing happens. Now later on when it warms up or I plug the block heater in for about 15 min it starts right up. Has anybody had this problem or know hats wrong?
  • A follow-up to the earlier message about headlights flashing...

    I also have a 2000 Blazer LS (4DR 4WD), and my headlights and dashboard lights often dim for half a second, like the lights in your house might dim briefly when a large appliance turns on and puts a load on the electrical system. This happens at highway speeds, when all I have turned on is the heat and the radio (front/rear wipers off, back window defroster off).

    The dealer (which acted like they had never encountered this before) said it took them awhile to figure it out, but their conclusion was that the "body control module", which is computerized, was responding too slowly to new loads on the electrical system, and the lights were dimming for the half second the module was taking to react. They said they then called GM, who said that they are aware of the problem and plan to fix it in a future software update, but they can't estimate when the update might be available.
  • I'm beginning to believe what previous posts say regarding the Blazer nickel and diming you to death. I took my 99 into the dealer for what I thought would be a simple repair of a bad gas gauge; the fuel level was not registering. After a whole day in the shop I was informed that the dealer needed to pull the dash board and send in the fuel gauge for repair. I was told that it would take 3-4 days and that I could have a free loner vehicle during this time if needed.
    I also had the Blazer into the same shop just 3 weeks prior for oil cooler line replacement, 2 months prior with a bad pinion seal and 2 months prior for a bad thermostat.

    Makes me wonder.
  • I am considering a 1998 or 1999 Blazer still under warranty. Any thoughts on waiting until the 2002 is introduced this spring which may lower prices significantly?

    Thanks
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    My old 92 S-10 had a gas gauge that wouldnt work till the gas level was abotu 1/4 full. Replaced the sensor in the gas tank pain in the butt. Well that didnt work. Took it in and they replaced it with a new instrument cluster and it has worked fine since.

    Ryan
  • pwash19pwash19 Posts: 14
    I was wondering if there are others out there who have noticed an engine ping with their 98 Blazer.
    At 34,000 miles, I have tried almost everything. This all started at around 10,000 miles after moving from Florida to Maryland.
    Two different dealers and several visits later I have been given several explanations for the problem, far to many to list but of course, none were the fault of GM.
    I know the owners manual calls for 87 octane and I am using premium gas with no luck.
    One of my visits for service the service manager took me for a ride with the hand held computer hooked up under the dash and prove to me that all was functioning correctly, according to him. I bought his story, went home but still have the ping.
    Chevrolet's 1-800 customer service has been no help. You can never speak with the same person.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Vehicles for GM wont start being produced till june/july. You will see them on dealers lots july/august.

    Ryan
  • I also have a 2000 Blazer ZR2. I have accumulated 12000 miles on it and haven't experienced any major problems, especially it not starting in cold weather. My truck consistently started up strong in below zero temps. Sounds to me you have an intermitent connection with your starter. Due to the varience in temperature it could be affecting a number of things in the starter circuit. Get the truck in and have that particular circuit checked and I bet there will be something amiss in there. I doubt that it has anything to do with the engine itself though.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    Go with any of the following: bilsteins, KYB, tokinos, etc. All are quality gas shocks. If you want to spend less then try the Monroe Reflex line.
  • I have a '96 Blazer LS currently at 81k. The Blazer is now on its fourth battery, the alternator was replaced at 50k, a part fell off of the engine at 40k that was $400 not covered under the warranty, the air compressor went out at 45k. I complained about the brakes from day one and they continued to tell me that nothing was wrong with the brakes. The brakes have always been extremely low. While riding and having to come to quick stop, I hit the brakes they went all the way to the floor made a grinding noise and the foot pedal began to shake. This also happens if you are on a bumpy surface with your foot on the brake. Finally a recall....Well what ever they did lasted about a day, back to the exact same problem. Also I have had the front end fixed (not under warranty of course) and a the rear end differential leak. The valves constantly rattle and they say nothing is wrong. Oh let me not forget the recall on the wiper motor. I had a lot of trust in Chevrolet now I'm thinking differently or is that I just got the Lemon of The Lot. Anyone else experienced these problems. Last year I spent about $900 in repairs. Now I'm ready to trade..
  • 1996 was not a good year for the Blazer. Actually, reliability started to go straight downhill in the 90's. 1995-1997 seem to be the worst years, although improvement since then has been minor. Judging from what I hear about them, your transmission is next. I have one of the much older ones. It's rock solid, but it IS old. I considered upgrading to a later model, because I really need four doors. After test driving a few and checking around, I decided it wasn't an upgrade, after all.
  • I own a used 97, L.T.with 64,000 on it,after reading alot of the older posting,I was worried,but so far,I have had no problems at all,I owned it about 8 months,,It drives and looks like new,,one thing I do hate is the anti-lock brakes,on dry payment they work fine ,,but on ice they scare you...the 4 wheel drive is great this winter..I don't think I could go back to a 2 wheel drive,,I live in Wisconsin..
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Flyinby…..The schematic should be available at a library for the turn signal circuit. From what I remember the flasher module has two inputs, one for turn and one for 4-way flasher. I would measure the voltage at the turn signal input to test if the module or switch is bad. I would bet the problem is the switch in the column.

    GM has a serious problem with these turn signal switches and I would report any failures to
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov
    My Blazer has a problem most people will not detect but is very dangerous. If I use the lane change feature (push turn signal level to activate signal but not far enough to latch the signal on) one turn signal may not be operating. In other words, when I change lanes to the right, my dash indicator operates, the right front turn signal operates, but the rear turn signal is NOT operating!!!!! I have found this type of condition on many GM cars. The reason this happens is because GM uses a switch with many contacts in the steering column. As the switch ages some contacts start to "make" connection before the others. This can cause different things to happen. One of my friends has a 98 Yukon that in some lane changes the flasher module operates but no indicators light. In other words, when you hear the flasher module operating you are not guaranteed to have the turn signal illuminated. I would bet many GM car and trucks will have these type of problems when the switch ages enough (most likely out of warranty). The real problem is most people will not even know they have a very dangerous condition that my cause a serious accident.

    I contacted GM with my concerns but my 99 Blazer has 38,000 miles and is out of warranty. GM gave me the usual, WE DON'T CARE, the truck is out of warranty and your problem.

    I would not buy a GM Blazer/Jimmy, new or used. These trucks have poor overall quality and very poor offset crash test results. GM has not reached bottom yet. The engines and transmissions are excellent. The body build quality and just about everything else is junk. In the last year these parts have been replaced (under warranty), ball joints, idler arm, belt tensioner, battery, power steering pump, door hinge, radio, speaker, rear brake rotors, heater core. That is a lot of trips to the dealer. This list doesn't include driveline noises they could not fix.

    Save time and money, pass on a Blazer / Jimmy. The question is will the new models be better? I think they will be better but still no match for a Toyota. I have a new Silverado that was just towed back to the dealer with 2000 miles on it. It is a much better truck then the Blazer but is "in no uncertain terms" the quality of a Toyota. Even though I want to buy American, I will buy the manufacture that builds excellent vehicles next time, sorry GM.
  • Had my coolant recently changed in my '97 Bravada because I don't believe the hype of 5-yr./150k mile change interval... others haven't been so lucky:

    http://forums.vmag.com/suvblazer0199/messages/4596.html

    Hope this helps.
  • kpannkpann Posts: 13
    When starting off from a dead stop the gas pedel hangs, So when it finally frees up it jerks on the take off. I sprayed lubricant on the throttle body but didn't help. Anyone have a fix.
  • Thanks for the post. Against GM's belief I'm not the only one with this problem, I received an e-mail from another onlooker last night. I've noticed that after several minutes the turn signal clicking slows down. But as soon as you jiggle the turn signal lever it starts clicking away. I'm putting money on the column switch. I have the HELM service manual and will be tackling the switch replacement when the weather warms up here in the Northeast. Funny thing... GM doesn't sell the switch with out the whole lever arm assembly (go figure)...

    I'll keep an eye out for the the problem you've seen with the non operating lights. The big one that I've seen and my father is experiencing is the engine knock/ping on the 1999 Blazer. It makes my turn signal problem seem like nothing!!!
  • I have read the horror stories about the Blazer and read Consumer's Report, yet I have talked to several people i.e. my boss who owns a 1990 with 230,000 miles, a co-worker with a 1992 and 166,000 miles, another co-worker with a 1996 with 66,000 miles on it, and a woman who owned a 1995 with 106,000 on it that I met a a Stop-n-Go. All these people like their vehicles. Three mentioned that the battery and/or alternator had to be replaced, but nothing major. Something isn't adding up. Thus, I don't know what to believe. If CR is correct, why haven't I been able to find a Blazer owner who hates his vehicle? If someone would respond to me give me an e-mail address so I could get more information or give me the unbiased facts using this town hall, I would be very grateful.
  • I was asking myself the same thing.

    Then I got the tipoff:

    "I'd recommend it, the dealership is right here in town, which is great for WHEN you need service."

    My answer to that was: "I have a Honda. I don't need service."

    I think the same parallel generally applies to all American and Japanese car brands.
  • 69266926 Posts: 1
    I have owned a '97 Blazer, a '98 Blazer, and just purchased a 2001 Blazer. I have driven all three about 90,000 and have had little to no problems with any of them. Every car will have isolated problems, and few people post good experiences. There will be defects on cars, but I don't think these problems discussed are representative of what every car buyer will experience. I will say that this is one of the best 6-cylinder towing vehicles. Some 8-cyl SUVs do not have the towing capacity that the Blazer has. If there is one complaint, it would be the brakes on the '97. But GM fixed this problem with the '98. I did not have any problems, but the '98 and 21001 with 4 wheel disk brakes are much better.
  • hengheng Posts: 411
    Tell all those people posting on the Accord problems areas that they don't need the dealer because nothing is wrong with their cars.
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