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Chevy Blazer GMC Jimmy Maintenance and Repair

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  • chstr1000chstr1000 Posts: 32
    I recently purchased a 1999 Chevy Blazer LT. It has 59,xxx miles. The other day I changed the coolant, and noticed that the coolant in the overflow reservoir had sludge in it. I proceeded and even took the reservoir off and cleaned it the best I could.
    Today I was checking level, and it still has some sludgy junk (not much) floating around in reservoir. I was just hoping someone could tell me what this is and why it's there. I've not seen anything like this before.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks, David.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    You should flush the entire system. There is a known problem with the DexCool in this application. The iron from the engine and air mix with DexCool to form sludge. The coolant needs to be full (even overfull) at all times to prevent air in the system.

    The door pins need to be greased at every oil change or they will fail too. I think water from the windshield runs directly on the door pins and washes away the grease. I had to have the drivers side upper hinge replaced at 30k miles at GMs expense. I keep them well greased now.

    I filled every inside panel with foam to prevent rattles. I think this is one of the worst cars I ever purchased. I am not sure what GM was thinking when they made these POS. Every time I hear GM market share goes down I laugh. It seems GMs poor engineering is catching up with them.
  • morencymorency Posts: 2
    I have a few questions after reading all these posts. Hopefully someone can help!! I have 2000 Jimmy 4dr with 80000 KM.

    1) First of all, abc246 - What kind of foam did you use and do the door panels just pop off? Also, is there a special way to "grease" the door hinges or just plain old WD40? Any other suggestions for interior door noises?

    2) I have now started to hear the famous gurgling from the dash. I have had the radiator flushed at Canadian Tire but the gurgling is still there. I have lots of heat and the temp gauge is under 100. In a previous post, a member said that he flushed the heater core with a garden hose. How do you do that? Someone else said that they flushed out the hose from the resevoir tank. Whats involved with that?

    3) In some other posts, it was said that the radiator cap should be replaced to prevent air from being sucked in. Any certain kind? Were year 2000s affected?

    4) Totally off topic...anybody have any views on products like Duralube or Z-Max?

    Besides the interior creaks and the new gurgling noise, everything so far has been fine. Is there anything I should be checking now or changing (fluids, plugs, etc) that could save me some headaches in the future?

    Sorry so long!! Thanks in advance!!
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 384
    I have a 1997 Blazer with Dexcool antifreeze. I pay my dealer to flush it every 2 years. I started doing this the 1st time I saw globs of orange stuff under my radiator cap. So far no problems for me except for running warmer than normal in 95+ degree weather, but lots of folks have had to replace clogged heater cores. Forget about the supposed coolant life of 150,000. You'll never see it unless you drive 75,000 miles a year.
  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    There is a recommended replacement cap. I don't have the Stant P/N, but I posted it before. The replacement cap has a spring on the coolant return valve to keep it closed.

    For oil on the door pins I use (and go overboard) 90W gear oil and then grease to keep the oil on the pins.

    As far as the foam, I used triple expanding Tuff Stuff Foam. You can get it at places like Home Depot. With this foam it is almost impossible to remove a panel, so be careful. I used it in all door panels and behind all cargo panels including the tailgate. It is Lexus like now!
  • fenndfennd Posts: 10
    I've read a few posts here about front end shudder on various years of Blazers. I've also read how tons of loot have lined the pockets of our favorite mechanic who just can't seem to get it fixed. The one thing I haven't read is a fix for this problem.

    My 97 Blazer (70K miles) shudders at about 30MPH and again at about 65MPH. The wheel doesn't shake, as if the rotors were bent; the body just seems to vibrate a bit at those speeds. It needed an alignment anyway...got one...but it didn't fix the problem one bit. I probably need new shocks, but I can't believe that shocks would be the culprit here. I suspect a hub replacement is in my near future but wanted to get some feedback before I turn down "expensive highway".

    Any words of wisdom out there?

    Dave
  • jydezjydez Posts: 1
    I wish I had read this just a couple months ago. Last year we bought a '95 Blazer, I loved it, I've wanted one for years. 9 months after we bought it I was driving in to work with my wife (Yellowhead rush hour just East of Edmonton), it was foggy out, and I look into the rear-view mirror and think, "Hey that's kind of neat, look at the way the fog is swirling around the back of the truck! Wait a sec, fog doesn't usually swirl..." I glance down and see the engine light has come on. Look around, Oil Pressure ZERO. Thankfully we were still outside the city, I pulled to the side and shut the truck off and coasted to a stop. Hose to the remote oil filter blew, oil sprayed all over the engine bay. Glad I had just put synthetic in, I think it saved my engine that day, gave enough extra lubrication that it was able to run with no pressure like that.

    Also, I noticed when looking at my ball joints that my upper control arm on the driver's side was banged up, and I heard that thumping from that wheel well, but only when I turned the wheel all the way to the left in a tight turn. I figured out it was the wheel balancing weights on the inside of the rim catching. The tolerances are just a little too tight for a 15" rim when it is turned all the way. I wonder if that is why a lot of the newer ones seem to sport 16 or 17's. Oh well.
  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    to read this entire thread if you have questions, as some of us have gone to great detail to explain and report various problems on these vehicles. please don't ask us to type things over and over if you haven't even read the stuff that's already here. You are bound to find much of your questions answered already, or at least the similar questions posed.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,992
    The Discussion Search tool can ferret a lot of answers out too.

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fenndfennd Posts: 10
    Posts 763/764 address searching in the database for answers to our problems. I've read SEVERAL topics on my front-end shudder problem, but the entries seem to die off after taking the car to the dealer, or the author promises to post what the dealer/favorite mechanic finds in a few days. The majority of posts simply vent frustration over what appears to be a strange anomoly within Blazer suspension/steering system and outline a plethora of parts replaced at enormous cost.

    ...or maybe it's just my sluething skills....
  • peterson33peterson33 Posts: 24
    Fennd - The problem is not your sluething skills. :-) I had a '96 Blazer with 56K and got rid of it because of the shudder. I tried many things and never found the problem.

    I think replacing the ball joints helped for somebody. Replacing the upper and lower ball joints did not help me.

    Post the question ever couple of months because you never know if someone will find the answer that helps you.

    You will find a lot of helpful info in the thread. But if you read the whole thing, like I did, then you'll probably want to sell the piece 'o crap.
  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    And it's a shame too. When my '97 SLT is ok it's such a great vehicle. Just the right size for me, good power and an honest 19mpg, pulls my single jetski trailer and has more usable interior room than the 4Runner it replaced. But it's been such a money pit and left me stranded so many times I can't trust it or enjoy it. If smoke started to pour out of it, I would probably just shrug and say "it figures". Lately it's been ok except for the gas gauge being out for the last year, but I'll run it into a tree before I'll put a dime into it that isn't required to keep it running.
  • geosigmangeosigman Posts: 2
    sounds like air in the heater core. pull off the two hoses on the engine block(up by the water pump) and flush the heater core with a garden hose.
  • geosigmangeosigman Posts: 2
    i have had the right side already replaced, at 60,000. now the left is gone. they charge a lot just for the part($160.00). any tips on getting this thing out. thank you. geosigman@yahoo.com
  • fenndfennd Posts: 10
    The saga of vibration goes on....

    I've been told that my vibration problem (at 60-65 MPH) might be attributed to bad transmission mounts. Could it be true? I've read how nearly every part under the chassis has been replaced, with no luck...could the transmission mount be the culprit?
  • 1choice1choice Posts: 20
    To turn off the DLR (Daytime running headlights), push your interior override switch 3-4 times in a row and that will turn them off until the next time you turn off the vehicle. This works on the 2000 models, don't know what year model yours is. The override is only temporary and will have to be done after each time you shut off the vehcile and restart it. The other option is to push your interior override switch into the in position and that should allow you to turn your headlights on and off manually. Don't know what to tell you about the flickering lights.
  • 1choice1choice Posts: 20
    hello, everybody. Just a short message to let you know that my trip to the dealer was unsuccessful at finding the shudder at highway speeds. They gave me the same song and dance about what they felt was normal for a 4WD vehicle. I disagree!!!!
    We just got back from vacation and had rented a 4WD Jeep Laredo, and it most certainly DID NOT vibrate at highway speeds.
    I agree with the one guy who said he traded in his Blazer (or as described it "this washing machine"), as to the normality for the vibrations in this vehicle. I do not think it is normal; however, I do not think that any of the dealers know how to fix it either. To all of you out there with the same problem..... Good luck and let the rest of us know if you find the fix to the problems. Take Care! God Bless!
  • spoomspoom Posts: 85
    and they and you both know it. As much as I am disgusted by the way my '97 has needed repairs constantly, it rides nicely at any speed/rpm (except for when it doesn't run at all) with no vibration-in or out of 4 wheel drive.
  • palmoyaspalmoyas Posts: 14
    Old Problem:
    Highway shudder starts at different speeds in the upper 60's to lower 70's. Seems to start at different speeds depending on the temperature outside. Nevertheless, intensity increases with speed. Still no solution.

    New Problem:
    Vehicle intermittently stalls when at very low speed or shifting into reverse. Sometimes shuts down while at speed, then resumes running after a split second. Until recently, vehicle would start right up with a quick turn of the key. Now sometimes you have to crank a couple times before starting. Is this the IGNITION MODULE?

    Thanks, and good luck with the "shudder". Let me know if the tranny mounts help!
  • Make the battery terminals are clean (no corrosion) and tight.

    As for the vibration, I had a problem too at 65-70 mph. It started after I bought replacement tires for the Michelin XW4s (went to CrossTerrains). My latest attempt was to have a force balance completed on the tire/rim. The mounted tire is spun on rollers, to simulate the load from the vehicle. I also found out a U-joint in the front driveshaft was bad. Much happier now.

    Incidentally, the lower and upper ball joints were recalled for the '97 models (did you mention a year?), as those living in the Rust Belt could have instances of ball joint separation. My uppers/lowers/pitman arm, and idler arm were all replaced at around 46K miles, when I developed a popping noise during left turns at 20-30 mph. Do yourself a favor... keep the suspension lubed. I would not go longer than 6 months between lube jobs. I think there is at least 10 places to address. This can be a vibration area, as well.
  • palmoyaspalmoyas Posts: 14
    Thanks for the info poison! It's a 1997 Blazer.
     
    Battery terminals are clean and tight. Also, EGR, fuel pump, and fuel filter were all recently replaced and are still good.

    I'll look into the u-joint and force balance fixes. I also have had the ball joints (not covered-wrong VIN) and idler arm replaced. Need to investigate pitman arm. I recently did the transfer case, differentials, and a full brake job and hit all of those lube points. They looked pretty good.
  • pbr1pbr1 Posts: 3
    I have a 96 Blazer and have a problem with the outside temperature indicator. The reading is way off the actual temperature but the compass works just fine. I took it to the dealer and they diagnosed the problem without even looking at it. They said a new unit is required (approximately $400). Based upon the quick diagnosis I assume that this is a common problem. Someone with a GM truck said that it may be possible to correct the problem by replacing the sensor / thermocouple. Has anyone had a similar problem. Is it possible that there could be a relatively inexpensive fix? Any information about this problem is appreciated.
  • cage47cage47 Posts: 17
    I'm amazed at some of the things I hear. I bought my '98 Blazer just two months ago. An off-lease model that was babied. But the dealership only put new tires on the driver side and it pulled to the right until I got both matched tires on the front. I have that slight shudder at 67mph too but it's not bad. I can live with it. But I actually came here looking for answers to the wiper delay problem. Lo-and behold I find it. Guess I'll have to look into the recall. Anyone know what years are included? I'm fairly pleased with my Blazer but this can be a bugger in Texas storms. mine come back on by themselves or if you hit the mist or put it in continuous high. But continuous low has the most problems. Most times it just stops at the bottom but once it stopped with the wipers straight up.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    The reading is way off the actual temperature ...

    I'm curious. Just how far off was it and how did you determine it was off?

    tidester, host
  • 1choice1choice Posts: 20
    I have done the road force balance 3 times, to no avail. I really wish that would have fixed it. I really like the creature comforts of my Blazer, however, I do not like the shudder. During the winter time it is not even apparent. So, it truly remains a mystery to me as to why it does what it does.

    Polymas - My 2000 Blazer stalled once in reverse, while the weather was cooler outside, however, has not done it since.

    I remember reading somewhere in this post, two things that might cause the stalling:

    One was the ignition switch which supposedly would not show a trouble code.

    The other was an oxgen sensor.

    My local dealer also told me that they have a lot of trouble with the EGR valves in the newer models and sometimes get bad ones even when replaced as. Apparently they get clogged up quite easily and the dealer has to clean them out or replace them. The EGR will show a trouble code even after a light goes on then shuts off. An EGR valve can be quite difficult to diagnose, as it will cause a vehicle to run great for a while, then out of the blue will create problems while it is idling, or driving at highway speeds.
    Might want to have your dealer re -check the EGR and make sure it is functioning properly.
    Take Care! God Bless!
  • cage47cage47 Posts: 17
    OK I've gone back and read almost the entire thread. And I've got a handle on what things to look out for. But so far my '98 seems to not exibit most of the problems people list. Sure, as I said above, I have the common wiper problem. And I'm keeping an eye on those oil coolant lines. As well as the tranny dipstick tube. But for now only the wipers are a (minor) Problem. I thought I had the shudder problem until I rotated the tires to match. But I'm basically pleased with my SUV. Thing is I read people getting 17 or 19mpg as good. I'm getting roughly 23mpg. It this exceptional or average? My blazer is a lease buy-back and looks like it was babied. It even had the Mr. Goodwrench sticker on the windshield that showed when the next oil change was due (which was last month). Could it be I got a rare jem or are the people who write here about catistrophic problems a minority. Personally I'd recommend this SUV if someone asked me. At least this list gives me a line of things to keep an eye on.
  • canddmeyercanddmeyer Posts: 384
    The wiper fix is free. Your local dealer is suppose to replace the circuit board at no cost. Of course ask 1st, cuz there are some unscrupulous dealers out there. Also recommend flushing coolant every 2 years. LOL.
  • mths66mths66 Posts: 1
    Thursday, at 65057 miles on my 2001 Jimmy the reverse gear failed. I was about one mile from home so after being pushed back from the curb at McDonald's I limped home. The transmission shop gave me an estimate of $1700 - $1800.

    Based on other messages, I am now a member of a not so exclusive club.

    I've driven GM vehicles since 1976. This is the first major problem.
  • palmoyaspalmoyas Posts: 14
    Well, Looks like like it was the ignition module. Since I replaced that I have had no stalls at all and the Blazer starts right up at a flick of the key, just like it used to. Easy replacement with two screws; it is located on the top of the engine attached to the coil.
  • I'm sure some of you remember a while back I had some problems with my Blazer when my oil lines blew, and then I had to get a new crankshaft and main bearings put in. Well that repair failed and the dealership will not cover it, I'm about 5 months and 14,000 miles over their 12/12000 warranty, so I'm putting a rebuilt engine in. It's by ATK Engines, $1699 for the engine and only a grand for the install, my brothers mechanic is hooking me up with a decent price on the install. Is the rebuilt going to be just as good as the original motor I had in there? Would it be worthwhile for me to use Mobil 1 after I break it in? Also, my truck is out in Denver right now, thats where it broke down. I'm flying out there to pick it up as soon as it in ready to go, probably sometime late next week or early the week after that. I have to drive it back to Chicago immedialty, how should I break in the engine on the trip? I have to start towing my jetski after probably about 1500 miles on the engine, and the drive to Chicago from Denver is about 1000 miles. I've heard I should vary the RPMs and not use cruise control, if I can time it right I'm going to stop off at like a Jiffy Lube or the like in Omaha and get the oil changed out because that should be at about 500 miles.

    Any advice would be appritiated.

    Joe
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