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Chevy Blazer GMC Jimmy Maintenance and Repair

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  • scout123scout123 Posts: 3
    Just bought an 03 Blazer with 17k miles. Noticed "rattle" between 14 and 22k rpms coming from engine. Sort of sound like a diesel engine knock. Took to Dealer, they mentioned that due to service bulletin in reagrds to Timing Chain tensioner, etc... Ordered all parts to repace. Waiting to see if noise issue is resolved.

    Also, it strikes me kind of weird, the temp. guage climes to about 150 degrees after driving for about a block or 2, maybe under 45 seconds of drive time. This is in around 65 to 70 degree weather. The temp never climbs above 220 or so.

    Any suggestions
  • topdog047topdog047 Posts: 12
    Between 45-50,000 had to replace w/pump, alternator and a/c compressor - brakes are still the original- Total cost at a reliable dealer was about $1,200 - Big bonus is GM provides lifetime warranty for parts and labor.

    What has me concerned is the posts re: premature engine problems.

    Most shops put 5 quarts in when they change the oil- The manual specifically indicates 4 1/2 and states that over filling will cause engine damage.
    The real indicator is the dipstick - with 4 1/2 the stick is right where it should be. Every dealer and mechanic I've been to in the last 10 years - 3 Jimmies- with one exception insists that 5 quarts is correct- most are lazy !!! I have had 2 occasions where I had to return to the shop and have the filter replaced to remove the extra 1/2 quart.
    If your 4.3 is like all 3 of mine - they do not burn or drip any oil- There is very little space in the crankcase for the extra 1/2 qt. Does not sound like much - however, the engineer that designed the engine specifically calculated 4 1/2.

    Check it out - if possible talk to a knowledgeable mechanic/engineer and he will explain the many potential problems - The excess oil will try to find a way out through the seals and at high RPM will have a tendency to foam - not good for lubrication.

    More is not always better -
  • ucanskiucanski Posts: 5
    Symptoms: Car quit driving home. Fuel tank registers empty, however tank was filled in the morning - so not likely out of gas. Try to start car and it just turns over. Any clues?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,312
    Try the Got a Quick, Technical Question? discussion too.

    Steve, Host

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

  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    Check your tank to see if it has any gas left in it, You may have a fuel leak.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    Entire gas tank in one day ....? You'd smell
    gasoline if this was the case. Hope you don't smoke.

    More likely your the float inside your gas tank is stuck or
    sank.
  • flew0207flew0207 Posts: 2
    Wondering if anyone else has had similiar problem. When accelerating or revving engine, there is a very distinct "fluttering" noise coming from the engine. To make a long story short, the Jimmy went into the shop to have water pump replaced. It came out of the shop with a new water pump and "fluttering"!!! Of course the shop claims that it is nothing as a result of anything they did!!! Any ideas?
  • rossmrrossmr Posts: 9
    just traded my 98 blazer (purchased new) on a 2005 outback. problems i had are well documented on this board - wiper board, cooling system problems, door hinges, alternator, suspension, interior trim, rattles, oil line leaks, a/c compressor, water pump, hatch struts, power window motor failure.

    as i traded, the tranny was shifting hard 1 to 2, my mechanic says the head gaskets are prone to fail, the sensors for the fuel injection go bad, 'blazers last forever but they nickel and dime you'. Two to nine hundred dollar repair bills are not what i consider 'nickel and dime' expenses,

    who knows, the outback may not be any better. but it seems gm's strategy is to sell on price (5K rebate and i let slide a 3.5k gm mastercard bonus as well as big discounts off of sticker). but when you figure the big depreciation hit on gm cars, the repair expenses plus the hassle expenses, even though i want to buy from an amercian company, i can't justify it.
  • laungst68laungst68 Posts: 3
    94 jimmy vortec/4.3/w its getting gas,has spark to #1plug,rotor moves possibly eliminating timing chain,engine turns over normally just won't start,coil also has spark.
  • jal012773jal012773 Posts: 63
    Need some help here. I took my '01 Blazer 4x4 in to a tire/alignment shop to have the tires balanced because of a vibration at speeds of 60+ mph. This did not fix the vibration, so I took it to my dealer to see what they could find. They said my tires were out of balance, and I need to replace the idler arm and pitman arm for $400. I took it back to the tire shop to have the tires rebalanced and have them look at the arms. They said the arms were fine, but both lower ball joints need to be replaced. Good news is they rebalanced my tires and the vibration is gone.

    My question: at 50,000 miles, is either one of these problems common or serious since the problem I really needed fixed is now taken care of? My extended warranty won't cover either repair for various reasons.
  • The brake pedal on this 95 Jimmy suv is hard to press and the truck is difficult to stop.There is A whooshing noise coming from under the driver's side dash during braking . I have bled all brake lines , changed out brake fluid,replaced front disc ,and replaced the master cylinder with no improvement.All the problems started after turning the truck off and pressing the brakes while the vehicle was in motion .... Thanks in advance for advice.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Sounds like a defective power brake booster.
  • truckertrucker Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Chevy Blazer I keep in very good shape
    61,000 miles.
    Just tonight the Check Engine Soon Light Came on
    At a traffic Light (while stopped)looked like the front end was vibrating some. The car antena was moving back and forth.
    First time this has happened. Wondering if anyone has advice on how to further diagnose problem.

    One other note, not sure if related, but about a month ago on a highway while doing 65 truck started rattling alot. I pulled over, could not visibly see anything. I bounced the hood up and down a little, and the rattle seemed to go away. Again not sure if related, but worth mentioning.

    Thanks
  • aultault Posts: 3
    I took my '96 Blazer 4x4 in for a noise in the front passenger side, to be told that the "shocks or bushings may be bad" and the "idler arm is really bad". We had the shocks replaced 2 years ago, so I don't know about that, but the idler arm I had never heard of before (but I know nothing about cars!). Our mechanic said Blazers were known to have the idler arms go bad.
  • fenndafennda Posts: 4
    How easy is it to replace the LBJs on a 97 Blazer? This is my first venture in researching the idea...just curious if I'll need specialized tools to get the job done, or if a decent set of shady tree tools will work. I've heard the possibility of a specialized "C" clamp, while other rumors say I'll just need the standard tools....

    Thoughts?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Absolutely NOT recommended for an amateur mechanic due to the possibility of injury when playing with loaded coil springs or torsion bars. Also, a ball joint press is required if 2WD or an air chisel if 4WD. Here are a couple of quotes from the repair manual:

    "The following procedure requires the use of a ball joint remover/installer set (the particular set may vary upon application but must include a clamping-type tool with the appropriately sized adapters) and a ball joint separator tool, such as J-23742 or equivalent."

    "CAUTION
     
    The floor jack MUST remain under the lower control arm, during the removal and installation procedures, to retain the arm and spring positions. Make sure the jack is securely positioned and will not slip or release during the procedure or severe personal injury may result."
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Check your plugs, one of them might be fauled.
  • Replacing the lower ball joint will require special tools and know how. A ball joint remover and installer set (J9519-D) is needed to unseat the old ball joint from the lower control arm and seat the new one. Also, a ball joint separator (J23742)is necessary to pop the ball joint from the steering knuckle. Some will use a hammer to accomplish it, but I don't recommend it. A torque wrench is necessary to assure the castle nut on the ball joint stud has the proper clamping force. The brake caliper will need to be removed. A floor jack must be used to keep lower control arm tension on the coil spring. As a previous letter writer noted, the coil spring has high wound energy it it. A sudden release of that energy is very dangerous. Also, the ball joint stud fixture aligns with a tapered hole in the steering knuckle. If that hole is out of round or otherwise damaged, the steering knuckle must be replaced. All suspension work is heavy and dirty, and almost always involves damage to other components since the parts are in contact with one another. Replacing the lower ball joint is not akin to changing oil. It is best left to someone with experience.
  • The replacement parts the Dealer installed resolved the issue of the "rattle" or slight "knock". The dealer replaced the timing chain, tensioner, and sprockets.
  • My '03 started to do the same thing. Knock between 1500 and 2200 RPM. The dealer replaced the Timing Chain, Tensioner, and Gears. This resolved the issue.
  • I have a '98 Blazer which has had the following electrical gremlins ongoing for some time now (at least several months)...

    1. Windshield wipers don't work in intermittent. Occasionally don't work in low. After using the mist function, they don't stop working for about a minute.
    2. Airbag warning light comes on intermittently.
    3. Blinker noise occurs intermittently when the blinkers aren't on. There are no flashing lights associated with the noise and the turn signals work properly. The noise stops if you stop on the brakes.
    4. A few days ago there was a wisp of smoke that came up from behind the steering wheel (from the column maybe) while my wife was driving. This was associated with a burning smell.

    Took the car to the mechanic today. He took the steering column apart and said he thinks it is some sort of control box that is causing the problem with the wipers and the blinking noise. He did not see any burnt wires and could not definitively locate the short. Cost of replacement for the box is ~$200 parts, $100 labor. I said go ahead. (It would have cost almost that much if I didn't do it because diagnostic labor rate is $80/hr).

    As far as the airbag is concerned...

    He read a DTC "B1036H" which means "ADS missing or shorted to voltage".

    What does ADS mean? Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long message.
  • Re: mssg 932 (the last message)

    I got the truck back from the mechanic today. He replaced the "combination switch" which controls the flasher module for the directionals. This stopped the intermittent blinker noise. Cost: $300 parts and labor. (Value of not having to hear the blinker noise ALL the time while driving: priceless!)

    He cleared the airbag code and we will wait to see if the idiot light comes back on (and if so, if it is the same error code). Hopefully the combination switch had something to do with the short and the problem is fixed.

    The windshield wipers are still all screwed-up. He traced the problem to the circuit board in the wiper motor unit. Cost to fix: ~$300 parts and labor. I will wait on this one as the wipers still work reliably on fast and almost all the time on regular speed. I do know that the wiper circuit board was recalled for 1997 Blazers (mine is a 1998). I'm sure it is probably the same board so it would be nice if Chevy recalled mine also (Yeah right, fat chance!).
  • I believe the DTC code you reference is actually B0036. The code detects an abnormal voltage signal from the airbag discriminating sensor (ADS). The right hand discriminating sensor (located in back of the front bumper) contains a resistor that sends a determinate voltage to the SDM(Inflatable Restraint Sensing and Diagnostic Module). When that voltage exceeds 3.65 volts for more than 5 consecutive engine starts, the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) engages. While the entire circuit and its loads may need testing, I suggest you start with the easy possibility first. Since you mention the problem is intermittent, visibly check the wiring at the right hand discriminating sensor. You will be looking for a yellow wire (CKT 2160) and a black and white wire (CKT 2151). These wires lead to the left hand discriminating sensor. Carefully examine both wires for any breaks or chafing. Also note that CKT 2160 (yellow wire) and CKT 2151 (black and white wire) continue their circuits from the left hand sensor. Therefore, you should see two yellow wires and two black and white wires at the left hand sensor. No guarantee chaffed wiring is the cause, but it's a cheap fix before you start down the road of replacing airbag system components.
  • I have a 99 Jimmy. The first year the LCD lights in the buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel started to go. Now less than 1/2 work and they're still going. The cigarette lighter also went. Replaced twice and lasted a couple of weeks and then gave up. The cargo cover kept falling off. The dealership ordered new cargo covers twice, none of which stayed any better. They finally gave up. The water pump went. This is all the first year! The stereo had to be replaced last year.

    Now on to the more serious problems. 3-4 months ago the ball bearings went on the front right wheel. It turned out that the way the vehicle is designed this is part of the wheel assembly which needs to be completely replaced. It cost almost $600, adding several hundred to the cost of what it would have been if designed to be a separate part. When the dealership repaired the problem they didn't tighten all the nuts properly. Being that these are aluminum wheels, if all nuts are not tightened completely, the resulting vibrations will shake the other bolts loose. The wheel almost fell off my Jimmy in the middle of the highway. All that was holding the wheel on were two bolts and none with any nuts left on them. Three posts were broken off completely. I learned from the tow truck driver that this is not an uncommon problem with aluminum wheels. This happened to my cousin twice! If there's a choice, always go with steel wheels. Do I need to explain how dangerous a wheel falling off in the middle of a highway can be? This month the alternator went, coincidently on the same highway, only a few hundred yards closer to home than when the wheel fell off. I even got the same tow truck driver. The replacement alternator happened to carry a lifetime warrantee. Why couldn't they put this quality an alternator in the car in the first place. I've always owned GM. First a 69 Buick Sportswagon that lasted over 220,000 miles, then a 72' Chevy Chevelle that I wrecked at 130,000 miles, almost never had problems and was still going strong. The last car I had before moving into NYC for 20 years where you have to be crazy to have a car was a 79 Bonneville which I gave to my mother and it lasted over 170,000 miles. All these were very reliable cars. Never on any of them did we have to replace the alternator or the bearings. Incidentally, the ball bearings on the left front wheel are now going. This vehicle is junk.

    Also consider that GM used many of the same parts across divisions and product lines. I just don't understand that with improving technology such as brake pads that will last 100,000 miles, how they can't make parts that will last at least as long as in the past and put them into their vehicles in the first place. I refer you back to my previous vehicles and the problems with the ball bearings and the alternator. I also refer you to the replacement alternator having a lifetime warranttee and they didn't put one into the car intially. I was just speaking with my neighbor who has an 89 Ford F-150. He's never had a problem with ball bearings and didn't have to replace his alternator until about 140-150,000 miles.

    The only reason I can come up with is that GM is designing cars with planned obsolecence in mind. This way they make more money on repairs and quicker replacement of vehicles. Some of these problems can be dangerous such as the aluminum wheels as described earlier and the alternator and water pump. Let's say they die in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere in such adverse conditions such as extreme cold or heat and you're going to be stuck there for hours your life could be at risk. Any part that can totally incapacitate your car in it's failure should be designed to last. GM also designs too many of it's parts in combination so that if a smaller problem occurs a whole assembly needs to be replaced to fix the problem at much greater expense. This is the bearing I mentioned before as well as the dashboard lights with cost way too much to replace. GM is guilty of greed and in the pursuit of such a willingness to put it's customer's lives, or at least well being, at risk, just so they can keep dipping into your pockets after the initial purchase. Until GM changes their ways of doing business and start showing more concern for their reputation and customers over profit, do not buy GM. Incidentally, so much for the GMC advertising claims of Professional Grade Quality and Precision Engineering.
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    Sorry about your Jimmy Problems, but disagree about the aluminum wheels. I service my Blazer and Explorer regularly and always pull the wheels to check the brakes at every service. I've had aluminum wheels on my previous Explorers and present Blazer and never had any problem with them coming loose. I think the problem is that they where not tightened down properly. They should be tightened down to 100 foot pounds. I've had a lot of GMs and Fords, and the Fords seem to hold up better. I'm replacing the Blazer with another Explorer next year.
  • cpocpo Posts: 23
    My '96 Jimmy bought used in '99 at 54k miles and the troubles it has put me through lists as follows:
    *1st water pump 74k - $200
    *2nd water pump 103k - $275 (labor increased)
    *ABS sensor (caused rear wheels brakes to not engage, wearing out front frequently) No cost due to a recall - lots for front brakes replacement
    *Brake Power Booster(wife driving lost all braking)$390
    *Wiper Module Recall - No Cost
    *Two batteries within 2 years
    *Alternator
    *A/C Compressor & Dryer Assy - $1061
    *New Cooling System components including a new plastic tank, manifold gasket & another water pump plus hoses - all in all about $800 in parts plus labor - $1942
    *That day I drove it home heard a fluttering noise from the engine and low oil pressure, took it back and ended up with having a rod & main bearing replacement - parts n' labor totaling $3017.
    I took as good of care with this thing as I've always provided for my vehicles through the years, many of which lasted easily into the 200,000 mile mark - Japanese and American, so I know how to sustain good cars. This Jimmy is not a good car. Clearly this line was put out there to compete in a white-hot SUV market before it was tested beyond the design phase.. We here, in effect, did the testing and the results are clear, to me. So now, lets talk about why Toyota & Honda are consistently nos. 1 & 2 in our auto market for the last few years. American made - I give up on that. I cannot afford it again and am very afraid to take the chance. Sorry Detroit Auto Workers. Your management has let you/us down. - Stephen Tarr, Hanford, CA
  • cpocpo Posts: 23
    Almost forgot.. Needs new upper/lower ball joints up front & the fuel pump (in the gas tank) is crapping out. Here's 'nuther $1000. I call uncle. Time to get out of this car, if I can.
  • My first post here! I have a 1999, Chevrolet Blazer, LS, 4WD, 2D with 77k miles. Any feedback or suggestions regarding my 3 conditions would be appreciated!

    1. Air conditioner was working fine this summer. Then after sitting for 4 days, the air conditioner does not produce any cold air. Period. I checked the fuses in the dash and they appear fine.

    2. Hard to believe, but I still have the original disc brakes. (Knock on wood) Any suggestions regarding replacement? The dealer wanted some ABSURD amount to replace the disc brakes. No weird noises yet, but they braking is "soft" compared to original condition.

    3. The Autotrac system is not shifting properly. Now that Winter is approaching this is a concern! I cannot shift out of 2WD using the Autotrac pushbuttons. The 4W Hi and 4W Lo buttons will "blink" but not become steady in color to indicate the transition. I can tell when driving that the Blazer remains in 2WD when the 4W Hi is blinking. Sounds like trouble to me.

    Thank you all!

    -Thad
  • I think I can help with problem #3. My 2001 Blazer had the same problem last winter. Took it to the dealer and it was a bad connector for the electronic 4x4 system. Mine was still under warranty, but I think it was only around $50 and they had the car for maybe an hour.
  • mitzijmitzij Posts: 612
    If your wiper problem is just the circuit board, it should cost less than $100 to replace. The part runs about $55 or $60, labor should not be much, it takes about 20 minutes on a slow day to replace.
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