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Chevy Blazer GMC Jimmy Maintenance and Repair



  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Yesterday morning I had an interesting problem occur for the first time. When I started my '01 Blazer (94,500mi) to go to work, both left and right lifter banks rattled, as if the crankcase was empty! I shut it off and checked the oil (5W30)...having just change it, level was good. Fired it back up, only to rattle again. The pressure gauge read 40psi as usual, so I let it idle. Slowly it quieted down and was fine, but I noticed the pressure gauge sweep exaggeratedly with RPM increase like the tach, well below 40 and beyond the typical 50psi. This wasn't the normal pressure increase/decrease I'm use to seeing on a cold Michigan morning. Two more times this went on after sitting for an extended period of time. This morning, the situation wasn't as bad and the pressure gauge worked as it has in the past (more stable). The only thing I have done different is switched to synthetic oil two changes ago (maybe 10,000 mi). Is there a antiflow back/check valve that could have failed, possibly plugging the oil passages? I plan on changing the oil again today, even though it doesn't need it to see if the pick-up tube on the oil pump is plugged with something. Could the oil pump be taking a dump? With the good oil pressure I can't hardly believe it. I know this can't be good to starve the valve train of lubrication at start-up (or any time for that matter!)
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Oil pumps usually don't fail and for a Blazer I would be looking at the coolant level because if this is recent its the classic leaking intake manifold symptom. Have you seen the reservior losing fluid, fill and watch over a few days at the same operating temp. When the intakes start to leak they often do it into the valley with the lifters and spray Dex Cool in there that you don't see in the oil - 3 of my 4 Blazers have done this around 90-100k miles. Normal pressure is 20-60 idle to higher rpm as they age and clearances open up. The filters do have an anti drainback valve but that would only cause a rattle for several seconds as pressure came up - are you still changing the oil filter regularly with the syn oil - could be a failing valve in the filter - especially if a cheap one. Do a search on filters and see the many reports online.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Diff circuits than my 98up ones but after a search common items were as you said, the switch(you replaced, was #1 choice),relay(replaced), wiring (did you look at the trailer wiring??), and bulbs (original wattage - higher power will thermal cycle the headlights). Hate to say it but after these repairs the dealer is the next stop and should be an hours labor to find what really is causing this. Post what the fix is when you find it.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Yes, still changing syn oil regularly... can't seen to let it go much beyond the 3000 mile change, even though synthetic is suppose to last longer. I have been watching the oil and coolant for signs of cross contamination, and haven't seen the tell tail, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. I am however, loosing coolant from the overflow reservior at a very slow rate. Is there a way to determine which gaskets are going, or should I do both heads and intake? Are there an updated intake gasket that eliminates this happening again? Any guesstimate as to what a dealer charges?
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Well, just spoke with the local dealership, and the labor charge out is 4 hours. Total coast including an oil change $416.21 (us). I can ill afford having the vehicle down for longer than a day, so it is scheduled for gasket replacement tomorrow. Thanks again for your help.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Thats about right. Intakes leak in, or out the front where the intake meets the block, or up between the intake and valve covers (then evap or run off depending on parking angle). The loss could be a leaking water pump out the bearing hole but you would see this dripping. The dealer should confirm with a cooling system pressure test before they start. The head gaskets are pretty good on these motors unless you get them really hot (peg the gauge) a few times. Hope it all works well. Ask them about the cooling system (flush) cause that heater core does clog and leak and sometimes after the intake the water pump goes too - don't worry, only want to prepare you for several things that you may see. That Dex Cool has problems when air gets in the system and the radiator caps are a known GM problem with several redesigns. Ask the dealer to submit the cost to the zone for paying half but usually over 5 years and 75k they will not, but never hurts to ask them - will take a few days for an answer.
    After you get it back buy a new Stant cap. Make sure the dealer is installing a new thermostat too (only adds a few $ when they do the intake).
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    If they are like many older GMs they are by the headlight which is held in by 3 or 4 screws (don't take the aiming ones out - springs on them and you should see the diff) and then you can access. 98up the whole grill pulls out.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    How many miles on this, recent work done, any tuneup, does it start and idle OK, rev up in park, need more info cause could be many things. CPI systems have known leaks under the upper intake with fuel dumping in. Ignition module in dist and other sensors that could be bad. Any codes?
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Had the system flushed (core reverse flushed) last year, to restore heat in the cabin. Already had purchased a new Stant thermostat, just never got around to putting it in yet, so I'll bring it with me and have them install it. I have to stop and get synthetic oil for the change tomorrow, as all they use is conventional and I want to stick with the man made stuff. While I'm at it I'll get a new Stant cap...what is it 15-16lb cap? I certainly appreciate your quick response! I'll keep you posted, and visit often for more advice.
  • jimmy94jimmy94 Posts: 6
    try removing the 4 top screws that hold the grill in place.
    it comes out easy if your bumper is not too banged up.
    the bottom of the grill just sits on two plastic pins.
    the side marker lights just come out with it.
  • jimmy94jimmy94 Posts: 6
    Over 206,000 miles on the jimmy running 30 x 9.50 tires for the past 4,000 miles.
    This is the 2nd engine that i rebuilt and put in it. The engine has about 100,000 miles on it before i put all new main and piston rod bearings in it. Compression seems good all around.
    3rd trans that I rebuilt and put it in just recently.
    The engine starts great and idles good 500 rpm.
    I can rev it up to over 3000 rpm no problem.
    There is a slight knock which i believe is from a wrist pin.
    There is also a strong engine vibration at low rpms.
    i replaced the fuel pressure regulator not to long ago when it was fuel dumping.
    Fuel pressure is 70 psi, also has a brand new fuel pump and sender. i have a fuel psi gauge on the dash now.
    Check engine light is not on, so there are no codes that i know of.
    i used to have trouble with the EGR valve and i got codes from that all the time, but i took it off cleaned it up and it has been trouble free with the EGR valve.
    As far as i know the Ignition module is good but it is so hard to test it when it is on the bottom of the distributor jammed against the fire wall.
    The upper intake gasket is good and bolts are tight.
    I am thinking maybe it is leaking around the poppet nozzles; they don't seem to fit very tight. I am just not ready to buy a 300$-500$ spider unless that is the problem.
    If a new spider would fix the problem that would be great because I spent that much in gas over the past couple of weeks.
    When the engine heats up everything is a little better but not much.
    Does a spider assembly ever last over 200,000 miles even after the fuel pressure regulator is replaced on it?
  • jimmy94jimmy94 Posts: 6
    Make sure the ground wire coming from the headlight wiring harness is grounded to the body good or to whatever terminal it ends up at. Check with a continuity tester.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Okay, Now that the intake gaskets are being replaced, on to the next problem. I have an annoying (clunk) noise coming for around the right (passenger side) front of my 01 Trailblazer at lower speeds over moderately rough roads. It almost sounds like it's behind the dash. Now a little history. Recent replacement items include: shocks (one week old), upper and lower ball joint (both sides), A-arm bushings (all), idler arm, front end alignment, pads/rotors (all 4 corners last Sept), tires last May. I have pulled, tugged, and thumped on everything on that side under the hood, and am waiting on better weather to get underneath with a rubber mallet, but am in hopes that someone else has experienced a similar noise. I really believe it's coming from behind the dash (heater core I suspect). It isn't likely that a wheel bearing could make such a noise, is it?
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    So, I see the 01 Blazer is holding true to form.
    As to the clunk, there is a bulletin on a possible cause and its adding a cone shaped washer to each hood hinge bolt:


    So GM part # 12383460 you need 2 of them. Test the Blazer first by opening hood, inserting a small hand towel or rag inbetween the fender and hood on eackh side, close and test drive - noise gone add washers! This is one possible and you have done many others but even after I did all these once in a while I get a small clunk. I even greased the torsion bars and mounts. GMs are sloppy and even a loose fender bolt will cause this. If you have a large clunk I also had a cracked frame mount where the lower a-arm bolted up but mine was drivers side -had to weld.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Based on above info I did some searching too, may help.
    1. Did you change the nut kit when you did the regulator (its really the fuel lines to the reg inside)and that may be dumping fuel in the motor.
    2. The MAP sensor converts pressure to a voltage to the computer for the fuel profile and that may be bad. Sensor output voltage should be in the range 0.5 to 4.5 volts.
    3. Usually a faulty ign module gets worst when but the grease wears out on older models causing run problems.
    4. Is the vibration counter shaft and timing chain all set correctly or is it slopply and off a few teeth. Major internal problems may effect the higher rpm ops too as you know.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    You've got to be kidding me!!! This has been driving me nuts for about a month now. I get it back from the intake gasket replacement in about 20 minutes and can hardly wait to try this remedy. You have made me a very happy person...
    Thank you!
  • I have been trying to figure out why i dont have any 4wd well i finally figured out that i dont have 12 volts down to the motor on the main power wires.I have swapped out switchs,Transfer case control modules and some other module in the passenger kick panel.I have also replaced the the vacum switch and the encoder motor its self.I have check the fuse in the fuse box on the drivers side dash.But when i put a volt meter on the plug that is located in the drivers side wheel well i get no 12 volts and on some of the pins i get 5 volts if i remember correctly.Any help would be great.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Repairdog you ARE the man!! I tried the shop rag remedy on the hood hinge to eliminate the rattle... and it WORKED!! The same shop that replaced my intake gaskets (I didn't end up going to the dealership, as my other shop said that FelPro has manufactured a near bullet proof, though expensive, should eliminate early failure), valve cover gaskets (yes they were seeping too), thermostat, distributor cap and rotor, was surprised to learn the hood hinges could cause such a racket. I can't believe how much that sound resonates toward thinking there is a suspension issue. I can't thank you enough! It's like having a new vehicle again. I hope to meet you someday to thank you in person for your suggestions and show you my lifted 01 Blazer, as I am now a very proud GM owner again.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    So, from the TCCM in the kick panel looks like 98up Blazer.
    First question is do you have 4Hi cause the xfer case only activates the encoder motor to engage 4Lo. There is a sensor switch on the front axle that tells the TCCM the axle is coupled by the actuator. There is another sensor switch on top of the xfer case that tells TCCM the encoder motor has engaged 4Lo. Does the selector switch light stop blinking when you select 4Hi or 4Lo? Do you have 4 buttons and Autotrac cause this adds new issues? I don't have a wiring diagram of this circuit, sorry. Some have reported cut/broken wires above the xfer case causing the encoder motor not working so look/feel up there in the messy bundle GM shoved in.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    I can't seem to find it, but I thought that I read that a fluctuating fuel gauge was a result of a poor ground at the sending unit, or was it the chassis ground?
  • Thanks alot for the info. I'll pass it on to my brother who does my work for me(he's figuring the same things you are)but no dealerships for me.I've not had good luck w/ them since I'm a woman and all. My blazer has 310,000 miles on it and have only to replace normal wear and tear things except solenoid for tranny, so I don't want to dive into big bucks fixing it. So far so good. Yes I said 310,000 miles.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Post #2000 had a bad battery to frame cable causing intermittent fuel pump operations. Others report bad or burnt connectors on the top of the tank - but for most the pump/sending unit is 1 part on 98up and if the gauge swings get to much for you or the pump quits (more usual) its a new unit for about $500 installed. I've seen low battery voltage swing gauges also, more on startup till alternator kicked in, then if alternator going too (which you see on the voltage gauge) all gauges moving around.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Amazing mileage and I would like to see the repair history by mileage and parts replaced. I have 4 and they all seem to need the same part around the same mileage.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    I know it won't fix an ailing pump/sending unit (mine still pumping fine, just large gauge fluctuation below half tank, but what about adding a smaller alternator pulley to speed it up there by more constant voltage supply... or just a 100 amp alt. What comes stock... 50-60 amp?
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Thats how lots of the fuel sending units are and its the contacts on them in the tank. The alternator only is the cause if failing. Stock is already 100-110 range by the year.
  • blaze4x4blaze4x4 Posts: 29
    Are you an area rep for GM, or just an extremely experienced tech? It's refreshing to have someone as knowledgeable as yourself with all the answers! You have done a better job of diagnosing my Blazer online than most could have done in person. Thanks! My vehicle is now a joy to drive again. Are there any other issues I should prepare for, with 95,000 miles on my 01?
  • dolphin1dolphin1 Posts: 11
    Can anyone tell me what size/type socket wrench that I need to remove the wheel/hub bearing nut on my 2000 Blazer's front hub assemblies?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
  • fussekfussek Posts: 1
    I was not sure how to post on here but I am having a noise from the front end of my 2000 chevy blazer. It sounds like some old bed springs squeaking. If you have ever heard that you know what I am talking about. The noise is there almost all the time. It does not happen more during bumps or turning. Do you have any idea what this may be? Any help is greatly appreciated!
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    For the 3 hub bolts its an 18mm. For the CV axle nut on 4wd its 36mm and all the auto parts stores sell them, usually called a front axle nut socket in 1/2" drive, hardened black socket for GMs. To loosen take the plastic hub cap off and do it before jacking up the Blazer - then you can stand on the breaker bar or use a longer cheater bar to help you. After you unbolt the hub put the axle nut back on and give it a good wack with a 3 lb hammer (use a wood block between so you don't mess it up) to get the hub off the axle.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Grease all the front grease fittings, probably the lower ball joints. Known for this after rain or age - they often fail fairly early on Blazers. If this isn't it have someone bounce it while you look under to pin point where its coming from - shocks, a-arms, etc.
  • I just had it in the shop and here are the problems, "multi function switch" is bad - the sound of a Blinker, is always on, it sounds like you have your blinker on all the time. The other problem I have is the coolant is leaking. I ahve about 77,500 miles, is this common and could both of these problems be fixed by a friend of mine who is a ford mechanic?
  • Multi function switch, is this easy to change if I do it myself? If so, how do I go about it?
  • ewallerewaller Posts: 1
    At this time we have replaced the Fuel Injector and the Fuel Pump and it still won't keep running. Turns over however no fire. You put the gas in the throttle body manually and it runs. Once the manual feed is discontinued it dies.

    Please any suggestions on what needs to be done next.
  • grammypgrammyp Posts: 1
    Has anyone else experienced a front end vibration? 98 4WD Jimmy, 86,000 miles. Just replaced hub bearings and idler arm, problem not solved. Rotated and balanced tires too. Hits at about 70mph about 20 miles away from home on the freeway. very annoying. The steering wheel all but jumps out of your hands. We stop, it goes away and may not appear for weeks at a time.
    We also have that damn clicking blinker. Apparently my model is not under recall, since it was made on a Tuesday after 3pm.....Mine now just comes and goes, so we turn up the radio. I'll wait them out, they might recall mine sometime and fix it for free!
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Yes many have the same Multifunction switch problem and only 2000-2001 had a recall but not for the noise but for the brake lights/flashers not working and GM inserts a new hazard section under the steering wheel button - but you need the whole assembly anywhere from $100-200 depending on store and takes a few hours and any mechcanically inclined with correct tools can change.
    As for the coolant - all 4.3 motors get the leaking lower intake manifold gasket and if you don't fix it you will destroy your engine at some point - water gets in the valley and lifer rattle starts, then bearings can get messed up, etc. About $500-600 at dealer or 5-8 hours to DIY and many posts can be found to help with a good search.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Have you had lower ball joints put in yet (if not the first owner see if rivets or bolts hold it in - bolts mean replaced) - that is the #1 cause of the vibration. Next alighment can cause and tires need a real balance called "Force Balance" where the tires are checked for out of weight and round - costs more special machine and lots of good alignment shops and many dealers have them now due to 1 in 10 tires being out of spec - machine has a drum that comes down on the tire as it rotates.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    So you replaced the pump and checked the pressure at the fuel rail for 60psi pressure - low pressure it won't start. Also you replaced the pressure regulator and nut kit under the intake cover? Next how about the relays are they good. Then the throttle position sensor.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    I can't remember all you have done but the intake (plus rad/cap/thermostat) and front end I believe. Time for plugs, cap, rotor, wires, pcv at 100k and hope you have been doing the trans filter every 50k at least. Front and rear diff 80w-90 change and the transfer case should also be done and its Dexron III in the 3 button cases and autotrak II (blue) from the dealer for 4 button Autotrac systems. Next brake job most brake rotors can be turned only once now but are cheap at $35 each and rear calipers replaced at same price (single piston cheap material) but front dual pistons last along time. Enjoy your ride again.
  • i have the same thing it's drive me nut's they says it 's the bushing but no one is sure.
  • I have a 1991 Jimmy that im trying to save but, im running out of options. I was driving and smoke started coming out of the vents. I pulled over and the truck wouldnt restart.i pulled the dash and i found a purple wire going into the steering column was burned. i needed to replace the steering column anyway so i did. When i turned the key, it started fine but when i tried to kill the engine it wouldnt shut off. so now i had to run a kill also getting a code for my vss but when i replace the sensor the truck reacts the same....poor starting....major fuel consumption.....sluggish.....stalls....back fires up through the throttle any ideas?
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Replaced the steering column so you got a junk yard one I'd guess but did you install a new ignition switch/key assembly? That would be the first thing. As to the fuel issue, this is a throttle body not CPI so what else happened or did you do after it happened? Any other codes now?
  • yeah....i got one from the junk yard but i didnt replace the switch. i never even thought of that but, im sure the column didnt come from a vehicle with a 4.3. i feel like a idiot!...haha...well....also...when i did get it started finally...the fuel pump went i replaced you think that could have something to do with the back fireing problem?....or could the ignition be the cause of all my problems?...Im hoping its something small like that!

    Do i need to replace the ignition switch and the key tumbler? Im also having issues with the lights...the parking lights come on when i start the car evne with the switch turned off.....I called autozone...trying to get into the zone(not happening)...i asked for the switch and tumbler....they said that it didnt specify a engine im wondering if my steering column did come out of a different size engine....would it make a difference?
    and there are no other codes other than the one for the vehicle speed sensor....but like i said....i replaced it and there is no difference.
    thanks for your reply stuck and ran out of luck!
  • I'm not sure wether my head gasket or intake gasket has blown. I'm leaking coolant into the oil (creamy oil) but my blazer has relatively low miles at 137,000. I've been told that the intake gasket is prone to failure. Is there any way to tell if one or the other or both are leaking without taking apart the engine? What would be the chance that it is the intake gasket and not the head gasket? Just trying to save money, thanks!
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    I looked it up at the site and both are the same (checked at Advance too) assuming the column was from a compatable year (junk yard books are usually right) and they must have matched up or wouldn't fit right. Start with the switch for $12. Hope you didn't mess up the ECM/ECC or engine control computer or other sensors with the short. A few searches will turn up test info on all the sensors for you.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Most 4.3s blow the lower intake by 100k. Hope you didn't drive far after that happened or the lifters and bearings may already be damaged. Usually the head gaskets only blow if you serverely overheated the engine. Get a radiator pressure tester (free loaner) and see if you can see or hear where its happening but my guess would be have to take it apart to be sure its the lower intake gasket - 2 front water passages to the intake and 2 rears (blocked off). About $500 at a shop or DIY for $100. On the cooling system: How is the radiator when you look in it - clean or all clogged with Dex Cool sludge. Have you flushed it ever and changed the thermostat and cap. Heater work or make noise. Good luck.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You could pressurize the cooling system with a pressure pump and then pull the spark plugs out and see if there is coolant on them...I'm not sure if the pressure test can also spot the intake gasket issue....never tried that...
  • well...i went and got the switch and the tumbler yesterday....still its the will start the vehicle but it wont kill it. good news is that i bought new plugs and wires and old jim is running 100% better!i still have to use the kill switch but no more back firing and i guess i will learn to live with the kill switch for now.....thanks again for your reply! :):):)
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    I don't have a wiring diagram so is there any Run relay that is staying energized after you start it and then turn it off - was the column wiring connector identical (did you look at both pin for pin). Thats all I can think of now. The newer ones have several relays that supply power to the sensors/computer/etc when key is in run position.
  • mrrydiamrrydia Posts: 2
    Chevy Blazer 1999, 4 door 2wd, 92k miles
    For the past year or so, after about every two weeks of driving, the coolant tank will be empty and the temp gauge will start to rise until I put more coolant in. I have had the problem "fixed" twice, one of those times at a GM dealer. I've also had a pressure test and it revealed that I don't have a leak.. but where does my coolant go? I can often smell what I assume is burned DexCool when I get out of the car after driving.
    Since it was last "fixed", I hear a gurgling behind the dash, but was told by the mechanic that it was normal. Often, when I start up the car, I will hear a sound similar to a fan blade striking something as it rotates. This lasts for 30 seconds usually.

    A couple of days ago, my mom was driving the car when, after about five minutes of driving, there was knocking and banging under the hood. She was on the interstate and got off after about a mile. A person helping her said there was very little oil and it was sludge. The dealer said I have a thrown rod and need a new engine.

    I was about 1k miles past my scheduled 3k mile oil change, but have been consistent with keeping it changed in the past, and don't understand why there would be so little oil and so much sludge now.

    Has anyone had similar problems? Anyone know what would cause these problems, and if the apparent coolant leak has anything to do with the engine problem? They are sending someone to take a look at the engine and determine whether it will be covered under warranty, and I want to be prepared in case they say it is my fault. Thanks for any input.
  • repairdogrepairdog Posts: 948
    Glad you have an extended warranty but look up what your states small claims court limit is also cause I fear you may need it or have to threaten them with it.

    The coolant was going somewhere and yes it was leaking out of the cooling system to somewhere or the level would not have dropped. Where is the question, so here I go:
    1. Lower intake gasket - most common area on 4.3 engines and the Dex cool usually leaks out the front or back seal between the intake and block, often seeping into the engine in the valley and lifters. Or runs out the top between the intake and valve covers then down the block to drip on the ground (orange color). Smell was when it dripped on exhaust.
    2. Head gasket and leaked into a cylinder then down into the bearings and oil - usually due to overheating so from the noise was the radiator hit by the fan (a hole/cut/fan marks on engine side, or a leak in any other part of rad), just rad clogged because never flushed (5yr/100k on Dex cool is NOT true - but causes cooling system sludge), bad fan clutch so not spinning, or water pump.
    3. Water pump leaking, see water dripping out small weep holes on the body by the front bearings and often hear some grating noise.
    4. Heater core - clogged was the gurgling noise and NO that is not normal but means restricted water flow and it may have leaked. In fact, that smell, like burned maple syrup ie Dex cool, may have been from that. Often a small hole is blown and it reseals over and over but that smell is always around.
    5. Hoses may have a leak - upper and lower rad, believe 2 small bypass by water pump, and 2 heater hoses.
    6.Block freeze plug rusted out - on side of engine block pressed in round plugs - not common on Blazer this new, mostly over 10 years old.

    So, if a GM dealer did examine the Blazer and found nothing wrong but you told them coolant was dropping, they should have looked at all these and found one as the cause (think I covered them all - oh a hole in the reservior to be complete). With a new engine, you will need a heater core that requires the dash out so $500 plus, and also a new water pump (insist at this mileage), and have the fan clutch checked. Remember the dealer may defer to the Zone rep and it could take several days. Lawyers seldom help but small claims you can pull alot of the dealer crew in all day - ha ha and costs you little (lost work time for them). This is only my opinion on how to approach the problem. Maintain your cool in the talks and you will win.
    Good luck and let us know the outcome.
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