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#483 of 3676 front-end problems w/ 1996 Chevy Blazer LS
Jun 11, 2002 (10:25 am)
I'm hoping someone can offer up some helpful suggestions. I own a 96 Blazer, 4 DR, with about 88k miles on it. Recently, the front end seems to have problems. Basically, when I brake, or just randomly, the vehicle will jerk itself one way or the other. It's quite an unpleasant experience and I'm afraid it is the sign of bad things to come. A transmission guy took a casual look and said it looked like the car bottomed out a few times. There were these rubber things underneath the front that looked ripped. And my the interior of the rim of my left front tire is very shiny and polished while all the others have accumulated normal dirt and such. I'm wondering if anyone has experienced similar steering/front end problems or could suggest a possible cause. Thanks a ton for any help you can offer me.
Jun 11, 2002 (3:22 pm)
Look under the hood where the wires plug into the wiper motor. That is the location. get the board and the rest is self explanitory. I think there is 3 screws. Mine would work sometimes and not others. never seemed to want to stay running when it was raining. Very common problem.
Jun 11, 2002 (5:33 pm)
My advice is to stop driving your Blazer. The rubber things you refer to are the jounce bumpers on the frame? There are also rubber boots around the upper and lower ball joints. If wheel contact has been made with the A-arm , then you probably have a separated ball joint... NOT GOOD. Get it replaced immediately. Your steering is very sloppy, too?
#486 of 3676 2003 Blazers?
Jun 12, 2002 (7:18 am)
I have lurked around this group for a while as well as the Trailblazer Boards. My wife and I had a leased 97 Blazer LS 4 door and returned it to the dealer at end of a 3 year lease. We both really liked it; it only had one problem in the 3 years we had it (cargo light remained on over night, maybe longer, and ran the battery down). Engine (pickup/passing/good mileage)was great for our purposes. We leased a Jeep GC for our next vehicle, because the Chevy dealer wouldn't be more competitive on leasing a new SUV. Well, we will be turning in the JGC soon, and my wife wants to go back to a Blazer.
So, finally, I get to my questions. Is there going to be a 2003 Blazer? Were the quality problems I have seen on this board addressed in the 2002 Blazer? Or, should we move up to a TB (of course, the TB has had its own problems)? As I said, we really had a good experience with our Blazer, and are simply overwhelmed at all the problems some have had. Anyway, we appreciate any feedback.
Jun 12, 2002 (1:43 pm)
My understanding is that Chevy will be phasing out the Blazers by the end of the year. It will be especially sad to see the ZR2 go away. I think it's a big mistake on GM's part to not offer a replacement for it. I think they're answer will be in one of the versions of the S-10 replacement, the Colorado, or the Warrior (I know, stupid name), but it won't be in an SUV form.
I have a '98 GMC Jimmy 4-Door 4x4, and while over-all I love my truck, I have had intermittent problems that have been irritating enough that my next vehicle will most likely be the all-new 4Runner coming in September. I really like the new Trailblazer and Envoy, but I actually take my truck off-road, and the lower ground clearance of the new GM replacements is prohibitive of any fun terrain. My uncle has a new Trailblazer, and my dad has a new Envoy, and they both love theirs, but they don't do the off-roading that I do. If that's not your concern either, then I would HIGHLY recommend the new TB. I went to the GM Truck Show in Motion program last year, where you drive all the GM vehicles and the competition on a straight-away and mild off-road course, and the TB/Envoy ruled both. If they made a ZR2-type version in 4-doors for the Trailblazer, I would have a hard time choosing between it and the new 4Runner when it comes out. I am a GM loyalist, and GM just got #3 in quality, 3rd to Toyota and Honda, but my irritations with quality on my truck may cause Toyota to win out either way.
Are there any other vehicles you and your wife are looking at, like the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot? Or, are you planning on sticking with GM?
#488 of 3676 Wiper question
Jun 12, 2002 (6:56 pm)
Experienced this same wiper problem with my '97 Jimmy. Solved it by repairing my harness connection for the wipers. Sometimes quick snap connections used for fast assembly production are not that solid.
#489 of 3676 tbcreative
Jun 13, 2002 (7:56 am)
Well, since I found out that my wife really would have preferred to stick with a Blazer upon lease renewal, I think we are going to be leaning heavily to Chevy. I wish she had said something to me at the time, but with the monthly payment about $25-30 less with JGC, she agreed that the Jeep was the way to go. But I have learned my lesson, I hope.
We won't be doing any off-roading so clearance is not a problem. And from what I have seen on the specs for the ground clearances for the Blazer and TB, they are just about the same, which helps her to get in the vehicle.
I have driven a fiend's Toyota 4Runner, and, surprisingly, was not really impressed. His had several squeaks, the seats weren't real comfortable, and the tires were horribly loud on the interstate. I can't remember but it also seems that the acceleration wasn't too hot, either. I have just seen the ads for the Pilot; it might be something to look at, but my wife is going to be very insistent on Chevy, I think.
Jun 13, 2002 (12:21 pm)
Yeah, the ground clearance underneath is pretty close to the same, but Chevy lowered the rocker panels, so getting in and out is much easier in the Trailblazer, but a hindrance when off-roading. Since that's not a concern for you, I would definitely take advantage of the GM deals going on and get one, if your wife likes it. It's such a HUGE improvement over the Blazer and my truck.
I would definitely give the Pilot a look. I drove one and fell in love with it! If it had 4Lo, I'd give it serious consideration against the '03 4Runner. If someone wants a 3rd row seat, this one's a class leader, and the Pilot is so much better looking than the Trailblazer EXT or Envoy XL.
As far as the 4Runner, power and age are the reasons I'm waiting for the ALL-NEW 4Runner, based on the totally new platform shared with the '03 Lexus GX470, coming this fall. I haven't been very impressed with the current one either. But the 2003 is going to be a fantastic vehicle from what I gather from inside sources.
Jun 14, 2002 (12:31 pm)
The Blazer will be around for 2003, but only the 4dr version. Has the quality improved? I am not sure, my 99 was not very good when new, but has only cost me a water pump since 3/36,000. My Blazer currently has 70k. One thing that I don't understand is why there is only 464 posts on this thread. GM sold a ton off Blazer/Jimmy mid size SUVs (way more than Toyota or Nissan) and there are very few postings for the amount of SUVs sold in the past few years. Is it possible that only a few had problems? We are talking millions of SUVs since 1995.
I have tracked my gas mileage for the last 50k miles and it has been 18.23 mpg. That includes all off roading (beach driving about 45 trips, mountain trails about 40 trips, each trip about a half day long), all 4x4 winter driving (about 2000 miles total in 4x4), and winter remote start idle for 10 minutes each morning, and all towing (4 trips- each 500 miles with about 5000 lbs), and very high speed (to the speed limiter in many cases) highway driving. I have found that you can set the cruise control higher than the computer limited top speed!!
It consistently runs 7.8 sec to 7.85 sec 0 to 60 according to my Gtech meter. I am not sure why it runs this good because my Silverado 4x4 with the same engine (and same gearing) runs 9.05 sec 0 to 60 and only weighs a few hundreds pounds more.
Ground clearance has been a problem off road and the factory skid plate package shows many scrapes (a bargain for about $100). On the beach with 5 people, coolers, grill, chairs, ect., this SUV bottoms on the gas tank skid plate over and over during hard driving on the trials in the dunes.