1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4.3L V6 Vortec from North America


A money pit


I have replaced all 4 ball joints once, and a couple of them twice. Now they need to be raplaced again after less than 6 months. I had the oil cooling lines replaced, along with a water pump. Also, the heater core needed to be flushed twice, and the coolant intake resealed. The thermostat has also been replaced. The steering idler arm has been replaced along with a rear brake line. The front pads and rotors have been replaced. The battery and alternator have also been replaced. The driver's side front door and the passenger's side front door need to have the pins replaced. The rear speakers have not worked since I bought the vehicle.

General Comments:

As far as the engine itself, it's a great running SUV. However, the vehicle is not structurally sound in my opinion. I have owned the vehicle for less than a year and cannot recount a time period of more than 3 weeks where something has not gone wrong. Total estimated cost of repairs is around $3,000. That price is mostly parts, I am an amateur mechanic and have done a lot of the work myself witht he help of more qualified friends.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th September, 2003

9th Jul 2004, 14:50

A lot of shops are misdiagnosing ball joints (especially the lowers). Some shops think that when measuring the play in the ball joints, there shouldn't be any- not true. The spec. is 0.125" of an inch, which looks like a lot when inspecting. This misdiagnosis will lead to new ball joints every few months. This is a huge money grab for the aftermarket shops that "didn't know" this spec. Have a gm dealer measure the ball joints, the private shop probably doesn't even know how to properly (dial indiacator).

1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 6 cylinder. from North America


An excellent investment!


I haven't had this truck very long, but I've owned one before.

9/03 - replaced license plate bulb.

General Comments:

This truck is a great value for my budget. The one I owned prior to this one never gave me a moments trouble. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nice ride and a fuel efficient vehicle.

Very roomy.

Extremely comfortable.

Easy to maneuver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2003

1996 Chevrolet Blazer LT 4.6L V6 Vortec from North America


Mechanic's Goldmine


Upper Ball Joints Replaced 58,000 Miles

Shocks failure, Replaced 58,500 Miles

Ignition Switch 62,000 Miles

Deluxe Car stereo 58,000 Miles

Harness for Trailer Hitch Replaced 59,400 Miles

Control Arm 58,500 Miles

Seats have started to wear badly.

A/C Compressor failure at 63,000 Miles.

General Comments:

I feel in love with this vehicle with just one drive. Had a test drive for over the weekend. Dealer called wanting to know where his used vehicle was. I knew the tires needed to be replaced, they had some wear on them. When I took the vehicle home my wife loved it also. It drives comfortably. The gas mileage could improve some. I am getting 5 to 9 miles per gallon in town. I get 20 mile per gallon on highway. After all the repairs I wish I had picked another vehicle to buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2003

1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4.3 Litre Vortec 6 from North America


Practical and reliable, but expensive to maintain


When I first purchased this vehicle, the speedometer was sticking after the lights were on for a while. The dealer was nice enough to replace the dash free of charge, otherwise it would have been a $850 repair.

The 4x4 dash switch felt loose from the first time I drove it, but it doesn't rattle during a trip. I asked the dealer about it and they said that was normal as they were all built like that. (I doubt it, but they won't fix it and I don't care anyway.)

85,000 km: Previous owner (I'm the second owner) had to get all of the hoses replaced and it required a new return A/C line from the A/C compressor. (Not sure why?)

110,000 km: Broken A/C vent. Can't move the air direction vanes anymore on the left hand drivers side vent. I don't care, but it is slightly annoying.

115,000 km: It needed a new fuel pump, fuel filter, power steering seal and belts. Total cost of repairs: $600.

135,000 km: It was producing no heat during a very cold winter. It appears that the 1996-1998 models had a problem with cooling system contamination. Especially if the coolant level manages to get too low. The low coolant on my vehicle was caused by a bad intake manifold seal and ignorance. To prevent further coolant loss, it had to be replaced. (This was a $700 job.) Since Dex-cool gels when it's exposed to oxygen, I needed to get the vehicles cooling system completely flushed. (This is a $550 job.) I also found that it was also leaking oil. It required new oil cooler lines. (Another $750 job.) Since the compressor was cycling frequently, it also needed a A/C recharge and compressor oil. I expected that after 7 years on the road. What I didn't expect was a the cost of repairs totaling $2200.

140,000 km: Rear latch for upper tailgate broken and new hinges for right front door. Total cost of repairs: $200.

General Comments:

This vehicle makes an excellent substitution to the typical station wagon by offering plenty of cargo space.

My driving style results in 17 to 18 MPG in the city and roughly 24 MPG on the highway, giving me a range of approximately 400-450 km per tank.

The engine is very powerful for this class of vehicle, making it very enjoyable to drive and giving you plenty of passing power when you need it. The 4 speed overdrive transmission provides a nice low 2100 RPM at 100 km/h, keeping the engine noise to a bare minimum, even at higher highway speeds.

The 60/40 split rear seats make it a pleasure to haul stuff around in, without losing any functionality of a 4-door sedan. Since the rear seats fold back flat to the floor, I can carry as much as a full-sized washing machine without a problem.

The controls on this vehicle are very well laid out and the dashboard is easy to read and understand. The seats feel comfortable and feel high up. The map accessory pocket located under the radio and the compass/temperature readout are extremely convenient. I wish all vehicles had these.

This vehicle has been reliable, running very smoothly and quietly. It hasn't let me down yet, except for the times when I accidentally leave the dome light on and flatten the battery. The dashboard dimmer control was poorly designed in that aspect. GM fixed this in the 1998 model year.

It just seems that for this model year, GM botched the cooling system design. I expect that I will be getting it flushed every few years. In some ways, I'm a little irked that after 7 years on the road, this vehicle needed some very major seals and hoses replaced at some very expensive labor prices.

My biggest complaint about this vehicle is the stiff "Power Assist" steering.

The power assisted steering is ideal for off-road driving, driving on uneven surfaces and slippery surfaces, however it is very fatiguing if it is being driven on a long highway trip.

My second biggest complaint is the sensitivity of the transmission to the accelerator. It seems that GM was learning how to do it right with the 4.3. If I floor it from 40 km/h, (Which is required on a short exit lane in some places I've driven) it does a 3-2-1-2-3 shift, which is not very pleasurable at all. Fortunately, GM fixed this harsh shifting problem on the 1998 models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2003

14th Aug 2003, 22:09

145,500 km : I haven't used the heat in nearly three months and since the days are getting cold here again, I've found that I no longer have heat. The cooling system will have to be flushed again. (Another $550 job.) I've heard that switching to Ethylene Glycol can sometimes fix this problem, I'm considering it. No more Dex-cool for me!