1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4.3 Vortec from North America


Will never make the same mistake twice


First off when I bought it, the rear main seal was replaced due to excessive oil leaking, 2 days after being purchased.

Battery replaced at that time because car was hard at starting.

Then neutral safety switch went.

Then alternator.

Then catalytic converter.

Then brake pads, rotors, brake lines, calipers, brake booster, and master cylinder..

Then the dexcool drama.. replaced thermostat twice, along with all hoses and clamps, and radiator cap, to have the intake manifold gasket blow out.

Had ball joints, pitman arm, idler arm, and u-joints all done.

Then, had the front sway bar bracket snap completely off the lower control arm and shred the driver side boot on the axle.

Now it's time to replace both axles.

And the transmission is acting like it's ready to go..

General Comments:

Point blank, I've learned my lesson to not buy American again. They make cheap cars that rattle and shake when going down roads.. never again will I waste so much money on a piece of dirt. Nissan XTerra will be my next car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2009

1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4.3L V6 from North America


Amazing machine


I have replaced the intake gaskets (once), alternator (once), radiator (three), heater core (four), rebuilt front end (twice), water pump (twice), fuel pump (once), front rotors (once), transmission (218,000 miles), rear end (282,000 miles) and two tune-ups. I am 45 years old. I do all my work myself. The truck is lowered two inches, has P235/70 B.F. Goodrich Comp T/A radials on it and corners like it is on rails.

General Comments:

I worked out of this truck for four years. My daughter still drives it every day. She is ready for something else, the second child on the way (getting crowded). It is starting to look tired, and it should. When she gives it back I will go through the suspension, brakes and redo the front seats. Then I will drive the mirrors off it some more as it still runs like a bumble bee on steroids. I have pulled a 3500 pound trailer from Mississippi to South Carolina and back once.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2008

1996 Chevrolet Blazer LS 4.3L from North America


A vehicle that is 12 years old and still runs this good, that's AWESOME!


Purchased the Blazer used around 74k miles. I live in West Virginia, so naturally I drive a lot of hilly terrain. The vehicle was purchased by my parents from a 1 owner, and a friend of my dad. The man my dad purchased the vehicle from kept regular maintenance on the Blazer. Especially oil changes, which are all documented at regular intervals.

Transmission replaced at 90k miles. Though this wasn't the vehicles fault. Being a student in mechanics, I tried to explain the importance of changing transmission fluid on a regular basis to my parents, especially when driving in hilly terrain. They didn't seem to care and neglected to do this.

Idler arm at about 105k miles, then again at 112k miles - was still under warranty.

Belt tensioner at about 110k miles. This is a wear and tear part, I thought that was excellent mileage for it.

Replaced the belt when I replaced the tensioner pulley. It was looking a little weathered, so I went ahead and put a new one on, since I had to take the original off anyway.

The A/C doesn't work, I don't care and am not going to fix it. Rolled down windows are fine for me.

Rear differential changed at about 120k miles. A pin broke, allowing the gears to slosh around inside the casing.

Fuel pump at 130k miles - This is my fault. After I bought it from my parents, I didn't think about the fuel filter. The vehicle started acting up - then it died. The fuel pump had gone out of it. I went to replace the fuel filter shortly after, and I am nearly 99.9% sure that the original was still on it after 130k miles!!! I couldn't hardly even blow any air through the filter. Not much is harder on a fuel pump than making it over-work to push through a near clogged fuel filter. If I would have changed the fuel filter earlier, I am sure there is a REALLY good chance that I wouldn't have had to replace the fuel pump.

Passenger side lower ball joint at about 125k miles.

Driver side lower ball joint will need replacing soon.

Transmission is due for new fluid soon.

I've had to replace the front brakes twice, and the rear pads on the drum once. I am sure brake lines are due for a change, since the typical life span for non steel-braided brake lines are about 7 years. As far as brake lines go... don't ever let someone just look at the outside of them and go, "yeah, they look OK". It's very hard to tell the shape a brake line is in just by looking at it's outside condition. Every time you press the brake pedal, you are exerting thousands of pounds of force FROM THE INSIDE PUSHING OUT, on your brake lines.

When I do brakes, typically I just buy just buy all new rotors and pads for the front. Rotors for this vehicle are very cheap, plus I run the cheap semi-metallic pads, which are harder on rotors. Rotors are like 20-25bucks each, and a set of pads will run you about 25-30 bucks.

The third brake light doesn't work. Probably due to age and moisture seeping in.

Only real complaints about the vehicle would be the front end suspension. I have an incredibly hard time keeping this vehicle aligned properly. The idler arm seems to go out way too fast.

Rear differential gear oil could probably use a change.

The radiator could probably use a flush, and then filled back up with Dex Cool.

Power-steering fluid should probably be drained and replaced with new fluid.

It probably wouldn't hurt to drain the master cylinder, and replace with all new brake fluid.

I recently put new plug wires on it.

General Comments:

The truck runs great. I keep the oil changed every 3k miles +/- 500. I don't always have the time to change it right at 3k, but do my best to keep it as close to that as possible. Due to its mileage, I add 1 can of Engine Restore to it every other oil change. I use the mixture for 8cyl. vehicles, even though the Blazer is a 6cyl. It's a BIG 6cyl. I typically rune 5W-30 Valvoline conventional oil in the winter. During the summer months I run 10W-30 Valvoline conventional. I always replace oil filters at every change.

Truck still has great power. Runs great, handles well.

I put a slightly smaller set of tires on it to help it out a little on fuel economy. Went from the stock 235/75/R15s to 225/75/R15s, which is about a 4% smaller tire. Also, I put an open K&N cone filter on it, still using the stock air intake tubing, just added this filter and laid it in the original air filter box. It acts as a short ram air intake. I did this to help it out a little on fuel economy also.

I like the truck, like I said my only real complaint is the front end suspension and keeping the thing aligned properly. Either way, the tires I bought for it came with a 60k warranty from sears. I take it back to sears every 5k miles for a free tire rotation to keep my warranty in check. If they wear out due to my crappy front suspension, then... thank God for warranties. :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st May, 2008

26th Jan 2009, 21:44

Don't use DEX COOL that will ruin the radiator, use regular coolant for your radiator.

26th Nov 2010, 16:21

1996 Blazer LT 4WD, 4D, 4.3L Vortec engine...

I bought this vehicle at 90,000 miles for my son. I paid $3,000 in 2006. Now, it has 145,000 miles, and books for just over $3,000.

I had to put $600 into front-end work at the time of purchase. Seems tie-rods and ball joints are know to wear out on these vehicles.

My son recently bought his own car and returned the Blazer back to me.

At 145,000, same deal - tie rods and from front ball joints - another $600. Then again, I know my son was not gentle on the truck.

Now that I have the truck, I can't believe I bought him something this nice. While I'm getting it back with an extra 50,000mi and 4 years on it, I'm glad I did get it back.

And the reason I spent the money is because the truck is worth it. It rides great and can tow 4000-5000lbs. The 4WD is great in the rain and snow.

Just a decent vehicle that seems to run as strong as ever. When my son was driving it, we took it for a family trip to Myrtle Beach with 5 adult-sized people. Left my wife's Subaru Forester at home since the Blazer was much more comfortable for 5 people than her much more expensive Subaru.

So I'm looking to retire my 1994 Dodge B250 Conversion Van and its ability to haul my motorcycles for the Blazer.

Nice car; just have to keep up maintenance on it. I've had the transmission fluid/filter changed, and just changed the front/rear differential fluids to use the Blazer for towing.

No problems ever with the 4WD transmission; engine has been perfect; no coolant leaks into the oil thankfully.

The only things seem to be the front-end stuff, and I think I did replace the radiator and some hoses awhile back.

The heater works better than any vehicle I've owned. The A/C is OK, but not as cold as my wife's Subaru.

The stock V5 hitch was rated at 2,000lbs dead weight and 200lbs tongue weight. I opted for a 4,000lb uhaul hitch. Strangely, the Blazer didn't come with a light hookup for the trailer, though the it has all the wiring available underneath the right-hand rear.

Anyway, I've been very happy with this vehicle and the cost of upkeep since 2006. It certainly hasn't cost any more - even with the front end work - than my daughter's 1995 Mercury Tracer or my 1994 B250 conversion van.