19th Feb 2009, 18:31

It's been what, a month or two since I posted the above? Today I'm driving around and my 4WD kicks on for no reason. I push the "2-low" button and it disengages 4WD for a bit, but automatically goes back to 4WD with a loud clunk a few blocks later. Keep in mind it's dry pavement.

I take it to the dealer and they tell me that the selector switch needs to be replaced. This is funny because when I first got this truck, sat in it and saw that cheap POS switch assembly, I said to myself, "you know, one day that is going to break." (I said that about the moon roof mechanism too, but for now that still works.)


$45 to tell me what the problem was

$75 for the new switch

$45 to install it.

= $165. After spending almost $2000 one month ago on new ball joints and other "preventative" maintenance trying to keep more problems from popping up.

And we're about to give another HOW MANY billions of our tax dollars to to keep GM in business? Why?

14th Mar 2009, 22:43

Hey guy, I feel for you, I just got rid of my 2000 Blazer for the same reasons, MAF, idler arm, bearings, alternator, sending unit fuel pump 2x, 4wd switch, doors were OK, I'd wd40 every oil change, upper lower ball joints, wiper motor, gas 10-13 mpg anywhere. I'd baby it; synthetic oil, you name it, but mistreat all the way.

Love my Subaru Forester, and in getting rid of this got a Honda Ridgeline 08, what a nice truck. Everything that they say about a Honda is true, awesome wouldn't do it justice. Check them out, this truck won't let you down and no repair bill's, forget GM Garbage Makers.

Hope you find something reliable, we test drove the Ford F150 Crew, Toyota Tundra Crew, and the Ridgeline. This one came out over the rest if that tells you anything.

22nd Mar 2009, 10:19

Yeah, my next vehicle is going to be a Honda, Toyota, or possibly a VW (if their maint ratings improve a bit). The next significant repair and this truck is gone to some other poor slob who likes the looks and doesn't know any better.

22nd Sep 2009, 10:36

My Honda didn't need new ball joints till 162,500..

5th Oct 2010, 02:11

I own a 2001 Chevy Blazer ZR2 since 2003. It has been just about the most reliable vehicle you could imagine. I currently have 170,000 miles, and haven't had any problems but the usual things. The ball joints, yes. Alternator, yes. Other than this, it goes above and beyond. It literally still looks new.

The rear brakes lasted for 100K the first time, fronts usually 40-45K. I get 16 MPG in the city, and 20+ on the highway. I've had 5 people and 500 pounds of gear in it for a long trip. For rain, snow, trips, work, anything, this is about the best vehicle ever. It was also made in America by American workers by an American company.

They don't make them anymore, I guess I'll just keep replacing the ball joints for the next 830K miles.

9th Nov 2010, 12:14

I'm torn about picking up a 2001 Blazer 2 door 4x4 with a ZR2 off-road package for an asking price of 5,500.

I'm a true proponent that Honda, Toyota and a few other foreign automakers simply produce better overall cars due to the factors of production overseas. Such a small sample to read through on several sites. Some stories are just completely horrible, while others rave about the limited maintenance and true performance of an American machine.

Should I roll the dice? I am a college student who cycles, snowboards and surfs regularly; this Blazer fits the mold. Just anyone have any thoughts?


3rd Feb 2011, 09:39

Owner of a 2001 Blazer ZR2 since 2003, truck now has over 320k on it and still runs very well. As far as maintenance goes, the only major issue has been a fuel pump replacement at 160k. Other than that, it's been mostly just wear items at normal intervals. Yes, I have replaced a few ball joints, but not until 150k, brakes hold up well, but I advise strongly that if you have 4 wheel disc brakes on these, that you get the sliders lubricated on the rear at least once a year during a service to avoid a caliper seizing at the rear. I'm still running on the factory battery and it starts fine even in minus 20 Canadian winters, and I'm still on the original exhaust as well.

Undercoat them every year, change your oil like it's religion (we run full synthetic fluids) and do routine maintenance. If you go to garage to do your oil changes, make sure they actually are greasing everything, so that you avoid premature wear on ball joints and the like. Most quick oil change places seem to have forgotten what a grease fitting looks like, and ZR2's have plenty of them.

These vehicles certainly are not known for amazing mpg, and the average we get on the highway is usually about 18 to 19, but they have a great 4 wheel drive system, and we usually run either BFG Mud Terrain TA or Goodyear Wrangler Territory (depending on price at the time), and in snow that we get up here, it's like a tractor. Though the Goodyears run quieter.

Now everything being equal, it's impossible for any company not to manufacture the odd lemon, and some of them are doozies! But when going through these forums, look closely at the complaints people have, and decide whether or not it's mostly do to negligence, as opposed to the car being a lemon.

Hope this helps, we would buy one again once we retire this one someday.

3rd Feb 2011, 11:14

That's interesting about the ball joints especially, because in the late '90s and early 2000's there was a spate of vehicles with bad ball joints --- Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy, Dodge Durango, Dodge Dakota. Of course a car company designs the vehicles and then farms out the production of the component parts to contractors, and then the shipped parts are assembled into a car. I recently read a book called "Comeback" that was written in the early '90s, and was supposedly documenting the "comeback" of the American auto industry. The book was actually timeless, because it discussed the very same problems that American auto companies continued to have up to the present. Apparently, ever since the '70s, the American auto companies find that they are getting trounced by the Japanese in product quality and business management, so they spend several years catching up until they are finally turning out products as good as the Japanese for a few years, but then they stagnate and have to do it all over again, rather than continuing to make constant improvements to stay current.

What caught my eye about the ball joints is that in the book, it was discussed how GM was accepting batches of parts made by contractors in which only 60% met specifications. Rather than reject the parts as being too low quality and demand improvement from the contractors, and thereby delay production and sales, they used the whole batch of parts, figuring they would just fix it in warranty work. The dealers had no incentive to complain, because they made the majority of their money on warranty reimbursements, so why should even the dealers demand a better product?

Worn out ball joints at only 39,000 miles is absolutely unacceptable for normal wear and tear. No way to justify that one whatsoever, and there is no routine maintenance remedy for it. By 39,000 miles, you wouldn't even have been expected to grease them while following a standard maintenance schedule, perhaps not even the "severe use" maintenance schedule.