It is quite astounding to know how a promising vehicle that gave the Ford Bronco and the Jeep Cherokee, to name some, a run for their money among car enthusiasts, would end up having serious issues in its later years. Yet that is what happened to the Chevrolet Blazer.
Emerging during the tail end of the 60s, one of Chevrolet’s iconic brands has established a strong loyal fan base which would be tested by a troubling streak heading into the next century. The ups and downs may not entirely define the once considerably huge pickup frame, but for a lot of buyers, it tells another story about trusting one of those mechanical masterpieces.
After an extensive stretch of various enhancements which included a removable convertible top, wider cabin, and pop-up camper, to point a few, the Chevy Blazer began showing its series of disconcerting impediments wherein different aspects of its forms took a slide.
The 90s: The Beginning of Unfortunate Setbacks
In 1994, complaints piled up as owners of the Blazer unleashed their fury over failed and faulty mechanisms which emerged from their trucks. It seemed that one of the world’s most popular truck frames hit a snag at one point but it turned out to be the beginning of some serious glitches.
Around this point in time, the National Traffic Safety Board collected thousands of grievances from Chevy Blazer patrons that had been initially linked to a defective Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). The clamor for unit replacements covered both the 4WD and the 2WD series.
Then there were complications regarding the vehicle’s difficulty in shifting gears. Add to that the slipping of transmissions. It had definitely been a challenging year for Chevrolet, but what made it more complex was the fact that it brought customer concerns to court.
With issues surrounding the Chevy Blazer on the horizon, potential buyers had been cautious to acquire any upcoming build related to the brand. 1994 turned out to be a year of awakening for car observers and enthusiasts, but it was just the beginning of precarious things to come at Chevrolet.
Problems continued to hound in 1995 as troubles related to leaking oils and stalling engines began to mount. Around this time, it was vital to point out that models possess outmoded technology in addition to the absence of safety measures.
The 2000s: Troubling Turn of the Millennium
It was difficult not to take notice of this trail of lemons at Chevrolet as the impact had turned out bigger than expected. The drawbacks persisted in 1997 and onwards to the next century. By 2000, the Chevy Blazer had been heavily criticized for its unreliability.
Around this period, the issue focused on inaccurate readings associated with the fuel gauge. Vehicle owners complained about not knowing exactly how much fuel was left in the tank. The imprecision would soon unveil the main culprit.
Gauge troubles had been attributed to fuel level sensors going bad. It had been a disconcerting thought for drivers to replace the whole fuel pump module assembly after just a considerable stretch in mileage. The truth is, this problem had already been seen during the late 90s.
The 2001 Chevy Blazer would soon face another mechanical blunder. Engine errors which could eventually incur permanent damage if left unchecked had been blamed on the distributor. Overhauling the part or replacing the ignition turned out to be the disturbing options.
Around this period, serious transmission issues surfaced, including shifting failures, alarming noises, and slipping of gears. The degree of such setbacks eventually led to entire transmissions being replaced or rebuilt.
A basic dilemma cropped up in 2002. Blazer owners had to deal with gas caps that improperly worked. While this was a common issue, leaving it unresolved would cause the fuel to be contaminated at some point, complicating the issue.
Apart from the vapor release, or the intrusion of moisture and dirt, the check engine light could be a huge distraction when driving. Then there was also the likelihood of engine performance being hampered along the way.
Moreover, this model year of the Chevy Blazer also had to face obstructions related to its cooling system. Many drivers noticed a smell manifesting a burnt coolant. Apparently, this was caused by a bad intake manifold gasket.
Situations like this ruined the engine’s air and fuel mixture. Overall, it led to performance problems where acceleration diminished, and the machine system backfired. This was another dangerous stunt for any Blazer patron to manage.
By 2003, a setback that occurred years earlier came back. The Blazer units of this year had to deal with the ABS control module yet again. It was a cause for worry because the manufacturing firm should have addressed the issue by then.
The fact that brakes are essential where safety is concerned makes drivers wince at what they have to deal with on the road when conditions become unfavorable at times. Warning lights attributed to this trouble revealed that module commands could not be maneuvered even though designated sensors were fine.
The impact of those worn models turned the lives of many drivers miserable. After a series of unfortunate events bridging the 90s and the early 2000s, the Chevy Blazer’s run ended in 2005.
2019: Third-Generation Resurgence
The Chevy Blazer came back to life as an SUV in 2019. The transition from being a huge pickup truck can be attributed to the changing preferences of potential buyers. However, the reason can also be about keeping the nightmarish experiences during the 90s and the early 2000s under wraps.
However, the rollout of the first third-generation iteration still had issues from past models like faulty seat belts and power window failure. Still, Chevrolet’s iconic brand is set to improve its mechanical prowess with the upcoming arrival of its tech-driven brands.
The Worst Years
Potential buyers and aficionados looking at past model years may need to reconsider acquiring those between 1994 and 2005.
The 1994, 1995, and 1997 models had been hampered by technological issues that any enthusiast should never overlook, especially the ’94 machinery. Meanwhile, the 2000 to 2005 stretch is likely the worst production sprint of the Blazer. It should be noted that it was around this time that the second-generation brand ended. In addition to engine troubles, common glitches like the defective control arm busing, air conditioning system, and suspension squeaks have also surfaced. Overall, the 1994 and the 2000 models topped the list of the Blazer’s infamous drive.
Choose from the More Recent Chevy Blazer Years
The Chevy Blazer’s troubling streak has pointed largely to transmission and electrical complications. It may be hard to think through the various obstacles this automobile went through over the decades, but it should help you make a better decision on which Chevy Blazer years to avoid and which ones to consider buying.
Some models from 1994 to 2005 have reliability issues, while the controversial redesign of the 2019 model also received criticism. However, the 1996 and 1998 models are still recommendable due to their sturdy performance.
Newer Blazer models offer improved performance, technology, and build quality. Buyers should prioritize recent iterations for a better driving experience.