Stronger Performance Minus the Bigger Size: History of the Chevy Blazer
The Chevy S-10 Blazer earned its name of "Baby Blazer" from its more manageable size as compared to its predecessors, the Suburban and Blazer. It was introduced in the fall of 1982 to meet the market's demand for a sporty truck that wasn't huge. Although the Baby Blazer was relatively smaller than most pickup trucks, it opened up a new demand for sport utility vehicles that offered both the usefulness of a pickup truck and the comforts of a car.
1983: The New SUV
The Chevy S-10 Blazer was manufactured as an alternative to bigger, more rugged vehicles such as the Jeep's Wagoneer and Ford's Bronco. Even with its compact form, the Blazer featured the same sheet metal and other important components of Chevy's full-sized pickup trucks. Not only was the S-10 Blazer made from a similar material, but it was also designed to look identical to the S-10 pickup truck It also featured the same wagon-style back, drop-down tailgate, and lift-up glass window. The only difference in the two models lies in the S-10 Blazer’s shorter wheelbase (100.5 inches) and two-door body style.
1984-1987: Off-Road Applications for an SUV
Although the S-10 Blazer was built to act as the middle ground between a utility truck and a family sedan, many still craved a more powerful Blazer that was powerful enough to be taken off the beaten track. Therefore, in 1984, an off-road package was introduced for this particular SUV. Aside from receiving Bilstein shocks, skid plates, front tow hooks, and bigger tires, the new S-10 Blazer was also upgraded with a hydraulic clutch and optional cruise control to help adjust the set speed of the Blazer to 1-mph increments.
1985-1987: Comfort and Style from the Chevrolet Blazer
A variety of changes came to the Blazer's interior and engine compartment. Notable changes included the introduction of the new standard engine in 1985 and the single "serpentine" belt for the alternator, power steering, and optional A/C in 1987, which replaced the multiple belts in the SUV. Although both overhauls didn't boost much power, it reduced maintenance costs that eventually helped the S-10 Blazer's engine bay breathe more easily than before. On the other hand, changes in its interior came in 1986 with the redesigning of a new dashboard, instrument cluster, seat trim (on Sport models), and door panels. Both upgrades changed the Blazer's functions and further established this SUV as the type of vehicle that merges the functionality with comfort.
1988-1994: Upgrading the Blazer to Meet Market Demands
The last six years of the first-generation S-10 Chevy Blazer was all about improving overall power output. In 1988, the standard 2.8 fuel injection engine gave way to a more powerful 3-liter V6 engine, which consequently produced 160 horsepower. By the start of 1989 all throughout 1990, the Blazer also received new fitments, such as an upgraded transfer case, redesigned instrument panel fitted with previously optional gauges, and halogen headlights that promised not just a smoother ride but a safer, off-road ready vehicle. Other engine upgrades were also added in the years 1992 to 1994, giving the SUV a new optional 200-horsepower, "enhanced" 4.3-liter V6 in 1992, and long-life spark plugs and composite rocker-arm covers in 1994. These upgrades were Chevy's effort to help make the Blazer more competitive against market leaders such as Jeep's Cherokee and Isuzu's Trooper.
1995-2001: Second-Generation Chevy Blazer
The second generation of the Chevy Blazer was marked with an overhaul in its exterior. A smoother, more aerodynamic body with a sloping nose was introduced in 1995, marking the entry of the second gen Blazer into the market. Throughout the years leading to its demise, Chevy put emphasis on leg room and driver's comfort to keep up with America's partiality to creature comforts. Interior upgrades came in the form of daytime running lights, a stiffer engine block and redesigned A/C compressor, which decreased noise and vibrations, and roller rocker arms and a roller timing chain. All these upgrades gave the Chevy Blazer a smoother ride that most Americans preferred.
There were efforts to revamp the Blazer, such as the introduction of a "slammed" Blazer Xtreme model. But the various name changes that happened through the decade in GMC nameplates confused most consumers. This eventually led to GM dropping the Chevy Blazer entirely and replacing it with the Trailblazer.
The Chevrolet Blazer is not immune to mechanical issues. Below are frequently-asked questions about problems encountered by Blazer owners:
I have a Chevrolet Blazer and I noticed that the gauge is acting erratically. First, it jumps to full, and then it falls back down to its correct level. I noticed this when I started my car. While driving, the gauge just changes from one level to another despite the fact that I didn't change my speed. What could be the problem with my car's gauge?
The cause of your gauge problem is the in-tank sender. It has a coating that wears off after some time and causes the gauge to behave erratically. DIY repair is not recommended mainly because the process is difficult and unsafe. You will need to hire an expert technician to do the repair for you. Once repaired, it is best to always keep the tank more than 1/4 full to avoid starving the gas pumps. The gas will also lubricate the fingers of the sender preventing any untimely wear.
My Chevrolet Blazer has an automatic transmission, but lately I noticed that it's not engaging properly specifically in the morning after it has been left to rest overnight. What could be the problem with it?
Transmission problems are one of the most common complaints among Blazer owners, so it is not a surprise that your car is suffering from one now. The defect you've described is what they call delayed engagement, and it is very common among automatic transmissions. This kind of problem may stem from damaged internal seals caused by infrequent or non-replacement of fluid.
My Chevrolet Blazer keeps on stalling. What could be causing this problem?
Stalling in cars can be due to several causes such as low or insufficient transmission fluid, clogged catalytic converter, broken O2 sensors, and clogged EGR valve. Check each of these causes until you get to the root of the problem.
The A/C of my Chevrolet Blazer does not blow cold air, but warm air only. What could be the problem with it? I'm thinking maybe I just need to refill the Freon.
Here are several possibilities that can be causing your car's A/C problem. First, it might be because the A/C's refrigerant might need some recharging or the Freon is leaking. Today's A/C system calls for a specific amount of Freon and is measured in pounds to function correctly. For this, you will need a charging machine that will remove all the remaining Freon from the system before replenishing it with a fresh supply of refrigerant.
Second, the A/C Compressor might not be engaging. This is often due to an electrical problem in the compressor's circuit or clutch.
Third, it might be due to an engine problem. Most modern cars are controlled by computers, if they sense that there is an engine problem, the first that turns off in the system is the A/C.
Last, it might be because the blend air door is not working properly. This is the small hatch found inside the car's ventilation system. It is responsible for drawing in cold air once you turn the environmental system of your car from heat to cold. If it's broken, you'll know since it will keep on blowing warm air.