To defer or not defer maintanance

I have a 2000 Chevy Blazer with 119K miles on it. I bought it used (and very inexpensively) about 4K miles ago, and it’s been running well. After buying it I changed the oil, air filter, PCV and accessory belt, as well as some other stuff (new tires, front end work etc).

I’ve been thinking about putting in some additional maintenance which may or may not have been done by the previous owner, but I’m just not sure if I should bother or not.

I was thinking of doing–

* Cap/Rotor/Plugs

* Transmission Filter/Fluid

* Fuel Filter

* Coolant Flush/Hose Replacement

My estimate for the supplies on that job is about $500 and I have the tools and ability to do it all, though my time is limited and so finding a weekend day to devote to this will be a pain.

I was thinking of just paying a shop to perform a transmission and coolant flush (about $250 for both) and then leaving the other items until they become an issue.

I don’t imagine I’ll have the car for much more then 2-3 years and maybe another 30-40K miles.

The only maintenance I would do for that short period of time is the auto transmission fluid maybe. Otherwise if you are going really dump it why bother.

I think 500 bucks for those parts is very high.

It kind of depends on what you really like doing, but I’d probably agree with you on having a shop do the transmission service and the coolant flush since I find them unpleasant. Note that I say transmission service, where they drop the pan and drain most of the fluid and change the filter and not a flush because that’s what the manufacturer suggests.

You know… I think I had O2 sensors on my list too, so that brought it up to $500, and I think it was more like $440, not $500 :slight_smile: My mind is weaker and weaker every day…

I keep detailed records and my gas mileage in the Blazer currently sits at 19.7MPG. My last car (01 Jetta VR6 Sedan w/ the 5spd manual) was getting 25.0MPG. My driving patterns, habits and speeds are all the same. I’m slightly impressed w/ the mileage on this domestic SUV and was pretty disappointed w/ the mileage on my small sedan.

I bought the Blazer as a replacement for my last car because over the next few years I need more cargo space on a regular basis (VW was just too small) … Within 2-3 years my wife’s 2005 Subaru Outback Sport will be ready for trade-down to me, and I hopefully will not need the cargo space that I need today and can make due with a small trailer occasionally.

The only reason to replace an O2 sensor is if it’s malfunctioning. They aren’t routine replacement or maintenance items.

Also, while I agree that a coolant system flush is prudent, I’d recommend only flushing it with clear hosewater and refilling with the proper coolant mix.

I wouldn’t mess with the tranny, but the ignition components being replaced isn’t a bad idea.

The only thing I would do is the coolant/transmission fluid service and fuel filter if you have no record if the previous owner ever had this done. As far as the ignition parts and O2 sensors, I wouldn’t worry about them unless the Check Engine light comes on indicating a misfire code or a problem with the O2 sensors. Although you may want to remove the sparkplugs and apply some anti-sieze compound to their threads and reinstall them so that they don’t become forever-plugs.


Changing the fuel filter can be challenging if you never did a 2000 Blazer before.

How’s the battery look? Delco’s of that vintage like to leak acid at the postive terminal,causing all sorts of trouble.

Prepare yourself (just mentally) for electric window troubles, GM’s are bad for electric window problems.

Those AC compressors like to leak at the case halves a lot, I have done more compressors on your type vehicle than all others combined

Multi-function switches(turn signal,wipers) are another problem area.

The parking brake section of the rear discs give trouble.

Battery is a <2 year old Diehard, looks OK and starts the car well. The alternator is a recent replacement, looks like the cheapest Auto Zone variant.

I’ve got an intermittent howl (at worst it’s quiet, at best it’s not there) that gets worse/better based on electrical load (i.e. worse when I hit “up” on both front power windows when they are already up). I’m assuming it’s the alternator and not a tensioner because the noise does not change when the power steering is stressed.

I’ve got plans to visit a friend in mid-November for the weekend and he’s got a heated garage, so I think I’ll just do all my work overnight there. I ended up ordering some parts online–oil filter, transmission filter kit, 6 platinum plugs, cap/rotor, fuel filter, $130 shipped plus whatever the cost for fluids that I buy locally. The Dextron VI stuff that is now recommended for it is pricey, about $6/qt.

The plugs I figure I’ll do since they come as platinum from the factory I’m going to guess they haven’t been replaced yet. I hear the #3 is difficult to replace w/o raising the vehicle and removing the wheel. What fun. At least it’s raised ground clearance allows me to change the oil without jacking it up :slight_smile:

May I ask what’s tricky about the fuel filter on the 2000 Blazer? I fought for a good 45 minutes before I found the “magic button” to release the lines on my 2001 VW Jetta :-/

Double check, and I think you only need to use Dexron III or equivalent fluid. I think Dex VI is overkill, unless specifically required by GM in the owner’s manual. Dex III runs about $3 per qt.