'97 Blazer cuts out ! Any ideas?

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I have owned this Blazer for 12 months and in the last 3 months it's taken to cutting out on me while driving.
There seems to be no pattern (hot or cold, idling or running at 60mph) it'll
just lose power. If it's idling it'll die, but will restart with no problem or a couple of extra seconds holding the ignition on. The scariest part is running down the interstate at speed. The dashboard dials all drop to zero (as if the ignition had been turned off) then within a second it fires back up and the dials return to normal. The 'Airbag' light flashes for a few seconds too. Steering loses power and brakes don't feel good when I've had this happen while slowing for traffic lights. Fortunately, it started back up again before I reached the car infront.
I've left the vehicle with a local garage for a few days, but they couldn't recreate the problem. I don't really have the time or money to go without a car for weeks on end and this problem can happen once a month or several times in day! After the problem occurs, everything seems normal. I have no warning lights on. The fuel pump is chief suspect, but my garage don't want to run me up a large bill putting new parts in until they are sure what the problem is.
Has anybody out there come across this problem before?
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I don't know if any of this is applicable to a '97 but I've had this type of problem twice in a '90 5.7 and both times the source couldn't be located until the part failed. The first time it was the ICM (distributor module) and the second time it was a fuel injector. Rich B
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% There are two classes of pedestrians in these days of reckless motor traffic - the quick and the dead. ~ Lord Dewar 1933 ~
Climbing into a hot car is like buckling on a pistol. It is the great equalizer. ~ Henry G. Felsen 1964 ~
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Ignition switch. Or a loose connection in the bulkhead connector. (under drivers side dash on firewall) Grab the harness from the hood side and wiggle and see if the dash lights go out.
Cheers

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Thanks Rich and Martin. I'll check out your suggestions.
Fingers crossed!
Kev.
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I had an '88 Chevy 5.7 with a problem nearly exactly like you describe. There was a TSB that indicated a bad voltage regulator was the problem. Changed the alternator and the problem went away. HTH.
Bill

it'll
return
couldn't
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Well, I just had my Blazer in to Tuffy for a tuneup.
They replaced plugs/wires/distributer cap, and changed my oil.
Still stalling.
I called them up and the guy said to bring it back this evening and they'd get it back in first thing tomorrow morning.
Since I'm already into this project some $460 so far (sounded steep, but I didn't have the time to do it), he's going to waive any additional diagnostic fees, which is good, since I didn't want to have to get upset about it. It did need the plugs and wires, etc.. so I'm not going to gripe it.
Any other ideas?
Since the check engine light isn't on, it's got them a bit confused too.
-NW

it'll
return
couldn't
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Kev, I've got the same year Blazer, with the same issue...
I just picked up my Blazer again. They replaced the idle air control valve this time. I'll post back and let you know if it fixed mine.
-NW

taken
dashboard
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Thanks for the info NetWeasel. I'll be waiting with interest to see how your experience ends, happily I hope.
Good Luck.
Kev.

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NetWeasel, Just after I posted my previous reply I saw the posting from Andy M. from April 26, (97 Blazer dies at random) . Same problem by the sounds of it. It may be worth chasing up that avenue too.
Kev.

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Well, my wife called me at work this afternoon to tell me the car stalled again while she was out shopping.
I called over to Tuffy and told the guy that it had stalled again. He and I are both stumped. I'm going to take it back on Tuesday and let them do some more looking.
Keep me posted if you find any info.
-NW

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Clean the battery terminals! Check and clean the grounds, and the hot wire. Its an electrical connection. -- Diamond Jim The Old Devildog

it's
dials
problem
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I checked the battery terminals. They looked pretty good. Took a wire brush and went over them a few times, but there really wasn't any corrosion to speak of.
It's been harder to start latey, if that helps in a diagnosis.
I haven't taken it back to Tuffy because I don't have any more cash to throw at it for the time being. If I can figure out what is causing it, I can probably fix it myself. If only there were codes in the computer to point me in some direction.
-NW

holding
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me
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NetWeasel, I won't be able to clean my battery terminals for a week or so (out of town), but a quick look showed up some visible corrosion on the outside......check inside the red rubber cover that covers the positive leads leaving the battery....I squeezed mine and loads of white crud came out!
You're right about the starting becoming a bit more difficult too..... the dashboard light 'Service Engine Soon' seems to be noticeable when starting, which again points to ignition problems --- I'd bet it's your battery connection.
When it's been running fine for a while I notice the odd occasion when it takes that second or two extra to fire up (and also a second or two for the dashboard to light up when the key is turned)....sure enough, it's up to it's tricks very soon after.
Kev.

months
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or
key
Is there any chance this might be connected to the ignition switch on the steering column? Would a worn swtich cause these problems? Ocasionally the blazer will refuse to let go of the key. When it does this, the ignition switch won't allow us to turn the key back all the way into the off position to release the key. I figured this was just related to the lock cylinder, not the actual switch components inside.
Any thoughts?
-NW
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Well I finally got around to cleaning the battery lead connector. Absolutely furred up with corrosion. I got it really clean and reconnected to the battery......
.....STILL got the stalling problem!
Now to work out a Plan B.
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Hi Kevan, I had the same results with my blazer as well.
I may have traced my problem to a faulty ignition switch, but I'm not sure how to test my theory without replacing it.
Any ideas?
-NW

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NW,
I'm thinking the same thing.....I'm going to take speak to my local garage this week and see what a new ignition switch will cost. :-/ I'm pretty sure it's electrical because it just goes dead and when it comes back there's no hesitation to start (I'd expect it to be difficult to start again if there was a fuel supply problem).
I'll post my findings...that way we both won't be pouring all our money into this problem :-))))
Kev.

reconnected
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By the way NW....I 'Just' saw your response from 5/26 about the ignition switch.
Going to have to chat with somebody more knowledgeable than myself (not difficult). I too am having the same issue (when the power seems to die for more than a second) the ignition switch won't let me turn back to the original position and remove the key.
When I first cleaned the battery lead up and reconnected it, I had some petroleum jelly based grease that I covered everything in. It mustn't have been very conductive because the car wouldn't even start and the ignition switch did exactly what you described. Although there was enough power there to keep interior lights on, etc... the connection mustn't have been good enough to start the engine. I just 'clicked' and the dashboard lights went off. After a few seconds the lights on the dashboard reappeared (as if a switch had reset?). I removed the battery lead and took the grease off the parts that made the connection. BINGO....engine started first time.
Had the engine cut out on me today.....just went dead as I pulled up to the lights. Radio continued playing and I put the hazard lights on to warn the cars behind. So I still had power in those parts of the system, but the dashboard lights took 5 or 10 seconds to reset. Engine started fine - again >:-|
I'd need to look at a wiring diagram to be sure...but I know it's not all the power that's dropping out...just the engine being affected...It may be the ignition switch, but I don't know if there could be a relay somewhere that could be the culprit.
Watch out Chevy dealers in Colorado....I'm going to be bothering you ;-)
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Is there an auto-restting circuit breaker anywhere in the systems being affected? If so, maybe there's an intermittent short somewhere causing it to trip then re-set.
wrote:

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Guy's, been there done it twice, same problem, it's the wife's truck both time's it was the ignition switch. Good luck
NetWeasel wrote:

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