Chevrolet S-10 Blazer Overview and Cylinder Heads

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

From 1983 to 2005, the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was a popular mid-size SUV from Chevrolet. This vehicle delighted drivers for many years, offering two generations of the SUV to drivers. Today, we’re going to head back in time to learn more about the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer and share reviews and common issues experienced with the vehicle and its cylinder heads.


Overview and History

The Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was first marketed by Chevrolet in 1983 and continued to be a good seller until its retirement in 2005. The GMC S-15 Jimmy was a badge-engineered vehicle from GMC that was also sold throughout this time. The vehicles were both based on the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15 pickup trucks and were manufactured and sold around the world. The vehicle was often compared to the K5 Blazer, earning the nickname of Baby Blazer due to its shorter length and narrower width. At the start of the vehicle’s life, the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was only sold as a two-door vehicle, but in 1991 a longer-bodied vehicle was revealed, which offered four doors.

Retail sales in the United States stopped in 2004, with production continuing through to 2005. In Brazil, a model based on the second-generation vehicle was sold until 2012. One thing that differentiates this vehicle from its full-size counterpart is that they don’t have a removable hardtop. However, the compact size of the vehicle pleased drivers who were looking for a smaller car.


Engine Specs For an S-10 Blazer

The engines for the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer were upgraded over the years. It started off with a 1.95 L LR1 I4. In the later models, the car had a 4.3 L L35/LB4 V6 engine. This later engine had a compression ratio of 9.2 and offered a maximum power of 190 HP.


Chevrolet S-10 Blazer Common Problems

While the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer remained on the market for over 20 years, it wasn’t without its fair share of issues throughout its generations. One common problem with the second-generation vehicles was intermittent starting or issues starting the vehicle once it has been sitting. Sometimes it will turn over but won’t start, which can be very frustrating for drivers. Other issues include fuel pump problems or a faulty heater core. Distributor problems are common on this vehicle too, due to a bad distributor rotor and cap. It can also occur as a result of wear to internal parts, so make sure you are getting this vehicle checked over regularly if you are still driving one.


North America Chevy S-10 Blazer Sales History

Sales were strong for the Blazer S-10 throughout its time on the market. The vehicle regularly sold about 150,000 units a year in the 80s and 90s, with sales significantly increasing from 1994 when the second generation of the vehicle was about to be released. 1994 and 1995 saw record sales of about 250,000 units a year, showing just how popular this vehicle was at its peak. Sales started to slow down in 2002 onwards, dropping to just 32,000 units sold in 2004.


Chevy S-10 Blazer Reviews

The Chevy S-10 Blazer is known for its reliability and excellent manufacturing. It was the ideal entry-level SUV for drivers who were looking for a vehicle that could deliver both off-road and on-road. The SUV was aesthetically pleasing to drivers while also offering a range of engines that could appeal to more serious drivers. The two-speed transfer case came as optional. Thanks to the high ground clearance of the vehicle, you can easily navigate dirt paths and roads without too many issues.

On the road, the vehicle can easily do 20 mpg on a highway. One common thing that was noted in early reviews is that the Chevy S-10 Blazer can be quite noisy inside the cabin for the driver and passengers. However, the interior is comfortable and well-designed to offer everyone an enjoyable ride otherwise.

High Mileage Stories for Chevy S-10 Blazer

The Chevrolet S-10 Blazer will usually last drivers for 200,000 miles. For a lot of drivers, this durability means they can enjoy up to 20 years from the vehicle. Some drivers are lucky enough to drive their Chevy for 10 to 15 years without any major maintenance, which means it can be an affordable vehicle to keep on the road for many years. As far as high mileage, there are reports of these vehicles reaching over 300,000 and 400,000 miles. Naturally, you’ll need to take good care of your vehicle to be lucky enough to enjoy this level of usage.

Chevrolet S-10 Blazer Cylinder Heads

The newer Chevrolet S-10 Blazer with the 4.3 engine was constructed with cast iron heads. Compared to other materials, this material is one of the most reliable options for cylinder heads. It means they are much less likely to crack, but of course, this can happen if there is too much heat for an extended period of time. Common signs of cylinder head failure for the Chevrolet S-10 Blazer are a drop in coolant levels or oil levels. You might also notice that the engine performance decreases or smoke starts coming out of the vehicle’s exhaust. If you do find you need to replace this part, then you will likely want to work with a professional. However, with some research, it’s completely possible to DIY this job and save a fortune in the process.

The Chevrolet S-10 Blazer was a fantastic seller for the company during its peak sales time in the 1990s. You’ll find that the second generation of the vehicle was typically more reliable, with a solid engine and cylinder head. In order to enjoy maximum usage of this vehicle, make sure you are carefully maintaining it each year, allowing you to enjoy hundreds of thousands of miles of use.


Contact Clearwater Cylinder Head

If you are the driver or the trusted mechanic of a Chevy S-10 Blazer and need to purchase new or refurbished cylinder heads, then please call us at 800-572-1963 so that we can expedite the process for you. The casting number on your Chevy Blazer engine or existing cylinder head will help us identify the compatible head(s) for your specific Blazer. We look forward to working with you to extend the vehicle life of your Chevy S-10 Blazer.



2 GM CHEVY 4.3 V6 262 VORTEC Heads Casting #140 & 772 ONLY 96-01 REBUILT

2 GM CHEVY 4.3 V6 262 Cylinder Heads Cast#140 & 772 ONLY VORTEC 96-01 NO CORE