Yet another car repair question

I’ve got a daughter who is at the age to start drivers education. I’ve also got a 2000 Chevy Blazer 4x4 that I think would be a good vehicle for her to learn to do so in. If however she is going to start driving it I want to take care of a couple of issues that I’m fine living with but I don’t think would be good for a new driver.

The first is that I was told a couple of years ago that there is a short in the anti-lock breaking system. Sometimes I have anti-locks… sometimes I don’t. I grew up without anti-locks so know how to pump the breaks to usually make it out of a skid ok. I don’t think I want to throw that extra bit into the equation for a learning driver though. I was told by the dealer that this would be “over $1200” to replace. Just wanted to double check that this is in the ballpark (I’m also looking for a good independent repair shop)

The second is that my gas guage doesn’t work anymore. It will go from full to empty and back in a matter of minutes. I have no problem remembering to set my odometer and fill up at around 200 miles, but again don’t want to add that to her burdon. Any idea on the ballpark for that job.

If this should go in another forum feel free to move it.

Other than those things it really is a very nice low mileage vehicle… and big enough to give my baby girl some protection.

The gas guage is an issue that I think almost all the 2000 Blazers have. To fix the problem you have to remove the tank, maybe drain it ( depending on who does the work) and replace the fuel guage. I think the ground shorts on them and they either go full, empty or bounce all over the place. Probably around 150-300 dollars for the part, not counting labour, if you have to replace the whole unit. There is an ebay ad for the fuel level sensor for 15 dollars but I am not familiar with just replacing that. As far as the ABS goes, I have heard of people just pulling the fuse and be done with it, but I am not sure how safe that would be. ABS is a safety feature and not really a necessity.

Big enough to give her protection. Isn’t that a total falsehood? How about rollovers, no crush zones, unwieldy, momentum-driven collisions, etc.

Not to mention a novice driver brandishing a 2 ton weapon. Not meaning to sound aggressive, just pointing out that the “safety” part is not accurate.

Chevrolet Blazer worst in driver-death study

Granted they are talking about a different model year (2001) and two-wheel drive vs four, but I really doubt a 2000 4x4 Blazer will be markedly better.

Personally, I would put the money you would spend on repairs on something a little safer and more reasonably sized for a novice driver.

Woah… I had no idea. It has some cosmetic damage on the hood which could be easily fixed by replacing it with one from a junk yard, but I thought it would be a pretty good ride since it only has 68k miles on it. It is my “winter” ride when I put away my Mustang and I’ve always felt very safe in it. I just wonder if I could get enough out of it “as is” to get a reasonable replacement. I also really like the 4wd in the midwest winters.

Driving is dangerous. You’ll just have to accept it. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that list above, I suspect if you looked at the owner demographic for each vehicle it would become clear that the types of drivers have a stronger correlation to likelihood of death than the type of car. Look at this:

Ford	Crown Victoria	2003-04 45
Mercury	Grand Marquis 	2003-04	75

Exact same car, different badge. The numbers nearly double. I suspect it has more to do with who bought them and where they were used than anything inherent in the car.

That said, that list does point out that with a few exceptions there’s no such thing as a rule of thumb about safety. Every class of car has “safe” ones and “dangerous” ones and there’s very little correlation between bigger cars being safer than smaller cars or SUVs being safer than cars.

Still, I wouldn’t stress too much about her driving a Blazer versus something comparable in age and price. A new Audi would certainly be safer but that’s probably not practical, and any other car you could buy for a similar price as fixing the Blazer is almost certainly going to be a lateral move.

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Speaking as a 22 year old female whose anti-locks gave out one scary, spinning trip down an icy hill when she was just 16, I say get her the antilocks! But do it at an independent shop, so you’re not ripped off.

As for the gas gauge, can you just teach her to reset the mileage tracker every time she fills up, and refill at 200? I mean, it’s a good habit to do anyways.