A couple weeks ago the Blazer's service engine soon light came on. I went to Advance Auto Parts and used one of their scanners to find out I had a 'Coolant below thermostat threshold' error code. Basically, my coolant needed to be replaced and also my thermostat, then possibly the coolant temperature sensor. A couple days later I went to Valvoline instant oil change and had them do a coolant flush and also replace the serpentine belt. The serp belt I could have done myself, but the guy told me it was a lifetime warranty and they'll replace it free of charge whenever it starts showing alot of wear, so I figured it would be a good deal because I'll probably need at least one more belt in the next 3-4 years and it saved me the hassle of doing it myself in 30 degree temperatures.
The service engine soon light did not go off. I figured it wouldn't, because I would need to replace the thermostat too. Then I got snowed in at my house after a 2 foot snow storm. The car didn't drive anywhere for a couple days. Then on last Sunday, when I was about to go to the local grocery store, I noticed a gas smell. I went to the store and when I came back I noticed the smell still. Turns out the fuel line near the tank started leaking a steady drip of gas. wtf. I didn't have much daylight left so I got under the car, eventually found the pinhole leak, and I proceeded to patch it by placing a piece of cut hose over the hole and then use hose clamps to tighten it down. I must have over tightened it and it started leaking again which pissed me the hell off because at that point I was soaking wet from melting snow/ice (2 feet of melting snow) and pooling gas. After my hands went numb from the cold gas and my arm was killing me because I was awkwardly positioned under the rear differential, I decided to do a really cheap ass move and cut the finger off a nitrile throwaway glove, wrapped it around the pin hole leak, and clamped it down with four zip ties. Its held for a week now with no additional leaking. I was going to take it off and hose clamp it correctly with my piece of hose, but another issue came up.
About 3 days ago, the car started making a weird ticking sound after I initially turned the car on. It only lasted for a couple seconds, but I thought it was a bad sign. Turns out it would only do it when the car was sitting for more than a couple hours and the length of time the ticking would last for depended on how cold it was outside. I went back to Advance Auto parts and had them test the alternator and battery because alternators, batteries and starters are all connected to a ticking sound during ignition. The battery and alternator were fine. He couldn't test the started because it would have to be off the engine, and on top of that he said that test would only check to see if the starter can start a car, which is not the problem because the noise only happens after the car is turned on. The guy was pretty knowledgeable and he suggested I do an oil change and use a oil filter with a drain back valve. I guess he meant anti-drain back valve because he told me I probably had oil sludge starting to build up and after the car was sitting for a while, the oil would accumulate in the oil pan and that ticking sound was the thick oil slowly making its way back up to the top of the engine. And that a good oil filter would prevent the oil from draining down completely to the oil pan, which is what an anti-drain back oil filter does. While I was there, I went ahead and bought the thermostat.
So, today, I did the oil change on the blazer. I spent the extra money and bought a penzoil full synthetic oil with cleaning additives ($28 for 5 quarts, costly), and I bought a Fram Tough Guard oil filter ($8, $5 more than other filters) which has a 'anti-drain back valve built into it'. I just finished the oil change, my coat is soaked because the tarp I put down over the melting snow/ice was a piece of crap and soaked straight through. Anyway, I started the car up after the oil change and no ticking sound. I'll find out tomorrow morning if the ticking sound is completely gone. I still need to do the thermostat, but my coat is soaked, I need a new tarp and I think I'm going to wait until next weekend when its 40+ degrees again. From what I read, a bad thermostat only causes a little worse fuel efficiency, so I figure if its not damaging the car, it can wait another week.