can the torque converter on my 1997 Chevrolet Blazer 4.3 litre vortec 4 wheel drive be locked up not allowing the motor to turn with the starter or manually with a breaker bar and socket on the crank

Asked by Feb 26, 2017 at 10:42 PM about the 1997 Chevrolet Blazer 4-Door 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Was driving blazer when it died on me. Waited a few minutes and it started
right up. drove it about another 1/2 mile and it died again. Since then it
wont do anything. Starter tries to turn the motor when I turn the key but the
engine doesn't turn at all. Nor does it turn when I try to turn it by hand.
When it was running it ran great. Had good oil pressure. Didn't run hot.
Sounded smooth as a new car. No knocking or tapping. However the
"check engine soon" light had came on about a half hour before I started
having problems. I had Autozone scan for any fault codes and the only
thing that showed up had to do with the O2 sensor. Also the light on the
dash signalling a problem with the brake system had lit up as soon as I
started it that day probably because I had replaced the brakes and several
components including a few brake lines (front and back) and I had trouble
trying to bleed the rear brakes (due to the antilock system from what I've
been told). I'm not sure but it seems to me from what I've been told that the
brakes effect the locking torque converter system that these vehicles use
for fuel economy. I have also been  being told that the torque converter
lock is controlled by some type of sensor.

10 Answers

76,335

The torque converter would not stop the engine from turning over. When a torque converter locks up it is usually just stuck so the trany runs in one gear. Easiest way to start determining if the motor is locked up is to pull all the spark plugs so there would be no compression. Also take the starter off and inspect it, maybe the starter dive is locked into the ring gear. Once the starter is off, then try and rotate the engine at the ring gear with a pry bar. Look to see if all the torque converter bolts are in place also. If I can think of anything else I'll let you know, just give a response so I can find this post again.

Thanks for your response. I was able to get out and work on the blazer today. I removed the starter and bench tested it and it seems fine. I didn't expect to find anything wrong with it anyways. I went ahead and removed 5 of the 6 spark plugs (6th one was behind steering column and couldn't even get a socket on it, but thought 5 should be enough to enable me to hand crank the engine). There is no inspection plate to allow access to the flywheel and torque converter bolts ( to my surprise ). I'm baffled! I've never seen a rear wheel drive where the oil pan comes all the way down to where the bottom of the bell housing is and there is no access to the torque converter or flywheel. Am I missing something? The how to and help websites that I have visited (and even watched a video) say there should be a removable inspection plate. Instead of using a pry bar on the flywheel teeth to try and turn the engine I took a 5/8 deepwell socket and a long 1/2 inch drive ratchet and tried turning the engine with the bolt on the front of the crankshaft. Even with 5 of the spark plugs removed I couldn't budge it. If it is the motor locked up, what would cause a motor thats running good with good oil pressure and temperature to just die out of the blue? And would it have started back up and ran okay until I started driving it again and then "out of the blue" die again, never to turn over again? There were no funny noises or anything. Help!!!

76,335

I'll have to do some checking myself. This has my interest. Like how would you secure the torque converter when installing an engine? There has to be access. And it certainly doesn't make any sense for this to just stop turning over without any noise. I don't see at this point that the problem is with the engine. It may be behind the engine, torque converter & transmission, I don't know but want to figure this out.

76,335

Also use a 5/8 off set wrench to get that last spark plug out.

76,335

And did you notice any damage to the spark plugs? Get that last one out to look at it also.

76,335

What are you finding on this?

Just got a chance to see your replies. Thanks again for your help. To answer a couple of your questions, no there was no damage to the spark plugs in fact they looked brand new but I have yet to get the last one out. Also I looked online and found instructions for removing the torque converter bolts. You have to access each one thru the hole where the starter fits in, rotating the engine to get to each one. Not very helpful when you can't rotate it. What checking I have done has gotten varied answers. I have been told that it couldn't possibly be the torque converter and I have been told that yes , that locking torque converter could very well stop the motor from turning. In fact I never suspected it until I started having people tell me about it. I did try to think it thru on my own and decided that if the torque converter was locked and the transmission was stopped it could hold the motor in place, so I took it out of gear yesterday and pushed the vehicle back and forth in the driveway while someone watched the pulley on the crank to see if it turned. It did not, so I'm back to thinking that the engine is probably the culprit. I would still welcome any info. that you might find out. Thanks again.

76,335

You may want to start by pulling the distributor to see if the gear is intact. Then the timing chain cover, or pull the trany, I bet you'll be pulling this thing apart to find the problem.

Have a 98 Blazer the engine locked up wouldn't turn over either. It turned out to be hydrolocked because of fuel injector stuck open and filled my number 4 cylinder completely with gas. Change the Spider injector new plugs truck runs perfect again. When I went to change the oil found about a gallon of gas had mixed in made it past the piston.

Even the garage missed it they said it was trashed offered to buy the truck off of me. Best thing I ever did was have it towed home and pulled all the spark plugs. Come to find out those spider injectors GM put in those trucks are garbage. The new injectors are actually an upgrade and truck will run better than it ever had before.

Your Answer

Blazer

Looking for a Used Blazer in your area?

CarGurus has 922 nationwide Blazer listings starting at $950.

ZIP:

Chevrolet Blazer Experts

  • #1
    Andrew Olsen
    Reputation
    2,130
  • #2
    yetilikesbeer
    Reputation
    1,410
  • #3
    Rowefast
    Reputation
    1,080
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Tahoe
828 Great Deals out of 42,144 listings starting at $1,987
Used Chevrolet S-10
13 Great Deals out of 1,202 listings starting at $1,600
Used GMC Jimmy
202 listings starting at $2,500
Used Ford Bronco
209 listings
Used Ford Explorer
1,262 Great Deals out of 70,137 listings starting at $1,000
Used Ford F-150
3,307 Great Deals out of 224,483 listings starting at $1,200
Used Chevrolet C/K 1500
815 listings starting at $2,436
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,077 Great Deals out of 72,845 listings starting at $1,195
Used Chevrolet Camaro
444 Great Deals out of 31,892 listings starting at $1,450
Used Toyota 4Runner
349 Great Deals out of 27,129 listings starting at $1,800
Used Chevrolet Suburban
505 Great Deals out of 24,320 listings starting at $1,799
Used GMC Yukon
615 Great Deals out of 20,554 listings starting at $2,500

Used Cars For Sale

2005 Chevrolet Blazer For Sale
17 listings starting at $2,495
2004 Chevrolet Blazer For Sale
104 listings starting at $2,450
2003 Chevrolet Blazer For Sale
77 listings starting at $2,999
2002 Chevrolet Blazer For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 112 listings starting at $1,295
2001 Chevrolet Blazer For Sale
129 listings starting at $2,495

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.