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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • Hello everyone. I have a 1991 s-10 extended cab pickup with 55k miles on it. After the truck has been running for awhile and you come to a stop it will set there and shake really bad. It only does this in drive, none of the other gears. Can someone please tell my what to do.
  • I have a 99 S10 2.2L with 38k miles on it. I have been having problems with the idle of my car since I changed the oil recently. However, I didn't do anything wrong with the oil change. Now the engine and car will suddenly shake when idling in park or in drive at lower RPM's. It has been getting progressively worse. My air filter is clean, new fuel filter, put fuel injector cleaner it the gas tank, checked the plugs and they are fine,(along with the wires.) I can't seem to figure out why my engine is running so ruff. Anybody have any idea what the problem is or how I can fix it? Tx
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    a 99 2.2 and there is a 7 yr 70,000 mile warranty on the plug wires.If its the plug wires GM will replace for free.
  • As the title says, I own a 99 S-10 which I purchased new off the lot. It's a regular cab LS, 2.2L w/ 5-speed and has 72k miles. I maintain it religiously. Here's a current list of my problems, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Without warning, the engine will lose power and refuse to rev above 1500 RPM or so. This tends to happen only in warm to hot weather. It didn't start happening until the truck was out of warranty (about 2 years old and 40k miles) and that summer it only happened a couple of times. This past summer, it was happening at least once a week, and several times a day during a 30 mile commute on really hot days. To me it feels a lot like what happens when I hit 94 MPH and the governer kicks in, it's a total loss of power and I start to coast, pressing the gas pedal has no effect. If I stay below 1500 RPM when this happens then it runs ok, going just above that makes it cut out. Anywhere from 15 to 60 seconds after it starts, the problem goes away and I can accelerate again. This is a serious defect and has me thinking "computer problem".

    2. The fuel gauge doesn't work, it shows I have a nearly full tank all the time. Occassionally it will spike below "E" for a second or two at idle, but then go right back up to full. I have to use the odometer to keep track of my gas consumption because the guage is useless. This started at about 60k miles.

    3. I have an exhaust system leak, which I believe is before the catalytic converter. Is there a common place to check where such leaks usually occur? Could it be a cracked manifold??

    There have been a myriad of other problems that I've either decided to live with (half the radio's buttons have burnt out lights for example) or have already fixed (the cone-shaped splined shaft that the driver side wiper arm is bolted to became stripped for no apparent reason, causing the wiper to stop working during a heay downpour). This S-10 is the last of a string of GM products my wife and I purchased (we've switched to a non-North American brand) because the build quality and engineering are lacking IMHO. If I can just get 5 more years out of this truck...
  • My best guess is that the fuel filter is plugged or the fuel pump is going out. Or possibly the fuel pressure regulator.
  • tommctommc Posts: 68
    That fuel gauge problem is very common. The sending unit in the tank is shot. Dealer cost for repair is steep as they want to replace the whole pump assy. There is a kit to replace just the sending unit for about 100 dollars but it's not an easy install.
      Exhaust leak may be the expansion/vibration joint in the front pipe, or maybe tighten up the bolts at the pipe junction with the manifold.
    No help with engine shut down, may be a limp home mode, but should show a SES light.
  • I have a 2000 Sonoma 5 speed 4 cyl. Not a great truck but generally a good truck. It has been driven mostly around town and has a total of about 15000 miles on it. Normally it starts with the first turn of the key. If the temperature is below 10 degrees it won't even think about firing. Later in the day as the temperature warms up it starts fine again. Of course it won't act up for the dealer. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
  • goralgoral Posts: 138
    I just bought a '97 x-cab, auto, 4.3 w/ 83K miles. While driving it, the engine just dies for no apparent reason, but I'm able to restart it right away. This has happened 3 times in the last 3 days. Any idea what's causing it? Faulty ECU, possibly? I do like the truck, but I don't enjoy having the engine die on me while commuting on a highway.
  • I would try a fuel filter.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I have a 89 Nissan truck, a while back would not start on cold mornings but would start after the day warmed up.
    Finally found out the the electric connector to fuel pump assembly on top of fuel tank was slightly loose and in cold temps would not make connection. Bent/tightened the connectors and now it works fine.
    point is, you have to identify the problem and trace backwards.
    Fuel pumps make noise, can you here it, verify pressure?
    spark present?
    cold temps make electrical connections loose sometimes...jiggle them and you may find some problems....
    good luck.
  • tprvtprv Posts: 2
    have a 96 extcab 4.3 w/142k;gets 20mpg no matter how i drive it and doesn't burn a drop of oil; ac comp and alt went bad last summer, otherwise best vehicle ever owned; now need bigger something (kids don't fit in jumpseats anymore);would like to wait for Colorado, but hate paying for a brand new vehicle
  • bcohenbcohen Posts: 58
    I have a 1988 S-10 with the 4.3 and 120,000 miles. Lately, occasionally the engine starts ticking pretty loud and I have a loss of engine power temporarily. I assume this is a gunked up lifter. After an oil change and the weather turning warmer in Michigan it seems a little better, but still comes up occasionally. Has anyone had this experience? Has anyone tried Duralube or Slick50 or anything like that? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • coonhoundcoonhound Posts: 174
    The oil boards on Edmunds have ruled out additional additives to motor oil. I have been a sucker for these cure all additives for years, but none really helped except for Marvel Mystery oil added to the fuel. Has typically increased highway mileage by about 1 mpg.

    My opinion is that I would change to one of the new high mileage oils. Valvoline Max Life was the first one, but now there are other brands available.
  • bcohenbcohen Posts: 58
    I actually ended up calling my mechanic to talk it through with him this weekend. He suggested using the Max Life or at least a thicker oil. He did say, though, that it will get worse and at some point in the future it will be dead. At that point its a new engine, and I'm not doing that for a third vehicle used for towing and garbage hauling. I guess its time for a trailer. Thanks for your advice.
  • PAmanPAman Posts: 207
    At your next oil change, run some flush in the old oil, then change the oil while the old oil is HOT (watch your fingers!)

    If the lifter has gunk in it, the flush will probably clean it out. If the lifter is wearing out, the flush won't help.

  • bcohenbcohen Posts: 58
    Thanks, Joe. I'm planning to buy a new car this summer, so the S-10 was going to be a second vehicle to tow the camper and haul junk. I am hoping it lasts that long. We'll see... I've had it for 3 years (it was babied by my aunt and uncle for 12 years before that), and the only problems I've had are a new exhaust system. So, with 120,000 I can't complain.
  • markw8markw8 Posts: 25
    Not sure but it is probably controlled by the computer. mark.
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    I have been looking at new S-10 4X4 crew cab pickups and I have mixed feelings about buying one. For one thing, I am frustrated with the games GM is playing. Last year these trucks had standard sliding rear window and casette player (in addition to CD player), and a full size spare tire. For some reason all these have been deleted as standard equipment in 2003 and now the truck comes standard with a doughnut spare tire, which is quite frankly a bad joke.

    I looked at a number of these trucks and the workmanship on them appears terrible. There are evident differences in gap widths between body panels, misaligned hoods, etc. Seems like one must look at ten of these trucks before finding one that does not have any of these glaring flaws.

    After reading some of these posts, I am not very encouraged to buy this truck. I like the utility of the crew cab and I like the 4.3 V6 engine power and torque. But $ 25K is a steep price to pay for this vehicle and there are many other trucks to consider. Dodge Dakota crew cab 4X4 with a 4.7 litre v8 is only about 2K more, but a lot more of a truck for the money. However, I have a hefty GM card rebate (about $3200), plus there is additional 3000 rebate on the truck, which makes the purchase of S-10 more tempting.
    For some reason, they do not offer a tow package on the S-10. The tow package is available on the Blazer with the same powertrain and you get a trasmission oil cooler, which is important.

    I am considering holding on to my 95 Nissan SE V6 4X4 truck. I bought it new, it has about 76K miles and has been a great and reliable truck with minimal problems. It does not get great mileage (17 MPG) due to low gearing, but these trucks run over 300K miles when properly maintained. Plus mine is a 5 speed manual, which has been absolutely reliable. It can tow my 4000 lb boat/trailer without any problems. I would really hate to get rid of a good truck and buy something that could prove to be unreliable and of dubious quality.
  • wizchemwizchem Posts: 1
    I have a '02 S-10 crewcab with the zr5 package. The wind and road noise is terrible. Anyone else having the problem and if so, any solution?
  • malibu1malibu1 Posts: 52
    It's too bad the only active discussion is called "S-10 Problems" - when in reality the majority of S-10 owners have no problems whatsoever. I would call this discussion the "outspoken minority" if you really want to know what I think.
This discussion has been closed.