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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions

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  • billet aluminum 3rd door handle. www.3rddoorhandle.com
  • My 99 Sonoma w/vortec v-6, always starts when its cold or wet out but unless I let it warm up for at least 10 minutes dies when I put it into gear. I can get it going quicker by putting it into gear and pressing hard on the excellerater which works but sounds bad for the truck(chugging etc.). I've taken it to dealers who come up with nothing. Any ideas?
  • The vortec in the chevys from my experience have what is called an Electronic Spark Control which on some models is on the side of the oxygen sensor on the firewall with one bolt in it.

    The best thing to do would be to check for codes, (ground the number a and b pins in the diagnostic connector maybe with a paper clip with ignition off stick one end in a and the other in b and turn ignition on), it will flash I believe 3 times 1 and then 2 which is ok, and after that it will flash a different number of times count them and then reply as I have the codes. If it is doing that there should be a code even if the engine code light does not come on all time maybe a code 43 which is the Spark Control Module, This is NOT the module inside the distributor.

    This module is what causes the vehicle to die when at idle at times.

    I do hope that this will help you out friend.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 872
    Not on the 99,OBD2, need code reader. :)
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    Not real common to happen at that mileage but not unheard of either. Not just a Chevy problem either....can happen to any of them.
  • kar78kar78 Posts: 2
    88 s-10 4.3 2wd Gauges on my 88 have started acting weird, although I can not point to a cause. Gas gauge will not go to full or empty; stays in the 3/4 to 1/4 range, temp gauge starts out normal but within 10 minutes pegs out, oil pressure comes up to 60, but within 10 minutes will drop to about 5 will running. Engine does not appear to actually be overheating. Water and oil levels are ok. Voltage gauge appears to be between 12-14. Any suggestions
  • HI,

    I'm not a whiz on the current dashboard electrical ... but I believe it's based on a Flex circuit PCB that connects to all the gauges ?? Anyway - As multiple gauges are going bad all at once - I'd check the most common thing first .. The Ground to the Dash panel Circuit ....
  • 04cad04cad Posts: 131
    Has anyone suggested checking the catalytic convertor (if it still has one)?
  • whistlewhistle Posts: 3
    I am having a starting problem with my '97 S-10. About one out of every three or four starts when I turn the ignition switch my instrument panel lights will not appear and I can not start the engine. The engine is turning over but no start. I can turn the switch on and off a few times and suddenly the instrument panel lights come on and the engine starts properly. The switch "feels" fine. What could be the cause of this problem? I have a new battery. I have noticed my voltmeter needle is showing a lower voltage than normal at times. It is down about two marks from 14, even after many miles of travel. Please help!
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 872
    Sounds like you have a bad ignition switch, not the key switch but electrical switch at the lower steering column. When you turn the key switch a rod activates the electrical switch.
  • whistlewhistle Posts: 3
    Thanks a lot for the information. That sounds very logical. I will check it out ASAP and let you know the outcome.
  • kcuhckcuhc Posts: 2
    has any one have paint peeling off bottom of doors problem on 02 s10?
  • i recently purchased a 1997 s10 LS with the 2.2 4 cyl automatic...problem is, i'm losing coolant somewhere & can't find it...have replaced the thermostat,& fan clutch has also been recently replaced. i see no coolant around the water pump, and have no obvious leaks. i'm thinking it may be a head gasket problem, but have not noticed any water in the oil. the temerature gauge also rises and falls quite rapidly. Can someone help? :confuse:
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    My 92,S-10,4.3Z,auto has picked up a vibration I can't pin down. I thought it was in the drive shaft. Pulled and inspected for anything obvious like u-joints or lost weights. The only thing I could find was center carrier bearing had dry rot on the rubber so I replaced it even though the bearing itself was good. Next I found the motor mounts where shot, replace that. Dropped flywheel inspection cover. From what I could see it wasn't cracked or loose. However, I couldn't see the center of the flywheel short of dropping the transmission. I didn't feel like doing that without more assurance it would be worth it. Had tires balanced and rotated. Puzzled!
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    If you think its a head gasket and it isn't serious enough to cause bubbles in the radiator or the oil on the dipstick to look milky, here is what you might consider. I did this on my kids Corsica. After the engine has set overnight I pulled the plugs and shined a flashlight down the cylinders to have a looksy. Then I taped a Q-tip to drinking straw and took a swab sample inside the cylinder. In my case it came up green which indicated I was getting coolant in the cylinders. BE CAREFUL, don't allow foreign objects to drop down into the cylinders or you will be pulling the head regardless.
  • jnealjneal Posts: 247
    You should do a compression/leakdown test......
    With engine running and radiator cap off, when the thermostat opens do you see any bubbles in the radiator?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 872
    MY experience with the 2.2 is it leaks external, at both ends mostly on the exhaust side. With the FWD cars it's easy to see, on a truck it's mostly cover with parts. You are having over heating problems, not good for a aluminum head, if anyone has put the temp gauge into the red, chances are close to 100% the head is cracked. The aluminum head is why car manufactures started putting temp gauges back on the dash, by the time the idiot light came on the head would already be cracked.
  • gonna do a compression test on it tomorrow. Have noticed some bubbles coming up from inside radiator when running. Don't really know if it has ever been red-lined on the temp gauge...just bought it about 2 weeks ago & it has not been real hot since i've had it.. i just noticed the temp gauge was rising a couple days after i purchased it & have not had it too hot since i've owned it. Hopefully the head's not cracked... :sick:
  • aloha28aloha28 Posts: 1
    I am in the process of changing my belt. I have the new one routed and can't get the tension arm back to it's original place. Is there a special tool needed? I am a rookie. It has 130,00 miles. 2.2 with air.
  • i have a 2002 gmc sonama 4x4 i have had endles trouble out of this truck i have owned it since it was new and have the same problems scunce it was new. the dealer kept on patching at the problem then finally said there is no fix and forgot all about it after it ran out of warranty (ALL Star chevy greenville ms.)to start the cruise control never worked right but that is a small concern.The most annoying problem is the constant oil leak out of the back of the ac controls onto my floor board wich is getting sucked out of the front differintial or transfer case one. the dealer refilled my axle replaced my ac control and informed me that there is no vacum lines going in or out of either components (one of many lies). the four wheel drive is absolutly worthless. Any strain of the front axle and it jumps out of gear and the and the rear tires are left trying to do all the work. The truck has always gotten poor fuel economy no where near what the window sticker said the thid door--door handle has broken several times. the front end wont stay in alighnment and all shock were leaking oil at 20k miles. i know what you must be thinking this guy must beet the crap out of this truck..but infact it only sees highway miles never have been out mud doggging just an ocasional muddy road but not deep ruts or anything.is there anyone out there that has herd of or experiaced any of these things and know a cure please let me know.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 872
    I have a 99 Sonoma 2.2 A/C, to loosen belt I go under the truck and use a 3/8 rachet and a short pipe. The thing is I release the tension then leave the tool jamed in there and then pull it back to put the belt on. It is easier to work under rather than from the top.
  • paulz1paulz1 Posts: 1
    I have an S10 2002 4.3 extended cab with auto trany 2wd. recently my security system went on the blink and the truck failed to start. Had it towed to the local Chevy dealer and they said it was silicone grease on the battery terminals that prevented the truck form starting. Last night the truck failed to start again. The quick fix is to remove the positive battery terminal for about 5 minutes and then reconnect. All this does is reset the codes in the computer, which is exactly what the dealer did, and then the truck will start again for several weeks, until the codes set again. How did I find out about the quick fix? My son-in-law had a 2002 Malibu 4.3 auto and he had the same problem. The dealer he bought it from (used) told him about the quick fix, but after a while even the quick fix doesn't work anymore.

    Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what was your solution? Have you had any luck getting the system repaired? If so, what did you have to do to prove the failure and get it fixed?
  • zeegenzeegen Posts: 1
    I have a '98 S-10 with the same issue. It only happens every few weeks, and sometimes it takes longer than that. Generally, letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes allows my truck to crank. I had a new key cut from the VIN, which has seemed to help. However, it has not stopped the problem completely.

    Several mechanics have told me that the problem is caused by the ignition, and will need to be replaced. However, I have opted to put up with the issue rather than replace it. I'm not so sure if that would fix it either, and I am not willing to spend the money to find out.

    Good luck in resolving the issue. I've been dealing with it for over a year now. It is the most irritating when it does it in the morning on the way to work. . .
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    "When" do you get the Vibration - every speed ? only over 40 MPH, Gets worse with speed ????

    Canu
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Nope - not so far ... A little run under the tailate/seam I need to fix ... Mines space Blue... sometime the problem follows a paint color ....
  • teepee08teepee08 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Chevy S-10 and I'm having a constant problem starting my vehicle when its cold. When it cold outside the truck just will not start. As the temperature rises the truck starts right up. I have replaced the battery and have also had the truck in the service shop serveral times and each time the service shop says that it doesn't know the cause or either they claim that it's fixed and charge me some money.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    The vibration is fairly constant at any speed. It is most noticable in town, low speed, higher gear.

    Thanx
  • I have a 1993 S-10 4x4 w/ a 4.3l V6 w/ only 88,000 miles. I purchased the vehicle last spring because I needed a truck for off roading and hauling, not as an everyday driver. It ran fine the first few months I had it. The first problem I noticed was it began idling rough. Then one day I took it on the freeway and I could barely get up to 70 mph.

    While replacing the plugs, wires and distributor cap, I discovered a leak in the gas tank. I decided to pour in some gas and try running it a little just to see if the previous problems had been fixed. They hadn't. I couldn't even get it up to 55 mph.

    I did some research while waiting for a new tank to arrived to find out what could be the problem with the rough idle and the acceleration. I replaced the gas tank, but now the thing won't even start. It makes me worry that I've got bigger problems. Will replacing or cleaning the fuel filter, injectors, catalytic converter, vacuum lines, etc really fix the problems. I don't want to spend more time and money on this truck if it's a lost cause.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    Dear thes10cometh,
    In my case I always have more time than money. Therefore when I'm trouble shooting I try the inexpensive things first. Have you checked the code read out yet? How's the MAP sensor? You mention off road, did the tank have water in it. Replacing fuel filter sounds like a good idea regardless. My S-10 had a leaking vacuum line to the PVC which reeked havoc on idle and shifting. You didn't indicate what the vitals were, like oil pressure, compression check, condition of transfer & transmission. All things being equal, I would recommend at this point don't give up the ship.
    Good luck,
    2chron714
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Unfortunately, the 4WD S10/Sonoma or Blazer/Jimmy have more than their fair share of mechanical problems. These trucks are best in 2WD form. I have a 2WD S10 and it has been fairly reliable. One problem common to both the 2WD and 4WD models is a leak at the intake manifiold gasket. You may be experiencing a leak there and somehow it winds up out of the ac controls. Wheel bearings are also a problem on the 4WD models because they come in a self-contained unit that can not be lubricated. On 2WD models, at each brake service the wheel bearings can be repacked with grease. Finally, check out your oil cooler lines for leaks. If I were in your shoes and only did occasional off-roading, I would trade in this truck for a Tacoma or a Jeep Wrangler. Good luck.
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