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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • leighhleighh Posts: 5
    Hello, we have a 94 auto Sonoma and we cant get it to move in reverse, it we put it in drive it will go if u put in N it acts like if it was in Drive. my son has auto class at school and they changed the transmission fluid and filter, he made it home just fine shut it off went to leave and to back out and wont move... :sick: any ideas what we need to look for or check? anyone else have this kinda of problem?? if so please share what we need to do...
    thanks much
    Leigh H
  • leighhleighh Posts: 5
    hubby said he thinks the linkage is bolted down not sure :confuse: he said they added 4 and half quarts. this dont mean the transmission is going out does it? he is a teen we are trying to get by with this truck til he gets himself a good job:0) the truck is in really good shape for 94 just hope this dont sound like the trans going out? what are the signs of transmission going out??
    thanks for posting and sharing tips with me we are lookin for anything we can do to fix it :shades:
    thanks again
  • i JUST BOUGHT A 2002 S-10 ZR2 4X4 EXT CAB WITH THE 4.3 VORTEC AND ONLY 51,000 MILES ON IT. mY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THE ENGINE FEELS SLUGISH ON BOTH TAKE OFF AND AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. With the a/c on is really bad, i bought an after market air filtering system that didnt seam to help. It still has a 3000 3 month warranty but you know how dealerships are on problems ... they never find anything wrong. Any sugestions? really would like to get more out of this and alittle better gas milage too.
    Thanks alot,
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    If reverse was OK before the filter and fluid change they may have knocked off a solenoid connector, if so back track.
  • :P i JUST BOUGHT A 2002 S-10 ZR2 4X4 EXT CAB WITH THE 4.3 VORTEC AND ONLY 51,000 MILES ON IT. mY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THE ENGINE FEELS SLUGISH ON BOTH TAKE OFF AND AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. With the a/c on is really bad, i bought an after market air filtering system that didnt seam to help. It still has a 3000 3 month warranty but you know how dealerships are on problems ... they never find anything wrong. Any sugestions? really would like to get more out of this and alittle better gas milage too.
    Thanks alot,
  • flipper3flipper3 Posts: 10
    by bogging is it more of the truck sounds like it is winding out and should shift but it doesnt for a while and u arent haredly moving at all?
  • leighhleighh Posts: 5
    thanks for responding to my post, can u please share how to check for this? also do u think it could be this even tho the reverse worked once after changin the filter and fluid, cause he did have reverse but only one thim 2 time it wouldnt move..hope the transmisson is not going out does it sound like it could be?? or maybe something simple? how does one act when the transmission is going out?? would u still have drive?? whats weird it its like when u put it in "N" it takes off like its in drive, drive works but when u put it in reverse it wont move at all...any tips??
    thanks much

    If reverse was OK before the filter and fluid change they may have knocked off a solenoid connector, if so back track
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Was the pan clean when the pan drop was done and the fluid not burned? Usually when the vehicle will drive in N there is a welded clutch, won’t disengage. Will the transmission be locked when in park, that would be a good linkage check, just rock it in park. That transmission also had an issue with the sun shell breaking, no reverse and also no 2nd or 4 th.
  • Yes kinda, its like if i take off it seams like i need to really press the gas to get it to move i would never try to pull out quickly cause it would never do it. Now at times it seams alright with plenty of power i dont know if its starving for fuel or a electrical problem. Thanks alot for the reply im just not sure and thought maybe this is an on going problem with the 4.3.

  • leighhleighh Posts: 5
    hi me again, we tried to rock it it seems to be locked in park, when he had it at school when he very first took the pan-filter off to change it and the fluid he said it smelt burnt. but it was drivin fine with all gears, so im not sure whats going on, its weird thos it will run just fine in (D) and and (N it goes as if its in drive. and (R it dont wanna budge at all :confuse: its a 94 Automatic its getting some yrs on it but was running real good, wish he would of never made any changes :cry: so any other things we can do or try?? im having him take it back to school tomorrow and hope his teacher might be able to help in some way
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    Hi Jeff,
    You might check the underneath. Has it been off-road alot? One time I hit a chunk of metal in the road that put a big dent in the cat converter (among other goodies) that caused internal damage to the converter. The result was poor performance due to restricted exhaust.
    Good luck.
  • leighhleighh Posts: 5
    i see, okay im a chick here HAHAHA dont know much about cars or trucks as u can prob see :) so in your case what do u have to do to fix your prob? i hope its something simple on our part and not the big T word..hahaha that would really stink :sick: having son take it back into school tomorrow to see if maybe his auto teacher can help us out, what gets me it ran fine before this....boy i wish he would of left it alone now cause at least it was running all gears its just good in drive...thanks for postin tho anything else we can try??
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Hi oldoawdad (and thebigal).

    Tailgate cables; Mine broke when I was standing on the tailgate (Thankfully I was not handling a heavy object or I could have been seriously hurt.) The Factiory cables are not sealed at the crimp ends - so when the tailgate is shut - water can run down the cable (iniside) and sit inside the cable covering and just rust the cable and you don't even know it .. Dangerous if you ask me ...

    You should at least "Feel" your cables over its full length and try to fee for rust buldges ...

    On this site someone posted a link for NAPA (I think) for replacement cables - I bought a set and kept them - and then had to use them !! The cost - I think - was about 15 Each (maybe less) ?? But the b!tch is changing them. You have to remove the latches from the ends of the tailgate (Get inside the tailgae to disassemble the rod linkages), remove the latches and then mill off a pressed in stud to remove the old cables (new pins and E clips are in the NAPA kits.)

    I got lucky on the install and had not real issues (but you could drop the rods and internal parts in the tailgate if you are not lucky !) and I also have a small milling machine - so it took me only about an hour+ to change these ... But I expect two or more hours for others who have to fudge with the studs and have less tools - and have worse luck.

    To all - Please at least CHECK your cables !!

  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Hi leighh,

    My inputs.... And I agree with previouos comments ...

    "Usually" the Auto transmisison fluid is changed once well before 100K and then left alone - unless there is a real need to change it (i.e. burned or othe issues ..).
    In fact many of the std repair and fluid shops I know just will not change the oil once it gets well over 100K - because of the issue you are having - "it "was" Ok and now there is an issue " - and the shops just do not want to get caught up in that. (Regardless if the fluid change itself had any connection to the issue - as a transmission with lots of miles could have a many issues happen at any time - and the oil change facility does not want ANY issues being pointed back at them for the little thay make on the fluid changes ....)

    With that said ...

    As it "Was" OK - and it started so suddenly - I would suspect the oil change. I'd immedately check the fluid level (On a flat parking area, Engine and Trans Warm - and the dipstick level correclty seated and read - multiple times.)
    FYI - The amount of the fluid to change depends on the type of fluid change process done (just by draining is different than also changing the fluid in the Torque Converter, etc.) - Regardless - if you check the level properly, nnow that it's been driven a few miles - proper oil level can then be confirmed and possibly excluded as an issue. (If it was driven on very low fluid level - that maybe a cause of your issues as well... The Transmission uses the oil for Pressue, lubrication AND cooling) - Also - does the new oil look and smell OK ?)

    Secondly - as thebigal and others eluded to - when you change/ do something and then immedately have a problem - I ALWAYS go back to the last thing that was done/changed/fixed, etc and re-check everything again.
    When you remove the Transmission's oilpan - they are working very close to shifter linkages and vacuum solenoids, etc. as well. Bumping these, cutting/cracking/bending these - or disconnecting these - are all real possibilites and easy to repair. You need to have someone look under the vehicle and around the transmission (top, bottom, sides, etc.) for any loose or broken slit/cracked hoses, Shifter linkage not bent/broken disconnected, etc ... and chack the Engine compartment as well !!! (near the oil fill hole - and check all vacuum hoses !!)

    Also, I did not like the comment that the old transmission oil smelled burned when changed - it may mean you had a problem already with the transmission - but not necessarilly. Oil old that may have been over worked and possible overheated due to an engine overheat may cause the oil to breakdown smell burned anyway - and if so - it really needs a well deserved change anyway.

    And Finally - If the above is not the soultion - before I drove it too far (and maybe make it worse) - I'd take it to a reputable shop that will re-change the oil and screen and have them look around the underside as well. They may find an easy fix (i.e. oil pan gasket / screen is incorrect one - or incorreclty installed, foreign matter in the screen (The did not take off all the cellophane wrapper) , etc.) - and they may see a slice in a vacuum hose, etc - and hopefully they basically just charge you for the transmission service (What's that cost now - $100 to $200 at the dealer ??) This would be money well spent if it fixes the problem - and if not - it's not a whole lot of money in todays repair dollars - and you can then decide if it's really the tranny and decide to replace it, trade it in (if possible) or scrap and by another vehicle ...

    Hope this helps !!
    (people always call me and say ... Canufixit!!)
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Oh Yeah - your operators manual for your vehicle may say to check the fluid level when the truck is running ...
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Any time I ran into a trans that went in N, it was always a burnt clutch, welded, sorry.
  • You're right about the hassle of changing them. I don't remember having to do any milling, but can't be sure. I would have used a grinder. Did drop them several times, but with a coathanger and hooks at the end, it's not too bad. Save the old hardware and make up a set of your own!
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Re: Tailgate cable - Here's what I used - Posted for ref for others.

    Each Came with new hardware. Just remove the Latch, grind off the rivet - change cable w/ new hardware (Sholder bolt + e Clip).

    10.99 ea for a 2002 Number=8195739&Description=Tailgate+Support+Cable
  • flipper3flipper3 Posts: 10
    i think that it might be because mine does the same thing. mine only does it sometimes finda like the truck governs itself down into 2lo
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Hi Jeffro07 , flipper3,
    Mine does something similar - but only when cold at startup. It did this since it was new. The "Dealer said" this was a "start up sequence" when cold. It turns the fan on for a minute or so - to exercise the fan clutch / circuit - and then the computer (knowing the engine is cold) keeps it in lower gears a little longer to, I believe, give you the power at low RPM until it warms up a tad. Usually after a cold start and a very short drive (a few hundred yards or so ) this goes away. I have no issues later at any other time (i.e., high way)speeds). I do not even notice if / when my air compressor kicks in when the engine is warm - but my fan minght kick in when ever I have the AC (or defroster) on - I'd have to confirm..

    I'm kinda wondering if your temp sensor /circuit is OK - the computer might think it is in start up Mode all the time and keeping the fan on, keeping you in gear a little longer and of course probably give you some extra fuel (that's normally just gioven at cold engine start) - this might expain the bog, the shifting and the low gas mileage ... By the way - I get 15- 18 MPG in rual driving and about 19 MPG onthe highway (with out A/C or Defroster on). This seemed to be normal for others I polled (I have a 2K2 4.3 ext cab).

    Just my thought ...

  • flipper3flipper3 Posts: 10
    no surprise, you know almost all of the S-10s were made in shreveport louisiana, thats what i get for buying a car made in my home state.
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165

    You had overheating problems - I think you were all set - but wanted to ask ....

  • I have a 93 Chevy S-10 P/U, extra cab 2.8 5-speed 2wd, my tail lights are pretty bad, if you hit the blinker, they all blink, including the license plate lights, brake lights work, but when night time comes, i turn on the headlights and parking lights and the tail lights shut off and my blinkers do not work in the front or in the back. I NEED HELP!! ive been getting too many headaches. I put new fuses, relays, flashers and bulbs in. I cleaned up the tail light ground and put a new eye-loop on it. All of the bulbs are in the right places too. Can somebody please help me. It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    I'm "Not"the expert on Auto Trans - and therfore leave all the actual work to the pros ... Although I've been lucky enough not to have had auto trany issues).

    My Suggestions on the post you reference are my best advice "in General". What I recommend is that you take to the Dealer (or perhaps ask a couple) and ask their recommendation. They may back up my earlier advise - or - they may suggest another oil change. Providing that they look it over first, decide it has no issues and guarantee the change of oil and filter will not cause an issue - I'd spend the extra dollars they charge (vs a quick lube shop) and have it done at the dealer.
    I just don't like changing the oil at over 100K unless there is a reason to do so... I belive my manual list the initial change at 60K and then nothing after that is mentioned...

    The Auto Trans, in my opinion is a fickle part. Providing you do do not cause an issue (overheating the engine/transmision cooling) and don't beat on it - it's still a dice roll - you either have a good one for life - or a bad one. I've run my last few vehicles up to around 160K with only the fist oil change as specificed by the factory ...

    So go to the Dealer - and let us know what they say - and what you actually do ...

  • Does anyone know why my idle would be pretty rough? It idles at about 500k, or a tad higher. Doesnt sound or feel right when just sitting at a stop light. Only has 30000 miles. Any ideas?
  • Well.... Could be a lot of things. How About some more info ... Been like this since new?? Only recently? ANy work done recently, etc ....

    One quick thought - At nightime in a dark area when it's runnning rough - Open the hood and check to see if you see any sparks jumpoing off the wires (and if you do DO NOT touch these until the engine is down ...). 3-4 years old now - possible a wire is cross shorting or loose on a plug ..??? We need more info ...
  • Hi, I have a 1990 chevy s10 and whenever it is put into four wheel drive the tires toe in to the point where it cant be driven (BAD). The truck is lifted by means of torsion keys and new control arms. Does anyone know what could be the problem. Could there be something wrong with the steering components or possibly the balljoints? Thanks alot!
  • Hi,

    Your front end and linkage (Tie rods, Connecting link, Control Arms, etc.) must hold the tires in the specified position. If the tires can toe in and out so it "can't be driven" you have major worn part here. I'd be reluctant to even drive it to a repair shop if it's that bad. So, Push/pull it to a decent alignment shop and have them check out the fron end and give you an estimate - although for it's age the repain my be more thant the truck ...

  • hey on my blazer i had the same thing happen. so i changed the fluid & filter and it fixed it. but be very, very careful that you do not unplug anything in you x-msn pan. the plugs in the pan are for your gears. it lets them know then to change and what gear to change to so be careful.

    if you do it yourself there is going to be a big mess, so get a box and line it with trash bags. this should do the job for the fluid.
  • did you ever find out what was wrong with it, im having the same problem, if you did could you throw me a ling at
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