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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • okay so yall told me to disconnect the battery and wait for a while then reconnect, and the 4wd should work. i must admit that i was dubious about this "quick fix" but it worked... for a while. the truck ran like a champ and would go into 4wd when i wanted, but recently a new problem arose, i was traveling down the interstate at about 75mph and the truck dropped into 4hi on its own, it scarred the heck out of me. so i pull over and take it out of 4hi, did not do it again for over 3 weeks. last weekend i was in town from college and it started doing it again, it continued to shift into 4hi on its own so often that i ended up leaving my truck with my dad and drove his truck back to school. he brought my truck by my mechanic and the mechanic who specializes in 4wd's but not the newer ones that are computer run is not shure what is wrong with it. is it possible that the problem is the transfer case controle module has gone bad and needs replacing? any ideas on what it wrong would be greatly appreciated.
  • Any idea's of how to quieten a very noisy fuel pump on a 2000 S-10 , It's driving me mad. Thank you
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    Mathematically, you've indicated that for the past seven month you've been adding a gallon of coolant per week. That comes to about twenty eight gallons that went somewhere. I would think that if it were a head gasket leaking internally you would be changing out an engine by now. If it were a head or intake manifold gasket leaking externally you would be smelling it by now. If it were a heater core leaking you would be swimming by now.

    Last summer I had to change the intake manifold gasket on my V6 because it was leaking coolant on top of the engine. In my case it was evident by the smell and the puddle of coolant on top of the engine. Next time your under your truck shine a flashlight up on top of the transmission bell housing where you can see the backside of the heads. Maybe some coolant is getting away from you there and evaporating when it hits the exhaust manifold and pipes. If so, it will leave a tail-tail sign. In cases where I've seen coolant seeping out externally around head gaskets it hasn't been to the extent where it would take a gallon a week. However, if that's the case and you want to buy some time, maybe you can try some stop-leak.

    p.s. don't forget the jack stands. :)
  • greyttgreytt Posts: 1
    Hello. Happy owner till recently., 2002 s10 crew cab 4x4 57000 miles, dealer just told me i needed a $1000 fuel pump!! Does this seem extreme to anyone else? Symptoms: truck cranks longer and longer in the morning after sitting and evening after sitting for periods of time. starts fine during short times off. i've filed a "complaint" with GM. :lemon: ?
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    GM has had problems with their fuel pumps. I have owned GM products for 17 years and 6 vehicles. I never had a problem with a fuel pump, but I followed some simple maintenance procedures. First, change the fuel filter every 20,000 miles. Second, never let the fuel get below 1/8 or 1/4 tank. If you like to run on empty, you will wear out the fuel pump because the gas actually cools the pump. The gas is cooler than the air in the tank, especially during the summer months. Finally, it is not a bad idea to occasionally put a fuel cleaner in the tank. Good luck.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    Sounds like a fuel pump to me. I replaced mine about 2 months ago. It was an all day job but it saved me a few bucks. Most of the shop ticket is labor. Instead of removing the bed I elected to drop the tank from the bottom. Bad mistake, I succeeded but if I do that job again I'm going to loosen the bed and slide it over out of the way.
    Good luck.
  • sounds like your intake gasket is leaking this is a common problem should have been a recall but its not i have had the same trouble out of s-10 and silverrado
  • 2004 S10 Crewcab with electronic 4wd suddenly stopped going into 4wdHi. Under warranty, so took back, bad connection on plug at T-case. They cleaned it and it's ok. Maybe you want to check all those connections closely; could be that simple.
  • not axactly sure why they say no towing other than the suspesion or tarans cooler but im quit sure you can pull that jet ski
  • auto zone sells 18 inch electric fans and thermostat to control the on and off it is easy to install and you wont exsperince all that roar mine sounds like a tornado when i start off very distracting
  • there is a fix i found it on a s-10 crew cab side it requires removing a vacum line in behind the glove box i have the same problem its hot as hell in my truck due to thi its not the heater control it was just a dumb factory decision
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Can you please post the source and/or details???
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    Your reply is to a post 5 1/2 years old. I installed an electric fan on my s-10. If you have a/c its a whole different ball game. If you don't wire it correctly you can blow up your compressor.
  • Belated thanks. After I found and replaced it, I discovered that the problem was my burnt out wires about 4 inches from it that I didn't find until my new VSS wouldn't work. Thanks again
  • are you still having those noises. i have a 2000 s-10 ext cab 4x4 and it also makes these noises when you start and stop and turn and it seems the warmer it is the more it does it. I also grease the fittings regularly. anyone who has a suggestion would be appreciated.
  • marcb2marcb2 Posts: 9
    I went to drive my 97 s-10 3 weeks ago and backed out of the drive. when i tried to to put it in first gear all that happended was the gears kept grinding, no matter what gear i tried. had it towed and the mechanics said he saw nothing wrong but thought it might be a master slave between the clutch and transmission. so i had that slave and the clutch replaced to the tune of a little over a grand. had it back for 2 weeks and was out on the interstate going 75 mph and all of a sudden it popped out of 5th gear. after a few minutes, i realized all i had was 4th gear. anyone else have similar issues? if so, what was the cause and fix? feel free to e-mail me at
  • has it ever overheated? you could have a bad head gasket, or warped head. what is your temp running at? a bad head gasket will not make it skip if the water is going into exhaust. does it look like steam coming out of tail pipe?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 46,446
    First he should check the motor mounts to see if one is broken and causing the transmission to move around; then check the linkage and linkage bushings to make sure that 5th gear is fully engaged. If the linkage is going through its full travel, and the bushings that connect the linkage aren't worn then definitely it's an internal transmission issue...worn shift fork or sliding sleeves or something like that excessively worn. This problem is not related to the last problem he had.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • marcb2marcb2 Posts: 9
    Thanks for the reply. Am I looking at a costly fix for any of these or are they prety simple inexpensive fixes? I'd hate to drop another chunck of money into this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 46,446
    A broken motor mount or trans mount wouldn't cost too much, and replacing linkage bushings wouldn't be terribly expensive....but if you have to dig into the transmission itself, that's a sobering repair bill.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • dkurrledkurrle Posts: 20
    Hello, can anyone tell me if a fuel filter would help with a rough idle?? What are the benefits of changin the fuel filter? I own a 2003 ZR2, 4.3 L V6. How difficult is it to change one? Could someone give me a step by step explanation? thanks
  • dkurrledkurrle Posts: 20
    2003 Chevy ZR2. Hi, i dont know if i am a little parnoid or what, but it seems like when i hit a good bump, or lets say a railroad track or something it seems like something does not feel right, kinda like something might be loose. Kinda feels like something is shifting, or kinda rattling. I know this probably doesnt make sense, but what could it be?
    ALso how common are ball joints to go bad on a zr2?
  • Hi, The dash lights, including the radio/CD player, do not come on when I start the truck (2000 GMC Sonoma) in the dark morning. They do seem to work when I start the truck during daylight. The doom light will work, but only for a few seconds then it start going on and off. Have checked all fuses and they seem fine. Tried starting this morning with a flashlight on the light sensor on the dash, but it didn't help. Any thoughts? Thanks much, Jim :confuse:
  • This is a general question. I bought a 1993 S-10 just to have a small truck for getting things done around the house. My turn signal/multifunction switch which works for the mist, turning signal and high/low bream, but does not work for the wipers. I called a Chevy dealer, close by, and they could not find a turn signal/multifunction switch in their parts book, all they could find was the turn signal only. Need a part number if anyone has it?
  • just picked up this truck a month ago and this thing doesn't accelerate very well at all, even up the smallest of inclines. the motor also 'drops out' at 15mph in 1st, 20-25mph in 2nd, 30-35mph in 3rd, which takes downshifting in an emergency (or uphill, which is a must in this city) out of the question. i've grown pretty tired of impeding traffic and would love to know if this is a known issue, or if there is anything i can do to make this thing work normally. is this an air, fuel, exhaust, trans, or ECU problem? any help would be much appreciated. thanks.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    If it was cutting out or bucking as you accelerate I would guess plug wires or coil. If it ran ok but was like pulling an anchor I would guess catalytic converter. Has it had a tune up lately like plugs and clean air filter. I had a similar problem one time in the past but not as bad. Finally found a cracked vacuum hose fitting to be the culprit.
  • marcb2marcb2 Posts: 9
    Well, as it turns out, the mechanic told me, to the tune of $2300 it was the tranny and I'd be surprised if the truck is worth that much on trade in, considering it had 158,4?? miles on it. Sooooo, needless to say, I suppose its trade in time on this truck for a newer one. For anyone considering an S-10, with the exception of the tranny now, the truck really has not been a bad vehicle for me. In my opinion, it was worth the 13 G's I paid for it slighty used. It has lasted me a good 6 years and 118,000 miles. Definatly a recommendation from me and have started looking for another S-10.
  • just replaced plugs, wires, air filter today. and which coil do you mean? will experiment w/ cat. tomorrow and check vacuum hoses, because now that i think about it, there's also a hissing when i hit the pedal. hmmmm....
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516

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  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I will try and answer this to the best of my Memory (I did this on my '01 S-10 almost a year ago. The handle is a cheap piece of plastic. Once you get it apart you can immediatly tell why it snapped.) Anyway, replacment is simple. If you don't have a new door handle the best way to get one is off E-bay. You can go to the dealer but you will probably pay several times what it is worth. I bought mine from an E-bay store called S-10 Wharehouse or something like that. I think I paid like 20-30 bucks. I can't remember, but it was brand new. You might also try a salavage yard but I wouldn't trust this particular part because it is already so flimsy that a used one is pretty prone to being snapped. For that matter a new one is pretty prone to being snapped the first time it is used :).

    Anyway, now on to replacement. You have to undo the bolts bolting it to the door and you also have to take off the panel on the door. If it weren't the middle of the night I would go out and make sure I was looking at the right things, but the bolts are all torx bolts. T-50 or T-45. The panel snaps off, but you have to undo the seat belt anchors. Once you get those off if you are fairly mechanically inclined you should be able to pull the old handle off the latch mechanism and put the new handle in in it's place. It was pretty straight forward for me and I didn't have any real problems. I had never done it before nor did I know what I was really doing, but I just jumped in a started removing bolts that were around the door handle and looked to see what might need to come off to get to where I needed to be. (not the most recomended way, but as long as you remember what came off where and put it back the way it came off you should be fine :))...

    If you don't want to go through all that you can just leave the handle broken and pretend that you don't have a third door, since the new handle will probably break again right away. Luckily mine hasn't and it has been probably a year since I replaced it but I will not be surprised if it breaks again. I know people you have replaced the 3rd door handle 3-4 times.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I have a question that maybe some one can point me in a direction of where to start. I have an 01' S-10 Extended Cab LS 4.3 Vortec motor 2WD. I have an electrical issue with the right rear turn signal/brake light. The tail light works, but the turn signal/brake light do not. The hazard light also does not work on that side. The front turn signal works but it blinks rapidly. Before someone says to change the bulb and the reason it blinks rapidly is to alert the driver that there is a problem, that is the first thing that I checked. I have changed the bulb to no avail. I bought new bulbs, swapped out the bulbs and nadda. I then pulled apart the other side thinking that per chance I purchased the wrong kind or possibly a bad set and pulled the working bulb from the driver's side and still nadda.

    My first thought is a bad connection at the tail light assembly it self, but then why does the tail light work? I am think that it might have something to do with the turn signal switch housed in the steering column? But there again, why would that affect the brake light? Is it possible that is could be located there? I hope not because changing that particular switch is a pain because I dont have the reverse torx bits to pull apart the steering column.

    I am thinking that there is a short some where else because I do not have a hazard, brake or turn signal. All three are affected. I would think that if it were just a signal or hazard light problem, it would be located in the turn signal switch, or if were isolated to only the brake light, it would be a brake sensor switch, but since it is all 3 I am stuck... Please help if anyone has any ideas. Thx.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I feel like a moron but maybe my experience will help others not be so dumb. :) I fixed my problem. It was a 2 minute fix as long as you look for the right thing. It turns out it was a blown fuse in the fuse relay center under the hood. But did bother to check that before diving in with a test light and crawling under my truck and caking my self in dried mud and dirt while fiddling with the wiring? NO!!! At least I checked the fuses under the dash first, but finding no blown fuses under the dash I proceeded to crawl under the rear of my truck which consequently the wire housing and connectors are covered in dried mud which flake off and rain down upon me everytime I touch them.

    I had wired in a trailer connector a couple of years previously and so that is where I thought my problem might lay so I disconnected the harness and put all the factory wiring connectors back in and tried that but to no avail. Then I tried test lighting everything to figure out which wires ran where (I did have a Chilton in the house but didn't bother to consult it until after I had no luck with the test light). It was after consulting the ever reliable Chilton and crawling back under the truck to trace the wires back to the front of the truck (I was looking for any connectors that may have a wire that broke loose or came undone. I figured it was a long shot that a wire had frayed since they are all wound up together in electrical tape and encased inside plastic wire protectors, that I figured the only place for a wire to go bad was where it connected to other wires :) ).

    Any way, I traced the bunch of wires up to the front of the truck and then I realized after seeing where the wire bunch was heading what I had forgotten to do... :) DOH!! I crawled out front under my truck, and pulled the cover off the fuse relay center and viola! There is is labels plain as day a fuse for RT TRN SGNL. A 10 amp fuse that when I pulled it out had blown. Lucky for me I had a spare 10 amp fuse and 10 seconds later I plugged it in and WOW. My turn signal, brake light and hazard light all worked!!! I felt (and still feel like a moron), but at least I didnt take it into the shop for them to charge me an hours worth of labor to change the fuse! :)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I don't think you will have a problem bolting it in - I believe all the mounting bolts and such are the same from an S-10 bumper to the GMC Envoy (you are talking about the GMC Jimmy Envoy I assume and not the much larger Trailblazer/Envoy sisters?). If so than the bumber will bolt up - at least it should. But you are going to run into a problem with it matching up with the S-10 grill. The front ends from the GMC to the Chevy are drastically different. The GMC (especially the Envoy has a wide mouthed open grill that cuts down in to the bumper and a single headlight/turn signal combo. You know what the Chevy looks like :)...
    Anyway, the best way to tell what I am talking about is try to get both the Envoy and the S-10 side by side and you will immediatly tell that the bumper will not directly fit. You said that customizing is cool soooo.... if the ends of the bumper match up under the turn signals of your truck and all you have is a gap under the middle of the grill where the bumper dips down, than you might be able to mold a filler piece attatch it to the gap and fill it in. That of course depends on your customizing ability and how good you are. Your best bet might be to transfer the whole front end over (I have seen this done). You might need to change radiator mounts for the headlights not sure as I have never done it myself....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - this might be a no-brainer question, but I have a 4.3 2001 Ext Cab 2wd S-10. The truck is paid off and I would like to keep driving it until the wheels fall off. I have very few problems with it. About the only thing I have done to it is replace the 3rd door handle and the A/C compressor. (The new compressor still rattles like mad, but it works so oh well). I bought the truck used with 26K miles on it in 2003. I now have just over 70K miles on it. Regular 2500-3000 mile oil changes with Valvoline oil and Fram filters. Tranny fluid changed at 40K. Still need to change the Diff fluid. Coolant being changed before summer. Fuel filter changed every 25k miles.

    I have been doing some investigation of different types of oil and I have always believed that you are not supposed to put synthetic oil into a motor once it passed the 50K mark as it has been conditioned to run on regular motor oil. I have been faithful about the oil changes and the type of oil used. Would I see any benefit to switching to synthetic oil at 70k miles and would it extend my engine life, or would I be best to stay with my Valvoline 3k oil change regime? I have also used high milage Valvoline in the past with my 95 4.3 and I switched to that because I was losing about 1 quart every oil change. (Whether this was due to the front main leaking or whether it was burning the oil I don't know since once I my oil loss stopped after I switched. The front of the motor and the oil pan remained covered in gunk, as I was afraid that the gunk was creating a partial seal and if I cleaned it off I would create an oil leak. Since I was no longer losing oil and I wasn't dripping on my driveway, I didn't bother with it. The truck was well abused before I bought it so I don't know what kind of history it had.) Anyway, I switched oil types in that vehicle to see if it would help my oil loss problem and it did. But I have been told that if I do not have any problems and I don't, than it was not neccesary to switch. I might lose 1/4 of a quart between oil changes which is normal. The fact that I didn't lose any oil after switching to high milage on my 95 4.3 with 100k on it is amazing.

    I don't want to do any undue damage to my vehicle, but would like to be able to run to at least 200k. If I can do that with regular motor oil I would much prefer that as it is less expensive, but if switching to high milage or even synthetic is okay and will help it make it there better, than I am all for the switch. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. THX! :)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Another question for everyone out there. I have an '01 4.3 auto trans. ext cab 2wd. The gas mileage seems to be suffering - I am only getting 14-15 mpg. The truck has about 70k on it. I have read reports that there are people getting an upwards of 24 mpg with the 4.3 in the crew cabs, but I find this a little hard to believe - especially in the 4wd heavier truck. However, I do know that 14-15 in this motor is too low and it should be getting close to 19 hwy and about 16 city if not 17. I had a '95 4.3 and it had the older TBI fuel system. It was 2nd generation Vortec. (I think the '01 uses the 3rd generation Vortec?) Anyway it was a "Z" coded motor mated to the Getrag 5 speed manual and I could get about 18 city almost 19 if I was really nice and 22 sometimes 23 on the hwy. Would an automatic tranny drop my mileage all the way down to 14 mpg?? There has got to be something that I can do pretty simply to cure the problem? I would think that even with an automatic tranny, the newer fuel system should be able to at least achieve the same or better than the older one even with an automatic. At the very least come close to being the same. I have changed air filters, run proper air pressure in the tires, run fuel injector cleaner through the injectors frequently, but it still seems like I am getting less than I should. Any tips?? I expect to get about 16-17 in city and about 20 hwy.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    What size motor do you have? And do you have 4 wheel drive? Obviously if you have 4x4 you have the 4.3 and getting the starter out is not a fun chore. I can help you on the 4.3 but if you have the 2.2 I'm not sure how to pull that one as I have never done it. I changed the starter on my '95 4.3 2wd. I would assume then that the '97 is basically the same even though they updated the motor in that year. I am assuming a lot here as I don't know what motor you have and the fact that my experience is based on a truck 2 years and different motors but since the motors still are basically the same, the starter location and removal process should not have changed. Also it has been several years since I changed the starter so my memory my be a bit fuzzy. So all in all I may not be much help but you can take what I have to say for what it's worth. For the 2wd, I had to use swivels to get around the motor mounts to get the bolts out. Then I had to undo both of them and drop the starter to get one of the bolts to drop past the mount. You do not have to remove the oil pan to get it out however it is a very tight fit to fanangle the starter past the transmission and frame. I had to disconnect the wires while holding it up with one hand and then drop it down to get it out. Installation was easier. This was for the 2wd. For the 4wd I believe you have to undo the motor mounts and then lift the engine slightly to get the starter to drop out. And then for the 2.2 I really have no idea. My best suggestion is to get a Chilton or a Haynes manual. The Chilton is by far the better one. It has saved my life many a time both on my '95 and my '01 S-10.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I just did a test on my truck to see what could be causing my mileage problem. I am currently testing it further as well. I drove over 400 miles in the past two days and averaged 21 mpg. Before I did that I didn't change the oil. I did however change the air filter. The old one wasn't horrible, but it still didn't hurt to change it. I have a K&N for it but stopped using it because I was told the oils in the filter can get into the combustion chamber and cause damage. If anyone can disprove this let me know. I didn't really experience a change with the K&N anyway so I went back to regular paper filters. I use FRAM filters and this time I used a Tough Gaurd one. We'll see if it helps. It was only a couple dollars more than the standard so I am not out much if it doesn't make a difference.

    Anyway, the driving I did was mountainous driving and I averaged 18.5 MPG on my first tank driving the up hills and I kept the truck at around 70 MPH. Sometimes 65 sometimes 85 depending on the road. Since I was climbing hills, I was usually in either my passing gear (I wish I could get the truck to stay in this gear while climbing hills), or I was in 3rd, so my RPM's were high. On my way home I filled up before I left and most of the way was downhill and flat ground. I kept to about 75-80 mph and averaged about 23.5 mpg. Those 2 figures come out to around 21 mpg and I will call it hwy since that is where I was when I did most of my driving.

    Before my next trip I am going to change the fuel filter and see if that does any good as well. I would like to see if I can get the mileage as high as 23 all the time. I might have to slow down to 60-70 mph though to do that instead of the 75-80 mph I was driving. To be honest I was surprised my truck did as well as it did as I had never been able to attain anywhere close to that mileage before. But then most of driving up to that point had been in town and I have a pretty heavy foot. I accelerate quite hard and that could have a major impact on my mileage. I will keep testing and see what I can come up with...

    If you have 185K on the motor that is impressive!! I would expect the mileage to go down some with so many miles on the engine, but at the same time, what is keeping it from attaining the mileage it used to get?? Sensors, and maybe even spark plugs and wires. Maybe switching to a slightly hotter burning plug and thicker wires and getting a heavy duty ignition coil might help the enging burn the fuel it recieves better?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    $1000??? For a CLUTCH?? Yikes!!! RUN RUN RUN AWAY!! It shouldn't cost that much to replace just a clutch. Before I knew better I had the clutch replaced in my '95 S-10 which had the 4.3 for around $600. That was still a little high I think, but I was young and dumb then plus I didn't have a whole lot of tools to work with so I had it done by a shop. But... in your case, I would take it for a second opinion at another shop and have the guy drive it and then see what he thinks. Fill it with fluid and see if you can spot a leak anywhere. Was the clutch out of fluid or the tranny? If the tranny was out than you might have a bigger problem, but if not it might just be that the clutch needed a little fluid and you still might be okay.

    But anyways, here is what I would do. Like I said before, take it for a second opinion, and then a third. I would take it to a mechanic in the town where your son lives to limit how much he has to drive the vehicle. Once he gets all opinions, and if they all agree (which they won't), I would then decide to either have one of those mechanics do the work, or if you feel comfortable after have the problem throuroughly diagnosed, have him drive it home and have the work performed closer to home where you can take it to your regular trusted mechanic.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Just a quick note and correct me if I am wrong. Only 4x4 S-10's have the problem with the oil cooler lines am I not correct? I used to work in a lube shop and every single 4x4 S-10 (Blazer, Sonoma, Jimmy), the oil lines from the filter always leaked. This was on the 94-current, well now no longer produced. Yet I never saw anything leaking on a well maintained 2wd. The reason I ask is I own an '01 2wd with about 72K on it and doesn't leak a drop, but would like to take the preventative maintanence if I need to to prevent it from dripping if there are known trouble spots...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    You probably won't be able to take the motor out of the camaro and just "drop" it into your S-10 unless it's a 305 or 350. They make kits to install those into the S-10 engine bay although it does take some cutting and redoing the radiator. But as far as taking heads off and using them on the camaro motor I don't think so. You have the 2.2 4 cylinder motor of which none of the parts are interchangalbe with any of the camaro motors. If you can find a 94-95 Cavalier (and it shouldn't be hard - they are cheap and throwaway cars), you can probably rob parts off the motor in those cars to make work with what you want provided that Cavalier also has the 2.2 motor (most of them did)
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