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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • rgoldergolde Posts: 5
    My 2001 S10 , just out of warranty by the way, is making a serious growling noise that I can feel on the floor boards. It goes away when I turn the wheel slightly to the right. It does it when the truck is rolling in neutral or in drive, it's most pronounced around 30 mph. I dread taking it to the dealer for a major repair after 37k miles.
    I checked the fluids in the transfer case and rear axle, which is a locking differential, and they are fine. Anybody have any ideas what this could be?
  • I am having similar problems with my 2002 S-10.

    Please let me know if you hear anything....

  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    ...With my 1997 S-10 4x4. Until now, that is. The truck is primarily a winter vehicle for me, and gets driven maybe once a week during the summer. It recently had gotten hard to start.

    I posted all of the gory details under the "Hard Starting Chevy S-10" thread in the Maintenance and Repair discussion topic. Bottom line is that the fuel pump had to be replaced after only 40,000 miles. Cost of pump...$544, labor to diagnose problem and replace pump...$345. Total including tax and a couple of nuts, bolts and gaskets...$975.

    Four months ago, I had to replace the front wheel speed sensors, to fix an ABS problem. $130 for parts, and 3 hours of my time to do the job. $1100 in the last 6 months. This truck is killing me!
  • kcir1kcir1 Posts: 4
    I purchased a '92 S10 Blazer (174000 mi)about 6 weeks ago. Within a week brakes (master cylinder) went bad. Had for another week service engine light on/off random times. Brake problem again. GMC repair shop found air in lines and crack wire grounding out caused engine service light. Back in shop engine light on constantly keeps stalling out unless gas pedal is keep slightly depressed. GMC shop said emc was bad they could get no codes from it. Had them replace it and they cleared all the codes they said. Got it back today, seems like it is running okay today. Service writer said vehicle has been well maintained but due to mileage he would get rid of it. I like the Blazer but am I looking at continuous repairs. Any opinions, I cannot afford new car/truck payments. Thanks
  • ...Not to sound sarcastic, but ask yourself this question: What can I least afford, another vehicle or being "nickel and dimed" to death by a questionable truck.

    IMHO, you run the risk of spending a lot more than you can afford by trying to keep a high mileage vehicle running. I'd try to sell it, and find something a little better.
  • kcir1kcir1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for your opinion. I think that is what I'm going to do, start looking around. I really like this Blazer but I guess it is like playing Russian roulette - how much will the next repair cost. I know buying another used vehicle won't be guaranteed problem free but maybe with less mileage it will tip the odds a little more in my favor, hopefully. Thanks again for your input.
  • Good luck with your search. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here's what has been done to my '97 S-10 since it was new: Replaced crankshaft position sensor (2nd day I had it), replaced poorly made OE driveshaft (vibration problem), replaced noisy belt tensioner, replaced faulty solenoid that allows shifter to release from "park" position, replaced worn OE idler arm ($50, plus $45 for re-alignment), replaced front wheel speed sensors @$130 for parts, my labor (ABS problem), replaced dead fuel pump @$975.

    All of this has been done to a 41,000 mile truck! I can only imagine what it would take to keep this running for another 100,000 miles!! I included the cost of the last three repairs, as the vehicle is now out of warranty, and it's out of my pocket from now on.
  • is any one having problems with their 2002 s-10 extended cab the noise is like a big rigs j-brake when you let off the gas while down shifting or a rattling noise when it is not in gear with the clutch out please let me know important dealer won't fix it says it normal noise
  • if anyone owning a 2002 s-10 standard tranny that is making a noise like a big rig j-brake when letting of the gas and down shifting or a rattling noise when it is not in gear and the clutch is out e-mail me
  • I bought a 2002 S10 CrewCab,in August 2003, returned to the dealership (under warranty) due to a whining noise and a leak that was visible under the truck. The dealership replaced the pinion seal and refilled the fluids. They also asked if I had driven through water which, I had not. Today, 12/2/2003, my truck is back at the dealership and, the warranty adjuster will not cover the repair to the rear axle due to water. The dealership will not take responsibility either. When asked if they told the warranty adjuster about the water in August, they responded: Why Would We! Anyone else having this problem? As an update - the dealership took a 2nd look at our truck today and now claims that water may be dripping out of the truck bed into the "rear vent tube". Now the adjusters are coming back out to see the position of the vent tube. Anyone having this problem?
  • I have a '97 S-10 Ext cab Z R-2. The truck makes loud "popping" noises randomly when starting, stopping, and especially when turning on a slope. It sounds like it could be a joint problem. Has anyone experienced this and what is the probable cause/solution? All fittings are greased regularly. Also the airbag indicator light is on. A dealer said the derm control module needs replacement at approx. $500. Any comments would be appreciated.
  • have a 2003 s10 extreme with the 6-disc indash cd changer. Does anybody know if it has RCA pre outs on the back of it for expansion?
  • My 97 S10 has a gas gauge problem. It will go to full when the tank is filled, but never drops below 3/4 tank. Is this a sender problem in the fuel tank or what?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    put a scanner on it and if that also reads 3/4 i would say tank sender unit.
  • tommctommc Posts: 68
    Big problem in this year. GM has a sender unit retrofit for this so you don't have to buy the entire pump assy. Might look at for a unit and save a few dollars. About one hundred dollars at dealer for the sender.
  • I am guessing this is the PT1604 Fuel Tank Pressure Sensor. Is this the right part? And what all is invloved in changing this??

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,616
    If you have a limited slip differential, it is NOT water. It is the additive for the limited slip that turns the oil a milky color. This is common and not a problem.
    If it is not a limited slip differential, then it is possible it is water.
  • My front end noise turned out to be a driver side front wheel bearing, gone at 37k and never abused or plowed with the "truck". The new F150 is looking pretty goood right about now.
  • I bought a new 2WD 2000 S-10 LS with the 4.3L V6, automatic, and limited slip differential. I figured the limited slip diff would prevent excessive wheel spin on sand, snow, etc. Wrong! The truck is too light in the rear for the OEM Uniroyal Tiger Paws to get enough traction on wet pavement. After three years of snowy winters and above average rainfall this year, I decided I needed safer tires. I compared various tires on TireRack and decided to buy the Yokohama Geolander H/T Y816 tires. What a difference! No (or very little) wheel spin on wet pavement, no more "fish-tailing" from coming off-throttle on reverse-camber downhill curves, and much quieter operation on the road. They cost $263 including shipping to a local Mr. Tire. The Mr. Tire dealer installed them for $68. Not a cheap investment but one less safety issue to think about.
    Now, I have a question for all you other good folks. My S-10 developed a strong vibration between 55 - 70 mph. The problem began prior to the new tires being installed and persists with the new tires so I can eliminate the tires as a potential factor. I checked the wheel bearings and determined that they are fine and the Chevy service department has verified that fact. There is no vibration in the steering such as you'd expect from a front alignment problem. I am the sole driver so I know the wheels and chassis haven't been abused. Could it be a rear wheel alignment problem? I'm at a loss; please help. Thanks in advance.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    My son owned two S10s and this problem occured on both. Two common suspects are driveshaft U-joints and throwing the weight off of the driveshaft.

    Despite the fact that your truck hasn't been abused, you might want to check for a bent rim anyway.

    On older Chevies, sometimes a broken motor mount would show up as a speed specific vibration.

  • Thanks for the info Dusty. I checked the drive shaft this morning and there is a balance weight missing. What did it cost your son to fix his? TIA.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Well, that's a saga. He originally went to a bone yard and tried to buy a used drive shaft. They wanted $100. He put it on and the vibration was worse. After two more driveshafts he was still getting vibrations, but different each time. So he went to the dealer thinking he'd buy a new one. I can't remember the price, but it was pretty expensive. The new one lasted a year and started to vibrate. The weight had come off.

    By this time he was pretty discouraged. A friend recommended a driveshaft straightening and balance service. When he got there they said they wouldn't touch an S10 driveshaft. The guy did check the shaft for him and told him it was bent. The guy did give him a suggestion to try positioning some radiator hose clamps (an old method, by the way) on the driveshaft starting where the original weight was. After two tries he actually got about 95% of the vibration out and that's what was on the thing when he sold it off.

    Oh, I almost forgot. When he tried to take the new driveshaft back the Chevy dealer said that the factory did not balance them, despite fair visible evidence that a weight had come off.

    His second S10 exhibited the same thing but by that time he had learned his lesson and used hose clamps, although that one never did get all of the vibration out.

    Good luck,
  • 2000 S-10 LS 4WD, 69K. I purchased this vehicle new in 2000 and am a loyal GM owner, but am having doubts about my next vehicle. Up to 50K everything was great and all scheduled maintenance was performed. The truck has not had any hard tasks other than small loads in the bed and some limited 4WD use for weather and hunting. Since 50K... wheel bearings & ball joints have been replaced, the heat has gone twice, third door handle failed, and it is currently at the dealer for a yet another front end problem. The positives are that the vehicle's engine has been top rate and it has pulled me through some tough northern snowfall. I have been shopping and was considering a Colorado/Canyon, but the reviews have been mediocre. Does anyone have some general feedback whether I should stay loyal to the new small/mid-sized GM trucks or jump to another domestic or foreign (gasp) truck? I plan on purchasing in the next three months.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    ...with my 1997 S-10 4x4 right from the start. The dealer did all kinds of nonsense that didn't work. Finally I had the local driveshaft shop make me a new one...problem solved!
     The driveshaft shop said that all of the S-10s are like that!
  • I own a 1997 4c 2.2L S-10. This past weekend, while driving my headlights switched from "running" to the day time running level. The first time, this occurred 2-3 times in approximately an 8 minute span. After a period of 10 minutes of no problems the lights turned off 2 more times in a period of ~5 minutes. Each time the lights went off I switched the switch to "off" and quickly back to "on" and this turned the lights back on. On my return trip home I flipped the lights up to "bright" and after ~1 minute the lights turned off again. I again flipped the lights on and off and the lights returned to normal. The lights worked fine for the remainder of the trip. Both times the lights had been running for ~1.5 hours. I do remember the lights going completely off one time but all the other times the lights just went to the day time running level. Thank you for any and all help.
  • d3d477d3d477 Posts: 4
    we were denied our request to have our tranny fixed.BBB arbitration is a farse. Our arbitrator had a chance to read the flyers the dealer gave to him on the noises and how to prevent the noise so the truck didn't make the noise.have you ever heard of drivers training to learn to double clutch HAW HAW big rigs yes but not regular trucks stupid huh you have to wear out your clutch to drive your truck so it won't make noise. well i really don't think it matters now my son was hit yesterday and we think the insurance company will consider it totaled. chevy can take a hike
  • tommctommc Posts: 68
    Notice a lot of posts on the ball joint failures and early wear. Most owners say they have performed routine maintenance at correct intervals, but I'm wondering who did the service work. Had our new Blazer back to the "big city dealer" three times now - and not once did they put a grease gun on the suspension fittings. Highly suggest anyone reading this to check your vehicle after a service and tell friends about this also. Just take a quick look for fresh grease on the fitting or around the boot. May not see much, but even a little is proof it was done right. Might save some serious money in the future. In my case the dealer service department has proved to be about as competent as the lube service. Pretty much shocked at this.
  • benjrbenjr Posts: 9
    I have a 2003 S-10 with the 4 cyl engine and 5 speed manual transmission with 8300 miles . The engine is idling at 900 rpm and there is a whining noise that gets louder as the engine speeds up. The local dealer said the 900 rpm idle is normal, and that all S-10's with the 4 cyl engines have noisy alternators and that he cannot fix what's not broken . The noise gets intrusive enough that I just ring up the volume on the stereo to drown it down. Is there truth to the dealer's statement about the noisy alternators as normal? If it is , has anyone found a fix to reduce the whining noise?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Sonoma 4cyl auto idles at 900 rpm it has to do with the engine driven clutch fan,my alternator is quiet,try another dealer.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    ...You might want to check the belt tensioner. If it goes bad, the sound is similar to that of a bad alternator.

    I took my S-10 back for warranty on what sounded like a bad alternator, at least that's what I told the service writer. He said, "OK, we'll check it". They replaced the alternator, said the truck was OK. I drove away from the dealership with the noise still there.

    I turned right around, drove back into service, told them it's still noisy, so they changed the tensioner and the noise went away. I guess the alternator was OK, they just assumed my diagnosis was correct.
This discussion has been closed.