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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • jflyjfly Posts: 1
    I parked my 2001 S10 today and attempted to restart only 1 hr later. Truck would not start. I jumped truck with another vehicle (started fine). Truck will not start on its own. After starting with another vehicle, odometer lights flicker quickly. When moving the truck, random and sometimes all dash warning lights come on and then all instrument panel power goes off (spedo, tach, all gages, lights, etc). Truck seems to run fine after starting with another vehicle but will not start on its own battery. Battery tests strong and instrument gage shows full power. There is a high pitched wine coming from under the dash when running. truck will not start on its own... I dont understand how this is happening. If the battery is full charge, why does it not start by itself. It will only start by jumping battery to another vehicle.. this doesnt make sense to me!! can anyone help?!?!
  • bigaldsbigalds Posts: 47
    Assuming the battery is good because you said it "Tests Good", and assuming the Starter is good because you said it starts good when jumped from another battery, it would only leave a problem in the wiring, cables and connections. A loose connection on a cable could easily cause your problem. Check all cables, tighten all connections.
  • Hey Chief just wondering if you found where the squeak is coming from. I have a 2000 ZR2 with the same symptoms. Cant seem to locate the problem. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Was wondering if any changed the coolant on their S-10. I'm about due to change mine, hitting the five-year mark last month, and though I am WAY under the mileage, thought I would change it just the same. My problem is with the radiator peacock and am wondering how to open it. It's plastic, doesn't have any "ears" on it like the older ones and the head seems to be like the one-way-screw heads, where you can twist it in, but can't twist it out. Can't seem to fit a driver or an extension on/in it. Parts stores don't have a clue or listing for it. Is there a technique or special tool to open the peacock or other method. The shop manual doesn't list anything, just saying it can be opened and to open the peacock on the block, which I have yet to find. Have a 2WD 99 LS reg. cab, short bed, 4.3 V6, 4L60E, ZQ8.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I recently had the coolant changed on my 2000 S10. I had 95,000 km (59,000 miles). I suggest you replace the upper and lower rad hoses, thermostat, and rad cap. GM has had problems with the original rad caps keeping the cooling system pressurized. Good luck!
  • the "petcock" on the radiator does indeed turn. Just apply a slight bit of force, but be careful. After you turn it counterclockwise a bit, if I remember corectly, it pops out a bit, allowing the coolant to drain.

    With regard to the block, I've never seen a petcock installed by the factory. There should be a hex headed pipe plug near the bottom of the block, one on each side.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I always spray mine with penetrating oil before I open or close it, saves from breaking it. Not my idea I picked it up on another site.
  • I'd be careful with the penetrating oil. Over time, it might attack the plastic, then you'd have a whole 'nother situation to deal with.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Thanks for the information. Again, will be changing th efluid soon as I changed all of the other fluids (oil, trans, rear end), belt, filters and had the injection system serviced. Didn't want to to put too much pressure on it for fear of breaking it. Know about the penetrating oil attacking plastics, have worked with the material for about 10 years my in automotive/non-automotive apps for work.

    Again, I haven't seen a petcock on the 4.3 either, but have on others (had one on my import), but was mentioned in the service manual.

  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I will take my chances on two sprays every 3 yrs against breaking the valve, I used that trick for years and no problem, maybe I use a poorer grade lol.
  • Just purchased a 2000 S10 ZR2 package and LS trim. Sharp looking truck with 57300 miles. I like just about everything but, I do have one problem. At low speeds (1 to 15) mph I hear a thud or clunking noise from under the truck. I can't seem to pinpoint the area its coming from front and rear. I only hear it when the road is uneven but, not bumpy. It makes the noise weather I apply the breaks or just let it roll or on the gas. It almost sounds like the rubber bushings are worn on parts of the suspension. On visual inspection it looks good. Any suggestions would be a big help, its driving me nuts.
  • tommctommc Posts: 68
    First guess would be a loose shock. Have someone bounce it up and down while you look at each one, each end. These will make noise on slight movements if loose or a bad bushing.
  • I have a 2000 S-10 ZR2 with only 34K on odometer.. I have had some serious problems with this truck.. Just took it in for inspection and of course it failed. Both front wheel bearings were shot! Idler arm also had excess play and was replaced.. Gas mileage is terrible(14 in city and 16 on highway). Have replaced the driver side seat recline handle twice.. Had to replace all 4 tires prematurely because of constantly losing air and not sealing properly on aluminum rims.. Check engine light came on 5 times when new until the dealer finally fixed it right.. 3rd door had some serious rattling.. I really like this truck but sometimes i wonder if others are having similar problems.. Oh well...just found this board and had to vent!!
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Although I haven't heard any complaint about wheel bearings, front suspension problems appear to be common on the S10, especially ball joints, idler and pitman arms.

  • To keep air from leaking between the tire and aluminum rims, let all the air out of the tire, remove valve stem, squirt WD40 into tire through valve stem for 20 seconds using the small tube that comes with the WD40, reinsert valve stem and tighten snug, refill with proper amount of air. Do this to each tire and the spare, and you won't have those slow leaks, unless you get a small punture. Use the Large Size WD40 can. I always do this when I get a set of new tires, and I never have a problem with them.
  • Thanks for the tip on the shocks but, they're in good shape. I only get the noise when it rolling, in or out of gear. My mechanic can't pin point the location either but, said everything looked good. He thinks it's the exhaust! Any help ANYBODY!!
  • mikeb1mikeb1 Posts: 1
    Hey, i'm 18 and dont have much money. I can afford a 89 Chevy S10 in a few weeks. There are some flaws with the truck like theres some rust that is in the wheel wheel. Is it easy to fix?? Since its in the wheel well, it doesnt have to look the best, just good enough. The major problem with it is that when you give the truck alot of gas, it'll dip down to the right. Is there something wrong with the motor mounts or body mounts? or is it just got alot of torque? I dont think it does cuz its only a 4.3L V6. Its $1500 canadian and i'm just wondering if its worth it. Theres no other rust that i am aware of because it was newly painted. (it was painted pretty crappy because there paint isnt very smooth, and the paint got on to the rubber around the windows.) Theres also a crack of the chrome that buldged up on the rear bumper thing and rusted some.
  • I just purchased a 2002 S10 with 80,000 miles on it. It has a 4.3 liter six that seems to run well. I'm a bit disappointed with the gas mileage (after driving a thrifty 4 cylinder S10 for 18 years). I've changed to a K&N air filter and will replace the Quaker State oil with Mobil 1 or another good synthetic next oil change. Any other suggestions to improve the gas mileage?
    Also, the plugs look like they're a bear to get at (don't know if they've been changed yet). Give me some pointers on replacing them. Or, are these plugs a mechanic only project?

  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    Since this seems to be the most active S10 board going, I thought I would try to find an answer here. If anyone knows of a more appropriate site, please let me know.

    How well will 4.3 auto. S10 stand up to regular towing? I have a small lawn-care business & need to tow +/_ 2000# up to maybe 3500# on a regular basis mostly in the summer - not all year. Most days closer to 2000 than 3500.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    I think the only real problem area will be the automatic transmission. In all other respect the S10 should handle 2000+ pounds fine.

  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    In what ways will the auto. be the problem? Most have been telling me auto tows better and most web sites for the car makers rate auto for higher max tow eights.

    What happens (if anything) on those days when I have to drag 3000+?
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Some more recent S10's come equipped with an automatic transmission cooler. My S10 is a 2000 model and has one. I haven't done any towing but I do have 65,000 miles without any transmission problems.
  • You shouldn't have any problems towing that kinda load with the V-6 and an auto tranny. The drivetrain in the S-10 is identical to the drivetrain in some fullsize chevys pickups. As long as you don't beat the piss out of it, it should be fine.
  • dustykdustyk Posts: 2,926
    Longevity will be the issue, especially if you don't perform the correct transmission maintenance.

  • Such is the case with any auto tranny, especially those without a tow package or aftermarket tranny cooler.
  • I have an 1989 S10 with 65K on it. I have put in a new thermostat and heater core. Now I need to direct more flow to the defroster when I move the slide to the defrost position. The amt of hot air coming from the floor vent doesn't seem to change when I move the slide to either position. Is there a trick to slowing the air flow from the heater(floor)and increasing the flow to the defrost vents. Any help would be appreciated what with winter coming on.
  • tsugatsuga Posts: 13
    ***The drivetrain in the S-10 is identical to the drivetrain in some fullsize chevys pickups.

    How will the brakes hold up? Is trans. cooler, etc. necessary, or will stock vehicle do? What is included in "tow package" - other than a good hitch, that is not found on stock truck?
  • markw8markw8 Posts: 25
    If this not too late. The 96 I had was easiest to change by removing the front wheels,then working thru the dust cover above the control arms. When you look thru, the plugs are right there. I hope this helps. Mark.
  • kc04kc04 Posts: 2
    Im thinking of buying a 2003 gmc sonoma 4wd crew cab. Since the truck is the last line of production, will it be difficult to find replacement parts??

    THank You
  • josonjoson Posts: 1
    I am planning to buy a used 2003 S10 (4 cyl) and I would like to have an insights for those people who owns one. Thanks
This discussion has been closed.