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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • The problem with your truck is most likely the CV joints in the driveshaft. If you look at the rear driveshaft, you will see it has 4 u joints. Between the two u joints at each end of the shaft, there is a CV joint (ball and socket). The u joints are probably fine but the ball is probably egg shaped and the socket is probably gone. If you let the problem go too long you might have to replace the yoke. I have had the problem twice, once on the front of the driveshaft and now on the back. A ball kit is $70 and the u joints are about $15 at NAPA. I would recommend scrapping the driveshaft and finding a longer one without the CV joints.
  • NAPA has replacement cables. Grind the old rivit off. The new pin has a snap ring.
  • I have a 96 S-10 2.2L 5 speed transmission (which I traded for a 93 Camaro Z28 with a busted head). Since I have owned it,it has had a problem with leaking fluids which I did not know when I traded for it. It burns oil (I say it burns because everyone says it leaks,but never have i seen a spot of oil on the ground) leaks anitfreeze,and leaks clutch fluid. Recently I noticed a leak under the driver side door and today I was told that it is more then likely clutch fluid running through the transmission. If anyone has advice on this please let me know.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Should be 5 quarts including filter for 4.3L.

    Can verify at parts store or in Chilton service manual.
  • rynoryno Posts: 1
    My check engine light just came on the other day, this is the second time it happened. The first time it took forever to find out what was wrong, but it just ended up being that I had to have the computer reprogrammed. If this is your problem, your truck should still be under warranty.
  • just a bit of info for all who may have the same problems. Just back from the shop and the hissing sound I was a vacuum leak....part on order, still under warranty.....

    the other sound...."grinding from behind the dash" at first the shop guys thought it was the tach..after they got the dash appart.......nope......after a few hours and a couple of opinions they tracked it down the PCV valve....never would have guessed! anyway still liking the truck, bit thursty though!
  • Sonoma electrical problems:
    I just bought a 2002 GMC Sonoma with 50k miles for use in the Virgin Islands.

    The battery keeps losing charge in 14-18 hours. New Battery did not help. Alternator is good.
    No lights are on, but occasionally on very dark night, the lights in bottom of gauges (the park/neutral/drive light) appears to be on very dimly. It looks like a phosphorescence glow, not a real light.

    Removal of fuse 4 in the cab (the gauge fuse) causes park/drive light and some of the gauges to go out when truck is turned on. However, the faint glow is still visible even when key is removed.

    Removal of fuse 19 (the radio fuse) causes faint light on park/drive to go out, also the speedometer/odometer, gas, temp gauges also go out

    Sometimes removal of fuse 19 causes all the gauges to quit working, sometimes not. When 19 is replaced, there is a surge and all gauges peg momentarily. Both fuse 19 and fuse 4 have to be removed to shut off the gauges.

    Any ideas how this is possible?
  • chuck46chuck46 Posts: 6
    I have a rattleing noise when I dowshift or accelerate the engine, I think it is the clutch bearings or something of the sort, Is it very hard to rebuild a clutch or should I take it to the garage? I do all of the engine work on my cars , but dont mess with transmission and never rebuilt a clutch.
  • Airman,
    Im kinda having the same problem with my truck.I was hoping that you could let me know how to reset the computer.My security light stays on all the time and I think that the security system is telling my computer to stop my injectors from working.The truck will start and run for maybe a second and then dies.I have to turn the key back,wait a few seconds and start the truck again inorder for it to start again.SOMBODY PLEASE POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!
  • joel36joel36 Posts: 1
    I turn the key until the dash lights "should" light up, but they don't.If i keep turning the key the truck will turn over but won't start until the dash lights are on.I sometimes have to wait about 5-10 minutes with the key tuned until the dash lights finally come on.I don't know much about trucks, but i'm hoping someone can help.
  • dtl379dtl379 Posts: 3
    you may have a faulty sending unit. I have read online of a few trucks with this issue. Mine has a faulty sending unit, and has for years. Just for note, if you have the 4.3 X, 262, SCPI, with a 15.8 gallon tank, you can get just over 300 miles to the tank. Keep that in mind. GOOD LUCK!!!
  • redtruckredtruck Posts: 2
    Just when I take off from a dead stop. Seems to be coming from center of driveshaft suspect carrier bearing starting to go or maybe something in the CV-joint.
  • woodmarewoodmare Posts: 1
    I run smaller tires on the front than on the rear of my 1997 S15 Std cab Sonoma. (I insist on a nice nose down attitude) Also lowered 4/6 with springs, spindles. Naturally the ABS light comes on. Aside from changing tires, can this be condition corrected/reprogrammed?
  • My '99 S-10 runs normal above 1500 RPMs, but hesitates and frequently stalls at idle. I have replaced the "before cat" O2 sensor and the fuel filter. This fixed it for about 24 hours. My idle problem comes and goes daily! I checked the Fuel pressure regulator with the "suck and tongue" method, and it held fine. All vacuum lines seem to check out and the fuel pump whines as normal. PLEASE HELP! :cry:
  • Both my power windows just quit working. Using a meter, there doesn't appear to be any power going to the motors, but the switches appear to be ok. The fuses in the inside fuse box all check out ok. The manual doesn't show any fuse in the fuse box under the hood that applies to the power windows. The manual shows something called "lift glass" but doesn't give any details and that position on my fuse box is empty. Does anybody know if there is a hidden circuit breaker or relay somewhere that controls the window motors? Thanks
  • londog77londog77 Posts: 5
    The problem I have had for a while now, is my AC/Heater doesn't work. When I turn on either the AC or heater I get the same result. The blower works will blow hard as usual. The problem is I only get a hint of cold air or a hint of heat. If I put my hand right up against the vents I can feel the heat or cold air. Its almost like everything works except maybe a valve(?) that actually lets the hot or cold air in to be circulated. Can somebody make any sense of this? Thanks.
  • Truck: 97 S-10 2WD ext cab V6 auto ZQ8 suspension, about 75000 miles

    I get a droning vibration starting around 35 MPH and getting louder until at least 75 MPH (didn't go faster). This just started happening one day with no obvious cause. It sounds like I'm being chased by a prop plane. I can feel the vibration in the floorboard. It's still there whether the trans is in any gear or in neutral, whether or not I'm braking, whether or not I'm turning, etc. Sometimes these events can slightly change the noise but it's still there.

    I rotated the tires with no effect. I don't feel any "play" on any of the wheels. I looked at the driveshafts and didn't see any missing weights but maybe I wasn't looking close enough.

    I tried jacking up the rear of the truck and running it to observe the driveshafts, but after getting up to around 55 MPH, the truck flooded and died. It took several tries to restart. After that I didn't want to keep trying that method so I stopped.

    Any ideas?
  • Me again, same truck as above (97 S-10).

    Sometimes when I'm driving with the headlights on, they will blink out, along with the dash lights. Each event lasts under 1 second. This happens roughly every 15 miles (sometimes more frequently, sometimes less) so it's hard to isolate. One time the fuse for the rear running lights blew, and after that, no more glitches, until I replaced the fuse. What's strange to me is that is a different circuit than the headlights but I guess a short on that circuit can mess up the whole electrical system?

    Any tips on troubleshooting something this infrequent?
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165

    You say "Vibration" then say "sounds like a prop plane" and "vibration in the florr boards" ? - leads me to think it might, possibly, be a wheel bearing in the front?? Get it up to the noise speed (35+) then, in a deserted straight road, do a long lazy weave - left , right, left, and see if you can hear the noise / feel the vibration change pitch .... It might not be this - but it's an easy test ....

    Good Luck !!
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    Not much help here - but a comment ... Although the electrcal systems /circuite are separate - they do come from a common power source. Should a dead short occur - not only does the amperage on that "line" or "circuit" go sky high, it also will draw down the voltage of the rest of entire system "if" the power source cannot produce enough amps to compensate - (or otherwise said - if the amp draw on the battery/alternator exceeds capacity, the entire system voltage will start to drop).

    This drop will stay until something gives - the "dead short" circuit's fuse gives - or until the short goes away (i.e., the wire moves off the frame). Now, The fuse will blow if the short is there long enough - BUT - it does take some fractional part of a second for the fuse to fry (and there are different types - i.e., AGC). In this "short" amount of time (pardon the pun) - the voltage drops in the entire system - including the computer, the relays, etc (almost everything) these starts to see the voltage drop/ spike. The relays can open, the computer can reset, etc .....

    With that said - You said you changed the rear lights fuse - how was it blown?? Was it "Vaporized" (a DEAD short will do this!! ) - or was the fuse just melted enough to open (Minor over amp fuse blow) ??
    If the fuse was vaporized - I'd stay on THAT circuit and check the entore harness - due to tha fact of what I said at the beginning. If not, Be patient and "hopefully" it will get worse real soon - and go completely out - then you have a situation you can trouble shoot ....

    Canufixit ....
  • I just replaced the front wheel bearings (and rotors and pads) about 10K miles ago, but maybe I got crappy parts or installed them incorrectly--I made sure to pack the bearings, follow instructions, set the correct torque, etc... but that is an easy test to try. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • The last fuse was really melted and burnt. And, the last time this problem (short) happened, I actually heard a brief "sizzling" sound in the fuse box to the left of the dash.

    I'll dig around through that circuit now. Might have to get actual shop manuals vs. the Haynes one I've been using.

    Thanks for the information.
  • willi1willi1 Posts: 3
    My S10 only has 70k on it. Had starting problems - seemed to be flooding out. AFter we replaced the fuel pump, filters, rebuilt the throttle body, cleaned injectors, nothing worked. Put in a new throttle body and it starts and runs at a HIGH idle, won't kick down either. Still sounds like it's getting to much fuel - after 10 minutes or so you can't throttle up without choking it out and stalling. Are there vacuum issues I need to check? Computer problem? Would the exhaust system screw this up? Before we changed the throttle body out I had flames coming out of the muffler! Won't start after it stalls out either - as if it's flooded again. Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
  • novadudenovadude Posts: 4
    Been having a problem for awhile now. Backfires out the exhaust, blows the muffler out, splits the seams, if only hold the key in start for short periods its ok, but if i hold it, after about 5 seconds it seems to be compressing liquid, then KAPOWIE, I have no Chk Eng Light, no codes, Seems to start better if I jump the ALDL A&B, Once it is running, it runs fantastic. Static timing is set to about 6-8 degrees. So far I have replaced complete distributor with known good unit, Injector is a known good unit(runs great) Going to replace coil next, just happen to have another good one. Had to remove cat temporarily, so I have slip fit connections for the exh hdr pipe to the muffler. HELP!!!
  • About a month ago I noticed with my 95 S-10 4.3L that when I would take a turn and accelerate my truck would cut out like it was not getting fuel and it would make a popping noise like it was backfiring. Now it is doing it more often and seems to have a sputter when driving at higher speeds. I have changed the fuel filter and that didn't help. Took and had local auto store run a code check and no faults detected. Everyone I have spoken with said that it didn't sound like the fuel pump because they don't normally have warning signs they just quit working all together. Does anyone have any suggestions as what the problem may be?
  • mseifertmseifert Posts: 1
    I have a 93 extended cab and mine did that when the rear cv joint went bad. Had it replaced,driveshaft balanced and it was good for about 20,000 miles and now it is doing it again. From what I have read the second one went bad because it was installed wrong. At $200 a shot I don't want to keep doing this.
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    HI ,

    try this ...

    $15 a year per car and they have all the recalls, TSB, Diagrams, etc for the vehicle. Not as good as the GM shop manuals as far as full info is concerned - but has the TSB, etc ... Cheaper than the manuals and does have some good stuff. For example a demo below ...
  • canufixitcanufixit Posts: 165
    HI all,

    Please, If you find the help here Bad or good - please post the troubleshooting results. We ALL benefit from the knowledge. Even being wrong is OK if you learn from it.... Knowing what the actual problem WAS is even better .....
  • I appreciate the sentiment--I always wonder how things worked out. In my case, I'll let you know when I finally get a chance to work on my truck. Luckily it's no longer my daily driver.
  • What motor and how many miles are on it? Have you replaced your plugs and wires or cap and rotor. If you have near 100K miles and have never replace these things I would say its about time. Decreased mileage is another sign that would warrant such a replacement.
This discussion has been closed.