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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Care & Maintenance



  • Hi,
    I have a 98 chevy s10 with 83,000 miles on it. the problem is when i start it in the mornings when its cold, it turns over right away, when i try to turn it on when its warm it will crank for about 3 to 4 seconds and start up really rough.

    I had a mechanic look at and he told me my fuel pump was bad so i changed that and now im out 500 bucks and no solution to my problem.

    Also after it starts up warm and i turn it off then on again right away it will start up fast, but if i let it sit for a couple minutes it wont start right away!

    What is wrong with my truck?
  • Hi,

    A couple dumb thoughts -

    - Vapor lock in the fuel lines? (Probably not if the pump is in the tank )

    - or more possibly - Try lossening your gas cap - I'm wondering if you are getting a vacuum lok in the gas tank ...
  • Hey guys just wondering if anyone knew where to find the radiator drain plug as I am looking to flush my system. Thanks
  • I have seem to found it on the bottom driverside corner of the rad, unfortunately it is very flush with the rad and difficult to get your hand into loosen it off. Has anyone every taken one off and have any suggestions? Thanks
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    I'm not sure on yours but alot of the newer GM's have a drain plug that turns only 1/2 a turn and pops loose. I use a 1/4 inch drive ratchet and short extension. The plug itself has a 1/4 inch square indentation. Needless to say you can burn your hand if the engine has been running.
    Good luck :shades:
  • cnwcnw Posts: 105
    I had the sajme problem on an '83 VW GTI. Replaced the fuel pump relay and the problem went away. There was a certain temperature range that caused it to lose contact; above or below was fine.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    After much procrastination, I finally replaced the hinge pin on my 92 S-10. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Preliminary thought was to replace the entire hinge. That is till I found out they are installed by being welded on. So I went with plan “b”, replace bushings and pin and keep old hinge.

    I blocked up the bottom of the door with wood blocks to support everything while I drove out the old pin. Pops helped me with free advice, holding the droplight, and wiggling the door when needed. The replacement pin and bushing fit perfectly.

    The tricky part was getting the spring back in. It would be faster if I had use of a spring compressor but I didn’t feel like renting or buying one. What I did to overcome the lack of a spring compressor was to compress the spring in a vice, took a wrap through the spring with stainless steel wire, and used needle nose pliers to twist the wire tight. That held the spring compressed enough that I could use a screwdriver to get the spring poked back in where it belongs. After that I used a pair of dikes to cut the wire loose and wha-lah, job done.

    I was happy to see how well it all went. No skinned knuckles, pinched fingers, cursing, or throwing objects. Now my door opens closes like it should with out a hitch.

    We’ll probably do Dad’s S-10 next. I think the total cost for parts (pin and bushing kit) was less than five bucks. Total time for Pops and I from start to finish was probably around 45 minutes to an hour. A technician that does this kind of work for a living could do the same job in half the time. :shades:
  • bomb21bomb21 Posts: 2
    my s 10 is having the same problem if you have any tips please help.
  • bomb21bomb21 Posts: 2
    wow thanks for the reply. here is some more info, this chevy s10 blazer is hard to star after sitting for more than 1 hour. i have replaced the fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel regulator & cleaned my fuel pump ground. first ignition cycle in the morning i have 50 psi fuel pressure when cranking drops to 45 psi, wont start. hooked up my battery charger and fuel pressure jumps to 60 psi, it then takes a couple of cranks, but will start. battery is good(load tested)& cleaned my terminals. i am getting 10.3 volts from the fuel pump relay when cranking and 9.7 at the pump( no charger connected) this does not seem to be enough to work the fuel pump. i am pretty sure i have a voltage drop someware, but ware? i would think 10 volt should be enough to operate the fuel pump.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Hey dude... Dont want to burst your bubble, but avoid the 2.2 motor. I have yet to run across any 2.2's with over 200,000 miles on them. (for that matter I havent run across any 4.3 V-6's that are from the model year 98 and up, however it could be that only time needs to go by before those models start reaching 200K). But I have seen and serviced several early model 4.3 Vortec and prior 4.3's with over 200K on them. But I would recomend staying away from the 2.2. Others may have their opinion, but the 2.2 is underpowered and under torqued for the S-10. It doesn't hold up well to be stressed at moving the S-10's heft - it weighs a good 2 ton especially extended cab. Once the 2.2 reaches 100K, my experience has shown it to start leaking heads, rattling like a tractor and blowing seals. It's all downhill once it reaches that mark. That's just my experience.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Wow- it's been awhile since I have been here... since they switched forum formats it's been a little difficult to track, but I think I'll get used to it. Checking out the link right now. Thanks. :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Okay - quick general brake question. Next time I do the brakes on my truck I will have to replace the rotors. They should have already been replaced because when I last changed the pads and took the rotors down to be turned the guy told me he shouldn't turn them because the would be past the limit which is allowed. He said he would do it anyway, but the rotors would be prone to warping because of heat and so on. I understood his point and I know that you can only turn rotors so much and so on. I was grateful he did turn them because my finances really only allowed that. The pads were replaced under warranty and I didn't have the hundred bucks to shell out for rotors at the time. All I needed was for the rotors to last until I could afford to replaced them, so whether he was supposed to turn them or not, I was grateful he did.

    As of right now they still seem to work fine - although I have only put about 1000 miles on them since the change, but now I am looking to replaced them anyway's. My question is this - is there any benefit to cross drilled rotors? What's the difference between cross drilled and OEM??? I have found that cost doesn't vary very much and is there a benefit or is it just marketing hype and would I really be able to tell a difference - especially on an S-10?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    That's kind of what my commen sense was telling me. I am sure that in a high performance vehicle that travels at high speeds and then quickly brakes and is really punishing the car, then vented and cross drilled rotors would probably help with brake cooling.

    But since it is only an S-10 (anything over 90 is scary. The whole front end just floats), than I don't really see a reason/need for any more than the standard OEM replacement. Thanks for the info... I think for my purposes I'll stick with the OEM.

    Maybe in the future if I ever get around to dropping an LS-1 into the truck, than maybe along with the enging upgrade, I'll do some other upgrades as well to make it worthy of handling that LS-1. That would probably include the suspension and brakes. And at that point I would be the only one driving it. :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    I'l throw in my 2 cents of what I think is possible based on the experience I had...

    I had an old 82 Full size Chevy truck that had the motor blow. It had a 350 in it (what the 4.3 is based off of). We found a 77 350 from a Blaze that we were able to get cheap and figured we could just use some parts from the original 350. Come to find out the "original" wasn't really original, but to make a long story short by the time we were done, the "new" motor had a '77 block, 82 heads and '86 intake and carb. After rebuilding the carb (it had been run dry with a propane setup on top of it for 15 years.), it ran beautifully.

    So in answer to your question, I think that you should be able to use the older block and use your intake and throttle body. You might have to switch over the front engine cover - i.e. water pump and belt assemblies, if they are set up differently than the 91, but the basic core of the 85 4.3 is the same as the 91 4.3.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    I had hoped that I would never have to pose this question, but here goes. I have developed an oil leak on my '01 S-10 4.3 2wd. 105K miles. Maintenance has been good - oil changes every 3K or so. Never more than 4K, and a lot of times less than 3K. But just recently I noticed oil underneath the truck. At first I thought it was a loose plug, but had it replaced at the last oil change. Filter is also tight. I pressure wshed the bottom of the engine to better able to tell where it is coming from and it appears to be coming from the rear of the motor between the motor and transmission.

    That seems to me to be the rear main seal? I don't seem to leak very much - about 1/3 of a quart in the last 1000 miles. So it's not a major problem, but I hate having oil drip becuase now I have to watch where I park for fear of leaving a nasy spot on someone's drive.

    I also switched to Mobile One on the last oil change, but I doubt that has anything to do with it. The reason I had the oil changed is I noticed oil collected on the bottom of the pan and since I was almost due anyway, took it in and made sure the plug was replaced. When I had first inspected it, that's where most of the oil was collected and so I surmised that's where my problem lay. But since changing the oil and cleaning the bottom of the engine, I still seem to be dripping.

    So now I am in quest of locating and hopefully repairing the leak with out too much hassel or expense.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    THX! It is possible that it's coming from the valve cover gaskets... The last time I looked the bolts had oil encrusted dirt over the bolts. I don't think it is the oil pan gasket, although I didn't go over it with a fine toothed comb, so I'll go back over it. Hopefully it's not the pan gasket, becuase from what I understand you have to loosen the motor mounts and raise the engine slightly to remove the oil pan? At least on 2wd models?

    Anyway, the thing that gets my attention is the oil pressure sender. I have heard rumors and I think I remember seeing somewhere that the 4.3 was notorious for having those leak? Someone had mentioned a while back on this forum to check that, but it was so long ago that I had forgotten until you mentioned it.

    I'll start by cleaning the motor and then go from there. I'll not jump to the rear main just yet... I was highly doubtful it was that anyway since I only have 105K on it and no major oil loss...

    If it is the oil pressure unit, how difficult is that to change and approx cost???
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Is is possible that the front drive shaft U-joint is coming apart?

    Some months ago I had my rear U-joint replaced. At first I thought I was hearing things because it was a real quite almost grinding noise that would manifest it self only on take-off. For a couple months I could barely notice it. But as time wore on, it got louder, but still only manifested itself on take-offs. Then it got to the point where I could idle down the street (5 MPH) and hear the grinding....

    That's the only thing I can think of since I only have a 2wd. Although when I re-did the brakes a couple months ago, I also repacked the front wheel bearing, but they seemed to be turning fine and making no noise. This was at about 100K and the 1st time I had ever done it. 4wd setup is probably a little different though?

    I think that your are right in that if something is going, it's gonna go quickly if you drive a nominal amount of miles. If you don't drive so much, and something is on it's way out and is related to the drivetrain, then it of course might take longer to rear it's ugly head.

    The only noise my truck makes is a knock in the steering column that developed after one of my last road trips over rough terrain. It has since dimished a little, but since the steering still works fine, I haven't taken the time to look at it. My oil leak is of more concern to me. :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Bottom corner of the raiator ... give me a sec and I'll run out to my truck and verify :D ...

    I believe that it is on the passenger side lower corner?? I did go out and look (but with wet snow and such, I am NOT crawling under it to make sure. I couldn't tell from up top.

    If all else fails and you can't find it, just pop the lower radiator hose. :D of course then all the water would come rushing out with little hope of containing it all.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    You are replying to a post that is 5 years old. I had to go back to the original post to see what the issue was. Here is the original post:

    Mattison1 asked: My 98 S-10 blazer is start hard in the mornings and after sitting for more than 30 min. When it is running it runs fine. I have replaced the plugs, had the throttle body ckecked, and had the electrical system ckecked. So far I have found nothing. Any ideas welcome.

    Unless you are having the exact same issue and have done the exact same things, I would try just posting your exact issue. That way you can recieve more direct advice instead of more generic advice. So without knowing exactly what it is that you are having a problem with here is some generic advice...

    It sounds like it might be either a fuel filter or a fuel pump. I would lean more towards a fuel pump rather than a filter, but try changing the filter first. It is by far cheaper and easier to do and should be done every couple of years or so anyway. See if that helps. You could aslo be losing fuel pressure in the lines. Even with the truck off the fuel lines remain pressurized and fuel delivery to the injector is instant the minute the starter is turned. If you are losing fuel pressure when the truck is turned off, it will take several cranks of the starter and the fuel pump to deliver fuel back to the injectors. Once the truck is running a fuel is flowing, then you're good to go, but the minute you kill the power to the pump (turn the ignition off), then you lose all pressure and you're back to square one. The pump is what maintains the pressure (even when the truck is off) and so it is possible that the pump is allowing the pressure to bleed off over a matter of time. Which would explain why an overnight sit or even a 30 minute sit would induce hard starting.

    This is the direction I would point you in. There are a couple of ways you can test this. On your truck (depending on motor size - 2.2 or 4.3. I only know the 4.3) there is a schrader valve on the fuel line next to the throttle body. This is where you can bleed off the fuel pressure (so that you can change the filter with out getting sprayed by fuel. Trust me, if you do change the filter, BLEED OFF THE PRESSURE! It sucks getting sprayed by fuel while lying underneath the truck.) Anyway, to test, pull the dust cap off the valve and stick a pressure gauge (available at an autoparts store like Shucks or Autozone), and check the pressure. Then come back a few minutes later and check it again. It should read about the same. If the pressure is quite a bit lower than the previous reading, you probably have a pressure problem.

    You can also test this with out a pressure guage, but you will probably get a bit smelly. At the schrader valve take a container and some rags to catch the spilled gas and hold it by the valve. Depress the pin taking care not to have your face over the valve as you do so to relieve the pressure. Do this immediatly after the truck has been running for a couple of minutes. Long enough to build up the fuel pressure, but no long enough to get the motor so hot that you can burn yourself on everything under the hood. Once all, or most of the pressure is bled off, start the truck again. It should be hard to start. Then let it run for a couple minutes like before and then shut it down. Let it sit for a while and then come back and WITHOUT starting the truck, repeat the process with the rags and container. If you have a pressure problem, there shouldn't be a whole lot of gas spewing out of the valve.

    So first and foremost, change the fuel filter. It isn't hard and something you can probably do yourself. By going through the process you will invariably discover whether or not you have pressure in the fuel lines because you should be bleeding off the pressure anyway so that you don't get sprayed with you release the lines connected to the fuel filter.

    If you do find that you have a pressure problem, then you might have a bad pump, but not neccasarily. You could also have a bad or loose vacumn somewhere in the that is also allowing pressure to bleed off. From there I'm afraid I am not much help. Changing a a fuel pump isn't hard, but it isn't fun. Depending on your mechanical expertise, you might just want to take it to a shop. They might also be able to run some diagnostics to determine whether it is the pump or something in the fuel lines.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    From there I am afraid that I am now not much help... It sounds like an electrical issue and I am not good with hunting down electrical gremlins. You've done everything I would have known how to do and so maybe it is not in the fuel delivery system but elsewhere. You didn't mention whether or not you have changed the spark plugs, and if you have, did you make sure the gap was set correctly? Maybe it's in the distributer and it's also needing to be replaced?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    So it's been awhile since I have been here and needed to post something, but here goes. I am a bit baffled by this odd bit. Just tonight I replaced plugs, wires, cap and rotor on my '01 4.3 V6 S-10. Everything seemed to go according to plan and there didn't seem to be any major issues - other than fighting the steering rod on the driver's side and the dipstick tube on the passenger side. When I went to fire it up though, it fired just fine, the engine sounded normal, if not smoother than before, but there was a wierd clacking like noise coming from the distributer cap and rotor.

    I shut the truck off, took the cap off and looked at the new roter. It appeared that some of top parts had broken off, but I didn't see any plastic parts or debris anywhere in the cap or under the rotor. The broken of pieces didn't appear to be affecting the performance and after comparing it to the old rotor I determined that there wasn't really anything wrong with it. I looked at the cap and it also looked fine. I put it back together and took it for a test drive. It still clacked-kind of like plastic hitting plastic sound. The truck ran normally. No mis-fires, good power, nothing out of the ordinary except the clacking sound.

    I got back home and exchanged the new rotor for the old one and I got the same noise. I am stumped. I checked the wiring to make sure I had wired the new plugs correctly and I had. I also checked to make sure the cap was on tight and it was, except that if I forced the cap back towards the drivers side of the firewall the noise seemed to lessen and when I put my hand on the cap, it felt like the rotor was striking the side of the cap... Do I have a bum cap? Or is it something else? Since it was almost 9 PM before I was decided to quit fiddling with the thing, the auto parts store where I bought the cap was closed. Actually it closed about 45 minutes after I bought the stuff so I was out of luck almost before I started working...

    So as of right now I am stuck with what to do. I will take the cap back tomorrow and see if they will exchange it - maybe take the guy outside and have him listen to the vehicle... I hope they can do something if it is the cap. It was almost $50... :confuse: But if anyone has any ideas I am open to them... I just didn't think a simple plug and wire change would turn into such a battle.
  • I have an 02 Chev S-10 4.3L. I gradually started losing heat. Replaced the thermostat with an OEM, flushed the radiator, engine and heater core, bled the system several times, got some heat for a short time, now I have very little heat. I wonder if there is a thermal control valve in this system? Inlet hose to the heater is hot and the outlet is cold. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Your heater core is plugged, back flush it or replace.
  • 03 Sonoma ext. cab, automatic trans w/3 button electronic transfer case; owned since new: All 3 buttons light when key is turned to start; 2WD button is lit once started. NOTHING happens when 4HI or 4LO button is pushed. Fuses under hood and in kick panel are good. Another site said probably bad actuator motor but I couldn't follow up and find out how to check it. Where is this actuator motor? Is there also a relay that could be bad? TIA
  • Follow-up: Located and tested actuator motor under battery tray; tested fine w/Mighty-Vac - held steady for over 30 sec with zero vacuum drop. Also determined that there is 12V at the pigtail (switch?) where the cable from the actuator enters the transfer case. Took it out on the road and still no joy. With the truck in "D" moving fwd at idle as per owners' manual, NOTHING happens when the 4HI button is pushed - no click, clunk, hiss or anything I could hear. Looks like the truck's got to be on a lift to check vacuum at the actuator with the battery in place.

    There must be a switching valve and maybe a relay somewhere to control the vacuum to the actuator. Anybody know where the clever folks at GM hid it?

    Eager for suggestions...
  • rydoggrydogg Posts: 3

    Please help me. Has anyone figured out what the hell is going on with chevy's 4WD system on their S10s. My truck going up hill will begin to make this horrible whinning sound from front end. PLEASE HELP! I have seen many posts saying the same thing. Has anyone figured it out????
  • rydoggrydogg Posts: 3
    GOt the same problem. Has anyone figured it out yet?
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,206
    Good day everyone,

    I am looking to replace the shocks on my rig. It's a '99 S-10 (4.3L, auto, reg. cab-short bed) with ZQ8 suspension package. I was wondering if anyone here replaced their shocks on their ZQ8-suspended truck and if so:

    Which shocks did you use
    Where did you get them

    I've checked a couple of places like Rock Auto, Edelbrock, Summit (gateway from the Edelbrock site) and GMPartsDirect but it they are hella-expensive (especially if I go with the AC Delco replacements :surprise: ).

    Also, was wondering if anyone has replaced the oil cooler lines and if so:

    How difficult of a job was it
    Any special tools / tricks & tips needed
    Specific steps / procedures needed to be followed
    Am I better off taking the truck in to have it done

    Thanks everyone

  • 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 4x4 (originally 4.3 replaced by a 2.8). The cruise control used to work intermittently, it would stay on for a few miles, then shut off, then I could get it back on, etc., etc. Had the turn signal switch replaced last year by a very good mechanic, however the cruise control has not worked at all since then. So, where do I start and what do I do and what am I looking for? Any help is appreciated. I know a little about cars, enough to make me dangerous, I guess. On a scale of 1-10, how hard would this be for me to get into and possibly fix without screwing things up. And, I am not interested at all in removing the cover to the steering column and getting inside there.
  • me1237me1237 Posts: 1
    I have a1996 chevy s-10 4 cylinder pickup. I went to start it the other day and it started right up but to keep it running you have to keep your foot on gas. The minute you let up it dies. It won't idle in neutral. I was hoping someone might have a clue as to what the problem is or where I should start looking. Thank you.
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