Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Transmission Problems



  • hollisterhollister Member Posts: 2
    Hi, where you able to get any advice on your problem? my 98 sonoma 4.3 v6 is surging also, I have had it to a few shops any no answers yet. frustrating!
  • eeclipse7769eeclipse7769 Member Posts: 1
    I Have a 94 S10 with 70,000, pulled some heavy loads withit and tranny went out no gears after fluid change. replaced with Astro Van xmsn with 17,000 miles on. worked great for 500 miles and now it is out same problems. xcept this time put in reverse it slides in gear until rpms increase then it chatters bad and feels like it will shake apart. all forward gears are fine until up to temp then nothing. Replaced fluid and filter again, same gripe. Could it be something external to xmsn or do I need to replace/rebuild. I was a Helicopter Mechanic for 8 years in the Marine Corps, and auto xmsns are as complex, thank God for you tranny guys, or should I specify Transmission Experts. Tranny has a bad connotation, hense aircraft abbreviation XMSN or QMSN. Another perfectly good mechanical word gone bad.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    The ignition switch has been a known problem, the one at the lower column. Usually at the same time the cluster acts weird.
  • arienarien Member Posts: 4
    No, No reply yet. It is also the second time I have tried to get any help on this site. What I have been told by a couple independent mechanics is that the overdrive part of the transmission is going out. Which would mean a rebuild or new trans, neither of which I can afford. I still owe 2 years on the truck too, so it sounds like I am screwed. Does your truck have any codes showing? Mine still has not, and I have had it hooked up to a diagnostic machine and driven, and STILL nothing showed. Is your gas mileage dropping? I have gone from 400 miles a tank to 250 a tank. If anyone else is reading this, can you PLEASE reply as to whether it is the trans or not? The problem is getting worse and occuring in higher gears now, as well as hesitating when I hit the gas to turn and cross traffic. Good luck with your problem, maybe we'll both get an answer soon.
  • hollisterhollister Member Posts: 2
    i do not have any codes that show up. but it seems my gas milage has not changed, I put abot 400 miles a week on, always in the 19-20mpg -98 v6 auto 2wd I live in north wi. I put fuel pump,filter $600, throttle position sensor $50 varrilble speed sensor$50 erg $250.00 chnged tranny fulid & filter$55 so you see why Im frustrated. I now thing a traany rebuild price quote $850 I have 183,000 miles on it. At thispoint it just surging 4 500 rpms not slipping yet. :mad: :sick:
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    I went to a junk yard last week end and pulled a switch just to see what they look like. The one I seen had three contacts in it. Maybe the one in Dad's S10 has some dirt in a contact thats causing intermittent power loss to the transmission?

    I went to the library last night to research wiring diagrams. From the diagram I looked at I couldn't tell much. The wire for the solenoids coming up from the transmission ended at a fuse. The diagram ended there.

    I can see this is going to be time consuming but I'm convinced there is nothing wrong with the transmission its self.

    I'll keep ya posted. :blush:
  • alrataalrata Member Posts: 3
    My 99 4 wheel drive S-10 trans whines when I take off and the noise decresses as the speed increases, then it shifts and again the noise is loud at first and again decreasses as the speed increases till it shifts into overdrive. In overdrive it doesn't make any noise, trans is a 4L60E automatic. Anybody have any idea whats wrong? Is it the converter or maybe front pump on trans, just guessing..need help
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Is the noise there in park or neutral? If not then its not the pump. If the noise starts as soon as you put it in gear without moving its most likely the torque converter. but if the noise is only there when you are moving and changes with shfts and speed then most like an internal thrust bearing or planetary gear noise
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Replace the ignition switch in the column. Very common problem.
  • alrataalrata Member Posts: 3
    The noise starts when I put it in gear, not park or neutral, and stops as soon as it shifts into overdrive. it does change with speed, it starts off loud and decreases with speed.

    Thanks for the answer
  • ghaskellghaskell Member Posts: 1
    If the wrong shifter bolts were removed from shift tower when removing trans, the bias springs fly out causing the shifter not to center,or they put the tower together wrong, there is no parts available from GM so they usually get put back together with parts missing!! Only the four bolts at the base of the tower need to be removed.
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    If the noise is there when you're "not moving" while in's in the the torque converter. If it only makes noise in gear while "moving" it's an internal transmission problem...bearings, gears, etc
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Replaced the ignition starter switch. Seems to have fixed the problem with the transmission shifting. Thanks for the info. :)
  • dlynn908dlynn908 Member Posts: 1
    Ive got a 2002 S10. Love the truck. BUT i had the transfer case replaced 5k miles ago and now im having trouble with the trans. If i try and maintain speed of about 65-70. The Rpms surge and the tranny tries to kick down to 3rd but never takes. Im thinking its the start of the end for the trans. Am I right in thinking this way or is there something else im overlooking? Im about ready to give up on this damn thing.

  • wojomatowojomato Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking at buying a 1987 GMC s15, 4 cylinder automatic with 105,000 miles on it. While driving it I noticed that it shifts 1st to 2nd ok, but really takes some time/ high rpms to shift into 3rd. The salesman said thats the nature of the 4 cylinder s15 and that new ones do the same thing. Does this sound right?
  • jpfjpf Member Posts: 496
    That 4 cylinder engine I believe is the 2.5 liter or "Iron Duke." I had two cars with that engine and the 3 speed automatic. The transmissions were reliable but the solenoid switch tended to fail ($250 repair). You can tell that it is this switch because when you decelerate the vehicle will stall as you come to a stop. That's the only problem that I have heard with GM's 3 speed automatics from that era. Good luck.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    No, the new pickup don't do that. Either walk away or have them fix it before you sign any papers.
  • arienarien Member Posts: 4
    FYI--I finally found someone locally who figured out what was wrong with my seems to have done the trick! The Brake Sensor also controls the Torque Converter. Mine was going bad, so not only did my brake lights not work well, but the Torque converter was not working correctly. About a $20 part--$60 labor, of course, but better than a rebuild!! Try this, and good luck!
  • jfreejfree Member Posts: 5
    I just replaced the transmission on my 144k Sonoma yesterday for the second time. After driving it only 50 miles on the highway in cruise control it started having the same symptoms it had before I replaced it. It slows down and then revs and downshifts, trying to stay at speed. I limped it home, now it wont move when I put it in reverse. My ABS light comes on at highway speed, usually over 75mph, and the brake light flashes at this speed on and off with no pattern. The lights have done this for the last 80k miles, a mech told me its just the ABS sensor gone bad. ABS has worked fine the few times I have had to use it. Tranny fluid level is fine. I read in a previous post that the brake sensor is somehow connected to the torque converter, don't see how, unless it tries to use the engine to slow the truck during hard braking. Any insight, similar experiences, and help would be greatly appreciated. I hate to think $900+, crawling around under my truck for fourteen or so hours, and a stinking fluid stained garage floor are all for nothing.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Engine problems make the transmission do strange things, I would look at an engine problem, like fuel delivery.
    When you step the brake it disengages the torque converter clutch.
  • jfreejfree Member Posts: 5
    I don't understand why it would run fine for the fifteen minutes or so we drove it around after getting everything buttoned up, then forty miles on the highway, then decide to start acting up. It doesn't run hot, it doesn't sputter or hesitate like it isn't getting enough fuel. The fuel pump is only two years old or so and the filter was changed at the same time as the pump. Are you thinking bad injectors? I put it into reverse and it doesn't even feel like it's engaging anything. Push the gas pedal and nothing. In drive it feels like walking in chest high water.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Are you saying you have no reverse all the time or only after driving 40 miles?
    When you push the gas pedal and nothing does the RPM rev up?
  • jfreejfree Member Posts: 5
    I have no reverse right now and I had no reverse before I changed the transmission. It will go reluctantly in drive, but I doubt if I can get up to any respectable speed. When I try to accelerate with the truck in reverse it revs to about 2500 rpms. I used to be able to smoke the rear tires with the brake held so if it is the brakes locking up I don't know why it won't break free in reverse as its the opposite of first. When it first crapped out on me I just assumed it was the tranny, the engine was running as good as it had in quite a while and while I was on the highway it felt like I just lost all power to the rear wheels. Putting the truck in park wouldn't hold it still, the fluid smelled like burnt death, and the truck would barely move so I figured the tranny was just toast. Now I'm wondering if there really is a significant connection to the brakes, like maybe the rears are getting hot and locking up at highway speeds. Maybe the brake light coming on isn't connected to the ABS light coming on. I usually replace the front pads every year and a half or so, the rear shoes were replaced in '04. I'm just shooting in the dark, trying to think of anything. My patience is wearing thin with this truck.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Well a wiring problem would not cause no reverse. Will it go back if you push the truck?
    What is the history on the replacement transmission, junk yard?
    That transmission is infamous for broken sun shell, no reverse, no second or fourth.
  • jfreejfree Member Posts: 5
    Its a used tranny with supposedly 44k on it. It has a ninety day warranty on it so I'm covered there. I just don't want to go through the trouble of another replacement if something else is the problem. It doesn't want to roll backwards in neutral. I had to mess with it for a half hour yesterday to make it move in reverse so I could get it up on a car hauler to get it to my garage.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    If it will roll back with the drive shaft disconnected, has to be a transmission problem.
    Any chance you rear differential is shot?
  • jfreejfree Member Posts: 5
    I jacked the rear end up yesterday and ran through the gears. Nothing in reverse, in drive it makes a terrible racket, metal an metal, coming from the tranny. The place I got it from sold me a piece of junk, no better than the one I took out. The only thing I can think of is the new fluid made it run okay but once it all ran through and thinned out it was back to junk. I'm going to have to pull it out again and try to find a better tranny. I checked the rear brakes when I had it off the ground, no problems there, and the rear end felt and sounded okay. Thanks for your replys.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Yes, planetary gears are shot, and sun gear too.
  • relooreloorelooreloo Member Posts: 1
    Hi, please help! I know little to nothing about cars, haven't had one in 7 years, but recently bought the above mentioned vehicle(it's a 4 speed), cheap, for use only sparingly. After a few weeks and adding maybe...30 miles to the odometer it's suddenly hard to get into any gear without grinding. My completely uneducated guess and hope is that the clutch cable is not tight enough, and is not adequately disengaging what needs to get disengaged when I shift. This guess is because I do ride the clutch more than I ought to due to a frighteningly long and narrow driveway that I have to use first gear and the clutch pedal to squeeze through. And the pedal does seem looser than when I first got it (though it's not dropped to the floor as if the cable was snapped). The problem seems to get worse as the car warms up (and ended up today in the car stalling out with the clutch pushed all the way down to the floor). The previous owner said they recently replaced both the slave and master cylinders. I am not super great at timing my gear changes to avoid grindage (though getting better). Reverse and first are bigger problems. Can someone tell me how to adjust the tension on the clutch cable, and if this could even be my solution? If I am way off base, and need a mechanic, any ideas on how much it might cost to repair? I am quite poor, especially right now, but do need the car for some things. Would the Chiltons book help me? I can't afford to buy one, but the library (ironically, the branch all the way across town) has a copy I could check out. Thanks so much for your time and advice!
  • maurerush2112maurerush2112 Member Posts: 9
    97 s-10 4 cyl. 5 speed.

    switched rear axle for two reasons, burned old one up, and gas mileage.
    old rear end had 4:10 gears in it. switched with 1995 s-10 rear axle with 3:42 ratio.
    done this before some years ago, but found out you don't just change out speedo gear anymore. parts guy at dealer said that the speed sensor listed for that truck is the same for many years as well as for manual or automatic trans. now have calibration issues. anyone have the answer to getting it re calibrated? is it an pcm thing?
    any help is much appreciated.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I believe it is a PCM cal, call a dealer and check and get an estimate.
  • schlaschla Member Posts: 1
    i broke the tranny on my 98 S10 when I was rolling slightly forward when I set it into reverse. there was a bang and then no reverse and no third gear. shop told me to replace the transmission. called AAMCO and they were a waste of time estimating how much it would cost to repair
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    you broke the reverse reaction shell its a common weakpoint in all 4L60/4L60E transmissions but you should have only 1st gear and 3rd gear only ( takes a long time to shift from 1st to 3rd. trans will have to be removed and the shell replaced
  • boomerff373boomerff373 Member Posts: 9
    Sounds like it could be a bad clutch. This happened to me with a dump truck that I drive at work. My boss ended up having the clutch replaced in the truck.
  • jugfujugfu Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 sonoma 2wd 2.2 litre with automatic trans. ocassionally trans will not move in 1st or reverse, feels like its slipping but will eventually catch in to gear.
    will not do this everytime usually when first taking off for the day.
    any information would be appreciated. Thanks
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    try letting your vehicle warm up before trying to shift into gears its not a fix for what we in the transmission industry call "morning sickness" but it will give you a little time to get some money saved up for an overhaul.
  • jugfujugfu Member Posts: 2
    I have a sonoma with a 4L-60E 2wd with a four cylinder,does anyone know if the 4l60e out of a sierra or silverado would fit this truck, trans has removable bellhousing. thanks for any help
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    what year ? since there are running changes such as pwm pump and non-pwm pump makes a difference and what year is the vehicle your getting the trans from? and what engine size will also make a difference because of calibration for instance you have a 4 cylinder and the truck has a v8.....
  • gruszewskigruszewski Member Posts: 2
    I am getting a P1886 code (shift/timing solenoid). it shifts hard from first to second gear, and check engine light is on. i need to an e-check on vehicle to obtain plates for the truck. with the check engine light on the truck will fail automatically. can anyone help me locate this solenoid, and can i replace it or does t need to be torn down to get to the solenoid. Any help would be appreciated. the abs light also comes one once in a while for no reason. the truck has been sitting for about 7 or 8 months. thanks
  • proudpapa_05proudpapa_05 Member Posts: 1
    My 89 Gmc s - 15 with a 2.5 litter 5 speed 2 wheel drive sputters durring shifting and when down shiffting it likes to grind in third can some one please help me on theis two things.
  • rick1999rick1999 Member Posts: 6
    I have an 01 sonoma 2.2 engine with auto trans. The problem I'm having now is that when I get on the highway the torque converter doesn't lock up like it should once I get into overdrive and the truck also will not downshift into passing gear, also when I get off the highway the trcuk is idling at 1500 rpm instead of the normal 900 rpm. If I shut the truck off and start it right back up it runs normal. It just started doing this a couple of days ago but today the check engine light came on when it did it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Member Posts: 175
    since the CE light came on have it scanned ill bet it comes back with a P0740 tcc performance code or a P0741 tcc stuck off....
  • tony2x43tony2x43 Member Posts: 4
    i went to motor vehicle for inspection and they told me i have code p1870 coming up on obd II. is this a transmission code? if so i am not noticing any thing wrong with trans. what is the cause of this code?
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    It is for worn out parts in the transmission, yours has to be high mileage.
  • tony2x43tony2x43 Member Posts: 4
    it has about 110,000. now that i failed inspection because of it, do i need to rebuild trans? do you think there is anything i can do to get it to pass?
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Erase the code and don't go far to get it checked, it most likely will not set a code. Some day the transmission will over heat and damage the converter and clutches.
  • felton1975felton1975 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 S10 pickup with standard transmission. Around 230,000 miles. All I've ever really replaced is water pump, alternator, battery, u joint, etc. I drove the truck home one day from taking off the trash to landfill and parked it. The wife and I left to go out of town for the night and when I returned the next evening about 24 hours later, I got in it and the when I pushed down on the clutch, I didn't meet any resistance. I pumped the clutch and finally got it in reverse and backed it out of the driveway, but had numerous issues shifting it any more than that. I finally got it parked out of the way and have been trying to guess what is wrong with it. It will not shift even when the engine is turned off. The master cylinder is full of fluid and when I have my nephew pump the clutch there will be a few tiny bubbles come up to the top of the master cylinder reservoir under the hood. But the clutch still does not disengage for me to shift. Is this a slave cylinder issue? What do I need to do to correct this problem. Looking for cheapest possible solution. Old truck, but has much sentimental value. Thanks in advance, you have guessed, I am not a mechanic, but can do certain things.
  • kvnnordenkvnnorden Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Chev S-10 4 cyl automatic transmition with 150K miles. I have had the truck for two years and have put 15k miles on it, during the entire time i have owned the truck it has run very well, despite having the ABS light lit on the dash. A few days ago i was driving on the highway for about 30 miles, as I was about to get off the highway the engine ran up to 4000 rpms and the overdrive was no longer working. I drove it home fine staying under 50 mph, after turning the truck off and making another trip a short time later the overdrive was working fine. I checked the trans. fluid it was a hair low so i added a quart. Truck is now running fine however from 50-55 mph the rpms go from 2000 to 2300 to 2000 to 2300 and so on until you go over 55 mps. Other than that the truck runs just fine. (ABS is indicator light is still and has always been on) Local mechanic says need new transmition do you all have any suggestions of what the problem may be? Thanks Kevin
  • dakotav847dakotav847 Member Posts: 3
    You are going to have to rip the trans out and apart to get to the solenoid. If you are lucky you could just drop the pan and get to them. You will have to find out witch one b/c there will be two of them. If you plan to keep the truck for a while, you should just replace them both and be done with it.
  • dakotav847dakotav847 Member Posts: 3
    It sounds like the clutch plates are going out so you will have to take out and rip the trans apart or you can always try to flush it out. It would be cheaper to flush it out first and if that dosn't work than you will have to rip it out.
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