Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Transmission Problems



  • stewman1stewman1 Member Posts: 4
    I'm the original owner of a 90 S15 4WD, 4.3L V6, Auto Trans w/ 145k miles, that just started shifting into neutral after 2nd gear. 1st and 2nd seem to work fine, after that it's just neutral. Fluid level is fine, color was ok. I took it to a tranny guy, who said the tranny needed to be replaced @ $1,500 w/ a 12K 12mo warranty. He said this is common for this tranny at around this mileage after he looked under the truck and looked for a cable near the carb to verify what tranny it was.

    I didn't see any mention of this in here.
    Any suggestions or is this guy right on the diagnosis?
  • stewman1stewman1 Member Posts: 4
    don't laugh too hard, but would it be cheaper to replace the auto w/ a manual?
  • stewman1stewman1 Member Posts: 4
    anyone have anything?
  • vangaurdvangaurd Member Posts: 2
    I am experiencing a very disturbing problem when my auto transmission shifts to overdrive and I am looking for a possible diagnosis and/or a less expensive alternative to replacement or shop repair.

    When I ask the engine to get me up a mile long 10* grade incline, the engine RPM kicks up but no power is being delivered to the drivetrain. I immediately start to loose momentum and slow as the engine continues to try and maintain highway speed. When I let off the gas to allow the trans to shift back to lower gear, power is restored to the drivetrain, but not enough power to get me to the top of long incline above 35MPH.
    Appreciate any suggestions
  • stewman1stewman1 Member Posts: 4
    vangaurd i wish i could help.
    this appears to be a dead forum
  • jdininjdinin Member Posts: 3
    I'm not a professional mechanic, but have soime experience with this transmission. I have had limited success replacing the fluid and filter, but have had to abandon use of overdrive in my '98 S15 SLS. With the 4.11 axle ratio, that limits the top end, but keeps me moving. You didn't say whether you have kept up with fluid maintenance. If not, try the fluid and filter change. You may also want to try selecting 3 instread of D and keep the cruising speed below 60. I have bought a parts truck for the transmission and was looking for tips on how to get the upper bolts out of the bell housing.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Remove the transmission cross member and let it down a bit. When you get the transmission out of the the vehicle you are going to use, hammer the pinch weld near the bolts for future easy access.
  • liv1976liv1976 Member Posts: 1
    This truck has about 108000 miles, Truck Jumps and shuts off (at stop sign) The brake pedal feels "hard" I even hear the tire screech like its stuck. This happens when first driving after it warms up it does not do that.
    Ive also been having problems with the gears shifting. It will drive ok in 1st and 2nd but sounds like it goes into neutral when going into 3rd it just revs with no power. If i let off the gas I can stay in 1st or 2nd..... The really weird thing is after I pull over and turn it off it will shift fine, but if I use the brakes then it will occasionally shift funny again.
    When I pull into my drive way and then shift to reverse (I can put it into reverse but it sounds like neutral again) it wont reverse. But if I shut off the motor then start it up and put it into reverse its fine!!

  • vangaurdvangaurd Member Posts: 2
    The problem was a catalytic converter of all things....replaced for a grand and running great now...Thank you for the reply all
  • rwomboughrwombough Member Posts: 1
    Last week my son was driving my S-10 home from school and he made it about 100 ft out of the parking lot when the truck felt like it was in neutral. I told him to check the fluid and it was low. He put 2 qts. in and made it home. ( about 8 miles )Since then when I go to put the car in any gear it doesn't do anything.I checked the fluid and realized that it was over filled. I drained the fluid to the correct level and to no avail it still does the same thing.I also noticed that I can shift without having to push down on the brake. The truck ran perfectly fine before this and I know that I always had to push on the brake pedal to shift from park to drive or reverse.Does anyone have any ideas what could be wrong. I'm baffled. It has a 2.2 liter and an automatic trans with about 80,000 miles. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I would check the shift linkage, sounds like some thing is broke or unhooked.
  • FizzyFizzy Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 s10 with a 2.2l and a 5 speed manual. Yesterday I was at the gas station and up until this point the clutch worked perfectly. No slip, No noise, nothing. I started it up and went to put it into gear only to find that it wouldn't go. The clutch didn't seem to have any pressure. I checked the master cylinder for the clutch and it was full enough to operate but the fluid was kinda nasty, it had some black stuff in it. I can get it into gear if I have someone push it and once im going i can shift with out the clutch and it goes just fine with no slip. I went up a steep hill to see if it would slip and it didn't. Could this be total clutch failure, slave cylinder, or master cylinder. Please help so I can get an idea before i tear it apart ASAP.
  • tom230tom230 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 1998 s-10 4cyl 2 wheel drive, i had to replace my ignition tumbler and after doing so i now can not shift out of park. any ideas
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Check for a blown fuse.
  • 96s1096s10 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 96 s10 2.4l and 5 speed and it works fine but 5th when i put in in 5th it dont do any thing what u think would go on it ? it dont make no nose when u put it in 5th all the gears work but 5th
  • gary81gary81 Member Posts: 5
    1999 S-10 ZR2 4x4 with auto trans. service engine soon lite comes on after about 20 minutets of highway driving Code 1780 is sent to the code reader, transmission componet is slipping what componet is slipping and this mostley happens on warm days, trans fluid has been changed truck engine temp is fine service engine soon lite resets until next trip
  • cheftwccheftwc Member Posts: 1
    is there an online database or shop manual where i can get help on replacing a transmission in a 1989 chevy s-10 2wd 4cyl pickup without buying a haynes or chiltons
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Usually code P0 1870, it has been reported as worn valve body and or worn pump bushing.
  • pinky6pinky6 Member Posts: 3
    I just bought a 96 S10. Auto trans. The day I had it inspected the starter died, but also I have been having problems with the transmission. It seems to be having trouble shifting into 3rd gear. It just kinds of whines and doesn't shift. I checked the transmission fluid and it is extremely overfilled. The mechanic at the garage where I bought is says the transmission is fine, but it isn't. Do you think that he overfilled the fluid to mask the problem? or is there some other reason that he would over fill it. Should I drain it? Basically, I think I've been shafted!
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I would drain it to the cold mark when running, printed cold right on the stick, but with it slipping, I think it burned a clutch. It takes about 15 miles of running for the hot level check.
  • flytesweepflytesweep Member Posts: 2
    1 have a 94 4.3 cylinder truck w/ a auto transmission.

    The tranny needs rebuilding and i don't have the dough right now to take it to a shop for a rebuild. I thought i might find a used one in a salvage yard.

    Here's my question: Are there any other year s-10, s-15. or blazer that will interchange? Will a 94 only fit a 94?

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • nester111nester111 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 2wd S-10 with a 4.3. I just swapped motor with a '96 salvage motor. Now I lost reverse with the trans and she shifts real hard into 2nd. I was given a trans from a '91 S-10 with a 4.3 auto (4L60E) with low miles. Is there a way I can make this work with my truck. I was told that I might be able to swap the OBD III to OBD II and it will work. Otherwise I'll have to get the other one rebuilt.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I would first check the transmission wiring for both years and see what is different. You maybe able to rewire and make it go.
  • firerock87firerock87 Member Posts: 1
    TrANSMISSION is noisy (really noisy), but when you push the clutch pedal in the noise goes thinking throw out bearing. But with the truck in 5th gear it's normal operation. The noise goes away? That confused me. When i sit still and while the noise is present the Mph gauge jumps and fluctuates. Any Ideas Im puzzled and really need some advice
  • stallionettestallionette Member Posts: 1
    4.3L vortex 4x4. Noticed gear reving really high at switchin into 2nd. then switching into 3rd. tranny fluid checked/fine. Trying to do a tranny flush but the crossbar is in the way. Anything would help me at this point. Cant afford a new tranny. Suggestions please :)
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Do a pan drop and filter change, forget the flush. With the pan down see what there is for debris, that will tell a lot.
  • nucormannucorman Member Posts: 2
    I recently bought a 2000 GMC sonoma 2.2 with an auto. After driving on the highway for 20 miles or so, when I get in town the transmission shifts really hard from 1st to 2nd. It also feels like the throttle is hanging a little bit. If i shut the truck off and restart it the problem goes away. It doesn't happen all the time, just every now and then. I have had the trans fluid changed and replaced the TPS sensor and am still having the problem. I would appreciate any help....

  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Have a scan done, if it shows code PO 1870 you have worn transmission parts. This happens with high mileage 4L60 E units, when the transmission fluid gets hot from long rides.
  • pinky6pinky6 Member Posts: 3
    That's what's happening to my S10, I had it checked out by a transmission specialist, it's not sending out a code, but it has the same sporatic not shifting into 3rd gear problem. Another easy way to tell, just look at/smell your transmission fluid. mine is black and smells burnt. The one place wants $2950 to replace the transmission, but I found a place that will rebuild it for a lot less. Your fluid is supposed to be clear red, not dark and cloudy. If you go to a transmission place they have a set of vials to look at, you can compare your fluid to the vials. They guy who sold me the truck said he checked the fluid and it was fine, what he did was overfill the fluid trying to mask the problem. It didn't help any.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Your truck is a perfect example of some one letting it go, it will burn up the transmission. If caught early it can be repaired without complete overhaul.
  • nucormannucorman Member Posts: 2
    The only code its shown is that the TPS was bad and I replaced that, but it still acts up from time to time. The odd part is if I shut it off and turn it right back on the problem is gone. The truck has 100k miles on it. Thanks
  • jdroadmanjdroadman Member Posts: 1
    Every time i press my clutch pedal and go to shift it feels like something is blocking the way. Now i cant even shift into any gears. The clutch pedal goes down and i go to shift i can feel the teeth just slipping by. I havent had to deal with a clutch too much so any comments would help
  • kikocalkikocal Member Posts: 1
    Drive the truck for about mile ,tranny starts to slip will not accelerate,make a complete stop ,turn truck off and start again and this time it will move and does it again....
    CAN ANYONE OUT THERE HELP ME???,someone told me it was some sort of switch or something like that..
  • djslimdjslim Member Posts: 2
    I have lost overdrive and reverse. When I drive it now it shifts real high and real hard. I have heard that it could be the shift module or it needs to be rebuilt. I really dont have the money to rebuild it. If any one has any idea please let me kno.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    No reverse, not good , you need a rebuild, no way out.
  • djslimdjslim Member Posts: 2
    Thank you, now i have to just find someone to do it. Anyone ?? I'm not payin shop labor rates!
  • s13s13 Member Posts: 3
    my truck has 160,000 and today while going up a steap driveway it wouldnt go it just reved but no movement then it did but now reverse wont work and it moves foward when in neutral ....whats that all about
  • s13s13 Member Posts: 3
    its a two wheel drive 6 cyl
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Sounds like broken sun shell, need tear down.
  • s13s13 Member Posts: 3
    I was afraid of that ,is there a diffrence in price rebuild or replace
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Not sure about pricing, make some calls to local shops. From what I have read stay away from chain shops, reputation not good. I have read Jasper makes a good replacement.
  • fmacoyfmacoy Member Posts: 1
    1984 gmc 2.8 v6 4speed auto will not shift to 3rd and overdrive gears, trans has new oil and filter, speedo doesnt work, could this have anything to do with the problem? fmacoy.
  • raiderkid024raiderkid024 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 98 s10 automatic v-6. My s10 shifts really hard from first to second gear when i get off the freeway its fine if i drive it around town it only does it when im getting off the freeway any ideas?
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Google PO 1870 code, you will find lots.
  • jameswigglejameswiggle Member Posts: 1
    i have a 98 s-10 yesterday while stopped at a red light tranny decided not to engage when light changed went thru all the gears and only reverse worked truck wont shift into 1 2 3 od only reverse any good news would be appreciated automatic 2.2 litre thanks
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    No good news, no forward in 1, not good. No electrical used in manual 1. You need a good used one or rebuilt.
    Did you check fluid level?
  • nick652nick652 Member Posts: 1
    Have a 98 Sonoma 4x4 was driving down the highway at 65mph and got this loud whining noise at cruising speed. When I accelerated harder the noise quieted a bit but loudened as I slowed again.

    As I pulled off highway the noise grew from a whine to a loud buzz and clicking. The noise persisted for a while. The transmission seemed to shift fine, no loss of power. The belt, brakes, are fine. I gunned it testing out the and the noise cleared up.

    Any thoughts?
  • jdslcbjdslcb Member Posts: 2
    ok i just bought this nightmare of an S10 looked and ran great..... at 1st now its about impossiable to put in gear and for some reason it will not regester my oil on my dashboard will some1 plz tell me what the prob is and how to fix it and also about how much it will cost me
  • jdslcbjdslcb Member Posts: 2
  • 06electraglide06electraglide Member Posts: 1
    anyone know if a 5 speed off of a four cylander will work on a v-6
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