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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Starting problems



  • brunorexbrunorex Posts: 7
    Had a similar problem with my 95 S-10 after badly overheating. Found one of the stater wires had crispified during the overheat. If the wire was jiggled when key turned to start it would start. No jiggle no start - replaced wire and warranty replaced starter (for second time) and has now started perfectly for 6 mos. Some reason the wire only making partial contact when jiggled was damaging the new starters. Good luck.
  • rfletcherrfletcher Posts: 25
    187000 mi., well maintained. Vacuum steady at 22. Reported, by shop, fuel pressure normal.

    Starts and runs well when cold. After 20 / 30 miles will restart easily, but only, if throttle held down. Has a long history of, intermittently, dieing at any speed when hot. Will usually restart and run for 100 yards, 100 miles or six months. No pattern. Recent problem is a new twist. Has not died while driving, recently. Hot start problem is new and consistent.

    Preparation for a trip in May, had a " professional"---? tune up. Plugs, wires, fuel filter and injectors cleaned. All else tested and declared OK. [$300.00 plus]. Four times on trip it died at 70mph. Restarted each time with throttle down.

    Since trip I have replaced the O2 sensor, coolant sensor and TPS. Replaced the IAC. Replaced all sensor connectors [solder and shrink tube]. Added ground wires back to the neg. battery. Replaced EGR solenoid. Problem is somewhat different but not solved. For what it's worth: I can not get voltages, at the TPS, down to suggested values. The TPS is not adjustable. They are high but very close. I could adjust the mechanical stop but that would close the throttle even more. It seems to want open throttle.

    I am off tomorrow on another long trip. See what happens. Any thoughts appreciated.
  • rock88rock88 Posts: 3
    OK, had this for 7 or 8 years. /Gets a quirk and will not start sometimes. warm cold, winter, summer make little difference. prior owner installed fuel pump, used? I can hear the pump start and prime. It sometimes starts, but lately will not start without a little fuel, or starting fluid. Today, was had a little rain, and a damp morning... NO START AT ALL... I let it sit with the hood open, 2 or 3 hours and then tried to start, and it popped. Added a little start fluid, started right up! 8 hours later, hard to start, but did.. again, with a little fluid! Been through 2 starters so far, I have tried alternate brands of battery, and for a while. the sears die hard, seemed to improve this issue for a few months... Now, it is not... Also, 4th alternator, LIFETIME WARRANTY, and it is producing 14.4 volts. Just checked it last week. Also, installed a new cap and rotor last fall... Now, with winter coming on, I need to have this run, as I am on call... Engine is a 4.3, 170K. I have run e 85, at 40% from time to time... Fuel filter is impossible to change. Seized... Even mechanic at shop could not get it changed. I thought about a torch... Maybe solve the entire issue! HA HA!

    SO, time, moisture, seem to be the main enemy. Time is the primary... Moisture seems to be solved with the starting fluid, MOST of the time. If I run it, every day, the probelm is usually less. But as of late, even 10 hours can cause the issue.

    This truck has all the power I need. runs FLAWLESS after it starts! It is sometimes is a little slow and low on power for first few seconds of running.. Once it starts, it almost NEVER dies. it will run interstate speeds towing a full size enclosed trailer.. I get 18 to 21 MPG average.

    SO, any suggestions? $$$$$ is a factor, as I was unemployed for a long time and just getting back to a normal life... A different SUV is NOT an option.

    Besides, I am courious and I can not sell it like this and have a conscience...

    If I fix it, I will run for 1 more year, but i can not sell it to anybody that can not deal with the quirks...
  • rock88rock88 Posts: 3
    Just a thought, check for a bad vacuum line... Especially the one that corsses over the back of the engine.. I have a 96, and I think the 91 is the same... Can be a bad rubber union in the valve cover... Look for the little things... I work on small engines... Use carb cleaner to check for leaks... Spray the cleaner on the point is question and note any WELL VENTILATED AREA, OUTSIDE and AWAY FROm FLAME.. A little spray will do... It could also be electrical... Start engine, spray a mist of water and watch for arcing... Use a simple spray bottle and do at night... Makes it easier to see any sparks...
  • Thanks for the tips. I did check the vacuum lines even though the vacuum is solid at 22 and up with acceleration. That part is just a pain in the neck but on the trip my old problem came back. Engine suddenly dies at any speed. Restarts easily. Seems to be worse when hot. Actually it only happens when it's hot. Yesterday I replaced the EGR valve. The old one was not very dirty but considering the miles I replaced it anyway. Did not help but during testing found the recently replaced Vacuum solenoid was not working. It's not getting the ground circuit from the ECM. While inspecting wires back to ECM found two of the three wires shorted deep in harness. Replacing the defective wires did not solve the problem so now suspect the ECM is fried due to the shorts. Now I am really in over my head. How do you test the ECM? Do not think so but could there still be condition elsewhere that prevents the ECM from turning on the solenoid? I do not know when the EGR valve is supposed to operate but running the engine up to normal temp. and accelerating to 2500 RPM never opened it. Well---tomorrow is another day and probably another ECM. Strange, that super tech, master mechanic that charged me $300 for a tune up, missed this little detail.
  • where is the fuel filter on my motor.its a 4.3 liter.changed plugs and wires and three vac hoses now wont start.HELP.
  • tomygtomyg Posts: 13
    I have the same engine on my 92 sonoma.The fuel pump is in the gas tank.The fuel filter is bolted to the frame just in front of the gas tank.I hope that helps.
  • I have a 98 chevy s10 with 237,000 on it. In the mornings when its cool out it starts right up. When is warm out it cranks for 4 to 5 sec and then start but starts rough. If I shut it off and start it back up right away it starts fine. If I wait 15 minutes or so it starts rough. Once it starts it runs fine.

    So far I have replaced the fuel pump and the fuel regulator. Tested IAC, TPI and Air intake temp sensor.
  • sonomamalicesonomamalice Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
    2000 GMC Sonoma SLS 4.3 2x4 Automatic. Slightly under 80k miles. I've owned it for the last 47k miles. Never did anything to transmisson. Fluid is clean. Not sure if it ages like brake fluid.

    Here's the conundrum, Sometimes the truck starts perfect. sometimes it makes a grinding noise like it just can't connect with the flywheel fully. First starter (cheap remanu. from AAP) the housing dome basically exploded. Second starter (Brand new from quality built) on the third start sheered the dome clean off. Third starter (NAPA remanu) Im not sure is bad. One of the two wires to this starter had broken so I replaced it and installed a new starter (Remy from AAP, brand new). First start with the Remy was the strongest I've heard in the past 8 months. Second start on it made that grinding noise. Third start was in between both. Since it sometimes has a good start , and sometimes sounds like it's grinding and going to explode, could I have a bad flywheel? Either missing teeth or a 'flat' spot? This was the main explanation I got from all the mechanics I've talked too.

    Doesn't matter if it's cold hot wet or dry. The problem is completely random.

    History: New plugs about 38k miles ago. new drive shaft 6 months ago, the u bolts at the rear broke. This happened when I was driving abut 70mph and made the truck bounce violently. Not sure if this could of cause other internal damage that took a bit to turn into a problem.
    Don't know what other information you need. Also, does my flywheel have 153 or 168 teeth and when I look for a part it asks if I want internal or external engine balance. Guessing internal? Also if I replace it, suggestions on a replacement? Money doesn't matter, I'd rather pay for a good part and save the worry then save some dosh and have a repeat down the road.

    Thank you ahead of time and sorry this is such a huge post.
  • zaleszales Posts: 1
    My 96 s10 won't start. a little gas in the throttle body, and it starts and runs fine. will start again after that but not after sitting a while. baffled
  • i need to no wat is going on with my truck it would start but now nothinh all its doin is clicking but it has a good starter and all that but its doing nothing at all
  • had the same problem ,you have a leaking injector ,replace the spider [all injectors] will fix the problem.
  • i have a 99 s10, it has 180k on it, motor has been replaced, the problem is, when i turn the key it takes 5 to 10 seconds to starts sometimes longer, when it does start it has a rough sputter to it and this has been going on for a while now, sometimes when i turn the key nothing, so i have to push start it, when it starts i can shut it of and start it, that whole series of the push start faded away, but today it took about 15 seconds to start with a long sputter and a loud statick kind of sound. the batterie is good tested today, iv changed the park plugs alt. and starter are new, fuel pump is good replaced it 1 year ago, fuel filter has been changed also with the one under the hood on the fuel rail, iv tooken it to mchanics and they gave it back no charge cause they couldnt figure it out, my check engine light whole system doesnt work, since the motor has been replaced, iv been going to school every day so i dont have a very steady job not much income so some right advice will, help, if ur from engle wood or sarasota fl and can help for low cost, or maybe trade for services i do land scaping and will trade services, the truck will start good sometimes when it is cold out side but when its hott its a hard start, and giving it gas does not help.
  • jstilwelljstilwell Posts: 3
    edited March 2012
    I've read and read on the blog your hosting. my 03 S-10 (new to me) was acting like it was running out of gas while running down the highway.I would start back up as soon as you pulled off the died on wife 6 times on short trip. went out next morning would not start at all. will start on carb cleaner but only run if I keep spraying short burst.I haven't check fuel pressure yet,becaus all the responds.The 03 doesent have the open fuse on the firewall to try the jumper wire he said worked for him.Has any one found the right answer yet.Going to borrow fuel pressure gauge now.Has new fuel filter new fuel pump one year ago.and ground to frame is good
  • tomygtomyg Posts: 13
    You might want to ck your fuel injectors.If you have an 6 cylinder vortec,it could be one unit underneath the intake manifold.If you have a 4 cylinder they could be 4 seperate units.Good luck.
  • OK everyone! I went and rented a fuel pressure gauge. 0 pounds. pump was still cycling checked connections for full power all good. Direct connected fuel pump to battery, and it sounded good. Submerged in bucket of water,and reconected to battery, water pumping out top of pump(plastic housing) not fuel line.I dont know if that is all my problems, but I think I would bet that it is. I ordered a new pump,so as soon as I get it in I will repost this, and I hope it might help some of you. Till then good luck.
  • bnbilenbnbilen Posts: 1
    Hey guys, I'm a girl so forgive me if I sound dumb. I own a 1994 GMC Sonoma. It's the V6 4.3L TBI Automatic. I am having problems getting it started. Occasionally it starts just fine, but other times it will crank over, but will not fire. The fuel pump primes every time, no exceptions. I have brand new air filter, fuel filter, new plugs, new wires, new ignition switch, new oil, new oil pressure switch, new oil sending unit, and some other new things. I don't know what else could be wrong with it. Someone told me it's got to be in the ignition itself, such as something along the lines of the coils.

    I'm also having a bit of electrical problems. The switch for my turn signals/lights will not move back and forth to turn my brights on and off, and the the light for the brights, as well as both of the arrows stay lit up on the dash while I have my lights on at night. Someone help me, I love my truck, she's a good girl.... but I need to fix her before she goes bad totally. :( HELP!
  • green0886green0886 Posts: 12
    Try a squirt of starter fluid NOT MUCH and see if it starts if so may be an injector problem. As for the dimmer turn signal switch it needs replacing not an easy job you'll have to pull the steering wheel switch is about $50.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    I agree with Mr Green's suggestion with the starter fluid. Looks like you've put a lot of time and money into it. I guess you inspected the cap and rotor. The carbon electrode in the cap sometimes wear out or come loose and fall out. The turn signal/ dimmer switch on the earlier s10 have always been a sore spot.
  • reaper261reaper261 Posts: 2
    Hey everyone I have an 88's10 with 4.3 it had a blown head gasket. I got the heads machined put new gaskets & seals all around. I also replaced throttlebody do to bad injecters and replaced old cracked intake manifold. New plugs & wires and new battery. Everything is put back together now but the truck just won't turn over. Any suggestions?
  • reaper261reaper261 Posts: 2
    Hey everyone I have an 88's10 with 4.3 it had a blown head gasket. I got the heads machined put new gaskets & seals all around. I also replaced throttlebody do to bad injecters and replaced old cracked intake manifold. New plugs & wires and new battery. Everything is put back together now but the truck just won't turn over. Any suggestions? Forgot to add it still needs to be timed but can't do that till I get it going.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Mid-westPosts: 255
    When you say it won't turn over do you mean it is locked up or it won't start?
  • foggys10foggys10 Posts: 4
    Ok, after reading thru all these post, None helped solve my starting problems. BUT I did find out why my 98 S10 wouldnt start... Apparently when you drive a 5 speed, and have big feet, sometimes you can "grab" wires with the top of your foot, effectively pushing and pulling wires that are near your clutch and brake pedals... After removing the under dash panel, i adjusted some wires, got back into the seat and it started right up first try...

    So I hope that this might help someone who is having problems with their Manual tranny starting.

    My symptoms were:
    Key in ignition (Beeps and Fuel pump engaging)
    Press Clutch then turn ignition
    Dash/Radio/Lights all went dead (ALL power lost)
    Release Clutch and Ignition, ALL power came back to previous items.

    Push sit back as far as it will go (Im a big guy)
    Remove under dash panel (2 short screws for Modular hookup, and 2 long screws holding the panel in place)
    Lay inside the best you can, need both hands free.
    Look around and look for wires that are hanging or near the clutch/brake pedals.
    If any wires, secure them away from pedals with electrical tape/zip ties/etc.... (Up is always the best policy here)

    Once you have done that, try to start your S10! It should start if you got all the proper wires moved and secured.

    After you have it fixed, simply put everything back the way you pulled it apart!

    Tools needed:
    7mm socket w/ ratchet (7mm Nutdriver will do also)
    Electrical Tape/Zip ties/etc...
    And 30 minutes of your time.

    I really hope this helps someone out! I missed a day of work because this stupid S10 :mad:
  • hey guys my truck is giving me fits ! its a 4.
    3 litre 5 speed. ive had ignition module ckecked out and it is fine . then yesterday i changed the ignition switch which didnt help at all . i put the key in and step on the clutch turn to start and fuel pump picks up and all lights come on but it wont do anything else . the starter relay kicks in also. i used to be able to switch it on and off rel fast over and over and it would finally start. now it wont at all . any help would be GREATLY appreciatted ! thank you
  • Sounds like a bad starter. Either have it tested by removing or if you take every caution and know where not put your hands, like within the fan shroud, you can have somebody try to start the truck, hold the key in the start position an TAP on the starter with a 1 or 2 pound hammer, gently, just to vibrate the starter... PLEASE MAKE SURE THE TRUCK IN IN NEUTRAL, and BLOCKED AND SECURED so it does not roll over you... IT sounds like you have had the problem for quite some time.... If you are NOT mechanical, then take the starter off and have it tested at a local shop or parts store... By symptoms, you have a BAD starter... Good luck!!!
  • thank you rock88 i will try that now and let u know how it goes. i was hoping thats what it was ... im tired of chasing electrical problems !!
  • rock you are the man!!!!!!!!!! thanks buddy ! if u close i'd buy you a giant beer ... or coke ! started right up after a little persuading . goin to get a new starter now . thank you very much
  • anyone have any nifty shortcuts on gettin the starter out without disassembling the whole front of my truck? lol wow! i think they built the whole truck around it !! thanks. o yeh its a 5 speed standard
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