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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Vibrations

bstep1971bstep1971 Member Posts: 4
edited September 2019 in Chevrolet
Wow. 03 4.3l v6, xcab sls.

I have had a vibration for the past year. Seems like the past few weeks it is getting worse. I took it today to get the wheels balanced, but nope, still there. Now it is accomponied by a rattling noise under the truck, which maybe totally coincidental.

Seems that the vibration really kicks in at 20-22 mph, then levels, and then again at around 40-42 mph.

When I purchased this vehicle used w/48,000 miles, it had been lowered a bit. I noticed this "vibration" and took it back to the dealership, which they replaced the driveshaft. But, it never really helped.

Has anyone else dealt with this issue?


  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Do you know if it has ever been in an accident? When it was lowered could it have some part of the exhaust system making contact with the frame or running gear? One of the posters had a vibration he traced to a loose yoke. Some times a bad motor mount causes a vibration. Good luck. :)
  • bstep1971bstep1971 Member Posts: 4
    as far as I know, the carfax showed "nothing".

    My gf's stepfather looked at it today (he works in service at a GM dealership). When he drove it, he immediatly said CV Joint. The loud vibration, and I mean, loud as in, I have to turn up my stereo LOUDER to hear it, and my rear view mirror vibrates, is coming from under the seats/floorboard area. From what I can tell, there is a double u-joint in the middle. It has to be the CV/driveshaft. I do not know what else it could be! I know its not transmission or tires, so that leaves only this. Any thoughts? :sick:
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    CV joint's are on 4x4's in the front. The rear drive has the double u-joint you mentioned called a Cardan joint (expensive). The rear drive shaft is held in place with a center bearing. When any of the above goes out it will give the symptoms your describing. Kinda like a helicopter taking off. It can get bad enough to knock out the pinion seal and bearing. It isn't hard to trouble shoot and isolate once it's up on the car rack. Maybe your gf's stepfather can recommend a reliable shop. Of course, usually the most expensive kind of repair facility are the dealerships. Good luck. :)
  • bstep1971bstep1971 Member Posts: 4
    Your right about the CV's.

    What was found was a couple of items:

    1. The center support bracket was not a match. It was put on "elsewhere", and much thinner than stock.

    2. Slight bend in rear shaft.

    (ujoints ok, nothing major)

    3. Sorry if I do not know the name of this, but the part that comes out of the transfer case in the rear, that bolts up to the rear driveshaft, was stripped, and needs to be replaced.

    4. also a seal where the front driveline meets up to the transmission is bad and needs replaced.

    I get it back tommorow, hopefully this takes care of it.
  • bstep1971bstep1971 Member Posts: 4
    FYI, fixed, as stated above :) FINALLY, NO MORE VIBRATIONS!
  • cdenvercdenver Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 S10 pickup with the 4.3 engine. I have noticed recently that when the engine is cold I can feel vibrations coming from the engine compartment. I have replaced the IAC valve, but it still is rough til it warmsa up. broken engine mount? No vibes at higher rpms. Idle speed is about 850-900. Any suggestions. c-denver@cox.net
  • philscbxphilscbx Member Posts: 33
    Verify all cylinders are firing when cold.

    Pre loosen all plug wires, start it up and lift off each wire from the plug to see if RPM drops.

    If RPM does not drop, there is your dead plug, wire, or bad valve.
    As the engine warms, the valve may make a better seal, as it does when revved up.

    Swap out the wire to a different plug to see if condition follows it.

    An OHM meter will verify the wire.

    A compression test will verify valve, even better is a Leak Down Tester. This tool will show you where the air is leaking from when both valves are closed.
    The air will escape out 3 possibilities, the oil fill - Bad Rings, the exhaust pipe - bad valve, or the intake at the throttle - Bad Valve.

    This tool requires an air compressor and piston at top dead center on compression stroke.

    You didn't mention how many miles.
    Mine has 177,000 and does not burn any oil and runs perfect.
    That's from being very fussy about it all like racing.
  • corinne1corinne1 Member Posts: 1
    I am trying to remove the dirvers inside door panel to replace the mirror and cannot get the panel off due to the door opening handel. anyone know how to remove the panel?
  • david23we45david23we45 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 s10 extreme
    it has a bad vibration in all speeds
    i checked the U joints and they seem tight to me
    and it has a fresh tranny rebuild
    i raised the rear of the truck to check the rear end
    on the passenger side of the truck i can grab the tire and it moves in and out anywhere from an eighth to a quarter inch
    the drivers side is tight
    Does this mean the axle bearing on the inside needs replaced and could this be the cause of the vibration?
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    I'd say it's a good bet. Usually along with the symptoms you mentioned you would hear a roaring sound, unless the noise is drowned out with mud tires. :)
  • aldendorfaldendorf Member Posts: 1
    Iam having the same proplem with my '96 S-10 and a friend told me it is the carrier bearing(the part where the 2 shafts come together right under the floor boards and seats.It is very annoying and a little scary sometimes,good luck..
  • 2dusty2dusty Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2003 GMC Sonoma and it had a constant vibration when I tested it. The dealer replaced the u-joints and hanger bearing and had the shaft extension put in and balanced. That seems to have reduced the vibration considerably however, I still have a vibration when accelerating from a stop and it is slightly detectable at under 100 KPH. That's about 50 MPH. The rear end was lubed as well. Any suggestions?">
  • ohiaboyohiaboy Member Posts: 4
    I have a 93 GMC Sonoma 2.8ltr, and i have no power from the grey wire to my fuel pump. i have tested the wire from the fuel pump relay, and i have power. i have been told that it is the oil pressure switch. i was also wondering if anyone knows where i can find the fuse box diagram online. If anyone has any info please email me at richardKoon@hotmail.com
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    The gray wire from the relay goes to the fuel pump. On the way to the pump the gray wire connects with the pressure switch wire.
    I would suspect where they connect, most logical is at the switch. If the pressure switch has one wire on one side and 2 wires on the other, the 2 is the connection. If not, good luck looking.
    The pressure switch has nothing to do with your current problem except the 2 wire connection.
  • ohiaboyohiaboy Member Posts: 4
    well i was driving up a hill and when i stopped at the light and went to take off as soon as i let off the clutch and gave it gas it died and would not start. when i pulled it to a nearby parking lot i smelled burned wires. so far ive trace the fuel pump relay, replace the pump and sending unit. the only thing i havent replaced is the oil pressure switch. and from what i understand like i said before it works as a shut off for the fuel pump.
  • ohiaboyohiaboy Member Posts: 4
    i know that on the pump there is a purple wire(to the fuel gauge) and a grey wire(to the pump). the oil pressure switch is right next to the oil filter, its sticking out so you cant miss it lol.but i think im going to replace it and see if that fixes the problem if not its one of the wires coming from the switch, i just wish i had a diagram. or knew which fuse in the fuse box works the fuel pump....anyone know?
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Burned wire smell, sounds like a short.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Have no information for a 93 fuses, no decal on the cover. On the later ones the pump fuse is ECMB.
  • tdg2123tdg2123 Member Posts: 1
    i have an 01 s10 xtream and around 32 mph til about 36 mph theres a real bad vibration ...i changed all 3 u joint and the main shaft bearing but it still there ...i dont think its the tranny because i shifted it man. through the gears and felt it in 2ond 3erd and drive ..it goes away after 36 but i can kinda feel it at about 65 again not as much ....could it be the converter or mabye the rear ? ...i took it to a place and they said that the shaft was balanced but the could have been b.s.in

    anyone else have a prob like this ??
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    I had a low speed vibration on my S-10 which turned out to be a bracket to the catylitic converter heat shield.
  • jbzzzzojbzzzzo Member Posts: 4
    I have new rims and tires, new shocks, drive shaft balanced with new u-joints, even tried new brake shoes and drums....So I assume my axle might be bent. Its not a major vibration, but enough to be anoying. Its a 2 wheel drive so not the CV. If anyone has any thoughts.........or just go ahead with new axles? Then the truck will be practicly brand new. I just rebuilt the engine and painted the truck. I'm ready to be done with it!!!
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Short of hitting a culvert or being in an accent of some kind how does one bend an axle on a S10?
  • jbzzzzojbzzzzo Member Posts: 4
    My sister-in-laws brother did beat the crap out of it before I owned it..so its hard tellin what he did. I did put it on jack stands and put it in gear. The right side did move up and down about a half an inch and wobbled sided to side slightly. Is that normal. The left side was'nt as bad. Im gona spend $200 on a buffer and buff out my paint job before I spend any more on my....rear end...HA!! Any other suggestions besides taking in to a shop.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Sometimes a slipped belt on a tire will cause a bad vibration.
  • aeuniceaeunice Member Posts: 1
    :confuse: I have a 1998 s10 2.2 L vortech basic cab with 143.500 miles on it, I've had the truck for a year though in may of this year (08) i was rear ended, my frame slightly bent at the back, in no need of an alighnment though. I've replaced the tires with uniroyal tiger paws and have added a trailer hitch, maybe one month or so after the news tires, i notice a vibration, I check for wheel weights and had lost some, had them replaced, also had u-joints replaced but I still have the vibrations , even worst!
    anybody know the answers to the problems
  • jbzzzzojbzzzzo Member Posts: 4
    I did finally take it in. The left rear axle is bent a little. So how do I know if i have a 26 spline 7-1/2" Ring Gear or 28 spline 7-5/8" Ring Gear? I need this info to order offline... between $100-150.... its $400 at the dealer. Its 2WD 4L60E tranny, and I could'nt find any stamp on the axle for a code. Help...Thanks....
  • jbzzzzojbzzzzo Member Posts: 4
    sounds like the same problem im having. 93"sanoma. I've done EVERYTHING, shocks, drums, rims & tires, balanced driveshaft and new u-joints, re-balanced tires, and replaced left axle.. still doing it. I WILL...FIGURE IT OUT TOMARROW.. Im taking the day off, JUST to figure this frickn vibration out.. i'll let ya know....
  • chunkeylover13chunkeylover13 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 s10 4.3l CPI with around 32,000 miles on engine and 214,000 on tranny and at 1,900-2,000 RPMs I hear a vibration. It doesn't do it every time, but when it does it doesnt matter what gear. It hasn't always been like this it started a few weeks ago after I rotated my tires if that has anything to do with it. If anyone could help with this I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
  • zbkeeblerzbkeebler Member Posts: 4
    it almost seems like a metal on metal contact and it is throttle responsive...at first it only did it when i turned to the left...now it has progressed to the point it does it non stop when running...i have dropped the tranny and there is no sign of rubbing anywhere...sometimes when you give it gas it almost feels as if the pedal is catching slightly and it kicks just a little along with the tick...but the sound is coming from the tranny tunnel up close by the heater vent on the drivers side....

    anything helps....really annoying...fed up with it...suggestions please

    its a 1993 sonoma with a 4.3L, automatic
  • smatts40smatts40 Member Posts: 2
    Well I have a 2003 sonoma reg cab. The rear end vibrates more than it should. I did all trouble shooting I could. Changed tires, checked the drive shaft and mounts, even put light to heavy loads in the bed. The vibrating continues. Oh well. I just recline the seats a bit and then slide the seats back hard so that the headrest smashes up to the back window. That at least keeps the seats from vibrating. If anyone has a solution, please help.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Vibration that bad should not be hard to find, put the rear on jack stands and run it in gear and see what is going on.
  • py072888py072888 Member Posts: 4
    Grandfather has a 94 GMC Sonoma. 4.3L vortec. We rebuilt the motor about a year and a half ago. it had spun a bearing and we bought it that way. Replaced the crank and had rods cut and new bearings all around. New knock sensor. Lately he noticed that at low RPM's the motor shakes pretty rough. plug on knock sensor was broke so i replaced it. same problem. this motor has a balance shaft in it and i fear it is something to do with that. any ideas are greatly appreciated. if more info is needed please let me know. once highway speed is reached shake goes away as long as you are on throttle. if pedal is in only a little shake is at its worst. i believe timing is good. 12 degrees one way or the other i dont remember. will check it again tomorrow. is my timing off? what should it be? truck still has plenty of power. blows smoke and smells real rich. please help.
  • fatal22fatal22 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 98 s10. Its a 4 cy. 2.2 liter 5 speed. When I am driving 45 mph or above there is a horrible grinding noise coming from the passenger side. It stops when I let off the gas, and starts back up as soon as I put my foot back down. As of now, there is a 3 in drop on the truck which I am having removed because there are 17 in rims on it. There is no grinding when I brake. Also, if this helps at all, if I have my hand on the stick you can feel the vibrations of the grinding.
  • fekj68fekj68 Member Posts: 1
    I had a vibration problem on my 1998 S10 and it turned out to be the driveshafts. After replacing the U-joints I still had a bad vibration at certain speeds. Had to take it to a driveshaft repair shop and have the tubes replaced for $220. Now it drives smooth.
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    I own a 2002 Chevy S10 extended cab pickup. A vibration started about 2 years ago, at about 52 MPH it would vibrate a little and then fade away at higher speeds. About 6 months ago it started to vibrate at acceleration from a stop. At that point I had new tires installed on the car and had them balanced twice. The vibration was still there so I had the whole drive shaft rebuilt with new joints front to back and it was also balanced twice. The vibration has stopped at acceleration from stop but now it is vibrating at 65 MPH and above. The repair shop has no clue as to what it might be. I have spent a lot of money but will spend more to fix it. Thanks for listening!
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    bad shocks can cause the kind of problems your describing. I just had my driveshaft rebuilt a couple months ago. My problems are just the opposite of yours. it vibrates on take off and smooths out on top end. but the problems with mine is because i had the machine shop replaced the Cardan joints with u-joints. it was half the price at $400. vice $800. my s10 is a 92 with 282k miles on it and does mostly light duty. :blush:
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    I checked the style of joints that are in the car and they are the cardan style. The mechanic also said that the pinion is not loose and he also removed the wheels to see if they might be out of round in any way but all that was good too.
    Do you think that if I raised up the differential off the ground and ran the car at 70 MPH that I could possibly find the source of the problem?
    Thanks for your helpful advice.
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    Are you confident your shocks are good? When you had them rebuild and balance your two pice drive shaft did that include a new shaft carrier?

    Those shafts are balanced as one. When I put the new one back in my truck I had to make sure I splined it up with the bench marks the shop put on it. Otherwise it would have thrown off the balance.

    I have seen in some cases where the spot weld gave way and one of the weights came off.

    So far you've indicated:
    New drive shaft and balanced twice.
    Pinion bearing in good shape.
    Tires and wheels in good shape.

    Could it have a broken leaf spring or spring mounts come loose some how?

    Have you had your truck high centered on a tree stump or something?

    If you're going to do the 70mph thing please be careful.

    Let us know what you find out.
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    Thank you for your interest, I will get back to you as soon as I try the next remedy.
  • jshawleyjshawley Member Posts: 1
    Good evening:

    I just signed up only because of your post. I wager I know for certain what your problem is--and it is the same for problem all S-10/Sonoma extended cab pickup trucks: The drivetrain is mis-aligned. This is a factory/engineering defect, which GM has failed to rectify. This problem really manifests itself in the Extreme pickups.

    I had the same $1000.00 + problem and, after finding on my own the GM Service Bulletin which instructs dealers to grease the centering ball in each of the two "Double Cardan" constant velocity joints on a regular basis (a bandaid fix is all this is), I stumbled on this site http://www.jagsthatrun.com/Pages/Parts_S10-Driveshaft-Align.html which shed all the light I needed to resolve the problem.

    My truck is a 2000 S-10 Extreme, and installing just the transmission mount spacer and center bearing spacer, I solved all my problems. I have yet to install the shims between the axle and leaf springs; but I need only to grease the two centering balls in the joints every other oil/filter change, and I have had no noise, no breakaway (accelerating from a complete stop) shudder, and no vibration.

    Now if only the dealer will accept responsibility for terminally damaging my perfectly good 4.3 with poor work practices, and replace same, I would not be in such a foul mood.


    Meanwhile, go to that site, order that kit (or fabricate it yourself--your choice) and grab your tools, and you will no longer have these problems--especially the "howling"sounds that emanate when that centering ball dries up and gets stressed because of the misalignment.

    Good luck.
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    Before I rebuilt the drive shaft it would vibrate, accelerating from a stop but it is only vibrating at high speed now. If I accelerate slowly up to 70 MPH sometimes it will not vibrate to bad but as soon as it starts to vibrate I have to slow down to stop it. There is no sound associated with it just a vibration.
    Does the dealer recommend the spacer you installed?
  • monsonmonson Member Posts: 5
    to everyone out there with the vibrations, i had the same problem with my 1995 sonoma. rotated tires balanced tires. i even put in new ujoints and carrier bearings, still vibrates. a driveshaft place said the yokes were bad and suggested making a one piece driveshaft. it took about 4 hours to make and about three hundred dollars. it took care of the problem. finally i can drive down the road without the vibrations and noise.
  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    Interesting post on vibration. Back in 2000 I test drove a extended cab and first thing I noticed was the vibration, mentioned it to the salesman and no comment. Later I learned the fix was the one piece drive shaft as monson stated.
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    I appreciate the feedback. Thanks for the reply. The car ran perfect when I bought it brand new and I can't imagine what could be wrong with it if the wheels, tires and drive shaft are all new and the pinion it good. I will take your advice into consideration if it is vibrating when I lift up the differential off the ground on blocks with the wheels off and it is still vibrating. The weather is bad this weekend but as soon as it clears up I will get back to you.
  • monsonmonson Member Posts: 5
    i couldnt figure it out either basically no one could. it wasnt until the guy who worked on my truck spoke to the driveshaft place. the guy who worked on my truck couldnt. dont know it the problem will solve everybodys but i have the two piece driveshaft. the yolks were bad so t hey couldnt balance it. they suggested the one piece. i drove it down the interstate last night at 70 and had no noise or vibration. ive been putting up with it for about five months

  • jimbo1946jimbo1946 Member Posts: 1
    Truck was recently purchased. 93 S10 Extended cab 4X4 short bed. Rear end started to howl, replaced with identical complete rear end and noticed when installing the drive shaft (1 piece) it was to tight, had to pry the reared back to get the universal joint in place. It was jammed between the transfer case and the rear differential, which would cause excessive pressure on the ring and pinion and eventual failure of the rear end. I found and ordered another drive shaft on eBay from a GMC the same year, body style, and engine as mine. When received, it is a two-piece with a center bearing. The one in the vehicle didn't have a center bearing nor does it have cross member to mount too. Does anyone know what the correct length of the drive shaft is? The original drive shaft that came out of it was 58", I am guessing the correct length should be somewhere between 56 and 57 .5 inches. Can anyone confirm this, and tell me where I can get one????Engine is a 4.3 Vortex, not sure of the transmission/transfer case. There are holes in the frame that look like a frame cross member could bolt into at the correct location to center the mounting of the center support bearing. I do not have a cross member there.
    It appears that a previous owner had put a lift kit on the truck then took it back off before I got it some brackets had been welded onto the frame at the suspension mounting areas but have been removed. That is probably the reason for the extra long drive shaft originally in the truck when I got it. We dropped the rear leaf springs when we originally replaced the differential and didn't notice how tight the drive shaft was any ideas or help would be appreciated

  • gonogogonogo Member Posts: 879
    I would take the one piece shaft to drive shaft shop, they can shorten it for you.
  • phil2252phil2252 Member Posts: 14
    I just got finished raising my S10 off the ground and taking it up to 85 MPH and to my surprise there was no vibration. Would this mean that one of my tires is defective?
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    I took your advice and fabricated the spacers. It's a lot better than it was. Thanks for the info. :D
  • hoodlatchhoodlatch Member Posts: 255
    What did they say at the tire shop? What would happen if you took the back tires and swapped them with the ones on the front?
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