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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions



  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Are you people having fuel guage problems have the plastic fuel tank?
  • amrep1amrep1 Posts: 1
    My 90 S-10, 4.3 auto just turned over 250K, still does not burn any oil or leak any fluids. trans works great and everything works good (I bought it new and it has been one heck of a good
    truck that I use for work everyday). For some reason it has developed a problem with only
    lukewarm heat coming from the heater, even though the engine is fully warmed up..I recall at
    one time there were a bunch of people posting messages with this heater problem..anyone
    recall a fix????
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    do you smell a sweet smell in the cab?

    My dad had this problem about a yr and a half ago. i cant recall offhand how he fixed it
  • ricschricsch Posts: 540
    Hi, anyone else ever have a problem with your S10 4.3 engine and a leaking intake gasket? My sister's '97 was experiencing a slow loss of coolant, never any exterior leaks, finally after a couple months, the engine developed an occasional knocking noise. Took it to a Chevy dealer who in turn found that coolant was entering into the internals of the engine. As I type this the truck is at the garage with a large portion of the engine disassembled and looks like our best route is a Goodwrench crate motor, at a cost of about $4500 including installation. This bites-truck only has 47k, and is in great condition,and well maintained. I am aware of GM having problems with many of their V-6 and V-8 engines and leaking intake manifold gaskets, when will they get it right!!
  • I had a 2001 S10 with a 4.3, at 8 months, 7,000 miles I was fed up with it and lack of chevrolet service. Mine was starting to get that "sweet smell" in the interior with no visiable loss of coolent. The smell is antifreeze burning. Rather than to go through the hassel of trying to get chevrolet to do something about it I relied on my 15+ years of experience with chevrolet service and decided to take the loss now and traded it for a Dodge. A modern day well maintained engine should go 100,000+ easy. If you have maintance records I would get a lawyer and go after chevrolet, they should at least pro-rate the engine and pay half. It is useless to call chevrolet customer service, that service is only designed to wear the customer down until they get it fixed on their own or just give in and pay the long dollar. I only bought chevrolets because of gm employee discounts but in the long run it's not worth it. Get a lawyer, it's the only thing they understand. And because they can't get it right and won't make it right with their customers is why they keep losing market share.
  • ricschricsch Posts: 540
    You are correct, we will persue having GM assist in the repair costs. There is NO excuse for this type of problem, especially with the low mileage and being well taken care of. The vehicles our family has owned over the years have for the majority been GM products, but this will most likely change. I have a couple relatives who work in GM shops and the stories they can tell of problems with GM cars. They both drive vehicles other than GM, and no trouble with them.
  • eoghaneoghan Posts: 4
    I just learned I need a new fuel tank on my 95 extended cab(50K). The plastic shield which covers the front half of the tank trapped sand and leaf particulate and held them against the tank. It corroded from the outside. GMC Customer Service and the dealer were no help as apparently they think owners should expect to replace fuel tanks($500) with greater frequency than exhaust systems. This is a fire hazard as well, allowing fumes and MTBE loose in the environment. I suggest any owners remove the shield and blow it out before the rust gets out of hand. Does anyone know who to contact if GMC customer service stiffs you? I registered the fire hazard with NHSTA.
  • I've been in the same boat, always bought GM because of my wife's GM discount. By 97 after 3 new chevys over the previous 9 years I was so fed up that I bought a full size Dodge pickup. I had always thought all new car dealers were the pits, come to find out it was only the chevy dealers. In 2001 I let my guard down because I couldn't resist the 7400.00 in discounts, (GM gas tank pay off, GM card earnings, rebate and GM discount) and bought the S-10 crew cab. No way is any discount worth the poor overall quality and the way they treat you, never again. After several letters to chevrolet it was clear that they just don't care. I took a big loss and went back to a Dodge and the quality in the paint job alone is amazing. Keep us posted on your 97 4.3, I would like to hear how it comes out, good luck.
  • I had a 86 full size chevy pick-up that I bought new and took exceptional care of and the gas tank did the exact same thing after about 6 years. You would think they would learn. I took the tank out myself and took it to Gas Tank Renu. I think they are nationwide. they take the old tanks and sand blast them inside and out, weld the holes and coat them with a rubber type stuff inside. Of course the chevy tank problem was so common that they kept a dozen or so on hand all ready to go. They swapped the sending unit, put on new gaskets, fuel lines and ground wire right while I waited and it was under 120.00. They change tanks too, I would try them before the dealer.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Any long time GM owner knows that every spring you remove the gas tank shield and wash it,and the tank will stay looking new,mine is due for this year.The new plastic tanks excluded.
  • I have a brand new 2002 S10 extended cab 4x4. The easy entry feature of the passenger seat does not work. My dealer's service department said that feature is no longer provided and the seat no longer slides forward unless you move the front adjustment handle. I had an earlier '97 model extended cab and the easy enty seat was a great feature. The 2002 brochure states that the feature is standard equipment on the extended cab.

    Anyone else having this problem? Am I being lied to by the service department like I think I am?
  • I have a brand new 2002 S10 4x4 with the 4.3V6 and only 1250 miles on it. The engine has a rattling sound at idle when in gear. It sounds a lot like a jar full of marbles being shaken. The service department at my dealer said it was the cam drive system, loading and unloading of the balance shaft. A GM service bulletin says that the noise does not present any durability risks to the engine or any of its components.

    Anyone else having any rattling noise and getting the same story?
  • jim4444jim4444 Posts: 124
    Loading and unloading the balance shaft? Thats a bunch of you know what.

    The balance shaft is connected to the drivetrain, above the camshaft. Theres no loading and unloading of it. The 90 degree V6 needs a balance shaft to reduce vibrations, and having driven a 90 S10 without a balance shaft I can tell you it works.

    Dont know whats wrong with youre truck but it sounds like the dealer doesnt want to take the time to find out whats wrong with it.
  • nubira1nubira1 Posts: 13
    See if it rattles when you turn the wheel all the way till it stops. Mine has a noise at idle that I think is the power steering. When you turn it see if it is the same sound that you are hearing. Mine does it around 1200 rpms.
  • cajun626cajun626 Posts: 54
    My '97 x-cab is my first and last GM product (*!*#! GM card discount). When did they go to plastic tanks? This is the first I've heard about cleaning the tank shield. Is it as simple as removing the shield and hosing the shield and tank?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    Easy 1 nut and remove the shield,just hose off the shield and tank if dirty,i do mine every spring so just the shield needs cleaning.
    The plastic tanks are quite new,my 99 Sonoma is metal,but either 00 or 01 they went to plastic.M y 00 Cavalier has plastic.When they go to plastic you lose almost 1 gal in fuel capacity the plastic tank is about 1/4 in thick.
  • cajun626cajun626 Posts: 54
    I'll give the ol' shield cleaning a go this weekend.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    That's a good bit of advice!
  • cajun626cajun626 Posts: 54
    I pulled back the shield and two small rocks fell out. I have two pea-sized areas of surface rust on the bottom front of the tank. This may be a dumb question but here goes...can I sand/brush off the rust and put something on these spots so that they don't eat through the tank? Should I just start putting aside money for a new tank instead?
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    what yr truck do you have?

    I thought the gas tanks were made of plastic?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I have repaired rusted thru tanks with a 2 part epoxy like pc-7 thats still not leaking after 13 yrs.If its not rusted too bad wire brush it then prime & paint.
  • cajun626cajun626 Posts: 54
    ryanbab - it's a '97. Joe said earlier that they went plastic in '00 or '01.

    joe - It appears to be light surface rust. Would something like high-heat rust-oleum do the trick, and does that serve as prime and paint?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    As long as its a moisture sealer its ok,primer doesn't seal to good so you have to paint over it.You will know next spring if it worked.
  • aarons10aarons10 Posts: 1
    i have a 84 chevy S-10 and with 45k on the motor
    and a new crankshaft i still have problems with the $%#* thing. For starters i have put 87 octane gas in the truck since ive owned it and every now and then it will want to act up. Just a while ago i was on my way to work and i felt a little jerk when i was sitting at a red light and looked and i was smoking like a chimney.I pulled over at a gas station and give it a little throttle and out came the biggest puff of black smoke ive ever seen.So i thought it was just some bad gas so i went on and then as soon as i pulled back onto the street the thing went dead.I had to put the gas to the floor to get it to turn over.when it did it was running like [non-permissible content removed].I cant have my truck acting like this so if you could please help with my question.Why would it be blowing black smoke and also what can i do to make it stop,and it is idling like it has a 350 but its only a 2.8
  • I have a question regarding the passenger seat on the S10's. My 2000 Ex cab has been in the shop now 5 times because the passenger seat does not lock into place. The service shop fixed it once, but it broke a week later, then they fixed it again, but it only got worst. I am not sure what to do because i don't know if the passenger seat problem could classify as a lemon. I am not familiar with the lemon laws in my state and was just wondering if any of you guys have any advice. I would appreciate any advice, Thanks
  • ricschricsch Posts: 540
    Here's an update on my sister's S10 Blazer and the internal intake gasket leak. The dealer spoke with a GM rep, who said to tear down the engine to see the severity of the damage before they would commit to any assistance(Truck is out of warranty, but has only 47,000 miles) So the shop gets into the engine and finds that coolant has entered into the cylinders, and the service tech and we agreed that rather than rebuild this engine, it would be wise to install a GM crate motor-about the same cost as rebuilding the existing engine. Dealer installed the new engine which comes with a 3yr/50k warranty. GM rep says, after this is done, that the vehicle is out of warranty and they cannot provide any assistance! My sister has only owned GM vehicles, proving she WAS a loyal GM customer. She wasn't looking for a free repair but some assistance from GM but evidently they could care less that she was a loyal customer, as most of our family has owned and still own many GM vehicles. All they would offer at this time is a coupon for $2000 towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle in the next year-well, she just stuck $4k into a new motor, new tires in November, and with 47k, she plans to drive the truck rather than take a large loss, since she'd never recover the expense of the new engine and with the many used Blazers out there, trading is out. The coupon from GM is a joke, we all know they make good profits on these vehicles and in this situation it doesn't make sense!! And you can be assuered her future vehicles will not be GM!! A few things I would like to add-if at the first signs of coolant loss over a short time, and no external signs of leaks, have the engine oil analyzed. Second, I have heard that to reduce emissions, GM has these engines running at higher temps, and the gasket materials used cannot take it-not sure if it's true, but with the problem my sister had with her truck, it seems logical.
  • simpson7simpson7 Posts: 1
    I purchased my S-10 Crew Cab on OCT. 6th of 2001 and up until this point have been very happy with it. I am getting 22-23 mpg on the highway at 65 mph. At 55mph I am getting 25-27 mpg. The finishes on the vehicle are somewhat cheap and the fit on parts is mediocre. But overall has been a reliable vehicle. On April 17th of 2002, I was hand washing the truck and noticed chips in the paint on both of the rear quarter panels, just after the wheel well. It looks like somebody shot it with a shotgun! They appear to be stone chips, but I don't drive on gravel roads with any frequency. After further inspection, I noticed the same type of chips in the hood. I have taken excellent care of this truck up to this point, getting it washed at least once a week (car wash). This was the first hand wash that I've been able to give it and I find this. This truck doesn't even have 9,000 miles on it yet. I expected more from GM than this. I might even be able to accept this, if I were mistreating the vehicle, or if I drove on gravel roads all the time, but I have done nothing but baby this truck. I am just wondering if anyone else has had any similar issues.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    what color truck?
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    it happened in the car wash,dirty felts.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    I have a 1997 S-10 4x4 with 32,000 miles on the clock. This is my winter vehicle, and as such, probably sees a lot more road debris damage that the average truck.
    I, too, have a lot of paint damage. However, I think that it's because today's paints are not as durable as the older finishes were. The EPA has required the manufacturers to remove the VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) from the paints. This is good for the environment, but appears to be really bad for paint durability. Just my $0.02 worth, based on my experience.
    Just as a side note, I have a 1996 Camaro with 42,000 summer miles on it, and quite honestly, it could use a total repaint...all stone chips.
This discussion has been closed.