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Old 10-12-2005, 10:16 AM   #1
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Common s10 problems

What are some of the most common problems with s10s? (I have a 96 2wd).

My mechanic informed me they have a problem with coolant getting into the engine and distroying your cam and other internal components (if I remember correctly).


What are some things I should keep an eye on?

Thanks
Old 10-12-2005, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Common s10 problems

He may have been talking about siameze cylinders.
Old 10-12-2005, 10:29 AM   #3
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Re: Common s10 problems

94-97 2.2L head gaskets were really shitty.
Old 10-12-2005, 11:01 AM   #4
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Re: Common s10 problems

He was talking about the plastic intake manifold gaskets, they have a tendency to leak after a while. Sometimes they leak to the outside of the engine, sometimes internaly. For the most part these are farily reliable vehicles. I have not had any problems that left me stranded in the last 40K miles, at 100K now.
Old 10-12-2005, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: Common s10 problems

windshield wipers. that's my only problem.
Old 10-12-2005, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: Common s10 problems

mine has been kickin for 275,000 on mostly all stock parts
Old 10-12-2005, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: Common s10 problems

oh yeah, the 94-97 fourbangers SOME of the time have HORRIBLE lifter chatter. mine was so bad that it sounded like a diesel
Old 10-12-2005, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Common s10 problems

I have had no major problems with either of my 4.3 V6's. They're good motors!
Old 10-12-2005, 11:17 AM   #9
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Re: Common s10 problems

mine has been good to me.
Old 10-12-2005, 01:55 PM   #10
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Re: Common s10 problems

Fuel pump/gas gauge. Coolant leakage or turning brown eventually turning to mud. Engine noise. AC compressors. Ignition switches. Not a lot of problems actually. Beats the heck out the newer stuff I see these days.
Old 10-12-2005, 01:56 PM   #11
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Re: Common s10 problems

My lifter clatter like a mother when it's warming up or has been sitting for an hour after warming up. I have a trans problem or torque converter problem. I have a little vibration all of a sudden. It's at 45K with regular oil changes. I am probably lemon in the bunch but these dealerships are pissing me off. They have 2 more tries to fix it and then I'm going after them.

Also, the damn cab pops and creeks. It's not an engine thing but G damnit everything is starting to bother me. I do like my truck very much though.
Old 10-12-2005, 02:34 PM   #12
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by Cruznsten
oh yeah, the 94-97 fourbangers SOME of the time have HORRIBLE lifter chatter. mine was so bad that it sounded like a diesel
that would be the timing chain tensioner, not a lifter
Old 10-12-2005, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by tippmann243
that would be the timing chain tensioner, not a lifter
Most don't have a tensioner. There was a dealer fix that installed one, but they wore out quick.
Old 10-12-2005, 09:33 PM   #14
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by rat
Most don't have a tensioner. There was a dealer fix that installed one, but they wore out quick.
then what did i change on the 2.2 i worked on, i could of swore it was the tensioner and an updated oil oraface
Old 10-12-2005, 09:44 PM   #15
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by tippmann243
then what did i change on the 2.2 i worked on, i could of swore it was the tensioner and an updated oil oraface
The 2.2 is a compleatly different animal. The 4.3's are cam in block, just like a 350 small block. The gears are only 6 inches apart. No need for a tensioner.

I just peaked at the haynes manual, and i see what you are talking about on the 2.2. The 4.3 tensioner was a joke compared to that thing. It was a nylon thing that wore out in short order. I know my 2000 4.3 doesn't have one, a 2002 that i worked on didn't have one. The 4.3 is also considerably more skinny that that thing.
Old 10-13-2005, 08:55 AM   #16
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by rat
The 2.2 is a compleatly different animal. The 4.3's are cam in block, just like a 350 small block. The gears are only 6 inches apart. No need for a tensioner.

I just peaked at the haynes manual, and i see what you are talking about on the 2.2. The 4.3 tensioner was a joke compared to that thing. It was a nylon thing that wore out in short order. I know my 2000 4.3 doesn't have one, a 2002 that i worked on didn't have one. The 4.3 is also considerably more skinny that that thing.
i was working on a 96 2.2 if that makes a difference
Old 10-13-2005, 10:13 PM   #17
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Re: Common s10 problems

yeah, lots of creaks, third door rattles like a bastard. From what I can tell, from reading this site, keep your shit maintained and it will run for a long time.
Old 10-13-2005, 11:44 PM   #18
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Re: Common s10 problems

My biggest annoyance is the crappy plastic latch on the sliding rear window, the big plastic thing on the passenger side rear squeaks and rattles, and the door has gotten tweaked a little so the seal isn't quite right. It now makes a slight air noise that bugs me. My uncle mostly fixed the door by grabbing ahold of it and twisting it, so its better than it was.

Other minor BS, the chrome on the grille directly forward of the joint between the hood and fenders is all shot, the armrest on the passenger door randomly pops off. Its been replaced, the original one was broken but the area it hooks into is damaged so it doesn't quite stay properly. The screws have come out of the exterior door handle, but there are holes with plugs you can just pop out to fix this pretty easily.

As far as mechanical stuff, I had a water pump go around 120k, the transmission started to go around 128 and finally gave out totally at 141k, the AC compressor gave around 125k (front seal, and I suspect a clogged orifice tube). I also had the well known 4.3 fuel pressure regulator failure. Otherwise, its been pretty darn reliable. I've had it nearly 5 years, put some 60k hard miles before it started giving me any trouble. I plan to fix this one, and I'd buy another one.
Old 10-14-2005, 01:11 AM   #19
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Re: Common s10 problems

Damn loud ass whining fuel pumps on some......
Old 10-14-2005, 07:10 AM   #20
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Re: Common s10 problems

Mine's loud.
Old 10-14-2005, 06:28 PM   #21
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Re: Common s10 problems

Fuel pumps and Fuel Level Sensor. Lower Intake Gasket. And a lot of other maintence things that will go wrong just like any other car. If you keep it well maintain and stay on top of problems that develop, you will have a great truck for a long time down the road.
Old 10-14-2005, 06:29 PM   #22
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Re: Common s10 problems

By the way if your fuel pump is loud it means it's about to go out. It could be months it could be days. When it won't start hit the tank with a rubber mallet and hope it will start.
Old 10-14-2005, 09:41 PM   #23
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Re: Common s10 problems

the a/c compressors suck, if yours goes out DO NOT buy a reman., buy a new one that has straps holding the back cap and front cap together, the factory one has a faulty cap on the back that wiggles loose and leaks horribly. the hazard light switch has a tendancy to break on 95-97 w/cruise and cause the blinkers not to work right. The blinker clicker is in a whorible location where you gotta take the bottom of the dash off. tailgate makes a whorible squeak. clutch safety switch went bad on mine...thats about it so far
Old 10-14-2005, 09:44 PM   #24
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Re: Common s10 problems

great truck though, i just got rid of an 00 bmw 3 series and the reason i got rid of it is because of stupid factory problems, had it for 3 months, maybe it was a lemon but from now on its strictly chevy...i love my 4.3
Old 10-15-2005, 12:48 AM   #25
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Re: Common s10 problems

only real problem i have is my tranny slipping but the truck has 150k on it and towed a tractor daily with the previous owner
Old 10-15-2005, 02:33 AM   #26
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Re: Common s10 problems

On mine the fuel pump went bad. I thought it was the CPI injector but it was the fuel pump. Of course I didnt really get it figured till after i replaced it but no biggie since the stock one was leaking anyway and probably shoudl be replaced so I have a whole new fuel system. Other than that I replaced a alternator and the basic wear out stuff. i had new tires installed 1x, new shocks 1x and brakes 2x. its a 95 with a 4.3 and its really been a great vehicle. It has 107 000 miles on it and it still looks brand new.
The only major repair was the fuel problem. the Clutch on the AC is a little noisy so Ill probably be replacing that also sometime soon but Im not too worried cause the truck sits a lot now its basically a 3rd vehicle
Rob
Old 10-15-2005, 09:44 AM   #27
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Re: Common s10 problems

Um...every S10 I've heard has that stupid high pitch whine to it. So I guess all of our fuel pumps are going
Old 10-04-2009, 02:05 AM   #28
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Re: Common s10 problems

hey guys, thinking of buying a 1987 2.8L 2WD s10, needs exhaust and "the sending unit is shot"

he is including an extra gas tank with the pump in it, should it be fine? any known problems with fuel pumps? i read that they tend to screw over. any help would be appreciated, thanks!
Old 10-04-2009, 06:38 AM   #29
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Re: Common s10 problems

My serpentine belt wont quit squealing. Should I replace the truck with an older one ?
Old 12-08-2010, 12:53 PM   #30
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Lightbulb Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by diesel music
My serpentine belt wont quit squealing. Should I replace the truck with an older one ?
I have a '99 extended cab 4x4 (LS) with the 4.3. I bought the truck about 1 1/2 yrs ago and ever since summer my belt has been squealing...My dad has been an aircraft mechanic/technical diagnostics his entire life and between him and I we still have not fixed this damn belt.

1. Bought a new Duralast belt from Autozone (cheap belt)--> still squealing

2. replaced: tensioner pulley, idler pulley, alternator (was bad anyway)--> still squealing...

3. replaced: water pump, harmonic balancer, another new belt (Duralast)-->still @#?!*%# squealing!! (at this point we thought a pulley was out of alignment but apparently was not)

4. Replaced: fan clutch, bought a Gates belt this time (~$45)--> STILL SQUEALING!!!!

5. The only thing left to replace is the power-steering or A/C compressor and I'm thinking it is the power-steering pump. Because when the vehicle is stopped, the squealing lightens up a little but when I turn the wheel it screams like a bat out of hell.

I have seriously never ever heard of someone having this much trouble with a stupid squealing serpentine belt. I think my truck is cursed but if not, I am just another example that the 4.3 has a tendency for squealing.

After talking with a master-mechanic and a couple other people about the issue, we found out that the 4.3 in this year range have a tremendous load being run on the belt in general, and especially if your A/C is turned on. Sometimes if you just upgrade to a better belt like a Goodyear Gatorback or something like this, it might stop the problem. Some other common problems that we found out about:

-Low power-steering fluid (puts more of a load on the belt if low)
-A/C clutch pulley bearings commonly go out on the S-10s
-Tensioner pulley is a common problem and about a 5 minute fix...
-fan clutch could be worn out which increases the load on the belt
--A manager at our local parts store told us that he had a van with the 4.3 and the pulleys were out of alignment. (A good way to tell if your pulleys are out of alignment: inspect each pulley for build-up of rubber shavings, if you notice anything, remove the belt and check each side for wear which very well could indicate that misalignment is the problem.

-If you are still having problems finding out exactly where the squealing is coming from, you can buy a cheap mechanic's stethoscope and while the engine is running (carefully) try to get somewhat close to each pulley to see if the sound gets any louder (watch out for the fan, it'll get ya). If you, (like me) still cannot find the problem, I recommend that you either buy earplugs, blast the radio while driving, go completely insane, or, most importantly, talk dirty to the belt because this will make you feel a little better.
Old 12-08-2010, 02:11 PM   #31
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Re: Common s10 problems

I agree with the GOODYEAR Gatorback belt. I had the same problem with a 98 ZR2. Did same thing you did, replaced everything and still squealed. I read somewhere about the GOODYEAR belt, so I bought one and put it on. 3 Years later and still no more squealing!!! Go to GOODYEAR website and see where they are sold near you, and get you one. I think it only cost me $39.00. Part # for 4.3 with air is 4060960. Good luck. Eric
Old 12-08-2010, 07:27 PM   #32
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Re: Common s10 problems

the only problem i have is that the fan is really loud when i first start it and until i get to second gear. i plan to fix that with an electric fan though...
Old 12-08-2010, 10:00 PM   #33
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Re: Common s10 problems

take care of it..drive it easy...and it'll take care of you...
Old 12-08-2010, 10:03 PM   #34
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Re: Common s10 problems

Common problem? They are slow......
Old 12-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #35
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Re: Common s10 problems

I love both my S-10 and my wife's Jimmy, they each have their qwerks, but other than the normal little things that go bad, not a lot of issues.
Old 12-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #36
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Re: Common s10 problems

i have a 98 4x4 the front wheel bearings suck i have put on 2 left and 2 right all 4 mind you are from diffrent companys tring to find the best one no luck yet though the 94 4x4 i had last went 269,xxx miles on factory bearings anybody know if i could use that style looking at them only diffrence i see is the abs gear is external and i unplugged mine anyways .other than that s10's rock you cant beat them
Old 12-08-2010, 10:57 PM   #37
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Re: Common s10 problems

I have had 3 Blazer/Jimmys..

My 91 4.3 I drove the snot...out of and it wouldn't die. sold it at 204000 miles and didnt put but about 800 into it in 8 years and 125000 miles.. didn't even change oil like I should have and only changed plugs once.
My biggest complaint on it was the door hinges and electronic dash.

I got a 96 Jimmy that I really liked.. The fuel pump quit and a wheel bearing went out.. all and all it gave me no problems..

Now I got a 2000 Blazer and have had some small issues..
wipers are crap, heater flapper system is crap, my belt squeaked and I just replaced it, and now I have this funky sputtering at 3000 rpm..
I think its the last one for me.. Soon as I get this fixed its for sale. If I don't get it fixed I am ripping it apart and parting it out..
Old 12-11-2010, 12:59 AM   #38
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by Flight Recorder
the only problem i have is that the fan is really loud when i first start it and until i get to second gear. i plan to fix that with an electric fan though...

MAKE SURE you get a decent quality fan, a cheap ebay electric fan won't do. Typical mechanical fans draw power but boy do they pull air lol. I've ran several dif setups and found the larger the electric fan motor and bettter brands are required. Think about, sitting in traffic on a hot summer day and how much warm air you have to pull to keep the a/c and motor cool. When the engine bay temps are climbing.

even worse, try and keep a engine bay cool with turbo piping under it. I need a huge radiator and adequate fan to cool it now.


To the OP, lower intake manifold gaskets are very common, mine blew 5k miles ago, since I'm going that far I'm changing the water pump and the cracked radiator all in one shot.

If you are over 100k:
Fuel pumps are common
Lower intake manifold as mentioned by many

Last edited by meyers2211; 12-11-2010 at 01:08 AM.
Old 12-12-2010, 01:31 AM   #39
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Re: Common s10 problems

my transmission crapped out around 50K, serp belt corroded. (Northern Truck) other then that, nada.
Old 02-15-2011, 09:43 PM   #40
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by tom3
Fuel pump/gas gauge. Coolant leakage or turning brown eventually turning to mud. Engine noise. AC compressors. Ignition switches. Not a lot of problems actually. Beats the heck out the newer stuff I see these days.
on my '96 4.3L 4x4 the sending unit is bad so the fuel gauge is past full and at 1/2 full when it's empty.
Old 02-15-2011, 09:58 PM   #41
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Re: Common s10 problems

My '96 just hit 150,000 miles on 2/14/11 and the only thing i've ran into was a slight grinding noise under the cab (driver side, near the converter).
Old 02-16-2011, 07:13 PM   #42
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Re: Common s10 problems

Lower Intake Gaskets, Fuel Pump, Fuel Filter.
Old 02-16-2011, 10:00 PM   #43
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Re: Common s10 problems

1997 sonoma 160,000 now 5th gear went out at 110,000 slave started acting up at 130,000 still have both problems but constantly slave is getting worse especially with cold weather. radiator cracked at 120,000 cam sensor 135,000 crank sensor160,000 (last night) timing belt at 105,000 had to get all new cylinder head pistons 115,000 blew plug #2 out of new head 120,000plug #1 blew out 137,000 #4 155,000#3 dam aluminum head new head all full of helicoils. fuel gauge at 144,000 then fuel pressure was 64 psi now at 160,000 37 lbs still runs but when i get on it it misses and in the mornings its hard to start.
Old 02-16-2011, 10:01 PM   #44
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Re: Common s10 problems

surprisingly it still holds 60 psi oil pressure at idle and around 70 psi doing 65 (only have 4th gear Maybe why)
Old 02-22-2011, 01:59 AM   #45
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Re: Common s10 problems

mine has a weird clicking under the dash that speeds up with engine rpm.
Old 02-22-2011, 05:22 PM   #46
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by coors628
mine has a weird clicking under the dash that speeds up with engine rpm.
Exhaust donut gasket.

Mine does the same thing, its like an audio tachometer.
Old 02-22-2011, 11:56 PM   #47
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Re: Common s10 problems

could be cus last time i serviced the trans I had to cheat the header pipe out of the way with a ratchet strap but then again its always done that. my exhaust is super short and comes out right behind the cab consists of the stock y pipe and a glass pack. It sounds pretty good and I havnt seen any negative effects in gas mileage or horsepower despite having no backpressure.
Old 10-06-2011, 05:03 PM   #48
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Re: Common s10 problems

when i start my s10 and the engine is cool it runs grate but when it warms up the oil pressure drops 1/4 way and i looes pick up. it eat up gas prety good what the hell's wrong i know my bareings are good no blue smoke out the tail pipe netheir. the teputer is at 100 and stays there the fuel tac somtimes is wrong but i dont think thats why i dont have picup speed when it warms up. i need help
Old 10-08-2011, 02:10 PM   #49
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Re: Common s10 problems

Quote: Originally Posted by Theripper
when i start my s10 and the engine is cool it runs grate but when it warms up the oil pressure drops 1/4 way and i looes pick up. it eat up gas prety good what the hell's wrong i know my bareings are good no blue smoke out the tail pipe netheir. the teputer is at 100 and stays there the fuel tac somtimes is wrong but i dont think thats why i dont have picup speed when it warms up. i need help
Sounds like two different problems here. The oil pressure is probably due to age/mileage, normal in an older truck. The other deal points to a bad thermostat in the cooling system. When the engine doesn't heat up right it screws up the computer control. I'd start with that.
Old 10-10-2011, 08:57 PM   #50
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Re: Common s10 problems

I just bought my 03 ZQ8 and I only have a few minor complaints

1) the third door handle is a pile of you know what
2) the P0442 SES code (gas cap)
3) a clunking in the steering when the wheel is at full lock
4) a whining that changes with RPM...doesn't do it all the time
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