1998 Chevrolet S-10 LS 4.3 V6 from North America
Overall, a great little work/play truck, and one of the last good "old-school" rides
At 80,000 miles (just after the extended warranty expired of course) the fuel pump went out. Now the fuel pump is bundled together with a couple more (read expensive) items, which after fuel drain, removal, and installation of new part, totaled almost $700.
At around 125,000 miles, the water pump failed and was replaced.
At 140,000 miles, it was recommended that I replace the idler arm (front suspension).
Having a manual and being trained on driving a car with a manual, I use the engine and transmission a lot to slow the car down (called engine braking) before applying the brakes, so I have only had to replace the front brake pads once (at 80,000 miles.)!
The rear axle seal started leaking around 120,000 miles so I had to have the rear brake pads changed then as well as the seal.
Its a Chevy, so things break with ease, and the interior bits and pieces are no exception. I no longer have use of the front seat recliner handles, the door light sensor has broken off, and the seals lining the two side widows are popping off. But what do you expect from a truck that bases around $15,000.
The main thing to remember with this truck (V-6 only), is that it has a ton of torque in the lower RPM range (1000-3000 RPM) so reving it much higher than this when driving normally only results in lots of noise and, eventually, engine damage. It accelerates just fine shifting between 2500-3000 RPM, and seems to like to lope along around 1500 RPM when you get up to speed.
I started using synthetic blend motor oil at 75,000 miles and switched to full synthetic at 100,000 just to be safe. Its amazing the difference it makes, I actually can tell the difference between the two when you get up towards 3000 miles and the next service is due.
Also, if you change your own oil (and seeing how easy it is with this truck, anyone can do it) consider using an engine cleaner like "GUNK" before you change your oil. The deposit build up you get after 100,000 miles of driving could really end up harming your engine worse than you think. Its really inexpensive ($5) and cleans the engine in five minutes right before and oil change. Just remember to read the instructions and DO NOT DRIVE the car with the cleaner in it OR REV THE ENGINE, it could do some serious damage. Used properly, you will have a clean crankcase and a happy engine.
I would also recommend to have the transmission (if it's a manual) and rear diff. fluid replaced around 100,000 miles with some good synthetic oil (I used Mobil 1), it reduces friction and nets you slightly better fuel economy.
By the way, the truck is rated by the EPA as getting 19/22 city/highway miles per gallon, but I have had a complete (albeit illegal) header to tip exhaust system put on (with a Spin-tech muffler), changed the fluids to synthetic, and kept my air filter clean and I regularly see 24-25 MPG on the highway.
I have 150,000 miles on this baby, and it runs just as good as when I got it. I need it to last another 100,000, and I see no reason why it won't. Taken care of properly, having all the recommended service done, and this truck will be hauling and towing for a long time.
I would also recommend having the coolant flushed every other year, even though the coolant is rated for 150,000 miles doesn't mean the car's cooling system doesn't need to be cleaned in between that time.
The ride is decent to harsh, even with my Sensatrak shocks, but what can I expect from a truck? It does smooth out a lot with a good heavy load though.
Inside the cabin, the road noise is well muffled, way better than my Saturn and just about par with my '05 Civic.
The steering is linear and spot on, with a lot of boost, but personally, I enjoy not working too hard to get the truck around corners. I get an alignment whenever I replace the tires, and I have my suspension checked by a professional every year. Other than replacing an idler arm, I have had no suspension problems whatsoever.
Overall, a great little truck, and one of the last great "old-school" rides. A very honest and hard working vehicle, as long as you take care of it.
I would recommend one to someone who is looking for a less expensive work vehicle, who only occasionally tows small to medium size trailers, and hauls small loads.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th October, 2006
One more thing to add since then. Just at 147,000 miles, I found a coolant leak coming from the right side of the engine. Seems if my intake seal gave up, a whopping $650!!! Front brakes were done again too, resurfacing and pads, totaled $350.
This year was expensive, around $2000. Don't know if it had anything to do with it, but I let the truck sit for quite a while, could have something to do with the leak, not sure. All I know is that a car is meant to be driven, especially as it gets older. Oh well, I still love my S-10.