19th Feb 2010, 22:47
I have a 1998 S-10 Vortec 4.3L that I purchased new!
I figured I'd buy American this time, since they had 15 years or so since the last GM product I drove in college.
The alternator crapped out at about 35,000 miles, and I had it rebuilt with quality bearings, no problems since with that.
The computer resets if the truck isn't driven every day, it makes getting the truck to pass inspection hard because you have to drive a couple of hundred miles before all the driveability tests are complete and the scanner says pass.
The heater core blew out after about 4 years, instantly filling the cab with hot steaming antifreeze all over the windshield at 70 mph at night. I went without a heater for 6 years; it's a $1000 repair, count on 16 hours of hard work, with lots of hidden bolts etc.
The anti knock sensor is intermittent and very hard to get to and diagnose. Three trips to the shop and a new set of multipoint fuel injectors, and computer before I found that one.
Water pump failed after about 60,000, major pain to loosen the fan clutch nut.
Master and slave cylinders went out on clutch at about 90k; another $1000, so I changed the clutch also.
New radiator again.
New wiper circuit board, new and repaired power window motors.
I think I'm on my fifth or sixth side mirrors at $100 a pop! Cheap plastic that comes off if someone brushes past them walking by in a parking lot.
New A/C compressor, and all that goes with it also.
There's probably more, but who cares at this point.
Other than all this, it still drives OK with about 115,000 miles on it.
My previous car was a Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo, I drove the crap out of, and other than the alternator, it gave me very few problems up until about 135,000 miles of field service work.
If GM had spent maybe $100 on better quality parts, this would have been a much better vehicle.
P.S. Don't waste your money on a Chiltons book, they are useless now days. Buy a Haynes book that at least gives you some hints on how to do something.